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Dita Alangkara | Associated Press
The feet and track are reflected in the helmet of Italy's Armin Zoeggeler as he starts a run during a training session Thursday for the men's singles luge.

Winter (Games) of our discontent

The sun is out. The snow, now that I've moved it out of my driveway with a payloader, a Caterpillar tractor and a fleet of dump trucks, is lovely. So I refuse to be bummed by anything this morning.

(And, yes, I know, this is an unnatural state of being for the Blob. If it's making you uncomfortable, you can go stand outside if you like until I'm finished here. After all, it's a lovely single-digit day out there!).

Anyway ... this attack of Pollyanna-ism puts me in the perfect frame of mind to talk about the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, which in my current state I refuse to believe are going to be an unmitigated cluster you-know-what.

This despite the fact that NBC's Richard Engel reports that you can expect your cellphone and laptop to be immediately hacked as soon as you arrive, and that media and visitors should have no expectations of privacy anywhere.

This despite the fact that Shaun White, the marquee name in the new Olympic sport of slopestyle, has pulled out of the event not only to concentrate on the half-pipe, but because of concerns about the course, which he deems unsafe.

This despite the fact that many of the venues are still under construction ... and that some of the media hotels are barely finished and the water coming out of the taps is brown ...

Well, to heck with that. I think the Sochi Olympics are going to be great. I think the athletic competition will redeem any and all flaws and inconveniences, and that the Russian government won't really lock you up if you say something nice about gay people, and that they're not really going to be spying on you over there, at least anymore than the NSA is spying on you in the States.

Besides, bottled water is awesome. Especially when mixed with vodka.

Ben Smith's blog.

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