Category Archives: nations

Another Storied Olympic Sports is About to Fall to the Sports Imperialists: Boxing!

It looks like another sport is about to join the list of sports captured by the sports imperialists: Boxing.   Breitbart has reported that Manny Pacquiao, Philippine congressman and former championship boxer, would be interested in boxing for his native land if the boxing federation allowed pro athletes in the Olympics.

Pro boxers in the Olympic Games?    Terrible idea.  Kevin McRae at Bleacher Report says it’s dangerous.  And the IOC (no surprise) is pushing it (from an ESPN article):

AIBA [The world federation governing boxing]say they have been working on broadening their eligibility criteria for Rio for some time, but were given implicit encouragement to fast-track the process by the publication of the IOC’s Agenda 2020 document in 2014, whose Recommendation 9 declares the intention of “ensuring participation by the best athletes”.

I suggest this is not a desire to have the “best athletes” but is governed by television and ratings and money.  The little nations will have to fend for themselves I suppose.

Yet the little nations seem to be, Stockholm syndrome style, going along to their own destruction and marginalization:

[The head of AIBA, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu is quoted] “We certainly consult with all the national federations. We had a survey. In this survey’s feedback more than 90% of the national federations all confirmed their support.”

Here is the rest of the story from The Boxing News website.  And the boxing federation appears to be fast tracking it:

Speaking in an exclusive interview in next week’s Boxing News magazine, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, president of AIBA, the governing body of the Olympic sport, explained how the process could work. Currently the proposal to make professional boxers eligible for the Olympic Games is a recommendation to come out of last week’s AIBA Commissions meeting. To allow pro boxers into the Olympics, AIBA would have to ratify this recommendation by changing its rules and statutes. It is possible for that to take place ahead of the Rio Olympic Games. AIBA will call an Extraordinary Congress, expected for June 1, to vote on the change.

This is a distressing development that could mean, according to Breitbart, that several amateur boxers who have already qualified for their Olympic teams might be replaced with pro athletes.

The IBA votes in May. The Olympics start in August. Although the three months would provide Pacquiao time for a full training camp, it’s unclear whether that short period would give the participating nations enough time to sort out their teams. The Olympic boxing trials for many nations, including the United States, took place months ago. Granting accomplished professionals spots might mean taking some away from amateurs believing that they had already fought their way into the games.

Seems to me the attitude is:  To heck with the amateurs!  Or the small nations! Maybe some crying young amateur boxer on national TV who got his place on the Olympic team pulled by the sports imperialists for a rich pro athlete will show the American people how terrible this policy is. Would a young Cassius Clay get a start to represent his nation today?

No one should give the IOC or the USOC a DIME until our nation takes the right stand.   Give to a local Olympic hopeful or a sport like fencing or curling that has been been captured by sports imperialism.

I think it is time for an alternative Olympic Games.  No pros allowed.  Where is Donald Trump when you really need him…


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

My Answer to the Thoughtful Post on the Magnitsky Act

Anonymous wrote this as a comment to my recent post on Trump and the original Magnitsky Act and I think it deserves a thorough response:

I don’t think there is any due process burden on statements of condemnation. Saying the Magnitsky Act is an unconstitutional bill of attainder I think is wrong. Firstly, the implicated are foreign nationals, it does not pass guilt nor does it create any sort of mechanism for actually trying or sentencing these individuals. It is the United States Congress formally condemning individuals of suspected crimes. The only punishment it does provide is excluding these individuals from entering the U.S. or using U.S. banks. Sandy, do you think foreign nationals have any kind of meaningful right to enter the country or use banks under the Constitution (why I also think the statements that the visa-waiver restrictions we’re implementing or limitations of immigration from certain nations being unconstitutional are inaccurate).

Do you think we need to charge Kim Jong Un for being a brutal despot in a U.S. federal court in order to continue sanctions against the North Koreans?

I think it’s pretty evident that Putin has a history of illiberal rigging of democracy within his own country. The argument that “we’ve manipulated in other countries” doesn’t seem particularly persuasive to me. I don’t think its unreasonable to say what you do to your own citizens and your own people is a reflection of the type of principles you hold. We don’t – as much as our Left-wing “comrades” might believe – an overriding obligation to people who are not citizens or do not live in this country. But we do have one to Americans. If the government were assassinating Americans or rigging American elections, that would be a problem. And further if people in charge of that rigging called a foreign election candidate “strong” or “trustworthy”, I would rightly be suspicious if I was a citizen of that country of this candidate.

Anonymous says the Magnitsky Act is not a bill of attainder.  It only says you can’t visit the US and use our banks.  And even if it is a Bill of Attainder, this constitutional protection does not (and neither do most other provisions) apply to foreigners.

A bill of attainder was a act of the British Parliament that tried and punished officials for dereliction of duty and other crimes.  Let’s go the the Heritage Guide to the US Constitution (That’s right: Heritage as in the Heritage Foundation) for a more detailed treatment of this clause:

In common law, bills of attainder were legislative acts that, without trial, condemned specifically designated persons or groups to death. Bills of attainder also required the “corruption of blood”; that is, they denied to the condemned’s heirs the right to inherit his estate. Bills of pains and penalties, in contrast, singled out designated persons or groups for punishment less than death, such as banishment or disenfranchisement. Many states had enacted both kinds of statutes after the Revolution.

The United States Supreme Court seems to have had a more expansive view of the Clause (starting in the middle of a paragraph for that first one):

Beginning with Chief Justice John Marshall, however, the Supreme Court has insisted that “a Bill of Attainder may affect the life of an individual, or may confiscate his property, or may do both.” Fletcher v. Peck (1810).

Marshall and his successors saw the Bill of Attainder Clause as an element of the separation of powers. As the decisions of the Court in Marbury v. Madison (1803) and United States v. Klein (1871) made clear, only a court can hold a trial, evaluate the evidence, and determine the merits of the claim or accusation. The Constitution forbade the Congress from “exercis[ing] the power and office of judge.” Cummings v. Missouri (1867). In United States v. Brown (1965), the Court specifically rejected a “narrow historical approach” to the clauses and characterized the Framers’ purpose as to prohibit “legislative punishment, of any form or severity, of specifically designated persons or groups.”

Those cases, although they do not admittedly apply to foreigners, do sound absolute to me in practice.  Congress cannot try a person (except for impeachment or contempt of Congress) and then punish that person.  The Magnitsky Act does exactly that:  First accusing individual Russians of involvement in torture and murder and then human rights violations in general.  That is a serious charge to make.

And there is no trial.  None of the accused Russians were allowed to try to prove their innocence or to present any evidence at all.  No court or jury decided they helped torture or kill Magnitsky – or other human rights violations.  Congress (or actually the President, under Congressional authority) decides they are guilty.

There is punishment:  These persons cannot visit the USA and any property or money they may have can be confiscated.

This cite [Here] is the entire text of the Magnitsky Act.  [Blogger’s note:  The act is Title or portion four of a larger bill]

The act reads at first like an indictment:

SEC. 402. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) The United States aspires to a mutually beneficial 
        relationship with the Russian Federation based on respect for 
        human rights and the rule of law, and supports the people of the 
        Russian Federation in their efforts to realize their full 
        economic potential and to advance democracy, human rights, and 
        the rule of law.
            (2) The Russian Federation--
                    (A) is a member of the United Nations, the 
                Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 
                the Council of Europe, and the International Monetary 
                Fund;
                    (B) has ratified the Convention against Torture and 
                Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or 
                Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and 
                Political Rights, and the United Nations Convention 
                against Corruption; and
                    (C) is bound by the legal obligations set forth in 
                the European Convention on Human Rights.
            (3) States voluntarily commit themselves to respect 
        obligations and responsibilities through the adoption of 
        international agreements and treaties, which must be observed in 
        good faith in order to maintain the stability of the 
        international order. Human rights are an integral part of 
        international law, and lie at the foundation of the 
        international order. The protection of human rights, therefore, 
        particularly in the case of a country that has incurred 
        obligations to protect human rights under an international 
        agreement to which it is a party, is not left exclusively to the 
        internal affairs of that country.
            (4) Good governance and anti-corruption measures are 
        instrumental in the protection of human rights and in achieving

[[Page 126 STAT. 1503]]

        sustainable economic growth, which benefits both the people of 
        the Russian Federation and the international community through 
        the creation of open and transparent markets.
            (5) Systemic corruption erodes trust and confidence in 
        democratic institutions, the rule of law, and human rights 
        protections. This is the case when public officials are allowed 
        to abuse their authority with impunity for political or 
        financial gains in collusion with private entities.
            (6) The Russian nongovernmental organization INDEM has 
        estimated that bribes by individuals and businesses in the 
        Russian Federation amount to hundreds of billions of dollars a 
        year, an increasing share of the country's gross domestic 
        product.
            (7) Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky died on November 16, 2009, 
        at the age of 37, in Matrosskaya Tishina Prison in Moscow, 
        Russia, and is survived by a mother, a wife, and 2 sons.
            (8) On July 6, 2011, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev's 
        Human Rights Council announced the results of its independent 
        investigation into the death of Sergei Magnitsky. The Human 
        Rights Council concluded that Sergei Magnitsky's arrest and 
        detention was illegal; he was denied access to justice by the 
        courts and prosecutors of the Russian Federation; he was 
        investigated by the same law enforcement officers whom he had 
        accused of stealing Hermitage Fund companies and illegally 
        obtaining a fraudulent $230,000,000 tax refund; he was denied 
        necessary medical care in custody; he was beaten by 8 guards 
        with rubber batons on the last day of his life; and the 
        ambulance crew that was called to treat him as he was dying was 
        deliberately kept outside of his cell for one hour and 18 
        minutes until he was dead. The report of the Human Rights 
        Council also states the officials falsified their accounts of 
        what happened to Sergei Magnitsky and, 18 months after his 
        death, no officials had been brought to trial for his false 
        arrest or the crime he uncovered. The impunity continued in 
        April 2012, when Russian authorities dropped criminal charges 
        against Larisa Litvinova, the head doctor at the prison where 
        Magnitsky died.
            (9) The systematic abuse of Sergei Magnitsky, including his 
        repressive arrest and torture in custody by officers of the 
        Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation that Mr. 
        Magnitsky had implicated in the embezzlement of funds from the 
        Russian Treasury and the misappropriation of 3 companies from 
        his client, Hermitage Capital Management, reflects how deeply 
        the protection of human rights is affected by corruption.
            (10) The politically motivated nature of the persecution of 
        Mr. Magnitsky is demonstrated by--
                    (A) the denial by all state bodies of the Russian 
                Federation of any justice or legal remedies to Mr. 
                Magnitsky during the nearly 12 full months he was kept 
                without trial in detention; and
                    (B) the impunity since his death of state officials 
                he testified against for their involvement in corruption 
                and the carrying out of his repressive persecution.
            (11) The Public Oversight Commission of the City of Moscow 
        for the Control of the Observance of Human Rights in Places of 
        Forced Detention, an organization empowered by

[[Page 126 STAT. 1504]]

        Russian law to independently monitor prison conditions, 
        concluded on December 29, 2009, ``A man who is kept in custody 
        and is being detained is not capable of using all the necessary 
        means to protect either his life or his health. This is a 
        responsibility of a state which holds him captive. Therefore, 
        the case of Sergei Magnitsky can be described as a breach of the 
        right to life. The members of the civic supervisory commission 
        have reached the conclusion that Magnitsky had been experiencing 
        both psychological and physical pressure in custody, and the 
        conditions in some of the wards of Butyrka can be justifiably 
        called torturous. The people responsible for this must be 
        punished.''.
            (12) Sergei Magnitsky's experience, while particularly 
        illustrative of the negative effects of official corruption on 
        the rights of an individual citizen, appears to be emblematic of 
        a broader pattern of disregard for the numerous domestic and 
        international human rights commitments of the Russian Federation 
        and impunity for those who violate basic human rights and 
        freedoms.
            (13) The second trial, verdict, and sentence against former 
        Yukos executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev evoke 
        serious concerns about the right to a fair trial and the 
        independence of the judiciary in the Russian Federation. The 
        lack of credible charges, intimidation of witnesses, violations 
        of due process and procedural norms, falsification or 
        withholding of documents, denial of attorney-client privilege, 
        and illegal detention in the Yukos case are highly troubling. 
        The Council of Europe, Freedom House, and Amnesty International, 
        among others, have concluded that they were charged and 
        imprisoned in a process that did not follow the rule of law and 
        was politically influenced. Furthermore, senior officials of the 
        Government of the Russian Federation, including First Deputy 
        Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, have acknowledged that the arrest 
        and imprisonment of Khodorkovsky were politically motivated.
            (14) According to Freedom House's 2011 report entitled ``The 
        Perpetual Battle: Corruption in the Former Soviet Union and the 
        New EU Members'', ``[t]he highly publicized cases of Sergei 
        Magnitsky, a 37-year-old lawyer who died in pretrial detention 
        in November 2009 after exposing a multimillion-dollar fraud 
        against the Russian taxpayer, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the 
        jailed business magnate and regime critic who was sentenced at 
        the end of 2010 to remain in prison through 2017, put an 
        international spotlight on the Russian state's contempt for the 
        rule of law * * *. By silencing influential and accomplished 
        figures such as Khodorkovsky and Magnitsky, the Russian 
        authorities have made it abundantly clear that anyone in Russia 
        can be silenced.''.
            (15) The tragic and unresolved murders of Nustap 
        Abdurakhmanov, Maksharip Aushev, Natalya Estemirova, Akhmed 
        Hadjimagomedov, Umar Israilov, Paul Klebnikov, Anna 
        Politkovskaya, Saihadji Saihadjiev, and Magomed Y. Yevloyev, the 
        death in custody of Vera Trifonova, the disappearances of 
        Mokhmadsalakh Masaev and Said-Saleh Ibragimov, the torture of 
        Ali Israilov and Islam Umarpashaev, the near-fatal beatings of 
        Mikhail Beketov, Oleg Kashin, Arkadiy Lander, and Mikhail 
        Vinyukov, and the harsh and ongoing

[[Page 126 STAT. 1505]]

        imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Alexei Kozlov, Platon 
        Lebedev, and Fyodor Mikheev further illustrate the grave danger 
        of exposing the wrongdoing of officials of the Government of the 
        Russian Federation, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, or 
        of seeking to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote 
        internationally recognized human rights and freedoms.

    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the United 
States should continue to strongly support, and provide assistance to, 
the efforts of the Russian people to establish a vibrant democratic 
political system that respects individual liberties and human rights, 
including by enhancing the provision of objective information through 
all relevant media, such as Radio Liberty and the internet. The Russian 
Government's suppression of dissent and political opposition, the 
limitations it has imposed on civil society and independent media, and 
the deterioration of economic and political freedom inside Russia are of 
profound concern to the United States Government and to the American 
people.


Then this act authorizes the President to submit a last of names of all those involved in the alleged torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky.  Those named can only appeal to him or the Secretary of State to be removed from the list.  And they are punished with more than just “cannot visit the US” – they can have US-held property seized and frozen:

(a) <<NOTE: President.>>  Freezing of Assets.--
            (1) In general.--The President shall exercise all powers 
        granted by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 
        U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (except that the requirements of section 
        202 of such Act (50 U.S.C. 1701) shall not apply) to the extent 
        necessary to freeze and prohibit all transactions in all 
        property and interests in property of a person who is on the 
        list required by section 404(a) of this Act if such property and 
        interests in property are in the United States, come within the 
        United States, or are or come within the possession or control 
        of a United States person.
            (2) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Exception.--Paragraph (1) 
        shall not apply to persons included on the classified annex 
        under section 404(c)(2) if the President determines that such an 
        exception is vital for the national security interests of the 
        United States.

This is trial and punishment authorized by Congress and implemented by the Executive Branch.  I contend it is immoral, violates due process, is unconstitutional and may violate international law.

And US banks MUST comply:

(2) 
        Requirements <<NOTE: Deadline. Regulations. Certification.>>  
        for financial institutions.--Not later than 120 days after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury 
        shall prescribe or amend regulations as needed to require each 
        financial institution that is a United States person and has 
        within its possession or control assets that are property or 
        interests in property of a person who is on the list required by 
        section 404(a) if such property and interests in property are in 
        the United States to certify to the Secretary that, to the best 
        of the knowledge of the financial institution, the financial 
        institution has frozen all

[[Page 126 STAT. 1509]]

        assets within the possession or control of the financial 
        institution that are required to be frozen pursuant to 
        subsection (a).

The definition of US bank is broad:

(4) United states person.--The term ``United States person'' 
        means--
                    (A) a United States citizen or an alien lawfully 
                admitted for permanent residence to the United States; 
                or
                    (B) an entity organized under the laws of the United 
                States or of any jurisdiction within the United States, 
                including a foreign branch of such an entity.

So, Anonymous and my readers, is this accusation, conviction and punishment without trial or evidence taken?

Many Americans I am afraid adhere to the Lindsey Graham and Jethro Gibbs school of jurisprudence that contends that foreigners have few if any rights under US law.  But that is not true.  Foreigners have plenty of rights under US law.

Placing economic sanctions against an entire nation like North Korea is not the same as targeted sanctions against individuals and does not apply to this analysis.

I did not fully understand the final paragraph and I think Anonymous was saying be careful of a presidential candidate that a foreign leader praises with intent to influence an election.  He’s right.  But we do judge the efficacy of foreign elections and leaders regularly and publicly.  Some things ought to be left private for negotiations and discussions.  And we ought not condemn others without trial for human rights violations; if we intend to judge others in other nations, let’s make sure our own house is in order.

Some might say, but Sandy, targeted economic sanctions are more moral than blanket ones.  I agree.  BUT it has to be done right.  I would target as a sanction items that are directly relevant to the bad behavior (computer software to Iran for example) but not try to destroy economies and systems or encourage rebellion.  The United States is too eager to enact economic sanctions against a whole host of nations.  Now all lawful sanctions must be obeyed as the law of the land.  But we ought to curb most if not all of the sanction regimes we have.

The Magnitsky Act in particular ought to be repealed and replaced with an apology to Russia.  Our President is good at the apologizing game.  He would be perfect for the job.

 


 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Good News from Green Party Leader Jill Stein: The Waste of Time in Paris was a…well…Waste of Time!

I do not often agree with likely 2016 Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein (I admire her greatly for standing for what she thinks is right but she is usually wrong) but I do agree with this from her final report from the Waste of Time (COP21) in Paris:

(PARIS) “The United Nations climate summit (COP21) has failed to take the action necessary to prevent global climate catastrophe,” said Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein as she prepared to depart Paris, where she had participated in several COP-related events.

According to Stein, “The voluntary, unenforceable pledges being produced by COP21 are entirely insufficient to prevent catastrophic climate change. Scientific analysis shows that these pledges will lead us to 3 degrees Celsius global temperature rise – and that will be catastrophic.”

I am glad that we did not try to bind the world or the US to unconstitutional reports to foreign institutions but Stein did call for the taxpayers of the West to “compensate” developing countries:

Stein also faulted the United States and the other industrial nations for failing to adequately fund transition and adaptation efforts by developing countries. According to Stein, “It is the US and major industrialized countries that are primarily responsible for climate change. We have both a moral and legal responsibility to compensate other countries for the damages we have inflicted and to enable them to find sustainable paths to development that will raise their standards of living.”

We have a moral and legal responsibility to help ourselves first and not hit the taxpayer for reparations.

But today let’s raise a sweet tea to the failure of the latest Waste of Time.  Maybe the taxpayers of the nations will demand we save the money and skip the next Waste of Time.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

President Obama Embraces Climate Change Hoax

This week, 195 nations participate in a Global Climate Change Summit in Paris, France to combat “man-made global warming” by virtue of the production of Greenhouse Gases. Man-made Global Warming, just like its parent Man-Made Global Cooling, it’s brother Climate Change, its’ sister Climate Disruption, and their dog Climate Wierding, are all members of the Hoax Family. A scam invented to grant government more regulatory access to global business and global financial infrastructure. There are piles of data supporting “climate change” and there are even more piles of data demonstrating it to be an international hoax of unprecedented proportions.

Do your own research and make your own conclusions; but as for me, I am convinced that these 195 nations are led by the most corrupt, nefarious, power-hungry, and greedy governments comprised of petulant political tyrants and wannabe tyrants, who themselves have not and cannot produce anything of value on Earth. These governments are trying to manufacture a pseudo-science religion from which they, and only they, benefit from radically increased powers that they, and only they, shall grant upon themselves.

As the threat of liberty, freedom of information, and freedoms of communication grow, these governments seek to tighten their grip on business and technology, on information, and ultimately intend to ensure an end to our dreams of privacy and free enterprise.

It is impossible for me to believe that all those countries and all these governments really believe in Global Warming. They haven’t been scammed. They are scamming. Every day I lose more respect for the leaders of the land, as I listen to them lie and defraud a Republic they’ve sworn to protect and defend. These are not serious men and women ruling us. They just so happen to be elite proprietors of a kind of corruption conducive to modern tyranny. This global warming hoax is theater for the people, the masses, the useful idiots who out of fear will exchange their liberty for protection from some environmental apocalypse.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Barack Obama, President of the United States, and Leader of the Free World:

Yes. If you’re cringing in shame, in embarrassment, and in humiliation, I feel your pain. Al Gore got rich advocating this hoax. Obama lacks such a noble motive as personal greed. This fraud isn’t a sword or any kind of blunt instrument for our Dear Leader, but a bomb… tens of thousands of bombs to drop upon what he perceives as the evil of Capitalism.

I have a litmus test of sorts, which I use to discern good faith intellectualism from reckless pseudo-religious fraud. Anyone who believes in Man-Made Climate change and who also supports this Climate Change agenda, I reject as a character come in bad faith. I don’t feel this way about any other issue, because on almost every other issue, I can at least empathize with, if not rationally understand, a persons perspective. But these Chicken Little’s – these End-Times false prophets, are creatures of a kind I cannot respect.

Any politician that wants to ensure they never get my vote, regardless of the stakes, need to do but one thing: to profess to believe in Man-Made Global Warming. I’m sorry, it’s a deal breaker.


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker

Once In a While the Sports Imperialists Slip Up: Here’s one in SI

Once in a while, the sports imperialists who have ruined, nearly beyond repair, the Olympic Games make a slip up.  In politics, we’ve call it a gaffe – some might call it an inconvenient truth.  But since I appear to be one of the only bloggers or commentators who dare call out the sports imperialists, I have to see the gaffe and then report on it.

Here it is in this Sports Illustrated article about the “new” sport of golf in the Games (It was in the Olympics early on apparently) and in fact there are several items worth commenting on:

But the International Golf Federation, which spearheaded the game’s return to the Games, recommended individual stroke play for more practical reasons, and the IOC was happy to concur. The field size in Rio for both the men and women will be only 60 players, largely because the IOC is working to limit the total number of athletes at the Games. (The U.S. Open accommodates 156 players.) Match play cuts the field in half with every round, potentially reducing fan interest and creating the doomsday scenario of only unknowns from small countries being left in the medal round.

Granted it is the writer’s words not a quote but I would submit that it is the author’s reasonable interpretation of the intent of the originators of the golf competition.  It is the fear of those who administer or finance or televise the Games that nobodies that no one knows from countries no one knows about will win a medal or even contend.  So fill the sports with celebrities from pro sports that the average fan in the United States will know.  This is why match play was rejected.  Hence this is in effect a gaffe.  An inconvenient truth.

In fact, if it were left up to some, there would only be a few pro golfers from a few nations.  Here is a compendium of the criteria:

At the cutoff point on July 11, 2016 the top 15 in the ranking are automatically in the Games, with the proviso that there cannot be more than four players from any country. The World Ranking will be used to fill out the next 44 spots but no country can have more than two representatives. Brazil, as host country, will receive the 60th and final spot if not otherwise qualified.

Here is the complaint by a leading golfer:

World No. 1 Inbee Park recently called the qualifying criteria “disappointing,” adding, “If you are in the world’s top 50, you should be able to play in the Olympics. There are some countries where [players] ranked number 300 or 400 will play, but obviously not Koreans.”

And here is a somewhat promising comment from one of golf’s international leaders:

Votaw, [Ty Votaw, the Vice President of the International Golf Federation] whose day job is at the PGA Tour, spearheaded golf’s return to the Olympics and he has a well-rehearsed rebuttal. “That isn’t how it’s done in any Olympic sport,” he says. “I would submit that the fourth-fastest sprinter from Jamaica can probably beat anybody in the world except the top three sprinters from Jamaica. But the guy who’s fourth doesn’t get in. It certainly doesn’t grow golf around the world when fully developed golf-playing nations dominate the field.”

So why not kick out the pros and play only amateurs (you could have regional qualifiers to ensure geographic diversity) and use match play to winnow the field to the top four or eight for the medal round.  But that does not ensure the TV ratings the Olympics crave.

And then we have the IOC President with hypocrisy:

[Thomas] Bach, the IOC president, has already seen golf weather numerous challenges on its way to Rio, and he has a long view about its place in the Games. He buzzed into last month’s British Open to press flesh and at a press conference was asked, “If Olympic gold doesn’t represent the pinnacle of achievement in your sport, then does it have its place in the Games at all?”

With the tiniest of smirks, Bach replied, “Ask the gold medalist after he has been standing on the podium listing to the anthem and being celebrated by the world, then he will give you the answer.”

So that’s why Lebron James needs three or is it four gold medals in men’s basketball!  I got it.  The pinnacle of achievement in many sports is now restricted to pro athletes, many of whom earn millions of dollars and have pro coaches and train professionally to win non-Olympic events.  Amateurs and small nations are left out.  I am beginning to feel for the South African (Yes I know the Republic of South Africa is not a region of the continent but is a real nation!) sports minister and his gloat.

No, I won’t get it.  Not a dime will leave my house or my credit card to the USOC until this terrible sports imperialism scheme called the Olympic Games is overthrown.  And we can do it.  We can renounce pro athletes in the Olympic Games.   But we won’t.  Because we won’t do well and that will not benefit TV ratings.  Americans will get angry and call for a restoration.  So no rooting for the golfers at the Sanders house – probably not at all.  Maybe if it is a nation who has not won a medal before.  Maybe the Brazilian golfer.  Maybe.  There’s virtually no chance a amateur athlete will be in the golf tournament.  Pure sports imperialism.  I say no.  I’ll watch The Greatest Game Ever Played instead.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Memo to Sports Imperialists: How You Like Your One-Sided Score – With or Without Fries?

The Washington Post reported with some amusement apparently the sports minister of the Republic of South Africa [one Fikile Mbalula] was apparently a bad sport (and I agree:  he was!) over his team’s 64-0 pasting of the US rugby squad.  Here’s a highlight or two for the reading pleasure of my sports imperialist readers:

Here’s one tweet:

POSTCARD From: South Africa To: United States of America MESSAGE: LMAO

And some of the final paragraphs of the article – this guy is serious:

Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking: “This can’t be real.” But then you don’t know Mbalula. The man tells it like it is, whether he’s online or not, especially when it comes to rugby.

Last month it was his own team who became the victim of his words. After the Springboks lost to Japan, 34-32, he warned them they were in danger of being labeled “a bunch of losers” if they couldn’t emerge from the Rugby World Cup victoriously. Thankfully for the players’ reputation, their win over the United States secured them a spot in the quarterfinals, where they’re expected to crush Wales.

The United States, meanwhile, is out of contention having lost three matches in a row. They’ll play one last match against Japan on Sunday.

I can’t wait until Sunday.  After all Japan actually defeated RSA and we lost 64-0 to RSA!

But three observations:

The Rugby World Cup probably has pro players in it and I have no issue with that.  It is designed for each nation to put forth their best teams – pro or amateur.  But the Olympics was not intended or designed to be another world cup or pro tournament (see golf or tennis) and thus the pro athletes dominating the Olympics is offensive.

How you like your other foot?  We were Nigeria today in rugby.  So how does it feel?  Do you feel:  Angry?  Embarrassed?  Humiliated?   That is what other nations feel EVERY FOUR YEARS!  Let’s do something about it – renounce pro athletes at the Olympics.

Third and finally, maybe the gloating of the RSA sports minister, as poor taste as it was, and it was in poor taste, was a reaction to our Olympic broadcasting of the Games – glorify excessively the US teams and especially when they win.  I largely (but not totally) agree with Michael Callahan on this but I would have said it differently and less dramatically (and without a choice word or two)!  Maybe it is payback.  Let’s take payback out of the Olympics.

I can’t wait until next summer – the Games in Rio!  Again, my coverage of the Olympics (Lord willing and if I am still blogging) will not be any rooting of any pro athlete in the Games, US or otherwise, and I’ll honor again those nations who win their first medal.  Be ready!

 

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

You’re Wrong Senator Sanders! This Country was NOT Founded on Racist Principles!

Senator Bernie Sanders came to Liberty University.  Most of his speech was unexceptional and but one comment made me see red.  I actually lost some if not most of my respect for the candidate with the same last name as mine.  Sanders (the Senator not the blogger) said the US was founded on “racist principles”; that’s right.

Here is the article at Real Clear Politics and here is the quote:

And I would also say that as a nation, the truth is, that a nation in which many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back, on racist principles, we have, a long way as a nation.

Now I concede Sanders (the Senator not the blogger) tried to be gracious about it BUT he is wrong.  The Vermont senator is sorry or ought to be!

The very first document affecting this nation is the 1606 Charter of the Virginia Company.  I can assure you nothing racist there unless someone is upset that there was a non-PC reason for the establishment of the Jamestown colony:  The conversion of the Native people to Christianity.  But this clause is there:

Alsoe wee doe, for us, our heires and successors, declare by theise presentes that all and everie the parsons being our subjects which shall dwell and inhabit within everie or anie of the saide severall Colonies and plantacions and everie of theire children which shall happen to be borne within the limitts and precincts of the said severall Colonies and plantacions shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunites within anie of our other dominions to all intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and borne within this our realme of Englande or anie other of our saide dominions.  (Emphasis added by the blogger Sanders)

Nothing racist there; all “subjects which shall dwell and inhabit” have all the rights of Englishmen!

The first “constitution” in this future nation was the Mayflower Compact.  Nothing racist there either but there is that pesky reference to God!

Haueing vndertaken, for ye glorie of God, and aduancemente of ye christian ^faith and honour of our king & countrie, a voyage to plant ye first colonie in ye Northerne parts of Virginia· doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, couenant, & combine our selues togeather into a ciuill body politick; for ye our better ordering, & preseruation & fur=therance of ye ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof, to enacte, constitute, and frame shuch just & equall lawes, ordinances, Acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & conuenient for ye generall good of ye colonie…”  (Emphasis added)

Gotta get rid of that reference to God’s glory – kids might think the nations was built on Judeo-Christian principles!  And we can’t have that!

How about the Declaration of Independence?  The slavery part was omitted at the request of the slaveholding colonies.  But the rest of it has that nagging clause:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Nothing racist in the Declaration of Independence.  No principles like whites are superior or only white males can have rights or we are the master race!  (There’s the pesky God thing again!  One more thing to remove from the Federal Common Core curriculum!)

Let’s turn to the Constitution.  Yes the Original Constitution did condone slavery (although it did not cite it by name) and regulated it.  The 3/5 clause was and is insulting to all liberty-loving people but it was not racist per se:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

It does not say one group is superior to the other.  Here is the no earlier than 1808 slave trade prohibition:

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Finally the clause that caused my beau ideal William Lloyd Garrison to burn a copy of the Constitution in 1854:

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

But these regulations of existing slavery are not the basic principles upon which the nation was founded.  If you want racist principles, try this:

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

***

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

That is from the Ordinance of Secession of South Carolina.

Senator Bernie Sanders has the burden of proof that this nation was built on racist principles.  If he had said racism has been a part of the history of the US since early in colonial times, I would have to agree.  But the principles upon which this nation was founded were the ones that the abolitionists and modern civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King used to call the nation to equal rights.  It was not a new idea but rather a calling back – a repentance to basic principles.  (If it was not a potential copyright violation for which permission must be cited I would cite the King “I Have a Dream” speech but I’ll never recognize that so-called right.)

Sanders owes the Liberty students and the nation a apology.  I won’t hold my breath waiting for it.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Sue Long: Save our Jobs in Services

Although we hear little about it, we should be concerned about pending legislation that could  destroy our sovereignty as a free and independent nation.

We already have NAFTA which is responsible for the loss of many jobs to outsourcing.  Then there is the pending TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) which would merge our country into a regional government in the Pacific.  Sold as a means of beating out China in trade agreements, we are not told how China could join TPP later on in spite of our objections. In addition, TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) would merge us with the EU which is now comprised of what were once sovereign nations in Europe, having been sold on it that it would help their economy.

Now, there is yet another to add to the mix, TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement). As if it isn’t enough that much of American manufacturing production has already been shipped out, leaving services as the main stay of the American economy, now services are on the chopping block. The TiSA would give the UN’s World Trade Organization (WTO) unprecedented control over the service sector, including jobs in banking, finance, courier and postal services, delivery and freight services, energy distribution, health care, insurance, maritime, professional services, legal services, licensing, real estate, telecommunications, transportation, tourism, and much more.

http://www.jbs.org/legislation/stop-the-trade-in-services-agreement-tisa

We need to insist that our legislators vote against this threat to our country.

Sue Long


Article written by: Tom White

No Union With Slaveholders! How ‘Bout Instead: No Rooting for Sports Imperialists! (1)

One of the most clever (because of its radicalism) strategies of William Lloyd Garrison and the abolitionists was the adoption of the rallying cry:  No Union With Slaveholders

Its radicalism was as simple as it was breathtaking:  The free states should simply secede from the Union and establish a free commonwealth where slavery would be forever illegal and there would be as national policy (unlike both the original Constitution and the Fugitive Slave Acts) would be non-cooperation with slaveholders.

That’s what I want to unveil (sort of again) today as we again take on the sports imperialism of por athletes in the Olympic Games.  By making the Games largely the province of larger and more prosperous nations, probably to help ensure TV ratings in those nations, especially the US, it skews the competition so that there are few if any chances for a medal for smaller and less prosperous nations.  This is what I call “Sports Imperialism”.  The worst offender is the USA Basketball team/program.

So today I say:  No rooting for sports imperialists!  If a sports has pro athletes in it, simply decline to watch the events.  Or even root for the team.  The USA Basketball Team is hardly representative of the American people.  Examine these articles, starting with this headline from this ESPN article:

Jerry Colangelo: ‘We don’t want to embarrass’ players via roster cutdown

No, let’s save the embarrassment for the teams from other sovereign nations not large or rich enough to have an effective pro hoops program.  Remember the Nigeria game in 2012?  If I had an apology tour to give I’d start in Serbia for the 1999 bombing war started unconstitutionally and without cause and move quickly to Nigeria for this basketball score!

156-73

Of course I am sure the ratings were huge for games like that.  And it gets worse – from the same article we have the possibility of two players (LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony) going for their fourth Olympic medal:

 James and Carmelo Anthony would become the only American men in history to participate in four Olympic basketball tournaments if they both make it to Rio.

How many Olympic medals do they get?  And this is two or three times for Duke Coach Krzyzewski to coach the national team?  Who does not get to coach their national team?  It is almost like titles of nobility.

Consider this article:

USAB managing director Jerry Colangelo, meanwhile, tells ESPN.com that next month’s camp will actually serve as more of a “reunion” for various players who have worked under Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski in the past two Olympic tournaments and the past two world championship-level events. As opposed to the full-scale practices and the intrasquad scrimmage that Team USA would typically hold in preparation for a major competition, Colangelo said Tuesday that next month’s gathering will instead feature two days of noncontact workouts and “an all-star game of sorts” on Aug. 13 that will feature the various marquee players in attendance who are healthy enough to play.

The sports imperialists have become arrogant and blatant as shown by this quote from this article:

Colangelo insists that the lighter nature of the on-court work planned for this minicamp is not a byproduct of what happened to George, saying there is “no reason to have the competitive camp that we normally have when we don’t have any competition to prepare for.”

Is there any way to read this to say other than arrogance?  Either the US team has already been decided in advance regardless of on the field merit or that they will win no matter what.  You have to do more than just wear the USA jersey to represent your nation.  This team is not representative of the American people – chosen behind closed doors with no competition from a handful of rich pro NBA players so we can crush the opposition – athletes who represent their nation in a better way than we do.  All for TV ratings.  Is it right?  To ask the question is to answer it.  Where are Trotskyist city councilwomen and socialist US Senators when you need them?

No rooting for sports imperialists! 

Instead root for sports like fencing that do not have pro athletes or for small, tiny nations who seldom if ever win a medal of any sort.  And to paraphrase another famous historical slogan from US history:  Not one cent for the USOC or the IOC until they get rid of pro athletes.  Instead give the money to a sport like curling or fencing or a deserving local amateur Olympic hopeful.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders