Thursday, October 18, 2007

About the Olympics....and China.


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*[Click the title: Gloria Estefan "Reach" from the 1996 Olympics]*
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This is a painful subject, and I will probally be accused of being Unpatriotic and a Bad American for writing it, but it needs to be said....and talked about. So here it goes.

During the Brutality of the Killing of Monks in Burmah a few weeks back, my teenage son 6-6 and I talked and we ended up talking about ways we could help the Monks and also help thwart the Military Regime, and if your read below we again talked about Tank Man and the Tianamen Square Massacre. ( see Courage Post of 10-11-07). This Burmah Discussion led to a discussion about Something Much larger than Brutality and Human Rights.

We ended up having a discussion about China and the Summer Olympics of 2008.

I have many concerns about China, mostly that we owe them Too Much Money. It in many ways has become an uncomfortable Hostage Situation. We are in essence being held hostage to them. we are buying too many poorly made goods from them, many are made by forced labor and child labor and also do not meet America Standards for 1970's. We have had multiple recalls from their goods adn toiletrie products, and shamelessly for millions of Toys. And the American Government has remained Silent, Complicit on these Damaged and Damaging Goods being sold to Lower and Middle Income Families. I keep wondering if it was a case of Lead Lined Gold Clubs being sold in Boca - would there be an Uproar?.

Our Children have been the deadly pawns in this Deadly Game of Import Chess, and they probally have indeed been exposed to incredible levels of lead, that has not been seen in this Country in atleast 20 years. That is an issue, the lead, a neurotoxin, can cause Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and even in High levels, Autism. ( Rate of Current Childhood Autism in America is 1:150 or 1:166 depending on which stats you read, this has increased 1000 fold in the past 10 years).Since Autism has been increasing in Mammoth Epidemic Proportions, one would think that this would be concerning the Medical Commmunity. One would even Hope that the AMA would come out and make a stand and a Statement about the Lead issue. Even the recall was handled like RSVP 's to a dignataries' Birthday party "You may simply return the gift for EXCHANGE". ( Surely they must be kidding, so people are suposed to exchange for What? yet another lead lined toy?). The Toys should be thrown out, but sadly they will even need to be thrown OUT with care, and sent to Contamintated FillZones.

Now back to the issue of the Olympics. So 6-6 brings up a couple of issues that I had not even pondered. The First One, WHO is providing Security for the Olympics ? Will Blackwater Cowboys be protecting our Athletes and Teams? His other concern, that during the Summer Olympics that is when Bush will make his next Warmongering Move, if Something did happen at the event, and some great tragedy were to god-forbid befall the Athletes, and then (cough) he will be forced to declare Martial Law before the Elections. He also pointed out that we are MORE hated Around the World, than Anytime in History. The Example he sited, " The Miss World Pageant, when Miss America Came on Stage, she fell, but the crowd was booing before she fell". He is worried that our Athletes are hated by and for what Bush has done.

He also pointed out that suposedly Iraq was bombed, shocked and awed due to many False Reasons, and that one of the False reasons was Evil Brutal Dictatorship/ Regime and Crimes against the People, yet now we are suposed to go "Play" in one of the Countries that has the SAME Problem ? The Hypocrisy is glaring and not lost upon the World Watchers.

And lastly, we talked about China and their Human Rights Abuses and their Communist Rule and how we constantly use that against OTHER countries, such as Cuba. Yet we are trading with them, and encouraging trade and even giving them American Trades, and Industries and Jobs. ( At our house, for Many Reasons, yes, we are indeed Boycotting ALL Chinese goods.)

I actually don't have an answer as to whether we should be planning a Boycott of the Olympics. But for the First Time Ever, I am actually giving it careful thought. And More Thought is needed. So tell me what are your thoughts....

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{as always you can always email me at enigma4ever@earthlink.net ]

28 comments:

The Future Was Yesterday said...

"I will probably be accused of being Unpatriotic and a Bad American for writing it"
Not by any thinking American. Keep singing, Sister! Long, and Loud!!

landsker said...

No to the olympics, and no to all events that encourage "blind eye patriotism".
Apart from treating workers like slaves,(Thousands die each year from pollution and unsafe working conditions.), the chinese establishment operates a system of organ removal from convicted prisoners.
Around 1,000 petty criminals are executed each year.
The organs are sold to order, and the prisoners are often chosen for the compatability of their organs, rahter than for the seriousness of their crimes.
I would support a boycott of the olympics.

the walking man said...

Want to hurt China, stop shopping at Wal-Mart the major American distributor for Chinese made goods and the model of Chinese business practices in the US. Hell i don't care if we play in the Olympics there or not but I do care that the same crap that was recalled by Mattel and Fisher Price are all being advertised on TV again. Like they fixed the problems that quick, If I had small children they would get a slew of baked goods for Christmas.

The Chinese want to rule the world through economics let them police it too. We can always pull our troops home from everywhere and seal off our borders to all imports from everywhere else and if we can't make it here then it simply can't be made.

China today launched an ICBM probably as a threat to us for treating the Dali Lhama to an award from congress. I say we shoot one off too just for fun. Aim it halfway between Hawaii and mainland China. Declare our debt with them void and tell them to eat their own lead.

And if that is too un nationalistic for anyone it's patriotic enough for me.

TWM

enigma4ever said...

Walking Man: I think many are already are boycotting Walmart, esp families with children, atleast in my neighborhood. I am more concerned that the Govt did nothing to stop or even penalize their Criminal Negligence. It was horrendous..OUR govt is just as guilty as those that painted the toys...But it is many products at this point....But I do think that the Olympics should be considered, even the "Bird Nest" that was built with forced labor is one more example...sigh...and you are a fine American...you speak your mind and your truth..that is what made this country great....at one point in time...

Landskr: thank you for reading..and yes, you brought up some more points that I forgot to mention..sorry about that...but the list keeps growing doesn't it?

The Future: yes, I am just one more person trying to make sure that we are still thinking here and processing and making good decisions- since our lawmakers need to work harder on it..and yes, I wil keep writing..it is my way of storming the castle...

Coffee Messiah said...

Ya know, the pre-occupation with "things" other than what pertains to our everyday management of staying alive and healthy (etc) is simply another way to not address any real issues that are meaningful.

How 'bout an olympics for those doing things that help equality and society in general?

But that's just me.

Cheers to you and your son! ; )

Ziem said...

Brilliant post!

We demand the middle east become a "state of democracy" while killing off our own. We slaughter and blame and still ignore the carnage in Africa and China. Must be there's no oil in it...

Ps: No sane and rational American would call you names for this post. We not only have a Constitutional right, but a responsability to speak out against injustice. Blessed be.

proudprogressive said...

wow, Thanks for bringing up the lead and kids health epedemics of the last 20 yrs ..GOOD POINT all this ADD and Autism i saw in my yrs in managed care did not come from nowhere..And everyday it seems to turn up in other products that are in fact made in CHINA like lipsticks..geeSUS !

The air quality in bejing is awful too , makes LA look like an Oxygen tent. I am with those above who have distain for jingoistic , nationalistic shows. The military and sports events mixture has always bothered me.
If the usa had the integrity I think an Olympic Boycott is in Order - In fact if there is war waging anywhere - during an Olympic year - these games should be cancelled and the funds and energy go towards a PEACE on EARTH process. I do dream big.

Lets see if the congress this week can stand up to clown George and expand S CHIPS and NOT grant retro active immunity to Telecoms for data mining and restore Fisa.

Mary Ellen said...

Personally, I would never go to China, even if I were given free tickets and transportation to the Olympics. I wrote a post about China and the Olympics awhile ago on my blog and I mentioned a friend of mine who's recently retired husband was an airline pilot. His regular route was to China and she went with him on one of his last trips before retirement. She said the air pollution is so bad, that everyone has to wear masks when out in public. She became very ill and flew right home. Her doctor had said the lung infection was so severe, if she had waited much longer she probably would have died. This is what the athletes are supposed to compete in!

Regarding Walmart-I don't shop there and never will.

I did buy my grandkids a lot of toys for Christmas last year that we found out last month are recalled. All that money and time I spent to pick out just the right gift...was full of lead. Thank you China. :-(

No Blood for Hubris said...

I'm good with boycotting Chinese goods. Having the Olympics in China allows a spotlight to fall on their polluted environment, and on their human rights abuses. Because -- the Chinese won't be able to control all the athletes, but they sure will try to.

enigma4ever said...

No Blood: I don't know if it wil shine a spotlight...I know you say that the Chinese can't control all those athletes...but what about the billions they do conrol.....and I wish Boycotting Walmart had more of effect, but I am not sure it does.....But you are right all of those cameras will show how extensive the pollution really is....

Mary Ellen: I am so sorry about your Xmas toys....and yeah, I don't think the pollution will be good for the athletes...

PP: well, we will see what happens with the SCHIP program..gosh it would be something to see bush's veto turn over...

Ziem: yes, I have to agree it is amazing how we ignore the problems in China and africa...thanks for your thoughts...

CM: wow there is a creative idea that would be something;-) oh how I wish....

okay ...back to the grind thanks all for thinking...and writing...

annie said...

does this mean no dim sum? i gotta have my dim sum!

seriously, more people need to wake up and realize that china is in control, in more ways than one. can you say free trade/wto? i knew you could. once again, too many were asleep at the switch when it all came to be.
sigh.

Jamie said...

Having lived through the Carter boycott and then the Russian boycott that happened afterwards, I couldn't support a boycott of the Olympics. Those kids train and compete for years. They shouldn't be punished because our President is an idiot.

Certainly boycott any product made in China or from a Chinese sphere of influence. They aren't likely to call in our debt since the interest on that pays for most of their government.

BTW, Made a slight change in the WH dinner. You get to nominate someone to be President (why go to dinner if you don't like the host).

We can have a runoff vote for that position as well as the guest of honor.

enigma4ever said...

Jamie: I will definently come back and check on the dinner preparations...I do feel bad about the athletes, but I also know that it matters to the athletes too...I played tennis and swam butterfly and also ran hurdles on a boys team ( a LONG time ago). I do remember taking a stand and refusing to compete if there were Ethical Issues involved.....I think our athletes should be taught about ALL that is involved from the Birds Nest made with slave /forced labor to environmental issues ( their health is actually at stake), and also the Human Rights Issues....But I do understand what you are saying unfortunately it is not just about our Idiot King...

Annie: I think we can have dim sun anytime, don't you ;-) People have not looked at all of this , and the longterm ramifications....the WTO riots of 1999 seem so long ago....and lessons learned ??? not so much...

Jamie said...

I'm sure there were cocktails and hors d'oeurvres prior to dinner. Look at the menu again. The soup is

Celery Broth with Crispy Rock Shrimp

and there are three wines with three of the courses:

Newton Chardonnay "Unfiltered" 2002
Peter Michael Pinot Noir "Le Moulin Rouge" 2002
Iron Horse "Wedding Cuvée" 2002

This is a real White House menu served by Bush 41 at a State dinner.

Jamie said...

P.S. Dim Sum lovers anywhere near Los Angeles

Empress Pavilion

D.K. Raed said...

Remembering the 1936 Olympics in Germany, there were many reasons for boycotting that too, but am sure glad we did not. Jesse Owens! Personally, I see the upcoming Olympics in China as more of a chance for the world to see what China is really about -- good & bad, get it all out in the light is my feeling. Of course, it will be heavily censored, but afterwards those olympic athletes go back home & tell everyone exactly what is happening there. I think that's a good thing.

As far as us owing China too much money ... well, we can boycott Wal-Mart & not buy "made in china" products, and that would affect the import/export trade imbalance, true. But the massive debt we owe China right now has more to do with them financing our wars. China has been buying huge $$$ of US Treasuries & investing heavily in US defense mfrs, which enables our war coffers to remain full. The debt is therefore money that we borrowed from China. Bush likes this arrangement because it keeps him from having to ask american taxpayers for money upfront. Nevermind that our children, grandchildren & maybe even greatgrandchildern will be paying off this debt to china. At the core, though, is real money that China loaned to U.S. & we all know that creditors tend to get nasty when their money is not repaid.

Enigma, your son is raising valid issues about olympic security & the consequences of being so hated around the world. I am worried about that, too.

Renegade Eye said...

The big picture is competition between Chinese imperialism and US, over the world's resources. Both countries are capitalist and imperialist, so I would be neutral.

I support democratic rights in Burma, but I'm against giving it to the IMF, as US will.

I favor boycotting the Olympics.

Cartledge said...

China is a massive issue to take on, but I think one of the first points to consider is that it is not a simple, homogenous population. For example there is a diversity of ethnic groups and languages spanning six linguistic families.
The point there is the difficulty in generalising attitudes across the country. But given that you and 6-6 are promoting a very worthy discussion here. The big money in China, the cash currently buying up the US and other countries is focussed on just a handful of Chinese regions.
Of course it is created off the back of workers living in near poverty and dislocated from families and homes. WalMart is just one of the Western culprits; the ubiquitous dollar shops are just as troubling.
As to an Olympics embargo, I expect the US would simply become more isolated from the world community by pursuing that action. I’m no great sports fan, but the Olympics should be seen as stand alone and not the host country.
Such a giant of a country and so many issues to cover. Congratulations for getting the ball rolling on this one.

enigma4ever said...

Cartledge: I too hate even bringing it up, but in a way as ugly as it it..it has to be discussed...and to be honest, after reading back over all of these good thoughts it does bring out all of my ambivilance...and evern more concerns...and thank you for bringing up the geographical-cultural issues....it is a point that we don't get to dialogue much....and is very relevant...even all the labor that was brought in to build the Birds Nest has been so covered up....

Renegade: you are so right about Imperialism show down..that is one way to look at it...and it does explain the push-pull conflicrted relationship.....Don't forget friend to scroll down there's some new Jody that I put on 2 nights ago for you ;-)

DK: ahhh I knew someone would bring up the Nazi Olympics....( I thought Anon would ;-)
But I do agree that the thing that bothers me MOST about those Olympics is that the Downtrodden and the Jews were hoping that the rest of the World would see how badly their country was treating people- but instead it became Hitler's platform for Showing His Great Race- so it backfired...ahhhh, the financial mess...I wrote you offline..we could talk about the $$$$$ part of this for hours ;-)

Jamie : thank you for the DimSum goodies..yahoo..and I did go to your site and apologize- this is what I get for Not wearing my reading glasses I missed huge chunks of the menu shame on me...put me at a table in the back near the kitchen and I will do penance....

Keep thinking folks...updates about the explosions in Karachi....

an average patriot said...

enigma
There is no way in hell China should be hosting the Olympics. They have not gotten up to snuff and will not.
6.6 could be right. I would expect that the Chinese military will be pulling security and lots of them. I would welcome someone to try something on such a venue.
As you probably heard from me before, I expect Bush to up the ante soon and the rest of the world is aligning against him.
Once whatever happens with Iran does, the world will rally to their side and against Bush and then he will declare martial order and cancel elections. Then things will start getting bad!

enigma4ever said...

well Patriot...I hope and pray that the Iran move does not happen, and that instead we have a military coup....or massive uprising...I do think the media again has been underreporting this whole issue...and not investigating...about China, what is amazing is that many are indeed concerned- as they should be...thanks friend....take care of that arm..we have much writing to do...as always...namaste.

TomCat said...

E4e, a most compelling post.

I'm sure security will be extremely tight. Face is very important to them culturally, and were anything to happen to the athletes, they would lose face big time. This whole show is about them improving their image in the world.

There will be no government boycott. Bush has used Chinese funds to finance his war for oil and conquest and No Millionaire Left Behind. Their hooks are in too deep. Therefore, whether or not to boycott must be left up to the conscience of each individual athlete ans spectator.

As for Wal-Fart, I refuse to shop there.

Cartledge said...

Enigma, I have trouble letting go of this one; so many issues and so very important to all our futures.
What really concerns me is not so much China, but the evident trend of the US sliding into isolationism, no doubt as a response to being isolated internationally.
I’m not at all sure Americans generally understand that other countries were suckered into the dream of a global economy. It was promoted from the US, but was always destined to escape.
Balance of power is no longer a military notion, it is economic. Iran, for example, is really little more than a diversion for Americans from the real failures. Even Bush will think twice before launching a solo effort against Iran.
But we are all caught up in the economic dynamic which is now being driven by Asia – China in particular with India poised to become an economic superpower as well.
The Asian tiger has been let loose and requires nothing so much as a solid coalition of developed countries to maintain a reasonable balance.
I don’t oppose the rapid development of Asian economies – and it would be pointless anyway. But I do worry about trends towards isolationism when we should be standing together.
Of course I wouldn’t be upset to see the end of the greedy corporate bastards, but they helped create the current dynamic and really do have a big responsibility in moderating the new order developing now.
Boycotts won't really help in steering the world the way it needs to be going.

enigma4ever said...

sigh Cartledge....I don't know what we need..but the world does feel a mess on so many levels...I am at a loss...and I hate the idea of it...really ( well, not boycotting Walmart...that does not bother me)...but I think you understand where my heart is...and what is worrying me...

Cartledge said...

enigma, I think I do understand. Our world is not traveling well. But keep up the good work.

Anok said...

I think you have one sharp son Enigma - that reflects well on you.

You are both spot on, in my opinion.

Good to see you back in the blog-o-sphere! I took a break myself, it feels good doesn't it?

enigma4ever said...

Cartledge: thanks...I like the way that you said that...Traveling well....thanks for the discussion...you always bring a thoughtful perspective here to the cafe...

Anok: good to see you....I just had a cold and snuggled down last weekend and hacked through the weekend, then by tuesday I was human again;-) My son is always thinking and asking really good questions...it is kind of like last week when he brought up about Pooh, he makes me look at things a lot harder......I think that is what kids do for us....they make us keep growing;-)

Tgmr01 said...

Ah, China, a bully, a thief, a polluter, a state where people's organs are harvested from those executed, a perfect example of un controlled capitalism, Yea, I could get behind a boycot, but unless they shoot down another US jet, I don't see our fellow Americans going that way, I still recall how Jimmy Carter was pilloried for the Russian boycott to avenge their invasion of Afghanistan

TomDem55