Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Best Olympics Ever

Sports Illustrated has a wonderful slide show of the closing ceremony. In many respects it was the best Olympic Games ever. From the world records set to the smooth organization to the sheer spectacle of the opening and closing ceremonies. But what are we to think about the quashing of protesters? Wasn't China a bit heavy handed in dealing with things like that? The absense of even a hint of trouble was proof enough. One can imagine what went on behind the scenes. One of the stories that did surface was this one on CNN. A small group of Americans unfurled a "Free Tibet" banner. The demonstration didn't last long.

Chinese law allows police to hold foreign nationals in jail for up to two weeks before pressing formal charges, but most other foreign protesters that China detained were held for only a few hours before authorities deported them.

Nick Snyder, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing was naturally asked to comment on this delicate situation. Mr. Snyder of course, comes from the country which produced the Patriot Act and legalized wire-tapping of its citizens. This is the same country which is considering granting the FBI much more power, to "allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion." That's from the NY Times, via our commenter Thomas. How Mr. Snyder was able to make the following statement with a straight face is beyond me, but I guess he takes his cue from his superiors in the State Department.

"We urge China to take positive steps to address international and domestic concerns about its record on human rights and religious freedom," Snyder said.

Please feel free to share your opinion with us by leaving a comment.


  1. Well I think comparing China's recent history of human rights violations and religious persecution to the Patriot Act and legalized wire taps is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.

    Both are wrong, but the comparison ends there. Things are bad here, but much, much worse in China on these issues.

    That's not to say that there might be some idiots here who look on the power of the Chinese government with envy. I'm sure there are.

  2. Don't forget needlessly brutalizing their farmers.

  3. Hey MikeB - thanks for the comment on P Blog - welcome to the P Club.

    Living in Italy eh? That is very interesting. I am half Italian and the missus is 100% Italian - from Veneto.

    We are thinking of getting a place in Abbruzzo.

    What's it like living over there?


    Re the Olympics: it was utterly fantastic but the level of organisiation is perhaps what one can expect from a totalitarian-type State.

    I am missing the action already and am looking forward to London 2012.

    My comments on P Blog about the Brits being the Best is a bit tongue in cheek - but dont let on.

    Cioa Ragazzo

  4. Good points, Earl. What I object to is when the US points fingers at other countries and makes official statements about what they need to do. We should clean up our own backyard first.

    Mr. P., I've been mentally preparing a post about living in Italy. I think I'll call it "What I love about Italy, and hate."

  5. Mikeb302000

    P is looking forward to reading your post. When it comes - He will gather the Little P's and Mrs P into the Drawing Room and publicly read it to them.

    There will be reverence in that room.

    Cant wait - seriously - we would be interested to hear your views.