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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Blue Skies for the Olympics

Posted Friday, August 8, 2008, at 8:03 AM

This isn't what I planned to talk about next, but it's so interesting that I felt someone needed to mention it on the blogs....

If you're watching the Olympic activities, you're probably aware of the pollution issue in China. I heard this morning that the pollution index in New York this morning is 31, with 50 being the level given as the top figure for human safety. Today's pollution index in Beijing is 95.

For those bloggers who've toyed around with the idea that a totalitarian government is a good idea, you must be really impressed with how the Chinese gov't can shut down factories and issue restrictions on driving.

It's pretty amazing. Some U.S. cities, like Minneapolis, have restrictions on drivers, but can you imagine the gov't telling us that cars with even-numbered license plates have to stay off the streets one day, odd-numbered the next? Wow, that's power!

Those Chinese citizens caught driving on the wrong day are being fined $14, which doesn't sound like much to an American, but it's supposedly quite stiff in China. The goal is to cut the 3.3 million cars in half during the Olympics in order to clear away the grey-brown haze over Beijing.

As outlandish as all these pollution-control techniques sound, I wonder if that's a preview of things to come for us over here in the U.S.? I remember looking out the window, as my husband and I used to fly back and forth from Alaska to the Lower 48, and I always noticed that haze over St. Louis as we came in.

Whether there's a brown haze over the games, or the government succeeds in creating blue skies, the 2008 Olympics will be an amazing glimpse into a region of the world which has been off limits to western viewers for a long, long time!

From the remote blue skies of Tillman, Mo., this is your non-Chinese-speaking rural journalist, signing off to go enjoy a COOL August morning!!!

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

MD....no worries, Algore is heading over there to teach them all about how to turn themselves green. Nothing to worry about.

Got to love cool AM's in August!

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 8:52 AM

I sure hope the arena/stadium the Olympics are being held in is covered! God forbid the world's athlete's come home sick for their gold/silver/bronze celebrations.

Everyone is always saying that China has their stuff together way better than us. Which may be true if you look at the amount of their fines...but 95 as a pollution index? Maybe they need to take the money they loan us all the time and use it towards hydrogen technology.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 10:56 AM

First I agree with you. Second when one votes Democrat (and sometimes Republican these days)you are taking us one more step toward socialism. The Dems want more governmental control, and less individual control. Remember "they" know what is best for us, similiar to what China is saying to their drivers. Remember WE elect THEM. Anyway, just my two cents.

-- Posted by mobrigade on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 12:59 PM

Isn't it funny how all the blogs end up on politics? Time of year, I guess.

I thought it was interesting that the Chinese gov't was giving lessons and conducting drills in good manners!! No pushing at the tube stations! Stand in line! I didn't realize that was an alien concept for them!

Actually, that might not be a bad idea for Americans..

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 4:26 PM

MD, I've read several articles recently that in spite of herculean efforts, pollution is still very bad in Beijing. So I looked around for some webcams showing the city to see for myself. I found that many webcam pages say things like: "Webcam temporarily unavailable." Yeah, like until the Olympics are over!! But I did find one, and as you'll see the air is pretty darn dirty, http://www.worldcam.pl/en/549,5,1,webcam...

In an effort to somewhat clean up Beijing's air quality for the Olympics the benevolent Chinese government ordered hundreds of huge high-pollution factories to relocate to rural areas downwind from the city. Consequently, in just the past few years many beautiful rural areas have been transformed into little more than industrial dumps. This Washington Post article explains how the government exported the pollution to rural areas to try and "hide" it from visitors to the Olympics. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

The article also tells about how a man was jailed for protesting the placement of a huge factory in their rural town. There are also several photos that show the visibility in Beijing is pretty limited. That air pollution in Bejing is still terrible give you an idea of how bad it must have been before!!

Doesn't look like there be any blue skies for the Olympics.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 7:08 PM

WOW...good stuff FootJoy.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Sat, Aug 9, 2008, at 10:40 AM

I am still baffled that the Olympic Committee allowed China to be a host. The negatives have to out weigh the positives. There has to be stuff under the table that we will never know about.

-- Posted by BonScott on Sat, Aug 9, 2008, at 10:44 AM

I agree....I wouldn't be surprised if something bad happened over there. An attack or stabbing or something like that. Those folks are nuts.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Sun, Aug 10, 2008, at 12:06 PM

I see the've had a stabbing, the Bachman family member from Minn, I believe these are the folks who started and own Dept 56 Christmas Villages.

-- Posted by changedname on Sun, Aug 10, 2008, at 12:44 PM

Wasn't the stabbing victim the father of an Olympic volleyball coach? From what I can gather this morning on my antiquated computer, the attacker was a distraught 42-year old man who later committed suicide by jumping off a building.

In all fairness to the Chinese, an attack like that would be practically impossible to guard against.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, at 6:13 AM

About the Chinese government giving lessons in manners: I hadn't heard that, but understand from friends who've traveled in China that the people there are exceptionally loud, inconsiderate, and rude.

-- Posted by gardengirl on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, at 12:35 PM

Really?! I didn't expect that! Maybe it's the Japanese who are so polite, then. The Chinese and the French should get together, then. It would be a match made in heaven.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, at 8:05 PM

Did anyone get stabbed the last time the Olympics were held in the U.S? Probably were several drive by slayings.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, at 8:53 PM

Surely we would remember that!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 7:51 AM

See....told you so....stabbing! These people are nuts! I think the US team should do something CRAZY in a team picture, like squint their eyes or something....that would be hilarious.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:33 AM

Do you even remember where the Olympics were held? I don't, but I bet there was crime happening.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 1:51 PM


The IOC, headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, sets and enforces Olympic policy. The site of the games is chosen, usually at least six years in advance.


1896 - Athens, Greece

1900 - Paris, France

1904 - St. Louis, Missouri USA

1906 - Athens, Greece*

1908 - London, England

1912 - Stockholm, Sweden

1916 - Not held**

1920 - Antwerp, Belgium

1924 - Paris, France

1928 - Amsterdam, Holland

1932 - Los Angeles, California USA

1936 - Berlin, Germany

1940 - Not held***

1944 - Not held***

1948 - London, England

1952 - Helsinki, Finland

1956 - Melbourne, Australia

1960 - Rome, Italy

1964 - Tokyo, Japan

1968 - Mexico City, Mexico

1972 - Munich, Germany

1976 - Montreal, Canada

1980 - Moscow, Russia

1984 - Los Angeles, California USA

1988 - Seoul, South Korea

1992 - Barcelona, Spain

1996 - Atlanta, Georgia USA

2000 - Sydney, Australia

2004 - Athens, Greece

*Games not recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

**Games cancelled due to World War I.

***Games cancelled due to World War II.


1924 - Chamonix, France

1928 - St. Moritz, Switzerland

1932 - Lake Placid, New York USA

1936 - Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

1940 - Not held*

1944 - Not held*

1948 - St. Moritz, Switzerland

1952 - Oslo, Norway

1956 - Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

1960 - Squaw Valley, California USA

1964 - Innsbruck, Austria

1968 - Grenoble, France

1972 - Sapporo, Japan

1976 - Innsbruck, Austria

1980 - Lake Placid, N.Y.

1984 - Sarajevo, Yugoslavia

1988 - Calgary, Alta.

1992 - Albertville, France

1994 - Lillehammer, Norway

1998 - Nagano, Japan

2002 - Salt Lake City, Utah USA

2006 - Turin, Italy

*Games cancelled due to World War II.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 5:00 PM

Sorry so long, but I couldn't remember, either, and I thought this would help us.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 5:03 PM

Well, maybe there wasn't that much crime in Salt Lake.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 7:53 PM

My Grandson, who lives in Layton, Utah, took vacation time from his regular job and worked as a security guard during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

-- Posted by genbug on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 8:26 PM

So what did he say about the crime? Non-existant?

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:30 PM

GL, more people were probably killed in LA today than Baghdad.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 6:55 PM

In less than 30 seconds I found this story about two bombings in public places in Baghdad today (8-14) that killed four and wounded eight, http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/08/14/4...

In a few more seconds I found this story that today (8-14) just south of Baghdad a woman suicide bomber killed 26 people and wounded at least 75 more, http://www.nysun.com/foreign/bomb-blast-...

That same news story has an account that six Navy guards face trial for allegedly assaulting prisoners at the main American prison at Iraq.

The not so good news of what is actually going on in Iraq is easy to find. Bombings, kidnappings, and execution style killings are a daily occurrence in and around Baghdad. I looked for about five minutes and was unable to find a single news story about a single bomb going off in and around LA so far in the first eight months of 2008.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 8:30 PM


So you don't think the war we are fighting over there is keeping us safe here at home? The Generals on the ground must not know what they are talking about when reporting that violence is down, surge is working, and Iraq is progressing toward independence.

Your policy would probably be to make friends with everyone so we , as Americans won't have enemies. Screw that.....we are THE super power and we are kicking *** and will continue to do so. We haven't been attacked on US soil since 9/11 and have began to succeed in a place and in a war many who think like you didn't think we could win....in fact, many who think like you seem to get satisfaction from bad news and reports of us failing. We won't fail....keep watching your CNN and other doom and gloom news shows. And keep surfing for negative internet stories and keep hoping it rains tomorrow and that you get caught by a train and that WalMart only has one check out open.....and then tell us about it.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 10:57 PM

99% of news stories RELY on BAD news. Only our local news outlets such as KFVS12 TRY to find good things to report on...like "Everyone Has a Story" and such. If you want good news...go check out BJ's blog. On second thought...that one's not going so well either...

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 11:44 PM

We may be THE super power, but Russia is kicking butt now and we're helpless to stop it.

-- Posted by changedname on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 12:25 PM

Why wouold you say they are kicking butt? It looks like they have signed a peace treaty and are preparing to leave. You probably don't sign a peace treaty if you are real confident about kicking butt.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 9:00 PM

Which kicking butt are we talking about now? Putin? I haven't heard today's news, but yesterday I thought he was saying he'd leave when he got good 'n ready.

Hahaha! Funny, dolphin! Poor BJ - She does her very best to be upbeat and cheery - and then, BAM! Hoon happens! Let him argue with FJGuy! Both of them have thick skin. Neither one will bring blood!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 9:13 PM

I like a good debate...always up for the challenge. I just haven't seemed to have the time lately to be up to that challenge.

But, for good news on an olympic conversation...watching Micheal Phelps win all those golds has made being an American that much more sweet! It just proves we here in this country aren't all as lazy and pampered as every other country thinks we are.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 11:01 PM

I was kind of wondering myself who was getting their butt kicked? Let's see if Puty Putin has the nerve to stay?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 11:02 PM

With the new digital converter box...supposedly SO nice...the only channel I have is channel 6, which is NBC. Other than a few shows, they are almost completely covering every event they can. So, this is all I have to watch. Have a question...ask away;-

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 12:47 AM

I see this morning that the Williams girls won the gold in golf! Is that terrific, or what???!! I'm sorry I missed it!

I also have a question -- Did you see where softball is being taken out of the Olympics - supposedly because the U.S. teams are so overwhelming? What's that all about?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 8:58 AM

Hate to correct ya Goat...but the Williams girls won tennis, lol. As far as the softball thing goes, I didn't get to see anything about that. I'll research it though.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 1:06 PM

Goat, you've heard right! The story that follows is from nbcsports/msnbc.com.

updated 11:41 p.m. CT, Fri., July. 8, 2005

SINGAPORE - The International Olympic Committee delivered a shocking message to baseball and softball on Friday: Yer out!

The two sports were kicked out of the Olympics, unwanted by international sports officials who felt they were too American for the world sports stage.

The decision, made during a secret vote in Singapore, is effective for the 2012 London Games, meaning the two sports will have a final fling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The sports, the first eliminated since polo in 1936, are eligible to reapply for the 2016 Games.

U.S. women won all three gold medals since softball joined the Olympics, at the 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games. American pitcher Lisa Fernandez, a three-time gold medalist, blamed the decision on IOC president Jacques Rogge.

"Rogge has basically conspired against the sports to get them removed. We had done our job as a sport world wide to show we belong," she said. "I feel one person, the president of the IOC, a person from Europe, has taken it upon himself to ruin the lives of millions, actually billions of women."

Crystl Bustos, who hit a record five homers during the 2004 Olympics, said the one-sidedness of the softball tournament should not have been used as a factor. The Americans outscored opponents 51-1.

"If that did play a role in the decision, then that's pretty pathetic," she said. "I don't mean to cut anybody down, but it's supposed to be the best of the best, and if you get knocked for your excellence, then that's just not right."

Two-time gold medal-winning infielder Dot Richardson said the Olympic dream "was ripped away from the 126 countries that play the sport of softball, that just vanished."

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 1:12 PM

One other comment I'd like to add is, even though we haven't completely lost out as a country in gymnastics, what about China dominating that? Or what about Micheal Phelps dominating swimming? Are they going to get rid of those too?

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 1:16 PM

Oh, PHOOEY! (Sorry about that, hoon) I meant tennis!! Darn, I do know the difference!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 6:16 PM

I stayed up late last night to watch gymnastics and bead. The U.S. came so close to winning gold, but the Rumanian routine was just amazing! What a cliff hanger!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 7:25 AM

I've stayed up late every night since the olympics started...and with school now in full swing, I'm beginning to feel it! After the volleyball is over though, I doubt I'll be staying up late anymore. I'm amazed by the track and field...but I've NEVER enjoyed running...so it exhausts me just to watch! ;-

I let my kids stay up late the other night to watch and see if Micheal Phelps and his team would take home that last gold medal. Something like that is just too empowering to not let them watch. I hope it helps them realize that following your dreams really can pay off.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 1:01 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Good thinking, dolphin! They'll remember that forever and be able to say that they saw a moment in history! They can catch up on their sleep another day!

How can any sport compete with beach volleyball? http://ahboon.net/2008/08/13/great-momen...

You know China is becoming Westernized because the following is on the China Daily's website, http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/viewthread....

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Aug 19, 2008, at 8:09 PM

FJGuy, are you sure you aren't just attracted by those bikinis???

As for the westernization, I saw this morning on CBS that the Chinese kids are going nuts over our basketball team! How neat is that??

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 6:24 PM

GL, what would make you think that men in China would like looking at pretty young ladies in bikinis any less than westerners do? I sure would prefer that to watching someone swim or run or heck any sport.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Aug 20, 2008, at 8:21 PM

I'm just teasing FJGuy. I don't think he's Chinese.

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 6:27 AM

To maximize TV ratings they should expand Beach Volleyball to be on everyday of the Olympics by breaking the competition into age classes such as 18-20, 21-23, 24-26, etc. Then they could then have an all-around competition between the champions of each age group, similar to what they do in gymnastics. They could also have competition between the cheerleaders. The TV coverage I saw didn't even show the cheerleaders! How dumb is that?! Between the competitors and the cheerleaders they could dedicate a channel to just showing Beach Volleyball. That would definitely help put people in the Olympic spirit!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Thu, Aug 21, 2008, at 12:43 PM

Yeah, "Olympic Spirit".....

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Aug 23, 2008, at 5:46 AM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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