Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Die Hard isn’t just a Christmas movie.  Die Hard is the Christmas movie.

Die Hard is quintessentially a libertarian-conservative American Christmas movie, and that’s what makes it The Christmas movie.  Despite what some people say.

Just to get this out of the way first – what’s often said about it is that it wasn’t released at Christmas, so it’s not a Christmas movie.  Release date doesn’t mean it’s not a Christmas movie, either.  “The Christmas Song” was written in the middle of summer, and no one complains that it’s not a Christmas song.  Anyhow, on to the story…

Starting with its hero, John McClane – the story throws an everyman cop out of his element into a situation he doesn’t expect and he, the individual, through his own resilience, perseveres.  It’s a celebration of individualism and independence, where one man can and does make a difference.  That one man isn’t alone in the world, but his individual actions make the difference.  Without him, everyone at the Nakatomi Christmas party would be fodder for murderous thieves.

die hard merry christmas

In contrast to other Christmas movies, John McClane doesn’t need Clarence to take him out of the world and show him what life would be like without him.  When John McClane is at his lowest, his friend – a friend whose face he’s never even seen – talks to him and reassures him that his actions matter.  John McClane doesn’t have an angel to come save him, but he has his friends who help him.

That friend whose face he’s never seen is important doubly so for that reason.  John McClane doesn’t know Sgt. Al Powell of the LA police department.  He knows nothing about him to begin with save that Al was a street cop based on his driving.  He doesn’t know Al’s race, his religion, or whether his ancestors and McClane’s fought each other in the old country.  They don’t judge each other based on some preconditions or some prejudice, there’s no room in their world for that, and there’s no reason in their world for that.

When government gets involved in the situation above the individual level, we see a very libertarian small-government criticism.  The 911 operators are blase and uncaring, dismissive of a citizen’s call for help.  Even when finally driven to action, they choose to dispatch a lone squad car on his way home – because they are blase and uncaring.

By the time Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson arrives, we really begin to see government involvement and its consequences.  Robinson starts by ignoring that Al was the man on the ground, had experience, and was as hands-on as the situation would allow.  Al has a grasp, but Robinson dismisses him and has some ham-fisted responses by sending in his teams in “standard two-by-two formation” – decisions that ultimately get good men injured and killed.  The further he goes from the individual, the more foolish he gets.  When he has men injured or dead at the door and in the car who are protected by John’s quick actions, he’s more concerned about the glass that the individual John McClane blasted all over the grounds.

Local government is shown as foolish, even moreso when it defers to the federal government.  When that same local goverment listens to the individual or starts to think about its role, it becomes more responsive and effective.

The federal government response is one you’d expect from Washington, DC.  It’s a one-size fits-all approach for an A7 scenario, running the universal playbook step-by-step, and it’s an even more ham-fisted and foolish one than the local government uses.

But Agent Johnson does add that “We’ll try to let you know when we commandeer your men,” in perfect parody of the uncaring fedgov taking over.

agents johnson and johnson die hard

In defense of the realism of Agents Johnson and Johnson, Die Hard was made prior to the siege in Waco, where the fedgov proved itself more incompetent, not less.

Over objections of local government in the form of Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson – who sucks up to the FBI heavily at first, but begins to question the wisdom of it later (as he realizes he could be held accountable, and thinks he should call the mayor) – and private citizens who object, the feds kill power to an entire grid.  Federal, local, and business authorities spend the whole argument ignoring Walt the technician who could cut power locally.

dwayne robinson johnson power guy 1

Walt is the individual, showcased again as the only competent one there, ignored by his company boss, the local authorities and the federal authorities.  Over his own objections and explaining that he can get the same result with no harm, he is threatened by Agent Johnson, and ends up being forced to shut down a power grid that inconveniences and harms local families on Christmas Eve, and plays right into the hands of the terrorist thieves.

walt die hard

Further from the consequences, as the FBI prepares its doublecross, Agent Johnson (no, the other one) comments that they’ll lose 20-25% of the hostages tops, and the other says he can live with that.  American lives he and his partner (no relation) are sworn to protect are ultimately expendible to him in his mission.  When Agent Johnson is rolling in with helicopter gunships, he whoops “Just like Saigon, eh, Slick?” – he’s become the embodiment of reckless militarization of police forces and the consequence-free actions the federal government would take against its own citizens while remaining assured of its own unaccountability.

While John McClane is on the roof and trying to move a terrified group of citizens back down and away from the bomb-laden roof of the building, it’s Johnson who’s gleefully commanding shooting and sniping at McClane, without having analyzed what the situation was.

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Hans Gruber and his gang as the bad guys are “the world”.  They are mostly Europeans and vaguely foreign characters, and Theo, of course, who is an amoral professional with a charming personality.

Hans and his crew, when silent, aren’t fully understood by anyone but John and Al.  John and Al understand in a direct, visceral way – the terrorist thieves are bad guys.  They show a traditionalist conservative or libertarian response to a direct threat – handle the threat.  They don’t need to pontificate about it – they know the bad guys are what they are, and somebody’s got to stop them.  There’s no introspection or “are we really the terrorists who brought this on ourselves?”  There’s not a thought to “Helsinki Syndrome” – which is mocked by the film itself.

“The world” is recognized for what it is – they aren’t ideologues – they’re thieves willing to use any tactics – “the world” has its own motivations, self-interested motivations, while naiive American govt. policies believe in the babble (Deputy Wayne Robinson) or ignore it completely and don’t even try to understand the motivations (FBI guys) that ultimately lead to failures by government at varying levels.

Hans, when he communicates their “demands”, play the slow-thinking local authorities for suckers, to such a degree that even his right hand man is thrown for a loop.

karl die hard asian dawn 2Asian Dawn?

hans die hard asian dawnI read about them in Time magazine.

John and Al see through it as a ruse.

Dwayne is duped, but baffled – again because he doesn’t listen to his own people on the ground.

The FBI simply ignores it, and fits it into their own plans.  They don’t even bother to wonder why such bizarre requests would be made.  Their sledgehammer-instead-of-a-flyswatter approach doesn’t even factor in that the “terrorists” are stalling, or why they were stalling.  It’s just an A7 scenario, and “we’ll take it from here”.

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On a whole host of topics, the movie subltly demonstrates a varying host of both libertarian and conservative beliefs.

On social issues of race or class, none are important – individual character is what matters.  Even just stripping away the action and drama of the story and looking at the characters shows people who are success stories due to their own hard work.

Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi, better known as Joe, is the man at Nakatomi, but he’s no rich robber baron or parody of zaibatsu business.  He’s an immigrant who worked his way up from humble beginnings, including spending young childhood years in the Manzanar internment camp, and he’s become a wealthy and powerful businessman, respected and loved by his employees.

On the other side of the spectrum is Argyle, who’s worked his way up from taxi driver to limo driver, and who’s personable and engaging with people he works with and ultimately for.  He helps John out with a plan to get back together with his wife, and agrees to help John find someplace to stay if things don’t work out.  He’s good people, showing character and initiative that doubtless was part of what got him moved up the socioeconomic and status ladder from taxi driver to limo driver.

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On gun control, the movie recognizes the bad guys will always be armed.  The terrorist thieves have rocket launchers – things that are already banned.  How did they get them?  Irrelevant – they’re criminals and criminals break laws.

On right to life, even Hans recognizes that a pregnant woman should be treated kindly.  He’s already calculated to kill everyone there as part of his scheme, yet he neither dismisses her nor her unborn child and their value to the Nakatomi community.  He does value them both less than the $640 million in negotiable bearer bonds in the vault.  But he recognizes the woman and unborn child as being respected by the community and responds to it for the value that Holly and the Nakatomi crowd place on her and her baby.

On smoking, characters smoke because they choose to – and they state they are aware of the dangers.  “These are very bad for you.”  It’s an individual decision, totally aware of the risks.

Abuse of hard drugs is shown to be something that’s ultimately self-destructive as it’s detrimental to the individual and the individual’s judgement.  There’s not a legal or moralizing argument against it, but more observation of the results of drug abuse and the poor decision making and foolish behaviors that drug abuse leads to.  Like the douchey thinking that just because you’re a corporate hot-shot, you can go and negotiate your way out of a situation with men who use guns, not fountain pens.

ellis die hard

The hubris that comes with trying to sleaze and bullshit one’s way through real-world threats is shown very vividly.  While Joe Takagi tried to negotiate as a civilized man with an enemy that feigned civilized manners and ultimately lost his life for it, Ellis douchily walks into a situation already knowing what the stakes are.  Ellis is the mush-brained slow-learner egocentric who thinks there’s a way to talk through problems that can only be solved by force.  He is the embodiment of negotiations with hostile international powers who will act to their own ends and don’t care what anyone talks at them.  He is as effective as the UN – a force only dangerous to those who are allied with it – because it empowers hostile forces by its own simultaneously naiive approach and arrogant sense of self-importance.

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The sensationalist, short-attention-span media, in the character of Richard “Dick” Thornburg, is shown to be irresponsible and reckless, as well as dangerous.  He endangers McClane’s children for nothing more than a scoop, but does also briefly touch on the hypocrisy and foolishness of hiring illegal aliens when he threatens Paulina with the INS.  We not only see Thornburg as the kind of newsman the NYT would hire when they want to show weaknesses in US armor to enemy forces in combat, but also as the kind of self-absorbed ass we expect to see from the news, where the story is always about him.  The rest of the media and their wholly wrong assessment the Nakatomi situation has already been covered above.

Die Hard 2, would of course give us the contrast of the moral journalist in Samantha Coleman with WNTW news.  But I’ll save any further analysis on Die Hard 2 for next year.

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An a much deeper level, one could discuss how John McClane running through the glass and emerging with bloodied feet could signify the stigmata, or running on glass the miracles of walking on water, but those would all be a stretch, to say the least.  There are plenty of religious connections that could be made in subtle fashion, and really most would be more valid than celebrations of Christmas involving a fat guy in a red suit, flying big game animals, and toymakers from Lothlorien who live in the extreme arctic.

You could have another conversation as to the relative values and virtues of other Christmas movies, and the traditions they have (they aren’t bad movies, after all… but they aren’t Die Hard).

While some people are adamant that Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie… it really doesn’t matter.  Like Crow T. Robot famously said during the initial singing of Patrick Swayze Christmas – “you keep Christmas in your way and let me keep it in mine.”

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As an addendum, there’s also a criticism about Nakatomi having a Christmas party on Christmas Eve saying that they’re a horrible company for it.

This is nonsense.  Joe Takagi and the Nakatomi corporation recognize the dedication of their employees and treat them like family.  They know the amount of work that has been put in to their projects, and they offer a Christmas party for those working long distances from home – like Holly, who had to leave New York to work in LA.  Unlike others in the Nakatomi family, she has her own family that she moved – but she’s there at the party because she wants to support her fellow workers.  She’s not going to be there all night – as she’s already planned to take her husband home to see their children, and Argyle was expecting to be spending Christmas driving John home… and maybe head to Vegas at some point.

John Wayne on Liberals

Posted: April 18, 2013 by ShortTimer in Conservatism, Culture, Philosophy

Strange to hear John Wayne talking about Keynesianism and socialism on the horizon, as he dissects modern liberalism/leftism.

Democrats Like Taxes

Posted: April 10, 2013 by ShortTimer in Democrats, Government, Leftists, Philosophy, Tax, taxes

In other news, water is wet.

From WaPo, easily summed up by their graphic:

wapo who likes taxesWaPo tries to come up with some explanation for this strange phenomenon that no one has ever realized before:

What explains that massive disparity between Democrats and Republicans/Independents when it comes to the tax system?

Part of the answer may well be that Democrats are broadly supportive of the idea that government can and should collect taxes in order to provide services for the American public while Republicans and independents are more skeptical about giving money to the federal government to spend.

Another part may be that the tax question winds up being read by partisans as a broader test of their feelings about the federal government. Democrats, with President Obama in the White House, are more likely to feel favorably (or at least express a favorable opinion) about the government. Republicans are not.

Democrats liked big taxes under other administrations, they just liked them for their programs.  Under Obama, the well-meaning but foolish Democrats get more of their pet “save the world” projects, and they get plenty of self-serving plunder to boot; and the ill-meaning collapse-the-system Democrats get to hurt the “evil” producers in order to create “social justice”.  The power to tax is the power to destroy, and they use the power to tax to target people they want to destroy.

It’s more than simply viewing the government as a nanny state that takes care of everything and the feeling that money comes from nowhere.  It’s also viewing the government as a benevolent wonderful provider of a utopian state that can only be realized once all the evil people who hate utopia are eliminated… through taxation driving them away.

The tax system is a weapon, and they wield it as such against perceived class enemies.  Nothing really new here to those in the know, just confirmation.  (Sort of like how every year at Christmas a study comes up showing conservatives give more to all charities because liberals think they “gave at the office” through taxes.  Liberals are amazed, conservatives go “yeah, and?”)

Born Alive Infanticide

Posted: March 29, 2013 by ShortTimer in Eugenicists, Leftists, Philosophy
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Via HotAir and Weekly Standard:

Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion.

Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.

This isn’t really new.  It’s also nothing like what conventional pro-choice folks think they’re supporting… but they are.

Just a month or so ago, a Salon Leftist made the argument that “All life is not equal… a life are worth sacrificing.”  And last year, the Journal of Medical Ethics argued for post-birth abortion… that is, infanticide.

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

This isn’t a new idea.  The core of it is getting rid of unwanted humans, who are unwanted for whatever reasons.

300_skulls

If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. So, if you ask one of us if we would have been harmed, had our parents decided to kill us when we were fetuses or newborns, our answer is ‘no’, because they would have harmed someone who does not exist (the ‘us’ whom you are asking the question), which means no one. And if no one is harmed, then no harm occurred.

Margaret Sanger would be proud.

The title and conclusion from this Salon piece, entitled “So what if abortion ends life?”:

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

The thing is, leftists are death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers.  They make judgements against those who truly bear no responsibility for their condition (grandma and babies), while defending those who are responsible for their own problems (terrorists and murderers).  The left wants their lives to be consequence-free.  That someone would argue an innocent life has no rights is a very telling position to take.

But we make choices about life all the time in our country. We make them about men and women in other nations. We make them about prisoners in our penal system. We make them about patients with terminal illnesses and accident victims. We still have passionate debates about the justifications of our actions as a society, but we don’t have to do it while being bullied around by the vague idea that if you say we’re talking about human life, then the jig is up, rights-wise.

The big difference is that these examples – drone strikes, the death penalty, terminal illness, and even sometimes accident victims, involve decisions made by those actors.  Those life and death choices are made as a result of their actions.

Drone strikes used against terrorists are supposed to be used in order to minimize casualties of good people and hold accountable only terrorists and their allies.  Terrorists chose to be terrorists.  The death penalty exists only because there are people who have chosen to commit atrocities against their fellow man and are being held accountable for it.  Murderers chose to be murderers.

Patients with terminal illnesses are fully developed people who are able to make decisions about their own lives.  The terminally ill can choose what they wish with their lives.  Accident victims depend person by person, depending on wishes they expressed to their families prior to their injuries; so even they sometimes have choices as to whether they wish to continue living or end it – even if incapacitated.

A human life that is not fully realized is no less human.  The Salon writer agrees, but simply does not care.  This is honest, but shows how cold and callous a philosophy this is.

When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.

The Salon writer agrees that both are human life.  This is again both honest and very telling.

Consider the sub-heading to her piece:

I believe that life starts at conception. And it’s never stopped me from being pro-choice

And she finishes with this:

…it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families. And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Some of this is similar to the “future like ours” argument.  If a prospective baby wouldn’t be loved or would maybe have poor opportunities in life, it’s not as valuable as other lives, and it can be/should be destroyed.  It’s a sketchy argument because it leads down a road that justifies killing children and adults as well if they don’t have “good” lives.  But in this case, it’s more an argument of “if it inconveniences the mother”.

See what this really sounds like now:

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

This is making fundamental judgements not about life choices by an individual who can make their own decisions and who will live with accountability with those decisions.  This is about one person making a decision to exterminate a human life based on the idea that “women’s choices and their possibilities” are more important than the human life they carry.  And this ignores entirely that the woman and man (or men, if that’s her thing) involved had the choice to avoid pregnancy entirely.  (There are plenty of ways.  The internet is full of suggestions.)

Let’s revisit this medical ethics paper from the Journal of Medical Ethics:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. So, if you ask one of us if we would have been harmed, had our parents decided to kill us when we were fetuses or newborns, our answer is ‘no’, because they would have harmed someone who does not exist (the ‘us’ whom you are asking the question), which means no one. And if no one is harmed, then no harm occurred.

As the Salon writer agrees that human life begins at conception, but that some lives are worth sacrificing… well, we’re back to the old eugenicist arguments again.

We’re back to a group of leftist-progressive planners who decide whose life is worth saving and whose is not – based on their own whims.  In this case, they do so on both a personal level and on a societal level by advocating for abortion.  (Which is what Margaret Sanger did.)

There have been no actions made by the life forfeited to deem it worthless.  The human life destroyable by the Salon writer so she isn’t “punished with a baby” has no influence on its death.  It did nothing wrong, and made no choice.  Again, the murderer and the terrorist who face death at someone else’s hands do so because of actions they chose.  The terminal patient or accident victim may choose to face death by their own hands or with the help of others as that is a choice they have made.  The evil parties made their decision to forfeit their lives, the good parties made their decisions to end theirs.  Those parties are responsible for their own ends, for good or evil.  The zygote, fetus, or infant destroyed so the mother (and perhaps father) can skip out on the physical, financial, and social burdens of parenthood is destroyed due to no fault or decision of its own.

The leftist decision here is that “yes, life begins at conception, but I can take a life because I want to”.  That’s basically it.

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

This is about abortion, but it’s actually bigger than that.  It’s about the value of life in competing value systems.

The conservative/traditionalist value system looks at life and all its possibilities, whether intended or not, as a bounty and a treasure.  That same view sees that life is a gift that can be squandered or misused.  Those who abuse their life and the natural rights they enjoy simply by their existence (regardless of whether you see life and rights as preexisting by being God-given or nature-given) may have their lives ended.  In short, bad guys may forfeit their lives by their decisions.  Conservatives/traditionalists tend to argue against euthanasia and the ending of ones’ life out of respect for the gift of life – they may empathize with the pain, but often empathy for the desire to end suffering will not outweigh their love for life.  This often comes from a long view of history, which is full of people who overcome suffering – and thus it leads to a desire to help those who are suffering to go on living.

The leftist/progressive value system feels that life is only a treasure if you feel like it.  They view that it’s “unfair” to those who are fully developed that they should have to suffer consequences of their actions.  This applies to the hapless new mother and father who didn’t take enough precautions as much as it applies to the villain who didn’t care about someone else’s life.  They see the developed lives in front of them and fall to the Broken Window fallacy – they truly can only see what’s in front of them.  They can’t see the loss of the potential life destroyed.  They feel for the murderer and listen to his story of disadvantages and “social injustice”, but they don’t care about his victims.  The left never really cares about actual victims.   They feel that an unformed life is worth destroying, that a human life that isn’t fully developed isn’t of any worth at all – because it’s all up to them to arbitrarily assign value.

To quote Thomas Sowell:

“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

The “new man” leftist/progressive has decided that their value system, arbitrary as it is, is better in all means.  In their hubris, they disregard history, and substitute their new amorphous morality.  This applies at all levels – it applies to the value of life – and it applies to human life that may be sacrificed for the greater good.

The “greater good” in this microcosm is the mother’s physical life (which very few object to), and then it progresses to the mother’s financial and social life (which more object to), and finally simply to the mother’s convenience and whim.

The “greater good” in the larger leftist view sees “the mother” become “the people”, and the individual human life that can be sacrificed becomes… the individual human life that can be sacrificed – all for the “greater good”.

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From a purely libertarian point of view, being able to live freely of coercion is the most important thing.  If the life of a mother is threatened because of a pregancy gone awry, the mother’s life is sacrosanct – she should not be forced to risk her life.  If a woman is raped and rendered pregnant from it, the woman was forced to become pregnant, but the life created did not choose its origins and is also guilty of nothing.  Whatever the mother chooses – to reject the force that made her pregnant and terminate the pregnancy, or to acknowledge the pregnancy as a human life and as a victim of things outside its control – either should be her choice.  If life itself isn’t formed at a certain level, if something is still a medical condition that may or may not be life, then that leaves some area for a mother’s choice (hopefully with the father’s input as well).  A lot of both acceptance and rejection of abortion stems from where people believe that level is.

But if both sides of the debate have decided that a life is a life, and one side claims that it can just be killed arbitrarily, that leads to a conclusion that coercion, domination and destruction of other lives is acceptable.

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

The author asks “So what if abortion ends a life?”  The response to that “so what” is that by the same reasoning, all lives are worth sacrificing on a whim.

The Salon author’s argument that she should be able to kill kids based on feelings holds every bit as much weight as Adam Lanza’s.

Update: Moonbattery gets it, too.

Presumably the same thinking would apply to humans of all ages deemed to be inconvenient.

Liberalism is reducing us to a society of monsters.

In the first video – “Is Feminism Hate?” she utterly destroys the feminist’s initial statements, before going into the greater detail.

Part 1:

If you’re not familiar with Girl Writes What?, it’s probably better to watch them both in order, if you have the time.  If you don’t have time for both, part 2 stands incredibly well by itself.

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This second video is Part 2 of Girl Writes What?’s response to a few stock feminist statements.  I want to stress that it really does stand incredibly well by itself.  Take a few minutes, sit back, and enjoy having your mind blown on gender issues.

Part 2:

Defense Secretary Leon “I Will Get Your Daughter Killed Gloriously” Panetta just opened direct front line combat MOSes to women.

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lifted the military’s ban on women serving in combat, a move that will allow women into hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando units, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday.

I’ve already done most of this in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Over at HotAir, they have a writer, Sentry, who echoes all of my criticisms of this stupid move by Panetta and the PC idiots in the Pentagon.   And the writer is a PT stud female Marine.

I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my PFTs. I naturally have a lot more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard. I would love to have been in the infantry. And I still think it will be an unmitigated disaster to incorporate women into combat roles. I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.

We’re not just talking about watering down the standards to include the politically correct number of women into the unit. This isn’t an issue of “if a woman can meet the male standard, she should be able to go into combat.” The number of women that can meet the male standard will be miniscule–I’d have a decent shot according to my PFTs, but dragging a 190-pound man in full gear for 100 yards would DESTROY me–and that miniscule number that can physically make the grade AND has the desire to go into combat will be facing an impossible situation that will ruin the combat effectiveness of the unit. First, the close quarters of combat units make for a complete lack of privacy and EVERYTHING is exposed, to include intimate details of bodily functions. Second, until we succeed in completely reprogramming every man in the military to treat women just like men, those men are going to protect a woman at the expense of the mission. Third, women have physical limitations that no amount of training or conditioning can overcome. Fourth, until the media in this country is ready to treat a captured/raped/tortured/mutilated female soldier just like a man, women will be targeted by the enemy without fail and without mercy.

Sound familiar – like anything in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4?

Everyone wants to point to the IDF as a model for gender integration in the military. No, the IDF does not put women on the front lines. They ran into the same wall the US is about to smack into: very few women can meet the standards required to serve there. The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?

The answer, Sentry, is yes.  They want to deprogram that instinct, because to a stupid, petty, foolish human with female attributes who lives in political worlds of cocktail parties and in the ivory towers and ivy halls of academia, chivalry and chauvanism are the same.  Any acknowledgement that women and men are different not just biologically but physiologically and simply by nature; would mean that such things can be judged.

Remember “How Modern Liberals Think”?

The leftist philosophy opposes the objective judgement that women simply are inferior to men in their capacity for war.

Though I’ve said it before, it bears repeating that doesn’t mean there’s any judgement of a woman’s character or civic virtue due to physical, physiological, or other limitations.

wish i were a man us navy

Doesn’t mean you don’t have the character or virtue to stand up for your nation.  Does mean you’re going to be a liability if you want to go to BUDS.

The leftist philosophy has an ulterior motive, though.  It also supports the idea that an “empowered” woman will, to be very blunt here, put out to an inferior man.  A sniveling, cowardly toad academic, or a womanizing rapist politician who has his state police procure conquests for him – these are the kind of “men” whose actual character is no longer called into question when their behavior is viewed as normal, and when men and women are to be treated as “equals”.  They subjugate women by destroying the privilege that women used to enjoy as part of their nature; all while decrying it as “chauvanism”, “antiquated”, “anti-feminist”, or other such nonsense, and claiming that those who would put women on a pedestal are in fact engaging in a “war on women”.  (Contrast GirlWritesWhat’s comments about bonobos.)

A woman may well find that society (depending on region) has stigmatized her virtues as a provider and protector of life, traditions and values that she sticks to in order to give better chances for success at providing and protecting life.  Why is “women’s rights” synonymous with destruction of infants today, rather than protection of infants, children, and all life?  Why is “women’s rights” about a woman being denigrated to the point that she is just a few “parts”?  Is she a mother or a “breeder”?  What is really being supported with these ideas?

One could dissect the destructive nature of leftist philosophy that denigrates women – and also denigrates men’s roles – but that’s a broader (no pun intended) topic than could be looked at in any single blog post.

If you want a very intelligent analysis of modern feminism and the leftist philosophy that denigrates both women and men, consider Girl Writes What (you could start with this most recent video and go from there if you’re not familiar with her very intelligent critique of the modern feminist movement).  You’ll note her own analysis has changed as she went on, but it’s all a series of very fascinating opinions and reasoning.  Her look at it is from a fairly utilitarianist point of view (at least as it seems to me).

I’ll finish this section with this quote from Thomas Sowell:

For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.

Many things are done for a reason, and throwing women into combat because it feels good to some limousine liberals who will never see the two-way range is a violent idiocy, stupidly rejecting billions of years worth of human lives that said no.

On the radio today, I heard this line of weapons-grade stupid trumpeted by some dumb plane driver:

WASHINGTON — The nation’s first female combat pilot yesterday defended the Pentagon’s decision to allow women on the front lines of war, dismissing an argument that the genders shouldn’t be blended into the same battle environment.

“So that’s like saying Pee Wee Herman is OK to be in combat but Serena and Venus Williams are not going to meet the standard,” Air Force Col. Martha McSally said on “Fox News Sunday.”

I know not all Air Force pilots are imbeciles, but this one is.  If they were all three to try out, Paul Reubens has to meet the same standard as all of the current men.  If standards at boot camp are held, he doesn’t go.  If he fails an indoc for a unit, he doesn’t go.  Serena and Venus maybe could meet one physical standard, but they’re exceptions that prove the rule.  Also, tennis is not combat.  Tennis does not last for 10 months in cramped, nasty conditions with poor sanitary facilities and if you lose at tennis, you don’t end up in the hands of jihadis who will behead you after mutilating your body.\

But there’s another dimension to this – how simply out-of-touch the comparison is.

Guess what, Colonel?  Paul Reubens is 5’10″.  He ain’t exactly a small guy.  He’s also 60, and more an example of how she confused Reubens’ character name with him actually being small, as well as naming someone who was popular decades ago.  Why not compare Billy Barty to Allison Hayes?

allison hayes billy barty

Or someone more modern like Verne Troyer and Carmen Electra?

M. Caulfield

Or how about a more apt comparison of wannabe badass couch-jumper Tom Cruise to the much more badass Claudia Black?

Claudia Black

Tom Cruise wasn’t tall enough to get into the picture even when he wore elevator shoes, so you’ll just have to pretend you can see him.

The Air Force Colonel doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  She is not a subject matter expert on groundpounders any more than a “leg” is going to know about Immelmans or the Thach Weave.  Air Force pilots do not endure the same conditions that infantry or any other land or sea combat unit does.

military sucks comparison

Note that SERE, arguably some of the most difficult training for pilots, already had the standard lowered.

As a last note, for some unfathomable reason, unplanned pregnancies are very high in the military.  What’s usually ignored (outside of those who deal with women in the military) is that it’s a free pass out of a deployment.  A young woman who’s already given special treatment in the military environment (anyone who says they aren’t doesn’t have a clue) has an easy out.  On top of this, there are financial incentives as well as personal incentives.  The military, in effect, has enabled the use of the female agency against it.  A female servicemember can’t be hit with malingering because they created a medical condition that prevents deployment.

From Reason:

At this point, many self-defense activists respond that the need for guns has to do with the ability to defend against tyrannical government. Then gun controllers chirp, “but you can’t defeat tanks and nuclear weapons with rifles!” thereby demonstrating that they don’t keep up with the war in Afghanistan and skipped their history lessons about some difficulties the U.S. military ran into in a place called Vietnam.

But really, that’s all irrelevant. Because in free societies, you don’t have to justify owning things. You get to own them because you want them and have the means to acquire them. And you get to acquire more than just the basic necessities, if you so choose.

As I look around my office, I see a lot of stuff I don’t need. There are two dogs aggressively shedding on the upholstery, a hat collection (panamas and vintage fedoras), CDs and DVDs, a shit-load of books …If I owned only what I need, I’d be living in a spartan efficiency apartment, wearing a Mao suit and eating gruel. I have no interest in living that way.

The appropriate answer to “Who the hell needs … ?” is “hey, if you don’t want one, don’t buy it.” The right to own stuff without an explanation is the right to be free.

I disagree slightly, in that in order to maintain freedom, you need a modern rifle – it’s your homeland security rifle.  Of course, you probably only need one, and as long as enough people maintain and fulfill that need, it acts as a deterrent to tyranny, and it never has to be used, as its mere presence is sufficient.  Everyone benefits.

Alternately, Colion Noir explained it as well:

Self defense is a need, and self defense is a human right.

A very interesting piece over at The American Vision:

Imagine the following scenario: At church this Sunday, while reviewing the list of announcements and upcoming events for your church, your pastor added, “Oh, and don’t forget: on Sundays we have our regular target practice. Make sure to bring your rifles. Make sure to bring your pieces to church.”

Absurd, right? Not so. It used to be the American way. For example, a 1631 law in Virginia required citizens to own firearms, to engage in practice with them, and to do so publicly on holy days. It demanded that the people “bring their pieces to the church.” Somewhere along the line we have lost this mindset. Today the ideas of church and arms are assumed to be at odds, as if loving your neighbor has nothing to do with the preservation and defense of life and property.

But the idea of Christian society and an armed, skilled populace actually have deep historical roots.

Self-defense was viewed as what it is – a testament to the fact that you cared about life, liberty, property, happiness, and freedom.  In this case, it’s often the freedom to worship, but still, interesting even so.

The American Second Amendment did not spring into existence from nowhere. It had a long pedigree. The Christian society emerging from the old laws of Alfred continued to include the ideal of an armed populace as a means of securing human liberties. The Founders, many of them lawyers, had studied that legal tradition and would have read William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765–1769). The first part of the first volume elaborates on the subject of our “principal absolute rights… of personal security, personal liberty, and private property [i.e. life, liberty, and property].” It then covers five means of securing and protecting these rights “inviolate”:

The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st.2. c.2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.[9]

Blackstone was noteably cited in DC v Heller.

Locke elaborated these views within the context of belief in God’s ultimate sovereignty, ownership, and law-order over all of creation:

Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself… so by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another.

Locke’s elaboration there and in the Second Treatise of Government is also noteworthy because it can exist even if you don’t believe and thereby don’t equate God’s gift of life with the morality of self defense.  If you are a die-hard atheist who believes totally in the accidental creation of the universe by the FSM or something, your survival – your own personal survival, is ultimately of paramount importance to you.  If you don’t believe in God, you still know that there’s something that came before the big bang, you still know there’s some Higgs’ boson or something out there left to discover, and the ultimate answer to existence (since you say no to God) means it’s left to be discovered.  In the meantime, you need to survive, learn, and most likely procreate so your descendants will learn from you and ultimately you’ll find that purpose.

Yeah, yeah, 42, but what’s the question?

dont panic hitchhikers guide

Moving on…

Survival becomes, and is, an absolute moral.  Your life is the most important thing there is.

I mentioned Starship Troopers in the last post, and I’ll mention it here again.  Within the book (the movie is an abomination), there’s much discussion of how survival is the basis for all morals, and morality has become almost mathematical because of it.  Your life is the most important thing in the world.  But the value you put on your family’s life may exceed that you put on your own.  It doesn’t mean that yours is less valuable, it just means that you have taken it upon yourself to value their life more, and put your own at risk to protect them.  This starts with spouse and children (with whom you share a link to the future), but ultimately extends outwards to encompass all of your region, culture, society, and humankind.  It takes great understanding to put your own life at risk for someone you’ve never met, which is why this is such a virtuous thing to do.

And at the same time, it’s also why a tyranny that views even one life as unimportant (let alone millions) is an invalid entity – because that one life has value on its own.

Thus even if you choose the advancement of human knowledge as your deity instead of Yahweh, Jesus, Buddha, Vishnu, Ahura Mazda, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you can still find that these principles apply, and agree with the wisdom here:

Evil ever advances upon our families, churches, and states. Evil seeks positions of power, such as government, and from there seeks to eliminate the avenues of power that threaten it (an armed people). Thus tyrannical government seek to pass gun control laws.

jesus ar 15“…and if you don’t have a AR-15, sell your cloak and buy one…”

Luke 22:36

Perhaps it’s important to note something else Heinlein put forth: that “an armed society is a polite society”.  Tyrants don’t try to oppress those who can fight back, just like bullies don’t torment those who fight back.  It’s a preemptive move against tyranny, and creates a more peaceful state.  No wars were ever started because a pacifist was too strong.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.