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May 04, 2010

Debate Question of the Day: Obama's Predator Drone Joke

Funny? In incredibly bad taste? Or not particularly funny but not a big deal either? VC asks - you decide:

Everyone agrees that President Obama was funnier than Jay Leno at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday night. But this joke is inspiring some backlash:

"Jonas Brothers are here, they're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don't get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming. You think I'm joking?"

"You have to wonder why in the world the president's speech writers would think it was a good idea to throw a joke about predator drones into the president's speech during the White House Correspondent's Dinner, given that an estimated one-third of drone casualties, or between 289 and 378, have been civilians," wrote Adam Serwer at the American Prospect.

"Let's be honest, fellow progressives, we'd be all over Bush if he made the same 'predator drone' joke Obama told last night," Philadelphia Daily News' Will Bunch tweeted.

I think there are several separate points here:

1. Is it OK for the President of the United States to make light - even obliquely - of civilian casualties?

The joke didn't upset me all that much but I wouldn't have told it because it seems insensitive to say the least. A President doesn't have the same freedom as a private citizen. He speaks not only for himself, but as the representative of the nation he leads and his words are consequently given far more weight than that of the average father's.

On one level it isn't much different than the "Dad pacing the floor with a shotgun" jokes. My Dad used to say (jokingly) that he was going to keep the boys away from me with a baseball bat. I don't think anyone seriously thought he'd beat any boy who showed up on the front doorstep any more than it's reasonable to think Obama would really launch Predator drones at the Jonas Brothers.

The joke rests on the recognition that the threat is clearly greatly exaggerated. On the other hand, there's a bit of a difference here because while no one seriously thinks most Dads will shoot potential suitors (or anyone else for that matter), the President absolutely has launched Predator drones against our enemies with lethal effect. Again, this is different from launching Predator drones against Sasha or Malia's first date - no one seriously believes that will happen. But I do think (though again, I wasn't offended) that there's a fundamental difference between the two jokes because my Dad's baseball bat metaphor or the ubiquitous shotgun joke don't refer to real deaths, so the potential for real victims of father-on-suitor attacks to think Dad is making light of their misfortune is pretty remote.

2. Is Obama being held to the same standard as George Bush?

We'll have to see. It is heartening to see some progressives attempting to maintain the same standard, whether or not I agree with it.

And I think we should recognize that. Feel free to unload in the comments section.

Posted by Cassandra at May 4, 2010 08:28 AM

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Comments

Can you imagine FDR making a similar joke about B-17s?....or JFK with Minuteman ICBMs?...or even Lincoln (who unlike most politicians actually had a sense of humor) with Sharps Rifles? All seem pretty improbable.

Posted by: david foster at May 4, 2010 10:35 AM

Obama's a sociopath. You don't know what he'll actually do.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 10:56 AM

I thought it was funny. I thought Scott Brown's "my daughters are available" was funny. Threatening boys about what you will do to them if they mess with your daughters is what dads do. As is wanting to have your daughters happily married.

As a non-military type my impression of the drones is that they hunt down the bad guys. I understand that civilians get hurt in war but the drones are doing more good than harm in the long run. At least that is my understanding.

Posted by: blogreader at May 4, 2010 11:07 AM

1. Is it OK for the President of the United States to make light - even obliquely - of civilian casualties?

I'm going to say "no". War is not funny; civilian deaths are not funny; deaths of bad guys aren't funny either, but I don;t like bad guys and don't mind making fun of their demise.

2. Is Obama being held to the same standard as George Bush?

I dunno; I'm trying to be consistent.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 4, 2010 11:18 AM

I have to say that I thought it was an unwise and impolitic joke for a public figure to make but it is not the kind of thing I would get my Hanes Ultrasheers all in a wad over, any more than I think that Fla. Senator who got caught on camera looking at a "pornographic" photo is a big deal (ummm... aren't all the critics the sort who routinely maintain that that sort of thing is not only natural and normal but not porn?).

Unlike the folks who are making a big deal of this, I actually don't care for porn at all.

But this doesn't really rise to the level of things I am willing to get wrapped around the axle about. Absent some sort of proof that this guy regularly surfs porn on the job, this seems like something that could have happened to anyone.

I once shared a link with three male friends that turned out to have a banner at the top that was not anything I would normally send out. It wasn't there when I sent the link on, but was there later.

I've been sent things I'd be horrified and embarrassed if someone saw me looking at.

I really think that we are way too quick to play gotcha these days. I have no problem going after someone for real offenses, but this just seems like trying too hard.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 11:21 AM

Had he joked about siccing the Secret Service on the boys I wouldn't have any objection. I'd hope the girls have better taste than the Jonas Brothers, though.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 4, 2010 11:34 AM

I'm going to stand up for the President, and say that it's always appropriate for a father of daughters to joke about killing potential boyfriends. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 12:12 PM

Also: the point of the 'civilian casualties' in war is that they are collateral damage -- that is, it's a tragedy because we never wanted to kill those people.

In the case of unwanted boyfriends, that's exactly who you did want to kill. So, you know: Mission accomplished!

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 12:19 PM

This is a harmless joke. Personally, I would have used a Daisey Cutter or JDAM. Staying consistent, I laughed when I heard Reagan's hot mike joke about nuking the Soviets.

I can see it now... A Predator flies high in the dark sky, too high for anyone on ground level to hear the sound of its engines. The controller switches from "white hot" to "black hot" and scans the area, trying to confirm the target. Meanwhile, a Special Forces operator is in the crowd at a Jonas Brothers concert. Young and clean shaven, eyes aged beyond his years and still very determined. He has been on missions all over the world, and has learned to blend into every environment, yet he still doesn't blend in with the tweens in the crowd. He lazes the target. "Grim 120, this is Babyface 42. Marking our team with IR strobes. Currently lazing the target with a PEQ4. Confirm target and mark." "Dude, this is Grim. Don't get technical, we're Air Force. I'm streaming the concert on my iPhone, so I see the target, and we're recording this for YouTube. You might want to duck."

Posted by: Smart Grunt at May 4, 2010 12:21 PM

I'm going to stand up for the President, and say that it's always appropriate for a father of daughters to joke about killing potential boyfriends. :) Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 12:12 PM

Wouldn't it be impermissible to use US Government resources to carry our a personal errand such as this?

Posted by: I Call BS at May 4, 2010 12:21 PM

Sure, that's why it's a joke. No one would ever really use government assets for personal errands.

(Actually, this is an occasion when they really should have... something about Democratic presidents, they just can't seem to strike the right balance in using their interns.)

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 12:32 PM

Wouldn't it be impermissible to use US Government resources to carry our a personal errand such as this?

Only if you *miss*...

Posted by: Bada *Boom* at May 4, 2010 12:34 PM

In the words of Bugs Bunny: "What a maroon! What an ignoranimus!".

Posted by: twolaneflash at May 4, 2010 01:04 PM

Only thing a Predator is gonna do is *look*.

They're unarmed.

The Reaper is the one that'll send a Hellfire through your window...

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 01:17 PM

That's interesting -- I was under the impression that both the MQ-1 and the MQ-9 were armed (although I knew that the Predator had started out as an unarmed platform, I had thought they were now capable of carrying weapons). I know the Shadow is still just an unarmed platform.

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 01:23 PM

I know NOSSINK.... NOSSINK!!!!

Posted by: Sgt. Schultz' Bratty Little Sister at May 4, 2010 01:26 PM

Both can be armed and usually are. The Shadow doesn't have the payload capacity, structural integrity, or stability to be a good weapon platform. Hell, it can't even crash accurately.

Posted by: Smart Grunt at May 4, 2010 01:30 PM

Thanks for that. I've watched a lot of feed from Shadows and Predators, but I've never been involved with the mechanical aspects. I was prepared to believe that what I thought I knew wasn't so. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 01:45 PM

OK, first of all, I seriously doubt that the ratio of civilian casualties from drone strikes is anywhere near 1/3. Everyone repeat after me: "Just because a person is in civilian clothing, that does not necessarily make them a civilian."

Second: Given the controversies currently surrounding drone warfare, I think that the joke was probably impolitic, although I personally am not bothered. But from what I've read about that correspondent's dinner, it was probably the least inappropriate thing Obama said.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at May 4, 2010 01:58 PM

Check out the link below for size comparison between the predator and reaper.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-08-27-reaper-afghanistan_N.htm

The Shadow is about the size of a large lawn mower and can't fly silent - no matter how high you fly it. I have heard rumors about putting 40mm on the Shadow or even some crazed grunt strapped underneath, but those rumors start to go away when you tell the gossipers to grab a RATO, their rifle, and an MRE and report to the Shadow flight line.

Posted by: Smart Grunt at May 4, 2010 02:21 PM

I prefer to call it Obama's pedophile joke. The Jonas brothers are in their late teens/early 20's. Obama's daughters are 11 and 8. I find it awkward, if not downright insulting, that he suggests those young men would even look at his daughters like that. The eldest Jonas is married, for heaven's sake, but now they do have a little brother who's only 9... yeah, that's who Obama meant.

Posted by: vsatt at May 4, 2010 03:08 PM

The Shadow doesn't have the payload capacity, structural integrity, or stability to be a good weapon platform.

You couldn't strap anything much bigger than a bottle rocket on one and get it into the air.

I was under the impression that both the MQ-1 and the MQ-9 were armed

The MQ-1 can carry two Hellfires, but that drastically reduces its range and endurance; since the MQ-9 was fielded, it's doing all the wet work. The MQ-1s that were originally modified to carry weapons had their pylons removed, and they're back to being pure snoopers.

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 03:48 PM

"I'm going to stand up for the President, and say that it's always appropriate for a father of daughters to joke about killing potential boyfriends."

I have to go with Grim here. It is a Dad's job to remind a young man that death awaits at the slightest provocation against his daughter. I believe that one of Grim's knives would scare me more than a shotgun if I were a suitor.

Posted by: Russ at May 4, 2010 03:59 PM

But using a knife would mean that he liked you enough to get *close* to you, and become personally involved.

Using a knife says, "I *care* about what happens to you."

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 04:24 PM

The Engineer has dusted off the 'Application to Date my Daughter'. He is especially fond of the question that asks where the prospective date would least like to be shot.

Posted by: Cricket at May 4, 2010 04:35 PM

You with daughters seem to think that all young men who contemplate dating your daughters should be scared off, rather than welcomed, with threats of knives (for you touchy-feely types) and missiles (for those of you who prefer to keep your distance). Get too hormonal with the protection thing though, dads, and you may find your daughters no longer bother to talk to you about boys and other stuff, preferring instead to sneak out the upstairs windows after you've nodded off in front of the TV, empty beer can/ wine glasss/shot glass sitting next to you on the end table (if not dropped on the floor due to lack of muscle tone in your hand). You don't really want to be one of those lunatic dads that alienates his kids (and maybe even the wife) in trying to prove how macho he is, now do ya?

Just ask the Blog Princess, and I bet she'd say that her sons were gentlemen. If you asked me (which I expect you won't), I'd say the same.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUFObCZtGWQ

Posted by: I Condemn Blowhards Spitting at May 4, 2010 04:50 PM

He cares to do the best, Bill.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 05:05 PM

You don't really want to be one of those lunatic dads that alienates his kids (and maybe even the wife) in trying to prove how macho he is, now do ya?

That's Obama. You know, the one you voted into power and continue to support.

Everybody else isn't insane enough to misuse violence. But Obama is far more likely to misuse whatever powers he thinks he has.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 05:11 PM

Get too hormonal with the protection thing though, dads, and you may find your daughters no longer bother to talk to you about boys and other stuff...

And they can also wind up with husbands who love them enough to brave dad's wrath.

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 05:13 PM

Grim, initially the Predator was able to mount two hellfires, but given that it wasn't designed for it, I think it negatively affected the flight profile/characteristics and endurance of what was meant to be a recon platform.

If they have enough of the next generation platforms, the older ones should have been phased out.

Of course, I'm envisioning a force which has a drone weapons platform for every squad, controlled from wireless transmitters carried by a single person.

It would help if people would start on the next generation nuclear power plant and transmission systems. Or even the first generation, in order to beam power the way we beam information.

I guess the money is going into Al Gore' Global Warming racket. Much good it does us.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 05:16 PM

I think the 'hinting the Jonas brothers are pedophiles' was worse than the 'defending dad' aspect.

I'd be mad as hell, myself.

Posted by: The_Livewire at May 4, 2010 05:39 PM

Get too hormonal with the protection thing though, dads, and you may find your daughters no longer bother to talk to you about boys and other stuff... And they can also wind up with husbands who love them enough to brave dad's wrath. Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 05:13 PM

... and who don't like letting their dads visit the grandchildren, because dad never got over that anger of his, which nobody ever understood anyway ...

Posted by: I Condemn Blowhards Spitting at May 4, 2010 05:45 PM

You can tell a lot about a young man, as Bill says, by his willingness to face you in order to date your daughter. Done right, it reminds the suitor that he is asking for a very precious and costly thing, and is expected to treat said daughter as such. A well raised young gentleman will understand and respect the terms of the agreement between himself and dad.

I Condemn, I believe that you have mistaken the intent of a protective dad. It is not to chase young men off, but to demand the proper respect be paid to the young lady.

Posted by: Russ at May 4, 2010 06:27 PM

It's also a test used in small combat units.

If the new guy over there gets the shakes whenever you look at him, it's probably not a good idea to count on him to protect important objectives. In this case, it would be the well being of the woman.

Now there's a definite line between attempting to protect and actually doing it, but the test is only to test if the will is present. No training will produce any results if the will does not exist to actually do something.

Only Betas like Obama will ever take such a test to actual conflict.

In most cases, assuming relatively equal personal capabilities (not including age and experience), the elder tests the younger to see how much fire they got.

Betas will either back off or instigate a fight. Omegas would just run away with their tails between their legs.

It's a crude measurement of somebody's personal confidence level. How they can handle hostility or anti-social situations.

It is obviously ineffective, for the purposes to which it was designed, if the father is not an Alpha or if the younger suitor lacks basic confidence or control.

A guy that can't handle his girl's father, is likely to run away and leave the girl behind.

Humans don't have to know anything about this to feel an instinctual drive to negate that possibility.

Humans, the ultimate atomic clocks. Keep on ticking regardless of what is going on so long as the fuel is burning.

The Spartans had funny ways to figure out "tremblers". Their methods were not entirely correct.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 06:45 PM

I say it is crude because it isn't an absolute test of courage. Nor is it a subtle one. Nor does it actually test for courage specifically.

If a con artist is comfortable in social settings, this wouldn't affect him much. If a sociopath he is, it wouldn't affect him. What would affect him is you noticing that he is a sociopath before using the test and blowing him away before he steps inside, but that's another topic.

There are ways to bypass this test. On the other hand, there are ways to upgrade the test. Simple verbal threats or warnings are one thing. The kind of in your face hazing or physical intimidation used elsewhere, are something else.

Generally, however you handle your daughter's boyfriend, there are specific things you have to check off.

1. Self-discipline. Important in knowing that he will obey the social customs and not simply whatever feels good to do at the time.

2. Control presence derived from the ability to handle extreme or non-normal situations. Useful for the protection of the woman in both social and asocial situations. Although in asocial situations, you need 3 and 2. This is a strategic vision that allows the avoidance of crime or high risk behavior in order to prevent problems from happening.

3. Alpha personality and resource base. He either has self-confidence cause he is arrogant and naive (see trait 1 for how to avoid) or he has confidence because his has an alpha personality due to additional resources not available to betas. These additional resources (gun, H2H, social conversation control skills, knowledge of survival/law/criminals) when combined with the last 2 will ensure the survival and well being of your daughter. This is the tactical option, a last ditch defense, should the strategic level fail.

If a potential boyfriend is intimidated by the father, the signs will show. But if he is intimidated and yet doesn't back down, that's a point in his favor. On the other hand, if he gets angry or afraid and acts upon those emotions, then it is safe to say that this will be the case later on too.

Should a situation arise where danger erupts and he has a choice of helping her or leaving her to fend for herself, insecurity and personal weakness on the part of the bf are indicators that the latter choice will be taken.

We don't have rituals of 1v1 duels any more. That means a father can't challenge the bf to a fist fight simply to see how he will react. Nor is there the actual risk of death in a duel to the death, as was the case centuries ago. It doesn't mean death has gone away. Criminals and survival conditions still exist.

Besides, a fist fight or other training sparring scenario is a poor test to consider Alpha attributes. Many people can fight or kill, but the skills/resources of an Alpha are rare indeed. Still, it's better to be able to do than not to be able to do.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 07:03 PM

I remember the movie Twilight. It had the almost perfect example of the protective father watching over the beautiful daughter.

Was very funny. Especially since the boyfriend in question didn't lack much in the 3 numbered list.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 07:09 PM

Some of you seem to be carrying around a lot of seething, repressed anger. You might want to seek counselling for that before you hurt yourselves or somebody else and end up in the slammer.

Posted by: ICBS at May 4, 2010 08:20 PM

I thought you weren't going to be insulting? Change your mind?

FWIW, I agree with Russ. Teens still need leadership - and the guidance of high expectations - from the adults in their lives. One of my sons very much looked up to his girlfriend's father.

I don't think it's a bad thing at all for a father to make certain things crystal clear and Russ explained that rather well.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 09:06 PM

Hmm...

Conservative says: "That wicked President, using his position of power to threaten young boys!" This is evidence that he is seething with anger at the President, and perhaps a danger to himself or others.

Conservative says: "Nah, Obama's fine here," and then joins in the President's own joke. This is instead proof that he is seething with anger in general, and doubtless a danger to others or ourselves.

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 09:54 PM

Grim, Grim, Grim.... you ignorant slut :)

When will you learn that violent rhetoric is only a problem when conservatives do it?

Sheesh. We women get so tire of having to school you big brutes all the time. It is a full time job ;p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 10:03 PM

I'm sure that's true.

I remember Jane Galt trying to do it, lo, back around 2007. On that occasion she was saying that conservatives were humorless and would react horridly to any making fun of religion.

I thought the best way to answer that was by telling some of my favorite religious jokes. Once again, I don't think that we're quite the humorless, angry folks we seem to be perceived to be by... ah, "some." :)

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 10:06 PM

And if you go back and look at that, don't miss the comments. The reader's jokes were better than mine. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 10:08 PM

Preacher sitting up on top of his roof during the great floods in central Tennessee this week, and a boat comes by with rescuers. "Come on, preacher!" they call up. "We'll take you to safety."

"No thanks, boys, go get some other poor soul!" the preacher shouts back. "I have my faith in the Lord's salvation protecting me." So the rowboat went on.

A little while later, the waters are still rising, and here comes another rowboat. "Come on, preacher!" they call. "It's getting worse! Come on down and go with us!"

"No thank you boys, help another!" calls the preacher. "I am full of faith in God. He will save me."

Another hour goes by, and the waters are lapping at the rooftop itself. A helicopter flies over, dropping down a rope ladder. Over a megaphone, a voice shouts: "Preacher, take the rope!"

The preacher waves them off. "I've got all the faith in the world," he shouts back. "God will provide my salvation!"

An hour later, he reaches the Pearly Gates. St. Peter's standing there, and he says, "What in the world are you doing here? It's not time for you."

The preacher says, "I don't know. I can't explain it. I told everyone that I had faith in God, and he would save me."

"We sent two boats and a helicopter," St. Peter said. "What'd you want?"

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 10:18 PM

I'd forgotten that thread :)

Thanks for the link - enjoyed reading it again.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 10:26 PM

It's the merry month of May, dear lady: we ought to enjoy ourselves, while we can. (Insofar as we can find the time, amidst all the seething, of course. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 4, 2010 10:33 PM

Some of you seem to be carrying around a lot of seething, repressed anger. You might want to seek counselling for that before you hurt yourselves or somebody else and end up in the slammer.

And some folks just fail to see a certain type of humor when its voiced by someone other than Teh Won.

If they have enough of the next generation platforms, the older ones should have been phased out.

It's still useful to be able to see a large portion of the battlefield without having the capability of shooting something immediately.

Posted by: BillT at May 5, 2010 12:19 AM

As Bill said, "But using a knife would mean that he liked you enough to get *close* to you, and become personally involved."

Not to mention the indelible imprint it leaves on the young man's mind and the logical inference to anatomical catastrophe waiting on any mis-step.

Grim, here in the Central Valley of California, May is the merriest of months, right before the temperature heads high enough to make you fear that you somehow got stationed at the gates of hell. It must be time for a Sam Adams. Cheers to all.

Posted by: Russ at May 5, 2010 12:21 AM

You might want to seek counselling for that before you hurt yourselves or somebody else and end up in the slammer.

So Sayeth the expert on Bush Hate.

Not exactly the best source of information on violence.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 01:32 AM

Phased out of deploying weapons, I mean.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 02:30 AM

You with daughters seem to think that all young men who contemplate dating your daughters should be scared off
That's something usually Betas think of.

Driving people off, that is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 02:32 AM

Alphas and Betas, it is “A Brave New World” we live in. No matter a young man’s position in a pack of rogue males he is a Gamma or Epsilon when he dated one of my girls until he proved otherwise. As the Alpha male of my pack (pride, family,…) I felt responsible to chase off those rogues that lacked the “character” to become a potential member (or had their minds on other things…).

I give the president a pass on this one. The target of the joke may have been his daughters who may have a crush on the Jonas Brothers instead of the boys themselves.

Posted by: crazy mike at May 5, 2010 05:58 AM

Obama's real problem is that he likes ordering personal assassinations of people that get in his way.

Getting in his way is defined as not worshiping him.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 06:47 AM

... and who don't like letting their dads visit the grandchildren, because dad never got over that anger of his, which nobody ever understood anyway ...

Or picking dad as babysitter numero uno because he'll actually watch (and play with) the kids.

Geez, yer cynical. You remind me of *me*...

Posted by: BillT at May 5, 2010 08:25 AM

I Cry bollocks shamelessly,

I *have* sons. Four, to be exact. I feel the same way about them as I do my one and only daughter.

If a young lady is so fortunate to be dated by one of my sons, she will be treated like a lady.
I expect her to behave like one. Of course, if she is dating my son, she is worthy of his attention.

I have NEVER, EVER had the double standard of 'my son, their problem.' No way no how.

Yesterday, I was listening to an ad on the radio. It concerned a woman who was checking out books on how to have a child-proof house, yard, neighborhood, etc (Child-proof means to prevent children, not to protect them, but that is a snark I will save for another time). One of the 'books' she was checking out in the ad was 'Parent's Guide to Books On How To Tell Other Parents How to Raise Their Children.'

Posted by: Cricket at May 5, 2010 09:06 AM

... and who don't like letting their dads visit the grandchildren, because dad never got over that anger of his, which nobody ever understood anyway ...


Posted by: I Condemn Blowhards Spitting at May 4, 2010 05:45 PM

The first part of the comment sounds like something that is going on with you and the second part sounds like you think dads are angry.
You mistake anger for protection. I am a daughter. I am a wife and a mother of a daughter.
I am not a man, but I understand my husband's
desire to protect his family and the respect he has for me and our daughter.

The Engineer is a dad who taught his daughter, along with the boys, how to take care of a car.
She can shoot and has a green belt in karate.
Men who truly love their wives and daughters, will empower them; knowing that they won't be there forever.

But until that happens, dads will protect their daughters.

Posted by: Cricket at May 5, 2010 09:14 AM

They don't have any rights to do that. Only Obama King and Emperor has that right, Cricket.

Or at least, that's what Leftists like he told me.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 09:40 AM

Those people are angry. Cricket. Better to pull an Elian Gonzalez or a WACO on them first, darou, IC?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 09:42 AM

Btw, Grim. Elian Gonsalez was a result of a successful false flag operation by the Left.

In polarizing the gender difference into a war, women vs men, they created special interest groups specifically engineered to defend against the encroachment of feminism on men's rights. But in doing so, they adopted the gender differential rules of the Left. Which led to their support of the father in Cuba.

Americans that would never have supported communism, backed the false flag operation in the name of gender equality.

People are so easy to mess up given how easily they destroy their own lives when left alone. The fact that some of these lawyers lobbying for Clinton to send Elian back to Cuba, to his father, also regretted their actions, is another morale boost for feminism and a direct consequence of the false flag conditions.

People think they're fighting under their own flag. In fact, it's the Left's flag. They just don't know it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 09:50 AM

I got to give it to the feminists. They were smart. They didn't pressure Clinton at all nor warn him not to take a child from his mother. They may have even encouraged him given their relationship with Communism.

Ahaha, ah the Left. Such magnificent people. No principles at all. Not even self-stated ones. They make great weapons.

If you can control them.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 09:52 AM

they adopted the

Clarification: they in this case would refer to men's organizations such as custody, alimony, rape accusations, divorce laws, paternity laws, etc.

This subject shouldn't be unfamiliar to VC.

Reading the after action confession of this trial or whatever lawyer that thought he was fighting for the right, when he realized he had fought for Communism's cause, reminds me of all those Obama voters and the people who went on the Lincoln Brigade to Spain.

The Left still has much to teach us about subversion and insurgency. We haven't learned everything yet. But the Tea Party is getting there. They're getting there.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 09:55 AM

I thought the President's joke was funny. A father's frantic protectiveness about his daughters is endearing, admirable, and at the same time ridiculous. That's why it's funny. The leader of the free world was admitting that he's as helpless in that situation as the ordinary nervous father, and just as prone to wild overreaction and denial -- a comically exaggerated response with which we secretly sympathize, wishing we had as convincing a threat at our own disposal.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 5, 2010 10:49 AM

While I think VC did a fine job of snarking the overreaction, Texan99, you have just the right take. I love reading your comments!

Ymarsakr, ICBS loves to pull the Collective Villainry's leg from time to time, but I do think he thinks dads are angry.

Cassandra rightly pointed out a daughter is precious.

Posted by: Cricket at May 5, 2010 11:07 AM

Men who truly love their wives and daughters, will empower them; knowing that they won't be there forever. Posted by: Cricket at May 5, 2010 09:14 AM

BINGO!!

Posted by: ICBS at May 5, 2010 12:44 PM

IC, you left your fact check book behind here.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 01:32 PM

Nah, I think IC just doesn't know hyperbole when he sees it.

In this case, the hyperbolic nature is what makes the trope useful.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2010 01:58 PM

You couldn't strap anything much bigger than a bottle rocket on one and get it into the air.

Yea and forget carrying MIchael Moore or Murtha.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 06:33 PM

However, ICBS, empowerment as I use the word is not the same as being 'equal' in terms of feminism. I am talking about fathers loving their daughters enough to teach them and encourage them to be self-reliant, but to protect them until they married someone who was worthy of her love and her father's respect.

In other words, someone who could make her feel safe, who loved her unconditionally, and who would encourage her to be the best she could be and supportive of her.

The phrase I am looking for is 'equally yoked.'
Both have responsibilities that demand the best of them and the support of each other in the process.

Posted by: Cricket at May 5, 2010 06:56 PM

As opposed to Obama's vision of empowering America by beating her to a pulp, of course.

Feminism's view of empowerment necessitates humiliation, trash talking in public, and other ways of creating dependency in a person. This guarantees servitude and obedience, required components to "empower" people.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 6, 2010 07:35 AM

Y: I'm not sure I'm buying that. I'm a feminist, but I don't do any of those things.

Here's how I see why it's tough for fathers to protect their daughters without infantilizing them. Because of the unalterable reality of our bodies, young men have the power to do terrible damage to young women at a time when both are too young and foolish to take the danger fully to heart. The fathers suffer from cognitive whipsawing as they're forced to watch their doted-upon little girls become women, after a lifelong immersion in a male culture that derides women and treats most of them as potential conquests to be discarded as soon as the fun's over. (Yes, I know this is not a fair description of the entire culture, but it's a strong current.)

I honor a father who works all this out successfully enough to empower his daughter, but he's got a hard row to hoe. Most of the time he can barely make his young daughter understand the danger she's in, and often he's too conflicted about the source of the danger to be a credible guide. It would be as if mothers were desperately worried about their hard-drinking teenaged sons cracking up in a car wreck, while uneasily aware that women were out there on the roads laying down oilslicks and sabotaging brake lines.

My parents tried really hard to get some of this across to me, but I blew them off. If they were able to do me any good on the subject, it was with indirect training in how to stand up for myself. If they'd tried to browbeat me directly with the message that I must get an education and a good job, I'd probably have rebelled. As it was, their message about education and success was so sincere, heartfelt, and intrinsic in everything they did and said in my presence from day one that I soaked it up and let it automatically inform how I behaved with young men -- at least, to a point. I was still a reckless young idiot.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 6, 2010 10:53 AM

I don't, personally, accept the idea that any of this constitutes infantilizing anyway. How do you empower a daughter?

If I had a daughter, I'd teach her to shoot guns and ride horses. Before I gave her a loaded gun, though, I'd give her a lot of training; and I'd start her off on something light enough that she could master the basics before she moved to heavier calibers and bigger kicks. Eventually, I'd teach her to shoot them all so that she would know that she could handle anything, but someday when she mastered them she'd be able to choose for herself which caliber best suited her -- or whether to carry a gun in the first place.

I'd also teach her to ride horses, which is quite dangerous. So, at first, I'd teach her on a horse that I knew well and had personally trained. I'd make sure she had a chance to ride many other horses when she'd gotten good on the first one, because the only way to master riding is to ride a lot of different animals. In time, if she wanted to train green broke horses, or even break horses, she could do so -- most of the best horse trainers I've known have been women -- but I wouldn't start her off on an unbroken colt. I'd start her off by tipping the odds in her favor, so she could master the skills and develop the knowledge she needed.

So, when a father takes a moment to speak to her boyfriend, he's not trying to 'infantilize' his daughter. He's going to let her go out the door with the boy of her choice, and start learning how to deal with young men. All the father wants to do is tip the odds in her favor a little bit, while she starts learning what she needs to know. Making sure the boy knows what your standards are, and that you mean to hold him to them, is that and only that.

That's not opposed to empowerment. It's how you empower someone. They've got to learn, but they don't have to be stuck on an green-broke stallion for their first ride. If you did that to the girl, you wouldn't be 'empowering her to ride,' you'd be setting her up for failure.

Indeed, if you really did want to infantilize her, so that she was so scared of horses she'd never try to ride them again, that'd be a pretty good way to do it. A father who loves his daughter will empower her precisely by offering her just enough protection to start on the road, letting go a bit at a time until she's ready to be the master of her own situation.

Posted by: Grim at May 6, 2010 11:11 AM

I think the hardest thing with daughters (and I say this, not as someone who has raised a girl but as someone who was a daughter herself) is tempering their natural trust and overconfidence with an appropriate level of caution.

It's not really all that different with sons, and that's what I tried to do with my boys when they started dating.

A lot of folks might disagree, but I took it as pretty much a given that they weren't going to wait to have sex until they were married. Now don't get me wrong - I told them in no uncertain terms that I would very much prefer for them to wait, and I told them the reasons why.

But I also acknowledged that there are some pretty compelling reasons why they might not wait.

And I based my advice/guidance on balancing the ideal with the practical.

Basically I told my boys what I knew about girls - how they see relationships, what might be going through a girl's mind at various stages in a relationship, how different boys and girls are in this regard. I tried to impress upon them that although boys (in general) are only thinking about today, girls (in general) are thinking down the road to that rose covered cottage with the white picket fence. I also covered the very powerful biological forces that can cause a young woman to undermine a young man's attempts at self control.

Because I think a lot of people miss this. They focus on the boy and forget that the girl is (often unconsciously) doing everything in her power to get the boy into bed. Even if she doesn't realize that's what she's doing.

I think the best way to "empower" a girl is not to warn her about boys. She won't believe you in most cases.

It's to educate and warn her about those forces in herself - to encourage her to respect how hard it is for boys to restrain themselves (as opposed to painting them as uncaring lechers or predators), and to respect a boy/man's different timetable for relationships.

Girls don't have sex with boys b/c they don't respect themselves. In fact, popular and confident girls are more likely to be risk takers in this regard. It's not their confidence that needs shoring up. It's their sense of responsibility and their understanding of the opposite sex.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2010 12:29 PM

Tempest in a teapot. I personally think it's funny.

Grim said:
If I had a daughter, I'd teach her to shoot guns and ride horses. Before I gave her a loaded gun, though, I'd give her a lot of training; and I'd start her off on something light enough that she could master the basics before she moved to heavier calibers and bigger kicks. Eventually, I'd teach her to shoot them all so that she would know that she could handle anything, but someday when she mastered them she'd be able to choose for herself which caliber best suited her -- or whether to carry a gun in the first place.

My father taught my oldest brother and sister to shoot when they were 10-13 or so. They started on the .22 semi-auto rifle, moved to the .30-30 Winchester, then to the .30-06 Springfield. I finally got to shoot at 15 or so when we went to a pig roast on a family friends' farm. They actually had a rifle range out in the country, so that's how I got my first whiff of gunpowder. Put me a long way ahead of the other guys at BCT (some of whom had never even held a firearm before then).

Posted by: MikeD at May 6, 2010 12:52 PM

Grim, I didn't mean to suggest that any father who gives his young daughter's date a tough talking to is infantilizing her. It's a different matter when he basically tries to lock her up in a convent because he can't bear the thought of her growing into an adult sexual being. That's on the extreme end of things, in the exaggerated area that is the subject of the typical joke about a father threatening her beaux with flaming death.

I think it's pretty clear from everything you've written here that you'd raise a daughter with respect and foster a lot of autonomy.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 6, 2010 04:14 PM

I like Grim's tactic of challenging/risky activities that gradually become harder as the child learns to handle additional risk or challenge.

But I also think it's very important to address both sides of the dating equation. Letting a potential suitor how he's expected to treat your daughter is good, but it won't help if your daughter is part of the problem.

It isn't just sexuality of your daughter's dates that's "the problem" - your daughter needs to learn to take responsibility for her own sexual decisions. And I think that in general society does an extremely poor job of conveying this. We do infantilize girls in a way by refusing to see them as sexual beings whose desires may differ from those of boys but are no less strong.

And no less "dangerous".

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2010 04:23 PM

Y: I'm not sure I'm buying that. I'm a feminist, but I don't do any of those things.

That's more of a question of what is feminism. I use the term to refer to the organization or network of individuals with the most power and influence when it comes to these matters.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 6, 2010 04:51 PM

It's a different matter when he basically tries to lock her up in a convent because he can't bear the thought of her growing into an adult sexual being.

That's what is known as a "Beta" or "Insecure Alpha".

He should abdicate his position and give it to somebody that knows how to handle people and problems. Although if he has what it takes, he can learn to get things right. Humans are flexible in this regard. There are no static classes for hierarchy.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 6, 2010 05:00 PM

We do infantilize girls in a way by refusing to see them as sexual beings whose desires may differ from those of boys but are no less strong.

Well, I'm certainly guilty of failing to understand the precise nature of women's sexuality and desires. For example, your advice above is quite insightful -- but would not have occurred to me to say to a daughter.

This isn't because I don't think she has (or ought to have) sexuality; I would assume she did. However, that precise set of words and lessons would not have come to me. They probably arise from having experienced feminine sexuality directly, as I obviously have not; though now that you've said it, it sounds right and wise as a way of understanding what I have observed in women.

Of course, this is one reason a child benefits from having both a mother and a father in their lives. We each understand different things about life.

Posted by: Grim at May 6, 2010 07:12 PM

I'm going to pull something out of the NNSD site. It's long.

Link

That one wasn't too long. So I have to go find another one that is. Yea, that's how it works.

Profiling people.

Link

Security and Dating.

Link


Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 6, 2010 07:39 PM

...this is one reason a child benefits from having both a mother and a father in their lives. We each understand different things about life.

Very true, Grim. The Unit has had to explain a lot of things to me over the years and I've always appreciated the insight he has into a lot of things I don't understand intuitively.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2010 09:20 PM

Having both a daughter and sons, I can say that I agree with both Grim and Cassandra. I have a terrific little book called 'Secret Keeper.' It is about the power of modesty. I think teaching both genders about how the opposite sex thinks is good because it helps tip the odds for them both.

However, I differ in one respect about responsibility and sex: If they avoid it until marriage, then they don't have to rush into something for the sake of the baby. I am not saying that couples who marry because of pregnancy can't or won't make it. I just don't want pregnancy to be part of the decision. To have children together at some future date, yes.
But not right away. Young newlyweds struggle as it is.

I guess you thought I was going to get all moral on everyone. Sorry to disappoint you. :p

Posted by: Cricket at May 7, 2010 07:16 AM

You've the right of it, Cricket. Having a baby I'm not prepared to care for - and possibly having to do it alone - has never been something I had to worry about. Part of that - in addition to knowing how I think of sex emotionally (i.e. - "to have sex means there is a long-permanent - even permanent - commitment between me & him) has been my awareness of the consequences of sex. My best friend's sister's second child was the result of failed birth control. As I recently said to a health care person, not having sex is the one sure-fire way to not get pregnant. This person seemed somewhat shocked when I answered honestly about my "history"... Probably don't run into many people like me anymore...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at May 7, 2010 08:40 AM

Hey - I'm the result of failed birth control. Third child, unintended, but welcomed nevertheless. It does help when these accidents occur to a couple who are already clear on the concepts of love, duty, sacrifice, and the inviolate circle of family.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 7, 2010 10:07 AM

Texan99, you would not be a failure. I had a baby at 41. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have been thinking a lot about early vs. late motherhood (tangent, anyone?), and how it relates to marriage and committment.

Jonathan, our first, was very much wanted and loved. We also struggled horribly with a bare-bones wage, but we were out of debt and able to meet our obligations.

But I was a lot more tense and less inclined to relax and enjoy him because we were working so damn hard to make both ends meet. Was I abusive?
No. But it does argue for having children when there is more of a basis for financial security.
That would be a committed relationship, support of decisions made, and both parties willing to give 200% to it. The baby/child doesn't get to make the decisions; they are a factor in them.

I had some good friends who did day care and I paid them handsomely out of the pittance I was allowed to take home from three part-time jobs. My father, though, firmly believed that a woman's place was in the home, and made that known to me every chance he got.

Whatever. He didn't have bills to pay, it wasn't 1946 and I didn't wear dresses and pearls to do housework. Sue me.

We are both enjoying our children immensely because of delayed gratification in some areas.
Jonathan, however, is not here to enjoy it with us. I would gladly scrub floors on my hands and knees for the rest of my life if he could.

Posted by: Cricket at May 7, 2010 10:56 AM

I will turn 40 this summer. I think it will be a hard one for me. I am not where I imagined I'd be at this age, when I was younger...

Recently, I have had students in the classes where I am a substitute ask me how old I am. Keep in mind I sub only in elementary schools. I simply tell them "old enough to be your mother". That often gets a response informing me of how old their mothers are. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm uncomfortably close to being old enough to be there grandmother, especially for the younger kids.

I would give almost anything to have a family. If I am blessed enough to find "Mr. Right"in the relatively near future and have a child of my own, I know there would be challenges unique to my situation. I could never call any child "a mistake", regardless of whether or not that child was "planned"...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at May 8, 2010 01:39 PM

Cricket, I don't know what happened to Jonathan (haven't been here long enough, maybe), but I'm glad you've been talking about him lately. You're in my prayers.

-- I didn't think *I* was the failure, just that the birth control clearly failed. My father was supposed to go on sabbatical overseas for a year; the travel plans got thrown into a tizzy for a while. They coped.

Babies are nearly always a huge challenge, whether they're first children born to struggling young couples or late children that get sprung on them just when things were starting to settle down. The good thing is that so many parents do what's right. I guess my point was that it's a lot easier for the parents to do what's right if they're truly a family and ready and able to step up, something that's not often true of a vaguely committed couple who've hooked up temporarily for convenience (though some of them rise to the occasion, too, certainly). We have a strange societal disconnect about why it's a great thing for everyone to have a free and easy sex life, as if sex weren't about anything but temporary gratification.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 9, 2010 09:09 AM

Jonathan was our first-born. He died in a crash when he was 16. Don't feel bad about not knowing; I have kept it fairly quiet and unless I get on a metaphysical or philosophical streak, it isn't something I talk about. Not because I have been told to shut up by our hostess, but because to have a child pre-decease a parent is unusual.

I was sort of going off on a tangent about your comment in parents doing the right thing, and you are dead on when you said, "The good thing is that so many parents do what's right. I guess my point was that it's a lot easier for the parents to do what's right if they're truly a family and ready and able to step up, something that's not often true of a vaguely committed couple who've hooked up temporarily for convenience (though some of them rise to the occasion, too, certainly). " Texan99

Well, the ones who have gotten together and succeeded have also done well, because while the marriage bed is honorable, it is staying the distance that makes them heroes in my eyes. You truly do have goodly parents.

Your next comment of, "We have a strange societal disconnect about why it's a great thing for everyone to have a free and easy sex life, as if sex weren't about anything but temporary gratification." (Texan99) got me to thinking about sex before marriage and why we are so upside down on the priorities.

While we have 'proven' that people can have sex and still have a strong relationship, it seemed to me that when our society was advocating for abstinence before marriage and fidelity after, we were stronger as a society and a nation.

Would I judge someone harshly? I don't think so.
I did an internet search of registered sex offenders living near me. I found a few, but what was intriguing to me was this: There were
a couple of them who had had sex with their girlfriends. Both the boys and the girls were underage, but the accountability for it was given
to the boys, and not the girls. Both parties were over 16 and under 18. I find that to be a double
standard and really don't consider the lads to be
child molesters...any more than their partners were.

But if we are going to get back to keeping sex where it should belong, there has to be an accounting for behavior.

Now that I have rambled...

Posted by: Cricket at May 11, 2010 08:50 AM

Dear Blog Princess: As we compare GWB with BHO, perhaps your readers would enjoy this bit of entertainment:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-may-11-2010/release-the-kagan

Posted by: I Call BS at May 12, 2010 10:50 AM

I wouldn't say I judge promiscuous people harshly. I was promiscuous myself, not because I was unusually corrupt but because I was too much of a ditz to understand the value of taking responsibility for all my actions. In that area of my life as in so many others, I didn't feel I owed much of anything to anybody else, and I pretty much did whatever pleased me most at the time. Over time I've decided I was completely deluded, and that I was drifting along with an equally deluded societal fashion to the effect that people can make a good life for themselves and others by keeping their sexual contacts transient and superficial. I finally became exasperated by the constant parade of people stuck in horrible situations for themselves and their hapless children, all bemoaning what they saw as a harsh fate that they could never have predicted, even though it was the perfectly natural and likely result of their own behavior.

I'm not totally committed to the superiority of monogamy or even heterosexuality, or any other specific sexual arrangements of civilization. I've just lost all patience with the notion that people can do what they like sexually without being prepared to deal with the human obligations that result. As I grow old, I have less patience with the spectacle of each new generation's arriving with fresh confidence that it can throw off the inconvenient chains of culture and tradition, to replace them with nothing better than becoming the slaves of impulse. It doesn't help at all that I was the same kind of idiot in youth.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 13, 2010 01:33 PM

Raging hormones. I hear you. :)

Posted by: Cricket at May 13, 2010 01:59 PM

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