Book Review: How the West Won by Rodney Stark

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How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity by Rodney Stark is a refreshing look at history. What I found most refreshing is that the book looks at the rise of Christianity as a good thing, even a necessary thing, instead of the calamity it is presented as in much historical writing. What I also found both new and intriguing is the idea that the disunity of the West has been one of the vital factors that contributed to the West achieving modernity where other cultural groups did not and that empires are in and of themselves bad things. Stark takes special care to demonstrate how the rise … More after the Jump…

Moral Relativism and War

If you are of liberal political leanings you will probably not like this piece as I am going to proceed to attempt to demolish several sacred cows of contemporary liberal thought.  I unreservedly admit that I am politically conservative and further admit that I am not trying to be unbiased in his piece.  I am essentially venting my spleen at the half-truths and outright lies I so often find in books that purport to be histories but that are in reality only thinly disguised attacks on historical actors.  I find it typically liberal that such attacks are often made on those that cannot defend themselves, such as historical figures long … More after the Jump…

Women in Combat-Part 5

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This is an issue I feel strongly about so every time there is a development I will be posting updates. Marines delay female fitness plan after half fail Yet more evidence that women are not physically capable of performing the combat tasks required of ground combat soldiers.  There are jobs in the military that women can do and do well.  Combat is not one of them.  Why is women in combat being pushed so relentlessly?  I am left with only the conclusio that liberals and PC types would rather see more women come home in body than admit that there are in fact differences in capabilities between men and women. … More after the Jump…

Never say the USMC aint Full of Smart Officers

Marine Corps to open infantry training to enlisted women Who said Marines are stupid?  Letting female Marines attend Infantry training as it is right now, before it is feminized is one of the smartest moves they could make.  When females drop from the course lke flies it will make a strong argument to keep women out of front-line infantry jobs.  As the story points out, the Marines allowed females into the Infantry Officer Course last year and all that have tried it have washed out so far. Never doubt though that regardless of the evidence that comes out of any studies on the rle of women in combat, it will … More after the Jump…

Women in Combat-Part 4

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This is an issue I feel strongly about so every time there is a development I will be posting updates. According to “Women in combat no later than 2016, Pentagon says“, the latest timeline for women being introduced into combat positions is 2016.  Maybe the slip to the right means clear heads are having second thoughts and hoping that pushing the implementation into the next administration means that the next SecDef will see the idiocy of the idea and backtrack.  I doubt it though, the slip is probably the result of planners realizing they need more time to 1. figure out how to neuter standards, and 2. figure out how … More after the Jump…

Book Review: The Lotus Eaters by Tom Kratman

The Lotus Eaters is the third installment of the Legio del Cid series by Mr Kratman. The book picks up after the Legion has successfully pacified Pashtia and returned to Balboa. Its takes place mainly in Balboa as the Legion prepares for their inevitable showdown with the corrupt rump regime protected by the Tauran Union in their enclave near the Balboan Transitway. This is an obvious stepping stone book that fleshes out the story and provides more background rather than really advancing the plot line of the series. If I were a cynic I would say that this appears to be a mash up of all the mini-plots Mr. Kratman … More after the Jump…

Women in Combat-Part 3

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This is an issue I feel strongly about so every time there is a development I will be posting updates. The DoD has now announced there is a plan in place to see most jobs in the military that are currently barred to women opened by 2015.  Military plans would put women in most combat jobs  There was a briefing held on 18 June about the implementation plan; the transcript is here and video is below. . It seems that the US is going to push ahead with this plan.  My only hope is that it is implemented smartly without lowering standards in order to achieve some kind of quota of … More after the Jump…

Blueprint North Carolina or, How should treason really be defined?

I just wanted to add this because I think everybody should read this document.  I ran across a mention of it yesterday while perusing some political sites and then had to find the originally posted document and read it myself at first because I could not believe the inflammatory stuff in the piece about it.  It turns out that the entire document is actually worse than I originally thought.  It is literally a blueprint for how the Blueprint folks (a Dem/Progressive organization) can paralyze state government in NC and do it while blaming the Republican admin of the state for the paralysis. After reading it there should be no questions … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Ethical Chic by Fran Hawthorne

I picked up Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love by Fran Hawthorne at my local library because I figured the book would be good for a laugh.  I was not wrong.  I was also treated to a view inside modern liberalism that I did not expect.  The whole premise of the book is an investigation to determine if some of the companies most beloved of the American left really live up to the chic, progressive image they project to the world.  The companies profiled are Starbucks, American Apparel, Tom’s of Maine, Trader Joe’s, Timberland, and Apple.  I will also be upfront and admit that I have never bought products from … More after the Jump…

Women in Combat Part 2

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Pentagon announces decision to lift ban on women in combat roles: How prescient I now feel given that less than a week after I posted about this the Defense Secretary announces an end to the female combat exclusion.  I wish I had been wrong.

A couple of examples of the reaction in the press (I will only note in passing that most of those praising this decision have never served in the military or if they have were not Combat Arms): Women in combat: Let’s get real, Women will add combat strength: editorial, Women in combat — the controversy that wasn’t, Editors’ Roundtable: Women in combat?, Women in combat a dangerous experiment, Our View: Women in combat, Women in combat - The generals defer to political fashion in the Age of Obama, Women Have No Business in Combat.

Finally, the transcript of the SecDef’s Press Briefing where he announced the policy change.


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Women in Combat

Women in Combat 2

The role of women in combat has been much in the military press and civilian papers recently because of a lawsuit filed by several women who claim the military’s ban on women in combat positions is discriminatory.   There are folks who argue that women belong in combat  although those arguments generally boil down to it ain’t fair and it it’s sexists that women cannot be in combat.   The amount of intellectual dishonesty around this debate is amazing and should stun any thinking person. I will take the above pro-women in combat piece and debunk it as it is full of the kind of drivel that gets tossed around by … More after the Jump…

Who Are We Fighting?€“ Public & Military Perception Of Islam, Radical Islam, and The War On Terrorism

This is a guest post Since the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by radical Islamic terrorists in 2001, a sense of enmity, fear, and distrust has grown between the West and the Islamic world. While the stated official policy of the United States has always been that the nation is fighting specific groups of militants and terrorists rather than Islam itself, all too often, civilians as well as members of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies show that they do not truly make any distinction. Spokesmen from military and public policy research centers, point out that all too often, ordinary Americans assume that all Muslims in … More after the Jump…

Update on SFC Walter Taylor

Saw this update on SFC Taylor’s case yesterday and decided to add it to my page as well.   From the LA Times: Court-martial decision postponed for soldier in Afghan shooting.   His Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a Grand Jury, was held last week and now the case in in the hands of the reviewing officer.   She will review the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing and then make a recommendation to Taylor’s Brigade commander who will endorse that recommendation or not and then send it to the JMTC commander in Graf who is the General Court Martial Convening Authority.   The JMTC commander makes the final decision on whether this case should go to trial or if Taylor should face, a lesser Court Martial, administrative punishment, or even no further action.

All that being said, I would guess that at a minimum Taylor faces a Special Court Martial, probably a Special BCD.   The nature of what has been reported so far makes it clear that Taylor is being prosecute as an example to others.   Whether that is good military policy is besides the point, the army does stuff like this sometimes.   I will say that in my experience, if it does go to a Court Martial Taylor will get a fairer hearing than he would in a civilian court.   His CM Panel, the military version of a jury, will consist of people his grade or higher both officer and enlisted if he opts that, and he would be stupid not to.   The panel are people that understand the military and the pressures in combat.

I have no worries that if it goes to trial he will win.   The problem I have is that even if he wins, his career is now damaged because of the massive publicity surrounding the case.   That is something he cannot get away from.   It will also haunt him as he goes in front of a selection board for promotion.   The perception could be that he hurt the army and he could therefor later be denied promotion or even selected for elimination and the case could have nothing overt to do with it but it will always be there.   The army is a small place and institutional memory is long, especially about people who are perceived as tarnishing the Army Reputation.

Book Review: A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo

A Hymn Before Battle is the first book in Ringo’s Posleen War Series. It is also Ringo’s first published book if I have my facts straight. Regardless, when I first read this book back in 2002 I thought then and have been subsequently proved right that there are authors out there that are just as good as Heinlein at catching the readers attention and keeping it and Ringo is one of them. Imagine horse-sized reptiloid centaurs that think you are lunch, use advanced weaponry, and think the massed wave attack is the height of tactical finesse. The book is the story of how humanity discovers that not only are we … More after the Jump…