Archive for the '2008 Olympics' Category

China: Olympic Gymnasts

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Humor on August 15th, 2008

A rare photo of one of China’s 2012 Olympic gymnastics hopefuls. She’s training hard for 2012 Summer Games – between naps and diaper changes.

Chinese Olympic gymnastics hopeful training for 2012 Summer Games
With a grateful H/T to Dame Wiggy!

Related Reading:

Where Fault Lies: A Survivor's Story of Game, Shame & Blame
Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
Beijing Journal: A Live, Day-By-Day Account From Backstage At The 2008 Olympics
China and the Chinese

Darfur Yes, Cheek No

Posted in 2008 Olympics on August 6th, 2008

By Chris Chase-Photo via Getty ImagesThe 2008 Summer Olympics – also called the 2008 Genocide Games – will start on Friday August 8th, but they’ll start without Olympic gold medalist Joey Cheek. China has revoked the athlete’s visa.

Joey Cheek is co-founder of Team Darfur, a group of 70 athletes who are striving to raise global awareness of the human-rights violations taking part in the Darfur region of Sudan.

China’s military, economic and diplomatic ties to Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir’s regime have apparently made it undesirable – for the Evil Old Men in Beijing at least – for Cheek to enter China during the Games.

I am saddened not to be able to attend the Games. The Olympic Games represent something powerful: that people can come together from around the world and do things that no one thought were possible. However, the denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.

– Joey Cheek

China has also revoked Cheek’s partner and Team Darfur’s co-founder, former UCLA water polo player Brad Greiner’s visa as well. Both activists were told that they had no recourse in the matter and that China did not owe them any explanation as to why they had been banned from the country.

This seems like another typically stupid and childish move by the Chinese. It’s not like any new damning evidence would be brought forth by Cheek or Greiner. The whole world is quite aware that China has consistently violated the 2005 UN Arms Embargo against Sudan by providing the weaponry that al-Bashir needs to complete his ethnic cleansing of Darfur. The whole world is also quite aware that Sudan pays for those arms with oil that China needs to fuel its growing industrial sector.

I guess the Chinese are just tired of hearing about about their collusion with other genocidal states and their utter inability to conduct themselves with anything remotely resembling human decency.

Related Reading:

Sudan, South Sudan, and Darfur: What Everyone Needs to Know®
Lonely Planet Beijing (Travel Guide)
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
Lonely Planet Pocket Beijing (Travel Guide)
Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction

InfoWar – African Style

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Politics, Society on July 4th, 2008

InfoWar or Information Warfare is the use and management of information in pursuit of an advantage over an opponent. Information warfare may involve collection of tactical information, assurance that one’s own information is valid, spreading of propaganda or disinformation to demoralize the enemy and the public, undermining the quality of opposing force information and denial of information collection opportunities to opposing forces.

InfoWar has always been important in political and military struggles. In the modern world it possibly even more important for adversaries in a conflict to control and shape the information available.

Below is a video reporting on how some African citizen journalists – read that as Bloggers – are waging campaign of information warfare against the ruling parties in their lands who seek to maintain their authority at least partially by controlling and censoring what information is provided to their citizens and the world through the media.


This video is courtesy of Current_TV

These are some very brave and committed people who daily risk their freedom and their lives in an ongoing attempt to break their governments’ stranglehold on information dissemination. Across the globe citizen journalists – bloggers mostly – are engaged in an asymmetric war of information. They often manage though the porous nature of the internet to do what the Main Stream Media (MSM) is unable or unwilling to accomplish – the free and open release of information about unpopular, uncomfortable, and/or unprofitable issues.

Related Reading:

World War 2 Famous Battles: D-Day and the Invasion of Normandy 1944
Information Warfare: Second Edition
Write Good or Die
Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies
On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present (2 Vol. Set)