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Friday, October 17, 2014

Teenagers - A Modern Invention

From Free Northerner, an excellent take on a recent and unnatural phenomenon:
Adolescence is a modern invention/perversion. Until about the 1800s or so, a person of about the age 13 was considered an adult. Since about that time, better nutrition has led to puberty occurring earlier (in the 1800s it occurred at about 15-16, it now occurs at about 12-13), but at the same time independence has also decreased. A teenager is a biological adult. (Mentally, a person continues maturing until sometime in their mid-20s).

The problem of rebellious or destructive teenagers is not a fault of the teenagers, but rather a fault of society. A teenager is an adult being treated as a child. A 14-year-old should be learning independence and self-sufficiency by going out into the world on his own (on an apprenticeship, to college, to his own shack on the family farm, etc.) and should be looking for a wife shortly therefore after. Instead, in our modern world teenagers live under the dominion of their parents as a child.

Of course teenagers rebel, any adult treated as child will rebel against being infantilized. They lash out because they know at some level that their parents having dominion over them is wrong, because an adult still under their parents is against the natural order. It is not teenagers that are the problem, it is the parents and the society.

Now of course, teenagers are not always going to make the best decisions because they are new at being adults and are learning the basics of adulthood, but in our current order, instead of learning about adulthood at age 15 so they are responsible adults by their 20s, people are now making the same failings in their early-20s and sometimes even their late-20s/early-30s, so your average person is not a responsible adult until their 30s.

Despite this, most modern teenagers would probably break if left on their own. This is, again, not the fault of the teenagers, but most children nowadays are so thoroughly over-protected and over-controlled by their parents and infantilized by the school system that they have never been learning the kinds of independence a healthy adult needs.

Children nowadays are being raised to learn a horrible combination of lack of freedom and lack of discipline. A child learning both will be the most self-actualized and most successful. A child with freedom but no discipline will generally pick up some level of discipline through trial and error, and a child of of discipline but no freedom will usually be able to survive although possibly not thrive, but one with neither will drown.

Ideally, we should start training our children to become adults when they should do so, in their mid-teens.
In the paragraphs following this excerpt, Free Northerner discusses the role of this phenomenon with conditioning the young to Leviathan's yoke, so they don't mind the chains so much as adults.  He mentions in particular the schooling system; I note that the invention of adolescence roughly corresponds to the introduction of compulsory public schooling in the West.  It's no accident that the culture-wide warehousing of those who should be treated as apprentice adults correlates with the developmentally arrested state of adolescence...biologically an adult in nearly all ways that matter, but not permitted to act as one and certainly not regarded as one.

I wonder also about the role that the modern notion of adolescence plays in the present man-crisis.  It can't be good to delay the acceptance into manhood for boys and young men by a decade or more; worse, the conditions which the majority of young males much survive don't lend themselves well to the development of a healthy, fully flowered masculinity. In this, I'm talking mostly about the quasi-penal environment of the public schooling system, where they are ordered around a majority of the day mostly by women and subjected to a feminized curriculum overtly hostile to masculinity.  It's worse in universities, about which we frequently read about continued cultural and legal assaults on men (of which this is but one example) to the point which they have become persona non grata on campuses across the country, even in some ways as instructors.  All this can't but help to have a negative impact, not only on men, but on women too.

This is one reason of many that I'm such a proponent of homeschooling.  Yes, my children remain under my dominion, but I can enable my sons to apprentice into adulthood earlier than what the mainstream culture would permit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Don't Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

In what is becoming a familiar occurrence, now that the Left has become comfortable in their cultural domination in the West and now more openly impose their values on others, more and more people are discovering that the Left defines "tolerance" and "diversity" a bit differently than the common understanding.  From Will S' (the blogmaster of Patriarctionary) kulturkampf blog:
Paquette, an experienced river rafting guide, applied to be a wilderness guide for Amaruk’s Canadian operations in the North. She says she was shocked when she read the rejection email from Olaf Amundsen, the company’s hiring manager.

He wrote that she wasn’t qualified and “unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want.” In the rejection email, Amundsen also wrote: “The Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life.”

He explained why graduates from Trinity Western are not welcome in the Norwegian company. “In asking students to refrain from same-sex relationships, Trinity Western University, and any person associated with it, has engaged in discrimination.” He ended the email writing, “‘God bless’ is very offensive to me and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me.

“I do not want to be blessed by some guy… who has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuses and human rights violations in the history of the human race.” Amundsen then used an expletive to state that if he met God, he would have sex with him.
Confused at the apparent contradiction in discriminating against someone for going to a school that discriminates against fornication (and presumably fornicators), all while donning the mantle of non-discimination?  Irritated at this slippery Janus-faced sleight of hand that diversity by necessity excludes certain ideologies or races/ethnicities? Annoyed at the historical irony of some aging neo-pagan hipster wanna-be Viking criticizing Christianity for abuses and human rights violations?  Well, I bring you Charles Cooke, a columnist at the National Review, writing what is probably the best explication of how differently left-illiberals define fundamental concepts like"free speech", "tolerance", "diversity", etc., as anyone else--or the dictionary, for that matter--as I've ever read:
[F]or their disinvitation [of George Will, who was scheduled to give a speech at Scripps College via their Conservative Speakers Program] is likely to be less the product of intellectual insecurity and more the end result of a genuine divergence between Left and Right. As a rule, conservatives believe that the matter of free expression is extremely simple: First, you let everybody speak on equal terms, whatever they choose to say; then, you permit anybody so moved to respond; and then, possessed of a decent respect for the opinions of mankind, you let the chips fall where they may, all the while accepting that life isn't fair and that man is fallen.

The academic and cultural Left, by contrast, seems increasingly to maintain that the question of speech is a convoluted and sticky one, and that the Right's seemingly straightforward appeals to diversity of thought and free expression are hopelessly complicated in reality by Foucauldian power dynamics, by the existence of qualitatively different types of speech ("hate" speech, "propaganda," "corporate speech," voices that "must be heard," etc.), and by the disquieting potential for listeners to be in some way damaged or set off (or "triggered") by the experience.

One really cannot overstate the incompatibility of these positions. For modern conservatives, an absolute defense of free expression is a cut and dried principle - the hallmark of civilization and human liberty. But for many modern progressives - especially those in academia - unfettered speech represents just one item within a busy hierarchy of competing values; an important idea, certainly, but not an unalienable one. This, I think, explains a great deal. If you believe - as many of his critics suggested at the time - that George Will did not merely write a criticism of the alleged campus rape epidemic but that, in some way, he actually did "violence" to women, it seems clear that you wouldn't want him on campus.
Mr. Cooke is correct...there really is no reconciling of these juxtaposed philosophical positions. Either one believes in free expression or one does not.  Either one supports "diversity" and / or "tolerance"....or one does not.  And when those in the liberal Center and / or liberal Right hear someone from the illiberal Left use these words, they need to understand that the Left does not approach the issue of say, free speech, with the same understanding and cultural assumptions.

The takeaway here is that when one hears a left-illiberal appeal to "tolerance", "diversity", "free speech", etc., the listener needs to be very careful with assuming that his or her interlocutor uses these words in the same way as commonly understood.  For in the Left's lexicon, in the illiberal Leftist culture, these words mean something completely different than those not of the Left assume...or at least should come with scare quotes to alert those in the out-group to parse more carefully.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bigger Weddings Correlate With More Successful Marriages

As with anything, I'm certain selection effects abound, but this is interesting:
Those with happy marriages were more likely to have had a large number of guests at their wedding and have had fewer romantic relationships prior to getting married, according to the study, "Before 'I Do:' What Do Premarital Experiences Have to Do with Marital Quality Among Today's Young Adults?" by Galena K. Rhoades, research associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver, and Scott M. Stanley, research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver.

The researchers speculate that those with prior relationships have difficulties in marriage because they are able to compare their current spouse to previous partners, and devoting oneself to a single spouse may be more difficult after having a lot of experience.

"In most areas, more experience is better. You're a better job candidate with more experience, not less. When it comes to relationship experience, though, we found that having more experience before getting married was associated with lower marital quality," Rhoades explained.

Prior romantic experiences could include sexual encounters or cohabiting partners. Women who had a child from a prior relationship reported lower marital quality, but the same was not true for men. Among those who lived together before getting married, couples who made a deliberate decision to start living together reported happier marriages than those who "slid" into cohabiting before getting married. Those with bigger weddings had happier marriages even after controlling for income and education (since larger weddings are generally more expensive). Among those with 50 or fewer wedding guests, 31 percent reported a high quality marriage. For those with 51 to 149 guests, that number rose to 37 percent. And for those with 150 or more guests, almost half, 47 percent, reported having a high quality marriage.

The researchers suspect that a large wedding indicates that the newlyweds have a strong network of friends and family that can help them navigate the challenges of marriage.

"In what might be called the 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' factor, this study finds that couples who have larger wedding parties are more likely to report high-quality marriages," said W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. "One possibility here is that couples with larger networks of friends and family may have more help, and encouragement, in navigating the challenges of married life. Note, however, this finding is not about spending lots of money on a wedding party, it's about having a good number of friends and family in your corner."
Some time ago, I wrote about what constitutes a marriage in the Bible:
What qualifies as a "marriage" in the eyes of God? Since I am far from a theologian, value simplicity over complexity, and am of a Baptist bent, I refer to the Word for help answering this question. My first clue comes from Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.
There you have it. Man and woman leave their respective families and create a new household together, representing themselves to others as being married. The Word offers up other guidance as well: they are to be faithful to each other, the union is to be respected and honored by others, the man is to love his wife, and the female is to follow her husband's lead and respect him.
This research seems to fit into the Biblical need for the union be publicly known  and respected and honored by others, and the greater the amount of social support, the better.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Caveat Emptor: North American Power

Call it a lesson learned.

About a year ago today, I responded to some marketing materials sent my way in the mail, offering electricity at about a cent and a half lower per kwh than the dominant electricity provider.  Doesn't sound like much, but I presently live in a very energy-inefficient home, and my power bills in the summer and winter regularly breach $300 a month.  Just for electricity, mind you, that's before rubbish and heating oil are taken into account. Thankfully I'm on a well and septic, so water and sewage are different matters.  So I was presented with the opportunity to save about $30/mo or more on electricity.

Anyways, North American Power offered to buy green electricity on the market in bulk at low rates, and pass on those savings to its customers.  Sounded pretty good. All I had to do was sign a six-month power-provision contract, renewable again in six months. And if you didn't renew your contract, but stayed with NAP, your power rates would change to a variable, market-based rate.

If a this point, you sense a trap, you'd be correct.

My contract started about 45 days after I signed up (delays for administrative processing, and meter reading).  Life gets busy, and I had forgotten about the six month contract. In addition, I received no notifications from NAP that my contract was expiring, nor offers to extend and / or renew it.  What I did receive in the mail, however, was a very unpleasant surprise...my July power bill (in August...the peak of the summer heat).  My wallet was fixing to be face-punched to the tune of over $400 for one month's electricity.  Remember that variable, market-based rate?  Turns out that their variable rate was nearly 200% the market rate for electricity. Even better, it takes 1-2 billing cycles to switch back to the public utility...or to even renew the billing contract with NAP...so I was locked into this stratospheric rate the entire summer.

So, learn from my error and ignore any mailings from NAP.  You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Not The Civil War You Were Taught In School

Via Conan The Cimmerian, I came across this essay by Mr. Donald Miller that argues the standard history of the Civil War, er, War Between The States, er, "War for Southern Independence", is factually incorrect and misleading.  A sampling:
Why were business and political leaders in the North so intent on keeping the Southern States in the Union? The principal source of tax revenue for the federal government before the Civil War was a tariff on imports. The former Vice-President John C. Calhoun put it this way: "The North had adopted a system of revenue and disbursements in which an undue proportion of the burden of taxation has been imposed upon the South, and an undue proportion of its proceeds appropriated to the North… the South, as the great exporting portion of the Union, has in reality paid vastly more than her due proportion of the revenue."...Observers in Britain looked beyond the rhetoric of "preserve the Union" and saw what was really at stake.Charles Dickens views on the subject were typical:
“Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this, as of many other evils. The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.”
The London press made this argument:
“The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty.”
The South fought the war for essentially the same reason that the American colonies fought the Revolutionary War. The central grievance of the American colonies in the 18th century was the taxes imposed on them by Britain.

...

Today American children are taught in the nation's schools, both in the North and South, that it was wrong for people to support the Confederacy and to fight and die for it.

Well-intentioned, "right thinking" people equate anyone today who thinks that the South did the right thing by seceding from the Union as secretly approving of slavery. Indeed, such thinking has now reached the point where groups from both sides of the political spectrum, notably the NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center on the left and the Cato Institute on the right, want to have the Confederate Battle Flag eradicated from public spaces. These people argue that the Confederate flag is offensive to African-Americans because it commemorates slavery.

In the standard account, the Civil War was an outcome of our Founding Fathers failure to address the institution of slavery in a republic that proclaimed in its Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal." But was it really necessary to wage a four-year war to abolish slavery in the United States, one that ravaged half of the country and destroyed a generation of American men? Only the United States and Haiti freed their slaves by war.

...

The war did enable Lincoln to "save" the Union, but only in a geographic sense. The country ceased being a Union, as it was originally conceived, of separate and sovereign States. Instead, America became a "nation" with a powerful federal government. Although the war freed four million slaves into poverty, it did not bring about a new birth of freedom, as Lincoln and historians such as James McPherson and Henry Jaffa say.

For the nation as a whole the war did just the opposite: It initiated a process of centralization of government that has substantially restricted liberty and freedom in America, as historians Charles Adams and Jeffrey Rogers Hummel have argued – Adams in his book, When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession (published in 2000); and Hummel in his book, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men (1996).

...

The term Civil War is a misnomer. The South did not instigate a rebellion. Thirteen Southern States in 1860-61 simply chose to secede from the Union and go their own way, like the thirteen colonies did when they seceded from Britain. A more accurate name for themwar that took place between the northern and Southern American States is the War for Southern Independence. Mainstream historiography presents the victors' view, an account that focuses on the issue of slavery and downplays other considerations.

...

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America prohibited the importation of slaves (Article I, Section 9). With no fugitive slave laws in neighboring states that would return fugitive slaves to their owners, the value of slaves as property drops owing to increased costs incurred to guard against their escape. With slaves having a place to escape to in the North and with the supply of new slaves restricted by its Constitution, slavery in the Confederate States would have ended without war...The rallying call in the North at the beginning of the war was "preserve the Union," not "free the slaves." Although certainly a contentious political issue and detested by abolitionists, in 1861 slavery nevertheless was not a major public issue...Lincoln reassured slaveholders that he would continue to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act.

...

If it was going to win, the North needed a more compelling reason to continue the war than to preserve the Union. The North needed a cause for continuing the war, as Lincoln put the matter in his Second Inaugural Address, that was willed by God, where "the judgments of the Lord" determined the losses sustained and its outcome. Five days after the Battle of Antietam, on September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was a "war measure," as Lincoln put it. Foreign correspondents covering the war recognized it as a brilliant propaganda coup. Emancipation would take place only in rebel States not under Union control, their State sovereignty in the matter of slavery arguably forfeited as a result of their having seceded from the Union. The president could not abolish slavery; if not done at the State level, abolition would require a constitutional amendment.

Slaveholders and their slaves in Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, and parts of Virginia and Louisiana occupied by Union troops were exempt from the edict. Slaves in the Confederacy would be "forever free" on January 1, 1863 – one hundred days after the Proclamation was issued – but only if a State remained in "rebellion" after that date. Rebel States that rejoined the Union and sent elected representatives to Congress before January 1, 1863 could keep their slaves. Such States would no longer be considered in rebellion and so their sovereignty regarding the peculiar institution would be restored. As the London Spectator put it, in its October 11, 1862 issue: "The principle [of the Proclamation] is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States."

...

Lincoln assumed dictatorial powers and did things, like raise an army, that only Congress is supposed to do. He shut down newspapers that disagreed with his war policy, more than 300 of them. He ordered his military officers to lock up political opponents, thousands of them...[He denied] nonviolent dissenters their right of free speech and suspended the privilege of Habeas Corpus, something only Congress in a time of war has the power to do. Lincoln's soldiers arrested civilians, often arbitrarily, without any charges being filed; and, if held at all,
military commissions conducted trials.

...

Lincoln called up an army of 75,000 men to invade the seven Southern States that had seceded and force them back into the Union. By unilaterally recruiting troops to invade these States, without first calling Congress into session to consider the matter and give its consent, Lincoln made an error in judgment that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. At the time, only seven States had seceded. But when Lincoln announced his intention to bring these States back into the Union by force, four additional States – Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas – seceded and joined the Confederacy.

Slavery was not the issue. The issue was the very nature of the American union. If the President of the United States intended to hold the Union together by force, they wanted out. When these four States seceded and joined the Confederacy rather than send troops to support Lincoln's unconstitutional actions, the Confederacy became much more viable and the war much more horrible.

...

Reflecting on the War for Southern Independence let us hope that the Confederate Battle Flag that Louis Thomas Hicks' North Carolina regiment carried with it into battle at Gettysburg, with the cross of Scotland's patron saint emblazoned on it, will come to be viewed in the 21st century, not as an badge of slavery, which it is not, but as a symbol of opposition to centralized government power and tyranny.”
tl;dr summary:

* The War of Southern Independence was not started to eliminate slavery. Slavery was on its way out in the West as a result of Christian thought and morality, and a raft of countries had either rejected slavery altogether or would do so within a few decades, non-violently. Rather, the war was started over inequitable taxation and a lopsided distribution of revenue, the burden of which fell much more on the agrarian South than the industrializing North.

* Slavery as a casus belli was introduced later, as a moral cause meant to arouse the necessary passions to sustain the grievous combat losses the North was suffering in her war against the South. Again, the war originally had nothing to do with slavery.

* Lincoln only freed slaves in the South, and did not free slaves held in the North or in Southern territories controlled by the North. Moreover, Lincoln desired to return freed slaves to South America or Africa, not integrate them into free American society.

* Lincoln mightily abused the Constitution during the war, declaring war and raising an army without consent or direction of Congress, suspended the writ of habeus corpus, and arrested and imprisoned dissenters without trial.

* Lincoln's decision to attempt to hold the union together by force rather than persuasion doomed three quarters of a million American soldiers to death and an unknown number of civilians.

* The South's defeat heralded the end of a voluntary union of states held together by mutual consent. In its place was a nation with a much more robust and powerful central government.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Femservative Misandry

I like Mona Charen's stuff generally, but I'm getting kinda tired of the "soft-bigotry-of-low-expectations" of the sort on display in a recent NRO column of hers:
You don't have to believe the one-in-four figure floated by activists to agree that women are experiencing a marked degree of sexual assault and battery in the liberated hook-up world liberalism has created. But this is progressivism chasing its tail.

For centuries, men have lied to women to lure them into bed. Parents warned their daughters about such men. In recent decades, it's women who've been lying to other women. Feminists peddled the notion that women wanted exactly the same things from sex that men did. They rejected modesty and its cousin chivalry with contempt and welcomed the sexual free for all.

It goes without saying that rapists should be severely punished. Most men are not rapists, but more than a few are sexually aggressive and inclined to interpret almost anything as encouragement. Is there a better possible environment than the modern college campus for serving up vulnerable young women to predatory men?

The binge-drinking culture that facilitates these rapes and assaults is tamely accepted and even encouraged at many colleges. As Pepper Schwartz writes at CNN.com, the American Sociological Association reports that men have a mean of six drinks before a hook-up and women a mean of four. Why aren't colleges reminding young women to keep their wits about them when dealing with hormone-charged young men?
It is in this passage where Ms. Charen, a columnist who usually gets the kulturkampf stuff right, appears to share common values and causes with the fever-swamp feminists she so fervently opposes. From a place of internalized misandry comes the parroted assertion that "women are experiencing a marked degree of sexual assault and battery", when the reality is that women are merely reporting a marked degree of sexual assault and battery. Big difference there, and it is quite suggestive of Ms. Charen's core beliefs about men that she accepts, nay repeats, this canard as fact. And what about the reverse? Plenty of data out there that indicates that women assault men in numbers that approach male-on-female assaults, yet this article isn't tempered or nuanced by this fact.

Similarly, we have "men have lied to women to lure them into bed". Yes, some men lie to women in order to bed them. But not all. And what about women? Do some not defraud men to get them to bed them, marry them, parent their cuckolded child? Speaking of lying, strictly speaking, a woman applying makeup to her face is engaging in a falsehood, by covering up, concealing, or otherwise altering reality to make herself look different than she does in reality. Mendacity goes both directions, and if men as a class are to be harpooned for tweaking women's emotions to get them to lay with them, well, the sisterhood deserves its own skewering for the moral and ethical depths to which it sinks to attract male attention en route to securing male commitment.

Then there is this line
Most men are not rapists, but more than a few are sexually aggressive and inclined to interpret almost anything as encouragement. Is there a better possible environment than the modern college campus for serving up vulnerable young women to predatory men?
Most men? How about almost all men? Real rapists are few and far between. And as for "vulnerable" "young" women and "predatory" men--aren't these men "young" too?--I suppose one could quibble about how vulnerable these pure lasses are, and exactly how predatory these beastly men are to exploit female purity as they do. Yet what is undeniable is that young college men's futures are particularly vulnerable to being served up on platters to the predatory natures of some young women who refuse to take responsibility for their own sexual agency.

The interests of young men, in addition to young women, are ill-served by the present social climate in American unis. A climate fed in some part by the veiled misandry of femservatives who seem to have internalized some of feminism's worst lies and antipathies about men.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Reason Why Men Should Marry Virgins

In addition to a better ability to bond and much reduced divorce risk, non-virgins may carry leftovers within them of those who've gone before (ht: VD's Alpha Game Plan):
Telegony is the belief that the sire first mated to a female will have an influence upon some of that female's later offspring by another male. Although the reality of telegony was acknowledged by such authorities as Darwin, Spencer, Romanes and many experienced breeders, it has been met with scepticism because of Weismann's unfavourable comments and negative results obtained in several test experiments. In this article, alleged cases of telegony are provided. A search of the literature of cell biology and biochemistry reveals several plausible mechanisms that may form the basis for telegony. These involve the penetration of spermatozoa into the somatic tissues of the female genital tract, the incorporation of the DNA released by spermatozoa into maternal somatic cells, the presence of fetal DNA in maternal blood, as well as sperm RNA-mediated non-Mendelian inheritance of epigenetic changes
This appears highly speculative in nature, and I'm not familiar with the term or concept, so I googled "telegony" and was met immediately with this article from the Telegraph:
Scientists at the University of New South Wales discovered that, for fruit flies at least, the size of the young was determined by the size of the first male the mother mated with, rather than the second male that sired the offspring. It is the first time that telegony has been proved in the animal kingdom. The researchers propose that the effect is due to molecules in the semen of the first mate being absorbed by the female's immature eggs where they influence future offspring.

“Just as we think we have things figured out, nature throws us a curve ball and shows us how much we still have to learn," says lead author Dr Angela Crean [Ed...abstract of her study may be found here]. "We know that features that run in families are not just influenced by the genes that are passed down from parents to their children. Various non-genetic inheritance mechanisms make it possible for environmental factors to influence characteristics of a child. Our new findings take this to a whole new level – showing a male can also transmit some of his acquired features to offspring sired by other males," she says. But we don't know yet whether this applies to other species."

Dr Stuart Wigby of the Department of Zoology at Oxford University added: "The principle of telegony is theoretically possible for pretty much any internally fertilising animal, but these hasn't historically been much evidence for it. "I'm aware of Crean et al's work, and it seems to be a neat demonstration of the phenomenon in insects. The mechanism they propose – molecules in the seminal fluid of the first mate being absorbed by the female's immature eggs – is indeed a possibility, and it would be revealing to test this. This particular mechanism would be unlikely to apply to mammals such as humans because of differences in reproductive physiology compared to insects. However, other researchers have suggest that mechanisms exist that could in principle result in telegony in humans; for example because mothers carry fetal DNA in their blood during pregnancy."
Okay, so still highly speculative. This phenomenon, demonstrated in insects, requires much more study before it is accepted as holding for mammals and humans. Will such studies be made? I am probably as skeptical as VD in that such studies would be conducted in the West for political reasons--imagine the socio-political impact from studies that suggest genetic cross-contamination from previous sex partners--but non-Western researchers can usually be counted upon to carry on where their Western ones will not or are afraid to do so.  That said, there is much, much, much we do not yet understand about biology, and it is not outside the realm of the possible that residual DNA or proteins from previous partners would remain behind an possibly corrupt the ladder of subsequent offspring.

Of course, the odds of a woman being a virgin at marriage diminish in relation to her age, making it that much more imperative for religious men--the only men that I recommend get married--who seek successful marriages to equally religious women should start their search early (ht Will S. at Patriactionary):
Christian couples should marry sooner, an ethicist and a pastor with the largest Protestant denomination in the United States argue. Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Jon Akin, senior pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, made the argument in a column for the Baptist Press earlier this week. While not advocating a specific age for marriage and noting the diverse situations for people, young people should still look toward marriage sooner, they said.

"We do not advocate a specific age; rather, we believe that young people should make themselves 'marry-able' younger," wrote Walker and Akin. They need to push against the cultural norm that extends adolescence for an indefinite period of time and reach maturity more quickly so they can be ready for marriage sooner than the national average."

Walker and Akin also stated that it's "impractical and unhelpful to advise and encourage young men and women who reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 or 13 to wait 15 years before marriage and still remain pure."

Walker and Akin are not the only SBC ethicists in recent years to advocate for marriage coming sooner. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, also made a case for marrying early.
"Remain pure" in the context of this discussion appears to have both corporeal and spiritual connotations.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Why One Should Observe Levitical Dietary Instructions Today

Yahweh wants us to be healthy, of course. And not bring misery down upon ourselves:
A genetic analysis of thousands of individual viruses has confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that HIV first emerged in Kinshasa, the capital of the Belgian Congo, in about 1920 from where it spread via the colonial railway network to other parts of central Africa. Scientists believe the findings have finally nailed the origin of the Aids pandemic to a single source, a colonial-era city then called Leopoldville which had become the biggest urban center in Central Africa and a bustling focus for trade, including a market in wild "bush meat" captured from the nearby forests.

The study, based on analyzing the subtle genetic differences between various subtypes of HIV, found the human virus had evolved from a simian virus infecting chimps which were hunted for food by people who had probably carried HIV with them into Kinshasa.

Rapid social changes, such as an increase in commercial sex workers and the re-use of dirty syringes, aided the transmission of the virus which was also carried to distant parts of the Congo by the millions of passengers who used the newly-built railway network, the scientists said.
Among the things that we're not supposed to be eating is anything that doesn't have a divided hoof and chew the cud, such as camels, hyraxes, rabbits, and pigs, anything from the oceans and rivers that does not have fins and scales, some select birds (mostly ones that are naturally meat-eating and / or scavengers), and most flying insects except for locusts, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers. All animals that move along the ground, such as lizards, rodents, snakes, dogs, cats, etc., (except for those with divided hooves and chew the cud mentioned earlier) are off-limits. And this includes monkeys, gorillas, and in this case, chimps.

Observing Leviticus' restrictions on diet is not a question of salvation--although for Jews and some other sects, it is...rather, it's one of health. And eating monkey brains is what got this rolling in the first place.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Shocker:Young Churchy Evangelicals Actually Believe The Bible on Sex and Relationships

When one actually does the spadework and differentiates between groups of so-called 'Christians' that do attend church regularly and do not--in other words, those that actually put their feet where their mouths are as opposed to those who merely profess--all of the sudden the muddled polling data about Evangelical beliefs becomes clear:
[W]hen compared with the general population and with their non-observant peers, churchgoing Evangelical Christians are retaining orthodox views on Biblical sexuality, despite the shifts in broader American culture. Regnerus surveyed 15,378 persons between the ages of 18 and 60, but he focuses in particular on respondents under 40. Significantly, Regnerus did the important work of differentiating between those who identify merely verbally with a particular religious tradition and those who actually attend church weekly. A political poll that didn’t differentiate between likely and unlikely voters wouldn’t be an accurate representation of the electorate, and for the same reasons, a survey should distinguish between someone who says “Catholic” or “Baptist” when asked for a religious identity and someone who actually shows up in the pews.

While support for same-sex marriage characterized a solid majority of those identifying as atheists, agnostics, liberal Catholics, and liberal Protestants, only 11 percent of young Evangelicals actively expressed support for same-sex marriage.

Approximately 6 percent of religiously active Evangelicals expressed support for abortion rights, while over 70 percent of their non-believing peer group said they believed in abortion rights.

Evangelical Christians were also drastically less likely to believe that cohabitation is a good idea. While upward of 70 percent of those who claim no religious affiliation or those who are “spiritual but not religious” agree that cohabitation is acceptable, approximately 5 percent of Evangelicals agreed that cohabitation is acceptable. “While left-leaning Evangelicals have received considerable media attention lately, it pays to survey the masses and see just what’s going on,” says Regnerus. “These data suggest that while a modest minority of Evangelicals under 40 profess what we might call more sexually liberal attitudes, it’s not a significant minority. Minorities can be vocal. Survey data help us understand just how large or small they really are.”

As American culture secularizes, the most basic Christian tenets seem ever more detached from mainstream American culture. Those who identify with Christianity, and who gather with the people of God, have already decided to walk out of step with the culture. Beliefs aren’t assumed but are articulated over and against a culture that finds them implausible. Evangelical views on sexuality seem strange, but young Evangelicals in post-Christianizing America have already embraced strangeness by spending Sunday morning at church rather than at brunch.

Moreover, sexuality isn’t ancillary to Christianity, in the way some other cultural or political issues are. Marriage and sex point, the Bible says, to a picture of the gospel itself, the union of Christ and his church. This is why the Bible spends so much time, as some critics would put it, “obsessed” with sex. That’s why, historically, churches that liberalize on sex tend to liberalize themselves right out of Christianity itself.

The culture is changing, to be sure. The Sexual Revolution marches on, but it doesn’t move forward without dissent. On any given Sunday morning, in your community, young Evangelicals are telling America that a sexual counter-revolution is ready to be born, again.
While it may be a stretch to claim that a sexual counter-revolution is underway--frankly, I don't see how that horse is going to be put back into the barn in my lifetime but miracles are always possible--this data is consistent with other findings that frequency of worship attendance is a useful heuristic for separating the wheat from the chaff.

In addition, the authors are absolutely correct in their claim that churchy Evangelicals are in a state of open rebellion against the wider culture, not only in values but in deeds. This is as it ever was, as Cornelius, the fabled Theban Legion, and Christians in Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, National Socialist Germany, and in the post-Christian West--believing, practicing Christians stick out as strange and out of step. For Christ is never of the world but is instead at war with it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

In Photos: Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Recently, the Wapiti family went on vacation to visit friends and relatives in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, area. While there, we were able to take in some of the local sights, to include going to the top of Pikes Peak, a 14,115' peak that soars above this beautiful city.

Instead of driving up to the top as we usually do, this time we took the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.  Below, please find a sampling of photos that we took on the way up to the top of this 100+ year old railway, the longest and highest in the world.

About one-third the way up, aspen trees just past peak leaf color change

Downhill train

It is interesting to watch the ecosystem change as you ascend.
This is about halfway up, at around 10,000' and one can see more
 grasses and shrubs, whereas forest dominated at lower elevations

11,000' feet here, supposedly one can see all the way to Kansas
on a clear day

Above the treeline at 12,000'+, the tundra takes over

A marmot came out to visit and panhandle for food

The summit of Pikes Peak, looking north by northeast, toward
Denver. Temperatures dropped 45 degrees in 7,000 feet from the
base in Manitou Springs.

Overall, a very scenic experience, and not too expensive either (about $96 plus $5 to park for a family of 4). I imagine the snowy views in early winter or late spring are just fantastic, but I certainly cannot complain about what we saw on our trip. The guides/docents add a lot of history of the railway as well, narrating for passengers during the hour and a half ascent and hour-ish long descent.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reasons Why Men Are Avoiding Marriage

Via Bob Wallace, I came across this narrated video by Dr. Helen outlining what she sees as the six reasons why men are avoiding marriage:


In sum, Dr. Helen argues that men are avoiding marriage, not because they're lazy or immature, but because they are perfectly rational beings responding to social forces that make marriage less attractive than the alternatives and therefore depress male willingness to marry. Of the six reasons Dr. Helen lists

1) Loss of respect - married men are cast as buffoons in the culture
2) Married men get less sex than cohabiting men
3) Men who marry run a substantial risk of losing their children and their money
4) If they do marry, their space becomes her space, and he is relegated to the basement, attic, garage, or other "man cave"
5) If they do marry, and especially if they have children, it is far easier to imprison them
6) The single life is better than ever

...number six resonated with me as the most salient. Most notably, according to Dr. Helen, single, unattached men do not arouse the sort of suspicion they once did, they are able to sate their need for sex without first having to wed and, to top it all off, employers look favorably on men without entangling family commitments. All these reasons are very powerful incentives in their own right; when coupled with the others listed, they become heavy invisible hands that encourage men to eschew marriage in favor of other arrangements.

Number two also got my attention, as I was under the distinct impression that married men had more, and more satisfying sex, than cohabiting men. Turns out I was incorrect--cohabiting men report more sexual activity than married men. Additionally, the data is mixed regarding sexual satisfaction, showing that, while married men report better sexual satisfaction than cohabiting men, divorced-and-not-remarried men report even better sexual satisfaction than married men. Hmmm.

Number three has been a staple of manosphere and MHRA threads for a long, long time.  It's trivially obvious. And even non-MHRA observers such as Karl Denninger over at MarketTicker have taken note:
[T]here's this thing called money odds that anyone who actually invests (or gambles for that matter) knows about. Some people learn it the hard way -- in fact, a lot of people do. The problem, in a nutshell, is that the actions of the last 30ish years have radically altered the money odds, and not in a way that encourages risk-taking. In fact, quite the opposite.

First, we destroyed the ability of half the population to decide to start and raise a family with a reasonable degree of security they will be a fully-involved parent in those children's lives. This was done intentionally at the behest of feminist groups, and it has utterly trashed the desire of many men to start families -- which means, incidentally, get married. The men who don't give a damn, of course, could care less about such odds since they never intended to stick around anyway; for the guy who wants to [fuck]-n-run, this "enlightenment" has been a bonanza. It's only the good men who want kids and want to actually raise them that are deterred.
This quote is from an article entitled "The Real Problem With Millennials",  one of which is that the men in this age cohort can plainly see what happened to their fathers and maybe even some of their brothers. This can't but negatively influence the marriage-seeking behavior of those inclined to settle down and start families.

As Bob Wallace stated in the original post, the costs of marriage have climbed, whilst the benefits have at most plateaued, if not declined. Yet it is one thing to note this fact; it is quite another to attempt to do something about it, as there are a great many interests quite invested in the present status quo.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Don't Just Keep The Drunk Ones Out...Keep Them All Out

The ink was barely dry on this post from last Friday, which highlighted a now-deleted Forbes article that argued frat house parties should refuse entry to inebriated women due to the legal risks they impose, when I saw this stunner of an article over at NRO yesterday morning detailing how yet another college has gone off the deep end with their campus conduct codes:
The University of Michigan has released a list of relationship behaviors that it considers violent and abusive — including “withholding sex.”

“Discounting the partner’s feelings regarding sex,” “criticizing the partner sexually,” and “having sex with other people” are also examples of “sexual violence,” according to the list. The school also offers definitions of domestic abuse. Under the section for “verbal or psychological abuse,” it states that not only is “insulting the partner” considered “abuse,” so is “ignoring the partner’s feelings.”
Holy crap. Based on these criteria, it's not just drunken coeds that fraternities need to keep out of their houses, but all coeds entirely. And here's why: This new policy sets up a Catch-22 for college men.  Under these rules, a male University of Michigan student can't turn down a woman's sexual advances without being guilty of abuse or relationship violence, because he is "withholding sex" and / or "ignoring his partner's feelings". Said student is literally caught in a trap where he is damned-if-he-does and damned-if-he-doesn't. Thus is a man, subject to this policy, were he to be propositioned by a woman, unable to fully and freely consent to sexual activity. Indeed, any consent that a fellow subject to these situations could be viewed as coerced under the shadow of the law...and any subsequent sexual activity is male rape of the "made to penetrate" variety, according to a reluctant CDC.

Thus, not only would college fraternities do well to keep all women, not just the drunk ones, out of their frat houses, but UM would do well to reconsider how this policy further foments a rape culture within which females sexually assault males nearly as much as the converse.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"30 Is The New 50"...Unintentional "Don't Do What I Did" Advice for Twenty-Something Women

On the backside of her SMP value curve, a 30-yo woman laments that men her age don't seem to be too attracted to her. Of course, these men are to blame, for only an idiot could pass up such a special snowflake:
Alex sees his stock rising. For a man, age brings success, wisdom, and the Hollywood-approved wrinkles of Robert Redford. And, while I too find that my career is on the up, it doesn’t matter, because time, for a woman, is hardly as kind as it is to a man. My career successes, my triumphs as a human being, are trumped by the fact my looks -- and my ovaries -- have a shelf life. Biology and Sociology 101.

...most of my 30-something guy friends dating girls fresh out of college. Girls who, in my experience, are less impressive, less striving, less volatile, less successful, less intimidating, less questioning, less pressing, less complex, less damaged, less opinionated, less powerful, less womanly. They are less, and, to a guy not ready for anything -- like most of the guys I have dated in New York -- less is more.

A 30-year-old woman is an undertaking, and it’s the real reason why Alex has been putting me on the backburner for the last two months, telling me I’m amazing and that he’s interested and then disappearing to hang out with a 23-year-old instead. Age ain’t nothing but a number, until it’s a number someone else doesn’t want to deal with.
Listen to the reasons why she is superior to the young twenty-somethings coming on the market and distracting all those not-ready-for-anything late-30s guys from the moar awesomer catch she apparently thinks she is: "Impressive", "striving", "volatile", "successful", "intimidating", "questioning", "pressing", "complex", "damaged", "opinionated", "powerful".  A fine list,  if one is looking for qualities that women find attractive in men. For men, however, the vast majority of these traits scream run away, far away, from such an "undertaking".

Young twenty-something women have something to learn from this older sister, and the appropriate lesson to learn here is: whatever this woman did in her 20s, do. the. exact. opposite. Instead of focusing on a career, sleeping around, and assuming that the summer of your sexual attractiveness is endless, a young woman would do better to recognize that there is no better time to find a high-quality man. A young woman's SMP and MMP value will never be higher.

Oh, and while it may be a bit hyperbolic to claim that "30 is the new 50"--she doesn't have that many miles on the odometer and, assuming the photo accompanying her xoJane profile is of the author, has a bit further to go until she hits the Wall--it remains true that, for women, the ages between 17 and 25 are the peak of a woman's sexual attractiveness.  And while she ruefully bemoans the fact that men in their 30s are just hitting their SMP peak and preferring women who are also at their peak, she forgets that these men are finally arriving in a place where mature women find them attractive and society respects them. The men she finds attractive finally have options, and are opting to look elsewhere.

While this experience is likely jarring for someone accustomed to unlimited male attention since graduating from puberty, it's not too late for the author, who just needs to shift her sights a bit and market herself better. Plenty of men out there whom the data suggests are willing to pair off with a 30 yo woman with a high n-count and some time left on the clock.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Talk for Frat Brothers

Via a commenter at Dalrock's place, I came across an article penned by Bill Frezza at Forbes magazine entitled "Drunk Female Guests Are The Greatest Threat to Fraternities". Apparently, there was too much troofiness in the article, for Forbes canned it (and Mr. Frezza) more or less immediately after it posted. Since such an article should not be lost to history, I have posted the screenshot below (click here to view full-size):


The most salient quote from Mr. Frezza's article, transcribed below:
[B]oozed up males also show up at parties, sometimes mobs of them disturbing the peace on the front steps. But few are allowed in, especially if they are strangers. Plus, it remains socially acceptable for bouncers to eject drunk and rowdy males because our society rarely casts them as sympathetic victims, as opposed to the irresponsible jerks that they are. In our age of sexual equality, why drunk female students are almost never characterized as irresponsible jerks is a question I leave to the feminists. But it is precisely those irresponsible women that the brothers must be trained to identify and protect against, because all it takes is one to bring an entire fraternity system down.

Here are the things that worry me most...alcohol poisoning due to overconsumption before, during, or after an event. Death or grievous injury as a result of falling down stairs or off a balcony. Death or grievous injury as a result of a pedestrian or traffic accident as the young lady weaves her way home. False accusation[s] of rape months after the fact triggered by regrets over a drunken hook-up, or anger over a failed relationship. And false 911 calls accusing our members of gang rape during a party in progress. (Yes, this happened, resulting in several police cars and thirty officers storming the chapter house).
Not content to stop there, Mr. Frezza offered some advice, on the order of "The Talk" similar to that which I offered a few months back to men in the military. Basically, they are recommendations for men (and their fraternity) to insulate themselves from the negative impacts of irresponsible drunken female behavior:
* Identify drunken females at the door and refuse them entry

* Monitor female party guests, and escort to the door those who appear out of control. Paid cab rides for those who cooperate, campus police for those who do not.

* Never take a drunken female guest to your room, even if you have a signed contract, due to the legal environment and the murkiness of campus consent standards

* Be wingmen to one another...ensure proper hydration and do not allow brothers to take drunken female guests to their room
Now, such an article would surely bring out the pitchfork-wielding feminists like a dog to her vomit...and of course we are not disappointed. An example is one Ms. Katie McDonough.  In her reponse at Salon, attempts a take-down of Mr. Frezza's article...alleging, among other things, that Mr. Frezza

(a) is primarily concerned for his organization's bottom line,
(b) expresses insufficient concern about propagating misandrist feminist talking points, and
(c) has a callous disregard for women.

Now, I suppose Mr. Frezza, a businessman, would say "guilty as charged!" to (a), "I'm concerned chiefly with the safety, well-being, and character development of my frat brothers" to (b), and to (c), I suspect he would say that he's making women safer by protecting them from the consequences of their own irresponsibility.  Indeed, he says as much in the article, stating:
Any woman on campus knows that she is safe in our house, which is perhaps why some choose to behave with such reckless abandon.
A more finely honed rhetorical spear harpooning feminine irresponsibility and shield invoking feminine safety, I don't recall ever reading.

In sum, Mr. Frezza's article is about helping the fraternities he manages, and the brothers within them, manage risks. Given the aversion of some demographics in our society to taking responsibility for their actions, his article is not only wise but absolutely necessary.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sexual Assault Accusations: When Only A Scalp Will Do

On one hand, it seems that MHRAs have been successful in outing the real facts about false rape accusations, and MSM authors such as Megan McArdle and Cathy Young, the latter writing recently in Slate's XX blog, have been slowly coming around to the truth:
[S]eeking justice for female victims should make us more sensitive, not less, to justice for unfairly accused men. In practical terms, that means finding ways to show support for victims of sexual violence without equating accusation and guilt, and recognizing that the wrongly accused are real victims too. It means not assuming that only a conviction is a fair outcome for an alleged sex crime. It means, finally, rejecting laws and policies rooted in the assumption that wrongful accusations are so vanishingly rare they needn’t be a cause for concern. To put it simply, we need to stop presuming guilt.
Fine advice whose time has come. Perhaps the rape culture hysteria industry should heed it, as they are Exhibit A of those who equate an accusation with guilt, of those who believe that women never, ever lie, those who consider those accused of sexual assault as automatically guilty, to be proven innocent. And sometimes even that isn't enough:
Although a civilian jury cleared Krusinski of assault and battery for allegedly groping a woman outside a Virginia bar in May 2013, the Air Force could have brought charges against him because a person can be tried for the same crime in state and federal court.  But 11th Wing Commander Col. Bill Knight decided Krusinski should receive a letter of reprimand because of his November 2013 acquittal in civilian court, Air Force spokeswoman Rose Richeson said.

The letter of reprimand will be included in Krusinski’s Unfavorable Information File and his senior rater has decided to include it in his Officer Selection Record, which is used as part of the officers promotion process, Richeson said.

Greg Jacob, of the Service Women’s Action Network, said a letter of reprimand is “wholly inappropriate” in Krusinski’s case because it is meant to be a counseling tool, not a punitive measure. The move is ironic because defenders of the military justice system have said that it can punish perpetrators even if civilian courts fail to do so, he said.

The letter of reprimand amounts to a “slap on the wrist,” said Nancy Parrish, president of the group Protect our Defenders.  “An LOR will do nothing to combat the victim blaming, often misogynistic culture within the military, and demonstrates a level of tolerance and acceptance for those who see sexual assault prevention as merely a joke,” Parish said in an email to Air Force Times. “Our military claims to hold itself up to a higher standard. It is time they did. The American public is fed up with the continued drumbeat of outrageous scandals in the military, and the military’s lack luster response to them.”
For these rape culture warriors, only Mr. Krusinski's head on a platter will do, regardless of the fact that a civilian jury--note, not a military one, the military justice system having been so impeached recently by rape culture hysteria mavens and their Congressional allies--acquitted him of all charges in a civilian court.  Found legally innocent by the civilian justice system, these warriors persist in punishing Mr. Krusinski further, and smear the military for failing to toe their prejudicial line in the military justice system.