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By now just about anybody who has an opinion on Lance Armstrong has voiced it or written about it. This diary dances around the periphery of whether Lance Armstrong is a bad guy, a bully, misunderstood or a mixed bag of both good and bad characteristics.

I've read and heard a lot of opinion as to whether or not Lance Armstrong should be banned from sports for life. It's an interesting point to ponder.

Banned for life.

It got me to thinking.

Michael Vick still plays football, but no steroid tainted baseball players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. A man who profited from abusing innocent animals can be rehabilitated, but men who abused themselves cannot. Then, again, no one is talking about Michael Vick receiving any special rewards.

Forgiveness is a simple concept that gets complicated in it's application. The cyclists that blew the whistle on Armstrong were offered both immunity and anonymity. I guess I don't understand how "The bully made me do it" is an acceptable excuse or why their confession is an excuse for mitigating their punishment.

Where is the line?

Does it only apply to sports?

Does it apply to politics?

Should Mark Sanford of South Carolina be banned from elected office for life? Only the voters should say? What about David Vitter? The voters spoke and he's still a U.S. Senator. Yet, Shirley Sherrod nearly was banned for life over something she didn't do.

Why not apply "Banned for Life" to business?

Should Ken Lay have been banned from top management for life? He denied doing anything wrong till his dying day.

Should Joseph Cassano be banned from investments for life? He still denies doing anything wrong and he nearly crashed the world.

What about this foreclosure settlement between the banks and the feds? It seems it's all about money and not so much about accountability. (Oh, there's some BS about funds to pay claims for this or that, but there's little basis in fact in these settlements.) Those fired in the fallout of the foreclosure crisis don't include the top managers. It seems as if these banksters are going to get away with financial murder with the blessing of our government. Why can't those in charge of the foreclosure misdeeds be banned from mortgage related business for life?

These are just a few thoughts that have percolated through my mind as the Lance Armstrong "thing" has played out over the last few days. I'm quite aware that two wrongs don't make a right. I'm aware that Lance Armstrong did serious harm to his sport. I have also benefited from the Livestrong organization that he founded. The anger toward Lance Armstrong centers around his misuse of power and the fact that he got very rich by cheating. That no amount of charitable giving or "doing good" can compensate for his wrong doing.

Then, why don't we apply this same standard to Wells Fargo? Why isn't AIG getting more blowback for their money grabbing ways? Why aren't the charities these banksters start or support have as much visibility as Livestrong?

I'm thinking that Lance Armstrong is successful for the same reasons our plutocrats are successful. They will do anything to meet their goals. Should Lance Armstrong's banned for life punishment stand remains to be seen. Which ever way it goes, I wish Mr. Armstrong well. He may be banned from cycling for life, but that doesn't mean I need to deride him for life.

We removed one cheater from the board (which is a good thing), but I have no illusions. We removed only one cheater from the board.


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