Should you…ever…thump someone?

Thoughts, Vladimir?

Well, Rose, in the fine tradition of Alexander, Napoleon and so on, great empires aren’t made by keyboard warriors. If Catherine the Great hadn’t extended the frontiers of Mother Russia in pursuit of a glorious dream, she’d have gone down in history as Catherine the Horny.

Yeesss…Winston? A penny for them?

One word. Hitler. Fight them on the beaches, fight them on the…

Street outside the pub on a Saturday night. Another word. Men. The Balls of War. Snip snip. Francis?

As Pope, may I remind you that Jesus said, blessed are the peacemakers. Also, if a man whacks one cheek, present the other.

Which has happened in the history of humankind, oh, let’s see…zero times? Mr Milosevic, I see you’re dying to jump in here…

Death before dishonour. Until the last man, whether it’s them or us. Preferably them. By all means necessary. Works for me.

Mr Zelensky?

Until the last man, yes. Ukraine will never surrender. Better a Ukrainian wasteland than a Russian vassal state.

How about the cycle of violence. Violence begets violence. Do you smack your kids?

Certainly not.


What about the cycle of peace. Obliteration of the meek, followed – sometimes – by handwringing and a resolution to do better next time. Not good enough! Never again!

And so again and again and again…Vladimir, to sum up?

He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Solution, get nukes.

Is violence avoidable, in the real world? Is it a tool that should only be used in the service of good…whatever good is to whoever, erm, holds the tool? Is turning the other cheek a recipe for disaster, and also, unnecessarily painful? Have you ever thumped anyone (me, only a kid)? Was it enjoyable? (me, no. I wish I hadn’t)

Whaddya think?


  1. I don’t know. Some days it seems that violence is the only solution; other days that seems ridiculous. There should be an overarching principle here, but every situation is different when you really dig into it. Loads of people have strong opinions, but they’re often proven wrong in the long run. So… I don’t know…

      1. Yeah I felt like that with the Iraq war. Seems stupid, now, not to have been solidly against it. My judgement is notoriously bad, but I think Putin is the noughties’ Hitler. So I think stop him now before he becomes a serious nuisance, ha ha

      2. “My judgement is notoriously bad, but I think Putin is the noughties’ Hitler.”
        You got that the wrong way round, hun. Lemme correctify it for you:
        “I think Putin is the noughties’ Hitler, but my judgement is notoriously bad.” Bcoz if you read up and study Eastern-European history since, say ~2007, you’d come to a completely different opinion. And then you’ll understand why, even in your henchman state Germany, Putin would get over 60% of the votes if he was eligible there. 🙂

  2. Always depends on the motivation. And the interests of anyone involved.

    Current example: Ukraine. Who’s the aggressor there, who’s to decide, based on what (dis)information? 80-90% of global population seem to think it’s America to blame. But is it really so?

    Yes. Is what I’VE found out and what MY research tells me. Is what logic dictates.

    But that is coming from ME and I’M certainly not representing 80% of the globe. And are my reasonings always logical? ;/

  3. Good question. I don’t think it’s avoidable. It’s something in human nature that I suppose we have to work on and minimise. I don’t think you can initiate a force for good by starting out with pre-emptive violence – there are plenty of tyrannies that began that way. Turning the other cheek? I’d say not, but it depends on how big the other guy is, and you may not have a choice. Have I ever thumped anyone? Yes, (as a teenager) and I enjoyed it because he deserved it, and he didn’t think I’d fight back, but that didn’t make it right. And that I enjoyed it taught me that we all have dark places and need to be careful of our tempers.

    1. It does seem to me that violence is part of human, not to say mammalian, life and attempts to rule it out altogether are quixotic. But minimise, yes, that’s a worthy goal. I once shouted at someone and enjoyed it. If they’d hit me first I’m sure I would have gleefully gone to town on them

  4. Russia has invaded Ukraine on the basis that, what? Its own territory will be threatened by NATO if it doesn’t? Improbable. So no. Russia is defending its declining status as a great power, while Ukraine is defending its existence as an independent nation. I know what side I’m on. It’s logic.

    1. “Russia has invaded Ukraine”
      No, they didn’t. They sent a very small, badly organised contingent into the Donbass region, which was and still is Russian by all means.

      “on the basis that, what?”
      On the basis of an imminent offensive of the Ukrainian army on the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. In history and politics circles we call that an intervention. And as everybody can see now, the fighting hasn’t even left the Donbass.
      Of course they will go on. When they wanted to negotiate, nobody was there to listen and talk to. And when Selensky wanted to negotiate he was told to stay on course by his Washington and London overlords.
      So Russia stocked up on troops and material. And, no, Russia won’t stop at the Dnipro river but marsh on up to Kiev. They are strong now and feel no need to be led around like circus bears anymore. So negotiations are over.
      Even if Putin would want to negotiate, he’d get too much flak from his own people. Russia is fukn angry!

      “Its own territory will be threatened by NATO if it doesn’t?”

      For someone without opinion you’re rather opinionated, aren’t you? All the facts are proving your opinion is based on a lie. Even multiple lies. I can go into details if you really need help. Or just wait some more months until the Ukraine nightmare is over, America out of Europe, NATO dissolved and the world a better place.
      I can’t say exactly but I have the strong feeling something huge’s gonna happen. And soon! Let’s just hope that none of the bigots in the white house loses their nerves and pushes the button. Let’s instead hope that Ukraine collapses quickly and irreversibly. It will save countless lives.

      “So no. Russia is defending its declining status as a great power,”
      They just became a great power and are still in their infancy. They become more powerfullerer from day to day.

      “while Ukraine is defending its existence as an independent nation.”
      LOL, a what? Oh darling, they were independent for a short while, badly, grossly corrupt poorhouse but independent. All that ended at Maidan 2014 when Nuland’s CIA installed a US branch with a puppet regime in that artificial country. The same playbook that already worked so splendidly in Vietnam and Afghanistan, right. Don’t tell me the innocent Ukraine is fighting for its existence.

      “I know what side I’m on. It’s logic.”
      Mhm. It would be if it was based on facts.

      1. “For someone without opinion? I can’t think what gave you that idea. I’m opinionated as heck.”

        Good to know. Usually Americans first state they have no opinion – and then start spilling buckets of hatred over everyone with a differing opinion. So welcome in the land of the opinionated.

        Although, sorry to say, you are sadly not in any position to have an opinion about the recent geopolitical situation. Since your opinion is based on multiple propaganda lies! One shouldn’t believe whatever comes from the WH/Pentagon and media.

        “More powerfuller, eh?”
        If I remember correctly my exact terminology was “More powerfullerer”, which is more strongerer than a simple “powerfuller”.
        Goes like so: Powerfull – Powerfuller – Powerfullerer – Powerfullerestest.

        “I rest my case.”
        Oh. 😮 Giving up already?

      2. Nothing to do with me, hun, but I’m afraid it is the policy of this blog not to engage with the patronising…darling….deluded and/or batshit crazy. Also…hun… I’m not an American. But hook up your wagon to the powerfullerestest… what was it? and see how far it takes you, sweetie.

    2. “Nothing to do with me, hun”
      So, whom am i talking to? Fuxn confuserizing this is.

      “but I’m afraid it is the policy of this blog not to engage with the patronising…
      darling….deluded and/or batshit crazy.”
      Uh ok, and there I was that’s how anglophones converse on the interwebz. Something new every day.

      “Also…hun… I’m not an American.”
      Good for you, hun. The one that got away. Hmmm, maybe not if you’re British tho. How does it feel to be America’s bish, doing your masters’ dirty deeds while wathing your economy crumble?

      “But hook up your wagon to the powerfullerestest… what was it?”
      PFC and RF without a doubt.

      “and see how far it takes you, sweetie.”
      Into a better future! The globe standing up against the US hegemon, getting rid of the dollar, kicking US out of all strategically important locations … it’s all very positive. And about damn time! It should’ve happened after the Vietnam war already. Look at the “bombed into stone age” Vietnam nowadays: Tiger state with a greater economy than some EU countries. 😉 They go up with the rest of frenly Asia. Look who produced your Crocs. 😉

      Quickly back to your initial post:

      “Its own territory will be threatened by NATO if it doesn’t? Improbable. So no.”

      Sowwy, are you blind? After the end of the Warsaw Pact the whole reasonably thinking world was sure that NATO would end as well. They had and have no reason to exist. But unfortunately it didn’t go that way. Quite the opposite, NATO was remodeled into a mafiosi structure, threatening and invading every small country that become too confident, rich or tried to live outside the Western influence area. And NATO even grew biggerer, absorbing lots of countries and slimed its way ever closer to Russian borders (see the Minsk agreement were the West lied and tricked Putin in the most evil way, playing for time while preparing Ukraine for the war we see happening right now).
      Didn’t pan out so well, did it? 😦

      1. I sometimes fall into the terrible feeling that brain-damaged San Francisco/Portland-style whackadoos, treasonous Trumpoidian redneck nutjobs, Commies, Fascists, and all manner of other irrational mouth-breathers spewing their corrosive tinfoil-hat bullshit is a uniquely American cult of weirdness.

        Thank you, Internet, for once again reminding me that fact-free, agenda-driven mouth-breathers drinking their own special-mix Kool-Aid (cf. Jim Jones, Guyana, 18 Nov 78) is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s in fact practically a default setting in humans.

        So, Rose, in summary answer to your underlying question, and as demonstrated here in all its demented glory: No, violence and war are inevitable. Frankly, the percentage of people too stupid to avoid it is and always has been overwhelming.

        Obstructively cynical, I suppose. But on the upside, they ARE pretty funny.

      2. They are amusing, in a depressing sort of way:) The solution, perhaps, in genetic manipulation cunningly carried out by AI. Producing humans roughly as violent as labradors. Which the AI will keep as pets. A bright future awaits!

      3. I dunno about the Labrador thing. Nice dream, but any AI with a lick of sense will shortly sort out the high-risk cost/benefit disaster awaiting anyone trying. It would be like saying “Well, that Botox thing worked out well, once we tamed it — so, lets try to turn smallpox into something useful!”

        Speaking as a member of that pathogenic wad of DNA, if I were advising AI how to proceed with that project, my only input would be a sardonic “good luck with all that”.

  5. There are certain things that are inevitable in humanity … racism and hate, for instance. But also, love and caring. Violence is also one of those inevitabilities. And sadly, it requires good people to engage in violence at times to contain the evil who use violence and hate and racism and ignorance for their evil purposes.

    1. It does seem to require that. Although whoever is wielding the violence tends to believe they’re on the side of right. What we need is humans engineered to avoid it in favour of negotiation. I used to think that meant women, but am increasingly doubtful.

      1. Like you, I have never struck somebody out of anger. Even with my kids, I didn’t do that. Very rarely I would slap their hands when they were getting into something they shouldn’t. Never sparked them. There was one time when my oldest was refusing to open his mouth so I could brush his teeth. I so wanted to smack him under the chin. But I walked away and told my wife “Your turn.”

      2. There was only me, and to be fair Felix could get extremely annoying. Next level stuff. But I regret smacking him. Should’ve got some expert advice instead, or talked to him.

  6. Well, there’s a distinction to be drawn between initiating the use of violence, and responding to it. Initiating isn’t inevitable, but once initiated, responding in kind eventually becomes so.

    I was tempted to say that the American civil rights movement was in some ways a movement of turning the other cheek, though their ultimate aim was to enact legal reform, which requires enforcement. There’s no such thing as pacifist law enforcement. That said, I do know activists in Palestine who espouse non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation. And I know activists and journalists who take huge risks to do what they do, in the full knowledge that they might someday pay for it with their lives.

    That said, I am a bit of a thumper myself. Or was, when I was younger. Was provoked into fist fights over being called the “n” word, as we say in the US. I feel ambivalent about it now—not proud of it, but not about to apologize, either. The line between nobility and stupidity is still hard to draw.

    There are times when, living in the US in 2023, I feel pulled back into my own teenage past. We have regressed farther and faster than I could have thought possible. But a fist fight now could get me shot. So it’s not worth it, no matter what anyone calls me. My thumping days are behind me, then. Or so I’d like to think.

    1. There’s nothing essentially unethical, I suppose, about physical force. Is there? It’s the motivation behind its use. And yet as a species I think we’ve outgrown it. Brawn is minimally useful these days. The trouble is that some of us haven’t.

  7. Yes, violence is mostly not ethical or justifiable in my mind, unless . . . Hitler needed to be stopped and so should Russia, but whether the following devastation and mayhem could be prevented or in other ways stopped than by brute violence is the question. Too quickly the solution is violence. If you see the world in terms of a nail, all you see will be a hammer as the solution. Thanks for the like on my blog.

  8. Yes, I have used violence, but only ever in self defence. That and the defence of innocent parties are the only justifiable reasons to use violence. Did I hurt the attackers badly? Yes, and I am proud about it. Some may now reconsider before initiating violence and some are unable to. Good!

    I have served my country in it’s defence forces, but only for the possible chance of my country being invaded. We have an army only for that single purpose and only one of our neighbours is likely to attack us. We do not expect an attack from Estonia, Sweden, or Norway. We do not even expect one of the old colonial powers, like France, or UK to attack us, or even the USA, though all of them have invaded plenty of sovereign countries on the most obscure and questionable reasons. Our military exist only for the sole purpose to repell the Russians, should they ever try to invade us again.
    They are prone to invade neighbours, like they have proven once again. We have now joined NATO, simply because of that and sacrificed a good chunk of our previous neutrality, that we were for long able to use to negotiate peace in plenty of conflicts. Putler sold us this as the only viable option.

    Violence is not human destiny any more than bigotry, or racism. They are choises we make. As is obvious from the peacefull relationships with the other neighbours of my country.

    Turning the other cheek may even be highly immoral at times. If you can stop a madman on violent rampage, is it not your duty to try, instead of letting them hurt others, who may not be in a position to defend themselves, or even survive the first hit on the first cheek?

    1. You’re right. If we don’t want to be ruled by the most violent, we have to defend ourselves. First, I think, with cunning and intelligence but then with violence or the threat of it. And yeah, I agree that Putin has his eye on the Baltic countries. Why wouldn’t he, Russia used to own them. Bullies should be taught a sharp lesson

  9. (NOTE: Editorial “YOU” used a lot in the following and I’m too lazy to go back and fix them all — just know it’s not meant as “YOU” personally.)

    The number of noble sentiments here are commendable. All wrong, of course, but desperately earnest and all founded in the “we’re all playing in the same band” ideology.

    I know that one. I was raised in it, steeped in the “Peace and Love” generation of the 60s which is the direct ancestor of this “Jesus, how wrong is it possible to be” current philosophies. My bread and butter were Haight-Ashbury, Easy Rider, Free Love, and Revolution.

    It’s an embarrassment every time I think of it.

    Turns out none of us had even the level of understanding of a garden slug about how the real world works. Even Eldrige Cleaver, homicidal criminal, serial rapist, world-class shitbird, and author of “Soul On Ice”, who was a founder of the Black Panther Party and advocate of armed insurrection was brought up short when he was overseas meeting with allies in N Korea and Russia. At a formal dining, they toasted the destruction of the United States, and he suddenly realized “Holy Shit, these clowns don’t give a crap about freedom — they’re actually trying to kill us.”

    Well, Duh.

    He came back, resolved his criminal charges, and died a hard-core Republican and Mormon, which is something of a change from a guy who was kicked out of the fucking 60s Black Panthers for being too violent(!)

    The fact of the matter is that when Putin is being a despicable, if well-armed, war criminal, happy thoughts, well wishes, and appeals to our common humanity won’t keep him from bombing children’s hospitals. Your choices here are (1) Put up with the homicidal bastard and keep quiet enough that maybe he won’t notice you, or (2) Kill every single thing he’s using as a resource to pursue this goal with full intent of eventually producing the happy outcome of someone sticking a large-caliber pistol in his ear.

    When a random psycho or group of armed people are kicking in your door with evil intent you can (1) sing a couple of verses of “Kumbaya” to them, or (2) treat them as the pig-eyed criminals they are and who, regardless of your brotherly best intentions, are human only at the DNA level and most effectively dealt with using double-ought buckshot.

    When that sawed-off little aborigine in N Korea and the psychotic population his family has raised for 70 or so years finally decide to solve his country’s starvation problem by nuking the South or Japan, you can (a) cuddle him up and tell him it’s going to be ok, or (2) turn Pyongyang into a glass sheet.

    The part of all this that amazes me is how many starry-eyed mouth breathers will use option (1) in every circumstance in blind disregard of the plain fact that a certain (and larger than you think) percentage of the population are dangerous, ambitious defectives who are damaged on a deep level that we can’t fix and that the touchy-feely advocates do NOT understand on any level.

    With the best intent in the world, these outliers simply cannot live with regular humans and must therefore have violence applied to them some greater or lesser degree to keep them from killing or enslaving the rest of us.

    Your alternative is to place yourself, your wellbeing, your property, your family, and every other vestige of civilization at high-risk in the service of being nice to these defectives so you can feel all warm and fuzzy about what a wonderful human YOU are.

    In the old days, “out of sight out of mind” was the mantra, with FORCED shipments of criminals being exiled to keep them away from the regular humans. Stone age tribes would use FORCE to run off offenders at threat of death and let them starve or flourish as they would, as long as they did it away from the rest of the tribe. This banishment and the occasional killing was good enough through history until the old world filled up and just pushing them out into the dark wasn’t enough — Voila, vast new empty places outside the drum circle were found and Australia, and a considerable part of the US were created out of those who just couldn’t make it in their version of society.

    But the world shrank, and places of exile became less permanent and harder to find and maintain. Thus penal colonies and eventually prisons were invented, supposedly places to “fix” defective humans, but which were in fact just a new form of FORCED internal exile, designed to keep the animals away from the regular humans and their societies, who couldn’t tolerate their antics.

    Having spent near-50 years standing various lines between the animals and the humans and as one of those who were called when force was needed to maintain the wall, it is my experience that the absolute least effective way to keep a society and its individuals alive and safe is to pretend that the line doesn’t exist, and/or all that’s needed is a cuddle, a bit of understanding, and a shitload of money and all will be right with the world.

    If a demonstration (repeated again and again through history) is needed as to the effectiveness of this approach, feel free to take a quick jog in downtown Portland, San Francisco, or Seattle at about 1:00 AM. Try to open a business in the Tenderloin. Try to do anything that actual societies and civilizations do in any of those areas. I suspect a more pro-active bent toward force will shortly bubble up and embarrass you in front of your gated-neighborhood, latte-kumbaya friends…

    1. I get it, force is required at times, but it’s often the easiest option not necessarily the most effective. I’m not talking Putin or north Korea here but just in managing ordinary society. So I’m not in favour of cuddles but for instance… my flatmate was telling me that where he grew up people beat each other up all the time, sometimes just for fun. Among my middle class educated social group that’d be unusual. So culture determines what people see as normal. Changing culture isn’t easy but we’ve done it, as a society. Norms change, and that reduces the necessity to use force. Fewer people die by violence in the developed world than they used to, I believe a lot fewer. So there’s that. Then there’s the arguable theory that most social violence etc is done by people who more or less inherited the gig. So get them young and social engineer the hell out of them. In a small city I used to live in, something like two thirds of the crime was done by thirteen families. So exterminate the families… I’m joking…or put max effort into changing the family dynamic. Or… keep on locking them up and letting them out and repeat etc. On the world stage, look at China. Horrible shitty government but one thing they have got right. If you want to be in charge of a world empire, it’s easier and more effective to buy it than conquer it. So maybe we should be offering Russians of fighting age free citizenship and a ticket to new York instead of rocket launchers to Ukraine. Underhanded methods are the girly way of approaching problems of tribal arseholery… you don’t spear the dickhead, you just persuade him that his excellent hunting talents demand a place in the front line and then tie your shoelaces when the tiger charges at him. Alternatively we could do what all good farmers do and keep one ram while castrating all the other males. Works a treat to keep dogs, cats, horses, cattle etc from laying into one another. Mind you it looks like oestrogens in the water supply might be breeding a generation of metrosexuals anyway. Down here in the country I like my real men though with their beards and checked shirts and long silences😁

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