...lies in the tale.

[W]hen the thin man in a beanie cap, dark clothing and sunglasses pushed a black backpack across the bank counter and demanded money, Nicholson says his instincts took over....

Nicholson threw the bag to the floor, lunged toward the robber and demanded to see a weapon. Surprised, the would-be bank robber backed up and then bolted for the door, with Nicholson on his heels.

Nicholson, 30, chased the man for several blocks before knocking him to the ground with the help of a passer-by. Nicholson then held him until police arrived.

That was Tuesday.

On Thursday, Nicholson was fired.
The dishonor is not his, but the bank's, and the government's.
In a state that consistently ranks in the top 10 nationally in bank robberies, what Nicholson did was not only ill-advised, according to police and the FBI, it was all but unheard of. Bank tellers are trained to get robbers out the door as quickly as possible and are advised against being a hero over money that's federally insured.
The fact that the money is insured doesn't make it right to stand by while it is stolen!

Every man has a duty to defend the common peace and the lawful order. Every citizen is an owner of that peace and order, which is a good we all hold together.

A man who won't fight for it is no man. A government that urges you not to fight for it dices with its sovereignty.

Corporations are free to have immoral rules, as men are free to be immoral. I would do no business with such a firm, no more than I would with a wicked man.
Apocalypse porn.

The Wall Street Journal has an article on a new wave of disaster movies.
"A flood of postapocalyptic stories is now headed toward movie theaters and TV screens: Expect to see characters fending off cannibals, picking up day-to-day survival techniques and struggling to maintain their humanity amid the ruins. Previous waves of pop-culture disaster, from the Atomic Age paranoia of “War of the Worlds” to Watergate-era flicks such as “The Towering Inferno,” have depicted calamity in stunning detail. Many of the new projects, however, actually skip the spectacle of doomsday. Instead, they’re more fixed on what goes down in the aftermath."
This sort of stuff generally annoys me, since it is typically the product of some depressed writer, now trying infect the rest of us with their wretchedness:
“For me, I feel like I live in an apocalyptic world with global warfare, a recession, and resource scarcity,” says Jesse Alexander, writer and executive producer of NBC’s “Day One.”
Manup, Jesse. It's not that bad. The government isn't drafting your spoiled, whitebread, middle class butt and making you storm Iwo Jima.
But I also see this sort of thinking from time to time on plenty of blogs, (and comments on blogs), by people who really ought to know better. Whether it's black helicopters, Jihadi Nukes, H1N1, or ACORN activists, there are too many people out there who think that the end of the world is nigh. The end of the world has been predicted before. It did not end then, and it isn't going to end now.
Blanche of Castile:

Following up on the post of a few days ago, I thought of doing a series on similar women.

Blanche of Castile organized two fleets to assist her husband in his invasion of England. Although the invasion failed, the failure was due to a united England's resistance rather than to any failure of effort or intelligence on her part.

Later, following her husband's death, she was regent of France and guardian of their children. During this time she resisted an attack by the English upon her soil, and broke up a cartel of Barons united to claim greater powers from her (as a similar group would wrest the Magna Carta from King John).

She became regent again while her son Louis IX, then king, went on Crusade. He felt quite confident leaving his mother to defend his kingdom, and provide him with support for his wars in the Holy Land.

Has anyone written a book in the last few years about the remarkable women of the Middle Ages, one that doesn't portray them as victims of the Patriarchy, nor as helpless Disney-style "princesses", but allows them to shine in their own glory? One that respects them for who they were and what they did, and shows them as the partners of the men in their lives? Blanche was a very reliable partner to her husband and son, trusted and capable, and therefore possessed of great duties and powers.

Such a book would be a worthy project, if it has not been done. If it has, I would very much enjoy reading it myself.

Speaking of Which

Speaking of Which...

A much less important topic, but one in the news today, is the "birther" business. Hot Air mentions a poll that shows that Southerners disproportionately disbelieve that Obama was born in the United States.

I've already expressed my sense of the controversy in the comments recently, but to recap: because Obama's mother was an American citizen, the only way in which he could be constitutionally ineligible is if she were incapable of passing on citizenship to her son. It happens that the law actually does say this, in the case of mothers whose husbands were not citizens and whose children were born abroad (so I understand from reading birther manifestos). However, forbidding a mother to pass citizenship to her son is so manifestly unjust that there is no possible way that a court would enforce it, even if you could prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was born in Kenya. The law, if indeed there was such a law, was repealed for a very good reason. (Even if you did find the court willing to remove him from office -- and it would have to be the Supreme Court, eventually -- you would be hearing for the next twenty years that you had sponsored the last enforcement of Jim Crow.)

Obama's not worth the harm that would cause the American polity. Even if you were right, and could prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt, the whole business is foolish and should be tossed aside.

To return to the poll, however: 53% of Southerners stated that Obama was not born in the United States (23%), or that they were unsure (30%). As you know, and as Elise lays out (as part of her theory that there are really triplet Obamas), there is a "Certification of Live Birth," but not a "Certificate of Live Birth." The two documents are different, and the one that Obama has put out is less authoritative than the other in several respects.

What's being asked here is, 'Are you willing to take President Obama's word, in the face of evidence that he is telling the truth, but without absolute proof that he is telling the truth?'

Most Americans appear to be treating this as an empirical claim: given the evidence, what is most likely? Southerners, being an honor culture, are treating it as a question of honor.

Fifty-three percent of Southerners are simply not willing to take his word on it. Twenty-three percent are flatly declaring him a liar, which is a fighting matter. Thirty percent are stating that his word is no good, even if there is evidence to back it: actual proof is required when dealing with him, given their low opinion of his honor.

That's not really shocking. Obama has sacrificed nothing for anyone, and indeed has proven very willing to sacrifice others for himself: the Rev. Wright, Hillary Clinton, every single position he professed during the election, etc. Southerners normally despise men like this.

Honor Defined

Honor Defined:

The other day I was asking a boy if he could define "honor." Most people can't. It's a word we use very loosely; some people think it means something like "honesty" or "integrity." It doesn't mean either, exactly, as the parable of John Randolph shows clearly.

A guest is coming to dinner; Mr. Randolph is not prepared to receive him; he opens the door to the guest and says, "Sir, I am not home"; the guest leaves, without attempting to say in any way that Mr. Randolph is being less than truthful.
If honor meant "honesty," saying something that was obviously untrue would be proof of dishonor. Instead, Randolph's story shows that a man of honor is taken at his word -- even when it is obvious he is telling you something untrue. The visitor's willingness to take his word when he is telling an obvious untruth is proof of his honor, not his dishonor.

Why? When you understand that riddle, you will understand the real nature of honor.

"To honor" is to sacrifice something you value, in favor of something greater. You might honor a man by sacrificing your time to come to his birthday party. You might honor your country by risking your life for it. Some who do lose their lives in sacrifice. You sacrifice of yourself for something greater, something that matters to more than just you.

Honor is the quality of a man who does this.

A man of honor can be relied upon, because he will sacrifice his personal interests for his principles. This is the reason "honor" has become confused with simple honesty: we assume that such a man will only tell the truth. Yet he might -- as Randolph did -- have a reason to do otherwise. Because he has shown himself to be a man of honor, we trust him even when we don't know his reasons.

That willingness of people to place their faith in his hands is the proof of his honor. He would not have it if he had not earned it. Such a man is beloved, and when we love a man it is because of the sacrifices he has made for us. It is because he has loved us, and things we love, and at cost.

That is honor.

Chiv. per woman

A Woman's Thoughts on Chivalry:

I was updating my links today, long past due! If any of you regular readers have blogs that aren't on the new lists, let me know and I will add them.

While reading over Lars Walker's site, I ran across this link. It touches on our recent discussions, from a lady's perspective.

True chivalry is a deeply-held perspective that women are valuable and should not be exploited or taken for granted, but should be admired and protected and enjoyed with care and respect.
Chivalry is much broader than male-female relations, and touches on the whole code of life for 'heroes, warriors, and tamers of horses.' However, because of the chaotic state of male-female relations, that subset of the topic is always of special interest to everyone. I decided today to put together a compilation of what I've written on chivalry as an ethic. I turns out to be a whole lot more than I'd realized.

I've broken out the links into two sections, on the sidebar: "Chivalry," and "Chivalry & Women" for articles that relate to that sub-section of the topic. If you go to read over these things, be sure to read the comments. Often the most of the value comes from readers' thoughts.



InstaPundit takes notice of a piece that criticizes women for being "princesses." He comments that he prefers either "Sarah Connor" over a helpless person who wants to be pampered all the time.

One of the key problems in seeing these issues clearly is the disdain in which our ancestors are sometimes held. We've been told so often that women of old were weak, or oppressed, or helpless, that people have just come to believe it.

Here's a story about a princess -- indeed, a Queen.

The Queen of England, who was very anxious to defend her kingdom and guard it from all disturbers, in order to show that she was earnest about it came herself to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She took up her residence there, to wait for the forces she expected from different parts of the kingdom. The Scots, who were informed that Newcastle was the place of rendezvous of the English army, advanced thither, and sent their vanguard to skirmish near the town; who, on their return, burnt some hamlets adjoining to it. The smoke and flames came into the town....

On the morrow, the King of Scotland, with full forty thousand men, including all sorts, advanced within three short English miles of Newcastle[.]
The Queen ordered the defense from a shorter range, and greater personal danger, than is normally encountered by our general officers today. No one thought this was shocking at the time; it was her duty.

On the day of the battle, she rode out to the army to ensure it was properly formed for the combat:
The Queen of England came to the place where her army was, and remained until it was drawn out in four battalions.... The queen now advanced among them, and entreated them to do their duty well in defending the honor of their lord and king, and urged them, for the love of God, to fight manfully. They promised her they would acquit themselves loyally, to the utmost of their power, perhaps better than if the king had been there in person.
Her name was Philippa of Hainault. Her victory over the Scots earned a mention in Shakespeare. The "she" in these lines is England as a whole, but very readily personified by the Queen who led her:
When all her chivalry hath been in France,
And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
She hath herself not only well defended,
But taken, and impounded as a stray,
The king of Scots; whom she did send to France,
To fill King Edward’s fame with prisoner kings...
These were her arms:

Health Care

Health Care: Next Step

Elise has written a whole series of posts on 1233, several in response to a fellow Georgia-blogger called "MaxedOutMama." MOM believes that the 1233 incentive structure is definitely designed to encourage doctors to refuse care; Elise explains her disagreement in a very detailed way that I won't attempt to summarize.

Elise says, at one point:

Before I begin, let me say I am very much aware I am falling into exactly the trap Grim described so well:
The one thing that could undermine the Right's position would be to admit they were wrong, which would indeed undercut their credibility. The most successful rhetoric will, instead, answer every such defense with a new charge: 'So you claim that mish-mash is a defense? Well, then explain how in section 12, you call for taxpayers to pay for lawyers to write living wills for the elderly.'
I have to admit to a bit of impish glee at this next part:

Protein Wisdom: "The Communists Have Landed!"
Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments and benefits you get

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!

Pg 50 Section 152 in HC bill - HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58HC Bill - Govt will have real-time access to individuals’ finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access to your banks’ accounts for election funds transfer

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)

Pg 195 HC Bill - Officers and employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans’ financial and personal records.

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill - Doctors will all be paid the same, regardless of what specialty you have.

Pg 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of doctor’s time, professional judgment, etc. Literally value of humans.

Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells doctors what/how much they can own.

Pg 354 Sec 1177 - Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of special needs people.! WTF. My sis has down syndrome!!

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

Pg 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Govt has a say in how your life ends

Pg 429 Lines 10-12 “Advance care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV

Pg 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life

Pg 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt into your marriage

Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those same services
OK, Elise, get to work. ;)
Jean de Nivelle:

Ey, ey, ey, avaunt: Jean de Nivelle est triumphant.

Ici, freres et soeurs.

Not two months ago I was discussing analytic philosophy with a tribesman of the Hamdani, in my broken French and his broken English. He was educated at the University of Paris, which is a better education than I've had myself.

Don't sell them short. Iraq is going to be all right.

Where Feminism Went Wrong

Author's note:  In the two years after I wrote this post, some excellent female readers, and some others who are friends I know away from the internet, have convinced me to value the perspective of feminism as a mode of inquiry.  I retain the objection to false consciousness, however, without reservation:  it is a violation of the principle of plurality, which is to say that it is a failure to respect a person's right to disagree.  It is one thing to say that someone is wrong, and fight for what you believe; it is another thing to deny that they have the standing to fight for what they believe.  In the duel, a gentleman fights only with equals.  In striving for the right, we are all equals.  Each of us possesses a freehold, a part of the world of time and space that is ours alone:  a place that stretches from birth to death.  We are thus equally dignified.  Everyone has the right, and the duty, to fight for the true and the beautiful.

Since I have so often learned from our friend Cassandra, I eventually tend to follow her continued interests even when I am initially not disposed to do so.

My sense about the video is that the lady's most devout wish is that it had never existed. Therefore, I remain determined to act as if it did not. Not to pretend that it does not, which would be a lie: but to act as if it does not, which is a decision.

Nevertheless, when I finally got around to reading up on the business this morning -- following her continued interest, as I said -- I learned that there is a thing called "Rule 5," which lies at the root of this. The author seems to have correctly understood the rules of internet traffic, and although I don't normally read him, I recognize him as someone cited regularly by Dad29, which means he must be a decent man. (So say we all.)

Rule 5 is a rule for generating internet traffic, not a moral rule. One of its precepts is this:
Feminism sucks -- You can never go wrong in the blogosphere by having a laugh at the expense of feminists. All sane people hate feminism, and no one hates feminism more than smart, successful, independent women who've made it on their own without all that idiotic "Sisterhood Is Powerful" groupthink crap. And if you are one of those fanatical weirdos who takes that Women's Studies stuff so seriously that you're offended by Stephen Green's sexist objectification of Christina Hendricks and her mighty bosom -- well, sweetheart, to paraphrase Rhett Butler: "You should be offended, and often, and by someone who knows how."
There is a part of feminism that does suck. You cannot correct it, though, merely by offending it. You must understand just where it is wrong. The moral has to interact with the pleasant.

The reason feminism sucks isn't its desire to create a society in which women and their interests are important. The reason is not that it insists on female voices being taken seriously; nor even that it wants men to change in ways that make women happier or more comfortable.

The older I get, the more I believe that chivalry, and especially its concept of the service of women by loving men, is the thing that defines the West. Other societies have had everything else: philosophy, science, even Christianity, which has been practiced in Egypt and China without ever learning how the brave may serve, and liberate through love:

Don't stop there. Look at these. See the thousands of paintings men have called "The Lady of the Lake."

The reason 'feminism sucks' is the concept called "false consciousness." This is originally a Marxist concept.  It is the style of argumentation that goes: "This is what I believe. Those who disagree are wicked, sick, or insane."  Most commonly the insanity attributed is being too oppressed to know better:  but the only way you can prove that you are no so oppressed is to adopt the correct opinions.  You are thus trapped:  if you assert as you believe, you are too oppressed to be taken seriously.  If you assert as they believe, you are obviously a free and equal mind -- but in fact you are now oppressed, because you cannot believe as your heart leads you.

There is a parallel in psychology, which is an equally dangerous field.  Dr. Helen was talking today about the DSM-V, which shares this basic trait. Anything that differs from what is perceived as "normal" by those tasked with writing the thing seems to be constructed as a pathology of some sort, an illness. She asks what pathology might really be, for example, in the area of sex. One of her commenters notes: "A basic criteria for any mental disorder are the following: 1) Distress, 2)Dysfunction, and 3)Deviance."

The first two have potential -- who wants to see anyone in distress? -- but the last one is foolish. "Deviance" merely means that what you are doing is unusual. Just recently we mentioned St. Francis of Assisi giving up all his goods to live in the forest, and serve the poor. God knows that is an unusual thing to do -- or 'deviant behavior,' to use the terms of the era. God knows also whether it is wrong, sick, or wicked. Insofar as men have dared to judge, we have declared him a saint.

A man may be wholly alone in seeing the right, and still be right. So may a woman. That is first the problem of feminism: it refuses to let even women follow their own heart.

Just as bad is the second problem: it licenses wrongdoing as long as it is common.

This also exists outside of the Feminist movement. There are those men who admit, 'What I am doing is horrible,' and then assert that it is a statement of fidelity to 'heterosexual men'. Bound by common wickedness, are we?

Well, I have often done horrible things. Pride and Wrath rather than Lust seem to me my paramount sins, but I do not fail to understand.

"When God put man in a garden
He girt him with a sword,
And sent him forth a free knight
That might betray his lord;

"He brake Him and betrayed Him,
And fast and far he fell,
Till you and I may stretch our necks
and burn our beards in hell."

So we may. And maybe we should: perhaps it is why we were let to come so far from home, to learn things about ourselves. But don't forget where you are, or in what peril.

It is not deviance you should fear, but dishonor. Neither can the fact that a behavior is common save you. If it is common to be wrong, deviance is a bath to wash and a balm to heal.

We follow our hearts, and hope. Honi soit qui mal y pense.