Posted by Ryan on August 14, 2008
I’ve been watching some of the Olympic coverage on part of Obama’s media network, NBC. All the human interest stories make me puke so I tend to flip around between “Family Guy” reruns and “Hannity and Colmes” before finally settling on the Olympics, which had the US Women’s Gymnastics team going up against China and Russia the other night. So I watched.
Now, we have some young-looking girls on our team (Shawn Johnson, for example, looks about 12, but is really 16). So I heard with interest that one has to be at least 16 during the year the Olympics take place in order to compete. OK, teaching 16 year olds, I know some look very young, but when the Chinese girls got up there I was absolutely shocked that they weren’t all 13.
Well, some of them might be!
One girl was actually listed as 13 last year. Suddenly, when pressed, her new birthday is January 1, 1992, making her 16 years old this year! I didn’t know China was such an amazing place that time had special rules! In reality, our team should have performed better (obviously having more experience than some of their opponents). But, it is a legitimate gripe — if China cheated, they should face the consequences.
Posted in International Relations, Sports, tyranny | Tagged: 2008 Beijing Olympics, Barack Obama, China, Family Guy, Hannity and Colmes, NBC, Russia, Shawn Johnson, USA, Women's Gymnastics | 2 Comments »
Posted by Mike on August 13, 2008
Most criticism of George W. Bush is off base and will look downright silly in a few years; however, one criticism of Bush is completely warranted. When Bush looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw a man he could trust, he should have done a double take. Today was the double take.
When the Soviet Union Russia invaded Georgia a couple of days ago, President Bush was a little slow in reassuring our ally that the US would stand by its side. At the very moment our ally was invaded by its former slave master, the U.S’s reaction should have been repeated statements of support coupled with actions that would make Russia take notice. Thankfully, John McCain is on record stating that Russia should be kicked out of the G8 and that the U.S. should build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Since it is now clear that Iran is not the only threat in the region, that would be fine with me. So would fast tracking Georgia, Ukraine and other willing members of Russia’ near abroad into NATO.
A healthy friendship with Russia is in the United States’ best interest. The thing is, a healthy friendship with the United States is also in Russia’s best interest. The world has basically ignored Russia while it whittled away at its civil liberties, armed American enemies in the Middle East, and poisoned people on foreign soil. The world’s reaction to this crisis has been reassuring. It seems that partying like its 1968 was a step too far.
Posted in Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Politics, Russia, tyranny, War on Terror | Tagged: Election 2008, George W. Bush, Georgia, John McCain, missile defense, Putin's eyes, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin | 2 Comments »
Posted by Ryan on August 12, 2008
The opening ceremonies of any Olympic games are full of spectacle. Now, we usually assume that this spectacle does not include lip-syncing the host country’s patriotic songs, but we are dealing with China here! It’s not that little Yang Peiyi (on the right) isn’t talented, it’s that she’s not as pixie-like as Lin Miaoke according to Chinese officials. I think that’s a little harsh to tell a seven-year-old girl who has talent.
My other issue is this: China has 1.3 billion people and they can’t find a cute kid who ALSO sings well? That’s a totalitarian work ethic, I suppose — just fake it (which is as normal as reading/watching/or getting online news in China). But, this isn’t good PR for the PRC, thus I’m surprised they even admitted it.
Posted in Anything Else, International Relations, Politics, Pop Culture, tyranny | Tagged: 2008 Beijing Olympics, China, Lin Miaoke, PRC, Yang Peiyi | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan on August 8, 2008
Berlin 1936: Hitler’s Nazi Germany hosts the Olympics not only to showcase the prosperity which National Socialism had brought the Reich in the middle of the Great Depression, but also to bask in the attention given to such clean streets and orderly very white people.
Beijing 2008 will not sell such a facade. We all know the deal with China and have not been living through a period like the 1930s. China offends than it impresses people. The changes China has made which it would like to showcase are those that make China look more Western, more like the rest of the world. Yet, the smog cannot be whisked away at whim, which serves as an appropriate pall over the games — as if even the air in China is somehow sending a message that not all is right in the Middle Kingdom. I applaud President Bush for making human rights statements while IN China, like he did today at our new embassy.
I’m going to watch some of the games, rooting for America to win some gold. I appreciate the notion that being more engaged with China will put the appropriate pressures on them with the appropriate forces so that our ideals may be achieved with a maximum amount of political stability for China, but I can’t help but root against them and their form of totalitarianism.
So: Free Tibet, Falun Gong, and everyone else in those Chinese jails there for simply expressing their human dignity in the face of a pseudo-fascist commie state!
Photo snuck out of China in a toy panda bear placed at the bottom of a rusty transport ship on a non-descript dock in Shanghai… not really, it’s AFP.
Posted in Culture, economy, International Relations, Politics, tyranny | Tagged: Beijing Olympics, Berlin Olympics, Falun Gong, Nazis, Tibet | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Ryan on June 30, 2008
Democrats are always uptight about that whole “patriotism” thing, knee-jerking into a frenzy every time the word is uttered. Even when they see unabashed patriots like John McCain, some Dems (like former Presidential candidate and undistinguished General Wesley Clark) aren’t sure how to react, so they pick on them in ways that don’t make sense. It’s not like Clark said McCain’s unpatriotic, but any patriotism street cred he may have accumulated at the Hanoi Hilton won’t necessarily make him a better commander-in-chief than, say, Barack Obama, who’s mentor was a terrorist.
After Obama threw Clark under the bus for his remarks today, Obama had to give a speech on patriotism today. One of the most peculiar quotes was this:
“Of course, precisely because America isn’t perfect, precisely because our ideals constantly demand more from us, patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy.”
Not even leaders like Lincoln? Not even a government that got rid of slavery, promotes civil rights at home and around the world from before the Cold War through today? Not even a policy that once sought to end fascism, communism, and now terrorism? I know support may not equal patriotism, but does it exclude one from being a patriot? It sounds strange and awkward, especially when he delivered those lines. He’s such an insecure post-9/11 Democrat.
If patriotism is so ethereal, then why give a speech about it to calm critics? Why do we have to be told what patriotism is to believe that Obama is patriotic? I have no doubt he loves this country, but I am piqued by his overt insecurity on this issue.
Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, tyranny, War on Terror | Tagged: Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Cold War, John McCain, patriotism, Wesley Clark | Leave a Comment »