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alexis

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2008, 05:44:08 PM »

Quote from: 185
There's quite a bit of anti-chinese bias in the media here which I find annoying.
On the opening night Newsnight (grownup serious news programme) roundly criticised the Chinese for not showing the darker side of their history in the ceremony. As if in 2012 the British will have a paegent (sp) showing soldiers machine gunning thousands of spear throwing africans, laden slave ships or millions of starving Irish and Indians.

I'm not sure reporting on those things constitutes "anti-chinese bias" as much as the media refusing to be handcuffed by the strong-armed efforts of the Chinese government to control all non-flattering information about itself. Did you know that the Chinese government has blocked access to some websites to visiting journalists during the Olympics? These are sites like "FreeTibetNow" or "NoMoreTorture". If they are doing this to journalists, how much access to information do you think the general Chinese public have when no one is looking? Did you know that the head of the Chinese Food Inspection Agency committed suicide a week ago (source: radio report NPR this AM), and the Chinese government succesfully covered this up until today, and when it finally broke they said he died by "accident" - happened to fall off the ledge of a tall building one day after being visited by officials investigating "financial irregularities". This relates to the poisoning of the food supply a few months ago, which of course the Chinese government would rather not have brought up during their shining hour. Does reporting on this suicide constitute anti-Chinese bias by the media?

The difference I see between your description of British atrocities and China's is that China's is ongoing. Do you think it is more appropriate to report on and display only what the Chinese government allows ("What a beautiful opening ceremony, and aren't those gymnasts so brave and strong? ... Oh and of course none of them are under the official age limit, they are just, uhmm, a little small and late in developing."), while never mentioning their state-sponsored torture, murder, and civil rights abuses?

Just another way to look at this wonderful spectacle in Beijing. What I find annoying is a totalitarian state trying to reap the benefits of a civilized society outside their borders while suppressing the freedom of those within.
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Dmitry

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2008, 06:07:41 PM »

Congratulations China and USA! They are do great and dominate this Games!!!

alexis

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2008, 05:49:02 PM »

This is from the New York Times, accessed just now,

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/sports/AP-OLY-China-Protests.html

*****************************************************************
IOC tells China not to obstruct reporters
            
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: August 14, 2008
Filed at 1:31 p.m. ET

BEIJING (AP) -- The International Olympic Committee urged China Thursday to allow foreign reporters at the Beijing Games to report freely after a British journalist trying to cover a protest was allegedly roughed up by police.

Meanwhile, activists complained that protest zones designated by Beijing organizers were set up as a way to catch dissidents -- not let them speak out. At least one person who applied to hold a demonstration in one of protest parks was detained by police.

At its daily briefing, the IOC was peppered with questions about an incident the day before in which a British TV journalist said he was manhandled and dragged into a police van while trying to cover an unauthorized protest by activists pushing for independence for Tibet. Police have said they mistook him for a protester.

IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said the committee disapproves of ''any attempts to hinder a journalist who is going about doing his job seemingly within the rules.''

''This, we hope, has been addressed. We don't want to see this happening again,'' she said.

Asked repeatedly if IOC officials are embarrassed that China was not living up to its promises, Davies would not answer directly, saying only that they are happy with the way China is running the sporting events.

In its bid to win the Olympics, China promised to loosen some aspects of its autocratic rule, including allowing the media to report freely and the unblocking of restricted Web sites for journalists.

It set up three protest parks, all well away from Olympic venues, in a gesture toward greater free speech.

But it said would-be protesters would have to apply for permission in advance. Almost a week into the Beijing games, there has been no sign of demonstrations at the parks.

Sporadic flare-ups in other parts of the city -- involving handfuls of mostly foreign protesters who were quickly detained and deported -- suggest the absence of demonstrations is not for lack of dissent.

At least one activist who tried get approval to organize a demonstration in Ritan Park, one of the three zones, has been detained by security officials, say activists, who suspect authorities are using the zones to bring potential troublemakers to their attention.

''It's clear to us that the protest zones are just a cynical public relations ploy on the part of the Chinese authorities,'' said Lhadon Tethong of the New York-based Students for a Free Tibet, which has held several unregistered protests around the games.

Her group never considered applying for permission to demonstrate in the parks.

''Sadly, I think the protest zones are just a trap at some level,'' she said.

At the IOC organizing committee briefing, vice president Wang Wei suggested critics were nitpicking. He called the protest parks ''one step further for China to open up and I think it's (a) very good gesture.''

But he said he had no information on the number of protest permits that have been granted, and security officials have refused to release the information.

To hold a demonstration in one of the parks, applications must be lodged with authorities five days in advance so officials can judge whether they would harm China's ''national, social and collective interests,'' according to a government announcement in July. Applicants could expect a reply 48 hours before the requested rally time.

Human Rights Watch said this week, citing witness accounts, that Chinese activist Ji Sizun was bundled into a car outside a police station when he went to check on his application to protest official corruption. He has not been seen since, the New York-based group said.

Relatives of other Chinese activists, most of whom have spoken out against the destruction of neighborhoods to make way for development in Beijing without proper compensation, say they, too, have been detained during the games.

A Chinese blogger, warned last month to stay away from Beijing during the Olympics, said he was escorted to his hometown Thursday and told not to leave.

Zhou Shuguang, who uses the online name Zuola, said by phone that local officials picked him up in Fengmuqiao, near his hometown in central Hunan province, and ''forced'' him back home. Zhou, who said he had gone to visit his sister, said he was threatened when he initially refused.

Restating Beijing's official policy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Wednesday that China's citizens, ''in accordance with the law, enjoy the freedom of speech and other kinds of rights.''

Built in the 16th century around an altar that emperors used for sacrifices to the sun gods, Ritan Park is a sanctuary of manicured lawns, ponds and tree-lined pathways.

In the park Thursday, there were no protest banners, only one strung along a fence that read, ''Welcome Olympic Games with joyfulness and construct a harmonious society,'' in Chinese characters and English.

''About protesting, I think Chinese people have experienced very little of this,'' said Sufang Hang, who was among a small group huddled under a traditional Chinese pagoda to escape the summer drizzle.

''I think foreigners might have more protests. I think Chinese people do not have the awareness yet. We don't know what there is to protest about.''

--------

Associated Press Writers Gillian Wong and Stephen Wade in Beijing contributed to this story.

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Jane

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2008, 08:51:37 PM »

Why should you underline all these political things and give it all a political bias? Why should you be bothered at all? Try to improve things in your own country. There`s a lot of censorship in the newspapers, they give one-sided information, never the other side`s point of view. The press is free, but free to give the information the authorities need. I`ve never read quite opposite points of view in the newspapers, they are all in support of the government`s actions in the international arena. CNN is a very biased, unobjective news channel, a propaganda channel. As for rights, you have already lost your privacy, all the phones are tapped and credit cards are traced down. The Big Brother is watching you!
I believe that the press that may be objective and that doesn`t seem to have lost its striving for justice and fairness is the British press. And has always been.
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alexis

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2008, 12:57:49 AM »

Quote from: 1393
Why should you underline all these political things and give it all a political bias? Why should you be bothered at all? Try to improve things in your own country. There`s a lot of censorship in the newspapers, they give one-sided information, never the other side`s point of view. The press is free, but free to give the information the authorities need. I`ve never read quite opposite points of view in the newspapers, they are all in support of the government`s actions in the international arena. CNN is a very biased, unobjective news channel, a propaganda channel. As for rights, you have already lost your privacy, all the phones are tapped and credit cards are traced down. The Big Brother is watching you!
I believe that the press that may be objective and that doesn`t seem to have lost its striving for justice and fairness is the British press. And has always been.


Hi Jane - is this addressed to me? I didn't quite follow ...

But to answer your question -- the reason I posted this, and gave it a political bias, was to answer this post:
Quote from: 185
There's quite a bit of anti-chinese bias in the media here which I find annoying.
On the opening night Newsnight (grownup serious news programme) roundly criticised the Chinese for not showing the darker side of their history in the ceremony. As if in 2012 the British will have a paegent (sp) showing soldiers machine gunning thousands of spear throwing africans, laden slave ships or millions of starving Irish and Indians.
Since that post was a politically oriented one, isn't it OK to answer it with a post that in turn has a political bias?

I'm guessing you're from somewhere else from your post, but you're right - there IS a lot wrong in this country. However there are a LOT of people who are working hard to change that - openly, and without fear of going to prison, having their family blacklisted, and other horrible things for their efforts.

Also, I think your post was suggesting that the US is like China in that there is no media here allowed to criticise the government. I can tell you that is so much NOT the case - there is a LOT of media that is VERY antigovernment here in the USA. I'll let you google some of the more radical ones ... you can find them on the internet in this country, unlike in China  ;). And people here in the mainstream don't have to search very hard to find media very critical of the government - you can go to sites like MSNBC.com, and of course the New York Times. On top of that, you can't turn on your TV during the nightly talk shows without hearing comedians openly mocking not only the government, but also the President, the Vice President, the military, and others ... all on mainstream television every night.

I can't tell for sure whether I upset you with my post, and if I did, I'm really sorry.

Thanks -



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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2008, 03:05:44 AM »

No "politico here".........just Olympic Games............
Michael Phelps is "THE GOD" of Olympics.  I watched a feature of him tonight on the national nightly news, and the newscaster said that he/his body was born to swim.  Case in point.....Michael is 6'4", but has an elongated torso of a man 6'8", short legs like a man that is 5'10", "dinner plate" size hands and his feet are 14 size US mens.  All in all, the news people said he was built like a "fish" and born to swim.  Hands and feet are like "flippers" and the short legs help him kick off the wall at "warp-speeds"...........
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alexis

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2008, 05:01:46 AM »

American girls take the gold and silver in the all-around gymnastics. Yippee! I can't believe how strong these gymnasts are, guys and girls alike. Superhuman!
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2008, 11:23:55 AM »

Quote from: 1255
No "politico here".........just Olympic Games............

Actually, I asked for these kind of views in my first post on this thread.
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2008, 11:37:37 AM »

Which is why, presumably, this is in 'Current Affairs' and not 'Different Conversations'.

Agree with Kevin. The British press, well actually the press in general are very fickle. When the Olympics come around to Britain all the press will be about showing the world how 'Great' Britain is. Just like Euro '96 before it, they'll conveniently forget how many innocent people were slaughtered during our 'Empire' period. And seeing Bush stand up and make that little speach on human rights before the games started made me wonder if he's also conveniently brushed aside America's treatment of Native Americans, and of African Americans in the 1960's.
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2008, 11:42:32 AM »

I'm just routing for Kelly Sotherton in the Heptahlon.....My g/f's cousin and a fellow Isle of Wighter.
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Kevin

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2008, 12:53:42 PM »

They've also come under fire for organising volunteers to fill empty seats in the stadiums. This apparently is another example of a totalitarian regime mercilessly exploiting it's image and people. The fiends!
Yet they all wear t-shirts identifying themselves (it's not as if they're trying to pass themselvers off as legit paying fans.) Also here in the UK it's common practise in cricket to allow school kids in free to fill up embarrasingly empty seats (they don't get in free on vital test match days when there's money to be made.)
And a little bit of defence for China (and I'm no fan of totalitarian regimes - God help me if I was). But they've seen what happened to the Soviet Union when it combined economic and social reform - the place fell apart amid successions, revolutions and civil wars, and we're still suffering the consequences (Georgia anyone? ). This makes their stance quite sensible and may be averting another disaster. There own growing middleclasses may well bring about the social changes we think they need.
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alexis

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2008, 01:34:34 PM »

Quote from: 483
Which is why, presumably, this is in 'Current Affairs' and not 'Different Conversations'.

Agree with Kevin. The British press, well actually the press in general are very fickle. When the Olympics come around to Britain all the press will be about showing the world how 'Great' Britain is. Just like Euro '96 before it, they'll conveniently forget how many innocent people were slaughtered during our 'Empire' period. And seeing Bush stand up and make that little speach on human rights before the games started made me wonder if he's also conveniently brushed aside America's treatment of Native Americans, and of African Americans in the 1960's.


I don't think it's "conveniently forgetting" as much as moving on. It's a little tough to suggest that any nation with a violent past has forfeited the right to currently promote human rights elsewhere. By this criterion, which nations would have the right to do this?  Does a country need to have a pristine civil rights record currently to have the right to try and effect change in other parts of the world? To give a name and a face to this ... do Britain and the US not have the right to try and change what's happening in Darfur? Or China? (Acutally, surprise-surprise, these are not unrelated - China is one of the main foreign powers propping up the genocidal regime in the Sudan that is perpetrating all these human atrocities in Darfur).

It's a little bit like being a parent of a teenager (maybe?). Just because we were naughty at their age, do we have no right to guide and correct their behavior now? They, of course, would say yes, that we were conveniently forgetting our own past ...

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2008, 09:27:37 PM »

Alexis, it`s ok, and i am sorry as well! Just gimme objectivity - that`s what I want.
Alexis, I was in the USA in 2001 and I liked the country very much, its way of life, its people, Washington, New York, spoke to some Americans, some journalists. The only thing I don`t understand is why you think you have the right to impose your way of life on other nations, to promote human rights, mind them in your country. Why do you think ordinary people are waiting for you to come with your ideas, and to bring salvation to them, to rescue them... from whom, from what? They have their own way of life, their own traditions and vision of things and they maybe quite happy with it all.
Besides, why should you speak about native Americans (though that`s a problem, do they have real rights?). Your problem now is Iraq, which you have devastated for no reason at all, since there were no nuclear weapons and all was a made-up case for the justification of invasion (change of regime, oil, oil, oil!) You see, will you speak about it at some sport events? Will you try to remedy the situation? And you say - native Americans, slaves - speak about some more recent events.
Do newspapers criticise the government for that? To what effect?
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2008, 03:26:01 AM »

Quote from: 1393
Alexis, it`s ok, and i am sorry as well! Just gimme objectivity - that`s what I want.
Alexis, I was in the USA in 2001 and I liked the country very much, its way of life, its people, Washington, New York, spoke to some Americans, some journalists. The only thing I don`t understand is why you think you have the right to impose your way of life on other nations, to promote human rights, mind them in your country. Why do you think ordinary people are waiting for you to come with your ideas, and to bring salvation to them, to rescue them... from whom, from what? They have their own way of life, their own traditions and vision of things and they maybe quite happy with it all.
Besides, why should you speak about native Americans (though that`s a problem, do they have real rights?). Your problem now is Iraq, which you have devastated for no reason at all, since there were no nuclear weapons and all was a made-up case for the justification of invasion (change of regime, oil, oil, oil!) You see, will you speak about it at some sport events? Will you try to remedy the situation? And you say - native Americans, slaves - speak about some more recent events.
Do newspapers criticise the government for that? To what effect?

I think there may still be a communication problem here.

I think I've answered most or all of your questions in my earlier post, so I won't repeat myself here. One thing that may help is to understand the US govenrment does not act with the approval of all its citizens. Things are set up so that a majority of 50.001% may possibly govern in a way that is exactly the opposite of what the balance of the population wants. I know you know that to some degree, but your post makes it sound to me as if you believe that we are all marching in lockstep with the decisions made by the government. Jane, what country are you from? It may help me understand you more if I knew that.

Back to the initial post by kevin, and responses by Bobber. I think one of the main differences between China and other powerful nations is the degree that the individual rights are abused in China as a matter of government policy. I would not be able to write these posts, where I am critical of my government's decisions in areas, in China - I would likely be carted away to prison, and my family members would lose their jobs and houses, etc. Here it is a very different story.

Uh oh, who could that be knocking at the door at this hour of 3:30 in the morning? I'll be right ba..............
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2008, 09:26:13 PM »

Alexis, yes, you are right. The difference is that in the USA you can stand in the street and cry out that the president is an idiot and he should go. And you will be left in peace, nobody will pay attention to you, or, you can also have a demonstration or a rally of protest with some other people shouting the same. In China you can`t do it. That`s right. But is it worth the effort? - Now, the same thing is that whether you cry out (in the USA) or do not cry out (in China) everything will remain the way the authorities want it. They just let you squeak as much as you wish but they will never change anything. People shouted against invading Iraq, but the authorities invaded the country. Mind, I am criticising the government.
Besides, China is a socialist state, not a democratic country, so how can one expect the same human rights there? The same human rights means a different regime, an overthrow of the present one, and this is going too far, isn`t it? The country`s regime is of nobody else`s business.
Moreover, maybe they feel better this way, why should you (the government) promote your human rights there?
And the question is strange, Will the Olympic Games change anything in China? Certainly not! Why should they? The country is going its own way, different from any other state in the world (who can say, which way is the best? and who said that democracy is the best way?), it is developing fast, it is prospering, people are living better. All politicians are speaking about the Rise of China. So, why change anything? Unless some external forces start doing the undermining job.
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alexis

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2008, 10:58:21 PM »

Quote from: 1393
Alexis, yes, you are right. The difference is that in the USA you can stand in the street and cry out that the president is an idiot and he should go. And you will be left in peace, nobody will pay attention to you, or, you can also have a demonstration or a rally of protest with some other people shouting the same. In China you can`t do it. That`s right. But is it worth the effort? - Now, the same thing is that whether you cry out (in the USA) or do not cry out (in China) everything will remain the way the authorities want it. They just let you squeak as much as you wish but they will never change anything. People shouted against invading Iraq, but the authorities invaded the country. Mind, I am criticising the government.
Besides, China is a socialist state, not a democratic country, so how can one expect the same human rights there? The same human rights means a different regime, an overthrow of the present one, and this is going too far, isn`t it? The country`s regime is of nobody else`s business.
Moreover, maybe they feel better this way, why should you (the government) promote your human rights there?
And the question is strange, Will the Olympic Games change anything in China? Certainly not! Why should they? The country is going its own way, different from any other state in the world (who can say, which way is the best? and who said that democracy is the best way?), it is developing fast, it is prospering, people are living better. All politicians are speaking about the Rise of China. So, why change anything? Unless some external forces start doing the undermining job.

Yes, Jane, this is a very good question. I think for many years the "conventional wisdom' held that one person/one vote was the "natural order" of things, and therefore democracy was best for all. I'm really very ignorant on these things, but I wonder if the "democraciophilia" of the western world of the last 250 years or so was colored significantly by common greco-roman roots (French and American revolutions, etc.).

Maybe more people are realizing now this may not be best for all - societies that didn't really descend from the Greco-Roman cultures might not be happiest in a democratic system. My gut tells me that with enough time and the spread of the internet and knowledge that everyone will demand their "vote". But maybe not ... countries like China and Russia, and maybe middle eastern countries may decide that some other form of government is best for them. Before signing on to this, though, I think one needs to explain how some countries without greco-roman roots have chosen democracy though - Liberia comes to mind  ;)

It sure is interesting to watch all this develop!

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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2008, 03:14:33 PM »

Congratulations "Michael Phelps" you are a brilliant athlete , eight Olympic Gold Medals at one olympic games is an  incredible achievement and thats not counting the 6 you won in Athens .
A real American sporting legend , and at 23 and a great example to the youth of the world , and it could have so easily been a different story considering the problems you had growing up .  (smile)
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2008, 06:13:45 PM »

Thanks, Alexis, for your ideas! And besides Eastern-European countries, which are in-between the West and the East there are truly eastern countries and muslim ones, which are absolutely different from the West and from the Western civilization, and all the democratic notions are alien to them.
Michael Phelps is a giant!
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2008, 12:48:09 PM »

Quote from: 971
Congratulations "Michael Phelps" you are a brilliant athlete , eight Olympic Gold Medals at one olympic games is an  incredible achievement and thats not counting the 6 you won in Athens .
A real American sporting legend , and at 23 and a great example to the youth of the world , and it could have so easily been a different story considering the problems you had growing up .  (smile)

It was pretty close tho! 0.01 second!

The Netherlands scored their second gold medal yesterday with rowing.
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Re: Olympic Games Beijing 2008
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2008, 01:12:00 PM »

Quote from: 63

It was pretty close tho! 0.01 second!

The Netherlands scored their second gold medal yesterday with rowing.


Well, yeah Netherlands  :)
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