For anyone to get the most from the following--aside from those who already participated via comments appearing beneath my blog of Monday, Dec. 15--you need to first familiarize yourself with the issue and the comments of readers to it. The background of those commenting is diverse enough to represent a good cross-section of bettors/fans.

Before issuing a proposal/challenge to our readers, and their friends and follow bettors, some background:

While at Newsday, I organized a one-day boycott of the Pick 6. I've mentioned this before. At the bottom line it was successful, cutting handle by over 50 percent. Unfortunately, it did not engender further dialogue or lasting impact. In that context, it failed. But that was one voice, one newspaper, one issue, affecting only a small percentage of the horseplaying population on Long Island.

But if all of us took on only half the issues elucidated by regular poster Mr. Corrow, we'd have much work to do. Unfortunately, the apathy Mr. Kling referred to is all too real. And as someone associated with the Capital OTB television network, I have seen what drives people to comment and/or act. And it ain't much.

There is a pocketbook issue out there, however, that not only affects bettors but the future health and vitality of the thoroughbred sport, a business fueled by wagering.

We can all have input on the issues that interest us most, and how we should attack those problems. But I believe we should start with the greatest single concern affecting all of us, from customer to industry honcho. Or, to paraphrase a political slogan from a previous administration: Its about the takeout on betting, stupid.

In order to reverse the current trend that gives us the wagering we deserve--what were getting now aint much--here's my proposal to affect change:

If we can shake ourselves from our lethargy, if we really want to affect change, I propose a campaign having at its core two traditional dynamics: demonstration and boycott.

After you stop laughing, read on.

The campaign will start at a grass roots level with demonstrations in front of the state houses in major racing states, those in Albany, NY, Frankfurt, Ky., Sacramento, Ca., Tallahassee, Fla. and Springfield, Ill.

The movement probably would need at least three busloads of organized demonstrators to appear with picket signs, and a spokesperson willing to intelligently state our case to mainstream media.

Phase two would be demonstrations in front of major tracks in those states, the following week, month, whenever. (This is trickier because, in most cases, it would be private property. Things could get, lets say, interesting).

Coordinated with the demonstrations would be an organized boycott of betting pools. Were not going to get everyone to go along, obviously, but we need to choose a major racetrack one Saturday and make sure we significantly impact handle negatively. It has to be a number that makes a difference, that cannot be ignored. If it works, maybe a bandwagon would start rolling.

I pledge to try to get major television exposure in the Albany media market to cover the demonstration. The Albany market includes, of course, Saratoga. I also pledge to contact the National Turf Writers Assn. to engender support for our cause, as well as traditional industry media; Daily Racing Form, Horseplayer magazine, Bloodhorse, and the like.

If all else failed, at least we'd get some play. In addition to mainstream media, print and electronic, we could enlist support from the racing-blog community, satellite radio, and all the rest.

Populist philosophy, no matter the party affiliation, is resonating with Americans as the 2008 presidential election draws closer. What could be more populist than three busloads of $2 bettors demonstrating in state capitals? (Those sporting $400 haircuts need not apply).

The challenge, then, is to get off our soapboxes and walk the talk. Im willing to do my share.

Like Kilroy, they will know we were here. So, to paraphrase what Mr. Springsteen has asked ad infinitum on his most recent tour: Is there anybody alive out there with a better idea?