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Old 04-08-2008, 04:37 AM   #1
Ray Jones
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China

So, what are your thoughts about China hosting the Olympic games?

What's your opinion regarding the protests? Are they legitimate? What do you think about those trying to put out the Olympic torch? Is that going to far?
Is it really that easy, that sport has nothing to do with politics, and that we cannot "punish" the athletes, for something they are not responsible for? Is it enough, or justified if the officials of our countries "boycott" the opening ceremonies with absence?
What about the athletes, should they express their opinions or thoughts, and how?


Is there anything to worry about at all?


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Old 04-08-2008, 04:53 AM   #2
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Well, I'm against the Olympics in general (damn them for taking away my TV shows for three weeks every two years! ), but I think it's very hypocritical of people to boycott the Olympics just because they happen to be in China, when they have no problem with buying oodles of Chinese products. Incidentally, if the Olympics were canceled, or if entire countries boycotted them, China would actually benefit financially (ain't cheap to host these things, you know), and it wouldn't hurt them at all politically.


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Old 04-08-2008, 04:59 AM   #3
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At the risk of invoking Godwin's law... I'm going to pull an example from history. I'm not doing it to say Hitler did it, so it's bad, or this is how others responded to him therefore it's good so I don't think it applies

To an extent hosting the olympics has forced China to clean up their act though they still have a long way to go in terms of human rights. Boycotting the olympics over not liking the politics of the government of the hosting country is stupid.

Look what happened when Nazi Germany hosted the olympics while preaching about their racial superiority to everyone else. A black man who wouldn't have been given a fair shot in their society at all won the gold medal in one of the track events. This made the nazis look not just arrogant but stupid to advocate that they were better than everyone else in front of the rest of the world.

If we'd boycotted, then he'd have never gotten his chance to show the whole world that they were wrong. Talk is talk. Action is action. It's a lot more effective to show why an oppressive regime's ideology is ineffective, rather than simply just saying so and having nothing to do with them. Boycotting doesn't improve anything for the atheletes, or the people living under the government's rule over there. It's just symbolic action meant to replace real actions that could have substantiative effects.


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Old 04-08-2008, 06:22 AM   #4
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While I agree that boycotting China's Olympics because of their politics is a silly move, I'd say that the real motive is that China has spent a lot, lot of money into the Olympics, making more arrangements than any other I've seen - to have the entire world say '**** you' to them will be the biggest insult China can endure, and hence the boycott. I'd think it would be rather funny if the Olympics were entirely boycotted and all those billions of dollars China spent on the Olympics would go to waste.


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Old 04-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #5
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But where to draw the line?

Should we have allowed Hussein's Iraq to host the games too, for instance? Can we be sure that China won't undo their arrangements once the games are over?
Also, regarding China's politics in Tibet, how much arrangement is there really in place? Is saying "**** you" to them really that much of an insult compared to China's human rights infringement? Is there a way to say "**** you" while keeping political correctness?

Ain't it inconsequent to let China host the games and criticise their actions in a different context? Doesn't that attach some kind of "hot air" attribute to our critic?

And when the host of the games is allowed to behave like this, what does that say about the nature of the Olympics then?


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Old 04-08-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCarter426
I think it's very hypocritical of people to boycott the Olympics just because they happen to be in China, when they have no problem with buying oodles of Chinese products.
I disagree. I cannot call a person a person a hypocrite who chooses a lower cost item in a weak economy but disagrees with producer's methods. Have you considered why it is that we suddenly have a flood of cheap Chinese products on the market?

Trade relations with China was normalized in 2000. China joined the WTO. (Anyone remember the protests in Seattle 1999?) Unfortunately someone forgot to tell China what it means to have a normal trading relationship. China's currency has been more or less fixed for the past 10 years of to 8 Yuan / $1. (Now 7:1). In China, subsidies are given to exports while large tariffs are tacked onto imports. So while big businesses like Boeing and Caterpillar are doing well in China, mid-size and small-size companies cannot compete. More and more, we now export raw materials and import finished goods. Now with economy already in the toilet, China has the power to exchange dollars for Euros, effectively flooding the market with more U.S. currency and driving down the buying power of the average consumer even lower. So yeah, I can understand why the U.S. won't boycott. We can't afford to.

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Old 04-08-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth
While I agree that boycotting China's Olympics because of their politics is a silly move, I'd say that the real motive is that China has spent a lot, lot of money into the Olympics, making more arrangements than any other I've seen - to have the entire world say '**** you' to them will be the biggest insult China can endure, and hence the boycott. I'd think it would be rather funny if the Olympics were entirely boycotted and all those billions of dollars China spent on the Olympics would go to waste.
It would be funny, but relations between China and the rest of the world would deteriorate. Not that they aren't deteriorating already


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Old 04-08-2008, 01:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
So yeah, I can understand why the U.S. won't boycott. We can't afford to.
Oh, I know. The Chinese government could bankrupt this country in a heartbeat. But there's a difference between personal boycotts and a national embargo.

Point in fact, the last time we put an embargo, we wound up with Pearl Harbor...oh, wait, there's Cuba too...and Iraq...)

But people (i.e. individuals) who object to the Chinese government's actions shouldn't be allowed to complain when they directly contribute to the People's Republic's economy. It's not going to bankrupt the country if they refuse to buy Chinese products (and they should do that anyway, unless they don't mind lead poisoning ).

I guess the moral of the story here is that one person just doesn't make a difference.


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Old 04-08-2008, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCarter426
But people (i.e. individuals) who object to the Chinese government's actions shouldn't be allowed to complain when they directly contribute to the People's Republic's economy.
Again, it's not the fault of the consumer that a product from China is all they can afford to buy. They certainly should be allowed to complain about that and whatever else they disagree with. Point the hypocrisy finger at Congress who are mournful over the lost jobs and trade deficit but haven't got the guts to support bills like this.


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Old 04-08-2008, 02:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tk102
Again, it's not the fault of the consumer that a product from China is all they can afford to buy.
Eh...I suppose if they really can't afford anything else...

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They certainly should be allowed to complain about that and whatever else they disagree with.
Disagree, yes. Complain, no.

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Point the hypocrisy finger at Congress who are mournful over the lost jobs and trade deficit but haven't got the guts to support bills like this.
Oh, I'm definitely pointing fingers at them too. They're trying to force China to follow rules that the US didn't follow when it was first growing its industries. I'm not saying that China shouldn't follow those rules, but it's certainly not Congress' position to tell them to, and certainly not when they're doing it for all the wrong reasons. And that just makes the rest of us look bad.


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Old 04-08-2008, 02:15 PM   #11
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To be fair, China did free up the Yuan to be pegged to a group of other currencies back after that Schumer bill was proposed in 2005. I still get worked up over the tariffs China places on finished goods however -- it has directly affected my job for instance (having to install manufacturing equipment in China so that they can create the finished goods from our semi-finished materials). This is happening all over the manufacturing sector and people are I know are losing their jobs over it.

It's hard to blame the companies involved since there is a lot of money saved from doing this. Instead I look at the politicians who make the rules businesses play by.


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Old 04-08-2008, 02:32 PM   #12
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Yes it's absolutely horrible that china places tariffs on finished goods, causing other countries to end up selling raw materials/half finished products, which makes less of a profit. Sounds like china is trying to prevent other countries from getting rich/richer, just to get richer themselves.

Of course, the first world have been doing the same to the third world for ages, which is why part of me can't help but feel a litle glee.


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Old 04-08-2008, 02:40 PM   #13
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Are you employed?

Btw, China is not the great proletariat of the world. The rich in China are getting richer just like everywhere else.


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Old 04-08-2008, 05:29 PM   #14
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The China issue is a tough one for me.

On one hand, political reform is tough unless there is revolution. China appears to be trying to change without tearing itself to pieces in the process. Of course, my personal opinion is that this is most likely destined to fail because the only way to get to where they want to go is scrap everything and start over.

So far as the Olympics thing goes: they applied. The committee followed their selection process and picked them. If anyone is unhappy about that choice, they should take their complaints to the people that made the decision. Boycott the games in peaceful protest if you feel the need to do so, but so far as the Olympics goes, the committee dropped the ball if anyone did.

No doubt that China has a long way to go to catch up on human rights. Boycotting the Olympics and then going back to forgetting all about it isn't going to change anything. If you want to make a difference, start checking labels. If something reads "made in China" or "assembled in China" then don't buy it (check out A Year Without "Made in China": One Family's True Life Adventure in the Global Economy or BoycottMadeinChina.org if you need pointers).

However keep in mind that we are living in a global economy and doing so may result in cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Ask Teekay what would most likely happen to his job of people and companies stopped purchasing goods made in China. I suspect that there are no easy answers to be found here, even though we all desire them.

My 2 cents.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So far as the Olympics thing goes: they applied. The committee followed their selection process and picked them. If anyone is unhappy about that choice, they should take their complaints to the people that made the decision.
I agree, the Olympic committee are the ones to blame. I don’t like the idea of a country boycotting the games. If individual athletes want to boycott the games then I will support their decision. However, it should be the athlete’s decision and not some politician's decision. The young men and women train their entire lives to represent their country at the games and we should not punish them for China’s human rights record.

I would also support any athlete wishing to protest China’s human rights record. I just feel that again, it should be the athletes’ decision as to how they express their protest. I would have no problem if today’s athletes did something like Tommie Smith and John Carlos did in the 1968 games in Mexico City. They let the opinion on America’s civil rights record be known in non-violent and what I consider appropriate way during the playing to the Star-Spangled Banner at the medal ceremony.



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Old 04-08-2008, 07:36 PM   #16
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I believe that a boycot by athletes is a bad idea, with the way china works this will probably further convince the average chineese that the world is ganging up on china. And I'm not to thrilled with druming up support for the c-party, especially not now that chineese seem to get more willing to stand up to it.

@tk: It was a small part of me that fealt a litle glee, I don't like the tariffs either. It's just that first world countries has been doing the same to other countries for ages, and being the victim of it makes me hope that they realize just how nasty it is.

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Btw, China is not the great proletariat of the world. The rich in China are getting richer just like everywhere else.
I know, never said it where.


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Old 04-09-2008, 02:02 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mur'phon
Of course, the first world have been doing the same to the third world for ages, which is why part of me can't help but feel a litle glee.
When Britain did it to America, it was taxation without representation. But when America does it to anyone else...


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Old 04-09-2008, 06:37 AM   #18
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I think the protests are going too far and in the wrong direction. Trying to put out the torch, for instance, is not going to change anything, and it also sheds a "violent" light on the protests. It makes no sense. I can understand that people want to express their displeasure about the situation, but the point they seem to miss is that neither the Olympic games nor the athletes nor the torch are violating human rights.

Boycotting the games from political side is also a rather useless move, because it simply is too late to do this kind of stuff. If anything could/should have been done, the honour of hosting the games should not have been granted to China in the first place. Of course, that had effected China's policy even less.

Instead, officials, visitors and athletes should use the games and their events to express in a non-aggressive and appropriate way how important human rights are, or something like that. Everybody could like wear pink/orange/magenta coloured shirts, reading "Ray Jones = Le Big Bone" in bold yellow letters on it, for instance. That would set a sign noticeable around the world, and I think more can't be done about it at this point. Of course, Chinese (official) media have the tendency to censor "inappropriate" content, but they hardly can censor the whole games all the time.


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Old 04-12-2008, 11:58 AM   #19
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The real problem seems to be Tibet being oppressed by China, and the entire chinese population being oppressed under communism... I think the protests are wrong, but can you think of a better way to get the world's attenton asking for freedom than being on the news protesting something as big as the Olympics? I don't support stopping the Olympics, and I doubt that is the true intention of these rioters. Their true intention seems to be that they want the whole world to see them, asking for freedom of countries like Tibet and freedom of communism-oppressed citizens. But what better way to get the whole world's attention than interrupting something like the Olympics, which airs internationally? Only problem is, Tibet is heavily dependent on China, and these rioters are only making a bad name for themselves the way they're going about doing this...


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Old 04-12-2008, 12:07 PM   #20
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The real problem seems to be Tibet being oppressed by China, and the entire chinese population being oppressed under communism... I think the protests are wrong, but can you think of a better way to get the world's attenton asking for freedom than being on the news protesting something as big as the Olympics? I don't support stopping the Olympics, and I doubt that is the true intention of these rioters. Their true intention seems to be that they want the whole world to see them, asking for freedom of countries like Tibet and freedom of communism-oppressed citizens. But what better way to get the whole world's attention than interrupting something like the Olympics, which airs internationally? Only problem is, Tibet is heavily dependent on China, and these rioters are only making a bad name for themselves the way they're going about doing this...
Abit like how the Saudi Arabian government oppresses its people and is supported by the US government? I love the hypocrisy of the west, you done anything about Guantanimo bay? As for my own Government, instead of worrying about Tibet, I suggest Brown, does something/more about Zimbabwe and Sudan, sooner than have a go at China over tibet and the Olympics.

Human rights should always be obeyed, Tibet is a travesty, but should American tennis players boycott the US open because of Guatanimo bay? But untill the West lives up to the expectation it has for others; I think it a tad unfair, to go on about the Olympics in such a manner.

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Old 04-12-2008, 01:13 PM   #21
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Why not scrap the whole damned white elephant of the Olympics in the first place? It's a collossal waste of money.



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Old 04-12-2008, 02:38 PM   #22
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That's what I've been saying for years!


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Old 04-12-2008, 02:51 PM   #23
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What I have been hearing about boycott, is that some nations plan on missing the Opening. Not boycott the entire games. I'm fine with that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Jones
I think the protests are going too far and in the wrong direction. Trying to put out the torch, for instance, is not going to change anything, and it also sheds a "violent" light on the protests. It makes no sense. I can understand that people want to express their displeasure about the situation, but the point they seem to miss is that neither the Olympic games nor the athletes nor the torch are violating human rights.
Where the protestants are trying to get at is obvious: They're benefiting from the world's attention that has been drawn to China due to the games. Further, the Olympics should represent freedom, peace, yadda yadda yadda.


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Old 04-12-2008, 03:43 PM   #24
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Human rights violations have been going on in modern China for decades. This is like the pet social/politically correct thing to protest this year. I guess we're bored with Darfur and Sudan now.


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Old 04-12-2008, 03:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I guess we're bored with Darfur and Sudan now.
Nah, now we blame china for that mess instead.


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Old 04-12-2008, 06:02 PM   #26
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Much like how we still blame Arabs for every bombing or threat that occurs instead of idjits like Tim McVeigh and ecoterrorist?

The human rights issue is serious but as Jae astutedly pointed out, has been going on for decades (like terrorism). We can't change things over night. History does take too long but it is never kind to those who try to hurry it. Funny thing is while we do have human rights here in the states, we still have our hatreds that when acted upon constitute hate crimes. The reason we have human rights violations is because there is always some group that doesn't like another because of where they are from, and who they are. We still mistreat our immigrants. Look at the Japanese, and now the Arabs. Long fight that will keep on going.

As to the Olympics, the true spirit of the Olympics is putting your best against the best of other nations in a show of good sportsmanship. True we've had instances like the Israeli athletes who were held hostage but look at the upsides as well. At the last games North and South Korean competed as one nation after 30 or so years of separation.
China may be responsible for things that we find atrocious but these are games here. They were picked to host games that are supposed to unite the world on an international level. I would like to think that when the committee chose China, they were thinking in the spirit of uniting in spite of what has been done.
We the US claim to be tolerant of other peoples but lately I find we have been holding a double standard and has become even more apparent in recent years. We are guilty of things too that we are quick to sweep under the rug like our high unemployment rates and we prefer to blame other groups like in the 20's the Mexicans, 1860's the Irish, 40's the Japanese and Chinese and now the Arabs for things like that. If this is what it has come down to then we need to take a step back and look at ourselves before pointing fingers at other people.
Everyone wants to label all Chinese the same like how they do the Arabs. That's not so and I think we forget that. Our government promotes a culture of fear and that in turn breeds intolerance and hatred. That is not what the games are about. I for one am not boycotting them. Call me naive if you wish but I like to think that by competing we are sharing who we are with others.

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Old 04-12-2008, 09:29 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
I love the hypocrisy of the west
How was I being a hypocrite? Also, I'm a civilian who is unable to vote yet, so I can't do anything about all the other problems, besides talking about it with other people. Just because I didn't mention Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe as part of the whole issue doesn't make me hypocritical... I never have and never will support those things the U.S Government does that are hypocritical.


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Old 04-12-2008, 09:38 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcesious
How was I being a hypocrite? Also, I'm a civilian who is unable to vote yet, so I can't do anything about all the other problems, besides talking about it with other people. Just because I didn't mention Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe as part of the whole issue doesn't make me hypocritical... I never have and never will support those things the U.S Government does that are hypocritical.
My friend you have personalised something that was not aimed specifically at you... How are you the West? Do you represent every single person in all of Western Europe, North America, Japen and Australia?

That said when you say things like...

Quote:
entire chinese population being oppressed under communism
You realise, the entire population can't be oppressed, otherwise there would be no oppresser. And I think us in the West are oppressed by our Governments in other ways. How many Chinese people do you know? How many of them do you think feel they are oppressed?

I'm not saying that I agree with the Chinese government, and I'm not saying they don't use brainwashing and propoganda, but how is that different to any other Government.

As for the Olympics, I've never really understood them... but then I'm a footballer, so the World Cup is the only world sporting tournament I care about. That said should people like Sarazoky boycott the games? Should politics come into sport? I think thats the Sports stars decision really; not the beurocrats.

Edit: Interesting Article on the subject; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/spo...cle3723595.ece



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Old 04-13-2008, 02:03 AM   #29
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Well, if it were hosted in the US, the torch would be followed by protesters pointing out the Iraq War, Gitmo, and our foreign relations screw-ups.

China made their bid and wanted the world's eyes on them. They appear to have expected roses in the street and joyous goodwill, so I'm amused by the fact this goodwill tour has turned uncomfortable for them.


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Old 04-13-2008, 02:29 AM   #30
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As for the Olympics, I've never really understood them... but then I'm a footballer, so the World Cup is the only world sporting tournament I care about.
I never want to hear another comment about us Americans being self-centered about our sports ever again.


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Old 04-13-2008, 12:07 PM   #31
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Oh.... That makes sense. Now I see where you were coming from. As in saying I'm from the west, I generally have referred to America as 'Western Civilization'... But I can see how I had that confused now. My bad.

Yeah I have to agree that almost anywhere the olypics are held there would be protesters...

For example, if we held it in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Korea, etc, etc... We'd have lots of protesters.


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Old 04-13-2008, 03:31 PM   #32
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I never want to hear another comment about us Americans being self-centered about our sports ever again.
To be fair though; most Countries in the worlds main sport is football... More people tune in to watch the World Cup than the Olympics



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Old 04-13-2008, 08:12 PM   #33
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To be fair though; most Countries in the worlds main sport is football... More people tune in to watch the World Cup than the Olympics
Hmm, unbiased QFT of mine.


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Old 04-13-2008, 09:03 PM   #34
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That probably has something to do with the fact that a lot of the Olympics are duller than watching the grass grow. I'd rather tune into a Korean StarCraft tournament.

Actually, I'd probably watch those even if the Olympics weren't boring if I got them on TV.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:44 AM   #35
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Frankly, they could hold the olympics on the moon or in the center of the earth for all I care, as I don't watch them anyway. Might as well watch paint dry.


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Old 04-24-2008, 02:54 AM   #36
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Frankly, they could hold the olympics on the moon or in the center of the earth for all I care, as I don't watch them anyway.
I wish they would; then not only would I (or anyone who has control over my television) not be able to watch them, but they'd probably be the last Olympics as well.


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Old 04-29-2008, 12:13 AM   #37
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:20 AM   #38
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Frankly, they could hold the olympics on the moon or in the center of the earth for all I care, as I don't watch them anyway. Might as well watch paint dry.
How could you say that about Torvill and Dean's ice dance to Bolero? It's the most exquisite ice dance routine I've ever seen. A little piece of heaven descends to us mortals here on earth whenever we watch them dance.


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Old 04-29-2008, 02:24 AM   #39
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I love reading these news reports from China. It makes me wonder what the newspapers were like under Stalin or Nazi Germany.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:08 AM   #40
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Quote:
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I love reading these news reports from China. It makes me wonder what the newspapers were like under Stalin or Nazi Germany.
I'd imagine they were sassy.



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