Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #262 (May 31st, 2007)


Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist

1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.

2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.

3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.

4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.

5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.

6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.

7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.

8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.

9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.

10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.

11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.

12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.

13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.

14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.

15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.


All this week:





Okay, where was I? Oh, right. We were in the middle of David Carrington's 27 February letter (foolish me, I thought I could wrap it up in one instalment) (meanwhile, ten pages later):

"The Army life's been treating me good, as I'm approaching my two-year mark. Did I tell you that in October I graduated (with honors!) from the "Warrior Leader Course"? (Now my civilian boss addresses me as "warrior leader.") There were lots of infantry guys there who had some incredible war stories about Iraq, which I doubt are told outside the circle of Army buddies. I mean, if the liberals against the war heard some of the stuff that really went on over there, especially in the opening salvo in 2003…whoa. An especially gruesome one was how my "cell-mate" would, after shooting up some jihadist, put his boot over his mouth to prevent the guy from praying before he dies. "F—k him, I don't want to hear that s—t!" it's much funnier in their telling, I guess. These guys take great pleasure in the combat. They killed a lot of bad guys."

I'm not sure if David wanted me to print this part of his letter, but, I repeat – if you don't want me running something in the Blog & Mail, don't write it to me. I put myself squarely in the "nothing to hide" camp. If you have something you want to charge me with post-1998 I'll be glad to face the indictment square on. Pre-1998? That was before I was committed to God, but I'll be glad to try to reconstruct whatever atheistic and self-indulgent rationalisation I was labouring under at the time.

In this case, I detect the fine hand of the ___s behind David's writing me about this and what appears to be their (or some of their) whole-hearted efforts to trip me up. If I don't print it, then it would be construed as an admission that I think what he is documenting is wrong-doing by U.S. Forces in Iraq and I would be part of the "cover up" in not discussing it directly. By printing it, I could be indicted for jeopardizing David's standing with the U.S. Military by violating a letter he wrote to me in confidence. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. As always, I err on the side of openness and direct answers and let the chips fall where they may.

I look on what David brings up in the light of the article by Douglas E. Streusand's that I excerpted pretty extensively on Sunday. If you sincerely believe that the insurgency in Iraq is conducting Sinful Warfare against the U.S. Forces and the coalition in Iraq, I can certainly see why you wouldn't allow a participant in sinful warfare to pray to God before he dies. Personally, I don't have that level of self-confidence and I always try to err on the side of acknowledging that anyone could be more fully aligned with God than I am so there's great risk in even cosmetically picturing myself as having some advantage over them. I pray five times a day, but it wouldn't surprise me that anyone who avoided all of the crap I did in my twenties and thirties that made me such a massive reclamation job that I need to pray five times a day wouldn't have to do so themselves. Same as the small uproar that attached itself to Saddam Hussein's execution by the Shiite Iraqi government where they didn't allow him to finish his prayers before springing the trapdoor. To me, when you extend compassion to a conscienceless butcher like Saddam you are extending compassion too far. The jeopardy implied, of course, is that you might have misunderstood Saddam's relationship to God. He may have repented and have become a sincere believer, in which case you are interposing yourself between Saddam and God and, presumably, you will have to pay the price for doing so on Judgement Day.

Likewise the soldier whose story David relates. If he is aligned with God (as I believe the coalition to be: that we, the coalition, collectively believe that self-determination is fully protected and we are at war with those who want to limit or curtail self-determination) and the insurgent he shot is a representative of the forces of oppression who deny the right to self-determination, then he should do okay on Judgement Day. If, however, he's just a smart-ass secular humanist and he killed a devout believer in God who was sincerely fighting on path of God then I wouldn't envy his chances on Judgement Day.

In a more secular vein, the insurgents don't qualify for protection under the Geneva Conventions because they aren't in uniform and they have no military organization. And to me and to virtually all military people suicide bombing and IED's put you beyond the pale of civilized rules. If I'm a member of U.S. Forces and your improvised explosive device -- a modified Iranian artillery shell filled with nuts and bolts and sharpened metal scraps -- blew the legs off of a buddy of mine or tore a fist-sized hole in the small intestine of another buddy of mine or…well, you get the idea…and you have aligned yourself with someone or many someones who uses devices like that, well, that (I think, understandably) puts you outside all boundaries of civilized consideration. That's either Sinful Warfare or illegal warfare. Which puts you in the category of human vermin and it becomes my job, as a member of the military coalition, in uniform and with a recognizable military infrastructure, to exterminate as many of you as I can as quickly as I can.

There are honest disagreements on this point.

Most liberals – where they don't want to commit acts of outright treason and take the side of the insurgents -- want to treat insurgents as criminals and have them tried and imprisoned according to North American criminal statutes, flown to North America, given court-appointed attorneys, given the option of suing the U.S. government for malicious prosecution, etc. etc. I wouldn't give the Iraqi insurgents those sorts of options anymore than I would give the mice that were infesting my house a while ago similar legal protections. Vermin is vermin.

"And all the sex that went on during the course!"

Hey I know a great cliff-hanger when I see it.

Tomorrow: David Carrington lets us in on: All the Sex That Went On During the Course!

If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:

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P.O. Box 1674
Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2

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