Tag Archives: Olympics

Relations with Russia should be put on ice until the Russians’ cold hearts thaw

Nein Olympics for you!

I have mixed feelings, but mostly negative feelings, about Russia.

Vladimir Putin strikes me as a thuggish, retrograde fucktard, replete with his shirtless photo-ops to “prove” how “manly” he is, but at the same time, I am pleased that Russia has given asylum to the brave patriot Edward Snowden.

That said, I hope that Snowden leaves Russia as soon as he can. Russia’s homophobia is unpardonable.

Russians have the right to be homophobic, the mantra goes. It’s their nation, and they can do as they please!

Really? Did Nazi Germany have the “right” to be anti-Semitic?

Seriously — how many would argue, with a straight face, in polite company, that the Germans had the right, since it was their own nation, to round up and exterminate the Jews (as well as non-heterosexuals and other relatively powerless minority groups) who were on German soil?

Did the Jews not have universal human rights that no nation on Earth had the right to violate? Do all human beings not have certain universal human rights that no nation on Earth has the right to violate?

Does a nation own the human beings who are on its soil? Are those human beings chattel, with whom the nations’ governments may do whatsoever they please?

Comparison of Russia’s rampant homophobia to the oppression of the Jews by the Nazis is ridiculously over the top, many if not most would argue, but let’s remind ourselves that Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews began with “little” things.

The Nazi Germans blamed Jews for the nation’s problems post-World War I — as the Putin regime blames non-heterosexuals for Russia’s problems post-Cold War — and the Hitler regime began with such official government policies as banning certain forms of speech and by removing Jews from civil-service jobs, university jobs, court jobs and other public jobs, and by banning Jews from public facilities, such as public schools and theaters. Eventually, of course, the Nazis then stole the Jews’ wealth and rounded the Jews up into concentration camps, and you know the rest of the story; in a nutshell, once the Nazis realized that they could get away with those “little” things, step by step, those “little” things grew into the Holocaust, in which about two-thirds of Europe’s Jews (about six million of them) were murdered by the Nazi regime.

Banning pro-homosexual speech, as Russia has done — and the ban is broad (even simply displaying the rainbow flag, even as a pin, is verboten in Putin’s Russia) — is the first salvo in the increased, systematic oppression of an already oppressed group of people.

One wonders what, exactly, we are waiting for in Russia — another Holocaust?

Then could we compare Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Adolf Hitler’s Germany?

Should we wait for it to progress to that point?

I support a full boycott of Everything Russian, including, of course, the 2014 winter Olympics.

The Olympics should not be held in Russia while Russia — like Nazi Germany did — deems it not only acceptable, but necessary, to persecute, by law, any minority group that is singled out for such special, official persecution.

Nor should the Olympic games be held in any nation that violates the universal rights of human beings. China, whose government does not allow its citizens free speech, should not have been allowed to host of the 2008 summer games. As a non-heterosexual, it’s not only the persecution of non-heterosexuals that I reject.

To support Russia in the 2014 winter Olympics is to give tacit approval of the Russian government’s official persecution of non-heterosexuals.

As others have, I will point out that the winter and summer 1936 Olympics were held in Adolf Hitler’s Germany. (Hitler ruled from 1933 to his death in 1945. His official policies against Jews began in 1933, so the 1936 Olympics were held in Germany after the Hitler regime’s persecution of the Jews already had begun, including the stripping of Jews of German citizenship and banning marriages between Jews and non-Jews in Germany.)

Then, the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of World War II.

Yeah, it was a great idea to give Germany the 1936 Olympics, and it’s a great idea to give Russia the winter 2014 Olympics.

This can only end well!

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WTF is the matter with Mittens? He’s a multi-millionaire baby boomer, for starters

Raw Video: Romney headlines tabloids in London

Associated Press image

A London tabloid expresses its opinion of Mittens’ visit to London on the occasion of the city’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic games.

The 2012 Olympics have gotten off to a great start — and I’m not even into sports. (Well, men’s diving and men’s gymnastics are OK…)

As others have noted, all that Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mittens Romney really needed to do in London this past week was (1) to just show up and (2) to not make a total ass of himself. But very apparently, he could accomplish only one of those two objectives.

The mind of Mittens is a terrifying place to explore, but my blogger’s psychoanalysis of Mittens is that his London Olympics trip was meant to underscore the fact that he was in charge of the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City and was meant to show that he — and not Barack. Hussein. Obama. — is the man who should be representing the United States of America abroad. (I hate it when someone like Mittens acts like a shadow president — it’s deeply undemocratic, since we have not elected Mittens to act as our shadow president.)

And the wingnuts’ view of foreign relations, of course, is much closer to George W. Bush’s than it is to Barack Obama’s. And that view is that the United States of America must act like a drunken, aggressive, narcissistic frat boy, treating others in the manner of a complete and total asshole. 

On that note, I just signed on to this open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

An open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

We are writing to express our concern over Mitt Romney’s recent comments, and to let you know that he does not represent how most Americans view your great country.

First, we do not believe, as Mitt Romney implied in 2007, that you have become a second-tier nation. Rather, we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage.

Additionally, we do not share the opinion which Romney expressed in his 2010 book, No Apologies, that “England [sic] is just a small island,” and that “with few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.” Please continue sending us your many wonderful products, especially the upcoming third season of “Downton Abbey.”

We look forward not only to the London Olympics, but also to many years of continuing the special relationship between our two nations. Rest assured we will do our level best to prevent Mitt Romney from becoming our next president.

Cheers!

I hope that before the organizers send the letter on to the Brits, they delete that reference to “Downton Abbey”* — that bad joke seems actually to reinforce Mittens’ contention that the UK is not a serious contender on the world stage — but I agree with most of it. (If you want to sign on, you can do so by clicking here.)

Of course, when we state that “we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage,” we need to be careful that with such broad statements we are not endorsing some of the UK’s atrocities, which include the subjugation and in some cases even the decimation of the natives of Africa, Australia, India and neighboring Ireland, and which also includes the UK’s government’s support of the Vietraq War, in which the United States and the UK were partners in war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Indeed, if the U.S.’s rap sheet of atrocities is shorter than the UK’s, that’s only because the U.S. is a much younger nation.)

All of that said — and all of that reinforcing  yet another reason why it was an incredibly poor idea for a henchman of Mittens to assert earlier this week that Mittens Romney better understands the “Anglo-Saxon heritage”** shared by the UK and the United States than does Obama — it was incredibly pompous for Mittens, as a guest of the UK, to state his opinion just before the opening of the 2012 Olympics that London wasn’t ready.    

My guess is that such boorish behavior comes from the fact that Mittens is an American baby boomer — as a group, these selfish narcissists vastly overestimate their talents, abilities and worth, and as a group, they know no fucking shame — and from the fact that as a overprivileged (Daddy was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973, and Mommy ran for the U.S. Senate for Michigan in 1970, for fuck’s sake) multi-millionaire (from his vulture capitalism) who is used to others sucking up to him, Mittens is uncomfortable in any other role than being the uber-alpha male, the frat-boy asshole on crack.

My guess is that Mittens feels like he’s in charge wherever he is, and that he saw nothing wrong with telling his hosts on the topic of hosting the Olympics: “You’re doing it wrong!”

Of course, again, those on the right subscribe to the George W. Bush School of Foreign Policy, so it’s not like in their eyes Mittens did anything wrong. They want their president to be the biggest bully on the international stage. Unless the U.S. president is hated worldwide, he isn’t doing his job — that’s their credo.

So, as usual, in November it will come down to the “swing voters.”

I don’t imagine that a huge chunk of them really cares either that Mittens conducted himself like a jackass in London this week, since their area of concern usually doesn’t extend more than a few miles’ radius, but if Mittens gets the reputation as a bumbler on the world stage — because he is — that might cost him a significant number of votes.

We’ll see, but in the meantime, it is instructive, I think, to examine Mittens’ personality traits that have been on display on the world stage this week and to ask ourselves what these personality traits would mean for us here at home should he ever sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Of course, we Americans just allowed George W. Bush to blatantly steal the White House in late 200o — what bad events possibly could follow a blatantly stolen presidential election? — so of course we can’t write presidential wannabe Mittens off.

*I purchased and watched the first two seasons of PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” and my impressions of the television show are that one, while the series is watchable, the first season was better than the second, and that two, “Downton Abbey’s” American target audience seems to be limousine liberals. (That said, I’m quite middle- and working-class myself. I’ve never even been inside of a limo.)

“Downton Abbey” seems to be making structural and institutional socioeconomic equality seem OK because the lord and lady of the manor are fairly decent individuals, are not individually abusive to their servants. Of course, the whole setup — an overprivileged class that is served by an underprivileged class — is abusive, but apparently we are to overlook that.

Thus, again, “Downton Abbey” should be a fave among the limousine liberals, like my baby-boomer uncle, who owns several homes and is a U.S. military contractor but who nonetheless in all seriousness calls himself a “socialist.”

**While I haven’t studied my own genealogy, I suspect that I primarily of am British stock, as many white Americans are. (Wikipedia notes that “German Americans [16.5 percent], Irish Americans [11.9 percent], English Americans [9.0 percent], Italian Americans [5.8 percent], French Americans [4 percent], Polish Americans [3 percent], Scottish Americans [1.9 percent], Dutch Americans [1.6 percent], Norwegian Americans [1.5 percent] and Swedish Americans [1.4 percent] constitute the 10 largest white American ancestries.”)

While there is much about the UK that I admire — such as the incredibly useful and expansive English language, of course — I think that it’s vital to recognize a nation’s wrongdoings as well as its successes. Thus, when Mittens said this in “defense” of his henchman’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” remark, it was not a save: “It [the United States’ and the UK’s shared ‘Anglo-Saxon heritage’] goes back to our very beginnings — cultural and historical. But I also believe the president understands that. So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be, but do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”

Yes, among other things, the United States and the UK have in common their colonization of other nations, the raping, pillaging and plundering of other, militarily weaker nations (including, of course, slavery) so that the UK and the U.S. could maintain a standard of living much higher than that of the average member of Homo sapiens on planet Earth. (And for this so-called “Anglo-Saxon” “success” you will get no apologies from Mittens Romney!)

When the British empire waned, the American empire rose up to replace it, and now the American empire wanes.

And you gotta love Mittens’ assertion, “So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be.” How much control, exactly, does Mittens have over his own campaign?

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President Obama’s prize apparently meant as a pre-emptive strike for peace

 

List of Nobel Peace Prize winners since 2000. US President Barack ...

AFP graphic

Barack Obama is the third current or former Democratic U.S. president or vice president to have won the Nobel Peace Prize this decade. You just don’t see any warhawk Repugnican politicians who put corporate profits far above mass civilian casualties on the peace-prize list, do you?

So on the heels of being blamed quite unfairly for losing the United States the 2016 summer Olympic games — which would have been an unfairly unprecedented five times for the summer Olympics to have been held in the same nation (and would have left Britain at No. 2, having hosted only three summer Olympic games, including 2012) — President Barack Obama today was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Not to sound too much like the wingnuts, but:

For what?

For not being George W. Bush?

That seems to be the message of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, who hasn’t been in office for even a full year yet; it seems to be a thank-y0u message to Americans for having chosen Obama over hawkish John McCainosaurus in November 2008.

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize seems to have been awarded more for what he hasn’t done — such as to start a bogus war in violation of the wishes of the United Nations Security Council, as the unelected BushCheneyCorp did when it launched its Vietraq War in March 2003 — than for anything that he has done.

“Obama told reporters in the White House Rose Garden that he wasn’t sure he had done enough to earn the award, or deserved to be in the company of the ‘transformative figures’ who had won it before him,” The Associated Press reports today, adding, “But, he said, ‘I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century.'”

An AP “analysis” probably correctly notes that “the prize seems to be more for promise than performance. Obama so far has no standout moment of victory. As for most presidents in their first year, the report card on Obama’s ambitious agenda is an ‘incomplete.'”

Yeah, really, it seems to me that there’s no other way to read the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama than as a message from the rest of the world as to the kind of U.S. president they hope Obama will be. This makes me feel at least mildly badly to be an American, to be feared by the rest of the world as the bully on the global block who has a tendency to go off half-cocked.

Of course, that is exactly how the wingnuts want us Americans to be perceived, even though that results in such blowback as 9/11. (But, of course, such blowback as 9/11 is as politically good for the Repugnican Party as the Reichstag fire was good for the budding Nazi Party. Bad for Americans, good for the Repugnican Party — isn’t that how it always is?)

Baby-boomer-asshole blowhard Rush Limbaugh, whose best service to his nation would be to die already, remarked of the Nobel Prize committee’s decision to award the peace prize to Obama: “They love a weakened, neutered U.S, and this is their way of promoting that concept. I think God has a great sense of humor, too.”

God, of course, is an old white Repugnican man who loves to start bogus wars for his war-profiteering cronies and for multinational corporations that want to steal other nations’ natural resources for the private profits of a filthy-rich few.

Everyone knows that.

Anyway, the peace prize committee should have known how awarding the prize to Obama would have been received politically within the United States, with even foaming-at-the-mouth lefties like me asking: “For what?” Or maybe I’m being U.S.-centric for stating that, but still…

In any case, the peace prize has been awarded, so let’s just hope that Obama lives up to it.

Which was the message of the peace-prize committee in the first place, methinks.

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It’s NOT all about U.S. — really

The American reaction to the news that the International Olympic Committee picked Rio de Janeiro instead of Chicago for the 2016 Olympic games demonstrates how we Americans think that it’s all about U.S. — er, us.

U.S.-centrism is so ingrained within us Americans that we can’t even see it. It’s like the water that engulfs fish: we never examine or question it, but just take it for granted.

These paragraphs from an Associated Press story demonstrates how blind to globalism Americans are:

Chicago’s early exit from finalist balloting represented a personal setback for [President Barack] Obama and a painful defeat for Chicago, America’s most prominent Midwestern city. The president put his personal prestige and political capital at risk when he decided late in the competition to go to Copenhagen and make a personal appeal.

and

In making his pitch, the president had said that a nation shaped by the people of the world “wants a chance to inspire it once more.” Never before had a U.S. president made such an in-person appeal, and Obama’s critics will doubtlessly see the vote as a sign of his political shortcomings.

Since when are the Olympics, an international affair, all about the United States of America or Chicago or Barack Obama?

We Americans act this provincially and then wonder why the rest of the world hates us.

I’m glad that Rio de Janeiro got the 2016 Olympics. It’s the first nation in South America that ever has been picked to host the quadrennial summer games.

“The United States has hosted four summer and four winter Olympics, more than any other nation,” notes Wikipedia, listing St. Louis (in 1904), Los Angeles (in 1932 and again in 1984) and Atlanta (in 1996) as the summer games hosted by the United States.

Second to the United States in the number of times of hosting the quadrennial summer games is London, which hosted in 1908 and 1948 and is to host again in 2012.

So the Olympics, which are supposed to be international, have been dominated by the American and British empires since the modern Olympics began in 1896 in Athens. (Even Athens, the birthplace of the Olympics, has hosted the quadrennail summer games only twice, in 1896 and in 2004.)

I don’t see the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro as a slam against Chicago or Barack Obama — or as some sign that the world doesn’t like Barack Obama, as the American wingnuts are asserting (it’s only “treason” when progressives oppose a wingnut in the White House, you see). I see it as an issue of fairness, a concept that eludes the wingnuts, and the awarding of the 2016 games to Rio is in line with what is supposed to be the international, global spirit of the Olympics.

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