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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

We are all war criminals

The Red Cross paints a target on its chest:
The International Committee of the Red Cross have called for video games to punish crimes committed in battle by adhering to real-life international war conventions.

“The ICRC believes there is a place for international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) in video games,” the organization that works worldwide to provide humanitarian help for people caught in war zones said in a statement on their website. “The ICRC is concerned that certain game scenarios could lead to a trivialization of serious violations of the law of armed conflict,” they added. “The fear is that eventually such illegal acts will be perceived as acceptable behavior.”[…]

Bernard Barrett, a spokesman for the organization said they were not trying to censor games or spoil people’s fun, but rather, “make clear that there are rules in battle and that certain acts are illegal.”
 I can't imagine I'm the first game designer to read this and think, "hmmm, what if the Red Cross was taken over by liberal fascists and started behaving like liberal fascists usually do...."

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240 Comments:

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Anonymous Joe Doakes October 08, 2013 9:06 AM  

How can there be rules to a war? There are no wars. War was outlawed by the Kellogg-Briand Pact, signed right after The War To End All Wars. No war = no need for rules. I can't imagine why they're wasting their time with this.

Anonymous RINO October 08, 2013 9:08 AM  

One time in BF3 I killed the same guy 6 times. I'm pretty sure that was in violation of international humanitarian law.

Anonymous RL October 08, 2013 9:09 AM  

The International Committee of the Red Cross has to be having a slow day at the office. A very slow day, indeed.

Blogger Nate October 08, 2013 9:10 AM  

The Red Cross has been getting more and more politicized in the last few decades. Its not going to be long before it is considered just another enemy to target.

Anonymous Salt October 08, 2013 9:10 AM  

I'm surprised the ICRC doesn't propose war be with paintball guns.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 9:12 AM  

I propose that the charge command of all armies everywhere must be "Leeroy Jenkins!"

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 9:16 AM  

Dammit Leroy

Blogger James Dixon October 08, 2013 9:16 AM  

> "violations of the law of armed conflict"

To my knowledge, there is no such "law". There are agreements between various countries, but a law requires an authority to which all parties are subject, and no such authority exists.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 9:17 AM  

Josh: Ah, the mandatory retreat command, yes.

Anonymous Musashi October 08, 2013 9:18 AM  

Yeah...f@@k them.

Anonymous Dr. T October 08, 2013 9:20 AM  

When soldiers commit war crimes and atrocities this is obviously the result of all the video games they played. Instead of, maybe, the time they spend killing people whose only fault was trying to kill them. As for civilians, it makes sense to properly learn the distinction between people you are not allowed to kill and people you should kill.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 9:20 AM  

What about zombies, are conflicts with them covered by the Geneva convention?

Also, if a game simulates a conflict prior to the advent of international agreements on humane law, wouldn't implementing said law be an anachronism?

Anonymous NateM October 08, 2013 9:21 AM  

I don't know, I HAVE had the desire to execute people who camp respawn points in WoW in pvp zones

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother October 08, 2013 9:22 AM  

I killed a guy once with hollow point ammunition. Does that make me a bad person?

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 9:30 AM  

I'm sure the next treaty will deal with plasma grenades. Until then, can I still use them? Also, I'm pretty sure my actions in many many strategy games should be considered genocide. I once conquered a city in a game of Civ, only to starve all the inhabitants to death and burn it to the ground. All so I could build a new city one tile over!

Anonymous Brother Thomas October 08, 2013 9:33 AM  

Someone should tell the Red Cross that there are no rules in war and that is the reason it should be avoided.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 9:33 AM  

I killed a guy once with hollow point ammunition.

I assume you mean in real life. Well, there is not enough information there to determine.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 October 08, 2013 9:37 AM  

Cut them some slack. The last person to point out the war crimes of the United States is now serving a life sentence in Federal prison.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 9:38 AM  

The Red Cross has been getting more and more politicized in the last few decades. Its not going to be long before it is considered just another enemy to target.
It is fairly well is already.

It is thinkable, maybe even likely, that by trying to make aspects of war or warfare legal and some aspects of war illegal and thus not acceptable to do, it also makes war less lethal, on day by day basis. Which also has the effect of stretching out wars, and thereby increasing the overall death total. One thing that boomers got was that wars have fronts and battles, with a start and an end.

For example, with Assad, it seems like he has the rebels in hand, to use VD's term. Despite the proxy war between the US and Russia, it seems unlikely that Assad will fall in the near future. Along the way the Red Cross and it's counterpart in that region of the world have been treating the injured, providing humanitarian assistance, and documenting whats going on to a degree.

But in doing so, they have given comfort to both sides. They have put fighters back into play who would have otherwise died of wounds. And each day, naturally, more people are drawn into the conflict as it spreads to each corner of the country, and as more young people come of age (the boy was on the cusp of manhood at the start of the conflict is now a fighting age man) the conflict drags on, increasing the misery and suffering of all those involved.

It is arguable and maybe even likely that the organization is responsible for just as many deaths as it prevents.

Anonymous Roundtine October 08, 2013 9:39 AM  

What about when I stopped paying the police in Sim City, cut the power and then initiated a nuclear meltdown? What about Civ II when I nuked the Aztecs out of the Stoneage?

Anonymous Roundtine October 08, 2013 9:43 AM  

Is PETA going to get involved if I use JDAMs on roaming cattle?

Anonymous RINO October 08, 2013 9:43 AM  

I once conquered a city in a game of Civ, only to starve all the inhabitants to death and burn it to the ground. All so I could build a new city one tile over!

Yeah that's pretty bad. x2 outrage if your civ was composed of white people.

Anonymous Daniel October 08, 2013 9:45 AM  

Red Cross Redemption is going to be awesome.

Anonymous VryeDenker October 08, 2013 9:47 AM  

I killed 11 blacks the other day in an online game of chess. Does that make me a bad person?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 October 08, 2013 9:48 AM  

The only reason we have international agreements on what constitutes war crimes is so that superior countries such as ours can covertly engage in war crimes without recourse while give us an excuse to attack other, weaker countries that do.

The Red Cross is grasping at straws here and committing the sin that so many adherents of Churchianity fall into: the inability to properly judge the world for it's own sin.

Anonymous Heh October 08, 2013 9:49 AM  

LOL at all the war crimes I have committed in virtual reality!

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 9:50 AM  

Yeah that's pretty bad. x2 outrage if your civ was composed of white people

Even worse, I think that time I was either the celts or Romans (civ 2). So white people plus my color in the game was white. Is that 4x outrage?

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 9:51 AM  

I killed 11 blacks the other day in an online game of chess. Does that make me a bad person?

You're a bad person whenever you play with white.

Anonymous Golf Pro October 08, 2013 9:52 AM  

" I can't imagine I'm the first game designer to read this and think, "hmmm, what if the Red Cross was taken over by liberal fascists and started behaving like liberal fascists usually do...."

No, what they are thinking is "doesn't the red cross understand that those who play video games in which killing is the primary goal have no interest in real world consequences?" Who is going to build a game engine that actually provides for player access to the real world consequences of war?

And also, why no great Gettysburg Campaign Simulations in the Video Game world? If game designers can create a robust city-buildng game in which the disposition of citizens to cross the street and the fluctuations in global trade have an impact on land value, one would think a great Gettysburg simulation might be possible.

Anonymous Heh October 08, 2013 9:54 AM  

What about zombies, are conflicts with them covered by the Geneva convention?

"Countless zombies and infected dogs were harmed during the making of this video...."

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 9:57 AM  

And also, why no great Gettysburg Campaign Simulations in the Video Game world?

Sid Meier's Gettysburg

Anonymous Krul October 08, 2013 9:58 AM  

Right, because nobody ever breaks the LOAC in real life.

*Rolls eyes*

Anonymous Thales October 08, 2013 10:00 AM  

And also, why no great Gettysburg Campaign Simulations in the Video Game world?

Does the internet just not work in your part of the internet, troll?

http://www.amazon.com/Sid-Meiers-Gettysburg-PC/dp/B00002EPY4

Blogger Doom October 08, 2013 10:02 AM  

Ah, you must be talking about every "charity" in the U.S., most overseas, including most churches? It's not a recent thing, decades, more really. The only charity I have looked into that I give some decent credence to is Salvation Army, though that was a few years ago. The rest, usually run by women, and men who don't have real corporate bona fides, are over-the-top wastes in every sense.

I personally had hoped people would wake up and stop giving to parasite groups. But it makes them feel better, living such shitty lives as most do. The new church of the feel good, I guess. If your brother, literally, hits hard times, sure, give him a bit and a talk, and limits. But hand money to someone who is going to spend it on their corporate ladder while bashing you, your freedoms, your nation, even your faith and religious beliefs? Ah, put that in auto-pay!

Idiots. You can tell them but they ignore you. What you tell them doesn't feel good. Yeah, then I tell them what would make ME feel good and that usually ends the discussions. Oh, but it would feel... so... good!

Anonymous Golf Pro October 08, 2013 10:06 AM  

"And also, why no great Gettysburg Campaign Simulations in the Video Game world?

Sid Meier's Gettysburg"

It's old. I've played it. Fun, but the by any standard the graphics are simple, the game play is limited and the alteration of the scenarios limited.

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2013 10:07 AM  

It is arguable and maybe even likely that the organization is responsible for just as many deaths as it prevents.

You may be correct, but you might be able to use this argument against many humanitarian efforts and organizations in areas filled with constant strife or uncertainty. For instance if you feed the Ethiopians then you perpetuate them living in a bad area, etc.

As for Syria itself I think the bulk of the aid needs to go towards the orphans of the war and make an effort to move them out of Syria and into the surrounding countries if no parents are found or relatives who are able to take care of them. The adults are making their choices but the kids are caught in the crossfire--literally.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 10:09 AM  

You may be correct, but you might be able to use this argument against many humanitarian efforts and organizations in areas filled with constant strife or uncertainty. For instance if you feed the Ethiopians then you perpetuate them living in a bad area, etc.

True, it seems like a no-win situation, as with many cases. Personal charity is a virtue, but when it's a bigger effort than that.. it becomes a bit more ambiguous.

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2013 10:11 AM  

In in endeavor to ensure proper rules of war-etiquette are followed, the ICRC has called for the imprisonment and mandatory combat re-education for the fighter known as Quan Chi. A spokesperson for the ICRC stated, "we don't like the fact that Quan Chi tears the leg off his opponents and beats them to death with it. We would prefer a more civil form of execution. Perhaps he could simply smother him with an embroidered pillow, or gently administer a lethal dose of Pancuronium Bromide / Potassium Chloride."

Quan Chi could not be reached for comment.

Blogger Aurini October 08, 2013 10:12 AM  

Utter ignorance; shall we also ban movies like "Apocalypse Now" where they regularly violate the rules of war, or "Kelly's Heroes" where the grunts break through the German front because they want to loot Nazi gold?

If you haven't played it, play "Spec Ops: the Line" - like Apoc, inspired by "Heart of Darkness", explores the madness of war, the use of white phosphorous, has multiple instances of violating the Rules of War, and an overall harrowing, fantastic game.

That's the sort of art that these numpties would ban.

Anonymous Remo October 08, 2013 10:14 AM  

in a follow up report, the ICRC stated: "Our statement that International humanitarian law be upheld in video games comes from a stark realization of our NPO's complete inability to uphold those laws in real life situations. Said one spokesmen: "Those brown people have REAL GUNS!". Others concurred and called for strict observance to initiating a struggle with an obviously safer target."

Anonymous RINO October 08, 2013 10:14 AM  

Even worse, I think that time I was either the celts or Romans (civ 2). So white people plus my color in the game was white. Is that 4x outrage?

x2 since your people were white
x4 since your civ color also included white

x10 if the victims were black people

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2013 10:15 AM  

This can actually be used to make the game more realistic in some cases.
The old America's Army game would put your character in "time-out" in a Ft. Leavenworth prison lvl if you were breaking the Rules of Engagement too much.

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2013 10:20 AM  

Doom,

I understand your cynicism in our fallen world, but I recommend checking out Charity Navigator and take a look at the top rated charities. They list CEO pay and the actual money going to the claimed program. It's nice to see some of the best rated charities like World Vision, National Christian Foundation, and Samaritan's Purse are decidedly Christian and appear to be good stewards with the money people give them.

Blogger Nate October 08, 2013 10:21 AM  

"Personal charity is a virtue, but when it's a bigger effort than that.. it becomes a bit more ambiguous."

excellent. And now you know why liberalism doesn't work.

Anonymous The other skeptic October 08, 2013 10:23 AM  

Ah yes , the fantasy world of international humanity law.

Next they will tell us that we also need strong, independent female characters, who, despite weighing only 140 pounds can take down men twice their weight in single combat and two at a time.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 10:26 AM  

x10 if the victims were black people

THEY WERE ZULU!

Blogger Bob October 08, 2013 10:26 AM  

Ah yes...

As women take over more and more, Western Civilization sinks faster and faster.

Even now on FOX news we have women with $400 hairdos sitting in plush seats, legs tightly crossed, mouthing feminist babble about the rising importance of woman everywhere.

Somebody ought to keep a record. It would be great reading in a few decades, around the cooking fire in the cave.

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2013 10:31 AM  

excellent. And now you know why liberalism doesn't work.

You've just thrown every large charity under the bus too.

Blogger James Dixon October 08, 2013 10:36 AM  

> The only charity I have looked into that I give some decent credence to is Salvation Army

The Salvation Army couldn't be bothered to come by our house to pick up a used gas range because it was spitting rain that day. The never even bothered to call us and tell us they wouldn't be coming. We found out when we called them. I haven't given them the time of day since.

Anonymous Susan October 08, 2013 10:43 AM  

As soon as the Red Cross started charging WWII soldiers for their donuts and coffee, they stopped being a charity. Now all they are is a means to raise and hoard money legally, though not necessarily ethically, like the good liberals they are. When you are paying a large proportion of said donations out in salary to the overseers, there isn't much left for doing actual good.

Salvation Army, on the other hand, has always been a true charity.

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2013 10:46 AM  

The Salvation Army couldn't be bothered to come by our house to pick up a used gas range .... I haven't given them the time of day since.

This is like saying that the choir director's wife didn't say hello to you one Sunday morning so you are never going to that church again. This sort of nonsensical cynicism and enmity towards any large, good-oriented, organization which doesn't behave perfectly is ridiculous. It's rampant on VP and amongst the Ilk, probably because the host has such nihilistic tendencies he brings in like minded readers.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 10:48 AM  

Whilst in the army as a MP, in Korea, I had the pleasure of having to enter into the officer's mess while on a investigation. The Red Cross contingent was serving steak, baked spuds and drinks to the officers. Guess what us enlisted men got, bad coffee and semi- stale donuts. Next day I went into finance and stopped my "voluntary" contribution and until I discharged was browbeat by superiors to contribute to their favorite charity. I even stopped giving blood. I donate to local charities I can lookm into.

Anonymous Golf Pro October 08, 2013 10:50 AM  

"As soon as the Red Cross started charging WWII soldiers for their donuts and coffee, they stopped being a charity. Now all they are is a means to raise and hoard money legally, though not necessarily ethically"

This sounds identical to tax exempt churches.

Blogger Nate October 08, 2013 10:51 AM  

"You've just thrown every large charity under the bus too."

Yep. Think I have a problem with that? The United Way is a cancer.

Anonymous Michael Maier October 08, 2013 10:51 AM  

JartStar October 08, 2013 10:31 AM excellent. And now you know why liberalism doesn't work.

You've just thrown every large charity under the bus too.


Good. And sensible.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 10:54 AM  

Agree with Nate, when charity top directors make more in one year then I make in ten, let them donate.

Anonymous Thales October 08, 2013 10:55 AM  

Charity begins at home, and it shouldn't stray too far from it.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 10:56 AM  

Yep. Think I have a problem with that? The United Way is a cancer.

So is Susan Komen or whatever it's called.

Blogger Ephrem Antony Gray October 08, 2013 10:58 AM  

Charities are just liberal religious institutions, but without the actual social benefits.

Anonymous Sigyn October 08, 2013 10:59 AM  

This sounds identical to tax exempt churches.

Or synagogues.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 10:59 AM  

I am a good Southern Baptist, and I do not donate the what the SBC wants us to.

Anonymous Sigyn October 08, 2013 11:01 AM  

Someone's going to call charities "mainstream", and then this thread will be over.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 11:04 AM  

Someone wants to donate to my coffee fund charity, Nate's whiskey and gun fund Charity, and tad/golf pro transgender transformation fund charity?

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2013 11:09 AM  

The above comments highlight why so many libertarians earnestly desire for the CRASH to bring down all of society around them. They don't hate government alone, but all institutions beyond a microscopic scale. Regardless of the evidence that an institution is upholding the good, true and beautiful it doesn't matter. It is bad, because it is large.

With this line of thinking the Israelites shouldn't have tithed regardless of God's command to them because it supported a large organization which was routinely corrupt.

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2013 11:10 AM  

I disagree with the notion that all charities are bad. Anecdotes aside (I have my own beef with the local Red Cross), I think if one takes the time to investigate, and to get to know the individuals who are dedicating their lives, one may have a different perspective? For example, a charity that I and my church support is Food for the Poor. They ship in / truck food to 17 different Latin American and Caribbean countries. They distributed close to a million dollars of food, with operating expenditures of $37,000. Their workers are retired pastors / church workers who receive no pay. People have given their lives over to feeding people - no boomers waiting to die in gated communities here. Broad brushes can paint the house quickly, but they do not account for nuance. The first thing one should do is look at a) where the money is going, b) How much do they spend in operational expenses (including salaries of CEO, CFO, etc., and c) are they full of shite.

There are plenty of good charities, doing good work for those in need, and making sure that they minimize operational costs while getting the assistance to those who really need it. There's no need to lump the A-Rod charitable foundation with other charities that do good work.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 11:13 AM  

Regardless of the evidence that an institution is upholding the good, true and beautiful it doesn't matter.

I would be thrilled about the concept of being convinced that there is such an organization. There are some of which I don't have compelling reason to believe corrupt, but there is none that I would trust not to be, even for the time being.

It would be nice to be able to turn from 100% cynical to 95% cynical, because I don't have a personality that is well suited for cynicism. It gives me mindhurt and feelbad.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 11:14 AM  

You are wrong JetStar, we "libertarians" don't like institutions that have their top people living ultra-opulent lifestyles and then opine that we are the scum of the earth.

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2013 11:15 AM  

Agree with Nate, when charity top directors make more in one year then I make in ten, let them donate.

Exactly! Those high priests and rich Jews who were in cahoots with the Romans made so much more than that widow who foolishly put her two copper coins in that she was likely sinning by donating to the treasury. I don't know what Jesus was doing praising her. Didn't He know that the people who controlled that money were looking to kill Him? It just occurred to me that her donation helped give them the funds to kill Jesus!

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 11:15 AM  

excellent. And now you know why liberalism doesn't work.

Who said liberalism is supposed to "work". Their is a presumption that charities are designed to do anything other than make a few people feel good. Same thing with liberalism.

There is very, very, very little talk about perfecting anything in liberal circles. It's really more about mitigating the harm of nature/feelbad/life/universe/everything.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 11:17 AM  

Cederq: "I am a good Southern Baptist, and I do not donate the what the SBC wants us to."

Good. I've been inside that operation as a consultant. Pictures of marines plastered with Bible verses... a portrait of GWB on the wall of the radio studio... American flags everywhere... and a very pro-feminist and gutless approach to cultural battles.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 11:19 AM  

JartStar: "Exactly! Those high priests and rich Jews who were in cahoots with the Romans made so much more than that widow who foolishly put her two copper coins in that she was likely sinning by donating to the treasury. I don't know what Jesus was doing praising her. Didn't He know that the people who controlled that money were looking to kill Him? It just occurred to me that her donation helped give them the funds to kill Jesus! "

This is true. However, Jesus was praising the woman's faith, if I read the story correctly.... not necessarily her discernment.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 11:22 AM  

Vidad, I too was at the headquarters one time too and couldn't believe the over the top patriot worshiping there.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 October 08, 2013 11:23 AM  

True, it seems like a no-win situation, as with many cases. Personal charity is a virtue, but when it's a bigger effort than that.. it becomes a bit more ambiguous.

I recall hearing that the textile industry is non-existent in Africa, largely because they receive donated clothing from the West. In other words, if we didn't donate our clothing, they might actually have jobs.

I recall another time when Bill Gates was trying to create a cheaper toilet for the Third World. What he fails to realize is that if these folks wanted a better toilet, they'd have done it years ago rather than being satisfied with using their left hand to wipe after squatting over a hole in the ground.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 11:24 AM  

Vidad, and that is why I am a pariah at the local Mission office...

Anonymous Sigyn October 08, 2013 11:25 AM  

What he fails to realize is that if these folks wanted a better toilet, they'd have done it years ago rather than being satisfied with using their left hand to wipe after squatting over a hole in the ground.

Well, that would assume they have time between their Paleo lifestyle and curing AIDS by raping toddlers.

Anonymous zen0 October 08, 2013 11:27 AM  

Quick, someone design a video game where you can target Red Cross vehicles and personnel for aiding and abetting your enemy, while a dh-type character in the background somewhere ponders whether this is a good thing or not.

Anonymous Sigyn October 08, 2013 11:27 AM  

...Why do I have to have my morning sickness in the middle of the day? Now I'm in a crummy mood. I'll be back later.

Blogger Cederq October 08, 2013 11:28 AM  

Sigyn, you should put out coffee drinking warnings, I read that and now have to wipe off my screen...

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 11:28 AM  

I must tell you more.

I have been involved with over a dozen non-profits, charities, etc., as a consultant or freelancer. They all have problems. Some of them are vile, such as World Vision's direct lies about some of their needy children. They don't care if they deceive you, provided they make $$$. Seen it.

Here's what happens. You're young, idealistic and wanting to make a difference. You start working for a ministry or charity.

You're all excited about what can be done! Look at all the people getting shoes/medical treatment/prosthetic foreheads/etc.!!!

Then you get to help with a campaign. In the campaign, you realize that the truth is being bent a little bit. That a little girl's story from 10 years ago is being passed off as current. That the "matching gift" money that will "double your donation if you give THIS WEEK!" was simply money set aside in an account months before... which was all donated anyway. That some of the "testimonies" may even be complete fabrications. That a lot of the angles being used are inventions of clever and snaky media agencies that latch on and control the narratives for maximum tears, guilt... and money.

You feel guilty about these things but tell yourself that you're still there to help the kids/refugees/nursing mothers/whales/whatever.

Eventually, you either sear your conscience to a crisp or leave. The people that stay are generally sociopaths, greedy, seared or clueless.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 11:28 AM  

I recall another time when Bill Gates was trying to create a cheaper toilet for the Third World. What he fails to realize is that if these folks wanted a better toilet, they'd have done it years ago rather than being satisfied with using their left hand to wipe after squatting over a hole in the ground.

One of the defining characteristics of Neo-con's is the idea that inside every - Iraqi, Afghani, whatever - is a republican western-liberal, tolerant, family-loving, hard working 1950's American.

I used to believe in universal human characteristics. When I was a child... but a big chunk of Americans have never progressed passed that inane belief.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 11:31 AM  

There's a reason I comment here under a pseudonym. I'm unfortunately way too well-known in the small and rarefied air of the powerful National Religious Broadcasters Convention.

If the many organizations I've been hired by ever found out I was a double agent...

Blogger JartStar October 08, 2013 11:31 AM  

I would be thrilled about the concept of being convinced that there is such an organization. There are some of which I don't have compelling reason to believe corrupt, but there is none that I would trust not to be, even for the time being.

Do you think the Charity Navigator site is incorrect? That all of the books are cooked by Christians, in Christian organizations when they openly report their numbers in their 990 form? To me this seems to take much more effort than just accepting that organizations can be more good than bad. It's not like I don't understand this view as I once held it, but I changed. I realized that I'd rather do good by the way of an imperfect organization, and work to improve it where I can.

I'll name two organizations and do you really believe that both do not have a commitment to doing good? Samaritan's Purse and Catholic Charities USA. This is a strong charge, that both are so corrupt at their core than you are doing more evil than good if you give money to them. This charge I believe requires evidence as there is good contrary evidence they are acting ethically and fulfilling their mission to the best of their abilities.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 11:33 AM  

Here's what happens. You're young, idealistic and wanting to make a difference. You start working for a ministry or charity.

This is a good insight. I tired to find the article, but I can't come up with the right terms. But there was a nice analysis of why donating eye glasses is a bad charitable business. For one, peopl,e thing that donating broken glasses helps anyone. It doesn't. It's just expensive. Then, determining the the prescription is non-trivial. Plus sizes/styles may not be right.

On the other hand, buying a large quantity of new low-cost, plain glasses in common configurations and distributing them for free cost substantially less than collecting, transporting, sorting and distributing donated glasses.

Donating glasses was charitable, and seen as a good thing. But it produced no net good. It's hard to ask people who are young and shiny to realize that something which seems to produce net good does not.

Anonymous rycamor October 08, 2013 11:34 AM  

dh October 08, 2013 10:09 AM
Personal charity is a virtue, but when it's a bigger effort than that.. it becomes a bit more ambiguous.


If only more "conservatives" understood this simple yet profound truth...

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 11:37 AM  

I'll just give a plug to Catholic Charities USA, and their international counterparts. When I was young and orphaned a case-worker tracked down American relatives living in the US and successfully sponsored me to live with them, and eventually be adopted. The gentlemen who assisted was exceedingly kind, and I latter learned he was a Jesuit in training.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 11:40 AM  

dh: Roughly how long ago was this? Most Christian charities have been good at some point. Again, this is not to say they are definitely corrupt, just that I suspect this isn't particularly weighty evidence to the question about whether one is wise to donate to them right now.

Blogger JartStar October 08, 2013 11:43 AM  

Donating glasses was charitable, and seen as a good thing. But it produced no net good. It's hard to ask people who are young and shiny to realize that something which seems to produce net good does not.

And here is the anti-progressive argument. Not that every institution is endemically corrupt, but rather that forcing people to give money to ostensibly noble causes is fraught with so many moral hazards it is ultimately self-defeating. With private philanthropy an educated giver can easily cut the purse strings if the organization takes a turn for the worse, in contrast with government programs which go in perpetuity and tend to grow regardless of effectiveness.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 11:44 AM  

And on Salvation Army, I wonder what is the current ratio of salvation to soap & soup, and whether Social Justice Army would be a better name today.

Again, I don't know. But my cynicism is 100%. It would be nice to be able to adjust it.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 11:45 AM  

They don't hate government alone, but all institutions beyond a microscopic scale. Regardless of the evidence that an institution is upholding the good, true and beautiful it doesn't matter. It is bad, because it is large.

I wouldn't say we hate all big institutions. It would be more accurate to say that we are suspicious of all big institutions and we hate specific ones.

And the suspicion of bigness and big things isn't an innately libertarian notion. It's much older than that: it's an English and Southern notion. It even dates back beyond this age. Hobbits are famously suspicious of big things and big folk.

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2013 11:45 AM  

@dh - I'll second your plug for Catholic Charities, at least in the local perspective. I lived in the U.P. of MI for 5 years. It's a great place to live, but rife with alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, broken families and other miscellaneous mental health issues. There was one psychiatrist who covered an area the size of Connecticut. People who needed counseling could either go to their pastor, watch Dr. Phil, or rub some dirt on it. Catholic Charities was the only agency who provided free counseling services, and I often referred people to them who needed more help than I could provide. So there - a Lutheran plugging a Catholic Charity...next we'll hear the moon is turning into blood.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 11:47 AM  

The gentlemen who assisted was exceedingly kind, and I latter learned he was a Jesuit in training.

Guys, dh is a Jesuit/Black Pope mole in our midst! Blown cover as cover!

Blogger JartStar October 08, 2013 11:51 AM  

Again, I don't know. But my cynicism is 100%. It would be nice to be able to adjust it.

Give and get involved. Get some skin in the game, and where you see evil in the organization you support do your best to crush it before giving up and your conscience forces you to leave. Cynicism can be handcuffs to inaction. I know, I've been there.

Anonymous DT October 08, 2013 11:52 AM  

So...which game will be the first to feature missions where you hunt and kill Red Cross personnel? Or has that already happened?

Blogger Ephrem Antony Gray October 08, 2013 11:55 AM  

Yes, the word 'monster' starts simply as a word for 'big'. This association is inherent to our language.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 11:58 AM  

It would be nice to be able to turn from 100% cynical to 95% cynical, because I don't have a personality that is well suited for cynicism. It gives me mindhurt and feelbad.

To quote the most heroic of all gardeners, "there is good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it'sfighting for!"

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 12:00 PM  

Give and get involved.

I can give money to my own congregation at any time. It requires reasons, and not just a random choice, to rationally decide to give a part of that to some other party instead. There are circumstances where it is wise - perhaps they are uniquely equipped to serve some extremely wide global need with reasonably little money (Like Stand to Reason), whereas a local congregation's services are necessarily, well, local. But it is a good default option.

Blogger Giraffe October 08, 2013 12:02 PM  

We were discussing last night at our small group that it is our duty as Christians to give. If those we give to do evil with the money, it is on them. That is not to say we act like idiots. I'd say be vigilant, but give them the benefit of the doubt.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 12:13 PM  

Well, ok, maybe I'm just 99.9% cynical. I do believe in Stand to Reason, and also that Beau here is doing a great deal of actual good. Still, it's always pleasant for the soul to get that down another permille.

Blogger CarpeOro October 08, 2013 12:21 PM  

"Sigyn, you should put out coffee drinking warnings, I read that and now have to wipe off my screen... "

Perhaps such comments should be prefaced with NSFC (Not Safe For Coffee)

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 12:22 PM  

Markku, if you're looking for a worthy ministry to give to, I'll recommend Roland and Heidi Baker's Iris Ministries in Africa.

Anonymous Toby Temple October 08, 2013 12:23 PM  

WHAT!?

"New Massacre Record! 1166 Kills!"

Am I going to get the death penalty?

Anonymous JohnS October 08, 2013 12:26 PM  

You guys are looking at this all wrong.

Imagine the top squad in cod or bf3 instead of looking at a k/d ratio at match's end, is treated to a stern faced tribunal and sobbing widows as the indignities they inflicted on the dead scroll by...

They can even say they complied with the red cross request.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 12:31 PM  

My first thought as a game designer was "they want consequences for war crimes? Hell, then let's have more snipers-killing-terrorists games! There's your consequences, Frenchie..."

It is thinkable, maybe even likely, that by trying to make aspects of war or warfare legal and some aspects of war illegal and thus not acceptable to do, it also makes war less lethal, on day by day basis...It is arguable and maybe even likely that the organization is responsible for just as many deaths as it prevents.

War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it. Possibly Nate and our other Southrons won't appreciate me quoting W.T. Sherman, but he had a clearer view of these things than most. When you declare you're willing to kill somebody to get your way, you can't expect them to take it nicely. Even when people aren't busy dying in a war, they're busy being miserable and deprived.. And if you lose and they spare your life, they were a damn sight more generous than you had a right to expect.

High-minded ideals are great on a peaceful afternoon when no one is trying to kill you. But the ugly truth is there's really only one war crime, and that's losing the damn war. It doesn't even matter if you started it or not, because the winner is always the one who administers whatever justice comes with the peace.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 12:33 PM  

Yep. Think I have a problem with that? The United Way is a cancer.

What color ribbon do we wear for that? I'm assuming Dollar Bill Green...

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 12:35 PM  

Jack:

It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it

Gen Lee

Blogger GK Chesterton October 08, 2013 12:40 PM  

Giraffe's comment is spot on. If you wait for a perfect group as a Christian you are either not Christian or deeply irrational. I've never been in any group of one or larger where something bad wasn't happening. I don't know if JartStar's comment on the Widows Mite is applicable but the concept of wheat and weeds is. So, don't be an idiot, but don't be a cynical bastard either. That way leads only to inaction.

We personally give to Catholic Charities even though I'm not Catholic. This doesn't mean there aren't corrupt members of the organization (one of the former heads of CC in Florida argued the recent cases for no limits in abortion) but by and large they are a sterling organization. The other one is Smile Train though things got tight a while back so contributions there have dropped to nothing.

I do suggest more people give locally. So give to your Church or give directly (the best is in time) to a local needy family. I've personally trained young guys that needed it to break into the workforce or helped with resume's for the lower intellectual strata of our society.

As to Golf Pro, I admit I'm new here, but seriously? "No games" and then "I've played Sid Meyers Gettysburg before"? Then why even _say_ that? No to mention Paradox's expansion of EUIII that concentrated on the American Civil War and various smaller press simulators. Not everyone is milsim fan so games of this type are not going to be widely popular.

Anonymous DrTorch October 08, 2013 12:41 PM  

Wasn't one of the Level final bosses in Wolfenstein 3-D a guy wearing Red Cross gear? And wasn't Wolf 3-D all about righting the wrongs of war atrocities? I mean how much more caring and meaningful can you get?

I recall hearing that the textile industry is non-existent in Africa, largely because they receive donated clothing from the West. In other words, if we didn't donate our clothing, they might actually have jobs.

This is a great excerpt

http://www.breakpoint.org/component/content/article/71-features/14072-searching-for-solutions-that-work

The section entitled "Unintended Consequences" recounts a similar observation.

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter October 08, 2013 12:44 PM  

"they wanted to be supported by them in a mutually encouraging relationship"

Rabbits gonna rabbit.

Anonymous cunningdove October 08, 2013 12:47 PM  

Are they going to apply these standards to the Halo & Alien games too? I know I've committed some war crimes in those games. stupid flood!

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2013 12:48 PM  

I give to a Christian charity for children and elderly.

I think you have to do your own research, try to choose wisely, and just give. Any organization ran by people is going to have problems and corruption. Man is a fallen, corrupt creature, I’ve never been a part of any organization that didn’t have some level of corruption in it. It is just part of this life, certainly no excuse not to give and get involved.

That said I think you have to choose carefully.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 12:53 PM  

Guys, dh is a Jesuit/Black Pope mole in our midst! Blown cover as cover!

Jesuit educated, and going through RCIA. But not black. So close but no cigar. My experience with CC was 20+ years ago. So possible it went all to crap since then.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 12:54 PM  

No to mention Paradox's expansion of EUIII that concentrated on the American Civil War and various smaller press simulators.

Don't forget No Greater Glory, which is definitely on my top ten games list.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2013 12:56 PM  

So there - a Lutheran plugging a Catholic Charity...next we'll hear the moon is turning into blood.

Heh. I remember growing up as a small child, orthodox Christian family members, that Catholics were seen as something entirely different. There were some Catholics in the area, but they were even more mysterious to us than the Muslims. Then when I was a little bit older CC helped me to get to refuge, then to something like a halfway house, and then finally to some relatives in the US as a refugee. For quite a long time I was paranoid that they would find out I wasn't Catholic and stop helping me. Then the gent who was handling my case let me in, mercifully, that that's how they operated.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 12:56 PM  

"I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers ... it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated ... that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation."

-W.T.Sherman, 1865.

I think it's relelvant to quote Sherman, since he himself is considered a war criminal by many Southerners for the destruction he brought to civilian parts of the South. But from Sherman's persepective, he was being a humanitarian. it was the "comfortable" people living far away from the front lines who were sending ever younger boys to die in the meat grinder. His idea was to visit the violent consequences of the war upon those with the power to end it rather than up on their brave grandsons.

And there are liberals who think the Atom bombs were war crimes, but they probably saved the lives of millions of Japanese. They may have saved Japanese civilization itself. There was one post-war Japanese writer who declared that the searing hot overpressure blast from the bombs was the real Divine Wind that saved Japan, because it allowed the government to surrender rather than fight on to the death and suicide as happend on Okinanwa. There was no shame in surrendering to a foe who wielded such God-like weapons.

Anonymous AJW308 October 08, 2013 12:59 PM  

You think no one at the Red Cross has ever seen the Star Trek where war was made acceptable?

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 1:04 PM  

dh: " I remember growing up as a small child, orthodox Christian family members, that Catholics were seen as something entirely different. There were some Catholics in the area, but they were even more mysterious to us than the Muslims. Then when I was a little bit older CC helped me to get to refuge, then to something like a halfway house, and then finally to some relatives in the US as a refugee. For quite a long time I was paranoid that they would find out I wasn't Catholic and stop helping me. Then the gent who was handling my case let me in, mercifully, that that's how they operated."

That's a great story. Very cool.

Anonymous TWS October 08, 2013 1:04 PM  

Paging Tom Kratman... Red Cross is on hold.

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2013 1:05 PM  

I do scratch my head sometimes at the mission trips my church engages in. Aren’t there better ways to support an orphanage in (pick your favorite third world shit hole) than flying all you white folks down to wherever so you can sing songs and hug babies?

I always get this uncomfortable feeling that the mission trip is more for the church members than the people they are trying to help.

Last time I checked the dollars they spent buying a plane ticket to wherever go a LONG way in most third world countries.

Blogger IM2L844 October 08, 2013 1:18 PM  

Some games make choosing the moral high road a more difficult path than the alternative. Isn't that pretty much how reality works?

Red Cross Redemption is going to be awesome.

Chemical weapons an option?

Blogger Markku October 08, 2013 1:24 PM  

But not black.

You misunderstood. Black Pope is the head of the Jesuits.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 1:28 PM  

Heh. I remember growing up as a small child, orthodox Christian family members, that Catholics were seen as something entirely different. There were some Catholics in the area, but they were even more mysterious to us than the Muslims. Then when I was a little bit older CC helped me to get to refuge, then to something like a halfway house, and then finally to some relatives in the US as a refugee. For quite a long time I was paranoid that they would find out I wasn't Catholic and stop helping me. Then the gent who was handling my case let me in, mercifully, that that's how they operated.

If the catholics are that merciful, how much more merciful is God?

Haven't you experienced the goodness of God in your life? That's an incredible testimony.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 1:30 PM  

I always get this uncomfortable feeling that the mission trip is more for the church members than the people they are trying to help.

Last time I checked the dollars they spent buying a plane ticket to wherever go a LONG way in most third world countries.


Yup

Anonymous Erik October 08, 2013 1:35 PM  

Oh god fuck off and die, Red Cross.

For your next meeting, how about you demand that books should be written in accordance with your principles... bad guys MUST be taken before the court and sentenced to jail! They're not allowed to get away with it, and they can't be shot in cold blood, either!

Fucking hyper-regulating neo-puritans.

Anonymous Zion's Paladin October 08, 2013 1:38 PM  

Imagine the top squad in cod or bf3 instead of looking at a k/d ratio at match's end, is treated to a stern faced tribunal and sobbing widows as the indignities they inflicted on the dead scroll by...

They already did something like that. It's called the Metal Gear Solid series.

I have never seen a series that did so much to glorify war and give you so many options for cruelty to the average mook, only to call you out as a heartless bastard for taking advantage of the opportunities they provided.

Anonymous WaterBoy October 08, 2013 1:50 PM  

JartStar: "Do you think the Charity Navigator site is incorrect? That all of the books are cooked by Christians, in Christian organizations when they openly report their numbers in their 990 form?"

Man, I certainly hope not. Outside of some local secular charities, Christian organizations are about the only national charities to which I donate any more, on the belief that they would be above-board.

Blogger James Dixon October 08, 2013 1:53 PM  

> This sort of nonsensical cynicism and enmity towards any large, good-oriented, organization which doesn't behave perfectly is ridiculous.

Expecting someone to call when they don't plan to keep a scheduled appointment is ridiculous? OK, if you say so. I didn't even detail the conversation when we finally called them to check. Suffice it to say that it was illuminating.

> Regardless of the evidence that an institution is upholding the good, true and beautiful it doesn't matter.

I have no evidence that the Salvation Army is actually doing so, and I know the Red Cross and United Way aren't.

> There are plenty of good charities, doing good work for those in need, and making sure that they minimize operational costs while getting the assistance to those who really need it.

Yes, there are. We donate to a few when we can. But in general I recommend keeping donations local. Local soup kitchens, clothing pantries, churches, etc.

Anonymous Athor Pel October 08, 2013 1:55 PM  

"Jack Amok October 08, 2013 12:56 PM
...
And there are liberals who think the Atom bombs were war crimes, but they probably saved the lives of millions of Japanese. They may have saved Japanese civilization itself. There was one post-war Japanese writer who declared that the searing hot overpressure blast from the bombs was the real Divine Wind that saved Japan, because it allowed the government to surrender rather than fight on to the death and suicide as happend on Okinanwa. There was no shame in surrendering to a foe who wielded such God-like weapons."



Too bad there is quite a bit of evidence the government of Japan was actively attempting to surrender some time before the bombs were dropped, but Truman's administration ignored them.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 1:57 PM  

When it comes to large "gharity" organizations, just remember this:

Almost everything is bullshit.

Good stuff happens, yes. Sometimes lives are changed.

But the facade they present is crafted by clever marketing firms and paid consultants, many of whom lie like dogs.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 1:58 PM  

"gharity" should be "charity," obviously.

DAMN YOU ARABIC AUTOCORRECT!

Anonymous Michael Maier October 08, 2013 2:06 PM  

And there are liberals who think the Atom bombs were war crimes, but they probably saved the lives of millions of Japanese. They may have saved Japanese civilization itself. There was one post-war Japanese writer who declared that the searing hot overpressure blast from the bombs was the real Divine Wind that saved Japan, because it allowed the government to surrender rather than fight on to the death and suicide as happend on Okinanwa. There was no shame in surrendering to a foe who wielded such God-like weapons.

Funny. Particularly since the US prolonged the war for MONTHS over details / technicalities regarding the terms of surrender.

Hardly what you do when you want to avoid more death.

Then to bomb not only civilian centers but the actual Japanese center of Christianity... I think Satan himself must have had a hand in that one.

Anonymous kh123 October 08, 2013 2:08 PM  

"With this line of thinking the Israelites shouldn't have tithed regardless of God's command to them because it supported a large organization which was routinely corrupt."

The same Israelites that started the Bar Kokhva Rebellion? Or the Maccabees. Conversely, there are the ones whom Josephus cites as having been so observant of the Shabbat that they left the gates wide open to invaders. Be specific.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 2:09 PM  

"Funny. Particularly since the US prolonged the war for MONTHS over details / technicalities regarding the terms of surrender.

Hardly what you do when you want to avoid more death.

Then to bomb not only civilian centers but the actual Japanese center of Christianity... I think Satan himself must have had a hand in that one."

Agreed.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2013 2:16 PM  

What Mike, Athor, and Vidad said about Japan and the bomb.

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 2:30 PM  

"Too bad there is quite a bit of evidence the government of Japan was actively attempting to surrender some time before the bombs were dropped, but Truman's administration ignored them."

The Navy could have simply embargoed Japan indefinitely, and without imports of oil, iron ore, and other key raw materials, its industrial economy -- what was left of it -- would have ceased to function.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 2:33 PM  

"The Navy could have simply embargoed Japan indefinitely"

And don't forget, we'd already been harassing them before the war. We started it and ended it. Obnoxious.

Anonymous Athor Pel October 08, 2013 2:37 PM  

I gave some shirts to goodwill once. Dropped them off at a local collection point, a makeshift warehouse space. In walking around inside trying to find a person to talk to I spotted some large pieces of machinery and some even more massive piles of clothing. They had so many clothes that after sorting they ended up putting most of them in these big machines that compressed them into bales. What they did with the bales I have no idea.

The whole idea of a charity having more resources than it could deal with was a new one for me.

Anonymous comma October 08, 2013 2:40 PM  

Yeah. We need to open up the markets again. Time for another war.

Blogger Ephrem Antony Gray October 08, 2013 2:55 PM  

IOCC isn't bad, they tend more toward 'helping people help themselves' - i.e. only offering food aid during emergencies, but otherwise trying to teach techniques and provide money to buy equipment and to do repairs. It's a more organic process.

Blogger Ephrem Antony Gray October 08, 2013 2:57 PM  

@Athor

As I understand it, a lot of clothes are just burned. I believe that's why they bale them.

The majority of our clothing is practically worthless, doesn't fit, is poor in appearance, and is not highly durable. To top it off, some even cannot be repaired at all.

So its not surprising that it would go into the WTP plant.

Anonymous A. Nonymous October 08, 2013 3:06 PM  

If you haven't played it, play "Spec Ops: the Line" - like Apoc, inspired by "Heart of Darkness", explores the madness of war, the use of white phosphorous, has multiple instances of violating the Rules of War, and an overall harrowing, fantastic game.

That's the sort of art that these numpties would ban.


Actually, from what I've read, I think the developers are more likely to be in broad ideological agreement with said numpties, given the smug, finger-wagging, "well aren't you just a terrible person for choosing one of a limited number of equally reprehensible options we've foisted upon you" character of The Line.

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 3:07 PM  

I used to work with a thrift store. Their not-as-nice to poor clothing (so, stuff that was unsellable) got baled and sent to Haiti.

Anonymous Maximo Macaroni October 08, 2013 3:47 PM  

I didn't know that the Red Cross is actually an agency of the Federal Government. But it is. It even gets money from the Federal Budget. You don't see that in their ads. Before too long not having equal numbers of lesbian and transgendered generals will be a war crime.

Anonymous Daniel October 08, 2013 3:58 PM  

Their not-as-nice to poor clothing (so, stuff that was unsellable) got baled and sent to Haiti.

What a waste. It should be sold on lucrative government contract to the Taliban, so their soldiers can look more like Americans for the drone scrimmages we are running in Afghanistan.

That way, the U.S. won't have to reprogram the drones when they start to be implemented for their intended purpose: domestic health care enforcement.

Anonymous Athor Pel October 08, 2013 4:12 PM  

"A. Nonymous October 08, 2013 3:06 PM
...
Actually, from what I've read, I think the developers are more likely to be in broad ideological agreement with said numpties, given the smug, finger-wagging, "well aren't you just a terrible person for choosing one of a limited number of equally reprehensible options we've foisted upon you" character of The Line."



I've always gotten highly annoyed at the contrived moral stances game designers put into some games.


Forcing the player to do something immoral in order to drive the story forward, it just puts a bad taste in my mouth. I stopped playing Warcraft III in the mission where Arthas starts going bad, the player is forced to kill the citizens of Strathholme whether they had the plague or not and you couldn't move the mission forward without doing that killing. I refused.

Almost as annoying are game story options that can arguably be considered morally right but the game penalizes you for doing them. Fallout 3 presents the player with a quest ostensibly to help some non-feral ghouls in their desire to gain entry to a Tenpenny Towers, an apartment building run by a real bastard of an old man.

You, the player, are led to think that helping the ghouls get their own apartments in the building sounds like a good idea. Seems reasonable since you only meet two and you are not made aware of any others.

But once you get those ghouls inside they then reveal their true agenda which was to act as a trojan horse and let in many many more ghouls. The ghouls then go on a rampage and proceed to kill every normal human in the place.

You get good karma for aiding in this little bit of genocide. If you decide to go back to an earlier save game and kill the duplicitous ghouls before they get inside the apartment building the quest fails and you get bad karma. This one quest made me question the intelligence and moral sense of Bethesda Studios.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 4:24 PM  

Too bad there is quite a bit of evidence the government of Japan was actively attempting to surrender some time before the bombs were dropped, but Truman's administration ignored them.

"The" governmetn of Japan? Or some elements in the government of Japan? I think if you look a little more closely, it was the latter. Which means squat. Some elements of the government of Japan was trying not to start the war four years earlier, but the people who wanted the war were willing to kill anybody who disagreed.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 4:32 PM  

So, can one of you keepers of odd knowledge on the US conspiracy to prolong WWII enlighten me on what the objective of the conspiracy was?

I mean, I'm willing to believe conspiracies do happen, probably more frequently than we realize, but there still needs to be some logic behind things.

Anonymous nateM October 08, 2013 4:34 PM  

Athor- in most games anymore I basically assume unless the person(s) you're helping have previously established spotless motives they aren't what they seem and later betray you. The writing for most games is that cliche. Especially in StarCraft II. Did anybody think tosh wasn't shady?

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 4:39 PM  

"That way, the U.S. won't have to reprogram the drones when they start to be implemented for their intended purpose: domestic health care enforcement."

It's no coincidence that the cost of a Hellfire missile is roughly equal to the deductible under Obamacare...

Anonymous Daniel October 08, 2013 4:52 PM  

So, can one of you keepers of odd knowledge on the US conspiracy to prolong WWII enlighten me on what the objective of the conspiracy was?

Unconditional surrender was the main sticking point - the resistance to Hirohito renouncing his deity. That's one. The other was Chang Kai Shek - the more and longer we could help him by waging war, the better. We couldn't hit our dear friends the Ruskies, but we sure wanted to bolster whatever anti-communist force we could in Asia.

WWII in the Pacific was - at least short term - good for military anticommunism. Patton was not alone in his desire to push on through to the Russians. In Japan, the U.S. had a far more plausible excuse to - at least in the short term - push for more and wider war in the Pacific.

We dropped the bomb because the clock was ticking for the window of opportunity: If we hadn't done it by late August, the Russians would have declared war on Japan (violating both their neutrality act and Malta, instead of just neutrality) and we knew it.

Then, hello Kyoto wall, and a bamboo curtain that enveloped Godzilla.

So, extending the war had its advantages - nuking it cost us some advantages in exchange for an early exercise in containment.

Anonymous Daniel October 08, 2013 4:56 PM  

The question is - why did ground zero in Nagasaki happen to be Japan's largest and nearly only cathedral, dropped during Mass, incinerating 5000 Catholics and their girl's school instantly? Seems to be a choice that the Red Cross might want to look into...

Blogger Giraffe October 08, 2013 5:29 PM  

Maybe Truman was Protestant?

Blogger jdwalker October 08, 2013 5:31 PM  

Any one else think that the Red Cross is actually has a great idea? I could see a game where you get to choose to be a character like Ratko Mladic escaping at the end of the war, hiding out as you are being hunted down to be charged with war crimes, and having the opportunity to rebuild your forces to stage a coup or something like that. Could be a really good game.

Anonymous Loki Sjalfsainn October 08, 2013 5:33 PM  

I could see a game where you get to choose to be a character like Ratko Mladic escaping at the end of the war, hiding out as you are being hunted down to be charged with war crimes, and having the opportunity to rebuild your forces to stage a coup or something like that. Could be a really good game.

Rather dull in reality, however.

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 5:40 PM  

OT, but thought it might be of interest to some here... although probably not surprising...apparently convincing someone to have sex with you now counts as rape to loony feminists.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 5:46 PM  

So Daniel, which was it? Was the conspiracy to extend the war or to end it quick? You're suggesting both.

And I hardly would call unconditional surrender a conspiracy.

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 5:50 PM  

Jack, the goal wasn't about either extending the war or ending it quickly -- it was about the uncompromising drive toward total victory for the sake of establishing global dominance, sacrificing many lives in the process. How look it took to end the war was of far lesser importance.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 6:07 PM  

Well, if you're looking for conspiracies, Nagasaki was a substitute on the bombing list. It took the place of Kyoto because, if you believe in such things, then US Secretary of War Stimson thought it was too culturally significant to bomb, or perhaps because he had honeymooned in Kyoto and liked the place. Or maybe it was all just a ruse so nobody thought what they really wanted to bomb was the Catholic girls school in Nagasaki!. And Nagasaki wasn't even the primary target that day. The 2nd bomb was supposed to drop on Kokura, but it was obscured by smoke from a firebombing of a nearby city.

The bomb itself was dropped a couple of miles away from the planned target because of "clouds".

Clearly something fishy was going on. Politicians never make choices on personal whims and fire, smoke, fogs and cloud never cause military forces to change plans.

Good grief. This is Dashiell Hammet vs Agatha Christie stuff. In the middle of a gunfight, you don't need to cleverly poison someone with a tropical fish. Just shoot them.

Anonymous Beau October 08, 2013 6:08 PM  

OT

Tonight at 7pm Mountain time we'll kick off the weekly prayer meeting in Roswell. I invite you to send prayer requests.

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16b

Anonymous Athor Pel October 08, 2013 6:13 PM  

Jack,

They really wanted to drop both kinds of bomb on a population center. They were tests, on real live humans, the best kind. ; ) This was also their last chance to use the devices. Can't go dropping doomsday weapons on cities without a war to justify it. This is the "pure science" justification.

There is also the government bureaucrat justification. The US government spent billions on this program and those that ran it and stuck their political necks out for it likely felt the need to justify it by making actual use of the bomb in a way that would look like it provided a tangible benefit to the war effort. You could also call this the "me too" justification.

Then we have the global political situation. Dropping those bombs were exercises in global intimidation. America was perfectly situated to take the greatest economic and diplomatic advantage of the post-war peace and they wanted a creditable military threat with which to back that up even if the isolationists managed to strip the American military to the bone after the war.

That enough?

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 6:15 PM  

it was about the uncompromising drive toward total victory for the sake of establishing global dominance

Soooo, continuing to attach a beaten opponent willing to surrender, thereby making yourself look weaker ("hey, those bungling yanqui can't even finish off the japs...") is the path to global dominance?

And then, once you've achieved your global dominance, the first thing you do is decommission a huge part of your fleet and disband most of your army?



Anonymous fritz October 08, 2013 6:16 PM  

I just relish putting a .50 incendiary round through the skull of a punk-type bandit with my Anti-material Rifle. Something about heads exploding in a fiery mess that turns me on. (Especially in slow-mo cinematic mode) I guess I'm a really, really bad person. (Even if I get "good karma" for that)

So far as Japan and WWII, do a little study of the Golden Lily Treasure. Whose the bad guy here? The Imperial Family, or Lansdale and Co.?

Hey ICRC! Here's a study for the masses to be revealed. What's keeping ya? We are waiting for your blockbuster announcement to come via all the traditional sources. Too controversial you say? Is that right ...

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 6:17 PM  

That enough?

Is that all you've got?

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 6:22 PM  

How does continuing to attack a beaten opponent make you look weaker? It makes you look like a psychopath that no one wants to mess with.

And yes, it has made sense to put old military equipment out of use when it's no longer needed for centuries. When was the last time a major war was fought in which the equipment used in the last war was still considered modern technology? The Battle of Hastings?

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 6:29 PM  

How does continuing to attack a beaten opponent make you look weaker? It makes you look like a psychopath that no one wants to mess with.

Which is why we kept bombing the crap out of Italy after the surrendered.too. Oh ,wait, we didn't do that...

And yes, it has made sense to put old military equipment out of use when it's no longer needed for centuries. When was the last time a major war was fought in which the equipment used in the last war was still considered modern technology? The Battle of Hastings?

Ah, yes, all those two year old obsolete planes, tanks and warship models, most of which were pressed back into service a few years later in Korea.

Anonymous lozozlo October 08, 2013 6:40 PM  

@Beau

My list: :-)

1.) persecuted Christians in general, Saeed Abedini (jailed in Iran) in particular.

2.) That somehow our country can right itself again, both spiritually (most important) but other ways as well (those would mostly natural follow, I suspect)

3.) For all of the Ilk (like Carlotta and GuitarMan) who made prayer requests lately.

God bless ya Beau - are you totally recovered from that stroke you had a ways back?

Blogger Ephrem Antony Gray October 08, 2013 6:46 PM  

Noah B

1911 Pistol, Browning M1. Some technology gets reused again and again.

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 6:52 PM  

Small arms didn't change greatly from WWII to Korea, that's true... and the Browning family and the Garand are still some of the best weapons around IMO... but the most widely deployed planes and tanks in WWII were already obsolete in Korea.

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 7:00 PM  

"Which is why we kept bombing the crap out of Italy after the surrendered.too. Oh ,wait, we didn't do that..."

Yeah... we did do that.

Anonymous WaterBoy October 08, 2013 7:09 PM  

"but the most widely deployed planes and tanks in WWII were already obsolete in Korea."

What they really needed, then, was the Rabid Bat.

Blogger GK Chesterton October 08, 2013 7:09 PM  

I'm going to agree with Jack here with some caveats. It is _clear_ that we worked to provoke the War int the Pacfic. However, given that Japan was moving against allies, an ally of our enemy Nazi Germany, a possible target for Russian conquest (its not like they hadn't fought before), and a threat to the general welfare of the Pacific it shouldn't be a shock that we desired to do them in.

That said the idea that we'd mindlessly move to extend the war only to stop it quickly is just silly. The fact is the American's, for the same reason that we look askance at Japanese today with boyfriend pillows, thought the Japanese were more than a little crazy as a society. And America was right, when it comes to certain key areas the Japanese are flippin' nuts. And I say this as someone with Japanese relatives.

I've also heard the Nagasaki theories. The fact is Nagasaki was a Christian center and a Naval center.

Anonymous Grinder October 08, 2013 7:09 PM  

The Red Cross's proposal is absurd, naturally, and the Red Cross is on the side of the enemy (globalist Marxists). Red Cross officials collaborated with Chechen rebels by leaking details of troop movements so that the Chechens were able to prepare ambushes. Several were executed without the publicity of an actual trial that the judeo-capitalist regimes would use in their continuing propaganda war against Russia. MSF (Doctors Without Borders) or Medecins sans Frontiers also attempted to aid the Chechens but faced such resistance by wary Russians that Chechens attempted to extract ransoms from Doctors they held. MSF withdrew from that theatre after their failure.

On a related topic, the Red Cross makes a point that is more applicable to the mainstream media of tv and movies - particularly that which originates from the jews and Hollywood. In the plethora of crime/police dramas for as long as I can remember, there have been dirty cops who are portrayed as basically good but constrained by laws. Repellent criminals are either celebrated as being mostly ordinary ok guys who occasionally kill other gangsters, as Sopranos characters, or they are guilty of crimes that are currently not fashionable (child rape and murder, racially motivated violence (white on black, only) but who the authorities are unable to put in prison because their hands are tied by Constitutional protections that the evil bad guys have the audacity to avail themselves of. The underlying message is clear - things would be much better if the good police would have their hands untied so that they could go after the apparent evildoers.
Does anyone here not believe that these crime dramas and cop shows explain, at least to some small degree, the rising number of police violating citizens civil rights and even judges making unconstitutional rulings because the majority of the public has been successfully conditioned to accept erosion of their rights?
Where does the widespread impression originate that the police are permitted to kill suspects who are believed to have killed police officers even if the means to make an arrest without using lethal force are available?

Anonymous Beau October 08, 2013 7:14 PM  

are you totally recovered from that stroke you had a ways back?

Mostly, I still have some numbness on the left, it's minor. God bless you!

Anonymous lozozlo October 08, 2013 7:15 PM  

@Grinder

Great post!

As for the police issue...hmm...television indoctrinated people into blue-pill progressive slavery...that never happens, what are you talking about LOL!

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 7:29 PM  

Yeah... we did do that.

You mean the part the Germans were occupying? How evil of us.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 7:32 PM  

but the most widely deployed planes and tanks in WWII were already obsolete in Korea

And yet we still flew F4U's and P-51s there, didn't we?

Anonymous WaterBoy October 08, 2013 7:34 PM  

Grinder: "Does anyone here not believe that these crime dramas and cop shows explain, at least to some small degree, the rising number of police violating citizens civil rights and even judges making unconstitutional rulings because the majority of the public has been successfully conditioned to accept erosion of their rights? "

Only if these cop shows precede the erosion of rights in America...which they don't.

The government and media have always pushed the "liberty for safety" model -- even Benjamin Franklin knew about this. The cop drama is just another vehicle to disseminate the same idea.

The other contributing factor to the idea that police are allowed to shoot suspects so readily is that the vast majority of them are later found to be "justified". However, in many cases, this is just a panel of police insiders all too eager to rubber-stamp their approval on it. What would be better, IMO, is for a panel of citizens to review the facts and make the determination over whether it was justified or not, similar to a grand jury investigation.

Anonymous Noah B. October 08, 2013 7:34 PM  

Jack, how many times do you plan on moving the goalpost here?

Anonymous NateM October 08, 2013 7:44 PM  

I think between Jack calling Sherman a humanitarian and Obama's debt conference, Nate may have finally stroked out

Blogger Duke of Earl October 08, 2013 7:48 PM  

The Manhattan Project cost $2 billion in its day, or upwards of $20 billion in today's money, but then the war effort cost America upwards of $3 trillion in modern money. There were four bombs made, so each was worth about $5 billion.

As for the original question? Why shouldn't games have in universe rules of war? We don't complain when umpires rule a player off side in soccer or rugby. If a player engages in actions that would, in real world terms, see him before the Hague, then why shouldn't an electronic court be held?

As for why soldiers abide by rules, I think this article summed it nicely. "You follow the rules of war for you -- not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity."

Anonymous Jack Amok October 08, 2013 7:51 PM  

Jack, how many times do you plan on moving the goalpost here?

Where have I moved them?

Anonymous Vidad October 08, 2013 8:06 PM  

"I think between Jack calling Sherman a humanitarian and Obama's debt conference, Nate may have finally stroked out"

He'll probably pop in shortly to tell us how mid-witted and boring this thread is.

Honestly, I'm hoping he's thinking over my idea of having the Spartans officiate over death panels for evil video game designers.

Anonymous Beau October 08, 2013 9:03 PM  

Heavenly Father we lift up pastor Saeed Abedini. May he win many to Christ while imprisoned - and may he be released soon. Bless his family in his absence. We also pray for the surviving members of the families of the Christian booksellers murdered in the Middle East.

Anonymous lozozlo October 08, 2013 9:15 PM  

@Beau

Thank you sir!

I am not as good a man as you but I will keep you and your ministry in my prayers as well!

Anonymous Golf Pro October 08, 2013 9:38 PM  

"Where does the widespread impression originate that the police are permitted to kill suspects who are believed to have killed police officers even if the means to make an arrest without using lethal force are available?"

There's a better question in here. Where does one find any evidence that there is a general impression that that the police are permitted to kill suspects who are believed to have killed police officers even if the means to make an arrest without using lethal force are available?"

You watch too much TV uncritically, Grinder.

Anonymous Beau October 08, 2013 10:03 PM  

Father we pray for Mark in Fayetteville, Arkansas. May his ministry to the homeless in the parks bear great fruit in feeding the poor and salvation for the lost. May Mark disciple many. Bless him Lord.

Blogger rcocean October 08, 2013 10:07 PM  

I wonder how many on this thread yapping about the A-bombing on Hiroshima are Americans?

Anonymous Outlaw X October 08, 2013 10:28 PM  

Daniel 8:9 -27

Obama stops the Mass at military basis and the Pope is silent. Yes power was given. Benedict quit for a reason, both are cowards.

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2013 10:29 PM  

As we all know, there were no war crimes before video games...

- Sega

Anonymous lozozlo October 08, 2013 10:39 PM  

Mostly, I still have some numbness on the left, it's minor. God bless you!

Glad to hear that it is mostly healed.

Hopefully the rest of the numbness will heal, but in any case your soul seems to be functioning quite well! :-)

Anonymous Grinder October 08, 2013 10:42 PM  

Golf Pro, I cite the lack of a reaction to the virtual execution of the former cop, Christopher Dorner back in February but also include other incidents going back several years that equally were simply accepted by the majority.
From the Los Angeles shooting in '97, during which several police were wounded by gunfire by the armoured shooters: "...The LAPD did not allow Mătăsăreanu to receive medical attention, stating that ambulance personnel were following standard procedure in hostile situations by refusing to enter "the hot zone," as Mătăsăreanu was still considered to be dangerous.[14] Some reports indicate that he was lying on the ground with no weapons for approximately an hour before ambulances arrived..."
I'll go as far as suggest that the police inflicted fatal wounds on the already neutralized gunman after partially removing his armour to ensure that he would die.

Anonymous Beau October 08, 2013 11:00 PM  

Obama stops the Mass at military basis and the Pope is silent.

I believe this is an issue for the American bishops to address first, which I hope they do so speedily.

Heavenly Father, hallowed by your Name. May those who shepherd your flock do so in perfect love which casts out fear. May your Bride be brought to purity and repentance. Deliver us from the evil one, for your son Jesus' sake.

Blogger Nate October 08, 2013 11:12 PM  

"He'll probably pop in shortly to tell us how mid-witted and boring this thread is."

In my defense... any thread with Civilservant babbling about how omipotent government force is... and how unbeatable it is... is incredibly boring.

You can only smash the same assertions so many times before you get bored with the smashing.

The fact that he keeps repeating the idiotic assertions just demonstrates what a moron he is.

Anonymous Outlaw X October 08, 2013 11:22 PM  

I believe this is an issue for the American bishops to address first, which I hope they do so speedily.

Beau thanks. but your hope is in vain hope, sometimes God let's us get sick and history tells us that we are the children of God. You are and I am. We live different lives than them. Daniel saw it, I don't even know whether I am right about the prophecy but at least I recognize it. And depending on American Bishops to stop it is like my last letter to them (not email), where they wrote me back and then decided I wasn't part of the program. God forgive us all!

Anonymous Outlaw X October 08, 2013 11:27 PM  

Beau

By the way that wasn't just for Catholics it was for all Christian pastors.

Anonymous Beau October 08, 2013 11:42 PM  

By the way that wasn't just for Catholics it was for all Christian pastors.

I think so. I'll fire off a few letters to various leaders tomorrow exhorting them to stand up for religious freedom. If the State can successfully shut off religious expression, then it's obvious we've entered dire straits.

Anonymous The other skeptic October 08, 2013 11:57 PM  

NCIS had an episode where some white guy was pissed that a woman beat him out to fly fighters of of a CVN.

Funny thing was, her name wasn't Hultgren.

Anonymous Ain October 09, 2013 12:37 AM  

Dr. T: "As for civilians, it makes sense to properly learn the distinction between people you are not allowed to kill and people you should kill. "

Those always make for the worst game levels.

Anonymous Jack Amok October 09, 2013 1:03 AM  

What? CivilServant was on this thread? Nate, one of us has had too much bourbon. Or not enough.

Anonymous Golf Pro October 09, 2013 1:03 AM  

Grinder:

While I appreciate your citations, I still don't see where there is any "widespread impressio that the police are permitted to kill suspects who are believed to have killed police officers".

You have that impression, but you've offered no reason to think the impression is widespread.

Blogger Tom Kratman October 09, 2013 1:32 AM  

Preposterous, Dukie. You abide by the rules of war, and reprise for violations of the rules of war, to keep your enemy abiding by them, to reduce the amount of needless, gratuitous suffering, and to limit the hate, the better to restore peace. Note, here, that reprisals - the only things that uphold the law of war - are themselves war crimes, which become legitimate to enforce the law of war. Conversely, to claim we abide them them only to spare our own ever so tender feelings, is to place those feelings above the lives of, oh, say, the defenseless civilians who will be most harmed by violations of the law of war. Which is, once again, preposterous and, worse, utterly immoral.

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