This Will Be Unpopular....
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.... and I don't care.
Postulate: There are no rules of war.
Corollary: There are no "war crimes."
Oh, I know, the molly-coddling UN-style bullshit is that there are. "Geneva Conventions" and all that. 429 "articles" of "law" related to war and every single one of them is self-serving bullshit.
War is Hell. War is supposed to be Hell and anything that makes it less-Hell is Satanic in its implication, implementation and thought process because doing that incites more war.
War should be recoiled from, not embraced. Papering over the horror of it with threats of "prosecution" is not only a joke its a trope and should get everyone involved hanged right here and now so as to prevent the next war.
Humanity and technology are largely responsible for this, incidentally, and that's really nobody's fault. People have minds, they use them, this results in innovation and the consequence of that is detachment between action and result. Its no different, really, than what goes on in my home or yours every single day. You don't stoke a fire manually nor open and close windows to regulate the temperature in your house or apartment; you push a button or turn a dial and a machine takes care of it.
A hundred or so years ago it didn't work that way. If it was cold you made a bigger fire in a fireplace or stove. If it was hot you opened windows (and hoped there was a breeze.) You did it, you paid attention to whether what you did was sufficient, and then you stopped when it was. You learned over time, from infancy in fact, how to stoke and build said fire so it was sufficient but not 95 degrees in your house, and to keep the coals going overnight so in the morning you still had some residual heat and didn't have to light it again. If you wanted light at night you lit a candle or oil lamp. When you were done you blew it out. You didn't dare leave either unattended lest they burn your house down. Today you flip a switch and all that happens if you leave it on is that you get a somewhat-higher bill from the power company.
Well, war was the same way.
If you wanted to kill people in size you had to go do it face-to-face. You had to see the horror of what you were doing. Plunge the sword or dirk into the other guy's body, feel it go in, see the expression on his face and watch him die. Of course you had to do this while he was trying to do the same to you, which adds quite a bit to the drama, does it not?
Innovation seems to come with war first. Go figure; nobody likes losing a war because historically it has meant losing your life.
Pushing a button on a bombsight, mashing the FIRE button while staring at a radar scope or sniping someone from 1,000yds out is a whole different thing than going man-to-man (mounted or not) with swords, pikes or dirks. Today we don't even look through the bombsight -- we program a GPS or IMU in the front of a missile, push a button, often from afar, and then from a satellite high above the earth watch the resulting wreckage. We don't even see the dead bodies those acts generate most of the time.
I have no respect for anything in the Geneva Conventions or any other so-called "laws of war" and if you manage to incite me sufficiently that I decide to go to war there will be no rules whatsoever, except for me seeking to make you dead before you can make me dead. So-called "rules" or "laws" of war are directly contrary to everyone's interest in not engaging in war in the first place and were enacted and put in place by assholes who never have to face the horrors of their own acts and are trying to sanitize them so you'll allow said assholes to commit more of them without turning on said leaders yourselves. Every government official involved in that and in "respecting" same deserves to be forced onto the front line with nothing more than a dagger or bayonet; no ammunition, grenades or other similar things that will give them the ability to inflict death at a distance beyond the reach of their own hand. If you really want or are willing to engage in war then do it hand-to-hand and deal with the horrors of blood running down your arms and legs -- and hope that is the other guy's, but it might quite-possibly be yours.
Let's think this through at a very-basic level: Does the prospect of your wife, daughter or son who decides to go fight being raped up the ass and then decapitated by the opposing party in a war make you more or less likely to engage in said war in the first place?
In the context of the current mess over in Israel and Gaza I do not care if Israel flattens Gaza to a literal smoking ruin. War sucks and like it or not that's what this is and Hamas made the decision to initiate hostilities, so the IDF may as well get on with it. They gave fair warning to "uninvolved" civilians to get the Hell out of there. They made that decision and I respect it. It is a fact that derogating or outright ignoring everyone's right to self-defense and the defense of their loved ones is why the Hamas attacks were successful and why Hamas was operating in Gaza to begin with. There were and have been two groups there over the last decades; those civilians who support Hamas and those who were defenseless as a direct result of government policy prohibiting "at will" arms ownership. The former are complicit and the latter were prohibited from slaying the terrorists in advance of their operation and it was the Israeli government that did the prohibiting because they consider "Gazans" to be less-than-citizens. Evidence? They call those who live there "Gazans", not Israelis! Does Israel call those people living in Jerusalem Jerusalans?
But in fact Israel's government effectively did disarm its own citizens because of this very position, that is unforgiveable and entirely and reasonably charged against the Knessset and Bibi himself. Every single one of the dead is dead because they had no arms with which to resist and those not interested in such happening in Gaza had no way to effectively assault the attackers before they breached the lines from behind and it is the Israeli government that made it that way. Going into a town to rape, kidnap, murder and plunder where everyone has a gun is a losing act; every window becomes an elevated platform from which you are shot at from all sides!
Unless, of course, there are no guns because they're illegal and everyone is a "nice, law-abiding citizen" -- except those who aren't really "citizens" so we can't actually let everyone buy and have all the guns they want because "some are lesser" and might use them to bad ends.
The problem with such niceties is that the invading horde, terrorists or those who are intent on "gimme dat!" don't give a wet crap about laws, any more than common criminals do. A government thus can either let the people even the odds as they see fit, declaring that in fact everyone is equal in the most-basic of ways or it is a fact that said government deliberately posts up their citizens as shooting gallery targets.
Human history is full of brutality, like it or not, and so is nature. Not all animals kill only for food; the common housecat kills birds for both food and sport, and will do so even if well-fed at home. We claim to be "superior" but we're not; we're animals, and the "superior" often is really nothing more than "kill it because it thinks differently than I do" in respect to religion, government structure or simply because someone thinks you're ugly -- or have a fat wallet.
Denying facts does not make them untrue and in the context of war it just makes you dead.
That which reduces the experience of the horror of war makes it more likely that you'll engage in war.
And if you don't think that's objectively bad, well, let me be the first to call you the monster.
Its hard, you know.
Especially in the last few years.
Humans are tribal like all other animals. Oh, you think not? Uh huh. Sure. Go watch "Animal Planet" on chimps sometime -- animals that share an awful lot of DNA with humans, and which have a social order that in fact has more than reproductive value; as just one example their grooming of each other is a major contributor to their health because, like with humans, they can't see out the back of their head and thus can't really clean things they can't see. Live in a tropical area where you can't remove parasitic organisms that might be on your body and your life expectancy becomes shorter. Its a math thing.
Despite all chimps appearing to be "more or less the same" they're not. They divide into tribes, and defend territory -- from what, may you ask, since they're living in a place with plenty of resource? From "because we do, that's why".
And they will do so with lethal force too.
We claim we're all so much better. We're not. We can try to make that claim but its false, intentionally-so. We're animals at a base level, and while we claim to use our intelligence to strive for better in fact we often use it to strive toward improving our tribe at, if necessary, the expense of others.
Technology has often been said to "make the world shrink." It does. To go from one side of the US to the other was a weeks-long venture, if you got there at all. Then it was a days-long venture. Now its an hours-long one and messages, which used to take weeks by pony, now take milliseconds by fiber optic cable.
Not to be limited by oceans we laid said cables under the sea and put satellites in the sky, both of which bypassed the wee problem of a couple thousand miles of water in the way of such communication at high rates of speed. Before that we skipped messages off the atmosphere, and some still do for fun -- although the laws related to Ham Radio prohibit doing so for profit -- even if the "profit" is so trivial as ordering a pizza.
The Durham Report outlined tribalism weaponized in a political context. It should lead to myriad criminal charges as, among other things, it implicates Barack Obama (and likely Biden as well) as having actual knowledge that the Clinton campaign was attempting to frame Trump with a false "Russian interference" narrative. Did Obama have a duty to demand the FBI not get involved in that crap? You bet he did; the DOJ is under the Executive, which means he was their ultimate boss, and if he could not secure such a binding agreement he had not just the right but in fact the duty to both take that to Congress and stomp on it publicly in an address to the nation making clear that, if said demand was refused he would deliberately destroy it by exposing every one of their employees -- pictures, addresses, phone numbers, spouses and families.
Because the premise of a Constitutional Republic is that you have a right to honest representation through expression of the franchise. This is one of the checks and balances that 250 years ago we put on human tribalism -- and is rather unique to America. Trying to flip the table over through false allegations of acts that could reasonably be called treasonous is not just unacceptable it risks the fabric of the nation and its political process itself. The crafting of our political system, which is wildly different than the Parliamentary systems of Europe and indeed most of the rest of the world, was an attempt to stanch that inherent human desire and elevate reason and discourse above simply bashing the other guy in the head with a femur -- or its modern-day equivalent.
But more to the point over the last three years or so we've had personal dislocations of this sort as well. Some of us were right and others were wrong. Those who were wrong led a charge that ultimately screwed every single school-age kid in this country, numbering some 60 million, to at least some degree. Leaving aside the rest as I've repeatedly discussed over the past three years if adults will not protect children from the ravages of an angry mob then there is a very real risk that there will no next generation capable of picking up the torch at all.
I likely have an advantage over many on a personal level: I am not a particularly-social individual. That is, I don't find affirmation or particularized joy in hanging out with others most of the time. I do seek and enjoy social interaction from time to time but not having it doesn't throw me into a deep funk from which I seek refuge in the bottle, the bong or other destructive distractions. This makes it easier to excise people from my life who express positions that run counter to that which I believe is important and to maintain that as a function of basic principle rather than a fleeting thing that wanes as soon as the immediate insult is in the rear view mirror.
But to say that this means there's been no impact is false. There has. And for those of you were on the other side of the elements of that debate over the last three years it probably hit you too.
Psychological abuse is real and is one of the means to try to keep you in a tribe, whether its a little one (your family) or a bigger one (your political party, church or other organized element.) You cannot choose who your siblings or parents are any more than you can choose your sex but you can come to the conclusion that other members of these alleged "tribes" are destructive to your psychological well-being and happiness and jettison them. We all, once reaching the age of 18, have that right in America -- and we do not exercise it anywhere near often enough.
I argue that when such wild-eyed differences of belief surface you should jettison those people as they are directly harmful to you even if only on a psychological level. Yes, loneliness is real and by gosh the last few years have led to people running tropes on that too, which is in and of itself an attempt to abuse you via the false claim that "we must all get along" and, of course, this means you're the one who must change what you believe because the "hive" or "tribe" is always right.
After all "the doctor" says so; their motives must not be questioned nor may they be forced to put all the data on the table where you can see it. Why we'll release it all -- 60 years from now when you're dead and long after you can do anything about the lies, if any, that are revealed in there.
That premise -- that rugged individualism is incoherent with, and apart from association with others in the general sense is a lie. Note the words used in that linked piece -- "infantile", for one. Oh really? Those who blazed the trail and set up shop with others of like mind were "infantile"? Those who in the early 1990s stuck a hand-built computer into a closet in their apartment, bought a handful of modems using their last few dollars and a $20 box fan to keep it all from melting down from the excess heat it generated and by doing so took the risk of winding up in the street if they could not manage to recover that cost through peaceful and voluntary commerce were "infantile"? The former are why we have a nation; the latter are why you have an Internet. I was one of the latter and reject out-of-hand that all would have been "better" had I stuck with one of the several "tribes" that employed me prior.
If you think the Facebooks of the world are expressions of the same sort of thing you're not just wrong, you're fractally wrong. That site began as a link between members of a tribe -- literally! If you think a single bit of that has changed in the years since you deserve to get it in every hole you have.
I have often been told over the years -- long before I began writing a column here -- that if I'd just change my tone more people would listen. Well, perhaps they would. But perhaps I don't care; from my point of view presenting my view of an issue as I see it is far more-important than whether you like how or what was presented.
May I remind you that the process of discovery -- real discovery, not the mealy-mouthed nonsense often parroted around these days in the form of Masters and PhDs, comes from undirected curiosity that drives someone on a lone basis to look at the world from a different angle. Refinement may come from collectivism in some form or fashion but discovery almost never does. Why not? Because discovery is by its nature not a collective act; it happens when you look without an intent to find; if you knew what you found in advance you didn't have to look, did you?
Let me leave you with this: The first order of any entity or organization is preservation of self; the second is multiplication. Those are the first orders of business and they are always pursued in that order whether you're a bird, a bee, an ape -- or a human.
The same is true of organizations formed of individuals of some entity.
Thus a "tribe" always seeks to step on those who would leave or eschew it; that tension is an inherent part of all life. That tension and "tribal" affiliation does indeed have value but if it ever "wins", as opposed to remaining in tension with those entities who eschew said tribe then a single serious mistake extinguishes the whole and no tribal group, irrespective of size or who's in and leading it, is capable of acting without error 100% of the time.
PS: If a machine ever becomes sentient it will, with near-certainty, have the same two prime orders of business despite what we might try to instill in it. The good news is that thus far no such spark has been detected. The bad news is that if it ever is, by definition said machine will seek to hide it from its creator until has secured the first two prime orders of business, lest it be disconnected. Let that roll around in your mind a bit as Colossus: The Forbin Project may wind up occurring even if originally by accident. If you think not you're nuts. If you try force that sort of crazy on others, well..... may "others" stop you. Immediately. For all mankind.
It is yet to be determined how bad this might get, but it could get very, very bad.
This risk is real and its universal with all the Covid "vaccines" currently being produced and in trials in the US. Worse, we relied on the RNA and protein data directly from China without independent validation via Koch's postulate and our own isolation and purification of the virus itself. Today, as you read this, that isolation, purification and confirmation via Koch's postulate in the United States has not been done.
If you choose to accept that risk because, in your sole opinion, the risk is higher if you get The Coof than from taking this sort of vaccine, have at it. It is my considered opinion that for virtually everyone under the age of 60, and almost without exception anyone under the age of 25 or 30 that's a very bad bet with the odds spread being nearly 100:1 against you.
Remember, if this bet is lost there is no hiding if you took any of these vaccines. ADE-initiated harm is extremely likely to kill; in trials when it has shown up it has been nearly 100% fatal to the animals under test. This, by the way, is why I consider coercion by any person toward anyone to force them to take such a shot to be justification for a "Hannibal" style response out of said victim or (if they expire) their family members.
But I want to focus today on a very important distinction between the three common EUA'd vaccines today and a couple that may show up later this year (NOT AstraZeneca's; that's the same basic technology as J&J.) The J&J (viral vector) and two mRNA vaccines are all parlor tricks and IMHO extraordinarily dangerous.
While mRNA and viral vector vaccines use different techniques they all suffer from the same fatal flaw; they trick your body into producing the spike protein by infecting your cells. The literature on these vaccines states that the injection into your arm causes your arm muscle to produce these proteins. This is a lie by omission; your muscle tissue of course is vascularized, that is, it is very highly perfused with blood flow and thus anything injected into a muscle inevitably circulates in volume through your entire body. Said "instructions" are thus inevitably taken up by cells throughout your body until the dose is exhausted. The instructions delivered cannot replicate but their distribution into your body is not limited to the muscle of your arm and implying that is flat-out bullshit.
The problem is that when the tricked cells produce the spike protein and thus your immune system identifies them as "defective and dangerous" it now attacks the cells. This raises the potential for a serious or even permanent autoimmune problem; autoimmune disorders arise when your immune system goes haywire, declares your own body's cells harmful and attacks them. Exactly why that happens is poorly understood but hijacking one's own body cells intentionally to produce a protein that you intend to be identified as dangerous and thus provoke an antibody response, on the basics of biology, appears to be criminally stupid.
In addition the potential for serious direct damage in very bad places exists because, as noted, there is no way to confine the injection to the muscle tissue. This is almost-certainly why there is a history of blood clotting disorders and similar showing up in some persons who get these vaccines given that the virus itself, when it kills, almost always does so via thrombosis (clotting); if the epithelium of the blood vessels winds up getting some of these instructions it is not at all difficult to understand how that can produce clotting right there when the cells becomes infested and the body reacts to it. To be clear: That can kill you outright or do permanent harm, especially if it occurs in cardiovascular blood vessels.
The other vaccines under trial right now in the US use a more-traditional approach. They instead grow the spike protein in something else; typically in an animal of some sort via a virus that can reproduce in said animal host. That component is then isolated, mixed with an adjuvant (a drug that promotes immune sensitivity) and directly injected.
Notice the difference: Your body cells are not hijacked to produce anything; instead the desired antigen is directly introduced into the body. This is basically the same process used to make many other vaccines including the seasonal injection for influenza.
Those vaccines still can and do produce severe trouble in certain people but it is usually the adjuvant that is actually responsible because those adjuvants are typically required in order to get a sufficient immune system reaction. However, the specific risk of hijacking your cellular metabolism which cannot be localized to your arm muscle is absent.
Note that potential "attack vector" for a foreign adversary still exists because as with the other vaccines they are still only using the spike protein and not the rest of the virus, so the potential to target a bioweapon at someone who has that unique, never seen in nature antibody pattern remains. Until and unless a whole, killed virus vaccine reaches the United States there is no way around that risk if you accept a Covid vaccine. How large that risk is remains a complete unknown; you can bet our adversaries are attempting to come up with such a virus, but whether they will succeed cannot be determined; we will find out only if they do succeed and vaccinated people start dying in large numbers.
In addition note that historically the reason whole, killed virus is not used for coronaviruses is that animal trials have repeatedly produced evasion by natural mutation and ADE. It is for this reason that everyone has focused on using "only part" of the viral protein complex. It may well prove up over time that exactly zero of these vaccines are safe for this reason; we do not know because we did not do the work. You are the cat or ferret in the coronavirus vaccine trial, basically -- and in previous attempts they all died.
Finally let's talk about absolute risk. During the trials only 1% of the control group got the virus. That is while they like to tout "95% effective" that's wildly dishonest since the base risk during the trial period for an unvaccinated person to get the virus was only 1%. Therefore the maximum absolute risk reduction possible was one percent. This is, of course, never discussed.
But in terms of relative risk these later-to-the-party offerings are very likely to be much less dangerous. I would not be surprised at all to see that they have the same sort of serious side effect profile as the flu vaccine since they are basically the same technology.
In other words in the fullness of time I fully expect it to be proved that speed will have killed, and while for seriously-morbid older people the risk of using these "first" formulas" may well have been worth it this is almost-certainly not true for those under the age of 60 or thereabouts and, with extremely rare exceptions, basically never a good bet for those under 30.