Tag: Olympics

Bush: Let The Games Begin! (Updated)

free propecia canadian cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

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go to site Lost in the July 3 rush to start July 4th partying is the Commander Athlete in Chief’s announcement that he will support the athletes by attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.  This direct, single digit salute to people who care about human rights in China and who are concerned about the continuing genocide in Darfur, was delivered to avoid outcry.  Put another way, it reeks of cowardice.

pentasa drug monograph lasix The New York Times reports:

http://enticingtables.com/?search=Free-delivery-lasix-Vermont&0f7=c4 The White House said Thursday that President Bush would attend the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics next month, a decision fraught with international political symbolism that quickly drew criticism from advocates for human rights.

here The advocates have been pressing world leaders to boycott the Olympics or at least skip the opening ceremonies to protest China’s violent crackdown after riots in Tibet and its support for the government of Sudan, whose Darfur region remains enmeshed in violence.

http://heringerestates.com/?search=lasix-doses-side-effects The leaders of Britain and Germany have said they will skip the opening ceremonies. For some time, the White House has said that Mr. Bush will attend the Games, but has refused to provide further details.

vytorin drug action of lasix That changed late on Thursday afternoon. With most of official Washington already gone for the Fourth of July holiday, the White House press secretary, Dana Perino, issued a simple statement outlining Mr. Bush’s August travel schedule, including the notation that he would go to the opening ceremonies.

lasix causes ed The president’s press secretary mouthpiece, who gives frequent evidence of being both utterly tone deaf and unable to distinguish facts from opinions, explained in an interview:

http://footballfedtas.com.au/?search=lasix-order-from-online-drugstore-without-doctor-prescription&eec=f2 “This is a decision by the president that he really wanted to go in support of our athletes,” Ms. Perino said in an interview. Asked if Mr. Bush was making a political statement, she said, “He does not look at it that way, but we recognize that others may.”

Olympic Torch in San Francisco

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Screen Cap from SFGate

Former mayor Willie Brown, football player Hershel Walker, and swimmer Natalie Coughlin, carry the torch on the final leg of the ‘surprise’ route.  Surrounded by a phalanx of Chinese security, police with batons,  and a motorcycle motorcade….with nary a protester in sight.   Yep – this is how San Francisco shows its Olympic spirit!

On April 9th the Olympic torch came to San Francisco – the only North American city on its route.  This was preceded by weeks of controversy over China’s human rights record, the situation in Tibet, and how this most liberal american city would  handle the event and the surrounding protests.   My parents (from Illinois) were in town that week so I took the opportunity to schedule a day off and go see the Olympic torch.  

Lots more pics below the fold.

Updated – China to Meet With the Dalai Lama

The big news from the AP:

BEIJING (AP) – The Chinese government plans to meet with a private representative of the Dalai Lama in the coming days, state-run media reported, after weeks of pressure from world leaders.

The official Xinhua News Agency said it had learned of the development “from official sources.” It quoted an unnamed official as saying there had been requests repeatedly made by “the Dalai side for resuming talks.”

snip

The official said “the relevant department of the central government will have contact and consultation with Dalai’s private representative in the coming days.” No date was given, and it was unclear exactly which representative was expected to take part in the meeting.

link: http://ap.google.com/article/A…

go here UPDATE  NHK has further analysis from their Beijing correspondent:

Tibet: Chinese Government Tries To Tone Down Nationalism…Will It Work?

There is a BIG difference between a protester and a separatist. A protester is a white man, holding a Tibetan flag, yelling, screaming and cussing at Chinese, a man ill-informed and stubborn. A separatist is a Tibetan man holding a Tibetan flag, yelling, screaming and cussing at Chinese, with the intent of separating the People’s Republic of China. In total, about 30 “protesters” came, and 2 “separatists” came. That’s right, only 2 Tibetans, and two or so dozens of ill-informed westerners.

Quote from text accompanying this pro-China YouTube of the protests surrounding the Olympic torch relay in Australia today:

Tibet: Protest Organizers in Australia Renew Calls For Nonviolence

Protests have already started in Australia before tomorrow’s Olympic torch relay. So far they have been peaceful, and protest leaders are renewing calls to use nonviolence in the waning hours before the torch takes its course through the streets of Canberra.

Australia Tibet Council chairman George Farley addressed protesters at a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese embassy:

“The world believes the cause of Tibet is moral,” Mr Farley said.

But he warned world opinion could change if tomorrow’s protests turned ugly.

Mr Farley said the non-violent approach endorsed by the Dalai Lama was the only approach to take.

“If they (pro-China activists) spit on you, just wear it.

“If they attack you, run away. Do not approach the Chinese, do not interact with them.”

link: http://www.smh.com.au/news/bei…

This YouTube is from one of a small group of protesters walking 43 miles while on a hunger strike to join the wider protest in Canberra:

Updated – Okay, China, So What Else Shouldn’t Be “Politicized”?

It’s not like there’s nothing happening on the Olympic torch front. There are already protests in Australia as the torch heads toward that country: http://www.news.com.au/heralds…

Lin Hatfield Dobbs, a social justice campaigner, has pulled out of the Olympic torch relay in Australia, saying of the torch, “For a lot of people it still carries the meaning of harmony but for an increasing number of the global community watching it’s carrying a lot of meaning around human rights.” link: http://afp.google.com/article/…

And the International Herald-Tribune reports that in Japan, instead of the torch relay starting at the enigmatic Zenkoji Temple, it will begin in a parking lot: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap…

But all of that really pales in comparison to an event happening right now, involving multiple countries, including the United States and China. It includes an act of non-cooperation by trade union workers. A political party has spoken out, expressing fears that its members would become the victims of violence.

And yet we are treated to the same response by the Chinese government, that this event shouldn’t be “politicized”.  

In Praise of John McCain

Earlier this year I decided to take a break from the bullshit. This site and and a few others have been outposts of sanity in a medium literally choking in crap. Is it just me or has the level of all round mendacity reached the point where it all blurs into a numbing howl of white noise?

Anyway, as I understand it all opinions are welcome as long as nobody is intentionally trying to piss anyone off. If you’re looking for the same old screams about evil Republicans you won’t like this piece.

Updated – Tibet: New Protests, New Arrests In Tongren, and Growing Solidarity

The Associated Press has more details about the protests in Tongren yesterday, including information on arrests and the use of force by Chinese police and paramilitary:

Monks on Thursday called for the release of fellow Buddhist clergy. They were joined by area residents at a local market, according to the center, which is based in the seat of the Tibetan governmment-in-exile in the Indian town of Dharmsala.

The center said police who were rushed to the scene began beating participants, despite efforts at mediation by a senior monk.

Receptionists reached by phone at Tongren hotels confirmed the protest, saying a crowd had gathered near the local county government offices. “Today there’s no more protests. Those people were all seized,” said one receptionist.

snip

The women refused to give their names for fear of retaliation by authorities, who have reportedly offered rewards for information on people leaking news of protests and crackdowns to the outside.

snip

A worker at a Tibetan restaurant in downtown Tongren near the monastery said police attacked protesters indiscriminately. “They were randomly beating people,” said the woman, who gave her name as Duoma.

link: http://ap.google.com/article/A…

The AP reports that the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy has put the number of people arrested at over 100.

U.S. won’t get a gold medal for human rights w/poll

Original article by Pat LaMarche via bangordailynews.com.

Are we really having discussions about whether or not to participate in the 2008 Olympics? Are people actually sitting in coffee shops discussing whether the civil rights violations in China warrant a U.S. boycott of the opening ceremonies or even the games themselves?

Updated (3x) 2,000 Protest In New Delhi For Tibet, Monks Detained in Tongren

Non-cooperation is directed not against men but against measures. It is not directed against the Governors, but against the system they administer. The roots of non-cooperation lie not in hatred but in justice, if not in love.  — http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=prednisone-dosage-less-than-5-mg Mahatma Gandhi

Two thousand protesters staged a rival torch relay to protest the arrival of the Olympic torch in New Delhi:

To Boycott Or Not?

That is the question

Whether to suffer the slings and arrows of a mad banker

Is the only consideration.

Bush has said that the Olympics are a sporting event not a political event.  Actually it is an economic event.  Why?  How much of our economy does China control?  Oh God, does it control.  So if you were heavily indebted to a banker and he invited you to his wedding, you would go to keep him happy.  So Bush will go to China to keep his lender happy.  There will be NO boycott of the opening ceremony.

Even thought China has a horrible human rights record and it is killing and maiming Tibetans, who just want their country returned to them, but none of that is important to Bush.  The borrower must keep the lender happy at all times.

Olympics Stifles Athletes’ Free Speech

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

The IOC (the “International Olympic Committee”), the group that runs the Olympics, has figured out how to prevent participating athletes from demonstrating for Tibetan freedom and displeasing their Chinese hosts.  The age old tactic: a “chilling effect” on free speech.

It’s relatively simple: the IOC tells athletes that they have a right to free speech, but they don’t have the right to make “propaganda.”  IOC won’t define line between the two.  But if an athlete so much as steps even with one toe into the latter, s/he’s out. of. here.  Goodbye.  Put simply, the IOC doesn’t need explicitly to forbid certain kinds of free speech.  It can accomplish the same, desired result by harshly and intentionally chilling it.

A definition of “chilling effect”:

A chilling effect is a term in United States law that describes a situation where speech or conduct is suppressed or limited by fear of penalization at the hands of an individual or group.

And that, folks, is precisely what’s going on with athletes’ free speech at the Beijing Olympics.  

The Times reports:

Athletes who display Tibetan flags at Olympic venues – including in their own rooms – could be expelled from this summer’s Games in Beijing under anti-propaganda rules.

Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said that competitors were siti sicuri per comprare levitra 20 mg free to express their political views but faced sanctions if they indulged in propaganda.

Got that?  Expression of political views: good.  Indulging in propaganda: bad.

But, you’re asking, is there a difference between the two? How does one know if one is expressing free speech or propagandizing?  What’s the difference?

The question of what will constitute propaganda when the Games are on in August and what will be considered opinion under IOC rules is one vexing many in the Olympic movement. The Olympic Charter bans any kind of “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda” in any Olympic venue or area.  /snip

The IOC did not specify whether a Chinese athlete or a foreign competitor of Tibetan origin flying the Tibetan flag would be regarded as patriotic or propagandist. A spokeswoman said that there had been no discussion internally or with the Chinese authorities about use of the Tibetan national flag. Asked whether athletes would be allowed to hang the flag in their rooms, she said: “The village is an Olympic venue so it falls under the same rules and regulations of any venue which would mean that anything in there would be judged on whether it was a provocative propaganda initiative.”

source site The fact that the IOC has still not qualified the exact interpretation of “propaganda” means that some athletes remain confused about what they can say during the 16-day event without being sent home or stripped of a medal.

Unfurling Free Tibet banners or wearing Save Darfur T-shirts at Olympic venues are acts http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-levitra-online-sicuro-Abruzzo likely to be regarded as a breach of the charter, which was introduced after the American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the Black Power salute on the podium at the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

So, as of right now, there’s no official definition of what constitutes “propaganda” and how propaganda might be distinguished from “free speech.”

The consequences of uttering or otherwise expressing “propaganda,” however, are quite dire.  This means that as things stand now, there is an enormous “chilling effect” repressing legitimate, free speech.

No athlete who has trained for his/her entire life is going to jeopardize participation in the Olympics by testing the definition of “propaganda” by hanging a Tibetan flag in a dorm room, by waving the flag on a victory lap, by speaking out about Tibet to the press, by showing a picture of the Dalai Lama, by wearing Tibetan malas, by wearing a Tibet hat or headband or t-shirt. Why?  Because that might be considered to be propaganda by the IOC.

So far, the IOC has been very much China’s lap dog.  As the Times reported:

A spokeswoman said that there had been no discussion internally follow link or with the Chinese authorities about use of the Tibetan national flag.

You might wonder what this question of definition in the IOC rules has to do with China.  In fact, it has everything to do with it.  The IOC does not dare to step on China’s sensitivities about the topic.  In these circumstances, the message to athletes is incredibly simple.  STFU about Tibet.  Or go home.  Free speech be damned.

The IOC doesn’t need to enact a gag rule for its athletes.  That would be assailed as a “prior restraint” on free speech.  No, when the stakes are this high, a harsh “chilling effect” accomplishes precisely the same goal.  So much for the so-called “Olympic ideal.”  

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