It is a small comfort to see the Austrians and Germans returning to their early 20th century Austrian painter scene defaults.

Perhaps, now that the mask has finally slipped, we can go back to watching old Faulty towers episodes without shame?

Perhaps, maybe, we can now mention the war?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will no doubt have heard that Austria has now decreed that, from February, everyone must be vaccinated. With a press release, the government of that country has stolen from its citizens the most fundamental and inalienable human right of all… the sovereignty of an individual over their own body.

No doubt this will shortly be followed by similar measures in Germany, which has already followed Austria in placing those Untermensch, that refuse to “volunteer” to have an irreversible experimental medical procedure performed on them, under house arrest.

Alea iacta est. The Rubicon has been crossed, and by people whistling a merry tune as they went.

Yeah, I know this tune. Last time we danced, it was with a bunch of folks wearing Hugo Boss that thought forced medical procedures, and the state persecution of those seen as unclean, was a pretty neat idea. Fairly sure that particular dance ended in millions of deaths, and those responsible being executed.

The difference between sex and rape is consent.

Funnily enough, it is also the difference between a public health measure, and a war crime.

Take the vaccine. Don’t take the vaccine. That is a free choice that should be left to the individual. You can try and persuade, and provide good data, however no means no. So if, once all attempts to persuade someone to make the “correct” choice have failed, the intention was always to use force, then you are nothing more than a rapist who bought your victim dinner and flowers first.

It seems that, all over the world, the idea that you ever had a choice has just been an illusion.

Australia is building concentration quarantine camps, and is now using military force to transport dissidents potential covid cases to them, against their will. The media, and large sections of the population applauding as they do so.

Then they came for the trade unionists, eh Australia?

In a recent interview, the diversity-hire-in-chief of New Zealand (a power mad lunatic, celebrated primarily for owning a particular set of genitals, rather than for competence) proudly announced the medical apartheid of her country… all with a smug shit eating grin on her face.

Then they came for the Jews, New Zealand, amirite?

If you don’t find all of this deeply unsettling, then you haven’t been paying attention.

Is it ok to call these people Nazis yet?

Can anyone seriously claim that the “slippery slope” argument is a fallacy after the events of the last two years? After all, we have gone, disturbingly quickly, from “two weeks to flatten the curve” all the way to concentration camps, state persecution of segments of the population, medical apartheid, and forced medical procedures.

Where next? Honestly, I don’t think that anything is off the table at this point.

More disturbing still, other countries, such as my own, are staying suspiciously silent on the matter. They’re seeing how this goes. Seeing… if they can get away with it…

I wonder what your hero Winston would have thought about that Boris?

But, leaders of the world… don’t think we won’t remember.

Don’t think there won’t come a reckoning.

History teaches us one thing more than anything else, and that is this…

The bill comes due, always.

I had an awkward moment today.

Today I had to refuse the first in-person meeting in over a year.

Reason? Because the building in which it was held had a policy that everyone who enters wears a mask, and submits to a COVID test.

This was, sadly, a condition of entry I could not accept, and therefore, on principle, I had to politely decline. I didn’t explain why, it wasn’t the forum, but I had to be consistent with my principles.

“But it’s just a mask! But it’s just a test! But it’s just to keep people safe!”

“But it’s just…”

“But it’s just” …the phrase that took good family men, and slowly, but surely, turned them from being ordinary policemen, into people who would shoot pregnant women in the head.

Please don’t give me, “But it’s just…”.

I think I have had enough of “But it’s just…”, and its manipulative sophistry, for one lifetime. Words designed to trick you into compromising your principles, little by little, and to accept and normalise the unthinkable.

So no, I refuse to comply. No more. I refuse to wear a political symbol, and submit to medical testing in order to have a bloody meeting. Is this a trivial thing? Yes (although not to me). Would it be easier to just go along? Yes. Will this cost me in the future? Almost certainly.

But the devil in “But it’s just”, is that it really is so easy to compromise on the little things.

“But it’s just for three weeks to flatten the curve”, “But it’s just until the rates come down”, “But it’s just a vaccine”, “But it’s just a vaccine and a booster”, “But it’s just until we vaccinate the vulnerable and elderly”, “But it’s just until we vaccinate the over 50s”, “But it’s just showing your papers to enter a nightclub”, “But it’s just showing your papers to go to a restaurant… to travel… to shop… to work”, “But it’s just government mandated medical procedures”.

The point is, the holocaust didn’t begin at 8 o’clock on day one with death camps and German showers. No, it was a gradual process of capitulation to authority, innocent compromise after innocent compromise. Each compromise building on the last, making it ever easier to submit to the next. Each one, in context of those preceding, seemingly reasonable. Each one having a conveniently reasonable rationalisation.

When they came to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto, the excuse was the Jews were carrying Typhus.

This is why it is so important to resist authoritarianism the first time it appears, no matter how trivial the imposition, no matter how reasonable. Nip it in the bud, because each compromise made now makes it exponentially harder to resist in the future.

Perhaps I’m being silly. Perhaps it could never happen here. I hope you’re right.

But consider what a year of operant conditioning has done to us. What do we consider normal and reasonable now?

House arrest. The government shutting down private business on a whim. The government telling you who you can see, and what you must wear. In many parts of the world there’s medical apartheid, in others, the Government, like many Soviet dictatorships in previous decades, won’t allow you to leave.

Australia, a supposed free country for God’s sake, is building literal concentration camps, and many in the population think that this is reasonable.

“But it’s just a mask…”

No, it’s not. It is another compromise on the road to Hell.

It is the compelled loss of your bodily autonomy. It is a political symbol, a tribal symbol, and a sign of your subservience. It is a signal to others that silently says, “This is normal, and I agree with it”. Nothing to do with “keeping people safe”. Look at the met gala, or the G7 conference for proof of that! Preening Capitol elites, drinking and kissing and laughing. Maskless. Being served the finest libations money can buy, by rank after rank of anonymous, muzzled, Avox slaves.

When the mask mandates first came out, I’m sorry to say that I caved. I wore the rag in the shops, so as to be left alone, even though I knew the mandate was bullshit. Even though every part of my being was screaming that it was wrong. I made an excuse that I was rebelling in my own way by not covering my nose, or wearing my skull snood.

But these were excuses.

I was a coward.

My grandparents fought literal Nazis, but when tested, I couldn’t even stand up to this weak tea authoritarianism? Pathetic. All I did was point and splutter, and I hate myself for it.

I kowtowed.

This is what they want from us. To normalise our servitude. To train our compliance. This has nothing, whatsoever, to do with “Stopping the spread”.

“But it’s just a test…”

No, no it’s not. It is your tacit approval, your consent that requiring people to undergo medical testing to go about their day to day lives is in any way normal or acceptable. It is your agreement that an organisation which implements these requirements is acting properly.

So, no. Never ever again. I would rather lose a job, or end up in jail, than lose respect for myself again in that way. For sacrificing my principles. For knowing I’m doing the wrong thing.

So, no. No. More.

No, I won’t wear your political symbols.

No, I won’t take your tests.

No, I won’t let you compromise me, inch by inch, and make me do that which I know is wrong.

I won’t let you use me again.

I have recently moved this, and a bunch of other sites I host, over to new infrastructure.

Unfortunately, for reasons I won’t bore you with (mainly because I’ve not yet figured them out), the standard ip-tables ban action in fail2ban has stopped working. However, since I am already behind a firewall, all I really need is to block the script kiddie attacks for the various website logins.

I already have some filters for this, so I wrote some quick actions to add these IP addresses to ban lists that can be used by Apache.

I have two flavours, one for apache 2 and another for apache2.4.

Usage

Copy the appropriate action config into your /etc/fail2ban/action.d directory, and enable the action in the usual way.

Then, to actually use the block list, you’re going to need to include it into your vhost config by referencing it in your <directory> block, e.g.:

<RequireAll>
    Require all granted
    Include /var/run/fail2ban/fail2ban.apache24
</RequireAll>

Link to fail2ban.apache for the apache 2 version.

Hope this is useful to folks!

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