One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


photo by Johnye West

More questions about the Olympics. Because when Daley is involved, you can never ask enough questions.

At Reform Cook County, Tony Peraica wonders what the major cost overruns on the Beijing, Vancouver, and London Olympics will mean for Chicago 2016 - All Signs Point to Olympic-Size Bum Deal for Taxpayers:

The experience of other major Olympic host cities, combined with the City of Chicago’s track record of botched budgets and deadlines for other projects, doesn’t bode well for any taxpayers hoping to avoid footing the bill for the 2016 Olympic Games.

All the more troubling given today's news about the City of Chicago's budget woes.

Despite Mayor Daley’s and Pat Ryan’s cheerleading for the 2016 Games … all signs point to a bum deal for the Chicago (and Cook County and Illinois) taxpayers.

Huge project, billions of dollars, Mayor Daley...Yeah, I'd say bum deal for the taxpayers is spot on.

A post from No Games Chicago draws parallels between the Olympic efforts in Vancouver and Chicago. Civil Liberties Nightmare and Worse - Learn from Vancouver:
I look back to 2003 and what is happening with Chicago’s Olympic bid is eerily reminiscent of Vancouver’s successful bid six years ago. Then, as now, bid boosters were promising local citizens the world: fame, wealth, and the host of goodies that would flow from a nod from the IOC. Vancouver’s then mayor promised that the 2010 Games wouldn’t cost the citizens ‘one penny”, that provincial and federal funds would be leveraged for local needs, and that the entire process would be completely transparent and accountable. Bid organizers promised a host of goodies including “the greenest Games ever”, an arts legacy, and “social inclusivity” (short hand for social housing). It was a lovely dream and many Vancouverites bought into it...

Six years later, a majority of Vancouverites who supported Vancouver’s bid are having serious second thoughts as the early predictions of the “nay sayers” and “party poopers” are turning out to be frighteningly accurate. Those who opposed bringing the Games to Vancouver, and I was one of them, noted that cost estimates for staging the Games were vastly underestimated while at the same time as the benefits were grotesquely overestimated. We were right, and in spades.

Civil liberties? Forget them. The security services have now concluded that the potential for domestic protests against the Games is a greater threat than Al Qaeda and legislation at all levels of government is aimed at suppressing legitimate dissent. Since those opposed to the 2010 Games don’t plan to simply give up and lie down, we now face the prospects of preventative arrests and the widespread suppression of civil liberties. If the current trends continue, February 2010 will see massive clashes between protesters and police.

So if this is Vancouver’s past, present, and future experience with the Olympics, what should Chicagoans think and do?

Others have also hit on questions about the Olympics, expanded police powers, and civil liberties:

Chicago and the Olympics: Civil Rights Violations Ahead:

London's security budget is enormous, but it isn't out of step with recent Olympics. Athens spent $1.5 billion on security for the 2004 Summer Olympics, and Turin spent $1.4 billion on security for the 2006 Winter Games. Perhaps sticker shock is the reason why Chicago has yet to release any real information regarding the potential cost and size of security for the Olympics. It's hard to imagine that the cost of security for a Chicago Olympics wouldn't match match or far exceed the security budget for London in 2012.

In this atmosphere, Chicago residents should be certain that the cost of "security" won't be limited to monetary concerns. If past Games are any indication, residents of Chicago will find their civil rights on the chopping block.

Police Powers for 2012 Olympics Alarm Critics:
The government was accused tonight of giving itself draconian powers to clamp down on protests at the 2012 Olympics. Critics said the powers were so broad they would potentially give private contractors the right to forcibly enter people's homes and seize materials.

Opposition parties and civil liberties groups criticised the powers as top security officials announced plans concerned with keeping the games, to be held mostly in London, safe from terrorist attack and from "domestic extremists" and public order problems like disruptive protests.

Thought Police Working Overtime in Whistler:

Over the past few months, law abiding citizens along with dissenters of the 2010 Olympic Games have been visited in some form or another at home, at work, or by phone by the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (ISU).

When you have a billion dollars security budget to play with, the sky's the limit.

Police Given Powers to Enter Homes and Tear Down Anti-Olympics Posters During 2012 Games:

Police have been handed 'Chinese-style' powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.

Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.

Breaking the rules could land offenders with a fine of up to £20,000.

Civil liberties groups compared the powers to those used by the Communist Chinese government to stop political protest during the 2008 Beijing Games.

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. you had to live - did live, from habit that became instinct - in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinized. - 1984

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