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Should the United States boycott the Summer Olympics in China later this year? What's the point of boycotts in general?

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  1. What’s the point of boycotts in general?
    What’s the point of the Olympics, in general?

  2. Not many H&R post today and the quality is sub-par. Is it some kind of cosmotarian holiday?

  3. I say absolutely not.

    China definitely has human rights issues, but nowhere near Germany 1936 or USSR 1980 level. Positive engagement with diplomatic pressure makes far more sense than ostracization.

    I’m looking forward to the Lhasa 2028 winter olympics in a free, independent Tibet. Not that I plan to watch any of it.

  4. Cosmotarians get stoned on friday afternoon. Duh. What are the paleos up to?

  5. Do people actually like to watch the Olympics I’ve always found them really fucking boring. Plus the taxpayers have to pay to build all those stadiums that become useless after the Olympics are over.

  6. Interviewing passing strangers on your front porch is the absolute laziest and most pathetic form of journalism.

    I still probably watch when I get home.

    (Oh reason.tv, I wish I could quit you)

  7. I’m looking forward to the Lhasa 2028 winter olympics in a free, independent Tibet. Not that I plan to watch any of it.

    Nor will the rest of the world. The Winter Olympics now fall on the even numbered NON leap years. (i.e. 2026 or 2030)

    That being said, why would you wish the Everest-sized bill for an Olympic games on Tibet?

  8. The question at this point in time is whether the Olympics should still be under the imprimatur of nationalistic sport. Fully privatize it and the political element disappears. Everybody wins! Except the losers. I guess they’ll continue to argue over that. Damned egalitarians!

  9. Congrats on getting Arianna to take part. She usually is more selective.

  10. For real propaganda that steals the Boston Pops’ rendition of The Most Holy Full Brass Version Of The Olympics Theme (Copyright whenever, all rights reserved) click my name.

  11. In a word? No, boycotts are stupid and China or other nations could boycott an Olympics when we host it here for any number of things.

    Theres a good chance Chicago gets it in 2016, and do you really want half the world boycotting it for American foreign policy or some other bullshit reason?

    I can see it now–American is racist, or America is too friendly to Israel, or America has too many people in prison blah blah blah. Better to avoid that, even if I don’t have any love for the Chicoms.

  12. Nice with the City Lights of China backdrop. In terms of an obvious Olympics theme, why didn’t the film crew go across the street and film in front of the Zorba’s?

  13. I’ve always found them really fucking boring

    Well, yeah, except women’s gymnasties, I mean, gymnastics, like The Vault.

    NSFW or kids

  14. An official boycott would be stupid, pointless, and self-defeating.

    The private-sector protests, on the other hand, are just what the doctor ordered.

    These Olympics were supposed to be China’s big coming out party, the symbol of their ascention into the ranks of respectable nations, like South Korea’s in 1988. They spend hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars to make that happen.

    Well, so much for that. They just couldn’t stop themselves from jailing dissidents, slum-clearing poor people’s homes, and intruding on the Tibertans, so now, their big moment in the sun is going to be an embarrassment for them. Good. These protests are hitting the Chinese government right were it hurts them most.

  15. Daze,

    China definitely has human rights issues, but nowhere near … USSR 1980 level.

    I wonder, do you know of any publications, etc. which compare and contrast human rights in the PRC in this decade with that of the 1980s in the USSR?

  16. A boycott would screw all the athletes the most, and I would hate to see that…On the other hand, China is a crappy unfree government which should not be treated as if they are respected…

  17. I think the Olympics are an idea whose time has passed. Athletes of the world can meet each other so regularly elsewhere, we don’t need them anymore, not in their preent form. I don’t mind the sport, its the sports nazi administrators, political hangers-on, corporate image-makers and the fake religious/nationistic ceremonial and symbols the world could do well without. Not to mention the wasted resources on so-called ‘prestige’ projects, the cheating and corruption.

  18. I could care less if the Olympics came back to the States. In fact, I would prefer that they do not.

    If the world wants the Olympics, fine by me if the majority of the people are easily amused by non sporting athletic events (running in a straight line, woo hoo, the challenge ), but to avoid the political tit for tat that often coincides with the Olympics how about having a permanent home, somewhere in Greece, for the events.

  19. Boycotting the Olympics while every American has 7,000 cheap Chinese-made knick-knacks around the house sounds a bit passive-aggressive.

  20. Do people actually like to watch the Olympics I’ve always found them really fucking boring.

    I like the events with hot chicks, like volleyball and stuff.

    Saw a headline about the Olympic torch being used to burn Tibet protestors yesterday, was in like the New York Times or The Onion.

  21. There is a actually a good one over at Dondero’s website about this very thing.

    http://libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com/2008/04/why-are-vast-majority-of-libertarians.html

  22. Jeepers- if all you freedom-lovers really want to take a stand against oppression, then boycott those corrupt totalitarian fuckers on the International Olympic Committee.

    A Chicago Olympics sounds about right, if you’re a fan of the “theft of capital” event.

  23. A Chicago Olympics sounds about right, if you’re a fan of the “theft of capital” event.

    Don’t forget the “cop beating innocent bystander” event. Although Beijing is a good place for that one, too.

  24. Although Beijing is a good place for that one, too.

    I smell rivalry! It all depends on the judge from Belarus, and the “artistic merit” score.

  25. Do people actually like to watch the Olympics I’ve always found them really fucking boring.

    Are you old enough to remember when ABC’s Wide World of Sports did the Olympic coverage? They had everybody glued to their TV sets. I don’t know why none of the subsequent network coverage has been able to match their showmanship.

  26. I guess I agree with the commenter in the video who talked about the “pot calling the kettle black”. Our boycotting the Olympics loses a lot of its moral weight because our own house is in disorder. It would be a good thing if it leads to shining more critical light on the breakdown of the Constitution, Guantanamo, Iraq, domestic spying, and torture.

  27. Mike – I cannot believe you have the audacity to equivocate the United States with China, it being the world’s leading executioner (and not having released accurate numbers, I would say somewhere around 7,000 to 10,000 people) for 68 crimes (like embezzlement and drugs).

    I’m not saying “Hey, look over there!” to distract from the problems with the liberty the United States have, but I am saying “Pot = U.S. and Kettle = China” is the most abhorrent moral crime I’ve heard in a while. You really should be ashamed.

  28. As he often is, Dondero is wrong. I don’t know any libertarians that are complacent about the human rights abuses in China.

  29. I don’t equate the United States and China. China is worse, but the United States is where I live so I’m more concerned with the state of my own country.

  30. Just re-read your second paragraph. It would be unethical if I looked at some of the things going on in the United States and didn’t speak out against them.

  31. Do people actually like to watch the Olympics I’ve always found them really fucking boring.

    I don’t really care about who wins the uneven parallel bars, but the hammer throw is pure drama.

    Serioysly, runging, jumping and throwing things is the only parts that really interest me. Boxing and wrestling are OK. The rest is just crap.

  32. TWC, I follow your link (April 11, 2008, 11:08pm), I see I need to sign in and give a password.

    WTF, over.

  33. I guess I agree with the commenter in the video who talked about the “pot calling the kettle black”.

    I don’t equate the United States and China.

    That’s exactly what “pot calling the kettle black” means, Mike.

    It would be unethical if I looked at some of the things going on in the United States and didn’t speak out against them.

    I never said don’t do speak out WRT U.S. policy . But we are resolutely better on individual rights than China, so we have a place of moral authority.

  34. I see I need to sign in and give a password.

    Oh sorry, I thought the way I linked would get past that. That is on the Dark Side of TWC where I used to post some of the cool naughty stuff that people emailed me. Can’t keep up with it anymore.

    It’s password protected to keep the kids out (and my Mom, who still wields a mean bar of soap). But really, it’s for the kids. Ya know?

    The link should work now.

  35. That’s exactly what “pot calling the kettle black” means, Mike.

    You’re right. I should have said “I somewhat agree with the commenter in the video…” instead of “I guess I agree with the commenter in the video…”. It would have better conveyed what I meant. I am resolute in my resolve to use the right words to express myself.

  36. The link should work now.

    Salamat. That was in the spirit of the original Olympic games, where the atletes also performed in the nude.

  37. TWC:

    I gotta ask my wife if that kinda stuff hurts…?

    And just curious, got any naked male pole vaulter vids – or parallel bars with any (nude) genders? Those would be cool (with a bit of cringing) to see…

  38. … oh yah, and the pommel horse.

  39. Whine, that is not true. Many libertarians are completely indifferent to the human rights abuses in China. Read Justin Raimondo on any given day or try and find any bad stuff about China on Lewrockwell.com. I think the writer at the Dondero website was right on target.

  40. Scott, are you saying that not writing about human rights abuses somewhere is the same thing as approving of them? Did Raimondo or somebody at Lewrockwell.com come right out and say they don’t care about human rights abuses in China?

  41. The thing is, what can we realistically do wrt China? I pretty much try to avoid anything with a “made in China” label myself, but I don’t think they’re quaking in their boots over that, or the other people who boycott them.

  42. Mike, go to antiwar.com, Raimondo had a column about why everybody hates China, I think March 26. It could have been written by the Chinese press office it was such a whitewash. No joke.

  43. Should the United States boycott the Summer Olympics in China later this year?

    Righties are circulating a petition asking Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies. It would be a good, if impolitic, symbolic gesture. I doubt he will.

    China knows they need us far more than we need them. “Consumers uber alles” is the rule of the global marketplace.

  44. China definitely has human rights issues, but nowhere near Germany 1936 or USSR 1980 level.

    That’s a good point that’s rarely made. And China is continuing to liberalize, which is very different than those situations too.

    There’s something to be said for not kicking them in the teeth when they’re on a path toward being something better.

  45. It could have been written by the Chinese press office it was such a whitewash.

    Ah, I see what you’re talking about. He does have some good points mixed in with glaring omission of counter-points that could be made. But, yeah, he was whitewashing.

    A subject so mind-bogglingly huge, and rapidly-changing, as modern-day China needs even-handed treatment from someone like Cathy Young. But we’d just criticize her for being wishy washy, and not making some big moral statement.

  46. No, as folks have already pointed out it’s better to trade and engage than to ostracize. There’s also the whole face issue. Interesting to note that the folks who support a Free Tibet aren’t even in agreement with the Dalai Lama; who merely wants Tibet to be the political equivalent of Hong Kong.

  47. The whole thing is overly-politicized. If anything we should use the opportunity to start a meaningful dialogue, boycotting now will only escalate tensions.

  48. Right, a dialogue.

    And now, because of the protests, our government can play good cop.

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