Holus Bolus

Mar. 2nd, 2010 02:33 pm
ltmurnau: (Default)
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$428.5 million for each gold medal.

Or maybe it was $2,500,000,000, in which case it was $178.5 million each.

Went Canada Went!!!
ltmurnau: (Default)
But you knew the "domestic" threat was the real one all along...

Domestic threats biggest Olympic security concern: expert

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 | 10:48 AM PT CBC News

A University of Calgary expert in modern terrorism says small disruptions by domestic groups are the most likely security threat to the upcoming 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, but organizational issues are also a critical concern.

Vancouver is set to capture the world's attention for 16 days when the Olympic Winter Games begin later this month. But with that global spotlight comes some of the world's biggest problems and a heightened risk of terrorist attacks, according to Michael Zekulin, a PhD candidate researching contemporary terrorism in the U of C's political science department.

"In today's world, the Olympic Games represent a very real target for terrorism. It provides groups with the potential for large casualties and immediate global attention," said Zekulin.

"While the likelihood of a sophisticated, large-scale attack carried out by an international group like al-Qaeda is unlikely, disruption to the Games by domestic groups remains a possibility," he said in a statement released on Tuesday morning.

Anti-Olympic protesters have already been a thorn in the side of Olympic torch relay organizers, and have promised to disrupt the Games when they open in Vancouver on Feb 12.

"Organizers trying to prevent … attacks are faced with a logistical nightmare including countless potential targets, thousands of people involved and limited resources," said Zekulin.

Organization headaches

Olympic organizers also face challenges trying to secure not only the event sites located in Vancouver and Whistler, but also 125 kilometres of the Sea-to-Sky Highway connecting the two areas.

The $1-billion security plan for the Games will also be challenged by organizational and co-ordination issues because of the large number of agencies coming together for the 16-day event.

The massive effort led by the RCMP involves the Canadian military, several local police forces, border security forces, as well as international support from countries like the U.S. and military partnerships like NORAD.

"There's a real potential that should serious issues present themselves, people and agencies may start acting on their own instead of in a co-ordinated fashion," said Zekulin.

While volunteers traditionally add to the security of the Games by providing ears and eyes on the ground, Vancouver organizers might face challenges if some of those 25,000 volunteer stop showing up for their shifts, as has been the case in previous Games, he said.

Cameras aimed at protesters, not terrorists

The nearly 1,000 surveillance cameras in place for the Winter Olympics won't do much to deter a terrorist attack and are really just useful for zeroing in on protesters and hooligans, says Andre Gerolymatos, a Simon Fraser University history professor with an interest in security issues.

"They will be useful in terms of catching potential troublemakers, vandals, people selling dope on the street, but in terms of terrorists, in a way they are playing into their hands — the terrorist will simply look into the camera and blow himself up," said Gerolymatos.

He said cameras are overrated because they can only record events, and it would be better to have more police and soldiers on the streets where they could react to trouble, Gerolymatos told CBC News.


A billion dollars - that will have to be paid back.
A thousand cameras - that will not be turned off or taken away when this is over.
That's the real Olympic legacy for us.
ltmurnau: (Default)
After finding out about Laurie Anderson coming to town as part of the "Cultural Olympiad", I thought about it for a while and decided to write her a letter.

Read more... )

Well, I'll just count this as my Futile Gesture for the month... I think I'll try one on each month this year.
ltmurnau: (Default)
... that I will post some sex-and-the-Olympics related news story.

Sex and the Olympics: The world brings its vice to Vancouver
Influx of visitors sees huge rise in demand for strippers, escorts

By Ethan Baron, The Province January 31, 2010

Let the sex games begin. Olympic fever is taking hold in Metro Vancouver's sex industry, with businesses and workers preparing to welcome a deluge of eager visitors.

One purveyor of sex for sale is seeking to entice new prostitutes with promises of tens of thousands of dollars. Vancouver's most prominent strip club is planning Olympic-themed decorations, but keeping them secret for fear of a clampdown by Olympics authorities. And one Metro Vancouver escort service is hiring dozens of women from across the country for the Games -- and is already catering to Olympics-related demand.

Read more... )

Italics mine - the VANOC executives and security people, the only ones who will make significant money off this horrible circus, will patronize the "high-class foxes", while everyone else makes do with the disruptions (and fear that the Olympic bylaw police will abarge in and tell them to take down their brand-infringing decorations).

Sigh. Just a few more weeks and it will be all over, then we can look forward to paying for the party for the next 25 years....
ltmurnau: (Default)
Laurie Anderson will present a new piece in February as part of the "Cultural Olympiad". Appropriately, it is called "Delusion". (I seem to remember that she was involved with the 2084 Olympics too, in some way.)


Delusion: A new work by Laurie Anderson

Conceived as a series of short mystery plays, "Delusion" jump-cuts between the everyday and the mythic. Combining violin, electronic puppetry, music and visuals, "Delusion" is full of nuns, elves, golems, rotting forests, ghost ships, archaeologists, dead relatives and unmanned tankers. It tells its story in the colourful and poetic language that has become Anderson's trademark. Inspired by the breadth of Balzac, Ozu and Laurence Sterne, and employing a series of altered voices and imaginary guests, Anderson tells a complex story about longing, memory and identity. At the heart of "Delusion" is the pleasure of language and a terror that the world is made entirely of words.

“You begin with a blank mind. There is absolutely nothing in it. Not a single picture. There is a void. No names. The first thing to wander into this mind is a small spotted dog named Terence and his owner, historian and social commentator Fenway Bergamot.” — Laurie Anderson.

Presented With:
Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company
Commissioned by VANCOUVER 2010 CULTURAL OLYMPIAD, Vancouver; BARBICANBITE10, London.

With additional support from BAM for the 2010 Next Wave Festival; Cal Performances UC Berkeley; Stanford Lively Arts, Stanford University, generously supported by Sarah Ratchye and Ed Frank. Additional production support and residency provided by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer.

When: February 16 - 21, 8:00 pm each night

Where: Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

Ticket information:
Price(s): $45 and $55
604 873 3311

Produced with additional support from Cal Performances; University of California, Berkeley; and Stanford Lively Arts, Stanford University.


I would actually go and see this, because I have been a Laurie Anderson fan since high school, and have never had a chance to see a performance. Except that there is NO WAY I could even find, let alone afford a place to stay in Vancouver - and even if I lived there I'd be of two minds about venturing out onto the streets, after having been admonished so many times by VANOC to stay at home and out of the way of the tourists.

The Cultural Olympiad is probably the one item of intelligence and merit to come out of the 2010 circus (although looking at some of the events, it must have been a bit of a stretch to tie it in withthe theme of "sports"). The original budget of $25 million was cut by 20 percent to $20 million due to VANOC's cost overruns in other departments - and while that's relatively a huge amount of money to spend on an arts festival (expecially when the provincial government is cutting public arts funding in BC by 95% over the next 2-3 years), it is a vanishingly small amount compared to the entire cost of the Olympics, which might be over $2.5 billion when all is said and done (http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=01fc5dbe-9e38-4573-9b07-696fd3144d3f).

I make it to be about eight tenths of one percent. It's near zero, but suppose one ought to be happy about that, because it could just as easily be exactly zero.

ltmurnau: (Default)
No snow at Olympic site leaves VANOC scrambling
Contingency plan includes dumping snow from helicopters

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | 7:52 PM ET The Canadian Press

Winter Games officials have given up on Mother Nature and are planning to truck in snow for the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at Cypress Mountain on Vancouver's North Shore.

The Vancouver Olympic organizing committee (known as VANOC) says the forecast suggests there won't be any new snow falling before the Games kick off Feb. 12, and they won't be able to make enough in time for the skiing and snowboarding competitions.

"We are planning that we will not have snow," said Cathy Priestner Allinger, executive vice-president of sport and Games operations for VANOC.

Contingency plans are now being rolled out. They include using straw and wood in place of snow to build up the courses. Snow will then be brought in to layer over the straw and wood to build the course.

But officials believe there is enough snow elsewhere on the mountain, and they will use trucks, snow cats and, if necessary, helicopters to move snow to the event sites, said Priestner Allinger.

[glib organizer smarmspeak snipped]

Mild temperatures and heavy rains earlier this month forced officials to close the mountain ahead of schedule as snow gave way to mud.

Olympic officials have said they've been stockpiling real and artificial snow for months, just in case the region's temperate rainforest climate refused to co-operate.


[assumes dramatic commercial voiceover voice]

...honestly, what a friggin' circus.
ltmurnau: (Default)
I can't stop clipping articles about all them furrin hoo-ers who are supposed to come flooding in to Couverville over the length of the Olympics, which will last twelve days but right now feel like eighteen months of prugatory for some only imagined crime.

New anti-sex-trafficking campaign before Games: police
Last Updated: Monday, September 28, 2009 | 4:52 PM PT CBC News

The Vancouver Police Department is planning an alternative to the Salvation Army's controversial ad campaign about human sex trafficking during the 2010 Winter Games.

Sex-trade workers and civil liberties groups have called the Salvation Army's campaign sensationalist, and it appears police agree that another approach is needed.
Read more... )

The Olympics, and what our government is doing to the fabric of our province in order to fund this 12-day jock sniff, are evil enough without having to conjure up something, complete with street theatrics, that is viscerally nauseating and brutal but which research shows doesn't happen in connection with the event. Insp. de Haas had it right: it simply costs too much to move people into town, set them up for two weeks, and move them out again. Pimps won't bother to do something that has little or no money in it for them. An earlier police press conference also noted that only a tiny fraction of prostitutes, perhaps 6% of all the trade, consists of women trafficked from abroad to be put to work in the sex trade. There's plenty of domestic talent, and it ought to be easy to find if the inhabitants of Vancouver do as John Furlong (CEO of VANOC) wishes, and stay home For The Duration - the only people on the streets will be whores, Olympic ticket-holding johns, and journalists taking pictures.

ltmurnau: (Default)
I don't know why I keep following this story, it's just one more fillip of choking nonsense attached to this unsavoury and unavoidable jock-sniff... only eight months to go....

2010 Games won't bring surge of sex trafficking: study
Last Updated: Thursday, June 11, 2009 | 9:54 PM PT
CBC News

Contrary to common assumptions, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games will not result in a surge of sex trafficking in the city, a new study suggests.

The study released Thursday examined an array of international sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup soccer games.

The findings suggest there is no evidence the number of sex workers and trafficking victims increased dramatically in those locations during the events.

"In relation to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, public statements have been made which project an alarming increase in this human trafficking," the study says.

"These claims are inconsistent with the evidence in this research document, that trafficking and mega-events are not linked."

The study was commissioned by the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group — a Vancouver police initiative established in 2007 that has involved several community groups active in the city's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood. It was paid for with a provincial government grant and conducted by Frontline Consulting.

Ten Olympic host cities were studied, and researchers interviewed police, sex-trade workers and community service leaders, as well as reviewed a couple of hundred media articles, academic journals, government reports and relevant websites.

They found that sex trafficking generally did not increase during these previous sporting events for a number of reasons, including heightened awareness and enforcement by police of trafficking laws.

The study recommends that the 2010 Games should be used as an opportunity for all levels of government to educate the public about human trafficking for sexual purposes.

"Combatting trafficking for sexual exploitation is a federal and provincial government priority, yet no broad-based public awareness campaigns have been developed on these issues," it says.

"Other jurisdictions have used mega sport events as an opportunity to create such campaigns, which are considered to have played an important public education role above and beyond an immediate deterrence of trafficking."

The study also suggests that Canadian Forces, RCMP and other police and security forces be trained in identifying trafficking and exploitation and develop standards for referrals of such cases.

Tamara O'Doherty, chair of the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group, said there is a risk that security and enforcement measures put in place for the Games could have a negative impact on the prostitutes who already call the place home.

"If anything, we found that the conflation of sex work and trafficking can result in policy and enforcement responses that negatively affect the lives of sex workers and victims of trafficking," she said Thursday.

Karen Mirsky of the Pivot Legal Society said sex workers would become more vulnerable to violence if they were forced to move by street closures and security.

Vancouver police said they will help ensure prevention, early detection and intervention of human sex trafficking prior to the Winter Games next year.

"Sex industry workers deserve to live as safely as anyone else in Vancouver," Insp. John de Haas said Thursday.

"The VPD [Vancouver Police Department] is committed to working with industry and community organizations to keep everyone safe."
ltmurnau: (Default)
What the hell does this have to do with anything?

Vancouver schools could offer Olympic curriculum

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | 1:30 PM ET
CBC News

Teachers in Vancouver will soon have the option of incorporating Olympic themes and teachings into the curriculum, following a Vancouver School Board decision to create a committee to look at how the Olympics will be taught in schools in the lead-up to the 2010 Vancouver games.

But vice-chair of the board Carol Gibson made it clear the Olympic curriculum will be based strictly on educational criteria.

"They are very concerned and very clear about what the educational value of a particular topic is, and they're also very professional, so [they are] unlikely to permit any commercialism into the classroom around that," Gibson told the CBC on Monday.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Gee, everyone seems worried about an influx of furrin hoo-ers to this jock-o-rama circle-jerk we are pleased to call "2010".

Or, if you're Stockwell Day, ostentatiously not worried: see earlier entry http://ltmurnau.livejournal.com/176153.html

Though I would think the amount of money involved in moving THOUSANDS of women into Vancouver, housing and feeding them, and then moving them back out again after 10-12 days would not make this a very profitable venture.

Again, THOUSANDS of them - how many people are supposed to turn up to this boondoggle anyway? And how many of them, how often, will have the need or opportunity to engage a prostitute (above and beyond the generous supply already at work in Couverville....)? And in the final analysis, aren't these goombahs all in town to see someone slide rapidly down a hill, or slide rapidly across a sheet of ice, or something, and not to sample the exotic delights of Stefania the Not-Very-Convincing Trannie?

Again, it's interesting to see how everyone, in talking about 2010, automatically begins to overstate its probable impact on whatever else it is they are talking about - traffic, restaurants, climate, sex....

Act now to counter Olympic sex tourism, group urges

Lori Culbert, Canwest News Service
Published: Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thousands of sex-trade workers will be trafficked into Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics, and so British Columbia must take action now to halt an increase in sex tourism, a group of international transition-house workers warned yesterday.

The group, in Vancouver for a conference, is calling on governments to provide more support for women working the streets. However, its members are opposed to a fledgling initiative to create a legal brothel in time for the Winter Games.

Suzanne Koepplinger, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, said there is anecdotal evidence from social service agencies in Salt Lake City that many sex-trade workers were imported into Utah for the 2006 winter Olympics.

She said no studies were done to prove exactly how many, but she argued the same observations were made by similar agencies during the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2006 soccer World Cup in Germany.

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)
It seems we don't have enough of anything to service this ten-day jock-sniff properly, except for scenery....

Up to 5,000 foreign guards could work Games' security
Damian Inwood, The Province
Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Security screening at Vancouver 2010 Olympic venues could be performed by up to 5,000 foreign private-security guards under changes to B.C. legislation.

And starting in September, rookie security guards will be able to work for up to 90 days "under supervision" while they get trained, said a senior government official last night.
Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)
Y'know, sometimes I don't even know where to begin with some stories, like f'rinstance:

- what could have prompted the minister to feel he had to make a public statement on this in the first place, or
- what earthly difference it might make to anyone besides the prostitutes and their customers, or
- pointing out that our border guards can't keep out real criminals, let alone "them furrin hoo-ers" (I mean, this is hardly supportive of the principles of international free trade), or
- ignoring the blatantly obvious metaphor of who are the biggest set of prostitutes in this whole mess - at least in this case some working-class people get a bit of money out of this jock-sniff gone sordidly and horribly wrong....

Foreign prostitutes won't flock to Vancouver Games: Day

Last Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2008 | 12:24 PM ET
The Canadian Press

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said Thursday he doesn't foresee foreign prostitutes descending on the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Day said major events such as the Olympics or soccer's World Cup traditionally have been a magnet for prostitutes and others out to make a buck from big crowds.

But the minister said stringent security at the Canadian border is likely to deter such unwanted foreign visitors.

While there's likely to be an influx of Canadian prostitutes to the area, Day says tighter policing will help control that, too.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is brushing off suggestions that legal brothels would be a good method of protecting vulnerable prostitutes in Canada.

He says the government has no intention of legalizing prostitution.
ltmurnau: (Default)
This crap just gets worse and worse.

Meet the new mascots of the 2010 games:


Proof positive that Form, finally and irrevocably, has broken Content's head open with a lead pipe and pissed manfully into the resulting crevice. The Marketing departments are really running things now; it's old news though.

I'm goin' home.


ltmurnau: (Default)

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