Saturday, March 08, 2008

Podcast with Jim Dunnigan and Austin Bay

We have military experts Austin Bay and Jim Dunnigan back to discuss how the upcoming Presidential election affects the Middle East and vice-versa. They also talk about Venezuela and how Hugo Chavez is the Al Sharpton of South America. Their coauthored book A Quick and Dirty Guide to War is coming out in a new edition this year with many new additions.

You can listen directly -- no downloading needed -- by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the file and listen at your leisure by clicking right here. And you can get a lo-fi version suitable for cellphones, dialup, etc. by going here and selecting lo-fi. And you can always get a free subscription via iTunes absolutely free. Never miss another episode!

Music is by Mobius Dick. Show archives are at

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Friday, March 07, 2008

"This is a quiet revolution"

So says Christina Hoff Summers about the push for gender equity in the hard sciences (thanks to the several readers who emailed the article):

Few academic scientists know anything about the equity crusade. Most have no idea of its power, its scope, and the threats that they may soon be facing. The business commu­nity and citizens at large are completely in the dark. This is a quiet revolution. Its weapons are government reports that are rarely seen; amendments to federal bills that almost no one reads; small, unnoticed, but dramatically con­sequential changes in the regulations regarding government grants; and congressional hearings attended mostly by true believers.

American scientific excellence is a precious national resource. It is the foundation of our economy and of the nation’s health and safety. Norman Augustine, retired CEO of Lockheed Martin, and Burton Richter, Nobel laureate in physics, once pointed out that MIT alone—its faculty, alumni, and staff—started more than 5,000 companies in the past 50 years. Will an academic science that is quota-driven, gender-balanced, cooperative rather than competitive, and less time-consuming produce anything like these results? So far, no one in Congress has even thought to ask.

Read the article, for although long, it is very relevant to understanding the dynamics of how gender feminists use the system to give preferences and goodies to women with little regard to whether they are interested in the physical sciences or not.
I'm afraid I wouldn't fit in in this town.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Combat Mind-set vs. the Mind-Set of the New "Feminized Majority"

Every once in a while I go down to my basement library and re-read a book by gun expert Jeff Cooper (now deceased) just to keep myself in a self-defense mindset. This week I pulled from the shelf one of Cooper's best works, To Ride, Shoot Straight, And Speak The Truth. My favorite chapter in the book is one entitled, "The Combat Mind-Set" in which Cooper discusses a person's mental reaction to aggression.

Cooper starts out the chapter stating:

Man fights with his mind. His hands and his weapons are simply extensions of his will, and one of the fallacies of our era is the notion that equipment is the equivalent of force.

Cooper notes that of all of the graduates of his training program who have found themselves in mortal confrontations, "not one has said that his life was saved by his dexterity nor by his marksmanship, but rather by his 'mind-set.'"

Some useful bits of information that Cooper provides is that one must train himself into a state of mind in which the sudden awareness of peril does not surprise him. "His response should be not "Oh my God, I'm in a fight!" but rather, "I thought this might happen and I know what to do about it."

I often think how few people in our society would really know what to do if they were confronted with a mortal confrontation. Sadly, our mindset is now more like The New Feminized Majority in which soft power and discussions are slowly taking the place of the Combat Mind-set. Is this a good thing?

I don't know, maybe yes, maybe no, depending on the circumstances. I can't help but feel that both are important; yet each year, it seems that the values that Jeff Cooper talked about in his work are less and less relevant in our culture--those values of honor, duty and bravery. Those traits, I hope, will never go out of style--for our very freedom and life may depend on them.

Update: Grim has more thoughts on the combat mind-set.

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Despite the victim being a man, occassionally justice wins out (via Instapundit).


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

John Hawkins: Blogging While Female.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Homeschooling: A Boy's Path to Learning English?

The Napa Valley Register has an interesting piece entitled, "What's to blame for differing test scores between the sexes?" Some experts blame low English scores on the brain development of boys (funny, when they blame brain development for the lack of girls in science, women faint and men get fired but I digress) but other experts such as educational consultant Joe Manthey say that schools are responsible:

In an era of high stakes accountability for schools, educators are placing an ever-greater emphasis on raising test scores in English....

For school districts in Napa County, where Hispanic populations are large, this has meant a heightened focus on the needs of English learners, who typically bring down averages on standardized tests.

But while the ethnic gap dominates most discussions of Napa’s state and federal rankings, there is another set of contrasting scores that crosses all ethnic lines.

It’s the gender gap, and at a time when the state and federal government are pushing for improvement in English scores, boys are falling behind.

Educational consultant Joe Manthey, who led a workshop through the Napa County Office of Education about educating male students, cites the almost nonexistent gender gap for home-schooled students in English as proof that schools are part of the problem.

The reason that home-schooled boys score as well as their female counterparts in English is twofold, said Manthey. First, they are more likely to be given a choice in their reading material. Second, “they’re less likely to fall through the cracks,” he said.

Manthey’s research shows that boys are more inclined to read nonfiction than fiction, and are more likely to relate to subjects related to science, sports and stories that revolve around male characters.

“Then you see boys required to read books like ‘The Joy Luck Club,’” he said, referring to the book by Amy Tan about immigrant mothers and daughters.

It’s no wonder, said Manthey, that boys tune out in English class.

Makes sense to me.

Do Women Lie More?

The New York Post had an article in yesterday's paper entitled, "Miss-Leading, the Truth about Gals' Serial Fibbing" (Hat tip: Fred Ray):

Deceit, thy name is woman.

Most females lie "more cleverly and successfully than men" about everything from infidelity and facelifts to barhopping and shopping binges, according to a new book.

"Women lie as a survival technique, but also to get what they want," said Susan Shapiro Barash, author of "Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie" published by St. Martin's Press this week.....

Barash interviewed 500 women nationwide who answered her Craigslist ads seeking females to confide what they fib about. Among her findings:

* 75 percent lie about how much money they spend. For instance, they sneak purchases inside their homes after shopping or hide the price tags.

* 50 percent harbor "mixed feelings about mothering." One told Barash, "I look at these children and I crave sleep and free time. They wear me out and make me jealous of working women who have no children, no husbands."

* More than 60 percent cheated on their husbands. A 32-year-old mother conducted her trysts while telling her trusting husband she was working late. Even in asking for a divorce, she withheld the truth: "I didn't say I had fallen for another man. He was better off with my lies."

My sense is, this study is a bit biased to start with--come on, Craigslist? Could it be that the women answering an ad asking for lying women are a bit shady to begin with? I think a random sample of women out in the world might have been a better way of conducting the research. And the lies the author mentions such as cheating are certainly more than white lies, but mixed feelings about mothering or other conflicting feelings do not seem like lies, but rather, like,well...mixed feelings that people often have about their life's decisions. If that's "lying" I imagine we are all guilty.

Sunday, March 02, 2008