This is a largely off-topic post which I intended to write much earlier in the day and leave as a Friday fun thread.
I've come across a couple of examples of ad hoc definitions (not so much ad hoc as "pulled out of someone's arse") this week, and I may as well share them with you. I'm also looking for a better term than ad hoc definitions, because that's going to make a crap title, but I'm not very hopeful on that score.
The first of these comes from the comments to a piece on Time: Julian Assange: Hillary Clinton "Should Resign"
Crusaders don't fear death...yet this guy continues to hide. What does that tell you?
I'm a bad argument fan, and, for me, this practically shits rainbows. If the moment hadn't passed and a dozen comments hadn't got between us, I wanted to reply, "Oh really, what about the Caped Crusader? He hides is identity and is known only to his ward Dick Grayson and his faithful butler Albert..." The only people who don't fear death are our good friends the suicide bombers of Osama bin Laden and kamikaze pilots, everyone else awaits their end dreading all.
I came across an even better example this morning - and rather more on topic for this site, although I think Wikileaks is on-topic - in a Ballon Juice post
In a review of a 2005 biography of Brown Christopher Hitchens made an important point:
...(In issuing these documents, by the way, he [John Brown] exculpated himself from any ahistorical charge of “terrorism,” which by definition offers nothing programmatic.)...
This is a new definition to me, readers. I remember Hitchens trying to redefine terrorism in his Slate columns (collected as Regime Change
) and I wasn't convinced then. Several objections occur to me. Doesn't al-Qaeda have a program of sorts? Didn't the IRA? Don't ETA?
It's almost a shame that I agree with Hitchens on the atheism thing, because the bad faith evident in his political stuff raises a stench to rival the pre-Revolutionary Parisian sewers.  This looks like a desperate - and blatant - attempt by the Dupe to define someone he agrees with as "not a terrorist" so quite unlike all those havoc-raisers he doesn't agree with who just happen to have to favoured the same methods.
Definitions of terrorism seem pertinent to this site which is why I'm posting here. Here's a curious thing: people who should know better seem to think "I vas only obeyink orders" is a valid excuse. Murder in war is OK. Soldiers do bad things, but they
were mistaken, or working on poor intelligence. Or, as Orwell said, "doing their duty
", though that seems a very rank get-out clause to me, fit only for robots. Another way of putting this is the commonly held conceit that if a school pupil hits another pupil that's bullying or thuggish, but if a teacher hits a pupil, that's "discipline" and "order". Terrorists actually believe in stuff, and somehow that makes them worse than poor conscripted sods.
Anyway, discuss. Or, of course, don't.
 I'd like it to be noted that before I heard that Julian Assange suggested that Hillary Clinton "should" resign, I had wondered if she would be forced to: I still expect that she shall due to pressure from nations which feel their diplomats were spied on.
 No, I haven't experienced that particular odour, nor am I even sure 18th century Paris had sewers. I'm hunting for an image.