Rape as a weapon of war in the Arab-Israeli conflict (11-26-23)

01:00 My Fourth Day On Adderall, https://lukeford.net/blog/?p=153449
08:00 Hamas releases 40 hostages
19:30 Who is Defeated in Gaza: Israel or Hamas?, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXpg-uwq-vs
50:00 Is The West An Unreliable Ally?, https://lukeford.net/blog/?p=153461
59:00 Rape & The Arab-Israeli Conflict, https://lukeford.net/blog/?p=153468
1:04:40 Tucker Carlson talks to Glenn Greenwald about free speech, conservatives, Israel, Ukraine, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kheIWQ0Qg0
1:19:00 Israel, Hamas, and the Laws of War, https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/israel-hamas-and-the-laws-of-war/
1:29:45 Polls show Joe Biden losing to Donald Trump
1:35:00 Israel’s Evacuation Orders, https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/israels-evacuation-orders/
1:42:00 The Daily Reprieve, https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/pb-av7bh-1bade2/The+Daily+Reprieve
1:43:00 Shim F – ”It Works if You Work It”, https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/shim-f-it-works-if-you-work-it/id1247514851?i=1000634187348
1:49:00 Elliott Blatt calls in about medication, nicotine gum
2:10:00 Elliott on psychoactive mushrooms
2:33:00 Dooovid joins, https://twitter.com/RebDoooovid
2:34:00 Dooovid talks about his failure as a Jew, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5C0YOK9OCY
2:45:00 Dooovid’s appearance with Mario Nawfal, https://twitter.com/MarioNawfal
2:54:00 CNN: Suspect in killing of Detroit synagogue leader Samantha Woll is released from custody, lawyer says, https://www.cnn.com/2023/11/08/us/samantha-woll-killing-suspect-arrested/index.html
2:58:00 Transmigration of Souls, Neuroscience, Metaphysics, Tensor Fields; Church of Entropy & Kevin McCairn, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwIjaFYOsNI
2:59:00 Week in Review 11-12-2023 My Failures as a Jew 2, Zoubida, Christian, Multiple Truth Hypothesis, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AALkjrFx4dE
3:06:00 Creating your own online community vs participating in real life Orthodox Judaism

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Rape & The Arab-Israeli Conflict

One of the good things I’ve repeatedly heard about Israel’s armed forces is that they rarely rape, but according to this Washington Post article, Palestinians have rarely raped Israelis (until the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel).

Some forces in the Middle East, including those of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State, have used systematic rape as a weapon. But many armed groups consider the act taboo, even in war. The practice has never been used systematically in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to experts.

Many pundits routinely proclaim the non-rapey nature of the IDF but I don’t recall any of them noting that Palestinians have largely abstained from this behavior as well in their battle against Israel.

When I mention this to my Zionist friends (and I consider myself a Zionist), they tend to angrily deny it.

Sam Vaknin claims that the Hamas fighters who attacked Israel October 7 were disciplined, and that the rapes were committed by regular Gazans.

My intuition says that higher IQ people are more capable of empathy and therefore are less likely to rape than lower IQ people.

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Is The West An Unreliable Ally?

I’m noticing this trope from many pundits — that America and the West are not stalwart allies.

Is anyone a stalwart ally? I fail to see how the West is less reliable than other entities.

Betrayal is inevitable in all relationships, including international ones between states. As soon as you form any connection, you generate fantasies about the other party’s priorities which will inevitably be dashed. It is built into the human condition to imagine that the world and other people and ourselves are more stable than we really are. To reduce our anxiety, we believe things that are not true (such as that there is an essential nature to ourselves and others, a true self, while in reality we are all different in different circumstances and often the situation will have more influence on our behavior than our personality). For example, we will tend to explain away our friends and our own bad behavior as not truly reflective of who we are. We will be quick to make excuses for ourselves and other to avoid changing our minds.

Betrayal is simply the hyperbolic term we give to others having different priorities than what we expected. If your best friend sleep with your wife, you may well call it a betrayal of your friendship, but for your friend, he was simply placing his relationship with your wife at a higher level of importance than his relationship with you. His priorities were different from what you expected.

If you knock yourself out at work and do the work of three men, and then you get fired because in your zeal for productivity you didn’t cross all the Ts and dot all the Is, you might be feel betrayed by your boss, but all that has happened is your employer has different priorities from what you expected.

In the above video, Israeli Sam Vaknin says: “We are in the throes of a global reordering of powers similar to the period of the 1950s and 1960s when the US tried to contain both the USSR and communist China. Now the United States is a much diminished and spent force. It is polarized. It is paralyzed. It’s democracy is threatened from within. It doesn’t even have a regular budget, only stopgap ones. The USA can scarcely provide to more than two allies or proxies at any given time. NATO is under-funded and under-trained. As Ukraine and Israel will find out soon, the West is not a reliable or long-term ally. The axis of resistance (Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Hamas) is becoming aware that the West is not what it used to be. It is a facade, a potemkin power.”

Many pundits have noted diminishing American support for Ukraine and Israel. If true, that is not an indictment of the fickleness of America. It is simply an acknowledgment of reality — that the previous level of American support for these countries was not aligned with America’s best interests.

When America withdrew its forces from Afghanistan in August of 2021, it looked bad, but it was in America’s best interests. There are many times in life when it is best to leave something in a shambolic way than to hang around to try to preserve your dignity. America’s influence does not ultimately depend upon such appearances. Rather, it springs from America’s military and economic might.

So can you depend on America? Yes, if your interests and America’s interests are aligned.

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My Fourth Day On Adderall

Almost three weeks ago, I was diagnosed by a doctor with ADHD. I’d thought about getting this checked out for about 15 years after learning from a sex addiction counselor that every one of her clients had ADHD.

I only did something about my problem when people I love plead with me to get this examined.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving, I began taking my prescribed medication – two 5mg pills a day of Adderall. I’m now on day four of this new experience.

According to Wikipedia:

Adderall is generally well-tolerated and effective in treating symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy. At therapeutic doses, Adderall causes emotional and cognitive effects such as euphoria, change in sex drive, increased wakefulness, and improved cognitive control. At these doses, it induces physical effects such as a faster reaction time, fatigue resistance, and increased muscle strength. In contrast, much larger doses of Adderall can impair cognitive control, cause rapid muscle breakdown, provoke panic attacks, or induce a psychosis (e.g., paranoia, delusions, hallucinations). The side effects of Adderall vary widely among individuals, but most commonly include insomnia, dry mouth, loss of appetite, and weight loss. The risk of developing an addiction or dependence is insignificant when Adderall is used as prescribed at fairly low daily doses, such as those used for treating ADHD; however, the routine use of Adderall in larger daily doses poses a significant risk of addiction or dependence due to the pronounced reinforcing effects that are present at high doses. Recreational doses of amphetamine are generally much larger than prescribed therapeutic doses, and carry a far greater risk of serious adverse effects.

Before I took my first pill, I was warned by friends about Adderall’s dangers such as addiction and loss of sleep. Those people in my life with the most negative views of Adderall were generally addictive personalities and single (and who had abused Adderall in the past and thus got into trouble with it), and hence on the margins of life, while those most supportive of my trying this medication were securely-attached and married, and hence in the middle of life.

My initial experience of Adderall was disappointing. I felt no surge of energy or productivity or euphoria. I felt medicated. I didn’t feel like myself. I lost no sleep, however, and felt no negative side-effects beyond that general medicated not-myself feeling.

The changes I’ve experienced with Adderall have been subtle. I notice myself cleaning more (I vacuumed my room for the first time in ten weeks) and taking care of routine tasks (such as ordering new jeans on Amazon and throwing away my old torn jeans as well as replacing fluorescent light bulbs that emitted a hum with no-hum non-fluorescent light bulbs) that I previously let slide.

I now notice that when I read, I have no desire to listen to music at the same time (which was my habit). I notice less impulsivity and a greater calm when dealing with mundane details.

I’ve spent my life blurting out inappropriate things and walking around with a fear that no matter how precious the relationships I enjoyed, I would inevitably damage them by saying the wrong things. Under the influence of Adderall, I don’t have that fear any more.

I may have caused more needless pain to people by this one trait of inappropriate speech than all my other traits put together, and this bad habit might well get cured by one simple pill.

I’ve spent my life finding it exceedingly difficult to focus on details that are not exciting. This has caused me to be compulsively careless, and to walk around with a fear that I will compulsively miss important details at any moment and thus hurt innocent people as well as myself. I don’t have this fear anymore.

In 12-step programs, we often say that there is no non-spiritual solution to a spiritual problem. At the same time, there may be all sorts of non-spiritual problems such as ADHD to which there is no spiritual solution.

We live in a post-modern world where no single narrative is sufficient to make life cohere. Spirituality is not enough. Religion is not enough. Medicine and psychology are not enough. We need multiple narratives and complex hero systems.

If you have an emotional addiction, you might want to get checked out for ADHD as well as get an overnight sleep test. It’s hard to improve your life when you are acting out and getting inadequate sleep.

I went on Modafinil in June of 2013 and it mildly helped me with my ADHD symptoms (modafinil is not prescribed for ADHD but for wakefulness). I’ve now quit Modafinil to try Adderall as my sole medication.

I’d love to get a more dramatic boost to my life by trying a higher dose of Adderall but I’m grateful to miss the negative side-effects with this low 10mg a day dose. I might hang out here a while. Excitement can wait.

Bernard: “How can you really appreciate the good days, good health, good company without the bad days, bad health, bad company, etc? You take things for granted if you don’t get the bad experiences.”

No matter how much you improve your life, you will always have bad experiences, and you will always take things for granted. There is no magic pass for leaving the human condition.

I have no history with abusing prescription medication. For example, I never doubled-up on my prescribed modafinil. I don’t expect to start wrecking myself now.

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Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China

Here are some highlights of this popular 2022 book by academics Michael Beckley and Hal Brands:

* China’s economy is ten times larger than Russia’s, and Beijing’s military budget is quadruple the size of Moscow’s. Whereas Russia is essentially a two – dimensional great power that draws influence from its military and energy resources, China possesses a wider spectrum of coercive tools and can challenge the United States and its allies in almost any domain of geopolitical competition.
Xi Jinping presides over the largest military and economy (measured by purchasing power parity) on the planet. Chinese officials occupy leadership positions in many of the world’s major international institutions. More than half of the world’s countries already trade more with China than with the United States; and China has recently become the world’s largest overseas lender, doling out more credit than the World Bank, the IMF, or all twenty – two of the Paris Club governments (a group of the world’s major lending nations) combined. 11 Beijing’s economic power may be peaking, but no other country is so capable of challenging America globally.
As malevolent as an autocratic Russia is, the competition between Washington and Beijing is likely to be the defining geopolitical contest of our era. Failure to prevail in this struggle against a troubled but uniquely potent rival would have world – historical consequences.

* “The history of failure in war,” General Douglas MacArthur explained in 1940, “can almost be summed up in two words: too late. Too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy; too late in preparedness; too late in uniting all possible forces for resistance; too late in standing with one’s friends.” It would be “the greatest strategical mistake in all history,” he added, if America failed to grasp “the vital moment.”

* The CCP envisions, rather, using a mix of attraction and coercion to ensure that the economies of maritime Asia are oriented toward Beijing rather than Washington, that smaller powers are properly deferential to the CCP, and that America no longer has the alliances, regional military presence, or influence necessary to create problems for China in its own front yard. As Zbigniew Brzezinski once wrote, “a Chinese sphere of influence can be defined as one in which the first question in the various capitals is, ‘What is Beijing’s view on this?’”

* In 2010, PRC foreign minister Yang Jiechi told ten Southeast Asian countries that they must defer to Beijing’s wishes because “China is a big country and you are small countries, and that is a fact.”

* As the great realist scholar Nicholas Spykman wrote, “The number of cases in which a strong dynamic state has stopped expanding . . . or has set modest limits to its power aims has been very few indeed.”

* In 2014, Xinhua reported that more than 40 percent of China’s arable land was suffering “degradation” from overuse. 40 According to official studies, pollution has destroyed nearly 20 percent of China’s arable land, an area the size of Belgium. 41 An additional 1 million square miles of farmland have become desert, forcing the resettlement of 24,000 villages and pushing the edge of the Gobi Desert to within fifty miles of Beijing. 42 With few options for increasing the food supply, Beijing has turned to belt tightening. In 2021, the government banned binge eating and lavish feasts and started requiring caterers to encourage customers to order smaller servings. Rationing is on the rise.

* China’s official gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate dropped from 15 percent in 2007 to 6 percent in 2019. That was already the slowest rate in thirty years, and then the COVID – 19 pandemic pushed China’s economy into the red.
A growth rate of 6 percent would still be spectacular, but only if it were true. Rigorous studies based on objectively observable data — such as electricity use, construction, tax revenues, and railway freight — show that China’s true growth rate is roughly half the official figure and China’s economy is 20 percent smaller than reported. 60 Senior officials, including the former head of the National Bureau of Statistics of China and the current Chinese premier, have confirmed that the government cooks its economic books.

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