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ridgeback
Aug. 6, 2008, 02:47 PM
Sorry if this bores some of you but I just love it..

BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States chose former Sudanese refugee Lopez Lomong to carry their flag at Friday’s Olympic opening ceremony in a move that could embarrass Sudan and its ally China.

Lomong, who spent 10 years in a refugee camp after fleeing his native Sudan as a child, was given the honor after a vote by the team captains of the entire U.S. Olympic squad.

“This is the most exciting day ever in my life,” Lomong said in a statement by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) on Wednesday.



http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=reu-usflagdc&prov=reuters&type=lgns

KSevnter
Aug. 6, 2008, 02:53 PM
Wonder i that is in response to China's decision to revoke Joey Cheek's visa (gold medalist from Torino).

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Chi?urn=oly,98718

Olympic gold medalist and outspoken Darfur activist Joey Cheek has had his visa revoked by the Chinese embassy, hours before the speedskating champion was set to fly to China. And he wasn't even planning on wearing a mask when he got there.

Chinese officials don't need a reason to revoke anyone's visa but, in their eyes, they had plenty of reasons to snatch Cheek's. He is the founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes whose goal it is to raise global awareness of the human-rights violations taking part in the Darfur region of Sudan. China's military, economic and diplomatic ties to Sudan have been well-publicized in the lead-up to the Games.

Said Cheek of his ban in a prepared statement:

"I am saddened not to be able to attend the Games. The Olympic Games represent something powerful: that people can come together from around the world and do things that no one thought were possible. However, the denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.

Cheek was going to China to support the athletes on Team Darfur -- including soccer player Abby Wambach -- and to promote the cause, one that he has championed for years. After winning gold in the Torino Games, Cheek announced he was donating his $25,000 USOC bonus to Darfur and implored his sponsors to do the same. It seems that Joey Cheek is truly one of the good guys.

dwblover
Aug. 6, 2008, 02:57 PM
Wow, that makes me proud of all the team captains as well. And if they think revoking Joey's visa is going to slow down his efforts, they are SO wrong. Now it is just bringing more attention to his cause.

Hopeful Hunter
Aug. 6, 2008, 03:56 PM
For the first time in a very long while, I'm proud of something the US has done on the international stage thanks to this decision.

Showcasing a refugee, and highlighting inhumanity, is what the US used to stand for, and I'm glad to see it hasn't been completely waterboarded into oblivion.

THIS is what makes the Olympics special, IMO...thanks for sharing this!

ridgeback
Aug. 6, 2008, 04:05 PM
For the first time in a very long while, I'm proud of something the US has done on the international stage thanks to this decision.

Showcasing a refugee, and highlighting inhumanity, is what the US used to stand for, and I'm glad to see it hasn't been completely waterboarded into oblivion.

THIS is what makes the Olympics special, IMO...thanks for sharing this!



You're welcome:D I just love it:)

Speedy Alice
Aug. 7, 2008, 01:57 PM
Wow, that makes me proud of all the team captains as well. And if they think revoking Joey's visa is going to slow down his efforts, they are SO wrong. Now it is just bringing more attention to his cause.

Agree! So happy for Lomong and proud of the team captains! Thanks for sharing. :)

classicsporthorses
Aug. 7, 2008, 01:59 PM
You should see how proud we are in central NY! The school district is one that I am responsible for and about 15 miles from my office at the State University College of NY at Cortland. He is a BIG hometown hero!

They were actually doing a fund raiser in Tully last night, a small community, to raise funds for his adoptive parents and coach from Tully to attend the games.

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:06 PM
Being American does not confer the right to be a crass guest in a foreign country.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:14 PM
Beuing American does not confer the right to be a crass guest in a foreign country.


Screw that. If there is one thing we are justifiably proud of, it is the exercise of our 1st Amendment rights.

I was even proud of GWB for having a few choice words about China's human rights record before he went over.

If that makes us crass, so be it. :cool:

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:14 PM
Beuing American does not confer the right to be a crass guest in a foreign country.

Exactly how is it crass? He has every right to carry our flag...

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:21 PM
"..............in a move that could embarrass Sudan and its ally China."

Way to solve a problem.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:25 PM
"..............in a move that could embarrass Sudan and its ally China."

Way to solve a problem.

Clearly you aren't that savvy on how world politics work... It's like a chess game often times that is how things are communicated before they get resolved...;) Embarrassment is better then armed military!!!

AffirmedHope
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:26 PM
Screw that. If there is one thing we are justifiably proud of, it is the exercise of our 1st Amendment rights.



In CHINA? :confused:

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:30 PM
In CHINA? :confused:

Absolutely. And at great personal risk, I might ad....

hitchinmygetalong
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:32 PM
In my opinion, the Olympics should never be a political soapbox. But this is not without precedent (as the US boycotted the Moscow Olympics in '80 to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan), so I guess I'll just have to shut up.

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:34 PM
This is the sort thing that gave rise to the expression "Ugly American". But hey - if you're fine with that, it's all that counts. You don't attempt to impose your values on another culture when you are a guest in their country.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:35 PM
Screw that. If there is one thing we are justifiably proud of, it is the exercise of our 1st Amendment rights.



That is all well and good in the USA. Athletes are GUESTs in China and should behave as such.
I am always amazed when americans feel that their amendment rights extend beyond their borders.

Dixon
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:38 PM
Being American does not confer the right to be a crass guest in a foreign country.

Huh? How does this remotely relate to the topic?

I too am proud of this symbolic move by the U.S. As for Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek, he is a 2008 Gold Medalist in my book, even though China refused his entry. China's retributional revocation of his Visa warrants, at a minimum, the U.S. revoking Chinese nationals' visas, as part of the political chess game. We should boot out some Chinese businessmen and the Chinese bank that just received a banking license to do business here. I just wish these happenings made more and bigger headlines than Bush showing up at the Opening Ceremonies. Few actions by the U.S. can make up for the embarassment he's caused us the past 8 years.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:41 PM
That is all well and good in the USA. Athletes are GUESTs in China and should behave as such.
I am always amazed when americans feel that their amendment rights extend beyond their borders.

China had to compete to get the games. They wanted us----not the other way around.

I am always amazed when people think that violence against women, children and animals is "okay" when it is part of someone else's culture.

We have a right to freedom of speech as Americans not to be penalized by the US Government for voicing our opinions. Of course, China has the right to do to Americans whatever it does to its own citizens in its own country...WHILE THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHES.

Speedy Alice
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:41 PM
"..............in a move that could embarrass Sudan and its ally China."

Way to solve a problem.

I feel any "embarrassment" would be in a category similar to the way Jesse Owens "embarrassed" Hitler and Nazi Germany in the '36 Olympics...

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:42 PM
Oh yes - you'll show them!

Mozart
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:42 PM
Well, this is not HR so it will get shut down soon, but maybe before it does, maybe Equibrit and snoopy can explain to me how a Sudanese refugee carrying a flag is crass?

Perhaps the guy just deserves it. Even if there is a sub text to the act of carrying a flag, really, so be it.

What if the Olympics were in the US and an Iraqui para-olympian who lost his leg during the US invasion of Iraq carried the flag? Would that be crass?

And with that I will sit back and watch the fireworks :cool:

AffirmedHope
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:45 PM
That is all well and good in the USA. Athletes are GUESTs in China and should behave as such.
I am always amazed when americans feel that their amendment rights extend beyond their borders.

THANK YOU! Once you step onto the soil of a different country you must abide by their laws. If you go to China and say something you are not allowed to say or do and get arrested, don't pull the first Amendment line because it won't work. Your a guest in their country, so for the short time you're there you must abide by the laws they have in tact.

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:45 PM
Yes - if it was calculated to embarass the host nation.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:46 PM
Well, this is not HR so it will get shut down soon, but maybe before it does, Equibrit and snoopy can explain to me how a Sudanese refugee carrying a flag is crass?

Perhaps the guy just deserves it. Even if there is a sub text to the act of carrying a flag, really, so be it.

What if the Olympics were in the US and an Iraqui para-olympian who lost leg during the US invasion of Iraq carried the flag? Would that be crass?

And with that I will sit back and watch the fireworks :cool:

Mozart-
You have a very good point. But in the USA, the Iraqui would have every right to do that. Those that supported him would have every right to do so vocally, and those that opposed him would have every right to do so vocally. And the news commentators would have a field day--and no one would be shot or thrown in prison!

God bless America!:lol:

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:48 PM
China had to compete to get the games. They wanted us----not the other way around.

I am always amazed when people think that violence against women, children and animals is "okay" when it is part of someone else's culture.

We have a right to freedom of speech as Americans not to be penalized by the US Government for voicing our opinions. Of course, China has the right to do to Americans whatever it does to its own citizens in its own country...WHILE THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHES.


Violence in any form is not OKAY. I do not agree with China's policies in the least.
As far as China "wanting us", well that is really not the point. China did not agree to uphold the constitution of the US or to honour its ammendments. When an American agrees to enter another country that american is bouond by the laws of that country. I do not drive on the left side of the road in the US just because my country allows it. It is not my "right" in the US.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:49 PM
Well, this is not HR so it will get shut down soon, but maybe before it does, maybe Equibrit and snoopy can explain to me how a Sudanese refugee carrying a flag is crass?



I do not remember posting that! Can you show me that? My post is in response to what I quoted.

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:50 PM
Mozart-
You have a very good point. But in the USA, the Iraqui would have every right to do that. Those that supported him would have every right to do so vocally, and those that opposed him would have every right to do so vocally. And the news commentators would have a field day--and no one would be shot or thrown in prison!

God bless America!:lol:

But I doubt that another nation would abuse the hospitality of their host in that way.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:51 PM
Violence in any form is not OKAY. I do not agree with China's policies in the least.
As far as China "wanting us", well that is really not the point. China did not agree to uphold the constitution of the US or to honour its ammendments. When an American agrees to enter another country that american is bouond by the laws of that country. I do not drive on the left side of the road in the US just because my country allows it. It is not my "right" in the US.

With all due respect I expect this from Europeans they don't get who and what America stands for...

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:51 PM
Violence in any form is not OKAY. I do not agree with China's policies in the least.
As far as China "wanting us", well that is really not the point. China did not agree to uphold the constitution of the US or to honour its ammendments. When an American agrees to enter another country that american is bouond by the laws of that country. I do not drive on the left side of the road in the US just because my country allows it. It is not my "right" in the US.

Who said that they weren't? Did anyone say that? The whole point of non-violent resistance is to take a stand and protest DESPITE THE LAWS and at great personal risk. How do you think the Jim Crow laws in the USA were overturned? How do you think apartheid was ended?

You stand up for what you believe and take your lumps. And in that way, public opinion is turned.

STF
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:52 PM
Im proud that the USA is doing that, but....... it will cause some issues, IMO. They are rubbing the others nose in it and nothing good will come out of that. Im sure there will be issues over there somewhere.
I know that everyone was told NOT to speak out against any issues of the Chinese Goverment. That is hard to do when you see the horrid poverty over there! :(

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:54 PM
But I doubt that another nation would abuse the hospitality of their host in that way.

Please explain what the U.S. is doing wrong? An American citizen is carry the flag please explain to me what Chinese law we are breaking? thank you:lol:

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:54 PM
But I doubt that another nation would abuse the hospitality of their host in that way.

You are kidding, right? Did you hear Ahmadinejad at Columbia University? :lol:

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:57 PM
Well, this is not HR so it will get shut down soon, but maybe before it does, maybe Equibrit and snoopy can explain to me how a Sudanese refugee carrying a flag is crass?

Perhaps the guy just deserves it. Even if there is a sub text to the act of carrying a flag, really, so be it.

What if the Olympics were in the US and an Iraqui para-olympian who lost his leg during the US invasion of Iraq carried the flag? Would that be crass?

And with that I will sit back and watch the fireworks :cool:

no need to shut this down everyone is entitled to their opinions...How boring if we agreed on everything:)

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:57 PM
With all due respect I expect this from Europeans they don't get who and what America stands for...

My American passport is EXACTLY the same as the one that you hold. I'm not sure that you realize what America appears to stand for when viewed from outside.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 02:59 PM
My American passport is EXACTLY the same one that you hold.


Oh damn, won't be making any comments about Ghandi or British Imperialism, I guess. :lol::lol:

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:00 PM
My American passport is EXACTLY the same as the one that you hold.


and mine as well. And with that I am bound by the laws and cutoms of the USA whilst here. I do not however feel that because I hold dual citizenship that I am given the right to exercise those rights and privledges in another country.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:01 PM
and mine as well.

And ain't it great to be able to express your own opinion? ;)

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:03 PM
My American passport is EXACTLY the same one that you hold.

If you notice I was responding after snoopy posted...and you are entitled to your opinion but I notice you have not shown where the U.S. has broken any laws...You do know the athletes voted for him to carry the flag NOT the U.S. government.. Are you saying he does not deserve it?

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:06 PM
If you notice I was responding after snoopy posted...and you are entitled to your opinion but I notice you have not shown where the U.S. has broken any laws...You do know the athletes voted for him to carry the flag NOT the U.S. government.. Are you saying he does not deserve it?


My posts have nothing to do with who was chosen to carry the US flag, but rather to address the fact the China has every right to deny entry into their country what ever their reasons...same as the US.

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:06 PM
In my opinion, the Olympics should never be a political soapbox. But this is not without precedent (as the US boycotted the Moscow Olympics in '80 to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan), so I guess I'll just have to shut up.

Well I'll guess I"ll have to shut up too. I"m happy for the athlete that was chosen to carry the flag - it's quite an honor. Bless him.

But this is sport - and I'd prefer if people kept their political causes in their own arena, and didn't take over the sporting arena too. Boycotts and causes are all fine and well - but athletes don't deserve to be pawns in an international chess game.

Guess that's a bit pie in the sky. I really felt for the athletes in those Games, even met one of the wrestlers many years later. He'd just become another regular Joe - but he had kept all his uniforms and treasured them - though he never got to wear them and compete. It was really sad.

AffirmedHope
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:07 PM
I don't think anyone is sayig that they don't deserve to hold the flag. I'm more concerned that people think that being an American, exempts them from the laws of other countries they visit.

If I go to a country that prohibits gun ownership should I still be allowed to have a gun in that country because of the American constitution? :confused:

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:08 PM
I have not claimed that anybody broke any laws. What I am saying is that the attempt to embarass China when you are their guest is thoughtless, rude and short sighted, not to mention embarassing.

Mozart
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:10 PM
I do not remember posting that! Can you show me that? My post is in response to what I quoted.

True, you did not use the word crass. Equibrit gets the credit for that. But my impression was that you both somehow thought that electing the former Sudanese refugee to carry the flag was inappropriate. I am having a hard time understanding why. I mean, take it one step further. Maybe the US should not have put him on the team so as not to embarass their host. That would be the next logical step, if you think carrying the flag is inappopriate.

But maybe you are talking about the speed skater and not the flag carrier?

Horsepower
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:11 PM
Perhaps, if people hadn't "politely" stood by silently during WWII so many millions of people wouldn't have been exterminated.

The U.S. captains are entitled to choose anyone they want to carry the flag. It doesn't violate any rule of China and is in accordance with the Olympic rules. So I don't even see the basis for any complaints.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:11 PM
Well I'll guess I"ll have to shut up too. I"m happy for the athlete that was chosen to carry the flag - it's quite an honor. Bless him.

But this is sport - and I'd prefer if people kept their political causes in their own arena, and didn't take over the sporting arena too. Boycotts and causes are all fine and well - but athletes don't deserve to be pawns in an international chess game.

Guess that's a bit pie in the sky. I really felt for the athletes in those Games, even met one of the wrestlers many years later. He'd just become another regular Joe - but he had kept all his uniforms and treasured them - though he never got to wear them and compete. It was really sad.

Are you not following this....IT IS THE ATHLETES WHO ARE DOING THIS:lol: The athletes voted the "lost boy" to carry the flag.. There is an organization called athletes for darfur....

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:11 PM
I don't think anyone is sayig that they don't deserve to hold the flag. I'm more concerned that people think that being an American, exempts them from the laws of other countries they visit.

If I go to a country that prohibits gun ownership should I still be allowed to have a gun in that country because of the American constitution? :confused:


Well, I'm not sure that it is against Chinese law for a Sudanese-American to carry the US flag. Is it? So how does he--or the athletes who elected him--or those of us who support them think that we are exempt from the laws of China?

Huh? :confused::confused::confused:

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:12 PM
I have not claimed that anybody broke any laws. What I am saying is that the attempt to embarass China when you are their guest is thoughtless, rude and short sighted, not to mention embarassing.

China could stand a little embarrassing for supporting the regime in the Sudan. Boo hoo. Poor China. :cry:

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:12 PM
True, you did not use the word crass. Equibrit gets the credit for that. But my impression was that you both somehow thought that electing the former Sudanese refugee to carry the flag was inappropriate. I am having a hard time understanding why. I mean, take it one step further. Maybe the US should not have put him on the team so as not to embarass their host. That would be the next logical step, if you think carrying the flag is inappopriate.

But maybe you are talking about the speed skater and not the flag carrier?


Your impression is wrong. My posts have addressed the issue of an american athlete being denied entry into china...and the assumption that he is allowed to exercise his first ammendment rights. I have no comment on who is chosen to carry the USA flag. Read my posts please.

KSevnter
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:13 PM
I see nothing wrong with choosing any athlete to carry our nations flag, that is well within the rules of the IOC, just as it is well within the Chinese laws to revoke a visa and not give a reason. When Joey spoke, he said he couldn't believe they granted it to him in the first place.

If the United States truly wanted to make a political statement then it should have done so by not fielding any teams. I would have preferred that. I agree with abiding by the rules of the country you are in, afterall we give their regime credence by participating in the Games. But I do fail to see how choosing any specific American Olympian to carry our nation's flag is illegal or offensive on its face.

AffirmedHope
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:14 PM
No I don't care about a Sudanese refugee carrying the flag, go for I think its great. I was more concerned with you saying that we have a right to exercise our first amendment rights in China which is not true because its in the United States constitution not the Chinese.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:15 PM
No I don't care about a Sudanese refugee carrying the flag, go for I think its great. I was more concerned with you saying that we have a right to exercise our first amendment rights in China which is not true because its in the United States constitution not the Chinese.


exactly the point of EVERY post I made.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:18 PM
No I don't care about a Sudanese refugee carrying the flag, go for I think its great. I was more concerned with you saying that we have a right to exercise our first amendment rights in China which is not true because its in the United States constitution not the Chinese.

No kidding. I think they taught me that in law school. :rolleyes:

I am concerned with you saying that just because China was awarded the games, that everyone has to shut up or avoid "ebarrassing" them. If something is wrong and you are going to be embarrassed by it, then don't do it. Or in the alternative, don't compete to host an event on the world stage...

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:20 PM
China signed up to host an Olympics not uphold the USA constitution....or honour its values.

KSevnter
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:25 PM
China signed up to host an Olympics not uphold the USA constitution.

Ha ha we can't even get our own government to uphold it in this country!

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:26 PM
China signed up to host an Olympics not uphold the USA constitution.

Sigh. China can, and will do, whatever it wants. Who said that it cannot? If they embarrass themselves, hey, its their country, they have the right to be embarrassed.

Are you intentionally not understanding? Or do really just not comprehend? :confused: :sigh:

Mozart
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:27 PM
That is all well and good in the USA. Athletes are GUESTs in China and should behave as such.
I am always amazed when americans feel that their amendment rights extend beyond their borders.

From this post I thought you meant the flag carrier/runner, not the speed skater, who would not be going as an athlete since his is not a summer sport. He would be going as, I suppose, an activist I guess. My opinion on that is somewhat different.

Thank you for clarifying.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:30 PM
From this post I thought you meant the flag carrier/runner, not the speed skater, who would not be going as an athlete since his is not a summer sport. He would be going as, I suppose, an activist I guess. My opinion on that is somewhat different.

Thank you for clarifying.



It's all good my lovely...:D

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:30 PM
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AffirmedHope
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:32 PM
No kidding. I think they taught me that in law school. :rolleyes:

I am concerned with you saying that just because China was awarded the games, that everyone has to shut up or avoid "ebarrassing" them. If something is wrong and you are going to be embarrassed by it, then don't do it. Or in the alternative, don't compete to host an event on the world stage...

Well then why did you say:


Screw that. If there is one thing we are justifiably proud of, it is the exercise of our 1st Amendment rights.


I never said anything about this person not being allowed to carry the flag. I guess I just misunderstood your first post.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:33 PM
Equibrit-
And your point is?

That it is bad manners to draw attention to human rights violations? That we should be more polite and not offend anyone by noting their atrocities? :lol::lol::lol:

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:37 PM
For the record:

I was against these Olympics being awarded to China because of my own personal belief and feelings. BUT I think it does a disservice to ALL of the athletes when ANYONE uses this platform to push their political aganda, personal beliefs etc. It is not in the spirit of the games and is disrespectful to the competing athletes. This is why am not unhappy or bent out of shape by the Chinese Government denying a visa to the skater.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:42 PM
Well then why did you say:



I never said anything about this person not being allowed to carry the flag. I guess I just misunderstood your first post.

Yes, you did misunderstand it. Amercians are free to do something like vote to have a Sudanese-refugee carry the American flag at the Olympic games because they have a right of freedom of expression and the US Government cannot censor it.

China, obviously, will do whatever it feels it can get away with, as usual. If the world press were not watching, the Sudanese and other American athletes' lives or freedom would probably be in danger. Chinese "law" is quite arbitrary,governed by dictatorial power, and the "rights" of its people are not guaranteed.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:42 PM
For the record:

I was against these Olympics being awarded to China because of my own personal belief and feelings. BUT I think it does a disservice to ALL of the athletes when ANYONE uses this platform to push their political aganda, personal beliefs etc. It is not in the spirit of the games and is disrespectful to the competing athletes. This is why am not unhappy or bent out of shape by the Chinese Government denying a visa to the skater.


Do you really think the skater was going to do anything to disrupt the games...he was going to support his friends he's not stupid, ending up in a Chinese jail isn't going to help Darfur, Tibet or the citizen's of China.

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:43 PM
Are you not following this....IT IS THE ATHLETES WHO ARE DOING THIS:lol: The athletes voted the "lost boy" to carry the flag.. There is an organization called athletes for darfur....

Yes, I know. I think it's great. It's an honor to be chosen to carry the flag - no matter what the reasons. That guy went through hell and look what he's accomplished! It's wonderful.

My comment was not in reference to this man, nor to diminish anything he's accomplished. It's truly incredible; if anyone deserves that honor it's someone who has struggled the way he has.

He's lucky he wasn't on the 1980 team - or he'd not be carrying any flag. I dislike the politics - the intentional disruption of sport. This individual was an excellent choice period. Politics aside. His story is one of triumph over adversity - perfectly in keeping with the tenets of sport.

Boycotting and protesting and the other attention getting stuff - leave it at home. The Games are here and they'll be plenty of time for that after it's over. The time for protest is over and what we're doing may result in China having second thoughts about adopting a more liberal society.

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:45 PM
Equibrit-
And your point is?

That it is bad manners to draw attention to human rights violations? That we should be more polite and not offend anyone by noting their atrocities? :lol::lol::lol:


Not at all......but;
Don't do it when you are their guest.
Make sure that you are not commiting atrocities in you own back yard.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:46 PM
Do you really think the skater was going to do anything to disrupt the games...he was going to support his friends he's not stupid, ending up in a Chinese jail isn't going to help Darfur, Tibet or the citizen's of China.


But can you be sure, or can the Chinese government be sure that he would not bring unwanted attention to the very issues he stands for? Now you are arguing for argument's sake.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:48 PM
Not at all......but;
Don't do it when you are their guest.
Make sure that you are not commiting atrocities in you own back yard.

Let's just all hold hands and sing kumbaya, shall we? :rolleyes:

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:49 PM
Equibrit-
And your point is?

That it is bad manners to draw attention to human rights violations? That we should be more polite and not offend anyone by noting their atrocities? :lol::lol::lol:

You mean like Munich in 72? Oh - ok. Guess it's ok to use the Games for political gains - but if you're Jewish you might want to keep your head down.:no:

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:50 PM
But can you be sure, or can the Chinese government be sure that he would not bring unwanted attention to the very issues he stands for? Now you are arguing for argument's sake.


I think, as he himself said, that he knew he would be denied a visa. And that very denial brought publicity to his cause and to the Chinese dread of any attention to its human rights record.

Eclectic Horseman
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:51 PM
You mean like Munich in 72? Oh - ok. Guess it's ok to use the Games for political gains - but if you're Jewish you might want to keep your head down.:no:


I was thinking more Jesse Owen. You know--carrying a flag, not a machine gun.

That would be passive non-violent resistance. Not terrorism. Big difference!

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:53 PM
But can you be sure, or can the Chinese government be sure that he would not bring unwanted attention to the very issues he stands for? Now you are arguing for argument's sake.

No I'm not sorry you feel that way... I just don't agree with China and anything they do so I think it's crazy they would not let him in....

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:55 PM
I think, as he himself said, that he knew he would be denied a visa. And that very denial brought publicity to his cause and to the Chinese dread of any attention to its human rights record.


The list of stupid government just gets longer doesn't it?;)

slc2
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:56 PM
I don't like seeing politics in sport, but the fact is, it's here to stay.

I don't like the idea of protesting or standing up in another country where one is visiting, especially one like China where it is very dangerous to do so and could affect innocent people very badly, but I respect a person for following and living what they believe in.

The term 'ugly american' didn't originally apply to people protesting human rights violations in foreign countries, Equibrit.

It came about to describe people who go to other countries and loudly demand to be served first in a restaurant.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 03:59 PM
No I'm not sorry you feel that way... I just don't agree with China and anything they do so I think it's crazy they would not let him in....


Not crazy... just short sighted. And China and its policies do not lift my skirt either. All I am saying is that we cannot get too heated because they denied entry to an american...their country their rules....as much as we do not agree with them.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:00 PM
Not crazy... just short sighted. And China and its policies do not lift my skirt either. All I am saying is that we cannot get too heated because they denied entry to an american...their country their rules....as much as we do not agree with them.

Oops I actually meant I am sorry you feel that way...

Equibrit
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:01 PM
I was thinking more Jesse Owen. You know--carrying a flag, not a machine gun.

That would be passive non-violent resistance. Not terrorism. Big difference!

Would this be the same Jesse Owens who wasn't allowed to live on campus at Ohio State because it was segregated?

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:01 PM
It came about to describe people who go to other countries and loudly demand to be served first in a restaurant.


Is that a joke? Americans abroad are welcomed very warmly in every country I have visited. Infact I have never seen any bad behaviour in that regard.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:02 PM
Oops I actually meant I am sorry you feel that way...


I got that!!!:lol:;)

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:05 PM
I was thinking more Jesse Owen. You know--carrying a flag, not a machine gun.

That would be passive non-violent resistance. Not terrorism. Big difference!

Good attention/bad attention. To many it makes no difference as long as they're noticed.

And Munich was noticed.

To consider Berlin as anything other than a footnote (though a great footnote) is a misreading of history. The war was there - the shots hadn't been fired yet.

Munich..... was.... horrific. And the way some of y'all are cheering is the way a lot of folks were cheering back then - but they weren't cheering for the victims. People should not be used as pawns for political gain.

Sorry - it's just the way I see it. In the end - it's the person that suffers most. Everyone else moves on, including nations.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:06 PM
Is that a joke? Americans abroad are welcomed very warmly in every country I have visited. Infact I have never seen any bad behaviour in that regard.

It's true and I think New Yorkers are the once that gave us the bad name...at least in the beginning:)

MILOUTE55
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:09 PM
Im sure that all of the American people who are standing against China today have been demonstrating and protesting for many many years, right...?
Because all of those atrocities didn't start right before the Olympics...

The decision was made to have these games in China, the Olympics are not a time for politics and judgements.

I wonder if the whole world should give their opinions on how to stop the increasing number of American kids being morbidely obese...?

Mozart
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:16 PM
Is that a joke? Americans abroad are welcomed very warmly in every country I have visited. Infact I have never seen any bad behaviour in that regard.

I have never yet run into an American during my visits to Cuba. Although, in that case, the problem is that the US doesn't let them go. For all I know, the Cubans might not be unhappy to see them. As long as they are armed with $ instead of weapons I suppose :winkgrin:

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:19 PM
Im sure that all of the American people who are standing against China today have been demonstrating and protesting for many many years, right...?
Because all of those atrocities didn't start right before the Olympics...

The decision was made to have these games in China, the Olympics are not a time for politics and judgements.

I wonder if the whole world should give their opinions on how to stop the increasing number of American kids being morbidely obese...?

I wish they would maybe it would shine some light on our food supply and how animals are treated before they make it to our table...

ginger708
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:21 PM
I am sure the Lomong being Sudanese had something to do with him carrying the flag. However I think that the people that picked him also feel that he truly represents the ideals that many Americans love about our country. Lopez Lomong came from nothing and had the good fortune to come to our country and work really hard to accomplish his dreams. Wrong or right that is what we are thought in our schools and in our homes. If you work hard you can be anything you want to be in America. I don't see how havening somebody that truly embodies that Idea carrying our flag can be offensive to anyone. The Chinese know what American ideals are if they were so offended by them why do they do so much business with us. Why do they allow Americans to live in their country and teach English at their schools. We need china just like china needs us. If china is embarrassed it will be like the obnoxious uncle that gets called out for being an a** at thanksgiving. He gets mad then he gets over it.

ef80
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:41 PM
For the record:

I was against these Olympics being awarded to China because of my own personal belief and feelings. BUT I think it does a disservice to ALL of the athletes when ANYONE uses this platform to push their political aganda, personal beliefs etc. It is not in the spirit of the games and is disrespectful to the competing athletes. This is why am not unhappy or bent out of shape by the Chinese Government denying a visa to the skater.


What about this incident then? Different as they were protesting injustice in their home country, but protesting none the less.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Olympics_Black_Power_salute

In my book it was rather a rather beautiful, poetic expression of justified outrage.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:49 PM
In my book it was rather a rather beautiful, poetic expression of justified outrage.


And in my book, the wrong place to be doing it....:no:

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:50 PM
And in my book, the wrong place to be doing it....:no:

And that is your opinion;)

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:55 PM
And that is your opinion;)


and it is my opinion that it was disrepectful to the host nation, to the olympics, and their fellow athletes.





"IOC president Avery Brundage deemed a domestic political statement unfit for the apolitical, international forum the Olympic Games was supposed to be. In an immediate response to their actions, he ordered Smith and Carlos suspended from the U.S. team and banned from the Olympic Village. When the US Olympic Committee refused, Avery threatened to ban the entire US track team. This threat led to the two athletes being expelled from the Games.

A spokesperson for the organization said it was "a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit."

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 04:58 PM
and it is my opinion that it was disrepectful to the host nation, to the olympics, and their fellow athletes.

Yes it is:) But in my world respect is earned not automatically given.. By the way I don't protest anything I'm for peace and human rights I'm against nothing..

ginger708
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:01 PM
And in my book, the wrong place to be doing it....:no:

Are you kidding me. At that time in America the black athlete was to be seen and not heard like an obedient child. If those men did not speak up then at what time would they be able to shame Americans in recognizing that they we people with rights and voices not just things to be observed for our pleasure or pawns to be sent of to war. In the immortal words of Mohammad Ali no Vietnamese ever called me Ni**er. For a long time in America the only black voice that white America heard was the black athlete. And god bless all of them that had the courage to make white America take a critical look at who we are as a nation.

riverbell93
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:02 PM
The US picking an irritating flag-carrier is beautifully rude, and I applaud it.
Anyone thinking that the Olympics is or ever was supposed to be an apolitical event celebrating individual human achievemet is living in a fantasy. It's a platform for the nations that host and the nations that attend.


I wonder if the whole world should give their opinions on how to stop the increasing number of American kids being morbidely obese...?

And when the topic is America and the world, the fat flies sooner rather than later. Besides, the whole world does give their opinion on fat America, all the time.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:03 PM
Are you kidding me. At that time in America the black athlete was to be seen and not heard like an obedient child. If those men did not speak up then at what time would they be able to shame Americans in recognizing that they we people with rights and voices not just things to be observed for our pleasure or pawns to be sent of to war. In the immortal words of Mohammad Ali no Vietnamese ever called me Ni**er. For a long time in America the only black voice that white America heard was the black athlete. And god bless all of them that had the courage to make white America take a critical look at who we are as a nation.

WOW I LOVE THIS AND YOU ARE SO DEAD ON!!!!!! NAMASTE MY FRIEND

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:09 PM
Are you kidding me. At that time in America the black athlete was to be seen and not heard like an obedient child. If those men did not speak up then at what time would they be able to shame Americans in recognizing that they we people with rights and voices not just things to be observed for our pleasure or pawns to be sent of to war. In the immortal words of Mohammad Ali no Vietnamese ever called me Ni**er. For a long time in America the only black voice that white America heard was the black athlete. And god bless all of them that had the courage to make white America take a critical look at who we are as a nation.


Oh I GET it...but I do not agree with it. I do not believe america was shamed but rather the cause. I see little proof that their actions actually made any difference to the injustices they were protesting.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:16 PM
Oh I GET it...but I do not agree with it. I do not believe america was shamed but rather the cause. I see little proof that their actions actually made any difference to the injustices they were protesting.

Well now I got to disagree with you on that one....

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:19 PM
Well now I got to disagree with you on that one....


So do tell me what was accomplished then? Injustice is STILL going on...still. And whilst the episode was said to move the cause of civil rights forward, that is all good on paper, but the reality is quite different.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:22 PM
So do tell me what was accomplished then? Injustice is STILL going on...still.

BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!! and yes utopia does not yet exist on planet earth but we can continue to move forward..

ef80
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:28 PM
I should preface this with the note that I very much appreciate non-violent, highly public protest actions and civil disobedience - especially if those actions have artistic/poetic merit behind them.

I honestly think that the 68 Protest is very much in line with the Olympic Spirit - the world coming together, competing on a global stage where everyone is equal. To stand up and say, 'I am equal here with the rest of the world, but at home, I am not' is outstandingly brave.

Our flag-bearer is a very appropriate selection as his story shares a lot of elements in "the American dream" - Individual leads a hard-knock life in their nation of origin, comes to the US for a better life, becomes a citizen and has a beautiful life.

If the US, as a nation, really wanted to diss China, be rude or go against the Olympic Spirit - the thing to do would have been for GWB and other political officials to SKIP the Opening Ceremonies but still send teams to compete.

I fully expect we'll see at least one attempted commentary on either the upcoming elections or the war in Iraq on the podium.

Protesting at the Olympics is, in my book, a moral good because the world is watching - these competitors are, for the most part 'every day citizens' and to hear their voice speak up against injustice is a good thing. The people of a nation is not always it's government.


EDIT: Yes, injustice still goes on - but as far as 'what's changed', there is a black man who stands a good chance of becoming the next American president. The presidential race isn't just about the issues, it also is very much about whether or not the majority of America is ready to accept a President that isn't a white male.

Social inequality today is quickly becoming more about socioeconomic differences than ethnic differences. One very important change is that more minorities are attending college than in previous decades. Interestingly when it comes to the gender divide, more minority women graduate from college than minority men.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:56 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/09/olympicgames2008.humanrights



A very enlightening story...thanks for bringing it to my attention. I shall have to ponder this, wont I?!

2boys
Aug. 7, 2008, 05:58 PM
I am sure the Lomong being Sudanese had something to do with him carrying the flag. However I think that the people that picked him also feel that he truly represents the ideals that many Americans love about our country. Lopez Lomong came from nothing and had the good fortune to come to our country and work really hard to accomplish his dreams. Wrong or right that is what we are thought in our schools and in our homes. If you work hard you can be anything you want to be in America. I don't see how havening somebody that truly embodies that Idea carrying our flag can be offensive to anyone. The Chinese know what American ideals are if they were so offended by them why do they do so much business with us. Why do they allow Americans to live in their country and teach English at their schools. We need china just like china needs us. If china is embarrassed it will be like the obnoxious uncle that gets called out for being an a** at thanksgiving. He gets mad then he gets over it.

This was my interpretation as well. "We are proud of Lamoung's accomplishments, and are proud for him to represent our country." It bums me out that others jump to play the "offensive card" so quickly, rather than appreciating what this individual has overcome to be where he is today. To me, that (being offended-or calling attention in that regard) seems to perpetuate the negative vibe that so many continue to try to shake...

dressagetraks
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:22 PM
The presidential race isn't just about the issues, it also is very much about whether or not the majority of America is ready to accept a President that isn't a white male.


However, there are also a large number of Americans, I believe (hopefully) the majority, who will make their decision for candidate based on the candidates and the issues, whichever way that decision leads them. It's quite possible to be against Obama and to be equally against him were he white and McCain black, just as it's possible to have been against Hillary purely on issues without having her gender or social expectations or "a woman's place" play any role at all in that decision. Not saying that you are doing this yourself, but I've run into a few people who label all Obama nonsupporters based on the race card.

I can't believe this hasn't been closed yet. Not that I think it should be; nice discussion on both sides. But it isn't horse related. ;)

ETA: I LOVE the selection of the flag bearer and think it's a great one.

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:24 PM
Wow - if you're so offended maybe you should go back and actually read the posts.

People weren't complaining about this wonderful man. Get it? READ. Everyone is impressed with his life story - he very much deserves to carry our flag.

Understand now? Get it? Go back and read once more. All of you - anyone who thinks that people were criticizing this individual.

Because they weren't. You're purposefully misconstruing what they wrote. Some people think international sport should not be used to further divide us, and were referring to the protests and other public displays that they consider inappropriate for this venue. Some also thought that such displays did not help improve relations with the host nation. We're all supposed to be playing nice in the sandbox. It's only for a few days every few years - it ain't that hard.

It's a separate issue from this man's accomplishment. And ridgeback - if you want to expound on your personal politics - please create a blog so I don't have to wade through your posts. If I want to learn something about Darfur, I won't be visiting the COTH BB. Really.

dressagetraks - sorry - was replying to ridgeback and your post go there first. But can we please leave the presidential race out of it? It's quite possible to dislike Obama and not be a racist for God's sake.

Thames Pirate
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:25 PM
My thoughts on the flag bearer--I think it's great. He represents the American dream, the "bootstraps" story, and the ideal (yes, it's an ideal, not a reality) of Emma Lazarus' poem (at the base of the Statue of Liberty):

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


THAT, in my opinion, is why Lomong was chosen. It was probably not meant as an affront to China per se, and if they are embarrassed by it, it is THEIR problem, not ours. We are not breaking rules or even being blatantly disrespectful by choosing an American who embodies the American dream to carry the American flag.

As for the skater--I do not believe he was going to stir up trouble (though perhaps lend some visibility to his cause). However, I think China is well within its rights to deny him entry; face it, we would deny entry to some individuals.

I believe it is fair to aks athletes and spectators alike to abide by China's laws. Indeed, it is the only way it can work. When I travel, I expect that I have to follow the laws of the host country or face the consequences. When foreigners come to the US, we expect them to follow our laws. That's the way it works.

I don't believe the Olympics should be about politics, and for that reason I would not have awarded the Games to China. There are two options: ignore China's human rights violations for two weeks, or politicize the Games. Since neither is palatable, giving them the Games was perhaps unwise. We (the world) aren't ready for it. However, since it happened, I believe that those in China (athletes, spectators, politicians, etc) should not politicize the Games. If people want to protest, let it be from their home countries. Le us pressure our government into pressuring China. Let us support groups that assist the oppressed in China. However, let's do it because it's right, not because the Olympics happen to be on. We don't need to cease protesting (domestically) for the next two weeks, but let's separate out the issues of politics and sports.

Oh, and Mozart: Cubans were very happy to see us (my group) when we went there (legally, might I add). They were extremely welcoming, generous, and kind. It should be mentioned that our team was hardly boorish and that even though we were already a multi-cultural group, we still went through cultural sensitivity training.

ef80
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:27 PM
Quickie stab at making it horse-related :)

Michael Matz was the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies in 1996! The Olympic teams have historically done a great job at picking someone who really deserves it, this year is no exception. :)

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:30 PM
J.Swan and Thomas Pirate:

:yes:

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:31 PM
Quickie stab at making it horse-related :)

Michael Matz was the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies in 1996! The Olympic teams have historically done a great job at picking someone who really deserves it, this year is no exception. :)

On this we argee...totaly!!!:yes::yes::yes:

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:32 PM
J.Swan and Thomas Pirate:

:yes:

Snoopy - do you ever get the feeling you're a modern day Diogenes?

Know what I mean?

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:33 PM
It's a separate issue from this man's accomplishment. And ridgeback - if you want to expound on your personal politics - please create a blog so I don't have to wade through your posts. If I want to learn something about Darfur, I won't be visiting the COTH BB. Really.

dressagetraks - sorry - was replying to ridgeback and your post go there first. But can we please leave the presidential race out of it? It's quite possible to dislike Obama and not be a racist for God's sake.

I'll use your word WOW:lol::lol: what has this entire thread been about...you chose to post in this thread...:lol::lol::lol: Yee ha Swan snoopy asked what has changed since 68 I pointed out who was running for President...No where did I give my opinion on the race but I will now GO BARACK OBAMA!!!!!

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:38 PM
I'll use your word WOW:lol::lol: what has this entire thread been about...you chose to post in this thread...:lol::lol::lol: Yee ha Swan snoopy asked what has changed since 68 I pointed out who was running for President...No where did I give my opinion on the race but I will now GO BARACK OBAMA!!!!!

I read the thread because it was SUPPOSED to be about the man carrying our nations flag. If you'll let the thread be just about this man, instead of your personal politics, it would be nice. Especially since many of us have expressed our desire to just enjoy the Games for what they are.

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:38 PM
Snoopy - do you ever get the feeling you're a modern day Diogenes?

Know what I mean?


That could go either way depending on your point of view of the man himself. Care to expand with in the context of this discussion and my posts?



Sympathizers considered him a devotee of reason and an exemplar of honesty. Detractors have said he was an obnoxious beggar and an offensive grouch.


Sadly I am often described by my detractors.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:43 PM
I read the thread because it was SUPPOSED to be about the man carrying our nations flag. If you'll let the thread be just about this man, instead of your personal politics, it would be nice. Especially since many of us have expressed our desire to just enjoy the Games for what they are.

Swan you will notice I started this thread more than 24 hours ago and only a few postings.. Then Equibrit posted this "Being American does not confer the right to be a crass guest in a foreign country." I then asked this, "Exactly how is it crass? He has every right to carry our flag..." then Equibrit said ,"..............in a move that could embarrass Sudan and its ally China..Way to solve a problem." Please get your facts straight before accusing people of things.thank you

JSwan
Aug. 7, 2008, 07:05 PM
That could go either way depending on your point of view of the man himself. Care to expand with in the context of this discussion and my posts?



Sympathizers considered him a devotee of reason and an exemplar of honesty. Detractors have said he was an obnoxious beggar and an offensive grouch.


Sadly I am often described by my detractors.

No - I'm the offensive grouch. I meant the old chestnut about him wandering around Athens with his lantern, looking for an honest man!:lol:

ridgeback - never mind - I want to talk about sports - not politics. Have a ball with the animal rights and Sudan and visa stuff. The rotten tomatoes being thrown at China is directed at every country every time the Games come around. I can my tomatoes and eat them in the winter. It's a more productive use. :cool:

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 07:09 PM
No - I'm the offensive grouch. I meant the old chestnut about him wandering around Athens with his lantern, looking for an honest man!:lol:

ridgeback - never mind - I want to talk about sports - not politics. Have a ball with the animal rights and Sudan and visa stuff. The rotten tomatoes being thrown at China is directed at every country every time the Games come around. I can my tomatoes and eat them in the winter. It's a more productive use. :cool:

I do find it interesting how I'm targeted with the politics when MANY have contributed to this thread on a political note. We must have had issues before in another thread hmmm:winkgrin: Although I do find it interesting that you would have read this thread and decided to participate when you just want to talk about sport and clearly, there was some politics in it from the very beginning. Oh and if you don't want politics in sport switch to jumpers because that is the only one that doesn't have politics(at least in judging)..leave the sticks up and go the fastest and you win..

snoopy
Aug. 7, 2008, 07:29 PM
No - I'm the offensive grouch. I meant the old chestnut about him wandering around Athens with his lantern, looking for an honest man!:lol:




" He used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp; when asked what he was doing, he would answer, "I am just looking for an honest man." Diogenes looked for an honest man and reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels.

This attitude was grounded in a great disdain for what he perceived as the folly, pretense, vanity, social climbing, self-deception, and artificiality of much human conduct.


THAT is so me!!!


:lol:;)

slc2
Aug. 7, 2008, 09:11 PM
I think anyone who goes to China to compete in the Olympics is making a huge statement.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 7, 2008, 09:46 PM
I think anyone who goes to China to compete in the Olympics is making a huge statement.

I think anyone who goes to China to compete in the Olympics is showing up to take part in something they have worked their whole lives for and have earned. The athletes don't get to choose the venue. I hate it when people politicize the Olympics. It is completely antithetical to the point of the Games and opportunistic. It is also futile (see, e.g., the boycott disgrace circa 1980).

Dixon
Aug. 7, 2008, 09:54 PM
The Chinese know what American ideals are if they were so offended by them why do they do so much business with us.

moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney


Why do they allow Americans to live in their country and teach English at their schools.

so the Chinese can do business with Westerners, and make moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney.
And English teachers who mention or embody American ideals get kicked out of the Chinese schools.


We need china just like china needs us.

Yeah, like a junkie needs a drug pusher.


If china is embarrassed it will be like the obnoxious uncle that gets called out for being an a** at thanksgiving. He gets mad then he gets over it.

Except that the obnoxious uncle lacks a huge army and nuclear capabilities.

merrygoround
Aug. 7, 2008, 09:55 PM
I have not claimed that anybody broke any laws. What I am saying is that the attempt to embarass China when you are their guest is thoughtless, rude and short sighted, not to mention embarassing.

However, I don't think Mr. Cheek was, by his presence , intending to embarrass China. Now, he may have been encouraging others to lend support to his stance on Darfur, and that may have em-bare-assed China. but that is their problem, which they have now amplified. :lol: :lol:

Sorry Equibrit-On this sort of thing, you are into a sticky wicket.

ridgeback
Aug. 7, 2008, 10:00 PM
The decision stunned Dick Buerkle, a U.S. distance runner who had qualified for the 1980 team -- and who learned of the boycott when he saw it on the news.


Buerkle, now a high school teacher and coach in suburban Atlanta, says reading about World War II gave him a sense of perspective. "This is not the worst thing that's ever happened in the world," he says. "Although at the time when it occurred to me, I thought it was. I just thought it was unjust, unfair, it just was wrong."

Buerkle accepts that politics is part of the Olympics -- "It's the way they've always been," he says -- and believes that the games can be a positive political force, as with a 28-year ban against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

"The Olympics did not change South Africa; it took a lot of forces to do that," he says. "But they were a force."

The ban on South Africa from 1964 until 1992 "embarrassed that country, and eventually caused them to open up their playing fields to black and white," Buerkle says. "It had an impact. The Olympics not letting them compete had an impact."

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/20/spotlight/

Just a tad hypocritcal, we ban South Africa from participating and we turn around and allow China to host them....my only point is the olympics have always been political this is nothing new. What sickens me is what we allow some countries to get away with and others we ban for 28 years...SIGH

ginger708
Aug. 7, 2008, 10:29 PM
moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney



so the Chinese can do business with Westerners, and make moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney.
And English teachers who mention or embody American ideals get kicked out of the Chinese schools.



Yeah, like a junkie needs a drug pusher.



Except that the obnoxious uncle lacks a huge army and nuclear capabilities.

It seems as if you have a fear of china al a cold war russia. Really people I'm not going to Jump under a table every time the american media says that China is going to oust us as the worlds superpower.

As to the Olympics being political, I would like to see the athletes have the choice weather or not they want to use their olympics to be political. I think that many athletes would just like to enjoy the moment that their lifetime of work affords them, and others will want to speak up for those that do not have a voice. I think both have a place. However the athletes that have spoken for those that do not have a world stage, have made a difference. Those athletes got people talking and thinking.

Hopeful Hunter
Aug. 7, 2008, 11:17 PM
Life IS political. The Olympics are not exempt from that truth any more than anyone, anything or anyplace else.

The Olympic ideal may be about the purity of sport, but that ideal is one that remains out of reach. From the US choosing black athletes to compete who still faced raw discrimination at home to the Soviets and their factory produced medalists, the Olympic Games are an international stage on which countries play "mine is bigger than yours." They are an opportunity for rabid nationalism and for subtle international maneuvering. Oh, and there are also some sporting events.

Cities compete to host the Olympics, even though the games hardly ever generate lasting, real economic benefits. And by competing for the right to host, they are indicating to some degree that they will - for those two weeks at least - tolerate a greater openness and diversity than may be the norm.

China seems to have forgotten that tacit agreeement. It wants the showcase, but not the show that may be part of the deal if you will.

The reality is that the Olympics do provide a vast international canvass for expression. It would be lovely to confine that expression to sporting excellence, but that's not realistic. So, while we may have moments that celebrity pure sport, they are only small pauses in the frenetic displays the nations, and some dedicated individuals, will be orchestrating for their own agendas.

It may be personal for the althetes, but it certainly is also political.

Ajierene
Aug. 7, 2008, 11:29 PM
While the origin of the Ancient Olympic games is steeped in as much myth as history, it is known that the games grew to be so important that all political actions, such as wars and battles, were suspended during the games. Olympic athletes were also required to be amateurs.

Since the revival of the Games in 1896, the Olympic committee has worked to have the games fit the traditions of the original Olympics, but this has been shown to be difficult. There are numerous examples of political actions happening at or in relation to the Olympics. Olympic athletes also no longer need to be amateurs.

As far as Lomong being asked to carry the flag, without knowing the reasons behind it, I find it difficult to state that this is specifically a political protest. I agree with ginger708, boys2 and Thames Pirate that this is an example of some of the great attributes of the United States and would be the same if he were born in the US or any other country.


http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/olympics/a/aa021798.htm
http://www.runtheplanet.com/resources/historical/ancientolympics.asp
http://ablemedia.com/ctcweb/consortium/ancientolympics3.html
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/athens_games/history.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Games

As far as Barack Obama and the equal rights connections to the possibility of him being president. As one poster put it "The presidential race isn't just about the issues, it also is very much about whether or not the majority of America is ready to accept a President that isn't a white male."

Consider that John F Kennedy was a Roman Catholic. There has been discussion on the narrow margin that he won by and how much the mafia influenced his election. Some have stated that he would not have been elected if it were not for the mafia influence. Many at the time did not want Kennedy to be president because they feared the pope would govern of the United States. All presidents before Kennedy and all afterward have been of the Protestant Christian denominations. At the time Catholics were often looked at suspiciously, though Barack Obama's presidential quest offers different views and issues.

The similarity was that at the time, electing a Catholic president was as much a question of whether or not the United States was ready for a non-traditional (protestant denomination) president. While the issue of a black president holds different significance, having any non-traditional, one that is not white, protestant, male, president and how much the US is ready for it will always be a topic when any non-traditional presidential candidate is running for the office.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1960
http://history1900s.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=history1900s&cdn=education&tm=25&f=10&tt=14&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//ap.grolier.com/article%3Fassetid%3D0229520-00%26templatename%3D/article/article.html

Rallycairn
Aug. 8, 2008, 12:03 AM
[QUOTE=Eclectic Horseman;3421899]Mozart-
You have a very good point. But in the USA, the Iraqui would have every right to do that. Those that supported him would have every right to do so vocally, and those that opposed him would have every right to do so vocally. And the news commentators would have a field day--and no one would be shot or thrown in prison!

QUOTE]

Kiddin', right? What about that elderly librarian who was recently arrested simply for carrying a McCain=Bush sign at a McCain event?

It's not hard to find plenty of instances of people detained, arrested, etc. for exercising 1st Amendment rights right here in the USA.

What I'm saying is we can't take these rights for granted at all and must keep pushing to uphold them.

Not sure if the Sudanese flag carrier is a politically strategic move insofar as I'm not convinced it's the right way to inspire change in China and elsewhere. And shouldn't that be the ultimate goal, inspiring change?

Frank B
Aug. 8, 2008, 04:03 PM
Here we go again! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBhQhKWOZmk)

Coreene
Aug. 8, 2008, 04:58 PM
The Olympic Oath:

In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.

Beezer
Aug. 8, 2008, 05:12 PM
Uh-oh ... so right there we know a large percentage of them are lying under oath!!

(And FrankB: hysterical.)

Coreene
Aug. 8, 2008, 05:28 PM
Uh-oh ... so right there we know a large percentage of them are lying under oath!!Well, sometimes a little comic relief is good for da soul! ;)

dressagetraks
Aug. 8, 2008, 05:43 PM
Frank B, good one, but you have officially annoyed Her Royal Siameseness. She disapproves very much of that soundtrack. :lol::lol:

ridgeback
Aug. 8, 2008, 05:58 PM
The Olympic Oath:

In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.

It doesn't appear they abide by their own rules:D

Wellspotted
Aug. 8, 2008, 05:59 PM
With all due respect I expect this from Europeans they don't get who and what America stands for...

Love the way some Americans abuse the Queen's English ... :winkgrin::winkgrin:

I don't know any countries on the European continent that have driving on the left side of the road. :p

ridgeback
Aug. 8, 2008, 06:07 PM
Love the way some Americans abuse the Queen's English ... :winkgrin::winkgrin:

I don't know any countries on the European continent that have driving on the left side of the road. :p

Well you'll get over it:lol:

snoopy
Aug. 8, 2008, 06:58 PM
Love the way some Americans abuse the Queen's English ... :winkgrin::winkgrin:

I don't know any countries on the European continent that have driving on the left side of the road. :p


Who said anything about the continent...my passport says "European Union" and so am european and I, like the rest in my country, drive on the left hand side of the road. Time to go back to school Wellspoted...:p

Hopeful Hunter
Aug. 8, 2008, 07:19 PM
a very interesting take on China's hopes for the Olympics, from someone who worked on their bid:

<http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bal-op.olympics08aug08,0,4539457.story>

Foxtrot's
Aug. 8, 2008, 09:29 PM
Regardless of your position on the politics, back to the subject topic:
Lamong is a gorgeous specimen of a man and to see him run is poetry in motion. It is a beautiful sight! Leonardo and Michael Angelo love him as a subject. Sigh.

ridgeback
Aug. 8, 2008, 09:33 PM
I love to watch the athletes come into the stadium especially the tiny countries..

Frank B
Aug. 9, 2008, 08:34 AM
More than a few are calling attention to China's human rights abuses:


The eyes of the world are on Beijing where the 2008 Olympic Games get underway with a grand opening ceremony on Friday night. Ten thousand sportspeople from 205 countries are taking part. Millions of people have traveled to Beijing to witness what the Chinese promise to be the grandest spectacle in Olympic history. Yet there are also many who are boycotting the games and drawing attention to the situation in Tibet and the extent of human rights violations in China. Olympic Watch, a human rights organization set up in Prague in 2001, has called on national Olympic teams to "adopt" China’s political prisoners and find some way of expressing public support for them. I spoke earlier to Petr KutĂ­lek of Olympic Watch to find out more about the campaign...

Radio Prague Articles: http://www.radio.cz/en/article/107019 , http://www.radio.cz/en/article/106836

Olympic Watch: http://www.olympicwatch.org/ (Ya gotta love their logo!)




...Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has now also admitted that the human rights situation in China has actually worsened. He expressed his concern last week in a letter to the lower house of parliament:

"In the run-up to the Olympic Games, the Chinese government's tight grip on defenders of human rights has remained undiminished. In the past weeks their position has worsened. A number of them have been arrested, some have been placed under house arrest and others have been temporarily forced to leave Beijing."The situation in Tibet has also remained tense and China is still sending arms to Sudan. Nevertheless, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkanende is going to the opening, along with Deputy Sports Minister Jet Bussemaker...

From Radio Nederland: http://www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/region/asiapacific/080807-China-Olympics-Bush-mc



Pro Tibet protestors thrown out of Hong Kong equestrian arena:
From Radio Australia: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200808/s2329984.htm?tab=latest