Wednesday, January 30, 2013

He's a fashionista





We're going to have to deal with something first.  Women in America are under enough assault.  If you have a problem with a woman, call her out. If you're making blanket statements attacking women -- large swaths of unnamed women -- you need to stop calling yourself a feminist.  You're not a feminist.  You're a pain in the ass -- I'm referring to Zillah Eisenstein, you're a Marxist, you're a woman who needs to learn how to use brush on that ratty hair (or is grooming not important at Ithaca College), but you're not a feminist.

Cindy Sheehan shared her opinion on the change regarding combat and allowing US women into combat and did so without insulting women.  For Cindy, instead of including women in combat, she felt the world would be better served by having men banned from combat as well and ending wars.  That is a feminist view.  We were happy to include it.

But not everyone has Cindy heart and the result is that a lot of women are getting pissed off because they're being insulted.  I understand the feeling and you can include me on that list.  This topic is currently the number one issue today in the e-mails to this site according to Martha and Shirley who informed me last night that it was also the number one topic yesterday.   You may or may not choose to join the military.  If you do, you may or may not choose to go for combat.  These are choices.  And women can be make any choice they want.

Zillah Eisenstein's assault at Al Jazeera is only the latest thing angering women.  She feels the need to refer to Iraq War veteran Jessica Lynch as "the now famous blond."  Excuse me?  What the hell does Jessica Lynch's hair color have to do with one damn thing?  Oh, yeah, we get the coded language you're trying to speak in Zillah.  (And your hatred for the pretty girl, yeah, we get that too.)  She makes other insane comments. "The pay" is not "about equal between Wal-Mart and the military" and that's an offensive statement.  Wal-Mart has a pledge to hire vets.  I've been asked why we're not applauding that.  Wal-Mart screws over people regularly, they underpay and they also have a real problem of requiring people to work off the clock.  A job at Wal-Mart is better than a job no where but I'm not going to praise it. Equally true, if you join the military, you've got health care.  If you're married to a member of the opposite sex (and hopefully this will shortly be true if you're married to a member of the same sex), they have health care coverage.  If you honorably discharge or retire from the service, you've got the VA for health care.  Do not pretend that Wal-Mart and the military are "about equal" in terms of pay.  That's disgusting.  And you would think a Marxist would go out of her way to avoid making such an idiotic statement.

Zillah wants you not to "confuse the presence of females, especially in combat, with gender 'equality'."  No problem, Zillah.  I see Al Jazeera offering token American women as columnists.  I never mistake these women for feminists. Including Zillah. 

Throughout time and history, women have shown various sides and carried out various roles.  But Zillah wants you to be 'dainty.'  If you want combat, there's something wrong with you and you're not a woman or you're a woman who loves drones or whatever else garbage Zillah's tossing out in her badly written article that goes to how academic 'feminists' really need to learn to write for the masses when they're writing columns for the people. Amazons are a part of Greek mythology.  That's Hippolyta and her sister Penthesilea.  So in 7th century BC, women fighters could be envisioned but it's somehow unknown to Zillah?

Women can be whatever they want to be and should be.  We don't question a man's identity because he wants to go into combat, nor should we question a woman's identity.

Right now, women veterans and women service members are watching as various men attack them and insist that they couldn't handle combat.  At the same time, do we really need Zillah and her kindred also attacking women and suggesting there's something wrong with them if they want to take part in combat?

I don't think so.  Equally true, we're talking about different genders, not different species.  This nonsense has to stop.

You want to call out women?  There are plenty worth calling out.  Choose a name and have at it.  But don't insult a group of women and think you're a feminist because you're not.  Don't degrade their dreams and desires because your own are different.  That's not feminism.  What Zillah practicies does have a name: Know-it-all-ism. 

By contrast, Laura Browder (Time magazine) listens to women:
As I talked to more than 50 women who have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan—or both—I was struck by how determined many of these women were to serve their country on the battlefield. Army Staff Sergeant Jamie Rogers told me, “As a soldier, it’s something that you always want to do. For myself, I felt it was my obligation and that’s what I had been training for all these years, to do my job in combat. And I was very honored. I got to lead soldiers in combat, and I proved to myself that all this training was worthwhile.”
Rogers, who was in the military police, was out on patrol 12 hours of every 24. As she said of the experience, “It’s very life-changing.” While civilians may still see women in the military as being marginal, no female soldier I ever talked to saw herself as anything less than a military professional on par with her male comrades in arms.
As one West Point graduate explained to me, it felt as though she had been reading technical manuals on how to ride a bicycle—but to really be a soldier, she had to get on the bike itself. I heard variations of this sentiment from many women. And of course, many of the women I talked to did serve as explosives-sniffing dog handlers, military police whose jobs involved busting down doors and conducting house-to-house searches, and convoy gunners like Bumgarner.

Still on the military, he wants to shake hands with Blake Shelton and he's looking forward to the day he can drive again.  Those were two of the answers Iraq War veteran Brendan Marrocco gave today at a Johns Hopkins Hospital news conference in Baltimore Maryland today.  An April 12, 2009 bombing left him a quadruple amputee.  Yesterday, came news that last month Brendan received a double-arm transplant.  Today he participated in a news conference wearing a "Keep Calm and Chive On" t-shirt.

Brendan Marrocco:  I hated not having arms.  I was alright with not having legs. Not having arms takes so much away from you, even your personality. You know, you talk with your hands, you do everything with your hands basically, and when you don't have that, you're kind of lost for awhile.

About his donor, Brendan Marrocco declared,  "I don't know too much about the donor, but I would like to thank them.  I'm humbled.  They've changed my life."  Christina Lopez and Matthew Larotonda (ABC News) report on the news conference here. CBS News covers the news conference here and Linda Carroll (NBC News) covers it here.  (Quote and answers are from the conference.  A friend was supposed to have help covering the news conference.  He did not.  So while he got images, he left the phone line open and I took notes for him.  I heard the conference, I was not present.)

Brendan Marrocco:  You know I never really gave up on too much that really mattered to me.  If I didn't care, I gave up in a second but if I truly cared about it in my heart, uh, if it really meant something to me, I would go through hell to do it so that's basically what I'm doing now.

Today Wladimir van Wilgenburg (Rudaw) observes, "The British government remains reluctant to recognize the 1988 gassing of thousands of Iraqi Kurds by Saddam Hussein as genocide, saying it is waiting for an international judicial body to make sure a declaration first."  That's not the only thing the British government is struggling to deal with.  Sky News explains,  "Scores of lawyers representing Iraqis are going to the High Court seeking an 'independent' public inquiry into allegations that British interrogators were guilty of the systemic abuse of civilians in Iraq."  ITV notes that Public Interest Lawyers' Phil Shiner is representing 192 Iraqis.  So what was taking place at the High Court today?  Al Bawaba explains that arguments were being delivered as to "whether a previous inquiry run by the British Ministry of Defence was robust enough and sufficiently independent, as well as if mistreatment was systematic. The case is expected to last three days."

That'll be much shorter than the days spent behind bars in Iraq for a  Le Monde journalist.  As we noted this morning, Nadir  Dendoune, who holds dual Algerian and Australian citizenship was covering Iraq for the fabled French newspaper Le Monde's monthly magazine.  His assignment was to document Iraq 10 years after the start of the Iraq War.   Alsumaria explains the journalist was grabbed by authorities in Baghdad last week for the 'crime' of taking pictures.  (Nouri has imposed a required permit, issued by his government, to 'report' in Iraq.)  All Iraq News adds the journalist has been imprisoned for over a week now without charges.

The 'crime' of taking pictures?  You may remember Nouri immediately launched a war on the press in the summer of 2006.  Let's drop back to the October 2, 2006 snapshot:

Operation Happy Talkers are on the move and telling you that Nouri al-Maliki offers a 'four-point' peace plan.  You may have trouble reading of the 'four-point' plan because the third point isn't about "peace" or "democracy" so reports tend to ignore it. The first step has already been (rightly) dismissed by Andrew North (BBC) of the "local security committees": "In fact, most neighourhoods of Baghdad set up their own local security bodies some time ago to protect themselves -- because they do not trust the authorities to look after them."  AP reports that the Iraqi parliament voted in favor of the 'peace' plan (reality title: "continued carnage plan").  Step three?  Let's drop back to the September 7th snapshot:
Switching to the issue of broadcasting, were they showing episodes of Barney Miller or NYPD Blue? Who knows but police pulled the plug on the satellite network al-Arabiya in Baghdad. CNN was told by a company official (Najib Ben Cherif) that the offices "is being shut for a month." AP is iffy on who gave the order but notes that Nouri al-Malike started making warnings/threats to television stations back in July. CNN reports: "A news alert on Iraqi State TV said the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the office closed for a month."
Ah, yes, the puppet's war with the press.  The so-called peace plan is more of the same.  The third 'plank' is about the media. Which is why the "brave" US media repeatedly cites the first two and stays silent while a free media (something a democracy is dependent upon) walks the plank.
It's disgusting and shameful, the third 'plank.'  The whole 'plan' is a joke.  Reuters is one of the few to go beyond the first two 'steps' but even it does a really poor job and those over coverage of Iraq in the mainstream (producers to suits) are very concerned about this.  (So why don't they report it?)  The "plan" isn't a plan for peace, it's a plan for the puppet to attempt to save his own ass for a few more months. Lee Keath (AP) is only one of many ignoring the third step (possibly AP thinks readers are unable to count to four?) but does note that al-Maliki took office last May with a 24-point plan that, to this day, "has done little to stem the daily killings."  Nor will this so-called 'peace plan.'  The US military and the American "ambassador" have announced  that Nouri al-Maliki better show some results ('after all we've paid' going unspoken). 

To praise his plan back then, reporters had to ignore the third plank.  Fortunately for Nouri, western reporters have always been more than willing to cover for him despite -- or maybe because of -- his attacks on the press.  It's why they continue.  Mohammed Tawfeeq does real reporting for CNN out of Iraq.  Today he Tweets:

And, of course, there's  Aziz Ghazal Abbas, the Alsumaria journalist that the Iraqi military fired on in Falluja Friday.  That's when the Iraqi military opened fire on protesters killing 7 people and injuring at least sixty (including the Alsumaria journalist). 

RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
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