Archive for July 15th, 2012

by lizard

It’s almost time for the Olympics. The missiles are positioned on rooftops, and the final price tag for London is only estimated to be 107% over budget, at 13 billion dollars.

Hmmm, I wonder if anyone might be a little peeved about that?

Security forces are busily militarizing the urban terrain. Olympics security officials recently unboxed the military-grade Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), an eardrum-shattering weapon that has been war-zone tested in Iraq. There are plans to station surface-to-air missiles on the roofs of London apartment buildings. The Royal Navy’s biggest warship will sit along the Thames. Typhoon jets and Lynx helicopters will be ready for action. Scotland Yard has stockpiled more than 10,000 plastic bullets. Police are constructing mobile stations to facilitate swift bookings. And “dispersal zones” have been set up where police can freely ban anyone they deem to be engaging in antisocial behavior.

None of this comes cheap. Londoners were told that the Olympics would cost £2.4 billion. Projections that include ballooning infrastructure costs are now looking at £24 billion, ten times the original bid’s estimate. They were told that the games would be funded with a “public-private partnership,” but the “private” end is now picking up less than 2 percent of the tab. In such an atmosphere, protest is inevitable, but the people coming out on July 28 are angry about more than militarization and debt. There are other issues drawing people into London’s privatized public square.

Olympics sponsorship has become a full-throttle, corporate cornucopia. London Games sponsors include icons of health and fair play like McDonald’s, British Petroleum and Dow Chemical. In the name of good health, McDonald’s is handing out “activity toys” for kids to play with after munching down their Happy Meals. BP is—no joke—an official “sustainability partner.” Dow Chemical’s prominent presence is a slap in the face to London’s large South Asian population, given the notorious gas disaster in Bhopal, India, that killed more than 20,000 people and left hundreds of thousands more suffering in its wake. In 1999, Dow Chemical merged with Union Carbide, the US firm responsible for the Bhopal nightmare.

Obscene. While the global economy continues its anemic stumbling, 98% of this insane cost is being extracted from the public of London.

Good thing Mitt saved this corporate pork project, so it could keep sucking down public funding in perpetuity, right?

Speaking of Mitt the savior, why was it these games needed saving in the first place? Oh yeah, because the fact the IOC was comprised of a bunch of corrupt assholes was bubbling to the surface.

I don’t think the Mitt as savior of the Olympics narrative has received a direct offensive yet from the DNC during our corporate games presidential election, but it will. In the DNC spot below, be sure to listen to John McCain rant about the porky price tag. And then there’s Mitt himself. Priceless.

Yes, blowing 37 million dollars for the opening ceremonies of the Salt Lake games is the epitome of fiscal responsibility, is it not?

Anyway, while the UK and the EU preach austerity, London becomes the latest city to to enact a billion dollar lock down to keep London “safe” for corporate sponsors like McDonalds—who profit from poisoning people with what they pass off as “food”—to associate their brand with, ahem, health.

Mitt Romney saved the Olympics by using the corporate feeding trough American taxpayer, and while he was busy doing that, he was getting 100,000 dollars from Bain for doing absolutely nothing.

I’m amazed millions of conservatives are going to vote for this guy for president.

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