Triple-Jumper kicked out of the Olympics: PC Syndrome strikes again

For the past 50 or so years, the scourge of racial bigotry has been dying. Unfortunately, a new (albeit weaker) wave of illogical thinking, one of extreme idiocy, sensitivity, and taboo, has been emerging at the same time. Last week, these two terrible trends met, right before the Olympics, as  triple-jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked off of the Greek team for tweeting the following:”So many Africans in Greece…at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade cooking”.

Her comment seems hateful and xenophobic at first glance, especially given her association with the racist, Nazi-sympathizing political group known as Golden Dawn. On the other hand, such a remark, even copied word-for-word, need not necessarily be construed offensively. Intent is key, and a remark of this caliber may have been meant as a joke appealing to a somewhat dark sense of humor. The intent of the actual comment is not unequivocally clear, there is probable cause to believe that she harbors xenophobic, possibly racist views, but we cannot be certain.

Throwing ambiguity aside, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Voula Papachristou is a bigot, a fascist who wants all Africans (and possibly all immigrants) out of Greece. Regardless of her stance, the Greek Olympic Committee made a big flop by throwing her off of the team.

Let’s think this through: This woman was a triple jumper for the Greek Olympic team, not a politician. If she was sitting on a jury, then her comment would be grounds to boot her off. However, that wasn’t the case. She was tasked with performing in an athletic competition designed to a) foster international competition and b) profit off of ticket sales and TV revenue. Athletic ability is the only sensible criterion for selecting contestants for an Olympic team. If a team selects an individual with bigoted views, it likely does so because he/she is a good athlete, implying in no way that it approves of those views.

Following that logic, it only makes sense to expel players who violate the rules of the Games, perform poorly, or violate some other contractual obligation made by the athletes. Papachristou has done neither of those. She has likely trained, trained, and trained for years, made a stupid comment, and would not likely have been any worse an athlete for it. The best excuse the Committee could come up with for kicking her out was that her views “go against the spirit of the Games”.

Bullshit excuse, people. The Olympic Games are a sporting competition, and the expulsion of this already qualified athlete was nothing less than a shameless bow to the legions of politically correct (PC) crybabies who would call the team “racist” to no end were she not removed. Perhaps, on that note, the Greek team removed Papachristou merely because it did not want a public relations situation on its hands rather than because it could not tolerate undesirable views on the team.

This is not to assume that the Olympic Committee would not have kicked her off were the public not involved, (it probably would have), but politically correct people are very real. The PC will go up in arms over the smallest infraction upon their sense of emotional security, and when “I’m offended” becomes a legitimate excuse for people to come to the aid of the self-proclaimed “victim”, rational thought is the first thing to be thrown out the window.

Take the Anthony Weiner scandal, for instance. Last year, scores of Americans demanded (and eventually prompted) the resignation of a US Congressman over a few half-naked photos that he sent to consenting adult women over the Internet. Was Weiner doing anything illegal? No. Would Weiner’s actions have been considered highly abnormal for the average Joe? No. Did Weiner’s critics recognize their double standard? Hell no. Stupidity is powerful in numbers, and powerful objects tend to go wherever the hell they want.

Granted, we didn’t see the double standard of the Weiner affair in the Olympic expulsion, nor did Papachristou receive the same level of media coverage. The Olympics are on, and soon, nobody will care about Voula Papachristou. Regardless of the significance of the individual incident, however, it is but another symptom of the expanding taboo culture that I like to refer to as PC Syndrome.

Political correctness creates nothing more than more and more ridiculous taboos, ranging from people suffering public relations hellfire to losing their jobs, all for insignificant offenses. PC is stupid, and fighting stupidity requires common sense. People like Papachristou say stupid and bigoted things, but a mere statement like deserves little consequence or recognition. So, fine, reprimand people for hateful comments, but there’s a limit to what qualifies as a reasonable response.

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Election 2012: Obama’s Dirty Tactics

It’s July right now, just above four months before Americans head to the ballots to select our next President, and already,  candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are tearing at each other’s throats like two lions fighting over a dead gazelle. The Republican campaign is sinking its teeth into Obama’s failure to curb unemployment and reduce our enormous national debt, whereas Obama and his team have been promising change this time around and calling Romney an “enemy of the middle class”. The mud smells fresh, and it’s being slung: That’s the smell of election season.

Recently, the Obama re-election campaign has sunk its teeth into a juicy chunk of information concerning Mitt Romney’s company, Bain Capital: Between 1999 and 2002, Bain purchased several smaller companies, shut down factories, sold jobs overseas to China and Mexico, and made a handsome profit. In his latest ad campaign, Obama has capitalized upon Bain’s track record, denouncing Bain’s profits as an exploitative profit made off of the backs of working Americans, and labeling Romney, as the founder and CEO, as a “corporate raider” who has no business being President. In doing this, the Democrats have managed to fool many people into distrusting the Republican nominee, but their arguments only sound convincing: Romney is not the unscrupulous profiteer that the left wants you to believe he is.

Contrary to what the pseudo-intellectual left wants you to believe, job outsourcing is not, by definition, a heinous tool of “profiteering” used by the rich to assault the poor. Apart from the fact that work shipped over to third-world countries tends to offer workers higher salaries than they would have been offered at more local jobs, the work that ends up moving away is often too economically infeasible to be performed in the US, often performed by machines anyway.

Even if moving jobs overseas ends up leaving workers over here unemployed, that leaves companies with a supply of potential employees they could have, and they may end up creating new jobs to fit their demand. Outsourcing may end up eliminating jobs in some instances, but it is erroneous to assume that any executive who moves jobs overseas is a “corporate raider” as Obama would have it.

You may still accept that Bain was unethical in moving jobs overseas, but we cannot conclude that Mitt Romney was at the bottom of it, as Romney wasn’t actually working with Bain during the time of the controversy according to Fact Check reports. Having moved to Utah in order to help run the Olympics, he played little role in the management of the company. The reports filed to the Securities and Exchange Commisison listing him as the CEO are not inaccurate, he did not fully step down, but to this date, the Obama campaign has found no evidence to suggest that Romney took an active role in managing Bain since 1999. In short, the allegations lobbed against Romney were false, little more than a pile of sensationalist junk.

Let’s accept for just one minute, though, that the left is right about Romney and the evils of outsourcing. Bain is a company of assholes. It buys businesses just to close them. Fired workers are asked to take pictures of their unhappiness so that Bain’s executives have something to laugh at. Even if any of that were true, you can take the halo right off of President Obama’s head; he’s accepted  plenty of money in donations from Bain, and shows no signs of stopping. I wouldn’t buy flowers from Joseph Kony, so if Obama accepts funds from what he thinks are “corporate raiders”, then maybe he should shut up about Romney.

Aside from making up false information about his opinion to confuse uninformed people, Obama has also been sticking up a giant middle finger to the hard work and talent that America is built upon. Stating that “if you have a business, you didn’t build that — somebody else did” (here’s the original video for reference), our President displays his gross misunderstanding of how success is made, belittles the hard work it took to form major companies like Microsoft or Apple, and attributes every last iota of productivity and progress in our nation to the state.

To an extent, his message is correct; a stable infrastructure of roads, buildings, and schools helps form the shoulders that we all stand upon, but as is the case with people at any level of technology, some individuals rise above their peers. Steve Jobs was just one of millions who benefited from public schooling, but only one of those people became the mega-success who was Steve Jobs. If Jobs (and Wozniak) had been killed right before they started Apple and were replaced by some ditch digger, then the iPod, iPad, and Mac would not exist today. Don’t flatter yourself too much, Mr. Obama, people can succeed just fine without the mountains of debt and high spending that you created.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to pass Romney off as some sort of saint, even in comparison to Obama: Our handsome GOP contender is a shameless flip-flopper with a penchant for war (foreign wars and drug wars), and he would have no scruples about signing laws that would let him arrest you if he feels like it. Unfortunately, our big-eared incumbent can’t say that he shines above his deficit-eating cousin on any of those counts: He has bombed 3 countries after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, refused to close Guantanamo Bay, killed US citizens, and  actively fought against your right to a fair trial (so much for swearing to defend the Constitution). There are Democrats out there who surpass Romney as champions of your rights (i.e. Ron Wyden), but Barack Obama is not one of them, and where he differs from his opponent, he surpasses only in building castles in the sky out of money he doesn’t have.

Would a Romney Presidency be an unfortunate prospect? In light of the other candidates who could have been the GOP nominee, Republican voters clearly didn’t pick the best out of the bunch. However, when weighed against the bag of mixed unpleasantries that is Barack Obama, the choice becomes clear. Romney’s spending policies are saner, he has a plan for reducing the national debt, and he opposes Obamacare, so unless you want to feel good about healthcare for a few moments before costs and spending shoot through the roof, Romney is the choice to make this November.