Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Move the Games to Greece

The Olympic games were created in the 8th century BC in Greece, where they were held until the end of the fourth century AD. The games were revived at the end of the 19th century and are now held in a different country every four years.

Every four years another city spends horrendous and ever-increasing amounts of money to build stadia, Olympic villages and facilities that are way too big for the host countries to use after the games are over. Host countries regularly overspend, squander moneys and create unnecessary chaos in the host cities.

New York is the permanent home of the UN and its General Assembly, Davos annually hosts the World Economic Forum. Why not make Greece the permanent home of the games?

By moving the games back to Greece, we would not only save billions spent on unnecessary facilities, we would also inject a much-needed investment into Greece. Building state of the art Olympic facilities would create jobs and help to bring down Greece’s very high unemployment. (More than fifty per-cent unemployment in the 15-24 year-olds).

This would be money much better spent than the billions of Euros sunk into worthless Greek bonds. Moreover, it would also boost Greece’s self-esteem and give the country its pride back.

Sending the Games back to Greece is a win-win strategy. The only losers would be the members of the International Olympic Committee that decides where games are held. They would be out of work. Now that brings a smile to my face.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

In the News: Dick Cheney Gets a New Heart

I cannot be the only person to have asked himself how history would have fared had Dick Cheney had his heart transplant before he became Vice President.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Have Barak’s and Netanyahu’s Military Service Maimed Them for Life?

Israelis are drafted to the army at the age of eighteen. For most of them, it is the first time they leave home. For most, it is also the first “job” they have. Thus, these become formative years for many. Existing character traits are strengthened and work ethic and norms are shaped and instilled.

Sayeret Matkal, Israel’s elite commando unit, trains its members to achieve their objectives, often beyond enemy lines, at any price. It is all about achieving a specific target, crushing a specific opponent that must be overcome, without allowing other issues to deflect them from their mission. They operate in very small teams and are trained to trust no one but their team partners. To that end, the Matkal Commando seeks out applicants with suitable personalities and further reinforces these qualities.

The two men leading Israel, Minister of Defence Barak and Prime Minister Netanyahu, are veterans of this elite unit. The two men have exposed the traits that make the Matkal commando work, trusting no one and operating within their own closed bubble, throughout their political careers.

Could it be that these two men, who lead Israel into what may be a horrendous war, are unfit for the job? Have they defined a mission and are unable to see the bigger picture?