Posts Tagged 'Olympics'

Referendum on the Second City?

After having just read Devil in the White City, about Chicago hosting the World’s Fair in 1893, it is interesting to see the reactions to losing their bid for the Olympics in 2016 (the modern equivalent of a World’s Fair). Even President Obama and Oprah couldn’t convince the IOC to bring the Olympic to the Midwest. Instead, South America will get its first Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a city more famous for its crime–guide books say not to carry anything, not even a bag to the beach, and they advise you to carry small bills so that when (not if) you’re mugged, you don’t lose much.

Anyhow, there is no need to prove that Chicago is a worldly city. Chicago proved that 116 years ago when Daniel Burnham delivered the White City to an awestruck world. Plus, they still have the Cubs.

Congratulations Cariocas!



First Rule of Holes (or Nation Building Starts at Home)

When are we going to stop digging?

After having spent the last three weeks in Beijing, I was delighted to read Thomas Friedman’s column in today’s NYT.  He observes that 7 years ago China began building the infrastructure for the Olympic games.  While 7 years ago the US embarked on the War on Terror.  China now has gleaming new airports, roads and parks not to mention the Bird’s Nest, Aquatic Cube, CCTV tower and other amazing feats of architecture.  What return will we see on our investment in Iraq?  Better metal detectors, armored Humvees and pilotless drones?

Like Friedman, I was impressed by what I saw in Beijing and I can’t agree more with him that Obama needs to focus on nation building at home – not in Iraq, not in Afganistan, not in Georgia, but in America.


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