The following are excerpts from editorials published in newspapers across New England:
The Olympic Games are often interlaced with geopolitical intrigue, dating back to 1936, when Jesse Owens foiled Adolf Hitler’s hope that the Berlin games would be a showcase of Aryan superiority.
Jimmy Carter stopped U.S. participation in the 1980 Moscow games to protest the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan. To retaliate, the Soviet Union led an eastern European boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles games under the pretense that its athletes would be placed in mortal peril by angry Americans.
Add the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia to the list. The United States isn’t boycotting the games, but this week President Barack Obama made it clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t on his Christmas list.
Obama named to the U.S. delegation to Sochi three gay athletes — figure skater Brian Boitano, tennis great Billie Jean King and hockey player Caitlin Cahow. The assignments are an indisputable poke in the eye for Russia’s anti-gay laws. In addition, neither the president nor any other high-ranking American official will attend — a clear signal the administration is angry at Russia’s decision to harbor NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
It’s fine that the president has made a statement that doesn’t prevent hundreds of American athletes from competing for their country, but we find it a bit ironic that he made his move the same week sweeping reforms to the NSA were recommended — reforms that perhaps would never have come about if Snowden had kept quiet.
— The Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph
For the committed environmentalist, time is a minor inconvenience. Devoted “greens” have no problem taking a 10- or 15-year trend they find disagreeable — say, global warming — and drawing all sorts of dire conclusions from it. Even a fleeting event like a hurricane or powerful tornado is grist for an apocalyptic pronouncement or two.