Canadian and American Olympic broadcasts lash out against the IOC

Both CTV and NBC had choice words for the International Olympic Committee when Israeli athletes walked into the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremonies of the XXX Olympiad.

From CTV:

Brian Williams: And as Israel prepares, my position is well known and it is one that I have taken in previous Olympics. It is wrong that the IOC refuses to have a minute’s silence for the Israeli athletes that were slaughtered in Munich. It is a much bigger issue this year, as it’s the 40th anniversary of Munich. Members of the Canadian government, yesterday our Governor General, all calling for a moment’s silence. Dr. Rogge says the ceremony is not the place to remember a tragic event, but – it’s tragic – however it’s one of the most significant and world-changing events in Olympic history. It absolutely should have been done here. The IOC worries about politics? This event is political by its very nature.
Lisa LaFlamme: The widow of one of the victims spoke out saying ‘they came with dreams, they went home in coffins.’ They want to be remembered here tonight.
Brian Williams: And remember – they died as Olympians.


Bob Costas: There have been calls from a number of quarters for the IOC to acknowledge that, with a moment of silence at some point in tonight’s ceremony. The IOC denied that request, noting it had honored the victims on other occasions. And in fact, this week (IOC president) Jacques Rogge led a moment of silence before about 100 people in the Athletes’ Village. Still, for many, tonight, with the world watching, is the true time and place to remember those who were lost, and how they died.

While the IOC refuses to recognize the murder of Olympic athletes, it does what it can to satiate the same type of hatred,

London 2012 organising committee officials erected a makeshift curtain to split the two halves of a training gym at the ExCeL centre on Friday afternoon to placate the Lebanese team, which was refusing to train at the same time as the Israelis.
Earlier officials from another country, Iran, said they would compete against Israel but that view has since been contradicted by officials in Tehran.

CNOOC bid presents imperfect conservative decision-making

Some political issues are black and white, many others aren’t so perfectly distinguishable. The Conservative Party in Canada has had a long history of its prominent members opposing the communist Chinese regime. From MP Rob Anders’ alarm-raising of Chinese tactics that try to lure Canadian government officials with junkets to — and honey traps in — the world’s most populous nation, to Jason Kenney’s visit China to the home of Zhao Ziyang, a former senior Chinese official who was under house arrest for his push for democratization. The flare-up of the conservative base against spending tax dollars to build a visitor’s centre for the Bethune Centre in Tony Clement’s riding was but the most recent example. The most notable prior commemoration of Bethune in Canada had been fully funded by the Chinese Communist Party — a statue in Montreal.

Senior Canadian politicians — after retirement — have been actively engaging with China. Jean Chretien is said to have active business interests in the country, while Stockwell Day is the latest to add heft to the building of business relations with the Middle Kingdom.

One senior official in the Harper government remarked to me that Canada’s position on China is changing and the latest outreach to China indicates an ability to “walk and chew gum” at the same time. Presumably, Canada remains committed to human rights in China while looking to build Canada’s long-term economic interests in that country.

One result of walking the economic relationship along has been the announcement of China’s state-owned CNOOC announcing a $15 billion bid for Canada’s Nexen, an energy company actively developing Canadian oilsands. Such a sale would increase Chinese control to a 20% level of all Canadian oilsands projects.

Many factors are at play here. Regarding foreign investment in Canadian natural resources, the sought to formalize the policy in legislation.

The Canadian government has yet to approve the Nexen sale under the Canadian Investment Act, however, it appears that it is bullish with respect to Sino-Canadian capital investment.

“Canada is a country that welcomes foreign investment,” International Trade Minister Ed Fast said in Toronto on Tuesday. “We have rigorous review mechanisms in place that ensure that any investments that are made in Canada are in Canada’s net benefit and in our national interest and I’m confident the process will work.”

That’s certainly clearer signally from the government than we saw in the weeks leading up to the Billiton decision.

Clearer still is the Harper’s aggressive tack since on natural resources since forming a majority just last year. A key theme has been a full-speed ahead order on oil, gas, and mining (codenamed “Responsible Resource Development” in EAP-speak). Besides shepherding a projected doubling of oilsands projects over the next ten years, finding new markets and building transmission capacity (read: pipelines) are the domestic economic issues that are keeping the Prime Minister up at night.

And what of Stephen Harper’s small-c conservative base on the Nexen sale? No doubt, the business community welcomes open borders on trade. Yet, the anti-communists cannot be too happy about the PM’s softening stance on China. We’ve seen some deft manoeuvring by a few conservative editorialists to stake out a principled position on the issue. Conservative-minded individuals abhor the nationalization of anything, let alone Canada’s natural resources. But conservatives must stress that Canada is open for business. The CNOOC bid is therefore seen in an anti-market, state-corporatist light: this is the nationalization of Canadian natural resources by a foreign nation.

It is largely expected that the sale will be approved.

Obama vs. Harper

Laureen, that is…

President Obama,

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Laureen Harper,

“I know this is the part of the speech where I am supposed to tell you how important it is to pursue your dreams. And that is important; one of my dreams was to travel around the world, and I did that, and it was wonderful.
But I believe even more than that, is you need to realize that you can go far in this world if you work hard. You will compete against people who went to expensive private schools, people who have connections that you don’t have, or people who have more money than you do.
And you cannot compete against that. In fact, sometimes you feel inadequate when you hear about the fancy schools your competitors will come from — schools with several thousand kids, with dozens of different options to choose from.
But there is one way you can compete, and that is with hard work. You can go a long way in this world with hard work.

h/t @adamdaif