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Tom Rizzo
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Tom Rizzo

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Congratulations to +Imran Garda on his mentally-stimulating new show Third Rail  on +Al Jazeera America!  I knew from your days on +The Stream that anything you were a part of would be fascinating and a very good use of a viewer’s time.  Thanks for keeping me thinking, my friend.  Watch this show, everyone!
This weekly current affairs program asks the tough questions others avoid and digs deep into issues affecting us all.
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Tom Rizzo

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Nabeel Rajab is still in prison, and #F1 has returned to #Bahrain for its saddest, most pathetic and needless stop on its calendar.  With a member of the ruling dictatorship ubiquitous this weekend, I just wanted to remind the teams, the personnel and, especially, the fans that there are some longtime fans of the sport who are ashamed and embarrassed that our sport has chosen to stand with the dictators against those who have risked everything for something far too many take for granted: freedom. 
This weekend, Bahrain will host the Formula One Grand Prix. But behind the shiny fast cars and celebrations lies a government that is willing to stop at nothing to punish those who dare to speak out about the tragic human rights situation in the country.
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Tom Rizzo

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I'm saddened to read it will take crowdfunding to have #CaterhamF1 on the grid at #AbuDhabi .  I wish the fans, rather than contenting themselves with viewing pictures of old #F1 cars or worrying about where #JensonButton will be in 2015, would get behind a movement to have a full field at Yas Marina.    Bernie Ecclestone could pay to have them and #Marussia on the grid.  The season that started with a full field should end with one.

#fullfield #yasmarina #Rememberthefans   
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#F1 sometimes makes me laugh.  The sport is collapsing in front of everyone's eyes, and some people are still caught up on the sound of the engines. Go figure.
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What passes for “leadership” of #F1 -- and this includes the wealthy, successful teams -- ought to take a real hard look in the mirror for participating in a system where the 3 new teams have gone so quickly to the wall.  You all benefited from the increased publicity that surrounded them joining F1, but you couldn’t bring yourselves to design a system in which every race wasn’t a monumental struggle to get on the grid, let alone be competitive.  Not spraying champagne in Japan is one sort of statement of support for Jules Bianchi.  Another is allowing his team to go bust while he fights for his life in hospital. 

Marussia and Caterham have something called FANS.  Have you ever thought about them?  There is no clamor for the haves in F1 to get more.  There is no clamor for 3rd entries from the large teams and customer cars for the peasants.  Please come to your senses before it is too late.

#shame #Marussia #Caterham #HRT #ForzaJules #F1onNBCSN
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Tom Rizzo

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Let's see if Congress can help some people who could use it, rather than just bicker amongst itself like it's so good at doing. 
This is what innovation looks like when people don't have access to electricity – and it's no way to live. Let's improve the quality of life for the world's poorest. Tell the Senate to support a new bill that will help African countries bring electricity to 50 million people for the first time.
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Tom Rizzo

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Funny +Sauber F1 Team should mention "freedom of speech" in a thread today.

#F1 #Bahrain #shame  
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Tom Rizzo

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I ought to be able to love #F1 and still love human rights.

For any of you who have forgotten, #Bahrain is different to all the other human-rights-abusers on the F1 schedule in two very significant ways: the outsized economic role the race plays in the tiny nation (it’s by far the biggest event on the calendar, dwarfing the air show, golf, bowling and tennis), and the instrumental role that the human rights-abusing ruling family plays in the event (the Grand Prix is the Crown Prince’s baby, you’ll see him shaking hands on the post-race podium and all over the paddock).

This ought to be the last time the sport stands with the oppressive government against the will of the political prisoners and the masses of the public whom they represent.  We can do better.
Canceling the 2015 Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix
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Tom Rizzo

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Cancel Bahrain F1 Grand Prix 2011 posted this photo on 2015-01-31. 0 likes. 0 comments. 0 shares.
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Attention all #F1 “leaders”: As long as the shareout is inequitable, the end result will be predictable

The rich will get richer, the poor will struggle and die.

No 3rd entries.  No customer cars. No damn more pay drivers than we absolutely must endure.

We’re F1 fans.  Remember us?
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Tom Rizzo

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An Open Letter to Donald Mackenzie, Bernie Ecclestone, Jean Todt and every member of the #F1 community, past and present.

Waking up today in my sleepy, midwestern America town that once had a strong connection with motor racing, I can no longer remain silent as I watch Formula One -- a sport I have devoted far too many hours of my life to following -- continue to dissolve into a parody of itself.

It’s not bad enough that this marvelous season is about to be concluded with “double points” being awarded in its final race -- a decision clearly taken by people who love and understand money far more than they could ever hope to love and understand what makes motor racing special. But having to read that the sport is seriously considering having its wealthy teams field 3-car entries for 2015, and with HRT and Marussia gone, Caterham on the thinnest of ice, and teams like Sauber, Lotus and Force India crying out for help to get them through this rough patch, it is becoming increasingly more clear each day that the overly-wealthy people “in charge” of F1 have lost the plot, and need to rejoin the rest of us back here on planet earth.

I started following F1 in those pre-internet days when following the sport meant hours in the stacks at the local university’s library, poring over foreign newspapers for any snippet of news about what had recently transpired.  Or dialing the shortwave radio to the BBC World Service for any precious insight into that day’s Grand Prix they could squeeze into a bulletin of world news.  When the drivers had names like Jacky Ickx, Carlos Reutemann, James Hunt, and people who spoke about teams like Surtees, Tyrrell or Arrows knew they were speaking about something special.

The “double points” bunch who would have us watch the 3rd entry of the rich teams or the customer cars being “driven” by pay drivers seem oblivious to what the midfield teams like Sauber, Lotus and Force India bring to our sport.  Even with 3rd entries, there are not hundreds of engineer, aerodynamicist, engine design, mechanic etc. jobs on offer at the top teams.  Midfield teams provide vital employment opportunities for talented people who have not been captured by one of the top teams to ply their trade, build their knowledge and experience in an environment in which innovation is at a premium, where doing more with less is the way it has to be, where daring to conceive of a different way is encouraged.

It’s Adrian Newey at March.  It’s Frank Williams and Patrick Head starting from scratch on a shoestring.  It’s the audacity of Giancarlo Minardi wanting to mix it up with those guys an hour up the A14.  It’s Ross Brawn answering opportunity’s knock to create a season where drivers who only ever needed a chance, like Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, could finally prove their worth.  

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to reconsider your positions in F1.  You ought to act more like stewards of the sport, which would be nothing without its fans.  I urge you to stop acting as if maximizing profit is the be all and end all of our sport.  As if as long as the stock is offered, the TV contracts carefully drawn, and the money keeps flowing in from the likes of the royal dictatorship of Bahrain, or mafia-like despots like Vladimir Putin or Ilham Aliyev, the sport will continue to prosper.  That is a false future for our sport.

Our sport’s future lies instead in the places where it became great.  Not only physical places like Spa and Monza, but in the hearts and minds of the fans for whom a race weekend continues to offer a few hours of escape rather than a champagne pouring, glitzy night of hobnobbing with the very wealthiest people who are scheming to get wealthier.  It lies in the notebooks of the dreamers who could care less about IPOs, LBOs, P/E ratios and the lexicon of money, and far more about KERS, "squeeze tests", blown diffusers and tire wear.

Our sport is about magic and possibility.  It’s about a team that grew from a genius making calls from a telephone booth to the zenith of success with perhaps the greatest driver to ever have sat in a motor car, which survived tragedy after tragedy, fighting back against the greatest adversity, becoming a back-marker, only to rise once more like the proverbial phoenix, with a driver who came from death’s door, to have the most callous and rude things said about him in his previous job, to ascend the podium at Interlagos to feel the love of the people -- race fans -- who desperately need a seat at the table as the next round of decisions are made about F1’s future. 

I never thought I could turn away from IndyCar racing, but then I never thought that a big money pissing match would break out in the very cathedral of U.S. motor sport, turning The Greatest Spectacle in Racing into an asterisk-laden pale imitation of itself for too many years when I would have preferred to have been watching it.

I never thought I could turn away from NASCAR like I have, but I guess it was one too many caution flags thrown for “debris” on the backstretch, one too many post-race fisticuffs session, one too many finish where the drivers’ safety took a back seat to “giving the fans a good ending”.  By the way, the advent of mega-teams may have kept a full field of cars starting, but it also gave us the era of “start and park”, where there was no place in the sport for the James Hyltons, J.D. McDuffies and Ramo Stotts, and where North Wilkesboro wasn’t glamorous enough a place to race anymore.

I never thought I could contemplate turning away from F1 like I am, but the sport is moving away from fans like me.  So don’t.

Tom Rizzo
Akron, Ohio, USA
 
#GrandPrix #F12014 #Rosberg #Interlagos #LewisHamilton #F1 #NicoRosberg  #Rosberg #Hamilton #Motorsport #McLaren #McLarenF1 #RedBullRacing #RBR #Vettel #Ferrari #STR #ToroRosso #Massa #Bottas #Kimi #Alonso #ForceIndia #Lotus #Caterham #Marussia #F1onNBCSN
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Tom Rizzo

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We'll really miss them when they're gone.

#bees #SaveTheBees  
Tell Congress: Pass the Saving America's Pollinators Act and stand up to greedy chemical companies!
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Have him in circles
166 people
Stacy Zunker's profile photo
Rick “AMEN ALIBI” Couture's profile photo
‫الفنان محمد الطرموخ‬‎'s profile photo
Ali Garba's profile photo
Francois-Xavier Ada's profile photo
Hibamo Ayalew's profile photo
Rashid Hussain's profile photo
Jared Bosire's profile photo
Mahmoud Salem's profile photo
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“If Twitter censors, I’ll stop tweeting.” -- Ai Weiwei, 26 January 2012
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