Doing The Right Thing In Rio

Haaretz posted a story today about the Olympics in Rio. This will be the first time the Olympics honors the memory of the Israeli Olympic athletes killed in a Palestinian terror attack in 1972.

The article reports:

Called the Place of Mourning, the Olympic Village memorial site honors the memory of the Israelis as well as four other people who were killed during Olympic Games. The others are the German policeman who was killed in a failed rescue attempt in Munich; two victims of a bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and a Georgian athlete who died in an accident at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, widows of two of the murdered Israeli athletes, had been campaigning for years to have the Israelis officially commemorated. They were unsuccessful until Thomas Bach, of Germany, became IOC president in September 2013.

…A “moment of reflection” for the Munich 11 will be held during the Games’ closing ceremony on Aug. 21.

In addition to the IOC commemorations, an August 14 ceremony for the Israeli 11 at Rio City Hall will feature the widows of weightlifter Yossef Romano — who was kidnapped, castrated and murdered by the terrorists — and Andre Spitzer, a fencing coach, lighting 11 candles, according to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. Officials from the Israeli Olympic Committee and the Israeli Consulate will lead the commemoration.

I had the privilege of hearing Dan Alon, a member of the 1972 Israeli Olympic Fencing Team who survived the attack, speak many years ago. He has an amazing story. It is fitting that the Olympic Committee has finally honored the victims of that attack.

Remember All Those Russian Women Athletes?

I trust this source, but I am having a hard time believing what I am reading. In January of this year, The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a new rules change by the International Olympic Committee.

The related article at article reports:

There’s great news for adventurous male Olympic hopefuls: if they declare themselves women and reduce their testosterone below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to competition, they can compete against ladies.

There’s even better news for these men; according to transgender guidelines approved by the International Olympic Committee, genitalia does not serve as a prerequisite. The guidelines state: “To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights.”

Cyd Zeigler at reported on the policy change.

The IOC held a “Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism” in November at which they created the new guidelines, loosening prior rules adopted in 2004 to allow transgender athletes into the Games. The previous rules required that transgender athletes must have undergone external genitalia changes and removal of gonads, as well as obtaining legal recognition of their assigned sex  from appropriate official authorities.

The new guidelines attempt to justify themselves by citing various societies’ acceptance of fluid gender identity, writing, “Since the 2003 Stockholm Consensus on Sex Reassignment in Sports, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of autonomy of gender identity in society, as reflected in the laws of many jurisdictions worldwide.”

So now gender identity and gender fluidity has entered the olympic games.

Has anyone considered that generally speaking a male who decides to become a female after the age of 20 or so is probably taller and has more muscle mass than he would have if he had been born a female? His size and his muscle mass give him an unfair advantage.

I remember all those Russian women in the 1950’s and 1960’s that were accused of being men. Their lives would be so much simpler if they were competing today.

The Public Does Have A Voice

Yesterday, Wicked Local Newton (Massachusetts–you understand the name of the paper if you have ever lived in New England) posted an article about  the United States Olympic Committee pulling the Boston bid for the games. All well-informed Massachusetts taxpayers breathed a sigh of relief. The Olympics in Boston were going to make the Big Dig look like a fiscally responsible undertaking.

The fact that the bid was withdrawn was due to the work of a group of people including Newton resident Evan Falchuk, Chairman of Citizens for a Say, and Marty Lamb and Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, Co-Chairmen of Tank Taxes for Olympics.

The article reports:

“The many elected officials in Boston 2024’s corner looked the other way for months, even when it became clear that Boston 2024 had been less than truthful about what it wanted from taxpayers. What those officials couldn’t ignore was the real, credible threat of a binding vote, which is what ultimately led to the USOC pulling the bid,” said Falchuk. “If Boston 2024 could have produced a plan that did not rely on a taxpayer bailout, they would be still in the running for the 2024 games.”

“As a taxpayer I am relieved. Taxpayers would have been paying for the Olympics for decades to come,” said Lamb. “Last week’s revelation about Boston 2024’s first bid documents showed they did not want a ballot question. To suggest it would take $1 million to get on the ballot was blatantly false. I’m sure when the USOC found out we were serious about protecting taxpayers, that sent a strong message.”

“This is good day for Massachusetts taxpayers. The Boston Games would have resulted in a multi-billion taxpayer funded bailout. It would have hurt our state’s bond rating, taken tax dollars from necessities and forced huge tax increases,” said O’Connell. “We are a world class state without the Olympics. We don’t need to spend billions of tax dollars to prove that fact.”

Citizens for a Say along with Tank Taxes for Olympics have filed with the Attorney General a ballot question to prohibit tax dollars for the Olympics. The coalition was the only group pursuing a legally binding effort to protect taxpayers.

Concerned citizens can make a difference–even when they are up against serious money.



Can The Mayor Legally Ban Free Speech?

Fortune Magazine posted an article yesterday about a decree signed by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh which bans City of Boston employees from speaking negatively about the Olympic Games or the bidding process.

This is the decree:

The City, including its employees, officers, and representatives, shall not make, publish or communicate to any Person, or communicated in any public forum, any comments or statements (written or oral) that reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation or statute of, the [International Olympic Committee], the [International Paralympic Committee], the USOC, the IOC Bid, the Bid Committee or the Olympic or Paralympic movement. The City, including its employees, officers and representatives, shall each promote the Bid Committee, the USOC, the IOC Bid, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls and the Olympic and Paralympic movement in a positive manner.

The article reports:

Employees at private companies have few free speech rights except for those related to improving their workplace and guaranteeing their rights as workers. But the Supreme Court in a June 2014 decision clarified the limits public employers can place on their workers’ speech. The court ruled that speech outside the scope of an employee’s duties is protected.

The article concludes:

“Having a way to deal with dissent is a concern for companies more broadly; they want people to disagree so they can come up with better solutions and build consensus,” says Adam Cobb, a professor at The Wharton School. The Boston ban “has the potential to be counterproductive,” he says. “If you don’t let [dissenters] voice their concerns, they’ll just sit there mad or quit.” Those left behind will simply be yes-men and yes-women. Sure, they will all be on the same page. And they’ll come up with nothing but the same solution for the same problem, again and again.

I think we are currently having that problem in the Obama Administration.

Sometimes Things Happen That Restore My Faith In Humanity

Oddly enough, the article that has (at least temporarily) restored my faith in humanity was posted at the Huffington Post. The article reports on two things that happened at the Olympic Games that made me smile.

Fabien Gilot, a member of the French freestyle relay team (swimming), after the team won the gold, raised his arm to reveal a tattoo. The tattoo was in Hebrew:
אני כלום בלעדיהם, meaning “I am nothing without them.” The swimmer stated that it was a tribute to his grandfather, Max Goldschmidt, an Auschwitz survivor, who died earlier this year.

The article also reports:

This is not the only moving tribute to a Jewish figure at this year’s Olympic Games in London. The same day that Gilot revealed his Hebrew tattoo, the Italian delegation to the Olympics held a minute of silence with the Israeli team to commemorate the 11 victims of the 1972 Munich massacre.

Sometimes, when organizations do the wrong thing, people do the right thing.

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The Old Media Shows Why We Need The New Media

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about the press coverage of Governor Romney’s trip to Europe. When he was interviewed by the British press, the Governor stated (in true CEO fashion) that he was concerned about some of the logistics issues surrounding the Olympics. He was soundly criticized by the British press for even implying that things might not be perfectly planned out. Although that statement has turned out to be accurate, there have been no apologies from the press or comments from the press stating that what he said turned out to be true.

The Governor then traveled to Israel where he was met with cheers (and raised $1 million from contributors). The press reported how upset the Palestinians were about his comments that the Israeli culture provides a fertile ground for economic prosperity.

The article at Power Line quotes an Associated Press (AP) report on Governor Romney’s trip:

It was all intended to demonstrate he was ready to handle foreign affairs smoothly and lead during dangerous times.

Instead, as he made his final stop of a three-nation tour in Poland late Monday, Republicans and Democrats alike were shaking their heads in the U.S. Though Republicans said they saw no lasting harm, Democrats raised questions about Romney’s ability to handle delicate topics with sensitivity on foreign soil, even under the friendliest conditions.

Any resemblance between what actually happened and what AP reported is purely coincidental. It really is a shame that the American press has forgotten that it is supposed to supply voters with accurate information–particularly during an election season.


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Institutionalizing Anti-Semitism

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an interesting article yesterday about the omission of a moment of silence at the Olympics for the Israeli athletes murdered 40 years ago.

The article points out:

There was, however, a moment of silence for the victims of the two world wars and other international conflicts. Thus, IOC President Jacques Rogge was lying when he claimed that the decision not to honor the victims of the Munich attacks was based on the view that “the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident.”

This is not a small thing. Two of the widows met with Rogge and asked that their husbands and the nine other athletes murdered be remembered at the Olympics.

Mr. Mirengoff reports:

…According to their account, when asked whether his decision was “because [the murder victims] were Israelis,” Rogge didn’t answer.

One of the widows says she told Rogge that “you didn’t hear the voice of the world.” The Frenchman responded, “Yes I did.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Mirengoff states:

He’s right, I fear — the “voice of the world” probably was, as ever, against Israel.

This hurts my heart.

The article at Power Line reminds us of some basic realities of the world we live in:

The IOC’s values are not the values of America, at least not yet. But they are the values of the many other international organizations that seek, with the help of American leftists, to take more and more control of our lives and our fate.

Unless we want one day to be in the position of those hapless Israeli widows, begging for favor before a French bureaucrat (or worse), we must cede nothing more to these bodies.

He’s right.

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