Boris Johnson’s record is even worse than his hair. Hence the coup attempt. Continue reading The Jubilee Coup
Of COVID, Johnny Depp, Rummy, the Trashanova, and cats. Continue reading The Heat Goes On
“There’s a stain on my notebook where your coffee cup was.” Continue reading Black Coffee In Bed
Time and distance and Covid have changed how we all relate to each other. No, not with how we still kiss and hug when we see each other. Instead, we all chose to focus on the joy we had at all being together again instead of the long-running disagreements highly opinionated people will always have. Continue reading You Can Go Home Again
Judging a Trump judge’s judgment in the mask mandate case. Continue reading The Runaway Judge
Sometimes it happens that the little guys win. Amazon wanted to put a distribution center on a 2 lane country road and then have 87 delivery vans and 14 semi trucks go in and out on it. The neighbors put Amazon up a river. Continue reading The Final Mile
Toxic masculinity rears it’s head everywhere these days, from the stage of the Oscars to the misinformationcasts of conservative media to the planning rooms of the Kremlin. Continue reading Toxic Levels of Masculinity
To Quote: “Boris Johnson’s buffoonery contrasts with the courageous leadership of President Zelensky. To compare a referendum to women and children fleeing Putin’s bombs is an insult to every Ukrainian. He is no Churchill: he is Basil Fawlty.”
Some thoughts on Boris Johnson, Basil Fawlty, and clowns running governments. Continue reading Fawlty Tory
You can tell a lot about people from looking at their priorities. Continue reading Where Are You Now, Jonah Ryan?
We’ve just passed the two year mark since the first national shelter in place order was issued. Time is right to play the blame game. All the usual subjects, plus one or two you might not have thought about. Continue reading 731 Odd Days
I was really interested in the Canadian trucker protest, so when I read that there were American truckers who wanted to imitate it, I was initially worried because of how much Americans love their guns. There was talk of driving into Washington, DC on the day of the State of the Union speech and of driving by the White House to tell President Biden how they felt about mask and vaccine mandates. Washington, DC is shut down pretty securely for the SOTU speech, so the big rally on The Mall turned out about 2 dozen people, most of them there … Continue reading The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being: USA! USA! USA! Edition
We are nearing a million Americans who have lost their life to COVID. It’s one of the leading causes of death in the world, and the level of mortality caused by it is almost certainly undercounted. Despite this, there are still people like Possible Sociopath David Leonhardt who are trying to argue it’s all no big deal. To be fair, no idea if Leonhardt is a sociopath but some of his Tweets and writing are, well, coming off like he has minimal care for his fellow humans and just wants to be able to go to a restaurant without a … Continue reading What COVID Can Teach Us About Climate Change
This is going to go down in history as one very strange period of time. A fairly large portion of the population has, apparently, decided that the COVID pandemic is over. When these people came to this conclusion varies anywhere from two weeks ago to two years ago. I honestly do not know how some of the more recent “the pandemic is over” converts will react if/when there is another variant. Perhaps they will accept going back to mask-wearing, or perhaps they will click their heels three times and pretend that will be protection. Where we go from here is … Continue reading When Taking Precautions Is A Threat To ‘Freedom’
Ok, folks – when we last left our Freeper Fandango, they were still bickering over Sgt. KMA.
Here’s the article at the beginning of the thread :
A Washington State Patrol officer who defied a statewide vaccine mandate and signed off for the last time by telling Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee to “kiss my a–” is dead from COVID-19.
Occasionally, even a Freeper ditches the “Kung Flu” cult :
(in response to the “Darwin Award winner” comment that got deleted and that I rescued)
To: BlennosCruel comment or not, thousands of so-called Darwin Awards have been bestowed on these very pages during my time on FreeRepublic. I cannot begin to count the times I have read phrases like “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes” and “Hold my beer” or heard about Karma and of course Schadenfreude. I have zero doubt that if former officer Lamay had simply gotten vaccinated he would still be alive right now, perhaps enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee, looking forward to a relaxing weekend after a satisfying week on the job and counting the days to a happy retirement and generous pension. I hope no others have died as a result of following his well-publicized lead. We don’t know whether he was treated or self-medicated with Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, our some other cocktail of drugs and vitamins, but as a celebrated poster child for the antivaxx movement, I am sure he had access to all of the above and I would not be surprised if he had Dr. Zelenko and the My Pillow guy on speed dial. Sorry you are no longer with us, Mr. Lamay. I wish you were enjoying that nice hot cup of coffee right now. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need a refill.
To: CallahanThey can mock him all they want. They are low life.They missed it.He died a free man.
To: Atticus“I have zero doubt that if former officer Lamay had simply gotten vaccinated he would still be alive right now…”Ditto 100%.I have NO clue why so many have chosen this hill to die on.
(written at the first months of the pandemic) All over social media, I see people saying things like: “You should be more respectful of the dead” whenever the subject of Herman Cain’s suicide – um, death comes up. No. I’m respectful of service members who gave their lives for their country. I’m respectful of First Responders who died while trying to save others. I don’t have to be respectful of morons who willfully caused their own deaths. Herman Cain and other deniers/anti-science idiots like him who loudly told everyone that the trucks zooming down the highway weren’t real, and stepped … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – more COVID crapola
Well here we go again with yet another California recall election and the national media contorting themselves into pretzel logic trying to figure out just what the hell is going on with the heart left in the City By The Bay.
By now you may have heard that San Francisco voted to recall three members of the Board of Education over, well, it’s actually a lot more intricate than the media would have you believe. Sorry national media, but this was NOT liberals versus the ultra left. This wasn’t about San Francisco becoming more conservative. Put away all those now tired catch phrases like “woke” or “cancel culture”. This was a lot more parochial than that.
126,000 people voted in this election out of a population of 824,000 people, 500,000 of whom are registered voters. 374,000 people couldn’t be bothered to even drop their ballot in the mailbox, possibly because San Francisco only has about 53,000 school age kids within the city limits. That’s about 6% of the total population. To put that in perspective, there are 120,000 dogs in San Francisco.
That’s right, dogs outnumber school age kids almost 3-1 in old Baghdad By The Bay.
Ostensibly this election was about three issues: not getting kids back in school during the pandemic, wanting to change school names to honor less allegedly abhorrent role models, and wanting to eliminate the so called merit system for admission to Lowell High School (more about that below).
Pretend this is the SAT and we’ll break the above paragraph into three parts to inspect and dissect. Got your number two pencils at the ready? OK, begin.
Eyes on your own paper young man.
So, getting kids back into school during the pandemic. Parents were mad that the school board decided unvaccinated youngsters were at risk to not only themselves but to all the adults they could be giving their potential cooties to in a classroom and thus exacerbating the pandemic. Parents were saying their kids were falling behind because distance learning was not as good as in person instruction. They have a point as it’s pretty much a given that kids learn better in an actual classroom and not in front of a laptop with mom or dad trying to conduct business in the next room and the dog growling and the doorbell ringing to announce the Door Dash guy is here. But then again everyone was in the same boat so to speak. It wasn’t one group or another that was singled out to have to do distance learning, ALL students had to do it. If little Billy, excuse me, little Saffron fell behind in his/her studies maybe there were other factors to take into consideration.
Like a worldwide once in a lifetime (hopefully) pandemic.
Issue number two was the so called infatuation with changing names of schools to not honor those who had been retroactively declared persons of bad faith because of some stain in their permanent record. Yes, the stains were in the mold of holding other humans in bondage or having besmirched the reputation of minority groups over a hundred years ago.
Look, despite what Fox News would have you think, in San Francisco there is no Pol Pot High playing Joseph Stalin High for the city football championship. We’re talking about names like Washington and Lincoln and other 18th and 19th century historical figures. Were they important figures in American history? Yes of course. Were some of their views abhorrent to modern sensibilities? Yes of course. Here’s a history lesson we should all learn: no one is perfect, especially when you compare the way they lived their lives in their own time to the way we aspire to live ours in our own time. Be careful when you set anyone up as a model of perfection. That statue will always be mounted on a very shaky pedestal. MLK was an adulterer. Gandhi slept naked with his grandniece “in order to test his celibacy”. Mother Teresa encouraged her followers to secretly baptize dying patients Catholic without their permission. Dig far enough back in anyone’s closet and you’ll find some skeleton rattling around in there.
But the renaming issue was also an issue of bad optics and politics. It was perceived as the school board prioritizing the renaming of schools over getting kids back into schools. What they should have done is table that entire discussion until after the pandemic was over. Oh, actually they did that to a large extent. Except certain conservative media outlets (ahem, again Fox News) kept insisting they hadn’t and that it was the only issue these liberal crazies were interested in.
Continue on to the next page by clicking the link below
One of the best things about travel is you get a different perspective on what’s going on in the world.
You also get a different perspective on how the rest of the world sees Americans.
Keep in mind I’m on board a luxury cruise ship. This isn’t your seven day six night Carnival “fun ship” where it’s cheap to get on but expensive once on board. This is the kind of cruise for an older, wealthier clientele so of course it tends to skew conservative.
And then there is the flaming liberal, me, unafraid to voice an opinion and prepared by six years of vicious mudslinging to battle to the death on every issue.
Except I’m not. I am having insightful conversations with people of all political stripes that end more often with toasts to each others health than knives in each other’s backs.
Example: A self described “very right wing” British gentleman I met and had drinks with, (something becoming an oddity in itself in the US) was heard by me to utter “well at least you got rid of Trump” when the subject of politics came up.
That brought me up, as they say in the UK. “You didn’t like him?” I inquired. That lead to, gasp, a civilized discussion of politics and especially what it means to be conservative. He didn’t even fully approve of Boris Johnson but of course the British system means that while you may support and vote for the Conservative candidate in your constituency, sometimes one must have to gulp twice, smile through gritted teeth, and accept the leader of the party when he takes the office of Prime Minister.
Stiff upper lip and all that, don’t you know.
Meanwhile he was puzzled at how America could have fallen for, his words, “a carnival showman with no clear political agenda other than to stay in power”. I mentioned that not once but twice Trump didn’t win the election, but rather he won the Electoral College, another concept my friend from the UK was totally stumped by. I wanted to go into a history of that most peculiar institution, but more drinks arrived just then saving my breath and I’m pretty certain his sanity. We toasted each other, fist pumped, and moved on to other subjects.
Another example: A Canadian couple from British Columbia and I had a chat that swerved into the politics of Canada-US relations. Now these folks were more liberal than my UK friend, voted for Trudeau, and were totally aghast at what happened during the Trump years and in particular the way Trump had treated Trudeau. “He acted like our Prime Minister was a political novice who didn’t understand the complexities of foreign relations when in fact the opposite was true”. I pointed out that that was Trump’s modus operandi, to cleave his faults onto the other guy while proclaiming himself the “expert”.
“Well that’s certainly not the way to deal with others” they proclaimed, insinuating that type of behavior was more playground than political. Our conversation ended with smiles and fist bumps.
Back before Trump and COVID, I used to hear and see people lecturing others that America truly was The Greatest Nation in the World, telling tales of grateful immigrants now and in the past, sharing how they feel when they see The Flag, and oh yes, we have Barack Obama as president!
This was, of course, rather offensive to non-white Americans, who saw what we were even before we elected Trump. If you spent a little time in an online Native American or Black community in 2016, for example, you did not see a whole lot of “the America I know would NEVER elect Trump” because they knew, that yeah, America could elect Trump. So we did. But this near-religious fervor in believing in Amerian exceptionalism was also ignoring some other clear signs of where our nation was. Namely, in many cases, our global rankings compared to other, similar nations were not great.
“We’re Number One, Right?!” Well…
In December 2014, Bloomberg reported that the United States ranked 44th in health care efficiency. According to the 2014 Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace, we ranked 101st. In World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2013, we ranked 23rd in gender equality. In 2009, we tied for 151th in child mortality with Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, and the United Arab Emirates, and 34th in maternal survival (FYI, this last thing has become much worse).
There are certainly some things we are doing decent enough at. We have dropped some from several years ago but are still in the top 10 overall as per this ranking. But none of this really points to “exceptional.”
That leads me to this Tweet by MSNBC Host and Perpetually Exasperated Human Chris Hayes yesterday:
A big part of American exceptionalism is just generally tolerating a lot more death and illness and violence and shorter life-spans than other peer countries.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 9, 2022
Should Have Known This Was Coming
What Hayes is talking about there is one of the things that had me unnerved heading into the pandemic. There is no doubt we have one of the best research infrastructures in the world, as it draws a lot of brilliant minds from elsewhere to America to work in places like Penn State (as a science writer there, I see a lot of that brilliance every day). We also spend, by far, the most per capita on health care than any other nation in the world. However, we have this as a result:
American life expectancy has decreased since 2014, even before the pandemic. While other developed nations have kept rising, we are unique in our level of backsliding.
COVID, of course, only made that worse, dropping it a whopping 1.8 years, the largest post-World-War-II decline in American life expectancy. We stand out, we are exceptional, in this case.
We are also exceptional in how likely you are to die from COVID compared to other countries. Despite this, the drive to make it all normal is winning, as even Democratic governors are lifting mask mandates. Understandable, as the pressure from the Worst Voices on the Internet (seriously, Nate Silver went from data guru to kinda-sorta-sociopathic about COVID) to let our normal flags fly and it’s only the stinkin’ scaredy-cat hippies that are worried has really gone overboard. You’d think they’d have learned from this – from last May! Plus, there’s a midterm election to try to win, because the other party is so out-of-control every election is an existential dread moment for the nation (at least the sane ones and the ones actually paying attention). And truly, people are pandemic weary.
These Democrat leaders also see other countries dropping mask mandates, but those nations aren’t exceptional as ours is as far as the number of people refusing the vaccine for insane reasons. So, dropping mask mandates is probably not going to be as successful here as it is in other countries.
A Paradise for a Virus
Hayes’ Tweet also speaks to how it makes perfect sense that the virus is thriving in early 21st-Century America. A lot of what is wrong with America are choices we make as a society, and that includes some instances where we just shrug at mass death. Despite estimates of 100,000 to 200,000 Americans dying from air pollution annually, articles like the one I am linking to are often written right after a new study and get limited play in the media and next to no political action. Air pollution especially harms low-income people and people of color. Yet, there is not a lot of evident concern, as we just ignore it as a society. As you can see, we have some experience simply turning our back on people dying.
On Tuesday our fearless leader wrote about the trucker convoy situation in Ottawa. I’ve been following it the last 2 weeks too. Initially I wasn’t following it that closely as I thought it was going to be only mildly interesting. Then I came across this tweet: More from Ottawa. This movement has nothing to do with truckers. I don’t know a single trucker that would support this. 👇#cdnpoli #FreedomConvoy2022 pic.twitter.com/SzU4nsEhtp — Mark Gerretsen 🇨🇦 🇺🇦 (@MarkGerretsen) January 29, 2022 And then I saw this one: My friend who works on Elgin just sent me this photo. Yes, that is a … Continue reading The Unbearable Whiteness of Being
Freedom, man, eh. Continue reading Freedom, Man. Canadian Style
I am currently aboard the cruise ship Azamara Quest and it is the safest place in the world. It is the safest place in the world because of the 220 passengers and 400 crew members aboard the ship, every one of them (us) has to be fully vaccinated against COVID and be able to show proof of status. You want to call my little California state issued vaccine card a vaccine passport go ahead because it fits neatly inside my federal government issued actual passport. It is the safest place in the world because all 220 passengers and 400 crew … Continue reading A Postcard From the Safest Place In The World
Last Friday the wife (Cruella) and I wanted to go out to dinner. We have a favorite Chinese restaurant we frequent and the desire for their Barbeque Pork Chow Fun combined with our desire to get out of the house neatly.
We have been to this restaurant numerous times, in point of fact we discovered it during the pandemic, both to dine in and to get take out (or take away if you are reading this in the UK). Never a hassle, good food, and most importantly a chance to get out of the house and eat at a different table and gaze at something other than, well, each other.
As has become custom during the pandemic I went to their website to make sure of their operating hours and if they were continuing to offer dine in service. Nothing had changed, so off we went.
Much to our surprise their doorway was blocked and a small sign taped to the glass window announced that since the previous Tuesday they had gone to “Take Out and Door Dash Only”.
While we probably should have gone in search of other eating arraignments, our appetites were craving that Chow Fun, so we scrapped our plans to dine in and ordered to go. While waiting for our order to be completed I counted four people coming to pick up orders they had placed online or via the phone and a stunning seven Door Dashers. That’s eleven total orders in the span of ten minutes.
The other thing I noticed is that the prices had gone up. The chow fun, an order of garlic shrimp, and an order of potstickers came to $36, about 30% higher than we would have been charged prior to the pandemic. Now there is inflation to factor in, plus trying to make back some of what was lost when the restaurant was closed early in the pandemic, but 30% higher? That’s when it hit me. Actually it was the woman from Door Dash who hit me because she was staring down at her phone and not looking where she was going.
I’m being asked to subsidize all of their Door Dash sales. And so are my fellow diners.
You can dash on to more by clicking the link
This week is Groundhog Day, an annual celebration of German heritage and the folklore that was brought over from the old country and adapted to life in America. The origins of this day can be found in the German holiday of Candlemas, where part of the proceedings was a weather forecasting badger. Once my ancestors arrived in America (my father was the interesting combination of Native American and Pennsylvania German), they switched the forecasting varmint to a groundhog. The tradition continues to this day, and it’s a fun time in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania as thousands gather for what is basically a … Continue reading Of Groundhogs, Joe Rogan, And Germ Theory Deniers
Freedom, man. Continue reading Out, Damned Spotify, Out
The word “tell” can be used as a noun. It has origins in poker, where a “tell” is an expression or action that gives away what the player is really thinking. It’s the opposite of “poker face,” the blank, neutral expression of a seasoned player. Republicans have more or less abandoned the code words and sleight-of-hand of the past, where “welfare queen” was a derogatory term for a low-income Black or Hispanic woman. That way, they could express outrage that you would dare accuse them of racism but now, they are less interested in hiding that. They feel comfortable just … Continue reading These Are All Tells, Conservatives
Adrastos only speaks ill of the dead if they deserve it. Continue reading Poor Taste
Yesterday El Grande Hefe de First Draft wrote about the early political obituaries for Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema. Today I come here, in the words of Shakespeare, not to praise her but to bury her.
In an American Oak wine barrel filled with Sonoma Chardonnay.
Sinema of course has gained fame and notoriety for basically telling all the folks who helped her get elected, both the political classes of the Democratic Party and the good citizens of Arizona who voted for her, that her idea of being a maverick is to do everything she can to prevent the implementation of laws designed to give people the certainty that elections will be held in fair and honorable means. She wants to muck up every chance her party has to turn the hatred of Trump into a solid watershed moment to beat down incipient fascism and create an America where all truly are created equal. She wants to in effect take a parliamentary procedure not mentioned in the Constitution, something not even codified till near 50 years after the Constitution was written, and make it a permanent fixture of congressional debate going forward.
In other words she just loves her some filibuster.
You shouldn’t be surprised. If you have followed her career in politics at all she is the winner of the “Most Likely To Say One Thing But Do Another” award. I mean this is the woman who ran as a moderate Democrat wanting to help the poor of her state then showed up on the floor of the Senate dressed like a teenager heading out to the mall to squash the $15 per hour minimum wage. Not that I have any statistics to back it up but I have a feeling many of the people who voted for her could have really used an upgrade in their minimum wages to help with things like, oh I don’t know, food, shelter, clothing. Especially in the middle of a global pandemic. But hey, she made all Gen Xers yearn for the good old days of Debbie Gibson.
Now I know it’s hard to believe, but we here in Sonoma have a tie to the peripatetic Ms. Sinema. One that is, to say the least, a bit strange. You see, back in the summer of 2020, the Senator from Arizona spent two weeks here in Sonoma as a paid intern at the Three Sticks Winery just a few blocks from my house. How I never ran into her I don’t know. It’s a small town and word of strangers with big names gets around quick.
Let that sink in for a moment. A United States Senator, making a salary of $170K a year, decided to take two weeks off and go learn how to scrub out wine barrels. Not only that, but she got paid $1117.40 per week for the privilege. A quick bit of math shows that means she was paid $28 per hour, nearly twice the minimum wage she voted against. She did it in the middle of a pandemic, five months before the rollout of the initial COVID vaccine, and in the middle of a presidential and congressional election that just might have been the most consequential in the history of the country. I’m sure some of her constituents would have liked her to have been working on programs to save their jobs or even their lives. I’m sure the Democratic Party would have liked her to have gone out stumping for congressional candidates to shore up their House majority or to swing into some swing states to help Joe Biden.
Instead with all that going on she decided to take a couple of weeks off to leave the humidity of Washington and the “but it’s a dry heat” of Arizona to come up to the warm during the day, cold at night temps of Sonoma to learn the ins and outs of winemaking. It shouldn’t be surprising though. Sinema had been called out before the pandemic for missing critical senate votes so she could compete in Ironman Triathlons in such nearby locales as New Zealand. At least the winery was in the US.
But she wore her Ironman garb even better than Tony Stark and that’s all that really matters in the end.
More on this rather strange story by clicking the link
Right-wingers have a standard reply to news of anyone dying from COVID-19 : “What were his comorbidities?” As if any other medical issue he or she had means that their COVID-19 infection didn’t kill them. Look, right-wing jerkoffs – if I have stage 3 cancer and my house catches fire, cancer didn’t kill me, and it has fuck-all to do with my death. I burned to death. If I have Type 1 diabetes and a plane crashes into my house, I didn’t die from diabetes, I died from a plane crashing into my house. These denialists will go to any … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – comorbidities edition
Air quotes are optional. Continue reading Quotable Quotes
In two weeks the Winter Olympic Games ™ will begin in China.
I won’t be watching.
I will be boycotting these games. My physical attendance was never going to happen, so my boycott will be of the television kind. And I strongly urge you to join with me on this boycott journey.
First of all let’s face it, nobody really cares about winter sports unless they or a family member are playing them. Strapping boards on your feet and sliding down a mountain trying to be one tenth of a second faster than the other guy is not compelling sports viewing. Really, it is like auto racing, we’re just waiting for the crash. Don’t get me started on ice skating, a “sport” tailored to be a cesspool of corruption. Ice hockey? I have the NHL for that, if I really need it. Luge, bobsled, cross country skiing? Fine things to do, but a bore to watch. Now curling, that’s something I could get into, but until they let the curlers (don’t call them athletes) play it in their natural habitats, ie, with a beer can in their hands, I’ll pass.
But all that’s just my distaste for winter sports. That’s not the real reason I’ll be boycotting.
Did I mention these games are taking place in China? You remember China. The land that censorship loves so much it bought a timeshare there. The land of suppression and repression. Where surveilling leads to jailing. Where human rights are thrown into the back seat of a police car never to be heard from again. Yeah, that China.
China, or to be more correct the city of Beijing, was selected to host these Olympics through some pretty dubious means. Back in 2014 when the selection election was held, Oslo Norway was the leading candidate. That made perfect sense since, well, Oslo is well known for it’s winters, i.e., they have plenty of naturally occurring snow and ice. But at the last minute the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threw in demands such as:
“Diva-like demands for luxury treatment” for the IOC members themselves, such as special lanes on all roads only to be used by IOC members and cocktail reception at the Royal Palace with drinks paid for by the royal family. IOC also “demanded control over all advertising space throughout Oslo” to be used exclusively by IOC’s sponsors, something that is not possible in Norway because Norway is a liberal democracy where the government doesn’t own or control “all advertising space throughout Oslo” much of which is privately owned and has no authority to give a foreign private organization exclusive use of an entire city and private property within it.
Now the IOC is pretty well known for being a little footloose and fancy free when it comes to demanding things from potential host cities, but that was ridiculous. It actually sounds to me like the IOC made these requirements with the idea of gaming the election so that ONLY Beijing would be able to win. As it stands the only competitor for these games after Oslo pulled out was Almaty Kazakhstan, another Asian country with dubious credentials when it comes to human rights (but notably better than the Chinese).
So Beijing becomes the first city to ever host both a summer and a winter Olympics and they will have done both in the span of 14 years, far quicker than any other two time host city ever has. Then again, while once upon a time cities fought tooth and nail to get an Olympics now they mostly have an ambivalence about them, especially the winter games. Let’s face it, as a ski destination you only have a few months to make money and if those months have to be given over to preparing for and then hosting an event you don’t make money on, well thanks but no thanks.
But having the IOC game the system for them is the least of my problems with China hosting these games. Let’s talk about what they are requiring of those attending the games, both participants and partisans.