We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, January 24. 2013
About the Taurus Judge. That's what Marianne had. It will shoot a .410 cartridge.
Mayor Bloomberg never goes anywhere without his firearms
If the GOP wants to regain political power it will also have to find a middle ground on abortion. The demographics insist.
Where did European Jews come from?
'What Difference Does It Make?' Mrs. Clinton finds herself in a familiar, if ironic, role.
Indoctrination about "white privilege" probably won't make kids into little liberals.
Hinderaker: Is Liberalism Doomed?
Top Obama Aide: U.S. System Not Worthy of Obama
The High Cost of Obama’s America
If They Were Baby Seals Instead of Just Babies...
NBC Panel Scolds Prince Harry: 'Why Do You Need to Antagonize the Taliban?
Heather on women in combat: "I am not aware of any comparable crusade to create gender-integrated football teams. At least America knows what’s really important."
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If regaining political power requires the rejection of immutable truth (abortion kills unborn humans, for example) then we need a new political paradigm. Sorry to see the good doctor is so willing to throw the babies out with the bathwater.
I'm sneaking in early to...oh, good...he's not here yet...
“There’s a moment of opportunity now that’s important,” said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer . “What’s frustrating is that we don’t have a political system or an opposition party worthy of the opportunity.”
Can someone please explain what that pfluff from Pfeiffer means?
Where exactly would the abortion middle ground be? If it is exempting abortion for rape and/or incest and even the Mother's life, fine, but that would effectively stop all abortions as those make up a tiny fraction of all abortions.
Here's some middle ground:
- absolutely no tax payer funding of abortion ever
- return the right to make laws concerning abortion to the states
- since it is clear casual out of marriage sex isn't going away and responsibility to prevent pregnancy from casual sex isn't going to improve, redirect money and focus on killing unborn babies to creating better options for the Mother to bring her child to term and provide that baby a good home and care if the Mother does not want or cannot keep it.
It is a matter of reorienting our culture's thinking away from death and nihilism to life and love.
And yes it would be helpful if Republicans would not say stupid things regarding this hot topic.
I think it would also be helpful if the Catholic church took a tougher stance on those politicians and leaders who claim to be Catholic and openly support the killing of innocent life. They should be either publicly censored by Church leaders or excommunicated until they change their sinful actions. You cannot be Catholic and support or even tolerate abortion, heck you can't be any form of proper Christian and support this.
All good ideas.
I recently read (from a pretty sage person) that the aboriton lobby has been responsible for much of the increased bureaucratic nightmare + expense behind adoptions.
I don't know if that's completely true, but it's an interesting thing to check on.
A middle ground would permit abortion on demand during the first trimester, and ban all third trimester elective abortions. Then meet somewhere in the second trimester.
That doesn't sufficiently address the real underlying moral issue of when/what should be considered human life.
speaking on behalf of whatever percentage of Anglo-Catholics, Orthodox and Roman Catholics take this seriously, there is no middle ground. medical procedures whose primary intent is to kill a baby are forbidden. termination of ectopic pregnancies that will result in the death of the mother are permitted under a close analysis of this rule.
You correct, there will never be a middle ground there.
On the other hand, I bet the majority of Americans would accept my compromise.
Misrepresentation of Dan Pfeiffer: when he says, What’s frustrating is that we don’t have a political system or an opposition party worthy of the opportunity.”
He is referring both to the House Republicans who seem determined not to govern, but only to oppose and a system in which the Senate now needs supermajorities more than ever in the past to get laws through.
That is, we have key politicians (like Paul Ryan or the newly elected Texas representative who proudly announces he will oppose everything the President proposes) who do not show responsible management of our government -- for the people, of the people and by the people.
The Other McCain: Liberal Blogger: ‘How Dare You Smear Hillary by Quoting Her Accurately!’
It's called quote-mining.
"a straw man argument, which is frequently found in politics, it involves quoting an opponent out of context in order to misrepresent their position (typically to make it seem more simplistic or extreme) in order to make it easier to refute."
From the context, it is clear she is referring to the faulty information that was provided to the public shortly after the event.
SEN. JOHNSON: we were misled that there were supposedly protests and then something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that. And that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact –
SEC. CLINTON: But could — but, you know –
SEN. JOHNSON: — and the American people could have known that within days, and they didn’t know that.
SEC. CLINTON: And — with all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans.
SEN. JOHNSON: I understand.
SEC. CLINTON: Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.
Can't tell if this guy actually types with a straight face, or if Zachriel posts in the spirit of The Merry Pranksters... can he really compartmentalize Clinton's statements, spoken within the same breath: "Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?" and "It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator."
Is it your job to discover what happened, or does it make no difference what happened, Madame Secretary?
What difference ... does it make?
What the wha?: Is it your job to discover what happened, or does it make no difference what happened, Madame Secretary?
Good catch! It's obvious that she couldn't have been referring to how the four Americans died, because she immediately says she intends to determine how they died so as to prevent similar events in the future. That's a clue to check the context.
Yes, the context demonstrates that her words made no sense. She was feigning indignation. This was an act. A play. Drama.
And she didn't deliver her lines very well.
All in all, it's pretty clear that we have indifference and perhaps incompetence. And 4 people dead. If that makes a difference.
DrTorch: She was feigning indignation.
Are you feigning indignation? We would never make that assumption.
She worked with the man, and it was her responsibility.
DrTorch: the context demonstrates that her words made no sense.
The context clearly shows she was referring to the early misinformation. She was responding to "we were misled that there were supposedly protests".
In term of the actual deaths, of course it doesn't make any difference, but in terms of policy and execution, it makes a large difference.
If it was just a demonstration about a movie trailer that went out of control, the administration could be forgiven for not taking the urgings for extra security more seriously (except that there were a long string of them).
However, the narrative from the administration was that the Arab Spring was a liberal (in the classical sense) movement. If Benghazi was an attack rather than a demonstration, possibly by the same people whom we helped topple Qaddafi, that could show how tone deaf the administration (and State in particular). It would also demonstrate how dangerous it was there and thus make the fact that they denied extra security (indeed reduced it) a policy failure (or a crime if you will).
With people like Clapper at the head of intelligence (roll eyes), anything can happen. With ideologues like Obummer and Clinton in charge, that anything can get worse. It did.
mudbug: If it was just a demonstration about a movie trailer that went out of control, the administration could be forgiven for not taking the urgings for extra security more seriously (except that there were a long string of them).
It's obvious there was insufficient security.
Yes, what difference does it make whether one's public statements are lies or truth if one doesn't carefully distinguish between the two oneself, and doesn't much care which they are? Is it really a lie when you're genuinely indifferent, and when your habit is to speak so loosely and carelessly that nothing you say makes much difference, other than to create a useful mood?
Why make such a fuss? The voters were profoundly indifferent, and she knows it.
Texan99: what difference does it make whether one's public statements are lies or truth if one doesn't carefully distinguish between the two oneself, and doesn't much care which they are?
Of course the truth matters. That's why we're addressing the obvious quote-mine.
Is it also why you're avoiding Clinton's outrageous response of "What difference does it make?"?
Texan99: Is it also why you're avoiding Clinton's outrageous response of "What difference does it make?"?
Avoiding it? We addressed it directly in our first comment.
I don't know what you mean. Your comment put her quotation in context. In context, she was asked why the administration lied to the public by representing the attacks as one thing when she knew they were another. "What difference does it make?" she replied, as if the point in a lie were whether someone can establish immediate harm. She lies as she breathes and really doesn't see why she should have any concern for her own credibility.
Texan99: I don't know what you mean. Your comment put her quotation in context. In context, she was asked why the administration lied to the public by representing the attacks as one thing when she knew they were another. "What difference does it make?" she replied, as if the point in a lie were whether someone can establish immediate harm. She lies as she breathes and really doesn't see why she should have any concern for her own credibility.
Good. At least we can agree on what was meant. She was addressing the misinformation put out by the administration in the immediate aftermath of the attack. However, if you read the comments on that site, or any of a number of other echo-sites, they clearly conflate it with saying what difference does the death of four Americans make, or what difference does the motives of the attackers make, which is clearly not what she addressed. That site, and many others, create that false impression, then allow it to fester.
As to your point. We disagree with Clinton. It does matter how and why the misinformation was put out. However, the evidence seems to indicate more a matter of bureaucratic bungling than some conspiracy of lies.
How does The Judge compare with something like a Kahr C series?
I'd like to get a very small firearm, and already have one revolver. Was thinking semi-automatic would be good, but is The Judge so superlative?
the argument discussion comes down to how the revolver is marginally more reliable than the semi-auto, I don't know that statement is quantified, but that's what's said.
The Judge has an exposed hammer, that might be a problem if you intend to carry it in your pocket.
you might consider a hammerless (internal hammer) revolver in .38 or .357, or a .380 auto.
Anyone who has lived in academia during the past 30 years will recognize immediately the intent and the concomitant effect: women without experience (because they never will be put in actual tough battle situations)will be put in decision making roles of authority. They will earn more pay they will affect the decisions that our military makes and they will never ever see the dirty and tough situations that the marine describes in his article:
As for Mr. Panetta: during the years between democratic presidencies he sat it out in Monterey CA, pretending to be some kind of University President at a school we are all paying for and that everyone knows is a sub-sub-sub standard institute of learning! We paid for him to wait it out for his next 'real job'.
women without experience (because they never will be put in actual tough battle situations)will be put in decision making roles of authority.
a junior officer always has a first time leading without any experience in actual combat. he or she is expected to rely on experienced NCOs and others.
Way back when I was in high school, we played against a 'gender integrated' football team.
They had a girl starting at middle line backer. She wasn't very good. We ran dive plays right up the middle for consistent 8-15 yard gains...the safeties were making the tackles she wasn't. Four consecutive drives for touchdowns by running right over her. They put their (better) second string MLB in and started being able to stop inside runs for 4-5 yards, so we started mixing in some outside runs and passing plays. But as long as running over her was working, we made it clear we would keep doing it.
No problem 'playing against a girl' but she better be able to play the game. I have to wonder, if I had a high school age son if I would encourage him to play field hockey.
I coached amateur ice hockey teams that usually had women players. they played. we won local championships. any opposing player who dealt out cheap shots to any of them got repaid in spades, that was a team rule.
but as for combat? I wonder if Panetta consulted with actual combat veterans. I'd defer to the judgment of those who've been there.
on the other hand, the armed forces have been a legitimate and unique way of bringing about social change when necessary. complete integration was virulently opposed from the civil war through WW2, until it was finally ordered.
Integrating men from different ethnic groups may be challenging but it is completely different than integrating different genders. There's no correlation.
A properly oriented civilized country would NEVER put their women on the front lines. At best many people are simply naive on this point and are a bit addled from the constant multi-culti propoganda, at worst this is a direct attempt to weaken or even destroy the military.
The Caracal Battalion is where they put the women for show - and use them as border guards. That way, Israel doesn't screw up the rest of their combat units.
Fact: less than 1% of young women can survive even the basic Infantry course.
I'm retired navy, so if I were you, I'd think twice before suggesting that I'm either naive or out to destroy the military.
while you may think Israel is neither properly oriented or civilized, the Israeli Defense Force uses women in combat roles, e.g., the Caracal Battalion; overall, about 3% of the combat solders are women. moreover, women have served with partisan and irregular forces throughout history under conditions more demanding than US forces are likely to encounter.
There was actually a recent case of a boy who grew up playing field hockey in England and when family moved to US wanted to continue playing but only option was the girl's team. I don't remember how that was settled.
It's always humorous that a few outlier woman want to play up in the men's league like golf or even basketball but men can't play in the corresponding women's leagues as that would destroy those leagues as women dominated.
Woman in front line combat positions is a horrible idea for a variety of reasons as well as woman commanding combat troops. This has nothing to do with intellectual ability or even in select outlier cases physical. It has everything to do with the nature of men and women and the challenges that creates in the case of combat. Also close quarter arrangements on ships and submarines.
Funney we don't hear women demanding equal representation in plumbing, roofing, septic, gargage collection, mining, heavy construction and other hard dirty jobs.
Woman in front line combat positions is a horrible idea for a variety of reasons as well as woman commanding combat troops.
do you really need a string of citations proving you wrong?
Soviet women in World War II
There were 800,000 women who served in the Soviet Armed Forces during the war. Nearly 200,000 were decorated and 89 eventually received the Soviet Union’s highest award, the Hero of the Soviet Union. Some served as pilots, snipers, machine gunners, tank crew members and partisans, as well as in auxiliary roles.
The 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment: This was the best known of the regiments and was commanded by Yevdokia Bershanskaya. It originally began service as the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, but was redesignated in February 1943 as recognition for service which would tally 24,000+ combat missions by the end of the war. Their aircraft was the Polikarpov Po-2, a very outdated biplane. The Germans were the ones however who gave them the name that they are most well known as, The Night Witches.
The 125th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment: Marina Raskova commanded this unit until her death in combat, and then the unit was assigned to Valentin Markov. It started service as the 587th Bomber Aviation Regiment until it was given the Guards designation in September 1943. ...
Women consistituted significant numbers of the Soviet partisans. ...
I know, I know ... some of them were only teenagers without the wisdom of internet pundits to explain to them how they're unsuited for combat or leadership roles, but you've got to give them some credit, they just didn't know how incompetent they were supposed to be.
Given the huge losses that they suffered in that war, I question whether that's a viable argument in favor of women in combat roles.
the soviets paid lip service to equality, so that may have been an issue, and, there's needs-must, suggested by the linked article Campbell, D'Ann. "Women in Combat: The World War Two Experience in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union" Journal of Military History (April 1993), 57:301-323. online edition.
but the issue shouldn't be why the Soviets used women in combat roles, the fact is, they did, and it worked.
I'm not arguing for or against the proposed employment of women in combat roles, this is a social policy and military policy issue that will be decided by congress and the DoD. The armed forces have been used to implement social policy since the civil war, and I think that in a republic, with a history of volunteer citizen-soldiers, that's a valid purpose. I am saying that its argument from ignorance to assert axiomatically that women can't perform in combat or lead in combat.
While we do not currently have any partisans of either gender, we do have plenty of female pilots.
And like the Soviets, we have no women in the Infantry, Armor, or Artillery units. Read my link above. The Canadian Army ran 103 women through their basic infantry course - 1 graduated.
thanks for proving my point. there are women who are capable of combat duties and that its wrong to exclude individuals based on sex alone.
I bet that very few women partisans/irregulars who fought the germans, japanese, americans, russians, british, french, italians, etc. et al., over the last 200 years went through an infantry combat course.
here's a regular army major who only killed 309 germans. imagine how many she'd have killed if she were a man -- probably tens of thousands. (she was one of 2,000 women snipers, of whome 75% were KIA)
Why is "it wrong to exclude anybody on sex alone"?
There's a lot of very valid reasons to exclude an otherwise physically and mentally capable woman from working/living/fighting side by side with men.
You're statement is a classic example of post modern deconstructionist thinking.
"post modern deconstructionist thinking" ... I didn't think anyone actually used language like that, except academic loons. I'm sure it means something bad though.
several posters on this thread have stated that women are incapable of combat service or combat leadership, in spite of hundreds of thousands of examples to the contrary.
how the forces are staffed is the decision of the civilian leadership. while there are reasons for and against women in combat, its no argument to bar otherwise competent soldiers from combat based on sex alone, because the evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary. you do understand that when I cite the fact that a casualty rate of 75% for women snipers doesn't hint at incompetence, but at near-suicidal bravery. I'm also going to make a guess that the women who led and flew ground attack missions against front line german infantry suffered a higher casualty rate than soviet infantry.
I gather that you and others don't like the idea, but you have to come up with better reasons than that.
Actually I would say the burden is on those who want to change this to come up with better reasons but apparently it doesn't matter. The liberal social engineering Sec Def says it is so, it is so.
Please pass the popcorn. This show is about to get very interesting.
BTW there is far more data in support of woman not being able to handle the job than there is cherry picking the exceptions to support they can. The exceptions prove the rule that on the whole woman are not suited for combat. That's not even addressing the psycho/sexual/social issues that the supporters are dismissing out of hand.
do you think every man is capable of combat just because he's a man? any combat infantry school cherry picks the ones who qualify, fails the ones who don't.
that's a rhetorical question. you don't have to embarrass yourself in answering it or explaining how so many women served in that capacity unless you actually believe that being a man automatically qualifies a soldier for combat and being a woman automatically DQs a woman.
there are men who are combat qualified, there are women who obviously are as well. the army doesn't need unqualified men, it doesn't need unqualified women.
its liberals like you who refuse to see individual merit, only membership is a group as decisive of entitlement.
we see this kind of collective thinking among the gun grabbers for whom all guns are bad, all gun owners evil.
You miss the point. Lets say I agree that women "could" be as effective as men in combat. Why then is it necessary to dumb down the training and tests. They should be able to run 1 1/2 miles under 8 minutes and hum 20 miles with a 70 lb pack. The usual retort to this is that some women can!!! Indeed some woman can but in the army ALL MEN MUST they don't get a choice. SO if we insist women be in combat then ALL women must take and pass the same tests as them men and be assigned to combat not by choice and be eligible for the draft just like men. Otherwise you are merely setting up token women to choose combat one day then the next claim it is too hard or that they are having their period or they are pregnant, etc. Either they all play under the same rules or they don't play. I don't want our military to fail and be no better then the Italian army. I want everyone on the front line to be top notch. Either all the barnyard animals are equal or some are more equal then others. Do we really want a military where some "more equal" soldiers can opt out of anything and everything whenever it seems too tough???
Then the obvious becomes obvious to everyone and that is women cannot function at 100% of the level combat requires and if we choose to put them in combat then we will have an army 2nd to everyone else.
If however we only use them in support roles we will free up men who can run a mile and a half under 8 and can walk all day carrying 70 lbs. The choice should be made based on the facts and not on feel good equality BS.
who said anything about dumbing down anything? that's a strawman, and its not my argument.
test in anyway you want to, allow anyone who passes a single, standard test to serve at the front. some men will fail, some women will pass.
I note this by way of comparison -- not an analogy, because that would be ugly and totally unfair, but the same kinds of reasons were given by some of the army command when Lincoln was considering whether to enlist freed blacks into the federal army -- they were unable to command, unfit as anything but service troops (ditch diggers, muleteers), couldn't fight, physically unfit, etc. you'd think a standard test would have proved otherwise, but you know how tests are, you get whatever results you want to get. the demoncraptics knew this when they made sure no blacks were fit to vote by literacy, property, residency tests.
protip: don't suggest to that russian sniper who killed over three hundred men, the commander of the ground attack squadron or the teenagers who fought as partisans behind the lines that they're unfit for combat because they're girls.
A woman in my squad would have been ruinous. Absolutely. It is hard enough to ride herd on a group of 19 year old men. Add a woman to that testosterone ridden mix and your argument falls to dust.
Well, unless you have led a squad of Marines and still think a woman in their (your) midst would have enhanced their combat effectiveness.
Stalin, who could have given a shit less about who died, placed women in every position, except the front lines. It isn't all about ability.
its flat out stupid to claim snipers, tank drivers or partisans aren't combat soldiers on or behind the front line. but you do.
your argument against women was also made about blacks in combat roles: they can't lead, can't be led, aren't worth crap, too disruptive. unnatural. too stupid, not mentally strong enough, inferior in every way. that BS lasted 80 years.
that you admit you can't control the people you're ordered to lead with says more about your unsuitability for command than the women you're afraid of commanding.
the JCS made the recommendation to the SecDef. so its recommendation of the senior civilian and military leadership against your bias.
"its flat out stupid to claim snipers, tank drivers or partisans aren't combat soldiers on or behind the front line. but you do."
I didn't say that, but did fail to say "front line... infantry", which was my point.
And who said anything about abilities, not me. That's not my discussion. Though I'm not saying that there is no discussion to be made on the subject.
I was offered a commission, refused, based on my skills at actual, versus the armchair kind, combat leadership. So up yours.
You're not arguing in good faith, you're also not taking into consideration the difficulties of being a small unit leader. No sense saying more. I'm done.
XRay: I didn't say that, but did fail to say "front line... infantry", which was my point.
Snipers are front line infantry, usually in rifle units, and are prime targets for retaliation.
XRay: You're not arguing in good faith
There's no indication of that whatsoever.
Why does it matter what happened, asks Hillary!? Because we should know whether she is a liar or a damned fool. Or both. My money is on liar. Same for the rest of the regime.
Re: Hillary's Oscar-worthy Emotional Testimony
We've seen her faux outrage before, but it played better when the main hero of the movie was Joseph Welch:
European Jews - The study uses Armenians as a reasonable proxy for the Caucasus and thus, Khazars. I don't think that's going to hold.
I don't think the original study used the word "proved" anywhere, but tended to the milder "supports," "suggests," or "is consistent with." But the news stories about this are using "proved." Whenever I see the word proved outside of very specific contexts, I think "There's someone who didn't take enough math courses." The Khazar hypothesis has been a standard of American anti-semites for years, and I am immediately suspicious of its appearance anywhere. Proceed with caution.
Indeed "dumbing down" I was in the military from 1964 until 1984. When I entered the service the average for all branches was 3% women mostly nurses and admin. In a few years they began a buildup of women in the service and now it is closer to 15% (could be more or less I'm not sure). They discovered that indeed most women could not do 20 chinups or 50 pushups or run a mile and a half with a pack in under 8 minutes. So they changed the "standard". First the dumbing down only applied to women which made good sense. Then because that so clearly exposed the lie of women being just as physically able as men the standard was applied to everyone. Why? ONLY because the women cannot meet the physical demands of the military. So for the most part not putting them into combat was another way of hiding the obvious. So now what? We put them in combat and the men will have to carry their packs or even carry them? My question is do you have sons who might go into the military? Do you want them to be sacrificed because someone deemed that women are physically equal to men so they were suitable to fight alongside your son? What if he is killed trying to save their ass??? Will it still be worth the sacrifice?