Unethical Website Of The Month: Ranker

"One of these things is not like the others..."

“One of these things is not like the others…”

Lists, especially stupid celebrity lists (Worst plastic surgery…Most overpaid…Actors with famous siblings…Actresses with high IQs) are a staple of the internet, and there are sites like Cracked (which does them well), Buzzfeed (which occasionally does) and Bleacher Report (which is sloppy unless it is doing lists of hot women, in which case it is just undiscriminating) that often appear to do little else. That’s fine; everything on the web doesn’t have to be edifying, profound or useful. Still, there are some basic rules of competence and responsibility even in list-making on the web. One is that as with any conduct involving the conveyance of information, do your homework and don’t mislead readers or  create misconceptions.

Another is that when you are dealing with individuals to whom you owe your nation’s very existence and who are as superior to you as a human being as you are to an anteater, show some damn respect.

Ranker, a second tier list site apparently operated by junior high school drop-outs (but whose lists are “recommended” by more respectable and heavily trafficked sites like Mediaite and The Daily Beast) failed these two essential principles with their offensive list, “33 Celebrities Who Have Killed People,” introduced with this:

“…Many celebrities were involved in tragic accidents that resulted in deaths, while others committed cold-blooded murder. Some celebs have served time in prison stemming from convictions, and others have gotten away with murder; sure, maybe they were wrongly accused, or maybe they just had great lawyers. Several famous people were involved in deadly car accidents. Former First Lady Laura Bush missed a stop sign and slammed her car into another vehicle, accidentally killing her friend who was driving the other car. She was in high school at the time of the accident. Other celebs who killed people in car accidents include Keith Moon, Ted Kennedy, and Rebecca Gayheart. What do you think about all the celebrities who have killed someone?”

What follows are predictable names for anyone who pays attention to history and pop culture, especially that of  recent vintage. It is a parade of drunks, brawlers, criminals and bad drivers; actresses like Amy Locane and Rebecca Gayheart who spent time in jail for vehicular homicide, some who deserved to but didn’t, like Ted Kennedy and Keith Moon; outright murderers like Phil Spector, Robert Blake, Gig Young and O.J. Simpson, and some well-known individuals, like director John Huston and Laura Bush, who were involved in but exonerated in fatal accidents. The list even includes John Wilkes Booth, who hardly qualifies as a celebrity whose history as a killer is “surprising,” as one of the teasers for the list promised—the only reason anyone recognizes John Wilkes Booth’s name today is because of his one murderous act.

Then, at number 20 on a list almost exclusively made up of reckless, dangerous, irresponsible people who killed out of anger, vengeance, stupidity, youthful carelessness or  alcohol-induced stupors, is the name of James Stewart, the actor and war hero. Stewart, we are told by some snotty anti-war ignoramus who should be dragged by the heels to the World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery to beg forgiveness from the men and women who sacrificed and died so that he could make fatuous features on a webpage, is a “killer” because he “was pilot during World War II.  During this time, Stewart participated in several bombings that resulted in the deaths of enemy soldiers and civilians.”

Let’s look at the wartime career of James Stewart, best known to the American movie-going public as George Bailey, Mr. Smith, Charles Lindbergh, and the star of some of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest thrillers, Like “Rear Window” and “Vertigo.”

When Stewart, already a top leading man in Hollywood who had just won the Academy Award for his role in “The Philadelphia Story,” was drafted in 1940, the star weighed just 138 pounds at 6’3”, five pounds under the mandatory weight level for his height. He was summarily rejected  for military service.  A civilian pilot, Stewart was determined to serve his country as a flier.  He stuffed himself to put on the additional weight, and successfully enlisted in the Army Air Corps, becoming the first Hollywood star to seek combat in WWII.  To comply with the regulations of the Air Corps proficiency board, Stewart needed an additional hundred flying hours, so he paid to acquire them at a nearby air field. After being assigned stateside as a flight instructor for almost two years, Stewart’s repeated requests to be sent into combat were finally granted.  In November of 1943, he was sent to join the Allied war effort in England as a captain and operations officer with the 703rd Bomb Squadron, the 445th Bombardment Group of the Eighth Air Force. ( Later, he was transferred to the 453rd Bombardment Group.) Stewart flew bombing runs  in B-24 Liberators, one of the most perilous assignments of the entire European theater.  His record included twenty missions as command pilot over enemy territory, under fire, including bombing raids targeting Berlin,  Bremen, Frankfurt, and Schweinfurt.

James Stewart was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.  By the end of the war he had risen to the rank of Colonel, and after it he remained with the US Air Force Reserves, eventually rising to Brigadier General in 1959. Stewart retired from the Air Force in 1968 and received the Distinguished Service Medal and  the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

My father, when he was fighting the Nazis in Europe, had a drink in an Irish pub next to Colonel Stewart. Warily: Stewart had the reputation of being all business, dedicated and no-nonsense, who would stare down any soldier with the bad taste to reference his acting days. Many of his Hollywood colleagues, with some notable exceptions like Clark Gable, either avoided military service or spent the war touring camps and making training films. Stewart was different, and was held in special respect by his fellow officers and soldiers for his sacrifice and bravery, as well as his refusal to trade on his fame.

James Stewart does not belong on any list with the likes of John Wilkes Booth, Ted Kennedy, Fatty Arbuckle, and the other various miscreants that make up the “33 killers.” He wasn’t a “killer;” he was a patriot and a war hero with a mission, and he should be remembered, and honored, according to his stunning contribution to the defeat of the most vicious and murderous regime the modern world has ever known. The casual callousness with which a true hero like Stewart is not only turned into crude trivia fodder but also slandered by being grouped with drunks and murderers is emblematic of the viral incompetence and ignorance that infects so much of the web. James Stewart legacy is not that of a “killer,” and it is despicable for the fools at Ranker to try to make it so.


Source: Danielsww2

54 thoughts on “Unethical Website Of The Month: Ranker

  1. I was going to mention Gable myself. It was my understanding that there actually were quite a few Hollywood stars that joined the military during World War II — are you confident that Stewart was the first?

    BTW — I agree with you, as I assume does 99.9% of everyone on the planet. I would hate to see my grandfather and all of my great-uncles labeled as killers because they served in our armed forces during WWII. The same holds true for my distant relatives that most assuredly served on the other side of that conflict.

  2. Speaking of doing research, what’s Fatty Arbuckle doing on your list of killers that Stewart doesn’t deserve to be compared to, in the last paragraph? Slurring the name of a war hero is despicable, but at least technically accurate- Stewart DID kill people, although not in a way that he should be disrespected for. Arbuckle was railroaded and exonerated, although far too late to save any semblance of carreer or dignity.

    • Wait, if Stewart flew the plane, he probably was not the guy to drop the bomb. It is a stupid distinction, but he was included without that distinction being made. Because, if you want to include wartime activities, you could add Washington, JFK, Teddy (I presume), Grant, Jackson, and, hell you could throw any wartime president (or president who had served in the military (though George W. probably did not see any fighting)) on the list because, Lincoln may not have fired a single shot, but he ordered the generals to order people to order people to shoot at people.

      Simply put, if you want to include someone who killed someone (or flew the plane that dropped a bomb that killed someone) while in the military, the list becomes that much dumber because those people, like Stewart and JFK, are far more interesting and significant than Keith Moon or Gig Young (?! never heard of him and I’m not googling him so that I can understand this list).


      • Gig Young was an actor who drank himself to death. He was the original actor to play the sheriff in Blazing Saddles but they had to replace him because he was going through the DTs.

      • Fair enough, and a valid distinction. I didn’t mean to take away from the inappropriateness of Stewart’s inclusion on the list at all, anyway- but I think that Arbuckle’s inclusion is odious. If it had passed without comment I wouldn’t have brought it up, but Jack also threw our Arbuckle’s name as a killer. Keep Stewart’s name clear, by all means, but there’s no reason to lump Arbuckle in with Ted Kennedy or Booth either.

        • Yes, I shouldn’t have noted Fatty, who was acquitted, and another of the 33 was acquitted as well. I wouldn’t say that he was necessarily innocent, however. That murder is still a mystery, and he was treated essentially like O.J., with the public rendering their own verdict.

          • There’s not even any proof that there WAS a murder in that case, and he was apologized to after his final trial for how he’d been treated by the system.

      • There’s a reason you’ve never heard if Gig, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor and who was once a comic mainstay in romantic comedies—he snapped and killed his young newly wed wife and himself, and as a direct result his movies are virtually banned on TV.

        Your point is well taken. The “soldiers are indistinguishable from killers” bias is one of the awful attitudes seeded by hatred for the Vietnam war, which is why we have had recent POTUSes from the Democratic side actively hostile to the military.

        • Oh, it’s been around a lot longer than that, let’s not forget that a lot of Christians pre-Constantine (313 A.D.) were of that same opinion, which, if I read you right, you would probably say may be moral, but it’s not ethical, for reasons too numerous to go into here. It just got its first real boost in American culture with Vietnam.

      • Actually, technically, the way the bomb sights worked, the pilot was the one who dropped the bomb, to the extent anyone did, because he was the last person with control in the loop. The bomb aimer (“bombardier” in U.S. English) set up the sight and calibrated it in various ways as they approached the target, then the pilot handed control over to the linked autopilot/bomb sight system, which automatically took the plane to the dropping point and released the bombs (or, some slightly simpler systems didn’t use an autopilot but just drove a direction needle which the pilot followed all the way to the automatic release point). The pilot took control back after that – or at any earlier point if the bomb run had to be aborted. Regardless, the last man with yea-or-nay power was the pilot.

  3. I saw this list last week and was appalled by the ridiculous inclusion of Jimmy Stewart.

    If I recall, doesn’t the list also unfairly include Oliver Stone for having thrown some grenades at North Vietnamese fighters?

    • Ayep.

      To quote the site: “”Platoon” director Oliver Stone enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war and requested combat duty. He killed several enemy soldiers with a grenade and participated in more than 25 helicopter combat assaults. He was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device for his heroism in ground combat, as well as a Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf cluster.”

      This, of course, gets him his place on the list. There are also several who were only *accused* of killing someone, and one case which… well, is strange (namely Brandy Norwood — her entry basically states that she wasn’t at fault for a fatal car accident, but blamed herself anyway… thus getting put on the list).

      Overall, very, VERY poorly done.

  4. Ther were prostests against the memorial to WW2 bomber crews in London, uveiled in 2012. If not for those airmen, half of whom were killed in action, protesters could be sent to concentration camps.

    “We did what we did because we wanted to win the war and get back to peacetime Britain” said Allen Biffen, who volunteered for the RAF when he was 16 (had to lie about his age – was that ethical?)

    More on BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18501658

    • They actually had to post a guard by the statue of Air Marshal Arthur “Bomber” Harris for a while because it was being vandalized by people brought up on the myth that Bomber Command was unnecessarily brutal in their prosecution of the war. Someone also threw blood and ashes at the Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute, never mind the fact that the alternative to the atomic bombings was a potentially VERY messy invasion of the Japanese home islands. Absolute pacifism is morally and ethically bankrupt.

      • In the Q&A after a public appearance by Curtis LeMay, an earnest young student asked whether LeMay didn’t consider strategic bombing immoral.

        LeMay’s answer was to the effect “Yes. War is immoral.”.

        “Area bombing” was controversial even at the time, but it wasn’t Harris’s idea, let alone Stewart’s.

    • Fair point! But I saw that list linked on FIVE high traffic websites, and “recommended” by two of them. That’s how the public gets stupid. And I welcome the chance to remind people of what a stud Jimmy was in the war. He was one of my Dad’s heroes for that—he really admired athletes and actors who really fought, rather than those playing celebrity in the service like so many did. It was the reason he had no respect for Joe DiMaggio, for one.

        • John Wayne blew a knee out playing football and was 4-F. He did try to enlist and was turned down. My Dad, who was Fleet Marines on the Enterprise, loved Wayne.

          • The reason for his exemption was ultimately the fact that he had dependent children. The Duke could have served if he wanted to–John Ford never let him forget that he didn’t. I agree somewhat with the rationalization that Wayne did more for morale and the war effort by personifying brave soldiers in wartime films than he would have by ending up dead in a trench, and I sympathize with his plight—he was just beginning to hit stardom after a decade of paying his dues and starring in one-reel crap; unlike Stewart, who was already an established star, Wayne faced the likelihood of a wartime interruption killing his career. I am confident that pragmatism, not cowardice, motivated the Duke’s decision to stay out of the service…even my Dad didn’t blame him. But Wayne can’t avoid an unflattering comparison to Gable and Stewart or Buddy Rogers in this respect, either.

            • God, I hate this. Yeah, I trusted in “unimpeachable source” on this. However, what I have found out is that the Duke was originally classified 3-A because of his age (he was 34 in 1941) and family status. Later, when he was to be reclassified as 1-A the studio, Republic, I think, threatened to sue for breach of contract if he did go in. They (the studio) intervened and Wayne was not drafted. However, Wikipedia says he begged Ford to let him enlist and Ford repeatedly denied him. In any case my Dad thought Wayne was a good guy and liked him until his death in 1995.

        • My Dad always gave Duke a pass on that, in part because he had a legitimate deferment. Dad used to say that anyone who avoided combat who didn’t have to fight was fine with him. “I’m not going to criticize anyone who didn’t want to be shot at just because I was willing to.be,” was how he put it.

          During Vietnam, when I was vulnerable to the draft, he asked what I would do if drafted and I said, “Go and fight.” He said, “If you decided to duck and go to Canada, I wouldn’t think less of you.” I told him that I would have thought less of myself. Luckily, the letter never came.

          Dad hated the Vietnam War,by that time, but given how he felt about WWII draft dodgers, that conversation really surprised me.

          • Growing up on Marine Corps bases around the country and then outside Washington DC I met several WWII Marine combat veterans who hated his guts not because he didn’t go off to fight but that he chose to not to go off to fight all the while portraying himself as some macho Marine . Solider or cowboy. One of my neighbors in Alexandria recounted seeing him when he was wounded in Hawaii and they booed him off the stage. But I’ve always taken that with a grain of salt as I read that in Goodbye Darkness also but that’s the only place I have heard it.

          • Also , my dad felt the same way at the Vietnam war and told my brother that if they drafted him that he would rather see him got to jail then Vietnam.

          • He said, “If you decided to duck and go to Canada, I wouldn’t think less of you.”

            Did he just insult you there? 🙂

  5. I went to http://www.wonderfulworldofimages.com/wwii-movie-stars/wwii-movie-stars-b.html and found 8 famous actors who served in combat roles in WWII and I only looked at the A’s and B’s. Among them are Don Adams, Eddie Albert, James Arness, Tony Bennett Charles Bronson. surprisingly Harry Belafonte served in WWII, although it only says he served in the Navy so he may not have been involved in any combat.
    It shows shocking ignorance, deceit and/or evil intent that James Stewart is singled out for mention as a killer for his role in WWII when some very minor research would have turned up dozes of famous people who served in wars.
    I’m not surprised by anything people put out there anymore, but it still makes me angry.

    • I’m not surprised by anything people put out there anymore, but it still makes me angry.
      Yep, me, too.
      Putting JS on that list is a low blow.

    • Thinking of two more lists, one better, one far worse, which separates the men from the killers. The first is for those who became celebrities because they were war heroes. Top of that list would be Audie Murphy, enlisted in ’42, 5’5″, underweight & underage, won every (I think) medal we had to give as well as European ones, Not the greatest actor but probably the best propagandist for the military post-WWII thru Korea and into early VietNam.

      The second list probably already exists; the idea disgusts me too much to run a search: people who became celebrities BECAUSE they killed somebody!

      • Or tried to, like Amy Fisher. Yes, that’s a horrible list.
        Thanks for bringing up Murphy, a tragic figure whose hidden away, tiny marker I always try to visit when I go to Arlington National cemetery. They can’t even fit the full list of all his medals on his stone.

  6. This website isn’t even even-handed. Why is it that Jimmy Stewart gets lumped in with these folks but Ted Williams, pulled from major league baseball for WWII and Korea, gets a pass? By any kind of logic, “the Splendid Splinter” should also be on the list, as should perennial gentleman David Niven, also a WWII vet, though he didn’t talk much about his experiences in the war.

    I have to confess, when I was younger I used to love these list-type books, even buying one about the 100 greatest Scots, (which elicited a VERY funny list from my brother of the top ten reasons Scottish people are not important, among them “What the hell is that noise? It sounds like someone is squeezing a pig bladder!” and “Steak, booze, steak, booze, steak, booze, death.”) but at least these books TRIED to give reasons for their choices and their rankings, in some cases, like one about the 50 greatest classical composers and one rating the Presidents, getting very scientific about it. This list just seems a complete jumble, with no method to it.

  7. I’m terribly afraid this is a side effect of a European fixation with declaring the strategic bombing of Occupied Territories to be a moral war crime/atrocity. See for example A.C. Grayling ‘Among the Dead Cities’ (far from the wost of the breed. The Ranker site, I suspect, has got hold of this line about 1 million civilians (IIRC one very loose estimate, there are many) needlessly losing their lives in strategic bombing raids. Not to mention maybe 200,000 airmen and ground (AAA and similar) troops (another loose estiamte). All in an effort that was near futile and often vengeful.and always ruthless.

    To me this is unbearable, the heroism (not a strong enough word) of Allied and Axis bomber crews setting out on missions atop highly unstable loads of explosive, knowing the chances were very poor of making the end of their service and doing it anyway, is staggering.

    The endurance and suffering of all civilians on all sides is equally unrecognisable from a modern western standpoint.

    The dead have a moral authority far out of reach of the likes of the Ranker site.

    To me what these Ranker loons have done is more than unethical. They not only disgrace every airman on both sides and every dead civilian on both sides. To call James Stewart, or any other serviceman or commander on either side, a killer, implying murderer, is to rob the term of its meaning. And to rob history of any sense that might be made of it. At least it does for twitter followers and their ilk. I think I’d rather live among zombies than those who credit, or ignore, this bilge.

    This is worse than Orwells 1984 and the Ministry of Truth. For the Twitterverse, history is being rewriitten – as a sick joke. A bit more than unethical. Downright bloody dangerous, I’d say.

    I couldn’t ask for a clearer example .

    Thanks Jack

  8. Actually, I think the likes of Stewart ought to be on this list precisely because his acts were of a different nature. It ought (but obviously hasn’t, even here) give pause for thought so that people realise that “killing is wrong” is too simplistic, that there can be more to it than that. Unfortunately, what I often see is the far more common faulty syllogism “X is wrong, they say A did X, A is a good guy who was working for good, therefore what A did couldn’t really have been X“.

    That kind of thinking leads to people saying “taxation isn’t theft because it serves the greater good” (the latter may or may not be true, but it has nothing to do with the former, and so should be determined by separate and sound means; after all, Robin Hood really did steal). Worse, it leads to people who do lesser but necessary evil into rationalising that it must be good to avoid cognitive dissonance – and then staying with the practice that they take to be good, when even the necessity has faded (like slavery, which was at least an improvement over the Great Custom of Dahomey).

    • I’d agree with you, except that both the listed criteria and the rest of the 33 suggest that Stewart’s exploits are somehow less than admirable, since virtually all of the rest are. Moreover,soldiers (and police), HATE that characterization of their work..”Gee, did you ever kill anyone?” They had a mission and a duty…they aren’t hired killers.

      • See? Right there is an example of the reasoning I said we should be careful to avoid: “X is wrong, they say A did X, A is a good guy who was working for good, therefore what A did couldn’t really have been X“.

        You just wrote, in almost so many words, that “X (‘hired killers’) is wrong, they say A (‘soldiers (and police)’) did X, A is a good guy (‘had a mission and a duty’) who was working for good (‘had a mission and a duty’) , therefore what A did couldn’t really have been X“.

        Actually, they had a mission and a duty…and also they are hired killers (though not all of them have happened to be called on to carry out that function, so far). Neither has a complete determining effect on the other, and both should be determined in their own right, as should their ethical nature, all on a case by case basis.

        • I didn’t say it couldn’t have been X—I said it WASN’T X. Killing people isn’t the mission, or the tactic. If a soldier can best accomplish the mission without killing a soul and risking lives of the troops, that’s the right course. Soldiers may be required to kill like police may be required to kill, but they aren’t killers.

          “See?” cannot be used when you rephrase my meaning to suit your purposes. The description of the list was, and this is in the post,

          “…Many celebrities were involved in tragic accidents that resulted in deaths, while others committed cold-blooded murder. Some celebs have served time in prison stemming from convictions, and others have gotten away with murder; sure, maybe they were wrongly accused, or maybe they just had great lawyers. Several famous people were involved in deadly car accidents. Former First Lady Laura Bush missed a stop sign and slammed her car into another vehicle, accidentally killing her friend who was driving the other car. She was in high school at the time of the accident. Other celebs who killed people in car accidents include Keith Moon, Ted Kennedy, and Rebecca Gayheart. What do you think about all the celebrities who have killed someone?”

          Accident? No. Tragic? No. Murder? No. Served time in prison stemming from convictions? No. If the criteria had said, “And some celebrities killed enemy combatants and civilians in the course of serving their country in times of war, in the pursuit of their duties as soldiers. If the criteria had included that, there would have been no post—it would have been a stupid list, bit not an unethical one. But including Stewart presumed that he is the moral equivalent of illegal murders and killers, and he was not.

          Bottom line: he does not belong on the list by its own definition, and to place him there is misleading, disrespectful and insulting.

          • There seems to be some confusion here.

            With the greatest respect, unless you provide separate support for “it wasn’t X”, you have nothing to fall back on but the implications of “they had a mission and a duty” that you presented along with that. So I think the rebuttal to ‘“See?” cannot be used when you rephrase my meaning to suit your purposes’ is, “no, I am comparing your reply to my analysis that you are replying to, and presumably putting your reply up against, which makes that there an attempt to rephrase my meaning to suit your purposes”.

            I won’t belabour it, but “Soldiers may be required to kill like police may be required to kill, but they aren’t killers” is simply wrong, by definition. Someone who kills, or may kill, is a killer. He (or sometimes she) may not be a habitual killer, a serial killer, a murderer, or a bad person, but yes – a killer, by definition. Which is where we came in, about the positive side of covering Jimmy Stewart under this heading.

            • That’s a legitimate definition, PM, but this discussion is restricted to the definition of killer employed by the list-maker, and under that definition, Stewart does not qualify. As I said.

          • There are ethical differences between imposing a UN sanction (which kills civilians), dropping a bomb on an economic asset (which kills civilians) and shoving someone into a gas chamber. Anyone seeking to blur the distinction or by negligence allowing a distinction to be blurred is dangerous.
            Ruthless, potentially immoral and illegal, actual murder: not the same. Anyone who has questions can buy a dictionary (requoting Jack from another post).

            • I can’t tell whether you’re agreeing with me or disagreeing with me – or agreeing with me while disagreeing with what you think I was telling people.

              Are these things different? Yes, that’s why I wrote “He (or sometimes she) may not be a habitual killer, a serial killer, a murderer, or a bad person…”.

              Do I think that “[a]nyone seeking to blur the distinction or by negligence allowing a distinction to be blurred is dangerous”? Yes. That’s precisely why people who do the other sort of killing should stay under the umbrella label “killer”, precisely so that we can sort out that they really are like that – the other sort. That’s why I wrote ‘Actually, I think the likes of Stewart ought to be on this list precisely because his acts were of a different nature. It ought (but obviously hasn’t, even here) give pause for thought so that people realise that “killing is wrong” is too simplistic, that there can be more to it than that…’

              If some people get taken out of the group in advance, before thought is applied to their cases, then there’s the risk that some people will, literally, get away with murder – precisely your “[a]nyone seeking to blur the distinction or by negligence allowing a distinction to be blurred is dangerous”.

              • To restate: The case is clear cut. No one need think through the problem with nicety. Rankers operators should buy a dictionary (and a moral compass)

                But I can tell that your point is important to you. If Rankers had been honest careful and reasonable JimmyS would have to be included before being excluded with reference to the different world of military use of force and the debates that occur in that spur of thought. And you would be right. And right to insist on being right. Precisely to endorse the need for precision, avoiding blurring, as you might say.

                But as it is,Rankers are seguing in the rest of their category from ‘has been suspiciously at a death scene’, has killled, is a killer to ‘is a murderer’. All by implication, not definitiion. Thus placing those people on an ethical level to each other So far so bad.

                Then add an example from a military field, thus conflating the 1st logical error (all who kill are ‘killers’ and all killers are murderers or can be mocked lightly on a website as being as good as murderers) with a second logical error (saying that military force is the same as non-legitimate force/ Thus creating a profound (and dangerous) ethical error – baselessly damning a member of the military who happens to be dead, and a hero, and around whom a loaded questiion of history revolves (legitimacy of bombing civilians/collateral). Again Rankers do all this by casual implication, no overt reasoning given. Which is careless.

                To a reasonable observer it would look as though Jimmy, and all his buddies, are as murderous as the group Rankers created as a whole. Jimmy ‘inherits’ the property of the group by being selected as a member of that group.

                In a declarative statement that would be
                X is a member of SetN
                SetN has a guilt level of K
                X has a guilt level of K

                But ‘SetN’ is not a set sharing a common level of guilt only a set with a common association with a culpable role in avoidable death in civil life. X is not a member of SetN as he has no such association – at all.
                And logic is wasted on people like Rankers who didn’t think before they pasted a picture of Jimmy next to – the others.

                With results pretty much as i initially stated.

                I therefore advise the unceremonious applicatiion of the order of the boot for the Rankers, not Marquess of Queensbury rules. Clear enough I hope. 🙂

      • I can amplify what Jack said about the distinction.

        My wife’s late father commanded artillery in World War 2. When he had a German unit pinned down, he would deliberately aim slightly away from their position. Then they surrendered without shame since they knew they were beaten. He had accomplished his mission and duty without unnecessarily shredding people.

  9. All of this analysis of a bullshit blog is ridiculous. World War II is one (of the few) “good wars” the US fought, and picking off celebrities as “killers” just shows the ignorance of the reader. ALL volunteer patriots/soldiers are murderers? Why don’t you do some research on WWII, how the Treaty of Versailles (WWI) led to the rise of Hitler and the firestorm in Europe and Asia? Why not blame FDR for allowing Eastern Europe to be taken over by the Soviet Union? Because the Russians lost 10 million men in the war? How many died under the Stalinist — and onward — regimes? We always make Germans beat their breasts and apologize; never with Japan, which set out to rule all of southeast Asia and committed appalling atrocities and by all reports killed 10 million Asians, as opposed to the oft-quoted 6 million by the Germans. Why? Because Japan was considered a bulwark against Red China, guilt over the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bomb (which is Monday morning quarter-backing, as how could Truman have known that it would “issue in” the nuclear age, and that all he really wanted to do was save about 800,000 American soldiers’ lives if they didn’t have to invade Japan.) And in the decades following we have allowed Japan to engage in business collusion (against the law here) to take over our automobile/computer/television industries). Off the point: I’ll rail against Japan another time.

    Ranker might try “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” for some real information, or as a real eye-opener “The Rape of Nanking.”

    Why doesn’t Ranker do just an itty-bitty bit of research? Is it because they have an axe to grind and they know most morons in the US will believe them? How many personnel at Ranker have ever served in the military; how many have bothered to interview anyone who has served?

    My father-in-law fought in the European theater; after a terrible injury he went back to the front lines as a major. He got a Silver Star and Bronze Start and Purple Heart. Know why he got the Silver Star? NOT because of how many enemies he killed, but because he was (in the Battle of the Bulge — Ranker should look that up, too) set to get intelligence on the progress of the Germans (Hitler’s last stand). While at his post (this was snowy middle of winter, remember) he saw a US jeep go off the road and into a river. Without thought, he dove in and saved the four men who went into the river, got them help, and went back to his post (wet and freezing) to continue to gather the intelligence the Army needed. Now, I won’t say he didn’t kill any Germans during the War, but does that make him a murderer? As luck would have it, Ranker didn’t consider him a celebrity. Good. But he received a hero’s burial at Arlington Cemetery, and deserved it

    I do believe in free speech. But I AM SICK TO DEATH of bloggers who twist the truth, use their blogs for their own ideological purposes, who don’t do their homework, and hope people believe them. (I suppose Ted Williams — icon of baseball fame, also a pilot who served in WWII and the Korean War — was one who just missed their stupid list.

    The most unfortunate thing is that readers of blogs like Ranker just believe what they read. Too stupid, too lazy to check facts. The only good thing I can see now is that the Internet poses a threat to ideologically-run media news, but nevertheless, it’s like the ad with the cute girl who has met a French “model” on the Internet; he arrives, a big slob who says, “Uh, bonjour.” “You can put anything on the Internet that isn’t true,” she says. Well, that makes up about 75% of the American people. We are morons; the bloggers are ideologues and liars.

    What a fun way to start my morning…

  10. “All of this analysis of a bullshit blog is ridiculous.”

    Gee whiz, Eliz, thanks so much for that EZ version of world history in the 20th Century. Yer one hell of an expert in everydamnthing. What spoils my evening is your generalizing, oversimplifying, inventing statistics and promoting xenophobia. Yeah, Ranker IS a bullshit blog. That’s the point. I don’t see that the comments in THIS blog are attacking you or the memory of your father-in-law, but they are helping to cure the dread disease of Internet-itis.

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