Beijing Olympics: Things are Getting Nutty

Some events really paint a picture of the world we live in.  One such event may regrettably be the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.  As the games get closer, all the problems come home to roost and things are getting plenty nutty over there.  The Chinese seem barely capable of keeping things together.

First of all, the story I’ve been tracking in the News blog for some time now, the smog.  It seems that many countries including the U.S. are opting to train and keep their athletes miles away from Beijing, where they can be safe.  I saw a report last night where a marathon cyclist described experiencing athsma-like symptoms while training in-country.  The Chinese have taken the unusual and totalitarian step of shutting down highway traffic, industrial production and all things smog related while the games commence, but it is of little use.

At the same time, a group of Internet freedom activists have developed a suite of tools that Chinese crackers can use to bypass The Great Firewall of China, the name given to the highly-restricted control of the Internet that China employs on its people.  And in seemingly unrelated news, . .

The ethnic Uighars, an often seperatist group of predominantly Muslim people living within the Chinese borders, yesterday began attacks they vow to continue and escalate during the games.  In response, the Chinese police quarantined the province and cut off Internet connections.  They’re also in the habit of beating up journalists who stray too far into restricted territories, it seems.  Other groups have claimed to have successfully planted and detonated some small explosive devices in Yunan province.

And when’s the last time you recall surface-to-air missles deployed to an Olympic Games?  I’m sure its happened before, but I’ve never heard about it.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

4 replies on “Beijing Olympics: Things are Getting Nutty”

Unlike previous years, where I tried to watch the Olympics start to finish, this year, to boycott, I will only watch a few sports. I know, I should probably not watch any of the sports, that would be a better boycott.

Right now, the USA team sports (as opposed to individual sports) don’t look like strong candidates for the gold except for softball and men’s and women’s basketball. So my viewing will probably be limited to those three sports.

To each his own, but personally, I’m not a huge fan of boycotts in the first place.  There are usually more people who don’t buy Product X than do, and if you boycott, that just makes you one more.

I’m more inclined to voice my opinion as a currently-loyal purchaser of said product.  I find being involved makes your point of view much more important.

I don’t see much difference between what you said and what I said, except wording.

I could have said to NBC (or to the International Olympic Committee) that I was an enthusiastic customer of Olympic event broadcasts. I am not enthusiastic any more.

Is there really an important difference between that and what I originally wrote? Does using (or not using) the word boycott really change what I am doing?

To the extent that “boycott” means to completely abstain from a given product or service, yes, there is a difference.  To the extent that you are *not* completely abstaining, and therefore not actually boycotting, no, there is not a discernible difference.

I’m merely pointing out that, on the subject of actual boycotts, I don’t find them particularly effective or preferable.  You know, as long as the subject came up.

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