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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Self-Defense-From-Rape Claim Doesn't Save Woman from Gallows

Iran hangs a young woman for murder, after she claims self-defense to justify the killing of a man she accused of rape:
Reyhaneh Jabbari had spent five years on death row for stabbing a 47-year-old surgeon who had previously worked for the intelligence ministry, the official IRNA news agency reported. Efforts for clemency had intensified in recent weeks. Jabbari's mother was allowed to visit her for one hour on Friday, Amnesty said - a custom that tends to precede executions in Iran.

However, Sarbandi's family insisted the murder was premeditated and that Jabbari had confessed to buying a knife two days before the killing. According to Jalal Sarbandi, the victim's eldest son, Jabbari testified that a man was present in the apartment where his father was killed but she had refused to reveal his identity. He said in April that his family "would not even contemplate mercy until truth is unearthed. Only when her true intentions are exposed and she tells the truth about her accomplice and what really went down will we be prepared to grant mercy," he said at the time.

Jabbari's plea of self-defence failed to persuade judges at various stages of the appeal process up to Iran's Supreme Court and she remained in prison throughout.
A man was dead. Iranian justice required a life to forfeit in exchange. Knowing this, Miss Jabbari still claimed self-defense, and refused to dime out the other male she claimed was in the room at the time of Mr. Sarbandi's death, who would have certainly faced the death penalty had she named him...that is, if he existed at all. Not that it was in any way certain that giving up this other phantasmic man would have saved her neck; given the obvious questions about what Miss Jabari was doing in a room alone with two unrelated men, she (and he) could have still faced harsh if not capital punishment for possible zina.

Interestingly, the twin claims of "self defense" and "rape" were ineffective at saving her life. In the West, both claims, especially if uttered by a woman, an particularly if linked together, as in this case, would have had far more currency and may have saved her life. Not so in Iran, and in other shariah-law countries, which demands more evidence than a mere accusation to exculpate someone from a heinous crime.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quote for Today

Harvard's [anti-sexual-assualt] policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense
Professor Alan Dershowitz, in an article in the November 3d edition of Time magazine.

ht: Community of the Wrongly Accused
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Republicans See White Vote As Key To Taking Senate

A (slight) parody.

An explicitly race-based strategy emerges to exploit racial solidarity and tribal identity for political power:
The confidential memo from a pollster for former presidential candidate Mitt Romney contained a blunt but uncontroversial advice for Republicans. Written this month with an eye toward election day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party would do more to get white voters to the polls.

“White voters failed to come out in force in 2008 and 2012, and are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” the pollster wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.”

This assessment points to an urgent imperative for Republicans: To keep Democrats from retaining control of the Senate, they need white voter to turn out in droves in at least four key states. The one politician guaranteed to generate enthusiasm among white voters, according to the memo, is the same man many Democratic candidates want to avoid: Mr. Obama.

Now, Republicans are deploying other prominent black elected officials and other surrogates, buttressed by sophisticated voter targeting efforts, to stoke white turnout. At country clubs and military bases across the country, the president of the Republican National Committee is waging an under-the-radar campaign, recording video advertisements, radio interviews and telephone calls specifically targeting his loyal European-American base.

“Anybody who looks at the data realizes that if the white vote, and the off-white vote, doesn’t turn out, we can’t win. It’s just that simple,” said Representative Martie L. Faust of Ohio, the chairwoman of the Congressional White Caucus, referring to whites from Northern and Southern Europe. “If we don’t turn out, we cannot take the Senate.”
The source article, which detailed a no-kidding race-based get-out-the-vote strategy, appeared in the Gray Lady last week.

Question for the group: Is is more racist to vote for someone because of their skin color, or against because of their skin color? Similarly, is it more racist to vote as a racial bloc, or less?  If so, why?

Discuss amongst yourselves.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Riding While White In Baltimore

Submitted without editorial comment, for the below article speaks for itself:
[D]espite the media harping for years on the now-discredited “Driving While Black” fake ‘crisis’, you definitely won’t be hearing about this new term anytime soon, even though in just the past few months TRN has reported on many incidents of Whites getting a racial beat down on a public or school bus.

The latest case involved a white family victimized by a (now former) Baltimore city bus driver, Karen Murphy, who appeared in court last week to face charges of assault and conspiracy for arranging for a mob of black high school students, to attack the family over a verbal altercation between Murphy and two passengers.

The victims, Christopher Fisher, his girlfriend Kristina Gibson, and their 9 year-old son Logan, were all violently beaten and pepper sprayed by the group after they exited the bus at their stop. Murphy kept the bus waiting during the assault and then allowed the mob back onto the bus and drove away, leaving the victims behind on the sidewalk.

As reported by WBALTV 11 news, the incident stemmed from the family merely not being able to move back on the crowded bus as was instructed by Murphy. When one of the victims, Christopher Fisher, attempted to explain that they could not move due to the overly crowded conditions, Murphy became enraged and got out of her seat to threaten Fisher and his girlfriend with physical violence.
According to the video, Fisher told Murphy that the bus was too crowded to do so, and the two exchanged words, with Murphy saying, “If you would have gotten your (expletive) off you wouldn’t be having these problems. You better watch the way you’re talking to me. … Come up here and I’ll show you what I’ll do. You better get your ass way back there in the back.”

Eventually, Murphy pulled the bus over.

“She pulled the bus over, got out of her seat belt, stood up screaming in both of our faces, ‘Don’t tell me how to do my job. If you have a problem, come across this line and I’ll knock you the F out,’” Gibson said.

Court documents said at that point, some teen boys on the bus began yelling with Murphy for the family to get off the bus. The documents said Murphy kept one of the teens by her, and one of the teens could be heard on the video yelling “Call them up.” Gibson told police that she saw Murphy make a phone call.

Two bus stops later, Gibson said a large number of Mergenthaler Vo-Tech and Academy for College and Career Exploration students boarded the bus.

“The school kids immediately came up to her and began speaking like they knew each other. We weren’t too far away from her, so we could hear, and she said to them, ‘I don’t care where they get off. You handle that (expletive) and I’ll take care of you. I’ll wait for you,’” Gibson recalled.

“She actually let these children get off of this bus and beat me and my family for at least three minutes, then let them get back on, get weapons, get back off and back on again, and then took off with every one of them that did it,” victim Kristina Gibson told 11 News reporter Lowell Melser.

“As soon as the doors opened, they hit my boyfriend on the back of the head with something,” Gibson said.

“I was really scared,” 9-year-old Logan told 11 News. He said he tried to defend his mother but couldn’t. “I tried to get the girl that was beating her up off of her, and she turned around and pepper-sprayed me.”
Unbelievable. A organized, criminal act, backed up by video surveillance — which authorities refuse to release to the public.

Top Right News asked authorities Baltimore Police if this would be charged as a hate crime, and we were told, after 2 days of delays, that there was no evidence to suggest race was a factor. Unbelievable. You just imagine the public and media outcry over the incident (and police delay in investigating it) if the races were reversed.
According to the article, the MSM story on this same incident made no mention of the race of the assailants or the victims, which is, in its own way, a pretty reliable indicator of at least the race of the assailants, if not the victims.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

$.06 Per Pound ROI

Not much to argue with here:
The next time you hear a four-star whine to Congress about how military pay and benefits are wreaking havoc on the defense budget and must be rolled back, think about this item buried deep in the news mix last week:

According to the Washington Post, a few years ago the Defense Department spent nearly half a billion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to buy 20 Italian cargo planes for the Afghan Air Force.

The planes turned out to be highly defective, with problems in performance, maintenance and spare parts. Sixteen were sold for scrap — at a return of 6 cents a pound. The others are parked at a U.S. air base in Germany and likely will never see service.

DoD spent $486 million on the planes, junked most of them, and recouped just a paltry $32,000. But it’s you, Airman 1st Class Jones, and your costly benefits, that are destroying the defense budget.

In truth, the military-industrial complex about which President Eisenhower warned the nation decades ago is in full flower. DoD wastes this kind of money on hardware all the time; it’s now a collective $400 billion over initial cost estimates on its current weapons acquisition portfolio.
While part of the issue for such a low price for problem-plagued yet technically flyable aircaft is that they are parked at the end of the runway at Kabul International Airport, and that the military is slowly becoming the GM of the Federal Government (you know, a health care company that also makes cars), the overall point of the editorial holds: Lots and lots of money down the memory hole in DoD, with not much accountability for it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Neologism: Sexzoned

Sexzoned: The act of determining one is unworthy of commitment, but yet still useful for satisfying sexual needs.
One way in which Red Pill thought has re-jiggered relations between the sexes is to remind men that, while women are the gatekeepers of consensual sex, men are the gatekeepers of consensual commitment.  This commitment has substantial value, and men should not disregard it so.

Suitors offering friendship, yet found unworthy of access to a woman's sexuality have been friendzoned by the cowardly/unscrupulous/both since time immemorial.  Today, however, subsequent to women's (and also men's) liberation, women offering sexual access yet found unworthy of a man's permanent commitment may find themselves, to use Emma the Emo's newly coined term, sexzoned by the equally cowardly/unscrupulous/both. Milk without the cow, &c. To use Emma's words:
If a guy says something angry upon being friendzoned, he is usually judged harshly, and it’s suggested he felt entitled to sex to have this attitude. And sometimes they say he thought that a woman’s friendship was a consolation prize (which is an insult to her friendship).

A woman is not a machine where you insert friendship coins, until sex falls out!..

Indeed it’s true. But isn’t the same true for men?

A man is not a machine where you insert [sex] coins, until friendship falls out.

Offering friendship does not necessarily result in friendship. Sometimes people aren’t interested, or want more. Does that mean women who become angry when friendship is refused, felt entitled to a man’s friendship? Ian Ironwood [at the blog The Red Pill Room] suggests so.
The remainder of Emma's original post discusses legitimacy of the anger that some men feel upon being friendzoned, likens it to the resentment that some women feel upon being sexzoned, and discusses the relative merits of whether that reaction is due to entitlement or some other motivation.

A couple of thoughts here on sexzoning.  First, men re-realizing that they are the gatekeepers of consensual commitment does much to re-balance the scales between the sexes in the sexual marketplace (SMP). This commodity (consensual commitment) is in great demand, and that demand grants significant power. A man should be as profligate in granting relationship as a woman is in granting sex. In being choosy in relationship, in being unpromiscuous in his commitments, a man increases his attractiveness both in the SMP and marriage marketplace (MMP), much in the same way as a choosy woman increases her attractiveness through differentiation and exclusivity.  But that's not the only benefit: This choosiness insulates men and women from being friend- and sexzoned, respectively.

Moreover, adapting Scripture for a moment, we should recall that 'to whom much is granted, much is expected'. Thus those fellows who don't appreciate the thought of being friendzoned should remember that when tempted to sexzone a woman.  The opposite applies to women considering friendzoning a man--it's disrespectful and using.  

Second--readers will forgive a bit of proselytizing here, but I gotta--one's risk of being friendzoned/sexzoned decreases significantly upon rejecting the sexual marketplace for the marriage marketplace. But not just the MMP, but a specific domain within it: Courting.  In courting, a man is in the driver's seat.  He initiates this deliberate process with an end goal in sight--marriage.  This sets the mental framework for the events to follow, and "breaks his beta", almost by default.  This is not to say that women have less power or influence in this process, far from it.  Rather, that both potentials are evaluating the other for suitability as a husband or wife. If either rejects the other, there was no "milk without the cow" sex and/or commitment being obtained, thus low/no risk of friendzoning or sexzoning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Women's Sins, Partially Enumerated

Jaw. Dropped.

That's what happened when I read the below snippet on what a sampling of college-aged women think about what their chief sin is, as found by blog-brother Empathalogicalism and referenced in Elspeth's recent post entitled "Why The Focus on Feminine Proclivities?":
In a spiritual formation class we work on how Christians can get victory over sin as a part of their spiritual growth. To start the unit I ask students to list the sins Christians face most today. They list four sins immediately:

Internet Porn
Pride
Lust
Anger

Then they pause...they run out of sins. These four got listed quickly each time. In fact I’ve come to call them the “foul four” sins. Then they run out of gas and just sit there thinking.

At the pause I usually ask, “OK, for each sin on our list let’s decide as a class if men or women are more inclined to this sin. In all three classes they have agreed that while women are sometimes tempted in these areas men are more inclined to these four sins.

So I say, “Only women participate now—decide among yourselves what four sins you’d add to the list to that you think women are more inclined toward. Silence. Furrowed brows. Thinking… [long pause]

Really! Each time the women who (along with the men) had quickly offered the “foul four” are at a loss to quickly add “besetting sins” that women seem more inclined toward. And now for the part that got me to write on this subject.

The last two times I did this activity the women unanimously agreed on what they considered the chief besetting sin of women:

Lack of self esteem

I’m serious. So were they. The last two times I did this when a women offered “Self esteem” the entire group of women audibly responded, “Yeah—that’s it!”

You see where I’m headed? Lack of self esteem? To the men in the class these co-eds were saying, “While you men struggle with pornography, lust, pride and anger we women struggle with not thinking highly enough of ourselves.” (Several men in the class always visibly roll their eyes.)

To be fair, the women (after considerably time) usually add three other sins: resentment, bitterness, and lack of trust. But even their expanded list appeared to the guys in the class that men struggle with really bad sins while women fight minor sins. This male response was actually summed up the last time I did this. One male student exclaimed, “Gee, if I just struggled with those sins I’d be a saint!” To him “women’s temptations” were misdemeanors while his own besetting sins were obviously capital crimes.
For my surprise, I have only myself to blame. A clear-cut case of projecting a typically masculine self-awareness--and assuming that men and women who claim to be Believers both grasp in equal measure that they are equally fallen--onto the female half of the species. Yes, I'm talking generalities here.  NAMALT and NAWALT are stipulated  Mrs. Wapiti, to her credit and in a fair example of why I married her, is an example of the latter; she was able to rattle off three or four sinful tendencies disproportionately afflicting women than men in short order without so much as batting an eye, chief of those being the #1 female fave since the Garden, envy.  But if the author to whom Empath linked is to be believed, this phenomenon is really quite extraordinary. I mean, come now...Womenfolks' chief sin is not thinking highly enough of themselves?

Really?

Quite stunning, frankly, when one sits and thinks awhile about the long-run implications of that.

Before I continue, and discuss the heavy duty sins to which women do fall victim, I regret that I must take the time to state for the record that, yes, we menz have a lot of sinful stuff for which we must answer. I mention this self-evident truth as prophylaxis against the inevitable cries of misogyny and/or lack of balance.  Indeed, I take some comfort in noting that the below partial, un-ordered list of women's sins was written by a woman, the better to convict you with my dear, since some readers may resent mansplaining about women's sins and therefore reject them out of hand based on little more than the sex of the 'splainer.

Anyways, comes now April, blogging  at PeacefulWife, with her take on the matter:
We have “low self esteem” – instead of labeling ourselves as having pride, envy of other women, idolatry of beauty, idolatry of our husbands, idolatry of being a certain size/weight, idolatry of trying to be in control ourselves and seeing ourselves as sovereign instead of God.

We focus so much on being “right” that we justify treating our husbands with hatred, contempt, bitterness and disrespect because our husbands “deserve” it in our view.

We have “hormonal problems” like PMS and menopause – and while this may be true, while these medical issues may have a huge contribution towards our behavior, we are STILL guilty of sin when we react in a rage, yell, scream, cuss, pridefully judge others, hold grudges, refuse to forgive and treat people with hatred and contempt.

We talk about depression and anxiety, which CAN be medically based – but we ignore that many times our depression and anxiety are direct results of our lack of faith in God, our huge faith in ourselves instead, our disobedience to God’s Word and our lack of being Spirit-filled because we are cherishing sin in our hearts.

We are “venting” or “sharing” – so we don’t count that as gossip – which is a sin in God’s sight. We HAVE to talk about how wronged we were and what victims we are, we feel it is just a part of being a woman to need to do this.

We “HAVE” to take over control in our marriages because our husbands “won’t” lead. That is what I thought. I was so wrong! When I stepped back and WAITED patiently, my husband stepped up and became a stronger and stronger man of God and leader. My perception that he couldn’t or wouldn’t lead was wrong. I just didn’t give him a chance.

We don’t usually struggle with lust (not to the degree men often do) and that allows us to self-righteously look down our noses at our husbands if they do have visual temptations and struggles. We don’t even see our ugly, prideful and self-righteous attitudes. Jesus had stronger words for these sins than almost anything else – that is what He spent so much time confronting the Pharisees about.

We are easily deceived. So we can be completely blind to almost all of our own sin. I was. And when we think we aren’t REALLY big sinners, we think we don’t “owe” Jesus that much and we think we are in a position to judge, condemn and criticize our husbands spiritually (again – big sin). Because we don’t think we are big-time sinners, we don’t love Jesus like we should. We don’t see how much we truly owe Him. So we don’t have a good grasp on how much grace Jesus offers to us. We often don’t have much grace for ourselves, and we often don’t have much grace for our husbands and others. Because we don’t think we are that sinful, we also really struggle with forgiveness because we feel we are justified not to forgive, since we believe we haven’t sinned much ourselves. We set ourselves above God when we do this, saying we are better than God. Yes, God forgives, but I don’t really have to because I was hurt too much.
The last paragraph above struck me as noteworthy, as the sin that one doesn't see coming is the real threat. In this, men are advantaged over women.  Our sins are very public domain.  Most are criminalized to a certain degree or another, so we have a lot of quote-unquote help with managing them.  Women on the other hand have no such benefit. In fact, I daresay it's the opposite...a culture fully invested in whitewashing, even celebrating in some cases, the sins that frequent women more than men.

As an 80s-vintage Saturday morning cartoon used to claim: "Knowing is half the battle".

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mutual Submission In Marriage Is Biblically Groundless

Donal Graeme knocks this one out of the park:
Ephesians 5:21 doesn’t belong with the epistle reading of husband and wife because for most of the Church’s history they were considered two separate subjects (pun intended). By that I mean they were not considered to fit together as part of the same message by St. Paul. Now, most modern translations will include Eph 5:21 along with 5:22 and the rest of Chapter 5 of Ephesians. However, this is a recent phenomenon. As far as my research has yielded, including 5:21 and 5:22 together is less than a century old. Older translations did not do so.

...the Daily Missal of the Catholic Church pre-1962 had proscribed passages for different events, including matrimonial ceremonies. Guess what the epistle passage was? That’s right, Ephesians 5:22-33. Ephesians 5:21 was not included with the verses following it. That was the Missal in use for centuries.

The recognition that Ephesians 5:21 and 5:22 were separate thoughts goes even further back, however. In fact, it not only predates the split between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but extends all the way to the early Fathers of the Church. Saint John Chrysostom, who became Archbishop of Constantinople in 397 AD and is recognized as a Doctor of the Church, wrote extensive homilies on various books from the Bible. Many of them were preserved and are accessible today. His homilies on the Letter to the Ephesians are among those preserved. These homilies are sequential and touch upon different passages within Ephesians, including Chapter 5.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that St. John Chrysostom addressed 5:21 in a separate homily, which covered Ephesians 5:15-21. Reading through his homily, it seems fairly clear that the Saint regarded Ephesians 5:21 as connected to the verses above it, not to the verses which came after. This is also apparent in the next homily, which covers Ephesians 5:22-33, which he saw as a single message. The saint likes to reference previous applicable passages, but he doesn’t in that homily; Ephesians 5:21 never shows up at all. To St. John Chrysostom, Ephesians 5:21 and 5:22 did not belong together; otherwise said, Ephesians 5:21, while an important teaching, was not one that should be included in St. Paul’s teaching on matrimony.

So, in summary, Ephesians 5:21 belongs with the verses above it, as they address how the members of the church are to relate to one another in general. It does not fit deal specifically with marriage, which is the case for Ephesians 5:22-33. In addition, the context for understanding 5:21 is not present later in the chapter, but rather earlier. Ephesians 5:21 advises us to live out lives of continuous service to one another, always subjecting/subordinating our needs and desires to those of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is universally applicable to all Christians, man and woman alike, married and unmarried. What Ephesians 5:22-33 articulates is how marriage is a step beyond this requirement, with special obligations and duties of both spouses that go beyond the “mere” subjection/subordination of our interests to our fellow Christians. At best inclusion of Ephesians 5:21 in the epistle on marriage will only serve to distract or confuse the Scriptural message about marriage.
Not much to add to this, except to say that the doctrine of "mutual submission" between wives and husbands is (a) a recent invention and (b) doesn't have much to do with Scripture as it is historically understood.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Teenagers - A Modern Invention

From Free Northerner, an excellent take on a recent and unnatural phenomenon:
Adolescence is a modern invention/perversion. Until about the 1800s or so, a person of about the age 13 was considered an adult. Since about that time, better nutrition has led to puberty occurring earlier (in the 1800s it occurred at about 15-16, it now occurs at about 12-13), but at the same time independence has also decreased. A teenager is a biological adult. (Mentally, a person continues maturing until sometime in their mid-20s).

The problem of rebellious or destructive teenagers is not a fault of the teenagers, but rather a fault of society. A teenager is an adult being treated as a child. A 14-year-old should be learning independence and self-sufficiency by going out into the world on his own (on an apprenticeship, to college, to his own shack on the family farm, etc.) and should be looking for a wife shortly therefore after. Instead, in our modern world teenagers live under the dominion of their parents as a child.

Of course teenagers rebel, any adult treated as child will rebel against being infantilized. They lash out because they know at some level that their parents having dominion over them is wrong, because an adult still under their parents is against the natural order. It is not teenagers that are the problem, it is the parents and the society.

Now of course, teenagers are not always going to make the best decisions because they are new at being adults and are learning the basics of adulthood, but in our current order, instead of learning about adulthood at age 15 so they are responsible adults by their 20s, people are now making the same failings in their early-20s and sometimes even their late-20s/early-30s, so your average person is not a responsible adult until their 30s.

Despite this, most modern teenagers would probably break if left on their own. This is, again, not the fault of the teenagers, but most children nowadays are so thoroughly over-protected and over-controlled by their parents and infantilized by the school system that they have never been learning the kinds of independence a healthy adult needs.

Children nowadays are being raised to learn a horrible combination of lack of freedom and lack of discipline. A child learning both will be the most self-actualized and most successful. A child with freedom but no discipline will generally pick up some level of discipline through trial and error, and a child of of discipline but no freedom will usually be able to survive although possibly not thrive, but one with neither will drown.

Ideally, we should start training our children to become adults when they should do so, in their mid-teens.
In the paragraphs following this excerpt, Free Northerner discusses the role of this phenomenon with conditioning the young to Leviathan's yoke, so they don't mind the chains so much as adults.  He mentions in particular the schooling system; I note that the invention of adolescence roughly corresponds to the introduction of compulsory public schooling in the West.  It's no accident that the culture-wide warehousing of those who should be treated as apprentice adults correlates with the developmentally arrested state of adolescence...biologically an adult in nearly all ways that matter, but not permitted to act as one and certainly not regarded as one.

I wonder also about the role that the modern notion of adolescence plays in the present man-crisis.  It can't be good to delay the acceptance into manhood for boys and young men by a decade or more; worse, the conditions which the majority of young males much survive don't lend themselves well to the development of a healthy, fully flowered masculinity. In this, I'm talking mostly about the quasi-penal environment of the public schooling system, where they are ordered around a majority of the day mostly by women and subjected to a feminized curriculum overtly hostile to masculinity.  It's worse in universities, about which we frequently read about continued cultural and legal assaults on men (of which this is but one example) to the point which they have become persona non grata on campuses across the country, even in some ways as instructors.  All this can't but help to have a negative impact, not only on men, but on women too.

This is one reason of many that I'm such a proponent of homeschooling.  Yes, my children remain under my dominion, but I can enable my sons to apprentice into adulthood earlier than what the mainstream culture would permit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Don't Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

In what is becoming a familiar occurrence, now that the Left has become comfortable in their cultural domination in the West and now more openly impose their values on others, more and more people are discovering that the Left defines "tolerance" and "diversity" a bit differently than the common understanding.  From Will S' (the blogmaster of Patriarctionary) kulturkampf blog:
Paquette, an experienced river rafting guide, applied to be a wilderness guide for Amaruk’s Canadian operations in the North. She says she was shocked when she read the rejection email from Olaf Amundsen, the company’s hiring manager.

He wrote that she wasn’t qualified and “unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want.” In the rejection email, Amundsen also wrote: “The Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life.”

He explained why graduates from Trinity Western are not welcome in the Norwegian company. “In asking students to refrain from same-sex relationships, Trinity Western University, and any person associated with it, has engaged in discrimination.” He ended the email writing, “‘God bless’ is very offensive to me and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me.

“I do not want to be blessed by some guy… who has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuses and human rights violations in the history of the human race.” Amundsen then used an expletive to state that if he met God, he would have sex with him.
Confused at the apparent contradiction in discriminating against someone for going to a school that discriminates against fornication (and presumably fornicators), all while donning the mantle of non-discimination?  Irritated at this slippery Janus-faced sleight of hand that diversity by necessity excludes certain ideologies or races/ethnicities? Annoyed at the historical irony of some aging neo-pagan hipster wanna-be Viking criticizing Christianity for abuses and human rights violations?  Well, I bring you Charles Cooke, a columnist at the National Review, writing what is probably the best explication of how differently left-illiberals define fundamental concepts like"free speech", "tolerance", "diversity", etc., as anyone else--or the dictionary, for that matter--as I've ever read:
[F]or their disinvitation [of George Will, who was scheduled to give a speech at Scripps College via their Conservative Speakers Program] is likely to be less the product of intellectual insecurity and more the end result of a genuine divergence between Left and Right. As a rule, conservatives believe that the matter of free expression is extremely simple: First, you let everybody speak on equal terms, whatever they choose to say; then, you permit anybody so moved to respond; and then, possessed of a decent respect for the opinions of mankind, you let the chips fall where they may, all the while accepting that life isn't fair and that man is fallen.

The academic and cultural Left, by contrast, seems increasingly to maintain that the question of speech is a convoluted and sticky one, and that the Right's seemingly straightforward appeals to diversity of thought and free expression are hopelessly complicated in reality by Foucauldian power dynamics, by the existence of qualitatively different types of speech ("hate" speech, "propaganda," "corporate speech," voices that "must be heard," etc.), and by the disquieting potential for listeners to be in some way damaged or set off (or "triggered") by the experience.

One really cannot overstate the incompatibility of these positions. For modern conservatives, an absolute defense of free expression is a cut and dried principle - the hallmark of civilization and human liberty. But for many modern progressives - especially those in academia - unfettered speech represents just one item within a busy hierarchy of competing values; an important idea, certainly, but not an unalienable one. This, I think, explains a great deal. If you believe - as many of his critics suggested at the time - that George Will did not merely write a criticism of the alleged campus rape epidemic but that, in some way, he actually did "violence" to women, it seems clear that you wouldn't want him on campus.
Mr. Cooke is correct...there really is no reconciling of these juxtaposed philosophical positions. Either one believes in free expression or one does not.  Either one supports "diversity" and / or "tolerance"....or one does not.  And when those in the liberal Center and / or liberal Right hear someone from the illiberal Left use these words, they need to understand that the Left does not approach the issue of say, free speech, with the same understanding and cultural assumptions.

The takeaway here is that when one hears a left-illiberal appeal to "tolerance", "diversity", "free speech", etc., the listener needs to be very careful with assuming that his or her interlocutor uses these words in the same way as commonly understood.  For in the Left's lexicon, in the illiberal Leftist culture, these words mean something completely different than those not of the Left assume...or at least should come with scare quotes to alert those in the out-group to parse more carefully.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bigger Weddings Correlate With More Successful Marriages

As with anything, I'm certain selection effects abound, but this is interesting:
Those with happy marriages were more likely to have had a large number of guests at their wedding and have had fewer romantic relationships prior to getting married, according to the study, "Before 'I Do:' What Do Premarital Experiences Have to Do with Marital Quality Among Today's Young Adults?" by Galena K. Rhoades, research associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver, and Scott M. Stanley, research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver.

The researchers speculate that those with prior relationships have difficulties in marriage because they are able to compare their current spouse to previous partners, and devoting oneself to a single spouse may be more difficult after having a lot of experience.

"In most areas, more experience is better. You're a better job candidate with more experience, not less. When it comes to relationship experience, though, we found that having more experience before getting married was associated with lower marital quality," Rhoades explained.

Prior romantic experiences could include sexual encounters or cohabiting partners. Women who had a child from a prior relationship reported lower marital quality, but the same was not true for men. Among those who lived together before getting married, couples who made a deliberate decision to start living together reported happier marriages than those who "slid" into cohabiting before getting married. Those with bigger weddings had happier marriages even after controlling for income and education (since larger weddings are generally more expensive). Among those with 50 or fewer wedding guests, 31 percent reported a high quality marriage. For those with 51 to 149 guests, that number rose to 37 percent. And for those with 150 or more guests, almost half, 47 percent, reported having a high quality marriage.

The researchers suspect that a large wedding indicates that the newlyweds have a strong network of friends and family that can help them navigate the challenges of marriage.

"In what might be called the 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' factor, this study finds that couples who have larger wedding parties are more likely to report high-quality marriages," said W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. "One possibility here is that couples with larger networks of friends and family may have more help, and encouragement, in navigating the challenges of married life. Note, however, this finding is not about spending lots of money on a wedding party, it's about having a good number of friends and family in your corner."
Some time ago, I wrote about what constitutes a marriage in the Bible:
What qualifies as a "marriage" in the eyes of God? Since I am far from a theologian, value simplicity over complexity, and am of a Baptist bent, I refer to the Word for help answering this question. My first clue comes from Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.
There you have it. Man and woman leave their respective families and create a new household together, representing themselves to others as being married. The Word offers up other guidance as well: they are to be faithful to each other, the union is to be respected and honored by others, the man is to love his wife, and the female is to follow her husband's lead and respect him.
This research seems to fit into the Biblical need for the union be publicly known  and respected and honored by others, and the greater the amount of social support, the better.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Caveat Emptor: North American Power

Call it a lesson learned.

About a year ago today, I responded to some marketing materials sent my way in the mail, offering electricity at about a cent and a half lower per kwh than the dominant electricity provider.  Doesn't sound like much, but I presently live in a very energy-inefficient home, and my power bills in the summer and winter regularly breach $300 a month.  Just for electricity, mind you, that's before rubbish and heating oil are taken into account. Thankfully I'm on a well and septic, so water and sewage are different matters.  So I was presented with the opportunity to save about $30/mo or more on electricity.

Anyways, North American Power offered to buy green electricity on the market in bulk at low rates, and pass on those savings to its customers.  Sounded pretty good. All I had to do was sign a six-month power-provision contract, renewable again in six months. And if you didn't renew your contract, but stayed with NAP, your power rates would change to a variable, market-based rate.

If a this point, you sense a trap, you'd be correct.

My contract started about 45 days after I signed up (delays for administrative processing, and meter reading).  Life gets busy, and I had forgotten about the six month contract. In addition, I received no notifications from NAP that my contract was expiring, nor offers to extend and / or renew it.  What I did receive in the mail, however, was a very unpleasant surprise...my July power bill (in August...the peak of the summer heat).  My wallet was fixing to be face-punched to the tune of over $400 for one month's electricity.  Remember that variable, market-based rate?  Turns out that their variable rate was nearly 200% the market rate for electricity. Even better, it takes 1-2 billing cycles to switch back to the public utility...or to even renew the billing contract with NAP...so I was locked into this stratospheric rate the entire summer.

So, learn from my error and ignore any mailings from NAP.  You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Not The Civil War You Were Taught In School

Via Conan The Cimmerian, I came across this essay by Mr. Donald Miller that argues the standard history of the Civil War, er, War Between The States, er, "War for Southern Independence", is factually incorrect and misleading.  A sampling:
Why were business and political leaders in the North so intent on keeping the Southern States in the Union? The principal source of tax revenue for the federal government before the Civil War was a tariff on imports. The former Vice-President John C. Calhoun put it this way: "The North had adopted a system of revenue and disbursements in which an undue proportion of the burden of taxation has been imposed upon the South, and an undue proportion of its proceeds appropriated to the North… the South, as the great exporting portion of the Union, has in reality paid vastly more than her due proportion of the revenue."...Observers in Britain looked beyond the rhetoric of "preserve the Union" and saw what was really at stake.Charles Dickens views on the subject were typical:
“Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this, as of many other evils. The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.”
The London press made this argument:
“The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty.”
The South fought the war for essentially the same reason that the American colonies fought the Revolutionary War. The central grievance of the American colonies in the 18th century was the taxes imposed on them by Britain.

...

Today American children are taught in the nation's schools, both in the North and South, that it was wrong for people to support the Confederacy and to fight and die for it.

Well-intentioned, "right thinking" people equate anyone today who thinks that the South did the right thing by seceding from the Union as secretly approving of slavery. Indeed, such thinking has now reached the point where groups from both sides of the political spectrum, notably the NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center on the left and the Cato Institute on the right, want to have the Confederate Battle Flag eradicated from public spaces. These people argue that the Confederate flag is offensive to African-Americans because it commemorates slavery.

In the standard account, the Civil War was an outcome of our Founding Fathers failure to address the institution of slavery in a republic that proclaimed in its Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal." But was it really necessary to wage a four-year war to abolish slavery in the United States, one that ravaged half of the country and destroyed a generation of American men? Only the United States and Haiti freed their slaves by war.

...

The war did enable Lincoln to "save" the Union, but only in a geographic sense. The country ceased being a Union, as it was originally conceived, of separate and sovereign States. Instead, America became a "nation" with a powerful federal government. Although the war freed four million slaves into poverty, it did not bring about a new birth of freedom, as Lincoln and historians such as James McPherson and Henry Jaffa say.

For the nation as a whole the war did just the opposite: It initiated a process of centralization of government that has substantially restricted liberty and freedom in America, as historians Charles Adams and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel have argued – Adams in his book, When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (published in 2000); and Hummel in his book, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men (1996).

...

The term Civil War is a misnomer. The South did not instigate a rebellion. Thirteen Southern States in 1860-61 simply chose to secede from the Union and go their own way, like the thirteen colonies did when they seceded from Britain. A more accurate name for themwar that took place between the northern and Southern American States is the War for Southern Independence. Mainstream historiography presents the victors' view, an account that focuses on the issue of slavery and downplays other considerations.

...

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America prohibited the importation of slaves (Article I, Section 9). With no fugitive slave laws in neighboring states that would return fugitive slaves to their owners, the value of slaves as property drops owing to increased costs incurred to guard against their escape. With slaves having a place to escape to in the North and with the supply of new slaves restricted by its Constitution, slavery in the Confederate States would have ended without war...The rallying call in the North at the beginning of the war was "preserve the Union," not "free the slaves." Although certainly a contentious political issue and detested by abolitionists, in 1861 slavery nevertheless was not a major public issue...Lincoln reassured slaveholders that he would continue to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act.

...

If it was going to win, the North needed a more compelling reason to continue the war than to preserve the Union. The North needed a cause for continuing the war, as Lincoln put the matter in his Second Inaugural Address, that was willed by God, where "the judgments of the Lord" determined the losses sustained and its outcome. Five days after the Battle of Antietam, on September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was a "war measure," as Lincoln put it. Foreign correspondents covering the war recognized it as a brilliant propaganda coup. Emancipation would take place only in rebel States not under Union control, their State sovereignty in the matter of slavery arguably forfeited as a result of their having seceded from the Union. The president could not abolish slavery; if not done at the State level, abolition would require a constitutional amendment.

Slaveholders and their slaves in Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, and parts of Virginia and Louisiana occupied by Union troops were exempt from the edict. Slaves in the Confederacy would be "forever free" on January 1, 1863 – one hundred days after the Proclamation was issued – but only if a State remained in "rebellion" after that date. Rebel States that rejoined the Union and sent elected representatives to Congress before January 1, 1863 could keep their slaves. Such States would no longer be considered in rebellion and so their sovereignty regarding the peculiar institution would be restored. As the London Spectator put it, in its October 11, 1862 issue: "The principle [of the Proclamation] is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States."

...

Lincoln assumed dictatorial powers and did things, like raise an army, that only Congress is supposed to do. He shut down newspapers that disagreed with his war policy, more than 300 of them. He ordered his military officers to lock up political opponents, thousands of them...[He denied] nonviolent dissenters their right of free speech and suspended the privilege of Habeas Corpus, something only Congress in a time of war has the power to do. Lincoln's soldiers arrested civilians, often arbitrarily, without any charges being filed; and, if held at all,
military commissions conducted trials.

...

Lincoln called up an army of 75,000 men to invade the seven Southern States that had seceded and force them back into the Union. By unilaterally recruiting troops to invade these States, without first calling Congress into session to consider the matter and give its consent, Lincoln made an error in judgment that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. At the time, only seven States had seceded. But when Lincoln announced his intention to bring these States back into the Union by force, four additional States – Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas – seceded and joined the Confederacy.

Slavery was not the issue. The issue was the very nature of the American union. If the President of the United States intended to hold the Union together by force, they wanted out. When these four States seceded and joined the Confederacy rather than send troops to support Lincoln's unconstitutional actions, the Confederacy became much more viable and the war much more horrible.

...

Reflecting on the War for Southern Independence let us hope that the Confederate Battle Flag that Louis Thomas Hicks' North Carolina regiment carried with it into battle at Gettysburg, with the cross of Scotland's patron saint emblazoned on it, will come to be viewed in the 21st century, not as an badge of slavery, which it is not, but as a symbol of opposition to centralized government power and tyranny.”
tl;dr summary:

* The War of Southern Independence was not started to eliminate slavery. Slavery was on its way out in the West as a result of Christian thought and morality, and a raft of countries had either rejected slavery altogether or would do so within a few decades, non-violently. Rather, the war was started over inequitable taxation and a lopsided distribution of revenue, the burden of which fell much more on the agrarian South than the industrializing North.

* Slavery as a casus belli was introduced later, as a moral cause meant to arouse the necessary passions to sustain the grievous combat losses the North was suffering in her war against the South. Again, the war originally had nothing to do with slavery.

* Lincoln only freed slaves in the South, and did not free slaves held in the North or in Southern territories controlled by the North. Moreover, Lincoln desired to return freed slaves to South America or Africa, not integrate them into free American society.

* Lincoln mightily abused the Constitution during the war, declaring war and raising an army without consent or direction of Congress, suspended the writ of habeus corpus, and arrested and imprisoned dissenters without trial.

* Lincoln's decision to attempt to hold the union together by force rather than persuasion doomed three quarters of a million American soldiers to death and an unknown number of civilians.

* The South's defeat heralded the end of a voluntary union of states held together by mutual consent. In its place was a nation with a much more robust and powerful central government.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Femservative Misandry

I like Mona Charen's stuff generally, but I'm getting kinda tired of the "soft-bigotry-of-low-expectations" of the sort on display in a recent NRO column of hers:
You don't have to believe the one-in-four figure floated by activists to agree that women are experiencing a marked degree of sexual assault and battery in the liberated hook-up world liberalism has created. But this is progressivism chasing its tail.

For centuries, men have lied to women to lure them into bed. Parents warned their daughters about such men. In recent decades, it's women who've been lying to other women. Feminists peddled the notion that women wanted exactly the same things from sex that men did. They rejected modesty and its cousin chivalry with contempt and welcomed the sexual free for all.

It goes without saying that rapists should be severely punished. Most men are not rapists, but more than a few are sexually aggressive and inclined to interpret almost anything as encouragement. Is there a better possible environment than the modern college campus for serving up vulnerable young women to predatory men?

The binge-drinking culture that facilitates these rapes and assaults is tamely accepted and even encouraged at many colleges. As Pepper Schwartz writes at CNN.com, the American Sociological Association reports that men have a mean of six drinks before a hook-up and women a mean of four. Why aren't colleges reminding young women to keep their wits about them when dealing with hormone-charged young men?
It is in this passage where Ms. Charen, a columnist who usually gets the kulturkampf stuff right, appears to share common values and causes with the fever-swamp feminists she so fervently opposes. From a place of internalized misandry comes the parroted assertion that "women are experiencing a marked degree of sexual assault and battery", when the reality is that women are merely reporting a marked degree of sexual assault and battery. Big difference there, and it is quite suggestive of Ms. Charen's core beliefs about men that she accepts, nay repeats, this canard as fact. And what about the reverse? Plenty of data out there that indicates that women assault men in numbers that approach male-on-female assaults, yet this article isn't tempered or nuanced by this fact.

Similarly, we have "men have lied to women to lure them into bed". Yes, some men lie to women in order to bed them. But not all. And what about women? Do some not defraud men to get them to bed them, marry them, parent their cuckolded child? Speaking of lying, strictly speaking, a woman applying makeup to her face is engaging in a falsehood, by covering up, concealing, or otherwise altering reality to make herself look different than she does in reality. Mendacity goes both directions, and if men as a class are to be harpooned for tweaking women's emotions to get them to lay with them, well, the sisterhood deserves its own skewering for the moral and ethical depths to which it sinks to attract male attention en route to securing male commitment.

Then there is this line
Most men are not rapists, but more than a few are sexually aggressive and inclined to interpret almost anything as encouragement. Is there a better possible environment than the modern college campus for serving up vulnerable young women to predatory men?
Most men? How about almost all men? Real rapists are few and far between. And as for "vulnerable" "young" women and "predatory" men--aren't these men "young" too?--I suppose one could quibble about how vulnerable these pure lasses are, and exactly how predatory these beastly men are to exploit female purity as they do. Yet what is undeniable is that young college men's futures are particularly vulnerable to being served up on platters to the predatory natures of some young women who refuse to take responsibility for their own sexual agency.

The interests of young men, in addition to young women, are ill-served by the present social climate in American unis. A climate fed in some part by the veiled misandry of femservatives who seem to have internalized some of feminism's worst lies and antipathies about men.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Reason Why Men Should Marry Virgins

In addition to a better ability to bond and much reduced divorce risk, non-virgins may carry leftovers within them of those who've gone before (ht: VD's Alpha Game Plan):
Telegony is the belief that the sire first mated to a female will have an influence upon some of that female's later offspring by another male. Although the reality of telegony was acknowledged by such authorities as Darwin, Spencer, Romanes and many experienced breeders, it has been met with scepticism because of Weismann's unfavourable comments and negative results obtained in several test experiments. In this article, alleged cases of telegony are provided. A search of the literature of cell biology and biochemistry reveals several plausible mechanisms that may form the basis for telegony. These involve the penetration of spermatozoa into the somatic tissues of the female genital tract, the incorporation of the DNA released by spermatozoa into maternal somatic cells, the presence of fetal DNA in maternal blood, as well as sperm RNA-mediated non-Mendelian inheritance of epigenetic changes
This appears highly speculative in nature, and I'm not familiar with the term or concept, so I googled "telegony" and was met immediately with this article from the Telegraph:
Scientists at the University of New South Wales discovered that, for fruit flies at least, the size of the young was determined by the size of the first male the mother mated with, rather than the second male that sired the offspring. It is the first time that telegony has been proved in the animal kingdom. The researchers propose that the effect is due to molecules in the semen of the first mate being absorbed by the female's immature eggs where they influence future offspring.

“Just as we think we have things figured out, nature throws us a curve ball and shows us how much we still have to learn," says lead author Dr Angela Crean [Ed...abstract of her study may be found here]. "We know that features that run in families are not just influenced by the genes that are passed down from parents to their children. Various non-genetic inheritance mechanisms make it possible for environmental factors to influence characteristics of a child. Our new findings take this to a whole new level – showing a male can also transmit some of his acquired features to offspring sired by other males," she says. But we don't know yet whether this applies to other species."

Dr Stuart Wigby of the Department of Zoology at Oxford University added: "The principle of telegony is theoretically possible for pretty much any internally fertilising animal, but these hasn't historically been much evidence for it. "I'm aware of Crean et al's work, and it seems to be a neat demonstration of the phenomenon in insects. The mechanism they propose – molecules in the seminal fluid of the first mate being absorbed by the female's immature eggs – is indeed a possibility, and it would be revealing to test this. This particular mechanism would be unlikely to apply to mammals such as humans because of differences in reproductive physiology compared to insects. However, other researchers have suggest that mechanisms exist that could in principle result in telegony in humans; for example because mothers carry fetal DNA in their blood during pregnancy."
Okay, so still highly speculative. This phenomenon, demonstrated in insects, requires much more study before it is accepted as holding for mammals and humans. Will such studies be made? I am probably as skeptical as VD in that such studies would be conducted in the West for political reasons--imagine the socio-political impact from studies that suggest genetic cross-contamination from previous sex partners--but non-Western researchers can usually be counted upon to carry on where their Western ones will not or are afraid to do so.  That said, there is much, much, much we do not yet understand about biology, and it is not outside the realm of the possible that residual DNA or proteins from previous partners would remain behind an possibly corrupt the ladder of subsequent offspring.

Of course, the odds of a woman being a virgin at marriage diminish in relation to her age, making it that much more imperative for religious men--the only men that I recommend get married--who seek successful marriages to equally religious women should start their search early (ht Will S. at Patriactionary):
Christian couples should marry sooner, an ethicist and a pastor with the largest Protestant denomination in the United States argue. Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Jon Akin, senior pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, made the argument in a column for the Baptist Press earlier this week. While not advocating a specific age for marriage and noting the diverse situations for people, young people should still look toward marriage sooner, they said.

"We do not advocate a specific age; rather, we believe that young people should make themselves 'marry-able' younger," wrote Walker and Akin. They need to push against the cultural norm that extends adolescence for an indefinite period of time and reach maturity more quickly so they can be ready for marriage sooner than the national average."

Walker and Akin also stated that it's "impractical and unhelpful to advise and encourage young men and women who reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 or 13 to wait 15 years before marriage and still remain pure."

Walker and Akin are not the only SBC ethicists in recent years to advocate for marriage coming sooner. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, also made a case for marrying early.
"Remain pure" in the context of this discussion appears to have both corporeal and spiritual connotations.