August 31, 2012

We must!

The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear: Our country faces unmitigated disaster if the Other Side wins.

No reasonably intelligent person can deny this. All you have to do is look at the way the Other Side has been running its campaign. Instead of focusing on the big issues that are important to the American People, it has fired a relentlessly negative barrage of distortions, misrepresentations, and flat-out lies.

Just look at the Other Side’s latest commercial, which take a perfectly reasonable statement by the candidate for My Side completely out of context to make it seem as if he is saying something nefarious. This just shows you how desperate the Other Side is and how willing it is to mislead the American People.

The Other Side also has been hammering away at My Side to release certain documents that have nothing to do with anything, and making all sorts of outrageous accusations about what might be in them. Meanwhile, the Other Side has stonewalled perfectly reasonable requests to release its own documents that would expose some very embarrassing details if anybody ever found out what was in them. This just shows you what a bunch of hypocrites they are.

Naturally, the media won’t report any of this. Major newspapers and cable networks jump all over anything they think will make My Side look bad. Yet they completely ignore critically important and incredibly relevant information that would be devastating to the Other Side if it could ever be verified.

I will admit the candidates for My Side do make occasional blunders. These usually happen at the end of exhausting 19-hour days and are perfectly understandable. Our leaders are only human, after all. Nevertheless, the Other Side inevitably makes a big fat deal out of these trivial gaffes, while completely ignoring its own candidates’ incredibly thoughtless and stupid remarks – remarks that reveal the Other Side’s true nature, which is genuinely frightening.

My Side has produced a visionary program that will get the economy moving, put the American People back to work, strengthen national security, return fiscal integrity to Washington, and restore our standing in the international community. What does the Other Side have to offer? Nothing but the same old disproven, discredited policies that got us into our current mess in the first place.

Don’t take my word for it, though. I recently read about an analysis by an independent, nonpartisan organization that supports My Side. It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything I have been saying about the Other Side was true all along. Of course, the Other Side refuses to acknowledge any of this. It is too busy cranking out so-called studies by so-called experts who are actually nothing but partisan hacks. This just shows you that the Other Side lives in its own little echo chamber and refuses to listen to anyone who has not already drunk its Kool-Aid.

Let’s face it: The Other Side is held hostage by a radical, failed ideology. I have been doing some research on the Internet, and I have learned this ideology was developed by a very obscure but nonetheless profoundly influential writer with a strange-sounding name who enjoyed brief celebrity several decades ago. If you look carefully, you can trace nearly all the Other Side’s policies for the past half-century back to the writings of this one person.

To be sure, the Other Side also has been influenced by its powerful supporters. These include a reclusive billionaire who has funded a number of organizations far outside the political mainstream; several politicians who have said outrageous things over the years; and an alarmingly large number of completely clueless ordinary Americans who are being used as tools and don’t even know it.

These people are really pathetic, too. The other day I saw a YouTube video in which My Side sent an investigator and a cameraman to a rally being held by the Other Side, where the investigator proceeded to ask some real zingers. It was hilarious! First off, the people at the rally wore T-shirts with all kinds of lame messages that they actually thought were really clever. Plus, many of the people who were interviewed were overweight, sweaty, flushed, and generally not very attractive. But what was really funny was how stupid they were. There is no way anyone could watch that video and not come away convinced the people on My Side are smarter, and that My Side is therefore right about everything.

Besides, it’s clear that the people on the Other Side are driven by mindless anger – unlike My Side, which is filled with passionate idealism and righteous indignation. That indignation, I hasten to add, is entirely justified. I have read several articles in publications that support My Side that expose what a truly dangerous group the Other Side is, and how thoroughly committed it is to imposing its radical, failed agenda on the rest of us.

That is why I believe 2012 is, without a doubt, the defining election of our lifetime. The difference between My Side and the Other Side could not be greater. That is why it absolutely must win on November 6.


August 11, 2012

Around the Crater

Crater Lake is a caldera lake located in the south-central region of the U.S. in the State of Oregon. It sits around 6,178 ft above sea level, the mountain itself closer to 7,800 ft.  I rode a bike around the lake.

For the last couple of years I have been riding my bike to and from work 10+ miles a day.  You would think that would prepare you for a ride like this.

Four of us met at the Costco Gas station and commuted up to Crater Lake Village. Glen, the mastermind who put this together and an avid rider; Kacy, an equestrian who commutes on bike as well as Jeff, who logs the least amount of miles on bike.

The ride out from the Village started with a downhill section.  It consists of several switchbacks.  On a many-month earlier drive around the crater, I had thought this would be a blast on a bike.  So when we started the descent, I shifted up and pedaled like a madman.  My speed was greater then I could peddle so I hung on and went into the first turn.  I tried not to break, although I did a bit, not quite sure how much traction I would have.  Turns out I had more then enough. The next few hairpins were a fight against G-forces and keeping the turn tight. I felt the ground brush my knee at one point.  I even startled several motorists who, thankfully, did not swing too wide. It was exhilarating, having to lean around the corners like a cafe racer.  So 7,124' down to the low of 6,446 in about 3.5 miles.

The next 12.5 miles were some long climbs and some curious things.  After hitting 6,787' we got another downhill. Then two big climbs, the first from 6,638' to 7,367'.  Then another downhill to 6,778 up to the highest point on our journey - 7,664' at the 15 mile mark. My lower back, which gets stiff at times due to my work was started to act up.  Nothing really painful, just annoying.  Also, the tendon along the right side of my right knee was starting to get tighter as we climbed.  Everywhere we were treated to some of the most gorgeous views on the planet.  I kept getting slower after 10 miles (which was about the length of my daily commute).  Uphill is repetition, cadence and self distraction.  I would think of songs and peddle to the beat.  We passed bikers coming from the other direction, waving and smiling.

We stopped for a lunch break and I felt pretty good.  We had traveled just under 18 miles and traversed the highest point (near Mt. Scott).  From here on I would just fade. At 20 miles we reached the last of our big downhills, 6,744'.  Glen had mapped out the distance as being 28 miles for some reason.  Somplace around 23 miles we had a final break, figuring that another six miles would not be a significant distance.  I was offered to refill my water camel, a backpack that holds a bunch of water, with built-in straw.  Wary of the extra weight and knowing I have ridden five miles in harsh sunlight without any need of water, I declined... That would be a mistake...

At just around 27 miles, after climbing up to 7,396' I saw a sign telling me there was another six miles to the Rim Village.  This last four miles had been very difficult and the ability to peddle with any strength was taking its toll.  I went a couple hundred yards more but, had difficulty steering.  I pulled to the side of a turnout and laid down on a rock.  I was not out of breath.  I actually did not feel pain or sick or anything.  I just felt heavy and unable to move.  Mentally I wondered if Glen and Jeff had made the village, and how long till they came to find me.  The breeze felt very wonderful and I had pretty much decided to not move.

You always hear the term "hit the wall".  I am pretty sure that was what happened.  As I lay I started rationalizing my situation.  How no one would blame me for not making the full course.  How it was quite an accomplishment for someone who had not ridden more then 10 miles a day.  Consider we are around 6,500 feet above the elevation we live.  That has got to count for something as well.  Eventually they would backtrack and find me.  Then I got back up.  Still no clue as to why, it felt mechanical, like I was more a marionette.  I strapped on my helmet and buckled my camel pack, threw my leg over and started to pedal. It was a heavy feeling, like the gravity of the Earth had doubled.  I started up the hill in a low gear and just kept pumping.  Maybe another two miles and then I had to walk the bike due to my butt and the seat warming up to very uncomfortable heat.  I figure I walked about a mile and climbed back up and began the ascent again.

Finally I hit a flat and a slight downhill.  The construction on the road let me know it was not that much further and being downhill allowed me to coast.  It was actually taking quite a bit of concentration to keep straight and true down the path.  Kacy had started back on her bike to locate me.  She seemed relieved when we crossed paths.  The car was not too far behind her.  I would have gotten off and loaded up then and there, but the village was close enough that I just finished.

I had run out of energy, bike-sitting ability (heck, ANY sitting ability), water and most remaining virtues.  I pretty much wanted to lay down on my bed until the ache went away.  We had a celebratory pizza with beer at the Diamond Lake pizza place, then took the construction-slowed trip back to Roseburg.

We plan to go again next year.  I figure my ass muscles will just have stopped hurting by then...