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Comments by lmason

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Posted on September 3 at 8:20 p.m.

Continued -

“What is the charity work if it was built on a lie?” What if his charity work was built on oatmeal cookies? – that doesn’t make the beneficial outcomes any less.

“This was an awfully long letter to simply state ‘I don't think he cheated.’” OTC, I lean toward believing he did cheat, and that he has a borderline a**hole-drama queen personality (I survived non-Hodkins, kept my career, managed and raced on a record-breaking RAAM team, which raised $25K for a local kids charity – but I didn’t write a soap-opera book about it). But he’s done a great deal to popularize cycling in the US and bring international cycling to the American consciousness, and he’s done great work with his charity. My argument is that Tygart and USADA have done a rat-crap job of managing their process, and will accomplish little in comparison with what Armstrong has achieved aside from race wins, while spending millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours in a wasteful, self-congratulatory campaign. But this is what bureaucracies do when given unrestrained powers.

Re: Mark Twain – thank you for putting me in his company and for citing three of the rules I was able to manage.
Re: Ayn Rand – I don’t thank you for putting me in her company.
Government bureaucracies DO attack individualists, and individuals (certainly not bureaucracies) have done most of the great work in the world. Status and stature are different, the first being roughly based on image, the second on accomplishments. Armstrong came from nowhere, overcame some real difficulties, and accomplished a lot. That doesn’t give him a free ride, but it should affect how we weigh an attack on him that’s going to do more harm to the public overall than it is going to do good for sport. In the overall of the public welfare, in the value to be gained for the effort and cost of the pursuit, is knocking him down in the public benefit? Or is it more a crusade of recognition by the attacker?
Most of us have had to deal with “parasites,” as you call them, and know the harm they do in misuse of the power they’ve acquired.

Did I enjoy writing the letter? I should have polished the first sentence a little more. Writing is always work, and always a challenge if you’re trying to do it well. I may enjoy parts of it, if it comes off well. But “the process” in my reference was not to the writing, but to entering the controversy that the writing engages, because, as half the comments show, it’s a dogfight.
Snide? “deliberately unkind in an indirect way?” I don’t think I was indirect. And I don’t think I took any measures that weren’t on a par with what Tygart has done in the “court of public opinion.” And the damage I might have done to Tygart is infinitesimal compared to the damage he has done to Armstrong and cycling. Yes, that’s my opinion, but I’m not alone.

On The Lance Armstrong Case

Posted on September 3 at 8:18 p.m.

With due respect to those who commented, I’ll try to reply on point:

I don’t condone drug use or accept it as being OK; see 6th para. But I do accept that it is widespread

“He is not trying his case in the court of public opinion.”
We disagree; IMO that’s exactly what he’s doing. That’s why so many people are convinced of Armstrong’s guilt without the “evidence” being tested.
Armstrong has good reason to believe he will not have a fair trial; Tygart’s malicious pre-arbitration behavior reinforces those reasons.

“But we don't know of all evidence USADA may have [sic]” – but we know all “they are alleged to have” because of what Tygart poured out to the press,
“ . . .unwise at this point to release all evidence to the public.” –
But it’s OK to release all the allegations and the planned punishments, so the public can draw the full-blown assumption of guilt, without Armstrong able to examine the evidence that’s being used to condemn him publicly?

“USADA is simply doing that which they were funded and mandated to do”
See “court of PO” remarks above.

“enforce anti-doping by catching cheaters to ensure a clean, fair, and safe playing field.” This is the public “preening and posturing” I refer to: “derivative justice,” i.e. several layers beyond and, in some cases, more than a decade after the alleged events. Enforcement, to be effective, has to be on the ground at the time. Pursuing allegations 5-8-10 years later does nothing of value for the events in question, little of value for current situations (everything has changed), and serves primarily as “jobs for the boys and girls” in the bureaucratic system. It smacks of double jeopardy. And do you think the threat of test results ten years down the road is going to be a deterrent today?

“Armstrong spent his career riding a bike.” Give it a try at his level, mate. Promoting cycling world-wide and running his cancer foundation, as well.
“Tygart spent his life fighting for clean, fair, and safe competition.” – His “life”? He’s a lawyer and worked as a lawyer. Now he’s an executive bureaucrat.

On The Lance Armstrong Case

Posted on January 23 at 1:38 p.m.

Thanks for your comment. As an introductory aside, I will say I wrote this before seeing the film. I lived in NZ for about 13 years between 1975 and 2009, played in the front row at Otago Uni, and was living full time there during this episode. I treated a lot of SA emigres and followed footie and the whole situation pretty closely. Re: the Maori question, I tried to be balanced in my remarks, but there's no doubt discriminatory practices and laws did exist. The Maori Wars were fought for good reasons. Recent legal battles re: The Treaty attest to the fact violations existed and that Maori do feel hard done by. It's my opinion, as an informed outsider, that the trends today are too "entitlement" oriented, that a "fairness" rift is growing socio-politically and culturally between Maori and Pakeha, and that Hone Harawira and a few others have taken a course of destruction rather than construction, but are too cynical and spoiled to care.

On When Is Rugby More Than a Sport?

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