Notes From Atlanta

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Wingnut NRA rifle shooter requires conditioning.

AJC Letters:

NRA members hardly 'extreme'

I resent your implication that the National Rifle Association is an "extreme" gun lobby and its members are terrorists.

I am a member of the NRA. I enjoy competing in rifle matches. They require a lot of conditioning and practice to shoot effectively. The people that I have met who compete in this sport are NRA members and are the most safety-conscious and law-abiding citizens you could ever meet.

If you want to debate this issue, stick to the facts. If you want to write about extremist organizations, investigate the anti-gun lobby, whose real objectives are to disarm America. Wouldn't the terrorists love that?


Conditioning exercise program for rifle competitions.

1) Get off sofa.
2) Walk to kitchen.
3) Open fridge.
4) Twist beer from plastic ring.
5) Catch breath.
6) Walk to living room.
7) Sit on sofa.
8) Reach and grab remote.
9) Repeat 5 times. 

Friday, July 30, 2004

Clear Channel stupid, moronic, and just screwed up.

From AJC:

Stripped of its franchise Regular Guys show, [Clear Channel's] 96rock lost more than half its targeted audience in the mornings this spring, according to Arbitron ratings.

Among men ages 25 to 54, the rock station plummeted from first to ninth place.


Despite owning six radio stations in Atlanta, Clear Channel did not have a single station in the top 13.


Maybe Clear Channel's Lite 94.9 (WLTM-FM) should bring back Christmas now. Usually competitive with rival soft-rock station B98.5 (WSB-FM), Lite, despite lots of TV ads touting its Gene and Julie husband-and-wife morning show, had its worst ratings in at least 20 years as a soft-rock format. Normally a top 10 staple, it ranked 15th overall and ninth among women 25 to 54.


Listeners turned off Real Radio 105.3 (WMAX-FM), the new Clear Channel talk station that switched from '80s music this year. The first FM talk station in Atlanta was ranked near the bottom of the list at 29th, tied with a country station in Rome and a new Hispanic station near Lake Lanier.

Yeah, Clear Channel knows radio. 


Max Cleland, an American hero, on John Kerry.


Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to share with you my story of how I came to know and love John Kerry. In April of 1968, while I was being airlifted out of Vietnam on a stretcher, Ensign John Kerry was headed in a different direction. He was on a Navy ship in the Pacific requesting to be transferred into Vietnam — into the line of fire. He had graduated from college. There were a lot of other things he could have done with his life. But he went to serve because he had been raised to believe that service to one's country is honorable, noble, and good.

While John Kerry was earning a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts, I was being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. I was 25 years old. My body was broken and my faith was shattered. One day, on leave from the hospital, a friend was pushing me around the city, in my new wheelchair. In front of the White House, it hit a curb. I fell forward out of the wheelchair. There were cigarette butts and trash all around me. I remember trying to lift myself up off the street. I was angry at the war. Saddened that veterans weren't getting good care. And frustrated that people in power weren't listening. Those were difficult days for me.

But, I ultimately realized that although I had lost a lot, I still had a lot left, and I resolved to make something of my life. I decided to run for the State Senate in Georgia. I won, but when I got there, in 1971, I was a lone voice.

Then I heard this young veteran on TV speaking about the war. It was John Kerry. He put everything I was feeling into words.

Tonight, I'd like to let you know, that even before I met John Kerry, he was my brother. Even before I knew John Kerry, he was my friend. Even before I spoke with John Kerry, he gave me hope.

The Bible tells me that no greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his friends. John Kerry's fellow crewmates — the men I am honored to share the stage with — are living testimony to his leadership, his courage under fire, and his willingness to risk his life for his fellow Americans. There is no greater act of patriotism than that.

As I look back over the last 36 years, I now realize John Kerry's service to his country didn't end in Vietnam. It began there. Since Vietnam, John Kerry's life has become an object lesson in what was once described as the true definition of patriotism — "the long and steady dedication of a lifetime."


Cleland did well. I still cannot believe Georgia turned him out of office for some draft avoiding piece of slanderous garbage like Chambliss. Georgia should be ashamed for turning its back on a courageous man like Cleland. 


Memo to Dan Rather.

Just STFU. The only time I ever need to hear you talk again is if you suddenly figure out what the frequency is. Talking over Max Cleland was disgraceful. That man has more to say than you ever will.

BTW, no Dan, I did not watch CBS's coverage of the convention. I watched C-Span because they know how to cover a convention- with no talking heads spewing out garbage. I was flipping around to see when the networks picked up the coverage. Every other network had the respect to show Cleland's speech, or at least the end of it. CBS did not. CBS had you rambling on like a drunk on skid row who thinks the mannequin is listening to him. The mannequin wasn't, Dan. The mannequin was trying like hell to walk or run away. Too bad the metal post up its ass prevented it from leaving. Poor mannequin. 

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Simeoni heats up battle with Lance.


Filippo Simeoni has vowed to “go to the bitter end” in his legal dispute with Lance Armstrong, having told Italian drugs police (NAS) in Rome on Tuesday that the six-time Tour de France champion “threatened” him during stage 18 of the Tour de France.

According to a report by La Repubblica journalist Eugenio Capodacqua, Armstrong could soon be forced to defend himself against three separate accusations: that of intimidating a witness, of private violence against Simeoni and committing fraud in a sporting competition. The third of these allegations relates to the pressure Armstrong allegedly put on Simeoni to renounce his breakaway attempts in last Friday’s Tour stage to Lons Le Saunier. Investigators believe that Armstrong may have illicitly altered the result of an official sporting competition as a result.

Simeoni claims to have told the NAS “everything” in a three-hour hearing on Tuesday. This included what, he alleges, was a clear threat from Armstrong. “He told me: ‘You were wrong to testify against Michele Ferrari; you were wrong to sue me [for defamation of character]. I have lots of money and lots of time and I will destroy you. I’ll make you give up racing’,” Simeoni said.

Wow! I don't know what the outcome will be, but this is going to cause Lance some shit. I applaud Simeoni. But WTF was Lance thinking? You corner a guy like this, and he has no reason to not fight to the death. Yes, Lance my win, but it is going to cost him some blood. Lance is an absolute idiot to have brought all this shit on his head. 


Son of a ......

Rarely does anything make me fall on the floor laughing. The Daily Show did last night. The report was on Edward's son of a millworker and Gephardt's son of a milk man humble beginings. But who could possibly top Obama's humble orgins as a son of a goat herder? From my memory, Steven Colbert:

"Well Jon, I am the son of a turd farmer and the grandson of a goat ball licker.


Yes Jon, a goat ball licker. You see, in the old days the most important thing was to keep the goats happy. The easist way to to that....

I just fell over.

If they post that video, I will give up the link. 


Sharpton got all of that one!


The two quotes most people seem to be talking about:

We are also faced with the prospect of in the next four years that two or more Supreme Court justices' seats will become available. This year we celebrated the anniversary of Brown versus the Board of Education. This court has voted five to four on critical issues of women's rights and civil rights. It is frightening to think that the gains of civil and women's rights and those movements in the last century could be reversed if this administration is in the White House in these next four years.

I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the Court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school. (Applause and cheers.)


You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument to this day of reparations started. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover and we never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us. (Extended cheers, applause.)

To me the part that moved me the most, and is what is moving me to action was:

Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age, our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs; soaked in the blood of Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner; soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us! (Cheers, applause.)

This vote can't be bargained away!

This vote can't be given away!! (Increased cheers, applause.)

Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale! (Crowd goes crazy!)

I think most people take their right to vote for granted. I know I got mine because I turned 18. However there is a whole race of people who were not allowed to vote. When they were legally given that right, they were threatened, beaten and killed if they tried to use it. African Americans did not get the right to vote because of age. They, and others who supported them, fought, bled and died to be able to vote. Now the GOP is battling to keep their vote from being counted. How horrible can the GOP and select southern states be to continue a racist battle? It sickens me. It is time for all people who truly believe in a great America to stand up to these thugs and fight for the American belief that all votes should be counted, and should be counted fairly.

Go Reverand Al!

Edited: I edited the text, using the transcript of the actual speech Sharpeton gave, not the prepared text, to correctly identify the three young men who gave their lives for the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project, which was a massive voter registration drive in Mississippi, on June 21, 1964. They deserve to be remembered.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

View from the Cop gives his version of a police chase.

Just the facts, sir:

I saw the car in question and had to decide if I should dump a perfectly good hot cup of coffee. In the unlikely event that I decided to dump the coffee, I chased the suspect, well not chased him -- because our chase policy is don't chase. Instead of chasing cars we now get on the P.A. system and ask them if they'll come back.

In the further unlikely event that we caught up with the car, the foot chase would go like this: The suspect ran from his car. I got out, wearing 20 pounds of equipment, giving pursuit until I was beaten half to death with all of that equipment flying around my waist. My shoulder mike came off and flew around my head like a Water Wiggle, beating me into near unconsciousness. When you put that much equipment weight in motion it stops when it wants to, usually about 50 yards after you want to stop. It's embarrassing to pass the bad guy after the foot-chase ends.

Even when you catch him, in real life there are problems. By the time you get him, he's going to have to cuff himself because you're still on one knee trying to catch your breath. You can't talk on the radio because the communications center can only hear the heavy breathing and you can get in trouble for that. You'll have to catch a cab back to the patrol car and convince the bad guy that you'll go easy on him in court if he'll drive back to the precinct for you.

I will say that I know a cop in the Metro Atlanta area who is a triathlete. One of his fellow officers has been known to say, "You want to run, punk? Go ahead! My buddy here runs 26 miles for fun. For fun! Go ahead and run. I want to see you try it."

I could out run him, but he would just get my address from the phone book. 


Italians longing for Armstrong in the Giro?

Maybe not.

Not all Italians are thrilled by the idea of Armstrong at the Giro, however.

"It's a little late: he should have done it before," said Claudio Chiapucci, who finished second twice in the Tour and third once in the early 1990s.

Chiapucci was upset with Armstrong for pursuing Filippo Simeoni during an early stage breakaway in the Tour, accusing of him of unsporting conduct as retribution for the Italian testifying about doping abuse within cycling at a trial linked to an Italian doctor associated with Armstrong.

Chiapucci said Armstrong "behaved liked a baby" with Simeoni.

"The Texan leaves me indifferent and it would be that way also on the streets of the Giro d'Italia," said "El Diablo" - "the devil - as Chiapucci was known in his competitive days.

Italian cycling president Gian Carlo Ceruti also denounced Armstrong's treatment of Simeoni as "unsportsmanlike."

If you have to ask who Chiapucci is, you really have no business arguing what is correct behavior by a cyclist in the peloton.



Obama has that RFK Jr. touch.

"If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child," Obama said. "If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. 'E pluribus unum.' Out of many, one."

That is compassion! The crap Bush and the GOP are trying to sell is not. 


Great Letter!

Fom AJC Letters:

The right-wing organization Focus on the Family did its best to get the gay marriage amendment passed: Its members prayed, preached, mobilized, propagandized and threatened. They failed.

I guess God is a freedom-loving Democrat after all.

I love it! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Lance may not be riding the Giro, or anywhere in Italy.

More from

Filippo Simeoni has returned to Italy and almost immediately found himself being questioned about incidents at the Tour.

Italian drugs investigators today underlined the seriousness with which they are viewing Lance Armstrong’s dispute with Filippo Simeoni at the Tour de France by inviting the Italian for questioning in Florence.

Simeoni will be asked to supply his version of heated conversations with Armstrong and other Italian riders on stage 18 of the Tour in particular. The Florentine investigators are eager to ascertain whether there may be grounds for legal proceedings, and specifically charges of "intimidating a witness." Armstrong may also be summoned in the coming weeks and months, depending on what Simeoni tells police today.

If a witness in America in an ongoing court case had been approached by persons and had their livelyhood threatened by said persons because of their testimony, you can bet there would be charges filed. Lance was very stupid to do this, and much more stupid to do it on during a race and possibly on TV.

Update From

Italian authorities are now considering whether to open legal proceedings against Armstrong "for sporting fraud, violence and intimidation of a witness."


Cheney You!

Congressman Barney Frank's column:

With increasing pressure on the FCC to step up its role as censor, finding language that appropriately communicates the depths of one’s feeling (especially when speaking on the record or within earshot of the press) while remaining within the bounds of propriety has become difficult. As a public-spirited move, I am recommending to my fellow elected officials — and to others engaged in public controversies — a semantic solution to this dilemma: use the word "Cheney" where discretion is required in the expression of frustration, anger, or extreme derision.

Here are some examples of how this would work.

• Go Cheney yourself.

• How the Cheney would I know?

• Cheney you.

• I don’t give a flying Cheney.

• Who the Cheney do you think you are?

In some cases, substitution of Cheney for its synonym would be particularly appropriate. For example:

• George Bush sure has Cheneyed up the situation in Iraq.

• The Bush administration’s position is that it is none of our Cheneying business who helped formulate its pro-oil energy policy.

• In some cases, Halliburton seems to be Cheneying the American taxpayer.

Vice-President Cheney himself said after using the blunter word that it made him feel better. It makes me feel better to suggest a way of expressing the same sentiments while paying appropriate tribute to the vice-president’s role in our society.

If Cheney does not like it, he can shove it. 

Monday, July 26, 2004

Hey liberals, the letter writing is having an effect.

From the AJC Letter's Editor:

As the guy who selects and edits the letters to the editor, I'm used to complaints from both sides of the political fence. Liberals insist that the letters conspicuously favor a conservative viewpoint, and conservatives are just as certain that they're the ones treated unfairly.

Recently, though, readers on the right have been outcarping their left-leaning counterparts, and they have a point --- most of the published letters on a handful of hot topics indeed have reflected a liberal perspective.

However, while these miffed conservatives are right about the what of the imbalance, they're wrong about the why of it. Over the past few weeks, we've indeed published more letters than usual expressing a liberal viewpoint, and fewer expressing a conservative one. But that merely reflects the mix of letters that readers are sending us.

Some complain that the letters "don't reflect the views of the community." Well, they're not supposed to. If 50 letter writers say "rah" to something and five say "bah" to it, fairness demands that I run five letters in favor and one against, no matter what most folks in Hahira (or College Park or Lilburn) might think about it.


The most dramatically imbalanced liberal-conservative ratio followed the publication of Shaunti Feldhahn's column this month pushing the Federal Marriage Amendment.

After more than 100 letter writers roundly denounced the column, I quit counting. And only after an editor's note revealed that no letters favorable to the column had been received did four or five of them arrive.

Uhh, Shaunti is the twit who compared gay marriage to Hitler.

I have corresponded with the Letter's Editor Larry Wilkerson on this very issue. I do not know his politics, but he is a very nice guy and seems to care about his reponsibility very much.

Now, keep up the letter writing.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

Lance's, and now USPS's, poor behavior.

First off, from a few days ago:

Domina Vacanze team manager Vincenzo Santoni and Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) president Giancarlo Ceruti have both come out in support of Filippo Simeoni after his dressing-down by Lance Armstrong on stage 18 of the Tour de France on Friday.

Last night, Santoni condemned Armstrong’s conduct but was even more scathing about Mario Cipollini, who, he said, “had not wanted Simeoni in the Tour peloton.” Cipollini had apparently advised Santoni to leave Simeoni out of the Domina Vacanze Tour team after discussions with sources closes to Armstrong at the Tour de Georgia in April.

Simeoni is suing Armstrong for damages of 100,000 euros after the American accused him of being “an absolute liar” in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde before the 2003 Tour. In 1999, Simeoni had told a courtroom in Ferrara, Italy, that Armstrong’s performance consultant, Michele Ferrari, had advised him to take EPO.


In a statement released last night, the FCI Giancarlo Ceruti spoke of his regret at Armstrong’s “anti-sporting gesture, which came at a time when the cycling movement was savouring his latest sporting exploit”.

“We feel that it is necessary,” said Ceruti, “for our federation to comment on this episode since it’s impossible to accept an attitude which is disrespectful towards a rider like Simeoni, who has fully assumed his responsibilities, reviewing his own actions and inciting the sport to continue its efforts in the war on doping. The FCI declares its solidarity towards Simeoni and his team.”

Whether the sport’s sovereign power, the UCI, also backs Simeoni against Armstrong remains to be seen. The Italian was last night left clinging to the hope that he will be vindicated by a jury in a Latina court later this autumn, if not by his colleagues in the peloton. Ironically, if he wins his defamation case against Armstrong, he will donate the majority of the damages to a charity specialising in… cancer research.

“I hope that justice will be done. If it isn’t sporting justice, it will be divine,” the 32-year-old Italian told L’Equipe. “What hurt me most was to see directeur sportifs smiling at Armstrong from their team cars… I always tell the truth, I proved that in front of a judge in Italy. I assumed my responsibility and paid for it, too.

“Tonight, though, I’ve realised that honesty doesn’t count. Nevertheless, when we reached the finish I noticed that a lot of people were whistling Armstrong. That must mean something. A true champion wouldn’t lower himself to do something like that. But in life, you become a champion, you’re born a lord.”

While I have not been a Lance fan for a long time, I have always been a huge Cipollini fan. No longer. Since he returns from racing in Georgia with Lance and asks that Simeoni be left off the Tour team, he seems to also be a cyclist who would rather have riders keep their mouths shut about the chronic doping that happens in the peloton. Of course as a washed up sprinter, he has little pull anywhere anymore.

Now legal officials in Iatly seem to feel that Lance may have been trying to influence a witness in an ongoing court case. From again:

Armstrong may have thought that he had the last laugh in his feud with Simeoni as he lapped up the lyrics of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ tonight, but it seems that the Italian ‘carabinieri’ have been far from amused by his antics over the past three days.

According to a Domina Vacanze team source, Simeoni learned on Sunday that magistrates presiding over the trial of Armstrong’s performance consultant, Michele Ferrari, may wish to question the American about his mid-race altercation with Simeoni on Friday’s 18th stage. Legal officials in Florence apparently suspect that Armstrong may have been guilty of attempting to influence a witness.

Simeoni famously testified in the Ferrari trial in February 2002, telling judge Giovanni Spinosa that Ferrari had advised him to take EPO. Armstrong responded to this in 2003 by branding Simeoni an “absolute liar”. That accusation has become the subject of a separate case brought against Armstrong by Simeoni.

Lance may have stepped in shit trying to be a big man.

And finally, Lance may not have the backing of the whole peloton, as he has suggested. From

On the morning after Stage 18, David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) commented on Armstrong's stage tactics in the Basque daily Deia with the simple headline - "You don't do these things".

Contrary to Armstrong's comments that he was protecting the peloton and that the peloton had congratulated him on his actions, Etxebarria thought that Armstrong's actions "were not to the liking of the peloton" and that a stage of the Tour was not a time to rectify any problems the race leader might have with Filippo Simeoni. Etxebarria commented that the "bad feeling was not followed by T-Mobile, the natural rival of Armstrong, who could have chased Armstrong...they only did it, timidly when the gap to the American was at two minutes".

Etxebarria continued, "There is in the peloton an unwritten rule according to which in stages like this that the cyclists who are down on the general can try and search for a stage victory, which in many cases provides them with a future. Armstrong did not respect this rule and it is something that a leader should year he might need someone's help but the peloton does not forget these things."

Etxebarria didn't think much of Armstrong's antics, thinking that the "action of the American could have prejudiced the opportunities of the other riders who were in the break. The peloton respects Armstrong, like any cyclist that wins races, but these things provoke a feeling at times such that he will not end up being a rider loved and admired, for example, as occurred in the era of Indurain," he concluded.

Meanwhile, in another Basque daily, Gara, the other Etxebarria, Unai Etxebarria said that he "was surprised at what Armstrong did. It was a very ugly idea to go after Simeoni. The truth is that a man with a bit of class would not have done what he did and the peloton didn't like it one bit. It was something very sad."

I am sure Lance feels like a big man for picking on a rider who does not have the natural talent he does, and who rides in support of others to make a living. Lance is very classy and noble, isn't he?

I doubt anything will happen with the Italian authorities, but I really must question Lance's involvement in doping considering his attemps to silence cyclists in the peloton who speak out about doping, and doctors involved in it. Why would you defend people braking the law unless you were involved?

Evidently, Lance's fellow riders have become just as bad as he, also from the above linked Procycling article, disussing USPS after Lance made severl attacks during the last stage:

Each of Simeoni’s of attacks was the cue for Armstrong’s US Postal team to rally into pursuit mode on the front of the bunch. In Viatcheslav Ekimov’s case, Simeoni’s capture was the cue for an obscene hand gesture and a missile of saliva to be launched in the direction of the Domina Vacanze man’s front wheel.

Oh lovely, they're all becoming bullies. Their sponsors must be so proud! Of course his teammates may just be experiencing side effects, from again:

Prentice Steffen, a team doctor with the US Postal team in 1997, has alleged that he was sacked by the team that year for refusing to supply drugs to some of the riders. In comments made to AFP, Steffen said, "It was out of the question to carry out practices of this kind. But, after of my adamant refusal, I was simply thanked a few months later."

Dr. Steffen left the team before Lance Armstrong arrived in 1998. He explained that "at that time, we were a small team with average ambitions. Everyone was clean. But one day, Marty Jemison and Tyler Hamilton came to ask me whether I could supply them with illegal products. I got the impression that they were speaking for everyone and that they had come to test the waters...To get to the top level, the team leaders were convinced that only doping would allow the team to obtain good results. From there, I understood that the whole mentality was changing."

And everybody has been wondering how Lance seems to have the strongest team... 

Friday, July 23, 2004

Armstrong shows what kind of man he is.

I had quit commenting on the Tour because it got so frustrating. I am not a Lance fan, but do respect his cycling ability. He is no Eddie Merckx, but he is a great Tour de France cyclist. My frustration is with the other teams who are scared to attack Lance or USPS. However, my sour feeling for the Tour was magnified tenfold by Lance himself. From The Guardian:

Lance Armstrong, showing all the diplomatic skills of a playground bully, stamped his authority on one of the rebels of the peloton, Filippo Simeoni, yesterday.

Armstrong frequently complains he is not universally popular with the public but the afternoon's cameo will have done little to counter the feeling that he regards the Tour as his personal fiefdom.

Pippo's only offence, after all, is that he has taken legal action against Armstrong in his native Italy after the American questioned his testimony against the Texan's trainer Michele Ferrari.

Simeoni rode away from the peloton early in the stage, in pursuit of the day's six-rider breakaway group, and what followed was bizarre. As if to make the point that he has a personal beef with the Italian, Armstrong did not ask his team to chase him but caught up himself and the pair rode across to the leaders.

The peloton slowed as if it, too, could not believe what was going on. It is unprecedented for the maillot jaune to behave in this way, letting a personal matter interfere with the racing. In the little group Armstrong, Simeoni and Vicente Garcia Acosta had an intense discussion before Simeoni dropped back and Armstrong with him.

At the finish the Italian was a bitterly disappointed man. "I made a super effort to get to the escape but Armstrong said the peloton would not let the group remain in front unless I let them go," he explained. "I slowed down out of respect for the other riders there. He shouldn't worry about little riders like me."

Armstrong said simply: "I was just protecting the interests of the peloton." If the common interest of the riders is that whistleblowers in drug trials are ostracised, perhaps he was but it is not a widely expressed sentiment among his fellows.

With Armstrong and Simeoni back in the peloton, normal service was resumed and the escape duly fought out the finish, where Garcia Acosta was narrowly beaten by his fellow Spaniard Juan-Miguel Mercado.

Today the final podium positions will be decided but yesterday showed one thing: Armstrong's urge to dominate the Tour de France again extends as far down as 114th place in the standings, to the smallest fish in the shoal.

Simeoni had never said anything about Lance. He had never put Lance down, or commented on any behavior of his. Simeoni, however, has given evidence in the trial of Dr Michele Ferrari, an adviser of Armstrong, who is being tried for doping-related offences. Lance called Simeoni a liar in the press, and Simeoni sued Lance in an Italian court.

Now Lance has his sixth Tour all locked up, he decides to bully around a small kid. Simeoni will never win the Tour. He is a cyclist who rides in support of others. However Lance felt the need to belittle him on the most public stage in professional cycling. How noble of Lance. He really is a changed person because of his battle with cancer.

I am left with two images in my mind. In one Lance goes from being on his death bed, praying to God for help, to thinking he is God. In the other Lance thinks he is Tony Soprano, protecting his criminal family, enforcing the Mafia rule of silence.

I lost a ton of respect for Lance today. It seems so has much of cycling public. I have no idea if he ever has taken drugs- although if you hang out with a barber all the time you are likely to get a few haircuts. However, his behavior against Simeoni today, and in the past year, because of testimony in a doping trial kills any sense of nobility anybody may have attributed to him in the past. Yes he is a great cyclist, but he is not behaving like a great human being.

"Congratulations, you just won the "Ride with Lance" sweepstakes - courtesy of OLN"
Posted by Hello 


Think four more years of Bush.

What could he possibly do that is worse than he has done during his first term? What worse things could he possibly do?

Musings about a second Bush term typically assume another four years of the same right-wing policies we've had to date. But it'd likely be far worse. So far, the Bush administration has had to govern with the expectation of facing American voters again in 2004. But suppose George W. Bush wins a second term. The constraint of a re-election contest will be gone. Knowing that voters can no longer turn them out, and that this will be their last shot at remaking America, the radical conservatives will be unleashed.
A friend who specializes in foreign policy and hobnobs with subcabinet officials in the Defense and State departments told me that the only thing that's stopped the Bushies from storming into Iran and North Korea is the upcoming election. If Bush is re-elected, "[Dick] Cheney and [Donald] Rumsfeld are out of the box," he said. "They'll take Bush's re-election as a mandate to wage the 'war on terror' everywhere and anywhere."

The second term's defense team will be even harder line than the current one. Colin Powell will go. Condoleezza Rice will take over at the State Department. Rumsfeld will consolidate power as the president's national-security adviser. Paul Wolfowitz will run the Defense Department.

Domestic policy will swing further right. A re-election would strengthen the White House's hand on issues that even many congressional Republicans have a hard time accepting, such as the assault on civil liberties. Bush will seek to push "Patriot II" through Congress, giving the Justice Department and the FBI powers to inspect mail, eavesdrop on phone conversations and e-mail, and examine personal medical records, insurance claims, and bank accounts.

Right-wing evangelicals will solidify their control over the departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services -- curtailing abortions, putting federal funds into the hands of private religious groups, pushing prayer in the public schools, and promoting creationism.

Economic policy, meanwhile, will be tilted even more brazenly toward the rich. Republican strategist Grover Norquist smugly predicts larger tax benefits for high earners in a second Bush administration. The goal will be to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, dividends, and other forms of unearned income and move toward a "flat tax." The plan will be for deficits to continue to balloon until Wall Street demands large spending cuts as a condition for holding down long-term interest rates. Homeowners, facing potential losses on their major nest eggs as mortgage rates move upward, might be persuaded to join the chorus.

In consequence, Bush will slash all domestic spending outside of defense. He will also argue that Social Security cannot be maintained in its present form, and will push for legislation to transform it into private accounts. Meanwhile, the few shards of regulation still protecting the environment and the safety of American workers will be eliminated.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will surely step down from the Supreme Court, possibly joined by at least one other jurist, opening the way for the White House to nominate a series of right-wing justices, a list that could easily include Charles Pickering Sr. and William Pryor Jr. After Chief Justice William Rehnquist resigns, Bush may well nominate Antonin Scalia for the top slot -- opening the way for Scalia and Clarence Thomas to dominate the Court. Such a court will curtail abortion rights, whittle down the Fourth and Fifth amendments, end all affirmative action, and eliminate much of what's left of the barrier between church and state.

Karl Rove and Tom DeLay, meanwhile, will have four more years to fulfill their goal of transforming American democracy into a one-party state. Congressional redistricting across the nation will make Texas' recent antics seem a model of democratic deliberation. Automated voting machines will be easily rigged, with no paper trails to document abuses. Changes in campaign-finance laws will permit larger "hard money" donations by corporate executives and federal contractors who have benefited by Republican policies.

Finally, the Federal Communications Commission will allow three or four giant media empires -- all tightly connected to the Republican Party -- to consolidate their ownership over all television and radio broadcasting.

Nothing is more dangerous to a republic than fanatics unconstrained by democratic politics. Yet in a second term of this administration, that's exactly what we'll have.

Well, the only reason why I am not completely scared out of my wits is that I am a stright single white male. I can pass as a Republican if I have to. Of course I will miss the national parks and all my poor friend's children. 


Talking points- they're true because they're said a lot.

Just go watch.

From America's only true news program. 


The Big Dog makes a splash.

Bill Clinton came to Atlanta for a book signing Wednesday. The crowds were huge as 1800 people showed up to see him.

The festive scene Wednesday at former President Bill Clinton's only book signing in Atlanta looked more like a gathering for a rock concert than a literary event.

Some 1,800 people — including several who had camped out all night in the Peachtree Battle shopping center parking lot — chatted and bought hot dogs and soft drinks from vendors while waiting for their 15 seconds with the former president inside Chapter 11 Books.


Customers were told that there would be no personalized autographs and no pictures with Clinton, but he took time to shake each person's hand and thank the person.

Emily Horowitz hoped Clinton would say something to her about her Americorps T-shirt because the volunteer program — a kind of domestic Peace Corps — was one of his favorite projects.

"He turned to my dad and said, 'I love the Americorps program, and you should be proud of your daughter.' Then he asked me my name and wrote, 'Emily, thank you for your service.' It was a great experience," she said.

It's funny how many people I know who wanted to go see him, but knew the lines would be a mess. I wish he would have given a speech at the Fox, or another similarly sized venue. I would have paid to hear him talk off the top of his head for an hour on the state of the country. Lots more people would have had the chance to hear him.

"My Life" by Bill Clinton currently tops all the major bestsellers' lists. It has set records for sales of non-fiction books.  

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Radio Blues.

First off, Z93 is changing formats. The long time classic rock station is going just rock.

After 15 years, classic rock Z93 became Dave-FM at 5 p.m. yesterday.


Dave FM (Slogan: "Rock without rules") is geared to 30-something rock fans who still enjoy their Eric Clapton and Pink Floyd but also consider themselves hip enough to listen to newer music by Coldplay and John Mayer. Execs also promise deeper cuts from core artists.

"We'll still play Zeppelin but it won't be the obvious 'Stairway to Heaven,' " Caffey said. "We want to be your CD collection."

For years, the station has been home to Jimi Hendrix, the Who and the Eagles. But over the past year, Z93 had already added a more eclectic mix of songs by the likes of Little Feat, Sheryl Crow, Bob Marley and the Clash. It also dropped the "classic rock" moniker and used "Atlanta's best rock."

Based on Dave FM's first 30 minutes, the music appears to have skewed more heavily the '80s and '90s: "Orange Crush," by R.E.M. ; "Stay (Wasting Time)," by the Dave Matthews Band; "It's Only Rock 'n Roll," by Rolling Stones ; "Found Out About You," by the Gin Blossoms; "Come As You Are," by Nirvana; "Clocks," by Coldplay, "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel and "Wrong Way" by Sublime.

I don't listen to regular radio since getting satellite radio. No commercials, better playlists, and a wider variety of music make commercial radio, well, suck. Z93 certainly began sucking many years ago. Who can keep listening to the same Led Zeppelin songs for 30 years? It seems Z93 is trying to program to 99X and 96Rock 's fans, mixing both station's playlists. Wouldn't it be nice if a radio station just developed an original format and went with it? Little Steven did just that and developed one of the fastest growing syndicated radio shows.

My favorite stations on XM Radio? Well, I usually am hanging out at XM Cafe, and visit with Fred, Ethel and Lucy often. Deep Tracks and Top Tracks have their moments. The comedy stations are great for music relief. I also recently discovered Unsigned, which features unsigned or independent bands. There is some fantastic music out there I have never heard before. Oh, and I do tune into their XM Left to catch some of Air America's Line up, but I never listen to Hannity's bitch who somehow got a talk show.

Secondly, there is a good article on radio from Barry L. Ritholtz's The Big Picture.

Listen to music on the radio much lately?

If you answered “no,” you’re in good company. Americans are listening to broadcasts -- especially of music -- much less frequently then they used to.

And with good reason, too: Stations which were once a way to discover new music have become bland sources of uniform playlists. At present, the heavy emphasis (or over-emphasis) is on hip hop; This comes after a long dalliance with insipid boy bands. Listeners left in droves.

So it was with no small amount of amusement that we heard yesterday that radio giant Clear Channel (CCU) was announcing they were cutting back the amount of ad time they would sell on the radio each hour, to a mere 15 minutes per hour, starting January 1, 2005.

The "spin" was that the largest radio player in the U.S. Would be able to use this "enforced scarcity" to raise the value of each spot.

The reality was -- ahem -- somewhat different.

The article continues discussing Clear Channel and the homogenization of radio. I agree with almost everything Barry says. Radio plays less music, by less artists in less formats. There is too much of an emphasis on Pop and Hip Hop, and almost no diversity to keep people's interest. Yesterday, my boss was trying to see if I had heard a song on the top of the charts, and I never had because I honestly never turn on commercial radio anymore.

Barry also covers the methods people now use to find good music, Satellite, internet, P2p and iPods/MP3s, and how this hommoginization of radio has probably caused the decrease in sales of CDs. Go read.  

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

If they would do their job.

Journalists have the underwear all in a wad about bloggers getting press credentials to the two parties national conventions. If journalists were actually doing their jobs, pursuing stories and the truth, there would be no vacuum for bloggers to fill. Seeing how blogging has been exploding, it seems there is a huge vacuum.

This vacuum is also being filled by the movies of Michael Moore and other liberal producers. True, many Americans are content to sit and watch the crap "real journalists" are pushing for the Bush Administration and the GOP, however many are not. They will seek out true news via blogs, movies, or the foreign press. In China, college students used fax machines to spread the news. In America liberals and progressives will use whatever means works. Whenever conservatives by up a medium to restrict its use, people will find ways around it.

America is still great and will stay great no matter how hard true Americans have to fight to keep it that way. 

Monday, July 19, 2004

Vote Tomorrow!

I received a reminder from Planned Parenthood:

Remember to vote in Tuesday's Primary Elections!

Party nominees will be chosen for State House and State Senate seats, one U.S. Senate seat, all 13 congressional seats, and local offices throughout Georgia.

You may choose to vote in the Demodratic or Republican primary, or you may choose a non-partisan ballot.

Non-partisan races, such as judicial races, will be decided tomorrow at the Primary election. These races are extrememly important in setting the course for the Georgia courts, and the races have become more political than every before. As noted in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution by political writers Tom Baxter and Jim Galloway:

"One of the best things about the final hours of an election is that play-acting comes to an end. Time for pretense and obtuse phrasing runs out.

Both Gov. Sonny Perdue and the state GOP have tried to keep a degree of separation between themselves and the non-partisan candidacy of Grant Brantley, the challenger to incumbent Supreme Court Justice Leah Sears.

But on Friday, the Georgia Republican Party e-mailed a "special alert" pressing the membership to vote for Brantley on Tuesday.

Republican insiders are telling us they think Brantley's in trouble -- largely because the state's legal community has been less than eager to support the governor's non-traditional effort to shape the bench along more Republican lines."

Go vote! Vote early and vote often!

For more info! 

Friday, July 16, 2004

City of Roswell keeps aquiring riverfront land.

The City of Roswell, Georgia, has really worked on getting land and opening parks. I live just across the river from a few of these parks. Now it seems Apex Sand, which has always been a bit of an eye sore, will become their next park.  Developement will happen as funds become available. Plans are that it will have docks for boaters and paddlers. The river is great for kayaking and canoeing along this area. No big rapids or anything, just nice river and nature. I see the crew from Georgia Tech launch many mornings whem I am out walking my dogs. It is very cool to be out walking your dogs along the river in the early hours of the morning, and see an eight or two man shell materialize out of the mists.

Apex Sand site from river. Posted by Hello


Buford Damn Guardians.

Power lines near Buford Damn. Posted by Hello


Go see the puppy.

Yes, go see the cute puppy on TBogg's site. Just go. Scroll just a tad.

Awwww. Idn't he cute! 


Kid with mullet wins legal battle to kepp it.

I don't know why, but Russell Gorman III fought to be allowed to keep his mullet while attending St. Raphael's.

Paraphrasing a song from the rock group Pink Floyd, Fortunato said, "Leave the kids alone."


The judge opened his decision by quoting a song from the musical "Hair:" 

"Gimme a head with hair.

"Long beautiful hair," the song says in part.

"My hair like Jesus wore it,

"Hallelujah, I adore it..."

Then he went back to his office for another bong hit.

Fortunato noted the irony that school officials would have objected to the lengths of Jesus Christ's hair, preferring their students to keep their hair in the well-groomed style of executives from Enron and Global Crossing, two corporations that have come under scrutiny for dishonesty.

I kind of like this judge. The kid is ugly, however.


Stage 11.

Another rolling stage, where an attack got away with the winning rider, Frenchman David Moncouti. France was celebrating the second stage win in a row by a countryman.

Today and tomorrow we are in the mountains. Things will really start to shake out.


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Please do this in Atlanta.

Motor City outlaws loud subwoofers.

Please, get noise ordinances about them and Harleys with loud pipes. Remember loud pipes don't save lives, they just annoy the hell out of everybody. 


I'm liking the Kerry Campaign.

In the Republican whine-fest about Whoopi's comments about Bush during Kerry's campaign fundraiser, the GOP has demanded the campaign release a video of the night so Americans can see it.

That prompted the Bush-Cheney campaign to demand that the Kerry-Edwards campaign release video or film footage of the event, saying Americans deserved to decide for themselves about it.

In response, the Kerry campaign said it would not release the footage unless the Bush campaign released a raft of documents "relating to Bush's performance in office" -- including records of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force, among others.

Americans also deserve to see Bush's military records relating to the time he was AWOL, but I doubt that is going to happen.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Getting interesting.

Frenchman Richard Virenque wins the longest stage of this year's tour with a 200km breakaway. He also leapfrogs Lance by about 2 minutes and 40 seconds on the GC. Everybody is uncertain how well race leader Thomas Voeckler can climb in the mountains. Everybody knows how well Richard Virenque can climb. He can climb very well. Wow, Richard Virenque would be a hero in France if he could win the Tour. 


Stages 6, 7, 8, & 9

More stages for the sprinters. The leaders of the GC, yellow jersey, have remained the same. There have been few surprizes. Robbie McEwen has the green jersey after showing some incredible bike handling skills during the sprints. This after being involved in a wreck and being injured himself. Thor Hushovd has shown himself to be one of the next great sprinters. In his early 20's, he has shown great speed and power, and quick thinking.

Today is the mountains. The race really begins now for the GC contenders.  


Sad dog story.

Tour de France contender American Tyler Hamilton does not have the best luck. Last year during the beginning of the Tour he wrecked and broke his collarbone. Unbelievably, he managed to keep riding and finished 4th overall. This year, he just got news that his dog of nine years, the one that travels with him, has cancer and has to be put down.

"My best friend, my dog, I've had him for nine years - he has cancer really bad," Hamilton said after Stage 9. "I just found out late last night. We're going to have to put him to sleep tomorrow. For me it's a very sad day...he's like a child. I am going to see him tonight and I'll say good bye and that's it. That's life. I've had many great years with him. I met my wife after seven years, but I had two years with my dog and then I met my wife. She was growing to be super close with him as well. Just my dog and my wife and I, it's kind of a regular family here.

"It's hard. It's very sad and I'm not afraid to say that I cried a lot last night. Maybe people don't understand but for me and my dog...I'm so close to my dog. Him and my wife are everything to me. Tomorrow I'm going to lose one of my family members and it's sad...We've treated him like a king, that's for sure. He's traveled all over the world and has had a great life."

Tugboat traveled with him last year during the Tour as he battled the pain of the broken collarbone while continuing to race. I know some people will say, "It's only a dog!" If it is your dog, it is never only a dog. I feel for the guy. 


Excuse me, where can I find...

I am wearing my red linen button-up shirt with short sleeves today. I must remember not to go to Target. 

Monday, July 12, 2004

Contaminated land to become soccer field.

This is really cool. Intown soccer groups who have a hard time finding land for fields now have help reclaiming contaminated sites thru grants from the EPA.

If owning a home inside I-285 is expensive, try buying land for soccer fields.

After more than eight years of searching for property for its own complex, the Atlanta Youth Soccer Association finally turned to contaminated land that once housed a truck depot. The federal Environmental Protection Agency will help pay to clean it up.


Unlike the suburbs, where soccer leagues have easy access to vacant land and county- or city-run programs, intown groups have the added challenge of expensive real estate. But as the EPA has begun offering federal money to clean up industrial brownfields, athletic organizations in urban areas are realizing the benefits of once-polluted land.

The weedy 7.5 acres on Arizona Avenue near DeKalb Avenue sit in an industrial area near the Edgewood/Candler Park MARTA station. The soccer parents were happy to find it, said Janet Gross, who chairs the association's board. The group has put under contract an additional 2.5 acres adjacent to the former truck depot.

And as usual, Falcon's owner Arthur Blank is there with a checkbok helping out. Very cool for the intown kids. 


Weezie, RIP.

Actress Isabel Sanford dies at age 86.

LOS ANGELES — Actress Isabel Sanford, best known as "Weezie," Louise Jefferson on the television sitcom "The Jeffersons," died of natural causes, her publicist said Monday. She was 86.


Sanford co-starred with Sherman Hemsley from 1975 to 1985 on CBS' "The Jeffersons," a spin-off of the popular series "All in the Family," in which she also appeared.

In 1981, Sanford became the first black woman to receive an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on "The Jeffersons."

"Isabel was our queen and that's what we called her on the show," said Marla Gibbs, who played the Jeffersons' maid Florence Johnston.

One of the shows I grew up on. Too many people are dying. 

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Google Mail Error Message.

Sorry, something didn't work correctly.

If we knew exactly what the problem was, we would tell you instead of giving you this useless error message. Actually, if we knew, we would most likely have fixed it already.

Rest assured. As you read this, alarm bells are ringing at the Googleplex, signifying something has gone horribly wrong in this quadrant. A report will soon be in the hands of our engineering team, detailing the bad thing that happened here. This team will work without rest to address the problem you have brought to their attention.

If, after a decent interval (about 24 hours), you encounter this problem again, please email us at . The more specifics you include, the better (e.g., what kind of computer and browser you were using, what page you looked at last, what you clicked on, etc.). Sometimes, even our engineers need a little help.

Thanks for using Google.

Well, I find it amusing. 

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Gttim's new toy visits Buford Dam.

Buford Dam from Lower Pool Park. The water is very cold. As you approach the river you can feel the air temperature drop.

I picked up a little 3.2 mega pixel digital camera to fool around with. There will be more photos. 


Where is the Republican outrage against this welfare?

Farmers must learn to cultivate fairness.

In Georgia alone, taxpayers paid farmers more than $100 million in 2002 to encourage cotton production. A single farm in Leesburg, for example, collected more than $840,000 in cotton subsidies that year, according to data compiled by the Environmental Working Group. And while that's a nice check to be collecting from Uncle Sam, eight cotton farmers in California alone collected more than $1 million each that year.


[T]here's no rational reason that the U.S. taxpayer should pay a farmer more than a million dollars a year to grow cotton or any other crop. It is a form of welfare by another name, with one essential difference: The government checks that are being cashed run to six or seven figures a year, as opposed to the few hundred dollars a month paid to mothers of children in poverty.

To deflect such criticism, the corporate agriculture lobby usually trots out a small family farmer as its poster child, asking the public and politicians alike whether they are truly so hard-hearted as to run a poor, struggling working man off the land his family has worked for generations. Of course, the main reason that small family farmer is so endangered is competition from the very same corporate agribusiness concerns that use him to justify farm subsidies and that soak up most of the benefits. In Georgia, for example, the largest 5 percent of cotton farmers collected almost 50 percent of government subsidies in 2002.

Oh, wait, I see why. These welfare payments are not going to the mothers of poor children, they are going to huge corporations. That is why there is noe Republican outrage. 

Friday, July 09, 2004

How to make a car real ugly!

Paint it a metalic urine color and add oversized "spinners wheels." $3000 in upgrades to a $1500 car! 


Lance loses yellow.

In addition to the dozens of wrecks in stage 5, Lance lost the yellow to young French Champion Thomas Voeckler, a twenty-five year-old.

The riders were hit with ferocious winds and drenching rain. Then there were the traffic islands which seemed to be jumping out at the riders. The peloton was just abused all day.

A five man breakaway built up a lead of over 16 minutes, finishing 13 minutes up on the field, as no team wanted to chase. After working together for most of the stage, the riders began to attack one anothernear the end. The largest rider in the race, Magnus Backstedt (Swe) gave it a shot many times, but was just exhausted. Jakob Piil (Den), one of the craftiest riders in the race tried, but could not get ahead. Sandy Casar (Fra) had no luck. New yellow jersey wearer Thomas Voeckler (Fra) tried many daring, and one very dangerous attacks, but could not hold an advantage. Finally the stage came down to a 5 man sprint after slowing to regroup, and sprinter Stuart O'Grady (Aus) rolled across the line first as everyone figured he would if the five men hit the finish together.

The stage itself was much like a NASCAR race, fairly boring except for the wrecks. The battle at the end for the five man breakaway was a nice change of pace, and pretty exciting.

Can Thomas Voeckler hold the yellow? He is young, and was droped last year in the tour on some climbs. However, he has been successful in the climbs on shorter stage races, and is the French National Champion. Stranger things have happened.

This morning Mario Cipollini dropped out of the tour. He has an infection in his thigh from his wreck in the Giro. Alessandro Petacchi dropped out because of shoulder injuries sustained in a wreck on stage 5. Gilbert Simoni may be next. He is still upset about the time he received for the TTT, after finish 7 seconds behind his team. He basically was penalized 1:20 for that, and is pretty much removed from yellow contention.

"I can cope with bad luck, but what can I do about race regulations? 120 guys finished behind me yesterday, but I lost a minute more than them," quipped Simoni.

"It's a stupid rule. I came here hoping to win the race but my morale is in my boots. I've never liked the Tour anyway. I feel really bad, I just want to go home."

Today for stage 6 the riders will probably face wind and rain again. 


No supportive letters!

A writer asks why their were no letters printed supporting an opinion article comparing gay marriage to Hitler's extermination of jews. (My blog entry on it.)

Responses were too one-sided

I found the array of letters published in response to Shaunti Feldhahn's column disturbing (July 8).

I disagree with many things stated in the column, but I wonder -- why were there no letters agreeing with her?

Given the current, polarized climate in the metro area, I find it hard to believe that not one person responded with a resounding approval of Feldhahn's column -- especially considering the fact that so many people on both sides of the aisle have voiced opinions in various Atlanta Journal-Constitution forums.


Editor's note: As of Thursday afternoon, none of the scores of responses to Shaunti Feldhahn's column expressed approval.


I mean what idiot is going to express support for the opinion expressed in tht piece, except for maybe Kenneth P. Boord.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

TdF Stage 4 Team Time Trial.

What a rain soaked bloody mess this stage turned out to be. USPS won as they expected, and put Lance into yellow, although other teams showed good times after multiple wrecks. Lance does not get the huge time boost he has gotten in the past, benefitting from his teams work for his pverall time, as the TdF has changed the TTT rules a bit, trying to level the playing field for the weaker teams.

I like that they TdF has changed the rules on this. I do love watching the TTT. It is a beautiful event. However, it hurts some of the stronger riders who are one lower level teams with smaller budgets. Most teams cannot afford to have such a large team that is dedicated to one race a season. Lance has gotten such a boost from his team over the years, and some riders have been unable to compete with him fairly man-to-man because of this advantage.

Euskaltel-Euskadi, team of Iban Mayo, posted a great time and would have kept Mayo weel within striking distance of Lance, except for the Stage 3 cluster %$#&. Mayo now sit 5:27 back.

Saeco did someting very strange. They finished without their general classification, yellow jersey, rider Gilberto Simoni. He was dropped from the team when he slipped in the last corner, and rode in 7 seconds after them. Due to the new TTT rules, he does not get the teams adjusted time, but his entire finishing time. This puts him about 3:22 behind Lance. What the hell were they thinking? They should have stopped and waited for him. He is now out of contention, and they have nobody else. After the Giro, it appears Simoni is being screwed by Saeco at every chance they get. Look for him to transfer teams during the winter.

The challengers now appear to be Tyler Hamilton (USA), Jan Ullrich (GER), Bobby Jullich (USA), Levi Leipheimer (USA), and maybe Robert Heras (SPA). Heras is 1:45 back. His teammate Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) is closer at 1:29, and can time trial and climb. It would be good to see him gain some time in the mountains. Also Hamilton's teammate Oscar Sevilla (Spa) is within striking distance, and he is a good grand tour rider.

The race will really start when they hit the mountains. 


I think they are going overboard.

An opinion piece in the AJC supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment limiting marriage to a union between a man and woman is quoting Sun Tzu.

It may not seem like such a big thing — just one vote in one chamber about one important initiative among many — but the key pivot points of history often don't loom particularly large at the time. Sun Tzu observed that wars are actually quietly won or lost in the temples of leadership before the battle is joined.

The writer goes on to compare stopping gay marriage with stopping Hitler:

When the countries of pre-World War II Europe noticed Adolf Hitler's emerging aggression, they said, "It's not my business." But, as we now know, it was their business. How much sorrow might have been prevented had they recognized that burying their head in the sand wouldn't help?

Wow, gay marriage might just kill 6 million straight people!

I am still waiting for a person to explain why allowing same sex marriages hurts the marriage of an opposite sex couple. I am also waiting for a person to explain why same sex marriages will hurt the sanctity of opposite sex marriage any more than the multiple marriages of Bob Barr, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh or Britany Spears?

The writer finally tries to justify the discriminatory amendment by arguing that the majority supports it.

With activist judges rewriting the will of the people, it's only a matter of time before gay marriages are declared legal nationwide. And then what are we going to do to restore the will of the people — void marriages that have been solidified during those years?

One of the great things about our country is how the minority are protected against the tyranny of the majority. A person's religion is protected against the majority. If a majority want to make there religion the state religion and outlaw yours, they can't. This is why the Mayflower set sail for America. They did not want to be told how to worship. Now a minority who feels they are a majority are trying to impose their values and beliefs on everybody else.

Perhaps conservatives do not only need a refresher course in history, but also civics.

Update: Wow , did that conservative wingnut get hammered in the letters page:

Such views are both laughable, terrifying

First, Shaunti Feldhahn's comparison of Adolf Hitler to gays who want to marry is disgustingly offensive to anyone with either good taste or a sense of history. Then she rehashes the baffling argument that gay marriage will make regular marriage lose its meaning. I fail to see how my neighbor's gay marriage to a man affects my own heterosexual marriage to a man in any way. Finally, she trots out her favorite logical fallacy -- that broken marriages cause drug abuse, crime and poverty, ignoring the possibility that it is just as likely that drugs, crime and poverty cause broken marriages.

When there are so many "Pandora-like" threats out there -- Islamic extremism, global terrorism, AIDS, nuclear weapons -- I'm not sure whether it's more laughable or terrifying that there are people who think gay marriage is the most dangerous.



'Activist judges' are doing their job

Shaunti Feldhahn pulled out every panic-stricken conservative cliché ever uttered on the topic of gay marriage. I won't repeat the rebuttals to them, as they've all been eloquently stated before.

But what are "activist judges," exactly? Those who sneak the Ten Commandments into a courthouse in the middle of the night, although the church-state issue was settled by the "will of the people" more than 200 years ago? Are they Supreme Court justices who hand the presidential election to a candidate when the "will of the people" favors someone else?

I think the label "activist" is slapped on any judge who won't let the "will" of a screaming majority trample everyone else's rights -- in other words, any judge who does his or her job.



A piece of trash

I don't know that I have ever been as offended by something I've read in a newspaper as I am by that piece of trash.


I must say I agree with every leter on that page. I didn't see any supporting her position?

This is the trash, Shaunti Feldhahn, who decided to write an opinion piece equating gay marriage with Hitler killing 6 million people. I hope her fellow parishoners at the Atlanta Vineyard Church do not hold that view. You may email her at 


Karma is a bitch.

Saxby Chambliss, the Georgia Republican that did the hatchet job on triple amputee and war hero Max Cleland, has prostate cancer.

Funny, I have absolutely no sympathy for him. 

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Edwards on Kerry.

From about 3 weeks ago.

Think about this for a minute: He left college, and he volunteered three different ways. First he volunteered for military service. Then he volunteered to serve in Vietnam. And then he volunteered for some of the most dangerous, hazardous duty you could possibly have in Vietnam. As a result, he was wounded multiple times. He won a whole series of medals while he was there. And now—this is an amazing thing—a vice president of the United States who avoided service four, five, six times—I've lost count—[and] a president of the United States who can't account for a year of his national guard service are attacking John Kerry for the medals he won in Vietnam? You have got to be kidding me.

Go John! 


USA Triathlon Team will not be allowed to march in opening ceremonies.

It seems the coaches want the team in Florida training. Victor Plata writes why he would like this changed.

"The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part; the important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle."

Baron Pierre De Courbertin
founder of the modern Olympic movement

If you have not heard, I made the U.S. Olympic Team for the triathlon three weeks ago in Bellingham, Washington. I am very honored to earn this opportunity to represent my country and if you are reading this you most likely had a part in helping me achieve this dream, and know how hard I have worked for it.

The day after qualifying, I was informed that the triathlon team would not be marching in the opening ceremonies. I asked my triathlon federation to explain why we were not being given the opportunity. The team coach, Gale Bernhardt, replied with a detailed and very good rationale for skipping the (opening ceremony), namely to win the race.

While I also want to win, I feel very strongly that the opening ceremonies are a true representation of the heart and spirit of the Games. Having the best athletes of all nations marching together in peace, lighting the sacred flame, and releasing the doves of peace are symbols that stir the emotions of all people around the world. The emotions that are aroused by these symbols -- the joy and the love, and the hope that they inspire are precious beyond measure. And the world needs hope. The people of the world are thirsty for that hope that the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games provides, like a tall glass of pure water in a desert of human corruption and weakness.

I want to drink from that cup. Not only as a witness who watches through the television from a million miles away, but as an actor who has practiced his lines so often and so hard that he speaks them in his sleep, and dreams them in his waking hours. I want to join my fellow Olympians on the floor of the Olympic Stadium and emanate joy, inspire love, and give the world hope.

When I was denied my request by the triathlon federation, I talked to John Naber, a great Olympian who missed the opening ceremonies of his one chance at the Olympics. He encouraged me to keep asking about my options with the U.S. Olympic Committee. I talked to John Rugar, the USOC Athlete Ombudsman, who suggested I write a letter to the USOC CEO, Jim Scherr. I did so. Today, Mr. Scherr denied my appeal. I will not walk in the opening ceremonies, and I am sorry.

I apologize, because I know that to walk was as much for my family, friends, and country, as it was for me. I am sorry because in this instance, winning has taken precedence over the importance of participating. I tried, but I failed to convince them. I have accepted the decision of the USOC and I will follow through with the team program to the utmost best of my ability. I will give everything I have to give for my team to win. However, I will also harbor a thirst that will never be quenched for the rest of my life -- the dry hollow feeling of something missed and something lost. Like John Naber, I may never get another chance to take that sip.

For those of you who wanted to support me in the process of my appeal, I thank you. I want you to understand that the process was fair, and I agree completely that the ruling has merit. But sometimes I feel like the philosopher-athlete that the Olympic Games were charged with developing in the classical era. I feel I must ask if the struggle is to win a great victory, or struggle for a great principle. It is a question that we face as a nation today. Perhaps we will be looking in the wrong direction when we look for gold on the top of the awards podium. If every athlete felt as my federation did, that attending the ceremonies would decrease the odds of winning, then there would be no opening ceremonies. The flame would be lit over an empty stadium, the doves would fly away in a still and quiet sky.

The stadium will be full because most Olympians still believe in what the ceremonies represent. I will regret not being one of them.

I wrote this letter to give my family, friends and supporters a clear understanding of my feelings about not marching, and the facts to the decision of the USOC.

Please don't be upset when you tune in to watch and you know that I am not there. Allow yourself to feel the joy, love, and hope that the athletes who had the opportunity to march will exude. I will envy them.


USA Triathlon, and much of America and the world, seems to have forgotten the ideals behind the Olympic movement. Marching in the opening ceremonies is one of the greatest parts of the Olympics. I feel for Plata being denied this, after he worked so hard to get there. 


Zell Miller would never lie!

From the AJC Letters:

His film critique lacks specifics

Before reading Zell Miller's article, I would have bet that he had not seen, and did not intend to see, "Fahrenheit 9/11." But judging from his opinion about it, he obviously has; he would not criticize it based on hearsay.

And since he has seen the film, I wish he would point out two specific untruths in it (there must be at least two, because he cites "falsehoods," plural).

As near as I could tell, every fact presented in the movie is accurate. But perhaps I am dazzled by Michael Moore's glamour and good looks, or by my lifelong dream to someday enjoy a fabulous vacation in Flint, Mich.

BARBARA ROCHELLE, St. Augustine, Fla.

There are a few other interesting letters bashing "Zig Zag Zell." 

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Stage 3 hits the pavé

Remember last year when Lance wrecked ascending a mountain, taking out Iban Mayo? Ullrich waited, and Lance said he should have? The idea being that you don't attack when the yellow jersey, or another contender, hits the ground? Then remember how when one of his top rivals, Beloki, wrecked, and Lance rode off the road, down a hill, attacked and just left Beloki laying on the ground? Oops, he did it again.

Today Iban Mayo, who I think was Lance's biggest rival, was involved in a big wreck on the first section of pavé (cobblestones). What did Lance's team USPS and Ullrich's team T-Mobile do? They went to the front and attacked. Mayo and the second group was unable to reorganize and catch back on to the peloton.

Now, I am of the opinion that you attack whenever anybody is in trouble. However, Lance has said otherwise. Either way is fine, I just don't like the hypocrisy of expecting people to treat you one way, and then treating everybody else different. I am sure none of the press will bring that issue up with him, however. did mention it during their live coverage:

16:19 CEST 170km/40km to go
The Mayo group are coming back towards the leading bunch, but only slowly - it doesn't look as though they're going to get back before the second section of pave. T-Mobile, US Postal and Phonak are all working hard on the front (whatever happened to not attacking favourites who crash, I hear you ask - and have no answer).

I would love to hear the questioned asked.

Jean-Patrick Nazon of team AG2R Prévoyance, passed McEwen at the end of the sprint and held off Eric Zabel for the win. Since yellow jersey wearer Thor Hushovd was also in the crash (remember you never attack when the yellow jersey has an accident?), and came in with Mayo 4 minutes back, he lost the yellow. Robbie McEwen ended up with the yellow jersey, aided by all the bonus points he has been picking up in the sprints. He should lose it tomorrow in the Team Time Trial.

After USPS attacked after the yellow jersey and a top rival wrecked, any rival who waits if Lance wrecks is an idiot.

Lances comments from last year:

Saved by his slower acceleration, Jan Ullrich was a few metres behind, and just missed the bike tangle. Unhurt, Ullrich continued up the road. He clearly had the chance to go after the jersey that waited for him at the top, but that was not the way Jan Ullrich wanted to win his second Tour.

"I knew they would wait," Lance said after stage. "I would do the same for him, and in fact, I have done the same for him in the past. I was in a group with a few guys going down the Col de Peyresourde in the Tour two years ago, when Ullrich crashed. I saw that it was a bad one and told them that we couldn't go on before we made sure he was alright. I am grateful that Jan remembered that today, and decided to do the same. I think I did the correct thing two years ago, and Ullrich did the same thing today. I appreciate that, and you know that what goes around comes around."


A christian website reviews F 9/11.

A well thought out review.

With the election only five months away, this film will no doubt go down in history as a watershed that can be compared to the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King. Something of America’s soul died with the killing of these three men, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are threatening to do the same. Regardless of our political bent, we all need to pay attention to the spiritual and political forces that are at work here, which will in the end affect every human being on this planet.

Despite widespread speculation about Mr. Moore’s motives for making the film, I was struck by his obvious compassion for humanity. In less than three hours, he offers us a remarkable insight into the human soul. From nighttime searches of Iraqi homes to the screams of mothers – and of those at the World Trade Center on September 11 – Moore captures plenty of heartrending moments. But he doesn’t focus only on the civilians trapped in the nightmare and insanity of war; he recognizes the humanity of its unwitting purveyors, whether through the blank stares of twenty-something GIs or the stupefied Congressmen he catches unaware outside their Washington office buildings.


Other memorable moments include shots of some of the 5000 soldiers wounded in action, many now amputees working through painful rehabilitation in institutions like the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Their plight may be even worse than those missing or killed in action, because their whole future is destroyed. How many will end their lives through suicide?

Go read it! 


The Tour so far.

The Tour de France has made it through the first 3 stages with little going on. TO recap for the non-cycling fans:

Prologue: This is a very short individual time trial, or individual race against the clock, that assigns the first yellow jersey of the race. Last years winner, is encouraged to wear the yellow during this stage, but Lance traditionally declines to wear it since he has not "earned it" this year. Last year he made an exception for the 100th anniversary. Youngster Fabian Cancellara takes the win over Lance. It is always great to see a kid wearing the yellow in the race. They get all emotional.

Nothing exciting happens. Cipollini does get fined for wearing cycling clothing other than the registered team colors. This happens during every grand tour. It is his thing. Imagine Shaq taking the floor in a green Nike outfit. I am sure Cipo's sponsors pick up the fines since he always gets a ton of press out of it. Before the start, Cipo's team was actually cutting off the legs while he was wearing the skin suit. They never said why.

Stage 1: A flat stage, as many early stages are, which is for the sprinters. The favorites, Lance and all, just try and stay out of trouble. There teams will protect them and try to keep them near the front, out of the way of any wrecks. There are a few breakaways, but the race comes together at the end for the big sprint. This is when the teams for the sprinters will try to get on the front and go so fast that no other breakaways can get away. A really dominant team, like Cipollini's old teams or Alessandro Petacchi's Fassa Bortolo team in the Giro, can control the race and set up their sprinter for the big finish. Fassa Bortolo tries, but cannot dominate today. Petacchi ends up out of position, and a lot of work was done for nothing. Jaan Kirsipuu holds off a charging Robbie McEwen at the end. Cipollini wrecks early in the stage, hurting the thigh injured in the Giro, but he finishes.

Cancellara keeps the yellow by 4 seconds over Thor Hushovd.

Stage 2:Another flat stage for the sprinters, with a sweeping turn 200 meters from the finish which ups the chance for carnage during the sprint. Fassa Bortolo again fails to control the pack. As they come into the turn before the finish line, former BMX rider McEwen launches his sprint, carries it into the straight, and is gone for the win. He takes the sprint while Thor Hushvod picks up second place, and the bonus time puts him ahead of Cancellara for the yellow.

For the non-cycling fan, during the finishes, and bonus sprints on the course, time bonuses are awarded. In today's finish, first place got 20 seconds dropped from his cumulative race time, second
12, and on down the list. Since Hushvod was 4 seconds behind Cancellara at the start of the day, and Hushvod got 12 seconds to Cancelarra's zero seconds of bonus time, and they all finished with the lead pack to be awarded the same time, Hushvod finishes the day 8 seconds ahead of Cancelarra on the cumulative time to pick up the leader's yellow jersey, the first Norwegian to ever do so.

To defend Cancelarra, he rides for Fassa Bortolo, and today he was not trying to defend the yellow jersey, but was working to set up Alessandro Petacchi for the sprint win- there is no way he holds the jersey for too long. Things did not work out well in either case.

Good news and bad news for Cipollini today. He managed to hold on for a top ten finish, which was unexpected. He does not really plan to try for a stage win until after the Stage 4 Team Time Trial. The bad news is that his leadout man crashed out with a broken collarbone. His team is not built around his sprinting ability this year, as they do have a yellow jersey contender. They only brought two guys to help Cipo. The best guy is gone.

There was also a nice wreck during the sprint. Two guys went down, but managed to get up and finish. Since they wrecked so close to the finish, they receive the same finish time as the pack they were riding with.

Americans so far.

Lance sits in 4th, just waiting around.

Bobby Julich is in the top ten, just 28 seconds back. That he has not wrecked so far is a huge accomplishment. While he has finished 3rd in a previous Tour, odds are he will not fair as well this year.

Levi Leipheimer is tied for 12th 31 seconds back. He is really an unkown, but could do very well. He is a strong climber.

Tyler Hamilton tied for 18th 34 seconds back. He placed 4th last year with a broken collarbone. I am convinced he would have beat Lance if he had not wrecked. One of my picks to win. He will out climb Lance. He just needs to stay out of trouble and have a good team time trial.

Other favorites so far.

Jens Voigt, Christophe Moreau, Jan Ullrich, Iban Mayo and Gilberto Simoni are staying out of trouble. Simoni did lose almost a minute during the time trial, but he should be able to get that back in the mountains. 

Friday, July 02, 2004

My Tour de France prediction.

Not only will Lance not win it, he will not even be the first American. He was given the race last year, as his rivals botched every chance to attack. This year there will be a feeding frenzy.

Start tomorrow! 


DA to seek Heatley indictment.

The AJC is reporting the the DA will seek an indictment of Thrasher's star Dany Heatly for the car accident the caused the death of Dan Snyder. This has been coming for a while. This tragic incident will be dragged out for a lot longer.

Police allege that Heatley lost control of his black Ferrari convertible on Sept. 29, and plowed into a brick pillar and iron fence outside a Lenox Road condominium complex. His estimated speed was 80 mph. Snyder, a passenger, was fatally injured.

Within days of the crash, a blood-alcohol test showed Heatley was far from legally drunk but had been drinking.

Samuel said he wants to bring in his own experts to determine the speed at the time of the accident and to check for any possible defects in the car.

Fulton prosecutors have not provided the defense team access to the car.

Speed is a big factor in this case. Since Heatley was not legally drunk, prosecutors would have to prove he was driving recklessly for them to treat the case as a felony instead of a misdemeanor.


"We're bystanders in [the judicial process]," Graham Snyder [Dan Snyder's father] said. "[LuAnn] listened basically and they explained to her what the procedure was and what would be happening, and they said they would keep us informed. If it goes to the grand jury, we would have the right to be present, but from their standpoint they said they would not involve us in the case. From the other side, the defense would be allowed to use us."

I think one of the most amazing things about this case is how the Snyder family grieved over this, accepted it as an accident, and has supported Heatly the entire time. It seems one of the reasons Dan Snyder was such an amazing individual is because of his amazing parents. What an example they are setting for love and forgiveness. 


Testing ends on Chattahoochee.

The AJC keeps us informed on how the state of Georgia fails to do what is in the best interest of it citizens.

Days of rotating thunderstorms had turned the Chattahoochee the color of butterscotch. Runoff from construction sites, parking lots and yards left little doubt that it was not a good day to fish.

Twenty-four hours after Lairson collected water samples near Medlock Bridge, the U.S. Geological Survey lab in Norcross confirmed that E. coli bacteria levels were nearly 80 times the safe limit, vastly increasing the chance of infections and diseases for those who dared to venture into the water.

But the river's signals aren't always so obvious. After September, reading the river will become a guessing game again, when budget cuts end a government-funded testing program.

For four years, BacteriALERT has been the only regular source of information about the quality of the Chattahoochee River between Atlanta and Lake Lanier, where metro Atlantans fish, float and draw their drinking water. River users bookmark a USGS Web site ( to let them know whether it's safe to wade, raft or fish. Signs are also posted along the river warning when bacteria levels are high.

This is completely moronic. The Chattahoochee is one of the true treasures of Georgia, and you are telling me that governments cannot come up with $120,000 a year for water quality testing? This is very important for people who use the river, and thousands of Georgians do everyday, from paddlers to fisherman to kids swimming and sunning themselves on shoals.

BacteriALERT Homepage

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Chattahoochee Nature Center 

News and notes from Atlanta, and a touch of national stuff, as seen by gttim.

Georgia for Dean

June 2003 / July 2003 / August 2003 / September 2003 / October 2003 / November 2003 / December 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 /

Daily Reads

Powered by Blogger
Weblog Commenting by

p ? Atlanta Blogs # n