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Thread: Sochi Games boycott by U.S. possible? (Snowden)

  1. #121
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    http://en.rian.ru/world/20130807/182...ith-Putin.html

    interesting that the media is blabbering, what is even sickening is that 'journalists' themselves are calling on Snowden to be returned
    while the US grants assylum and harbors terrorists from other countries

  2. #122
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    I personally don't care whether he's returned to the U.S. or not. In fact, I hope he never comes back, and that he wanders the world from now on without a country to call home. We don't need him here. I'm just sorry that he thought that America couldn't be trusted with secrets, but that somehow other countries could be given these secrets and it would be all right. I hope he enjoys life in Ecuador or Venezuela or wherever. He's certainly got no further usefulness in Russia or China, now that he's given them whatever he carried with him. To paraphrase a line from Fiddler on the Roof, he should live and be well, far away from us.

  3. #123
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    I read this today in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2...inter-olympics. A British broadcaster has written an open letter calling for the Sochi Games to be relocated to another country. So, no boycott, but hold the Games in another country (he suggests previous hosts Lillehammer or Salt Lake).

    I don't expect this to happen, but I wish it could. It would be my preferred outcome, if all things were possible. I like the idea of proposing/agitating for it, even if it's not successful. It sends a message, without threatening the athletes with the terrible prospect of a boycott.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I would say so. He has no serious political opposition and what he says goes. After serving two terms as President he could not run again in 2008 by constitutional mandate, so he propped up Medvedev as a puppet, Putin running the show as Prime Minister. Then he was elected President again in 2012, essentially without opposition. (Sort of like Ottavio Cinquanta setting aside the ISU constitution to extend his own rule last year. )

    The fact that the people elected him does not bear on the question of whether he is a dictator or not. Robert Mugabe (age 90), the dictator of Zimbabwe for more than 30 years, was just reelected by a reported landslide of the popular vote.

    Your calm & logical posts on this thread are appreciated, Mathman. In my opinion, you are right on this point.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyria View Post
    I read this today in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2...inter-olympics. A British broadcaster has written an open letter calling for the Sochi Games to be relocated to another country. So, no boycott, but hold the Games in another country (he suggests previous hosts Lillehammer or Salt Lake).

    I don't expect this to happen, but I wish it could. It would be my preferred outcome, if all things were possible. I like the idea of proposing/agitating for it, even if it's not successful. It sends a message, without threatening the athletes with the terrible prospect of a boycott.
    I too wish they could just move the Olympics. Salt Lake would be a bad idea, I think, because the U.S. is currently one of the parties embroiled in the situation, but Lillehammer has great possibilities.

    Once years ago (in the middle of a few of the boycott years), someone proposed having a permanent Olympics site for the Summer Games and one for the Winter Games, in countries that were either neutral or were too small to make the kind of trouble that would make them problematic venues. Of course all the member countries would have to contribute for the upkeep of the sites, according to their abilities. I think Athens was suggested as the logical summer site, because of its history as the founder of the Games. (Though recently Greece has been through a troublesome patch.) I can't remember what the suggestion was for the winter site, but Switzerland (both neutral and in possession of great downhill skiing possibilities) might have been the one. As history unfolds, that idea starts looking better and better.

  6. #126
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    After Lillehammer, there also was some talk of selecting three or four semi-permanent sites that the Winter Games would rotate through. The idea was for Lillehammer/Norway to be one of those sites, because there was general agreement that Lillehammer had been a very successful Games. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to come of this idea. But I think it was a good one. There is generally less interest in hosting Winter Games, with often only 3-4 bidders vs. the usual 5-6 for Summer Games, and it's hard to find sites that have both a sufficiently cold climate and sufficient developed indoor facilities.

  7. #127
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    And sufficiently high mountains for the downhill, presumably. Which is what led me to bring up Switzerland as opposed to Sweden, which is also neutral but, let's face it, doesn't have the Alps.

  8. #128
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    One point in favor of a permanent site or rotating sites is that it would cut down on all the corruption and bribery involved in the bidding process. This was the true scandal of the Salt lake City games, not the pairs gold medal hiccup.

    That, however. is exactly the reason why the proposal won't fly. It would dam the revenue stream to the members of the IOC.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    That, however. is exactly the reason why the proposal won't fly. It would dam the revenue stream to the members of the IOC.
    Very true. Another reason is that this is probably THE most glorified moment for the host country to show off their unique culture and history as well as their achievements. A permanent cite idea will take away of that, too. It will never work.

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    Apparently George Takei has also joined others recommending the host city be changed. He suggests Vancouver. Considering Vancouver hosted the last Winter Olympics, I don't think that will happen. However, I understand his logic. Vancouver would be the city most likely to have many facilities still in place after 2010. Still, it would be a huge task in such short notice for any country. I know Russia did a fine job hosting Worlds on short notice after the Japan disaster. However, we are now talking about hosting "all" winter sports, not just Figure Skating.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle13641678/

  11. #131
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    I'm wondering if he truly believes what he himself said?

  12. #132
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    Which thing that he said do you think he doesn't believe?

    He would be for moving the Olympics because of the Russian anti-gay laws, not because of Snowden.

    George Takei is quite a guy. I saw him interviewed recently, I think on Lawrence O'Donnell?

    George and his family were moved by the US into a concentration camp in Arkansas when he was about 5 years old. No, not for being gay. For being Japanese and living on the west coast. The interview took him back to the concentration camp-it is all destroyed now, but he said it still haunts his dreams. (In the US we called them interment camps, but they were concentration camps.)

    At about the same time, the Nazis arrested over 100,000 homosexuals and moved an estimated 5 to 15 thousand of them to concentration camps, where they became victims of the Holocaust, along with Jews & gypsies & other people the Nazis found undesirable.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecu..._the_Holocaust

    I daresay George believes what he said more than most. He knows where this kind of a hate law can lead, and has actually been there.

    When California briefly legalized gay marriage, George married his partner of 25 years, Brad.

    http://www.georgetakei.com/bio.asp

    George has been persecuted for who is more than most: first for being Japanese in the US in WW2, then having to hide in the closet for years for being gay. Then, out of the closet, and married, he saw CA take away the opportunity for gay marriage, until that proposition was thrown back to the state courts by the US Supreme Court, effectively overturning the proposition.

    Here's George's blog post on the subject of moving the Olympics:

    http://www.allegiancemusical.com/blo...-move-olympics

    an excerpt
    It’s been bubbling for some time, but the controversy over Russia’s draconian “gay propaganda” law has now boiled over. Last week, Russia’s Sports Minister confirmed that the country intends to enforce its laws against visiting LGBT athletes, trainers and fans, meaning anyone even so much as waving a rainbow flag (and I presume many men enthusiastically watching and dramatically commenting on figure skating) would be arrested, held for weeks and then deported. Given this position, the IOC must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia.

    The International Olympic Committee’s fundamental principles include an unequivocal statement: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” In specific response to the Russian law, the IOC, in a recent interview, doubled down: “[We] would like to reiterate our long commitment to not discriminate against those taking part in the Olympic Games. The IOC is an open organization and athletes of all orientations will be welcome at the Games.” It appears Russia isn’t listening, and indeed now has raised the stakes by threatening arrests.
    another excerpt

    NBC and the corporate sponsors of the Olympics should be paying close attention, too, and should get behind the “Move the Olympics” movement now, while there is still time to do so. If the Winter Olympics proceed in Sochi, Russia, all of the goodwill they have spent millions to build will evaporate in noisy protests, boycotts, and terrible publicity. I personally will be beating this particular drum loudly, as will many other LGBT actors, activists and allies. Trust me, if you are a corporate brand, you do not want to be associated with the Sochi Olympics.

    Nations are not judged merely on their might, but also by how they treat their most vulnerable. Russia’s cynical and deplorable actions against the LGBT community have given license to hate groups within its borders to act with violence and impunity against a group, based solely on whom they were born to love. It now seeks to spread that hate abroad through its tainted Olympics. If Russia hopes to stand with the International Community, it must accept and adopt international principles of equality and non-discrimination.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 08-09-2013 at 03:14 AM.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Which thing that he said do you think he doesn't believe?
    The suggestion of moving Olympics to another place is a joke, Vancouver or anywhere else. Anyone with half of the brain will know that it will not happen.

  14. #134
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    Here is President Obama's most recent response to the issues that the Snowden case raised. Obama promises greater "transparency" about the government's surveillance programs.

    On Thursday, Obama held talks on surveillance with the heads of leading IT and communications companies including Apple, Google and AT&T, the newspaper and website Politico reported.

    "The meeting was part of the ongoing dialogue the president has called for on how to respect privacy while protecting national security in a digital era," another official said, without offering further detail.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...5186780bc7.2d1

  15. #135
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    Interesting! Worth following this story.

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