Lance Armstrong

Is America Too Forgiving? The Case of Lance Armstrong

Anthropologist and brand consultant Grant McCracken thinks we need a new honor code for public figures—and ourselves.


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Do people who have acted objectively horribly in public life deserve a second chance, or does giving them a pass contribute to a decline in morality and standards that makes us all worse off?

We're not talking about the extreme cases, like movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison on rape and assault convictions. Or people who get canceled—often unfairly—because of random dumb tweets, online mobs, or years-old statements ripped out of context.

We're talking about public figures like Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles in 2012 after getting caught using banned substances for basically his entire professional career and lying about it. Should we let him and others like him return to the public spotlight when they don't really own their mistakes or try to repair the damage they've done to public trust and confidence? Armstrong is working his way back into the limelight as a podcaster and the face of WEDŪ, an online platform geared toward endurance athletes.

Anthropologist and brand consultant Grant McCracken says we're too soft on people like Armstrong and our willingness to let bygones be bygones leads to a general decline in public and private morality. "Here's a guy who doped, who insisted that he didn't dope, and accused his competitors of doping," says McCracken, who has taught at Harvard and worked with Netflix, Google, and Kanye West. "We are open-hearted Americans, we like to think that all people should be forgiven. People make mistakes. It's always the second act in American culture. I'm not sure there should be a second act. I think once you've done something as bad as that you're done, you're out."

In The New Honor Code: A Simple Plan for Raising Our Standards and Restoring Our Good Names, McCracken argues that we need to do more to celebrate people such as his neighbor Bob, who receives little recognition despite being central to his community by helping to build Little League fields, volunteering at the local hospital, and being active in his church. "We need more Bobs. As it turns out, there are about five Bobs in my community," says McCracken. "If you created a reputation economy and you found some way of giving people credit for these accomplishments, you might be able to inspire 30 Bobs to behave in this manner. And all boats would rise with that tide."

Photo Credits: John Angelillo/UPI/Newscom; Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/picture alliance / Geisler-Fotop/Newscom; Julien Behal/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Pierre Teyssot/Newscom; Bildbyran/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Pierre Teyssot / Splash News/Newscom; Anthony Devlin/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Christopher L. Smith/agefotostock/Newscom; Admedia, Inc/Birdie Thompson/AdMedia/Sipa USA/Newscom; Antonio Perez/TNS/Newscom; SMG/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Jan Woitas/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom; SMG/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Breloer Gero/DPA/ABACA/Newscom; Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/Newscom; Nick Potts/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom 

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  1. I’d really like to watch an all-doped Olympics.

        1. The transgender males (that the left wing media propagandists insists are women) who won the Connecticut female high school track championships reminded me of those East German female athletes (who all looked like and had testosterone levels of men) back in the 1980s.

          Lance Armstrong should have been cancelled long ago because he fraudulently participated in and won all those races while on dope (while falsely claiming otherwise, and while falsely accusing honest athletes of doing so).

          1. “Honest athletes”? At the Tour de France?! LOL. Better winning through chemistry has been a thing there pretty much since the start.

            Guessing, but you’d have to dig down to below at least the top 30 riders to find one not using some form of illegal chemical assistance. At least they aren’t having to wake up at 2 AM anymore, to pedal their bikes so their hearts won’t stop.

            Why do we need to ‘forgive’ Lance Armstrong anyway? The people who need to be answering that question, are all of these people this guy ran roughshod over for the last 40 years or so. I thank God I never met Lance. People I did meet, who have met him, are pretty unanimous in saying he’s a colossally arrogant douchebag.

            1. As a died in the wool roadie I followed Lance and the Posties with great joy. But I was also well aware of your point that even back in the early years of the Tour de France ‘living better through chemistry’ was the norm.

              I can still remember when it first came out that Lance was using chemicals there were many posts on biking forums pointing out the fact that the last year he won the Tour every other top ten rider that year had already been caught doping. Truth be told as a rule only the top ten riders in a race are tested; the feeling being if you don’t contend while doping that is your bad and no body else cares.

              While what Lance did was against the rules compared to many, very many, other peeps it pales compared to what they did. He is not the best example of a hero with feet of clay.

              My reaction to this article is MEH.

              1. I guess the part that grates is the calling out others.

                If he’d *just* taken the drugs, ok, fine, whatever. “Meh”, as you say.

                Taking the drugs and also being a hypocritical little bitch about accusing others, that’s cunty as fuck.

                1. Completely agree, perlhaqr.

                  Ragebot, with respect to, “While what Lance did was against the rules compared to many, very many, other peeps it pales compared to what they did. He is not the best example of a hero with feet of clay.” I had thought that Lance’s entourage, though not the entire USPS Cycling Team, was just as deep into doping as, e.g., Festina. The USPS just was better at dodging French cops.

                  It does seem to be cleaner these days. Times up, e.g., L’Alpe d Huez, are IIRC, still slower than the days of Pantani, Indurain, and others. Making a hard cap on allowable hematocrit, and being rigorous with ensuring compliance with riders’ biological passports, seems to have helped. Or made the cheating subtler. Riding 2500 miles on a bike in a month, just isn’t a natural activity.

                  1. My main problem with all those doping scandals is the arbitrary differences between legal and illegal doping. Cold pills are sometimes out, sometimes in, and probably depend on a doctor’s note. New drugs are ok until they are not. Oxygenating blood was ok until it was not. Where does caffeine stand?

                    In general, I despise laws which cannot be consistently enforced, like most traffic laws. How many times have you need behind a cop car which doesn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign or red light? How many speeders do cops catch, one in ten thousand? Far as I’m concerned, all those sports doping rules fall into the same category, and far as I’m concerned, douchebag or not, Lance Armstrong still won 7 yellow jerseys. I was half convinced then, and still am, that it was primarily revenge on an American who dared beat Frenchies.

                    1. Bingo. Doping rules are the worst kind of rules, not just because they are both counterproductive and unfair but because they create opportunities for law enforcement people to destroy anyone they feel like targeting. No law or rule that fits that description has any place on the books.

                      As far as the merits of doping itself — there is such a thing as too much exercise as well as too little. Competitive athletes so abuse their bodies that way that the added risk from doping disappears in the noise. So anyone who sees it as a moral issue is laughably shallow.

                  2. Gotta put in a good word for the Big Mig, don’t think he was ever implicated in drug use. Not saying a lot of others were not using them, just that he had a very different riding style than those using drugs. He was a big guy with a some what slower cadence than all most all the other riders and in the simplest terms was simply bigger and stronger than other riders.

              2. Same here. ‘Forgive’ may be too strong of a word, but I can ‘accept’ what he did… albeit I still find him to be an arrogant prick regardless. I do think it is a H-U-G-E mistake to ‘cancel’ which inevitably results in people forgetting what he did and not learning from it or recognizing similar situations or acts in the future.

                1. Not just a prick – he sued people for defamation as they were telling the •truth• about him. These lawsuits cost people quite a bit of coin. That borders on sociopathic.

                  1. It’s the American way

    1. The Russians would win everything.

    2. All doped? If you mean on any random narcotic, then I wholeheartedly agree. Guy son crack and PCP, maybe some people on LSD. Method up athletes, along with some folks on bath salts would also be good.

      That would be fucking genius.

  2. “If you created a reputation economy and you found some way of giving people credit for these accomplishments, you might be able to inspire 30 Bobs to behave in this manner. And all boats would rise with that tide.”

    I’ve been arguing for social credit scores since forever.

    1. Shh. Nobody tell Sevo this isn’t really chemjeff. Let’s see if Sevo goes off on an angry rant.

        1. Ah, you wanted to trick, Sevo, too, and I spoiled it. Sorry about that.

          1. No, it’s just that he’s not a lowbrow dumb ass like you that can’t tell the difference between sulfuric acid and water.

      1. “Shh. Nobody tell Sevo this isn’t really chemjeff. Let’s see if Sevo goes off on an angry rant.”

        Don’t tell anyone this is really the TDFS-addled shit; they’ll figure it out quickly enough.

        1. Let the anger flow!

      2. Not even needed. What jeff actually posts is more embarrassing.

        chemjeff radical individualist
        February.9.2021 at 8:56 am
        What is there to talk about?

        From a libertarian perspective, Ashli Babbett was trespassing, and the officers were totally justified to shoot trespassers. Again from a libertarian perspective, the officers would have been justified in shooting every single trespasser. That would not have been wise or prudent, of course.

        They were all trespassers trying to be where they weren’t supposed to be.

      3. Asshole is asshole. You think an asshole by any other name would actually smell sweet?

        1. It’s not just “any other name”, it’s not even the same person. It’s Tulpa.

          1. Not anger, disgust and derision. We’re actually embarrassed for you.

    2. You and the ChiComs. Now we’re almost there.

    3. You’re my favorite new username here.

  3. Should we let him and others like him return to the public spotlight…


    1. It sure was an odd choice of words. Nobody needs to “let” or not “let” Lance Armstrong or Gina Carano be allowed to have a life and a career.

      1. Well one of them cheated to gain a competitive advantage. The other one pointed out that not just the Nazis were bad, but the common people who supported them were also bad. Which was somehow construed as her saying that the Nazis weren’t bad.

        1. She didn’t say anything anti Semitic. It wasn’t a good analogy and insensitive perhaps but no big deal.

          1. Ok, what is wrong with the analogy?
            You’re behaving exactly as the nazis did in the early 30s.

          2. I thought it was a good analogy, actually. Her being fired and dropped by her agent supported it too.

            1. She is an individual who may have been treated unfairly not an entire group of people singled out just because of their ethnicity. The Nazis were not suppressing speech. They were preparing for genocide.

              Read up on the Nuremberg Laws and Kristallnacht. It goes a bit further than that.

              I don’t see what she said as a big deal anyway and don’t want to quibble about it.

              1. My God, what a dishonest and passive aggressive piece of shit you are.

    2. The mask slips again.

  4. Good thing you didn’t mention noted black man Michael Vick, that might get awkward. After all, Lance Armstrong only cheated within the context of his dumb sport that nobody gives a shit about anyway, Michael Vick did some awful shit that reflected on him as a human being and not merely as an athlete.

    1. Although I guess if Joe Biden can dismiss the Chinese concentration camps for the Uighers as “different cultural norms” (and presumably would dismiss Hitler’s and Stalins camps the same way), we can dismiss Vick’s torturing and murdering of dogs as a cultural difference as well. Maybe black people are just too goddamn stupid to understand the difference between right and wrong and it would be racist of me not to acknowledge their inferiority.

      1. I went back and read what Biden actually said.

        It rambling and inarticulate, but he did not simply say that oppression of the Uighers is A-OK because of different social norms. He seemed to be trying to say, again quite poorly, that Xi views America’s views on civil rights as a different social norm, but Xi “gets it” that an American President cannot just sit back and watch the oppression of the Uighers, and say and do nothing about it.

        1. White Knight the Uighur holocaust denier will always find a way to minimize criticism of insufficient action and reaction in the West.

          I hope that the thirty pieces of silver you get paid for obfuscating CCP genocide is worth the price of your soul.

          1. Sure, right. I have not uttered one word of denial of the Uighur oppression. For the record, I think it is a terrible abuse and shameful for China.

          2. Maybe Canada can invade them and set things right. Not that the last American admin did a damn thing for them and the current one won’t either.

              1. If the executive order calling it genocide wasn’t enough:

                Aside from spying some of these companies were using Uighur slaves,

                  1. Downthred, he claims the allies did nothing for the Jews during WWII; the sumbitch is a stupid as WK.

                  2. No my girl lost the election. Your boy did too now we are stuck with Biden. Great job Trumpies.

              2. You are counting that as “did a damn thing for them”?

                1. You still think a cop was bludgeoned to death and trespassing is a capital offense.

                  1. You are a very confused person, and massively dishonest in your recaps of what others said.

                    1. You keep pushing that bullshit about the cop, and you call JA ‘confused’?
                      Are you simply too stupid to understand you’re lying, or are you ‘confused’?

        2. Lol. Man. Biden cultists will defend the most disgusting shit.

          1. Whatever, dude. You know who else didn’t say what everyone says he said:

            Trump Jr. didn’t tweet that the governor of Texas is a Democrat. His tweet was just awkwardly worded.

            Guess I just defended Trump, Jr. because I’m a Trump cultist.

            1. “Whatever, dude…”

              Fuck off and die, TDS-addled lefty shit.

        3. Don’t read it. Watch it.

          I thought something similar to what you thought when I first read it.

          Then I watched him say it. You have to listen to the entire statement. He is clearly saying that Xi has to deal with his own political reality. The thing that underscores this is that he follows it up with the statement that he will not be calling him out for the way they treat the uyghurs, or hong cong protesters, or even attempting to reunify with Taiwan by force.

          After watching it a couple times, the most charitable interpretation I can get from it is that Biden got confused between how he was supposed to handle it behind the scenes talking to the Chinese and how he was supposed to handle it in public. In other words, when he was talking to the Chinese he was telling them that he understood that they have their own political reality to deal with and he wouldn’t push them too hard on it. But by mistake he said that part out loud to us.

          1. the most charitable interpretation I can get from it is that Biden got confused between how he was supposed to handle it behind the scenes talking to the Chinese and how he was supposed to handle it in public.
            Maybe. Except Joe’s been in DC forever and any confusion about public remarks vs private should have been resolved long ago. If ‘confused’ means something a bit more serious, then okay.

            1. Yes… I am saying it is charitable to interpret his remarks as resulting from his obvious mental decline and obvious lack of direct involvement in policy.

              Interestingly, we saw the other side of this with the Trump administration. Career bureaucrats were livid that he did not follow their instructions as to what to say and what to do, particularly in areas of foreign policy.

              So it would not be unique to Biden to have a cadre of career bureaucrats telling you what to say and why.

              Getting confused as to which audience you are speaking to is not nearly as great a transgression in my mind. I mean, it doesn’t really qualify you for the job, but it isn’t exactly your fault either. Meanwhile, allowing the bureaucracy to make all the decisions is your fault.

      2. No your comments are racist merely by the fact that you are too stupid to even understand why.

        Ooh. And great Hitler reference. It made your analogy far more germane.

      3. I agree wholeheartedly with your first paragraph, and realize that the second is attempted parody, but it still really doesn’t sound right.

      4. “Maybe black people are just too goddamn stupid to understand the difference between right and wrong and it would be racist of me not to acknowledge their inferiority.”

        This only makes sense if Michael Vick is black. And even then it doesn’t make sense. Oh, and both Hitler and Stalin were white, and presumably inferior, although to whom is not clear.

      5. Jerryskids

        If you want to go there none of the allies did a damn thing to help the Jews even when they could have. Look at every other genocide in history. Nothing.

        So what makes anyone think this will be any different. People on this forum rail against admitting refugees and immigrants. Well same thing happened in the late 1930s and eventually it was too late.

        Our policies have done nothing to help them and only made things worse. To affect change you need to engage and we are no longer on speaking terms with the Chinese government.

        Talk is cheap and unilateral tariffs are counterproductive.

        1. “If you want to go there none of the allies did a damn thing to help the Jews even when they could have”


          1. Because otherwise they would have liberated the camps hundreds of miles within a territory they were fighting a total war with, decades earlier.

            1. Which is why I refer to the 1930s. The camps were not built until later.

            2. Furthermore before the war the British refused to let the Jews flee to Palestine. They did not want to upset the Arabs many of whom were openly pro Nazi. Germany at that time was more than happy to let the Jews leave and encouraged it.

              More history for you.

              The Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler


          2. Strict immigration policy prohibited most who were trying to escape as it became evident what was going to happen.

            Read about the St Louis and the Evian conference.


            Even after it started Jewish leaders pleaded with Roosevelt to bomb the railways taking Hungarian Jews to be slaughtered.

            By the time the camps were liberated it was over. My father in law was shot in the leg trying to escape and was found by British soldiers.

          3. The story of the St. Louis is something we should all know about


          4. What happened after was the vast majority of survivors could not go back. There were still strict immigration laws and strong anti immigrant sentiment. Their properties and businesses had been seized locally and much of the local population in their home countries were hostile.

            Many wanted to go to what was then British controlled Palestine. There was no place for them in Europe.

            The British placed a strict blockade and interned those in refugee boats in camps in Cyprus. The Hagana managed to smuggle many of them in anyway. At the start of the war all countries had a strict arms embargo on the new state of Israel. They managed to buy weapons on the black market and make some of their own.

            See the story of The Exodus one of those ships.


            There is a great movie about it starring Paul Newman

        2. “…If you want to go there none of the allies did a damn thing to help the Jews even when they could have. Look at every other genocide in history. Nothing…”

          I see your cite fell off; I’m calling bullshit.

    2. Vick was eventually forgiven, and got a chance to play football again. Now he volunteers to help animals.

      And don’t forget Ray Lewis. ESPN made him a studio analyst.

      1. Cockfighting is now illegal in Oklahoma, apparently. What’s a blood sport enthusiast to do?

        1. “Cockfighting is now illegal in Oklahoma”

          But not in San Francisco. I’d love to assist Michael Vick on a fact finding trip.

      2. I was a big critic of Ray Ray but I honestly believe he allowed the wrong guys to be in his crew and that he didn’t participate in the escalation or stabbings.

        1. Probably not, though he was definitely there

    3. I was already ignoring football, but if I had been an NFL fan, I would have written them off when they let that asshole back in the game.


    4. Vick engaged in animal cruelty. How much that matters is very debatable among libertarians.


    All of this pearl-clutching and anxiety-ridden criticism of QAnon, while Critical Race Theory is hands down the most dangerous conspiracy theory that exists and it’s running rampant through our institutions.


    It is sad and ironic that in a state known for its huge petroleum and natural gas resources, the lack of reliability of wind power has brought the state to its knees in a time of crisis, not unlike that which California experienced in 2020 during record heat where wind and solar power could not keep up with demand and was near collapse.

    The folly of chasing renewable energy as a means of mitigating “climate change” is making itself abundantly clear today in Texas. When will politicians wake up and realize that renewable energy almost always equates to unreliable energy?

    1. Not only that, but the most effective way we’ve had to deal with climate has been by heating and cooling.

    2. even worse, California is banning gas appliances (cooking and heating and hot water) in new construction. so when the power grid fails, you’re toast. or more like frozen toast.

      1. I would be so pissed if my state banned gas stoves.

        1. The value of gas-equipped homes just got a shot in the arm, courtesy of gov’t market distortion.

      2. The neat thing about solar is that is absorbs most of the sun’s energy, some of which would have been reflected back into space, and converts it into mechanical (heat) energy.

    3. Thanks for the link. This is what the a Cascend strategy company recommends (quote from the link):
      “The simple 5-step solution according to Cascend:

      Winterize equipment

      Require power reserve

      Connect the Texas grid better

      Add solar with storage (storage is key)

      And add more natural gas”

      It doesn’t say Bwahaha wind bites.

      The linked article concludes that wind bites, but the firm they quote does not.
      When do the risk engineers start expecting “rare” weather events? That’s what I want to know.


    These are crazy times. A pandemic led to national quarantine; to self-induced recession; to riot, arson, and looting; to a contested election; and to a riot at the U.S. Capitol.

    In response, are we focusing solely on upping the daily vaccination rate? Getting the country back to work? Opening the schools as the virus attenuates? Ensuring safety in the streets?

    Or are we descending into a sort of madness?

    It might have been understandable that trillions of dollars had to be borrowed to keep a suffocating economy breathing.

    But it makes little sense to keep borrowing $2 trillion a year to prime an economy now set to roar back with herd-like immunity on the horizon.

    Trillions of dollars in stimulus are already priming the economy.

    Cabin-feverish Americans are poised to get out of their homes to travel, eat out and socialize as never before.

    Meanwhile, the United States will have to start paying down nearly $30 trillion in debt. But we seem more fixated on raising rather than reducing that astronomical obligation.

    1. We are told man-made, worldwide climate change – as in the now-discarded term “global warming” – can best be addressed by massive dislocations in the U.S. economy.

      The Biden administration plans to shut down coal plants. It will halt even nearly completed new gas and oil pipelines. It will cut back on fracking to embrace the multitrillion-dollar “Green New Deal.”

      Americans should pause and examine the utter disaster that unfolded recently in Texas and its environs.

      Parts of the American Southwest were covered in ice and snow for days. Nighttime temperatures crashed to near zero in some places.

      The state, under pressure, had been transitioning from its near-limitless and cheap reservoirs of natural gas and other fossil fuels to generating power through wind and solar.

      But what happens to millions of Texans when wind turbines freeze up while storm clouds extinguish solar power?

      We are witnessing the answer in oil- and gas-rich but energy-poor Texas that is all but shut down.

      Millions are shivering without electricity and affordable heating. Some may die or become ill by this self-induced disaster — one fueled by man-made ideological rigidity.

      Texas’ use of natural gas in power generation has helped the United States curb carbon emissions. Ignoring it for unreliable wind and solar alternatives was bound to have catastrophic consequences whenever a politically incorrect nature did not follow the global warming script.

      1. In 2019, a special counsel wrapped up a 22-month, $35 million investigation into then-President Donald Trump’s alleged “collusion” with Russia in the 2016 election. Robert Mueller and his team searched long and hard for a crime and came up empty.

        Then, Trump was impeached in December 2019 and acquitted in the Senate in early 2020. His purported crime was warning the Ukrainians about the Biden family’s quid pro quo racketeering.

        After the revelations concerning Hunter Biden’s shenanigans not only in Ukraine but also in Kazakhstan and China, Trump’s admonitions now seem prescient rather than impeachable.

        Trump had been threatened with removal from office under the 25th Amendment. He was accused of violating the Logan Act and the Constitution’s emoluments clause. His executive orders were often declared unconstitutional if not seditious.

        All these oppositional measures predictably failed to receive either public or congressional support.

        Finally, an exasperated left decided to flog the presidential corpse of now private citizen Trump. It did so without a Supreme Court chief justice to oversee an impeachment trial in the Senate. The targeted president was no longer president.

        There was no special prosecutor, little debate and even less cross-examination. In the end, the second impeachment was sillier than the first. But, like the first, the show trial wasted precious time and resources in the midst of a pandemic.

        1. But the height of our collective madness is the current cancel culture. Its subtexts are “unearned white privilege” and “white supremacy.”

          In the name of those abominations, mobs tear down statues, destroy careers, censor speech, require veritable oaths and conduct reeducation training.

          Stranger still, those alleging “white privilege” are usually themselves quite wealthy, liberal — and white. These elites count on their incestuous networking, silver-spoon upbringings and tony degrees to leverage status, influence and money in a way undreamed of by the white working class.

          Affluent and privileged minorities likewise join the chorus to call for everything from reparations to “reprogramming” Trump voters.

          1. The most elite in America are the most likely to damn the privilege of those who lack it. Perhaps this illogic squares the psychological circle of feeling guilty about things they never have any intention of giving up.

            If blaming those without advantages does not satisfy the unhappy liberal elite, then there is always warring against the mute dead: changing their eponymous names, destroying their statues, slandering their memories and denying their achievements.

            The common denominator with all these absurdities? An ungracious and neurotic elite whose judgment is bankrupt and whose privilege is paid for by those who don’t have it.

            1. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

              1. Nah, you’re a lost cause.

            2. We know the argument. It’s a shitty argument and we don’t give it credence – hence why we don’t repeat it.

  8. Do people who have acted objectively horribly in public life deserve a second chance, or does giving them a pass contribute to a decline in morality and standards that makes us all worse off?

    Yes. Except that without the option of reformation then there’s no incentive for those who’ve gone bad to ever stop. Same reason why we wouldn’t impeach a President after he’s left office – the important thing is the peaceful transfer of power, not getting those last few kicks in.

    We’re talking about public figures like Lance Armstrong,

    Uhm, who gives a fuck? He cheated at a *game*. Like, I never cared about the dude at all. He was a total non-entity that I only knew about because the press had nothing better to do than make a non-celebrity into a celebrity. Its the same reason I know about *any* of the Kardashians.

    So, yeah, sure, ‘rehabilitate’ this guy who’s no longer in a position to do the thing he did that you think is so horrible. What do I care.

    You need to come up with a better example than this.

  9. Should we celebrate the silent Bobs in every community? Of course we should. But let’s play out McCracken’s proposal to demonize folks like Armstrong forever. If you deny the possibility to rehabilitation, what is Armstrong supposed to do for the rest of his life? How is he allowed to make a living, earn money for food, pay for rent, take care of his family? If you deny “bad people” access to civil society, you will create a permanent criminal underclass. Unless you’re willing to return to a system where even minor crimes earn you the death penalty, you will create a world where crime increases by denying the possibility of rehabilitation.

    Forgiveness is not something we do merely out of the goodness of our hearts – forgiveness is something we do because it benefits the forgiver.

    1. Which really doesn’t have anything to do with the actual stuff McCracken writes about either Armstrong or public life.

      Yet the campaign appears to be working. Armstrong told CNBC in 2018 that he expected his podcast to bring in between $700,000 and $1 million over the course of his three-week coverage of the Tour de France. Endorsements are beginning once more to flow. Some people are prepared to defend him in public, to plead this case. Everyone in cycling dopes, the argument goes; Armstrong was just the one who got caught. And let’s just forget about those “people whose characters, reputations and careers [Armstrong] attempted to destroy in a bid to save his own.”….

      This is not what happens in a world constrained by honor. The cost is clear and irrevocable. Do something “completely inexcusable” and you will not be excused. No one will listen to your podcast. No one will want you as an endorser. You are done. You will not be allowed back into public life.

      1. “…Do something “completely inexcusable” and you will not be excused…”

        Fortunately, dipshits like you have no way to enforce your opinions on others.

    2. Unfortunately Kevin Smith is a progtard.

    3. The idea that our problem is being too forgiving when we are in the midst of a full-scale cultural revolution is ludicrously out of touch. It’s also so obviously authoritarian that it’s not worth serious consideration. Maybe McCracken isn’t seeing the obvious authoritarian ramifications of his proposal, but it seems like an ostensibly libertarian publication would notice. Also, in our society, given those in power, would the “Bobs” being celebrated be people contributing work of value to their communities? No, the “Bobs” selected for praise would just be the powerful congratulating themselves for their own biases. Nikole Hannah-Jones (don’t care if I’m spelling her name right), Ibrim Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, fucking AOC, the freak of the week—these would be our “Bobs.”

  10. ” Should we let him and others like him return to the public spotlight”?

    Who the fuck is “we”, Nick?

  11. Criminal politicians are the ones who should not be forgiven and they are the ones who mainly get off scott-free.

  12. Acted objectively horribly? All he did was cheat at a sport game! Like committing a personal foul in basketball or tilting a pinball.

    You don’t want to be bothered by him? Don’t race him on a bicycle.

    1. The argument for PED use in sports is that kids watch the athletes and look at them as role models. Even if Charles Barkley says they aren’t. And they may emulate these athletes. If I want to be like Mike, I gotta get Air Jordans. If I want to be like Tom Brady, I gotta follow the TB12 method. PEDs are dangerous. More so so adolescents. That is the argument.

  13. Trump bragged about “Saving his ass” WRT the murderous, greedy and corrupt Saudi Prince. Biden dismisses the cultural genocide of the Uygurs as a “cultural norm.” AOC lies about the Capitol riots. Ilan Omar lines the pockets of her spouse with campain funds. Ted Cruz skips town during a big emergency and then blames his daughters.

    If the people we elect behave like this, why be concerned about the likes of Lance Armstrong and Michael Vick? Bike racing and football are trivial, voluntary activities in the private sector.

    I am all for a more rigorous honor code, but we need to start with our elected officials. That such a pervasively corrupt government can still be trying to prosecute Assange is mind boggling

    1. What Vick did had nothing to do with football. He tortured and murdered dogs for fun.

    2. Or the folks that report the news. PBS used Charlie Rose in their ads after he got in trouble. Lyin Brian Williams returned to NBC. Baltimore Sun editorialist Michael Olesker made up shit about an MD (R) and was allowed to return.

    3. Your example of Ted Cruz isn’t one of corruption, but one of a bad political decision. Odd you include that in your list. It almost screams “One of these things is not like the other”

  14. I maintain that modern cancel culture began with the firing of Jimmy the Greek and solidified itself shortly thereafter, when the Baseball Hall of Fame voted to exclude those on the permanently ineligible list, generally–and Pete Rose specifically.

    In the case of Jimmy the Greek, the issue wasn’t average Americans and their quickness to judge or their willingness to forgive. The issue was an elitist news organization deciding to make an example out of somebody in an attempt to scare average people into changing their own behavior. We can’t have people condoning this sort of thing.

    In the case of Pete Rose, it was elitist journalists trying to assert themselves as the arbiters of what is and isn’t acceptable–regardless of other objective criteria. The Baseball Hall of Fame is no longer a collection of the best players to ever play the game if Pete Rose isn’t in it. The Baseball Hall of Fame is just a way for elitist journalists to look down their noses at average people and give them the finger.

    As cancel culture exploded, it always maintained these basic features. Robert Bork was rejected in the Senate for his positions on civil rights legislation and his participation in the Saturday Night Massacre, bu the crux of the opposition to confirming Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh had little to do with whether their experience or legal philosophies qualified them to be Supreme Court justices. The attacks against them basically claimed that they should be excluded from the Court to send a message to average Americans, who might come to imagine that sexual harassment and sexual assault are okay if they were confirmed.

    The problem with cancel culture isn’t the American people’s quickness to judge or our willingness to forgive. The problem with cancel culture is elitists in the media and the halls of government who imagine that their proper role in society is to inflict their own morality on the American people using the press or the levers of government. If anything needs to be changed, it’s the elitists’ revulsion and contempt for the American people.

    1. It’s not even their morality. It’s just a chance to claim the moral high ground for a week or two to crush their enemies.

    2. Ken is correct about Jimmy the Greek, the sports broadcaster who was fired (and his career destroyed) for truthfully stating that many blacks athletes were superior (to whites) because their descendants were selectively bred by slave owners (for size, strength and ability to work long hours in cotton and tobacco fields, and other hard labor).

      That’s why 85% of professional basketball players, 80% of Olympic sprinters, and most professional football players are black. But pointing that fact out today will quickly result in a person being labelled a “racist”.

      1. As a pure population genetics math question, would the number of generations of slaves in the US during the chattel slavery period be sufficient to alter physical characteristics of the black US population to that degree? Even with the kind of selection pressure the plantation system could provide? 250 years or so, 15-20 years a generation, would under 20 generations, and more like 10-15, be enough?

        1. Directed breeding works *much* faster than natural selection. It seems quite plausible.

      2. Actually, in a racist society, it should be expected to see people who are experiencing discrimination to be drawn into professions like music and sports, where success is more based on ability and performance. It’s far easier to discriminate against black construction managers, accountants, insurance estimators, and mechanics because their abilities and performance don’t necessarily stand out against their peers. A fixed car is a fixed car, but Joe Louis was the best boxer of his time because no one could beat him.

        When Bo Jackson was coming up, there was no reason to doubt his abilities would be rewarded by a big contract in the NFL or that Michael Jordan wouldn’t find a well paid position in the NBA. Because success in the the NBA and the NFL, for instance, is more clearly based on abilities and performance, black people probably concentrated their efforts on excelling in an industry like that, where they knew they wouldn’t suffer so much discrimination.

        Did anyone ever doubt the talent of Louis Armstrong, Ottis Redding, Dizzy Gillespie, or Aretha Franklin? That’s another area where you can be successful, despite discrimination, if your abilities and performance show you to be sufficiently talented. It may just be that black people are drawn to industries where they’re less likely to suffer from arbitrary discrimination. I worked at a hospital in Los Angeles with one of the first black medical doctors to graduate from Johns Hopkins. White hospitals wouldn’t hire him when he graduated. He ended up in LA because he became the cardiologist to black entertainers when they were in Hollywood.

        We should probably add that street gangs also don’t discriminate on the basis of race, and if we’re looking for a reason to explain whey people of African ancestry are disproportionately represented in street gangs, that’s one factor that also requires our attention. The real estate office downtown may discriminate against you when you apply to be trained as a real estate agent, but the street gang down the street won’t discriminate against you for being black. The gang might discriminate against you for being white.

      3. P.S. Whether Jimmy the Greek should have been cancelled is a separate question from whether what he said was correct or incorrect, and cancel culture not understanding the difference between those two questions is a big part of the problem.

        One of the arguments in Jimmy the Greek’s favor at the time was that what he said was a private conversation, and he may not have known he was being recorded. The idea that there should be a distinction between what people say in private and how they conduct themselves in public has been lost in cancel culture.

        Another idea that has been lost in cancel culture is the idea that just because you hold private beliefs doesn’t necessarily mean you treat anyone differently because of them. Did anyone ever accuse Jimmy the Greek of discriminating against them, and shouldn’t that matter? Is it not possible both to believe that homosexuality is a sin and to not discriminate against LGBT in your professional life?

    3. Disagree on Pete Rose. Gambling on baseball, by the players and staff, has been a classic, “Do This And Die,” ever since Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the Black Sox. A professional sport cannot afford the perception that the entire contest is being rigged, and decided by forces outside of the playing field. (Which is, I suspect, another reason behind the NBA’s declining ratings.)

      Gambling by the players leads to that perception. Rose knew it, gambled anyway, and lied continuously about his involvement in it. He was a fantastic hitter, who hung around for a very long time. And he shouldn’t be in the Hall.

      1. Pete Rose is among the greatest players to ever play the game, and he’s been denied a place in the Hall of Fame for reasons that have nothing to do with his play.

        And just because you agree with the consensus among sports journalists doesn’t mean they aren’t using their positions in the media to inflict their own opinions on the rest of us.

        1. It has everything to do with his play. It transcends the question of whether or not Pete Rose was a great player on a baseball field. There isn’t a sport that people will care about, if people think the entire thing is rigged. And people will think the entire thing is rigged—with numerous historical reasons to justify their opinion—if the players, coaches, and owners are allowed to gamble on the sport. The entire market value of sports as an entertainment enterprise is in the perception that the outcomes aren’t pre-determined, but are unveiled to the audience as the game progresses. Without that, you’re watching wrestling. Which is popular, but it ain’t professional sports.

          It has nothing to do with what a given sportswriter says or doesn’t say about Pete Rose. He could not gamble on sports—especially his own sport, and likely his own team’s games—and remain a baseball player, or have anything to do with MLB. Which includes the Hall of Fame. He knew that before he started gambling, and he did it anyway.

          1. “It has everything to do with his play. It transcends the question of whether or not Pete Rose was a great player on a baseball field.”

            Not in reality.

            In reality, Pete Rose was among the very best baseball players in history. What you’re saying is that he should be denied a place in the Hall of Fame in spite of being among the finest baseball players in history.

            Which, of course, is a separate question from whether a bunch of baseball writers should be imposing their own opinions on the rest of us.

            It’s one thing to say that people shouldn’t attend Wagner’s operas because of antisemitism–antisemitism that doesn’t appear in any particular work. Quite another to prohibit Wagner’s work from being played at the Met. You see the difference between those two things, don’t you?

      2. Except of course that it’s perfectly ok for the owners to tank entire seasons.

        1. “Except of course that it’s perfectly ok for the owners to tank entire seasons.”

          Yes, it is, snookums. Happy with your bullshit now?

        2. And that is how the Penguins were able to get the first draft pick to select Mario Lemieux. How did that work out in the long run for Pittsburgh?

    4. People with conservative views and people who have been denigrated as living in “flyover” country or being “deplorables” are justified in their resentment against coastal elitists.

      However, where they go wrong is allowed themselves to be manipulated into lining up behind buffoons like Trump, Giuliani, the Falwells, and on and on. Have some pride, and demand high-quality people as your leaders.

      1. What about all the buffoon dem pols the dems line up behind.

        1. Liberals and progressives also have a problem, mostly with belief in their own infallibility and superiority. However, Democrats specialize more in leaders who are condescending and pretentious. OK, Bill Clinton could be a buffoon at times, for sure.

          1. Cuomo isn’t a buffoon?

            1. Good point. He’s a buffoon, and pretentious and condescending.

              Democrats aren’t immune from buffoonery. I even gave Bill Clinton as an example of that.

      2. The journalists and politicians I’m talking about need to rid themselves of their elitist contempt against average Americans regardless of whether so many average Americans support the wrong politicians in reaction to that. In fact, well educated people should know that the relationship between elitism and populism is the same as the relationship between pouring on kerosene and fire.

        1. P.S. It’s difficult to read comments blaming the victims of contempt for the contempt with which they’re treated, when the comment is written by someone who maintains that shooting unarmed protesters is justified if they’re trespassing on public property.

          Even if you don’t associate that position with contempt for average Americans, do you not understand how other people see that argument?

          Or do you imagine that the people who think you’re contemptuous of average Americans because you try to justify shooting unarmed protesters for trespassing on public property are to blame for the contempt you show them?

        2. Don’t disagree with anything you say. But I was expanding on it, to point out the biggest problem with “average Americans” create for themselves. A problem which they have control over.

          If we go by the most recent presidential election, by the way, the demographic you are referring to as “average Americans” fall a bit short of qualifying as the “average”. They are a sizable minority, but technically still a minority.

          1. Yes, I understood that you were blaming the victim well enough.

            1. That’s another huge problem with the right. Always playing the victim.

              1. Is anything you do your own fault?

                1. Nothing; it’s all Trump’s fault.
                  Personal responsibility isn’t a ‘thing’ for TDS-addled shits.

      3. “…However, where they go wrong is allowed themselves to be manipulated into lining up behind buffoons like Trump,..”
        Stuff your TDS up your ass, lefty shit.

    5. Charlie Hustle violated THE one rule in baseball. It is printed in every ballpark locker room.
      The Chicago Black Sox team’s 8 players all got lifetime bans. That was the precedent. When Mantle did paid PR for a casino in late 70s (early 80s?), he was not allowed to also have a job in MLB.
      I agree with you on the HoF. It isn’t a temple. It is a museum. Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose should be there. As should Bonds, Clemens and McGwire.
      An excellent study for cancel culture in sports north of the border is Don Cherry.

      1. Because you share the journalists’ consensus opinion, doesn’t mean they aren’t using their position to inflict their opinion on the rest of us who don’t share their opinion.

        And when it’s all said and done, the one thing we should all be able to agree on is that Pete Rose was objectively among the best players in the history of baseball. If you want to deny him a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, you’re trying to cancel him in spite of his record, abilities, and performance.

        Rationalizing isn’t justification. Anything can be rationalized. Because something can be rationalized, certainly, doesn’t mean it should be, and whatever the Baseball Hall of Fame is, refusing to put Pete Rose in it means that it isn’t a collection of the best players in the history of baseball.

        It’s a popularity contest among a select number of elitist journalists who imagine that their opinions are more important than the achievements of great players like Pete Rose. They could still publish the same opinions of Pete Rose even if they hadn’t canceled him. And the same issue is at play in every single case of cancel culture.

    6. This completely, x1000.

    1. OK, but “Tyler Durden” punctuated that autocracy-democracy paragraph misleadingly.

  15. We tend to forgive public figures their misdeeds, as long as they were well-loved before, admit their wrongdoing, and sincerely apologize. It helps if we think everyone else was doing it too.

    At least we used to. Suddenly something you wrote 10 years ago will never be forgiven, no matter how vociferously you apologize and crawl.

    1. The goal of the elitists is to get the accused to crawl and grovel. It has no impact on them not forgiving the accused.

  16. Journalists Cheer As Jen Psaki Announces The Gulags Will Be Run By A Woman Of Color


    1/ An Wall Street saying is that everything takes longer than you expect, and then happens faster than you expect – I suspect that’s what’s happening now to Team Apocalypse.

    Why now?

    Most importantly, people know they’ve been lied to about schools and they’re furious….

    2/ They also know the predictions of doom about Thanksgiving and Christmas didn’t come true.

    The two-mask thing hurt too – it calls into question the mask guidance and more importantly it’s absurd on its (your) face. Once people started laughing at the KGB the USSR was done…

    3/ And maybe underneath it all people now know they’ve been lied to about the dangerousness of the virus. They still won’t say it out loud, at least not publicly, but they know #sarscov2 is at most a minor threat to almost anyone in decent health…

    4/ And they are increasingly aware that “long Covid” is largely a myth (for anyone who didn’t become seriously ill, I mean), that the profile of people complaining about it fits almost perfectly with those who have IBS/fibro/restless leg/chronic Lyme…

    5/ So, yeah, people are done with the ro. And to come back to the Soviet Union in 1988, everybody knows the score, it’s just a question of when a critical mass of people will have the guts to say so.

    1. OK, the “critical mass of people have the guts to say so.” Then what? Hang Fauci from an office building window? Go back to work? What?

      1. We will need an Afghanistan, Chernobyl and Baltic States wanting autonomy.

    2. A couple delivery guys were at my house last week. When they had finished their work, I offered one of them my hand (the other had already gone back to their truck), not even thinking about how the pandemic had rendered that gesture obsolete. It was just automatic. The guy immediately took my hand, saying, “I haven’t had one of these in a long time. You know I’m not going to pass it up.” I’m getting the sense from what I’ve seen lately that most people are like this delivery guy, more or less abiding by the dictates from on high but obviously not actually concerned anymore about the pandemic. People like this are not going to say anything publicly about it though. They’re just getting on with their lives. I do think the “lockdown forever” idiots are a minority—even progressives I know are getting sick of the restrictions and aren’t doing double masking—but the dissent from them is going to be quiet for the most part. This is the problem when “social change” is mostly narrative based and entirely top down—the few at or near the top can continue braying about stuff like this long after most people, whose voices were never in the chorus in the first place, have stopped caring and moved on.

  18. Any time some pundit begins describing ‘what America should do’, as if we were all a herd, you know it’s bloviation.
    This guy over here won’t give a hill of beans what Armstrong does or doesn’t, that guy will obsess over it.
    I’m among the former.

    1. You might start caring about cycling if someone twisted your arm. Strongly.

  19. 1. I am all for doping. It pushes the limits of human achievement. Just like better training and better bikes.

    2. Lance is a hero! He survived cancer. He could have retired, but he started doping harder, training harder, suffering harder on the bike and winning big.

    3. The one who should not be forgiven is the vindictive puritan McCracken. An insignificant individual like him has no right to judge anyone.

    1. The split second Armstrong decided to break the rules, scream loudly that he wasn’t, accuse others that they were, is the split second Armstrong allowed anyone to judge him. McCracken or anyone else.

      & note – I have no clue who McCracken is/was.

  20. The one that’s going to be hard for cancel culture is Woody Allen, after the new documentary that just came out. Or maybe not, maybe they’ll just cancel him without a second thought.

  21. Don’t know why but it occurred to me that rock stars could get away with anything. We even like all of the wild sex and drugs.

    But that has all changed hasn’t it.

    Here is this guy preaching Puritanism.

    I am glad I am not a young person in today’s world.

    1. > I am glad I am not a young person in today’s world.

      Same. Mostly because I don’t want to have to live through that much more of this future.


    All it took was 4 years of Trump for Reason to go from Society is Coarser But Better to “We need a new honor code”

    Imagine the guy who was sent into apoplectic fits of histrionic pearl clutching by every emanation from bad orange man writing this:

    I don’t know anyone who would seriously challenge the idea that America has become a far cruder society over the last 10, 20, or 30 years. There’s probably more sex, violence, and salty language in the opening credits of Keeping Up with the Kardashians than there was on all of prime-time TV when Scalia joined the Supreme Court in 1986.

    But really, who gives an…F-word?

    1. While I get, and basically agree, with your points I have to point out I disagree about their being more sex.

      Back in the 1960s and early 1970s when I was in my teens and twenties there was a term “free love” and by my experience sex was much more prevalent. Truth be told once “the pill” became common and over the counter it exploded, and continued to explode. It was not until AIDS started to spread and it became clear it was not limited to gay men that wide spread sex started to slow down. I have seen studies that indicate the age of loss of virginity has been creeping upward and the number of sex encounters seems to be less now than back in the day.

      Crime stats would suggest violence is also on the decline in general, even if there are pockets (like a few big dem run cities) where it is an issue.

      1. There was unquestionably way more sexuality in popular entertainment in the ’70s and ’80s than there is now.

        Most major popular films had some degree of nudity. It was kind of expected.

        Things are kind of schizophrenic now. You have places like HBO with game of thrones and Westworld that have plenty of gratuitous nudity and sexuality, but then you have wide release cinema with blockbusters like the marvel cinematic universe films that are devoid of any kind of sexuality. They merely allude to potential romances for the most part, not even really showing it.

  23. His medals were already taken away. He’s received his punishment, even if the reason he lost them is for something commonplace in his sport.
    Personally, I didn’t care about him before and don’t care now. If he is especially good at this, then maybe I’ll tune in. I didn’t like Tony Romo as a quarterback, but I love him as a commentary guy. Maybe I’d give a damn about what Armstrong did if I cared about cycling. I still like Cosby’s comedy in spite of the things he did. Probably wouldn’t go to a show if he was able to put one on, but I’m just not the sort who will pass up entertainment I enjoy because the person otherwise said or did something I don’t like

    1. I still watch Polanski films.

      1. That’s different. In Europe, drugging and anally raping 12-year-old girls is not considered nearly as big a deal. They’re not Puritans like we are.

      2. He made Chinatown. CHINATOWN!

      3. Knife in the Water, Repulsion, Chinatown, even Rosemary’s Baby and Macbeth…plenty of reasons to watch his films. Polanski’s personal actions are irrelevant to the question of whether his films are worth seeing.

  24. Should we let him and others like him return to the public spotlight

    So, should we attempt to assert control over the media, beyond listening or not listening?

    What site am I on again? What the actual fuck?

    1. Like a highway patrol cop, Nick has a quota too. This article is the equivalent of getting a “Going 57 in a 55 zone” speeding ticket.

  25. I agree with this thesis. People should judge the credibility of others based on things like a history of cheating.

    However, it is exceptionally tone deaf to offer this report at this time. At a moment when it is not merely a social penalty that is being paid for public transgressions, but in all out war on any type of descent backed up by vicious attacks against any ability to earn a living, and all coming from one political group, it is astonishing that the thing you want to talk about is how canceling people is a good thing.

    1. Dissent. Voice to text has some drawbacks…

  26. Lance Armstrong is a really poor subject for this guy’s argument. Most people understand that Lance was only doing what every other top rider/team was doing. All. Of. Them.

  27. It seems he’s advocating for bringing back the scarlet letter to be worn for life. But for what is meant to be a libertarian publication, isn’t the author telling people not to pay attention to someone he thinks should have crawled under a rock and stayed there?

    While I agree with the observation that the “Bobs” of the world don’t get enough recognition, though it seems they often don’t seek it, don’t you think there are more net benefits to living in a society where second chances are the norm even if some people you think undeserving get one?

  28. “Is America Too Forgiving?”

    No. Not even close. As long as so-called “cancel culture” is in place it will remain that way.

  29. “Anthropologist and brand consultant…”

    Now, that is a bullshit job if there ever was one.

  30. Lance Armstrong invested a great amount of time and effort towards a life goal, only to discover too late that if he didn’t cheat he would never achieve it. It would be naive to believe other cyclists had not reached the same conclusion. Perhaps a few stood principle– one might even have checked you out last night at the store. In that era if you weren’t doping you weren’t competitive.

    The point is that after you’ve put in the blood, sweat, and tears, you’ve committed too much of your life to just walk away. It’s no coincidence that the first three explorers to claim the north pole never made it. Not dissimilar are the actresses who gritted their teeth on the casting couch in order to obtain their roles. (I excuse the actresses, not the producers.)

    Armstrong might not be sufficiently contrite. While he doesn’t belong in a hall of fame anywhere, does he deserve to be canceled forever?

    1. If everyone was doping, then how come Armstrong won all those races back to back and no one else won? Logic says if everyone is doing the same thing, other teams should’ve been in the running, but they never were.

      Maybe something to think about….

      1. It is pretty widely acknowledged, even amongst participants. LeMond was on a tear of championships before Lance Armstrong. He also got caught for doping.

        They even do crazy things like donate their own blood to themselves, called cell packing, to increase their ability to carry oxygen. You don’t develop something like that if there is only an audience of one.

      2. This from the Wikipedia page on Lance Armstrong:
        Other top riders in the 1999 to 2005 Tours also have been involved in doping scandals. Several riders were banned and some also had their results stripped; some subsequently admitted to doping. Those riders include Jan Ullrich, Andreas Klöden, Joseba Beloki, Raimondas Rumsas, Alex Zülle, Ivan Basso, and Alexander Vinokourov. UCI [The International Cycling Union] stated that “a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over that period”. And so, while noting that their decision “might appear harsh for those who rode clean”, UCI decided “with respect to Lance Armstrong” that those seven Tours would have no official winner, rather than being allocated to other riders.

        In other words, doping was so endemic to cycling at the time that sorting out a legitimate winner would prove impossible.

  31. I suppose Matt Laurer might be an example of someone who is likely to be cancelled forever, or at least for even longer than he has been, and perhaps that will satisfy the writer that perhaps people are showing an adequate lack of forgiveness.

    1. Lance Armstrong doped so that he could compete in a sport where doping was endemic. Did Matt Lauer sexually harass women in order to succeed as a TV news anchor? It seems the two cases are not directly comparable.

      But your question remains valid. Is there a path to forgiveness for those accused of sexual harassment?

  32. As a weekend warrior bike racer many years ago, I began following Lance’s career when he was an amateur. I was impressed with his success then, as well as his success as a professional. I even believed he was clean because he (like all the stage race winners) had been tested so very many times. Having said all that – when the truth came out – I was disappointed, but not surprised. That sort of cheating has been part of the sport for decades, in varying degrees. I’m certain there are many of his competitors from that era that are glad he didn’t name names. I don’t approve of his cheating through chemistry – but I will say he was a great cyclist. His discipline was fanatical. His race preparation (such as studying the road courses in person) was meticulous. Bike handling, tactics – courage – he was the real deal as a bike racer. Should he be forgiven? That’s up to each person to decide – and each business that might work with Armstrong. I suspect he has good advice for endurance athletes, especially bike racers. As to whether his advice is any better than dozens of other coaches and athletes, I doubt it. Let him try to earn a few bucks doing podcasts – if the advertisers say no, well, then Lance will again suffer the consequences of his actions.

  33. “We need more Bobs. As it turns out, there are about five Bobs in my community,” says McCracken. “If you created a reputation economy and you found some way of giving people credit for these accomplishments, you might be able to inspire 30 Bobs to behave in this manner. And all boats would rise with that tide.”

    “Wet roads cause rain.”

    “Bob” isn’t Bob because he does what he does for fame or reputation. He does what he does because it’s the right thing to do, or he’s got nothing better to do, or he really likes building baseball diamonds, or his Dad or a drill seargent used to beat him for being lazy, or his single-mother was a drunkard and he learned to fend for himself from an early age, or any one of a hundred other reasons.

    A reputation system would only guarantee that you would get 25 “Lance Armstrongs” in addition to your 5 Bobs. The world already has more than enough posts from soccer moms hosting bake sales to raise money for their kids’ soccer uniforms on Twitter.

  34. Why is this comment not posting?????

  35. Why is this comment not posting?

    1. Amy good libertarian knows that when one resorts to shutting down an argument, it’s usually a sign one is not confident in one’s own.❤️

    2. Any good libertarian knows that when anyone resorts to shutting down an argument, it’s usually a sign they’re is not confident in their own.❤️

    3. Any good libertarian knows that when anyone resorts to shutting down an argument, it’s usually a sign they’re not confident in their own.❤️

  36. ‘We need more Bobs. As it turns out, there are about five Bobs in my community’. The problem, of course, is that humans are fallible and few if any of us really live up the ideal. If we knew the whole story about ‘the Bobs’, we wouldn’t like them so much. And McCracken would then be arguing that they shouldn’t get a second chance / act either. Soon there would be no one left. I agree that redemption requires some level of taking ownership, making amends, etc. And that society needs a deterrence mechanism. But second chances (and third, etc.) are what allow imperfect people to keep moving forward. I for one love a good comeback story.

  37. People can decide who they do and don’t want to support, or how they will or won’t judge and then forgive others, for themselves. They don’t need pontificating researchers and pundits pushing their own agendas onto them. For a publication dedicated to freedom and liberty, Reason has started to sound far too much like the village scold and busy-body of late.

  38. Amy good libertarian knows that when one resorts to shutting down an argument, it’s usually a sign they’re not confident in their own.❤️

  39. I think once you’ve done something as bad as that you’re done, you’re out.

    Yeah! Enough with the second act. Or in the case of some people…
    1. Bussing
    2. Crime Bill
    3. Firing shotguns aimlessly
    4. Sniffing underage girls
    5. Dear Colleagues
    6. Ukrainian quid pro quo
    7. FBI investigations into collusion
    8. Hunter
    9. Dear Colleagues…

    No 10th (11th? 12th? I’m pretty sure I left out voting for the Iraq War) act! That’s it, you’re done!

  40. Universally Preferable Behaviour: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics

  41. How long would anyone have to watch the terrible unintended consequences of this harsher, more aggressive, more punitive, less forgiving turn in American culture and the culture of free societies before they realized just how terrible those consequences have been.

    More defensiveness, less incentive, propensity, and willingness to take responsibility, uglier attitudes towards others, more propensity to romanticize power and aggression in the treatment of others, an ever more illiberal, ugly culture, and a decline for freedom and democracy for the last decade and a half, including America and the free world, to show for it.

    The question isn’t has this more unforgiving turn been a good thing or bad thing for us.

    The question is how bad would it have to get before we got honest about what an ugly, illiberal, terrible turn it’s clearly been for free societies and illiberal and authoritarian partisans around the world that feed on the excuses for the ugly and illiberal behavior of those in the free world.

    The decline in freedom and democratic norms and just how often and seriously Americans make excuses to disrespect the values of free societies are the easiest signs that something is terribly wrong on this path of more aggression towards our neighbors.

    But, sadly, it’s the people who can’t take the commitments of free societies for granted in illiberal and authoritarian societies around the world who suffer the most for this decline.????

    1. What exactly needs moderated on this post? Just to make sure we’re on the up and up and not just making excuses after 4 days to just not publish a comment you have a disagreement with?

  42. It’s a pretty strong argument, isn’t it?

    Especially when you check out that evidence.

    It’s actually not even a question in mind anymore. Once you understand it and why the evidence points in that direction.

    Enjoy your weekend, Nick!❤️

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