[ExI] The Clinton Foundation

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 21:55:11 UTC 2016

On Aug 31, 2016, at 1:55 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote: 
> On Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 2:14 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> ​> ​>…John, the problem with these lines of argument is that it tends towards ends-justify-the-means in government which is dangerous…
> ​>…Sometimes the ends justify the means and sometimes they don't. If the ends never justify the means ​then nobody would ever do anything because there would be no way to do it…
> Oh my, John, I disagree with that comment so very much.  The end does not justify the means if the means are illegal. 

Whoa! So, since it was illegal to escape from, say, East Germany during the Cold War, escaping was wrong because illegal means can't be justified by the end of obtaining freedom?

Regarding two other points... One, one can run a corrupt organization that does some good yet the good done doesn't excuse the corruption. Returning to East Germany, its government surely did things that benefited some of its subjects -- providing jobs, medical care, education, entertainment, roads, etc. Does that excuse the oppression?

Two, one can run a corrupt organization and not receive any direct financial benefits, such as a big paycheck or cash payouts. Yet one can benefit from this indirectly. For instance, one can help friends and family, make sure loyal cronies have an incentive to remain loyal cronies, and the like by swinging benefits toward those folks. Imagine, say, X runs the Build a Home for Poor Folk Foundation. And lo and behold! the foundation does build houses for poor folk -- a noble goal, IMO. But X makes sure the millions funneled into the foundation go to contractors run by friends or friends of friends who are all skimming off the top. And X make sure still other friends have salaried positions at the foundation. Yup, those houses still get built but only a naïf would think this was a good way to go about this, that the harm is minimal, and that we need more foundations like this.

Another point, reading someone's comments here (only because others still respond to him), you'd think Clinton were not so much merely the lesser of two evils (which might be rationally defensible; that's open to debate, I think), but that she's as near perfection as a mortal can approach. Note: the position he's taken is not, 'She's corrupt, a warmonger, power-hungry, but she's not as nutty as her opponent.' Instead, he's whitewashing all of her flaws in a way that undercuts a rational case that might be made for choosing her over Trump.

Let me out this another way: If one overlooks all her faults, one is jeopardizing one's credibility of judging these matters. After all, if fear drives one to whitewash, perhaps it's made one otherwise irrational and untrustworthy.


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