Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/23/2017: Oh, Lots Of Stuff…

Let’s clear the runway; flights are being delayed…

1 Please, somebody do me a favor and read Fattymoon’s Medium piece  on why he doesn’t comment here any more. Let me know what it says. I don’t know if it’s another “I hate Jack” web piece, but I have feelings too, and miles to go before I sleep. He should have posted it here, and assuming it is as quirky and thoughtful as many of Fatty’s posts were, I might have made it a Comment of the Day. Posting it elsewhere without a heads up is a Golden Rule breach.

2. Jamelle Bouie’s racialist demagoguery in Slate is an ongoing embarrassment to the once readable web-mag, and in a recent exchange on Twitter, he showed that he’s not too quick on the uptake either.  Tweeting about the planned hit job on the President plotted by Rep. Wilson and an angry, grieving anti-Trump Gold Star wife. Bouie wrote,

“Trump and the White House have an unmistakable pattern of going after prominent black women.”

Quick! Hands: who believes that if the Democratic Representative who accused the President of being  insulting on his condolence call had been a white male, Trump would have behaved any different? Anybody? This is Bouie personified: he will engage in race-baiting no matter how forced, unfair and absurd it is.

I’m not a Ben Shapiro fan, but the conservative pundit knows a hanging curveball in his wheelhouse when  he sees one. He responded,

“Yes, McCain, Hillary, Barack Obama, Cruz, Jeb!, Rosie O’Donnell, Kim Jung Un are all black women”

And he didn’t even mention Bob Corker!

Exposed, owned, embarrassed and squashed, a wiser, smarter progressive would know enough to shut up and allow his idiocy to be gently wiped from cultural memory by the sands of time…like in about ten minutes. But no, Bouie shoots back,

“Nice. A retweet from Honest Conservative Ben “The genocide of Native people’s was Actually Good” Shapiro”

YES! A perfect example of a real, genuine, ad hominem attack, the kind that says, “I have no rebuttal for your devastating argument, so I’m just going to say that you’re personally horrible, so your arguments don’t count.” I’ve gotten so sick of explaining to commenters that their accusations of ad hominem are mistaken and ignorant that I put a warning in the Comments guidelines. “Your argument is idiotic, so I think you are an idiot” is not ad hominem (not nice, but not ad hominem). “You’re an idiot, so your argument must be idiotic” is ad hominem. Now I have a perfect example–from an editor at Slate! (If you think ad hominem  is logical, then you are unqualified to be an editor, even if you aren’t a race-baiting anti-white bigot.)

Not surprisingly, Shapiro knocked this one out of the park too, tweeting,

“Thanks for the ad hominem non sequitur, guy who says every Trump voter is an evil racist”

3. If there was any doubt that John McCain’s recent escalation of his anti-Trump, burr-under-the-saddle, “I’m going to make you rue the day your denigrated my prisoner-of-war heroism” campaign is personal and motivated by revenge, his gratuitous swipe at the President’s deferment from the draft almost 50 years ago should eliminate it.  That is personal, it is a cheap shot, it is intentionally disrespectful, and it is deliberately throwing raw meat to the President’s enemies.

It is also a Golden Rule breach: how would McCain react if Trump referenced the Keating Five scandal just to impugn McCain?

A lame duck who may well be dying, McCain has apparently decided that he can misbehave, settle scores, and undermine his party’s President with impunity. Somebody should tell him that he is dismantling his own reputation and legacy in the process, revealing himself as petty, vindictive, and willing to place his own vendetta over national interests and his duty as a U.S. Senator.

This is one more reason that he should resign.

4. While we are mentioning embarrassment, it appears that the news media is not yet embarrassed by treating as substantive news the self-evident set-up and subsequent escalation of a non-incident into another manufactured anti-Trump race scandal . It should be.  Imagine: yesterday all of the Sunday talking head shows gave far more time to this transparent hit-job than to the revived Russian influence allegations involving the Clintons. ABC and NBC have yet to mention that story at all; CBS, five days after it broke, gave a few seconds to it on “Face the Nation.” The excuses for this from journalists sound an awful lot like “Hey! We buried this story once; she shouldn’t have to report on it now.” FACT: As of this moment, there is more public evidence suggesting that Hillary Clinton was colluding to help the Russians than there is to suggest that President Trump did anything improper in that regard.

Back to the Rep. Frederica Wilson smear-job: The Congressional Black Caucus  called for Chief of Staff John Kelly to apologize for his remarks defending the President.  “We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements,” the female lawmakers said in a statement.

The wife of the late La David Johnson, meanwhile, has been making the rounds of talk shows. To recap: a woman who was determined to hurt Trump made sure that a Congressional Black Caucus member who had boycotted the President’s Inauguration was listening in on his condolence call, then collaborated on accusations of disrespect. When Trump denied their characterization–at best an example of likely confirmation bias if there ever was one —he was accused of racism, since both women are black. Then other members of the Caucus expanded the attack to Trump’s Chief of Staff, implying that he is racist as well.

This might have been a bit more convincing if the entire Caucus hadn’t declared their revulsion at Trump before he took office. Who believes that any criticism from this quarter is anything but cynical, political, and unfair? Meanwhile, as this was going on, esteemed CBC member Maxine Waters declared that she was going to “take out” the President, presumably not meaning that they were going on a date.

I note that even many of my Democratic, anti-Trump Facebook friends are rolling their metaphorical eyes at this one. Some of them—many, in fact— are still capable of feeling sympathy when a President is being mistreated.

5. I’ve been getting better at suppressing my head explosions, and just in time: Harvey Weinstein has supposedly completed rehab for his sex addiction already. What was that, less than a week? What an insult to everyone’s intelligence for Weinstein to say he was getting “help” for his “problem.” It couldn’t have been too much of a problem if it could be fixed in few days. The other side of the ethics coin is this: going into rehab has been the routine PR response whenever a Hollywood figure misbehaves. We should thank Harvey for making it clear for all time that this is often, perhaps usually, a cynical sham.

6. Jimmy Carter is on a roll. In addition to correctly noting that the news media has applied a different standard to President Trump than to previous Presidents, he said this when  asked if the Carter Foundation and the Clinton Foundation were similar:

“Rosie and I put money in the Carter Center. We never take any out.”

7. Here’s a smoking gun, though none is needed: choosing the most unethical, dishonest, untrustworthy conservative website is a tough chore, but it’s hard to beat The Gateway Pundit for misleading headlines and shameless clickbait. Yesterday it ran this headline:

NFL HELL: Several Stadiums Nearly Empty As Anthem Protest Backlash Rolls Into Week 7 (PHOTOS)

The site’s own photos disproved the headline. The stadiums shown were not full. Some appeared half-full. None, by any possible definition of the phrase, were “nearly empty.”

I don’t understand why a site that repeatedly does this kind of thing has any readers at all.

8. Finally, there is this article at the PBS site.

What’s happening at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting? First an ex-NPR exec admits (ten years too late, but still) that it might be just a teeny bit biased , and now an unapologetic Trump critic is making the same point Ethics Alarms has been making for months:

In effect, what many Democrats would like, whether explicitly declared or privately hoped for, is the criminalization of behavior that the “smarter” or “rational” among us deem unacceptable, racist, or evil. But, the great thing, and sometimes the scariest thing, about democracy is that it explicitly allows people to be, well, evil, as long their “evil” is expressed within the law. Democracy is not meant to protect us from other Americans we don’t like…Perceiving our fellow citizens, endowed with the same rights as the rest of us, as fundamentally “irrational” in a way that, in effect, excommunicates them from society, leads us toward other dangers…

It just happens to be that the right to be wrong is at the core of the democratic idea. Without it, there isn’t much left. We might not be able to control Donald Trump, nor should we expect to, but America will survive Trump. It is less clear whether we will find a way past some of our own darker impulses, however well-intentioned they might be. Once the door to the criminalization of political and ideological disagreement is opened, it may be near impossible to close it.

This, in large part, why I decided that I could not responsibly or in good conscience vote for Hillary Clinton and the increasingly censorious and totalitarian-minded party she led.  I’ll always take one democratically elected incompetent over giving power to the champions of an undemocratic philosophy.


86 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/23/2017: Oh, Lots Of Stuff…

  1. Apparently Fatty Moon is mad because people have different opinions than they do and those people expressed those opinions.

    The article is disjointed, goes from talking about Chelsea Manning to some bully who got slammed (I remember that video) . Not really sure what the point of it is other than.. some people say things that others construe as mean.

      • It was that, along with a bunch of piling on about who gets to fire the bullet, with lots of volunteers.

        1. I don’t think I saw the post, or, if I did, probably just skimmed it without comment.
        2. The comments in question were ugly and juvenile, but may not be representative of the entire set of comments on the story (see point 1).
        3. The comments in questions appear kind of ugly out of context, but, even if the context is fair, they are hardly worse than what you find in most comment spaces.
        4. Point 3 is probably not the standard that Ethics Alarms aspires to uphold.

        • If we believe in capital punishment, then we have to accept that the execution is in our name, and that we are metaphorically pulling the switch or the trigger. If we wouldn’t do the deed ourselves, it is grandstanding to say it should be done.

          3. Rationalization #22.

          4. I don’t know what this means. The standards here are as high as any on the web. That not every thread is erudite, dispassionate and calm merely proves that this standard is achieved without excessive censorship.

          • No, Jack, we don’t. The state can kill, but it is not murder, like the idiots say. And, if you say it kills in our name, then it steals in our name, every time a garnishment is served. Or, it kid naps in our name when someone is imprisoned.

            We don’t do that, because society requires that we give up that right to be in society. Otherwise, Lynch mobs as “sort of” justified, since they are actually doing what would have been done in their name. No. There is a disconnect there.

            But, regardless, you want to put it in our name, then you get the lynch mob, and that is what FattyMoon seems to take issue with.

            3. Rationalization #22? Are you an idiot? It’s not a rationalization; it’s an accusation! Taking joy in killing a traitor is not much better than wanting to be the person to throw the gay guy off a building. Congratulations on the blood lust.

            4. That you have such high standards generally means that you can engage in the occasional homicidal fantasy? What is that? The King’s pass? The Saint’s Excuse? The Eeinstein Maneuver? I know you have a name for it, but I have a hard time checking while on my phone.

            Make no mistake: I am not leaving, but I fault FattyMoon nothing for doing so. There are many potential reasons for doing so. My guess is that people who rejoice in the death of others can be sickening. I can’t blame FattyMoon just because I gave the stomach for it.



            • ”We don’t do that, because society requires that we give up that right to be in society. Otherwise, Lynch mobs as “sort of” justified, since they are actually doing what would have been done in their name. No. There is a disconnect there.

              But, regardless, you want to put it in our name, then you get the lynch mob, and that is what FattyMoon seems to take issue with.”

              I think this is error. A lynch mob’s key feature is lack of due process. That we entrust *only* the government with the deliberative ability to follow due process doesn’t mean it isn’t a collectivized effort of the people. Nor does it mean that a mass of people is incapable of following due process, just that we don’t trust the people to follow due process in an ad hoc fashion and therefore only agree to do so in the form of government.

          • I will admit it is out of context (if you say so), and I won’t deny people were joking (if you think they were). I can joke around and blow things off. But, I don’t revel in death and I take no joy in the state’s execution of its citizens (even if justified). I don’t joke about real pain and suffering. But I try not to take offense at anything.

            FattyMoon obviously has different standards. That people were joking does not make FattyMoon wrong.


  2. #3. “It is also a Golden Rule breach: how would McCain react if Trump referenced the Keating Five scandal just to impugn McCain?”

    Heh – the day is young…

  3. 5. It’s unlikely because it would mean passing up a fee, but it’s possible that whoever was treating Weinstein told him that he doesn’t have any addictions, compulsions, or whatever from which to rehab, but is just a plain old monster.

    • Nah. Harvery is cured. Cured, I tell you! It is a miracle! But, hey, what do you expect from a Master of the Universe? I am surprised it only took 6 days. i was thinking it would be 3, four, days, tops, to cure him of what would crush lesser mortals.

      More likely, Harvey figured the jig is up (meaning, he is toast) so why waste $2000 a day on some dumb rehab facility. Even Lisa Bloom has turned on him (kind of quickly, too, perhaps right after the retainer fee cleared the bank?) Anyway, he has deals to cut, new actresses to mentor, and scripts to read. Lead on, Harvey.


    • From other accounts I gathered that Weinstein was not cooperative during any of the AA style discussion circles, had smuggled in a phone (against the rules) and often focused on texting and calls during ‘therapy’ sessions.

      I imagine his “curing” had more to do with him saying “forget this” and walking out…

  4. 1. Basically it says that your comment that Chelsea Manning was a traitor and should face a firing squad was the final straw and his conscience won’t allow him to come back.

    3. I knew this a long time ago. At heart John McCain has never gotten over the fact that he’s always fallen just short of being truly important. His grandfather and father were both four-star admirals (his dad mostly because of WW2, in the peacetime Navy he would have risen to LCDR so he was guaranteed his 20 years and stuck there), while he lost his chance at high command in Vietnam. He was screwed out of his best chance at getting his party’s nomination in 2000 by dirty tactics on the part of GWB, or so many people will tell you. Finally, he got his shot, only to have it crash and burn in 2008, when I don’t think it was lost on him that the media turned against him. For years they’d congratulated and hailed him as a maverick for not running with the party or the president on everything, but the minute he ran against Obama he was “John McSame.” He was already deeply unhappy before last year, and then Trump took an unnecessary cheap shot at him. Now he’s 81 and dying of cancer. He has nothing to lose and very little time left, so, by thunder, he’s going to shut his filter off and take his revenge on everyone he can before the Grim Reaper comes for him. I won’t wish him dead, and I won’t repost the obituary saying “good, he’s dead, I hope he suffered,” like I did for Ted Kennedy, but I sure as hell won’t be sorry when I read it.

    • It is a shame when those who acted honorably at one time fail to live up to the teachings that we should forgive those who trespass against us. These grudges are a detriment to our society.

      It bothers me deeply, that McCain feels it necessary to spite his enemies as often as possible.

      • As an Arizona resident, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say the state is going to have two new U.S. Senators pretty darned soon. Flake and McCain are both grandstanding and missing an opportunity to get some important legislative things done. Would they really rather Hillary had won? They are incredibly petulant. I think McCain spent too much time in D.C. with the national press corps and all the national elites. Barry Goldwater was more than a bit of a contrarian but McCain has done of terrible job of trying to play that to get national attention. Boy, he’s annoying. And Flake seems to be going right down the same path only about thirty years sooner than the Senator from Budweiser.

        • There is a possible explanation for Senator McCain’s more recent behavior. He has a brain tumor. A large proportion of people with brain tumors will experience changes in their personality, cognition, and behavior. Those changes can occur well before there is any other manifestation of the tumor and in fact are not infrequently what leads to the individual getting a brain scan that diagnosis the tumor. Once the tumor is being treated, many of the treatments are liable to cause additional symptoms or exacerbate those already present.

          The specific symptoms depend on the location of the tumor. They often include paranoia, irritability, impulsiveness, mood changes, and anger. People may lose the ability to discern the emotions and intentions of others. Typically they have limited self-awareness of their symptoms. Tumors in the frontal region may affect executive decision making abilities.

          Only the doctors treating him are able to determine whether and to what degree McCain is suffering from any of these problems. But there is a high probability that he is suffering at least some of them and that calls into question his ability to function effectively as a Senator. He demonstrated his heroism and patriotism during Vietnam. It’s now time for him to serve his country by stepping down.

            • If I read Jack’s post correctly, he characterized McCain’s comments as “personal and motivated by revenge”. That may well be the case but there is another possibility. This is not to say there is anything wrong with that or any other comment but only to say that as a result of his brain damage that he may be saying things that he wouldn’t ordinarily say or saying them in a different manner. I have no way of knowing if that is the case but there is a relatively high probability, 20 to 40 percent of people with glioblastoma develop psychiatric symptoms, that it may be. Automatically attributing his comments to the petty and unethical motivation of revenge without considering that there are other possibilities in this case is disrespectful to Senator McCain.

    • Re #1: I was slow to realize why this bothered Fatty so much. He’s an anarchist: he would love to bring the government down. He thinks that’s virtuous, and thus thinks traitors like Manning are good guys—he identifies with them. He took my comment personally. At the time, that didn’t occur to me.

      Re McCain: He would have lost to Gore, big.Nobody could have beaten Obama after the crash in 2008, but McCain ran an embarrassing campaign, worse than Gore, worse than any one until Hillary.

    • I still remember Obama’s embarrassing attempts to stop the media from calling McCain a “maverick” because apparently it’s a 5-alarm emergency at Obama headquarters when people start using a sort of cool word to describe his opponent. One of the goofiest episodes of 2008.

      “John McCain is totally not a maverick, guys, and you can ask anyone, because everyone knows that I’m the real maverick cool rebel guy and not McCain. No one should ever call McCain a maverick again. Ok? That’s just crazy talk. Sure, I’m just about the most party-line Democrat humanly possible, but I’m way edgy and cool and stuff and everyone around Washington knows I’m the maverick. So when you think of maverick, think of this guy right her. Me. Obama.” I’m paraphrasing but not by much.

  5. 2. It wasn’t even a good ad hominem. Shapiro took down the video and marshaled a good apology for it; it’s unfair to continue to hold it against him.

    3. In context, McCain’s remark was entirely right.

    4. FACT: As of this moment, there is more public evidence suggesting that Hillary Clinton was colluding to help the Russians than there is to suggest that President Trump did anything improper in that regard.

    That is not a fact.

    • The point isn’t whether it’s correct, and you know that was not the gist of the post. The point is that it was a gratuitous insult, and that is not professional or helpful.

      And the last point is a fact. Bill Clinton accepted a half-million dollars, way over his usual fee, from the same interests seeking the uranium rights. That’s more direct evidence than anything inking Trump to Russia. And it’s not all there is.

      • He’s acting like Trump.

        Oh, he is not, and this is a false equivalence. Fair critiques are not gratuitous insults. There was nothing gratuitous about it–McCain was talking about inequality in who was drafted, so the remark was perfectly relevant and appropriate.

        Bill Clinton accepted a half-million dollars, way over his usual fee, from the same interests seeking the uranium rights.That’s more direct evidence than anything inking Trump to Russia.

        I am completely at a loss as to when you find it appropriate for politicians to accept money from bad people and when you do not. I’d say it seems completely random, but you seem to constantly hammer Democrats on this issue while saying that it’s nothing when Republicans do it. Your dismissal of the evidence against Trump is a whole other issue that we’ve been through before.

        • He is acting like Trump. Petty unprofessional insults and personal snark, based on an unethical instinct to get revenge. Trump could be 100% accurate in knocking McCain for his Keating involvement, and it would still be 100% wrong. Your standard is useless in evaluating this: anything done to Trump is fair and justified because Trump. If McCain said, for example, “but I’ve never eaten a dog” without mentioning Obama, that would be a total cheap shot and unconscionable. Still true though.

          • If dog-eating were relevant to the subject at hand, then no, that would not be unconscionable. You are arguing that McCain shouldn’t have made a valid point about inequality during the draft because doing so might be offensive to Trump. Tough.

            No, my standard is not that “anything” done to Trump is justified; I just said two days ago that Rep. Wilson shouldn’t have leaked the contents of the call with Myeshia Johnson, even if her account of the call was true. That was legitimately wrong and unfair. This is just valid criticism.

            Why are you arguing that the president should be shielded from valid criticism?

            • What does inequality during the draft have to do with anything in 2017, Chris? What does Donald Trump have to do with draft standards that applied to him when he was in his twenties? A bitter old soldier blathering on about the injustice of those damn hippies and rich kids ducking the chance to get maimed and screwed up in a badly conceived and incompetently fought war—and focusing his anger on the President, as if he was responsible, accountable, or unusual? My assessment in the previous comment is correct. You hate Trump as much as McCain does, so a below the belt shot is fine with you. Being ethical requires the skill of treating all individuals with the same basic courtesies and fairness. Work on it.

              • What does inequality during the draft have to do with anything in 2017, Chris?

                McCain was being interviewed about the Vietnam War. That’s what it has to do with 2017.

                What does Donald Trump have to do with draft standards that applied to him when he was in his twenties? A bitter old soldier blathering on about the injustice of those damn hippies and rich kids ducking the chance to get maimed and screwed up in a badly conceived and incompetently fought war—and focusing his anger on the President, as if he was responsible, accountable, or unusual?

                So…you don’t actually know what happened, then. McCain didn’t focus his anger on the president, nor did he imply the “bone spur” excuse was unusual—quite the opposite, in fact. The point was that many rich kids used that and similar excuses to avoid the draft. McCain never even mentioned Trump by name, and claims he wasn’t referring to him. I don’t know if I find that believable, but that doesn’t change the validity or appropriateness of the original statement.

                • The Vietnam war has nothing to do with 2017, nence nothing to do with President Trump. If he were being interviewed about the Boer War, it would also be gratuitous and cheap to manufacture a way to insult the President. About the administration of Franklin Pierce. About the sex life of Gila Monsters. About the 1949 World Series. About Walter Hunt’s invention of the safety pin. McCain is seething, so EVERYTHING makes him want to hurt Trump. It’s unprofessional and unethical.

                  This isn’t hard, Chris.

                  • Extremely non-responsive, along with including terrible analogies!

                    Unlike the Boer War, Trump was alive during the Vietnam War, and intentionally avoided it, in the exact method McCain described. So yes, the concepts of the Vietnam War and Trump are related, and it is perfectly valid to critique what our only president with no government or military experience was doing during that time. I can’t believe you think this is equivalent to trying to relate Gila Monsters to Trump. What ridiculous comparisons; you are too smart to make them.

                    If McCain is telling the truth, he wasn’t even talking about Trump. If he’s lying, then it was a valid critique, and only the lie is unethical, not the initial criticism.

                    This isn’t hard.

                    • This might help: imagine if there was no President Trump, and he was still just a reality TV host with a bad attitude. Can you imagine McCain making the exact same comments, word for word? I can. Would they be unethical? Of course not. “Bone spurs” is being taken as a slam on Trump because we know Trump used that bullshit excuse. But he wasn’t the only one, it was always wrong, and McCain is completely correct that it was wrong. Ergo, fair critique. Ergo, you are attempting to shield Trump from a fair critique.

                    • He isn’t a reality star. He’s President of the United States, and also head of McCain’s party, leader of the free world, and the symbol of the nation abroad. This is what we call a material distinction. It is also unethical for a Senator to behave toward a President as if he were not the President.

                      Again, this isn’t hard.

                    • What?

                      You completely misunderstood the question. I was asking if you could imagine McCain making the same remark in a world where there was no way to interpret the remark as a dig at Trump. Since Trump was never mentioned, and since McCain denies it was about Trump, and since Trump is hardly the only person to pull the “bone spur” excuse, this is entirely plausible.

                      But your answer is revealing. Apparently it would be OK for McCain to level the exact same critique against a reality star, but not against the president, because he’s the president.

                      This is an authoritarian mindset, Jack.

                    • In this matter, you are an idiot. The President of the United States, as all leaders do, deserves formal respect. McCain gratuitously attacking a celebrity citizen would be rude, but hardly undermining public respect for te government. Senators are not permitted t insult each other in the Senate. Authoritarian? No, just a rule of civility to keep the Senate functioning without the kind of bitterness and nastiness McCain displayed.

                    • McCain denies he was referring to Trump? How disgraceful…and how like Trump. He denied he was mocking the disabled reporter. He denied he was making a menstrual reference about Megyn Kelly.

                      Of course a Senator owes a President more civility and respect than he owes a TV celebrity. A Senator doesn’t have to work with the celebrity. A President and a Senator are on the same team, working toward a common goal. Personal animus does actual harm, not to the individuals but to the nation.

                    • That is forced and intellectually dishonest. Give me time: I could come up with some connection between Trump and the sex lives of Gila Monsters. McCain was not asked about Trump, and Trump’s qualifications for the Presidency were not even slightly raised by a question regarding Vietnam. Fighting in Vietnam, or more likely, having a non-com job at a typewriter in Saigon, would not have added one thing to Trump’s ability to do this job.

                      Trust me. Your defense of McCain’s bitter slur is ridiculous and based solely, as I said, on your satisfaction with any abuse of President Trump.It does not speak well of your ability to get past your biases.

                    • There was no “abuse” of Trump in McCain’s statement. Trump wasn’t even mentioned in McCain’s statement. You are being overly sensitive. This is unlike you.

                      Also unlike you to advance such embarrassing defenses of Trump. Military service wouldn’t add anything to a president’s ability to do his job? Amazing. You can’t really believe that, can you?

                    • Lame, and dishonest. He obviously was alluding to the President. It’s not unethical because it might offend Trump, and I said noting of the kind. It’s petty and vindictive. It shows that McCain’s animus is motivating his his conduct. It shows that he is using a personal feud to interfere with his professional judgment.

                      Military leadership is relevant experience. Executive experience in any organization is infinitely more relevant than military experience at the subordinate level. Amusingly, no Democrats made the military argument when Obama and Clinton were President. Do I think that Bush’s experience flying jets on weekends gave him any edge over those guys in the White House? Of course not. Washington, Jackson, Taylor, Grant, and Ike were generals, and that’s relevant experience. The rest? Relevant life experience, sure. Relevant leadership experience that transfers to the Presidency? No.

                    • Again, McCain did not gratuitously attack Trump.

                      McCain said that it was wrong that rich men had the resources to avoid the draft while poor men did not.

                      This is true, and worth saying.

                      You are arguing that McCain shouldn’t say true things because they might offend the president. This is not only authoritarian, it is political correctness.

                      You are advocating political correctness.

                    • Respecting the president doesn’t mean refraining from valid criticism, and criticizing the president for avoiding service based on a bullshit reason is a valid critique.

                      I have no idea why you think making valid critiques against the president is disrespectful, but I know for a fact you did not think this when Obama was president.

                    • It shows that he is using a personal feud to interfere with his professional judgment.

                      If the professional judgment would be the same in the absence of the personal feud, then there is no interference. McCain’s comments would be correct and appropriate even if we had never heard of Donald Trump. Ergo, they are correct and appropriate now.

                      Every president until Trump has had either military or government experience. Man, what dum dums previous generations of Americans were. We should have just been electing CEOs this whole time.

                    • I really don’t know what you think you’re contradicting with that comment, crella. I never said a president must have military service; I pointed out that every previous president had military OR government service. Clinton obviously had the latter.

                      Jack’s argument was that military service would have added nothing to Trump’s skills as president. This is ludicrous. Military service would have added to Clinton’s skills too—that doesn’t mean he had to have them in order to be an effective president.

                    • Actually 12 presidents were generals (if you count Chester A. Arthur, who held the office of Quartermaster General of the State of NY), ranging from the great (Washington, Jackson), to the awful (Pierce), to the unrateable (Harrison, who was dead in 30 days). Almost all have been in the military in some form or another, but some of the better ones haven’t (Madison, due to ill health, Coolidge, who was born at the wrong time to be in the Civil War or the World Wars, etc.). Some presidents’ service was not at all risky (Reagan, making movies on government spec and sleeping at home every night, Bush the younger, flying jets stateside on weekends). Some was VERY risky (Grant, Eisenhower, Jackson, all career officers, Bush the elder, shot down over the Pacific).

                      I have concluded that being in the military or law enforcement or government service or whatever is as likely as not to make someone an effective president, but is unlikely to make him presidential material if he isn’t, or unmake him if he is. Frankly, it’s just another way to attack the messenger while ignoring the message. Being in the military doesn’t give you instant credibility any more than not being in the military makes you instantly incredible. This isn’t the world of Starship Troopers, where only those who have been in the military can vote or hold public office. However, it is very handy for the left to attack a member of the right advocating for the use of force who hasn’t been in the military as a chickenhawk, because that means they don’t have to actually address the reasons he is advocating for force or the proposed use of force. By the same token it’s very handy for the right to attack a member of the left advocating for restraint or for peace who has never been in the military as an out-of-touch hippie or whatever, because then they don’t have to address what he is proposing, and can dismiss it out of hand. The reverse is also true. Howard Zinn’s polemics weren’t any more true because he was a vet than are those of Noam Chomsky, a lifelong academic. Calvin Coolidge’s measured approach to governing was not demonstrably better or worse than Eisenhower’s, though the former was a lifelong politician and the latter a five-star general.

                      McCain is trading on long-faded laurels in an attempt to attack the man who achieved what he couldn’t, in no small part because that man ran a much better campaign (although he also had a political wind at his back).

                • Funniest memes on the internet are the Forrest Gump memes “And just like that the Democrats _________”. Fill in the blank with someone the Democrats vehemently hated in their heart of hearts but magically don’t now. Or fill in the blank with some sudden outrage that seemed to come out of nowhere.

                  “And just like that the Democrats love George Bush”.

                  Another funny one from an earlier ethics trainwreck:

                  “And just like that everyone was mad at statues”

                  • (let me clarify my superlative “funniest”)

                    Not truly the absolute funniest. But among.

                    The latest viral one that ranks among the highest is the “Guy checking out another girl” meme

        • Because when it’s done by Republicans, it’s bashed everywhere, but it’s all ‘it’s not so bad’ when Democrats do it? What the Republicans do is trumpeted 24/7, why add to it?

          They are bashing Trump for Russian influence when Bill got $500,000 for a speech…we have no evidence that Trump took money from the Russians, but whatever he did it was BAAAAAAAAD. Trump Jr talked to a Russian lawyer, and OH MY GOD, but Bill talking to Loretta Lynch in private is ‘no big deal’ (general opinion of FB and in the news, when the topic even comes up). Trump is corrupt, but the FBI director wrote his ‘findings’ that Hillary hadn’t committed a crime before he interviewed her, and that’s no biggie.
          People are still going on about Bush’s lost emails (which were subsequently found) but Hillary using on off-the-shelf server is no biggie (‘why the hell are we still talking about her emails?’ says ‘the Resistance’), and Debbie Wasserman’s IT tech destroying, hiding, and stealing hard drives hasn’t been mentioned on the news in weeks?

          You don’t see a pattern here? Trump’s phone call and the resulting blow up is still everywhere. Why hasn’t Bill been questioned about meeting Lynch, formally? Why was Hillary not put under oath to discuss her server/Blackberry/laptop problem? I read a story just a couple of months ago about a Secret Service agent being disciplined (and perhaps fired, I haven’t seen the follow up) for having her laptop stolen out of her car. Compare that to the treatment of the Clintons vs. the magnitude of what they have done.

  6. # 2 Welp, at least it’s now clear that the “empty barrel” metaphor is NOT racist, despite what the staggeringly imbecilic Ms. Frederica Wilson (D[eluded]-FL) had to say:

    “ ‘That’s a racist term,’ she said ‘We looked it up in the dictionary, because I had never heard of an empty barrel. And I don’t like to be dragged into something like that.’ ”

    The she & We she referenced are BULLshit-n-Busted!

    ”She did not elaborate, and an Internet search yielded no such definition for the term.”

    But, but, but, but, but, but, if she said it was it should be, right?

    Not exactly.

    “Even Urban Dictionary, a crowdsourcing website for slang terms, did not list any definitions of ’empty barrel’ or ’empty vessel,’ as of Friday morning.”

    With her race card maxed out, Wilson is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt the other side of what Zoltar Speaks! is fond of saying: “genius has its limits!”

      • oh, fun. Did you know that a fanciful word was coined from that in honor of his quote: a “sagan” is a unit of measurement equivalent to a very large number – technically at least four billion (two billion plus two billion) – of anything?

        • ”a ‘sagan’ is a unit of measurement equivalent to a very large number”

          You CAN look that up and find the definition to which you refer, in several sources to boot.

          ”Empty barrel/vessel” in the definition which Wilson so desperately desires?

          Not so much.

          Gawd, she’s an insufferably moronic twit, and hilariously undaunted about displaying it at every opportunity.

          ‘Rock Star’ my patootie! She represents the same state as Debbie Wasserman-Schlultz, is there something in the water?

          • They represent the 23rd and 24th districts in the Miami area. There very well may be something in the water down in South Florida but thank God it hasn’t infected the Florida panhandle. We’re almost normal here. Well, we do have “Nub City” but otherwise pretty normal.

    • And someone who swears “empty barrel” is a racist term is exactly the one you want listening in on Trump call to be your insult-detector. So creative! So extra-sensitive! So dependable!

      I think Trump is colluding with the “resistance” to make sure he gets a second term.

      • ”I think Trump is colluding with the ‘resistance’ to make sure he gets a second term.”

        Considering the stunning level of addlepated dimwittedness possessed by your garden variety “resister,” sneaking something like that past them couldn’t be easier.

        But I know you don’t think President Trump is that smart.

  7. 5. The article in TMZ is interesting. For one thing, there is no mention of “sexual addiction” or any other addiction. The therapist stated that he helped Weinstein “focus” on “dealing with his anger, his attitude toward others, boundary work and the beginnings of work on empathy.” To put it in layman’s terms, this part of Harvey’s treatment is to help him get over the consequences of getting caught. I’m betting that the work on “empathy” is going to be particularly challenging.

    The therapist assured TMZ that “the fallen mogul” took his treatment seriously. I expect that anyone experienced in treating forensic patients fell out of their chair laughing when they read that. I’m letting my cynical self believe that “the fallen mogul” went into treatment for easily discerned ulterior motives and was hardly likely to drop that charade in one week of therapy no matter how intensive. Simply showing up for meetings and appearing to engage in treatment is not necessarily the same as taking it seriously.

  8. No. 1: Sorry, don’t care for Fatty, don’t like Medium.

    No. 2: It is impossible for anyone other than a white person to be racist. We have been told this many times, with all the authority of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

    No. 3: This has been the case for years, and he has shown this side many times. Because he occasionally shows a modicum of statesmanship (a minute amount that is still vastly superior to what practically every other politician shows) he gets forgiven all his past vindictive ways. The whole Keating Five aftermath was one big virtue signal by McCain, and nobody even recognized it.

    No. 4: Iowahawk said it best:

    Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) May 9, 2013


    No. 5: Seems like this is how it always goes when celebs go off to rehab without being forced by court order — one and done (week, that is).

    No. 7: Gateway who? Seriously, this guy is so in the tank for Trump he is the tank.

    No. 8:

    I’ll always take one democratically elected incompetent over giving power to the champions of an undemocratic philosophy.


  9. Jack,
    Friends don’t let friends blog drunk. He allowed his anger and tequila to control him, it’s sad. Ignore the post, it’s just a long trolling comment to vent.

    Too bad he left, I miss some of his comments.

  10. Mr. Moon seems to have become disillusioned over a comment about a firing squad.

    It’s a particularly messy method of execution, so persons get confused and think it’s cruel. It’s only cruel to the spectator, who isn’t being punished.

    Not entirely clear whether he was upset about the method of suggesting Ms. Manning should be executed, or the fact that many felt she should be executed.

    • All forms of execution are ugly and appear cruel to spectators. Fatty took offense at my expressed approval of capital punishment for treason. Treason is a higher crime than murder, even serial murder and mass murder. One-worlders, America-haters, anarchists (like Fatty), those who advocate the overthrow of our government by any means possible, they don’t understand this. They think human beings are more important than nations; many of them think soldiers who give their lives for their country are saps.

      Their values are perverted.

      • “Their values are perverted.” I’ll say! No anarchist worth his little snowflaky self is so blinded by one’s own motives for hoping for chaos that he can’t stomach the inevitable mass-suffered gore of the dicey plagues of a reforming and reformed World Order. Fatty is either an anarchist, or a liar. That outrage of his over the death penalty is the giveaway: He’s proto-fascist, maybe even monarchist. He’ll vote for Chelsea Cnton someday.

  11. “Jamelle Bouie’s racialist demagoguery in Slate…”

    How is “racialist” any different from “racist?” What are the signs and signals that prevent mistaking one for the other? (Not rhetorical questions.)

    • Racialist is when an individual regards every issue as an opportunity to claim racial spoils, gain race-based power, or racial advantage. Racism is a sub-attitude under racialism. One can be racialist without being racist, but Bouie is both.

      • Thank you, Sir. (Now, it appears I am experiencing a new problem when trying to log in to post a comment. It seems that someone wants my EMAIL password – not just the password I use (or have used) to log in to post a comment. Nope. Ain’t gonna give it.)

  12. I’m not sure if “hate” is the right word. Or if it is the right word, I’m not sure it means he hates you. Though whatever it is he hates about engaging in a blog where someone feels passionately about punishing those who sell out our security to our enemies may inevitably be a distinction without a difference from hating the person who holds that passion.

    His comment was too sporadic and he didn’t dive deeply enough into his own logic behind disengaging from the blog discussions.

    I mean, outright refusal to engage someone on ALL other topics simply because one is disgusted by your views on a single topic might be a flavor of hate…

    • “[O]utright refusal to engage someone on ALL other topics simply because one is disgusted by your views on a single topic might be a flavor of hate…”

      It might be a dead giveaway as a poor excuse for an irredeemable wimp, too. Since he’ll never again show his credentials, I am satisfied that Fatty is just a big, fat, lost-to-indoctrination-into-foolishness, intellectually lazy LIAR.

  13. Chris, I can’t reply to your comment above. I was not trying to ‘contradict’ anything. I was giving you yet another example of the hypocrisy. Did you read the glowing tone of that article? Clinton vigorously avoided the draft, but that article places him alongside some of America’s great Presidents, it screams ‘It’s no big deal, folks!’ Contrast with the media treatment Trump’s college deferments and the one medical deferment.

    • Thanks for clarifying, crella. I should have read the article before replying.

      I will say that I don’t know if Clinton did as much as Trump to avoid the draft, but if he did, I would not consider criticism of his doing so to be out of line. It McCain had made the same comments about Clinton during his presidency that Jack is taking issue with here, I still wouldn’t consider them unethical.

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