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Jim ivind

Lance Armstrong’s Legacy Under Attack by Government and Media

On July 24th, 2005, legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong won an unprecedented seventh consecutive Tour de France. On that very same day, he announced his retirement from professional cycling at the age of 34. His retirement at the top of his game was hailed as a fitting end to a record-shattering storybook career that included a courageous bout with testicular cancer.Like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky, Armstrong is widely considered the unparalleled greatest of all time in his sport. He is also instrumental in popularizing cycling and elevating it to the mainstream consciousness. Most importantly, Armstrong accomplished all of thiscleanly in a sport that is tainted time and again by allegations of widespread performance-enhancing drug use and blood transfusion ever since the mid-1990s.However, since Armstrong’s retirement in 2005, cycling was hit by a new wave of scandals that implicated Tour de France stars Jan Ulrich, Ivan Basso, and Alexandre Vinokourov, among others. Fortunately for Armstrong, he was able to stay above the fray throughout the numerous controversies despite unsettling allegations that began to emerge during the second half of his career. These allegations range from baseless hearsay to blatant slander. The bottom line is that Armstrong never failed a drug test. In fact, he made a comeback at age 38 in 2009 and passed all the tests in addition to finishing third. Regrettably, his impeccable record did not stop the trigger-happy Feds, attention-seeking media, and former teammates looking for their fifteen minutes of fame from constantly coming up with nouveau allegations, each more outrageous and far-fetched than the last.The most recent allegation emerged on May 19th. Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong’s former teammate, who was disgraced after failing multiple drug tests, accused Armstrong of using the banned substance “EPO” from 1999 to 2001 on 60 Minutes. The CBS show corroborated Hamilton’s accusation by stating that… Read More

Allen Iverson: The Victim of Sports Injustice

Every generation gets the icon it deserves. Icons that, in the words of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, “change the way we eat, change the way we live, and change the way we treat each other.” For many of us who grew up in the ’90s, Allen “A.I.” Iverson is such a figure. Born into a world of competition and overconsumption, caught in the dawn of a changing world of technological acceleration, we sought something solid to keep our feet on the ground, something real in the sea of artificiality. He is the personification of our generation, simply because he is the definition of “real.” Not how the term is defined in Webster’s Dictionary, mind you, but how it is widely perceived amongst the Generation Y — “real” as in staying true to oneself and not attempting to be anything other than who or what one is. No hidden clauses. No fine prints. No unanswered questions. Simply put, when you look at the man affectionately known as “The Answer,” what you see is the unsolicited truth.Fast forward to 2008 and everything came crashing down. Maybe we should have seen it coming all along. Maybe the NBA, contrary to its claim, isn’t really about who’s the best player. What’s apparent is that the concerted effort to blacklist and destroy the career and legacy of Allen Iverson is, alongside the Black Sox Scandal, the biggest injustice in the history of sports.There were signs — many of them, in fact. From getting criticized by basketball greats Charles Barkley and Karl Malone for his attitude, style of dress, and large entourage, to NBA Commissioner David Stern’s deliberate attempts to slow down Iverson by implementing zone defence, and stripping away his individuality by introducing the dress code. Stern appointed Iverson’s well-known nemesis Steve Javie as the… Read More

Multiculturalism is one big farce

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” - Martin Luther KingIt always irritates me when individuals I have just met ask me excessive questions regarding my ethnicity. There is something offensive about these seemingly minor occurrences—even the mundane task of filling out my ethnicity in the census and on college applications feels like a slap in the face.Who cares? Why does it matter? Why can’t everyone just judge me by who I am? Now don’t get me wrong, I am by no means self-conscious of my own skin, nor am I a self-loathing Asian. I just feel like in the present day, my race should not be a factor that defines who I am, or others’ perceptions of me.Many Canadians have long taken pride in the national policy of “multiculturalism.” It has been vigorously promoted and championed by the Liberal Party of Canada—long hailed as the “natural governing party of Canada”—and its leading national figures like Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Jean Chretien. Maybe its original intent was benign, but multiculturalism has not only outlived its usefulness, but does more harm than good for the so-called “visible minorities” that it claims to protect.In a society that is supposedly both post-racial and colorblind, we still have archaic institutions like multiculturalism and affirmative action. These policies emphasize race—and with that, an us vs. them mentality that acts to reinforce racial stereotypes, marginalize “visible minorities,” and further ghettoize society as a whole. Through multiculturalism, we divide rather than unite a nation; we alienate rather than embrace our fellow citizens. All this in the name of embracing one’s “culture.”I often find it perplexing that culture plays such an… Read More

Why we don’t trust our governments

Conspiracy theorists are nuts. Yes, there are a few conspiracy theories with mainstream appeal - such as the JFK assassination, the RFK assassination, the Martin Luther King assassination, the Malcolm X assassination and the Iran-Contra affair - but conspiracies, for the most part, are generally considered far-fetched nonsense propagated by cynical, often mentally-disturbed individuals. So, why have 9/11 conspiracy theories entered the mainstream and achieved such popularity in recent years?In the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack, according to a CBS poll, less than 1 in 10 Americans believed that the Bush administration was lying about what it knew regarding possible terror attacks prior to 9/11. By the five-year anniversary, however, one in three Americans were telling pollsters that it was “likely” that the government either had a hand in the tragic attacks of 9/11, or allowed them to happen in order to have an excuse to go to war in the Middle East. That number continued to increase over the next 5 years. What caused this shift?Since the Bush administration publicly lied about Saddam Hussein possessing weapon of mass destruction to justify going to war in Iraq, mistrust of government has been omnipresent. I highly doubt any of us shed tears after Hussein’s execution given his history of brutality and repression; our complaint was that the government wasted the American peoples’ hard-earned tax money by launching a nation-building project in a part of the world that we know next to nothing about. The contrast is especially insulting given the high level of unemployment in the U.S., and the number of Americans living below the poverty line. Part of this cynicism toward the government can also be attributed to the rise of the internet, and alternative media such as blogs and Twitter, which present news in a manner that is… Read More

NATO’s failed policy in the Arab Spring

I have always advocated hawkish foreign policy. I supported NATO and our government’s campaign against the communists during the Cold War. I am a staunch supporter of the war against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Islamic terrorists and jihadists in the post 9/11 era. I consider Ronald Reagan, the man who infamously dubbed Gaddafi the “mad dog”, one of the greatest statesmen of all time. Yet I have misgivings about the Libyan campaign. Our experience of intervention in the Arab world should have taught us that it is always better to have a secular, westernized, progressive dictatorship than so-called “popular” Islamic theocracy, which bases its values on sharia law, sexism and intolerance. Democracy in the Middle East is simply not in our interest.When our ally Shah Pahlavi was toppled in Iran in 1979, we blindly believed that Iranians wanted freedom and democracy. In fact, the Islamic Revolution turned one of the most friendly, westernized countries in the Middle East into one of the most repressive, evil and sexist regimes in the world. One that is now in the process of developing nuclear weapons.When elections were held in Palestine recently Hamas, a terrorist organization based on Islamic fundamentalism, won. After the United States overthrew the secular Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein, pro-Iran Shiite fanatics that were kept under check by Hussein, such as Muqtada Sadr, gained political clout. Two days after Gaddafi’s gruesome death, the National Transitional Council (NTC) has already announced that “sharia law” will be the basis for governing the new Libya.Based on the case studies from the past, anyone could have seen this development coming from the beginning. The joke is on our government, which essentially wasted our hard-earned tax money to create Iran 2.0, and make al-Qaeda happy. Ten years after 9/11, we have already lost sight of our priorities,… Read More
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