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More ranting ahead: China needs to clean up more than its lousy air

August 13, 2008

By IAN SHANLEY
The Winnipeg Sun
August 11, 2008

We begin today with a caution-- there is much ranting ahead. Ranting
of Olympic proportion. Reader discretion is advised.

Here we are, scarcely three days into the Beijing Olympics (motto:
"One World, One Dream"), and already I'm sensing Trouble. That's
right, Trouble with a capital T.

Despite efforts to reduce the worst smog on the planet, suffice it to
say I don't think anybody will be breathing easy over there, not by
any stretch.

Speaking of breathing, hey China -- how about you stop breathing down
the peaceful necks of Tibetans? As a North American columnist, I'm
allowed to ask that without fear of repercussion.

Besides, we have a little thing over here called freedom of
expression, so deal with it. This is an issue that isn't going to go
away, no matter how impressive the athletic venues are. If there was
a gold medal for bullying, you'd be standing on that middle podium as we speak.

If anything, these games should show you there are moments in
mankind's history where everyone gets along, and there's no place for conflict.

I have some ideas in place should I ever become ruler of the
universe, and they are as follows ... everyone got their reality hats
on? How about if China doesn't lay off tormenting Tibet, we and all
the other participating Olympic countries boycott their exports? Do
you think that would get some attention over there? I'll bet you all
the tea in China we'd see some backflips worthy of a gold medal then.

That or we could round up some of those militant PETA losers and ship
them to China for a taste of reality. If that doesn't work, I'm
pretty sure we could leave a trail of Smarties leading up the steps
of a Learjet and fool Paris Hilton into becoming your problem.

GLOBAL BULLY ROLE

Failing that, there happens to be a certain U.S. president coming to
the end of his way-too-long term that may be looking for some nice
retirement property. We'd send Stephen Harper but you've probably
never even heard of him.

So come on China, enough with the global bully role. As soon as the
Olympics end, I want to see a dramatic change in your attitude over
there. Throughout history, these games have only been cancelled three
times due to conflict. If Tibet had its way, 2008 would be on that list.

It's not all about gold, smog and bronze medals. The Olympics are a
time to show off to the planet, so whaddya say? As recently as last
week, two Americans and two Brits (my people) were ordered to leave
China "within a prescribed time limit" after unfurling some "Free
Tibet" banners near an Olympic venue in Beijing.

This is worthy of being kicked out of your country?

A media official of the Beijing Organizing Committee named Sun Weide
was not impressed with the unfurling. He said "China has stipulated
laws and regulations concerning gatherings and demonstrations. We
hope foreigners who come to China can observe China's laws and regulations."

Well, I say what about the world's laws and regulations? Only three
days into this Olympiad, I think we haven't seen the last of these
demonstrations and the only people who will suffer are the athletes
that have devoted their freedom-loving lives to participating.

Not to mention the entire nation of Tibet. Yes, dear readers, I fear
there is much more ranting ahead.
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