Romney Tosses Turd in Punchbowl; King David Hotel

    Warning, "In the News" piece repeated below. As part of a rather long comment re: NBC's skipping the Olympics 7/7 memorial & demands for a Munich moment of silence, I'd made a snide aside re: memorializing the King David Hotel bombing (location of once-PM and famed Irgun warrior Menachem Begin's greatest atrocity against the British soldiers enforcing the Palestinian Mandate).

    Apparently Mitt's handlers are more savvy than me, because what could be more galling or tone-deaf than insulting your hosts about how they're handling their biggest gala in years, or meeting crooked leaders of a bank under indictment for international rate fixing so as to raise campaign money?

    How about hold an international fundraiser in that hotel where your new hosts killed 91 of your previous host's men? Fly in sponsors and enthusiasts from the US. Days after you were laughed out of the country, and while they're still holding their world-unifying event?

    Either Romney is much stupider than I think, or much more evil - committing to a war on Iran for his new paymasters? - but both scare me. (Though funny - it seems already like all that all that releasing-tax-forms & was-he-still-Bain-CEO talk was years ago)

    While Danny Boyle's efforts were based around the age-old British/Blakean metaphor of building a New Jerusalem, health system and social inclusiveness and all, it seems Romney, Netanyahu and allies are intent on destroying the Jerusalem they have. 

    Guess Romney doesn't have many friends left, but he's pinning his dreams on a rather cynical star - predicated on regional war, international isolation, and continued intransigence over settlements. Here's hoping Kadima or other opposition parties get traction soon, and that Obama can open up a permanent lead going into the Fall.

    Romney Team Unveils New Campaign Strategy


    Danny Boyle organizing the Olympics opening pulled a fast one with a stripped down, poignant reference to the bombings 7 years ago that followed the 2012 awards and kept some "from being with us" (though Boyle also included his father's passing and the choregrapher noted a more universal "mortality" motif, while the song chosen has a more generalized wake significance for the Isles)

    As 9/11 and subsequent terror is now copyright US o' A, it seems the British 7/7 experience rolled right past the news* guys at NBC - either because they'd forgotten it happened the day after the UK won the Olympics, or because after a disastrous week of Romney in London, we've moved on to our other Special Relationship with Israel - which means remembering the Munich attacks 40 years ago.

    Of course if Israel were hosting the Games rather than just Mitt Romney, that might be logical, but despite complaints that the current Olympics program is "too British", we must remember that it is unfortunately being run by the Brits in Great Britain, which seems to provoke a bit of home team feel to it, like the Aussies did with kangaroos in 2000.

    Which means they may even pull a sly one and reference socialized medicine or a song or two we've never even heard on this side of our big Pond. Including "Abide By Me" sung by Emile Sandé**. Or the no longer controversial Sex Pistols that NBC still chose to censor  (seems the wry Brits even snuck in a snippet of the irreverent "God Save the Queen" with Queen Liz II sitting there - but not for us blokes). Somehow they left out clips from Germany 40 years ago, because, perhaps, it wasn't in Britain.

    But perhaps Bob Costas and the Israeli News Agency were right - they should have also held a 40th tribute for Israel athletes at Munich, a 80th memorial for the 1932 LA games, when much of the world was suffering through the Depression and half the teams couldn't show up, and a 60th for all the countries invaded by Communists between the 1948 and 1952 games.

    And maybe in Rio 2016 the Brits can ask for a moment of silence for the 70th Anniversary of the King David Hotel where 91 people were murdered as they carried out their UN mandate.

    (note: this isn't a special 40 year occurrence - the widows of 1972 have been asking for a moment of silence every Olympics since, and there have been several toned-down tributes, including 2 such this year, but apparently not sufficient for some audiences. Though to be fair, some like Alex Giladi, Israel's Olympics representative, don't seem to feel it necessary )

    On the good side for Israel, the Iranians have now agreed to participate in direct competitions with Israeli athletes - some thaw in relations despite all the saber rattling.

    *"News" and similar expressions of journalistic curiosity and professionalism are used euphemistically, as I understand this is a modern TV news entertainment channel.

    So instead of showing the 7/7 memorial / tribute relevant to Britain, NBC decided to show a bland interview with the perhaps-fading Michael Phelps. I guess we haven't had enough "how ya feeling?" "I'm going to give it my best shot" interviews to please an easily-distracted American audience.

    The also managed to miss the first female athletes from Saudi Arabia - all countries now have female athletes.

    By chance, I happened to be flying through London on the 1st anniversary of 7/7, going by Tube for part of the trip, and needing to dispose of large boxes from some reclaimed luggage. Bobbies and security agents were everywhere, every public container was locked down, but I recall the utmost of efficiency and friendliness as one of the cops helped me out, how everyone was determined not to be freaked even as traffic was a bit bolloxed that day. Anyway, brought home a fresh reminder of that day's significance.

    As someone pointed out to me, the day after the bombing, seems that all of London woke up, gave it their stoic "fuck it, nothing's keeping *me* from work/school/the clubs...", and got out there as Brits usually do, talking about anything but what had actually happened - weather, cricket, top 40, Prince Harry....  May not have happened like that, but sounds nice.

    **Danny Boyle pulled out all the stops in making the Opening a multicultural event - refreshing after Bejing's unicultural & heavy-handed event. While some have complained about it being overreach, I happened to have spent that morning watching a movie on Hendrix, and thinking about his time in London with Eric Burdon (who started touring with black funk band War about that time), where being black didn't necessarily mean playing "black music" or splitting your audience, but where he could just move through different rock or jazz or world music styles playing with whoever he wanted in London's accepting multicultural scene.

    Shortly after, Bob Marley moved from Jamaica to London (or got stranded, depending on story), mixing up rock with reggae and inspiring everyone from Clapton to Nina Hagen to The Clash.

    And while Boyle's recent success is Slumdog Millionaire based in Bombay, Britain's legacy is tied up in its overseas colonies in Hong Kong & Singapore, India, various parts of Africa and the Caribbean, so that curry and tea houses are almost as British as Shepherd's Pie. Having been through the Hong Kong & Macau handovers, and knowing a number of Pakistani/Indian Brits, and hearing enough of the Tabla-inspired Indian/UK house mixes, I guess I gravitate to that multicultural scene. So Emile Sandé is just another refreshing face - half English, half Zambian, growing up in Scotland, part of the new UK. 

    But if they wanted someone who'd support a traditional boys-club-only view of UK society, they might not have wanted to sign on the guy who did Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire - something was bound to go wrong.

    Read the full article at


    "They want to know who will object and who will look the other way. We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel"...."It is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded." Willard Mitt Romney, 29 July 2012

    One option that is excluded is the 'passion and commitment' of even one of Mitt's five military age, $10 million Trust Fund each, sons to sign up, wear the uniform and risk deployment to a Middle East war zone. When it comes to putting their own butts on the line, Mitt and the boys, 'look the other way'.

    Romney also wants to keep, or reduce even further, his and his billionaire supporters taxes, their 'commitment' to Israel, in both blood and treasure, will be paid by others.

    Thanks for linking to my firedoglake post.  No MSM article has yet mentioned the King David bombing.

    Just to conclude my previous venture, when somebody refers to 7/7 and then says, quote, "The Olympics doesn't need to have a moment of silence for that," that seems to me to be saying that they, ummmm, don't think there should be a moment of silence for 7/7. 

    And I know, I know, I'm extreme in my readings, distorting what people say, etc. But you know, I really do think I nailed that one. 

    And when it comes to terrorist bombings, I happened to just miss two in my lifetime, and both in London, e latter being 7/7. And darn it if it doesn't just ever so slightly make you take things a bit more personally, and make you kinda want to take people who talk out their arse and tell them, "Hey, stop talking out your arse."

    Especially when they seem to think you're opposed to commemorating the Munich massacre, even when you're not. And doubly especially when they seem to think that until their massacre is properly honored, and their own country NOT having done that in 3 opportunities, that they should then lecture other nations on how they can't honor their own dead, even in a little clip from a film. To which, are you really sure you want to say we shouldn't be honouring victims til all victims are honoured? 

    Oh yeah, and Aaron? My father was a Jew. And an Olympian. Believe me, I wasn't in any way intending to dishonour Munich.

    But you? You need to not talk bullshit and duck and dive after you say something. I quoted you (up above), and it's completely obvious what your view was on commemorating 7/7. So yeah, sure, I rant, and get mad, big whoop. But at least I didn't just walk onto a blog, suggest ignoring the dead (see your first quote at top), then start coming up with appalling justifications like the importance of what the terrorist intended, and conclude by then trying to say I said something different.

    Also, see: manners. Contrary to the opinion of some, telling people they shouldn't commemorate their dead is actually markedly worse than telling em they should shut up. Thing is, your comment manages to avoid triggering the TOS. So yes, I broke the TOS. This doesn't, however, in any way let you off the hook for having said something far more repugnant. To repeat, The Olympics doesn't need to have a moment of silence for that. 

    Maybe there needs to be a moment of silence for 7/7, but I stand by the assertion that having one for 7/7 without having one for the 40th anniversary of an atrocity that actually happened at the Olympics is indecent. Yeah, the Brits are free to do as they want on their own soil, but we don't have to like it. I'm willing to bet there would have been a commemoration if the victims hadn't been Israelis(a lot of the countries competing don't have sympathy for such victims).

    For God's sake, YES there needs to be some means to commemorate it. Absolutely. It's insane that the Munich massacre could have happened at the Olympics and NOT be referenced, and the victims honored somehow at the Olympics. And obviously - i.e. DUH - it's anti-Semitism that keeps it from happening. 

     I'm 1000% on-board for a commemoration and have never said or felt anything different.

    What's obnoxious as hell is the fact that the Brits inserted a tiny note about their own massacre, of 50 men women and children, and over 700 injured, but instead of hearing the US press talk about London's courage in even hosting the games - especially after taking such a smash within 24 hours of being awarded it back in 2005 - they CUT the clip, and then shit on BRITAIN for not honoring someone else. 

    Do you get what an incredibly insulting thing that is? For the US - your country - to do? And yet then you come on here with your further blah blah blah about how the Brits shouldn't have been honoring their own. Gee, sorry, pal. How about if I suggested that since the US obviously sees no role for Britain to honor its dead, you all should just shut up from now on about 9/11? Or how about extending your theory, and deciding that Jews shouldn't mention the Holocaust again until ALL the world's slaughters have been honored. Does that make any sense to you? No. Nothing you've suggested makes any sense.

    But above all, what gets me is at the US, your country, has had 3 Olympics at which to recognize Munich, but you've apparently decided that those weren't important dates, but that the British one is. Which is kindof bizarre, you know? Like, given the 4 year Olympic cycle, your brain is so stuck in the world of round numbers that it could only have been recognized in 1992, 2012 or maybe 2032? That's just crackers. 

    Also, if you know anything about London, you'd know one of the reasons why terrorists want to hit NORTH London - as was  revealed again during a recent bust of a terrorist group which was targeting Golders Green - is because North London is considered the home of the Jews. Which is where I was staying when the bombs hit. And where the local Jews were gathering as we wondered how many more bombs we coming in. Gee, maybe now it'll carry some significance for you, eh? If it was targeting Jews? Is that how it works for you? Ah yes, give me a man of high principles and mighty vision.

    You and Bob Costas, pal. You and Bob Costas.


    As i noted elsewhere, there was a several hour commemoration in 1972 as they stopped the Games. dont know why this is never referenced

    That is often referenced PP.  And that was a funeral in the midst of chaos and, yes still a tribute as you point out. What is not often referenced is that the families of the murdered Jewish athletes have been fighting for a moment of silence or some kind of tribute beyond the shock-filled immediate aftermath of the incident for more than 35 years--as distinguished from loud-mouth politicos who have attempted to exploit this issue, this year.   


    This is not like that other place for a gazillion reasons.  And I hope you and Quinn give each other a number of second chances, because you are both good eggs.  PP is a good egg too, though a bit hard-boiled now and then, as opposed to the scramble in this egg's brain.

    P.S. Two things on the 7/7 tribute.  First, this is not about the Brits; it's about the IOC.  So if the IOC sanctioned the tribute to the murdered and maimed victims of that attack--as distinguished from the Brits choosing to include this tribute in the program without IOC approval--then it just highlights the specious pretext of the IOC in refusing the tribute to the Jewish athletes, i.e. that a tribute is not appropriate as part of the opening ceremony.  I mean here's what IOC Chair Rogge --as distinguished from and not the Brits mind you again--said about such tributes:

    However, Mr. Rogge has stuck to his insistence that such a moment is not appropriate for the opening of the Games. "We feel the opening ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident," he said at a recent press conference.

    Second, still, I have no stomach for pushing equal treatment of Jews by pointing to appropriate treatment of those who may or may not be similarly situated.  I have nothing against a tribute to the victims of 7/7, in or out of the Olympics, and presumably neither do you.  I fully support the tribute, even if--to the extent that the IOC was involved and not just the Brits--the world has a different standard for Jews.  One thing ultimately has nothing to do with the other.


    1) i dont understand big difference between 1972 hours long memorial and later moment of silence? 2) agree world has double standard for Jews but in this case double standard for Israelis 3) olympics leaders such as Brundige anti-semitic 4) you do see a difference between host country memorializing as part of their chosen program vs the IOC demanding a Munich or 2004 tribute? (yes, the americans milked their grief for all they could, ignoring the 300,000 dead in Indonesia tsunami for example)

    We may have crossed paths.  I just edited what you replied to.  I have absolutely no problem with anything the Brits or Londoners in particular choose to do to remember the 7/7 victims.  Absolutely no problem at all.


    Latest Comments