2008 Summer Olympics

Everyone loves a healthy debate. Post an idea or comment about a current event or issue. Let others post their ideas also. This area is for those who love to explore other points of view.

Moderator: Nicole Marie

2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:12 am

Beijing Olympics

When I have thought about them at all I haven’t thought much about them. Now it sounds as though this is going to be the most restrictive games ever with a very real potential for an international gaffe if the Chinese security people misunderstand fan exuberance for political demonstration, going so far as forbidding fans from standing up.

The Chinese thought the games were going to give their civil rights violations a veneer of respectability, now it appears the games are only going to highlight their paranoia and insecurity on the world stage.


The Summer Olympics, a 17-day extravaganza, begins in Beijing on Friday. There is a torrent of news about the event, so it’s hard to know what to look for — and what to ignore — as we try to figure out what’s really going on. There are three things to pay special attention to in the next two days.

The first is the reaction of Chinese officials themselves. There is a new hint of caution in government statements about the Olympics. This seems to say that, even at this late date, senior leaders still do not know how the event will turn out. It’s perhaps telling that Xi Jinping, China’s vice president and the official in charge of the Games, appears to be assuming a low profile. And his most important pronouncement on the topic sets a low bar by which the Olympics — and he — will be judged by his Communist Party comrades: “A safe Olympics is the premise for a first-class Games with Chinese characteristics,” he said last month. “Safety is our top concern here.”

And this brings us to the second thing to look for: the government’s use of repression in the last days before the flame is lit in Beijing. Xi’s statement on staging a safe Olympics has, for better or worse, set the official tone in the run-up to the opening ceremony. China watchers had always expected tight security for the event, but Chinese central officials have gone far beyond what any observer thought they might do. The Beijing government, for starters, has denied visas to businessmen, backpackers, and middle-aged tourists holding Olympics tickets.

Moreover, the central government has also ejected long-term foreign residents and canceled long-planned events involving foreign participants. Chinese citizens have been removed from Beijing, and many of them have been prevented from traveling there. The capital is now guarded by three rings of checkpoints and over 400,000 troops, police, and volunteers. Children cannot fly model planes, real pilots cannot quit or change their jobs, and dissidents have been forced to take “holidays.” Spectators at the Games are not permitted to stand up in their seats.

The only thing Chinese leaders have not done is declare martial law; but, even if they did, it’s not clear that things would be much different than they are at this tense moment. The Games are supposed to be a joyous celebratory event, but the unprecedented clampdown means they have become the “No-Fun Olympics.”
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Shapley » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:24 am

I wonder what will be the response when the shooting starts. The shooting teams are used to restrictions (and preciousl little media coverage), but I think China may set a new low for them....
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
Shapley
Patron
 
Posts: 15196
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby jamiebk » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:22 pm

China will be revealed for what it is through all of this. They may have thought that it will enhance their world reputation, but many people will now have first hand experience with China's repressive government. In a true sense, each Chinese person will be an ambassador for their country. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:48 pm

jamiebk wrote: In a true sense, each Chinese person will be an ambassador for their country. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.


Based on my experiences in Shanghai and other cities in China, I'm not going to hold my breath :rofl: :mrgreen:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby jamiebk » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:47 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:
jamiebk wrote: In a true sense, each Chinese person will be an ambassador for their country. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.


Based on my experiences in Shanghai and other cities in China, I'm not going to hold my breath :rofl: :mrgreen:


My brother in law (full fledged WASP) lives in Shanghai and married a Chinese woman. She is very progressive and my Bro in law loves living there. We are maybe closer to the situation than most. Lell has full (at least he thinks so) internet access and we often trade links etc. Like I said, the Chinese response to the Olympics will be interesting to watch. I just hope that there won't be any international incidents or terror.
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby dai bread » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:35 pm

The reports in my newspaper focus on air pollution more than anything. The demo. in the far west gets mentioned, but it's clear this was just some opportunists' way of getting publicity. There are lots of photos of phog. (Or should that be fotos of fog?)

One time when we picked up my private pianist from the airport, she took a big breath of the kerosene-laden breeze and said "Ah, fresh air!" She came from Tienjin. Alas, she's no longer my private pianist. She's finishing a degree in biomedical science instead, and lives in an apartment.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
dai bread
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3020
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:55 am

Olympics opening ceremony; Torch bearer running on the wall?????

Somewhere Leni Riefenstahl is beaming!!!
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby dai bread » Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:27 pm

She sure is! That scroll they had in the middle of the arena was amazing. How did they get the effect of the central stage staying still in the middle of the moving scroll?

It was a very impressive display all round.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
dai bread
1st Chair
 
Posts: 3020
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cambridge, New Zealand

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:31 pm

This is a HOOT and a half!!! I heard on my local talk show this morning and almost drove off the road. The line "They said you were Too Young I thought that was your name" caused me to damn near killed that poor bastard on a bike!!!



http://images.radcity.net/5155/2963605.mp3
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby jamiebk » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:40 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:This is a HOOT and a half!!! I heard on my local talk show this morning and almost drove off the road. The line "They said you were Too Young I thought that was your name" caused me to damn near killed that poor bastard on a bike!!!



http://images.radcity.net/5155/2963605.mp3


Holy crap that's funny...I am still laughing out loud. :rofl: :rofl:
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby treebeau » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:22 pm

Didn't listen yet...were they talking about the contingency of female Gymnasts?

Regards,
Tim B.
treebeau
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 2133
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2000 12:01 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:31 am

treebeau wrote:Didn't listen yet...were they talking about the contingency of female Gymnasts?

Regards,
Tim B.



TB, it's just a parody song about the ages of the Chinese female gymnasts.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:00 pm

Michael Phelps goes home.....

.


.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..to his tank at Seaworld.


Michael Phelps returns to his tank at Seaworld.


Image

ORLANDO—Fourteen-time Olympic gold medalist and SeaWorld main attraction Michael Phelps returned to his seven-million-gallon water tank Wednesday to resume his normal schedule of performing in six shows a day for marine park crowds every day of the week.

Phelps, the 6'4", 200-pound aquatic mammal, and the first ever SeaWorld swimmer to be raised in captivity by foster swimmers (Mark Spitz and Dara Torres), was recaptured by trainer Bob Bowman in a hoop net baited with an entire Dutch apple pie following Phelps' final Olympic event last Sunday. Phelps was then tethered to the rudder of a container ship bound for St. Petersburg, guided down local waterways, and introduced back into his home habitat, the tank in SeaWorld's 5,500 seat stadium, known to park officials and visitors alike as "Phelps' Happy Harbor."

"Michael seemed really excited to be back," said Bowman, adding that the male swimmer became playful upon entering his tank, breaching the water and sounding repeatedly. "He just started swimming freestyle and backstroke, and only stopped to slide belly first onto the tank's platform so he could be fed dozens of fried egg sandwiches."

"He fell asleep at the surface of the water around midnight," Bowman added.
Though Bowman plans on continuing the long-running aquatic show "Michael, The Yankee Doodle Swim Team Captain," in which Phelps was performing prior to leaving for Beijing, Bowman said he and Phelps would begin working on an all-new production, which will debut in September with the title "Champion!" Bowman has promised this show would be the most ambitious program in the history of Olympic swimmer sea spectacles.

Bowman says one stunt called the "Flying Medal" will begin with Phelps' 14 gold medals being suspended above the water. Phelps will then enter the stadium butterfly-stroking at full speed, coursing along the surface, and with every breach of the water, placing his head through the hoop of one medal after another. If Phelps is wearing all 14 medals at the end of the stunt, Bowman said, the swimmer will be rewarded with a whole pizza and a pound of cooked enriched pasta.
Bowman confirmed that the routine would also feature the signature aquatic feats that audiences from around the world have come to expect from Phelps, such as his trademark trick of 35 flip turns in 35 seconds, nuzzling a child with his nose, and Bowman himself "surfing" on Phelps' back while the subservient sea creature swims the breaststroke.

"Those seated in the first 14 rows should be prepared to get soaked," Bowman said, admitting that Phelps' powerful dolphin kicks would be added to the new program. "Also, Michael's two friends, [Olympic swimmers] Ryan [Lochte] and Jason [Lezak], will open the show with their humorous beach ball antics."

Beginning with the 1985's "Baby Michael Celebration," Phelps has entertained SeaWorld audiences for over 20 years. Spectators are not only enthralled with Phelps' exploits in the water, but his abnormally large torso, unusually small lower body, double-jointed ankles, gargantuan eating habits, the slurring, almost human methods of vocalization he uses to communicate, and his odd-looking goggle-covered face, all of which combine to make him the most unusual sight in all of Florida.

"I have never seen a stranger yet more majestic-looking creature," said husband and father of three Glenn McKay. "Last year we went to SeaWorld San Diego and saw [Michael's female counterpart] Michelle, and even though the show was a little funnier than this one, nothing compares to watching Michael almost hover over the water after launching his trainer into the air."

"Michelle" is SeaWorld's moniker for the Olympic gold medalist who was born Natalie Coughlin.
"I liked it when he played dead and floated in the water," added McKay's 8-year-old son Brandon, who was clutching a Michael Phelps stuffed doll. "I also liked when he blew water on everyone."
Though spectators—and ticket-sales personnel—are happy that Phelps is back at SeaWorld, members of the World Society for the Conservation of Olympic Swimmers released a statement yesterday saying that these athletic mammals should be released from captivity. The statement claims that there is conclusive scientific proof that confinement in smaller pools of water, as opposed to wide-open, Olympic-sized pools, causes the swimmers sensory depravation and a shorter lifespan.

"It's clear that Michael doesn't like being at SeaWorld," WSCOS spokesperson Jonathan Haines said. "When he was placed back into his tank, the slightly loose portion of his black swim cap immediately folded over to the right side, a telltale symptom of stress and angst. And you can be certain that, just before he left for Beijing, he didn't bite that little girl's arm off because he was happy."
"To help mend the world is true religion."
- William Penn

http://www.one.org
OperaTenor
Patron
 
Posts: 10457
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Paradise with Piq & Altoid, southern California

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:29 am

Barack Obama sang the praises of China’s infrastructure last week on the campaign trail.

The Times of London did some actual research on how China actually managed to improve its infrastructure. As most of us could have guessed, they stole it:

THOUSANDS of Chinese farmers face ruin because their water has been cut off to guarantee supplies to the Olympics in Beijing, and officials are now trying to cover up a grotesque scandal of blunders, lies and repression.

In the capital, foreign dignitaries have admired millions of flowers in bloom and lush, well-watered greens around its famous sights. But just 90 minutes south by train, peasants are hacking at the dry earth as their crops wilt, their money runs out and the work of generations gives way to despair, debt and, in a few cases, suicide.

In between these two Chinas stands a cordon of roadblocks and hundreds of security agents deployed to make sure that the one never sees the other.

The water scandal is a parable of what can happen when a demanding global event is awarded to a poor agricultural nation run by a dictatorship; and the irony is that none of it has turned out to be necessary.


I know, I know … this isn’t the China that Barack Obama knows

A housing and land collapse in Baoding in which 31,000 became homeless. And the most ironic part of the story is that the water wasn’t really needed after all. When it became apparent that tourists had decided to skip the 2008 Olympics over the Tibet issue, or just because of the Chinese government in general, the need for the water evaporated. And the infrastructural work that Obama hailed as a model for the rest of the world stopped abruptly, leaving half-build aqueducts and pipelines all over Baoding.

Did Beijing assist the farmers in Baoding after this grotesque miscalculation? No — they sealed the area off so that people wouldn’t find out about it. That’s another charming quality to totalitarian systems.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:18 am

Oh come on, Haggis, you're really going to lay all of this at Obama's feet?! Is Obama solely responsible for China's most favored nation trading status with the US? Is Obama solely responsible for our trade deficit with China? Did he really have *anything* to do with those economic larps?

I don't see John McCain making any attempts to hold China accountable, either. Why isn't that notable?

As a matter of fact, I hear most politicians sucking up to China anymore. I find it revolting.
"To help mend the world is true religion."
- William Penn

http://www.one.org
OperaTenor
Patron
 
Posts: 10457
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Paradise with Piq & Altoid, southern California

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby jamiebk » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:22 am

China has always been a country of extremes...very rich to very poor...huge progressive cities such as Beijing and Shanghai to the poorest remote rural agricultural regions. They can put on a great face, but the when you peel back the onion you realize that there is a still a lot of "3rd world" element there. Kudos to their "plastic surgeons" and make-up people.
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:58 am

OperaTenor wrote:As a matter of fact, I hear most politicians sucking up to China anymore. I find it revolting.


I agree with you but few of those politicians say that "(China's) ports, their train systems, their airports are all vastly superior to us now." And that "Beijing looks like a pretty good option" to businesses.

He's an embarrassment and either misinformed, ignorant, a communist, or closet Socialist. I'm good with any of those.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:15 am

Haggis@wk wrote:
OperaTenor wrote:As a matter of fact, I hear most politicians sucking up to China anymore. I find it revolting.


I agree with you but few of those politicians say that "(China's) ports, their train systems, their airports are all vastly superior to us now." And that "Beijing looks like a pretty good option" to businesses.

He's an embarrassment and either misinformed, ignorant, a communist, or closet Socialist. I'm good with any of those.


You gotta cite for that one? Just curious.
"To help mend the world is true religion."
- William Penn

http://www.one.org
OperaTenor
Patron
 
Posts: 10457
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Paradise with Piq & Altoid, southern California

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:39 am

OperaTenor wrote:
Haggis@wk wrote:
OperaTenor wrote:As a matter of fact, I hear most politicians sucking up to China anymore. I find it revolting.


I agree with you but few of those politicians say that "(China's) ports, their train systems, their airports are all vastly superior to us now." And that "Beijing looks like a pretty good option" to businesses.

He's an embarrassment and either misinformed, ignorant, a communist, or closet Socialist. I'm good with any of those.


You gotta cite for that one? Just curious.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-IvjXnkHwA
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
Haggis@wk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6055
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:01 am
Location: Home office

Re: 2008 Summer Olympics

Postby jamiebk » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:53 am

Richard M. Nixon seemed to think that China was worth dealing with too.
Jamie

"Leave it better than you found it"
jamiebk
1st Chair
 
Posts: 4284
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:01 am
Location: SF Bay Area - Wine Country

Next

Return to The Debate Team

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]

cron