Is philanthropy heroic?

Yeah, so Lance Arm­strong is a jerk. He won sev­en Tour de France races, but has just not-admit­ted that he won them all with the help of per­for­mance enhanc­ing drugs. He used those wins to fuel a shock­ing­ly suc­cess­ful endorse­ment career, and used that mon­ey to fuel a shock­ing­ly wide­spread phil­an­thropic effort.

Oh, and he beat can­cer, too. (Before he won all the Tours de France, mind you.)

The Live­strong Fon­da­tion’s dona­tions to can­cer research are esti­mat­ed at $470 mil­lion by Forbes. Char­i­ty Nav­i­ga­tor rates the orga­ni­za­tion very high­ly, high­er than any oth­er can­cer char­i­ty in the coun­try. It’s a good orga­ni­za­tion, and it would not exist if Lance Arm­strong had not won all those races.

So he’s a cycling hero, who has crashed off that bike. He was a sports hero, and now, he is not.

But, does his phil­an­thropic work make up for that? Is he Robin the Hood, not the sto­ry­book char­ac­ter, but the real out­law, killing and steal­ing for some Oth­er Good? Did he bilk his spon­sors out of mil­lions, cheat­ing his way into their cof­fers, in order to use that mon­ey and fame to build the Lance Arm­strong Foun­da­tion?

And is that so bad?

Hon­est­ly, I don’t know. Cheat­ing is bad. Giv­ing is good. Cheat­ing cor­po­ra­tions is, well, not as bad. Lying to kids, how­ev­er, is pret­ty bad. Giv­ing hope to mil­lions of can­cer patients (some of them kids, some of them cycling fans)? Undoubt­ed­ly good.

Per­son­al­ly, I’m not so bro­ken up about his cheat­ing in the bike races, but I am not a huge cycling fan. My moth­er is in remis­sion from can­cer, and I appre­ci­ate any­thing the Live­strong Foun­da­tion’s $470 mil­lion might have indi­rect­ly had to do with her treat­ment.

So yeah, regard­less of what I think of Lance Arm­strong, I think phil­an­thropy is hero­ic. And I think Lance Arm­strong may have come to the same con­clu­sion.

No more twitter here

I’m done. At least, I’m done with try­ing to include all my Twit­ti­cisms on this blog. You’ll just have to go to Twit­ter to get them (see the foot­er for direc­tions). It was too… not easy, to keep them all here, and there, and dis­play them nice­ly. So, screw it.

But, here are all my Tweets. Some­one warn me when I start reach­ing 3200?

Son of a… blog

Not quite a decade ago, I forked over sev­er­al hun­dred dol­lars to sup­port a lit­tle web host­ing com­pa­ny that could, TextDrive.  In exchange, they gave me a life­time host­ing promise.  It was a good run, and they even hon­ored their promise across a cou­ple of acqui­si­tions and merg­ers.

But a week or so ago, they sent out an email to those of us who had sup­port­ed their ini­tial bid for funds, and told us that their life­time com­mit­ment was being “end of lifed.” We had two months to get out, or we could sign up for a free year on one of their new servers, with a $275 year­ly bill wait­ing for us after that. Have they have gone from small pota­toes to too big for their britch­es?

A lot of the peo­ple who got this email were pret­ty pissed. (A support/bitching group or three have popped up around the Inter­net.) Most of them were clear that they would not be stay­ing. I just packed up my stuff, and with this blog post, the move is over. Every­thing now lives at A Small Orange, with whom I am pret­ty pleased.

Stuff is bro­ken (most notably the images on… I am afraid, all the posts) but those will get fixed even­tu­al­ly.

Here we go, again.