Draft those women!

Following the recent Republican debate, there has been much more (recent) to-do about whether women will be subject to selective service, i.e. the Draft.

Much has been written about this from all sides – that women should be drafted, that women should not be drafted, and that women may be drafted but it may not actually mean anything. Top military officials are supporting it, although whether as a statement of solidarity with womens’ accomplishments or to drive the point home that women in combat roles is a terrible idea is to be determined.

And yet: this particular issue has come up before. It is not a novel problem. The outcome is not really in question, at least if stare decisis applies.

There is a relevant Supreme Court case called Rostker v Goldberg, in which:

Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court holding that the practice of requiring only men to register for the draft was constitutional. After extensive hearings, floor debate and committee sessions on the matter, the United States Congress enacted the law, as it had previously been, to apply to men only…

In the majority opinion, Justice William Rehnquist wrote “[t]he existence of the combat restrictions clearly indicates the basis for Congress’ decision to exempt women from registration. The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops. Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them.” [emphasis added]

So there you have it. The only reason women are excluded from registration for Selective Service was, according to the Supreme Court in 1981, that they were excluded from combat.

Well, guess what everybody? They’re not anymore, with glorious success so far.

I have written before about things that need to change for the army to go Full Metal Equality. Getting women into the draft is #5.  The draft-women-issue is a reductio ad absurdum of the feminist military-integration argument, which will cost lives and maybe defeat in war, but hey, if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right.

The only thing that’s missing is a way to keep intentional draft failures (e.g. PT failures) from being let go without consequence. Maybe a tax or prison time or dishonorable discharge or something. Men who don’t sign up aren’t eligible for federal benefits of any kind; let’s add to that “didn’t successfully complete a term of conscripted service” and apply that to women as well, and we’ll be on track.

If women want equality, give it to ’em, good and hard.  Maybe when everybody has some skin in the game, for themselves and the people around them, they’ll start making responsible choices instead of virtue-signalling ones.


Drone Highway Mapping

Drone tech and companies are becoming increasingly popular tech, and legal structures are starting to emerge around drone ownership and operation.  Eventually and similarly to the ongoing evolution of automated cars, we’re going to get automated drone operation, with applications in material delivery & movement, observation & surveying, marketing, other data collection, and, eventually, personnel movement.

Some of the major barriers around adoption include how to manage airspace in a least-hazardous way.

I propose a system, similar to google-maps, with 3d GPS-located corridors. Such a system would have different sized virtual spatial “corridors” for different sizes and purposes of drones and FAA approved mapping scheme. Such a system could be loaded into drones and licensed to manufacturers. Such a system could also have “land” or “kill-switches” built into drones that left their travel-layer. Such a system could have directional cues built into them so that drones knew what direction to travel in depending on what corridor they were occupying.

Construction of these corridors could be approached in two way: the Opt-in or Opt-out methods. The Opt-in method would be mapping & building approved corridors over, through, and around airspace. The Opt-out method would assume that all space was fair game for travel unless designated otherwise (e.g. until the map maintainers cut out the space in various layers for an airport, for example).

What would this look like?


flying cars

Well, eventually such a system would be used for flying cars, sure. But in the meantime, you’d have a multi-layered, flexible, update-able common navigational aid that drones could use. The hardware package would probably be a GPS receiver supplemented with cellular data links for updates, and some sort of CPU & hard drive – in other words, a repurposed smartphone.

Who would develop this? We’d probably see an Amazon, Apple, or Google get this off the ground. It would be a winner-take-all system due to the licensing to manufacturers & operators and regulatory barriers – the FAA would play a major part in the ongoing approval and maintenance of the system due to the space interactions with airports, communications systems, and the like, so anyone who got their system approved first would probably be the most widely used. Network effects would ensue as commonly recognized “layers” of permissions and navigations interact.

Given all these things, it is potentially a very profitable enterprise to be the first to develop the drone navigational layers (I need a catchier name for this…).

Whether drones would have to use the corridors is another question for the lawyers.


Want to “create the best force”? Raise standards!

I ran across this article entitled “Army: Creating best force is main goal of opening combat jobs to Woman in the Killeen Daily Herald in which the stated goal of the Army’s accession of women into combat roles as dictated by Ash Carter, and against the recommendation of the Marine Corps and against the preferences of our various special forces, is to improve readiness.

“Since the beginning, our integration efforts have been standards based, with readiness of the entire force at the forefront. [Emphasis added] We will continue in an incremental and scientific-based approach to integrating women into previously closed units, positions and occupations while preserving unit readiness, cohesion, discipline and morale,” Hall said. “We will continue to track and monitor our progress to ensure we’re doing it right — leveraging not only the skills and strengths of our entire population but also leveraging lessons learned and the results of our gender integration studies…

Retired Lt. Gen. Paul “Butch” Funk, a former III Corps and Fort Hood commander who lives in the Gatesville area, said he doesn’t see the Army putting quotas or percentages on the number of females in combat units.

“We’ve always had problems getting enough combat arms soldiers,” Funk said. “I don’t think anybody’s going to be forced out of the Army because we’re bringing in more women.”…

Uh huh, you duplicitous boot-licking pussies. If this was such a great move for readiness, we certainly didn’t hear about it from actual military leaders before it became a social-justice cause-du-jour.

The “we want the best to be able to join” argument is hogwash and ballyhoo.

First, “able to join” necessarily involves “can join” and “must follow orders”, and often will involve women who are not “the best” ending up in roles they didn’t want to be in because it’s the Army, and in the Army you follow their orders for assignments and jobs, not the other way around. So much for the democratic argument.

Next, the math simply doesn’t work out; not getting enough good men doesn’t mean that women are going to make up any staffing gap. Not enough women exist for those roles to be optimally filled by women, period, and if your (2nd person plural) most efficient utilization of women is on the front lines in a war, then either a) your priorities are horribly misplaced from the societal-sustainment point of view, or b) all your men are dead and the barbarians are literally about to burn your country into cinders and impregnate all the women and slaughter everyone else unless the women intervene.

Here’s my suggestion: If you want to improve readiness, why don’t you try, instead of allowing more of a decidedly and empirically lower-performing group in, improving readiness. That’s right, there are surprisingly many things you could do instead of letting more pussies into the Army; it already has quite enough.

For instance, you could:

  • Raise PT standards. Admittedly, this very simple and literal way of raising standards would result in even fewer eligible women, but guess what – the remaining men would be more “ready” for combat!
  • Raise combat proficiency skills standards. See the French Foreign Legion for an alternate model.
  • Change the talent management and budget system and compensation so that talent is rewarded and personal accountability in place at a unit level. This would bring better people into the Army, retain the good ones already there, and get the right people to the right positions.
  • Allow units to fire people who don’t perform, instead of shuffling them through the Army
  • Spend the money that’s currently spent on SHARP and EO and all that other useless crap (like parachute teams, bands, etc etc) on ammo and quality training events. That includes firing the people (mil and civilian) that work in those departments
  • Get rid of things like Lean-In-Groups for the women and the  corrosive focus on diversity and tolerance, and re-build the masculine warrior ethos and culture that makes winners
  • Get women out of anything resembling a combat role


Or, finally, go drink a beer and read a book. This would be a more positive contribution to “readiness” than all the blithely destructive policy that the military “leadership” is making.


What is the (dollar) value of a child?

Children, popular cultural messaging notwithstanding, are the raison d’etre of marriage.* They are the outcome of the exchange of male resources for female fertility.

Yet today women are denigrated, especially by other women, if they choose to have families as traitors to the feminist cause, because obviously the only reason to live is to have “a salary of their own.”

I am going to smack the next idiot who tells me that raising her children full time — by which she really means going to Jivamukti classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits — is her feminist choice. Who can possibly take feminism seriously when it allows everything, as long as women choose it? The whole point to begin with was that women were losing their minds pushing mops and strollers all day without a room or a salary of their own…

And there really is only one kind of equality — it precedes all the emotional hullabaloo — and it’s economic. If you can’t pay your own rent, you are not an adult. You are a dependent. But because feminism has always been about men — our relationships with them, our differences from them — as much or more than about money, it’s had few consistent tenets.

Many end up lonely and wishing they had married because they listened to the popular narrative that the only way to be an independent, contributing, whole person is to have a credential and a job.

This is a debilitating message to many young women, who waste years in school and then in jobs and incur as opportunity costs their potential families. They end up without the choices they could have had to have families.

Further, promoting education and career as productive lives masks the fact that female education and careerism is dysgenic.

The numbers bear this out.

If I go to work, I will probably- that is to say, on average – earn less money that two other average people who are working. Read that again; I said that one person who works will make less money than two people who work. (It’s highly complex, this science stuff.)

Earning less money means that I am less productive. Therefore, one person working is less productive than two people working.

This simple math tends to elude the careerist crowd when it comes to women, families, and children. When being a mother is mocked as not being a real job, the fact that a woman who has children at or above the replacement rate is, over the long run, dramatically out-producing her childless, sterile antagonist.

A woman who has four children, say two girls and two boys, can claim as economic output the earnings of the two boys and some part of what the girls contribute through either future children or their own earnings. And guess what – that’s double what her current family makes.

That having children is better than not having children is not lost upon China as it ends its catastrophic one-child policy, Russia with its pro-sex campaigns, or Japan (’nuff said).

As it turns out, having kids is much more of a contribution to society than going to work. It builds social capital. It builds the economic and cultural foundation for the country. It also turns out, still, that this is something that only women can do (although some folks are trying to fix that).

Valuing children from the perspective of future economic contributions is probably an exercise in figuring average income streams over the life of the person. From the referenced link, the projected earnings of a bachelor’s degreed person (not time-discounted) is about $3.4 million dollars.

Discounting those income streams at 3% results in NPV of $1.4 million dollars for the working woman with no kids (working at age 22 after college to age 65) and for the woman who goes to college and then goes home to raise children, a projected earnings of each child of $850k per child.

So having two boys (assuming that boys will work more continuously than women) yields $1.7 million in economic value. Obviously more children increases this effect, and we haven’t considered the earnings effects of the married men in the equation.

Therefore, telling women to prioritize their careers over their families is destructive to society, short-sighted about the impacts, and profoundly disrespectful of the families that have made the choice to have kids.


*Well, the socially stabilizing effects of getting away from the winner-take-all models is also a reason for the form of the institution. Royal Polygamy is inherently destabilizing.

The Victory Lap

Shelley Goode-Burgoyne’s article at the “Havok Journal”  again proves just how hollow and politically motivated the admittance of women to combat roles is.

Actually happy does not come close to describing the victory I feel in my heart today.  I along with countess other active duty Soldiers/Marines and Veterans have spent the last few years lobbying Congress, writing articles, writing blogs, attending conferences, leading conferences, and having discussion after discussion with our opposition on this topic…and today it is real, it is a victory…

I look forward to sending our strongest warriors, no matter their gender downrange to expertly place some serious lead in those ISIS whackos who actually loath, fear and hate 53% of their population (women).  We are different, in every way from our enemy and today we expertly illustrated this. For that I could not be prouder. I am an old Veteran whose fighting days are over, but I can assure you that every active duty woman and man who has fought for this change looks forward to serving next to every soldier and Marine who has opposed this change and who continues to oppose a woman’s presence in their unit…we are now one and it is time to drive on…

Finally, I admit it, I cried like a little girl through Carter’s entire remarks, but as I was crying (next to my daughter) I remembered every woman who gunned my truck as I lead combat re-supply convoys throughout Iraq. I remembered every woman I saw successfully respond to enemy attack in that evil place. I remembered every qualified woman I witnessed get told that she could not engage the enemy simply because of her gender and for no other reason. I remembered the three who graduated from the US Army’s Ranger School, the female Marines who graduated from Marine Corps enlisted Infantry training, but finally I remembered every one of them who just like their brothers in arms took their very last breath in that evil and backward land defending our free land.

Shelley’s points largely reduce to:

  1. We won
  2. If you don’t like it, get over it
  3. Yay!

This is typical of the progressive military crowd.

There is no mention of making the military a more effective tool for winning wars as an outcome. There is a nod to effectiveness in the phrase “sending our strongest warriors”, which is nothing more than that – a perfunctory nod. The rest is simply a grrrl-powered victory lap over the opposition in the integration movement, as though getting what she wants trumps all the concerns about this change.

There is no acknowledgement that out of millennia of martial experiments across history only a vanishingly small percentage of societies have used women in their combat arms engagements (much less successfully), and that perhaps the traditional wisdom about male roles in warfare may be correct. Because of course, we know better now, in the year 2015, than everyone else did.

There is no acknowledgment of the potential validity of the dangers of the integration change, nor of the actual or opportunity costs incurred by both the military and larger American society in this experiment. She does not treat the concerns as legitimate; she is perfectly sanguine that everything will be great. She never mentions the consequences of perhaps being wrong; any contrary information or arguments must be false and in bad faith, because they’re standing in the way of Progress.

I suspect that the worst effects from this additional change will not be obvious. Military efficacy is not easily quantified, and so it’ll be hard to definitively prove that we’re not where we could be. Like Hazlitt’s broken window being replaced, everyone will see a few women get into the combat roles. Maybe some will deploy, do well. No one will see the men they displaced, the recruiting effects, or the cultural effects, or be able to say how many lives are lost because of it.

There’s simply celebration of winning, because winning was what actually mattered. Well, enjoy it, Shelley. You won’t have to be in that Army when it matters, but you get to enjoy feeling good about what you’ve done.

Women Are Officially Combatants

Our Fearless Leader Ashton Carter has proclaimed a proclamation today, that all positions in the military will be open to women.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that would for the first time allow female service members to join the country’s most elite military forces.

Women will now be eligible to join the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.

“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said. “This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.”

This, of course, is pure idiocy from an equalist who has exactly zero experience being in the military he ostensibly leads. While undoubtedly a bright man, his ivory-tower background has made him so smugly self-assured that he is blind to what actually happens in the military, and makes him think without reason that his judgment is superior to the people who actually do the job.

The reasoning for this change is that, as the President said,

“As Commander in Chief, I know that this change, like others before it, will again make our military even stronger. Our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent… I know that, under the leadership of Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford, our men and women in uniform will implement this transition — as they have others — in a responsible manner that maintains military readiness and the unparalleled professionalism and strength of our armed forces.”

and from Ash,

Carter said the important factor in him opening all jobs to women was to give the military access to every American who can add strength to it.

And rest assured that this won’t have any bad effects:

Studies carried out by the services since 2013 found that some of the standards the military previously used to determine whether a service member was fit for a job were outdated or didn’t reflect the actual tasks required in combat, he said.

Despite some other qualified individuals’ disagreement:

As the Marine Corps commandant, Dunford recommended to keep a number of jobs in infantry and reconnaissance units closed….In particular, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus took issue with a Marine Corps study that found that the average woman struggled to keep up with men, according to a number of metrics. The study did not track individual performance, drawing fire from Mabus and others in favor of full integration.

Even some Senators got into it:

Other members of Congress applauded Carter’s decision. Rep. Martha McSally (R.-Ariz.), a retired Air Force colonel and A-10 attack jet pilot, said in a statement that the move recognizes that the military is strongest when it prioritizes merit and capability.

“It’s about damn time,” McSally said in the statement. “Women have been fighting and dying for our country since its earliest wars. They have shown they can compete with the best of the best, and succeed [Ed: No, they haven’t.]. We are a country that looks at people as individuals, not groups. We select the best man for the job, even if it’s a woman. [Ed: A correction: What we should do, in the case of the military, is optimize the military for winning wars against determined enemies. In this case, we should look at group effectiveness, which womens’ contributions to, in a combat unit setting, is net negative.]

Another female combat veteran and member of Congress, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D.-Ill.), released an even more pointed statement of support reflecting her time as an Army helicopter pilot in Iraq and injuries suffered there.

“I didn’t lose my legs in a bar fight — of course women can serve in combat,” she said. “This decision is long overdue. [Unasked and unanswerable at this point is whether a man in her role would have gotten shot down, but Tammy Duckworth is a living reminder that  “Serving in combat” is not the same as “winning in combat.”]

The argument that opening up these roles to women increases the available talent pool that we need for a more effective military is really the only somewhat plausible one for increasing military effectiveness with this change. Indeed, it’s the only one that proponents use when challenged on whether the change is good for the Army and not just for the individual womens’ careers.

Now, I like numbers, and I’m glad that the President and SecDef made a claim that can be investigated numerically – specifically, that making this change opens up 50% of the population’s talent for the Army. What do the numbers say?

About 220,000 jobs and 10 percent of the military remained closed to women before Thursday’s announcement, Carter said. Another 110,000 jobs in careers like artillery officer were opened in a series of decisions since 2013.

The United States has about 31.5 million military-age (18-35 year old) men. The formerly-male-only 330,000 jobs constitute approximately 1% of that amount. It doesn’t seem to be an issue of “we’re running out of men to fill these jobs”; this is a recruiting problem. But maybe the pool of women provides an adequate talent pool that we’re missing out on?

The available pool of women (from the same source) is 31 million women.

Further, females as a group tend to have the distribution of the top 5% of women meeting the median (50%ile) male ability. So this means that, given a set of standards that filters for the top 50% of male ability, we have:

15.8 million available men

1.6 million available women

Not only is this just going to the upper half of ability (not even getting into whether that is sufficient for the roles in question), but these raw numbers convincingly belie the President and SecDef’s statements that we need the extra talent pool in these positions. We have 10x as many men as women to draw from to fill these roles, so the additional talent pool is clearly not a factor in actual military effectiveness here. It’s of marginal value at best, with, charitably and at the outside, 10% of additional potential talent to be tapped in these combat positions.

10% is a far cry from the promised 50% of additional available talent. Further, with 220,000 jobs being opened up, the ratio of men:jobs is ~72, and the ratio of women:jobs is ~7. In short, we don’t need the additional talent for these roles.

What Fearless Leaders also don’t account for is the opportunity cost to the Army and to America.

For every woman in a combat role, there are 10 other men who could do it, and probably do it better. Those 10 men are more likely to be more durable and better suited to war, especially as we go further up the “talent” or ability distribution curve. If we’re in a pinch and actually need to fight, the likelihood of sub-optimal talent of having a woman instead of a man in the role becomes high.

Further, fertile women are a thing of short supply and are invaluable economically and socially. The number of men who can work (period) greatly exceeds the number of women who can have kids. Every woman who spends her time going into the infantry represents a high social opportunity cost, so policy shouldn’t encourage that. To put it in terms of the edge case, if your society doesn’t have kids, you wipe yourselves out.  (As an aside, if the argument holds that women should go into combat roles because they add to the combat effectiveness of the Army AND that they should be free to leave for maternity while men can’t, then the arguer is, to put it charitably, logically challenged.)

I’ve written a number of other posts about why allowing women in combat roles is a stupid idea without any functional positives and a lot of obvious, predictable, and avoidable downsides (culturally, readiness-wise, and then the discrepancies between male and female physiology in actual combat enironments). Now we’re going to see it in action.