Contrasting Marches

A PJ Media blogger observes two rallies, one celebrating abortion and the other celebrating life.

On January 26, two diametrically opposed ideologies chose San Francisco as their battleground. To our left, the pro-choice army convened at the city’s Embarcadero to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (which formally legalized abortion throughout the United States); to our right, the pro-life army convened for its ninth annual Walk for Life (the largest anti-abortion event on the West Coast).

Read the whole thing.

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Aurini on Women in Combat

Sci-fi writer and reactionary philosopher D.M.J. Aurini has yet another view of women in combat, along with an interesting perspective on the last hundred years of war.

 

The Myths of Gun Control

Screenwriter and former liberal David Mamet outlines a very logical case against the latest effort at gun control:

The police do not exist to protect the individual. They exist to cordon off the crime scene and attempt to apprehend the criminal. We individuals are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to self-defense. This right is not the Government’s to “award” us. They have never been granted it.

The so-called assault weapons ban is a hoax. It is a political appeal to the ignorant. The guns it supposedly banned have been illegal (as above) for 78 years. Did the ban make them “more” illegal? The ban addresses only the appearance of weapons, not their operation.

The cities with the strictest regulation of firearms, such as Chicago and Washington, D.C., have the nation’s highest murder rates. Obviously, laws are not enough to deter criminals from acquiring guns, but they seem to do a reasonable job of disarming the law-abiding citizens. Gun control advocates never seem to make this logical observation.

The truth is that guns are the great equalizer of humanity. If firearms did not exist, then the weak would always be at the mercy of the strong. Children, disabled people, the elderly, and single women would have no defense against the thugs, thieves, rapists, and murderers who seek to impose their will upon others. A gun, however, gives these potential victims a measure of protection against the monsters and wolves of society. Nonagenarians and children alike have used firearms to protect themselves and their homes from evil men who would do them harm. In short, the gun is civilization:

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

I like to think that most average citizens who wish to do away with firearms come to their position through a sort of innocent naïveté. The truth of the matter, however, is that the gun is more important as a tool of protection than it is a tool of destruction, and the politicians and the elites who want to do away with firearms certainly understand that. President Obama and his family are protected by armed Secret Service agents around the clock. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has introduced a new bill to ban certain guns, is also protected by armed security. Hollywood actors have armed retinues, as do anti-gun mayors such as Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Michael Bloomberg of New York. In short, the rich and the powerful have the ability to surround themselves with a small army’s worth of weapons and ammunition. When it comes to their families, the rich and powerful spare no expense in assuring their protection, but then they have the audacity to tell you, the average middle-class American, that you should not have the right to protect your family in the same manner.

The gun is civilization. A poor man cannot afford 24/7 armed security, but he can still protect his home and his family with a gun. It is the so-called progressives, who claim to champion the cause of the poor, who aim to take away that right while keeping it for themselves.

If you listen to the mainstream news, you might be tempted to say that banning “assault weapons” is a reasonable compromise. Not so. First, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon”. The term was coined by anti-gun advocated in order to frighten the uninformed. This site gives a concise demonstration of the truth about guns that the phrase attempts to obfuscate. Finally, John Hinderaker of PowerLine fisks Senator Feinstein’s bill, explaining how ridiculous her proposal really is.

Anti-gun advocates like to say that a gun is a tool with only one purpose: to harm and kill. You know what? I will grant that. Having the ability to harm and kill a criminal who intends harm to me and my family is one of the most important natural rights that we have as human beings. A government that would seek to limit or deny that ability is no friend of human rights, and should rightly be considered a tyranny.

Reactions to the Pentagon Decision

Vox Day sees a politically-correct HR bureaucracy appearing soon in combat brigades increasingly filled with women.

Steve Sailer points out that the military is not being sent to win World War II anymore, but is instead getting stuck slogging through third-world hellholes, and as such, women in combat will make little difference in the long run.

Ann Althouse has not yet weighed in with her opinion, but the comment thread features some interesting debate.

Update 1/24:

Victor Davis Hanson makes basically the same case that I do:

In a larger sense, with the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and women in front-line combat units, we have decided that the military is one with all other civilian institutions and without a particular code or caste. Fair enough — in the past, there certainly have been excellent male soldiers who were romantically attracted to one another (cf. the Theban Sacred Band) and plenty of brave and effective female pilots, snipers, and infantrywomen (cf. the Russian front after 1942), and we shall soon discover whether our more recent reluctance to follow those clear examples was absurd.

One way or another, we have now apparently made a number of assumptions: that in the next war we will see overtly gay men and women fully integrated in small ground units amid firefights and carnage at the front; that this will not affect negatively, but more likely improve, U.S. combat efficacy;and that those intolerant reactionaries who object and feel less safe or simply less comfortable will shun the military — and that the military will not suffer as a consequence of their absence, but more likely improve. If all true, then we are onto the brave new world!

Women to be integrated into combat units

Breaking, from CNN:

The U.S. military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat and will open combat jobs and direct combat units to female troops, CNN has learned. Multiple officials confirm to CNN that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will make the announcement tomorrow and notify Congress of the planned change in policy.

“We will eliminate the policy of ‘no women in units that are tasked with direct combat,’” a senior defense official says.

Well, this should be interesting.

The March for Life

On the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, many hundreds of people gathered at the Capitol Campus in Olympia, Washington to take part in the March for Life. Here is a sampling of what I saw there. Perhaps later I will make a post on the moral and social issues involved in the abortion debate.

 

Queuing UpFiling InPremeditated Murder
Planned Parenthood Lies Orthodox Capitol Steps Benton Face It For All Lost Fatherhood

Birth Control

The only way this post will not be personally controversial is if nobody is actually reading this blog. (A distinct possibility.) For most of my life, I have refrained from forming a serious opinion on birth control. I am not yet married, and it seemed best to leave this topic to the women who will actual choose whether or not to use birth control. (The political subject of whether or not organizations should be compelled to pay for birth control is another matter entirely.) On the other hand, I have long held the opinion that anything that interrupts the body’s natural processes is best left alone. This maxim informs my thinking on everything from anti-perspirant to pain medication to drugs and alcohol. This is not to say that I never take Ibuprofen, or that I never indulge in a glass of wine here and there; rather I tend to require a very good reason to ingest or apply a chemical that is designed to alter my body’s natural function.

I have long suspected that birth control based on drugs or hormones is unhealthy in some way. It is entirely designed to alter the natural function of a woman’s body, and it is hard to believe that this alteration produces no harmful side effects. Additionally, hearing from female friends and family, it seems to be something that is over-prescribed. To hear some speak of it, birth control is a panacea that will cure everything from acne to uncomfortable menstruation. Yet most panaceas are too good to be true. Like I said, however, I always felt a social pressure to believe that being male disqualified me from having an opinion on the matter. So it is with some interest that I read a woman’s perspective on the issue:

Doctors will reassure you up and down that hormone birth control (HBC) is Completely Safe.  Maybe it won’t directly kill you outright, but that doesn’t make it safe, and here’s the weird thing: if a woman uses HBC and experiences side-effects, doctors are so committed to their role as Dispensers of Birth Control, they will deny that those effects have anything to do with the HBC.  This actually happened to me: I used the pill for the first few years that HHG and I were married and then switched to a Norplant, which is a device comprised of silicone tubes full of progesterone that are inserted under the skin of your upper arm.  I still have a scar from mine.  The side effects were almost immediate: nausea, greatly reduced sex drive, frequent break-through bleeding between periods, and weird changes in body hair.  It was horrible, but when I spoke to my Nurse Practitioner about it, she promised me that those effects were “unrelated” to the Norplant.  Because I was 25 and stupid, I simply accepted what she said, although I didn’t really believe her.  Incredibly, I kept my Norplant in for three more years, before having it taken out and switching to the Pull and Pray method of birth control and finally just saying, “The heck with it, pregnancy has got to better than this.”  As soon as we quit using BC, I immediately became pregnant.

During my child-bearing thirties, doctors relentlessly tried to get me back onto birth control.  Why should this be so?  I am a married woman.  My husband has a job with health insurance and sufficient income to raise a family.  We own a home and are reasonably functional people.  Why shouldn’t we have as many children as we want (or more importantly, as the Lord will give us)?  Yet, the pressure to contracept has been relentless.  It’s part of the very first post-partum check up after you have a baby – “What form of birth control would you like to use now?”  If you say “None, thank you”, the doctor will freeze with surprise and really look at you for the first time during the appointment.  They usually feel the need to give you a basic biology lesson at that point, and it’s hard to resist the urge to respond with a sarcastic, “Yes, I know how babies are made.”

Read the whole thing. In addition to the side effects, which are seemingly swept under the rug in many cases, what I found interesting was the idea that using some sort of birth control is the social norm these days. In just a few short generations, birth control has gone from being taboo to being the default position for all women. Those who make a conscious choice to avoid it, as SunshineMary did, are looked at as dangerous freaks. The church, once the bulwark of traditional values against the decay of modern culture, has embraced it wholeheartedly. (The Catholics still officially forbid its use, but surveys show that most practicing Catholics ignore that prohibition.) How did this happen? How did a pill (or implant) explicitly designed to alter the way the body works become the default setting for all women? In addition to health and pheromone issues, what other side effects might hormonal birth control have yet to be discovered? What sorts of social and physiological changes does this portend for future generations?

Aaron Clarey on the Division of Labor

Are we really better off than we were fifty years ago?