Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

Global Corruption Mood

January 14, 2016

Corruption is not just a practice, but a mood, and it reaches heavens, when it’s made legal. Examples, especially global examples, set global moods.

An idiotic president spent his presidency visiting with plutocrats, begging them for money. A consequence of this highest example of triumphant corruption? The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is now delving further into corruption and doping in the world of international athletics.

Who is leading the charge against corruption? The usual suspect. The French Republic. In Munich, Germany, Thursday january 14 “the criminal investigations into the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) and its independent commissioner turned over information to the French prosecutor’s office” the Canadian reporting to WADA, McLaren, revealed.

Great Perspectives Elevate Moods. Base Examples, Lower Them. Mount Olympus, 2917 Meters, Greek Gods’ Heavens

Great Perspectives Elevate Moods. Base Examples, Lower Them. Mount Olympus, 2917 Meters, Greek Gods’ Heavens

It’s the second set of findings by the commission established by WADA. The first report released in November stunned the world of athletics by daring to reveal widespread, systematic doping in Russia, including the involvement of some employees of the Russian government. (Left unsaid was that, just looking at their results, countries such as the UK, USA, and Jamaica are just as drugged out as Russia is.)

Olympus gave its name to Olympia, where the Olympic games were held every four years, starting in 776 BCE. Olympia is actually in the Western Penepolese, a gigantic mountainous peninsula, far from Olympus in Northern Greece. So what’s the connection? Elevation of the human character, the will to come closer to the gods. Ancient athletes got no reward, but only symbolic ones, such as a crown of laurel.

Today’s Olympic athletes are only Olympic in name. Just like prostitutes they are led by greed to do what is too shameful, or even too illegal, to talk about. Including destroying their own lives through drug addiction, just to roll in dough.

In this hell, the elected politicians stand even lower. They have no shame, and have rendered legal all they do. [Although I make an exception for those who really fight for ideals, like politicians who campaign for socialized, or single payer medicine in the USA, such as Bernie Sanders, or against plutocrats, Sanders again. (And also the one whose name shall not be said.); or Catalan independentists, etc.]

IAAF suspended Russian athletes from international track and field competition. The question of whether they will be authorized to take part in the Rio Olympics is in the air.

The report brought a series of resignations of IAAF officials, including anti-doping director Gabriel Dolle and IAAF president Lamine Diack. Diack was jailed and is facing corruption and money laundering charges in France. Diack is accused of taking more than $1.55 million in bribes and taking money from athletes to cover up positive doping tests.

Diack’s sons were also paid by IAAF. One was convoked by French justice, but fled to Africa. France issued an Interpol warrant of arrest against him on Tuesday.

This is the sort of things, ladies and gentlemen, why global plutocracy hates France: France considers herself as the holder, beholder and defender of world justice.

What’s next? France issuing warrant of arrest against ALL international criminals? Will plutocrats be immune no more? Is France going to arrest all what makes London worthy, or, more exactly, expensive?

In the Swiss Canton of Ticino, Tessin, 24 global textile firms established themselves in the last two decades. Including North Face, Boss, Armani, Gucci, Versaci, countless Italian fashion houses, etc. The textile sector has become the main contributor to Ticino/Tessin taxes.

However their rate of imposition are kept secret. This sort of corruption is legal. However, it’s high time to put this sort of politicians and civil servants in jail. They often have, like El Chapo, the Mexican drug lord, the support of the local population. They are not any better.

Why not any better? Because by undermining the global tax base, they weaken global law enforcement, thus civilization, driving people crazy, and they turn to drugs to forget the whole mess. At some point, one will have to use force.

In Ticino, or Tessin, in the year 2012, the company formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, headed by Pinault, one of the world’s top plutocrats, maybe the richest person in Europe, and who, showing up at the Elysee Palace could ask all present, including the so-called “President” to sit and stand-up, at will. Again and again. Of course, it won’t happen. It would break the Orwellian spell the Commons have been plunged into.

So Pinault the would-be Satanic changed the name of its tool: invisibility is one of Pluto’s assets. Changing names confuse critics. Instead of calling it as it was known, he called it “Kering”. Sounds seriously German, as serious as Volkswagen. Kering owns Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Volcom, Stella McCartney, Puma, etc.

An NGO got its hand on Kering’s accounting, and just revealed it. Kering has 600 employees in Switzerland. They make 70% of Kering’s profits (as least so Satan Pinault claims). In the rest of the world, Kering has 30,400 employees: they make only 30% of Kering’s profits. Making the computation, a Swiss employee makes 1.6 million Swiss Francs (roughly 1.6 million US dollars), and the average employee in the rest of the world, the thirty thousands, makes less than 14,000 dollars of profits. So a Swiss Kering worker makes more than a thousand times more profit than a Non-Swiss employee. They claim. And remember: we don’t know how small the taxes are on Pinault’s supposedly Swiss property. So instead of the French Pinault being taxed in France, or the rest of the world, he is “taxed” where there are no taxes. And the criminal ambles the world of the powerful, more powerful than them all, showing up at Davos, to plot with the other criminals. Hey, it was good to destroy completely the primary forest of Ivory Coast (thus spawning civil war there, when the economy tanked, as a result).

As the French magazine L’Express noted in 1986, “Bernard-Henri Lévy went all-out for his father. Did he intervene with presidential counselors to use the presidency’s African contacts to bump up the Ivory Coast’s debts to Bécob to top priority? BHL denies this intervention. However, he admits having contacted [then-PS Economy Minister] Pierre Bérégovoy to help his father.” Lévy also looked for help with the conservatives around Jacques Chirac, then mayor of Paris, and ultimately got an advantageous state loan after the personal intervention of President François Mitterrand.

Lévy’s firm also obtained an advantageous loan from François Pinault, a Gaullist politician, luxury firm executive, and today the 67th richest man in the world with a fortune of $11.5 billion.

Given Pinault’s bad reputation in business circles and his ties to far-right figures like Jean-Marie Le Chevallier and neo-fascist National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, L’Express notes, “Helping Bernard-Henri Lévy, a star of the intellectual left and leader of an already substantial network in publishing and media circles, was perhaps not such a stupid move. … The theory of a gesture by Pinault to win over BHL matches well, in any case, with subsequent developments: the turn of the [Pinault] group towards cultural industries and the birth of a ‘great friendship’ with Bernard.”

That was then. Now Pinault is much wealthier. Much powerful. By next year, he can ask Obama to lick his toes. In private.

Fiscal “optimization” has absolutely to stop. If nothing else, it’s weakening the West top military powers in their military capability. This is clear in Britain and France. (In the USA, the corruption affects military procurement: see the F35 scandalous catastrophe.)

But I am sure many officials in Ticino live very well, and, just as Nancy Pelosi only ever earned at most 160,000 dollars a year, her great leftism and democratism insures that Pelosi has now a personal fortune “between $42.4 million and $199.5 million in assets in 2013, which was enough for Bloomberg Business to deem her the richest member of House leadership from either party. By 2014, she and her husband, investment banker Paul Pelosi, were doing even better: She reported between $43.4 million and $202 million in assets”.

A report from Associated Press indicated that six years ago the IAAF knew of the widespread doping. Two internal IAAF papers before the London Olympics proposed not publishing doping sanctions for lesser-known Russians. Other officials claimed the IAAF was “one of the largest criminal organizations ever revealed”. Although some insisted that FIFA was still in the lead in that horse race.

In these matters, as in many others, the self-declared leading country leads. Obama just explained in his SOTU that the world wanted the USA to lead. Maybe it’s the world of the corrupted, corrupting global plutocrats which wants the USA to lead. In the USA many completely unethical practices, such as mass concussions for the youth, to serve “bread and circuses”, and make the youth unthinking, are perfectly legal.

Many so-called universities, “prestigious”, “excellent” and all that, get most of the profits from…concussion sports, with thoroughly drugged out young athletes (as shown by their dismally short lifespans). Is not that a new sort of slavery?

If the French prosecute, and jail them all, no doubt, after a while that the dreadful examples coming from the other side of the Atlantic will have to be put to the question.

Want to put a stop to the preceding? Campaign and vote for Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent. Although not the far left “populist” plutocratic media claims he is (him and Donald Trump!) Sanders, differently from the Obama, I helped so much eight years ago, is a known quantity in politics with an extremely long track record (yes Bernie likes guns and the F35… But he has to, as the Senior Senator from Vermont, a state heavily in guns and the F35). On the record both “populists” are very much against the tax advantages given to world’s richest people. Sanders is no doubt sincere. And Trump changes the mood, by condemning vigorously the practice (which Klingonic Clinton condones).

Clinton got $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs is one year. G-S is an investment bank who got $60 billion from Obama in 2009… Goldman Sachs paid 5 billion dollars in fine for breaking the law. Not one G-S executives was prosecuted while kids who smoke pot go to jail. I have long condemned such facts. Now B. Sanders talk about them. They have to be carefully considered.

Clinton’s reply? Clinton accused Sanders of wanting to “start a contentious debate on healthcare, repel Obamacare”. All lies. Sanders wants MEDICARE FOR ALL.

Changing moods is the most fundamental step to take towards a necessary re-evolution. Yes, some of the world’s wealthiest, most powerful men, are the most corrupt. They are like the stem cells of a metastatic cancer of worldwide corruption. What happens in sports is just symptomatic. The stem cells of worldwide corruption have to be extirpated. Time to tax them, with more than taxes. Contempt should be high on the list, and the awareness than their behavior entails major capital crimes, not just ecological devastation.

Patrice Ayme’

Drugged-Out Mutant Olympics?

August 14, 2012

RAINING LOGIC ON A PLUTOCRATIC PARADE?

When It’s Too Good To Be True, It’s Too Bad To Be Swallowed.

***

Abstract: Drug usage is pervasive in sports… In some countries. That seems clear from the outsized results of some particular countries at the Olympics.  Yesterday sport medals were all about the DDR and the USSR, now it’s all about… (I stop here to not displease the corporate sponsors some readers may adulate…)

Solution? The Biological Passport used now for the Tour de France. Check anybody, any time. Worldwide. Some may say it will take manpower, but is not there an unemployment crisis?

That’s not all. As Nature puts it on July 19, 2012: “Are the games in fact a showcase for hardworking ‘mutants‘? And if Olympic rule-makers admit that the genetic landscape is uneven, should they then test every athlete and hold separate competitions for the genetically ungifted?”

Finally, having discarded colossal, jingoistic naivety, why not to embrace humanly engineered enhancement? Or is embracing honesty in sports a step in the wrong direction, that of eyes wide open, the one global plutocracy reviles?

***

Ah, the Olympics. I was listening to the announcements in London, and a young citizen of the USA, a distant relative, rose and asked her mother in an irritated voice:”What language do they speak?“. The mom said:”I think it’s French.” The youngster then sneered:“Why always French, why don’t they speak Chinese instead?

As this insolence was happening less than two meters from me, I had to intervene: “Learn this, little one. The Christians outlawed the Olympic games. The French restarted them, 15 centuries later. The French don’t talk Chinese, but French, and so, the Olympics were restarted with French as the official language.

France is not (yet) Tibet. The French introduced the metric system in the Olympics in 1796 CE, and the full Olympics in 1896; in 1924 the Winter Olympics were introduced in Chamonix, France, followed by Olympics again in Paris, a few months later. The official language of the Olympics is French (although some Anglo-Saxons claim it’s English). Another reason: French is the successor language of Latin, the games were held in that language for 6 centuries.

Moreover, on the face of it, France is the direct successor state of the Greco-Roman republic. England too, but less directly so: Greco-Roman civilization was transferred back through France (The Conqueror set-up Parliament). England seems to still have a way to go before mimiciking a Republic: England has a state religion, England has still no elected Senate, but a chamber of grotesque plutocrats called “Lords“, and a ridiculous monarch, basely adored by the simple minded, anathema to those who truly believe in SPQR.

In 393 CE, the fanatical Roman Catholic dictator Theodosius, originally a Spanish general, banned the Olympic Games, and other festivities, for being “too pagan“. OK, that was more lenient than condemning philosophers to death (another of Theodosius’ bright ideas).

Under the emperor’s orders, rabid Christians dressed in black closed and later tore down many wonders of the world. They had to destroy the world, so that their super hero the Crucified would swoop down again (as the Book of Apocalypse in the Bible had it). Most notably the Christian vampires destroyed the fabulous Temple of Zeus at Olympia and the giant Temple of Serapis in Alexandria (they also burned the library there, in Alexandria, later confusing that with a strictly Muslim blaze that happened 2 centuries later). Never mind that “zeus” and “deus” are two aspects of the same word (too brainy for vampires).

One of Theodosius’s successors, Theodosius II, ordered the Roman army to demolish the stadium of Olympia in 426 CE. That stadium could accommodate more than 40,000 spectators.

Thunderous universal applaud after the London Olympics. The corporate participants are very pleased, and they are making sure, in a huge propaganda campaign, that everybody claims to be pleased. Everybody else is a party pooper.

Never mind that the London Games cost twice more than expected, it’s the public who pays this sort of things. Meanwhile, let’s applaud, and consume simple stuff corporations sell us, starting with colossal amounts of naivety. Without colossal naivety, the plutocratic order would collapse, so it’s good to exercise the naivety muscle as much as possible.

OK, granted when one athlete from one tiny nation (Grenada) gets one gold medal, it gives that nation the highest count of medal per capita in the world (Grenada has about 100,000 souls). However, when Jamaica gets 12 medals, the anomaly becomes statistically significant, for someone who uniquely enjoys wisdom (tyrano-sophia).

Jamaica has long been famous in the 100 meters. The once hyper famous and most glorious Ben Johnson was born there. He later won a gold medal at the Seoul Olympic games, taken away from him three days later after he tested positive for some steroid. The hyper muscular Ben aggravated his case by claiming most athletes did this (‘40%’, he said).

He and his coach claimed Johnson had been deliberately contaminated by a third party, as he did not use that particular steroid (“because it made his body feel tight!”), but another one. International sport authorities were not amused. Woe onto the one who brings scandal! They treated Ben Johnson like the plague, claiming that any athlete competing with him would be viewed officially as “contaminated“, and barred from any competition. Mysteriously, when Johnson was disqualified, some of the athletes who went up as a result, had themselves tested positive.

(Plutocracy will not explain anything to you, but for what it wants…)

By the way the third sprinter at the London Olympics, the bronze medal, a USA citizen, was suspended for four years, for drug usage, in the past. No doubt he knows how not to get caught anymore.

How does one not get caught? Very simple. There are many ways. One way is masking agents. In France they are treated as the drugs themselves.

Or take the case of amphetamines. There are all sorts of variants in the chemical formulas. So what do greedy kitchen chemist contrive? They invent new one variants, not on the list of illegal amphetamine-like drugs. Those are not, strictly speaking, unlawful. Recently the customs in the Paris airports had a list they made themselves, of no less than 762 amphetamine variants, all not illegal, all of them that they informally seized (no charges, but no return of the drugs, either…)  

Before the London Olympics, Nature, the Britain based science weekly, published several articles on sports and drugs. The gist being that one should organize Enhanced Olympics (my term), and then some drug free Olympics. I agree with the idea, for a number of reasons that I will expose below. Moreover, how to do it.

One does not need to be a brain scientist to realize that, when some countries succeed as well as the DDR, the Deutsches Demokratiche Republic of old, there is got to be something not kosher going on. The DDR was the most successful country in the Olympics, per capita. For decades. DDR doctors gave drugs to their athletes, sometimes for decades, sometimes seconds before an event. Some guessed it at the time, and suspicions were confirmed after that police state was swallowed by West Germany, and tongues freed.

Jamaica, population 2.7 millions, got 12 medals in London 2012, no less. I am not trying to be racist and I am not suggesting that this is because the surviving slaves were those running the fastest away from their powerful white masters. Far from me such silly, traditional, half funny, anodyne remarks. I would instead direct my gaze towards the one in the know who suggested Jamaican athletes should be controlled around December.

Look at Senegal: same powerful West African genes as Jamaica, five times the population of Jamaica, and a very strong native and imported sport culture. Number of Olympic medals of Senegal? Zero. OK, one medal. Twenty years ago.

What’s the idea? Some drugs have long term effects: they build up muscles, tendons, ligaments and even the attending motor neurons. Do that in December, much of these physiological changes will last until July.

Control in July for a drug that one has stopped taking three months before, and unsurprisingly, it will not show up. Smart for chimps, but not too difficult for even a hare-brained sportsman to understand.

For decades, USA Olympic committees were in deliberate denial that drug usage was massive in USA sports. Corporate sponsors celebrated Marion Jones, all the way to the front cover of time magazine. The American media claimed she was going to get five gold medals. Even then, it was perfectly clear that Jones was officially connected to Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (a.k.a. BALCO). That was a drug factory, for the best. In the end, International instances told the USA that this could not be tolerated any longer, it was too blatant, and Marion Jones could not get as many drugs, and thus, medals, as she expected in Sidney. Further inquiries led to her going to prison, and returning five gold medals.  

The corruption of the system is obvious in the sense that not all the gold medals and titles attributed to the USA in connection to Marion Jones were rescinded. Never mind that IAAF president Lamine Diack, a Senegalese, stated that: “Marion Jones will be remembered as one of the biggest frauds in sporting history.”

So what of the USA in all this? Well, athletes are not controlled for drugs in many USA sports. Not at all. A hint: life expectancy of so called American football linemen is barely fifty years of age (even the aficionado sport magazines admit they are stuffed with growth hormones).

I have a passing acquaintance with some sports. I was astounded when I saw routine drug controls for private events in France, even for exotic disciplines. The same sports (such as climbing) have rigorously no control in the USA, and individuals practicing them, in the USA, are routinely taking drugs, and showing all the symptoms, complete with swollen wrists and female with suddenly jutting chins. It was amusing to see French sport climbers downing two liters of water within seconds of winning an event, and then, much more (drug controls happening after the hysterical celebrations).

What to do?

Well, France was in a quandary: for about twenty years, not one Frenchman won a stage in the Tour de France… except for Richard Virenques, who got caught for drug usage by French authorities, and became a black sheep barred from cycling.

Drug controls are ferocious in France. Why? In the 1950s, the top British cyclist, Tom Simpson, would have won the Tour de France, except that he died on Mont Ventoux. The autopsy of this highly successful athlete showed heavy drug usage.

In the 2000s, there was the pathetic spectacle of Lance Armstrong, always winning, with a smirk. In the beginning, he was embraced, he met with the French president. Later, though, old samples analyzed with more modern techniques showed drug usage (for example EPO on Turin to Briancon, a stage I saw with my very eyes!). Not perhaps too keen to be called Anti-American by the umbrageous USA, the French authorities did nothing about it. Instead authorities in the USA are prosecuting Armstrong on their own. Systemic controls by surprise at 5am had changed nothing: the smart ones, as I said, trained with drugs. 

This year, 2012, was different: the French won a lot of stages, and the best climber. For a first time, a Brit won the Tour (this Wiggins is a well known track world champion, and won the gold in London). Three cyclists were caught cheating, two them quite famous, and immediately expelled and  punished. A past multiple winner from Spain was barred (like Ben Johnson, he argued somebody had contaminated the meat he ate). From the ways victories during stages happened, it is clear that the Tour is getting clean.

How did the Tour authorities do it?  

By instituting a BIOLOGICAL PASSPORT. Union Cycliste Internationale and the Federation Internationale de Ski are increasingly using it (yes, France did not just create the modern Olympic games, other sports speak French as a first language).

All and any cyclist engaging in the Tour de France has to declare where in the world he is, at any moment, all year long. And is exposed to immediate control. Cheating on this (it happened, an athlete claimed to be in Italy when he was in Argentina) results in immediate disqualification.

Meanwhile, all results, in all other sports, absent a biological passport, ought to be taken tongue in cheek. OK, Usain bolts certainly smarter than Ben. OK, the queen parachuted into the stadium with dozens of gold medals. Well done, quite hilarious. Nice spectacle for the children. Tongue in cheek for those with drugs in cheek.

Maybe, indeed, Jamaica has a superior sport culture, and Britain too. If so, prove it. And if you don’t want to prove it, allow us to laugh.

Another dirty secret in sport competitions is that most successful athletes have successful genes. Those genes are increasingly known. How do we know if they have been injected or not? And is it fair to have mutants competing against normal humans?

Why can’t normal people become mutants too? More than 200 gene variants are associated to high performance in sports. As Nature puts it in “Genetically enhanced Olympics are coming“: … an option, if safe, would be to allow athletes who did not win the genetic lottery to ‘upgrade’ through gene therapy — a practice that is now banned as ‘gene doping’.

More generally, what is wrong about enhancing human capabilities? Did not EPO, besides helping Mr. Armstrong to dress in a yellow jersey, save millions of lives? Indeed EPO has become a routine medical treatment.

So let’s embrace enhancement. But let’s do it above the table, for all to see. Let’s admit many cheaters are winning, and many of the others who also win, the gods favored. And common people on common diets, common blood, common genes can have their own common Olympics.

Indeed what is wrong is cheating, claiming one is clean, whereas one is winning, precisely because one is dirty. And making a world, Olympic size cover-up about all this cheating, is an even more worrisome meta cheating, as it requires Olympic naivety. Among Pluto’s characteristics is invisibility. By making massive cheating officially invisible, the Olympic committees do not help the forces of goodness.

Instead the sport authorities imprint people on something very subtle: deep down inside, people feel there is something not right about some countries getting so many medals. But then they are taught that it is fair, balanced and reflective to swallow this troubling feeling, and accept that any sense leading towards suspicion is in poor taste.

Outlawing suspicion is part of this general meta morality people learn so well in the USA: conspiracy theorists are crazy. Working hard, and taking no vacations is good, while believing that some people out there, important people, are conspiring, in very important conspiracies, sometimes, is crazy.

Can goodness come, when one cannot let one’s mind be suspicious? Can goodness come when one makes it a moral duty to believe whoever has an obvious interest to say whatever they say? Can goodness come when exposing some for the crooks, thieves, criminals and charlatans they may well be definitively something reflective people are not supposed to do?

And yet, is not goodness what the Olympic Games should show, and celebrate, before anything else?

***

Patrice Ayme