Whatchoo talkin' bout fool?

King Kaufmann of Salon writes that Serena Williams, not Lance Armstrong, should be Sportsman of the Year. He makes a couple of points:
1. Cycling is all just about pedaling fast.
2. Americans don't care about cycling.
3. Cycling is popular in Europe, and Europeans don't know squat.
4. Serena Williams is a cultural phenomenon. She transcends her sport.
5. Americans pay attention to tennis.
6. Serena won the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open, dominating her sport.
7. Maybe racial discrimination is to blame.
He's right on one point, and that's #6, that she dominated her sport this year. On points #1-5 he proves himself to be the ignorant, ugly American. And point #7, which he tosses out there without committing to it, is just cowardly and irresponsible. If you're going to accuse your sportswriting peers at SI of racism, come out and say it. Don't cast aspersions if you're not willing to stand behind them. He writes:
I don't know why Williams doesn't get the respect she deserves. I'd hate to think there's a racial element at play in Sports Illustrated's choice of Armstrong over her, but this is America, and if we're honest we dismiss the issue of race at our peril. Fashion magazines reportedly don't sell as well when they have black women on the cover as when they have whites. Could S.I. have been thinking along those lines? I hope not, and I seriously doubt it -- neither Williams sister is a stranger to the magazine's cover -- but I can't imagine what criteria there might be under which Williams wouldn't win. (Willingham, the Sporting News' winner, is black.)
Weak weak weak.
To address his other points:
1. Cycling is not about pedaling fast. The same way running is not just about being the fastest runner, or auto racing is not just about flooring it the whole way around the track. Even Lance acknowledges that he's not the world's most talented cyclist. To win the world's toughest endurance event four years in a row requires talent, courage, skill, brains, and a tremendous capacity for suffering. That King does not bother doing any homework on cycling despite being a supposed sportswriter just indicates his ignorance or laziness, or both.
2. Americans do care about cycling now, and Lance is in great part responsible for that. San Francisco now holds an annual Grand Prix bike race, and New York City shut down to host the first annual NY Grand Prix this past fall, and neither would have happened without Lance's success in the Tour.
3. Jingoistic crap.
4. Serena Williams is an interesting person, but wearing some provocative outfits does not a cultural phenomenon make. I don't see anyone dressing like her. I've never once had a conversation with anyone about her. One successful year does not a tennis career make. Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong's autobiography is the bestselling sports biography of all time, and cancer patients everywhere look to him as a savior. I was in France for the Tour and saw thousands of Americans running up the mountains alongside Lance, with Texas horns on their heads and American flags painted on their chests.
5. America does not care about tennis. It's a sport in serious decline and needs help. Too bad, because it's a lot of fun.
Fortunately, readers of Salon called Mr. Kaufman out on his poorly researched attempt at playing provocateur.
Australian Visa

I've been trying all morning to apply for a darn Visa for Australia using this online site. Three times now I've gone through all the steps, filled in all my info, only to get to the last step and receive the message "The credit card processing system is down. Please try again shortly."
Gee, thanks. That's great. Why don't you give me that message ahead of time, so I don't have to waste 10 minutes of my life?