Clearing the inbox and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesWhew!  I was quite productive today.  I think those iron pills I’ve been taking because of mild anemia have helped.  I felt much less sluggish.  I still have a lot of stuff in my inbox, but these articles are a good start:

The always-astute Lee Smith has a surprising take on Obama’s coziness with Mahmoud Abbas.  I don’t believe that Obama has thought the issue through as carefully as Smith, but I think that the outcome is the same whether Obama acted deliberately or accidentally.

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Oy voy vey!  It’s not just that Obama is giving away the Free Speech internet, which is disastrous enough.  It’s that, back in 2010, when he wasn’t even in full flexibility mode, Obama handed something very valuable over to Putin.  And Putin, being no fool, will play this card as he reinstates the former Soviet Unions geopolitical reach.

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The pro-Iranian faction has always argued that sanctions hurt the poor the most. In Iran’s case, they said, sanctions deprived the poor of medicine. But what if it turns out that sanctions are just depriving the rich of luxury articles? Will that information change Obama’s calculus? No. At a fundamental level, he thinks it’s wrong that Israel has the bombs and Iran doesn’t. He’s working to redress that inequity.

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If you like creative literature with a libertarian/conservative bent, a new site called Liberty Island is the place for you. Here’s a snippet of its mission statement, explaining that conservatives are the new counterculture:

Once upon a time the mainstream culture was conservative and the so-called counterculture was left wing. Today the situation is reversed and a new counterculture has arisen, one that boldly challenges the cynicism, nihilism, and stifling political correctness of popular culture today.

Our mission is to support this raw and untamed counterculture by gathering its creators in one place and providing the tools and resources they need to succeed. Here they can present their latest works, interact with colleagues, and connect with a likeminded audience. At Liberty Island, readers of a conservative or libertarian bent can find fiction, music, video and graphics that reflect their social values and political beliefs — and readers of all persuasions can find new voices and undiscovered talent. Writers and creators you’ve never heard of, and won’t find anywhere else, because their views have been excluded from the mainstream popular culture.

One of my favorite writers, Ray Zacek, already has a story online at Liberty Island.

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Rogue government? Well, yes.  The ATF ignores a court order and raids a gun store to get its customer lists. Let me quote Elmer: Be afwaid. Be vewy afwaid.

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Let me reiterate a point I’ve made repeatedly before: Women do not belong in combat units.

New-Wave feminism isn’t any better for military women than it is for non-military women

suffragette-votes-for-womenFirst wave feminism, which got women the vote, was a wonderful and necessary thing for a healthy society.  Second wave feminism, which got women equal pay for equal work, and which gave them equal access to work that did  not dependent on attributes unique to the male sex, was a wonderful and necessary thing for a healthy society.  Since then, though, it’s all been downhill, with “New-Wave” feminism engendering all sorts of trends that are damaging for women as individuals and for society as a whole.

The new wave of feminism says that women are wasting themselves looking for a stable married life with a partner who will work with them to raise the next generation of children.  Instead, women are being encouraged to have promiscuous “hook-up” sex, which leaves them physically and emotionally vulnerable.  At the same time, they’re being encouraged to delay their child-rearing years so that, when they finally want children, many of them discover that they can’t have them or can only have them at great expense, while most of them discover that taking care of small children when you’re almost 40 is a lot tougher than doing the same in your mid-20s.  (For more on this, see Camille Paglia’s spot-on essay about putting sex back in sex education.)

slutwalk5The new wave of feminism says that men are evil and oppressive rapists and that they need to be tightly controlled.  This is a fun-house mirror image of the equally  horrific sharia doctrine that says that men are too weak to resist women’s enticements and that women therefore need to be tightly controlled.  This isn’t just a playful “war of the sexes;” it’s a war of attrition between the sexes that envisions, not marriage and children and partnerships, but a zero sum game, with one side reduced to sexual slavery.

The new wave of feminism says that women, despite being able to “roar” (see both Helen Reddy and Katy Perry) are in fact perpetual victims.  Evil men stand ready to beat them, rape them, take their jobs, steal their education, demean them and otherwise commit horrible punishments upon them unless the government intervenes on women’s behalf.

The new wave of feminism says babies are disposable.  They interfere with the whole “free love” and “career” dynamic.  Abortion, rather than being a last resort when the women’s situation is untenable, becomes a first resort to get rid of an inconvenience.

It turns out that the new wave of feminism may not be so good for women in the military either.  An organization called “Center for Military Readiness,” which bills itself as a non-partisan entity focused solely on the best policies for America’s military, has put out a position paper saying that the Obama administration’s decision to force women onto the front line in combat zones isn’t just bad for the military, its bad for women too.  Here are just a few of its observations:

Women marines pull-ups1. Military Women Do Not Want To Serve in the Combat Arms

A recent survey of Army personnel thoroughly discredited the idea that most uniformed women actually want to serve in land combat fighting teams that currently are all-male.

[snip]

2. Three Pull-Up Test Not Suitable for Female Boot Camp Trainees

Pentagon civilians and military leaders keep claiming that sufficient numbers of women will meet “gender-neutral” standards before they serve in the combat arms. Now comes reality, revealed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, SC.

[snip]

3. Equal Success Eludes Women at Officer and Enlisted Infantry Training

In 2012, General Amos announced a multi-phased program to assess the feasibility of women serving in the combat arms. The process is supposed to be careful and “measured,” but the Marines have not produced any metrics or empirical evidence that women are or can be trained to be interchangeable with men in “tip of the spear” combat teams that attack the enemy. In fact, most indicators are to the contrary.

And so it goes, with page after page of evidence showing that women don’t want to be in combat, that women cannot meet current combat-readiness standards, and that women are injured when they try to reach those standards. That last resonates with me. Women have very different bone, muscle, tendon, and ligament configurations. Even the strongest woman you know isn’t going to have all the muscles protecting her neck that a heavily muscled man can amass. Her joints are going to be looser too, which is great for carrying and delivering babies, but lousy for hauling heavy packs and engaging in intense physical combat.

This biological reality explains why CrossFit, a Northern California fitness training company (and therefore almost certainly reliably Progressive in outlet) is refusing to let a male to female transgender person compete as a woman in an upcoming fitness competition.  Chloie Jonsson may have effected a cosmetic change so that her exterior self aligns with her interior belief about herself (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but there is no procedure that changes Jonsson’s lifelong development as a male, with dense bones, heavy muscles, and strong tendons and ligaments:

CrossFit’s general counsel, Dale Saran, would not comment on the suit, which seeks $2.5 million in damages. Saran directed The AP to a CrossFit online discussion board, where he posted that Jonsson had not supplied medical documents to back up her assertion that she was a woman.

“The fundamental, ineluctable fact is that a male competitor who has a sex reassignment procedure still has a genetic makeup that confers a physical and physiological advantage over women,” Saran wrote in a letter to McCoy that’s linked to the discussion board.

Exactly.

But back to the the CMR report. You really should read the whole thing.  It’s based on hard-data, rather than academic theory, and, as is always the case when there’s a showdown between real world facts and Progressive theory, the facts win every time.

The anti-bossy campaign is just the latest example of the Left’s obsession with gender, sex, and sexuality as a way of remaking society

Little girl scolding puppyIn America, it used to be that boys were boys and girls were girls, except for a handful of boys and girls who didn’t conform to the norm.  Boys were at the top of the heap; girls had a carefully carved out, limited sphere of influence and opportunities; and sexually non-conforming people were ignored or abused, depending on both their ability to blend in and their community’s ability to cope with their differences.  Both women and sexually non-conforming people were routinely denied equal treatment under the law.

The women’s lib and gay rights movements were originally sold as a way to ensure that women and gays (and, eventually, the whole LGBTQ spectrum) received equal treatment under the law.  That was originally understood to mean equal access to education, employment opportunities, and house; equal pay for equal work; and freedom from overt, violent discriminatory practices — and that was it.

Since then, equal treatment under the law has become a picayune, limited goal.  Instead, the Left is using gender and sexuality as a way to remake society entirely in opposition to heterosexual males, the ones who created Western society in the first place.

The latest push to remake society is the effort either to ban the word “bossy” or to turn it into an undiluted positive when the word is applied to girls.  This, of course, ignores the reality of bossy little girls.

Girls are bossy, something that comes about because they model themselves on their mothers.  Despite decades of Leftist marriage, gender, and sexuality rejiggering, for most children, Mom is the Big Boss in the house.  (Indeed, considering the soaring number of single moms, she’s the only boss in the house.)  The vast majority of little girls identify with mommy.  That’s a fact that no gender theory will ever change.  So if Mommy is bossy — as she has to be in order to run a household with children — then a little girl’s logical assumption is that, to be a grown woman in training, she too must be bossy.

And what about the claim that we’re all wrong to say it’s obnoxious when girls are bossy?  I couldn’t disagree more.  It’s incredibly obnoxious when girls are bossy.  What’s appropriate coming from a grown woman with responsibilities is profoundly irritating whether a 4-year-old lisps orders to her friends, a 10-year-old hollers imprecations at her brother, her a 15-year-old, in a strident whine, tells her parents what she wants them to do.  It’s obnoxious not because the 4, 10, and 15-year-old are female, but because they haven’t yet earned the right to boss anyone around.  The issue is age, not sex.

Even as the Leftist/Progressive/Democrat establishment seeks to make it so that every girl’s fecal matter is perceived as perfumed, the relentless attacks on boys never end.  Fortunately for me (’cause I’m lazy), I don’t have to go into detail on this topic because Matt Walsh has already done so, saying what I would say, only doing it better.

So let me just skip ahead to a discussion of the Left’s latest attack on America’s last bastion of masculinity:  the military.  The military used to be the place where you sent your boys to become men.  Now?  I don’t know.  The military is still overwhelmingly male, but the Obama administration, even though it cannot change the numbers, is doing its best to change its manly ethos.

Gays can openly serve now, which puts a great deal of pressure on young men.  While the Left will freely acknowledge that women shouldn’t have to shower with men who view them in a sexually predatory fashion, and that women in the military are at risk of becoming victims of violent sexual attacks from predatory men, the Left refuses to acknowledge that gay men can be equally predatory to other men.  (And lesbian women are often predators to other women.)  Under the new paradigm, shying away from showering with an aggressive gay man or lesbian woman isn’t logical self-preservation and respect for ones own sexual integrity; it is, instead, homophobic and the people holding such views must be re-educated and/or destroyed.  It’s an interesting social experiment, but a disastrous burden to place on an institution that has as its primary task combat training and preparation to fight off enemies of unspeakable savagery.

Placing women in combat is also a de-masculinizing effort (yes, it’s a neologism) on the Obama administration’s part.  Training standards will have to be lowered because it’s the extraordinarily rare woman who can compete head-on physically with men.  Men are bigger and stronger.  They have stronger bones and joints.  Their skin is tougher and has fewer nerves, meaning it’s less sensitive to pain.  They get less breathless.  They can pee standing up or into old water bottles, and they don’t have periods or get pregnant.  They are vulnerable to rape (see the above paragraph), but less vulnerable, especially because cultures other than America subscribe to the Red Army’s approach to despoiling conquered women.

The only way women can compete equally with men is to lower the standards for men.  This means that young men will not be challenging themselves as much.  To the extent many join the military because men need challenges, the military becomes less attractive.  Additionally, young men aren’t fools.  They know that women will create physical and emotional drags on a combat unit.  Only in the Ivory Tower, surrounded by theory, would people think that women with their different biology are identical to men for all purposes, including combat.

Having turned the military into a Progressive experiment for gays and women, now what do we do?  We bring transsexuals into the military.  Although the number of transsexuals in the military will of necessity be small (there aren’t that many around), I suspect the transsexual-infused military will be a different animal from what it currently is.  Libby, one of my wonderful commenters, found this interesting tidbit about transsexuals:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention report on suicide attempts among transgender and non-gender conforming adults (Jan.2014)  found that the while rate for suicide attempts in the general US adult population is about 4.6%, in transgender people, the rate is 41% (46% for trans men).

transsexuals are deeply, deeply unhappy people, who wear their own bodies like a painfully ill-fitting outfit.  I feel nothing but compassion for their anguish (an anguish that gender reassignment may do nothing to help).  Having said that, I am appalled that our president somehow thinks that the military will be the group therapy environment these troubled souls need.  He is using America’s front line defense against a dangerous world to normalize that which, statistically and biologically speaking, isn’t normal.*

There is nothing closer to who and what we are than are gender and sexual orientation.  A wise friend of mine thinks that Islam’s entire beef with the Western world is the fact that, as Westernism creeps into Muslim communities, women fight to leave the harem, the burqa, and the hijab.  All other insults to the religion are tolerable, except for the one that shakes up the relative values between men and women under Islam.

The Left understands this, but it heads in an opposite direction from Islam.  Rather than attacking women and gays to gain control over culture, it attacks heterosexual males.  This is why, beginning when they’re just little children, America’s males are systematically demeaned and insulted.  They are also deprived of opportunities to express their masculinity in positive ways and, instead, are reduced to expressing it through computer games, random violence, and perpetual dorm-style sloth and slobbery.  If you want to see the end of a sustained Leftist attack on men, you need only look to the American black community, where men have been rendered useless.  The government fulfills all the functions women need (shelter, food, health care, and child care), leaving the men responsible only for spread sperm.  No wonder, then, that black men have developed a culture focused on the size of their weapons (both of which, ironically, are tucked in the pants):  guns and penises.

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*No, I’m not saying people on the LGBTQ spectrum are “perverts” or “sickos,” or that they should be ridiculed, humiliated, discriminated against, hanged, beaten, imprisoned, or anything else.  I don’t believe that.

What I do believe is that love and physical desire are a combination of mind, biology, and culture, and that, when it comes to consensual adult relationships, it’s my business to stay out of it.  When I look at people, I judge them on values other than their sex partners, values such as individual freedom versus government control, stable relationships versus promiscuity, hard work versus parasitism, kindness versus cruelty, etc..  I do, however, reserve the right to look down upon people if their choice of sex partner is their only value.

So, rather than sit in judgment on LGBTQs, what I’m trying to say is that non-heterosexual orientations are statistical anomalies and that it is impossible to build a culture around a biological statistical anomaly.  It won’t stick.

Peeing and periods — straight talk about women in the front line

Leon Panetta has given the go-ahead to a plan to allow women into combat situations:

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said Wednesday.

[snip]

The decision clearly fits into the broad and ambitious liberal agenda, especially around matters of equal opportunity, that President Obama laid out this week in his Inaugural Address. But while it had to have been approved by him, and does not require action by Congress, it appeared Wednesday that it was in large part driven by the military itself. Some midlevel White House staff members were caught by surprise by the decision, indicating that it had not gone through an extensive review there.

This is an appallingly bad idea.

Boudicca

I know that, at least since Boudicca, women have fought in battle.  World War II resistance units relied heavily on women to provide both support and actual fighting skills.  Invariably, though, these women were in the front lines, not because they went to the front lines, but because the front lines came to them.  Necessity forced battle upon them.

If there is no necessity, why in the world would a government decide to put women on the front lines?  Much as Leftists like to try to shape science to their political goals, one simply cannot get away from the fact that women have a different biology than men do.  Aside from being, on average, smaller and weaker, something that I don’t think should stop bigger, stronger women from participating equally with men, they have two other things that men don’t have:  they can’t whip it out to pee and they menstruate.

Ryan Smith, a former Marine, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that, while never actually alluding to these biological realities, strongly implies that they will be a problem.  His vivid description of the Marines’ experiences when they entered Iraq in 2003 certainly manages to indicate that, as every toddler quickly figures out, boys and girls are different:

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicle

We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.

During the invasion, we wore chemical protective suits because of the fear of chemical or biological weapon attack. These are equivalent to a ski jumpsuit and hold in the heat. We also had to wear black rubber boots over our desert boots. On the occasions the column did stop, we would quickly peel off our rubber boots, desert boots and socks to let our feet air out.

Due to the heat and sweat, layers of our skin would peel off our feet. However, we rarely had time to remove our suits or perform even the most basic hygiene. We quickly developed sores on our bodies.

When we did reach Baghdad, we were in shambles. We had not showered in well over a month and our chemical protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be burned immediately. My unit stood there in a walled-in compound in Baghdad, naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later, they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure washers.

[snip]

Societal norms are a reality, and their maintenance is important to most members of a society. It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex.

That sounds like a vile experience, entirely separate from the risk the Marines were taking just going into battle.  If any Marines are reading this post, thank you so very much for putting up with, not just bullets, but acute physical discomfort, dysentery, and decomposing skin in order to keep America safe.

Tampon

Having had a chance to absorb Smith’s vivid description of front line conditions in Iraq, what you need to do now is to factor into that picture an image of women having to strip down to pee (which they have to do even if they buy a cool little gadget that enables them to pee standing up) or of women dealing with a heavy menstrual flow, which might require their attention every two to three hours if they are to avoid bleeding through their clothes.

There’s something else Smith didn’t touch upon in his article, but that needs to be addressed:  rape.  In any war, when an invading force arrives, the local women risk rape.  The Soviet troops who beat the Germans back to Berlin were famous for the savage rapes they inflicted on the German women.  Sadly, this was nothing new.  Throughout history, invading armies have considered rape one of the legitimate spoils of war.  It’s only civilized Judeo-Christian countries that have insisted that rape is not part of a mission or the reward for a mission successfully accomplished, and that have enforced this ban by prosecuting those troops who nevertheless assault local women.

Swedish gang rape victim

In the 21st century existential war that America is fighting, her enemy — fundamentalist Islam — aggressively supports raping any women who do not subscribe to fundamentalist norms (hijabs, burqas, locked rooms, etc.).  In countries such as Sweden and Australia, rape statistics have climbed rapidly, as Muslim immigrants openly boast about and call for the rape of western women.

One doesn’t need any imagination whatever to imagine what will happen to women combat soldiers whom Islamists snatch from front line battle locations.  They will, quite literally, be raped to death.  Aside from being horrible for the women to whom this occurs, it will be devastating for the male troops who fought at their sides and were nevertheless unable to protect them.  Men go into battle accepting that they might die.  It’s doubtful that they go in accepting that the warrior in front of them will be killed by rape, and that this violent murder will probably end up circulating through the Islamist world on a video.

The decision to allow women onto the front lines is not because of military necessity.  It is a purely ideological decision, resulting from liberalism run amok and, more specifically, from the Leftist desire to erase gender demarcations.

Nor do I care that the Obama administration claims that the military came up with this one, “surprising” the administration.  The Pentagon’s top echelons are purely political.  Their decisions are driven, not by the troops, but by the White House, which determines the highest staffing levels in the Pentagon.  (In the same way, when I refer scathingly to the State Department or the CIA, I’m not talking about the people on the ground doing their jobs.  I’m talking about those organizations’ chief executives, all of whom see politics as their most important mission.)

Let me say again:  this is a terrible idea, because it sees ideology trump biology.  Nature is a harsh taskmistress, and many women and men are going to suffer as this ideological experiment goes forward.