Presenting Three New Rationalizations: “Narcissist Ethics,” “The Dead Horse-Beater’s Dodge,” And “The Doomsday License”

the end of the world

I knew this was going to happen. Even as the Ethics Alarms Rationalizations list approached 70 self-serving lies in all, the cracks and crevices between them were being explored, mined and exploited. All three of today’s new additions turned up in a single, ill-begotten comment to a recent pots, and while I immediately recognized them as rationalizations, I also failed to find an exact fit for any of them on the list. It is by such a process that all rules and laws inevitably expand into near uselessness, because humans are so adept at finding loopholes.

I’m going to have to be vigilant lest the rationalizations become so thinly sliced that the list is too burdensome to be useful: some of the current entries have been criticized as redundant already. Nonetheless, I believe the three being unveiled now cover rationalization territory worth mapping. Here they are:

Rationalization 8A. The Dead Horse-Beater’s Dodge, or “This can’t make things any worse”

Rationalization 8, The Trivial Trap  or “No harm no foul!”, relies on #3. Consequentialism, or  “It Worked Out for the Best” for its dubious logic, but is less demanding. #3 posits that unethical conduct that ends up having beneficial or desirable results has been purged of its unethical nature. #8 argues for an even more lenient standard, holding that as long as the unethical conduct—usually a lie—has no negative effects, it can’t be wrong. The Dead Horse-Beater’s Dodge, carries things even further with the theory that as long as a situation can’t be made worse by wrongful conduct, the conduct itself can’t be wrongful. The most famous invocation of #8A of recent vintage is Hillary Clinton’s exasperated question during the Benghazi hearings, “At this point, what difference does it make?” Her argument: a lack of candor now about the fatal events in Benghazi can’t bring back the dead, so why harp on it?

In ethics, wrongful conduct is usually identifiable by its nature and intent. “This can’t make things any worse” is an assumption that individuals seldom can make with guaranteed accuracy, and it usually presumes consent from the supposedly bottom-lying individual or organization that the unethical act is done to. Get the informed consent, 8A devotees, and then we’ll talk.

No, looters, the fact that a business is a smoldering wreck does not make stealing even damaged merchandise from it “okay.” No, pulling the plug on a comatose patient without his previous consent or that of someone he has authorize to give it is still wrong, both legally and ethically. In most cases, the presumption that conduct unethical in its form and substance will not “make things any worse” is something about which the rationalizing wrong-doer can’t possibly be certain. That’s what makes it a rationalization: it is a lie we tell to ourselves.

Rationalization 50A.  Narcissist Ethics , or “I don’t care”

Rationalization 50 is  The Apathy Defense, or “Nobody Cares.” The theory there  is that as long as “nobody “is bothered by the unethical conduct, it’s ethical. Of course, the flaw in that argument is that there is always someone who properly objects to unethical conduct, so the rationalization fails for the same reason as #1, “Everybody does it”…it often isn’t true.

Rationalization 50A solves that technical problem by asserting the validity of completely subjective ethics: as long as the self-satisfied, egomaniacal individual doesn’t care about the ethical standards and values being breached or the predictable results of the conduct breaching them, it doesn’t matter who cares. His or her own assessment is enough. If it’s not unethical to him, it’s not unethical. Neat!

This places 50A in close proximity to #14, Self-validating Virtue. The difference is that in that rationalization, the unethical actor is convinced that since he or she is inherently virtuous, anything they do must therefore also be virtuous. 50A re-defines ethical conduct as only involving “things I care about,” no matter who is involved.

Finally, the latest caboose on the Ethics Alarms Rationalization train...

Rationalization 61.  The Doomsday License

This is one of the most pernicious rationalizations of all, right down there with #22, “It’s not the worst thing.” Movies and TV shows have been based on the premise that once you know the world is going to end (or lesser extinctions), the usual rules of right and wrong are suspended. The argument is that since ethics are based on the best interests of society and its residents, once society and the residents are doomed within a short time span, it is silly to persist in following the limitations imposed by ethical values. Movies and TV shows also have been responsible enough to base plots on cautionary tales where individuals wrongly assume that the end is at hand, only to be faced with the awful consequences of their conduct when they mistakenly believed ethical conduct was futile.

Ethical analysis can be profoundly affected by changed circumstances and exigencies, but nothing suspends the duty to be ethical, or at least to try. No, you don’t rape the sexy teen next door because you are both about to be plunged into the sun. No, you don’t stalk and kill the former employer who fired you unjustly because the zombie apocalypse is at hand. Our duty is to act to ensure that the final days, hours and minutes of everyone we share existence with are as endurable, free and painless as possible, not merely to indulge ourselves at their expense because their discomfort will be  limited. Those who reason otherwise were never really ethical at all. They simply were unwilling to face the consequences of all the unethical acts they wanted to do.

 

37 Comments

Filed under Character, U.S. Society

37 responses to “Presenting Three New Rationalizations: “Narcissist Ethics,” “The Dead Horse-Beater’s Dodge,” And “The Doomsday License”

  1. It is worthwhile to put the “what difference does it make” comment into context:

    Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis: No, again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that — an assault sprang out of that — and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.

    Clinton: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.

    Johnson: OK. Thank you, Madame Secretary.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/may/08/context-hillary-clintons-what-difference-does-it-m/

    • Is it? What she said was incoherent, self-contradictory nonsense. What difference does WHAT make? She goes on to say that what happened is important, and it is important to know why the incident happened, what sparked it, how US authorities responded, how accurately they diagnosed what occurred, and whether they intentionally misled the public about what happened for naked political advantage in an election cycle, which, of course, is what happened. Which of those things don’t matter? Which isn’t relevant to “preventing it from ever happening again”? She was deflecting to “we can’t make what happened better or worse”…it was also an example of #50 A, The Underwood Maneuver, or “That’s in the past” (“What’s done is done.”)

      One can’t simultaneously argue “this makes no difference now” and “we need to know what happened to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” As with the Lewinsky episode and many other Clinton scandals, “Move on” is a standard Clinton tactic. The ethical thing is to acknowledge it. Delay and stonewall as long as possible, then say, “why are we wasting all this time on this?” “Let’s move on!” “That’s old news!” etc. The context is the Clintons’ history and record.

  2. You still removed it from greater context, which I doubt would be tolerated in an ethics class. Why not put it in context and let your readers decide? Anyway, thanks, you gave me something to write about today.
    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/9/3/1566532/-Ethicist-calls-Hillary-pathetic-16-times-but-also-pulls-a-Benghazi-quote-out-of-context

    • Glad to provide fodder!
      (It would be tolerated in MY ethics class, because the context isn’t crucial to the diagnosis—unless someone is looking to spin. Note that Hillary and Bill’s prior MO is also context.)

      • (I’d say The Daily Kos is estopped from criticizng the context of ANY ethics discussion given ITS MO.)

        • I’d also suggest that bending over backwards to defend Hillary Clinton spin exercises is unwise for someone who wants his professional diagnosis of Donald Trump’s state of mind to be taken seriously and ethically. Which is why the DK is not the best forum for you.

    • What about the larger context of Clinton’s comment is supposed to change Jack’s analysis? I note you don’t suggest an alternative; you merely imply that Jack is wrong and ask your readers to “see what you think.” Well, your readers aren’t much for thinking, judging by their preposterous comments.

      Clinton was being questioned about the false story promulgated by the administration to the effect that a protest at the embassy turned violent. Her response was that it doesn’t matter whether the administration’s story was false. The larger context here only confirms Jack’s analysis.

      • Hal’s comment surprised me. I don’t understand where it comes from, or why he felt the need to post it.

      • Kyjo asked, “What about the larger context of Clinton’s comment is supposed to change Jack’s analysis?”

        How dare you ask Halmartin Brown to back up his claims with rational thinking, he can’t do it, and in fact, he didn’t even bother to do it on his own piece he wrote attacking Jack. Halmartin Brown purpose is to attack Jack and promote his online writings no matte how useless his writings are.

        Here’s an example of Halmartin Brown’s intentional misrepresentation; he says in his piece “Adding insult to injury, [Jack] opines that [Clinton] said this in an exasperated manner. Even if he watched the hearing, it’s still his impression.” He wrote that as if Jack was misrepresenting Clinton Jacks as 100% accurate, CLINTON WAS SPEAKING IN AN EXASPERATED MANNER and even political hacks with limited cognitive abilities new it! Senator Johnson dangled the bait in front of her and she swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

        Here’s the video, fast forward it to 5:12 and watch.
        https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4329984/clinton-blows-gop-senator-benghazi-hearing

        Maybe Halmartin Brown doesn’t comprehend what an exasperated manner means; but Halmartin Brown’s purpose commenting on Ethics Alarms is clear, it’s to promote himself.

      • E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

        I agree with Kyjo. Clinton apologists are always placing things in some ‘larger context,’ which not coincidentally, excuses her.

    • Above Halmartin Brown said, “It is worthwhile to put the “what difference does it make” comment into context” and just above he said, “Why not put it in context and let your readers decide? “

      Mr. Brown wants proper context, here it is.

      The proper context is that Johnson was talking about that the Obama administration, the State Department, and Clinton knowingly lied about the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack; they all lied to the American people, the lied to the families of the victims, and they lied to the world about it being a protest over a movie and what she said in the hearing is what difference does lying to everyone make.

      Maybe that’s not the context you wanted to hear Mr. Brown but that is THE context. Jack’s The Dead Horse-Beater’s Dodge is accurate regardless of the context of Clinton’s words but adding the context supports Jack’s reason for adding the Rationalization to the list.

      Halmartin Brown,
      It seems to me that you are trying to promote your writings on this website (which I think is a really sleezy thing to do) by providing links to your writings that are attacking Jack’s blog; but in all honestly, you’re a boneheaded idiot for picking this topic as something to attack Jack about because you’re dead wrong.

      Clinton is corrupt and a serial liar, she appears to think that talking about her lies is uselessly beating a dead horse, she cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything, and people don’t like that fact pointed out. In my opinion; Clinton is as equally unfit to be President of the United States as Trump.

      • Chris

        Zoltar, it is simply wrong to claim that the WH lied when they said the attack was a protest over a movie. Several of the attackers said both at the time of the attack and later after capture that the anti-Islam video was a motivating factor.

        Yes, Clinton did tell Chelsea in an email that night that the video wasn’t a factor. She was wrong then. They were still getting contradictory intelligence at that point.

        • Wrong, Chris. You are too gullible. There is no way a fair reading of the timeline shows anything but a deliberate effort to deceive, in which Clinton was a major player (the deception was on behalf of Obama’s election needs) Here’s the FactCheck.org piece.
          http://www.factcheck.org/2016/06/the-benghazi-timeline-clinton-edition/

          It’s the best of these, still leftish, but mostly fair. Here it is equivocating on Obama’s behalf: “the administration was quick to blame the video, which did trigger protests in Egypt and elsewhere, and slow to acknowledge the incident was a terrorist attack.” Translation: It grabbed on to the video story to avoid telling the truth, and kept flogging it long after they were certain otherwise. Thus people like you still think Hillary wasn’t lying. Here’s what she said: “Oct. 15: Clinton, in an interview on CNN, blames the “fog of war” when asked why the administration initially claimed the attack began with the anti-Muslim video, even though the State Department never reached that conclusion.”

          Got that? State never reached that conclusion, but the Secretary of State kept repeating it anyway! Gee, wonder why? Oh, right: “the fog of war.”

          Well, it’s better than “speako.” But you can’t let yourself be corrupted like this.

          • Chris

            Jack, if the video didn’t motivate the terrorists to attack, why did the attackers specifically cite the video as the reason for their attack?

            • “They” didn’t. Did one of them? Talking to whom? They did in Egypt, a different attack. Funny, the attack was on 9/11. Does that ring a bell?

            • Chris said, “Jack, if the video didn’t motivate the terrorists to attack, why did the attackers specifically cite the video as the reason for their attack?”

              Like a good little Obama/Clinton apologist, spew whatever you like and see what sticks. Reminds me of the old joke book title “Spots On The Wall” by Who Flung Poo.

              You know Chris; If the Obama administration and Clinton’s State Department hadn’t spun out a cover-up story to protect Obama’s election campaign and just told the truth from day one, they wouldn’t have had to try to cover their original lying tracks with more lies, spin, and double talk. They made their bed and apologists, like you, are expected to unethically justify the coverup.

          • Jack said, “Wrong, Chris. You are too gullible.”

            In this conversation I think that might be an understatement.

        • Chris said, “Several of the attackers said… at the time of the attack… that the anti-Islam video was a motivating factor.”

          Submit links to conclusive evidence to support your claim that the Benghazi terrorist attackers said “at the time of the attack” that “the anti-Islam video was a motivating factor”.

          Chris said, “They were still getting contradictory intelligence at that point.”

          No Chris, they didn’t have “contradictory intelligence” at that time, they had zero intelligence to support their claim that the attack was due to the movie – ZERO, but what did they tell everyone – movie, movie, movie! Lies, lies, lies!

          • Chris

            Zoltar:

            Submit links to conclusive evidence to support your claim that the Benghazi terrorist attackers said “at the time of the attack” that “the anti-Islam video was a motivating factor”.

            OK.

            As the attack in Benghazi was unfolding a few hours later, Mr. Abu Khattala told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/world/middleeast/apprehension-of-ahmed-abu-khattala-may-begin-to-answer-questions-on-assault.html?_r=0

            Then, on Sept. 8, a popular Islamist preacher lit the fuse by screening a clip of the video on the ultraconservative Egyptian satellite channel El Nas. American diplomats in Cairo raised the alarm in Washington about a growing backlash, including calls for a protest outside their embassy.
            No one mentioned it to the American diplomats in Libya. But Islamists in Benghazi were watching. Egyptian satellite networks like El Nas and El Rahma were widely available in Benghazi. “It is Friday morning viewing,” popular on the day of prayer, said one young Benghazi Islamist who turned up at the compound during the attack, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
            By Sept. 9, a popular eastern Libyan Facebook page had denounced the film. On the morning of Sept. 11, even some secular political activists were posting calls online for a protest that Friday, three days away.
            Hussein Abu Hamida, the acting chief of Benghazi’s informal police force, saw the growing furor and feared new violence against Western interests. He conferred with Abdul Salam Bargathi of the Preventive Security Brigade, an Islamist militia with a grandiose name, each recalled separately, and they increased security outside a United Nations office. But they said nothing to the Americans.

            No Chris, they didn’t have “contradictory intelligence” at that time, they had zero intelligence to support their claim that the attack was due to the movie – ZERO

            It always baffles me that there are still people who believe this. The very first congressional investigation found that there absolutely was conflicting information, with some CIA analysts saying that the attack was connected to the anti-video protests in Cairo and other locations. Multiple congressional investigations since have said the same thing. Here are CIA director Mike Morell’s initial remarks:

            The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the US Consulate and subsequently its annex. This assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and currently available information continues to be evaluated. On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front ofthe Embassy and thatjihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy.

            http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/press/benghazi.pdf

            Read the rest of the edits made to the intelligence. First they thought Ansar al-Sharia was responsible, then they didn’t, then they did. First they thought there were protests, then they didn’t, then they did, then they didn’t again. And we still don’t really know how long in advance the attacks were planned.

            So to claim Clinton or Obama “knew” the video was not the motivator but said it was anyway is ludicrous–nobody knew. We still don’t actually know exactly how big a deal the video was to the attackers or if they were planning an attack anyway. It looks like the video was not the main justification, but at the time that appeared more than likely, due not only to comments by the attackers but also the protests in other Muslim areas over the video that very same day.

            So your chanting of “Lies! Lies! Lies!” is not only wrong, it is hysterical. There is far more evidence that the video played a part than that it played no part at all, which is what you have argued.

            • 1) They said they knew the video WAS the motivator, and repeatedly. They even questioned the first amendment in a giant pander.
              2) Nowhere is person X stating what he claims person Y said was person Y’s motivation EVER evidence. It is hearsay, and inherently unreliable. You don’t have anything to back up your contention.
              3) If there is a dispute over whether A or B is the explanation, representing that the explanation is A is still a lie.
              4. What you cited was word for word what the White House staff cut and pasted into “talking points” to deceive. If that’s what the CIA director said, he was scripted, and lying.

              http://www.gop.gov/resources/library/documents/benghazi/hpsci-talking-points-emails-pages-81-90.pdf

              • Give it up Jack; it’s really obvious that Chris simply doesn’t understand the difference between innuendo, assumptions, hearsay, and actual fact based evidence – assumptions is what the Obama Administration and the State Department presented to the public but they intentionally presented their assumptions as fact – they lied.

                Chris; the Obama Administration could have simply stated that it would have been improper to make statements as to the source of the attack or the reasons behind the attack until the investigation is complete – but noooooooooooooooo that’s not what they chose to do, they chose to move forward, for what appeared in hindsight to be blatantly political reasons, and present assumptions as fact – they gambled with a lie when it wasn’t necessary for national security reasons – they lost.

                Chris – lies make a difference.

                • Yes, this is what I don’t understand. It should be clear that if the honest answer is “At this time, we are not certain enough about the origins of the attack that we feel comfortable speculating,” picking the theory that bolsters the administration’s exaggerated narrative that Obama has Al Qida on the run and toothless isn’t the “fog of war,” it’s intentionally misleading the public: LYING.

              • Chris

                1) They said they knew the video WAS the motivator, and repeatedly. They even questioned the first amendment in a giant pander.

                No, they didn’t and no, they didn’t. Both Rice and others who mentioned the video repeatedly said it was the best information they had at the time, and that their estimation could change. It did–they eventually realized there were no protests before the attack–but the notion that the video played a motivating role was never contradicted.

                And no one “questioned the first amendment.” Obama criticized the film, but also pointed out that violence is never an appropriate response to free speech:

                Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

                https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/12/remarks-president-deaths-us-embassy-staff-libya

                2) Nowhere is person X stating what he claims person Y said was person Y’s motivation EVER evidence. It is hearsay, and inherently unreliable. You don’t have anything to back up your contention.

                Nothing, except that multiple other attackers also said they were motivated by the video according to multiple news and intelligence reports, and there were protests over the video in a dozen other Muslim cities that day.

                3) If there is a dispute over whether A or B is the explanation, representing that the explanation is A is still a lie.

                Again, Rice was clear to point out it was the best possible explanation at the time, and their estimation could change.

                4. What you cited was word for word what the White House staff cut and pasted into “talking points” to deceive. If that’s what the CIA director said, he was scripted, and lying.

                Evidence?

                • 1. Jeez, Chris, listen to yourself. It wasn’t “the best possible explanation.” By then it had been almost entirely abandoned. You might be the only honest person alive who doesn’t believe that Rice was lying for the team.
                  2. EVIDENCE??? Look at the document! Those are notes of political hacks hiding the facts and crafting talking points, and the CIA director aped them virtually verbatim!

                • Chris said, “…the notion that the video played a motivating role was never contradicted.”

                  There was never any concrete evidence to suggest that this was in reaction to the film. The film was never – EVER – proven to have played a motivating role but they sure spin it that way over and over again!

                  Here are some timeline things to consider in your blanket apologist assertions that no one lied.

                  September 12, 2014
                  Clinton calls then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and tells him, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.”

                  September 14, 2012
                  At the White House Press Briefing, Press Secretary Carney was asked about the fact that “Secretary Leon Panetta and the Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs had just briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee and it was reported that the senators came out and said their indication was that this, or the attack on Benghazi was a terrorist attack organized and carried out by terrorists, that it was premeditated, a calculated act of terror.” Carney’s reply was in part, “we don’t have and did not have concrete evidence to suggest that this was not in reaction to the film.”

                  What Carney’s failed to also say is that, “we don’t have and did not have concrete evidence to suggest that this was in reaction to the film.”

                  Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes sent an email to other administration officials, including White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, with the subject line “PREP CALL with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.” Rhodes’ email outlined four “goals” for Rice’s TV appearances. One of the goals: “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

                  A State Department official writes in an email: “it is becoming increasingly clear that the series of events in Benghazi was much more terrorist attack than a protest which escalated into violence. It is our opinion that in our messaging, we want to distinguish, not conflate, the events in other countries with this well-planned attack by militant extremists.”

                  September 16, 2012
                  Libya President Mohamed Magariaf says on CBS News’ Face the Nation that the attack on the U.S. consulate was planned months in advance.

                  Susan Rice same day same show said, “…our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that– in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.”

                  September 25, 2012
                  President Obama addressing the United Nations General Assembly; “There is no speech that justifies mindless violence. There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.”

                  The real FACT is that there were absolutely no protest at the consulate in Benghazi – NONE – there was no connection to the video – NONE – and they knew it when they paraded Susan Rice in front of the media with their blatant video insinuations – there was no “fog of war” 5 or even 14 days later, there was only intentionally misrepresentations – lies!

                  I’m done arguing with an apologist hack that won’t accept facts like you.

                  • Chris

                    There was no protest, you’re right about that. You are wrong that there was no connection to the video. The attackers said at the time that there was. The link I gave you to support that is far from the only evidence of this.

                    The Clinton call was made when Ansar al-Sharia was still believed to be the culprit; they denied responsibility the next day. Changing one’s opinion due to new evidence isn’t lying.

                    • Chris said, “You are wrong that there was no connection to the video. The attackers said at the time that there was. The link I gave you to support that is far from the only evidence of this.”

                      Are you talking about this little piece of hearsay? “As the attack in Benghazi was unfolding a few hours later, Mr. Abu Khattala told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.”

                      Chris said, “The Clinton call was made when Ansar al-Sharia was still believed to be the culprit”

                      Funny thin Chris, there was no mention of Ansar al-Sharia in the quote from Clinton to Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil; it was simply, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest.”

                      Chris said, “Changing one’s opinion due to new evidence isn’t lying.”

                      You mean changing one’s opinion and broadcasting that opinion to the world across the media because of all that “new” evidence that there was a protest over the video and the attack spontaneously grew out of the protest; yup that “new” evidence, the evidence that didn’t freaking exist!?

                      You’re making yourself look like more of a foolish partisan apologist with every illogical comment you post. You really should have shut up a long time ago.

                    • Just arrived after an endless flight to Portland, and Chris’s post was the first I read, and no I want to fly back. These are talking points, an discredited ones, right up there with “the IRS didn’t target Tea Party groups” and “Obamacare has lowered the cost of health care” and Obama reduced the deficit. It’s a waste of life to argue with it: its just isn’t true. I provided the link documenting that the POLITICAL hacks in the White House scrubbed the CIA report to make it seem like the ONLY cause was the video, and Chris still is saying this. How do people get like this? I know I keep asking it, but it drives me crazy. Hypnosis? Indoctrination? Wishful thinking?

                    • Just arrived after an endless flight to Portland, and Chris’s post was the first I read, and no I want to fly back. These are talking points, an discredited ones, right up there with “the IRS didn’t target Tea Party groups” and “Obamacare has lowered the cost of health care” and Obama reduced the deficit. It’s a waste of life to argue with it: its just isn’t true. I provided the link documenting that the POLITICAL hacks in the White House scrubbed the CIA report to make it seem like the ONLY cause was the video, and Chris still is saying this. How do people get like this? I know I keep asking it, but it drives me crazy. Hypnosis? Indoctrination? Wishful thinking?

    • joed68

      The children at the Kos, chastising others for being snarky. Then, being idiots, their followers accuse Jack of being a Trump-supporting Republican.

    • Halmartin Brown,
      The title to your attack dog piece was “Ethicist calls Hillary pathetic 16 times…”

      Just a couple of pesky little factual details that contradict the claim in your title…

      1. Jack only used the word pathetic 15 times not 16. Either you can’t count or you intentionally misrepresented what Jack wrote.

      16-1=15

      2. Out of those 15 times that Jack used the word pathetic, one was in the title (which did not call Clinton pathetic, it called the notes pathetic), and one was presenting the definition which obviously did not call Clinton pathetic. Either you didn’t bother to comprehend what you wrote or you intentionally misrepresented what Jack wrote.

      15-2=13

      So now that I’ve eliminated three of your claim of 16 times Jack called Hillary pathetic let’s evaluate the other 13 references to the word pathetic too.

      4th paragraph:
      Doesn’t even contain Clinton’s name, it talks about the Obama Administration not Clinton in particular. This use of the word pathetic is not calling Clinton pathetic.

      13-1=12

      5th Paragraph:
      Jack was calling the F.B.I. notes pathetic not Clinton.

      12-1=11

      6th Paragraph:
      Jack did not call Clinton pathetic, he said her getting away with it, her supporters don’t think it matters, and the FBI minimized efforts to obstruct justice was pathetic.

      11-1=10

      7th Paragraph:
      Jack was calling the FBI pathetic because it’s either corrupt or incompetent.

      10-1=9

      8th Paragraph:
      Jack was referring to the FBI interviewers allowing Cheryl Mills to represent Clinton in the interviews. He pointedly said that the interviewers allowing this was either brain-blowing incompetent or corrupt which he identified as being pathetic.

      9-1=8

      Jacks Item #6:
      Was identifying five of Clinton’s statements, that followed as being pathetic, not necessarily Clinton herself; but in interest of fairness, these are close enough that they could be called either way so I’ll give you these 6.

      8-0=8

      Jacks Item #7:
      Jack was talking about Obama’s leadership being pathetic, not Clinton herself.

      8-1=7

      Jacks Item #8:
      Jacks reference of pathetic was in relation to Clinton’s qualifications and how Clinton supporters are stupid or corrupt.

      7-1=6

      Mr. Brown,
      Your claim of 16 is off by 10; so 10, a good percentage more than half of your claim, is blatantly false. I have a real animosity towards bull shit that attacks others along partisan lines ESPECIALLY when the attack is grounded in partisan based comprehension problems. I rate your claim as partisan bull shit presented to self-promote which is just plain sleazy.

      I’ve already covered your bull shit about the context of Hillary’s statement.

      So Mr. Brown, do you have anything to say for yourself?

  3. Other Bill

    .The Doomsday License.

    This was my objection to the obsession with “Breaking Bad.” A guy has terminal cancer so he can manufacture and sell meth? I never watched it because it just sounded wrong. Just not sure how you can make great TV about such a corrosive plot line. Of course, maybe “great TV” is not such a high bar to clear.

  4. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    It’s funny, Jack, that just when I think you have it covered with your list of rationalizations, evolving human behavior creates more of them. I suppose I should say ‘devolving’ human behavior.

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