Archive for the ‘women’ Category

From Wilderness To Womanhood

This post is written by Karl’s 18 year old daughter, and it is beautifully written. She is intelligent, articulate, and witty. Weren’t we all at 18? *heh* Karl is very proud of his daughter, and I can see why. I have decided to use the end of her of post to share with you, but I recommend you go to Leaning Staight Up and read it from the beginning.


I have paid close attention to the reactions of Liberal Obama supporters when bloggers and such responded to the election with their own opinions. What I saw was a disgusting combination of oppression and childish insults hurled daringly at the poor person who didn’t support Obama. What I have seen is finger pointing, accusations of being nutty right-wings.

“You nutty right wingers can go gibber in the corner about stupid rumors like this; just get out of our way.” – Jftp (LSU Commentor)

What kind of American attitude is that? What happened to our country’s firm beliefs in escaping persecution, in allowing ourselves to believe in something different? What will these next four years do to us? Will we be further banned from expression our religion, our politics, our views, everything, for fear of ‘insulting’ someone or ‘offending’ someone? Will we be so forced to be open-minded that we are forced to quell any form of personality we had left?

I am a young woman, with a higher then normal intellect. I participate in musical activities, and am proficient in the viola and violin, as well as the piano when I put my mind to it. I play video games, and I openly admit to my World of Warcraft love. I am of a minority religion that I fear to speak of on a daily basis because of the way people have reacted in the past. I do not judge others by their skin or the way they speak. I love theatre and worked on the stage as an actress and as a technical worker. I sketch and draw, and I am currently working on a book series that I hope to someday have published. I have been working at my job for over a year, and already, I am being nominated for one of the national workers who have done beyond-outstanding in their and other work centers. I have two piercings in my ears, and love dressing up punkish and gothic for a good concert. I go to the mall and laugh and shop with my friends. I kiss my boyfriend and hold hands with him. I’m not shy of swearing. I accept other people’s religions, and at least one-third of my friends are gay, lesbian, or at least bisexual. I hold myself to a moral code that would make my grandparents proud. I’m patient with those I have to teach, and willingly offer to help those around me, whether at work, at home, or at play. I wear glasses, and I read paperbacks and hardbacks that are thicker then my forearm, especially David Eddings and Robert Jordan.

I am no different then any other person out there. In fact, I’m probably quite better then many people out there.

So then, readers of LSU…

Why do I feel so oppressed by whats to come?

Once more… I am an eighteen year old young woman who looks upon those around her, her peers and those who are older, and shakes her head in disgust… and sorrow at what consumes these people’s minds.


Well done, young lady. Welcome to adulthood. I know it doesn’t appear to be all you may have expected right now, but it can be anything you make it. There is nothing that can stand in your way unless you allow it to do so. God bless your journey.

Ah, I almost forgot to explain the title. From Wilderness…We all remember High School, yes? Those awkward years, the hormone changes, the uncertainty, the new challenges, and everything that got us into trouble or at least tried? Ah, yes. The good old days! NOT! lol. Then at that magic age of 18 we are all of a sudden adults. Why was I not an adult yesterday again, the day before my birthday? I will never get an answer that is acceptable to me to that question, so I will just carry on from here. One more of those adult answers that a 17 year old will never understand…lol.

Everyone, have a nice day.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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The Drudge Report had posted the fact that Oprah is refusing to Sarah on her program, so Oprah sent out her typical backstepping (backstabbing) response. I hope Sarah refuses her invitation AFTER she is Vice President!

OPRAH’S STATEMENT: “The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue. There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of this Presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.”

[Picture of Obama and Oprah on her show. I do not want it on my site.]

Fri Sep 05 2008 08:55:46 ET

Oprah Winfrey may have introduced Democrat Barack Obama to the women of America — but the talkshow queen is not rushing to embrace the first woman on a Republican presidential ticket!

Oprah’s staff is sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin, sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

“Half of her staff really wants Sarah Palin on,” an insider explains. “Oprah’s website is getting tons of requests to put her on, but Oprah and a couple of her top people are adamantly against it because of Obama.”

One executive close to Winfrey is warning any Palin ban could ignite a dramatic backlash!

It is not clear if Oprah has softened her position after watching Palin’s historic convention speech.

Last year, Winfrey blocked an appearance by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, timed to a promotional tour of his autobiography.

Oprah and executive producer Sheri Salata, who has contributed thousands of dollars to Obama’s campaign, refused requests for comment.


Source: The Drudge Report.

Is this a crock or what? Let’s look into this deeper by going over to HotAir.

How will that audience react to a freeze-out of Palin? Many want to see Palin speak to their issues, and might assume that the most successful woman in American entertainment would welcome the opportunity to make that introduction. Instead of making a business decision to do so, though, Winfrey has apparently made a political calculation that Palin will outshine the man she supports for President. [Read more.]

I am comfortable in declaring that this just about sums it up.

Oprah, if you do not give the EQUAL TIME to Sarah Palin that you gave to your candidate, you will be reduced to a political hack. I thought you were better than that, and I am very disappointed. You can count on me never watching your show again. Farewell.

Update: Mike Sandleburg has provided me with a link to Get Sarah Palin On Oprah. You can go to this site and vote to show Oprah that there are many people out here that are disgusted by this blatent lack of fairness. What is she afraid of? That Sarah will steal the stage? Well…d’uh! 😉

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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by Sgt. David Turner
American Forces Press Service

FOB KALSU (June 18, 2008) — For school children in the southern Baghdad area, getting an education has become a difficult and even dangerous prospect in recent years. In some cases, supplies were short and facilities were in disrepair. Sometimes the teachers weren’t there. In a few cases, the schools themselves were all but gone. The area where the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team arrived in June 2007 had long been an insurgent stronghold, with many villages controlled by al-Qaida terrorists who kept children, especially girls, from attending school. With no coalition or Iraqi security forces presence, local schools suffered the same fate as many farms and businesses in the area. They were looted and damaged, and even became battlegrounds.

“About two years ago, the Ministry of Education ordered all of the teachers out of the rural areas because the security situation was so bad,” said Army Capt. Trista Mustaine, education advisor to the Baghdad 7 embedded provincial reconstruction team, which works with 2nd BCT soldiers to rebuild the local infrastructure and economy. The area is now more secure than it has been in years, with Iraqi soldiers and police establishing a presence and preparing to hold gains made by 2nd BCT, which is scheduled to redeploy in July.

In addition to repairing critical infrastructure and breathing new life into the damaged economy, the 2nd BCT and Baghdad 7 embedded PRT have spent millions to keep schools open and make it possible for children to pursue an education. With the school year now over for children in the area, it’s a chance for workers to complete renovations and building projects throughout the 2nd BCT’s area of operation. Although reconstruction costs largely have been provided by coalition forces up to now, the Iraqi government is taking up the task and helping get local schools repaired and reopened before the next school year begins.

As he and his soldiers near redeployment in July, Army Capt. Richard Aaron, commander of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery, feels good about the work they have done. “We’ve made a huge impact on the community with the school, and with other projects we’ve done,” he said.

Now that the area is safe again and schools are getting the attention they need, the Iraqi government is ready to re-invest in a more significant way.”As of about a month ago, the Ministry of Education has ordered the teachers to return to their rural schools,” Mustaine said. Thanks to gains made by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, she said, government officials can work freely in the area to make sure their schools have what they need to teach the children. “Our goal is to provide accessible education for everyone. We have started the ball rolling, and the [Iraqi government] will keep it going in the future,” she said.

Children at Menahay Primary School in southern Baghdad pose for a photo. When al-Qaida operatives destroyed their school, students took classes in a nearby five-room private home until their school could be rebuilt. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Luis Delgadillo).

Source: CENTCOM.

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by Kevin Stabinsky
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

ARAB JABOUR, Iraq (June 10, 2008) – She wears a head scarf and long robe covering her from shoulder to toe; only her hands and face are visible. Yet despite her traditional clothing, Maha Aziz Abass Al-Jabouri is working hard to cast aside the stereotypical role of women in the Arab Jabour region. Abass, a language teacher at the al-Hamza School, is one of several women in the village of Alemia who work to empower women in the area. “Before, our future was farming. Now we want jobs like the women in the city,” Abass said.

As the Rasheed Women’s Council representative from Alemia, Abass is striving to realize that dream. Establishing the women’s council was one of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division’s most important accomplishments in the area, said 1st Lt. Charles Staab, from Novi, Mich. Staab, a platoon leader in Company A, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, said starting the council was a remarkable achievement, marking something women had never done there before. “The importance lies in being a part of what’s happening,” he said. “They can either watch what is happening or be a part of it, and they are choosing to be a part.”

Through involvement in the council, these women are getting the Iraqi government to work to provide a better life for them. The improved security infrastructure in the area has provided the Iraqi government with a stronger foothold into helping its people.

“Before, when the bad guys were here, the government would not help. Now (the government is) giving money to make the area better,” Abass said. Abass, like many women in the area, was widowed because of insurgent violence, her husband killed by al-Qaida terrorists, leaving her to raise her three sons and two daughters alone. Now, new opportunities are available, giving hope to Abass and others like her.

Businesses catering to women are opening up, thanks to a combination of funding from coalition forces and the government of Iraq. A women’s sewing shop has already opened in Alemia. Abass hopes the Iraqi government will continue to support women’s initiatives and create more opportunities. In her opinion, training in both health care and literacy are needed. “I want my kids to get a better education,” Abass said. “I hope my daughters go to college and become engineers like their aunt.”

Her sister, Suha Azit, a computer engineer, is also doing her part to empower women in the area. In addition to her regular job, Azit has opened up her own business, with the help of a grant from the Iraqi government. Azit said she has always had an interest in fashion. She is hoping to turn this interest into income through a beauty shop she opened two weeks ago. “At age eight I was watching other women being made beautiful and fell in love with the idea,” Azit said of her inspiration to open the shop. Her shop offers women the latest makeup, hair styles and fashions from catalogs. Just as she once worked as an apprentice at a beauty shop, Azit is now employing another woman to learn the trade. In the mornings, when Azit is working as an engineer, her apprentice takes care of the shop.

“The new kinds of work women are doing in Arab Jabour sends a message that women are valuable members of the community with much to contribute,” Staab said. Empowering women also sends a strong message to al-Qaida members who once operated in the area. “Women moving independently from their homes into the work force and also meeting openly … is showing their defiance toward al-Qaida, and shows their independence in this nation,” Staab said.

A woman in the Alemia sewing shop works on a sewing machine to create a new garment. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky).

Source: CENTCOM.

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Today’s Wednesday Hero is a young lady whose life was changed forever on that September 12, 2006, night in Iraq. Her convoy of 17, she was driving in the lead, was somewhere in the quiet of an Iraqi night. Suddenly they were under ambush in all directions, and her truck took the brunt of an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) – the most dangerous kind of improvised explosive device.

After realizing her Commanding Officer, Lt. Emily Perez, was killed in the blast, she realized it was up to her to take charge. She quickly turned to the gunner who had first pulled her from the truck, Specialist Truesdell, to rescue their translator from inside the Humvee. Shortly after they rescued him through the flames, the ammunition caught fire and started firing in every which direction.

She started applying life-saving first aid on this man, and when back-up came, she continued her work. When the back-up did arrive, then Corporal Johnson refused medical attention until everyone else attended to, and she also helped in this area. She had received shrapnel and burns from the VFP.

While they were out there alone, Specialist Truesdell stood fighting the terrorists that were still threatening them. They had only one gun, and as you know, the other ammo had already gone off in the fire.

This was a turning point for then-Colornal Johnson. She discovered something deep within her. She had found her calling. She extended her deployment to become to a full fledged Army Medic! For her actions that day, she earned a Purple Heart and the Army’s Commendation Medal with “V”.

I thank God everyday for special people such as Sgt. Crystal C. Johnson. What an Honor it is to have people like her in our midst.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives
so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
For that, I am proud to call them Hero

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Here is some more information:

Hometown: Glendale, CA
Awarded: Army Commendation Medal
External Links: Sgt. Crystal Johnson – Remembers Lt. Emily Perez.
Download this hero’s story: Right click and “Save Target As…” to download.

You may also hear her interview on The Martha Zoller Show.

Posts I’ve trackposted to at Linkfest and other sites:

The Amboy Times: Barak Obama Sr: “Problems Facing Our Socialism”.
third world county: A Primer on Global Warming.
Dumb Ox Daily News: She’s Not Go-o-o-one Yet!
Adam’s Blog: Karate Kid Quote For Wednesday.
Right Voices: Is It The Democratic Delegates Or The Battleground States That Win General Elections.
Thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.
Tel-Chai Nation: Obama’s payroll includes Nation of Islam members.

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1. Wolf Pangloss: Kerry, Obama, KO: Second Verse, Same as the First.
See-Dubya has a terrific video comparison between John Kerry and Barack Obama with a great Shirley Bassey sound-track behind it. Not as dynamite as the Goldfinger theme, but better than any Bond theme since Diamonds are Forever. The combo is reeeeeal n…
2. Wolf Pangloss: Algerian Government Persecutes Christians and ex-Muslims.
Habiba Kouider used to be a Muslim. Then she converted to Christianity and was baptized. Recently she was pulled off a bus by police who interrogated her in public, rifled through her purse, examining her bibles and other literature, and even performed…

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by Lance Cpl. Robert Medina
1st Marine Logistics Group

FALLUJAH, Iraq (May 8, 2008) – Marines on a female search team and Iraqi women with the “Sisters of Fallujah” program have been working together at an entry control point here to help make the city of Fallujah a safer place. The program was formed because females were needed to search other females. In Islamic tradition, a man touching a woman who is not his wife is considered offensive. Just like Iraqi security forces that have been assuming more responsibilities, Iraqi women are striving to do the same with the help of Marine FSTs.

“(The Sisters of Fallujah) are our eyes and ears inside the booth, where we cannot go,” said Sgt. William A. Lamascus, sergeant of the guard of ECP-1. “It helps to have them here because when they find things, they bring it to our attention.”

Sisters of Fallujah came together in December 2007, to help stop the smuggling of contraband into the city. In the past, women and children have been used to transport forbidden items that can be used to make improvised explosive devices, as well as other items that are not allowed into the city for the safety of the citizens who live there. “I wanted to help the people be safe in their own city,” said a Sister of Fallujah. “It is our job to put forth the effort to stop bad people from bringing in contraband,” she said after being with the group for four months. Some days are busier than others. “Today is Otlah, a holiday for Iraqi people or the weekend,” said another Sister. “Today, we searched a little more than 2,000 people at this checkpoint.”

Marines help the Iraqi women on these busy days with the daunting task of searching all the women and children that go into the city. “We are out here to make sure that the searches are done correctly,” said Lance Cpl. Corina J. Hernandez, basic water support technician and FST member with Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “They do a really good job and they care about what they do.”

The Sisters of Fallujah risk their own lives each day, as well as their families’, to help fight terrorism. “They are more concerned about other people’s safety than their own,” said Hernandez, from Dededo, Guam.

“Before, we did all the searching ourselves,” said Cpl. Rebekah D. Hall, combat engineer and FST member with CLB-1, 1st MLG. “Now, we work together and supervise the search techniques that have been taught to the Sisters of Fallujah.” Hall, from San Diego, said being a part of the FST gives her a sense of accomplishment here in Fallujah. She added that the female Marines also provided security for the Sisters of Fallujah. “This is how we can help out the infantry guys,” said Hall.

For Lance Cpl. Amanda M. Molina, basic water support technician and FST member with CLB-1, 1st MLG, this was her first time working with the Sisters of Fallujah. “It was interesting to see a different culture,” said Molina, from Fullerton, Calif. “I feel like I am needed. It was a good experience to be able to work with the Sisters of Fallujah.”

Cpl. Rebekah D. Hall and a member of the Sisters of Fallujah search handbags for contraband at an entry control point. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Robert Medina).

Source: CENTCOM.

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by Sgt. David Turner
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

FOB KALSU (May 7, 2008) — Representatives from four local women’s committees in the Rasheed Nahia met in Mahmudiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad, May 5. Among those attending the gathering were Soldiers of Multi-National Division – Center and the U.S. State Department’s embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team Baghdad-7, who helped organize the committees. Women’s issues are nothing new to the Government of Iraq, and now, after years of turmoil and the rebuilding of the nation’s institutions, the committees have provided many women a support channel, said Capt. Trista Mustaine, ePRT women’s assistance group leader. “It’s trying to build connectivity that’s been severed,” she said.

A key goal for the meeting was to introduce committee members to one another, as well as link them to their representatives in the nahia and other organizations. Representatives of the Iraqi Ministy of Labor and Social Affairs and the Red [Cross] Crescent attended the meeting. Mustaine, from Bradenton, Fla., said getting women involved in government and giving them better economic opportunities fosters stabilization and a return to normalcy.

One of the ways ePRT achieves this is with microgrants, up to $2,500 per person, to help women start businesses. Those businesses include anything from internet cafes to agriculture, but sewing cooperatives have been the most popular. These co-ops provide major employment opportunities in their neighborhoods, giving women the means to buy materials and sell their goods collectively. Sewing co-ops, in turn, provide revenue for the women’s committees, Mustaine said.

Chairwomen from the four committees addressed several issues at the meeting, but the foremost topics included the need for grass-roots level assistance from Coalition forces and the needs of widows and orphans. Zaytoon Hussain Mraad, from Adwaniyah, showed a placard with pictures of more than 30 children in her village orphaned by recent violence. Fifteen of the children, all from Shiite families in Sunni majority region, lost both parents to criminal activity and sectarian violence.

Not the Americans? Hmm. How interesting. Why doesn’t our news media tell us this when they report how many Iraqis have died? You know why, but I shall remain quiet…here.

Aieda Hassan Aziz, chairman of the Busayefi women’s committee, said her husband was kidnapped months ago and she doesn’t know where he is. Insurgents also stole her livestock, depriving her of an income. There are 62 widows in her town and even more orphans, she said. Education, she said, was what citizens in her village need most.

The chairwoman from the Hawr Rajab women’s committee, Manal Najeeb Mahmood, offered some words of strength and hope. “Al-Qaeda in Iraq killed, kidnapped and destroyed. We stood strong with the help of Coalition forces, Iraqi Army and the local councils. We’re here to stay,” she said. Mahmood said that profits from her women’s committee’s sewing co-op would go to help the 215 widows and numerous orphans of her town.

Doctor Maha al-Hadithy, a Red [Cross] Crescent representative, said assistance from Coalition forces was welcomed, but much more could be done on the local level. In the beginning, money spent on programs at the national level failed to reach them, she said. Another big issue, al-Hadithy said, was the rise in divorces among religiously-mixed couples in her country. Sectarian strife has torn families apart, and legal assistance may help put them back together again. Al-Hadithy struck a positive tone in her remarks, however, saying that women’s committees have nothing to do with religion or tribal loyalties. Only the improved lives of Iraq’s women matter, she said.

Mustaine was pleased to see representatives come together, belonging to committees she and others helped form. “I think it’s definitely been a success,” she said. “The most productive stuff has nothing to do with the money we’ve spent. It’s primarily relationship building. That’s key, because that’s the only thing that’s going to be sustaining after we leave.”

Source: CENTCOM.

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