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The Opening Ceremony We Missed

So I caught some of the Olympics opening ceremony on a Ukrainian website. It was pretty amazing. But I would have liked to have watched the whole thing live and not felt like a hacker while I was doing it. Sorry. NBC wasn't showing it. More important stuff to report. Maybe something on Britney or whatever.

I'll wait until this evening to check it out -- undoubtedly a highly-edited version.
It's pretty irritating, though, to be forced to miss the show. I mean the ceremony "was predicted to be the most watched television event in history, with 2.3 billion viewers tuning in live," the Post reported. Why wasn't it shown live? Only NBC knows for sure.

But, to me, it's indicative of something -- and that's not just that "money makes the world go round." It bespeaks of an insularity in this country. I've noticed this in Olympics past. I was in China for the Games in Athens. The coverage by China's Central Television was stellar -- a lot of events, not all of them dominated by China, of all sports, even obscure ones and not just ones Chinese are good at. Same held true for the Sydney Games which also found me in Beijing.

I know from friends that that's never been the case here. Don't expect broad and deep coverage from the American networks. It's pretty much going to be "all the way with USA...." Who's acting like a superpower now?

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Comments (287)

Anonymous:

The Communist Party decided Peiyi had the better voice, but Miaoke was better looking -- so they created a phony hybrid of the two. "The reason was for the national interest," said Chen Qigang, general music designer of the opening ceremonies. "The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression."

Only in Communist China is being phony considered a "national interest."

And humiliating children in front of one-sixth of the world's population is just the tip of the iceberg. In the People's Republic of Milli Vanilli, this sort of phoniness goes on all the time.

Gymnasts competing in Beijing are required to be at least 16. The average size on the six-girl Chinese gymnast squad is 4'-9" and 77 pounds -- 30 pounds lighter than the average for the American team. The smallest Chinese girl weighs just 68 pounds.

Does that sounds like a teenager two years away from adulthood? As one former Olympic gymnastics coach put it: "We know what a 16-year-old should look like. They should not look like they are seven and maybe still in diapers."

Oh, and it turns out the lip-sync wasn't the only fraudulent thing about the opening ceremonies. The purportedly spectacular fireworks broadcast for the world's benefit were cobbled together with digital video effects --a cheap Hollywood trick that's as phony as Lin Miaoke's rendition of Ode to the Motherland.

In fact, Beijing itself has been turned into a sort of giant shrine to phoniness.

James:

To OH Well,

We Malaysian Chinese have a saying,

WHEN YOU CAN'T SWIM, DON'T BLAME YOUR HEAVY BALLS!

Comphendre eh???

Maryhelen Posey:

I watched it live on CBC (starting at 5 am here in Alberta, a real sacrifice!) but then watched the NBC coverage with my daughter in the evening. Allowing for slightly different timing of the commercial breaks, both were complete. I appreciated NBC's fast recap (including video) of the teams that entered during the commercial breaks - CBC did not see fit to do that. The only real advantage of CBC coverage was fewer and shorter commercial breaks. So rest easy - the opening ceremony received NBC's full attention; I do find US teams on the screen more often when I check out NBC than I find on CBC and TSN, but not as overwhelmingly so as in the past, so maybe it's looking up.

But otherwise - is US media coverage highly insular? Yes, indeed!

Independent:


Obviously most people in the world, including in the United States, who watched much of the opening ceremonies in Beijing were impressed by the Olympic spirit expressed, as well as a celebration of key aspects of traditional Chinese culture. Some people though were unable to appreciate these qualities because of their xenophobic nationalism and/or plain ignorance.

On the other hand, much of the United States media, including this paper, seems quite lacking in the Olympic spirit. They describe basketball victories a having "crushed" or "trounced" the other country's team. The United States basketball team, consisting of some of the best professional players in the world, are competing mostly against
individuals in other countries who could be bench players in the NBA. This would be like the best players in the NFL competing against mediocre college football teams.

Alas, the neo-cons have taken over not only the Bush=Cheney regime, but the McCain camp and are becoming more influential among some of Barack's advisers. Their propaganda about seeking to spread democracy is really an ideological cover for their real goals, imposing a Pax Americana on the world.

David:

To Oh Well -

I am really sorry you didn't see the Olympic spirit in the Opening Ceremony. There were so many great testimonies from the US Olympians who experineced it first hand. The fact that you don't get it means one thing - YOU are a bore.

GOP Republican Failures:

GOP Republican McCentury McCain is a weak nominee who lacks the intelligence to receive the 3:00 am call.

Americans are tired of corruption from McBush and his super rich Wall Street Robber Barons.
Stop Corporate Welfare.
Stop CEO Welfare.
Stop Millionaire Welfare.
Stop the rich from outsourcing American jobs.
Stop giving Golden Parachutes to the Rich who outsource American jobs.
Stop the Rich from using Our Public Offices for Private Ill Gotten Gains.
Stop the Rich from stealing Our National Treasury.
Stop the Rich from eroding Our Constitutional Rights
Stop the Rich (McBush, Cheney, Rice, McCain) from selling Our America to Saudi Arabia, China, India) in the name of outsourcing American jobs, selling American Banks, selling bulk shares of key corporations.

Super capitalistic privileged C- students with no business running a hotdog stands are illegally placed in the highest positions because of their ill gotten wealth.

Greed and stupidity are destroying Our Country and it must stop.

America must get back to moral decency, family values, respect, honor, scholarship, and service to the general Public.

America is about Public Service and not private greed.

Change is happening and America, Europe and the World welcome cooperation.

Out with GOP Republican Wall Street Robber Barons.
In with the U.S. Constitution and the American People.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We The People Are Voting For Harvard Scholar, Irish-American, and Constitution Law Professor Barack Obama.

dcp:

Real easy to figure out why it wasn't shown live. Because most people were working and couldn't watch it. And it didn't make sense to show it twice so that working Americans would get to see it that evening. It just makes more sense to air it when people got home from their jobs. And that way they can charge more for advertisements. And no, they're not just covering the events Americans are winning. But I would like to cheer for my team when they're up. Is that too much to ask?

oh well:

If you watched the basketball game, you would have seen how kind the Us team was to china. They were only playing at 20% so the Chinese wouldn't lose too much face. It was no contest. Same with the US women's team. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

China may take home more golds but not in the big sports that they really care about like basketball and soccer. The games they love are elusive to them. They just want to win golds to express their lame ideas of superiority. Like the opening ceremony, it displayed a distinct lack of Olympic spirit. The only thing in evidence was a zenophobic nationalism. In the context of the games, I didnt tune in to the ceremony get a Chinese history lesson; I wanted to watch the purity of the Olympic traditions. The ceremony failed to provide an experience that was truly Olympic and international. The rest was cinematic and Hollywood type special effects. What a bore.

Grudge match:

"GEORGIAN troops last night withdrew from South Ossetia under heavy Russian assault and were ordered to observe a ceasefire, but Moscow refused to call off its attacks and spread its offensive to support the second separatist enclave of Abkhazia.

Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith joined other countries in calling for a ceasefire but that was dismissed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who flew from Beijing to North Ossetia.

Following Georgia's decision to keep its team at the Olympics, the next Russian-Georgian athletic face-off will be the women's beach volleyball on Wednesday."

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24159598-2703,00.html

Anonymous:

At one point yesterday I had a volunteer who was absolutely determined to hold an umbrella over my head as I dashed through the pouring rain from a bus stop to the Volleyball arena. No amount of protesting would stop her.

The venues are also as spectacular as we knew they would be. This comes to you from inside the water cube which for me is the real architectural star of the show, glowing violet-blue against the Beijing skyline.

No, everything's perfect except for one small detail: the ordinary Chinese people; or rather the lack of them.

I only have Sydney to compare Beijing to, but during those Games the entire city enjoyed the party, filling the public spaces around the venues by day and spilling out into the harbour front bars and restaurants by night in a city-wide celebration of the joy that comes with hosting an Olympics.

Not in Beijing. Go down town here and, except for the miles and miles of Olympic banners and slogans, you'd hardly know the games were even on. And around the venues the volunteers seem to outnumber the punters about three to one.

The problem is both the paranoid-levels of security and the fact that public gatherings are illegal in China unless you have police permission - which is never forthcoming - with the result that the city itself feels dead.

I'm sure that through the newspapers and at home round the television and the dinner table the Chinese are revelling in the honour of hosting the games, but there is no outward expression of this, which for me is a real loss and I fear will mean that Beijing will never rank among the best of Games.

The Chinese I've spoken to privately express their disappointment, but say that since they really don't have any tradition of big-screens and city-wide gatherings it's not that surprising.

‘One World, One Dream' is the Beijing slogan. We're all having fun, I just wish the Chinese authorities had dared to invite their own people to the party.

Anonymous:

CHINESE journalists have been prevented from reporting the stabbing murder of an American tourist at the Drum Tower and linking it to the Olympic Games.
In direct contravention of the promises made for press freedom in covering the Olympics, the notebooks and at least one tape recorder of a number of Chinese journalists were confiscated after a press conference held by the US men's volleyball team.

The team had been discussing the impact of the murder on them. The victim was the father-in-law of the team's coach, Hugh McCutcheon, and the father of a respected former national team member, Elisabeth McCutcheon.

The confiscation caused disquiet and it was unclear if the items would be returned.

Removal of such items is common for Chinese journalists covering protests or other "undesirable" activities but it is the first time it has happened at an Olympics.

Earlier, at a small protest in Tiananmen Square by pro-Tibet American Christians, reporters were manhandled by police who tried to take away their microphones and notebooks.

A Beijing Olympic spokesman, Sun Weide, said he did not know about the notebooks being confiscated at the press conference nor about the differing standards being applied to Western and Chinese journalists. "I am not very clear about the situation you raised. For Chinese journalists they very much enjoy the rights to cover the Beijing Olympic Games."

A public relations firm acting for the organisers said initial inquiries into the volleyball conference indicated the confiscation "simply did not take place".

Local coverage of the murder has centred on the death of "an American tourist" without mentioning that the victim, Todd Bachman, and his seriously injured wife, Barbara, were there to support the US volleyball team.

A Herald internet report yesterday quoting the Australian chef de mission, John Coates, ordering Australian athletes to wear team gear away from the site to distinguish them from American contestants was blocked until an international wire service released the story

jmac:

I still remember the great coverage provided by ABC's Wide World of Sports. It didn't matter what time of day/night an event occurred - the feed was live. (Oh, they would have summary footage for casual viewers).

Ever since WWS disappeared, the coverage has been awful. This year is no exception.

Anonymous:

Hmm... The Olympic coverage here is pretty good. We have 3 dedicated Olympic channels, they are labeled Olympic channels A/B/C, and at night 3 of the commercial channels switch over to Olympic coverage. The 3 dedicated channels show live Olympic coverage as long as it's happenning in China. The commerical channels sum up during prime time but then go live after the evening news. NBC has done right as far as I'm concerned. Are you people that are complaining just watching the nightly wrap up? I am in the California Republic which is only loosely associated with the United States so maybe that's the difference.

Pataman:

Okay, I didn't read all the posts so maybe someone else might have written this.

I was watching the basket ball game between China and the U.S. Very exciting. China ahead, U.S. ahead. About half way through I put the TV on hold and went to check my incoming on the iMac.

Unfortunately the local newspaper was on the screen and there, in big bold letters was the final score of the game. Yes, coverage here is dismal but to put a final score on line before we even get to see the (tape-delayed) game is unforgivable.

Chinese & Russian Nation are JOKTAN-ians, not PELEG-ians Nationals!:

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...~~~~~o--------
:

WE again Majestically "MAGMA-percolated" again for Us & then we again will "PLASMA-triculate"

:
~~~~o ----
..~~~~(♥) \
~~~~ .)={|}..)...:::^^^vvv HELLO EARTHLiNGS "I" m SHE Ye Sporade YE ECLAT/a! Ye Momma!
..~~~~(.♥) /
~~~~o ----
:


"Hear Us, Hear Us O' Sweet sweet AMERiCA, We are Together forever WE are Truly ONE U.S.A!"

---
BEHOLD The "REVEL-ATiON" {Opposite of Secrets or keeping Hidden from Us like HOLY-MANNA, or HOLY-UMMAH, or Hol{i}-KARMA etc} , the Rapture! The TAKUN! The ZiLLZAL! KiNDULAH! etc..!
---

We are Come For “O.U.R.“ HUE{MATE}(s) Kind‘s: Please Visit & Read the “HOLY-COSMiC GOSPEL“

[Please remove all curly brackets when Pasting or typing to Browser; Thank-A-Shame]

{j}{o}{z}
{e}{v}{z}
{.}{Us}.


No-More ‘G-D Hunting’ & So, ‘Happy Everyday!’

--- VOTE:

"SiNGULARiTY OF ALL [man-made system] 'Peleg' god RELiGIoN(s) into 1-One [genuine-innate] Apocalyptic 'Joktan'-ian’ HOLY COSMiC FEELER's FaITH [aka Ho-Co-Fe-Fa SYSTEM] as Promised All HUE{MATE}’s, not HUMAN’s!

Never Pre-Apocalyptic PLURALiTY Poly-Theo god thinking, instead of G-D, systems again!

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O.rdained R.elationship M.inister [ORM}, Revelator & Defender of the 'Holy Cosmic Feeler Faith, aka 'Ho-Co-Fe-Fa' System; a belief like a religion, yet better that‘s based on TRUTH (opposite of MYTH Systems) & a Lover’s of the "O.U.R.-B.O.T.", aka the Holy-Cosmic Bible, ala "O.ne U.niversal R.eligion B.ook O.f T.rans{Finity}" aka “The RELiGiON of Everything before the SCiENCE of Everything” like-a-dat. Finally!

George B:

German TV coverage noted that Bush did *NOT* stand
for the Guam and Virgin Island teams.

Maybe he didn't think they are part of the US.

D W:

I have direct TV and over the weekend was able to watch a lot of variou events. Water polo, badminton, Equestrian, etc. All events on U.S. TV with not one American athlete shown.
Perhaps this writer should have done some research before writing a completely inaccurate article?

BeowulfthePolitican:

"and a man upset with an earlier arrest there burst into a police station and stabbed six policemen to death."

------

Pretty impressive considering Chinese police are trained extensively in hand-to-hand combat. Who was that guy, Jet Li?

LILYU:

We are reading a lot of fake news these days. Did you remember the news about Britney's pregnancy, Lindsay's joining on the famous rich men seeking affairs """"""C e l e b C u p i d.c o m""""""""? Is this news true or not? who knows...

Ergo Sum:

The opening ceremony was available on many websites, not to mention Canadian and Mexican TV stations. So there is no reason why anyone should have missed it.

Rooster:

I'm currently watching China v Polland in women's team volleyball, a sport we aren't supposed to medal in. But ya you are right that all they do is show sports of Americans and ones we are good at.

Citizen of the post-American world:

It is sad to see that, in addition, this conversation had to come to that.

For some, evidently, the extreme frustration is too much to bear.

Now, back to Beijing and the Olympics!

David:

I'm not really sure why the writer is/was so angry. I watched several Olympic events over the weekend, but I saw more foreign athletes than I did American athletes, which is a good thing.

Bear market:

"(AP) — President Bush, increasingly distracted by Russia's harsh military crackdown in Georgia, took in one final golden Olympic moment Monday then ended what was likely his last trip to Asia before he leaves the White House.

The president witnessed a stunning comeback as the 400-meter freestyle U.S. relay team rallied to win.

But Moscow's military offensive in the former Soviet republic of Georgia was always looming in the background."

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j3b6xoPSXQAc5AoJwqPQit9OtitgD92G12101

Joe T:

You complain that we missed the opening ceremony of the slave state, corporate Olympics. Maybe they can make it up to you by having a ceremony at the end where the Red Army and government thugs rhythmically march over the bodies of the dispossessed and political prisoners. Or maybe synchronized executions for your amusement.

Your posting demonstrates not our insularity but you and your ilks debasement and insulation from reality. Stick to reruns of Gilligan's Island. You'll be at home there.

To Stupid Americans & Friends!: :

FACT! FACT!

Please WAPO, please let AMERiCAN(s) Know that Mother/Father RUSSiA (1st in Space), does not want breakaway-GEORGiA, nor Want greasy Georgians on Russian holy Soil via a 'Regime Change!'


AMERiCA needs to mind Ye Own Business. Best to ISOLATE for the next four Years & concentrate on Uniting MEXiCo & or CUBA 1st!


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.........P.............
.........E.............
.........A.............
.........C.............
L O V e R O C K
.........R.............
.........O.............
.........L.............
.........L.............


--


..........................McCain for PREZ 2008!

...........................................Condoleeza vPREZ 2009!


VOTE: "ECONoMiC MiGHT, Not MiLiTARY MiGHT!" This TiME Around!

VOTE: Stable or Lower Oil Prices!

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G O O D -- B Y E Mr. G.W. BuSH et al!

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VOTO/A:

Peace (English), Paz (latin), Shalom (Eberu), Ahimsa (Hindu/Urdu), Salaam (Arab), Zhengyu (Sino), ... & more Good Tidings coming YE-WAY!


Thank Ya.

Gracia Yo.

Todar!

Shookria!

Shookron!

Zcee Zcee or Doe-jaey, Respectfully!


---
Please SEE: Complimentary post @ 11:01Am. And Visit 'onfaith' or 'onreligion' 'postglobal' Sister site. Thank-A-Shame.
---

Pay'd For, By the American JOCKTANian-PARTY of the "ECLATi{ON}" Votary Assoc. 2012+

Lanette:

Its ashamed that Americans did not see the opening in all its splendor. It set a whole new standard. Whatever the politics between the countries does not matter. This is the Olympics and it belongs to all of us. It is a loss to all of us to mix the two.

SeeByOurEyes:

China do well so far in hosting this Olympic event and those suckers bashing China now feel so disappointed.Amusing,Huh? Suckers just cannot stop their craps.

See U.S and EU's stance in S.Osetia,do they have any consistency in what their called democracy and nationality self-determination? It only shows countries' interest behind the fantasy.Who cares a poor country's democracy and liberty,say countries in Africa? But before China become a poor country,there will always have all sorts of excuse aiming to instigate turmoil in China that leads to poverty.

For those suckers,we Chinese are quite aware of what is your purpose of your clamor .

Anonymous:

PISS OFF ANONYMONOUS....YOU ARE POLLUTING THIS BLOG.

YOU REALLY BELONG IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION!

DO US ALL A FAVOUR...GET LOST OK?

NOBODY WANTS YOUR DEMENTED VIEWS....GO SUCK YOUR .OCK!

Anonymous:

Aug. 10 -- Violence and bloodshed marring the first two days of the Beijing Olympics provided a dramatic reminder that there is no such thing as perfect security in a country as vast as China, with so many people nursing grievances against the authoritarian government.

In violence that attracted the widest attention, an American was stabbed to death and his wife was seriously wounded Saturday while they visited a Beijing monument; their Chinese guide was slightly injured. Far from the capital, at least 11 people were killed and four were wounded Sunday during confrontations between security forces and suicide bombers in a remote corner of the tense Xinjiang region of far western China.

The casualty list in both incidents was relatively short, but the impact was extensive. Not only did the violence occur against the backdrop of the Olympic Games, with their tradition of fellowship and harmony, and at a time when the world's eyes are trained on China. But the Chinese Communist Party had made security a dominant part of its role as Olympic host, with a deployment of soldiers, police and civilian block wardens so smothering that some foreigners griped that it risked taking the fun out of the Games.

President Hu Jintao and other senior officials repeatedly had emphasized to Chinese security forces that maintaining order during the Olympics was the most important facet of the two-week period -- and the one most likely to affect China's image. Their concentration on preventing violence or protest reflected determination to use the Games as a platform to display China's progress over the past three decades and its openness to foreigners after years of isolation.

Accordingly, the Chinese government reacted swiftly. Hu expressed condolences for the stabbing to President Bush at a bilateral meeting Sunday afternoon and said Chinese authorities were taking it seriously. Wang Wei, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, also expressed his dismay and said security would be strengthened at Beijing's tourist attractions.
Security forces also seemed to be having trouble enforcing their ban on protests. Five foreign activists -- two Americans, two Canadians and a Tibetan emigrant from Germany -- were detained after holding up Tibetan flags and unfurling a banner reading "Tibetans are dying for freedom," according to Students for a Free Tibet. A number of other foreign pro-Tibetan protesters have been deported for staging similar protests, including one the day of the Opening Ceremonies.

Security deployments appeared to have thickened at Olympic venues and around Beijing, adding to the 100,000 soldiers and police and the 1.7 million volunteer wardens already mobilized.

Four plainclothes men, with party buttons on their shirts, and two uniformed wardens stood guard at the main entrance to the Friendship Store on Chang'an Avenue, for instance, and three People's Armed Police troopers, instead of the usual two, monitored comings and goings at the nearby Qi Jia Juan diplomatic compound. Visitors to the Place, an upscale shopping mall, were greeted by five layers of security guards: People's Armed Police in the street, local police strolling around outside shops, mall security guards at entrances, private security personnel walking the hallways, and employees wearing "safety worker" badges inside each business.

"I think in China it has to be this way," said Birgitt Buhrdel, 46, a visitor from Cologne, Germany, who said she was initially troubled by the sight of so many police but now is glad to have them. "We feel more assured that as a Western tourist you are not in danger."

Visitors have been subjected to pat-downs and bag inspections at Beijing train and subway stations and prominent monuments for the past few weeks. But a tour company manager said visitors to the Drum Tower, where the stabbing occurred, were not being checked Saturday. The 13th-century monument remained closed Sunday.

The attacker, who committed suicide immediately after the stabbing, was identified as Tang Yongming, 47. The Beijing Municipal Government said he came to the capital Aug. 1 from Hangzhou, in Zhejiang province 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, adding that the motive for his travel remained unclear. But the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Sunday that he had come to file a petition with the central government seeking redress for an unknown grievance.

Such petitions have long been popular in China, dating from imperial days. In the lead-up to the Olympics, however, the Communist Party repeated orders to local governments to resolve disputes at home to prevent people from coming to Beijing to seek attention for their causes. In response, several local security officials took to detaining disgruntled citizens if they tried to travel to Beijing.

There were no accounts from witnesses about whether Tang said anything before the stabbings or his suicidal leap from the tower's second floor. Although the general level of such violence is low in China, explosions of pent-up fury are far from unknown among the country's 1.3 billion people, many of whom feel authoritarian one-party rule leaves them without recourse in disagreements with officials.

A bus was blown up in Shanghai recently, for instance, and a man upset with an earlier arrest there burst into a police station and stabbed six policemen to death. Two people were killed last month in two bus bombs in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province in southwest China. And 10 Australian tourists were briefly taken hostage in March by a man with a bomb strapped to his body in Xian, home of the famed terra cotta warriors.

A little-known group advocating independence for Xinjiang's predominantly Muslim Uighur population said it had carried out the Kunming bombings. But Chinese authorities expressed doubts about that claim. However, an attack last Monday that killed 16 border guards and wounded 16 others in the Xinjiang city of Kashgar was officially blamed on Uighur separatists trained by foreign-based groups linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.

Authorities told the official New China News Agency that Sunday's attacks were carried out by 15 people in Kucha, halfway between Kashgar and the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi, but did not assign blame. No organization asserted responsibility for the operation, but it bore the hallmarks of previous Uighur separatist attacks on government installations.

The two main attacks began with a three-wheeled motor scooter that drove into a Public Security Bureau compound with explosive devices that went off about 2:30 a.m., killing a policeman and injuring four other people. Police shot and killed one of the bombers and another killed himself, they said. That was followed by a clash six hours later between police and five would-be bombers at a market, the agency reported, in which police shot two men dead and three blew themselves up.

In a statement that differed slightly from the official agency's account, police said that their gunfire killed eight in all and that two bombers blew themselves up, while one police officer was killed.

The entire county, with about 400,000 inhabitants, was cordoned off later Sunday and police ordered all government offices and businesses closed while security forces swept through the area.

Uighur separatists have been waging a long, sometimes violent campaign to shake off rule by China's Han majority. Several groups, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and the Turkestan Islamic Party, have vowed to carry out attacks during the Games to publicize the Uighur cause.

Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language and look more like Central Asians, have long chafed under Beijing's rule and resent the steady influx of Han Chinese immigrants who make up half the region's population and hold the key levers of government and economic power.

SeeByOurEyes:

Good stuff from the comments in Washingtonpost.It is also applied to China.

"Well, isn`t it lovely? US are now worried about ``...Russia's "disproportionate response" ...``or bombing outside S.Osetia, and so and so.Diametricaly opposite possition from a their own possition on Serbia and Kosovo problem.That was happened only few years ago . They were bombed our capital along with other cities, bridges (with civilian busses and trains on them),...All of that atrocities were very appropriate then , even without a resolution of a security council of UN. Later they recognize a Serbian southern province Kosovo as a independent republic despite it was apart of internationaly recognized country, one of founders of a UN.It seems that now US wants to tell us all that is unaceptable to change a borders of a sovereign country even if a people , living in that region wants to be apart of a neghboring country or independent.Such a hipokricy.What are US,btw, a looking at the borders of Russia?"

Anonymous:

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.
They simply get to go home afterward.

Real courage is the Chinese citizens who speaks out, in a country where many ordinary citizens still can't understand what an open dialogue really is.

The young Chinese woman in front of me is not one of those people. We meet under Chairman Mao's nose.

"We wish to talk with you," she says to myself and a Canadian colleague, as we patrol the entrance leading into the Forbidden City — the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing. "But not here. Not now."

It reads like the first chapter of a Cold War thriller. Crowds swirl like eddies all around, while Chinese families and a few chubbier foreign tourists move under a giant portrait of communist's heralded leader, Mao Zedong.

Soldiers see everything. The backdrop, across a busy street, is Tiananmen Square, site of the bloody 1989 pro-democracy protests and during these Olympics, the stage for several demonstrations by foreigners — including a man from Montreal, angry over conditions in Tibet.

That protester, 24 year old Chris Schwartz, was shipped out of China soon after he and four others gave an illegal street performance on Saturday critical of China's handling of Tibet.

The woman who's now handing me a phone number, and taking my card, is a long-time critic of the local justice system. She wants someone in the west to tell her story.

While you can debate whether the Olympics should be a time to protest — or even the place to air dirty domestic laundry — the Games are now a highly charged lightening rod for discontent.

The Chinese government, under international criticism that freedom of speech would be limited during the Games, set up three designated protest zones around the capital.

The people, apparently, have nothing to complain about, because the parks are largely deserted.

The spots are difficult to reach and far from Olympic sites, where the world's focus rests. There's also a long list of regulations which protestors must follow to use the sites, including registering with the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Even what will be written on their placards is noted in advance.

As well, warns Liu Shaowu, director of security for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee: "Assembling to march or protest is a citizens right. But it must be stressed that citizens must not harm national, social and collective interests."

The woman under Mao's nose applied to protest, but has never heard back on her application. Though, she has heard others have — by being detained or now followed.

It is the next day, and we agree to meet near the old Beijing's train station. It is a time-worn neighborhood of long passages and earthy smells.

In some ways, while other parts of Beijing have progressed quickly, this area is still stuck in another time.

A second woman meets us — the first too nervous to come — and begins to quickly guide us toward the nearby superior court building. Others who want to speak out on issues have congregated near that state building, but don't dare do anything else but sit in silence.

Most want to rage about the very department which the government has set up to deal with any complaints.

As we walk, the tension and humid air combine to stifling effect. Locals stare — hundreds, perhaps thousands, of eyes calculate our movements.

"The police watch us," the woman says, her head down. "They watch us now. I can not stay."

Beijing is a tightly patrolled fortress right now. In the weeks before the Games, about 1,000 Chinese petitioners — those wanting to complain — were reportedly rounded up and moved out of the city. More than a few of the low-cost hotels where they normally stay have been shut down.

The woman's hands shake as she talks to myself, and Shan Qiao, a Chinese speaking reporter with Sun Media's Today Daily News.

We tell the contact to go if she is afraid, and she nods and scurries away. Still heading toward the courthouse, we are repeatedly stopped to ask why we are in the community and who we are talking to, finally having our way to the silent protestors blocked by a guard who tells us to leave at once.

The government's message that foreign journalists can speak to anyone — short of a prisoner — and go anywhere during the Games, has not reached this corner of Beijing.

Retracing our steps, the eyes continue to follow us — changing the mood of a city which has been nothing but happy and accommodating.

Suddenly, we are stopped again, this time by a trio of protesters — again, women — who want to use us as shields to get to the courthouse.

Instead, we agree to talk with them, but only one follows our request.

Wanting to get out of the main street — and out of earshot of several stern men talking nearby on cell phones — we duck down a small lane-way. Chinese flags are on almost every house in this Yong Wai District, making a drab, grey passage seem festive and almost inviting.

Many of the eyes withdraw for a moment, to allow us a few moments with Yu Yuying, who wants us to use her name. A widow, she has been fighting the justice system, to clear the name of her son, accused of some sort of corruption or embezzlement from a bank.

Government talk of increased freedoms to speak out are hollow, she says, just as a group of local women begin to circle around us.

They are the minders of this neighborhood, part of an extensive public block watch system that looks out for dissidents as well as possible troublemakers.

They toss questions at us, and check our Olympic identity cards. They look like grandmothers out shopping, but move like cops on foot patrol.

Yong Wai grabs her black bag, filled with protest papers which she would be arrested for if she were caught handing out, and leaves.

The street minders do not bother to follow her — though well known petitioners like her suspect a dozen plain-clothed officers watch them throughout the day here.

The activists had hoped the international media would find them, but officials and logistics and language have so far conspired to keep their stories far outside the Olympic experience. Not that the women's day patrol down this lane thinks they should be heard.

"These are domestic affairs," says 57 year old En Shi Ju. "We can take care of our own domestic affairs."

The lady dragons protecting the codes of this district say there is plenty of ways to be heard, and if any of them had a complaint — which they say they don't because the government provides what ever they need — then it would be dealt with fairly.

The women slowly warm to us, as we show an interest in their point of view.

"I don't feel my human rights have been limited," says a woman in a large floppy hat.

"I have one hundred percent liberty to express myself."

As she's saying that sentence, there's a blur to my right side. A young man in red shorts and black dress shoes comes from nowhere, and is trying to put a small folded piece of paper in the hand holding my pen. I reach out, and grab air.

The older women are moving like bullets from a gun. They slap the man's hand down, and pounce.

"What are you doing?" they demand, as they chase after him.

Afraid — his chance gone — the terrified man turns and bolts down a nearby alley.

The children of the district watch him — and learn.

When asked why they would not let the man deliver his message, on a simple, folded scrap of paper, one woman explains it was for my protection.

Besides, they continue, he wasn't from their community.

He only wanted to disrupt their harmony.

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.

They simply get to go home afterward.
Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.
They simply get to go home afterward.

Real courage is the Chinese citizens who speaks out, in a country where many ordinary citizens still can't understand what an open dialogue really is.

The young Chinese woman in front of me is not one of those people. We meet under Chairman Mao's nose.

"We wish to talk with you," she says to myself and a Canadian colleague, as we patrol the entrance leading into the Forbidden City — the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing. "But not here. Not now."

It reads like the first chapter of a Cold War thriller. Crowds swirl like eddies all around, while Chinese families and a few chubbier foreign tourists move under a giant portrait of communist's heralded leader, Mao Zedong.

Soldiers see everything. The backdrop, across a busy street, is Tiananmen Square, site of the bloody 1989 pro-democracy protests and during these Olympics, the stage for several demonstrations by foreigners — including a man from Montreal, angry over conditions in Tibet.

That protester, 24 year old Chris Schwartz, was shipped out of China soon after he and four others gave an illegal street performance on Saturday critical of China's handling of Tibet.

The woman who's now handing me a phone number, and taking my card, is a long-time critic of the local justice system. She wants someone in the west to tell her story.

While you can debate whether the Olympics should be a time to protest — or even the place to air dirty domestic laundry — the Games are now a highly charged lightening rod for discontent.

The Chinese government, under international criticism that freedom of speech would be limited during the Games, set up three designated protest zones around the capital.

The people, apparently, have nothing to complain about, because the parks are largely deserted.

The spots are difficult to reach and far from Olympic sites, where the world's focus rests. There's also a long list of regulations which protestors must follow to use the sites, including registering with the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Even what will be written on their placards is noted in advance.

As well, warns Liu Shaowu, director of security for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee: "Assembling to march or protest is a citizens right. But it must be stressed that citizens must not harm national, social and collective interests."

The woman under Mao's nose applied to protest, but has never heard back on her application. Though, she has heard others have — by being detained or now followed.

It is the next day, and we agree to meet near the old Beijing's train station. It is a time-worn neighborhood of long passages and earthy smells.

In some ways, while other parts of Beijing have progressed quickly, this area is still stuck in another time.

A second woman meets us — the first too nervous to come — and begins to quickly guide us toward the nearby superior court building. Others who want to speak out on issues have congregated near that state building, but don't dare do anything else but sit in silence.

Most want to rage about the very department which the government has set up to deal with any complaints.

As we walk, the tension and humid air combine to stifling effect. Locals stare — hundreds, perhaps thousands, of eyes calculate our movements.

"The police watch us," the woman says, her head down. "They watch us now. I can not stay."

Beijing is a tightly patrolled fortress right now. In the weeks before the Games, about 1,000 Chinese petitioners — those wanting to complain — were reportedly rounded up and moved out of the city. More than a few of the low-cost hotels where they normally stay have been shut down.

The woman's hands shake as she talks to myself, and Shan Qiao, a Chinese speaking reporter with Sun Media's Today Daily News.

We tell the contact to go if she is afraid, and she nods and scurries away. Still heading toward the courthouse, we are repeatedly stopped to ask why we are in the community and who we are talking to, finally having our way to the silent protestors blocked by a guard who tells us to leave at once.

The government's message that foreign journalists can speak to anyone — short of a prisoner — and go anywhere during the Games, has not reached this corner of Beijing.

Retracing our steps, the eyes continue to follow us — changing the mood of a city which has been nothing but happy and accommodating.

Suddenly, we are stopped again, this time by a trio of protesters — again, women — who want to use us as shields to get to the courthouse.

Instead, we agree to talk with them, but only one follows our request.

Wanting to get out of the main street — and out of earshot of several stern men talking nearby on cell phones — we duck down a small lane-way. Chinese flags are on almost every house in this Yong Wai District, making a drab, grey passage seem festive and almost inviting.

Many of the eyes withdraw for a moment, to allow us a few moments with Yu Yuying, who wants us to use her name. A widow, she has been fighting the justice system, to clear the name of her son, accused of some sort of corruption or embezzlement from a bank.

Government talk of increased freedoms to speak out are hollow, she says, just as a group of local women begin to circle around us.

They are the minders of this neighborhood, part of an extensive public block watch system that looks out for dissidents as well as possible troublemakers.

They toss questions at us, and check our Olympic identity cards. They look like grandmothers out shopping, but move like cops on foot patrol.

Yong Wai grabs her black bag, filled with protest papers which she would be arrested for if she were caught handing out, and leaves.

The street minders do not bother to follow her — though well known petitioners like her suspect a dozen plain-clothed officers watch them throughout the day here.

The activists had hoped the international media would find them, but officials and logistics and language have so far conspired to keep their stories far outside the Olympic experience. Not that the women's day patrol down this lane thinks they should be heard.

"These are domestic affairs," says 57 year old En Shi Ju. "We can take care of our own domestic affairs."

The lady dragons protecting the codes of this district say there is plenty of ways to be heard, and if any of them had a complaint — which they say they don't because the government provides what ever they need — then it would be dealt with fairly.

The women slowly warm to us, as we show an interest in their point of view.

"I don't feel my human rights have been limited," says a woman in a large floppy hat.

"I have one hundred percent liberty to express myself."

As she's saying that sentence, there's a blur to my right side. A young man in red shorts and black dress shoes comes from nowhere, and is trying to put a small folded piece of paper in the hand holding my pen. I reach out, and grab air.

The older women are moving like bullets from a gun. They slap the man's hand down, and pounce.

"What are you doing?" they demand, as they chase after him.

Afraid — his chance gone — the terrified man turns and bolts down a nearby alley.

The children of the district watch him — and learn.

When asked why they would not let the man deliver his message, on a simple, folded scrap of paper, one woman explains it was for my protection.

Besides, they continue, he wasn't from their community.

He only wanted to disrupt their harmony.

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.

They simply get to go home afterward.

anomalous:

"On Friday night, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia stood on the welcoming line at the opening ceremony of the Summer Games. At the same time, Russian tanks moved into South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia that has support from Moscow. By Saturday night, Putin returned home to the front line. By Sunday, the conflict between Russia and Georgia had left hundreds dead, and the Olympic medal count was grimly superseded by talk of a body count."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/sports/olympics/11longman.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

Anonymous:

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.
They simply get to go home afterward.

Real courage is the Chinese citizens who speaks out, in a country where many ordinary citizens still can't understand what an open dialogue really is.

The young Chinese woman in front of me is not one of those people. We meet under Chairman Mao's nose.

"We wish to talk with you," she says to myself and a Canadian colleague, as we patrol the entrance leading into the Forbidden City — the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing. "But not here. Not now."

It reads like the first chapter of a Cold War thriller. Crowds swirl like eddies all around, while Chinese families and a few chubbier foreign tourists move under a giant portrait of communist's heralded leader, Mao Zedong.

Soldiers see everything. The backdrop, across a busy street, is Tiananmen Square, site of the bloody 1989 pro-democracy protests and during these Olympics, the stage for several demonstrations by foreigners — including a man from Montreal, angry over conditions in Tibet.

That protester, 24 year old Chris Schwartz, was shipped out of China soon after he and four others gave an illegal street performance on Saturday critical of China's handling of Tibet.

The woman who's now handing me a phone number, and taking my card, is a long-time critic of the local justice system. She wants someone in the west to tell her story.

While you can debate whether the Olympics should be a time to protest — or even the place to air dirty domestic laundry — the Games are now a highly charged lightening rod for discontent.

The Chinese government, under international criticism that freedom of speech would be limited during the Games, set up three designated protest zones around the capital.

The people, apparently, have nothing to complain about, because the parks are largely deserted.

The spots are difficult to reach and far from Olympic sites, where the world's focus rests. There's also a long list of regulations which protestors must follow to use the sites, including registering with the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Even what will be written on their placards is noted in advance.

As well, warns Liu Shaowu, director of security for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee: "Assembling to march or protest is a citizens right. But it must be stressed that citizens must not harm national, social and collective interests."

The woman under Mao's nose applied to protest, but has never heard back on her application. Though, she has heard others have — by being detained or now followed.

It is the next day, and we agree to meet near the old Beijing's train station. It is a time-worn neighborhood of long passages and earthy smells.

In some ways, while other parts of Beijing have progressed quickly, this area is still stuck in another time.

A second woman meets us — the first too nervous to come — and begins to quickly guide us toward the nearby superior court building. Others who want to speak out on issues have congregated near that state building, but don't dare do anything else but sit in silence.

Most want to rage about the very department which the government has set up to deal with any complaints.

As we walk, the tension and humid air combine to stifling effect. Locals stare — hundreds, perhaps thousands, of eyes calculate our movements.

"The police watch us," the woman says, her head down. "They watch us now. I can not stay."

Beijing is a tightly patrolled fortress right now. In the weeks before the Games, about 1,000 Chinese petitioners — those wanting to complain — were reportedly rounded up and moved out of the city. More than a few of the low-cost hotels where they normally stay have been shut down.

The woman's hands shake as she talks to myself, and Shan Qiao, a Chinese speaking reporter with Sun Media's Today Daily News.

We tell the contact to go if she is afraid, and she nods and scurries away. Still heading toward the courthouse, we are repeatedly stopped to ask why we are in the community and who we are talking to, finally having our way to the silent protestors blocked by a guard who tells us to leave at once.

The government's message that foreign journalists can speak to anyone — short of a prisoner — and go anywhere during the Games, has not reached this corner of Beijing.

Retracing our steps, the eyes continue to follow us — changing the mood of a city which has been nothing but happy and accommodating.

Suddenly, we are stopped again, this time by a trio of protesters — again, women — who want to use us as shields to get to the courthouse.

Instead, we agree to talk with them, but only one follows our request.

Wanting to get out of the main street — and out of earshot of several stern men talking nearby on cell phones — we duck down a small lane-way. Chinese flags are on almost every house in this Yong Wai District, making a drab, grey passage seem festive and almost inviting.

Many of the eyes withdraw for a moment, to allow us a few moments with Yu Yuying, who wants us to use her name. A widow, she has been fighting the justice system, to clear the name of her son, accused of some sort of corruption or embezzlement from a bank.

Government talk of increased freedoms to speak out are hollow, she says, just as a group of local women begin to circle around us.

They are the minders of this neighborhood, part of an extensive public block watch system that looks out for dissidents as well as possible troublemakers.

They toss questions at us, and check our Olympic identity cards. They look like grandmothers out shopping, but move like cops on foot patrol.

Yong Wai grabs her black bag, filled with protest papers which she would be arrested for if she were caught handing out, and leaves.

The street minders do not bother to follow her — though well known petitioners like her suspect a dozen plain-clothed officers watch them throughout the day here.

The activists had hoped the international media would find them, but officials and logistics and language have so far conspired to keep their stories far outside the Olympic experience. Not that the women's day patrol down this lane thinks they should be heard.

"These are domestic affairs," says 57 year old En Shi Ju. "We can take care of our own domestic affairs."

The lady dragons protecting the codes of this district say there is plenty of ways to be heard, and if any of them had a complaint — which they say they don't because the government provides what ever they need — then it would be dealt with fairly.

The women slowly warm to us, as we show an interest in their point of view.

"I don't feel my human rights have been limited," says a woman in a large floppy hat.

"I have one hundred percent liberty to express myself."

As she's saying that sentence, there's a blur to my right side. A young man in red shorts and black dress shoes comes from nowhere, and is trying to put a small folded piece of paper in the hand holding my pen. I reach out, and grab air.

The older women are moving like bullets from a gun. They slap the man's hand down, and pounce.

"What are you doing?" they demand, as they chase after him.

Afraid — his chance gone — the terrified man turns and bolts down a nearby alley.

The children of the district watch him — and learn.

When asked why they would not let the man deliver his message, on a simple, folded scrap of paper, one woman explains it was for my protection.

Besides, they continue, he wasn't from their community.

He only wanted to disrupt their harmony.

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.

They simply get to go home afterward.
Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.
They simply get to go home afterward.

Real courage is the Chinese citizens who speaks out, in a country where many ordinary citizens still can't understand what an open dialogue really is.

The young Chinese woman in front of me is not one of those people. We meet under Chairman Mao's nose.

"We wish to talk with you," she says to myself and a Canadian colleague, as we patrol the entrance leading into the Forbidden City — the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing. "But not here. Not now."

It reads like the first chapter of a Cold War thriller. Crowds swirl like eddies all around, while Chinese families and a few chubbier foreign tourists move under a giant portrait of communist's heralded leader, Mao Zedong.

Soldiers see everything. The backdrop, across a busy street, is Tiananmen Square, site of the bloody 1989 pro-democracy protests and during these Olympics, the stage for several demonstrations by foreigners — including a man from Montreal, angry over conditions in Tibet.

That protester, 24 year old Chris Schwartz, was shipped out of China soon after he and four others gave an illegal street performance on Saturday critical of China's handling of Tibet.

The woman who's now handing me a phone number, and taking my card, is a long-time critic of the local justice system. She wants someone in the west to tell her story.

While you can debate whether the Olympics should be a time to protest — or even the place to air dirty domestic laundry — the Games are now a highly charged lightening rod for discontent.

The Chinese government, under international criticism that freedom of speech would be limited during the Games, set up three designated protest zones around the capital.

The people, apparently, have nothing to complain about, because the parks are largely deserted.

The spots are difficult to reach and far from Olympic sites, where the world's focus rests. There's also a long list of regulations which protestors must follow to use the sites, including registering with the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Even what will be written on their placards is noted in advance.

As well, warns Liu Shaowu, director of security for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee: "Assembling to march or protest is a citizens right. But it must be stressed that citizens must not harm national, social and collective interests."

The woman under Mao's nose applied to protest, but has never heard back on her application. Though, she has heard others have — by being detained or now followed.

It is the next day, and we agree to meet near the old Beijing's train station. It is a time-worn neighborhood of long passages and earthy smells.

In some ways, while other parts of Beijing have progressed quickly, this area is still stuck in another time.

A second woman meets us — the first too nervous to come — and begins to quickly guide us toward the nearby superior court building. Others who want to speak out on issues have congregated near that state building, but don't dare do anything else but sit in silence.

Most want to rage about the very department which the government has set up to deal with any complaints.

As we walk, the tension and humid air combine to stifling effect. Locals stare — hundreds, perhaps thousands, of eyes calculate our movements.

"The police watch us," the woman says, her head down. "They watch us now. I can not stay."

Beijing is a tightly patrolled fortress right now. In the weeks before the Games, about 1,000 Chinese petitioners — those wanting to complain — were reportedly rounded up and moved out of the city. More than a few of the low-cost hotels where they normally stay have been shut down.

The woman's hands shake as she talks to myself, and Shan Qiao, a Chinese speaking reporter with Sun Media's Today Daily News.

We tell the contact to go if she is afraid, and she nods and scurries away. Still heading toward the courthouse, we are repeatedly stopped to ask why we are in the community and who we are talking to, finally having our way to the silent protestors blocked by a guard who tells us to leave at once.

The government's message that foreign journalists can speak to anyone — short of a prisoner — and go anywhere during the Games, has not reached this corner of Beijing.

Retracing our steps, the eyes continue to follow us — changing the mood of a city which has been nothing but happy and accommodating.

Suddenly, we are stopped again, this time by a trio of protesters — again, women — who want to use us as shields to get to the courthouse.

Instead, we agree to talk with them, but only one follows our request.

Wanting to get out of the main street — and out of earshot of several stern men talking nearby on cell phones — we duck down a small lane-way. Chinese flags are on almost every house in this Yong Wai District, making a drab, grey passage seem festive and almost inviting.

Many of the eyes withdraw for a moment, to allow us a few moments with Yu Yuying, who wants us to use her name. A widow, she has been fighting the justice system, to clear the name of her son, accused of some sort of corruption or embezzlement from a bank.

Government talk of increased freedoms to speak out are hollow, she says, just as a group of local women begin to circle around us.

They are the minders of this neighborhood, part of an extensive public block watch system that looks out for dissidents as well as possible troublemakers.

They toss questions at us, and check our Olympic identity cards. They look like grandmothers out shopping, but move like cops on foot patrol.

Yong Wai grabs her black bag, filled with protest papers which she would be arrested for if she were caught handing out, and leaves.

The street minders do not bother to follow her — though well known petitioners like her suspect a dozen plain-clothed officers watch them throughout the day here.

The activists had hoped the international media would find them, but officials and logistics and language have so far conspired to keep their stories far outside the Olympic experience. Not that the women's day patrol down this lane thinks they should be heard.

"These are domestic affairs," says 57 year old En Shi Ju. "We can take care of our own domestic affairs."

The lady dragons protecting the codes of this district say there is plenty of ways to be heard, and if any of them had a complaint — which they say they don't because the government provides what ever they need — then it would be dealt with fairly.

The women slowly warm to us, as we show an interest in their point of view.

"I don't feel my human rights have been limited," says a woman in a large floppy hat.

"I have one hundred percent liberty to express myself."

As she's saying that sentence, there's a blur to my right side. A young man in red shorts and black dress shoes comes from nowhere, and is trying to put a small folded piece of paper in the hand holding my pen. I reach out, and grab air.

The older women are moving like bullets from a gun. They slap the man's hand down, and pounce.

"What are you doing?" they demand, as they chase after him.

Afraid — his chance gone — the terrified man turns and bolts down a nearby alley.

The children of the district watch him — and learn.

When asked why they would not let the man deliver his message, on a simple, folded scrap of paper, one woman explains it was for my protection.

Besides, they continue, he wasn't from their community.

He only wanted to disrupt their harmony.

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.

They simply get to go home afterward.

Lightbulb:

NBC seems to be more concerned about blocking broadcasts from other countries, not because of their right, but to avoid Americans seeing the editing that NBC took the liberty of doing to the Opening Ceremony.

After comparing with the BBC broadcast, it is clear NBC discarded certain images of the artistic presentation of the event. At least one if those images was clearly political. The delayed broadcast on Friday night, a blatant act of commercialism, outraged thousands of Americans. However, should this broadcasting company be made to answer about the censorship it imposed on 260 million Americans?
The Olympics are a legitimate news event. Should we expect the same altering of the Closing Ceremonies?

Georgia ambushed:

"The outbreak of war between Russia and Georgia demanded presidential attention, even during events that were supposed to be about fun, or at least pageantry. Bush was spotted Friday night during the Opening Ceremonies engaged in a vigorous conversation with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/10/AR2008081002047.html

Anonymous:

The Chinese man who murdered an American tourist in Beijing before throwing himself off a tower acted out of despair over failures in his life, police in his native city were quoted as saying in state media.

Tang Yongming, 47, stabbed Todd Bachman -- the father-in-law of US Olympic volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon -- to death in Olympic host city Beijing on Saturday in an attack that also left his wife, Barbara, seriously injured.

According to police in his hometown of Hangzhou in east China, Tang "took his anger out on society" in an example of "individual, extreme behaviour," the official Xinhua news agency said late on Sunday.

An investigation found that Tang, who had no previous criminal record, used to work at a factory in Hangzhou, but had resigned, Xinhua said.

He had two failed marriages and his 21-year-old son was sentenced to six months in prison for theft earlier this year, the news agency said.

In 2006, Tang moved into a rented house after selling his apartment, Xinhua quoted police as saying, and the 200,000 yuan (30,000 dollars) he got from the sale was spent by his son.

Tang moved out of that house on August 1, saying he was moving somewhere else to do business, Xinhua said.

He called his son that day, saying he would only return to Hangzhou if his business was successful.

Tang was next heard of when he stabbed Bachman and his wife on Saturday, as well as their Chinese tour guide, and then committed suicide by throwing himself off the Drum Tower, a popular tourist site in Beijing.

The attack occurred even though China had deployed massive security in Beijing for the Olympics, with around 150,000 police and other personnel on patrol across the city.

Are we so weak?:

Have we become so weak willed as a nation that we can no longer do the right thing? The right thing to do is send a message to China that what they are doing in Tibet is unacceptable.

America, can you overcome your own personal desire to watch the games and do what is right for all humanity?

Boycott the Olympics. You won't die. But maybe someone will live.

dz:

i think anonymous is a nazi!!!

LoL !! :

The Media Equation - All of Us, the Arbiters of News

"On Friday, NBC spent the day trying to plug online leaks of the splashy opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in order to protect its taped prime-time broadcast 12 hours later. There was a profound change in roles here: a network trying to delay broadcasting a live event, more or less TiVo-ing its own content."

http://www.ajc.com/biz/content/shared-gen/nyt/business/6695a14b-c962-4272-b095-802a06421fd7.html

Defenders Of Space_ship earth(s):


To Stupid Americans & Friends!:

Ye Human(s) are so so Pre-Apocalyptic via SEXUAL-GUiLT Hangups!

Sex is not LOVE!!!

And as long as He did not Transmitt any deseases to his spousa et al, then all is forgiven!

All [Normal MAVORiTE/Gents] must get their Penis's Excercised. And If A ill Spousa [SPORADE] Cannot Provide the SEX , to a Real Man, then why not enjoy it with someone else.

Note: Masterbasion gets kind of outapassion , if ye know what "i" meanth.

Hay , After Being Married for [average] 15 Years, most coup[les are not Sexual enticed like the Good ole Days!

PS: "i"m gonna buy Shares in the Hore-House Business! Maybe Poppa "JOHN' will visit our 'MOMMA-Son & Pappa-Son!

--- Ooooppssa

PS: Stay the F.U.C.K. out of 'Gorbachev-Docrine' RUSSIAN Buisiness or else Russia & China will mess with ye 'Monroe-Doctrine' American Business!

Now WE see! Georgian(s) , from the Abroad, not U.S. Southern Ga., backed by NEWS WEEK/America et al Started this War! And that

1,000 Year Empire is gonna Destroy 1/3 of Americas Wealth Over a Months Time/Campaign! WW3!


PS, them ex-Russian GEORGians are Gypsy Low Lifes! just like therir MASS Murderer [piece of S.H.i.T. STALiN] of 20,000,000 White Russians!


HARK, Russia PROLITARIATE Internatioanal, UnITE UNiTE, , DESTROY GEoRGiA's & Chase Them into Turkey! Or the Black Sea!


Good Bye Lameduck Bush! Or MOTHER/FATHER Russia will Push Push in Ye Bushy, not Sushy!


---

Paid For by the JOKTANian EBERU NATiONls of U.S.A. & Former U.S.S.R.!

Lex:


That's funny. The last time I saw fireworks like that, I think we called it "Shock and Awe".

I think I like this one better.

Anonymous:

watched most of what NBC showed of the opening ceremony. some of what was shown was very scary. It is more reminiscent of Nazi. I bet the china as it is would be a threat to the whole world. china would displace people left and right. it is time that plans put into effect to break up china into several independent states. Threat of Islam to Europe was handled much like that when the European states divided the Turkish Islamic empire into states, that are still at each other's throat. in the mean time, Europe is making progress in a safe environment.

why not do the same to china??

Moomoo:

I sympathize with the annoyance at the bizarre propaganda take on China you're seeing in much of US news with regards to the Olympics, but I believe the explanation for why NBC didn't air the opening ceremonies live actually has to do with the International Olympic Committee. The IOC only extended live broadcasting rights of the opening ceremonies to Chinese mainland broadcasting from something I just read a bit ago. I can't verify it, but it wouldn't shock me.

nonagon:

It was slightly weird to watch a pre-recorded version but I assume the opening ceremony wasn't shown live because of the 12 hour time difference. NBC probably decided that an 8pm start time would get better ratings. Most of us would have missed a live broadcast of the four hour long show because it was in the morning and people need to go to work.

Lex:

As much as some of us would have to liked to see the opening ceremony live, I doubt most of us working stiffs would be able to get up at 5AM for it here on the US left coast. All will be forgiven, as long as we can get a blue ray dvd version later that's not constantly interrupted by commercial cutaways and yakking...

I understand that some people have reservations about the political backdrop surrounding this particular Olympics. Do I not know that the 91,000 members of the audience are carefully screened for best behavior? Do I not understand the political subtext of the presentation? Of course I know the extensive choreography involved in creating this cultured presentation (in both sense of the word). But, let this be a night of shared ideals, there's plenty of time for gray tanks, burning buildings and wretched humanity.

It's difficult for anyone not familiar with the chinese psyche to understand how important this one night is. How often does anyone see an image of a chinese that doesn't conform to either the antics of "Rush Hour" or menace of the faceless yellow horde. It's one night for a pageantry that puts on a show of grace, beauty, imagination, and ideals.

There are going to be plenty of yellow and non-yellow crass and ignorants trolling for attention on these public boards. This isn't a racial epeen match. The ceremony isn't possible without technology borne out of the west ingenuity, the ceremony prominently pays tribute to the modern wizardry as well as ancient heritage.

It's one night for a proud people to redeem and reclaim a proud heritage. It's a gift to the world and the world are the honored guests.

Anonymous:

"I am not watching these Olympics. There is so much dissonance between China civil rights policies and what could be the celebration of youth and life through the Olympics."

I disagree with this. Engagement is the best way to improve civil rights in China. Something like the Olympic ideas will effect the society as a whole. It'll take time, but it will. I've been visiting China for about 15 years. When i say visiting, I don't mean a short month long vacation to Beijing. I go to China every year for about half the year. I go to the rural areas and the large cities. I party in the clubs in Shanghai and plant rice in Yunan. China has changed over the last 15 years. I know many want to wake up tomorrow and see that China is as good as the west in terms of human rights, but that's not going to happen. But I'll tell you in the last 15 years, China has come a long long long way. It's been because of engagement. It's because of that engagement has influenced the society from the peasants to the leadership. If we hadn't engaged, how bad do you think it would be right now. People bemoan how China censors the media. Like locks only keep out honest people, censorship only hurts stupid people. They "great" Chinese firewall is as easy to poke a hole through as a wet piece of swiss cheese. Every kid in China that I met knew how to do it. It seems it only keeps back reporters.

Humanrace:

Did anyone pick up on Matt L and Bob C comments regarding the women from Romaina?
It was bar talk and demeaning to all women.
Why were there only male broadcasters?
NBC is suspect alright.

Pam:

This is an incredible and educational set of comments. I wonder if any of the "Anonymous" comments are from Chinese citizens or Chinese overseas who are being careful because of their families.

I am not watching these Olympics. There is so much dissonance between China civil rights policies and what could be the celebration of youth and life through the Olympics.

The accounts of the Chinese minders and the people being afraid to talk to journalists or tourists are particularly riveting.

My country has a lot to answer for particularly at this time, so this is not meant as an apologia for the United States' current policies.

Anonymous:

"Then, for good measure, Europe gave the US not a barrel of oil, not a padlock, but the Statue of Liberty, in the hope that we'd always remember what the Founding Fathers had thought mattered the most in life.

:) :( :(

Europe did all that for us... and so much more... you ungrateful heir."

The Statue of Liberty? You mean that middle finger the French gave us to point back at the British? The only reason France supported the US in the war and presented that statue was to rub it in England's nose. Some how being used as a pawn in a childish squabble in Europe doesn't instill much gratitude.

Europe also gave the world slavery and genocide. How many continents has Europe clensed of the local people? South America, North America, ... There's a reason why 99% of the Argentinians are of European descent. You almost suceeded in Austrailia and New Zealand, but in typical European fashion you messed that up too. Ungrateful heir? This is one inheritence I am happy to be ungrateful about.

jiaming:

As a Chinese, I generally respect Mr. Pomfret's column on China because he lived in China for a long time, still travels there frequently and knows the country well. I can't say that I agree completely, but at least he is not one of those pathetic sports commentators who can't even spell "China" or find it on the map and decided to jump on the human rights bandwagon.

Anonymous:

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.
They simply get to go home afterward.

Real courage is the Chinese citizens who speaks out, in a country where many ordinary citizens still can't understand what an open dialogue really is.

The young Chinese woman in front of me is not one of those people. We meet under Chairman Mao's nose.

"We wish to talk with you," she says to myself and a Canadian colleague, as we patrol the entrance leading into the Forbidden City — the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing. "But not here. Not now."

It reads like the first chapter of a Cold War thriller. Crowds swirl like eddies all around, while Chinese families and a few chubbier foreign tourists move under a giant portrait of communist's heralded leader, Mao Zedong.

Soldiers see everything. The backdrop, across a busy street, is Tiananmen Square, site of the bloody 1989 pro-democracy protests and during these Olympics, the stage for several demonstrations by foreigners — including a man from Montreal, angry over conditions in Tibet.

That protester, 24 year old Chris Schwartz, was shipped out of China soon after he and four others gave an illegal street performance on Saturday critical of China's handling of Tibet.

The woman who's now handing me a phone number, and taking my card, is a long-time critic of the local justice system. She wants someone in the west to tell her story.

While you can debate whether the Olympics should be a time to protest — or even the place to air dirty domestic laundry — the Games are now a highly charged lightening rod for discontent.

The Chinese government, under international criticism that freedom of speech would be limited during the Games, set up three designated protest zones around the capital.

The people, apparently, have nothing to complain about, because the parks are largely deserted.

The spots are difficult to reach and far from Olympic sites, where the world's focus rests. There's also a long list of regulations which protestors must follow to use the sites, including registering with the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Even what will be written on their placards is noted in advance.

As well, warns Liu Shaowu, director of security for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee: "Assembling to march or protest is a citizens right. But it must be stressed that citizens must not harm national, social and collective interests."

The woman under Mao's nose applied to protest, but has never heard back on her application. Though, she has heard others have — by being detained or now followed.

It is the next day, and we agree to meet near the old Beijing's train station. It is a time-worn neighborhood of long passages and earthy smells.

In some ways, while other parts of Beijing have progressed quickly, this area is still stuck in another time.

A second woman meets us — the first too nervous to come — and begins to quickly guide us toward the nearby superior court building. Others who want to speak out on issues have congregated near that state building, but don't dare do anything else but sit in silence.

Most want to rage about the very department which the government has set up to deal with any complaints.

As we walk, the tension and humid air combine to stifling effect. Locals stare — hundreds, perhaps thousands, of eyes calculate our movements.

"The police watch us," the woman says, her head down. "They watch us now. I can not stay."

Beijing is a tightly patrolled fortress right now. In the weeks before the Games, about 1,000 Chinese petitioners — those wanting to complain — were reportedly rounded up and moved out of the city. More than a few of the low-cost hotels where they normally stay have been shut down.

The woman's hands shake as she talks to myself, and Shan Qiao, a Chinese speaking reporter with Sun Media's Today Daily News.

We tell the contact to go if she is afraid, and she nods and scurries away. Still heading toward the courthouse, we are repeatedly stopped to ask why we are in the community and who we are talking to, finally having our way to the silent protestors blocked by a guard who tells us to leave at once.

The government's message that foreign journalists can speak to anyone — short of a prisoner — and go anywhere during the Games, has not reached this corner of Beijing.

Retracing our steps, the eyes continue to follow us — changing the mood of a city which has been nothing but happy and accommodating.

Suddenly, we are stopped again, this time by a trio of protesters — again, women — who want to use us as shields to get to the courthouse.

Instead, we agree to talk with them, but only one follows our request.

Wanting to get out of the main street — and out of earshot of several stern men talking nearby on cell phones — we duck down a small lane-way. Chinese flags are on almost every house in this Yong Wai District, making a drab, grey passage seem festive and almost inviting.

Many of the eyes withdraw for a moment, to allow us a few moments with Yu Yuying, who wants us to use her name. A widow, she has been fighting the justice system, to clear the name of her son, accused of some sort of corruption or embezzlement from a bank.

Government talk of increased freedoms to speak out are hollow, she says, just as a group of local women begin to circle around us.

They are the minders of this neighborhood, part of an extensive public block watch system that looks out for dissidents as well as possible troublemakers.

They toss questions at us, and check our Olympic identity cards. They look like grandmothers out shopping, but move like cops on foot patrol.

Yong Wai grabs her black bag, filled with protest papers which she would be arrested for if she were caught handing out, and leaves.

The street minders do not bother to follow her — though well known petitioners like her suspect a dozen plain-clothed officers watch them throughout the day here.

The activists had hoped the international media would find them, but officials and logistics and language have so far conspired to keep their stories far outside the Olympic experience. Not that the women's day patrol down this lane thinks they should be heard.

"These are domestic affairs," says 57 year old En Shi Ju. "We can take care of our own domestic affairs."

The lady dragons protecting the codes of this district say there is plenty of ways to be heard, and if any of them had a complaint — which they say they don't because the government provides what ever they need — then it would be dealt with fairly.

The women slowly warm to us, as we show an interest in their point of view.

"I don't feel my human rights have been limited," says a woman in a large floppy hat.

"I have one hundred percent liberty to express myself."

As she's saying that sentence, there's a blur to my right side. A young man in red shorts and black dress shoes comes from nowhere, and is trying to put a small folded piece of paper in the hand holding my pen. I reach out, and grab air.

The older women are moving like bullets from a gun. They slap the man's hand down, and pounce.

"What are you doing?" they demand, as they chase after him.

Afraid — his chance gone — the terrified man turns and bolts down a nearby alley.

The children of the district watch him — and learn.

When asked why they would not let the man deliver his message, on a simple, folded scrap of paper, one woman explains it was for my protection.

Besides, they continue, he wasn't from their community.

He only wanted to disrupt their harmony.

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.

They simply get to go home afterward.

William in Australia:

Saw it live in Australia, it was absolutely the best opening ceremony ever! It was even better than the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony, and that's saying something. As far as anything political is concerned, WHO CARES??? The Chinese have shown the world that they can do just about anything better when they put their attention to it, so America should just shut its collective cake-hole and be envious of something else. Bad luck your capitalist money-"oriented" NBC showed a late and modified version. Maybe you should consider moving to a different country. lol.

Anonymous:

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.
They simply get to go home afterward.

Real courage is the Chinese citizens who speaks out, in a country where many ordinary citizens still can't understand what an open dialogue really is.

The young Chinese woman in front of me is not one of those people. We meet under Chairman Mao's nose.

"We wish to talk with you," she says to myself and a Canadian colleague, as we patrol the entrance leading into the Forbidden City — the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing. "But not here. Not now."

It reads like the first chapter of a Cold War thriller. Crowds swirl like eddies all around, while Chinese families and a few chubbier foreign tourists move under a giant portrait of communist's heralded leader, Mao Zedong.

Soldiers see everything. The backdrop, across a busy street, is Tiananmen Square, site of the bloody 1989 pro-democracy protests and during these Olympics, the stage for several demonstrations by foreigners — including a man from Montreal, angry over conditions in Tibet.

That protester, 24 year old Chris Schwartz, was shipped out of China soon after he and four others gave an illegal street performance on Saturday critical of China's handling of Tibet.

The woman who's now handing me a phone number, and taking my card, is a long-time critic of the local justice system. She wants someone in the west to tell her story.

While you can debate whether the Olympics should be a time to protest — or even the place to air dirty domestic laundry — the Games are now a highly charged lightening rod for discontent.

The Chinese government, under international criticism that freedom of speech would be limited during the Games, set up three designated protest zones around the capital.

The people, apparently, have nothing to complain about, because the parks are largely deserted.

The spots are difficult to reach and far from Olympic sites, where the world's focus rests. There's also a long list of regulations which protestors must follow to use the sites, including registering with the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Even what will be written on their placards is noted in advance.

As well, warns Liu Shaowu, director of security for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee: "Assembling to march or protest is a citizens right. But it must be stressed that citizens must not harm national, social and collective interests."

The woman under Mao's nose applied to protest, but has never heard back on her application. Though, she has heard others have — by being detained or now followed.

It is the next day, and we agree to meet near the old Beijing's train station. It is a time-worn neighborhood of long passages and earthy smells.

In some ways, while other parts of Beijing have progressed quickly, this area is still stuck in another time.

A second woman meets us — the first too nervous to come — and begins to quickly guide us toward the nearby superior court building. Others who want to speak out on issues have congregated near that state building, but don't dare do anything else but sit in silence.

Most want to rage about the very department which the government has set up to deal with any complaints.

As we walk, the tension and humid air combine to stifling effect. Locals stare — hundreds, perhaps thousands, of eyes calculate our movements.

"The police watch us," the woman says, her head down. "They watch us now. I can not stay."

Beijing is a tightly patrolled fortress right now. In the weeks before the Games, about 1,000 Chinese petitioners — those wanting to complain — were reportedly rounded up and moved out of the city. More than a few of the low-cost hotels where they normally stay have been shut down.

The woman's hands shake as she talks to myself, and Shan Qiao, a Chinese speaking reporter with Sun Media's Today Daily News.

We tell the contact to go if she is afraid, and she nods and scurries away. Still heading toward the courthouse, we are repeatedly stopped to ask why we are in the community and who we are talking to, finally having our way to the silent protestors blocked by a guard who tells us to leave at once.

The government's message that foreign journalists can speak to anyone — short of a prisoner — and go anywhere during the Games, has not reached this corner of Beijing.

Retracing our steps, the eyes continue to follow us — changing the mood of a city which has been nothing but happy and accommodating.

Suddenly, we are stopped again, this time by a trio of protesters — again, women — who want to use us as shields to get to the courthouse.

Instead, we agree to talk with them, but only one follows our request.

Wanting to get out of the main street — and out of earshot of several stern men talking nearby on cell phones — we duck down a small lane-way. Chinese flags are on almost every house in this Yong Wai District, making a drab, grey passage seem festive and almost inviting.

Many of the eyes withdraw for a moment, to allow us a few moments with Yu Yuying, who wants us to use her name. A widow, she has been fighting the justice system, to clear the name of her son, accused of some sort of corruption or embezzlement from a bank.

Government talk of increased freedoms to speak out are hollow, she says, just as a group of local women begin to circle around us.

They are the minders of this neighborhood, part of an extensive public block watch system that looks out for dissidents as well as possible troublemakers.

They toss questions at us, and check our Olympic identity cards. They look like grandmothers out shopping, but move like cops on foot patrol.

Yong Wai grabs her black bag, filled with protest papers which she would be arrested for if she were caught handing out, and leaves.

The street minders do not bother to follow her — though well known petitioners like her suspect a dozen plain-clothed officers watch them throughout the day here.

The activists had hoped the international media would find them, but officials and logistics and language have so far conspired to keep their stories far outside the Olympic experience. Not that the women's day patrol down this lane thinks they should be heard.

"These are domestic affairs," says 57 year old En Shi Ju. "We can take care of our own domestic affairs."

The lady dragons protecting the codes of this district say there is plenty of ways to be heard, and if any of them had a complaint — which they say they don't because the government provides what ever they need — then it would be dealt with fairly.

The women slowly warm to us, as we show an interest in their point of view.

"I don't feel my human rights have been limited," says a woman in a large floppy hat.

"I have one hundred percent liberty to express myself."

As she's saying that sentence, there's a blur to my right side. A young man in red shorts and black dress shoes comes from nowhere, and is trying to put a small folded piece of paper in the hand holding my pen. I reach out, and grab air.

The older women are moving like bullets from a gun. They slap the man's hand down, and pounce.

"What are you doing?" they demand, as they chase after him.

Afraid — his chance gone — the terrified man turns and bolts down a nearby alley.

The children of the district watch him — and learn.

When asked why they would not let the man deliver his message, on a simple, folded scrap of paper, one woman explains it was for my protection.

Besides, they continue, he wasn't from their community.

He only wanted to disrupt their harmony.

Brave is not the foreign protester who comes into China to use the Olympics as a grandstand for their agenda.

They simply get to go home afterward.


Anonymous:

Security agents detained a Christian activist Sunday who was on his way to a church service attended by President Bush and the man was being held at an undisclosed location, a relative said.

Hua Huiqi, a member of Beijing's underground Christian church, and his brother were bicycling around dawn when they were taken away in separate cars by security agents, whom the brother said he recognized from previous encounters.

The agents took away Hua Huiqi's Bible and cell phone, said the brother, Hua Huilin, who was later released.

"I told him not to go because it's during the Olympic Games and this period is sensitive," Hua Huilin told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "But he was determined to go because he said that church was where he was baptized. So I went with him hoping to protect him."

The line was disconnected three times during the conversation, a sign that authorities were monitoring the line.

Hua Huiqi had been planning for days to be at Kuan Jie Protestant Church at the same time as Bush, who is in Beijing for the Olympics. It was not immediately clear what Hua had planned to do at the church.

A man who answered the telephone at the Beijing Public Security Bureau's spokesman's office said they would try to find out what happened. He would not comment otherwise or give his name, as is common with Chinese officials.

Chinese authorities often take activists away before and during sensitive periods. They have tightened already stringent restrictions to curb potential criticism or protests during the Olympics.

On Saturday, the organization Chinese Human Rights Defenders said the wife of jailed activist Zeng Jinyan disappeared on Thursday and may have been taken by police to prevent her from speaking to journalists during the games.

There have been small protests by foreign activists near the National Stadium, a key Olympics venue, and Tiananmen Square since last week. They have ended peacefully and no arrests were reported, though several people have been deported.

Five Tibet activists were taken away by Chinese security agents Sunday after protesting. All five protesters — including two Americans_ belong to the New York-based Students for a Free Tibet.

Hua Huiqi, an underground pastor who has fought against a development project in his neighborhood, has been arrested and beaten several times over the last few years because of his religious activities. He served six months in jail for "obstructing official business."

Rights groups say that charge stemmed from an incident where Hua and his mother scuffled with police as they prepared to deliver a petition to the central government over the demolition of their home in 2001.

China allows worship only in officially approved churches such as the one Bush visited Sunday with first lady Laura Bush, so millions of people pray privately in house churches to avoid detection.

After attending the service on Sunday, Bush gathered for photos with parishioners on the front steps and told reporters that no country should "fear the influence" of religious freedom, a clear reference to China's tight control of churches.

"It just goes to show that God is universal," Bush said. "No state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion."

Anonymous:

Thousands of people lined the streets to watch the torch pass. Tourists snapped pictures at historic landmarks such as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, and smiling athletes joined brightly dressed volunteers in overwhelming the city, eager for their moment in the international spotlight.
Yet controversial issues drape the Beijing Games like the host city's suffocating and murky gray air.
Pollution, human-rights, censorship and the threat of terrorism are not going away, having dominated the discourse in the days leading up to what China anticipates will be its glorious arrival as a global heavyweight. In a classic example of the ongoing concerns, President George Bush arrived the night before the opening ceremony having pressed China on human rights and political freedoms. China pushed back, accusing Bush of meddling.
However, Bush also praised China for its immaculate preparation for the Olympics - illustrating the unusual contrast between excitement and reservation so evident at these Games.
"There can be no question that China has achieved something truly special in readying itself to host these games," Bush said. "It is just simply remarkable."
China has been waiting for its chance to dazzle the world since landing the Olympics seven years ago, and theeagerness and anticipation has been evident on the streets and around the architectural marvels built specially to host the events. Legions of fans turned out along much of a 48-mile length of frontage road to cheer cyclists in the men's road race Saturday, for example, just as they waved flags and cheered runners carrying the Olympic torch through the city streets before the Games began.
Organizers said 7 million tickets have been sold, and about 4 billion people watched the opening ceremony - sold out in the 91,000-seat "Bird's Nest" stadium - on television around the world.
"Welcome, World" the national China Daily newspaper proclaimed.
Though many residents were unceremoniously displaced by Olympic construction, and many others live in squalid neighborhoods barely a javelin throw away from some of the glistening new facilities, the city - the entire country, really - seems to have mostly embraced the moment.
On street corners and in shops, citizens whose national identity had been considered less than genial now often offer enthusiastic "hellos" and "good mornings" to visitors in carefully rehearsed English.
At the same time, the event has not been without incident.
Four protestors were detained and deported after managing to elude the massive security net that organizers have constructed around the city and unfurling banners supporting independence for Tibet at the Bird's Nest. Earlier, an Islamic group warned of a terrorist plot, after 16 policemen were killed in an attack in the western province of Xinjiang.
Nearly 300,000 cameras have been installed around the city as part of an estimated $6.5 billion security program, and green-clad soldiers are easily spotted manning fences and checkpoints around the venues - though, curiously, they do not appear to be armed.
Otherwise, the most immediate concern is the weather.
Despite drastic efforts to reduce pollution - the government planted millions of trees, closed factories and removed cars from the roads - the air has remained thick and seemingly dirty, though the head of the International Olympic Committee diplomatically characterized it as "fog." What's more, the heat and humidity have been sweltering, potentially causing problems for the athletes - particularly those in outdoor endurance events, such as the marathon.
"If I had the choice of not breathing, I wouldn't want to," cyclist David Zabriskie of Salt Lake City said.
Even the inspiring choice of Lomong as the American flag-bearer for the opening ceremony was loaded with political subtext.
The former Northern Arizona runner who won an NCAA regional cross country championship in Ogden last year is a former Sudanese refugee who's now a member of Team Darfur, the organization founded by former Salt Lake City resident and speedskating gold medalist Joey Cheek - who was banned from entering the country for the Olympics.
Having described the choice of Lomong as "a wonderful statement," U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth was asked what kind of statement he believed was being made, considering many activists like Cheek have criticized China for not using more of its influence with Sudan to end the Darfur crisis there.
"You folks can take it wherever you want," Ueberroth said.

Anonymous:

Soldiers with machine guns guarded the sidewalks and police yelled at residents who tried to leave their homes Sunday, hours after officers battled bomb-tossing assailants in the second daring attack in a week in China's restive Muslim territory.

The attackers were able to launch a series of pre-dawn bombings in the rugged Xinjiang region, far from the Beijing Olympics, despite tightened security for the games.

The violence, which police say killed 10 assailants and one security guard, also came just days after a militant Islamic group linked to al-Qaida issued a new warning it would strike during the Olympics.

No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack in Kuqa county, and police have not released any evidence that a terrorist organization was involved. But tensions in Xinjiang have been simmering for decades between the Muslim minority Uighur people and the Han Chinese who are about 90 percent of the nation's population.

Many Uighurs yearn for independence for Xinjiang, a sprawling region rich in minerals and oil. Critics say the millions of Han Chinese who have settled here in recent years are gradually squeezing the Turkic people out of their homeland.

But many Chinese believe the Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gers) are backward and ungrateful for the economic development the Chinese have brought to the poor region, which borders eight Central Asian nations.

Sunday's series of bombings apparently targeted places dominated by Chinese, including a police station, government buildings, a bank and a shopping center in Kuqa — a base for oil and natural gas projects in the surrounding desert and mountains.

One blast blew the metal security door off the Three Eagle Shoe City. Several display cases were pushed over, and the floor was littered with bits of glass, light bulbs and shoes.

"I have no idea what their motive was," said the store's owner, a pudgy, middle-aged Chinese man with a crew cut.

"I opened this store about a year ago. Business has been OK. Now I don't know how I'm going to afford to fix it up," said the man, who declined to give his name because of the sensitivity of the attack.

In a brief statement, police said officers killed eight of the attackers and two others blew themselves up. Two were arrested and three were at large, said the police, who declined to offer more information.

A more detailed and dramatic account was provided by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, which said there were 12 bombings. The attackers used bent pipes, gas canisters and liquid gas tanks to make their explosive devices, Xinhua said.

In one of the most brazen attacks, the assailants drove a three-wheeled vehicle with explosives into the compound of the public security bureau at about 2:30 a.m., Xinhua reported. A blast followed, killing a security guard and injuring two police and two civilians, it said.

Six hours later, police hunted down five attackers who were hiding under a counter in a nearby market, Xinhua said. The men hurled bombs at the police, who fatally shot two of them, while the remaining three killed themselves with their own bombs, the news agency said.

Police declined to confirm the Xinhua account or comment on the discrepancies between it and the police statement.

One group that might be behind the attacks was the Turkestan Islamic Party, which issued the recent Olympics threat. The organization, which analysts believe is based in neighboring Pakistan, is fighting for Xinjiang independence.

Li Wei, a counterterrorism expert at a think tank with ties to the Chinese government, said the group's support has declined sharply in the past few years. It may be trying to boost its profile and influence by launching attacks during the games, said Li, of the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations.

But he added, "I don't think this incident could lead to the conclusion that their capabilities have increased, because even an extremely small number of people could draw enormous media attention."

Last Monday, two attackers killed 16 border police in the Xinjiang city of Kashgar, near the Pakistan-Afghan border. No one claim responsibility.

After Sunday's bombings, the authorities declared virtual martial law in Kuqa, about 1,740 miles west of Beijing with a population of 400,000. Outside the Kuqa Hotel, about five soldiers were on their stomachs in sniper positions, aiming Kalashnikov assault rifles toward the road.

An Associated Press reporter and photographer were detained while they were reporting Sunday near the scene. Police took them to a hotel next to the bombed police station, and they were told not to leave until downtown reopened in the mid-afternoon.

Three European tourists who came to Kuqa to see one of its famous sites — rock-cut Buddhist caves and wall paintings — canceled their plans and made arrangements to leave on the next train.

"I heard some bombs and then I heard some machine guns," said one of the tourists, who did not want his name or nationality mentioned for fear of the response from Chinese authorities. "The bombs sounded like thunder far away."

Soldiers with machine guns guarded the sidewalks and police yelled at residents who tried to leave their homes Sunday, hours after officers battled bomb-tossing assailants in the second daring attack in a week in China's restive Muslim territory.

The attackers were able to launch a series of pre-dawn bombings in the rugged Xinjiang region, far from the Beijing Olympics, despite tightened security for the games.

The violence, which police say killed 10 assailants and one security guard, also came just days after a militant Islamic group linked to al-Qaida issued a new warning it would strike during the Olympics.

No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack in Kuqa county, and police have not released any evidence that a terrorist organization was involved. But tensions in Xinjiang have been simmering for decades between the Muslim minority Uighur people and the Han Chinese who are about 90 percent of the nation's population.

Many Uighurs yearn for independence for Xinjiang, a sprawling region rich in minerals and oil. Critics say the millions of Han Chinese who have settled here in recent years are gradually squeezing the Turkic people out of their homeland.

But many Chinese believe the Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gers) are backward and ungrateful for the economic development the Chinese have brought to the poor region, which borders eight Central Asian nations.

Sunday's series of bombings apparently targeted places dominated by Chinese, including a police station, government buildings, a bank and a shopping center in Kuqa — a base for oil and natural gas projects in the surrounding desert and mountains.

One blast blew the metal security door off the Three Eagle Shoe City. Several display cases were pushed over, and the floor was littered with bits of glass, light bulbs and shoes.

"I have no idea what their motive was," said the store's owner, a pudgy, middle-aged Chinese man with a crew cut.

"I opened this store about a year ago. Business has been OK. Now I don't know how I'm going to afford to fix it up," said the man, who declined to give his name because of the sensitivity of the attack.

In a brief statement, police said officers killed eight of the attackers and two others blew themselves up. Two were arrested and three were at large, said the police, who declined to offer more information.

A more detailed and dramatic account was provided by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, which said there were 12 bombings. The attackers used bent pipes, gas canisters and liquid gas tanks to make their explosive devices, Xinhua said.

In one of the most brazen attacks, the assailants drove a three-wheeled vehicle with explosives into the compound of the public security bureau at about 2:30 a.m., Xinhua reported. A blast followed, killing a security guard and injuring two police and two civilians, it said.

Six hours later, police hunted down five attackers who were hiding under a counter in a nearby market, Xinhua said. The men hurled bombs at the police, who fatally shot two of them, while the remaining three killed themselves with their own bombs, the news agency said.

Police declined to confirm the Xinhua account or comment on the discrepancies between it and the police statement.

One group that might be behind the attacks was the Turkestan Islamic Party, which issued the recent Olympics threat. The organization, which analysts believe is based in neighboring Pakistan, is fighting for Xinjiang independence.

Li Wei, a counterterrorism expert at a think tank with ties to the Chinese government, said the group's support has declined sharply in the past few years. It may be trying to boost its profile and influence by launching attacks during the games, said Li, of the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations.

But he added, "I don't think this incident could lead to the conclusion that their capabilities have increased, because even an extremely small number of people could draw enormous media attention."

Last Monday, two attackers killed 16 border police in the Xinjiang city of Kashgar, near the Pakistan-Afghan border. No one claim responsibility.

After Sunday's bombings, the authorities declared virtual martial law in Kuqa, about 1,740 miles west of Beijing with a population of 400,000. Outside the Kuqa Hotel, about five soldiers were on their stomachs in sniper positions, aiming Kalashnikov assault rifles toward the road.

An Associated Press reporter and photographer were detained while they were reporting Sunday near the scene. Police took them to a hotel next to the bombed police station, and they were told not to leave until downtown reopened in the mid-afternoon.

Three European tourists who came to Kuqa to see one of its famous sites — rock-cut Buddhist caves and wall paintings — canceled their plans and made arrangements to leave on the next train.

"I heard some bombs and then I heard some machine guns," said one of the tourists, who did not want his name or nationality mentioned for fear of the response from Chinese authorities. "The bombs sounded like thunder far away."

令狐沖:

Instead of more politics, I would like to provide some background for the aesthetics of the opening ceremony since it has immpressed many foreign peoples:

神州思壯美
源遠古難蹤
靈玉乃後物
磅礡在青銅
銅玉性相異
慧心使之熔
剛大移山海
柔媚轉彩虹
飛揚有法度
大和歸正中
造字如星斗
渺茫萬象從
幾字透神機
天人一心通
中土明如鏡
天象變無窮
生生演不盡
力與美同宗


My transalation is more an explanation due to the limitation of my English skills. Improvement welcome:

神州思壯美
The Sacred Continent (another name for China) desires Grand Beauty
源遠古難蹤
with an origin too ancient to trace
靈玉乃後物
The Elegance of jade is only a later work
磅礡在青銅
The Majestic should be found in her early bronze
銅玉性相異
The Elegant and the Majestic do not mix in nature
慧心使之熔
Her wisdom has welded them in one Aesthetics:
剛大移山海
With a Strength shift the Mountains and Oceans
柔媚轉彩虹
And a beauty set the rainbows to dance
飛揚有法度
Its freedom never drifts away from inner principles
大和歸正中
for all converges to the Grand Harmony in the middle
造字如星斗
A script like the Stars in heaven is created accordingly
渺茫萬象從
The Script exhausts all forms in the Universe
幾字透神機
The magics of Dao is through each Character
天人一心通
Heaven and Men are to be united in one
中土明如鏡
The Middle Earth (China calls herself) is as clear as a Mirror
天象變無窮
Reflecting the heavenly forms evolving endlessly
生生演不盡
The life of life never ends Here
力與美同宗
for Beauty and Strenght descend from the same source

Citizen of the post-American world:

Anonymous August 10, 2008 2:35 PM writes: ""Well... it gave birth to the United States of America..." Yes Europe did. All the worthwhile people left Europe and came to the US. The people that got left behind ... That's another good point."

:) :0 :)

Anonymous,

Europe even gave birth to the American Declaration of Independence and to the United States Bill of Rights, through the Enlightenment...

Then, for good measure, Europe gave the US not a barrel of oil, not a padlock, but the Statue of Liberty, in the hope that we'd always remember what the Founding Fathers had thought mattered the most in life.

:) :( :(

Europe did all that for us... and so much more... you ungrateful heir.

Alas!

Anonymous:

Soldiers with machine guns guarded the sidewalks and police yelled at residents who tried to leave their homes Sunday, hours after officers battled bomb-tossing assailants in the second daring attack in a week in China's restive Muslim territory.

The attackers were able to launch a series of pre-dawn bombings in the rugged Xinjiang region, far from the Beijing Olympics, despite tightened security for the games.

The violence, which police say killed 10 assailants and one security guard, also came just days after a militant Islamic group linked to al-Qaida issued a new warning it would strike during the Olympics.

No group has claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack in Kuqa county, and police have not released any evidence that a terrorist organization was involved. But tensions in Xinjiang have been simmering for decades between the Muslim minority Uighur people and the Han Chinese who are about 90 percent of the nation's population.

Many Uighurs yearn for independence for Xinjiang, a sprawling region rich in minerals and oil. Critics say the millions of Han Chinese who have settled here in recent years are gradually squeezing the Turkic people out of their homeland.

But many Chinese believe the Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gers) are backward and ungrateful for the economic development the Chinese have brought to the poor region, which borders eight Central Asian nations.

Sunday's series of bombings apparently targeted places dominated by Chinese, including a police station, government buildings, a bank and a shopping center in Kuqa — a base for oil and natural gas projects in the surrounding desert and mountains.

One blast blew the metal security door off the Three Eagle Shoe City. Several display cases were pushed over, and the floor was littered with bits of glass, light bulbs and shoes.

"I have no idea what their motive was," said the store's owner, a pudgy, middle-aged Chinese man with a crew cut.

"I opened this store about a year ago. Business has been OK. Now I don't know how I'm going to afford to fix it up," said the man, who declined to give his name because of the sensitivity of the attack.

In a brief statement, police said officers killed eight of the attackers and two others blew themselves up. Two were arrested and three were at large, said the police, who declined to offer more information.

A more detailed and dramatic account was provided by the state-run Xinhua News Agency, which said there were 12 bombings. The attackers used bent pipes, gas canisters and liquid gas tanks to make their explosive devices, Xinhua said.

In one of the most brazen attacks, the assailants drove a three-wheeled vehicle with explosives into the compound of the public security bureau at about 2:30 a.m., Xinhua reported. A blast followed, killing a security guard and injuring two police and two civilians, it said.

Six hours later, police hunted down five attackers who were hiding under a counter in a nearby market, Xinhua said. The men hurled bombs at the police, who fatally shot two of them, while the remaining three killed themselves with their own bombs, the news agency said.

Police declined to confirm the Xinhua account or comment on the discrepancies between it and the police statement.

One group that might be behind the attacks was the Turkestan Islamic Party, which issued the recent Olympics threat. The organization, which analysts believe is based in neighboring Pakistan, is fighting for Xinjiang independence.

Li Wei, a counterterrorism expert at a think tank with ties to the Chinese government, said the group's support has declined sharply in the past few years. It may be trying to boost its profile and influence by launching attacks during the games, said Li, of the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations.

But he added, "I don't think this incident could lead to the conclusion that their capabilities have increased, because even an extremely small number of people could draw enormous media attention."

Last Monday, two attackers killed 16 border police in the Xinjiang city of Kashgar, near the Pakistan-Afghan border. No one claim responsibility.

After Sunday's bombings, the authorities declared virtual martial law in Kuqa, about 1,740 miles west of Beijing with a population of 400,000. Outside the Kuqa Hotel, about five soldiers were on their stomachs in sniper positions, aiming Kalashnikov assault rifles toward the road.

An Associated Press reporter and photographer were detained while they were reporting Sunday near the scene. Police took them to a hotel next to the bombed police station, and they were told not to leave until downtown reopened in the mid-afternoon.

Three European tourists who came to Kuqa to see one of its famous sites — rock-cut Buddhist caves and wall paintings — canceled their plans and made arrangements to leave on the next train.

"I heard some bombs and then I heard some machine guns," said one of the tourists, who did not want his name or nationality mentioned for fear of the response from Chinese authorities. "The bombs sounded like thunder far away."

Anonymous:

Chinese President Hu Jintao said here on Sunday that the Chinese government will never change its stance against “Taiwan independence,” and hoped that the United States properly handles the Taiwan issue to support the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.
Under new circumstances, the Chinese government will continue to push for the peaceful development of the relations across the Taiwan Straits, said the Chinese president, adding that China hopes to see Washington properly handle the Taiwan issue and support such peaceful development.
President Bush responded that the United States is glad to see the improvement of cross-Strait relations. Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), expressed good wishes for Taiwan athletes on Friday, saying that he hoped they would have good results at the Olympic Games.
Hu also expressed deep gratitude to Taiwan people who supported the mainland in disaster-relief efforts after the 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12.
Hu made the remarks while meeting with Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong.
The Taiwan guests were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games that starts at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Hu said that people from all circles in Taiwan have participated in the preparation for the Games in various ways in recent years.
“I believe we are surely able to present a unique and high-level international sporting gala, with the great support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the international Olympic communities as well with the mutual endeavors made by all Chinese both at home and from overseas, including Taiwan compatriots,” Hu said.
Hu said he hoped the two sides across the Taiwan Strait can grasp the rare historic opportunity to vigorously strengthen exchanges and cooperation in every field and bring tangible benefits to the compatriots on both sides of the Strait.
“Currently, the cross-Strait relationship shows good momentum of development. This is a hard-won situation worth cherishing. We should continue to make joint efforts to keep the good momentum going on,” Hu said.
“The Chinese people on both sides of the Strait have the wisdom and capability to properly handle the existing disagreements,” he added.

Suzanne:

Jusafan wrote:
"US media coverage of the olympics have always been bias and nationalistic, much like its media's coverage of Operation Desert Storm, Desert Shield. Fact are twisted to make america looks good, to make it's citizen feel better and secure that "we are no.1", if it's not doing well, we should FEAR the new threat, threat to our “freedom”! “democracy”…

MEDAL TALLY
funny US media tends to put USA in no.1 spot VIA TOTAL MEDAL COUNT when it are not ahead in gold medals."


So in your world silver and bronze medals don’t count? I bet they count to those who got them. Gold medals are only 1/3 of the medals awarded.

Anonymous:


"Well... it gave birth to the United States of America..."

Yes Europe did. All the worthwhile people left Europe and came to the US. The people that got left behind ... That's another good point.

Anonymous:

Assailants using homemade bombs attacked a shopping center and hotel and battled with police Sunday in a western Chinese city far from the Beijing Olympics where local Muslims have waged a sputtering rebellion against Chinese rule. Ten attackers and one security guard died, police said.

The pre-dawn violence in the restive Muslim region of Xinjiang came despite tightened security for the games and followed threats by an al-Qaida-linked militant Islamic group to disrupt the sporting event.

Sunday's attack and an assault on border police Aug. 4 that left 16 officers dead marked a dramatic increase in violence in the region.

Police said "violent terrorists" attacked a shopping center, hotel and government buildings in the city of Kuqa in west central Xinjiang.

Without providing details, the police statement said officers killed eight attackers and another two blew themselves up, while two were arrested. Three attackers were at large, it said.

In a more detailed account, the state-run Xinhua News agency said the bombs were made from bent pipes, gas canisters and liquid gas tanks.

One of the largest attacks involved assailants who drove a three-wheeled vehicle with explosives into the compound of the public security bureau at about 2:30 a.m., Xinhua reported. An explosion followed that killed the security guard, injured two police and two civilians, and destroyed two police cars, it said.

Police opened fire on the attackers, killing one. Another blew himself up, injuring a third, and a fourth was captured in the assault, Xinhua said, citing an unidentified local government spokesman.

Six hours later, a battle broke out in a nearby market where police found five attackers hiding under a counter, Xinhua said. The men hurled bombs at police, who fatally shot two of them, while the remaining three killed themselves with their own bombs, the news agency said.

Xinhua said the captured suspect told police 15 people were involved in the attack. Police, who said three attackers were at large, also seized a taxi used by the bombers.

Police declined to confirm the Xinhua account or comment on the discrepancies between the report and the official news release.

Wang Wei, vice president of the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, called the attacks the work of "East Turkestan terrorists" — the name some separatists use for Xinjiang — and said no government would tolerate such violence.

"The very purpose of these attacks is all about separating the region from China," Wang told reporters. He said the attackers "want to use the Olympic stage to enlarge the impact."

Authorities shut down Kuqa county, a region 1,740 miles west of Beijing where some 400,000 people live, for most of the day. Soldiers with machine guns patrolled the streets and people were told not to leave their homes. A Foreign Ministry official in Beijing, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said the restrictions were akin to martial law.

Police picked up an Associated Press reporter and photographer while they were reporting Sunday near the scene and drove them to a hotel where they were kept for hours. On the way to the hotel, they saw one of the explosion sites: a storefront in a line of shops was burnt out, and a three-wheeled vehicle parked in front of the store was completely charred.

After several hours, people were allowed to go back into the streets, though most shops stayed closed. People gathered on the sidewalk outside the places that had been attacked, including a bank, which had its facade covered with a red, white and blue tarp.

A Western tourist in Kuqa, who did not want his name or nationality mentioned for fear of the response from Chinese authorities, said he heard the explosions while he was in bed reading.

"I heard some bombs and then I heard some machine guns," he said. "The bombs sounded like thunder far away."

"We came down to the lobby this morning and it was breakfast as usual," but no one was allowed to go outside, the tourist said.

Residents in the street discussed the attack among themselves, but were reticent to talk to a reporter.

"This doesn't usually happen. It's happening now because of the Olympics, but I don't know who is doing it," said one man, a construction worker, who wouldn't give his name for fear of official retaliation.

happy:

the ceremony "was predicted to be the most watched television event in history, with 2.3 billion viewers tuning in live," the Post reported. Why wasn't it shown live? Only NBC knows for sure.
--------------------

So I guess NOBODY saw it live other than those that were there....

And to tell you the truth, If they got more than half-a-billion to watch their rebroadcast I would be very surprised....

Personally I am finding joy in all the channels that are playing all the awsome movies to keep people entertained while the mainstream channels try to saturate our vewing with Pro China Olympic junk.

I guess China cant be proud of the fact that they are the first nation to go from such high esteem to such low esteem in the public eye in such a short amount of time.

Anonymous:

EIGHT people died in bombings and fierce clashes between police and attackers in China's remote northwest Sunday, state media reported, the second outbreak of deadly violence there in under a week.
Soldiers were called in to secure the town of Kuqa in Xinjiang, a Muslim-populated region that is home to what China says are Islamic terrorists intent on turning the nation's Olympic celebrations into mourning.

Chinese authorities did not identify who the attackers were in Sunday's assault, but said they targeted police and government offices, and that some of them killed themselves when confronted by security forces.

Seven of the attackers died in the violence, while one security guard was killed, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The clashes began with assailants setting off an explosion at the Kuqa police station, with that blast killing the security guard as well as injuring two policemen and two civilians, according to Xinhua.

Five 'bombers' were found hiding in a market a few hours later. Police shot two of them dead, as the attackers threw home-made explosives. Three of the attackers 'blew themselves up', Xinhua reported without elaborating


Anonymous:

Athletically, US is still superpower that for years any country could be a rightful challenger.

Even though this time China gets more medals than US, which to me, a Chinese, I know that the total # does not represent the average Chinese Athletic status.

US sport system is individual, local.
But China government sets sport schools to train a few talents to work for national honor.

Sport to me is alway individual life, as a true Olympian.

In China, there are not many sports facilities;
but in US, everywhere soccer fields and every American Adult don't even play soccer.

The only things I don't like US is that every child grows up playing soccer, then when these big companies lure everyone to play baseball and football, one of biggest sports in the world that American turn away from, and soccer is much creative and balanced sport than football and baseball.

I guess it is a national pride thing, that states Americans are different among the rest. Just like the American kids are for generations brainwashed in the baseball and football stadium, the same as average coverage of Olympic, that USA is broadcasted as superpower.

I think for a superpower, American, do not need to put extra paint on them, US need to have confidence and high self-esteem about themselves, they don't need a speaker and screen to tell them that they are great every night.

at last, sport is always individual struggle, if it ever get to a national thing, then it loses its meaning, the true Olympians are a hero of everyone, every color, every race and all nations. But the politicians of the world just want to use them as their chess pieces.

Whether China or USA, or other countries of the world, everyone is true life is presented in the eye of editor, whether newspaper or speaker or TV.

We are 60 billion sad people.

Jack C:

If the opening ceremonies didn’t open your eyes to why America is on a steady decline while China is on a incline - than you are probably asleep and it doesn’t really matter.

Reasons for China's incline? A few that might come to mind ..

disciplined - driven - determined - industrious - committed - hard working - result oriented - accountable - courageous - proud - creative - sacrificing - modest - pragmatic - visionary - risk taking

Reasons for America's decline? Maybe something to do with ..

hyper marketing - deception - lying - corruption - greed - back stabbing - me me me - gimmee gimmee - wasn't me - finger pointing - no accountability - self centered - self serving - want it all - instant gratification - mofo and you know - and we are proud to be Americans!!

Instead of waving our flag we should be sending it to the cleaners.

Anonymous:

EIGHT people died in bombings and fierce clashes between police and attackers in China's remote northwest Sunday, state media reported, the second outbreak of deadly violence there in under a week.
Soldiers were called in to secure the town of Kuqa in Xinjiang, a Muslim-populated region that is home to what China says are Islamic terrorists intent on turning the nation's Olympic celebrations into mourning.

Chinese authorities did not identify who the attackers were in Sunday's assault, but said they targeted police and government offices, and that some of them killed themselves when confronted by security forces.

Seven of the attackers died in the violence, while one security guard was killed, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The clashes began with assailants setting off an explosion at the Kuqa police station, with that blast killing the security guard as well as injuring two policemen and two civilians, according to Xinhua.

Five 'bombers' were found hiding in a market a few hours later. Police shot two of them dead, as the attackers threw home-made explosives. Three of the attackers 'blew themselves up', Xinhua reported without elaborating

Citizen of the post-American world:

Anonymous August 10, 2008 1:58 AM asks: "Other than start a war every 20 years (before the American occupation) and trying to enslave the world, what has Europe ever done?"

:) :o :)

Well... it gave birth to the United States of America...

:(

hannaT:

To Andy Moursund & the likes:

I didn't know you actually concerned about displaced chinese or any non-western people?

if you care so much how bout opening those borders to let them in? give a room in your house to them? shelter & food? what happened to "...Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

why concern about ppl from an arm's length? or izit China is the current favorite whipping boy for western press? who's next? India? Brazil?

Or maybe because they looked ... DIFFERENT? and those different ppl cannot be as progressive and civilized and advanced as you?

Maybe the Nazi reference & its concept of racial superiority is NOT about china,perhaps it's somebody else here...

Anonymous:

erik de koster, brussels, wrote:

"NBC bought the rights to the Olympics, so they have a monopoly on whatever they do with that information."

No, NBC has a monopoly only on the audio/video that's coming out of their studios in Beijing. Americans can get all the "information" on the Olympics they want from anywhere on the Internet, anytime, thank you.


Vlad:

"The rapidly escalating military confrontation between Georgia and Russia in the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia, whose ties to Russia have long irritated Georgian leaders, is becoming an Olympic-sized headache for the International Olympic Committee.

Olympic officials said yesterday they were saddened by the hostilities. They called for the sides to cease fighting and respect the Olympic Truce during the Games."

http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=0116e571-ddf3-4df5-a111-bb3bacc09ef3&sponsor=

Andy Moursund:

Too bad that Leni Riefenstahl isn't around to capture the spirit of this 2008 Olympics. She would have felt right at home.

There's nothing like a good old totalitarian circus to send chills up our spines.

And WHO CARES about those million and a half Chinese people who got displaced so that the Chinese government and the world's biggest corporations can put on this spectacle? YOU CAN'T MAKE AN OMELETTE WITHOUT BREAKING EGGS.

Anonymous:

Georgia medal winner calls for peace

(Reuters) - Nino Salukvadze of Georgia embraced her Russian rival and made a moving appeal for peace after winning an Olympic bronze medal in shooting on Sunday.

The two rival shooters -- who were once team mates in the Soviet Union -- hugged and kissed each other on the cheeks after the dramatic final in the Beijing shooting range hall, where China's Guo Wenjung came from behind to win the gold medal.

"We live in the 21st Century, after all," said Salukvadze, who wiped tears from her eyes when she put her pistol down after her final shot and the crowd applauded. "We shouldn't really stoop so low to wage wars against each other."

Silver medal winner Paderina confirmed her friendship with Salukvadze, sitting to her right: "We are friends indeed. We've been shooting together for a long time. She used to shoot for (the Soviet Union). We are really friends and don't get mixed up in political things. Sports is not politics."

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Olympics/idUSPEK11231920080810?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

Tom:

The Olympics stopped being a sporting event long ago when big money discovered how much $$$$ they could make off of these supposedly "amateur" games. The Olympics are now a TV show, period. Everything is optimized to bring in as many viewers as possible and charge as much as possible for the ads.

That's the way it is in the U.S., at least.

To compare America's broadcast coverage to broadcast coverage in other countries is like comparing apples to oranges. Our broadcast system is much more commercialized; many other broadcasters in other countries covering the Olympics are government-owned or get at least part of their funding from the government. So their coverage is financed--whole or in part--by the viewers already, hence fewer commercial interruptions.

NBC, like all networks, still lives in their own little world where viewers only matter if they're watching from 8-11 pm every night (weekends excepted). They are ruled by the Nielsen system which sets the ad rates which determines the bottom line, which is all that matters.

That world is becoming increasingly irrelevant however, as online video becomes more popular.

The continued politicization (which will never go away) and the increased commercialization of the games will continue to make them an object of scorn and controversy as long as the Olympics exist.

citizen here:

a forum go to see:
www.anti-cnn.com

Anonymous:

Amnesty International has reported that the Olympics have actually increased repression. One reason is that the massive amount of development in Beijing to prepare the city for the games has not only cost US$40 billion in public money, it has cost 300,000 people their homes.

Not only is rendering people homeless for the sake of commercial development itself a human rights abuse, but those residents who protested against their homes being demolished have suffered imprisonment and torture. Some have simply disappeared.

On August 4, Western journalists came across a protest by about 20 evicted residents in a residential street near Tiananmen Square. “We don’t oppose the Olympics, but it’s wrong for them to demolish our house! It’s wrong!”, protester Liu Fumei yelled to the journalists as she was dragged off by plain-clothes police.

Another protester, Ma Xiulan, told journalists, “Developers shouldn’t use the Olympics to take our homes. And we cannot stop protecting our rights because of the Olympics.”

Using repression to drive out the poor and silence dissent is part of the Olympic tradition. For example, for the 1984 Los Angeles games, the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team was sent overseas, including to Israel, to learn the finer techniques of mass repression subsequently deployed against African-American youth in the inner city, with thousands arrested.

Homeless people, whose numbers had increased with the demolition of public housing to make way for Olympics-related development, were removed from Atlanta for the 1996 games using specially introduced laws, including prohibiting lying down while not in a home!

Anonymous:

EIGHT people died in bombings and fierce clashes between police and attackers in China's remote northwest Sunday, state media reported, the second outbreak of deadly violence there in under a week.
Soldiers were called in to secure the town of Kuqa in Xinjiang, a Muslim-populated region that is home to what China says are Islamic terrorists intent on turning the nation's Olympic celebrations into mourning.

Chinese authorities did not identify who the attackers were in Sunday's assault, but said they targeted police and government offices, and that some of them killed themselves when confronted by security forces.

Seven of the attackers died in the violence, while one security guard was killed, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The clashes began with assailants setting off an explosion at the Kuqa police station, with that blast killing the security guard as well as injuring two policemen and two civilians, according to Xinhua.

Five 'bombers' were found hiding in a market a few hours later. Police shot two of them dead, as the attackers threw home-made explosives. Three of the attackers 'blew themselves up', Xinhua reported without elaborating.

Local authorities refused to comment when contacted by AFP, but a resident confirmed Xinhua's report that the military and police had quickly locked down the centre of Kuqa, a city of 400,000 people.

'Don't come today, the town centre is closed,' a receptionist at the Kuqa Hotel told AFP by phone.

citizen here:

oh anonymous,i appreciate your opinion so much,so,let's cheer for the wisest anonymous,let's believe that china is a place of no value ,let's stay and stop knowing more about the changing world,let's under the leadership of anonymouses and the USA will go go go!!!

Anonymous:

Moronic Losers are you all that whinge!

Turn off your telly. Who cares?
The jury is already out. No amount of parasitic activism can stop THE GREATEST OLYMPIC ON EARTH.

Now don't turn your on to watch, for if you do, you will know you are truely THE LOSER for the rest of your life.


hust read it with a voice of City Wok Guy from south park:

Authorities have installed security doors and X-ray machines at the entrances to the most popular tourist spots on the Great Wall of China for the August 8-24 Olympics, local police said Sunday.

The six entrances at Badaling, a section of the wall about 50 miles (80 kilometres) from Beijing, have been fitted with the equipment, a police official in Yanqing County, where Badaling is located, told AFP.

Badaling has been closed to tourists for a week since August 7, when the Olympic torch relay passed along the Great Wall. It re-opens Thursday, after cycling events due to pass near the wall finish, the official said.

The security measures were the latest in a series implemented by Chinese authorities, including checks on the subway in Beijing and restrictions on entry visas, as they have warned of a wide range of threats to the Olympics.

Since the Games began Friday, two separate incidents have cast a shadow on the proceedings.

On Saturday, the father-in-law of the US men's Olympic volleyball coach was stabbed to death in Beijing by a Chinese man, in an attack that left his wife seriously injured.

Attackers also bombed a police station in China's mainly Muslim far northwest early Sunday, leaving seven of the assailants and a security guard dead, according to the official Xinhua news agency.


http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hHf62a5wpxIMedzUBiv5D2plv0Dg

Anonymous:

I admit it isn't much but sometimes we don't have to do much to make a difference. This one for me is easy.

I will not under any circumstances watch the Olympics.
But I figure this time I will not read anything about it or watch any news or stories about it. I won't allow the Chinese or the major corporations that support the Olympics to count me in as one of their suckers. I don't care how many medals the Chinese have and how many we have.

You see I have this thing about justice, human rights, and humane treatment of people. I know most people don't care so they will not engage in my boycott. But I learned long ago that I can't control what selfish people do with their lives. Ever since the Chinese massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 I have had an extreme dislike for the Chinese government. Ever since NAFTA and globalization, I have had an extreme dislike for corporate governance.

Tenger:

I am watching from Asia. My cable service has access to Chinese, Korean, Russian, Japanese, Mongolian and European channels.

All of it live, low keyed, commentary limited, access to swimming, fencing, gymnastics, bicycles, volleyball and boxing with a flip of a channel. Just athletes, great TV angles, no human interest stories, limited medal ceremonies, no tallying of which country has the most medals. Just hour after hour of great athletic performance.

CNN, which we also get here, doesn't have rights so its correspondent is taking taxis in Beijing and laughing when the driver doesn't recognize "Hilton Hotel" in English. Georgia dominated the news last night, but now John Edwards is the main event -- taking up I estimate 25% of the time. That's 25% that the rest of the world is putting into something more constructive.

I wouldn't trade my US passport in for anything, but it is increasingly hard not to notice a large part of the world may be blowing past us.


Anonymous:

Marlene: 7:55

What you are saying about Canadian coverage is just not true. What a country paid for tv rights does not effect how many hours can be broadcasted. CBC paid less than NBC but can show many hours more (which it will when broadcast and internet streaming is considered). You're facts are wrong. CBC will show events LIVE on their internet but NBC won't show event live on internet until it chooses to show it on primetime. Canadians not only have 4 CBC or related channels that will show the Olympics and the internet but the American stations as well. That, my friend, is a LOT OF CHOICE YOU DON'T HAVE.

jusafan:

US media coverage of the olympics have always been bias and nationalistic, much like its media's coverage of Operation Desert Storm, Desert Shield. Fact are twisted to make america looks good, to make it's citizen feel better and secure that "we are no.1", if it's not doing well, we should FEAR the new threat, threat to our "freedom"! "democracy"...

MEDAL TALLY
funny US media tends to put USA in no.1 spot VIA TOTAL MEDAL COUNT when it are not ahead in gold medals.
"Doesn't that Feel good or what?"

BASEBALL
Can't wait to see the winner of every world series since time immemorial to win gold this time.
"We are the Champions"
...Sheesh.


Anonymous:

A Chinese human rights activist whose husband was jailed earlier this year has disappeared and may have been taken by police to prevent her from speaking to journalists during the Beijing Olympics, an overseas-based human rights group said Friday.

The group, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, said Zeng Jinyan disappeared on Thursday and has not been heard from. Zeng is married to activist Hu Jia, who was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison in April.

"All attempts to contact her have failed. It is feared that Zeng has been taken into police custody and might be mistreated," the group said.

"As the Olympics open in Beijing, it is believed that Zeng was taken away to ensure that no journalists will have access to her and that she will be unable to speak out about Hu Jia during the games," it said in a statement.

Zeng's cell phone was out of service Saturday. Zeng and their baby daughter have been under strict surveillance by police since Hu was detained Dec. 27. Reporters have been turned back by police guarding their residential complex.

The spokesman's office of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said it will look into the matter. Police in Tongzhou, where Zeng lives, referred calls to the spokesman's office.

An activist lawyer and friend of the couple, Teng Biao, said he had not heard from Zeng in the past few days, and that the last time he spoke to her about a month ago she told him police had asked her to leave Beijing.

Hu was jailed for "inciting state subversion." Beijing routinely uses the charge of subversion to imprison dissidents for years.

His conviction and sentencing was one of the most prominent signs that China's leadership intended to clamp down hard on dissent ahead of the Olympic Games, which began Friday.

In January 2006, Hu married Zeng, whom he had met while she was doing AIDS volunteer work.

Anonymous:

Tiananmen Square, the symbolic center of China, was closed this morning, the opening day of the Olympics. But the closure didn't deter thousands of mostly Chinese tourists from thronging the sidewalks across the streets from the square.

Sporting Chinese flag decals on their cheeks and foreheads, they jostled with each other for the best spots along the white metal railings that stand between the sidewalk and the street for taking photographs with the vast, empty square as their backdrop.The festival atmosphere ended around 11 a.m., though, when a black SUV drove up blaring in Mandarin: Leave the area. Move quickly.
There was no explanation for why everyone had to leave, though people could later watch a live broadcast on television here of a lunch hosted by Chinese President Hu Jintao for foreign dignitaries and guests at the Great Hall of the People, across from Tiananmen's west gate. Police routinely clear the square when there are events at the hall.

No one budged initially. Some said they had been hoping to stake out spots for a fireworks display that would begin hours later during the opening ceremony at the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium. But soon more police cars arrived on the scene and police and guards began walking in a line down the sidewalk, herding all the pedestrians to the east. The evacuation was mostly quiet with little shoving, a sign of the expertise the Chinese have with crowd control.

Anonymous:

I admit it isn't much but sometimes we don't have to do much to make a difference. This one for me is easy.

I will not under any circumstances watch the Olympics.
But I figure this time I will not read anything about it or watch any news or stories about it. I won't allow the Chinese or the major corporations that support the Olympics to count me in as one of their suckers. I don't care how many medals the Chinese have and how many we have.

You see I have this thing about justice, human rights, and humane treatment of people. I know most people don't care so they will not engage in my boycott. But I learned long ago that I can't control what selfish people do with their lives. Ever since the Chinese massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 I have had an extreme dislike for the Chinese government. Ever since NAFTA and globalization, I have had an extreme dislike for corporate governance.


Mason:

To all Chinese readers of these comments:

Congratulations on a magnificent Opening Ceremony!! The beautiful coordination of the drummers, the moving blocks that displayed the "harmony" character, and the taiqiquan practitioners in concentric circles around Chinese children were very visually striking, and a thrilling example of the famous skill and discipline of Chinese performers. I also enjoyed the children in the 56 different styles of dress representing the minority groups within China.

I must admit a chill went up my spine while I watched the opening drumming performance -- a feeling of simultaneous anxiety and appreciation. Anxiety because despite the professed desire for harmony, China is becoming a world superpower and takes obvious pride in its resurgence. In my experience Chinese people are taught to think of themselves as being the source of civilization for the world -- just look at all the important inventions that originated in ancient China -- and there has been a long discontent that the weak central governments from the Qing dynasty onwards have been humiliated at the hands of smaller and relatively new (historically speaking) European nations.

Now China is finally re-emerging from its past 150+ years of internal dissolution and widespread poverty. The drummers, to me, were a perfect metaphor for Chinese pride in their ability to work in unison and in great numbers. As an American I hope that the Chinese government continues to remain cautious, conservative, and relatively non-bellicose. But I wouldn't bet on it. With prosperity and secular individualistic culture comes a sense of entitlement that often leads to irrational aggression -- I've seen it happen here in the United States and I'm seeing it become prevalent in urban Chinese culture. I've read some disturbing jingoistic rhetoric from Chinese nationals and expatriates on such subjects as the strife in Tibet and the continued independence of Taiwan. Although the CCP is authoritarian and repressive, under Hu Jintao it seems to be a model of restraint compared to the unrtrammeled hubris of some Chinese citizens.

Anyway -- back to the opening performances. Along with the pure aesthetic appreciation I felt, I also felt a strong sense of historic gravity. As discussed ad nauseum in the run-up to these Games, the Chinese people see this event as their "coming-out party" and a symbol of their increasing importance on the international stage. Despite the Know-Nothing rancor of a few little yapping dogs on this message board, it is clear that China is in many ways replacing the former Soviet Union as a counterweight to American hegemony, though more in terms of economic competition than through its military. China now owns over $1 trillion dollars in dollar-denominated assets, giving their government a disturbingly large influence over the future value of the US dollar.

So I hope the sense of foreboding I felt it misplaced. I have little doubt about the US being able to maintain its economic and military supremacy throughout my lifetime, but the Post-American World is clearly arriving. And somehow I'm sure that we will more disastrous military conflicts in the years ahead.

Anonymous:

I admit it isn't much but sometimes we don't have to do much to make a difference. This one for me is easy.

I will not under any circumstances watch the Olympics.
But I figure this time I will not read anything about it or watch any news or stories about it. I won't allow the Chinese or the major corporations that support the Olympics to count me in as one of their suckers. I don't care how many medals the Chinese have and how many we have.

You see I have this thing about justice, human rights, and humane treatment of people. I know most people don't care so they will not engage in my boycott. But I learned long ago that I can't control what selfish people do with their lives. Ever since the Chinese massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 I have had an extreme dislike for the Chinese government. Ever since NAFTA and globalization, I have had an extreme dislike for corporate governance.

Anonymous:

To Anonymous August 10, 2008 1:58 AM

1: DO NEVER FEED CHINESE TROLL

2: He is not interessted in your answers. it was an atack to insult your feelings and to force you into defense.

3: DO ABSOLUTLY NEVER FEED CHINESE TROLL. Because chinese trolls do work for chinese goverment.

Anonymous:

"The American networks do not now, nor have they ever, broadcast coverage of the Olympic games."

This is completely untrue. I remember back when American networks did broadcast full Olympic coverage. This was the pre NBC, ABC days. They would just have a camera broadcasting it live all day and night with 30 minute breaks every few hours for local news. But sadly that ended when ABC lost the bid and NBC won. I do agree the current coverage from NBC sucks. Especially since they have about 5 HDTV channels now broadcasting the olympics. You'd think each channel would just have different coverage. Nope, 3 channels show the same thing and the other 2 show the same thing. What a waste.


“What is it with Americans that they so much in love with themselves? Are they so great?"

Well.. We are only great because there are Europeans to compare ourselves to. I didn't always believe that but after travelling the world for 20 years and going to Europe about 15 times for months at a time, my only conclusion about Europeans are that they are ignorant and arrogant. They have this impression that Americans are uneducated. Sadly for the world, what they think Americans are is what they really are. I still find it so funny to hear Europeans speak ill of the US one moment and then have to run off to watch the Simpsons or Sex in the City the next. The Europeans do excel at hypocrisy. Other than start a war every 20 years (before the American occupation) and trying to enslave the world, what has Europe ever done?

Anonymous:

A series of pre-dawn bombings Sunday killed or wounded at least four people in a restive region of western China, state media said.

The bombings occurred amid tightened security after an attack here last week left 16 border police dead and 15 others wounded in the Muslim region of Xinjiang.

Police suspect that those killed or injured in Sunday's explosions were behind the bombings which struck Kuqa county in the south of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The agency said witnesses reported seeing flashes of fire and heard gun shots following the explosions.

Xinhua said local military sources confirmed the incident and said they have deployed forces to the area, which was also sealed off by police. Kuqa is 460 miles from Urumqi, the regional capital.

A woman on duty at the emergency unit of the Kuqa People's Hospital said one man was pronounced dead upon arrival while several other people were in critical condition.

"There were several explosions in several places in the county seat of Kuqa this morning and we heard them from the hospital," said a woman on duty at the hospital, who would only give her last name, Tian.


Anonymous:

---someone wrote so many replies just want to tell us one thing that china is a place where there is full of crimes and full of dangers and full of evil things,there isn't anyting good in china,and chinese people are all cruel,bad,unfriendly,but is this the truth ?--

i see you are starting to understand chinese point. all those crime is why all journalists in China are surronded by chinese police and communist dogs.

Anonymous:

The Beijing Olympics is not the first time the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the games to a modern dictatorship. In 1936, the Berlin Olympics were a huge propaganda victory for Adolf Hitler. He was able to showcase his ideals of Aryan supremacy and xenophobic militarism. Although the games are remembered in the United States for sprinter Jesse Owens capturing four gold medals, at the time, they were viewed as the triumph of totalitarianism over the declining democracies. The Germans won 33 gold medals, nine more than the second-place Americans. Benito Mussolini's Italy finished third, ahead of France and Britain. The message was clear: Nazi Germany and fascist Italy represented the wave of the future, while capitalist democracies like the U.S. - embodied the old, dying order.

In a similar manner, China is seeking to use the Olympics as a symbol of its emerging global might. The Chinese are in a gold medal war with the United States. China hopes that, by defeating America in athletic competition, it can demonstrate the country's superior political and socio-economic system. In short, Beijing wants to replicate the Berlin games, and show the world that China is the new rising superpower.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, China is not a communist state. Rather, it is the world's most powerful neo-fascist empire. Resembling right-wing dictatorships such as Francisco Franco's Spain or Augusto Pinochet's Chile, Beijing's leaders champion one-party rule combined with free-market policies and a rigid social order. During the 1990s, China's communists realized Marxist economics and central planning had become discredited. Hence, they adopted the fascist model: a new emphasis on militarism, national chauvinism and imperial expansion. The result is that international class struggle is out; bellicose nationalism is in.

China is engaged in a massive military buildup. It has deployed hundreds of missiles facing Taiwan. It threatens to crush the island democracy's bid for independence. It sustains North Korea's Stalinist regime. It has sold precious missile technology to Iran. It supports Sudan's Islamist regime and its campaign of genocide in Darfur. It has close ties with Venezuela's strongman, Hugo Chavez. In short, Beijing is flexing its geopolitical muscles in the hopes of becoming America's global rival.

China's politics may no longer be red but black. Yet the regime remains the authoritarian successor to Mao Tse-tung - the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century. Mao's terror purges, collectivization policies and state-induced famines resulted in the deaths of over 60 million Chinese. Today, however, his giant portrait can still be seen in Tiananmen Square. Beijing's official line is that Mao's legacy was "70 percent good, 30 percent bad." In fact, it was zero percent good, 100 percent bad.

Independent:

I enjoyed watching NBC's coverage, even if unfortunately edited, of the opening ceremonies. However, i have no interest in watching their coverage of any of the athlethic events. The network traditionally gives overwhelming "coverage" to American athletes during the summer Olympics. Also, I do not find most of the events interesting anyway.

Newspapers in the United States are arguable even worse, more nationalistic and chauvinistic in their coverage. I have no idea how foreign newspapers cover the Olympics fot their readers.

The Japanese correspondent alluded to above who preferred a Canadian over an American because American supposedly lacked an understanding of foreign culture, art, philosophy, etc. is making a false generalization.. While the majority of Americans are quite ignorant abour much history and culture outside the United States, there are millions of Americans who do not fit this stereotype.

Anonymous:

---someone wrote so many replies just want to tell us one thing that china is a place where there is full of crimes and full of dangers and full of evil things,there isn't anyting good in china,and chinese people are all cruel,bad,unfriendly,but is this the truth ?--

i see you are starting to understand chinese point. all those crime is why all journalists in China are surronded by chinese police and communist dogs.

citizen here:

someone wrote so many replies just want to tell us one thing that china is a place where there is full of crimes and full of dangers and full of evil things,there isn't anyting good in china,and chinese people are all cruel,bad,unfriendly,but is this the truth ?
they just want to let us believe it without thinking so that to deprive our right to know more about china ,stop us getting our own conclusion.

Anonymous:

Witnesses reported that explosions hit government offices and public security and military police posts, said Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the Germany-based World Uighur Congress, which supports independence for the region.

"We have been appealing to Beijing to solve the issue through political dialogue to prevent the situation from deteriorating, but they have never taken it seriously," Raxit said in an e-mail. "On the contrary, they heightened the suppression. Beijing should be directly responsible for today's incident."

Anonymous:

A series of pre-dawn bombings Sunday killed or wounded at least four people in a restive region of western China, state media said.

The bombings occurred amid tightened security after an attack here last week left 16 border police dead and 15 others wounded in the Muslim region of Xinjiang.

Police suspect that those killed or injured in Sunday's explosions were behind the bombings which struck Kuqa county in the south of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The agency said witnesses reported seeing flashes of fire and heard gun shots following the explosions.

Xinhua said local military sources confirmed the incident and said they have deployed forces to the area, which was also sealed off by police. Kuqa is 460 miles from Urumqi, the regional capital.

A woman on duty at the emergency unit of the Kuqa People's Hospital said one man was pronounced dead upon arrival while several other people were in critical condition.

"There were several explosions in several places in the county seat of Kuqa this morning and we heard them from the hospital," said a woman on duty at the hospital, who would only give her last name, Tian.

citizen here:

someone wrote so many replies just want to tell us one thing that china is a place where there is full of crimes and full of dangers and full of evil things,there isn't anyting good in china,and chinese people are all cruel,bad,unfriendly,but is this the truth ?
they just want to let us believe it without thinking so that to deprive our right to know more about china ,stop us getting our own conclusion.


David A. Jewell:

The American networks do not now, nor have they ever, broadcast coverage of the Olympic games.

They broadcast coverage of the American team at the Olympic games. To get coverage of the games one would have to have access to a foreign television network.

The other advantage foreigners have in this regard is that they don't have to listen to the mindless lip dribblings of the network nitwits such as Matt Lauer breathlessly informing them that "There is a lot of energy in this stadium tonight."

Another advantage is not having to listen to sports "color" broadcasters such as Bob Costas breathlessly telling them, on those rare occasions when the other nitwits stops talking, the number of times the American entrant in the 440 meters race at the Seoul Olympics tied and re-tied his shoes before the race.

David A. Jewell
Philadelphia


Hush Bordertown:

Bordertown carps that American coverage is canned and boring.

Yeah, we all know that Canada is famous for being the land of really interesting people.

LOL

a girl in China:

I just want to say I am so proud of being a
Chinese.
One world,One dream.We are a family.
I believe it will come true one day!

hush american hating idiot:

"Though, it's nice to see Americans waking up and admitting their inherent stupidity and mediocrity."

yeah, that's why we dominate you in every facet of world power, culture and prestige. If we are stupid and mediocre, then China is a mentally stunted dog and the bottom of the barrel.

Oh yeah, we have twice as many medals as China, depite the fact their population dwarfs ours.

Oh yeah, tons of Chinese have immigrated to America and will continue to do so, while no Americans are emigrating to China. Must be because it is a tin-horn dictatorship whose back yard we dominate from a world away.

Bordertown:

I live on the canadian border, and CBC has stellar coverage traditionally. I NEVER would think to bother with horrible US network coverage. It's canned, its dull, and they never focus on anything but americans. It's like showing a football game between the Bills and Jets, but ONLY showing footage of the Bills. Isn't there even an opponent? NBC coverage sucks.

konchan:

I'm a Japanese-American and had an e-mail argument with a Japanese correspondent about her preference for being taught English by a Canadian as opposed to an American. What it boiled down to was she didn't want to be "taught" by people who have so little knowledge outside of their limited American sphere -- in life, economics, culture and philosophy. I defended my country, telling her it's a big place with lots of variety and individuals who are in fact quite intelligent, knowledgeable and sophisticated. But now that I see the majority of posts here by Americans, people like Justin, I feel like a complete fool. How right she is.

hush communists whiners:

I'd like all of the anti-corporate whiners out there to tell us how many hours they work for free a week. Are you folks the only ones allowed to make money?

Think NBC is making huge profits on this? Then buy some GE stock.

Want to get corporations out of the way of your viewing? Then buy some satellites and mobile braodcast equipment for eighty venues. Then ship all of that and a small army of folks to staff the production. Do all that and then you don't have to worry about that bad old company making money to employ tens of thousands of people and serve as a component of one of America's widely held stocks.

Or you can just dry the tears out of your eyes watch it a few hours later.

Anonymous:

What happen to IOC? Why don't they enforce NBC to do it live in full coverage?

Someone's got to go protest!
Sue NBC or something!
All the American parents have to stand up for their kids to be a future Olympian, they can't even have chance to watch all the Olympic sports, surely they don't even know what are the sports.

That's example of No Human Rights!
Besides, today Yesterday US swept the Fencing Medals then the US people know what's fencing.

And all athletes are smart students, maybe US people should fence more, fits US government's feisty policy.

Mary Stierman:

I'm an American who has been fortunate to view both US network coverage, and overseas TV coverage of the Olympics.

NBC does a lousy job; let's face it. We're missing most of the fun, thrills and spectacle of the Olympics. It has been this way since about 1976. ABC's Munich 1972 coverage was the last decent Olympics coverage people Stateside saw...

Maxwell:

Because of the time difference, there was no chance I'd be able to watch a live broadcast anyway. My office even sent out an email the other day warning against hogging bandwidth trying to watch it somewhere else.
But it definitely stinks that NBC didn't show it live. Did they really think they'd lose audience by running it twice in one day?
Did NBC really pay $900 million to deliver delayed broadcasts? I think we all got ripped off.

Sean D:

"The coverage by China's Central Television was stellar -- a lot of events, not all of them dominated by China, of all sports, even obscure ones and not just ones Chinese are good at."

You are correct.
And you could just as well replace "China" with the name of most any other country in the world (except, or course the US)and the statement would hold just as true.
What is it with Americans that they so much in love with themselves?
Are they so great?
Of course not.
As a matter of fact, not only will China bring home more medals, but so will the EU.
Of course Americans do not like to consider the EU
as one Entity, but if you put only a few of the 27 EU countries together, they have had a much better record during any games than the USA has.
One last thing.
Maybe the reluctance to show the opening games on US networks stems from the fact that executives knew CHINA would put America's best efforts to shame for producing breathless entertainment.
Things that Americans never even dreamed of were put on display for the whole world to see. The whole world, except for America of course.
Shame, Shame.
Sean

Richard:

I am very bothered by the idea of any entity, cooperate or governmental, drawing boundaries and exclusion zones around the internet. The internet should be free and open to all content, news and entertainment, regardless of political boundaries. In this way the consumer can choose who has the best content, not the content provider or the portal custodian.

And regarding the Olympic opening ceremony, I would prefer to have watched it while it was happening, live. All arguments for free flow of information aside, why didn't NBC just show it twice? Couldn’t they have figured out a way to profit from it?

More poignantly, I regret that Chinese living and working in the USA were unable to watch their country make history as it happened. Their disappointment must have been tremendous as they tried frantically to find some outlet to the ceremony unfolding on the other side of the world only to have it taken away time and time again.

I had a similar experience during April 2001 when I was in China and a U.S. Navy EP-3 had to emergency land on Hainan Island. I was only able to receive news from the Chinese perspective because all opposing views either posted on the internet or broadcast were blocked. That time it was the Chinese government censoring the flow of information. I didn't appreciate the censorship then and I certainly don't like it here in my own country.

My bottom line is leave the internet open to all and let the consumer chose the content they prefer to view at the time they prefer to view it.

michelle in nevada:

I would love to watch some of the Olympic events -- not NBC's mindless blathering about the (US) athletes. Does anyone know of a website that I can watch in realtime? I'll pay!

DeeNY:

Those of us who live near the Canadian border are lucky - all my life we have watched Canadian Olympic coverage to see the best in the world athletes, not just the sports that Americans have a shot at medals.

Paula G:

Sean wrote:
“What is it with Americans that they so much in love with themselves? Are they so great? Of course not. As a matter of fact, not only will China bring home more medals, but so will the EU.
Of course Americans do not like to consider the EU
as one Entity, but if you put only a few of the 27 EU countries together, they have had a much better record during any games than the USA has.
One last thing. Maybe the reluctance to show the opening games on US networks stems from the fact that executives knew CHINA would put America's best efforts to shame for producing breathless entertainment. Things that Americans never even dreamed of were put on display for the whole world to see. The whole world, except for America of course. Shame, Shame.”


NBC did show the opening ceremony in the US, just not live. Big deal. Most Americans wouldn’t have been able to watch it at 8:00 am anyway.

Why on earth should we “consider the EU as one Entity”? I didn’t see the EU walk into the stadium in the opening ceremony. I saw the Germans, the French, the British, the Danes, the Czechs, the Italians, the Andorrans, and a bunch of other *countries*. But since you want to play games I’m going to count all medals won by the western hemisphere as one big unit. We are, after all, members of the Organization of American States. Jamaica will really help us out in track and field. Then we can count up at the end of the games and see who won the most.

Daniel J. Drazen:

Watching the beginning of the coverage of the opening ceremony, when the NBC talking heads referred to having fast-forwarded during the commercials to Modern China, I found myself wondering whether the unseen opening footage wasn't stuff about Mao Zedong that might have upset the American heartland.

Expect the same reportorial games during the political conventions.

datoudefans:

well, the opening ceremony was bungled by our Central Television.But it did not matter, no viewers in China can hold CCTV accountable.You should be proud of your countries having so many networks reporting something because it is what viewers mostly want to know not what parties want to promulgate. NBC's failing to cover lively the opening ceremony, i think, was due to the economic consideration. The compensation was the much-better delayed version.

Al Ram:

You are asking why? Because there are some very greedy people in the United States of America. That is why.

Fate:

NBC has always been the worst network to cover the Olympics. ABC was the best, with Jim McCay. Every year I heard NBC got the contract I choked. This year is not surprising. They just put it all on tape and make sure they play it with advertising costs being the most important factor.

I'm watching it now and even as the women are swimming they keep showing pictures of Phelps. Its all about the money with NBC. That is the problem. Not pride in America, not providing the best coverage, not beating coverage by other nations. Just money. So sad.

Ivy:

It was really beautiful and amazing opening ceremony . As Chinese, im really proud of my country .

chinese lady:

Olympic's spending ,we can afford it .

Lucy:

It's Fantastic,really!

KIKIA:

WE LOVE CHINA!!!!!!

Anonymous:

"The coverage by China's Central Television was stellar -- a lot of events, not all of them dominated by China, of all sports, even obscure ones and not just ones Chinese are good at."
writes the author.

You are correct.
And you could just as well replace "China" with the name of most any other country in the world (except, or course the US)and the statement would hold just as true.
What is it with Americans that they so much in love with themselves?
Are they so great?
Of course not.
As a matter of fact, not only will China bring home more medals, but so will the EU.
Of course Americans do not like to consider the EU
as one Entity, but if you put only a few of the 27 EU countries together, they have had a much better record during any games than the USA has.
One last thing.
Maybe the reluctance to show the opening games on US networks stems from the fact that executives knew CHINA would put America's best efforts to shame for producing breathless entertainment.
Things that Americans never even dreamed of were put on display for the whole world to see. The whole world, except for America of course.
Shame, Shame.
Sean

BeijingRules:

American here- the Beijing Olympics are awesome of course. NBC's opening coverage SUCKED to the max, but we all knew it would going in. Though, it's nice to see Americans waking up and admitting their inherent stupidity and mediocrity.

GO CHINA!

JOHN:

Everyone here forgets that a dollar in the US is worth 7 dollars in China for purchasing power parity. A US$10 cab ride in China, costs US$70 in the US. Granted the organizers must have paid American prices for some of the talent (like Lang Lang), I still guessing it would have cost US$1 Billion to stage the opening ceremony in the US.

Citizen of the post-American world:

Anonymous, August 9, 2008 5:30 PM : "The comments about NBC show that the writers have no clue on how the broadcast industry works...."

Anonymous, I have some very good friends in that industry, both in this country and abroad. Here are a few remarks, so you too know what you're talking about... :

1. "Broadcast rights" do not come for free to government owned broadcasters anymore than to private ones yet some of the former will broadcast Olympic events almost non-stop, 24-7 for the duration of the Games.

2. While providing essential services to the public, many government owned broadcasters too care, and "make sure a very large audience sees" the "shows".

3. Government owned broadcasters need not, and generally do not "ride on the backs of other broadcasters", whatever private broadcasters claim.

4. Government broadcasters do have many seasoned, outstanding "correspondents", as well as top quality "equipment there", that is extremely "EXPENSIVE".

5. "Showcasing" mostly "national athletes is NOT necessarily natural" for any broadcaster. The "target audience" of government broadcasters "is their own country's citizens too, NOT immigrants or tourists from other countries." In many of those countries, provided citizens can see their own athletes perform, "local audiences" wish to see, and demand that most of the broadcasting time be spent showing the performance of the best athletes from all over the world...

6. "With regard to pronunciation", government owned broadcasters usually have a whole department, where specialists can be consulted, who will tell professional media personnel how to pronounce words, and more particularly NAMES, in most (if not all) foreign languages. They do an excellent job of it, and so do professionals in those media, including people responsible for amateur and professional "sports". Those professionals therefore learn to pronounce foreign words and names before going live on radio and on television. For one to be able to do so they consider a matter of self-respect, a way of showing minimal respect of others, and part of their job.

To conclude, here is a French anecdote on hopelessness. I owe it to a Chinese professor of comparative civilizations at Beijing university.

As you may know, in French, people who do not understand, and who have no hope of ever understanding anything on whatever, will commonly say: "This is just like Chinese to me." (e.g. "Pour moi, tout cela, c'est du chinois.")

Good. Now the anecdote.

A lady once met Picasso at an exhibition, went to him and asked: "Mr. Picasso... I simply do not understand: what in the world does this painting of yours mean?" ("Monsieur Picasso... je ne comprends pas: mais enfin, que signifie donc votre tableau?")

To which Picasso replied: "Madam, it is like Chinese: it can be learned." ("Madame, c'est comme le chinois: cela s'apprend.")

Of course, Picasso is not known to have been a lazy man...

hd:

I, too, might have preferred seeing the opening ceremony in its entirety, if not live. I did not appreciate the number of commercial interruptions either. I do not agree with the insinuation, though, that the network’s treatment of the ceremony is necessarily an expression of national character. NBC as a corporation can pretty much choose its programming within certain limitations without direct input from the public. As numerous posts seem to show, some American viewers are unhappy with NBC’s Olympic coverage. So don’t be quick to take what you saw as the will of all American people.

Now I will be an ignorant American for a minute and, speaking for myself only, say that some of these anti-American posters should get a grip. A few of them might have sought the comforts the U.S. has to offer because they would not have been able to utter such rubbish in their home countries, either because there is no platform for it there or they would have met with trouble. Some Americans participate in this nonsense as well, talking about this and that place they visited that is so much better, and yet they choose to return from paradise to the misery of the U.S. to chastise everyone around them instead of sharing with joy. They, not me, have to explain how their awesome intellects are not enough to free them and their loved ones from the agony of living amongst all these so-called stupid people. As for me, I recognize there are many beautiful places in the world, and I count the U.S. among them.

eaglepeak:

It's about time people start waking up to the fact that most technologically advanced nations cover the Olympics wall to wall with much less national favoritism. It's been that way for at least 40 years. Maybe webcasts will change it. It's nice to see other great non-U.S. athletes too.

Marlene:

The carping is ridiculous. NBC scored in the ratings last night- the highest for a non-US Olympics games. Most people work during the day, so showing live is not a good option. NBC paid a lot of money for the games, and they need to earn that back. Makes sense to me. For another, it is largely impossible to watch foreign broadcasters on the web -- the sites are blocked to foreigners: why? Well, because the BBC, for example, paid for British rights ... not World rights.
Another reason for NBC not showing the opening ceremonies live is DAYTIME TELEVISION. The affiliates control daytime television, and there would a loss of local advertising revenues. Network affiliates are not always obligated to take network programing during the day.
I have Cox cable - and when I turned on the tv this morning, I noticed the edition of 2 more HDTV channels - NBCb and NBCc ... which provided coverage of live events during the day ...
To our friends in Canada --- although we did not show the opening ceremonies live, we will be seeing a lot more sports than you will in Canada ... CBC did not spend nearly as much money on Canadian coverage so Canadians will have far less coverage than the US ...
Without those commercials, we would have no Olympic coverage at all

postal1:

"Some inspired posters have suggested that NBC's decision to not broadcast the Olympics opening ceremonies amounts to censorship of some sort. Uh...do fireworks and dancing qualify for something other than "entertainment"? You may as well claim that there is no free press in the US because your favorite TV show was cancelled."

i think you're missing the point. this censorship involves manipulation by the "powers that be" in this case general electric.
americans are being told what to watch and when while the rest of the world sees it live.
manipulation is censorship. simple.

BDK:

I've been complaining about this since 1976 when, as a teenager living on the shore of Lake Erie, I was able to watch the Canadian coverage of the Montreal Olympics. It was a wake-up call which taught me the narcissistic nature of the USA and our media. The CBC had incredible coverage of so many more events and it wasn't all centered on Canada. In the evening I'd watch ABC with amazement that they weren't showing some of the tremendous events I had seen during the day. The other lesson I learned from those Olympics was that Howard Cosell knew nothing about boxing. At least the Olympic brand.

Some Quack:

Politics aside. The ceremony was awesome, albit there are few flaws you can catch with your eyes, but I'm not wasting my brain cells on scrutinizing it. The american media that I grew up with have conditioned me to think less and just enjoy a good show regardless if they mean something. I can read, and do simple math. I know the kind of beer I like, we have a great welfare system. I'm set for life. who cares who's at fault, who's doing what to who. If I can seen it on t.v. it's entertaining. I'm doing that now...

Olaf:

I have no interest in the Olympics, and I'm tired of being told that I should be interested.

It's just manufactured spectacle, doped athletes and contrived drama. It's no better than all the other pro sports: fixed, irrelevant, boring, unreal.

The opening ceremonies are the worst. Kabuki theater seeking to manufacture artificial emotions an illusion of international brotherhood.

Bah, humbug. People who get sucked into this Hollywood/Bollywood/Chinawood spectacle are credulous sheep.

And this has nothing to

Two Cents Rebuttal:

"Since the opening ceremony shown by NBC is already delayed and full of commercials, a "nice" way to tell NBC not to do this kind of "money makes the world go round" programming in future is to record it, and then view it, and bypassing the commercials!"

This makes no sense at all. I could tell you why it wouldn't work, but you'd wouldn't believe me. So the next time you go to buy petrol, just take it without paying. When the station shuts down, I think you'll know why.

two cents:

Since the opening ceremony shown by NBC is already delayed and full of commercials, a "nice" way to tell NBC not to do this kind of "money makes the world go round" programming in future is to record it, and then view it, and bypassing the commercials!

Sick of TV:

I'm with John Pomfret on this one. And I like the comments of "Martin" that are date-stamped AUGUST 9, 2008 4:41 PM.

I'm so sick of TV and cable, ever more commercials, insipid network and local news, etc.

I saw my first Olympics back around 1958 or 1960. It was a magical time, before big money and Cold War politics turned the Olympics into rancid commercialism.

It is the Olympics that I think of whenever I hear that great old line of Jim McKay's "Spanning the globe to bring you the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."

Now, the Olympics are so stage-managed, the personal 'color' stories so thoroughly over prepared and so full of sappy emotionalism that the Olympics are just a big yawn, no matter the opening spectacle.

Paula G:

Perhaps I'm in the minority but I don't care that the opening ceremony wasn't broadcast live. I much prefer having it on TV when I'm actually able to watch it. As far as John Pomfret's assertion that NBC would only broadcast American athletes, I'd like him to explain how I've managed to see Cuba v. Poland and Russia v. Italy in volleyball, China v. Canada in soccer, and a boxing match between a German and Ecuadoran. Maybe he should actually watch some of NBC's coverage instead of just whining.

erik de koster, brussels:

I was intrigued trying to understand why in your free TV market coverage of this event would be so inept, until I understood that in this specific case your TV market isn't free at all: NBC bought the rights to the Olympics, so they have a monopoly on whatever they do with that information.

Marc Gagnon:

We are luckier in Canada. We could watch on our national TV network the complete opening ceremony of the Chinese Olympics live at 7h30 and a rerun at 18h30 in English on one channel and French on another.
It was the greatest opening of all the Olympics I have seen in my life (I am 70).

Anonymous:

My money is that the Olympics will be a catalyst for revolution. Hopefully we'll get to see Bob Costas try to be all serious as the Chicom soldiers mow down innocent civilians yearning to lift themselves from the yoke of an oppressive regime that the international community has kowtowed to. Not that I would watch the Olympics anyway, especially on NBC.

Anonymous:

Hey, if you don't like the commentary, you could always turn the volume down. We have what they like to call "mute" buttons on most of our TV's. You guys would love them, so convenient for annoying announcers.

Anonymous:

The beating of two Japanese journalists by police in western China drew an official apology Tuesday, but Beijing also set new obstacles for news outlets wanting to report from Tiananmen Square in the latest sign of trouble for reporters covering the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee, which last week partially succeeded in getting China to unblock some Internet sites after journalists raised a furor, said it would look into the new rules that require reporters to make appointments to do reports at Tiananmen.

The Japanese government and the Foreign Correspondents Club of China condemned the roughing up of the Japanese newsmen, who were covering an attack by alleged Muslim separatists on police in Xinjiang province. Police said they had tried to enter a restricted area.

The separate incidents added to the impression that China isn't living up to promises that foreign media would have unrestricted access during the games.

In the latest restriction, the Beijing city government said on its Web site that Chinese and foreign journalists who want to report and film in Tiananmen "are advised to make advanced appointments by phone." It said that will help ensure orderly newsgathering amid what are expected to be large crowds in the square on each day of the games, which start Friday.

IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said the new arrangement didn't match the committee's understanding of access to Tiananmen.

Raoul:

Some inspired posters have suggested that NBC's decision to not broadcast the Olympics opening ceremonies amounts to censorship of some sort. Uh...do fireworks and dancing qualify for something other than "entertainment"? You may as well claim that there is no free press in the US because your favorite TV show was cancelled.

Anonymous:

The comments about NBC show that the writers have no clue on how the broadcast industry works. NBC has forked HUNDREDS of millions of dollars to the IOC to get broadcast rights, and the key to recovering that money is to make sure a very large audience sees it. That is going to be in prime time, defined as starting at 7 pm.

Many broadcasters in other countries are Govt. owned and often ride on the backs of other broadcasters, such as NBC, and pay a pittance for the coverage. They do not have correspondents and equipment there, as it is EXPENSIVE. NBC does.

For similar reasons, showcasing US atheletes is natural since the target audience is US citizens, NOT immigrants or tourists from other countries in the US. In EVERY country, local audiences like it best when their atheletes are showcased, whether they win or not.

With regard to pronounciation, try hearing Chinese anchors pronounce Western or even other Asian names. They naturally find it hard. They, and US anchors too, are under no obligation to pronounce names exactly as a native speaker might, but only to a reasonable approximation that can be accomodated within the range of their syllabic framework, and this Bob Costas and others do.

Conrad:

Stella writes: [what a pity,there still exists "ancient" people like the "wisest" anon,they just insist on what happened in the past and they will never believe the world is changing every time,they just see the world from their colorful glass.because the bright sunshine is what they are afraid of most,isn't it?]

The imagery is frighteningly familiar....fascist mainland youth, onward!

Anonymous:

Maybe we cover mundane things because we have a 24 hour news cycle, so they want to cover everything...and when Presidential candidates cheat, it's a big deal to us. Get over it. Why isn't anyone talking about the Olympic coverage in Pakistan? Most Americans would be happier if you would mind your own business--do we not all have problems? Jesus, stop talking about us.

UtrechtShopper:

I agree that the American media reports on the most mundane things. Why is the lead story on the American media about a former presidential candidate's affair? Why do the democrats always have affairs with ugly women? With all that's going in the world right now, why is any of that important? The Europeans are fighting like little children again. Why isn't that the most important story? Without the American occupation of Europe, the Europeans revert to being squabbling little children. Without American supervision, the Europeans are a danger to themselves and others. Look what happenned before America occupied Europe and saved them from themselves. The longest period of peace Europe has ever known was during the 50 years of American occupation after WWII. America let Europe take it's first baby steps and Europe can't help but fight amongst themselves. At least under American rule they were just whiners that didn't do anything. Now Europeans are whiners and dangerous little children playing with matches.

justin:

yeah, you're right, we're hating on a third world country. You caught us. Haha, what a retard. Retarded like Gordon Brown and the three golds GB will win in the entire games. Pathetic. How does it feel to be a has been, wanker? Your country used to be relevant, i guess. By the way, futbol is for losers. Do me a favor. Tell the queen she's an old crusty dog turd. Can't wait to not watch London 2012...cheerio, moron!

UKbaseboy:

China's Olympic opening was great and the most beautiful one I have ever seen. If you don't like it, please turn it off. These yanks are a bunch of wankers!

Martin:

What a bunch of haters!

I read some of these reviews and all I see if a bunch of wining unthankful, child-like rednecks that is jealous that a country far far away can do something so impressive. Again, just because the US is going down on education, finance, infrastructure, safety and intelligence, it does not mean that the world has to. Stop hating and fix your own country first, like pollution, addicted to foreign oil, invasion of a country you should not have, your healthcare, crime, illegal immigration, gitmo, national debt, retarded president, etc, etc, etc.

Anonymous:

China is spending a reported $300 million on the Olympics’ opening ceremony alone. What if the Olympic host country announced to the world that it was holding no opening ceremonies but reading a statement instead, announcing they were giving the $300 million to a food bank or for the purchase of medicine or living supplies for the needy in China or Africa or India, etc. Half of those millions were rebuild whole Darfur and half of Sichuan earthquacke areas.

To Anonymous:

Now you speak like a real Chinese, not an American Idiot.

A couple days in China really gets you educated, huh?

Anonymous:

China is spending a reported $300 million on the Olympics’ opening ceremony alone. What if the Olympic host country announced to the world that it was holding no opening ceremonies but reading a statement instead, announcing they were giving the $300 million to a food bank or for the purchase of medicine or living supplies for the needy in China or Africa or India, etc. Half of those millions were rebuild whole Darfur and half of Sichuan earthquacke areas.

Isn’t the spending of $300 million on the opening night getting just a tad ridiculous? Isn’t it crossing the line into lunacy, and isn’t it just another sign of the ridiculous nature of these overly commercialized affairs? Isn’t it a bit absurd that a country like China, so grand and large with potential, and so large with problems as well, looks with envy for decades—literally for decades, as the blogger makes clear—for the opportunity to spend this absurd amount of money to “prove itself”?

What decadence, what a preposterous global body politic we have. Honestly, I’m a bit embarrassed


Anonymous:

The International Olympic Committee failed to press China to allow fully unfettered access to the Internet for the thousands of journalists arriving here to cover the Olympics, despite promising repeatedly that the foreign news media could "report freely" during the Games, Olympic officials acknowledged Wednesday.

Since the Olympic Village press center opened Friday, reporters have been unable to access scores of Web pages — among them those that discuss Tibetan issues, Taiwanese independence, the violent crackdown on the protests in Tiananmen Square and the Web sites of Amnesty International, the BBC's Chinese-language news, Radio Free Asia and several Hong Kong newspapers known for their freewheeling political discourse.

The restrictions, which closely resemble the blocks that China places on the Internet for its citizens, undermine sweeping claims by Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, that China had agreed to provide full Web access for foreign news media during the Games. Mr. Rogge has long argued that one of the main benefits of awarding the Games to Beijing was that the event would make China more open [...]

It was not immediately clear if China had provided special Internet links for overseas journalists working at the press center in the Olympic Village. But Chinese officials, speaking about the Internet restrictions on Wednesday, said they would not allow foreign journalists to visit Web sites that violated Chinese laws [...]

Chinese officials initially suggested that any troubles journalists were having with Internet access probably stemmed from the sites themselves, not any steps that China had taken to filter Web content. But Sun Weide, the chief spokesman for the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, acknowledged Wednesday that journalists would not have uncensored Internet use. "It has been our policy to provide the media with convenient and sufficient access to the Internet," Mr. Sun said. "I believe our policy will not affect reporters’ coverage of the Olympic Games."

But shhh. We mustn't offend the host!

It's now clear, per the news story, that the IOC knew that China would keep its censorship policies in place when it was awarded the games, even as its chief promised the world that would not be the case.

Ohh and yeahh.. Enjoy your "2 minutes to late and not live" chinese olympics. Because surprise is soooo offending chinese comunists..

justin :

the comments from Nina are so irritating. What a retard. Stop hating on the US..its so played out already. All you tools do is talk sh*t...what does our press coverage of this boring-ass olympics have anything to do with us as people? I've got an idea, why don't you come over here and run that mouth in front of one of us...didn't think so. It's funny, if we did things totally different, you would still talk about how terrible we are. I wish we would get out of Iraq...and cut ALL FOREIGN AID. Starve for a little bit and then tell us how bad we suck. Leave us alone! Who are you to critique us just because we don't care about you?

Anonymous:

i am looking german football. chinese olympics sucks anyway..

Citizen of the post-American world:

May I share this info with people looking for breathtaking, unforgettable images of the Beijing Opening Ceremonies? ***

It is not the real thing in its entirety and live, of course, but in some ways those images complement the viewing of it, given their size and quality.

I hope they provide some degree of enjoyment to those posters who are still after the real thing.

*** One may want to refer to that site (and copy?) without delay... just in case those pictures soon be no more there to be found...

http://news.wenxuecity.com/messages/200808/news-gb2312-671675.html#

Nina :

many of the comments from Americans are so irritating. The arguments are so weak and errogant. Please, don't try to talk or behave as if you were better than others. Talking about pollution, China is not the country refusing signing on Kyoto Protocol! At least, China is doing something. Talking about human rights, China is not the country bombing Iraq, killing thousands of innocents, or wherever, as long as they don't listen to US. Talking about military threatening, China only deploys soldiers within China, not in other countries' yard.

Before commenting on others, pls. think twice. Have you been perfect yet?

Anonymous:

Comment #126 - by Robert D. Sands, Nassau, N.P., Bahamas.

Anonymous:

I am looking for a satellite network that will show the Olympic Games in its enterety, with the best sporting competition available and this is where it is seen. If I can only get the United States version I will not bother watching as they have spoiled so many other great moments in the past.
However, the opening ceremony was without peer and I would love to have a video recording of the entire show - but without the mindless patter of the commentators - (they also ruin a good Wimbledon tournament). I would like included, though, the shots of Bush sprawling about, looking bored and out of place, and just short of scratching himself indelicately in public. He probably still has no idea that most of the world does NOT wish to be like Bush and his Ámerica!

Y Kahn:

There is a media curtain in the West in general and in the US in particular. There is great bais that exists in the media towards not only China but the Muslim World in general. They down play the history, culture and achievements that makes them look good and ignore the short commings of the West. When I talk to people in the US, despite all the education here I find them dumb, ignorant of the rest of the World and gullible. This is the contribution of the "Great Media" of the US, controlled by a handful of men---the dumming of America.

cyber rage?:

Anonymous must has cyber rage. take some drug would u?

Independent:


The columns by John Pomfret and Fareed Zakaria are about the only examples of any semblance of objective reporting at this paper about China. Mr. Pomfret and Zakaria offer an appeal to reason contrasted to the cold war, xenophobic rant by most of the paper's reporters covering the Olympics, such as one might expect from "The Washington Times."

Compare this to the far more balanced, much less sensationalist coverage in "The New York Times."

Judy-in-TX:

Mr. Pomfret, I saw you on MSNBC this past week and enjoyed your comments very much. I believe you were on with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, discussing what we could expect.
I hope you won't be offended if I call you John.
Please keep posting and writing articles about China.
==
On to our topic.
Years ago, when my husband and I first got cable, they offered a package -- $125 for the whole Olympics coverage.
It was a summer Olympics Games in Europe.
Perhaps it was France; that sticks in my mind.
I also seem to recall the Sarajevo Games.
It was one or the other.
All coverage was broadcast 12 hours, all live, so I taped much coverage to watch after I got home from work, etc. The times were perhaps, 2AM to 2PM with a repeat of some events during the other 12 hours.
They did not discriminate.
You got to see the whole of a sport: all events, every competitor (even the lousy ones).
I got a sports education.
The equestrian was particularly interesting.
As you watched all comers, you began to understand what the judges were looking for.
I remember the cross-country especially. They had a camera at every turn and every jump.
This morning my husband got to watch dressage for the first time and he was captivated by it; the magnificent discipline of the horses.
"How do they do that?" he said.
I was able to explain a lot about the relationship of rider and horse because I was educated by that coverage, so long ago.
Gymnastics was another education.
I learned so very much from watching the least to the best.
My husband knows that I try to keep up with individual and team standings; he'll tell our friends: "As Judy, she knows the teams."
Swimming and diving are among my interests.
Last night, at about 3:30AM, I watched a badminton match between 2 men from Germany (I think they said he was 14th in the world) and Ireland (34th in the world).
For what I consider a lightweight sport, it was exciting and cut-throat.
The lead popped back and forth from one to the other.
They didn't show all 3 matches; they showed part of the 2nd and the 3rd and final match.
The German lagged most of the 3rd match and came from behind to win by 2 points in the last 30 seconds.
He caught both the Irish competitor (and me) by surprise.
Now THAT was great TV viewing.
I think the ping-pong matches will be lively, as well, considering the Chinese emphasis.
MSNBC is concentrating on all the cutsy stuff -- beach volleyball (all those cute little women bouncing around in their bikinis), all the team competition.
I'm watching swimming right now.
The concentration is on 3 competitors: the Chinese leader and 2 Americans -- Phelps and another young man, Bryan Lochte, who would like to beat Phelps to a medal.
The commentary drives me crazy; it's so slanted to favor Americans, that other countries' best come out of nowhere (unmentioned, I mean) to place and go unnamed, unmentioned, through the whole race.
The commentators think they're making the competition exciting for US viewers; actually they are destroying the sense of the intensity of the competition.
Drives me crazy.
Last night on the 6PM (local) news in Beaumont, TX, where I live, they put up an on-line poll:
I checked it today at 1PM (no indication of the number of hits on the poll, only percentages):
6:00 PM 8 Aug –1:30 PM 9 Aug 2008
Summer Olympics
How interested are you in this year's Summer Olympics?
I will be glued to the television coverage (10.8%)
I'll watch some of it (35.2%)
I'll watch if nothing else is on (19.9%)
Not at all (34.1%)
Copyright (c) 1998 - 2008 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved.
==
Isn't that instructive?
I voted "I will be glued to TV coverage" and I'm in the definite minority.
Sad, isn't it?
You are so right about America.
We are insular.
Look at the large number of commenters to Post articles about international relations who say, "Who cares what other countries think of us? I don't care."
The comments during Obama's tour of the Middle East and Europe were very instructive of the political junkies and their poor knowledge and lousy attitude toward the U.S. vis a vis foreign relations.
Few posted who were knowledgably able to defend Obama's speech to the Germans, his press conference with Sarkosy of France.
I'll guarantee you my British cousins can discuss all the subjects with depth and insight.
Not our American crew.
I've noticed this same trend in American reporters and political commentators.
They seem to cater to our blind-sided views, rather than instructing us on why we should care.
To get that kind of coverage, I have to read British newspapers (the Washington Post has been my homepage for years).
It's a whole other, big world out there.
And we Americans are missing the boat and have been for a long time.

Independent:


Yesterday the lead story at "The Washington Post" was a tabloid account of the affairs by John Edwards. Currently this is part of the headline in their lead story, " Stabbing of U.S. coach's in-laws at Drum Tower mars Chinese government's efforts to showcase the country as open and welcoming to foreigners." The reporters are trying to turn a tragedy and action by a single criminal into an opportunity to embarrass China.

The reporters seem to inadvertently suggest if any foreign tourists are attacked while visiting the United States. such a tragedy would mar the United States government's efforts to showcase our country as open and welcoming to foreigners. I find such a suggestion to be insulting to all Americans, that the atrocious action of a single criminal would badly reflect upon our government or people.

Compare this to the more balanced, much less sensationalistic coverage at "The New York Times."
Unfortunately, "The Washington Post" is increasingly showing tendencies toward tabloid "news" coverage.

Anonymous:

---• Western manners have not taken hold. While I was walking around Beijing, a naked child just missed peeing on my foot. No one blinked.---

Dear Anonymous,

How the hell the naked child missed peeing on your head. I am sure even your relatives would laugh to see you receive your own due:-)

In summer time, 5 yrs old or under children running around spraying water fountain on street, you have not seen that in US and other part of the world, huh?

Anonymous:

If you didn't know better, you would swear that the Bird's Nest, the architecturally stunning and oddly intimidating National Stadium, escaped from a Spielberg set and began slowly poisoning the earth.

It's not the heat, it's the toxicity. Beijing was once, reputedly, mild; now it's a polluted rotisserie.

This can't be overstated: Walking around downtown Beijing, near the Forbidden City and Mao's tomb, is like being caught in a benign Stephen King horror flick, something like "The Mist [that makes your skin feel prickly]."

It's not just the government that's oppressive. This thick, humid, noxious air makes walking the equivalent of swimming in an overchlorinated pool. You feel like you're the meat on a Weber grill. Smoking here would be redundant.

When the American cyclists landed in Beijing already wearing the surgical masks provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the USOC upbraided them for embarrassing the host country.

What's embarrassing is that the International Olympic Committee would choose Beijing to begin with. What city finished second? Toledo? Gary, Indiana?

Did Amanda Beard really pose naked on the PETA poster near the Olympic village, or did the air just erode her clothes?

After three days here, these first impressions have formed:

• The people seem almost universally polite, eager and reserved. The volunteers smother with their helpfulness, and the citizens downtown on Friday, in a remarkably crowded city, move about in remarkable quietude and order.

• This city is thrilled to host the Olympics. I've covered only one other Olympiad, the Winter Games in Turin, and the attitude of the Italians there seemed to be, "Please wipe your feet." Beijingers walk about with nationalistic ribbons and flags.

• Western manners have not taken hold. While I was walking around Beijing, a naked child just missed peeing on my foot. No one blinked.

And if China was serious about its medal count, it would have found a way to make spitting an Olympic sport. These people are good. For them, expectorating is a performance art.

They also don't mind taking their shirts off in public, but I can't blame them for that. If I lived here, I'd spend the day wrapped around a block of ice.

Beijingers move slowly, like folks in America's old South, as if to conserve energy. Or maybe it's to remain anonymous. Everywhere there are grim-looking soldiers, thin as Corey Brewer, only better shooters.

There are funny sights, too, just as a Chinese citizen new to the United States might find it amusing that we have Starbucks that compete with adjacent Starbucks.

There is a restaurant specializing in animal penises. (PETA is protesting this case of blatant sexism.) There is a sign above one store reading, "Massage by Blind Masseuses," which could be a threat or a promise.

Nearby was a gift shop deifying Mao Zedong as if he were, I don't know, Tiger Woods or something.

This guy is as big as Elvis here! You can buy Mao icons, Mao playing cards, and a Mao key chain, to remind you that the car you're starting is a product of, as ol' Mao always said, "revolutionary mass mobilization."

Of course, if you didn't want a Mao key chain, you could reach in one of the adjacent bins and buy a Teletubbie kaleidoscope, or a Power Ranger, a sign that rising capitalistic influences puts the most important decisions in the hands of the people.

You can say this for these people: They know how to build a building. Next to the Bird's Nest is the wonderfully science-fictional Water Cube, and between them is a broadcast tower that lights up like a Disney ride.

Friday night, while the Bird's Nest held the Opening Ceremony, volunteers in the media center gathered around the televisions, some taking pictures of the screen. They cheered everything, some even imitating each dance move.

I left the media center and walked through a nearby poor neighborhood. Police tape lined the streets, and the cops were out in force, jostling and scolding crowds massed on every corner.

There wasn't much to see from there, only the occasional firework or spotlight beam, but thousands of the unticketed and unwashed spilled into the streets, sprinting toward every rumor of a light in the night sky.

Near the Olympic complex, an old man sat tiredly on a curb. Two white-gloved cops forcibly, if gently, lifted him by the armpits and pushed him 10 feet back as he quietly protested. Above him, in a tenement window, hung the Chinese flag

Anonymous:

"Olympic Opening Ceremony....The One America Missed"

John,

this post is one of the fairest and truthful posts you write, in fact, I see a changing of your attitude and opinion from this one.

There is one mistake for your last post that you say "China 5000 year uninterrupted culture and history" had one interruption, as most of Chinese regret that the Culture Revolution was an interruption for our culture, but now we try to reconnect us with the teaching of our great Ancestors, and 2008 Olympic is the beginning.

But I am afraid there is irony that one day the people in China would have more freedom and education than people in US, that is a coming truth, according to all the posts.

One day American must go abroad to get a true education, I sigh for your government.

It's not your people's fault.

American need to redefine Individual Freedom and Respect, American hallow Laws can not protect their education system.

Your people worship Troublemakers, but there was only one Dr. Martin Luther Kings, who was shot by the bullet of Individualism, 'Americanism'.

Freedom + Human Rights =\= Individualism

I am glad most of our separatists are in your country, and are protected by your law. And one day, they and their children will wage troubles for your people also. While China is in peace and unity within and around the world(和), and your country will still struggle within and outside.

The gunshot happened in school yard, is one of example that US government fails their education on teaching Freedom, Human Rights and Individualism.

But US Government never repent and still hold gun rights as democracy principal, when US government will understand that sacrifice of a few individual freedom will protect the whole and others' rights?

Sigh.

So your people never know Obedience is an another virtue, Even in Christian belief, but no, American wants an Individual show, not world, not his country, not his state, not city, or even not their family, only himself, his own show, even on the pulpit stage of God.

In the end, we are all judges that judging ourselves.

For those who fear China,

have you seen any image of Mao Zedong last night?
besides only US broadcaster mentioned it.

I see a big changing from 2008 to 1978.
Only in short of 30 years, I think I still could live another 30 years, let's see how China is going to become and US in my hope still remains the same.

Lisa:

Pushing all of the digs from Matt Lauer aside...the ceremony was awesome...I don't know if anyone will be able to top it for years to come. Kudos China!!

Anonymous:

Taiwan Saturday protested at China deporting what were described as two Taiwanese cheerleaders, urging Beijing to respect the rights of Taiwan fans at the Olympics.

'The two Taiwan cheerleaders flew to Beijing on valid China-issued travel documents to cheer for the Taiwan team. Chinese authorities have no reason to bar their entry. We express deep regret,' the Sports Affairs Council said in a statement.

'We hope that during the Olympics Games, Chinese authorities respect spectators' rights,' it added.

Lee Kun-lin and Yang Hui-ju, described as volunteer cheerleaders, paid their own way to fly to Beijing Saturday, holding China-issued travel permits, according to Taiwanese media reports. However, both had been blacklisted by China as trouble-makers.

Anonymous:

In the past two days, rumor became fact. A dense fog of strange-smelling toxins enveloped the city.

If you didn't know better, you would swear that the Bird's Nest, the architecturally stunning and oddly intimidating National Stadium, escaped from a Spielberg set and began slowly poisoning the earth.

It's not the heat, it's the toxicity. Beijing was once, reputedly, mild; now it's a polluted rotisserie.

This can't be overstated: Walking around downtown Beijing, near the Forbidden City and Mao's tomb, is like being caught in a benign Stephen King horror flick, something like "The Mist [that makes your skin feel prickly]."

It's not just the government that's oppressive. This thick, humid, noxious air makes walking the equivalent of swimming in an overchlorinated pool. You feel like you're the meat on a Weber grill. Smoking here would be redundant.

When the American cyclists landed in Beijing already wearing the surgical masks provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the USOC upbraided them for embarrassing the host country.

What's embarrassing is that the International Olympic Committee would choose Beijing to begin with. What city finished second? Toledo? Gary, Indiana?

Did Amanda Beard really pose naked on the PETA poster near the Olympic village, or did the air just erode her clothes?

After three days here, these first impressions have formed:

• The people seem almost universally polite, eager and reserved. The volunteers smother with their helpfulness, and the citizens downtown on Friday, in a remarkably crowded city, move about in remarkable quietude and order.

• This city is thrilled to host the Olympics. I've covered only one other Olympiad, the Winter Games in Turin, and the attitude of the Italians there seemed to be, "Please wipe your feet." Beijingers walk about with nationalistic ribbons and flags.

• Western manners have not taken hold. While I was walking around Beijing, a naked child just missed peeing on my foot. No one blinked.

And if China was serious about its medal count, it would have found a way to make spitting an Olympic sport. These people are good. For them, expectorating is a performance art.

They also don't mind taking their shirts off in public, but I can't blame them for that. If I lived here, I'd spend the day wrapped around a block of ice.

Beijingers move slowly, like folks in America's old South, as if to conserve energy. Or maybe it's to remain anonymous. Everywhere there are grim-looking soldiers, thin as Corey Brewer, only better shooters.

There are funny sights, too, just as a Chinese citizen new to the United States might find it amusing that we have Starbucks that compete with adjacent Starbucks.

There is a restaurant specializing in animal penises. (PETA is protesting this case of blatant sexism.) There is a sign above one store reading, "Massage by Blind Masseuses," which could be a threat or a promise.

Nearby was a gift shop deifying Mao Zedong as if he were, I don't know, Tiger Woods or something.

This guy is as big as Elvis here! You can buy Mao icons, Mao playing cards, and a Mao key chain, to remind you that the car you're starting is a product of, as ol' Mao always said, "revolutionary mass mobilization."

Of course, if you didn't want a Mao key chain, you could reach in one of the adjacent bins and buy a Teletubbie kaleidoscope, or a Power Ranger, a sign that rising capitalistic influences puts the most important decisions in the hands of the people.

You can say this for these people: They know how to build a building. Next to the Bird's Nest is the wonderfully science-fictional Water Cube, and between them is a broadcast tower that lights up like a Disney ride.

Friday night, while the Bird's Nest held the Opening Ceremony, volunteers in the media center gathered around the televisions, some taking pictures of the screen. They cheered everything, some even imitating each dance move.

I left the media center and walked through a nearby poor neighborhood. Police tape lined the streets, and the cops were out in force, jostling and scolding crowds massed on every corner.

There wasn't much to see from there, only the occasional firework or spotlight beam, but thousands of the unticketed and unwashed spilled into the streets, sprinting toward every rumor of a light in the night sky.

Near the Olympic complex, an old man sat tiredly on a curb. Two white-gloved cops forcibly, if gently, lifted him by the armpits and pushed him 10 feet back as he quietly protested. Above him, in a tenement window, hung the Chinese flag.

Chaotician:

Everything in America has one purpose; bilk as many people as possible in the shortest time for the least buck! We "sell" our frequencies to the highest bidder who then use "our" frequencies to harass us, cheat us, rob us of our sanity, money, and time; they provide bastardized programming designed to maximize the exposure of dull minds with endless repetition of psychological tuned "pitches" to entice the insecure to grasp cheap stuff to make their fears subside to manageable levels of media induced anxiety! Our corporations provide the least value for the most buck and generally not even for any real needs of the consumer; long gone is the quaint notion of finding a need and filling it...way to much work; much easier to con the gullible for any cheap sh*t I can make or find! So a non-commercial thing, like Olympics needs some serious repackaging, nobody buys sh*t because some foreigners are doing something, especially better than Americans; might arouse some unneeded awareness.

Citizen of the post-American world:

Proud Magyar, may I say that I find your criticism justified, and your indignation legitimate?

It is very sad to witness, again and again, as the years go by, so little true sportsmanship, in our media. The image they project of this country leaves us light years away from the Olympic spirit.

As you say, we should not consider other people's talent as a "threat" or a "problem". We should be big enough, human enough, to "celebrate the talent of all outstanding athletes without turning it into a negative". "Great competitors" do deserve respect and positive recognition even if they aren't from this country."

I sincerely hope that you keep on arguing for more openness, more particularly in our media, and that your voice be heard.

Anonymous:

1936

Ras Putin:

"Chinese state media urged a ceasefire between Russia and Georgia on Saturday, invoking the "sacred" opening of the Beijing Olympics to call for both sides to stop fighting over South Ossetia."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/7711945

Anonymous:

And so did the festive atmosphere at the Beijing Railway Station, one of the designated gathering points for the city's 15 million inhabitants to enjoy the splendor of the opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Far south of the Bird's Nest, where 91,000 witnessed the lighting of the Olympic cauldron by gymnast Li Ning, the scene was somber with surveillance vehicles, uniformed police and men in black carrying assault weapons.

Mongolian businessman Bai Guo Feng was disappointed to see the celebration squashed after delaying his trip home to watch the Olympic kickoff at the plaza in front of the train station.

"It's not the same watching it at home as seeing it in your capital," he said in Chinese.

Though it is difficult to know the reason for the shutdown, the unofficial word was that too many people in the plaza became a security risk.

With officers straining to listen, Bai continued expressing his frustration. "They're not paying enough attention to people outside of Beijing," he said of Olympic organizers.

As if on cue, two police officers asked Bai for identification and searched his handbag. "It's just an inspection," said one of the officers.

Anonymous:

Just nine European Union leaders plan to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing on Friday (8 August), where France will officially represent the EU. Most member states are keeping a low profile instead, with a handful boycotting the festivities over China's human rights record.

Anonymous:

There is no yellow crime-scene tape, no team of investigators canvassing the area for eyewitnesses to the bloody crime committed just a few yards away.

There is no indication anyone is trying to find out exactly what happened in the 13th century landmark.

Welcome to China, where there's no need to inform thousands of oblivious visitors about a killing.

The International Olympic Committee, salivating at the enormous Chinese market for its corporate bankrollers, thought it was a fine idea to have the Summer Games in a nation run by an oppressive Communist regime.

The U.S. Olympic Committee, which has contorted itself into positions even a gymnast couldn't imagine while trying to appease the host country, responded to the murder of an extended family member with a vaguely worded statement and hours of silence.

Welcome to China, where it's none of your business whether this brutal murder was the random act of a lunatic or merely the first act of terrorists trying to disrupt the Olympics.

The thoroughly unreliable Chinese government gave this account of today's killing: A 47-year-old Chinese man from Hangzhou, a city in the Zhejiang Province, attacked three people who were on a tour of the Drum Tower.

Anonymous:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Proud Magyar:

I was very much offended by the NBC coverage.

First, as proud of as I am of my Hungarian ancestry (I've been to Hungary, am trying to pick up Hungarian as a fourth language, and love the culture and beauty this wonderful nation has to offer--I'm definitely cheering for them!!), I was angered by some of the comments made when Hungary was shown during the parade of nations; the US newscasters made some comments I didn't like. They also seemed to make fun of a few other countries and that bothered me. Plus, I thought it was ethnocentric that they always went to commericals when little-known countries (mostly from Africa and Asia and island countrie) were announced.

Next, I was angered at the butchered pronunciations by the American newscasters of French words; I've studied French for nearly 10 years and it makes me cringe every single time they mispronounce Sarko's name. The correct French pronunciation is sar-KO-zy with emphasis and elongation on the middle syllable, not "sar-KOZY", with the first syllable elongated. There are some other linguistic atrocities too. You'd think that at least one person at NBC would have some base knowledge of correct pronuncation of French, but evidently not. On the subject of pronunciation, I was also upset at the fact that they did not know how to pronounce many of the names; with one African name they flat out said on the air that they didn't know how to say it and one person just winged it. Even if that's true, it's unprofessional to say so on the air: they really should have had them phonetically written out so they could be polite and courteous and say the names of the flag bearers correctly.

I was also upset that during the parade of nations, after the US team came out, the cameras kept cutting away from the parading countries and went over to the US team in the infield whenever possible. It also upset me that they referred to the hats that the Americans were wearing as "berets". They were NOT berets. The type of hat is called a "casquette" (I apologize if I spelled that wrong; it's pronounced "cas-KET") and they're popular in Europe; I see a lot of them in France.

I was also enraged when they kept referring to the talent of other countries as a "threat" or a "problem" for the US. Can't they just celebrate the talent of all outstanding athletes without turning it into a negative? It doesn't matter what country someone is from: if they're a great competitor they deserve respect and positive recognition even if they aren't from your country.

I know that most people in the US are cheering for the US, but when it comes to journalism I think that nationalism should be kept out of it and I think that reporting should be neutral, objective, fair, and balanced.

I will say, though, that I was very impressed by the Chinese scholar/correspondent (Joshua was his first name) that they had: he was a pleasure to listen to.

Anonymous:

March on! People of all heroic nationalities!
The great Communist Party leads us in continuing the Long March ,
Millions with but one heart toward a communist tomorrow,
Develop and protect the country in a brave struggle.
March on, march on, march on!
We will for generations,
Raise high Mao Zedong's banner, march on!
Raise high Mao Zedong's banner, march on!
March on! March on! On!

Anonymous:

Big nationalstic parade in China? ohwow! what a great old show. lets marsh more kids!

Anonymous:

Chinese athletes now have an added incentive to win Olympic gold -- helping poor children to get a new school.
Top Chinese home appliance maker Haier Group said on Saturday that it was launching a programme to build one primary school in a poor rural area for every gold that China wins in Beijing.
Weightlifter Chen Xiexia won China's first gold medal of the Olympics on Saturday, in the women's 48kg class. Shooter Du Li, who had been a favourite to take the first gold of the Games in the 10m air rifle contest earlier in the day, failed to win a medal and left the arena in tears.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/7712536

thmak:

Promfret clearly stated that China does not have censorship, have freedom of the press while USA has censorhip and not freedom of the press

Mike:

J. conrad,

Why should NBC show it at 8 AM? Well, why does the whole world show it live? Aren't people in other parts of the world still in bed, or getting ready to go to work, or at work at that time? Canadians, Mexicans, the whole American continent?

When I said America does not have the passion for the Olympics and americans lack Olympic spirit, this is exactly what I was talking about. The rest of the world does not care what time the ceremonies are being broadcastes. They get up or stay up no matter what time it is and watch it live, with a sense of pride for being a citizen of the world. But, in America, where I now live, no one cares.

I remember 30 or so years ago when Mohammad Ali boxing matches were being shown at 4 AM on Iranian TV. The whole country was up at 4 AM watching the fight. If it meant skipping school, we all did it. Others will attest to this. Or in the 1976 Canadian games we all watched the incredible 14 year old Nadia Comaneche score the perfect tens in Gymnastics live no matter what time of the morning it was. And she was not even competing for our country. We just watched all the great athletes of the world because the Olympics are bigger than any one country or any one nation. Americans have never understood the Olympics spirit and they never will becasue they are constantly bombarded by the American media whose number one priority is profits and money.

I now live in Atlanta and were here during the 1996 Olympics and saw a lot of the events live at the stadiums. But I am sorry to say that it took an American city and a greedy American mayor of Atlanta to ruin the spirit of the Olympics by trying to milk every last penny of profit for himself and his freinds out of it, turning the Atlanta Olympics into a shamefull display of greed lining the streets up with nothing but street venodrs who paid him exorbitant rental fees to turn the whole city into a flee market. Atlanta Olympics was the only one in history where at the closing ceremonies, the IOC charman refused to call "the Greatest Olympics Ever" as it is customary at the conclusion of each Olympics. After Atlanta, any other U.S. city trying to get the summer Olympics will have an incredibly tough time getting the votes as they will never forget what was done to the Olympics in Atlanta.

dnjake:

Well the NBC version was delayed and interrupted by commercials. But it was still towards the top end of their efforts. Occasionally Bob Costas slipped into showing how smart he was. But NBC does seem to have figured out that viewers are more interested in watching the ceremony then they are in random low grade information or the mindless chitchat of their announcers. For the most part Costas and Lauer stayed in the background and the China expert actually provided some modest value.

For its sports events, NBC also seems to have figured out that viewers want to see the images without promotional overlays. They even had some images of China without any logo or watermark at all. For most of the ceremony they did stick with their logo as a watermark in a prominent part of the screen that makes it difficult to crop around. But that is still relatively acceptable in comparison with NBC's idiotic practices with their drama shows. They seem to believe that their shows have no substantial value so that it all right to distract viewers with continual advertisements for future shows. For me, its reached the point where I have stopped watching them.

stella:

what a pity,there still exists "ancient" people like the "wisest" anon,they just insist on what happened in the past and they will never believe the world is changing every time,they just see the world from their colorful glass.because the bright sunshine is what they are afraid of most,isn't it?

Anonymous:

To Lord of the Ring,

Maybe too much highschool sex that blockaded your brain to grow, huh?

No wonder no American is smarter than a 5th grade pupil.

besides getting fat and burning gas whatelse you know?

Stop your excessive eating so you may win a biggest loser. You shameless, even heavier than our Panda:)

Raoul:

Pomfret's post might prompt worthwhile discussion on how to balance private sector control of the media sector with the public good (for instance, having access to the entire Olympic opening ceremony), or some other equally valuable discussion. But, instead, the usual nationalist (read moronic) harpies of the "GO USA" and "GO CHINA" schools show up and flood the blog with their respective rantings.

J Conrad:

Why should NBC show it at 8 in the morning? Most of the country is either at work, going to work, or still in bed (on the west coast). If they didn't show it at all, there'd be a basis for complaining. Why don't you slackers get a job?

Lord of the Ring:

Anon, you have no idea about the book because you're an idiot. Look at china just a few years back. You all look the same because you wear the same clothes.

If not for western bicycles and cars, you would be running on rick-shaws upto now.

Anonymous:

Well, your idol fiction writer ruined your life.

What 's difference btwn Lord of Ring movie and book?

Maybe you learn from most Chinese, reading Shakespeare instead of your low class literature novels,

Your generation is ruined by Lord or Ring, and your child is ruined by Harry Potter.

Don't blame the English, American.

Go somewhere get educated please, I beg you.

Lord of the Ring:

Anon, you're the idiot you're talking about.

Lord of the Ring:

"can't believe some American people get their reference from their movies for world study."

What do you know about movies? The Lord of the Ring is an all-time best-selling book by a WW1 european war veteran.

Anonymous:

John,

Don't you feel shame about some of you countrymen that they stupiding every in the world and showing their idiology on your page?

Jeez, what have you done to them that they just could not let your page go? Your stupid countymen are ruining your webpage.

Now I understand why you talk about serious things in a non-serious fashion, simplely American political people are the stupidest in the world.

You should set program for American people to vote for idoit, I am sure there are plenty to choose from American politics.

Maybe NBC show set new show:

American Idiots instead of American talents.

Or Fox show replace their "American Idol" to "American Idiot".

I am sure it's gonna be most watched and never drain out idiots show.

And I am sure there will be plenty American idiots would vote for you too:)

Anonymous:

I can't believe some American people get their reference from their movies for world study.

that's a new low:)

those embarrassing people can never be stopped!
- from Saturday Night Live Show

Lord of the Ring:

The Beijing Olympic Openning was "scary". It showed how powerful China has become. With all the shouting and great fireworks, the movie "Lord of the Ring", where the huge evil armies converge, flash to my mind.

Anonymous:

@ Stella.

you are posting double double spam again.

stella :

there is no point arguing here,ok,we keep our own opinion,and just think all by ourselves ,that's enough.

stella:

no matter what the situation is.truth is the truth,there won't be wrong forever to believe the truth,so please search for the truth and think by ur own mind to distinguish what is right and what is wrong!

adfg:

--is that true?what a shame!---

you must know, little shi_ter.

stella:

is that true?what a shame!

Anonymous:

stella:
crown:
jacky:
bkyfacts:
华山派大弟子令狐冲:

those posters are all the same spamer.

Pomfrets blog is became worth of used toilet paper.

stella:

i don't think the group promised to aid the children when chinese sports team won a gold medal is a manner to put pressure on the athletes,it is just a way to encourage athletes to work hard.when they get a gold medal ,they help a child,is it a great thing?why we regard this as "evil chinese" bad behaviours?maybe this is prejudice

Anonymous:

BEIJING - HAI Mingyu played a game of cat-and-mouse with police on Saturday as he tried to protest in a Beijing park that China had claimed would be open for rare acts of defiance during the Olympics.
Mr Hai had come to Ritan Park because it was one of three protest zones set up by Chinese authorities in a bid to display openness for the Games, and he wanted to speak to foreign press about his plight.

He and his family were the only ones in the 'protest park'.

Accompanied by his wife, father and daughter, he tried to unfurl a banner that claimed authorities in his hometown in eastern China's Shandong province had taken his mother's house and sold it without giving any compensation.

'But the park's management wouldn't let me and tried to make me go away,' he said, as what appeared to be plainclothes police looked on and listened.

'The country allowed people to come here to the park to speak to foreign media during the Olympics, but the real situation is that they don't let anyone come.'

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/World/Story/STIStory_266214.html

stella:

now i find something different about china from what i know from our midea,go to visit www.anti-cnn and see A westerner's View of Tibet Issue and China ,there are really something different ,now i think sometimes we really need to be calm and think more,not just listen to others words.
i think it is better to learn more before criticizing

PROUD ANTI-CHINESE:

Chinese athletes now have an added incentive to win Olympic gold -- helping poor children to get a new school.
Top Chinese home appliance maker Haier Group said on Saturday that it was launching a programme to build one primary school in a poor rural area for every gold that China wins in Beijing.
Weightlifter Chen Xiexia won China's first gold medal of the Olympics on Saturday, in the women's 48kg class. Shooter Du Li, who had been a favourite to take the first gold of the Games in the 10m air rifle contest earlier in the day, failed to win a medal and left the arena in tears.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/feedarticle/7712536

USING A POOR CHILDREN FOR PRESSURE ON SPORTSMEN!? CHINESE ARE REALY PERVERT!

crown:

then go to visit www.anti-cnn.com maybe u will have some different opionions on china and our western midea

jacky:

those who still criticize china for Tibet or Taiwan should go to learn more about chinese history and to know more about the history in tibet and taiwan, do we have rights to say anyting bad while we are know nothing about their history.and u should go to china by urselves to see the true life of chinese people,to see if it is the same as what our media say and to see if china is really so bad a place as our media say.
what i want to say here is that don't let others think for u ,u should think by ur own mind!!!

bkyfacts:

The Chinese has a lot room to improve, but for anyone in the US going to Beijing to protest Tibet just shows ignorant American attitude towards the world. Should they protest their own governement on the crime against native indians first? Oh, I forgot, they killed most of them 100 years ago and took their land aready.

华山派大弟子令狐冲:

The ceremony has recieved a great deal of criticism for its "vulgarity" and "triviality" among Chinese Internet users, but also some praises.

The structure of Chinese aesthetics is like nature itself: at the secular level, one expects celebrated abundance of colors, sounds,patterns and forms etc. like a full mature spring( 大红大绿) at the root of the Himalayas, yet at the top of the aesthetical hierachies, it is the purity (冰清玉洁) of Everest, which is reflected in higher arts such as calligraphy (书法), water-ink painting (水墨画), 陶渊明-sytle poetry, 古琴music etc. They are minimalistic, colorless and ultimately formless. If one thinks the Olympic opening is immpressive, you hasn't experienced China's higher and inner arts yet...

Johnny:

So. News from Beijing. A Chinese man attacked two American tourists, killing one of them, Beijing authorities said. Then killed himself. A testimony to the peaceful nature of chinese and their Olympic spirit and one world, one dream. For all their assurances and criticism of the west, its the chinese that do the killing afterall at the world olympics. How ironic but telling. Watch the postings to this and what sort of spin and criticism that will be leveled at me for reporting the news.

Americans are inbred idiots:

I am an American and am not proud to say our country is full of ignorant inbreds, who would rather vote for someone who says thay are religious and conservative but starts a war and kills innocent people and bankrupts the country.

Only americans let the oil and mortgage companies fleece the world. Only dumb ass americans would vote for the republicans who lower the wealthys taxes and make the middle class foot the bill. Only dumb ass americans would elect an idiot not once, but twice.

Only americans would rather starve than vote for an intelligent black man. Americans would rather have an bumbling 71 year old white man and continue to lose their houses, pay high food and gas prices and continue to lose their jobs. While the wealthy americans like McCain and his wife worth over 100 million dollars laugh all the way to the bank as the tax payers bail out the banks.

The dumb uninformed electorate continue to vote against their own best interest. Why because is America is a racist country. The south has not voted for a democratic president since 1968 when the blacks got civil rights and a right to vote without a poll tax in the south.

Why did america have to have to have a civil war to stop slavery. While civilized countries like England stopped through dialogue in parlament because it was inhumane. Americans idiots breed American idiots. Breed outside of your own family ignorant americans and then your thought processes might improve.

Cyrus Lesser:

You guys really are hypocritical. Your President goes to Beijing and proclaims that in USA anyone is allowed to say whatever they think.

How come Al Jazerrah was expelled from the NY Stock Exchange? How come you get nervous when suggesting that 9/11 was caused by USA rubbing the Muslims the wrong way, and it's impossible to have a robust discussion without some suggesting in hushed tones that "the CIA might be listening".

And Guantanamo Bay - from a country that prides itself on the rule of law.

Should I go on?

How about you start to practise what you preach, and don't vote for hypocritical politicians!

boy from Tehran:

Simply because America is trying very hard to be the 21st century USSR.

Independent:


The coverage by NBC of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing was generally better than I expected, less nationalistic than I anticipate will be their coverage of many specific competitions. However, there were too many and too frequent commercials. I wonder what was left out. However, the artistic side was spectacular and encompassed certain key elements of traditional Chinese culture.

Yao Ming, walking along side and later holding the little boy, who survived the earthquake and saved two of his classmates, should be considered the highpoint of the opening ceremonies.

Cecile Pet:

It's unbelievable that your network did not cover it LIVE, the most SPECTACULAR, AWESOME Olympics opening ever. At the end of the show, our tv commentator had no words to describe it; the headline of our newspaper states : The Greatest Show on Earth; in three hours it captured 5,000 years Chinese history --an integration of Chinese history, art, literature, music, science , in short, a fusion of the 5,000 years and modern present life.. performed by 15,000 persons, it showed the beauty of one of the oldest civilization depicting China as a country and people. One cannot guess what is next..Hence, it is one of the greatest cultural show ever.
Also, one cannot help but admire the beauty of all the races as the atheletes from 203 countries paraded; hence, it was true to its theme song--One world, One Dream.
Do not miss it, get hold of a copy or DVD. I am not chinese but I salute all the Chinese people for the grandeur of their opening.

For shame:

I was a little disappointed. Where were the tibetan monks being tortured? Where were the falung gong members having their body organs harvested? Where were the representation of over 400 intermediate-range nuclear missiles aimed at Taiwan? Where was the... Now THAT would of been a great opening ceremony!

Justin:

Mike, the only thing I can think of that is more shameful...is how Iranian leaders deny the holocaust and threaten to destroy Israel. So, instead of bashing the country that allowed you to move out of that Iron Box you were born in, maybe you should respect the fact that we are busy doing other stuff to pay attention to an overblown part of the Olympics that has nothing to do with sports at all.

Oh, and the Ryder Cup is a team sport. So, it makes no sense to say that Tiger came in 8th. Either the U.S. team wins--or the World Team wins. It's just that simple.

PASSION FOR SPORTS? WE ARE SPORTS! Guess you've never been to a NBA Finals Game 7, or a World Series Game, or a Super Bowl, or an MLS Game, or the U.S. Open...or a Michigan-Ohio State game, or an NCAA Track and Field Championship. Passion for sports? Give me a break. That is ridiculous. You watched the Olympics no matter who was competing? Who does that? Was there not anything else on? Oh yeah, you were in Iran.

Mike:

There simply is no passion for the Olymics in America. I remember when I was a kid back in Iran, we counted the days and hours for the Olympics to start and then sit down and watch every minute of it live. No matter what country was competing. It was just exciting to watch it.

But now here in Atlanta I have to wait 12 hours and watch a "pretended" live broadcast. It is shameful. But I also fully understand where it comes from. Americans do not have any passion or interest in sports if it does not involve lots and lots of money. Look at Tiger Woods. The best golfer ever lived and he has never finished better than 8th place in Ryder Cup becasue he does not get paid for it. No sense of pride when it comes to sports.

By the way, I watched most of the opening ceremonies live on satelite TV this morning. A number of Arabic and Asian satelite TV providers that broadcast from the USA were bradcasting it live. All it costs is an $80 receiver and a dish.

Anju Chandel:

People of the world, look at Beijing! ...

That's what came to my mind while watching the most spectacular opening ceremony of Olympics ever! It was simply breathtaking!

It must have been a great learning for all countries in terms of organising, planning, execution, use of technology, confluence of culture and future, etc.

To see the entire world being nestled in the Bird's Nest was simply amazing! And, the only persisiting thought throughout in my mind was that why on earth do we humans fight?

Hope the Games pass off peacefully, bringing lots of happiness for viewers all around the world!

Justin :

Wake up and smell the coffee? ZING!! Damn, I've never been spoken to like that. I'm crying right now.

HAHAHAHAHA!

Tell me one part of my post that was false? Then, tell me which part was bigoted? That's a pretty big word for a New Yorker--are you sure you know what it means? Sorry, I don't remember making any racial comments at all. I guess you just read those right in.

Loser.

Justin Cook:

Wow, Citizen of the Post-American World...you are insightful. And by insightful, I mean that you enjoy a significantly below average intelligence. Please tell me English isn't your first language, because you write like my four-year-old niece. Been reading a little too much Fareed Zakaria, eh? I like how you take his ideas and pass them off as your own. What diseased country are you from? I would love the opportunity to poke fun at whichever black hole you call home. Guess what? The USA doesn't broadcast anything. We have these organizations we like to call "companies" that do all of that kind of stuff for us. They provide services like building roads, or, umm, television, for example. You know, that little box with the funny pictures on it (there's probably only a few of those in your country, it's OK, I can send you one of mine). So, the USA has nothing to do with NBC--a network that hasn't been able to find its ass with both hands in the last 5 years.
So, now that you have at least THAT much education, you can speak more intelligently about your daddy, the USA, beawtch!!

Justin

PS - Anonymous World Citizen -- We do have passion. Just not for pronunciation. The reason we didn't get the ceremonies live is because WE DON'T CARE!! Kinda reminds me of the World Cup (a bunch of pseudo-athletes falling all over the place pretending that "futbol" is actually fun to watch. BORING. Americans work for a living (unlike in Europe), in case you forgot. Who has time to wake up at 4:00 in the morning on a work day to watch some Communist propaganda dog poop? Let me spend 300 million dollars--me and your mom would make it rain!!

Chinese American in New York:

Justin, you are an idiot. It's people like who makes the rest of the world think Americans are a bunch of uncultured biggots.

Wake up and smell the coffee...

Great ball of China:

London 2012 won't match Chinese ceremony

"Anxious to talk down comparisons between Beijing and London in the days leading up to these Games, Seb Coe's team have never tried to hide from the fact that they will be unable to match the Chinese Olympic experience."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/2524470/Beijing-Olympics-London-wont-match-Chinese-ceremony.html

Justin Cook:

So the opening ceremonies were on TV tonight? I couldn't see any of it because the smog seeping into my living room was burning my eyes. Besides, I was in the bathroom taking a China, and wiping my Beijing. People, this is a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, despite what bullcrap 50 year economic projections on the internet might indicate. The reigning regime in this "country" backs the genocidal Sudanese "government"...wow, I thought poisoning children with toys was the extent of it--lets add Darfur to the list. These guys are just a-holes, to be honest. By the way, nice Hitler-style ceremony (1936 Summer Games). Up and coming? Doubt it. An economy cannot continue to grow at this rate. It's impossible to continue white-hot growth without some kind of correction--and it's shaping up to be a MAJOR CORRECTION, believe it.
The audacity of the Chinese government to spend billions of dollars on the Olympics rather than help feed the some odd 700 billion citizens living in the countries interior, surviving on cardboard bread--including thousands that still need aid from a devastating earthquake that everyone seems to be forgetting about. 55,000 people died. Nobody seems to care about anything except paying off/silencing the grieving families. How about a country that encourages the systematic pollution of not only its ancient national resources, but the very bodies of its citizens-- all in the name of economic expansion based squarely on crap currency and underhanded, oppressive, and ultimately, bone-headed policies. Hey China...your air sucks, your Birds Nest is retarded looking...and you've got a long way to go before you can say, "you've arrived".

PS...good luck beating us out of the Gold Medal top-spot...three words...MICHAEL PHELPS, yo.

Justin

By the way, Americans are tired of doling out so much cash to poor nations. We earned it, fair and square, it's ours. If I were president, I would cut ALL FOREIGN AID, pull out of Iraq, and drill the 1.6 trillion barrels of shale oil (5 x's the reserves of Saudi Arabia) we have in Colorado...then, you can all kiss our junk. How you likin' us now, tricks? Enjoy that smog. Good luck getting oil from Russia when the Middle East goes dry.

Youyou:

PETE, i think NBC websites are promoting Olympics DVD. You can go there and check it out. But then again, I don't know if NBC is just doing highlights or covers the entire sequence. bahh.. :(

Youyou:

Gosh can anyone tell me another way to watch Olympics avoiding NBC???
I hate the fact that we were 12 hours delayed and the ceremony was still packed full w/ commercials once every freaking five minute!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's talk about the politic-ness of the game. Me on a personal level would never want to link up this sort of classy world event to politics, but if we think about it, the games are inevitably political! Olympics come to Asia sooo rarely (only 3 times in the modern olympic era, 64 Tokyo, 88 Seoul, and now 08 Beijing), and when it comes,it always marks something new and different about the hostess nation. For Japan, it was a sign for its return to the international community after WWII and all that military occupations, and for Seoul was witnessing its evolutionary economy. and now that the game is taking place in a Communist regime, the game is def. bound to be political.

Margie in Riverside:

I saw the NBC version - I have to wonder what was left out -- was there no mention at all of the Chinese revolution - the Long March -- in the full opening ceremony? That seems strange to me.

Games of Peace:

"Hundreds of countries yesterday set aside their differences to participate in the most spectacular opening to the Olympic Games in history.

But neighbours Russia and Georgia used the diversion of the biggest sporting event on earth to start a bloody war..."

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/war-and-peace-1450768.html

Anonymous:

Big nationalstic parade in China? ohwow! what a great old show. lets marsh more kids!

pete:

This is the best Opening ceremony I have EVER seen!!!

The opening just took my breath away!!!!! And the foot print fireworks, the flying olympic rings, the ancient chinese paper, rolls, chinese characters, Tai Chi, earth, pretty much everything!!!! WOW what an amazing show!!!!!!

NOW i wanna buy the DVD, where can I get it?

Bob Franks:

To the person who posted:

"Seems Putin was happily attending the opening ceremony without observing the Olympic truce in Georgia!"

Perhaps you should find a complete account of what happened and an accurate time line of events before jumping to pre-thought, MSM posited opinions. Use google.com and choose news from other countries to see a broader view of events than the ones presented by any one country and its media..

Bob Franks:

I live in Australia and the live coverage started at 10pm and went until after 1am. My whole family stayed up till the end except for my youngest who fell asleep on the chair and missed the final bits.

It was nothing short of spectacular!

Mind blowing in concept and delivery.

The commentary was slightly excessive, and there was not enough translation, but overall it seemed a balanced broadcast by channel 7.

There was NO booing of anyone, even the president of the US. In fact, the US team received some of the loudest cheering from the crowd. (Not as loud as the Chinese team of course ;) )

Find a way to see it. It was worth it, the whole 3 hours of it.

Alex:

I missed the ceremony and does anybody know where i can watch it?

Anon:

There is something to be said about arrogance - when a large nation (ie America) lectures another nation (ie China) about a whole lot of things, including free flow of information...and yet when an amazing event about peace/unity/sports is shown live to the rest of the world, whichever American company had the broadcast rights deny showing it live to Americans. Lesson: look at yourself in the mirror first before you lecture others.

jianjun:

dear Troyce,
if i said something about "go China judge by yourself" means they paid me to post this, does the NBC pay the people who post "get over it" here?
Even there are many people like you, here we young people do love america, i think we have also been influenced so much by your culture and your films. it was so much fun that boys watched america pie together in college. that would be a dreamed place. we admire your people understanding of freedom and humanrights. we are moving too, it just takes time, cause we have so much to inheritated.
by the way, this is the first time i came here accidently, cause they see the world turn the eyes on beijing opening ceremony, i just want to see how do you comment on it.
good luck! have a nice dream!

sg:

I find it insulting that NBC's commentators are acting like they are broadcasting live. When they break for a commercial and then act like they have to make up for the time that the commercial was on is really dumb when the program is videotaped.

Anonymous:

This is totally bullshxt.

[QUOTE]
Troyce Key:

Don't even respond to the chinese posts. they are all paid stooges of beijing, who earn a few rmb to post anti-American slogans and write 'go china' on American blogs.
[/QUOTE]

Troyce Key:

Don't even respond to the chinese posts. they are all paid stooges of beijing, who earn a few rmb to post anti-American slogans and write 'go china' on American blogs.

amused:

by those of you who point the finger and tell the contributors here to "get over it" or other condescending things but you can't even sign your name. opinions matter when they are signed.

let me lower myself to your standard so maybe you can hear me better.

shut up. especially the little peter who goes by "citizen of the post" whatever. you're a pain in the

jianjun:


hey, everyone! i love america1 i love this country, and the people there! i hope politic shall not be involved in china olympics. The ceremony last night was amazing, even it only show a little pictures about china 5000 history. and one more thing, if you think tibet belongs to china or not, go to china one day, you will find it out by yourself. Media fools us all the time. we shall not be mob anymore

Great Show of China:

Seems Putin was happily attending the opening ceremony without observing the Olympic truce in Georgia!

Siddharth:

Disappointed but not at all surprised by NBCs strategy. A couple of you mentioned there were websites where you could download alternative coverage and avoid NBC's dumbed down and edited transmissions - what are the urls?

thanks

Independent:


This is an excellent column by John Pomfret. I completely agree with everything he said. I turned on my television this morning in the hope at least MSNBC might be showing the live Olympics, with repeat coverage this evening.

I was quite disappointed NBC had no interest in televising the ceremonies as they happened. The network is obviously more concerned with corporate greed and ratings.


He is also correct in how the American television media, as well as probably most of the print media, have a very limited, provincial perspective in "covering" the Olympics in any country. Their excessive nationalism violates the spirit of the games themselves and often becomes nearly propaganda.

The only ways the Olympic ideals can be revived is to only allow amateurs to compete, minimize the extreme nationalism and commercialism attached to the games and stop politicizing these supposedly athletic events. This is very unlikely though.

kimba:

and i was hopeful when there was no talking with the initial drum countdown...but it has slowly become evident that networks cannot, simply cannot refrain from continous commentary. can't even hear the little kids sing without a camera break to bush chatting it up in the stands and then a bloody commentary about it...geeeeze. because i can't figure it out for myself the obvious connection of children to soldier...past to present...SHUT UP ALREADY. there ought to at least be a version that eliminates the talk.

...i'm sorry. i should be only too grateful i'm being allowed to see it at all.

Nav:

We had it live in Australia!

By far the greatest opening ceremony I've ever seen!

You guys really missed out and it's disappointig that such a travesty would occur in America!

Citizen of the post-American world:

Get Over It: "Citizen ... you don't seem to understand that in America... we can exercise our right to free speech by not watching the coverage!"

My dear Get Over It, I understand all too well what the United States of America are all about.

In this case you do NOT "exercise" any of your rights whatsoever, as you have no choice on the matter. This is not YOUR choice, you simply CANNOT watch the coverage live, in full. Big Brother decides for you what you may or may not watch.

So once again, should you not like what you read on this thread, well... get off yours and change things.

You are not a slave, for Allah's sake, you live in "the land of the free". So stop trying to justify what is unjustifiable and get moving, will you!

Carolyn:

Was very dissappointed to not see the Opening Ceremonies live...Probably will wait till next year to watch or whenever I catch them...Are country has become so good at propaganda...Monitoring and selecting what to show us..

kimba:

first 20 minutes of nbc coverage of the opening ceremony is WHOLLY DISAPPOINTING and yet...how can i be surprised? the last few years i have grown increasingly disenchanted with our "great" nation. I want to see the olympics. i want to see the ceremony as given by the Chinese---this is THEIR gift to the world, this ceremony, hosting the olympics. why the hell are we hearing nothing but politics? i want to see the CEREMONY. some democratic nation this turns out to be---the ONLY coverage is by a meglaconglomerate powerhungry pundits. i am so disgusted. any ideas how i can see the opening ceremonies WITHOUT nbc? i would love to see in mandarin, even if i won't understand a "word" of it...

ever-worsening coverage is right!!!! THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE U.S.!!! IT IS ABOUT THE WORLD. IT IS ABOUT THE CHINESE HOSTING AN AMAZING PERFORMANCE.

Barney:

O.K. now that I've calmed down a little bit, but only a little bit, I realize people need to put their foot down about this ever-worsening coverage. While the idea of rounding up everyone at NBC above the rank of mail clerk and swiftly delivering them to the nearest Soylent Green factory has a certain appeal, that might backfire on us because even cannibals have standards. It seems that the IOC needs to step in here and set some sort of standards of Olympic coverage. There are all sorts of rules for athletes competing put in place to ensure fairness in competition and the sanctity of the sport but none for the coverage. Perhaps a minimum number of events that must be covered live and uninterrupted, and a certain number of events that don't involve the broadcasting country. Without that is there any reason to watch the Olympics here in the U.S.? And another thing that might help is for everyone who is fed up with this to take a few minutes and call up you local NBC affiliate and give them an earful, and let any commercial sponsors know you intend to boycott whatever crap they are selling. If sponsors know that buying a commercial during the Olympics will lose them business...........

Get Over It:

Citizen of the post-American world, you don't seem to understand that in America, the government doesn't control the media. We can exercise our right to free speech by not watching the coverage!

Blaming a government that has nothing to do with the decisions at NBC makes about as much sense as your mindless America-hating posts.

Bye!

Carol Anne:

I live in Seattle and watch the Olympics on the Canadian Broadcasting Company's Vancouver channel (thank you, Comcast!) The opening ceremonies were shown live and in full this morning. I really like it that the CBC announcers don't talk constantly, but let us listen, as we watch the events.

Tim:

Coverage of any international sport sux in the US ... I bought SPEED channel to watch F1 races which happen at like 5AM on Sunday morning .. jeeeez no! .. they would rather show re-runs of old nascar races at that time .. seriously who even see re-runs of Nascar??!! ... ofcourse, stupid me woke up at 4AM expecting to see the ceremony without checking first.. bah!!

Citizen of the post-American world:

Raj: "it wasn't nearly as good as the one for Athens - NBC watchers didn't miss much."

I love it. So now we have to rely on a Raj to tell us whether we missed something or not?

What has this country come to?

We don't care what you think, Raj. Think what you want, we don't need you. We want to see the whole bit and to judge for ourselves. This is OUR democratic right.

Raj:

"Who's acting like a superpower now?"

John, the US IS a superpower - has been for many decades.

As for biased coverage, watch the French Olympic coverage. Hours of fencing and archery (i.e. the stuff they always win).

In regards to the ceremony, personally I thought it was confused and overly showy (such that there wasn't a clear theme other than "look at us - China is cool") and it wasn't nearly as good as the one for Athens - NBC watchers didn't miss much.

Steve S.:

And now you realize why I boycott the Olympics. The corporate greed is so bad that it won't let there be anything but USA. I for one would find it fascinating to see much of what we here will never get the chance to see. I remember back to Seoul and staying up late into the night to see many hours of coverage, that will never happen again.

Citizen of the post-American world:

Get Over It writes: "You anti-American nuts need to get off of your high horses. NBC is not run by the US government. Blame them, not the country.Idiots."

Man, blame the country we shall all we want! That's all that remains of pseudo-democracy in this village!

You don't like what you hear? Well... get off yours and change things. You are not a slave of the media. You live in "the land of the free"!

Why don't you show that you do, for once?

PatrickInBeijing:


The show was great!! I really enjoyed it. I have to admit I am a sucker for the parade of nations, watching all of the countries come in, both large and small. And I liked the way they did the order, it was interesting.

Of course, here in China, CCTV9, the English language channel, is an International channel, so they can't broadcast anything. Me and my poor Chinese have to watch CCTV1. Ah well, it is good for my listening skills, I hope.

They didn't show any booing of Bush or anyone. It was all positive.

And in the overall scheme of things, it should be!! Enjoy the show!!

(I could see some of the fireworks from my window, I hope the networks show how widespread they are!).

Get Over It:

You anti-American nuts need to get off of your high horses. NBC is not run by the US government. Blame them, not the country.

Idiots.

Anonymous world citizen:

I was up before dawn in Los Angeles to watch the Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremony because I like to see so many different flags at once and I don't get to go to New York City very often to see them at United Nations Organization.

You poor Americans from the United States! Your enjoyment of live coverage was taken from you by the corporation called NBC, who bought a monopoly on Olympic coverage and blackened it out to us for the benefit of their stockholders. This informational monopoly has degraded the value of human understanding. Let us hope that future governments will not tolerate this kind of mind control.

And those announcers who mispronounce the capital of China as Beizhing instead of Beidjing clearly show their ignorance of the Chinese Mandarin phonology. Come on now; this is the number one language of Mother Earth. Spanish is number two in terms of speakers. English is third. Have passion.

jeff D.:

I had to laugh. While George dubya was lecturing China on human rights, and freedom of information,you were busy censoring the opening of the games yourselves.Can you say hypocracy ?It's a good thing most Americans aren't as dumb as your networks or your president.

Barney:

When I was a kid I used to love watching the Olympics, yet now I don't even bother wasting my time. It's not for love of the sport but the ever worsening coverage. Every year it seems to get worse. Nothing but 5 minute snippets of the events interspersed with 15 minutes of commercials. NBC is run by a disgusting bunch of creeps that seem to think the airwaves are only here for them to use for advertising. Thank god for file sharing programs. They will be the only way many of us get to see our teams perform.

Citizen of the post-American world:

Infantile United States of America (born yesterday!) have chosen to pout... and to sulk! For us, perception is reality: what we do not see does not exist.

Millenary China is hosting the world and the world looks on: Shock and Awe! China displays its contribution to civilization and to humanity! -- No, no, infantile USofA will not watch, does not want to see.

Pathetic? No, decadent!

"I would have liked to have watched the whole thing live", writes poor Pomfret! A Canadian friend of mine tells me, electronically, it was presented live both by Radio-Canada (in French) and on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (in English).

Anybody wonders why there may be people, in this world, who prefer not to live in "the land of the free"? What if they enjoyed more freedom than we do? -- No, no, this is taboo. We, Americans, have the most freedom: that's what we keep telling the whole world... therefore... it must be true... must it not?

Those who wish to see the Beijing closing ceremonies may just decide to cross the border! Go north!

Believe you me, one can "watch the whole thing live" on Canadian TV!

Censorship:

You know why we are not seeing the opening live? The stadium's 90,000 fans from countries around the world let out groans and boos when Bush appears.
I later read an Associated Press summary of the opening--no mention of this from them. If the tape-delayed coverage by NBC shows this, then I will consider myself proved wrong, but I doubt they will.

Cornel Faltin:

Oncer again NBC will bring make US-championships out of the Olympics, don't bring the good stuff live, but edit and delay it for half a day. How sad. Every other country in the world brings the Olympics as an international event, where you can see others compete and all live all the time. Luckily enough I am in Costa Rica right now, where they showed the amazing opening ceremony the full 4 hours and will continue so for the next two weeks. I endured the last 8 Olympics (4 summer, 4 winter) in the US and always hated it to watch US only stuff time delayed. So much to THE LAND OF THE FREE.

billrowe:

Searched all around the networks ....simply could not believe it was not covered live .... pathetic....

Cathy:

it's so true that I felt I am behind everyone else in the world just because the dominating TV network does not believe to live at the moment in the history.

Those executives of the network think they are so smart that they can manipulate everything by the media power. WRONG! I just can't wait until we have HD internet. That will be AWESOME! We then do not need to be controlled by any dominating media. We will be live where ever, whenever we want. Sometimes people in power are just so short-sighted.

Oh, also, what's up with only showing the events that US Team can win? Where's the true Olympian spirit? I want to see ping-pong and other not-so-popular sports too!!

Anyway, since I don't have a choice and I want to enjoy the HD effect of the opening ceremony, I guess I will wait until tonight for the most exciting event of the year!!

Joseph:

I come from Canada and is currently in Orlando. Man was I disappointed to know that the US network not broadcasting the opening ceremony life. I mean even Canada has it live on web and on TV network........ and all my friends all watched it and I have to watch a replay packed with commercials.

really disappointed.

Xog:

I've been annoyed at the way the networks cover the Olympics for years. Who in the world wants to watch taped and edited sports? I'll gladly stay up and watch underwater basket weaving at 3am, if they would just show it LIVE!

With so many channels they can use, there is no excuse to avoid showing the events live. They can still show their edited crap in prime time for the people who don't know they are being fed what the networks want them to see.

Anonymous:

Always love your insights Mr. Pomfret. I will be enjoying the opening ceremonies via downloaded footage instead of subscribing to NBC's brand of highly edited and highly selected footage. You should do the same!

Gerard:

We get CBC here in Seattle. Canadian coverage blows away NBC. I watched almost the entire Opening before going to work. The only reason I will watch NBC is to see the events I saw earlier in HD

Peter F in SF:

Neither I nor any of my friends are paying any attention at all to these games. I am totally uninterested in anything about China. Been there, done that and never want to do it again. Horrible! It's a damn shame that they got the games.

Anonymous:

holy crap!

Chinese spent all their money!
They really like Olympics, not like US hosted cheaply:) And only care about USA, USA, USA....
but the rest of world just been cut for commercial!

Human Rice! Freedom of Information! Poor American people, under a selfish idiotic government.

Have you guys seen how Chinese welcomed US Athletes?
Kobe? Japanese Athletes? and Taiwan?

The Fact speaks for Chinese, but American people only get to watch partial facts that is delivered by US government thru an limited edited broadcast just like the Olympics. Sigh!

GHJ:

I agree with everything AB said. Literally everything. It's pathetic how the American media refused to broadcast it, and I don't think I even care enough any more to bother watching a highly edited, commercial-packed version tonight.

And really, our entire media-culture is geared around mentally castrating people who are stupid enough to follow it's antics. This is sickening.

Jayden Lawson:

Australia had it live... awesome work by China!!

Marc L.:

I am Canadian and the coverage was shown live on Canadian television. We don't only think about money; we care about what the olympics are really about, clean world class competition. The spokesman for NBC has admitted the decision not to show live coverage was a business decision in an attempt to make more money. During times like this, I am proud to be Canadian.

Thanks

ron miller:

I think the media messed up big time in not showing it live. They still could have had evening coverage(not worth much) and made their money. Maybe I should go to Canada for 10 days.

BobP:

It could be worse -- you could live in L.A.! Everything here is delayed 3 ADDITIONAL hours, so whatever you do get, we have to wait awhile to see!

lisa W:

Rich folks who make those decisions don't care if "consumers" see it or not. They are all in China.

scott:

Why is everyone getting so upset. so,the opening cermonies are being shown taped delayed ,so were the sydney's in 2000. I highly enjoyed the Athen's games.

Ethan:

I heard it was fantastic. I am ready to watch it tonight no matter if it is edited or not. Just cann't miss it. ^V^

C.C. Richard Liu:

Americans only care their own things, so what? You will definitely be amazed by China's Culture if you open your eyes to them.

AB:

The 3-hour telecast tonight will no doubt contain about 60 minutes of commercials, keeping American viewers from enjoying the breathtakingly spectacular ceremony in all its glory. Soda, pizza, gas-guzzlers (30 mpg - yay!) and the latest drug that gives you 720-hour erections are so much more important.

Whether you like it or not, America's dumbing down has a lot to do with what the media feeds us. Reminds me of the saying "the less a people know, the less they want to know."

Now let the whining begin (but, but...we aren't a nation of whiners...waaaahhh)

DAVID Z:

USA has done a really bad job covering the Athen games, they omitted lots of sports/events. I am planning to catch most of my home country's event online. GO CHINA!!!

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