I learned today that President Obama has flown to Copenhagen on a mission to bring the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago.
I can’t bring myself to care about the Olympics Games anymore. It has very little to do with sports these days. The whorish catering to the corporate sponsors has grown to such an absurd level that it ruins the entire event for me.
In 2008, NBC refused to broadcast the opening ceremonies live, waiting instead to air them at primetime. NBC also refused to broadcast the most popular events live, again choosing to show them only during primetime, long after everyone already knew the outcome. They flatly refused to stream the popular events on the web, choosing instead to stream only the more obscure and less popular events.
Show up to an event carrying bottled water from Aquafina (made by Pepsi) while Coke is sponsoring the games? They’ll throw you right out of the stadium. That happened in Athens, in 2004.
The Olympic committees always vastly overestimate the legal reach of their trademark on the word “olympic.” For years, the Olympic committees have threatened to sue countless local business owners in every host country for using variations of the word “olympic.” Most of these actions are against people who are clearly trying to capitalize on the interest in the games but, without fail, they always carry it too far.
This hostile behavior is inflicted upon business owners often in cases where their businesses have used the word for several years and have nothing to do with sports. In 1996, when the games were hosted in Atlanta, the owner of a Greek restaurant, the Olympic Cafe in Savannah, Ga, lost a lawsuit with the US Olympic Committee and was forced to rename his business to Olympia Cafe.
I wish good luck to Chicago, but I don’t watch the games anymore, regardless of what city they’re in. The Olympic Games have become the Worldwide Exhibit of Corporate Sponsors and I refuse to have anything to do with that.
[Update 11:08PM Sept 21, 2011 – All avenues for appeal, clemency or sentence commutation were exhausted. Troy Davis has been executed. His last words were to ask God to forgive the people executing him.]
An example of just how irrational Americans can be at times is the Troy Davis case. Davis was convicted in 1991 of murdering police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Ga in 1989. He was sentenced to death. Amazingly, his sentence has not yet been carried out,
although it looks like it will happen next month [Remember, this is an old post.].
There are very real reasons for believing that the wrong man has been convicted of this crime.
Davis was convicted based on the eyewitness testimony of nine people. Seven of those nine people have since recanted, saying that police pressured them into making statements that were untrue. There is also a very real possibility that one of the remaining two witnesses might be the person who actually killed Officer MacPhail.
Four of the jurors who served in the Davis trial believe now that they made the wrong decision, based on bad evidence, and they have written to the Georgia Parole board to say so.
The prosecutor in the Troy Davis case, Spencer Lawton, has been cited in the past for misconduct and for withholding evidence from defendants. A number of Lawton’s convictions have later been overturned, including death penalty cases.
This is the context in which Troy Davis was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
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I don’t know who coined the phrase “question everything” but that is how I approach life. That is my motto.
If someone is claiming to have new information about something, I don’t just accept their claim at face value. I want to know where they got their information and why they think it means what they are claiming. I ask myself if it makes any sense, if the source of the information is credible and if there are other sources of information to back it up.
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