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October 22, 2008

Comments

Barbara

Sara, I've been wondering that a bit too... is the whole thing going to be a circus? I'm hoping that once he starts riding it just all gets "normal" again. As normal as anything "Lance" is. And I seriously hope we get to see the Lance we remember.

On other fronts, all friends of Fatty's, go check him out today - the news is good!

susie b

Interesting. I've gone completely the other way & hope Lance comes back to the Tour & CRUSHES everyone, including Contador.

Sure, Lance is the "Sun", & will be the focal point of many fans & the media at the handful of races he appears. And even though it may be blinding at times, this sport could USE a little sun right now. Hell, a LOT of sun right NOW.

Because the ASO maneuvered the AFLD into delaying those tests, the full horrific impact & utter embarrassment/PR nightmare of having 2 (more) of this year's most visual Tour 'stars' revealed to be lyin, cheatin scum was NOT seen on worldwide TV during the actual race. But, the news was reported anyway, even in the mainstream press, who will not really go into their hysteria acts of denouncing cycling as THE epitome of sport doping til next year's Tour is about to start. They're all too busy with football & play-offs/World Series to give a hoot about cycling now. Smartest move ASO has done in YEARS.

What's NOT so smart is the unending stream of Lance put-downs & snarks by the ASO honchos. Lance will be an "embarrassment"? LANCE will bring "BACK" stories about doping in the press? Bring freakin BACK??!! This was uttered right in the middle of the RE-TESTS. Where it was revealed that a QUARTER of all THIS YEAR's Tour stages were won by CHEATS. Including a guy sharing the podium in Paris. Where's Austin when you need him - their statements are MAKING this sport a FARCE.

The ASO is a BUSINESS. They want to make as much money as possible. And the pathetic little men in charge want to preen & bask in the limelight of worldwide media attention. There is ONE guy who will bring maximum exposure, worldwide media attention,& MONEY, MONEY, MONEY to this race next year & that is NOT Alberto Contador. NOT Carlos Sastre. NOT even our new 'Chosen One' - Cavendish. It is LANCE. If Lance chooses not to race the Tour, it will be ultimate payback to those hypocritical snots.

Just this year, they kept "Astana" out of the race for 'past doping'. Too bad the TEAM that WAS 'Astana' didn't really exist anymore. Just the sponsor. On the other hand, the team AND sponsor responsible for the WORST disaster to hit the Tour since the 'Festina affair' WAS welcomed with open arms - Rabobank. And oh yeah, the self-confessed doper/winner of the 96 Tour saw HIS name put back on the offical Tour winner list THIS year because the ASO sniffed - "you can't rewrite history". And yet, and yet, they get the AFLD to ask Lance to re-test those 9, count-em, 9 year old samples AGAIN. Hell, why stop there? Let's test EVERY sample they've got from EVERY racer from EVERY year, going back to 1903. Maybe they can even dig up Pantini, aw, well shoot, guess you can't run HAIR analysis on HIM...

Besides the ASO, who are functioning exactly as expected, the one person I grow daily more disenchanted with is Alberto Contador. Cathy, I'm sorry, but I am not happy with him at all. He handled things so well in the media DURING the Vuelta, but ever since, it's been one disappointment after another. Yeah, I get it - I wouldn't be thrilled that Lance, the Sun God, was coming back to take away some of MY brightness either if I had just won the 3 Grand Tours. But, damn, why does everything out of his mouth have to sound like a whiny, arrogant, self-entitled jerk? Does'nt Astana have a PR person to explain how stuff plays out in the media? And when to KEEP IT TO HIMSELF? And speaking of which, the one thing that had me absolutely incensed was the statements he supposedly made about Levi right after the Vuelta concluded. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt & say he did NOT really state those sentiments. Well, then, why did he not contact Velonews or Cycling News or some other American media & set the record straight? Immediately? The very least this revealed to me is that he does not give a damn about the American cycling fans & what they may think about him.

And IF he actually thinks & or said those things about Levi, then I've lost much of my admiration for him. Remember how Levi handled things in the 2007 Tour when HE was supposed to be the freakin team LEADER? He said one complimentary thing after another about Alberto. And HELPED him win the Tour. That's actually why I BECAME a fan of Levi's. I was so astonished & impressed with how he handled his own (what must have been) devastating disappointment. Too bad Alberto apparently did not take notice.

And yes, I've read that he called Levi to explain (eventually), but he SHOULD have also contacted the media to straighten things out. I know he cares more about how he is seen in his own country & not what the American press reports, but THIS is just so very disappointing. That & his now almost daily utterances to the media about Lance & whether he (himself) would now go or stay with the team & who exactly IS gonna be the BOSS.... Just this past weekend on ESPN, on the bottom scrawl came the ANNOUNCEMENT that, yes, Contador would stay with the team that Lance had joined. Once again, I almost rolled off the sofa in shock - ESPN mentioning ANYthing about cycling that was 1) not doping-related or 2), not during the Tour. And let's see, WHY was that again?

After yet another year of doping, doping & evidence about intended doping (thanks Frank!), this sport should be lighting candles &/or doing The WAVE that Lance is coming back. And the ASO especially should be kissing his ass, as if he does compete in the Tour, the stories at next year's Start will NOT be all about last year's doping, but about Lance & what will happen in that year's race. Which do you think is better?

Theresa

I'm with you, Sara. I'm beginning to think it may not be as big a deal as it seemed. But, who knows with Lance....just showing up can make a difference! And what about all the good luck he's had? No bad falls or injuries....sooner or later stuff happens!

janann

My girlie and I BOTH had the stomach flu this week, so I'm just arriving back among the living....sorta.

Boy, I certainly am glad that you added that little bit of "cheer" about the TTT at next year's Tour at the end of your post the other day, Matt. You and Susie were depressing the heck out of me. I know that it does no one any good to bury heads in the hand about the financial crisis (sheesh -- my brother has been buying silver coins to use when our money becomes useless ;), but I can't focus on that too long or I get all gloom and doomy.

Nice article by Neal Rogers about JV
http://www.velonews.com/article/84553/looking-back-and-looking-ahead---part-1
Another team that will be VERY pleased with the TTT next year!

We'll have to wait and see how both the cycling world and the MSM deals with Lance this year. I'm really hoping that it might bring wider exposure to races that we don't get to see televised very often. I'm also digging out my copy of "It's Not About the Bike" to remind myself why I was so inspired by Lance to begin with. He's become such a "celebrity" and "cultural icon" that I think I've fogotten why I became a fan in the first place.

Happy weekend all!

janann

Sara........
It's so great to have YOU back! no debate

cat

*sigh* just when things pick up here, I get swamped and don't check in for three days!

Gosh, it's really great to come back and find the lights on and everyone (well a lot of everyone's anyway) chatting in response to new Sara posts! Yay Sara!

Matt. Doncha' think our economic problems have more to do with policy decisions like deregulation than just the housing debacle? I found it very telling that Alan Greenspan came out to say he feels somewhat responsible for our current situation. Ya think? That and the "faith" our current administration had in the idea of totally free capitalist market. Letting the ppeople with the money run free range has always been a fabulous idea since they really do want to share when they make enough. Just let them make enough and you will get a little too. It trickles down, remember? That wonderful idea goes back to Reagan.

I recently read (wish I could remember who what and where) a quote about the role of government. How we need them to keep our air and water clean, educate our children, set national standards of expectations AS A NATION. honor our Constitution and Bill of Rights. You know, stuff like that.

This cannot be managed on a state level, nor can we leave it to individuals who don't have the vision to see the greater needs and sometimes conflicting desires of our nation. Our Founders recognized this and tried to write the Constitution to ensure balance.


Well, enough of that. Sorry.

A big climb the day before Paris? Wow. I don't remember ever reading about that happening in recent years/decades. Has it?

And Lance. Sara, as you often do, you bring up an important component of our feelings about Lance. You are right, he is too big for cycling. He may well eclipse it (while perhaps making a fool of himself-not for performing badly, but by not being able to match the Lance of yore. And I never thought he was doing it for the reasons he stated. I am sure it played a part, but more to justify his return than as the motivator. He could participate in any race, anywhere, and gain a higher profile for his cause to raise funds for cancer research. Certainly, races in the USA would further that cause the most, since he has been asking for greater funding by our government. How will the TdF help that cause?

Susieb's video of Lance racing with a bunch of crazy men, risking their (and auto drivers) lives, and generally giving haters of biker riders a reason to crow, demonstrates that side of Lance that not only wants to win, but craves the excitement/adrenaline rush that comes from riding. Remember when he jumped off the edge of his water filled quarry in Texas? Maybe he should take up skydiving.

It sure will be a gas to see the man ride the Tour again. Humble Lance who can also kick ass, is what I am hoping for.

cat

PS Thanks for the link, Janann.

janann

hee hee hee
http://www.ivanbasso.it/

kathleen

As you can see I waited a little while to ponder before posting my comment.I know as an American cyclist I am supposed to be unequivocally thrilled with the return of "OBL". My hope is that all the other great riders will get their equal due of "face time" in all the upcoming events and not simply have their performance compared and contrasted endlessly with Lance.

It's one thing to be a great internationally recognized champion and phenomenon and another to be the greatest advocate for cancer charities in existence. While the cause is ultimately noble it is asking all the other competitors to accept that the lion's share of attention for the event be given to one rider's cause - an unimpeachable cause. As in "hey, man, it's not about him. He's doing it for cancer!" The slightest murmur of protest would be seen as villainous. Like it or not Lance has decided to use these events to publicize his personal agenda. Perhaps if another team rode to bring awareness to heart disease and another to diabetes (like Team Type 1) things would be different. And maybe that would be nice! But maybe that's not what the other racers signed up for.

Be he first, second or fifteenth in Paris, Lance's comeback will be unparalleled in the awareness he will bring to the global fight of curing cancer. Whether or not it's good for cycling is something we won't know until next September.

cat

Well said, kathleen. Do any of you think it is possible for people to get big, really big, and still do things just because it's the right thing to do? How many intentions are tarnished by stardom and egotism? Or is it the jaundiced eye that gazes upon any superstar? I don't remember being quite this cynical when I was younger. Is it age, or the times? Perhaps both.

JD, while strbuk got the Halloween "hubbahubba," Basso and his angelic children get a woweee! Could they BE any more beautiful? His wife is lovely, of course, but man-o-man, those kids. Those eyes...

janann

Very philosophical, Cat! And well said Kathleen.

Basso seems like he's running for office or something, doesn't he? The entire site is filled with ever-changing slide shows of his beauty ;) Not that I'm complaining mind you. I've just never seen a cyclist's site just like that one LOL!

CMehl

Love Ivan's new site! It is going to be so great seeing him race this year, and am glad he's sharing his photos on his site. What a lovely family and check out the photos of Ivan as a kid. So cute. And guys, this means his hot sister will be in the news some too, so there is something for everyone!!

Welcome back, Ivan. I've missed you!

kathleen

Oh my gosh you're right! Ivan looks like a lifestyle model! Such happy pictures. Looking forward to next season definitely.

nikki

Hi gang :-)
I've been doing my best to read but haven't written much lately. Been busy with being under the weather, working, and my new love of following Cross. I am super excited for you Sara and the house looks great!

I wanted to remind everyone to send prayers over to Fatty and the family. Susan is having really high and really low days and it's hard to read sometimes. That too may be adding in my reduced replies on blogs lately.

But in part, I wanted to just check in and make sure you guys know how great I think you are. It's been fun here this year and there is never a bad time to say thanks! So thank you! Keep your spirits up, your friendships close at heart, and good giggles flowing.

janann

As I've said before, Fatty never ceases to amaze me with his sincerity and candor on a topic that is incredibly painful. I hope he knows (and I do think he does) how many people are sharing in his journey and learning life lessons from his incredible writing. Though it is sometimes difficult to read, it is very worth the time and effort for sure.

Good to hear from you Nik!

barbara

YEA, PHILLIES!!!!!!!

CMehl

Thanks for all the well wishes for my bday on my facebook page--why I even got good wishes from Ivan B!! (thanks, Amy!!)

I hope all of you will check the Astana team site on Friday. There will be a recap of last week-end's Ride for the Roses celebration in Austin. Read the entire piece and think about LA's desire to bring more global awareness to cancer. I think it will really come into focus for everyone what the purpose of his comeback is all about. The cancer issues are the part of his life that matter to him and the fact that he can use cycling to spread his mission to inform more people word-wide just makes us the lucky ones who get to see the racing competition. If you doubt that his return to cycling will be huge for the sport in the USA, just watch how much world press the Amgen Tour of California gets this year--the crowds will be massive.

matt

Hi everyone...

Cathy, I have been checking the team site daily for new stuff..will be on the lookout for your new piece...thanks for the heads up.

On a sad note, I just checked in over at Fattys...2 new posts since I last checked (yesterday morning). I don't know how he is holding it together at this point, and it brings tears to my eyes. Life can sure be cruel.

barbara

I finally got over to Ivan's site - wow, that is one beautiful man! I do have a thing for that lean look. I was also charmed by his beautiful children.

Thanks, Cathy, for getting me excited-in-perspective about Lance's return! I can't wait to read the article tomorrow.

I have been reading Fatty every day and I am heartbroken and also so appreciative that he is sharing such an intimate view of cancer and the fight Susan and the whole family are going through. So few people really talk about what it's like.

susie b

I'm still obsessing over the economic crisis. I've reached some conclusions about what/who I think caused the mess we're now ALL in, but I'm still struggling with certain questions. One of the biggest is the one I raised under the previous post - what exactly is the reason for California's skewed house-to-income ratio? I found an article yesterday that said the reason for CA's exhorbitant real estate was because of their "tight housing regulations" which boosted home prices due to "all the hoops the builders have to go through". I guess that contributes, but I doubt there is anyplace that has more regulations/zoning decrees, etc than my own county in MD. We also have awful state & county income AND property taxes, insane closing fees & pretty much every square inch is zoned & every development is regulated as to what they can build, etc. And yet, WE don't have the 10.5 times house/income ratio (ours is 6, which I thought was horrendous til I saw CA's!). Even though I was mostly joking the other day about "location, location, location", I think that must really be part of it. People want to live in California. And real estate is supply & demand. Once the housing industries got the lending/banking industry to create these disaster-courting loan products, all bets were off. House prices could just keep rising as these stupid loans could put people in the houses. And as long as the house prices stayed stable or rose, even when a mortgagee hit a rough patch & would have to sell, they would not be upside down on the loan & thus, not be hit with foreclosure &/or bankruptcy.

I found a money blog yesterday where the post I linked to was from 2006 but the comments continued thru 2007. The main post discussed the high house prices in various parts of the country. One 2007 commenter wrote in that he just got a job in the San Francisco area & asked how people could afford to buy a home there. Various other commenters wrote in that you get an interest-only loan & stay there for only 4-5 years, SELL & buy a new house for the same type of interest-only or ARM loan,etc, which meant you'd never have to pay the much higher interest rate that "no one could afford on such a large loan". The commenters stressed that "everybody" did it as there was NO other way to be able to afford a house in that area unless you were rich. That this was allowed to happen, let alone became the 'norm' is CRIMINAL.

Matt, when I 1st started hearing about all the foreclosures last year & even up til a couple months ago, I blamed the home buyers ENTIRELY. I had almost no sympathy for what I interpreted as stupid, greedy, 'entitled' people. I still think they are responsible, but I now blame the deregulation policies begun under REAGAN & the greed of the housing & banking industries much more. The average person does NOT understand economic issues that well. They rely on "experts" to advise & guide them thru a process such as buying a home & getting a mortgage. Plus, if most people you know got these kinds of loans to buy a house, there would be little cause to think there was something wrong. I remember when I bought my 2nd house. I had it built from a big developer/builder who had their own financial division & you went through them to get the mortgage (until they sold the loan later). On my 1st meeting with the 'money guy', I remember he suggested an ARM more than once. If I had not INSISTED that I wanted a 30 yr fixed loan plus I wanted to pay points to bring down the interest rate & to NOT bring up any other kind of loan again, who knows what I would have ended up with. I knew exactly what I wanted but most people, as the guy told me, do not. I also put a very large down-payment on the house for one reason only - I wanted to make sure that if something happened to my income level, I could still afford the house. The guy kept saying I could "afford a larger mortgage" & I said absolutely NOT. Of course lenders want a buyer to get the largest loan possible as they get much more money from the interest over the life of the loan.

I agree people are ultimately responsible for the decisions they make & as a home buyer, it is THEIR responsiblity to check out the house, neighborhood, financing, etc. But the lending institutions started mutating what was a fairly straightforward loan type into these bizarre 'products' : Interest-only, ARMs, balloon, 1st & 2nd mortgages at the same time to buy the house & on & on. I'm assuming these 'products' were driven by neccessity in the high house price areas, but as the lenders soon realized they made MUCH more money from them than from old-fashioned fixed mortgages, they were pushed & pushed & PUSHED. Then the lenders went after the people who could NEVER have qualified for a regular loan due to their faulty credit &/or income (helloooo sub-primers) & because of the 'entitlement' rage sweeping our society, many normally sane & honest people thought nothing wrong & signed right up. Again, CRIMINAL.


Figuring out what should be done now is the question that perplexes/worries me the most. Even though I feel some empathy for any truly ignorant homebuyers, I'm actually LIVID that any of MY money will have to bail them & ESPECIALLY the lenders out. No one bailed me out when I lost money on Worldcom stock! It was MY risk, MY loss. (Even if Worldcom WAS allowed to change the freakin date of their bankruptcy filing!) Why should these people be allowed to have paid the super-low teaser interest rates for 1-4 years & now get an 'affordable' ceiling on their rate? It was part of THEIR DEAL that they paid such low rates up front & to pay higher down the line if still in the house. That was THEIR risk. Many of these same people thought the people with fixed rates were suckers. Well, who's a sucker NOW? And then I keep reading about how the 'sinking real estate prices' have to get "corrected" to pull us out of the mess. WTF?! The insane housing prices is the root CAUSE of the problem! I think some people will just have to lose their houses & many lenders who were dumb/greedy enough to create & push these loans will & SHOULD go under. I think the housing market has GOT to be brought back to economic reality - a society (or at least our standard of living) can not continue to exist if housing cost 10 TIMES the income. Even 5 is dangerous. And REGULATION is needed once again. I don't know about many of you, but when I bought my current home 11 years ago, a down payment was mandatory & no lender would give you a loan for roughly more than 3 times your income. Either we will become a nation of renters or the housing industry will have to adapt & once again smaller homes WITHOUT all the fancy 'extras' will be the norm. Sayonara, wood floors & granite counter tops, jaccuzi tubs & 4 bathrooms. See ya, 3000 square feet.

BTW, I keep focusing on California because with their HUGE population, I think whatever happens there influences & affects the rest of the country. And yes, I think the high house prices there birthed into existence & then fanned the insane loan types, much like the Santa Ana winds fan brush fires into CONFLAGRATIONS. Which then SPREAD & INFECTED the rest of the country.

Anyway, the thing that irritates most of all is that I understand that WE will have to pay for this mess or the economy will get even worse which will affect us ALL. However, the government better do something for all of US who did not have these stupid, friggin loans. I know, I know, just like Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd was pathetically "waiting for her close-up", I'll be WAITING FOR MY CHECK. ;) ;)

cat

*whew!* susieb....

Let's see, why is housing in CA so outrageously high? California (and the other coast) have lead most economic or cultural or social change that occurs in this country. It is beautiful and has a temperate mostly desert like climate. The lifestyle/social scene is interesting and it has mountains and ocean! People have wanted to live there for the last 100 years.

My stepfather paid $500,000.00 for a three bedroom, >2000 sq foot home in Laguna Beach in 1982! The year before, my home which was about 1900 sq ft, cost us $110,000.00 in the Chicago area. At the time, I couldn't believe he would spend that much for a house. We both had fixed rate mortgages and ARMs hadn't been dreamed up yet. In fact, deregulation had just started, and we had a really hard time getting a loan.

I think as long as housing in CA was like gambling, you know keep moving forward ahead of the 5 yr payout, then folks thought they could get all the house they wanted and more, without having the money to do it. In the 90's there were many people in my neighborhood who did the same to get into the area, get a little equity, then sell to move up. It went in 5-7 year cycles. Meanwhile hubby and I stayed in the same home.

Your conversation with the mortgage broker/money man cracked me up. We refinanced our mortgage a couple of times when rates dropped, and used one of those occasions to add on to our home. Even though we weren't offered an ARM, we were urged to borrow more, "use the equity in your house!" I, being very conservative, never wanted to do that. I even argued for a 15 year the last time we refinanced (just how long do you think we are going to live????). I didn't understand the financials very well, but I also knew it was best not to spend money I didn’t have, and might never have! I'm the person that only paid cash until my mid twenties, and didn't get a credit card (American Express at that) til I was 28 or so.

I agree with your middle comments, deregulation, and the continued focus on spending as the only way to keep the economy going is a huge part of why we are hear. We also don't have a much of production base anymore. NAFTA, which I didn't appose at the onset, moved most of our production offshore. Since everyone wanted cheaper goods, and workers living here wanted higher wages, it made sense. The only problem was, the wages left behind were mostly for service sector, entertainment, and intellectual property or R&D types of jobs. So we became a country of consumers without much production.

And our current President encouraged us to do more of that after 9-11.

Another little problem (part of the Global Economy) is the fact that in the 80's Arabs started buying up a lot of Real Estate and loans in the US, then Japan in the 90's and now China owns about 500 billion dollars (?)in American loans.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article1571.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200801/fallows-chinese-dollars

Taken from a website 'Outside the Beltway" and an article from "The Atlantic":

"I’ve mentioned to James a number of times that we really need to be talking more about sovereign wealth funds and, lo! and behold, James Fallow touches upon that very subject in his recent article in the Atlantic Monthly, The $1.4 Trillion Question (hat tip: Mark Safranski). In the article Fallows does an excellent job of laying out the complex monetary and economic dance going on between China and the United States. He also states the dangers well":

'China’s lopsided growth—ahead in exports, behind in schooling, the environment, and everything else—makes the country socially less stable as it grows richer. Meanwhile, its expansion disrupts industries and provokes tensions in the rest of the world. The billions of dollars China pumps into the United States each week strangely seem to make it harder rather than easier for Americans to face their own structural problems. One day, something snaps. Suppose the CIC makes another bad bet—not another Blackstone but another WorldCom, with billions of dollars of Chinese people’s assets irretrievably wiped out. They will need someone to blame, and Americans, for their part, are already primed to blame China back.'”

Anyway, it is naive on everyone's part (absolutely NO offense directed at you, susieb) to think the housing market is the cause of the current crisis. The way things have been set up, a huge crack could appear in any number of places and cause a meltdown. Our own idiocy aside, China has been worrying me for a long time. They are booming economically on the backs of their people. That alone could create an unstable social situation in China, which could bring a lot of economies crashing down.

I don't pretend to know much about economics, but I know it is way beyond housing, way beyond drilling for oil, and way beyond taxes. We don't make enough money in this country to undo our deficit. We don’t' make enough money to prop up the current bank failures. The only really big ticket items we have to sell is our need for money (loans), the fact that if our economy fails so does everyone elses, and the fact that we have WMD which still scares other countries.

Other than that, we are all good.

susie b

Couple more things. :):)

Matt, I meant to write this last night, but I got kind of swept up. ;) Remember last week when I joked that a possible cause for CA's jawdropping house-income ratio must be that some of the 'stupidest' people live there? Well, I think I hit the nail on the head! What else can explain why your doggies did not win the Grand Prize!! Outfits made by HAND! Not just adorable but accurate! Don't those judges know literature? Are they but PHILISTINES?! Or else they're blind or on the take. Must be a NBA ref... No, wait! I know - the judges were in the employ of the dastardly Cardinal Richelieu! Mystery solved! Anyway, I loved the pics, d'Artagnan. :)


And #2, as even our fave Canadian is aware, Election day will soon be upon us. I appreciate & have enjoyed getting all the various political emails from everyone. Thanks. I do have to confess something which may disappoint or irritate. I will not be voting in this election. For the 1st time since I became old enough to vote, I will not vote in a Presidential election. You know how most kids rush to the MVA the day they turn 16 to get their license? I did not. However, the day I turned 18, I registered to vote. I could NOT wait! I had DREAMED about pulling the lever behind the curtain my entire childhood. Even after I lived thru Nixon almost destroying my belief not just in politics & our government, but our country. I've loved voting. Felt it was a responsiblity. Although in every election except two, I've watched my chosen Prez nominee LOSE. Which gets old, frustrating & downright heartbreaking, as I'm guessing most of you also know. But that didn't keep me from voting the next time. And then came 2000. I still can't believe it. And I can't believe we STILL have the Electoral freakin College. But even after that debacle which enraged & disgusted me even more than friggin Nixon, I voted in 2004, when I KNEW Kerry would lose. Not even my JOY of watching that thief in the White House suffer the worst approval ratings since Nixon (HOW perfect) & who is now held totally responsible for a war/'action' becoming as disastrous as Vietnam & jubilantly knowing he will now go down in history linked with HOOVER, has made me forgive or forget the travesty of 2000.

And so here we are in 2008. Many people I know are "excited" about this election. I am not. Even without the worst Vice Presidential candidate since Quayle, I would not, would NEVER vote for McCain. I learned about his horrific temper many years ago & decided at that moment, that THAT guy may be ok as a Senator, but never, under ANY circumtances should he be allowed anywhere NEAR the White House. Plus, the guy walks & talks like an ANDROID. And he has aged so dramatically in the last 18 months, it is shocking. How could the guy SURVIVE even a year in the job?! Which means we'd have, I can't even say it, as our President. Cat is correct even if Dugard himself has mystifyingly failed to address it, she is the EPITOME of MEDIOCRITY!

So, why am I not voting? I just can't get past Obama's affililation with Jeremiah Wright & how he MIShandled the revelations & the ensuing "controversy". Maybe, when he gets elected & I see how he does the next 4 years, I'll vote for him then. Not now.

"The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color." (JW)

"We bombed Hiroshima. We bombed Nagasaki. And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye...We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because of stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own backyard. America is chickens coming home to roost." (JW)

The fact that Obama was FORCED into EVENTUALLY distancing himself from this racist, hate-mongering, LIE-spewing man in a desperate attempt to save his campaign, has enraged me as much as the fact he sat in this guy's church for 20 years & considered him a "close personal ADVISOR".

That my own party has "moved on" & feels all has been "satisfactorly dealt with" has me feeling a woman without a party. In more ways than one.


Yeah, sure, "every vote counts". My own state's voting results has shown that not to be true for decades & 2000 proved to all what a crock THAT is. And will stay a crock for as long as the EC exists. BTW, I also know many people who are as angry & feel as disempowered, disenfranchised, & disengaged as myself. Perhaps one day, we will RISE UP. Whaddya think, median houses costing 20 TIMES INCOME will do it?


CMehl

I can't believe you can so passionately pontificate about the state of everything in our Union, Susie, and then not go to the polls. I am stunned. I think you need to spend all of Sunday soul-searching why you are really not voting. Using one instance of bad-judgment on a very minor event doesn't hold water for me. I think it's something else that you need to figure out while there is still time to vote. I have no idea what that is, but I bet you do.

And it's true, everyone does want to live in California but unfortunately the majority of foreclosures are not in areas other people want to swoop into and live, so the communities will now struggle to not look like ghost towns as they try to attract new residents.

Susie, I really am stunned. I can't even think of anything clever to write. To not vote is unthinkable to me. My husband and I will go first thing Tuesday morning with our 19 year old son in his very first election. He's excited; we're excited for him. I presume you have vowed to not complain at the outcome for the next four years....stunned, really stunned. Tell me you're kidding.

CMehl

For everyone's info, Saul Raisin is running the NYC Marathon on Sunday! Go Saul! We hope to do a piece on him next week for USCR.

C

cat

Yay for Saul!

Dear susieb. You and I conversed about the J Wright stuff a while back, and knowing you as I have come to over the last couple of years, I have seen that when you feel passionately about something, you do not dismiss it nor let it go. You do not forget. This is an admirable trait that can sometime blind us to other truths. I am sorry that you will not be voting. Truly sorry.

What I don't understand is, why you would allow the statements of one person to influence you to the point that you would voluntarily abdicate your right to be vote (Electoral College aside)? Why allow this individual to silence your vote for any of the other offices that are in contention? Why not vote for an Independent Presidential candidate (there are at least a couple)?

I have always regretted that there are only two "real" choices, and kept hoping a third party would garner enough momentum and support to break up the polarized campaigning that can often occur.

That Green Party lady, um, Cynthia McKinney, seems like an intelligent and thoughtful person (http://www.gp.org/index.php). Or perhaps the Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr (http://www.lp.org/platform). I once voted for Libertarian, John Anderson. There are ways to communicate one's values to those who govern. Casting a vote can be a powerful voice. It is also a responsibility. How can you give it up?

“Voting is a civic sacrament.”
Theodore Hesburgh

“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.” William E. Simon

"Voting is the foundational act that breathes life into the principle of the consent of the governed."
DeForest Soaries

“It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated...it is finished when it surrenders.”
Ben Stein


Please do reconsider; only for yourself, not for any of us.

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