Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Chicago?

Re: The President going overseas to basically beg the International Olympic Committee to bestow the dubious honor of host city to the Olympics upon Sodom-on-Lake-Michigan.


I mean, it's not as if the Olympics actually matter anymore. They used to, back in the days when nuclear war between Capitalism and Socialism hung over us all. It had a sense of "Us versus Them" in those days, and it was an event that most Americans could sink their teeth into. Not so much anymore. For me, at least, the thrill is gone. There are no more 'Miracles on Ice', and no more athletes who were as engaging or amazing as Carl Lewis, Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Bob Seagram, Mark Spitz, Mary Lou Retton, Peggy Fleming, Cathy Rigby, Rafer Johnson, Bruce Jenner or Wilma Rudolph. We'll probably never see the likes of Jesse Owens or Jim Thorpe again. Don't get me started on George S. Patton, either (people forget, if they ever knew, that he was a Silver Medalist in 1912). Say what you will about Micheal Phelps, but I'm sorry...your dog can swim, too, if he really had to.

You may not have given a though to many of the individual sports back in those days, but damn, some of them were fun to watch with that whole 'beat the Commies' mentality. Now, it seems, we elect Commies and root against ourselves.

Besides, it's not as if we're seeing 'true' Olympians anymore, and by that I mean true amateur athletes engaged in honest competition on a level playing field (yeah, I know all about those East German swimmers, and Soviet 'professionals in everything but name' stuff). I don't know about you, but I despise the notion of "Dream Teams" made up of highly-paid professionals competing against the rest of the world's amateurs (although this has changed much; there are so many Europeans and Asians playing in North American pro leagues to ensure that even the worst teams of most nations can sport a pro or two), based upon the laughable premise that they're playing 'for their country'. You might as well hold another All-Star game. I can't speak to the patriotism of many NBA players, for example, but I'm certain that if you asked them to speak frankly, that is without any cameras recording them, they would talk all about medals and burnishing their bio's and reputations, and less about country (this is now an important factor in getting into the Hall of Fame, it seems. The new breed of American athlete is all about 'legacy'...and money) than they do about international competition, and quaint notions of nationalism.

And why Chicago? Of all US cities, you could probably pick better ones. New York leaps immediately to mind, as well as Los Angeles. These are cities that could more easily support the influx of athletes and tourists, are pretty good at maintaining security, have the venues already built, and have the experience with large throngs to host a summer Olympics. Oh, but neither of those is Barack Obama's 'hood, are they?

I really do hate to make the following analogy, but I sort of have to. I'm wincing as I do so, but this whole thing smells of the Berlin games in 1936.

Is The One pushing Chicago in the hopes of staging a Potemkin display dedicated to himself and his 'vision', and as yet another moment to bask in his own personal glory? The way the American media worships the guy, it would be almost excusable if his head were actually that large, and the American crowds in Chicago are more than likely to be pro-Obama in a way that borders on rabid ('native' son, and all that). Okay, I can give the guy the benefit of the doubt on this one. No one could be that batshit narcissistic, could they?

Is the push intended to generate some jobs? An Olympiad certainly means those, even if they are almost wholly temporary. Let's face it, after promising to 'create or save 6,000,000 jobs' and miserably failing to either achieve that number, or even to ever explain what that truly means, you can't blame the guy for trying to beef that number up -- especially with a one-time boondoggle like this.

But in that case, why not lobby for a city that could truly use that sort of short-term economic boost? Say, Detroit?

Then again, we already know something about the President's ties to real estate developers (like Tony Rezko), and rumors about about other Obama aides and confidants (like Valerie Jarret) licking their chops in anticipation of the personal fortunes they might amass with a Olympic games on their home turf abound. I can't speak to the veracity of those rumors; they simply are being reported in various quarters on the 'Net, so I could be spreading baseless rumor.

I also wonder if any American city (actually, make that any city on the planet) that has hosted an Olympic games has actually made any money on the deal, given the huge expense of constructing venues, providing security, and so forth? I've done a quick search on the web of that very question, and surprise!, I get no clear answer (perhaps my Google and Bing skills just suck that badly?).

Anyways, I fail to see the use in an Olympic Games which is less about actual competition, and increasingly, more about money (I mean, who really wants to see anorexic 12 yr. old girls jump over a pommel horse besides pedophiles, and the thirty people who truly care about gymnastics?). I could be absolutely wrong on all counts, but I'd like to know what everyone else thinks. Feel free to fire away.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Voting With Your TV Set...

Newsweek actually posted something worth reading this week. That is shocking enough in itself, since Newsweek long ago ceased to be about disseminating useful information and insightful opinion and became a propaganda shop for the political left, but what's even more stunning is that it was written by Fineman. He must have forgotten his meds.

You can't argue with the central point in Fineman's piece, though, which is that Barack Obama still believes that he can just 'show up' and that this is sufficient enough to have whatever piece of nonsense he wants enacted this week magically appear. When, surprise!, this strategy doesn't work, he simply shows up again...and again...and again. I thought George W. Bush was supposed to be the inflexible one who was incapable of learning from his mistakes? Perhaps Barack Obama needs a little lesson in Ben Franklin conventional wisdom: the very definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting a different result.

Just because you've spent 30 hours on television this week beating a dead horse (several of them, actually), Mr. President, it doesn't necessarily follow that another 30 hours will get you any better results. This is one of those times when twice as much effort just means a much deeper hole.

This president is way too enamored of himself, the sound of his own voice, and his teleprompter, and it shows. You can't turn the TV set on without Barack Obama's face showing up everywhere. If he isn't making yet one more canned speech on health care, he's making another on an esoteric point of foreign policy which makes even less sense than the previous one. I've got news for you, Barry: you're not that handsome, and you're not quite as awesome as you think you are. It's bad enough half the evening news is devoted to you, and now I have to have my commercials invaded by you as well? I've just recently seen a commercial where people are still trying to flog crap (a set of collectible plates? Gimme a break!) with your visage on it six times in the same day. I see more of you than I do of myself.

I've had an idea. It has been rattling around inside my brain for several weeks now, and I gave voice to it over on someone else's blog (the incomparable JammieWearingFool).

Whenever Barack Obama shows up on TV, turn the set off. Don't watch. Talk to your wife, help your kids with their homework, take up needlepoint, finish that book you've been reading. Just don't watch Barack Obama. You'll be much happier, you'll reconnect with your family. Since he's on TV 11 hours a day, you'll save loads of money on electricity and help save Mother Earth while you're at it.

Very soon, them Nielsen people will begin to figure something out; TV sets all over America mysteriously turn off when President Hopenchanger shows up. They'll tell the networks who hate it when people turn off TV's (that means less ad money). If Nielsen tells them people tune out when The Obamatard shows up they will soon refuse to put the President on screen morning, noon and night. This means less of that annoying buzzing sound that comes from the TV set when Obama is talking. The lesson will begin to sink in for Obama, slowly because he's a democrat and kinda slow: less talk, less mug on TV, less hard-sell marketing, maybe more real, hands-on work (the first real work he's ever done in his life, perhaps?).

All I know is that if you wanted to give the nation a small morale boost without having to spend a single dime of taxpayer money, here's your opportunity.