William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Stream: Under Ash Carter, the Military is Now Looking for a Few Good Men, Women or Whatever

Shock troops.

Shock troops.

Today’s post is at the Stream: Under Ash Carter, the Military is Now Looking for a Few Good Men, Women or Whatever.

The first, and natural, reaction to the news that Social Justice Warrior, and part-time Secretary of Peace Ash Carter, lifted the restriction on men-who-believe-they’re-women-and-aren’t-kidding from serving in the military is to assume that an expensive outside consultancy agency developed a new strategy to have our enemies laugh themselves to death…

Now, scientifically speaking, men who believe they’re women (and vice versa, but you get the idea) are, at best, mentally disturbed. It being both a physical and metaphysical impossibility that a man can be a woman, something in the minds or bodies or both of “transsexuals” has gone seriously, alarmingly wrong. The reason, therefore, not to trust these unfortunates with the stress of combat is obvious: “When [mental] sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.” To blatantly mix a metaphor, nobody can believe a battalion of dress-wearing breast-implanted bayonet-less men will instill fear in a brigade of charging ISIS maniacs…

What happened when he did that will also happen with gender dysphorics. Mark this down, dear reader, you’re about to hear a money-making prediction. As with women in combat, and as Carter himself has said about gender dysphorics entering the service, everybody will initially insist, and with theatric vehemence, “Standards will remain unchanged! All people, whether man or woman, or man or man who thinks he’s a woman, will have to pass the same arduous tests.”…

At this point, the standards, which were sworn to be eternal and unchangeable, are lowered. Or they’re removed, after which it is announced, “These standards were not really necessary. We’ve concluded that what is more important than running up a hill with a full pack is testing soldiers’ experience in wearing high heels.” Joking, am I? It’s already happened

Dude. A favorite condemnation is to call a thing “medieval”, an imaginary time of constant and hideous brutality. But Tiny Tomas Torquemada on his worst day at the Inquisition never imagined a torture…

Ex-Staff Sergeant Briggs orders you to go read the rest.

15 Comments

  1. Gender was originally pushed by a quack psychiatrist in the 1960s and was ridiculed and laughed at. Now quackery is being promoted by the government and being written into law.

  2. Sander van der Wal

    July 2, 2016 at 11:41 am

    If soldiers of the future are sitting behind desks piloting drones, or when they are wearing some kind of powered exo-skeleton, their imaginary gender won’t matter.

  3. (Fictional) Klinger wore a dress in a bid to get himself out of service. The doors for discharge are being shut one by one. Today Klinger would not think of wearing a dress if the end result were to be strapped on a gurney and prepped for surgery.

  4. Anon – brilliant

  5. A favorite condemnation is to call a thing “medieval,” an imaginary time of constant and hideous brutality.

    The medieval period was a very real time and it was genuinely and hideously brutal by modern standards. Whether or not it ought to be judged by modern standards is a question for a separate discussion.

  6. Ye Olde Statistician

    July 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    The medieval period was a very real time and it was genuinely and hideously brutal by modern standards.

    Don’t recall them firebombing any cities or dropping nuclear bombs on anyone; nor, while mobs sometimes ran amok, were there any cases of systematic eliminations of entire people. Totalitarianism was unknown. Sure, wasn’t all rainbows and fluffy bunnies, and YMMV, but a lot of our impressions stem from false extrapolation: we see how brutal and uncaring the Victorians were in the age of imperialism and we suppose that earlier ages must have been even more brutal, applying a linear model.

    Even the torture devices usually attributed to them came from later periods. The “pear of anguish” (which one may find all over the internet) appears to have been a shoe tree and like the iron maiden was never described until the 18th century.
    http://www.medievalists.net/2016/03/20/why-medieval-torture-devices-are-not-medieval/

  7. YOS, you should stick to things you know about. Life in those times was okay for fat, useless theo-aristocrats lazing about, rationalizing the advantages of the status quo, hence the long, slow trod of progress then. Meanwhile, the horrors of wars, atrocities, genocides, famine and disease were all too familiar to your average medieval Joe. Just as horrific to them as modern warfare is to us (or should be, if you are a decent human being).

    JMJ

  8. YOS,

    18th century? Your history is way off. The medieval period ran from the 5th through the 15th centuries.

    No totalitarians? Far from it, for most of the medieval period most governments were absolute monarchies. The Magna Carta which created the worlds first limited monarchy wouldn’t be signed until the 13th century, almost at the end of the Medieval period.

    Life expectancy was only 35 years to to high death rates among children, war was almost constant and there was no medical care to speak of.

    The Victorians of the 18th century weren’t even Renaissance, which ran from the 14th to the 17th century.

  9. Sander van der Wal

    July 3, 2016 at 4:12 am

    If governments were so effective it would be impossible for bands of brigands to roam the countryside. Robin Hood could exist because governments were far from all-powerfull.

  10. Jersey said:
    [quote]YOS, you should stick to things you know about. Life in those times was okay for fat, useless theo-aristocrats lazing about, rationalizing the advantages of the status quo, hence the long, slow trod of progress then. Meanwhile, the horrors of wars, atrocities, genocides, famine and disease were all too familiar to your average medieval Joe. Just as horrific to them as modern warfare is to us (or should be, if you are a decent human being).[/quote]
    I suppose you expect me to believe, on your say-so, that “fat, useless theo-aristocrats lazing about, rationalizing the advantages of the status quo, hence the long, slow trod of progress then.” is a carefully reasoned appraisal of the civilisation that had the spare manpower time and materials to build all the wonderful structures that amaze us even today. That’s not even to mention the artists and thinkers that weren’t preoccupied with inventing or evading miscellaneous tortures.

  11. The rainbow is an odd symbol for the diverse non-procreative sex fetishers whose lust can’t produce young. Is it utter ignorance or deranged hubris to have chosen this symbol.

    For the two by two animals and Noah, his wife, their sons and their wives –
    As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.
    And God said, This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:

  12. Ye Olde Statistician

    July 3, 2016 at 7:36 am

    The medieval period ran from the 5th through the 15th centuries.

    There were multiple “medieval periods.” The 5th and 15th were transitions. People like Boethius and Augustine could be called “the last of the Romans” as well as “the first of the medievals.” For a discussion of the former, see The World of Late Antiquity by Peter Brown; for a discussion of the 15th, see The Autumn of the Middle Ages by Jan Huizinga. That this represented a single “middle” period was an invention of the Renaissance,n in which the literati liked to imagine they were the ancient Greeks and Romans reborn.

    for most of the medieval period most governments were absolute monarchies.

    I have no doubt many a king aspired to be a monarch, just as governments today aspire to regulate every detail of life, down to our light bulbs and toilet tanks. But they did not have the science and technology to pull it off. More importantly, they did not have the custom. (Between custom and law, custom is the stronger.) The king was recognized as the war-leader in case of invasion, say by the muslims or vikings — though by AD 1000 that was already passing — but otherwise he was simply primes inter pares. He had to subsist on his own funds, drawn from his own demesne or on special funds voted by the estates general (or parliament or landsrat, etc.) And had to deal with vassals sometimes more powerful than he. Consider that the king of England held the Aquitaine in fief to the king of France; or that French nobles held fief not only from the French king but from the German emperor. The notion of an absolute monarch was developed in the courts of the French kings during the 18th century. For the Middle Ages, we have such comments as:

    “If to provide itself with a king belongs to the right of a given multitude, it is not unjust that the king be deposed or have his power reduced by that same multitude if, becoming a tyrant, he abuses his royal power.”
    — Thomas Aquinas, On Kingship, I:6

    Or, glossing the old Roman Law (which was absolutist):

    “What pleases the prince has the force of law,” but only when it is something reasonable and just for the sake of the common good and when this is manifestly expressed.”
    — William of Ockham, Dialogus ii.26-8.

    Perhaps most importantly, there was another, separate institution in society independent of the secular state which could sometimes stand up against it: viz., the Church.

    “It was perhaps equally important that the existence and prestige of the Church prevented society from being totalitarian, prevented the omnicompetent state, and preserved liberty in the only way that liberty can be preserved, by maintaining in society an organization which could stand up against the state.”
    – A.D. Lindsay, The Modern Democratic State

    Most Western polities were what Machiavelli called “Frankish states” rather than “Turkish states.” That is, in a “Turkish” style of state, all power flows from the sultan and all offices are within his gift. But in a “Frankish” state, each baron is a power center in his own right and there are things the king is not permitted to do. In the West, the king was limited not only by his own purse, but by the law of God (he was king “under God”) and by the newly developing positive “law of nations.”

    Life expectancy was only 35 years to to high death rates among children, war was almost constant and there was no medical care to speak of.

    Like I said, it wasn’t all rainbows and fluffy bunnies. You are confusing medical technology with political philosophy. OTOH, they had come up with some new things along those lines too in the steady march of progress: the first anesthetics (“soporific vapors”) and discoveries of anatomy through human dissections, the development of a professional doctor class through the medical schools of the universities (not to mention inventing the universities themselves) and an alternative to illness beside “run away” or “drive them out,” viz., the hospital.

    Like I said, it wasn’t all rainbows and fluffy bunnies. War might have been “almost constant,” but then it was almost constant during the modern ages, too. No sooner would Prussia ally with Austria to attack Denmark than she would declare war on Austria to seize the spoils. Napoleon marched across the face Europe to bring liberty to everyone on the point of a bayonet. Earlier, in the first of the modern wars, the Thirty Years War had devastated the Germanies and killed a third of its population. The only thing in the Middle Ages that compares is the Hundred Years War, which is a name we give to a sporadic series of efforts by the English king to take the French crown.

    What the medievals did about war was to define the idea of a non-combatant and place them off limits (Peace of God) and to suspend fighting on specified days, starting with Sundays, Advent, Lent, and from the Rogation Days until Pentecost, but later extending to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until by the 12th century there were only eighty days left on which fighting was allowed.

    The Victorians of the 18th century weren’t even Renaissance, which ran from the 14th to the 17th century.

    The Renaissance was a What, not a When, but so what? I did not claim that the Victorians were Renaissance.

  13. Oldavid, YOS: very nice rebuttals. Even more, they were fully righteous. Sadly some can not even assume other ways of thinking than of the twenty … er centuries.

  14. MattS
    “The Victorians of the 18th century weren’t even Renaissance, which ran from the 14th to the 17th century.”

    YOS, in pointing out the provenance of the “pear of anguish” myth, is well aware that the 18th century is not medieval, nor even Renaissance. His point, which you obviously are historically over-qualified to miss, is that the barbarism of supposed ‘medieval’ tortures was a made-up slander of later period historians with particular ideological axes to grind (usually Protestant historians trying to bad-mouth Catholic culture).

    And speaking of your over-qualification to miss historical minutiae, which Victorians were those in the 18th century?

  15. I make MattS essentially correct. It’s clear what he meant by eighteenth century.
    Everybody makes that error. The point stands as far as I am concerned.

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