Where is daddy when we need him?

What happens when we take government — our politics — too seriously? What happens when we take our own wisdom too seriously. Funny, otherwise harmless beliefs become dangerous, absurd “truths”. That is, our political beliefs become religious beliefs.

What is an example of a religious belief imposed by politics. Diversity! Diversity is one of our era’s sacred cows.

Consider this story With women in combat roles, a federal court rules male-only draft unconstitutional (

A federal judge in Texas has declared that an all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military.

The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981. In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that a male-only draft was “fully justified” because women were ineligible for combat roles.

But U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled late Friday that while historical restrictions on women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination,” men and women are now equally able to fight. In 2015, the Pentagon lifted all restrictions for women in military service. (continued here)

Given what Deuteronomy 20 says about warfare, God obviously opposes a draft. Here the crux of it.

Deuteronomy 20:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

“The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, [a]lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.’

A soldier who does not believe in the cause strongly enough to overcome his fear is of little use. If soldiers cannot be found who believe in the cause, why fight the war?

Thus, even before we get to the diversity issue, we already have a screwy, politically correct, idea with the draft. Why? What purpose does a draft serve?

  • Those who BELIEVE in their politics get to force those dastardly unbelievers to sacrifice their lives to the sacred cause.
  • The majesty and the warm feeling of large and obedient numbers! Look at all those people serving the CAUSE!

The draft exists because of political correctness. A draft provides cannon fodder, large numbers of expendable lives for arrogant busybodies to control. A military draft does not win wars. A military draft just gives our leaders more power to use the government to enslave us. Our leaders just use military service as an excuse to take the lives of draftees as easily they take our money in taxes. Then, for the same reason government wastes our money, the draft makes it easy for bureaucrats and military officers to abuse and waste the time and the lives of draftees. Easy come. Easy go.

Yet are we debating the draft? No. We are debating whether young women should be victimized by the draft too. Is there a distinct difference between men and women? Are there two sexes or 400? What is the obvious truth? What is the politically correct truth?

Well, the obvious truth is that men and women are distinctly separate sexes. The politically correct truth is that we have to avoid speaking the obvious truth in order to avoid hurting the feelings of the confused.

Consider the controversy over transgender athletes. Here is an example.

The phenomenon is not new. After trans Canadian mountain biker Michelle Dumaresq won the national title in British Columbia in 2006, second-place finisher Danika Schroeter donned a T-shirt provided by her boyfriend during the medal ceremony. It read: “100% Pure Woman Champ.”

Dumaresq later told The National Post, a Canadian newspaper, “That was the moment I stopped loving the sport. … That kind of wrecked it for me.” (from here (

Because of the willful, blind ignorance imposed by political correctness, men who could not win against men are beating women in supposedly female only sports competitions. If that is how willfully blind our politically correct beliefs require us to be in the name of diversity, when are we going to start drafting infants and the elderly?  Because the political definition of diversity is at odds with the dictionary definition, we can’t even distinguish between men and women. If we cannot rationally discriminate between men and women, why discriminate at all? It is as dumb as saying all apples taste the same, that there is no difference between a Granny Smith Apple and a Red Delicious Apple.

Don’t you pity the poor soul who won’t go to the trouble of buying Stayman Winesap Apples in the Fall. After all, for the sake of apple diversity, don’t we have to treat all apples the same?


  1. No. But, seek to induct anyone who is physically, psychologically, and emotionally suitable. And above all, never never accept an unnatural reinterpretation of nature to be nature. The one who allows it plays a game (e.g., having an imaginary tea party with the Queen of England who looks like a stuffed teddy bear with a tiara) and the one who subjects oneself to it is deeply deeply deluded, creating unnecessary risks for oneself and one’s comrades in arms. I mean no offense to real persons by my analogies, but I do seek to show the magnitude of the unwise and unrealistic situation posed by those who have themselves surgically altered to appear to be who they are not really.

    1. @Francis Philip

      Were you trying to reply to a particular comment or the quest at the end of the post? You don’t enjoy Stayman Winesap Apples?

      1. No to conscription/ conscription for all. Volunteering seems to be working.

  2. @Liz and Tom

    I finished “The Happiness Hypotheses” and I’m about half way through “The Righteous Mind”, both by Johnathan Haidt. These books really put this argument and all moral arguments into a new perspective. Apparently, the field of social psychology is in a good deal of flux just recently.

    Liz, thanks for turning me on to Haidt’s work. I would be interested in your thoughts when you finish.

    Tom, if you are interested, I would recommend your reading the latter book first.

    1. Heh, TSalmon.
      I’ve been involved in a novel (not recommending it, not proud…but sometimes, like cheetos, it’s just there and you can’t stop at just one), but I will get to the comparatively far, far more cerebral Haidt piece this weekend.
      So glad you liked it! 🙂

    2. I find myself reading mostly nonfiction lately. I feel like there is so much to learn that I hate to waste the time. That’s a weird way of thinking for an English major.

      Every time that I read a good work of fiction then I regret my intellectual snobbishness. My soul learns more from a good story than my head will ever fathom.

      There are no bad stories if we enjoy them. Shakespeare and opera were lowbrow pure entertainment, long before they became highbrow art.

      The last novel that I read was “Sing Unburied Sing”, mainly because the author is from near where I live. Lovely, sad story of human resilience.

        1. Agreed, but there is a difference between critical thinking and criticism.

          One of my favorite characters in Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn” was Duke, an itinerant conman/actor who wandered the South putting on little fractured Shakespeare sideshows for the common ignorant folk, such as:

          “To be or not to be, that’s the bare botkin.”

          Like Twain, Shakespeare’s humor can be both incredibly deep and pretty bawdy in the same moment. Here’s a synopsis of what happens to Duke:

          “That night, Huck and Tom sneak out of the house. As they walk on the road, they see a mob of townspeople running the duke and the dauphin, tarred and feathered, out of town on a rail. Huck feels bad for the two, and his ill feelings toward them melt away. ‘Human beings can be awful cruel to one another,’. he observes. Huck concludes that a conscience is useless because it makes you feel bad no matter what you do. Tom agrees.“

          Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

          Duke’s fate might be a good lesson about our current conman President.

          1. @tsalmon

            You want to know the problem with artificial intelligence. We have to provide the intelligence to do the programming. Anyone who believes man can produce true artificial intelligence should be having trouble with nightmares.

            First you provide a sob story about and Duke and the mean people who tar and feather him. Then you proceed to tar and feather Trump. And why? Because for some reason you think he is a conman. Yet you voted for Obama and H. Clinton?

            If Duke lacked anything, it was thoughtful and deliberate due process. Since you are a lawyer, I shouldn’t have to explain the significance of that. I shouldn’t have to ask you to oppose Democrats behaving like a lynch mob. Instead, I have to ask you to explain your own behavior. Sad!

          2. I think you missed the point Tom, probably because you were trying way too hard to misread my mind. Maybe it makes me a bad personal, but I’m pretty ambivalent about the constitutional due process of fictional characters. 😏

            Like Shakespeare’s Falstaff, Twain’s Duke reaped what he sewed. In the story, Duke starts out as a comic figure, but he ultimately proves himself to Huck as indeed a pathologically greedy conman and thief. Because Huck spends most of the book feeling guilty and certain that he is going to Hell for helping his friend escape slavery, Huck wonders what good guilt is if it is so unreliable a motivator to do good.

            I don’t feel guilty about calling Trump what I sincerely believe the facts require us to recognize, that he is an obvious con man and a fraud, just as I assume you sincerely believe that H. Clinton and Obama are frauds. Should I feel “guilty” whereas you don’t? What I would Twain say?

            I think perhaps the difficulty here is not really that we see things differently. Our morals are pretty much the same Tom. It’s your apparent inability to recognize that we are both sincere in our beliefs. Shame only works if the person honestly feels that they are wrong whereas the facts swirling around Trump just consistently comfirm my feelings about the man are quite correct.

            I’m sure that there are purely cynical and deceitful Republicans and Democrats, but I think most of the folks on both sides are quite sincere in their beliefs, even though one side often must obviously be wrong, even willfully blind, on the facts. Your accusations that anyone that simply disagrees with you are being deceitful seems dangerously naive of human beings ability to continuously confirm their own biases in favor of their own tribe.

            Take the recent Cohen hearing. Whether Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer for 10 years is lying or not, the fact that he has been a scoundrel, Trump’s scoundrel, simply reflects pretty poorly on Trump’s character, don’t you think? Strange how none of the Republicans bothered to mention that point. We’re they being deceitful or truly sincere, but blindly partisan?

            If love to know your thoughts on this if you want to explain them in a post.

          3. @tsalmon

            A post? Maybe. There is so much material people have already written books, but I don’t have much interest in reading them.

            Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime. — Beria, the infamous sidekick of Stalin

            Democrats have been investigating Donald Trump for several years. That includes fabricating the Golden Showers dossier and using that nonsense as excuse to sic the CIA and the FBI on the Trump campaign.

            When I watch this stuff, I just wonder why it doesn’t make it obvious why Socialism won’t work. Giving the government that much power just makes it a huge prize and impossible to control.

            The nonsense about Trump colluding with the Russians actually began when he made a joke about Russian providing H. Clinton’s 30,000 lost emails. Think of the pure arrogance required to turn telling an obvious joke into a crime.

            If Trump was guilty of anything serious, he would be in jail. That is where Obama and the Clinton’s belong. Unfortunately, the news media has ignored the obvious, like Hillary’s email server, Bill’s $500,000 speaking fees from foreign interests, and the Obama’s administration abuse of IRS, DOJ, CIA, FBI, NSA,….. powers.

          4. All this just proves my point. We have an amazing ability to believe what we really want to believe, and to forgive our own sins by focusing on the sins of others.

            Republicans didn’t spend years investigating everything that they could on Clinton? They wanted to find something on H. Clinton so bad that they nearly broke their souls trying. If you can sincerely believe that H. Clinton and Obama are especially bad people, then Trump isn’t a liar and a fraud? Because the dossier started as opposition research (initially done by Republicans), then it’s truth can be ignored?

            Convincing you of all of Trump’s lies, from illegally paying of mistresses and Moscow projects that he said weren’t happening during the election, doesn’t seems to work on you. It is like trying to convince someone who claims that they can’t see the forest because all those damn trees are getting in the way. I’m sure you think the same of me. Perhaps the only difference is that I don’t doubt your sincerity, just you objectivity. But who among us is truly objective?

          5. @tsalmon

            On to the usual moral equivalency argument, Democrats have been investigating Trump, and they don’t even have a crime.

            It is okay to frame Trump, but Republicans paid for it first? But Republicans did not pay for the dossier. Look it up. The Washington Free Beacon paid Fusion GPS for something else.

          6. “When I watch this stuff, I just wonder why it doesn’t make it obvious why Socialism won’t work. Giving the government that much power just makes it a huge prize and impossible to control.”

            There is some truth to that, although socialism in less pure forms (so-called welfare states) has “worked” for quite a while.

            Some recent reading that I did brought up the point that pure socialism has actially been most successful where commitment to the project was enforced by a religious beliefs that overcome our natural self interestedness. I’m still not sold on utilitarian socialism, but that gave me some pause about demonizing it, especially if the glorification of self interest in the form of hedonistic consumerism is our other alternative.

            I think that I have mentioned before that out of the ten largest most wealthy organizations in the world, many of them are multinational corporations, not governments – talk about big prizes! The wealthiest man in the world right now, wealthier than many entire countries, owns Amazon.

            It may be too soon to tell if democratic capitalism is really more of an endangered species than socialism. It may yet fall to some sort of oligarchic corporate plutocracy if it is not checked by some sort of “big government”.
            That seems far more likely to me at least than that, if we tear down government, it will be replaced by a Utopia of Christian altruism rather than some corporate dystopia of greed and self interest. Have you considered that possibility?

            I guess that too is for another discussion.

          7. @tsalmon

            Listen to the above. It is short and worth the time.

            I think that if you look into it you will find that people get fabulously wealthy via crony capitalism, not just plain capitalism.

          8. Funny, I never took you for a Monetarist Tom. I have great respect for that theory of economics in as much as I know about it, but I don’t think that I would necessarily look to Friedman, or any economist for my moral values. It all sounded way too absolutist to me, just as the true socialist or the communist are way too absolutist in their arguments. The dance between capitalism and government seems far more complex and nuanced for such simplifications.

            I have only read about Friedman so that may be an unfair characterization. I’ll try to put him on my reading list though. So much to learn, and so little time. Have you read any of his works that you might recommend?

          9. @tsalmon

            Adam Smith is famous for at least two works, one on economics and one on morality. The second was more famous in his day.

            Why would an economist be interested in morality? The prosperity of a people is not independent of their moral character.

            Everyone is made in the image of God. Everyone is worth listening to. Unfortunately, no one always gives good counsel. Nevertheless, we don’t seem to understand the value of good advice until we have tried bad advice.

            I have not read any of Friedman’s books. Probably an oversight I will regret. So I probably ought to try some of his books.

          10. “On to the usual moral equivalency argument, Democrats have been investigating Trump, and they don’t even have a crime.
            It is okay to frame Trump, but Republicans paid for it first? But Republicans did not pay for the dossier. Look it up. The Washington Free Beacon paid Fusion GPS for something else.”

            Republicans paid Fusion GPS first, but yes the dossier came later. Not surprising really. I seem to remember practically every Republican in the race calling Trump a cheat, a liar and a conman.

            As I said Tom, the problem isn’t that Republicans are somehow holier than Democrats or that Democrats are worse than Republicans. I think that most people in both camps sincerely think that they are doing the right thing. They just live in different information universes lately, and they are confusing that with deception and demonizing the other side.

          11. @tsalmon

            The Washington Free Beacon is a Republican leaning news organization.

            Not surprising really. I seem to remember practically every Republican in the race calling Trump a cheat, a liar and a conman.

            Trump was in a presidential primary. As I recall, no one accused Trump of fixing that race. The fix was in for H. Clinton.

          12. Trump was in a presidential primary. As I recall, no one accused Trump of fixing that race. The fix was in for H. Clinton.

            That’s because the Republicans didn’t know that Trump’s boss, Putin, was fixing it for him. 😉

  3. Tom,

    Because you mentioned wisdom on this issue of differences between men and women, I believe you have to make a distinction between Wise Men or Women, and Foolish Men or Women.

    Then you have to differentiate Wise Leaders or Foolish leaders, men or women.

    As for the draft, my recollections when I was called in for my physical was to resent how unfair it was to allow military deferments to married men and school deferments to college students. The fact that over 50,000 USA soldiers died in warfare in Vietnam, along with the unfairness of deferments, did result in the elimination of the draft.

    As for the present possibility of reinstituting the draft, and the issue of the wisdom of drafting both men and women fairly because of political correctness of some women want to be treated equally as men, I believe two ancient terms for these women can be used.

    Madam Folly and Dame Wisdom.

    There is a Biblical explanation of the differences between these two categories of wisdom based on morality.

    As for the morality of drafting women to appease women who believe in the political correctness of both sexes being treated equally as a man for purposes of warfare, I would label them as Madam Folly.

    As for women who are wiser in regards to the political correctness of sexes on wanting to be equally eligible to be drafted and sent out of the USA to war, Dame Wisdom. (or DAMM WISER)

    As for the draft, the only time I can see it being reinstated by any politicians is if the USA was being invaded.

    Regards and good will blogging.

    If interested

    1. @Scatterwisdom

      There are some who want to reconstitute the draft so that they can force young people to participate in public service programs. What amazes me is that people don’t realize that they are proposing slavery, and they don’t even have the excuse of the dire threat of war. That is how accustomed we have become to the insanity of Socialism.

      No longer are we content just to tax our fellow citizens. Now, for their own good, of course, we have to enslave them for a couple of years. The waste, fraud, and abuse that would eventually arise from such a program cannot be overestimated.

      1. Tom,

        Your comment is timely as I was just reading an article about taxation for my long delayed next novel.

        In ancient Israel which includes forced labor that was imposed in those times.

        “A. Forced Labor. As often in the ancient Near East generally,4 one of the ways in which national projects were financed in biblical Israel was through the utilization of forced labor. That forced labor is a type of taxation, indeed, perhaps the basic and original tax, hardly needs to be established; but it is worth noting that Heichelheim’s survey of ancient economics includes forced labor among the fundamental taxes of antiquity (1958: 176), and that the biblical word for “forced labor,” mas, is now the modern Hebrew term for “tax.”

        If interested

        Click to access Taxation%20in%20biblical%20Israel.pdf

        We have a graduated tax structure in comparison to a one-tenth tithe imposed on everyone equally in ancient Isreal. And instead of selling war bonds or borrowing in time of war, a war tax paid mainly by the wealthy they willingly paid so as not to lose the war and have everything taken from them by the invaders.

        Another comparison is Trump is having to use the military to build a wall now for a different kind of invasion.

        In other words, “nothing new under the sun”

        Perhaps we are doing the same as King Solomon predicted in Ecclesiastes

        1:9 What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth.

        However, there was no graduated tax structure in ancient Israel compared to USA.

        . Might make for an interesting post if you are up for it?

        Regard sand good will blogging.

        1. @Scatterwisdom

          Our tax structure is aimed at high wage earners. Those are the folks who most threaten the wealth (as potential competitors) the rich.

          Post? Maybe. Lots to blog about.

  4. I’m against the draft generally and drafting women specifically. Call me sexist, but that’s where I am.

    1. @grabaspine

      Here is the definition of sexism, which is what a sexist engages in.

      sexism noun
      1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex
      especially : discrimination against women
      2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex
      (from =>

      Do we discriminate based upon sex. When we know someone’s sex, do we have certain expectations about that person? Of course, we do. Do that mean we must discriminate AGAINST women or men. No. we just recognized the obvious. Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses. What is the point of pretending otherwise?

  5. I should add that having paced my daughter through 33 miles at night of a 100 mile trail race, I can tell you that most of it isn’t about physical strength – it’s about mental stamina. I worked with Navy Seals some in the Navy. I asked one rather short but buff Seal once how it goes in a fire fight. He told me that most of the game of being a Seal was also mental – smarts and resilience. If they were in a fire fight, they screwed up.

  6. Issues like this make me glad that President Nixon was able to establish all-volunteer armed forces during his administration. I hope and pray that our nation never again is involved in a conflict that requires drafting unwilling soldiers to go and fight the enemy–be they men, women, or whatever. J.

  7. The only way conscription could work is the way the Israelis do it, or Europe used to do it. Think Switzerland still does. Keep a continuous force of trained individuals.
    Modern wars are over too quickly. In a situation so urgent as to require conscription now we just wouldn’t have time to train individuals for the months required. For that matter, we wouldn’t have time to turn a sewing machine factory (if we still have those here) into an F22 factory either.
    So, it is unlikely beyond unlikely that we will ever have a draft.
    That said, as hypothetical the tooth to tail ratio is…I can’t remember the exact number but something like 5 to 1. Support makes up the majority of the services, not front line combat.
    I don’t see why women couldn’t provide that support if needed.
    Front line combat, definitely not….
    Assuming we wanted to win.

    1. @Liz

      I can see Tom’s point about the draft, but I don’t know if it is realistic. I’m also not quite so cynical about the role of government in my old age as my good brother has become.

      Like Liz, I’m also not sure that all 18 year olds should be given a choice about what their responsibilities to their country are. It would seem that every war is different and we should be prepared in any event.

      Either way, the judge has a point – if women are allowed in combat and we are to have a draft, then women should be equally subject to the draft. Should women be allowed in combat? Consider this article:

      If a set of testicles makes one a combat hero, then this heroic woman long ago magically grew a bigger pair than most men I know (myself included), and she still managed to have two kids. There are very important physical and psychological distinctions in the broad range of the human gender spectrum, but doesn’t it make sense to consider when those distinctions actually make a difference, and indeed, when the feminine distinctions provide a positive advantage?

      1. Sorry I can’t read the article, it requires a subscription.
        The military has done many many studies I could provide is necessary…women are about five times more likely to sustain injury in combat and combat exercises. They typically spend a great deal of time in the infirmary (much higher than men).
        Your daughter sounds like a great athlete. Yet if she were required to jump out of a plane, carrying a sack that weighed as much as she did as required, most likely she’d break her legs and that 4 minute mile wouldn’t mean much.
        Outlier exceptions are simply that…outlier exceptions. Not something to write rules around for the general population.
        I know a quite a few female fighter pilots. They either stop flying very early on, or, if they insist….they have terrible neck and back problems. I know a girl who is barely into her 30s and she has had two back surgeries. Men suffer too (it’s not natural to have to move one’s head around at 9+ G forces, but their heavier frame and makeup makes them able to tolerate it a lot longer.

        1. Liz,

          Too bad you could not read the article. It nearly made me cry, I was so proud. What an extraordinary soldier she was!

          I wonder how many of such studies would have confirmed keeping African Americans out of combat roles? Sometimes long term cultural biases confirm themselves, even amongst the members of the target group. As you can imagine, I know lots of female pilots too. I even trained female military pilots. Most of them had to fly better, work harder and put up with far more crap than I ever did to get the job.

          What I don’t know about this subject far exceeds what I do know (and I don’t think that I’m alone here) so really I’m just talking about common sense and what I know about the law. If a woman can’t cut the grade, then she should wash out. Her sex should not advantage or disadvantage her. On the other hand, if we are just making up job criteria that don’t match the mission in order to keep women out, then that hurts readiness for everyone.

          If my daughter can beat most of the guys in an ultra marathon, should she be arbitrarily stopped from competing just because of arcane notions of social paternalism? I think women will ultimately exceed men in this sport, but first it will take many women to overcome their own outdated stereotypes about themselves.

          1. @tsalmon

            Cry? I understand she enjoyed her job, and it is fun to work with someone who enjoys their work, but cry? It was not a sob story.

            The race angle is silly. Why do Democrats have to drag that into every issue, and I mean EVERY issue. It is not rational. It is just bullying. Don’t agree with me? You must be bigot. Meanwhile, we are suppose to believe women are just little men? If that is feminism, why do women want any part of it. Feminism is supposed to enable women to become men? Really?

          2. I wonder how many of such studies would have confirmed keeping African Americans out of combat roles?

            You believe studies would prove that African American men are five times more prone to injury? If it is the case that excess melanin (or whatever) would make one 5 times as prone to injury in combat, that should be a disqualifying condition like other types of disqualifying conditions. I rather doubt that is the case.
            Keep in mind this doesn’t touch on pregnancy, which is also a big problem.
            Because in the world of scarce resources we live in, training is expensive and manpower is expensive. So when an easily preventable condition makes it impossible for a soldier to serve for many, many months (which could just double, and then triple…) that means everyone else has to take their place and go back more often. I can tell you, as a person whose husband had to do double time in tent city and other crapistans for folks who didn’t, this does create a morale problem. But let’s just pretend that BIG elephant in the room isn’t there.

            Since we’ve gone down this bunny slope….
            From Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health, “Load carriage and the female soldier””A review of a six week Marine Corps Officer Basic Training Course found a cumulative injury incidence of 80% for female candidates46. In addition, over the longer 11 week Marine Basic Training Course, female recruits showed increases in levels of bone resorption markers, indicating bone stress, in Weeks 2, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of training.”

            From a link that seems to have changed, or doesn’t work anymore:

            • The Army tried twice in the early 1980s to implement realistic strength standards, commensurate with wartime demands, in occupations rated from light to very heavy. In both instances, tests showed that most women were unable to meet the standards for nearly 70% of Army occupational specialties. The recommendations were never implemented as planned because the former Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) complained that such systems would have a “disproportionate impact” on the careers of female soldiers.

            • Extensive tests conducted with ROTC cadets indicate that a wide gap exists between the physical performance and potential of men and women. Among other things, testimony and charts prepared by training expert Dr. William J. Gregor indicate that only 2.5% of female
            -ROTC cadets were able to attain the male mean score on the 2-mile run, and only 4.5% could do so on the strength test. Only 19% of all cadet women achieved the minimum level of aerobic fitness set for men.
            • A test of Army recruits found that women had a 2.13 times greater risk for lower extremity
            injuries and a 4.71 times greater risk for stress fractures. Men sustained 99 days of limited duty due to injury while women incurred 481 days of limited duty.

            • In the United Kingdom, major studies were ordered in 1998 to ascertain the feasibility of co-ed basic training. Army doctors found that eight times as many women as men were being discharged during basic training, due to injury rates that doubled following the introduction of
            identical training programs for both sexes. Differences in strength, bone mass, stride length and lower body bone structure caused women to suffer disproportionately from Achilles tendon problems, knee, back and leg pain, and fractures of the tibia, foot, and hip.

            There was a relatively recent article by a Marine officer (female) who was the “perfect candidate”. Maybe I’ll try to find it later, I’m short of time at the moment.
            She was in exceptional condition, rugby player, marathoner, and so forth. By the end of a couple of assignments she had sustained a number of injuries. But the important part of all this (other than losing a good person who could have performed a different role in the military) was: she felt lied to. In all the gung ho, go girl! Style mantra she was fed, no one ever brought up the fact her bones, tendons and cartilage weren’t intended to carry that amount of weight for so long, or under such strain. Now she’ll never be the same, and the “you go girl!” folks just dismiss her and…go on to the next victim.

          3. I have worked with guys who came back from Afghanistan. Can you imagine lugging around all the body armor plus you gun and a backpack all the time? He was a stocky, strong, guy, but he was still aching from the experience.

            During the Middle Ages, knights trained to wear plate armor, and they rode specially bed horses to carry them. Hundred of years latter some things have changed, but our knights still have to carry a lot of weight into combat.

          4. Probably won’t help. Maybe you can clear the cache in your browser.

            It did! I was able to read it, thanks Citizen Tom. 🙂
            I might post some thoughts in the AM.

          5. Can you imagine lugging around all the body armor plus you gun and a backpack all the time? He was a stocky, strong, guy, but he was still aching from the experience.

            Yes. Or imagine having to pull an injured person to safety.
            These things matter, and are the difference between others coming back or not coming back.

          6. I found the article from the female officer.
            Speaks for itself.
            Please read it.
            An excerpt:
            “Who is driving this agenda? I am not personally hearing female Marines, enlisted or officer, pounding on the doors of Congress claiming that their inability to serve in the infantry violates their right to equality. Shockingly, this isn’t even a congressional agenda. This issue is being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS). Their mission is to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations, as well as matters of policy, pertaining to the well-being of women in the Armed Services from recruiting to employment. Members are selected based on their prior military experience or experience with women’s workforce issues. I certainly applaud and appreciate DACOWITS ‘ mission; however, as it pertains to the issue of women in the infantry, it’s very surprising to see that none of the committee members are on active duty or have any recent combat or relevant operational experience relating to the issue they are attempting to change. I say this because, at the end of the day, it’s the active duty servicemember who will ultimately deal with the results of their initiatives, not those on the outside looking in. As of now, the Marine Corps hasn’t been directed to integrate, but perhaps the Corps is anticipating the inevitable – DoD pressuring the Corps to comply with DACOWITS’ agenda as the Army has already “rogered up” to full integration. Regardless of what the Army decides to do, it s critical to emphasize that we are not the Army; our operational speed and tempo, along with our overall mission as the Nation’s amphibious force-in-readiness, are fundamentally different than that of our sister Service. By no means is this distinction intended as disrespectful to our incredible Army. My main point is simply to state that the Marine Corps and the Army are different; even if the Army ultimately does fully integrate all military occupational fields, that doesn’t mean the Corps should follow suit.

            I understand that there are female servicemembers who have proven themselves to be physically, mentally, and morally capable of leading and executing comb at- typ e operations; as a result, some of these Marines may feel qualified for the chance of taking on the role of 0302. In the end, my main concern is not whether women are capable of conducting combat operations, as we have already proven that we can hold our own in some very difficult combat situations; instead, my main concern is a question of longevity. Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?

            As a young lieutenant, I fit the mold of a female who would have had a shot at completing IOC, and I am sure there was a time in my life where I would have volunteered to be an infantryman. I was a star ice hockey player at Bowdoin College, a small elite college in Maine, with a major in government and law. At 5 feet 3 inches I was squatting 200 pounds and benching 145 pounds when I graduated in 2007. I completed Officer Candidates School (OCS) ranked 4 of 52 candidates, graduated 48 of 261 from TBS, and finished second at MOS school. I also repeatedly scored far above average in all female- bas ed physical fitness tests (for example, earning a 292 out of 300 on the Marine physical fitness test). Five years later, I am physically not the woman I once was and my views have greatly changed on the possibility of women having successful long careers while serving in the infantry. I can say from firsthand experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not just emotion, that we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the genderspecific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.

            I was a motivated, resilient second lieutenant when I deployed to Iraq for 10 months, traveling across the Marine area of operations (AO) and participating in numerous combat operations. Yet, due to the excessive amount of time I spent in full combat load, I was diagnosed with a severe case of restless leg syndrome. My spine had compressed on nerves in my lower back causing neuropathy which compounded the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. While this injury has certainly not been enjoyable, Iraq was a pleasant experience compared to the experiences I endured during my deployment to Afghanistan. At the beginning of my tour in Helmand Province, I was physically capable of conducting combat operations for weeks at a time, remaining in my gear for days if necessary and averaging 16-hour days of engineering operations in the heart of Sangin, one of the most kinetic and challenging AOs in the country. There were numerous occasions where I was sent to a grid coordinate and told to build a PB from the ground up, serving not only as the mission commander but also the base commander until the occupants (infantry units) arrived 5 days later. In most of these situations, I had a sergeant as my assistant commander, and the remainder of my platoon consisted of young, motivated NCOs. I was the senior Marine making the final decisions on construction concerns, along with 24-hour base defense and leading 30 Marines at any given time. The physical strain of enduring combat operations and the stress of being responsible for the lives and well-being of such a young group in an extremely kinetic environment were compounded by lack of sleep, which ultimately took a physical toll on my body that I couldn’t have foreseen.

            By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported. Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement. I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.

            There is a drastic shortage of historical data on female attrition or medical ailments of women who have executed sustained combat operations. This said, we need only to review the statistics from our entry-level schools to realize that there is a significant difference in the physical longevity between male and female Marines. At OCS the attrition rate for female candidates in 2011 was historically low at 40 percent, while the male candidates attrite at a much lower rate of 16 percent. Of candidates who were dropped from training because they were injured or not physically qualified, females were breaking at a much higher rate than males, 14 percent versus 4 percent. The same trends were seen at TBS in 2011 ; the attrition rate for females was 13 percent versus 5 percent for males, and 5 percent of females were found not physically qualified compared with 1 percent of males. Further, both of these training venues have physical fitness standards that are easier for females; at IOC there is one standard regardless of gender. The attrition rate for males attending IOC in 2011 was 17 percent. Should female Marines ultimately attend IOC, we can expect significantly higher attrition rates and long-term injuries for women.

          7. @Liz

            Interesting. Never seen much evidence that the push for women in combat came from the average gal in military. Most of the sustained pressure seems to have come from ambitious female officers. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but we cannot count on ambitious people to be objective.

          8. @Liz

            I think I’m on shaky ground explaining feminism to a woman. It’s similar to presuming black experience to be black to an African American man. I’m not sure that there is homogeneity of experience or opinion even among the subgroup.

            My daughter often does training runs at night in the woods. Whenever I discuss my obvious safety concerns for any woman doing that, my daughter just rolls her eyes and says that she refuses to be confined by outdated gender roles. If she going to work then she has to train in the dark. And then she assures me that statistically she is far more likely to be sexually assaulted running at night on a city street in her own neighborhood than out in the middle of the woods. What is a concerned father to do?

            With regard to racism, SCOTUS recognized that the invidious effects of hundreds of years of slavery followed by a hundred years of Jim Crow would not be repaired overnight. Imagine if military academies simply closed their doors permanently to blacks because in 1960s so few African Americans could meet their high standards of admission, or because a high number of black cadets washed out? That kind of training is expensive right?

            We have put women on a meek, weak Victorian pedestal for so long, how much is pure gender differences in human anatomy and function, and how much is from endless generations of a cultural indoctrination that women are to be protected from physicality like wilting flowers? I don’t know the anthropological science to that, but maybe you do.

            I’ve seen my daughter, after running 85 miles limp the last 15 to the finish line on a swollen ankle. Then she ran a grueling 12 hour looped hill race in the rain and mud only a few months later and set the female course record. I saw a 60 something year old woman ease past us in the night to place overall in the top three. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the only thing that makes the women in this sport unusual is that they are some of the first women to presume to compete and realize they can beat most of the men, not that they are an anatomical anomaly. I think they will eventually become the norm.

            I’ll bow to your expertise on gender biomechanic differences and limitations, if you consider yourself such an expert and you think that the data really is completely in and preclusive, but honestly don’t you wonder if it is just a bit early to exclude women from even playing the whole game in every combat area of military service? I do have some expertise in the area of women in combat flying and my experience just does not merit arbitrary exclusion of women, but what do I know, I’m just a former naval aviator and instructor pilot. 😁

          9. @tsalmon

            Most people have a poor understanding of statistics. The reason few people are assaulted running in the woods at night is that almost no one can be found running in the woods at night. ☺

            The peace and quiet in the woods can be a pleasant relief after a busy day. So I doubt your daughter will stop running at night.

            I can only guess what her running trail looks like, but I suspect her big risk is tripping, not being attacked. Still, assault is a possibility. I hope she is prepared to defend herself. I also hope she carries a cellphone so she can call for help.

          10. One other anecdote and then I’ll shut up as I will have exhausted my opinions in this area.

            During my probation check ride st the airline I worked at, what would have been our first woman instructor Pilot (Ann) was put through the ringer by two other instructor pilots, presumably for her own good. I can tell you that it made the check ride experience pretty miserable for me and my fellow student captain. I have never seen anything like that ridiculous hazing for any other perspective instructor before or since.

            Captain Ann quit the instructor program after that. I flew as her first officer several times and can tell you that she was a damn good pilot and captain. Her fellow instructors (both former military) who made her bid for instructor pilot so absurdly difficult probably thought they were doing her a favor by discouraging her because they thought our male pilots would never accept a female instructor.

            When I retired 18 years later it was on the way to becoming a far different world with female first officers becoming so normal that hardly anyone even noticed it anymore. Although sometimes when the passengers would here a female voice on the PA, mothers brought their daughters up to the flight deck after the flight to meet a role model.

            I can’t imagine what it is like to be a female trend setter in a male dominated field, but my wife can. She got her MBA back when few women were getting that degree, put me the the last of undergrad and then through law school and as she followed me around the world, she always managed to land an executive job paying more than my meager military pay. She never worried about being one of the boys because she always knew she was better than any of them.

          11. @tsalmon

            This post does advocate bigotry. Your anecdotes implies that it does. Otherwise, why bother?

            Do some people constantly play the race card? Do some people insist upon deciding moral decisions that belong to others? Do some people demand the “right” to have their sins publicly applauded by those who want no part of them? Do some people insist upon educating other people’s children? Do some people play God and insist upon deciding who is worthy of life? Are some people bigots? Afraid so.

            Still, there are some differences between men and women. Perhaps you have noticed. Is it rational to ignore those differences? What kind of bigotry is required for that?

            Is it possible we could use our brains? Did you know that diversity exist because of differences?

          12. Most of the sustained pressure seems to have come from ambitious female officers. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but we cannot count on ambitious people to be objective.

            The real problem is the resource equation. If they’re injured much more often (and they are, see plethora of studies or just ask an orthopedic surgeon…looser ligaments so the pelvis can open in childbirth, larger pelvis which creates a sharper angle where the bones in the knees meet. As a result, the front of the knee joint, the thighbone and the kneecap fit together poorly, and this misalignment can lead to injury and wear and tear on the joint. And so on). That training is wasted.
            I don’t think the average person understands what this means.
            Let me explain this in terms of the pilot shortage now.
            Ignorant people tend to assume all that’s needed is a fresh source of people interested in becoming pilots…that’s not the case. Plenty of people want to be pilots. It’s not even the case that the criteria is too strict (hey let enlisted people apply!). It’s an irrelevancy….they have enough people, adding enlisted candidates wouldn’t help this problem. The problem is instructors aren’t available in the pipeline. So having a bunch of new Lt bodies sitting around the squadron isn’t going to help. Nutshell: They have too few seasoned and trained instructor pilots. Cascading consequences will take a long, long time to fix. Even my husband, who was the commander of the base, got certified to train pilots as soon as he was able…that way when he flew to keep his currency, he was also contributing to the training.
            It’s a mess.
            I’m sure this is true of every exclusive combat category as well. It is enormously expensive to train. Back when my husband first started out, it was about 10 million dollars invested in a fighter pilot by their first operational assignment. I’m assuming it’s more now.

          13. More about resource problems, while I’m on the subject. There’s a real push for social programs in an effort to help retention. In the world of scarce resources let’s take a look at what something like longer paid maternity leave. I think the Navy’s paid maternity leave is now up to 18 weeks. The USAF, I’m not sure….but with other types of leave, it’s probably close to that. Everyone applauds: “Oh, yes! How wonderful…” Yet no new personel are hired to fill this gap. It’s much like losing a person to injuries.

            Although it might be wonderful in theory to give folks a lot of paid time off, others are going back into combat more often (this takes a big toll), and, for example, those sick kids can’t be seen because the doctor is on maternity leave and the flight doc is deployed. [/rant]

          14. “Still, there are some differences between men and women.”

            Yes, and as they say, “Vive la difference”.

            I think that equality does not mean Maoist homogeneity. It does not mean to irrationally pretend that their are no differences.

            Instead, it celebrates the differences. It recognizes that the tapestry of our culture is woven from threads of many stuggles to overcome senseless and now arcane taboos and prejudices where the beauty of our differences were unjustly hated, and from the injustices of that senseless hatred we all wttempt to be liberated.

            The unique American story is one of captivity, emancipation, struggle and promise. It is an Exodus story. Whether that story of bigotry and freedom was religious, racial, economic or gender, we need to sojourn in it’s truth, it’s beauty, reconcile to that struggle and celebrate it. This is a dynamic living and loving process that I believe emanates from God, but that is aspirational and never complete. We attempt to live in the light and grace of transformation. That transformative journey is itself the goal. That is all that I am saying.

          15. We’re at that fun age now when all our friends are retiring (no female fighter pilots in this bunch…they’re either young or bailed early, often for physical reasons). One F16 pilot was a linebacker at the Academy. He is built like a linebacker. The flight doc (part time reservist, full time private practice orthopedic surgeon, sign of the times) said his neck is worse than any football player’s neck he has ever seen. That’s not from football, it’s from sustained Gs over the years. He’s been in about 25 years now. A woman’s neck wouldn’t have made it half as long.

          16. @Liz

            You point out some valid issues, but there is something that you might consider about how data might be manipulated in a way that appears on its face to be neutral, but which may present unfair discriminatory outcomes.

            A while back ago, some banks decided to use zip code data to determine eligibility for home loans. If residents of a given zip code had a higher tendency to default on loans, then individual loan applicants were given a lower credit score and denied loans on that basis. Coincidentally (or perhaps not) the zip codes with worst default data happened to be populated by people of color.

            The institutional rule was based on real data and was racial neutral on its face, but had a racially discriminatory outcome. Even if the loan applicant’s individual credit rating was good enough to receive the loan, she was still denied the loan based solely on the statistical faults of her neighbors in neighborhood she happened to reside rather than her own merit.

            For most of us, there is something inherently unamerican about being judged in groups (even groups that are not statistically arbitrary) instead being judged upon our individual merits. Suppose the female fighter pilot applicant is more interested in pursuing a her military career than having children. Suppose she is better qualified and a far more formidable killing machine than her fellow male applicants. Should she and the military be denied her superior services simply because she has working ovaries? Obviously, the military is different from other occupations, but honestly since your data is neutral on its face, shouldn’t every employer for every job be able to apply it to every woman? What is the cost/benefit analysis on the individual contributions versus the gender costs of that amazingly hero in my NYT story? Are all issues really amenable to the easy black and white opinions that we are all most comfortable proclaiming?

            And Tom, before you claim that I’m calling you a racist, my reason for using racial examples is because they are legally and rationally analogous, not because they are perfectly equivalent.

            One more thing about data. I know from experience that pilots tend to be athletic, overconfident risk takers by occupational nature. As such, we often engage in activities where we tend to get injured. As a matter of resource management, should we exclude individuals most suited for the job because just the attributes needed for the job tend to take them out of action more than the statistical average? Maybe this is not perfectly analogous, but may it’s good for more thought about how data can manipulated to get to preconceived results.

          17. “That was just about as cliche ridden as anything I have ever read. Did you do that deliberately?”

            Ha! Maybe a little. But you have to admit that there is a little bit of a pot/kettle irony about you razzing me for platitudes and cliches. I doesn’t mean that the truism is necessarily inappropriate though.😇

          18. @tsalmon

            The problem with clichés is that we use them without thinking about them. It is like repeating the Lord’s Prayer without contemplating its meaning, an empty repetition of words. Consider.

            I think that equality does not mean Maoist homogeneity. It does not mean to irrationally pretend that their are no differences.

            The problem with Maoist homogeneity is that it permits no difference in opinion.

            Let’s try one more paragraph.

            Instead, it celebrates the differences. It recognizes that the tapestry of our culture is woven from threads of many struggles to overcome senseless and now arcane taboos and prejudices where the beauty of our differences were unjustly hated, and from the injustices of that senseless hatred we all attempt to be liberated.

            What differences should we celebrate? Who decides? Mao? Which arcane taboos and prejudices have to go? Who decides? What exactly does liberation consist of? Is the object to force people to applaud our “differences”, celebrate our “differences” or just to live and let live.

          19. The airplanes have gotten too darn expensive, and fighter jets gulp fuel. So training is expensive even with simulators.

            Good Lord this is so true. A topic in and of itself….

          20. “For most of us, there is something inherently unamerican about being judged in groups (even groups that are not statistically arbitrary) instead being judged upon our individual merits. Suppose the female fighter pilot applicant is more interested in pursuing a her military career than having children. Suppose she is better qualified and a far more formidable killing machine than her fellow male applicants. Should she and the military be denied her superior services simply because she has working ovaries? Obviously, the military is different from other occupations, but honestly since your data is neutral on its face, shouldn’t every employer for every job be able to apply it to every woman?

            1) So…to be clear….you are against quotas for minorities and women for all occupations? Sounds like you’ve made a very good argument for that above. I agree 100 percent.

            2) Quite right the military is different. How about a heart condition? What about eyesight? So many people are eliminated from employment for physical failings in spite of their potential short term skill levels. I don’t see that this is different.
            At any rate, I’m not in favor of firing the female pilots they already have so it’s kind of a moot point in that regard. Important when expanding the application pool to other dangerous and physically challenging occupations.

        2. @Liz

          In some ways women are better than men. We are designed to complement each other. Combat is something men generally do much better at. Why Liberal Democrats don’t see that is weird.

          1. @tsalmon

            What in tarnation do you think you are right about? Men and women are the same? If there are differences, then what are the consequences?

    2. @Liz

      Think about Alexander the Great. He conquered a huge area with a small military force. That included Persia, which had a comparatively immense army.

      What was Alexander’s advantage? He and the people in his army knew what they were doing, and they were determined to win. So the Persians were always one step behind. They were always still reacting to Alexander last attack while he was launching a new one.

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