extermination camps

Bullshit

Context: I am DM'ing an Elder Scrolls conversion of 5e and this is my players’ first session. They have been tasked with exterminating a bandit camp and they sent the rogue in. He immediately gets caught by four of the bandits who follow him outside where he then attempts to deceive the Redguard leader.

Rogue: oh hey guys sorry about sneaking into your cave I just got lost.

Redguard (me in the deepest voice and most stereotypical Somalian accent): BULLSHIT.

The party: Erupts in laughter.

Redguard (Still in stereotypical accent): Tell me the truth as to why you were in our camp. Or else me and my men here will flay you alive and hang you upside down from a tree.

Rogue: Well I-I heard that there was a group of bandits in the area and I wanted to try and join them. *Fails roll.*

Redguard: BULLSHIT….

At this point the monk ran out of the woods, surprised the Redguard, removed most of his health and knocked him prone. On his turn he staggers back up and attacks the monk.

Redguard: I’ll kill you! *Rolls a nat 1*

After he missed he twirled his sword and ended up cutting his throat, as he lay on his back dying he managed to croak one last word out: Bull…shit.

4

Starfleet’s moral relativism problem: is it ever ok to condemn another culture?

Central to all of Star Trek has always been the Prime Directive – that set of rules that governs our intrepid space explorers from Captain Kirk to Captain Janeway and everyone in between. Poor Captain Archer existed in a time before, and I’ve often pitied him for having to shoulder the burden of having to make some really questionable ethical decisions without having a Prime Directive to shift the blame to when it turned out his decisions really sucked.

At its core, the Prime Directive dictates that Starfleet cannot interfere with the internal affairs or development of alien civilizations. Some of the best Star Trek episodes involved our heroes clashing with the ethics of a rigid application of this doctrine, but there was always one implication of the Prime Directive that bothered me – the idea that we shouldn’t judge other cultures through the lens of our own because who’s to say what’s right and what’s wrong?

This philosophy of moral relativism argues that there are no universal moral standards – sentient beings are completely at the mercy of their own societies to impart a code of moral behavior and whatever it comes up with is “good enough.” There may be common themes among many societies in terms of morals – most seem to agree it is wrong to commit murder, for instance – but ultimately, what is “right” according one society is not guaranteed to be “right” for another. And let’s be honest with ourselves – even with the topic of murder, we still fiercely debate exceptions to the “no murder” rule such as war, capital punishment, or self-defense.

Our own society provides an incredible patchwork of thorny moral and ethical issues that we still have yet to decide upon. We debate things like abortion, torture, slavery, free speech, and more. We probe these issues by asking ourselves questions like, “At what point does life truly begin?” and “Is torture ever justified?” We explore them by posing philosophical experiments like the Trolley Problem and asking ourselves whether it is morally acceptable to kill one person to save the lives of two or more others. 

How does that line go again? Something about “needs of the many” or something? 

But at the end of the day, might (in terms of numbers) makes right in moral relativism. While I don’t subscribe to that theory, there are times when our beloved Star Trek characters do under the guise of defending the Prime Directive. On the surface, it sounds very peaceful and anti-colonialist. After centuries of watching many empires from the Romans to the British set fire to cultural diversity – and given arguments that many Western nations continue to do this today, just without being quite as invadey – this sounds like a nice change of pace. Live and let live. But this also creates a mind-boggling acceptance of suffering, genocide, exploitation, and oppression within Starfleet.

One of the first chronological examples of the faults of moral relativism is found in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, “Cogenitor.” Archer and his crew meet an affable, three-gendered species called the Vissians, but we quickly learn that only two of the society’s genders have any real rights. The third gender is referred to as a “cogenitor,” and Trip Tucker ends up on Captain Archer’s shit list for teaching it how to read and putting ideas in its head. When the cogenitor later begs for asylum, Archer refuses. It gets worse – the cogenitor is sent back to the people who basically treat it as chattel and commits suicide, and Archer points out that Tucker’s interference led to its death and will mean the Vissian couple will probably never get to have a child. No winners in this ethical dilemma of an episode, only losers. Until you remember none of this would have happened in the first place if the Vissians had just treated the cogenitors like people.

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Angel One,” we encounter the cringe worthy society of Angel I, a planet of misandric women who oppress men. We all got a few giggles at the ladies of Enterprise-D being suddenly held in higher regard than their male counterparts, but things get very dark when Beata, the Elected One of Angel I, decides some dudes need to die for spreading heretical teachings that imply men are equal to women. We get a sort of cop out solution in which Beata has a change of heart and decides to banish rather than execute these “heretics” after Riker makes an impassioned speech about basic rights, but Riker was more than willing to let things go bad if need be, because, “The Prime Directive” and “Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”

The 80′s were a weird time. That outfit is a few inches of fabric away from having a codpiece.

In another Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, “Symbiosis,” we’re introduced to the Ornarans and Brekkians and we find out that after an ancient plague, the Brekkians started peddling an expensive and addictive drug to the Ornarans and calling it a “treatment.” There’s no plague anymore – the Brekkians just control the Ornarans through their drug addiction. Dr. Crusher finds a way to synthesize this drug and offers to help wean the Ornarans off their addiction, but what does Captain Picard do? He tells her to mind her own damn business because it’s not the Federation’s place to tell the Brekkians that it’s wrong to deceive and enslave the Ornarans through an addictive drug.

This episode also gave us one of the weirdest brawls in Star Trek history. Like a Reefer Madness for the 24th century, if you will. 

And this is the most uncomfortable part of moral relativism – who gets to draw the line and where do we draw it? On one end of the spectrum, we have moral relativism which claims anything goes – societies should be able to torture animals, employ the slave labor of children, and oppress women as they see fit – just as long as enough people agree it isn’t wrong to do so. At the other end of the spectrum sits moral absolutism, a theoretical construct that would result in a perfectly unified, homogenous culture, but one that would also strip away many facets of culture that lead to human diversity. 

If Star Trek is supposed to serve as a guide for how we might become a more progressive society, it does a terrible job a lot of the time. Now, there are many instances of our protagonists saying “to hell with the Prime Directive!” and taking what most of us would agree is the more morally praiseworthy route. But there’s no rhyme or reason to it. Just look at how they treat the Borg. Why is it ok to let some societies oppress men or drug another species into submission but it’s not ok to let the Borg assimilate the galaxy in their ultimate quest for perfection? 

I’m going to guess the answer is that until the Borg decided to stick nanoprobes in a Federation citizen, the cheerful little robots simply weren’t the Federation’s problem. We might argue that the Prime Directive certainly has provisions for self-defense - how ridiculous would it be to consent to being annihilated or assimilated just because the Federation is afraid of offending another culture and refuses to draw a line in the sand where right stops and wrong starts? The slope gets slippery here though. We could say this mirrors the concept of large Western nations trying to police the rest of the world and impose their customs on other societies - but how many of us watched documentaries about the Holocaust in school and wondered why the hell previous generations allowed shit to get that bad? How many of us continue to stand by while people in Iraq and Syria live under the threat of the Islamic State? I doubt most people even realize what’s going on in the Philippines or Venezuela right now because hey, “Not my country, not my problem.” It is a huge gray area for what constitutes forcing certain customs on unwilling societies and trying to genuinely help people, but if we can’t agree that Nazi extermination camps and religiously motivated beheadings are bad and need to stop (even when they aren’t happening to us personally), I’ll be surprised if we ever make to the 24th century. It makes me wonder how exactly Earth “solved its problems” and created a utopian society in the first place with this attitude of moral relativism.

Let’s face it – we have no shortage of modern travesties that sound ridiculous in the context of this philosophical approach. The Chechen Republic has been reportedly rounding up gay men and torturing them in recent months, and moral relativism would have us shrug and say, “But their culture says homosexuality is a sin.” 

To anyone who actually thinks that, fuck you. 

Bacha bazi, a practice where adolescent boys are groomed for sexual relationships with older men, remains pervasive in many Pashtun societies. Moral relativism would tell us that we shouldn’t condemn predatory pedophilia because to do so would mean unfairly imposing our Western beliefs on their culture. 

Just because one culture says widespread sexual coercion is ok doesn’t make it so. 

I could keep going on, but this post is already long enough. The bottom line is, all too often, Star Trek lazily glosses over a lot of moral and ethical dilemmas by using the argument, “Who are we to judge?” June is Pride Month, and in honor of LGBT individuals all over the globe who all too often have less rights than their cisgender heterosexual counterparts, maybe we should avoid looking to the “progressive” future of Star Trek and instead ask the question, “Who are we to not judge?” 

While I can’t resolve one of the greatest philosophical questions ever devised, someone once gave me a great piece of advice that I think applies to this idea of moral relativism: no person’s belief is inherently worthy of respect, but every person is. 

okay also I’ve seen comments (not like mean-spirited or anything but they made me think) about how the series would have been much better if Ed and Al had been half-Ishvalan, and I think it’s important to address why they’re not, and why Arakawa didn’t write, say, from Scar’s perspective about this whole thing

Keep reading

IMAGINE THE ANGELS OF BREAD

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roof deck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;
this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;
this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;
this is the year
that darkskinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

This is the year that those
who swim the border’s undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side;
this is the year that the hands
pulling tomatoes from the vine
uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine,
the hands canning tomatoes
are named in the will
that owns the bedlam of the cannery;
this is the year that the eyes
stinging from the poison that purifies toilets
awaken at last to the sight
of a rooster-loud hillside,
pilgrimage of immigrant birth;
this is the year that cockroaches
become extinct, that no doctor
finds a roach embedded
in the ear of an infant;
this is the year that the food stamps
of adolescent mothers
are auctioned like gold doubloons,
and no coin is given to buy machetes
for the next bouquet of severed heads
in coffee plantation country.

If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year;
if the shutdown of extermination camps
began as imagination of a land
without barbed wire or the crematorium,
then this is the year;
if every rebellion begins with the idea
that conquerors on horseback
are not many-legged gods, that they too drown
if plunged in the river,
then this is the year.

So may every humiliated mouth,
teeth like desecrated headstones,
fill with the angels of bread.

—  Martín Espada

nick spencer making captain america hydra was beyond disgusting but him doing it to magneto, an actual jewish character who lived through the holocaust in an extermination camp and watched the death of his family at the hands of nazis, is literally fucking evil

one of the weirdest moments of peak liberal feminism i just saw was a blogger responding to a story about a Jewish woman in the Holocaust distracting Nazi guards at an extermination camp by stripping to attack and kill them with “yaaas women are awesome and nazis are losers” as if some women weren’t nazis. as if the story was about female empowerment not about a jew fighting a nazi… not to mention the slew of joking comments about the woman being “bad ass” and weaponized femininity just adding insult to injury like this woman fought back during the holocaust when she along thousands of other jews were being lead to their deaths and all you can say in response is this generic, goy washing crap about her being a bad bitch just stop

So for my undergrad thesis, I’ve been reading up on cyberculture, the internet and cybernetics in general, and I stumbled upon critics who somehow believe that the internet opens up a way for new communities, new democracies, etc. 

But I’ve been thinking: since when does “openness” by itself bring people together, realistically? Just like a bar, it brings people together in the sense that they share a common immiseration. That is good enough for drunks, but not for life, not for something better than this world. 

The emergence of the alt-right is evidence enough that the internet by itself has little to no impact on making us better people, or opening our minds, whatever that means anymore (I’m not sure that it ever meant anything). In fact, since when does the possibility of talking to more people make anyone more open-minded? As if close-mindedness, ignorance, bigotry and racism were the symptoms of “anti-social behavior” (using the classic stalinist terminology), of not wanting to participate in the dull ritualism of modern urban life. Or as if participation in the community, or partaking of civic behavior, or being part of any of these modern abstract collectivities made the individual into a tolerant, educated, open-minded, friendly person. We’ve seen how mass politics destroys the individual, how it subsumes him into the glass house of “community” and all its fascistic overtones, how mass participation is one of the chief carriages of all the brutalities that have followed it: the gulag, the extermination camp, secret police coming up in the quiet of the night, cracking skulls. 

This is one the chief illusions of modernity, and a cornerstone in liberal thought that reaches back to Locke’s contractualism: that closed-off, fortressed individuals could come together out of the blue and create some kind of shared life out of a mathematical, contractual combination of their desires and dreams (which is, in some mutation, the basis for stifled multicultural “tolerance”), that simple participation in the sustaining of the mass sacrifices that hold up the temples of surplus-value entails friendliness, that voting is the same thing as coming together and talking, that going on-line and writing “I’m against this!”, or critiquing this, or sharing petitions against that is somehow a viable substitute for fighting with friends and strangers against a common existence, that simply living close to one another,  materially but not spiritually, or sharing the belief in equality and rights, or living under the boot of police but never fighting back because we all belong to the same Nation, or City, or Socialist State, entailed something akin to living together, of weaving existences together to the point that the individuals enmeshed in them could not conceive of themselves as separable.

Belgium just condemned an ex-politician and holocaust revisionist to visit once a year for five years in a row, an extermination camp (such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec…) and write a piece about each visit on his personal blog.

If he fails to do that, he’ll be fined 18000€ (ca 21600 USD) and receive 6 months of suspended sentence on his record.

Gotta love the pedagogy here.

For the Bellarkers invading my inbox...

Here is an analogy for what Bellamy did and why he is nothing but a dangerous, deviant psychopath. 

Say you live in a neighborhood, with your entire extended family and all your friends.  There is another clan that lives in that neighborhood as well.  

Now say your clan and theirs get into a war, lives are lost on both sides.  Your clan betrays them after a tentative truce was made to deal with an external outside threat.  However, wars, as they all do, eventually end. There is peace for several months.

One day, your mom, dad, husband or wife, brother, sister, children, and BFF are all sent to protect your former enemies from another outside external threat.  They are asleep. Then everyone you have ever cared about is fucking MURDERED IN THEIR SLEEP by your former enemy clan.  

Are you going to sit there and tell me that their murders were “justified”, that because your clan “betrayed” them or killed their people during the war, that it’s “ok” that everyone you loved was MURDERED IN THEIR SLEEP???  

Yeah, sure Jan.  You would not be finding ways to defend the murderers. You would be spitting with rage, you would want the psychopaths who did it to die horribly.

So please, don’t come up with cockamamie excusemaking for Bell’s psychopathy.  He’s a dangerous, deviant murderer who should be put down. lol. Now i know that will never happen since Jason dreams about having his abs and lives vicariously through him, but in reality, a man capable of shooting innocent people in cold blood in their sleep, like Nazis exterminating Jews in concentration camps, does not deserve to live. 

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history meme | four out of ten moments

↳ Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (19 April 1943 - 16 May 1943)

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that occurred in the Warsaw Ghetto, the largest ghetto in German occupied Poland, in 1943 was the single largest Jewish revolt during World War II.

On 18 January 1943, the German forces began the second deportation of the Jewish in the Warsaw Ghetto. While families hid in “bunkers”, fighters of the ŻZW joined with the ŻOB and engaged the Germans in direct clashes. 5,000 instead of the targeted 8,000 were deported.

Hundreds were ready to fight. Both adults and children were armed with handguns, gasoline bottles, and few other weapons that had been smuggled into the ghetto by resistance fighters. Most of the fighters were not fighting to save themselves but instead they saw fighting as a battle to retain the honor of the Jewish people and to protest the world’s silence.

The ŻZW and the ŻOB took control of the ghetto soon after the fighting that occurred on 18 January. They built fighting posts and built prisons to hold and execute traitors and Nazi collaborators (including Jewish Police officers, member of the fake [German sponsored] resistance organization Żagiew, and Gestapo & Abwehr agents).

On 19 April 1943 — the eve of Passover — police and SS forces entered the Warsaw Ghetto, planning to complete the deportation of the Jewish inhabitants in three days, but were ambushed by Jewish guerrillas who fired and tossed Molotov cocktails and hand grenades from alleyways, sewers, and windows. Two vehicles were set aflame by insurgent petrol bombs. That afternoon, two boys took to the rooftops and raised two flags — A red and white Polish flag and a blue and white ŻZW flag. The flags remained on the rooftop for three days. The flags reminded hundreds of thousands of not only the Jewish cause but the cause and strength of the Polish.

As the battle continued in the ghetto, the Polish insurgent groups AK and GL engaged the Germans at six different locations outside of the ghetto walls between the 19 and 23 April. In one attack, three units of the AK joined up in a failed attempt to breech the ghetto wall with explosives. The ŻZW eventually lost all of it’s commanders and, on 29 April, the fighters of the organization escaped the ghetto through the Muranowski tunnel and relocated to the Michalin forest. This marked the end of the significant fighting.

On 8 May, the Germans discovered a large dugout at Miła 18 Street which served as a ŻZW command post. Most of the remaining leadership and dozens others committed mass suicide by ingesting cyanide. Deputy Mark Edelman escaped the ghetto with comrades through the sewers two days later. On 10 May exiled member of the Polish government, Szmul Zygielbojm, committed suicide in protest of lack of reaction from the Allied governments.

The uprising was officially suppressed on 16 May 1943 when the Great Synagogue of Warsaw was demolished.

It is estimated that 13,000 Jews were killed during the uprising and most of the remaining 50,000 inhabitants of the ghetto were sent to concentration and extermination camps. Only 17 Germans deaths were recorded, although it is suspected their are much more.

possiblyhereticalultramarine  asked:

What is the current Ultramarine policy towards capture of Tau worlds? Cato Sicarius, your Champion and Mikael Fabian, Captain of the 3rd Company "Bane of all Xenos" have carried out complete extermination of all Tau on worlds that their forces took from the Tau Empire. Uriel Ventris has argued for a more practical solution that calls for the destruction of Tau military assets but forcefully deporting non-combatants back to the Tau Empire instead of exterminating them. Which camp do you support?

“Uriel.”

(So the space Welshman?)

“I do not know what Welsh is, Uriel is from Calth.”

(Yeah and in the Audiobooks, the Calth accent is similar to old Terra Welsh.)

“Ah, I see. But yes, the 4th’s Captain is right, non combatants should not be killed, otherwise we are no better than an Ork or a servant of Chaos.”

Fic Rec List: Amoneki

I’ve seen a couple of time people asking for fic recs for this pairing, so I decided to make one.

This includes fics from both AO3 and fanfiction.net.

Notes:

♠Some of the fics are not necessary romantic, some contain only friendship between Amon and Kaneki.

♠This doesn’t include other Kaneki or Amon pairings. Just Amoneki (with just ONE exception).

♠I’ll add the warnings that the writer gave to each work

♠This is really long

♠This doesn’t include tumblr shots… yet.

Keep reading

A monument honoring Janusz Korczak. After spending many years working as director of an orphanage in Warsaw, he refused freedom and stayed with his orphans when the institution was sent from the Ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp, during the Grossaktion Warsaw of 1942. This is located at the Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery in Poland. (Source)

The Armenian Genocide of 1915 is considered one of the first modern genocides. The Ottoman government under the pretext of relocation of the overly orthodox Christian Armenian minority, indiscriminately massacred as many as 1.5 million human beings through the use of mass burnings, drowning, morphine overdose, toxic gas, typhoid inoculation, death marches, and extermination camps.

The Anne Frank Kiss

John Green needs to stay away from anything dealing with the Holocaust. He clearly does not understand it. Saying Anne Frank “just died of illness” is like saying prisoners sent to the gas chambers “just died of chemical reaction”. It is believed Anne died from contracting typhus. She was severely malnourished because of Bergen-Belsen’s overcrowded, filthy living conditions, and extremely low food rations distributed to each prisoner. Yes, she died from typhus. But this was strung along with several other medical complications. She did not “just die of illness”. She was murdered. Think of it this way: if you pick up a mouse and put it into a cardboard box without any water or food, it will die. That is murder. That is what happened to Anne. It is not about the medical cause of her death, but rather it is the nature of her death, which was basically ignored in The Fault in Our Stars.

She hid from an authority that persecuted the people of her religion. This authority legally forced her to leave civilization. She was forced to go into several extermination camps (yes, camps ran for the sole purpose of mass extermination), These camps forced her to work in grueling conditions— one of the stations she worked at involved opening and inhaling poisonousness batteries. 

So it has confused me why he said (I’m paraphrasing here), “Anne Frank is a good example of a heroic arc that Augustus wants—… but she was robbed of the opportunity to live or die for something.”  He is not treating Anne Frank as a person. He’s using her hiding place as a romanticized plot device for his awful book.  He can’t say she was “robbed of the opportunity to live or die for something.” He does not know whether she lived or died for something or did not, and If he read her diary, he would know all of her hopes and plans she harbored for her future, her views on the world, her thoughts on her relationships with friends and family. I would say she might have lived for these things, as they did matter to her dearly. But John, you do NOT know her, and you clearly never read her diary or any information about her because nothing important about her or the holocaust is mentioned in your book!

You, Nerdfighterfighter, are right. He has romanticized the suffering of a Holocaust victim to try and make his “irreparably broken” white heterosexual privileged teenage couple seem “edgy”. I am a native of Rotterdam, Netherlands, and in my country the book is now becoming controversial because of the kiss in the Anne Frank House. I have taken note that some American newspapers say the employees “love the book”, but that is not true. How is this shit book even a best seller? Apologies if my English got bad, and sorry for the huge rant.