Friday, June 27, 2008

send a care package...to Qatar?

my mom came home from work yesterday and rushed into my room..."Katie, my bosses son is stationed overseas and they need powdered drink mix. apparently someone lost their contract and they can't get gatorade anymore" of course, i responded with, "yeah sure mom...where is he?" she holds up this nicely printed "please help the soldiers stationed in the middle east" hand out and says Qatar. hahahaha. i almost pissed myself. she was confused by my reaction when i told her, "yeah fucking right, that kid is living better then me!" she thought i was being mean and cold hearted until i explained their conditions over there and reminded her i took my r&r there. everyone practically has their own SUV, they wear polo shirts to work, work like 12-4, sunbath on the weekends, probably hit up the mall and drink shitty beer, and cart around Soldiers taking their three or four day break from the real war in Iraq. AND this kid is in the Air Force. in fact, i might ask him to send me something or book me a vacation. care package to Qatar? yeah right. unless they start dodging mortar rounds, IEDS, car bombs, and carry around M16s...i'll send a care package to the Soldiers who actually need them in Iraq and Afghanistan.

now i'm going swimming.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Women Of The Military...TRAILER!

as previously posted I am working on documentary about women in the military. here is a trailer...please feel free to post it, link it on your blog or website. also if you'd like to be a part of this please contact me. we are looking for females from all branches with different opinions...you don't necessarily need to be a veteran. we plan to shoot more in August...around the New York, Washington DC area and possibly California. (if you're not from these areas but are interested, please email me...maybe we can work something out).


so say hello America, to the women next-door!
video

fair and balanced education?

so tonight was my first night of my journalism class...i'm taking Information Strategies for Journalists at UAlbany. i showed up half an hour early (at least thats what i thought) because i hate being late, ran into some nano-tech nerds that were cradling a robot...i always hate walking into a classroom full of people and being stared at. anyways, long story short...of course i got lost. the campus is huge and i don't know my way around yet. finally found my way to the building, some lady helped me and this other kid find the class...turns out it started at 6, not 630. i mumbled to myself that i was pissed i was late and the other lost guy said, "hey don't worry we still have 3 hours left of class." maybe he had a point. my professor was out of town, so my advisor was sitting in. we've become great friends...i'm at his office a lot and calling with questions all the time. (he's either excited i'm so into school or secretly hates me for calling him so much). so i get the syllabus. moment of truth. flip through it real fast. come back to the first page. week one: "read Rich Feynmann excerpt, The Meaning of it All; and Howard Zinn excerpts from A Power Governments Cannot Suppress; also read clipping from WashingtonPost.com, "Ex-Press Aide Writes That Bush Misled U.S. on Iraq..." 20 minutes into class, the first page...i already know what i'm getting myself into. and Howard Zinn? i read Zinn. i know how the story goes.
don't get my wrong, i have absolutely no problem with getting into these things because i can come at this from both sides...and i'm excited and i can't wait to cause a ruckus in class. the point is, the other students. who knows what they've experienced, read, etc...so is this going to be a fair and balanced education?

another topic: this professor really seems to be into blogs. week two: "should we care that traditional journalism dies? why? what are the advantages and disadvantages of the blogosphere over newspapers?" she also has a few blogs (www.mystorylives.blogspot.com) and has a Huffington Post page... www.huffingtonpost.com/claudia-ricci/
she also recommends...Salon and a shitty Albany newspaper and its boring blogs.


anyways...here is a little blurb about my professor from her Huffington Post page...
"Claudia Ricci, Ph.D., teaches Journalism, English and creative writing at the University at Albany, SUNY, through the University's Educational Opportunities Program. A former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, Ricci published her first novel, Dreaming Maples in 2002 after it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. (available on Amazon.com). Her short fiction has been published widely. She edits a community writing space at MyStoryLives.blogspot.com."

well i’m completely excited to learn! lets see how this class goes!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Women Of The Military.

say hello to ten intelligent, amazing, women who are serving or have served in the military or have dedicated their time to make female soldiers voices heard. some have went to Iraq, some have spent years traveling around the world, some have paved the way for other females...we have all given years of our life to be apart of something bigger than ourselves...now its your turn to pay attention.


video


**this is a work in progress...interested in being apart of it? please email me: arita8x8@yahoo.com
**also your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

i'll cook and you kill.

read this.


Co-Ed Combat on William F. Buckley’s Firing Line Team
3/3/2008 10:14:00 AM

-- by Elaine Donnelly

In March 1993 I was honored to be on a Firing Line debating team captained by William F. Buckley, Jr. Together with author David Horowitz and Marine Col. John Ripley, a distinguished veteran of Vietnam, we dueled for two hours against liberal Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder and three others. The issue in question was “Resolved: Women in the Military Should be Excluded from Combat.”

The program was taped before an audience at George Washington University, and the format was a challenge. Each person made an opening statement, followed by several rounds of questions to and from members of the opposing team. Buckley’s insightful opening statement described the reluctance of the military service academies to host the debate:

“Mr. Chairman, colleagues, benighted adversaries, ladies and gentlemen….the intimidating forces of modern feminism have got not only mere congressmen and senators wilting on the question before the house, they have intimidated the Pentagon, or at least recent rulers of the Pentagon. You should know, Mr. Chairman, that without intending anything less than high respect, indeed devotion, for the present audience, when it occurred to us that current political surrealism required that we ventilate the possibility of women doing combat duty, I thought it most natural that the case should be argued before the body of cadets in West Point. The proposal was made to the academy and the idea vetoed by a lady colonel on behalf of the Pentagon.

“We thereupon issued the identical invitation to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, which happily accepted the idea of acting as host for us, but then the Pentagon heard about it, moved in, vetoed. ‘Too controversial,’ we were told. A few days later, by chance "I happened on Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney at a social affair, and I told him that after all, war was also pretty controversial, and he whispered to me that he would see what he could do about getting the Air Force Academy for us. That turned out to be more than he could do, because he never got back to us, though I must put it on the record that an official of the Air Force Academy telephoned as recently as yesterday insisting that we could take our show to his academy and he would guarantee us safe passage. [laughter]

“Whether the colonel who called us has a career ahead of him, I do not know. [laughter] Most likely he is scheduled to retire tomorrow and was ready to go down in polemical flames. [laughter] We don't know, as I say, but reading the record of recent controversies touching on the wider question and learning of the fate of several senior naval officials who were accused of gentle revelry at the expense of Congresswoman Schroeder and were promptly shown the door to Devil's Island makes it plain that not only in the minds of the trendy opinion movers, the question posed tonight is already answered--yes, women may serve in combat duty--but that a correlative point has also been made, namely that anyone who disagrees with this position is backward, uncommitted to equal rights, something of a male chauvinist, a Tailhook type. And to the extent that he does not believe in gender equality, he or she is an undeveloped, metaphysical fetus. And of course, we all know what we do with unwelcome fetuses. [laughter]

In minutes, Buckley summarized a host of arguments similar to those documented by the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces—a fifteen-member congressionally-established panel on which Kate O’Beirne and I had served:

“There are several levels, Mr. Chairman, at which we examine the question. All three are, in my judgment, dispositive, but the last is the most dispositive of them all. The first point is utilitarian: Given that combat duty exacts the most that the human body can deliver, does it make sense to admit to combat duty a gender whose members are physically weaker than males?

“The second point is sociological: In combat conditions, is it realistic to suppose that traditional deferences to sexual identity and derivative customs relating to privacy can simply be ignored? Isn't it likelier that any such assumption is an invitation to distractions which in tight and anxious military situations could prove lethal?

“And finally, third, are we not, in suggesting that the male predisposition to protect the female should be ignored, sticking our meddling little fingers into the chemistry of biological relationships from which much that is concededly civilized issues? For instance, the call to protect the hearth, to honor the mother and care for the child, to shoulder that burden that corresponds with the incremental capacity of the male to carry greater physical burden, even as the woman bears so many burdens distinctive to her own sex? We plant our flag on a sound tradition, ladies and gentlemen, and warn our dogged adversaries that whatever sophistries they hurl up against it, that flag will continue, bruised but proud, to stand high over the madding crowd. [applause]

Col. John Ripley, in his opening statement, defined combat as a verb, not a noun: “The word itself, ‘to combat,’ suggests that you must take the fight to the enemy. You must in fact destroy the enemy...Combat is not simply being in a risk environment.” This definition remains key to an understanding of this ongoing debate, particularly when physical standards are gender-normed to treat “equal effort” as the same as “equal results.”

Ira Glasser, then-Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), questioned Buckley on the issue of physical strength. Seeing the debate as a matter of equal opportunity, Glasser admonished Buckley for wanting to ban the one Canadian woman out of 102 who successfully completed infantry training in 1989. (In that year Canada’s Human Rights Tribunal repealed all of women’s combat exemptions to advance equal opportunity, not military necessity.)

Buckley defended policies affecting whole classes of people. “I can find you a 13 year-old,” he said, “who is brighter than a lot of 18 year-olds. But she can’t vote.” Noting that the Constitution also specifies ages of eligibility to run for Congress and the presidency, he argued that sound categorical rules should not be repealed just because some individuals are denied. When Glasser tried to argue that issues of eligibility should be decided on individual qualifications, Buckley countered, “Shall we go in quest of the unrapeable woman?”

Buckley did not apologize for being a gentleman, saying: “I’m not at all ashamed of being a protective male.” A majority of presidential commissioners saw it the same way, realizing that deliberate exposure of women to combat violence in war would be tantamount to acceptance of violence against women in general. Commissioner O’Beirne framed the issue best, “Good men protect and defend women.” If more mothers taught their sons what it means to be a gentleman, cultural influences that encourage or condone violence against women would be less pervasive than they are today.

This edition of Firing Line, which people told me they remembered many years after it aired, was the last debate of its kind. Neither the House nor the Senate held hearings on the extensive findings and recommendations of the Presidential Commission.

Women have been serving courageously in major deployments since 9/11, but under conditions of risk far more difficult than their predecessors in the first Persian Gulf War. Many of the predictable problems highlighted in the Firing Line debate still remain. These include the reluctance of Congress and military officials to discuss and evaluate the consequences of unprecedented social change in the military, objectively, and from more than one point of view.

It was a privilege to participate in this co-ed combat of ideas. William F. Buckley, Jr. was a consummate gentleman who advocated respect for all women, and showed it by taking this issue seriously as a matter of culture as well as national defense.


thoughts?!

first look.

tonight i got my first look at video from all the interviews. the contrast of all the women is amazing and pretty interesting. i wish i could post a little something on here but i'm not allowed right now. maybe something a little further down the road.

i have received a few emails from other female vets interested in being apart of this which is great. keep them coming! arita8x8@yahoo.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

afghanistan...in the news?

i was at work and saw a map of afghanistan on the news! holy shit! of course, it was in regards to U.S. airstrike that killed Pakistani forces. the best part was, the news guy, showing a map of afghanistan inside a map of texas! and saying something to the affect of...afghanistan is small, its smaller than texas and its located here...AND showed little American flags all around the country where U.S. troops are...AND reminded America exactly why we invaded Afghanistan, September 11th. HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT. to be honest, i'm completely excited afghanistan was the news...i'm pretty sure 85% of Americans have forgotten we are still there. however, i feel bad for the Pakistani forces who were killed and thats what it took to get "the other war" on tv. on that note pakistan...hand over Osama...jesus christ.

so classic.

Monday, June 09, 2008

rupert everett...

talked out of his fucking ass during an interview and said some insane things regarding soldiers. "...They are always whining about the dangers of being killed. Oh my God, they are such wimps now!"
heres my question, why the hell does anyone...especially anyone in HOLLYWOOD, talk about things they've never experienced? this sorry excuse for a man is making corny movies like "my best friends wedding". give me a fucking break...everyday this guy gets make-up put on him, his toughest challenge is remembering a few lines, people fucking jerk him off telling him how great he is...and he has the audacity to talk about soldiers like this? fuck you rupert everett. i hope your 15-room mansion gets foreclosed on, you never work again, and go to Iraq to do some USO bs and you get hit with an RPG.

heres an article about it.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

catching up.

"if you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you want to do?"

"i'd be a wedding planner." (current occupation: teacher)

"i'd go to culinary school." (current occupation: teacher)

"i'd fly a black hawk and be a hired assassin." (current occupation: unknown)


*************************************************************************************

this weekend was my first drill back. mixed emotions. loved seeing some of my friends, meeting some new people and bullshitting. did a bunch of work. my commander pulled me into his office and made me explain "my project"..."well sir, its about women in the military, etc etc etc blah blah blah."..."hoit, i'll support you and allow filming at the unit if its done objectively, a balanced view, no miss leading questions, no propaganda." "thanks, sir...i'll keep you updated."

aka

thanks but no thanks.

i've been non-stop for over a week. working with someone, sharing ideas, getting really excited over things and bumping heads is exhilarating and excited and tiring. actually, has opened me up more. interviewed a bunch of girls in albany...everything was great. hilarious. crazy/perfect in their own way. friday night i was in harlem meeting with two army friends that i deployed with. of course they showed up late, did interviews, mostly hung out and told our war stories, watched one of the girls shake her ass, ate rice and beans, and promised to do it all again soon. we had to walk over piss to leave.
this project will continue for months and the "film maker" may be back in august sometime. hopefully, a little something will be cut soon and you all can see!...maybe bloppers? theres some really funny shit.

i know a kid, he was 21, a lot of my friends were friends with him. his passed away suddenly a few days ago. appreciate what you have. don't doubt it for a second. never look the other way for too long, it might not be there when you have time to get around to it. don't be so selfish. life doesn't care about your plan.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

no rest for the wicked!

i just got back from DC. my two days in DC have been nothing short of amazing...from meeting with the producer, the interviews (all three women brought something completely different to the table, all are extremely intelligent and powerful...we interviewed Brig Gen Vaught, LeEllen and Kayla Williams), just talking with the women, who i've met, what i've seen, walking around DC by myself for a few hours and taking photos...it's been a lot to take in and i'm so grateful for the experience. i have a bunch of pictures that i'll post (however, i use film (yeah yeah) and i have to get it developed) and tomorrow theres more work to do...well theres going to be lots of work until saturday! i'm exhausted and need to shower.

read what LeEllen has to say about her experience here!


OBAMA VS MCCAIN?!?! Clinton VP?! ohhhhh, the drama!