Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

September 4, 2009


Chicago Tribune- Support in Chicago for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games has dwindled, with residents now sharply divided over whether the city should host the Games, a Tribune/WGN poll has found. Nearly as many city residents oppose Mayor Richard Daley's Olympic plans, 45 percent, as support them, 47 percent. And residents increasingly and overwhelmingly oppose using tax dollars to cover any financial shortfalls for the Games, with 84 percent disapproving of the use of public money.


Anonymous cemmcs said...

I live in Chicago and therefore I can speak for the city: We do not want the Olympics.

September 4, 2009 10:55 AM  
Anonymous payback said...

too bad, cemmcs. chicago gave us obama, so chicago rightly deserves to be punished by having to host the con-test-of-con-tests.

September 4, 2009 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Payback, you schmuck, by your reckoning that honor should go to Crawford or any whichever overgrown cow-town in Texas claims Bush.

September 4, 2009 10:05 PM  
Anonymous payback said...

sorry if i offended, anon - i was just being a smartypants. need i say it'd be beyond stupid to actually believe in punishing any place for being home to a royal ass like obama or dumbya?

i like Chicago. it was actually the olympics i was slamming. i'm sick to death of the irrational uberglorification of competition and i DO most sincerely believe the worship of competing is a terrible, terrible primary mistake in human thinking that hurts us all far more than we imagine.

please see this link for a review of Alfie Kohn's tremendously important book called "No Contest - How We Lose In Our Race To Win"

Review by George Catlin

and please see this link to read 4 chapters of this paradigm-changing, life-changing, perspective-shifting book free online:

NO CONTEST by Alfie Kohn

September 5, 2009 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Maread said...

I can't see that there's anything wrong with competition - as long as there's nothing at stake beyond enjoyment and good-natured bragging rights.

It's when winning gets mixed up with worth that competition becomes toxic.

September 5, 2009 1:22 PM  
Anonymous pj said...

Everybody says that, Mairead - until they read the book. It's completely new thinking - to almost everybody at all.

The problem that new thinking, new ideas encounter is: being rejected without even getting a fair hearing - because people, having only the old idea/old thinking in their heads and not yet having the new thinking - are stuck using the old ideas/old thinking against which to test the correctness of the new thinking. But the whole point the new thinking is making is that the oldthink/old idea is wrong, is incorrect, is incomplete, is illogical, is irrational, is fundamentally misconceived to begin with.

The problems with competition are inherent in its very structure: competition instantly creates scarcity out of nothing, for one thing, and as if that wasn't boneheaded enough it undermines productivity as well, decreases pleasure, harms health, etc. etc. etc.

As a happiness plan, competition seriously sucks. It's completely without merit and violates good sense. Alfie Kohn's book is very well researched and I am still astounded at how wildly it succeeds at using logic and sound reasoning to murder some of our very deeply but very erroneously cherished myths.

Alfie Kohn is one of the world's very greatest living 'unknown' treasures. A true friend to humanity. I really hope people will give those first 4 chapters a read.

September 5, 2009 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

I apologise for not being more clear, PJ.

I was talking about the sort of competition we find, e.g., in a pickup softball game where the low-score side buy the beer, or a penny poker game, or (those many unacknowledged competitions about) who makes the best cheesecake, or the fiddle competitions where everyone gets to listen to wonderful music for a few hours and the winners take home a ten-cent trophy and a piece of paper. The kind that has no losers because it's all voluntary, there's nothing significant at stake, and everyone has a good time and wants to do it again soon.

Competition is a bad idea any time that participation isn't voluntary, or stakes would be higher than a case of beer or similar, and should positively be criminalised when stakes would be mortal.

September 5, 2009 4:26 PM  

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