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Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Roundup

Bonald writes about something I have noted too...our feminist crusade in Afghanistan.

The Hawaiian Libertarian critiques a case of female supremacist goggles so thick feminists can't see past them to the truth. Which is that women's actions, and that of the feminist-legal-governmental complex they have constructed, greatly magnifies the male sex's vulnerability to suicidal tendencies. Particularly wrt divorce, the primary suicide risk in men, where a man is typically stripped of his only friend, his only consort, his children, his home, most of his stuff, and is required to underwrite it all for a decade or more.  So not only do women have better 'support networks'--a fact that I do not dispute, a fact which leads them to treat divorce much more lightly than they should--but their collective sense of entitlement demolish a man's entire world in the process and then get another Man to force him to pay for it. Little wonder to me that some men seek a permanent solution to an admittedly horrible temporary problem.

One thing the femmarxists taught our politicians well is that they can make any rights-demolishing law they want if they say "it's for the children".

Gotta side with the cop on this one.  I would do the same.  Cop shoots unleashed family dog that was charging him.

Is toxic femininity the chicken to the street harassment egg? The Damed Olde Man thinks so, in an article that explicates how girls sow and reinforces the very behaviors in boys they later decry as adult women.

Speaking of behavior reinforcement, here is LGR's take on books for women that give psychological cover for them to deep-six their own marriages in search of the magic unicorn.

Mark Richardson over at Oz Conservative writes on a major split in the manosphere...that between patriarchal traditionalists, and the male separatists.  The former wishes to build a society in which women and men live together in peace according to their innate, God-given roles, the latter seeks independence from the fem-legal-guvmental complex in its entirety.

Came across this DoL report, known as the "Consad Report", that studied the so-called "wage gap".  Guess what? It doesn't exist, at least not in favor of men, anyways:
...this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.
Of couse, when one rolls in differences in productivity, this pay gap switches in favor of women, but I've already tilled that ground.

Some MRAs look at the position of men in Islam and fantasize about how nice it would be to be respected like that.  FB, no friend of organized religion anyway, throws cold water on that whole proposition.

This is what happens when you let government undercut families, stymie family formation, and encourage family dissolution...eventually, they have to steal from education funds to pay for imprisonment of those lads that hail from the broken homes that government helped create.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Center Never Holds

Via VD, I came across this comment at Insty's that provides an example of how temporary man's designs and empires really are.  It really is a chasing after the wind. Eventually, no matter who you are, the physical/technological/social environment will change and you will find your grip on power has disappeared:
Eight hundred years ago education was controlled by the church. Groups of independent scholars, using Latin as a common language, began to congregate apart from the church to pursue a true education. By mid-12th century this grew into the university movement — Hic et ubique terrarum (here and anyplace on earth) as they said in Paris in 1163. It took a century or so, but by AD 1400 the church no longer controlled education.
In our time education is controlled by the universities and their lower level minions. Once again groups of independent scholars, using English as a common language have begun to congregate apart from the universities — internet, home-schoolers, independent researchers, and many others — to pursue a true education. The pattern is repeating, for the very same reasons. Hic et ubique terrarum indeed.
The point here is not so much that the education process is decentralizing, which I agree it is, and that is a good thing, given what passes for education these days,* but that the power base of the controlling entity is shifting.  One thousand years ago, it was the Church, and the development of the university pulled the center of knowledge and power away from the RCC and toward a different set of institutions. This process is happening again.  What we have come to see as the traditional brick-and-mortar universities are appearing more irrelevant each day, and were it not for their role in the credentialing process, I suspect that the unis would have already shrunken considerably.  Not everyone can afford a vanity degree, not even SYFs, not in this economy.

But the interesting part of this is what this shift in education away from the university system and, to a lesser extent, away from the public schooling system will mean for the government's grip on the population and for liberalism in general.  For just as the RCC lost its control over government and the culture in the West when education went elsewhere, so too will the Church of Liberalism lose its grip on the government and the culture when its ability to mint new acolytes migrates away.

Given the trends in alternative education and society in general, I think the center in education will not hold.  Nor will it locate elsewhere as it did in the past; no, I think it will decentralize, reflecting the diverse and independent nature of not only homeschoolers but society in general, which appears to be rejecting large, lumbering, vertically integrated institutions and moving toward individual communities made of individuals united by a trait, set of traits, or a common philosophy/creed.  Each community will wish to educate its members in its own way and pass on the lessons it deems important, aided by technology that permits an unconstrained flow of information and philosophies.  Thus rather than one fixed system of education inculcating a single state-serving philosophy, multiple educational cells will arise, each serving the needs and interests of the community from which it came.

The center will not hold.  Interesting times await.

* What we know as education is more appropriately termed "schooling" for the vast majority of Americans. The agitprop America's youth receives under the guise of public education is meant to do one thing: train them to serve the interests and goals of the state, which for the vast majority of the population is to be loyal subjects of the government first, and productive industrial workers second.  TDOM has linked to a great video on the shortcomings of the present educational system; have a look.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sexual Specialization and Civilizational Advancement

Note: the following article first appeared at The Spearhead on December 2d, 2010.

This article by Steve Sailer is most interesting, in that it links sex role specialization and family model to technological advancement, a point that I have made on this blog repeatedly:
Source: Sailer. Click here to enlarge.
But the obvious thing that jumps out at you from the map [at right] is the high correlation between plowing and level of civilizational accomplishment (at least as measured in impressive ruins and buildings). The Taj Mahal, for example, is found in a plow culture. The ancient and medieval churches of plowing Ethiopia are a lot more impressive than the big pile of loose rocks that is the chief monument of Zimbabwe.

Of course, one causal connection between gender roles and civilizational accomplishment is that you can get more done if men work harder, as they tend to do in plow cultures.
Hmmm. This is quite interesting, in that this observation lends perspective to the great experiment our culture has chosen to perform on itself. With feminism, Western civilization seeks to blur the distinction between the male and female spheres.  We are told that this is 'progress', that such egalitarianism is really enlightened behavior, the cultivation of social habits that make the best use out of the talents of the male and female sexes.  We are told that this is better than the knuckle-dragging Neanderthal days of rigid sex role specialization, where men worked in the fields (later in the factories) and ran the whole of society, while women were consigned to domestic duties and were little more than sexual chattel.  Thus is the pro-egalitarian message pushed by the femmarxists: the new egalitarianism is simply better than the old, sexist ways that put women in a gilded cage.

However, there is nothing new under the sun, and humanity has seen the face of egalitarianism before: it was practiced all around the world in times past, that is, until those egalitarian societies were superseded by more technologically advanced, aggressive, efficient, and expansionary cultures.  Every time an egalitarian society meets and competes with a specialized one, the egalitarian one loses.  The reasons for this are many and I won't delve into them here, but the simple fact of the matter is that less specialized / more egalitarian societies--those in which both the men and women have similar roles--tend to be more backwards and less modern and less resilient in the face of one that is more specialized and rigid in its sex roles. That is a fact, played out on the stage of history over and over and over again. 

Another interesting observation is that men in more specialized "plow" cultures tend to work harder than those in less specialized "hoe" cultures.  We see this today in the relatively lackluster performance of males in egalitarianized Western societies; the men simply have better things to do--like amuse themselves, or protect themselves from exploitation--than to labor and turn their surplus of energy  into more socially productive ends.  Compared to women, the men in such a society are lazy and indolent, and women regularly out-achieve them. The feminists note this too, in their complaints about African and Caribbean societies that women do all the work, while men malinger about.

Sailer also notes the correlation between egalitarianism and sexual competition, and speculates that the higher civilizational accomplishment found in plow cultures (which feature rigid sex roles and tend to take a dimmer view of polygyny) is due to men not having to spend the bulk of their energies competing with each other for available mates:
You can also get bigger things done if men don't spend most of their energies competing with each other to mate with the most women. Anthropologist Peter Frost blogs at Evo and Proud about traditional societies where women do most of the farm work:
The polygyny rate varies considerably among human populations, being highest (20 to 40% of all sexual unions) in the agricultural societies of sub-Saharan Africa and Papua-New Guinea.

Such high rates have consequences. ...


High-polygyny society = Failed society?

In my last post, I noted that high-polygyny societies remain simple in large part because intense sexual competition keeps them from evolving into more complex entities. The surplus males stir up endless conflict, if only because war provides them with access to women...

Urban Africa and the new mating environment

This is not to say that a high-polygyny society cannot evolve into a low-polygyny one. It can, if the material conditions of life change. We see this happening as Africans move off the land and into cities and towns, where women can less easily feed themselves and their children without assistance. Urban African men are less likely to be polygynous because it costs them more to provide for a second wife.

This in turn has shifted the pressure of sexual competition from men to women. It is increasingly the woman who must compete to find a mate. Whereas before she only had to work hard at tending her plot of land, she must now invest in her physical appearance, notably by lengthening her hair and bleaching her skin.

Again we see this played out real-time in the West, where the burden of competing for mates is shifted from upon men--mostly--to upon women--mostly.  The decline in sexual specialization among Western men and women has not only resulted in less productivity from individual men--thus reducing civilizational accomplishment--it has also encouraged its own form of polygyny as resource-seeking women gravitate toward those men with the most wealth and power and eschew those without.  In turn, just as in Africa today, resource-seeking women in an increasingly egalitarian society must compete with other resource-seeking women for the attentions of the most powerful men (the less powerful men being relatively resource-poor).  This leads women in egalitarian societies to increasingly commodify themselves sexually.  We also see this in action today, what with the re-introduction of the alpha male harem into the formerly monogamous, formerly Christian culture, and the serially polyandrous behavior of the Carouseler who flits from alpha male to alpha male in a vain attempt to entice one of these alphas to commit to her.

Thus, less productivity from men, due to reduced role specialization, social disenfranchisement, and a greater focus on self-gratification/self preservation, teams up with greater sexual competition for both men and women to retard civilizational advancement. History is clear that civilizations that foster and maintain a sharp division of labor between the sexes, and the attendant reduction in sexual marketplace competition for men and women, prosper and eventually overtake those that do not.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Tomfoolery

Found this pic over at 4chan.  Ah, the days of hand dryers in bathroooms...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quote of the Day

VD did an interview over at Strike the Root the other day.  I found this quote particularly accurate, and sums up my distaste for the false choice we Americans are given come each election season:
...the various anti-libertarian philosophies, from communism to American conservatism, always attempt to prevent individuals from acting in contradiction to the philosophy's ideological goals. Statist philosophies are all very similar in their attempt to dictate human behavior, the primary difference between them is how they define what is and is not permissible.
In other words, liberalism and conservatism are merely two sides of the same left-wing coin. I am a right-winger, and a radical one at that.  At heart, I'm a minarchist--note not an anarchist, which in nearly all cases is less preferable to too much government--and that also means that the Republican party and establishment conservatives usually have little to offer me.  We may agree on the moral issues, but on issues of governance, the difference between a Repub and a Dem is only a matter of degree, not kind, and I abhor what they stand for and what they offer as 'solutions'.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Redneck Santa

Given where I live these days, I thought the following cartoon appropriate:


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday Roundup

Very soon, the residual morality remaining from our Christian past will be unable to resist the secular humanist tide, and our post-Christian culture will accept cases of incest such as this (HT: VD).  In fact, the dike is starting to give in some places already, like Switzerland.  And honestly, given the behavioral standard of consent as the arbiter of right/wrong sexual activity, from a libertarian perspective, there is no real reason other than the ick factor to proscribe this behavior any more. If two people are of age, the law really doesn't have much to fall back upon once religious strictures have been rejected.  After all, it's not like cousin incest is genetically much risker than, say, bearing a child after 40 (both have roughly the same rate of birth defects).  Although, if this letter writer is to be believed, the trouble comes when you have multiple, compounding cases of incest...in these cases, the risks go up dramatically.

He gets paid nearly six figures to set honeypot traps for the bored wives of beta and lower ranking men.

Follow-up to my "Race, Racism, and the Right" post...Terry opines on how it appears that culture is the controlling factor in human behavior, not racial characteristics.

Maryland judge rules that encounters between LEOs and the public are not "private conversations" and therefore are not covered by wiretap laws.

Marriage strike? Maybe.  Or it could be that people are getting what they want/need without all the bother....marriages at their lowest level in over 100 yrs...only 52% of US adults are married.

Can't say I was surprised...DoJ dropped 'Black Panther' voter intimidation case.

Study: 20% of urban homo/bi men are HIV positive.

Remember this white female relief worker in Haiti, who was allegedly raped by a Haitian man and was "grateful for the experience"?  Seems the same phenomenon happened in Palestine, too.  Call it the cluelesness of the secular humanist.


This is an illustration of where the philosophies of femmarxists and the socon women intersect…both want to protect women from having their sexuality 'exploited' by companies.  But both miss the fact that it is these women themselves who are renting their sexuality in an attempt to exploit other women and men.

Lest you think that mercantilism has taken the day off in 44's administration...think again...seems the RIAA and MPAA are still hard at work promoting their own brand of intellectual protectionism.

It's not your money, it's the state's, and you keep your 'share' by the state's leave. 

I'll say one thing for the RCC...the tight rein the RCC maintains over the church's teachings keeps embarrassing things like this from happening.

Recently I wrote about the small but significant difference between "freedom of religion" and the "freedom of worship", and how the shift to the latter is being used to sweep Christianity clean from the public space.  The difference was illustrated the other day, when the Feds forced an Oklahoma bank to remove a teller's cross and a bible verses of the day from the lobby.  Reason? It "express[ed], impl[ied] or suggest[ed] a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion." And just so you know where stuff like this comes from, Nina Totenberg apologizes for saying "Christmas".

Proof positive that a straight white guy still cannot speak truth to the Lavender Lobby: FIFA president forced to apologize to homosexual soccer fans for suggesting that they should refrain from sexual activity during the 2022 world cup in Islamic Qatar.

Rescue deer from icy water, get a ticket for...get this...not wearing a life preserver. Proof positive that there are few things in this world more dangerous than a bored sheriff's deputy with a checklist.

Via Dr. Helen: getting a PhD is a waste of your time and money.

Perhaps this helps explain some of the cognitive differences in IQ between men of different social classes in the States...breastfed boys outperform those boys who were fed by bottle.

Last week, I posted about the legal trends in Sweden dragging that country's laws into the more Napoleonic attitude wrt innocence: i.e., the burden is on the accused to prove it.  I received some flak for that post from more than a few quarters.  Yet via FRS, we learn that Washington State has all but declared that the burden to show consent in a rape case falls on the accused, rather than the requiring the State/accuser to show that it was not.   

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Who The Cool Guys Are

...why the folks who visit here, of course. About a year and a half ago, I posted a summary of the reader traffic here at EW.  Compare my stats then to now:

Then:
Avg Visits/Day: 232
Avg Visit Length: 243 seconds
Words Read / Visit: 802 words
Words Read / Day: 186,040 words

Now:
Avg Visits/Day: 533
Avg Visit Length: 257 seconds
Words Read / Visit: 855 words
Words Read / Day:  456,146

Thus we see that while traffic here has a little more than doubled since then, the time spent reading my drivel remains the same.  But this information, while interesting, tells us little about who really lurks here.  Enter QuantCast, whose widget I installed back in June.  Now, with what I suspect is a little help from the Census Bureau, QuantCast has computed who and what the blogosphereans that visit here are and look like:

Can't read me? Click here to enlarge

Much of this data, if it is to be believed, comes as no surprise--this blog is patronized by a bunch of middle aged higher earning smarty pants know-it-all white guys. In other words, guys kinda like me. What I didn't expect to see, especially given my pro-marriage, pro-natalist bent--a position that is uncommon in many parts of the manosphere--is how heavy this place leans toward the bachelor.  I suppose on some level it does make sense, after all the parts of the manosphere I travel tend to be frequented by single guys and jaded divorcees with nary a mommyblogger in sight.  But I did expect a bit more presence from my married-with-kids brothers and sisters.  Perhaps their tending to their families, rather than screwing around on the 'net....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Tomfoolery

Today's tomfoolery is a picture I found at FB's place that quite well summarizes the predicament that the West, and especially America, is in now:


There is even a term for this (coined by VD, I believe): the bi-factional ruling party. MikeT nails this phenomenon in a recent post, where he implicitly describes the behavior of an electorate that careens from one party to the other, as both parties ignore the electorate and implement policies in which the polis expressly opposes:
The American people are being impoverished in pursuit of two ideologies: progressivism and neoconservatism. The progressives are expanding the federal government domestically without regard to the real needs of the public; the neoconservatives are extending our presence abroad without regard for the real security needs of this country. The American people are starting to get a sense that they are pawns in an ideological game.
Which I believe this is why 44 gained the presidency back in '08...not only because the American people were recoiling from the state-bloating tendencies of "compassionate conservatism", but because there was little difference between 44 and McCain, except for the speed at which both would arrive at the same destination.

Monday, December 20, 2010

DADT Repealed - No Stopping An Idea Whose Time Has Come

To paraphrase the Victor Hugo quote above, DADT's repeal was inevitable, only a matter of time.  For the real victory for the homosexual lobby came back in 1993 when the law was passed in the first place.

You see, the military, for better or for worse, is a reflection of what American society is.  Not a perfect reflection, mind you, given the selection effects involved and the decades-long treatment of the military as a laboratory, nay, a vehicle, for social change. But a reflection nonetheless.  And American society had, by 1993, sufficiently moved past its Christian roots, perhaps propelled by the 1980s AIDS epidemic and the resultant onslaught of pro-homo propaganda, to the point where Biblically immoral behavior such as homosexuality was no longer viewed as quite so immoral.  The 1993 DADT law was merely evidence of the residue of the rapidly dwindling Protestant Christian culture that founded this country.

No, rather than a victory for the Christian right, DADT was at best a temporary delay in the day of reckoning that would eventually come. At worst, DADT served as a tool to psychologically prepare military members to the coming fact of open homo service...indeed, DADT was an odd law that served to facilitate its own repeal nearly a generation later by seeding the battlespace--the mind of the Service member--with pro-homosexual sentiment. Don't believe me? Read the DADT report, which appears to indicate that members of the Services are quite blase about the potential impacts of homos serving openly. I don't think this was the case back in the early 90s when this law came about in the first place.

DADT was a successful, temporary plugging of a leaky dike, the act of shoring up the faltering earthen berm of Christian moral influence by legislative maneuver.  Eventually, the waters topped the dike, and the dam that protected our society from the full weight of its moral predilections gave way.

It was bound to happen, really. For not only had society at large rejected the Christian proscriptions against homosexuality,* leading to the rising flood metaphor above, but those fighting against homos serving openly in the military had forsaken their best weapon in their struggle against it.  They decided to focus on military effectiveness, rather than questions of morality, opting for the easier, more PC, more cowardly way out.  In my opinion, they brought a knife to a gun fight, for the question of permitting homos to serve openly is first and foremost a moral question that shoots straight to the standards of behavior a military is supposed to uphold.  It then comes as no shock to me that, as they feint right, then left on the slippery grounds of empiricism, desperately trying to make their argument, they would get shot in the face.

Put succinctly, it was a mistake to anchor opposition to homos serving openly in the military on the basis of degraded military effectiveness, for four reasons.  First, many militaries around the world permit open homosexuals to serve. Thus arguing that permitting homos to serve openly would be harmful to effectiveness or cohesion swims against the precedent by the example of other militaries across the world.  They have already "integrated"--for lack of a better word--homos into their ranks, with apparent success.

Second, historically, there have been plenty of homos in the military across the ages, just as there are in society. I strongly suspect, and the DADT report confirms (page 71) that an affinity for his brothers in a fellow is usually known by his brothers. Thus DADT did little to hinder (and may have even helped) others from acquiring knowledge of one's closeted homosexuality.  Furthermore, arguments that permitting homosexuals to serve openly would damage cohesion sounded just like ones that were used recently to resist efforts to admit women into the military or integrate them into front-line units. Not getting much traction with that one, as women have been a major and growing part of militaries around the world, again without much (apparent to the public anyway) ill effect.

Note: the last sentence, the one ending in "without much...ill effect", may leave the impression that I think the integration of women into the military was just dandy.  Just so I'm clear, I think the integration of women into the military has cost far more than the fruits it has borne.  That said, those that haven't served--i.e., the public--are largely ignorant of these costs, while those on the inside are far more familiar with the negative consequences of this social experiment.

Third, how does one measure military effectiveness anyway?  The only way to tell, really tell, is by testing in the crucible of battle.  But even that doesn't help much, as it would be difficult, in the fog and friction of war, to isolate causes for failure and draw conclusions.  Especially when those whom Hackworth derisively terms perfumed princes have personal and political interests too.  And even those who have served in combat, while significantly less supportive of homos serving openly,** aren't that much more opposed to it (DADT report, page 66).

Fourth, arguing using empiricism, i.e., "homos serving openly degrades military effectiveness", merely opens you up to challenges based on the data.  Inevitably, cooked-up studies will be published that refute your data, with the result that the meta-data will be inconclusive.  There won't be sufficient reason to oppose "just one more brick", other than simple bigotry, and that is where those who support DADT found themselves.

Much better in my book to argue from a position of moral / immoral behavior. The military already does this anyway, with its prohibition on adultery, an act that is certainly not illegal and, depending on the parties involved, has much less impact to good order and discipline. Who cares if married soldier A is banging civilian B, as long as he/she's fit for duty, right?

There's no arguing with with moral codes that existed for thousands of years and are replicated in societies across the planet (i.e., all three Abrahamic religions condemn acts of homosexuality). The only options are to accept or reject it, to decide if homosexual behavior is conduct becoming an American soldier or not.  I vote not.

Yet DADT has been repealed, the only thing left is 44's signature, which is sure to ensue.  Homos will soon be able to serve openly.  What will this look like?  My friend Whiskey took a stab at this, and while I think his predictions of flood of homos prompting a mass exodus from the military for right-thinking men are overblown, I do think he nailed one element perfectly: the sexual dynamics of the newly re-engineered military will again be achieved by screwing--no pun intended--the straight male, particularly the straight white males who are three-fer losers in the new fabulous military (i.e. not a member of any protected class...race, sex, sexual orientation):
...gays in the military will harass (with PC/Protected Class impunity) all the straight guys below them rank and power. Again, this is something Jane Average White girl can understand if put to her bluntly. As well as Joe Sixpack already getting it. The Marines in particular understand this. They don't want to share close, personal space for months, with a guy who wants to have sex with them.

For the simple reason that straight men find gay sex repulsive. Even more repulsive than straight women find the idea of having sex with beta males.
I feel for the commanders.  For the military, prodded by feminist rape culture, is supremely concerned with protecting those fashionable gals from the depredations of those nasty Y-chromos it needs to get the dirty work done.   Now we introduce into the mix those fab guys and butch gals with same-sex proclivities.  Now we have fully three times the potential for issues surrounding sexuality to disrupt good order and discipline, for sexual harassment rules and regulations to be used as tools of lawfare in petty spats, genuine disagreements over consent and sexual advances, and genuine sexual assaults.  I don't claim to know how that will shake out; however, I can tell you one thing: straights, especially white men, who object to the homos in their midst, will be told to STFU and get on board. Or else.  That is the way the military accomplishes its social engineering, from the top down, comply or be squashed.  No wonder the lefties love tinkering with the military as an engine of social change.

In the end, I think the vast majority of them--straight white men, that is--will knuckle down and FIDO.  Because they need the paycheck.  And they realize, despite the presence of women and homo men, that the military is one of the last remaining domains in our culture where masculinity isn't entirely derided.

*  Just as society had earlier rejected the Christian teachings against divorce, and just as our society is hard at work twisting the institution of marriage to encompass all sorts of housekeepings.  Thus today, marriages between two men and two women are widely socially recognized (meaning full legal recognition isn't far away), as are marriages between one woman and several men (serial polyandry, in which the woman still has claim to those men's money but without the duty of consortium), between one man and several women (standard polygyny), and I've heard of attempts at brothers, sisters, you name it to marry, to take advantage of the special legal status that pagan marriage confers.

** The yawning divide in opinion about homos serving openly between those who served in combat and those who have not suggests that the US military's large tail-to-tooth ratio drives it to decisions that are at cross purposes to combat effectiveness.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Close One, That Was

Man is engaged to woman. Woman envinces herself to be a bridezilla. Man bails, with prejudice. Screeching ensues, followed by a hath-no-fury retribution breach of promise lawsuit (HT Dalrock):
A former Chicago area bride-to-be is suing her ex-fiance, who she claims dumped her just four days before their fall 2010 wedding — and left her on the hook for its nearly $100,000 pricetag.

A pic sez 1,000 words
Buttitta, an attorney who works in Hoffman Estates, claims she spent more than $95,000 on wedding-related items and services while planning the event, which was to take place Oct. 2 in Barrington, the suit said. Expenses included $30,000 to reserve a suburban banquet hall, more than $11,000 on flowers and lighting, $10,000 for an orchestra to perform at the festivities, a $5,000 wedding gown and $600 for wedding shoes, the suit states. She also spent $70.40 to send cancellation notices.

The two-count suit claims breach of promise to marry and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It seeks more than $95,000 in damages plus the costs of the suit. Buttitta could not be reached for comment. An attorney for one of the firms that filed the suit declined to comment Friday night. Salerno did not return a message seeking comment.
Let us count the warning signs here: $11K for flowers. $30K for a banquet hall. $10K for a band. $5K for a dress she'll wear once (hopefully). $600 for shoes. And $70 for cancellation notices. She was planning to spend more on her wedding than the average American makes in a year. Who was this wedding about, anyway? Wait, strike that. We know what this wedding was about...her day, her ego, been dreamin' about it since she was 8 and daddy told her she was a princess.

The part that gets me is that she's suing for $100K for breach of promise and infliction of emotional distress.

I wonder if she realizes the kind of precedent she's setting, the kind of bottle she's fixing to uncork...for using her logic, one million US men should be suing the asses off their ex-wives each year for exactly the same stuff, as well as deprivation of consortium to boot.

This guy just dodged a huge bullet. Put aside the high-maintenance nature of a woman that would blithely drop $55K+ on a 225-guest wedding.  Ignore the unlikely natural pairing of a full bosom and lithe body in the picture above (can anyone say boob job?  Vanity, thy name is Buttita!).  Dollars to doughnuts that, at age 32, she's ready to spawn some chilluns. She probably doesn't give second thought to the assumption that he'd be okay with underwriting her sudden-onset desire to quit work, become instantaneously economically unproductive, and stick said hapless schmuck with the tab of not only her bridal pageant, but her law school bills, and their yuppie house payment?  And if he balks, he gets stuck with a half-million dollar chilimony bill too?

Update: Dalrock confirmed the authenticity of the picture.  It is indeed Buttitta, at a John Marshall Law School social function  in 2003.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Race, Racism, and the Right

While expressing doubt that anyone would dispute the concept of race, Terry  takes exception to some on the right and their occasional tendency to paint with a big, broad brush about racial issues:
I read the Alt. Right piece [referenced in a Friday Roundup post on December 10, 2010].  No one in their right mind would deny that there is such a thing as race, or that there are differences between the races.

As for the color blind society piece, I think the very idea that we could ever be a colorblind society is problematic. No such thing can or should exist. But here's my problem:

Even as I duly note the problems plaguing many minority communities, my biggest problem with the race issue as often discussed in these parts of the Internet is the inherent assumption that the differences between the races are some kind of proof that one race of people is inherently more valuable or better than another. Further, if I may be blunt, that black people are all stupid, promiscuous, criminal types.

The assertion of this idea is almost always present, and I take exception to it for obvious reasons.

As for no one in their right mind denying that the physical concept of race, I must disagree with my good friend Terry.  Folks on the Left do just that--deny the concept of race, even as they practice racialism each and every day. One has only to google "race is a social construct" to see the myriad ways in which academic sociology attempts to jam racial characteristics into the socially constructed cubbyhole.  This example was one of the first hits returned by that google search; it lays out pretty well how the Left dismisses observable and measurable variations in human morphology and inherited traits and attempts to tie everything to social construction.

While I think those on the Right are harpooned unfairly on the issue of race,* that is not to say that I don't agree with her that some on the Right are a bit shall we say too strident in their attempts to cobble together a white racial/ethnic consciousness.  Yes, blacks commit a disproportionate amount of the crimes in the USA.  Yes the black family has been a shambles since well before Moynihan sounded the alarm bell in the 60s.  And the wheels of the fetuscide industry are greased by the bloody corpses of black babies, babies conceived by black men and women who are unable to keep it in their pants (if male) or keep their legs closed (if female).  But one must also remember it is also true that the white community has suffered its own ravages. Marriage is down, white fertility is in the tank, white female promiscuity is way up.  In fact it was last week where VD linked to a Daily Mail article that discussed how white British (and post-Christian) women were so stupendously easy to pimp out compared to Moslem immigrant women.  It would be a mistake on the part of said White Nationalist boosters to trumpet how White was somehow always right, for 1,000 years ago my ancestors were still barely more than tribesmen wearing loincloths and hacking each other to pieces with iron axes, and other white civilizations weren't much beyond that.  In fact, I distinctly recall in this book the opinion of a Moslem explorer at the peak of Moslem civilization just before the Crusades: the farther north he travelled (along the Western European coast), the stupider and more white the natives were.

My point in mentioning this is to highlight the fact that each race, each civilization has their time in the sun. The white European one is on its way down for various and sundry reasons, and it appears that the Sinic and/or Indo-Aryan ones are ascending.

Racial differences do exist, and they are observable and measurable and influence behavior and human performance.  But culture matters too, and I daresay that the problems of crime and promiscuity in the black community are more problems of culture and habituation and government incentives than they are functions of IQ or testosterone levels or whatever objective criteria is used.

Yes, racial differences do exist.  As with the sexes, which race is "better" or "worse" depends on the criteria used. The trick, I think, is what to do about these differences in a polyglot society in a manner that preserves the fundamental dignity of all.  For letting these differences run their course in a laissez-faire manner will inevitably result in stark social stratification along racial/ethnic lines, and if one puts stock in the mantra "diversity + proximity = war", such fault lines will result in social friction.  Yet the opposite--the pretty lie that all races are the same and differences found are the result of "systemic racism" by the dominant group (the lie is, of course, enforced by liberal amounts of State violence)--appears to yield as much, if not more social stratification, racial/ethnic violence, and calls for social justice.

* Particularly by left-wingers in a clear case of projection/distraction...for on the political spectrum, it is the Left who has the clearest problem with racism.  They have this problem because that is where their logic and relative morality inexorably leads them....to judging and valuing their fellow humans on objective, physical criteria and not by accepting their inherent, God-given worth.  They have to distract the public away from their shabby history on this point, which is why they try so hard to pain rightwingers as racists.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Roundup

Dennis Mangan @ AlternaRight: Science does support the concept of race.

Whiskey: The Silverado Moment, where middle-class whites discover that they really can have government services and a balanced budget.  The solution: deport all the illegals and their kids.

Ann Coulter discusses how the Wikileaks fiasco was enabled by an angry homosexual's fit of pique.

Jim Good @ TakiMag: Everything's "rape" in Sweden.

Half of rape allegations are false, sez RADAR.

Israel Shamir and Paul Bennet @ CounterPunch: The Assange case makes a mockery of the crime of real rape. (HT: Welmer).

Colin Liddel @ AlternaRight: Diversity means that the truly color-blind society can never exist.

Kevin Myers: The war on poverty yields only more poverty.

From Jamila Akil: Robert Staples places all the blame for black male/female conflict solely on the shoulders of black men.  An interesting article that highlight's Staples' work; unfortunately, Staples outs himself as a white knight as he manages to observe the phenomenon of black women competing for attention from black men, yet pins the blame for that sorry state of affairs mainly on the shoulders of black men.   Sorry, I ain't buying it, not in a world that features female sexual liberation and no protection of the social institution of fatherhood.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quote of the Day: The Limitations of Rights

While I'm no papist, I have to give credit where credit is due.  This passage from the Papal Encyclopedia nails the two-way relationship between human rights and human duties.  The latter must exist for the former to persist, something that the present secular religion would do well to heed:
“rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere licence… individual rights, when detached from a framework of duties which grants them their full meaning, can run wild, leading to an escalation of demands which is effectively unlimited and indiscriminate. An overemphasis on rights leads to a disregard for duties. Duties set a limit on rights because they point to the anthropological and ethical framework of which rights are a part, in this way ensuring that they do not become licence. Duties thereby reinforce rights and call for their defence and promotion as a task to be undertaken in the service of the common good.

...if the only basis of human rights is to be found in the deliberations of an assembly of citizens, those rights can be changed at any time, and so the duty to respect and pursue them fades from the common consciousness”

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rape Accusations As A Tool of IW and Lawfare

I haven't been following the Assange/Wikileaks affair all that closely, so I am admittedly quite ignorant as to the facts surrounding the Wikileaks release of classified communiques. I am similarly ignorant of the facts surrounding the "sudden" surfacing of rape allegations against him.

I do, however, find the timing of these accusations quite interesting, for they hint at the possibility that something else is afoot.  The coincidence that these two women would bravely step forward now, after all this time, to level their accusations, is just too much for me to accept at face value. Sensing a rope-a-dope underway, and courtesy of FB, I give you Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén, heroine rape accusers du jour:
A reader emailed me to tell me that Julian Assange’s second rape accuser is named Sofia Wilén. She’s the “Woman B” in this article, the stalkerish groupie who slept with Assange but got mad at him after he turned out to be an inattentive geek. There are a bunch of articles confirming Wilén’s involvement in the case, including her friendship with Assange’s other accuser, the psychotic feminist Anna Ardin:

STOCKHOLM/MELBOURNE (Rixstep) — The charges against Julian Assange were indeed trumped up. Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén planned it all. They went to the police station asking for advice, knowing the police would turn it into an accusation of rape. They’re also the ones who leaked the story to the tabloid Expressen.

This was revealed in a letter written by Assange’s Australian barrister to the website Crikey.

A bit of a recap first.

Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén approached the Klara police station in Stockholm on the afternoon of Friday 20 August 2010 to ask questions of the police, purportedly about forcing someone to submit to STD/HIV tests.

The policemen on duty rang up prosecutor on duty Maria Kjellstrand even before the formal interrogation had begun. Kjellstrand - working with no paperwork at all at this point – issued an ‘APB’ for Assange and had the police search the Stureplan district of Stockholm for Assange, ostensibly to bring him in for questioning (and a tour of Swedish isolation cells).

The formal interrogation of Sofia Wilén was only concluded hours later and the interrogation of Anna Ardin didn’t take place until the day after - by telephone.

As seen from Anna Ardin’s SMS history, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén made the whole thing up - and even decided to leak the story to notorious Swedish tabloid Expressen. The story reached Niklas Svensson and others at Expressen at 19:52.

A colleague of Svensson’s rang up Maria Kjellstrand to find out if the story was true - and Kjellstrand, violating the rules of her office, told the reporter that it was.

Yes, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.  These two Swedish women could be "brave" rape accusers*, stepping forward when they know that a small but vociferous fraction of the population will be after them and smear them for daring to besmirch the reputation of their favorite America-embarrassing hero. Or, alternatively, these two Swedish women just happened to decide now to sell their salacious story to a tabloid newspaper, thus giving the European law enforcement establishment cover under which to assist the American government.  So, thanks to Ardin and Wilen, the US government is able to enlist the assistance of European governments because they are now going after a rapist, and not just after some curmudgeon who embarassed the US Departments of State and Defense. 

And this is where the information warfare piece comes in.  In the West, a rape accusation is a nuclear weapon second only to child molestation in its effectiveness.  The accuser is automatically believed--the deck being stacked by words that assume facts not in evidence, words like perpetrator and especially victim.  For good measure, the accuser's identity is also shielded while the accused's is broadcasted far and wide.  This makes a rape accusation a particularly potent weapon in swaying public opinion back in favor of the US, who would otherwise have no traction at all with the European public.  Thus it is with IW, where the message, the image, the emotions that surround the accusation is what matters, and the truth is left laying mangled on the cutting room floor.

But there is the second piece to this too, that of the lawfare angle, and that is where this rape accusation has its real diabolical genius.  For if Assange is guilty of a sex offense, not just offensive sex, then all of the sudden the acts for which Assange is wanted and hated by the government are punished by something else for which laws are already on the books and a crime for which feminist-influenced LEAs are sympathetic.  So, just like the notorious and homicidal gangster Capone was put away for tax evasion, Assange may be put away for crimes against Hillary Clinton and William Gates.

It could be that Assange is guilty of everything he is accused of. I don't know.  But color me skeptical.  Which is the way every accusation of a crime should be treated, rape or no.  Alas, a rape charge is not treated with the requisite level of skepticism, which is why a rape accusation, coupled with Napoleonic laws that require the accused to fight uphill to prove his innocence, can become a potent tool of IW and lawfare. Either employed by governments conducting counter-espionage or, much more often, employed by women in the law enforcement systems of Western countries.

* Don't know what makes a rape revelation is so brave these days...it's not as if having sex forced upon you in any way sullies a woman's reputation.  In fact, in many ways, it is the opposite, for a woman who makes a rape accusation gets instant attention, support, and as a bonus, absolution of responsibility for her actions during the encounter.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Roundup

The post title says it all: "The TSA wants you to know they're not thugs, which is why they're confiscating your camera".  (HT: MikeT)

A nation of men, not laws, Part 1: NJ man serving for 7 yrs for firearms, magazines, and ammunition he owned and was transporting legally.  Yet the judge refused to allow this evidence in court.

A nation of men, not laws, Part 2: Phyllis Schlafly reports on how the Obama adminstration's Federal bureaucracy enacts rules that have the force of law, yet these rules-cum-laws did not originate in the legislature.

A nation of men, not laws, Part 3: TSA is making up their own rules on the fly about screening passengers...in this case, a breastfeeding mother detained for resisting a TSA agents desire to irradiate breast milk she was transporting back to her baby. For the crime of printing out the TSA's own rules on the subject, she was pushed into an airport "glass cage" and told to "be quiet if you know what’s good for you”, while TSA agents called for “back up”.

Starving the beast: Unemployment extension unlikely, 44 to freeze Fed worker pay for two years to save $5B, and Rep Hoyer says the pay freeze should apply to military members not serving in a combat zone as well.  Although the beast is not so starved that politicians cannot buy votes from their constituencies, in this case a $4.6B payoff to blacks and Amerindians.

Proving the so-called "Religious Right" is merely a left-wing hobby-horse used to scare idiot secularists, only a disemboweled, disempowered religion would allow affrontery like this to happen, at least partially paid for with taxpayer monies no less: Smithsonian Christmas exhibit features an ant-covered crucifix, among other things. Did I mention it was a Christmas exhibit? Update: due to public uproar, the Smithsonian has decided to pull the crucifix exhibit.  The fact that they agreed to show it was itself telling.

The gentle sex: Grandmother throws 2 yo grandaughter to her death from a sixth-story balcony.

The fair sex: Just how fat do you need to be to conceal four pairs of boots, three pairs of jeans, a wallet and a pair of gloves inside the folds of your belly and breast fat?

Just like Prohibition's failure to stamp out the people's desire for the 'demon spirit', DHS' seizure of file-sharing domain names will fail too in the face of an adaptable and learning adversary.

Not long ago, I reviewed an article written by British historian Sir John Glubb about the fate of empires.  Seems he wasn't the only person to note the pattern of an empire's rise only to crater centuries later in a swamp of materialism and financial/social woes, for apparently German historian Oswald Spengler had the same idea a few years before.

As I've made the point here on EW many times in the past, it is lib dems of all colors who are the real racists in thought and deed, not right-wing whites. Although I will say that it appears whites are learning, slowly, that identity politics can work for them, too.

VD asks the following question, after reading a British lefty's hand-wringing about a Moslem-run white-prostitution ring in Derbyshire: which culture "a) truly values its daughters more, and b) is likely to demographically outperform the other. Is it the one that forcibly protects young women from their own behavior or the one that aborts them, deprives them of fathers, and generally abandons them to their momentary impulses?"

Switzerland is starting to look more and more attractive each day...as opposed to our government, they've got enough sac to expel illegal aliens who commit crimes.

Alan Simpson, former senator from Wyoming, calls the Greatest Generation the "greediest generation".  He ain't seen nothing yet...wait until the Baby Boomers start retiring.

Study: the Pill's association with lower sex drive may be due to selection effects...i.e., those women who take the Pill already have a low sex drive to begin with, not the other way around (HT: MikeT)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exploiting the Gullible

...and the historically illiterate.  That is how feminism replicates itself, by selling the young and impressionable a historically and philosophically false bill of goods.  Once this basket of falsehoods has been internalized, the victim, usually female but can easily be a male, turns into a proselytizing drone for the feminist hive.  For instance, take this feminist's male-shaming femmarxist Big Lie combo plate (HT: Obsidian), that I will fisk below for your reading enjoyment:
Deborrah Cooper
November 15, 2010

Our men are not stepping up to the plate in droves as they should, but as noted by your grandmother’s plight, it seems they haven’t for decades. This is nothing new.
Yeah, nothing new here. More shaming language from a woman who fancies herself a judge of men.  What pray tell does she mean by "stepping up to the plate"?  No doubt she feels free to tell men to "man up!" as well. No doubt either that she has failed to consider how women may not have held up their end of the social contract either.
Though I would hardly call myself a feminazi, I am definitely a feminist, a strong hard core what. Meaning, women deserve to have every opportunity, privilege and right that men have, without regards to their gender. This is where it gets confusing.

See, prior to the feminist movement, women didn’t have the options that they do now. Women couldn’t even own property or have credit in their name or decide if they didn’t want to have a child or not! This battle has been fought in my lifetime and I’m not ancient. lol!
Note first the implied normative statement: "women should have the opportunities, privileges, and rights that men have".  Of course, nowhere to be found is any desire to acquire the flip sides of each of these coins, namely opportunity costs, responsibilities, and duties.  No surprise, really, since feminism is an idolatrous philosophy that seeks to enlarge women's autonomy...and responsibilities and duties by their very nature limit that autonomy.  Besides, obligations and duties and responsibilities require you to serve someone else, not your own agenda. No wonder a movement populated by those whose solipsism continues to surprise even jaded MRAs like me eschews obligations and responsibilities.

Second, note the lies woven into the narrative.  Namely that women in times past could not own property,  have credit, or decide if they want to have a child or not.  The simple fact of the matter is that women could, even in the bad old days of colonial America predating the hoary Seneca Falls gathering, own property and enter contracts and such. And the Bible speaks to her ability to do so as well, thus short-circuiting the feminist argument that women in antiquity couldn't and didn't do these things either.

And as for deciding to have a child or not, a woman has always had this choice. By deciding to not engage in sex. But then again, when a feminist discusses choice, we know she really means the ability to commit fetuscide without accountability.
What the feminist movement did was make it okay for women to be whatever they wanted to be. If you WANT to marry and stay at home with your children, that’s fine! If you WANT to not marry and adopt a child and raise it by yourself, that’s fine! If you WANT to marry and work and not have children ever, that’s fine! If you want to postpone marriage and launch a multi-billion dollar corporation and travel the world and sleep with men from every corner of the globe, that’s fine! If you don’t want your career options to be limited to being a housekeeper, teacher or secretary because you prefer to be a machinist, construction worker or Mayor, that’s fine!
This passage merely evinces what I wrote above.  Feminism is merely about granting autonomy for women, damn the consequences, and damn whomever pays the social, legal, material, spiritual, or financial bills.  If you want to be a choice mommy and raise an emotionally, developmentally, and socially stunted child without a father in the home, all while billing a man or community of men, a woman can, thanks to feminism. If a woman wants to be "childless by choice" and therefore fail to reinvest the resources her parents and society spent on her to raise her, she can, thanks to feminism.  If a woman wants to postpone marriage, be an SYF, and sow misery and discord through her globetrotting fornication, she can, thanks to feminism. And yes, thanks to feminism, women can be machinists or construction workers if they want.  If women would really ever stoop to such uncomfortable / dangerous jobs such as that en masse. So I have to concede that point.
I see women having choices now, many of which men don’t want us to have because it makes them confused about their “role” which was formerly very rigid and well-defined for them. This crosses age and racial barriers.
This is really the only comment in the entire passage that rings even partially true. Yes I think men do resent women's choices, because men do not have symmetrical choices to women's choices. We do not have C4M, the mirror image of abortion on demand (and C4M doesn't involve snuffing another life). We men do not have the choice to not work and still eat.  We men do not have the realistic choice to be a hausherr, since most women will not support a man (yet breezily assume that a man will support them).  Instead, what we do have is responsibilities.  A lot of them. Many of which include bankrolling women's autonomy, as we work ourselves into premature graves.

Feminism depends on gullibility of the young and impressionable, based on the temptation of deceptively self-serving philosophy, cherry picking history, and outright lying.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Review: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10The Book: Lone Survivor, by Marcus Luttrell, 383 pages. 

The Gist: This book is an account of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's basic and advanced training, followed by a play-by-play account of the fate of himself, his three other teammates, and 16 other SEALs and 160th SOAR special operators during Operation Redwing.  Rather than a full-up book review and detailed summary of the plot, I instead will highlight and discuss a few of the discussion points raised in the book.

The Tribal Organization of the Pashtuns.  Luttrell has some interesting observations about the Pashtun tribe. First, demographics: Luttrell claims the Pashtun tribe is "the world's oldest living tribal group", 42M all told, 42% living in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their culture even has its own name: pashtunwali, an unwritten code that governs the daily life of rural Pashtuns.  The Pashtuns are organized patrilinearly, and inheritance and lineage passes from father to son.  The security and chaste behavior of Pashtun women are the key to the continuity of this lineage; recognizing this, Pashtun families keep women concealed away from threats and temptation, where Pashtun women enjoy the love and respect of their sons and wide latitude to rule as matriarch over their homes and that of their daughters-in-law.  But what I found most interesting about the Pashtuns, other than a very strong sense of honor that compels them to avenge wrongdoing (Luttrell notes that homicide rates among the Pashtun are much lower than in many urban cities in the USA),  was what Luttrell called "lokhay", or asylum.  However, this isn't some garden-variety asylum, under lokhay, the host is obliged to guard the life, even at great material expense, of the one granted asylum. This created some interesting dynamics in Lone Survivor, where his Pashtuh host finds himself at lethal loggerheads with the Taliban who control the province in which Operation Redwing took place, over his decision to take the American infidel in.

Rules of Engagement.  Luttrell's book well exposed the limitations of Western law governing armed conflict, laws written in a day when uniformed armies faced each other in open warfare, and did not have many complimentary things to say about what happens when Western ROE is imposed upon a very Eastern, very 5GW, war. For instance, the ROE dictates US troops not shoot, kill, or injure unarmed un-uniformed civilians.   Fair enough.  But how does one deal with skilled civilian spies for the Taliban, themselves unlawful combatants? What about "an entire secret army, diverse, fragmented, and lethal....pretending to be civilians"?  What about the camel drovers picking their way through the mountain passes with shipments of explosives?  And what about teenage Taliban sympathizers who, upon sighting American forces, dime out their position to their older Taliban buddies with RPGs?  The starched politicians who craft the ROEs would never know how their rules cost American lives and short-circuit American military effectiveness on the battlefield, and give our opponents confidence that, unless they arm themselves openly, they need fear little from US forces, even if they are doing everything possible to further the enemy's cause shy of pulling a trigger themselves.   If US forces did shoot them, those same remote-control politicians wouldn't flinch a moment at jacking up American soldiers for murder, something that Luttrell suspects our Islamist opponents would find quite amusing...imagine how farcical a murder charge appears to those same folks who have sworn to kill infidels and make no distinctions between soldier and civilian, both members of the dar al harb and deserving of death.   

And this leads me to a quote from Luttrell that I found quite illuminating:
Who's prepared to go furthest to win this war? Answer: they are.  They'll willingly die to get to their enemy. They will take it to the limit, any time, any place, whatever it takes. And they don't have rules of engagement.  Thus we have an extra element of fear and danger when we go into combat against the Taliban or al Qaeda...the fear of our own, the fear of what our own navy judge advocate general might rule against us, the fear of the American media and their unfortunate effect on American politicians.
Thus once again we Americans find ourselves embroiled in a 4/5GW fight in Afghanistan and Iraq in which we, yet again, employ our forces in a stereotypically 3GW manner. Uniformed forces against un-uniformed "unlawful combatants", but combatants nonetheless.  We once again fail(ed) to realize that information is a weapon, that American public will is a center of gravity, and how the images and stories that media carries to the American and international public sometimes has far more strategic effect than individual battles or campaigns.  Once again we fail(ed) to realize that the media is not a disinterested observer, they are working their own political agenda, an agenda that oftimes aligns with that of our opponents. And we are not willing to do what it takes to beat a determined enemy who is far more interested in defeating us than we are in defeating him. 

Speaking of ROE, Luttrell's book highlights an ethical/ROE quandary shared by many soldiers in the past: what to do with non-combatants who discover a soldiers' hiding place? In this case, Luttrell's team was discovered by a trio of young adult/adolescent goatherders.  The civilians were unarmed, and did not directly threaten Luttrell and his team. Yet the SEALs knew when they did not kill the Afghan goatherders, they would likely give their position away to the Taliban in the area, who would undoubtedly attack them in their exposed position. In the end, the SEALs opted to take the high-minded, Western way out, set the goatherders free, and 19 Americans paid with their lives, including three members of Luttrell's own Team.  Is such a choice moral? Ethical? I leave this rhetorical question for the reader to consider, but one thing is for certain: the Western, Augustinian moral system breaks down quite rapidly when faced with a utilitarian dilemma such as this...to kill a few quasi-innocent partisans in order to save dozens, even hundreds of allied and enemy combatants, as well as your own lives.

The Futility of Engaging In Wars In Which One Lacks the Will to Do What Is Necessary to Win. Rather than attempt to paraphrase or summarize Luttrell's opinion, I'll let his words speak for themselves:
...until the United States decides to wield a very large stick up here in support of the elected government of the people, in Kabul, I'm not looking for any serious change real soon. The enemy is prepared to go to any lengths to achieve victory, terrorizing its own people, if necessary, and resorting to barbaric practices against its enemy, including decapitating people or butchering them.  We are not allowed to fight on those terms. And neither would we wish to. However, we could fight in a much more ruthless manner [if we stopped] worrying if everyone still loved us. If we did that, we'd probably win both Afghanistan and Iraq in about a week. But we're not allowed to do that. And I guess we'd better start getting used to the consequences and permit the American liberals to squeak and squeal us to ultimate defeat. I believe that's what it's called when you pack up and go home, when a war fought under your own "civilized" terms is unwinnable.

I have only one piece of advice for what it's worth: if you don't want to get into a war where thing go wrong, where the wrong people sometimes get killed, where innocent people sometimes have to die, then stay the hell out of it in teh first place.
A very accurate sentiment, one that I largely agree with.  Yet I sense Luttrell hasn't quite worked out the tension in his own mind between the liberals squealing about compliance with seemingly obsolete laws of war and the descent into barbarity that would surely follow if American forces were to follow the example of the Taliban and al Qaeda.  Are American troops psychologically hard enough to withstand the mental onslaught that will follow if they pell-mell dispatch inconvenient enemy civilians?  More importantly, is the American public, conditioned to decades of clean (from their perspective) push-button wars, prepared to accept news of one "atrocity" after another, committed in their name? Is the American public willing to grok the full wondrous horror that is warfare in general, let alone a 4/5GW one?

In sum, Lone Survivor was an enjoyable, fast read written from the point of view of a red-state military man who is truly on the pointy edge of the American military spear. His account of his survival and heroism of his comrades was truly amazing, and raises a few interesting issues to ponder, for those so inclined.