Friday, July 31, 2015

The death of Boston 2024 a rare victory for taxpaying hosts

The news broke early on Monday, July 27. Boston would not have the Olympics in 2024. Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that he would not place the burden of overruns on the taxpayer and, hours later, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) cancelled the bid.
Ah, gee, you mean that only a decade after The Big Dig project disturbed life for everyone in the city—and whose lasting image is that of Milena Del Valle, crushed when the ceiling of the Ted Williams tunnel collapsed—Boston residents won't be subjected to yet more union thuggery, corporate kickbacks and legislative hijinks, all in the proud name of the World's Greatest Spunkfest?
I'm so depressed overjoyed. 
It's not often that the libertarian right, such as Citizens for Limited Taxation, and the loony left, the Black Lives Matter rabble, come together, but they did in Boston to oppose the business elites who wanted to foist the Olympics on the city and deny those who live and work there a say in the proceedings. 
Progressive Boston city councillor Tito Jackson was one of the biggest heroes behind Boston 2024's collapse. On July 20, Jackson ordered a subpoena of documents from the USOC. The subpoena was approved by the City Council and this was the beginning of the end of the bid. 
"Why are you asking the citizens of Boston and the Boston City Council to go forward without complete disclosure?" Jackson demanded as he requested the subpoena.
In desperation, the USOC asked Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker for his position on the Olympics and to let them know immediately. Baker, however, was still working out the figures and could not give them a yes or no answer.
In the end, it came down to Boston mayor Marty Walsh who, on Monday, put the kibosh on the whole sordid affair by announcing, "I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk. If committing to signing a [taxpayer-backed] guarantee today is what's required to move forward, then Boston is no longer pursuing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games."
The people behind the Boston 2024 partnership were not exactly what you would call transparent. They endorsed a referendum for the city in 2016, but then downplayed it by telling the USOC that it would have cost too much money to launch a ballot initiative and that the opposition consisted of just a small group of whiners on social media. In other words, money was talking too loudly for it to ever have been a reality. Boston 2024 would have collected signatures for the ballot, but then feigned an ink spill had destroyed them. They would have gone to the state Attorney General Maura Healey and asked how much she enjoyed her job, then sided up to judges and schmoozed the Legislature in opposition to the ballot. Referendum? What referendum? We don't need no stinkin' referendum.
To parse Boston 2024 chairman John Fish: "Now just sit in your cars in four-hour traffic jams, you silly little serfs, and think about how lucky you are. You're getting the Olympics! Whattaya' got to complain about?"
The whole Boston Olympics was a sham. Boston, while a big city, does not have the space to support the infrastructure for such a huge undertaking. As the city's Seaport development during the Big Dig proved, space comes at a huge premium. The Olympics would have ignored, and continued to delay, the city's need for affordable housing and school renovations. It would have snatched private land for public use, an act known as compulsory purchase or eminent domain. And, as all Olympics do, it would have raised nowhere near the revenue needed to break even on the billions spent on the travesty, never mind make a profit.
To neatly sum it up, as Howie Carr told a caller on Tuesday, "Can you imagine what it would be like when the Olympics are going on, and you are pushed over to the side of the road while stretch limos are going around you on a lane your tax dollars built? And in return, you, your children and your grandchildren are going to be saddled paying off the bonds that these rich bastards used to put this Olympics in Massachusetts. And then on top of everything else, the rich bastards are going to get the land that had been taken from other less affluent citizens by eminent domain."
I saw those priority lanes during the London Olympics. How much clearer of a message do you need that three weeks worth of corporate sports competitions are more important than you and the time, effort and investment you make everyday by living and working in that city?
It is time to do away with the Olympics. We're not the Athens of antiquity. We don't have ampitheatres to watch guys in togas grapple. So of what use, exactly, are the Olympics in this modern world?
You want to know what the Olympics are good for in this day and age?  Big business/sponsorship, big labor and their bum-kissing acolytes in government.  That's all.
Cities and countries all over the globe are either kicking the can down the road, saying they're not ready yet, but are pursuing a bid for the future. Or they're saying, no way, we're not prepared to deal with all the corruption that this event invites on a massive scale. I around during London 2012. Why would I wish that on the area I was born and raised in and where my relatives still live?
And don't give me any nonsense that it would have created jobs. If a normal schmuck like me approached a job site and asked about employment, I guarantee you that the first words out of the foreman's mouth would be, "what's your local?" No, these jobs were in the satchel. Only the illegal aliens standing on street corners every morning, chanting "¡trabajo!", would have gotten the non-union work.
Isn't it remarkable that the city in which an Olympics event is being held is called the "host city" and that the mayor of said city is required to sign a "host contract"? In what context is the word host so often used? That's right, in the context of another word: parasite. A parasite sucks your life blood and weakens you and puts you in a fragile state. A most fitting analogy for the Olympics, wouldn't you say?
How do you kill a parasite? You deny it its source of sustenance. In the case of Boston 2024 and the USOC, it was by withholding the money.
Good riddance to this Olympics bid.  May it never darken the city's doorstep again. Boston is famous on a global scale; it has never required the debt the Olympics would wish to saddle it with just so it can have a velodrome and a track stadium that will be nothing more than crumbling "legends" by the end of the decade.

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