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You Can't Spell "Chicanery" Without "China"

I've been boycotting the Olympics this year, but even while avoiding the actual coverage, one thing that's grown harder and harder to do is to miss the stories about just how China is handling their hosting duties.

Or, rather, mishandling them.

The number of fiascoes, frauds, and failures by the Chinese Communists just keeps going and going and going. I'm going to just list the ones I've managed to hear about through my self-imposed Great Wall Of Ignore:

Feel free to add in any more messes I've missed in the comments.

The only one potential mess that hasn't emerged so far is the incredibly vile and foul air in and around Beijing. But I'm not giving up hope -- the Games are still going.

What gets me is why anyone might be surprised by this. The Olympic Games were set up and are being run by the Communist Chinese government. This is the same government that also runs their exports, and we have a laundry list of how they've fucked that up.

This is what they Chinese government does. This is precisely what we should have expected the instant they were awarded the Olympic games. Indeed, this is precisely what many of us predicted when it occurred. The only thing we missed were the precise details of how the Chinese government would lie and cheat and fake things to present the image they want to project to the world.

Well, now we know. And I'd be willing to wager that there will be more revelations before the Games are over.

I have enough faith in the Chinese Communists that they have even more scams and frauds up their sleeves that haven't come to light yet -- but will.

Update: Commenter "sidgb" adds censored internet access and bugged taxis. How the hell did I forget about those? Thanks, sidgb.


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Comments (23)

Bugged Taxi's.Inte... (Below threshold)

Bugged Taxi's.

Internet access restrictions after assurances there would be free access.

In addition to censuring an... (Below threshold)

In addition to censuring and prohibition for living people, China has banned all ghosts as well.

They are adding 25,0... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

They are adding 25,000 cars a day to the roads and building coal fired power plants at an astonishing rate. By 2050 they won't have any air left.


Leave it to lava. The first... (Below threshold)

Leave it to lava. The first time he says something I can agree with, it's irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Still, that's good info to have around, lava.


"Countless Chinese evicted ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Countless Chinese evicted from their homes in order to build the Olympic facilities."

Well, still more legitimate than what happened in the Kelo decision, but I get your point.

And I thought China signed the Kyoto accords. How can it be that they are huge polluters, too?


How about a murder at a pop... (Below threshold)

How about a murder at a popular tourist site, one where one would expect some security.

The Beijing Olympic Potemki... (Below threshold)

The Beijing Olympic Potemkin Village.

But is anybody really that shocked that a totalitarian state would do this to its people in order to put on a good show for the rest of the world?

Hasn't anyone caught on to ... (Below threshold)

Hasn't anyone caught on to the missing crowds?

In Beijing, a huge city, in the most populous nation on earth, there aren't any crowds. Even for the distance events (bicycling, et cetera) that run through the city streets for miles. With all of the shut-down industry forcing so many workers to have days off right now, wouldn't you expect to see SOME "regular folks" along the routes?

With the aerial views we've been seeing, there are many residential areas within a few hundred feet of the events - where are the people?

There are cellphone videos ... (Below threshold)

There are cellphone videos on YouTube (from people in the street) of the footprint fireworks indeed marching across the sky. I guess they just didn't want to put the helicopter cameraman's and pilot's lives in danger.

Or, you know, catch one of the footprints making a "misstep" live. Saving face, and all that.

The footprints thing I can ... (Below threshold)

The footprints thing I can see - it's problematic to get decent footage from helicopters most of the time, and fireworks can also be an issue. Doing both of those on live TV, and relying on it, in high definition? Not so much.

I don't know how anyone cou... (Below threshold)

I don't know how anyone could be surprised. After all, Communism is nothing but a global Potempkin villate.

re: the fireworks - I think... (Below threshold)

re: the fireworks - I think it is completely fair to include them along with the other issues, not because they were 'faked' because there were indeed good reasons to 'fake' them. It's fair to include them because they tried to pass off a fake as real, when they could have simply let it be known that some of it was 'faked' because of those very good reasons. People would have accepted that. As usual, it's the coverup that gets ya. (admittedly, that wouldn't have worked as well with the 'not cute enough' little girl, though)

As for the empty stadia, it seems that NBC is studiously ignoring it. Instead they talk about how people are 'piling in' or 'filing in' or the places are 'filling up' as they get ready for events - but it's pretty hard to ignore the fact that as the event is going on the places are like 2/3 empty.

"when they could have simpl... (Below threshold)

"when they could have simply let it be known that some of it was 'faked' because of those very good reasons."

They did. During the coverage of the opening ceremonies, the commentators pointed that out as the footprints were airing.

Okay, then I'm confused. W... (Below threshold)

Okay, then I'm confused. What's the fuss about again?

How about the messing up of... (Below threshold)
Marleen Perret:

How about the messing up of our National
Anthem? Can't, or won't get that right? We don't even know the extent to which they have been "fixing" things. We probably never will either.

I know we're not all ignori... (Below threshold)

I know we're not all ignoring the progress - in rights and living standard for its people - that country has made since the days of Mao, just because they are nominally 'communist.'

Because that'd just be, you know, silly.

Well, some of us haven't ig... (Below threshold)

Well, some of us haven't ignored the progress that has accompanied the slow shift to capitalism from communism in China. It's just the communists and socialists amongst us that can't seem to make that connection.

It's funny, actually (not funny ha-ha). China's slow march to capitalism seems to be working a lot better than Russia's lurch in that direction. In both cases the leaders never really trusted their people with capitalism. Russia acted like they were giving people economic freedom, while restricting the tools, leading to, well, failure. China never acted like they were giving their people freedom, all the while letting out tiny little puffs of economic freedom, just a whiff here and there, that the people have been grasping onto and running with. What's the phrase I'm looking for, though, with regards to the controllers in the chinese government with this strategy...they've got a tiger by the tail? Eventually they're going to realize they can't hold it back anymore and it's either going to run free or they're going to have to shoot it.

Parthenon, I have to disagr... (Below threshold)

Parthenon, I have to disagree with the tone of your comment. China is moving, ever so slowly, toward a better standard of living because they enjoy more economic rights, but much of any other improvements are in spite of the Chinese government. It's kind of ridiculous for some to think they're enjoying all kinds of freedoms now as a result. The Olympics are only now making people aware of how little the Chinese have progressed. They still exist at the pleasure of their government. They still don't have freedom of speech, freedom of movement, religious freedom, political freedom, reproductive freedom, they're subjected to Draconian punishment for even white-collar crimes.

It's quite possible that economic freedoms will eventually lead to other freedoms wide spread enough to be worthy of note, but the Chinese government is still very much in control of every other aspect of the people's lives.

Here's another one for the ... (Below threshold)

Here's another one for the list: a dancer paralyzed for life because of an ef-up at a rehearsal for the opening ceremony.

And here we have <a href="h... (Below threshold)

And here we have this little item. During the opening ceremony, there were supposedly 56 children from 56 ethnic groups within China, representing their unity. Well... they were all Han, which has a 90% majority.

But that's ok. You see, according to the Chines Olympic Committee's VP, it is "perfectly traditional in China for performers to dress up to represent ethnic minorities."

uh... yeah... whatever...

Oyster, I appreciate the th... (Below threshold)

Oyster, I appreciate the thoughtful reply. It was really much better than my somewhat snotty comment deserved. On balance it appears the Chinese people are still far less free than their counterparts in the liberalised republics of North America and Europe, no question. But they are proceeding, definitely. We have to remember this is a people with a lengthy history of single-party rule, with the CPC more or less replacing the recently fallen Imperial dynasty (after the brief period of regional warlordism).

Chung Kai-Shek's Kuomintang was every bit as undemocratic as Mao's CPC, but it was also basically a corrupt mafia. This is also a people who as recently as the 1950s were dying by the million at the hands of their own leader, in whom a majority put their faith at the time. Chung didn't lose because of the Soviets, he lost because the people believed in Mao, and that's important - it suggests that the country shouldn't be judged in terms of the west, at least with respect to political development.

In 2006 the government passed some of the first de jure laws respecting private property (we'll see how well they are followed). I believe this to be the beginning of a long-term trend, where as Chinese living standards rise they will eventually demand more political rights (it will have to be domestic, because we both know the PRC doesn't respond well to external pressure. Their end-state will almost certainly not be a western style democracy, but that's okay. They have a completely different tradition from ours, as I stated before.

I understand what you're sa... (Below threshold)

I understand what you're saying, Parthenon. (BTW, I just visited the Parthenon for the first time a few weeks ago :)) So far though, from much of my reading, I've seen many of the Chinese government's 'concessions' to its people to be largely symbolic and prone to arbitrary enforcement leaning heavily against the people, such as the "de jure laws respecting private property" you mentioned. It apparently didn't help those who were forcibly evicted from their homes for the Olympics. As I said, any freedoms they appear to enjoy is at the whim of the government - the people exist still at the pleasure of the government.

Freedoms have to start somewhere, and what better start than economically? It's likely to fuel further reforms, but as of yet, there are too many stories leaking out showing that the Chinese government is fighting it tooth and nail. It doesn't mean they won't become truly free ever, but that they certainly haven't reached any point close to tipping the scales as of yet. It's important to mention the progress they have made so far, you're right, but not to lose sight of how little progress that really is.

I'm not judging them by the West's standards any more than I judge the West by Utopian standards. I'm looking at basic human freedoms, such as freedom of speech. They can put some restrictions on speech and still be considered as allowing liberties, but there's a breakpoint where they can't be considered to be free by any definition. And that's still where they're at. It's still stifling; mass censorship of the internet, the media and spoken words.

Ban Christianity from China... (Below threshold)

Ban Christianity from China altogether, PLEASE!! Organized religion is freaky period, and Christianity (esp. Evangelicals) are just one step up from Muslims and Jews in our opinion. And that's not good. Christianity is a braiwashing propaganda machine used to control people and their freedom. Organized religions such as Christianity have brought much wars to innocents. Before you smear the Muslims, it's you Christians who started all this madness in the first place. Go free yourselves before trying to tell others what to do.






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