Broadsword calling Danny Boy: Wisconsin -- Iowa post-mortem; Kherson gambit unfolds; Floyd of Rosedale | Eastern North Carolina Now | Russia's strategic withdrawal from Kherson signals a shift in the war as each side prepares for General Winter to take command.

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    FM station on the outskirts
    Blue jeans after years of shift work
    All fading out like I always knew they would
    The strings on this guitar
    The first love lost on a young heart

    Those things are gonna break after the getting's good
    'Cause the new wears off, and they get to getting old
    Yeah, sooner or later, time's gonna take its toll
    They say nothing lasts forever
    But they ain't seen us together
    Or the way the moonlight dances in your eyes
    And I know there'll be that moment
    The good Lord calls one of us home and
    One won't have the other by their side
    But heaven knows that that won't last too long
    Maybe some things last forever after all     - Drew Parker

The "King" of Albania issues operational orders as an unidentified American technical advisor looks on, April 1996, Durres, Albania: Above.     Click image to enlarge.

    Russia's strategic withdrawal from Kherson signals a shift in the war as each side prepares for General Winter to take command. With the Dnieper river bridges blown in the south, neither side has the operational and/or logistical capacity to break the stalemate until the Spring -- unless the river freezes in January. The American supplied HIMARS (highly mobile, multi-launch, deep-strike artillery elements) have succeeded in disrupting Russian logistics to the bridgehead, allowing, among other things, increased air-defence assets to now ring the Ukie front.

    This "victory" for Ukraine comes at a very high cost with some 500,000 casualties so far during the war. Simultaneously the slaughter in the Pavlovka sector saw the Ukies burn more than 5000 rounds of 155mm a day in counter-battery fire -- to no avail. Now NATO stocks of this ordnance are depleted and calls go around the world -- from South Korea to South America -- begging for more. "The West is running dry on war fighting material," Westerby advises from the field.

    The Russian buildup in Belarus continues; fresh battle formations arrive weekly as missile and artillery stocks are replenished. When the ground freezes over, and tracked vehicles are no longer road-bound, the strike from the North will cut the country in two. The bulk of Ukie military strength concentrated in The Bend and along a less than static front north toward Kharkov; the invasion routes are virtually undefended.

    If you don't know who General Sergey Surovikin is, you might want to ask somebody -- as he has the wisdom of Governor Olson and the killer instinct of Colvin. The West playing the wrong game, at the wrong time, with the wrong opponent. History littered with crushed nation-states that thought they could tame the Bear. Ten years from now the maps won't even show a place called Ukraine as the Russian - Chinese - Iranian economic axis generates energy and raw materials to outflank Western financial schemes.

    Paper might cover rock -- but not oil, rare earths and uranium. Going to be a cold and hungry Winter in Europe and the UK.


    Speaking of Westerby, he delivered the mail with the Iowa call. Despite having just 164 yards total offense, the Hawkeye defence and special teams dominated the day. Iowa's first TD a two play Red Zone drive set-up by a blocked punt. Then defensive back Cooper DeJean had a pick six and later returned a punt 41 yards to set up the last Iowa short-field scoring drive.

    The wind conditions were brutal and with the Wisconsin passing attack struggling, Iowa stacked the box and it was all over. Sometimes things work out like they should and we move to 2-2.

    Alas Westerby has been recalled across the pond to consult with former PM Truss, so the baton returns to Farnell for the weekend pick we need to exceed the magical 54 percent mark of victory. Hopefully he remembers his own advice to focus on run-stopping defence and weather conditions and forget this fourth-dimensional mathematical analysis -- which generated two of the worst picks imaginable after an opening win.

    Unfortunately Farnell, when spotted Saturday evening at Mirabellas dining with some folks "not from around here," babbling constantly about the coming Russian Winter offensive and how Grandfather would have fought the war. Even more alarming was his insistence, rather loudly it is reported, that it was all about Floyd of Rosedale -- and the fate of all mankind riding on such once again.

    This is the guy moving all these early week lines? Floyd of Rosedale? Sounds more like a mental case than a football handicapper. Pick us some winners, Man.

    Seriously Dude, less art and more meat's what feeds the Bulldog.
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