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January 31, 2008

Berkeley: Marines "Unwelcome, Uninvited Intruders"

medea.jpg The half vast editorial staff are delighted to announce that Day 2 of Berkeley, California's increasingly popular Swarming of the Moonbats (a fresh and funky local tourist attraction based on Pamplona, Spain's Running of the Bulls) is in full swing! Scores of brave moonbats are expected to hit the streets in noisy solidarity, determined to protect gullible American youth from the lying lies of The BusHitler and Dick Cheney's oil-grubbing capitalist cronies!

But more importantly, these courageous moonbats are doing the good citizens of Berkeley an important service by shielding them from the tiresome freedom of choice that comes with living in a pluralistic, democratic society! After all it can be so wearisome, having to read newspapers, listen to the alternatives, and evaluate the information provided before making a career choice. And what if one makes the wrong choice and decides to become a murdering traitor instead of a peace loving, responsible child of our Mother Gaia?

Nay, do not think of such an atrocity! It takes a village to raise a child.

Should the good people of Berkeley have to bear the oppressive weight of thinking for themselves! Not if the City Council has anything to say about it! Code Pink will relieve them of this odious burden. This is, after all, the true essence of "freedom" from fear:

Members of the Berkeley City Council showed their opposition to a Marine Corps recruiting office in Downtown Berkeley last night.

Council members supported the two resolutions-one supporting anti-war protests and the other criticizing military recruitment practices-citing opposition to the war in Iraq, deceptive recruitment practices and the right to protest.

"By taking a stand against recruitment we are protecting the health and safety of our youth," said PhoeBe sorgen, a member of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. "I see the protest as taking a proud and courageous stand."

Code Pink, a national anti-war grassroots organization, will be granted a parking spot for their regular Wednesday afternoon protests and will not need to apply for a sound permit for the next six months, under one resolution.

The other resolution more directly criticizes the presence of the center in Berkeley. The city manager was directed to send a letter to the U.S. Marine Corps saying they are "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" in the city.

In addition, the city attorney has been directed to investigate whether the city's anti-discrimination laws can be enforced at the center, based on the military's consideration of sexual orientation in hiring.

A bold and courageous stand indeed. The City Council will bravely show their utter condemnation of discrimination... by openly singling out the Marine Corps for discrimination and allowing city-sanctioned harassment intended to drive them from property they have rented. Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward comments:

"This whole thing strikes me as discriminatory against poor, middle class, people of color, both black and brown, who come out of the military more prosperous than when they went in," said Melanie Morgan, the chairwoman of Move America Forward, a grass-roots, pro-troops organization with more than a million members nationwide. Morgan also has a conservative talk show on KSFO.

"They are making it more difficult for these young people to succeed in society by denying them easy access to the military recruitment procedure," she said.

One such Marine was Sergeant Rafael Peralta, soon (if we are lucky) to be one of America's few Medal of Honor awardees. Sergeant Peralta's inspiring story has been covered here and here:

Sgt. Rafael Peralta didn't have to become a United States Marine. And he didn't have to go to war. That's just the kind of man he was.

He joined the Marine Corps the day after he received his green card. On the walls of his bedroom, there were only three items: the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate. You can see the mind of this hero in his letters he diligently wrote home to his younger brother and sister. Before he left America, he wrote his 14-year old brother Ricardo,

"be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American."

Ricardo and his sister would receive another letter from their brother:

"I was just doing my homework and there was a knock on the door," said Ricardo Peralta, 14. "The moment I saw them, I knew."

In his letter to Ricardo, Rafael said he was doing something he had always wanted to do. He asked Ricardo to be proud of him because the Marines were making history in Iraq.

Rafael had been killed during an assault on Fallujah.

His body took most of the blast. One Marine was seriously injured, but the rest sustained only minor shrapnel wounds. Cpl. Brannon Dyer told a reporter from the Army Times, "He saved half my fire team."

Most Americans have never heard of Rafael Peralta, and they never will.

In past wars, he would have been a hero. His name would have been a household word, his deeds an inspiration to small boys, their eyes growing wide with amazement at his sacrifice. The chests of old men would have puffed out in pride. Crusty veterans would have stood a bit taller, remembering their own service. Women would have grown misty-eyed, and young girls would have laid flowers on his grave, wiping away a tear as they dreamed of handsome heroes.

But they will never hear of him - his voice has been silenced. The mainstream media does not consider the sacrifices of men like Sgt. Rafael Peralta "newsworthy". The mainstream media do not seem interested in talking to Sgt. Peralta's family. Instead, we get to hear about Cindy Sheehan all day, every day.

The word "respect" figures prominently in the rhetoric of the city council. Council members would like the Marine Corps to "respect" their wishes, yet they show little respect for the intelligence of their own citizens or the young men and women of this nation:

Berkeley Councilmember Dona Spring said she supports the wording of the initiative, but said she would prefer the issue be passed by council so it can be enacted faster rather than waiting for the initiative to be placed on the ballot in November.

"I think we should just go ahead and pass it," she said. "We can't take everything to the voters."

But some proponents are hesitant to pass the ordinance through the council because they feel it might be watered down by other council members.

It is not respectful of voter intent to pass initiatives behind closed doors, and it is not respectful of the intelligence of young men and women to deny them the opportunity to make free choices. The Constitution guarantees groups like Code Pink the right of peaceful assembly and the right to distribute literature countering any information they believe may be "deceptive". Certainly our information age, not to mention the liberal atmosphere of Berkeley, offers plentiful opportunities to rebut the Marine Corps message without trying to silence it entirely. To do so is not just misguided; it is downright un-American. One can't help but wonder what other establishments Berkeley would allow to be so treated?

The city council, which is backed by the activist group Code Pink, hopes the bi-annual Swarming of the Moonbats will succeed in driving the Marine Corps out of Berkeley forever:

While the proposed initiative would not have a direct impact on the current military recruiting center, Zanne Joi, a CodePINK activist, said she hopes it would create enough political pressure to drive it out of Berkeley.

"There are many other convenient places for the Marines to be where they are wanted. We are asking the military to respect the people of Berkeley," she said.

But do the people of Berkeley respect the rights of their own citizens to make free choices? It would seem not, if their idea of peaceful protest is to grant unusual exemptions to activist groups who have illegally defaced public property in the past with the intent of driving a legally sanctioned activity out of town on a rail. Is this the much vaunted "tolerance" and respect for alternative lifestyles we hear so much about from the progressive crowd? Judging from the quote of one local business owner, it doesn't sound that way:

Councilmember Gordon Wozniak, who voted against both resolutions, said perpetuating the conflict in front of the center would harm nearby businesses.

Ziba Fanaian, manager of Z & S Beauty Studio, said the anti-war activists are disruptive when they create noise and block the sidewalk.

"Sometimes it is very crowded," she said. "It is not easy for us, for business."

But then, as another City Council member commented, apparently on the streets of Berkeley, not everyone has the right to equal access and equal protection of the law:

"The Marines ought to have better sense than to come here," Olds said.

In the city of Berkeley, apparently having the "correct" opinions matters a great deal. Otherwise, you get run out of town by an unruly mob the City Council.

Peralta.jpgUpdate: I've always loved this picture. I had swiped it from Deb at Marine Corps Moms a long time ago, but I deleted too many posts from my archives and have no idea which post it was on.

If you've spent any time around Marines, there is just something about it that tugs at your heart.

I always feel a bit presumptuous about writing about these guys. I didn't know Sergeant Peralta. I don't want to politicize his death. Lord knows, I can't speak for him. No one, least of all me, has that right.

At the same time, I think it important that his heroism not be forgotten. As for what was in his heart, we have his own words:

"Tomorrow, at 19:00 hours (7 p.m.), we are going to declare war in the holy city of Fallujah," Peralta wrote to Ricardo, 14. "We are going to defeat the insurgents. Watch the news, it's going to be all over. Be proud of me, bro, I'm going to make history and do something that I always wanted to do."

This excerpt from a letter sent by Sgt. Rafael Peralta was received by his younger brother, Ricardo, one day after the Peralta family learned that their Marine was killed in action on November 16, 2004. It was his first and last letter to his brother and after he mailed it, Sgt. Peralta indeed made history as one more in a long line of Marine Corps heroes. His final act of bravery saved the lives of his brother Marines at the cost of his own. It will be retold by future generations of Devil Dogs who will privately wonder if they could ever measure up to this example of selfless service.

A news account sums up what happened next:

Peralta, 25, as platoon scout, wasn't even assigned to the assault team that entered the insurgent safe house in northern Fallujah, Marines said. Despite an assignment that would have allowed him to avoid such dangerous duty, he regularly asked squad leaders if he could join their assault teams, they said.

One of the first Marines to enter the house, Peralta was wounded in the face by rifle fire from a room near the entry door, said Lance Cpl. Adam Morrison, 20, of Tacoma, who was in the house when Peralta was first wounded.

Moments later, an insurgent rolled a fragmentation grenade into the area where a wounded Peralta and the other Marines were seeking cover.

As Morrison and another Marine scrambled to escape the blast, pounding against a locked door, Peralta grabbed the grenade and cradled it into his body, Morrison said. While one Marine was badly wounded by shrapnel from the blast, the Marines said they believe more lives would have been lost if not for Peralta's selfless act.

"He saved half my fire team," said Cpl. Brannon Dyer, 27, of Blairsville, Ga.

How can anyone not honor such a man?

Sgt. Peralta finished his letter to his younger brother:

"Just think about God and we will all be together again," he wrote. "If anything happens to me, just remember I lived my life to the fullest and I'm happy with what I lived."

I have nothing but contempt for the City Council of Berkeley.

Posted by Cassandra at January 31, 2008 06:31 AM

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I don't remember who said this but I thought it quite true..
The military volunteers to defend the rest of the country but they get paid to defend the Bay area...

Posted by: Carrie at January 31, 2008 08:54 AM

This is terrible. Now of age children will be forced to learn about the military on the street.
But there is always the Folsom Street Fair to take up the slack.

I wrote the east bay off a LONG time ago.

Posted by: Cricket at January 31, 2008 08:55 AM

Shame on you!

These brave warriors for peace can only defeat the BusHitler by fighting dirty!

Posted by: Ron Paul at January 31, 2008 09:33 AM

Yeah, a bunch of wimmin wearing pink. I am so scared...NOT. Since they have bent the roles of
gender equality, they had better not complain about police brutality.

They might get farther if they looked like Donna Reed or June Cleaver. Real moms


Posted by: Cricket at January 31, 2008 09:53 AM

It's ironic that Code Pink, a group against war, and San Francisco, a city against war, have, essentially, declared war on the Marines.

Isn't Code Pink against violence? Isn't defacing property, you know, violence?

Posted by: William Teach at January 31, 2008 10:05 AM

All forms of property are fascist tools of the Patriarchy used to oppress People of Cholor, transgendered wolves, and the working poor.

Therefore, destroying it is a liberating and beautiful act!

Fight the Power!!!!

Posted by: Medea Benjamin at January 31, 2008 11:31 AM

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 02/01/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Posted by: David M at January 31, 2008 12:11 PM

"'By taking a stand against recruitment we are protecting the health and safety of our youth,' said PhoeBe sorgen, a member of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. 'I see the protest as taking a proud and courageous stand.'"

Well, as they often like to beat us over the head....uhh, remind us, they are the adults and they're in charge now. They're only doing this.......
wait for it,......

for the children.


Posted by: Sly2017 at January 31, 2008 12:55 PM

"They might get farther if they looked like Donna Reed or June Cleaver. Real moms"
Golly Wally,

That's not my mom. But she does remind me of that old lady pushing that shopping buggy all over town singing in a real loud voice.

Eddie says that he's going to do a San Andreas earthquake dance, so I think I'm going to go watch.


Posted by: The Beaver at January 31, 2008 01:09 PM

"By taking a stand against recruitment we are protecting the health and safety of our youth," said PhoeBe sorgen, a member of the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. "I see the protest as taking a proud and courageous stand."

On the walls of his bedroom, there were only three items: the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and his boot camp graduation certificate.

Don't mind my tears. I'm happy.

Posted by: spd rdr at January 31, 2008 01:57 PM

As I said elsewhere... I get really REALLY mad on occasion. This is one of them.

"We are asking the military to respect the people of Berkeley"... These walking piles of human debris wouldn't know respect if it walked up and hit them in their pie-holes. Respect is not something that's given... it's earned. You cannot respect someone who does not respect you, ! So why should the USMC show you any freaking respect after you publically state the Marines are "uninvited and unwelcome intruders", you slack-jawed mouth-breathing waste of paternal genetic material?

Allow me to retort, oh city council. You are attempting to kick out the single most positive force for world peace and equality this forsaken blue dot has ever had? And why? "Because they're violent." Where do you morons think peace comes from? Flowers? Rainbows? NO! It comes from heavily armed men (and women, I don't want to offend my sisters here) who are willing to stand between your cowering third point of contact and the monsters who ARE OUT THERE that want you and everyone you know dead or enslaved. And unlike in your fantasies where the US Military is indistingushable from the Schutzstaffel, our troops have gone above and beyond in their attempts to protect the lives of civilians even at risk of their own lives.

Respect... Do something to earn some before DEMANDING it of better men (and women) than yourselves. The problem is, it is abundantly clear that the actual concept of respect is as far beyond your capacity for understanding as the concepts of honor, sacrifice, duty and courage.

Sorry folks... stupid people piss me off.

Posted by: MikeD at January 31, 2008 01:57 PM

Peace comes from Cindy Sheehan shooting it out her...never mind.

Posted by: The Church Lady's sexually repressed Sister Mary Martha Of the Wailing Womb at January 31, 2008 02:37 PM

Don't let the moonbats redline your blood pressure. I have to tune out these idiots or I would go postal.

FWIW, I don't think Berkeley can do anything about recruiting, as this is conducted on what is legally federal property.

Liberal fascists indeed.

Posted by: Mark at January 31, 2008 03:44 PM

I find it very ironic that Move America Forward is saying that Code Pink is violating their free speech rights, yet a year ago they had a protest against the Lafayette Crosses (which is on private property) and some people threatened to burn the crosses down, then went to city council meetings and said it was "upsetting" to look at them. Which is it: Free Speech for all or free speech when it suits you?

Posted by: Jennifer at January 31, 2008 03:44 PM

1. This post isn't about MAF. I have no affiliation with that group, and simply using one quote from them isn't sufficient reason to hijack an entire issue.

2. Two wrongs don't make a right, now do they?

Posted by: Medea Benjamin at January 31, 2008 04:01 PM

Which is it: Free Speech for all or free speech when it suits you?
That's a great question, Jennifer. Generally, only restrictions on speech flowing from the government are considered violations of the First Amendmendment (as I'm sure Sgt. Peralta could tell you.) In this case, it seems that the Berkeley City Council has decided that some speech, notably that of Code Pink, should be freer than other speech. How else to explain the preferential treatment afforded the protestors (free parking, no sound permit for 6 months)?

So is it free speech only when it suits you, Jen?

Posted by: spd rdr at January 31, 2008 04:02 PM


I think you're really confusing "private action" with "governmental action". As much as I disagree with them, I will defend Code Pink's right to protest. However, when a CITY COUNCIL (i.e. a governmental body) attempts to squelch the Marine Corps from recruiting in their city, that's not just "not ok", it's a violation of the Constitution.

Free Speech is freedom from governmental intrusion. When private individuals protest someone else's Free Speech, that's fine (because they're simply utilizing their Free Speech in response). What's NOT fine is when the government attempts to squelch Free Speech.

So if you would like to complain to your city council that something someone else says or does offends you, knock yourself out. I'll defend your right to do so. But if that city council censors ANYONE (regardless of political bent) because it offends you... you better believe I'm against that.

So please... spare me your sanctimony. I am not really in the mood for it. When a city council actually censors a political point of view (again, either mine OR YOURS) then I'm against it. But when someone disagrees with you, that doesn't impact your Freedom of Speech.

Posted by: MikeD at January 31, 2008 04:03 PM

Oh c'MON you big *brutes*!!!

Stop picking on poor Jennifer!

Don't you know that it is the DUTY of government to suppress the WRONG kind of speech (i.e., anything Jennifer disagrees with)?

Even if that violates the very Constitutional rights men like Rafael Peralta lay their lives on the line to defend?

Of course they want to keep young people from enlisting in the Marine Corps. Makes perfect sense, when you stop and think about it.

Posted by: Got Irony Yet? at January 31, 2008 04:16 PM

Actually, I had no problem with the Marines being there, just like I have no problem with Code Pink protesting there. Although I scratch my head at why they want to be in Berkeley, but hey, that was their decision. If I lived in Berkeley, I might've been at the council meeting to say that.
I just wanted to comment about the fact that MAF is contracting themselves. A lot of you saw way too much in my post--and I do apologize because it wasn't about MAF. However, as another poster said, two wrongs don't make a right.
Now have fun blasting those darn liberals! I'll spare you all my sactimony, and guess what? You can spare me yours.

Posted by: Jennifer at January 31, 2008 04:37 PM

Oh now Jennifer dear..
the adults are talking about Code Pink and the Berkely City Council in regards to the Marine Corps Recruiting offices in the area.
Move America Forward is peripheral at best.

Can you tell me why the Marine recruiters in that area (one of whom is a friend of mine) are being penalized for doing their LEGAL job and why certain odious other parties are getting treated as special and above the law?
Vandalism is a crime, is it not?

That's right, dear...focus.

Posted by: Mrs. When in doubt..Fire at January 31, 2008 04:43 PM

Is there some reason why the Marines can't recruit in the Berkely area?
Legal reason?

Posted by: Mrs. When in doubt..Fire at January 31, 2008 04:44 PM

And if you read my other post, you will see I had no problem with them being there.
And yup, vandalism is a crime, for everyone. I'll have to remember that the next time someone vandalizes one of the Lafayette crosses.
Both sides are not blameless here.

Posted by: Jennifer at January 31, 2008 04:47 PM

I have no problem with Code Pink *protesting* either.

It's the defacing property and the nastiness I could do without. Not sure what MAF did so I won't go there. If they did something wrong then they were ... (duh) wrong.

No intelligent person believes that only liberals have asshats among their ranks. I will say this much: when you put the names of the dead on your protest materials, you really shouldn't be too surprised when the bereaved family members get a tad bit emotional.

Doesn't excuse going over the top.

But that is intentional provocation and it only makes the whole thing worse. And it is really kind of shameful, don't you think? How would you feel if you lost your son or your husband and you were AGAINST the war and saw someone using his name on a pro-war protest? It's just disrespectful of the dead. And wrong.

I am extremely careful not to impute any political beliefs to the Marines or soldiers I write about. I have purposely not written about several when I've seen in their death notices that their loved ones had antiwar sentiments because I knew just seeing this site would offend them, even if I didn't say anything disrespectful. I usually read 5 to 10 articles for each one I use, so these things take a lot of time. You have to be careful when it is someone who gave his or her life for this country.

And that's not sanctimony. It's just knowing what it is like for the families.

And even Berkeley, by the way, has both liberals and conservatives living there. It's still a free country, last time I checked. Or at least it used to be.

Posted by: Medea Benjamin at January 31, 2008 04:51 PM

The Marine Corps is not allied with Move America Forward unless you know something you're not telling...

yelling "hypocrite" only works if the Marine Corps had been involved in a crime....
Code Pink obviously has been.
Proudly so and now sanctioned by the Berkeley City council.

Marine Corps...not involved in a crime is being punished for simply being.

There is hypocrisy...and then there is sanctimonious hypocrisy.

Seventh ring of hell, dear.

Posted by: Mrs. When in doubt..Fire at January 31, 2008 04:58 PM

You're right Jennifer... I'll spare you my sanctimony. In trade, I'll give you this:

"I find it very ironic that Move America Forward is saying that Code Pink is violating their free speech rights"

Actually... I wish I had read what you said correctly rather than assuming you were merely mistaken. I went back and re-read the entire MAF post that Cass quotes. Nowhere in the entire piece do they accuse Code Pink of violating their free speech rights. Instead the piece condemns the Berkeley City Council for their resolution and goes on to point out that the Council is giving preferential treatment to Code Pink by granting them blanket permits.

Strangely enough, MAF does not once accuse Code Pink of "violating their free speech rights". And since I clearly misinterpreted what you said when "saw way too much in my post", I would like to request a clarification. Were you in error when you made that statement, or were you prevaricating?

And you're awfully worked up about MAF complaining about the Lafayette crossed. Honestly, I never saw the big deal with it myself. Some moonbat wants to place something distasteful on his property... let him. And (suprise suprise) I agree that the Marine Sgt did the wrong thing by knocking it down. Should she have been prosecuted. Yes... had the property owner bothered to file charges, I don't doubt she would have been. What could she have done... denied she did it?

Once again though, I notice your "Both sides are not blameless here". After hiding behind "two wrongs don't make a right", why are you bringing it back up that 'the other side did it too!'?

And Jennifer... this was sanctimony free... by your request :)

Now go have a SUPER day!

Posted by: MikeD at January 31, 2008 05:03 PM

I think Jennifer is trying to do the "guilt by association" thing.

You see, because MAF has defended the Marine Corps, and some person, somewhere, some time in MAF did a Bad Thing, now the Marine Corps is tarred with whatever the hell this person or persons in MAF did.

[rolling eyes]


This makes absolutely no sense, but OK. If it makes her feel better in the old Moral Equivalency Game, you go grrrrrrrrrl!

Posted by: Medea Benjamin at January 31, 2008 05:05 PM

Oh Lord.

Here we go.

You know, somehow I was hoping I could finish what I was working on. And I do have to do that. So for now, toodles :p

Posted by: Down the Rabbit Hole... at January 31, 2008 05:08 PM

Medea Benjamin,

as the saying goes, you would have to burn the stump and sift the ashes to find conservatives in Berkeley. I think they are now on the endangered species list, but there are a stalwart few.

I stay friends with my two remaining friends in the Peoples' Republic by not talking politics with them.

Posted by: Mark at January 31, 2008 05:09 PM

Thanks, MikeD! You have a super day too!
As for the crosses: I acutally said something to Mr. Heaton that maybe it was a bit emotional to have the names on the crosses and maybe it wasn't a good idea (I live in Lafayette). He told me that it wasn't his idea, it was the Gold Stars moms who put them up. So I do believe it was a good idea to remove the names off them.
As for the "what if someone put your son or husband's name up on a pro war..." I would've thanked them, because although I disagree with their politics, they had every right to put it up there. I would try to talk with them and tell them how I feel, and here what they had to say in return.
So let's get a couple of things straight:
1. I had no problem with the Marines recruitment center being there. I doubt they would've gotten much business, but hey, that's their problem. And Code Pink had every right to protest.
2. I made a mistake with MAF in the original post.
3. As someone else said there's jerks on both sides of this issue.
4. I might be one of those jerks.
5. Good night, everybody!

Posted by: Jennifer at January 31, 2008 05:21 PM

I live in Berkeley and this disgusts me.

A member of my extended family was in the Marines and died in WW2 to save the world from fascism. And here I thought that Berkeley was anti-fascism too. Bad surprise.

I'm going to go down to the recruiting center and ask them what I can do to support them.

Posted by: g510 at January 31, 2008 05:25 PM

Good night Jennifer.

We can always disagree, and you were good natured about it and reasonable. I thank you for that.

This is an emotional subject and I think both sides do have to try hard to understand how the other side feels, especially when emotions run so high.

Thanks for stopping by and engaging in a civil way. I appreciate it.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 31, 2008 05:30 PM

The city council, which is backed by the activist group Code Pink, hopes the bi-annual Swarming of the Moonbats will succeed in driving the Marine Corps out of Berkeley forever:

As I mentioned before, this goal can be accomplished by being annexed by a foreign empire.

Territories annexed, no longer will or can allow soldiers from the previous empire to reside.

Isn't Code Pink against violence? Isn't defacing property, you know, violence?

That's emotional violence, not killing violence. They believe themselves superior precisely because they don't have to kill. The evildoers, the Marines, are the ones killing.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at January 31, 2008 07:55 PM

Actually, I had no problem with the Marines being there, just like I have no problem with Code Pink protesting there.

Do people still continue to believe that sitting on the fence cultivates cosmopolitanism and progress?

How many wars must the human race go through before people stop thinking that so long as they stay neutral and on the fence, bad things won't happen?

Although I scratch my head at why they want to be in Berkeley, but hey, that was their decision.

I scratch my head everytime Special Forces go deep into enemy territory without armored or gunship support. But hey, that was their decision.


It was their decision to follow orders, orders that said Recruitment is now your job or orders that said go here and not there. It was not their decision to "go to" Berkley. As if following one's duty was ever compatible with choices. Once on the road of duty, choices are no longer as plentiful.

It is kind of hard to know about what choices people made when you think you are protesting choices they never made.

Which is it: Free Speech for all or free speech when it suits you?

First you have to get the choices of Marines and MAF right before you can use distorted propaganda to justify your "points".

I'll have to remember that the next time someone vandalizes one of the Lafayette crosses.
Both sides are not blameless here.

Too many fences and not enough boxes.

There's a certain point, that if you pass, it no longer matters to you who is right or wrong. That point, is very close to that fence.

And here I thought that Berkeley was anti-fascism too. Bad surprise.

Given that National Socialism came from Socialist support and parties, why should that be a surprise? The Communists loved Hitler, when Hitler was helping Stalin.

On another note, the thing with Jefferson is that there is a great focus and investment in the First Amendment, which is the right of free expression and worship. However, people unbalance the system when that is all they care about. The ability to speak, instead of the responsibility of the 2nd Amendment to ensure that people can speak when they wish.

So there is that interesting paradox, similar to the fall of empires. If you are using the freedom of speech, secured by the military and those capable of using force, violence, and the 2nd Amendment, in order to shut down the military's ability to function and to nullify the 2nd Amendment, then are you exercising First Amendment rights or attempting to destroy the First Amendment?

Which came first, the First Amendment or those using the First Amendment?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at January 31, 2008 08:17 PM

You're gonna love this.

"'I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don't belong here, they shouldn't have come here, and they should leave,' said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates."

via Bluto.

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 31, 2008 11:58 PM

These protesters are disgraceful. You silly kids with no real perspective on the REAL world chant and rally and protest something you have no understanding of, whatsoever.

Something I love is when people like this act as if they speak on behalf of soliers and Marines who have died in the war, when most of them don't even know anyone fighting in the war, much less someone who has been killed. If they did, they would know that most of those who serve and fight and die do so willingly and selflessly. Did Cindy Sheehan ever bother to ask her son before he was killed if he wanted to be there? I can't say for certain, but having been there myself, I suspect he would say YES! If that's the case, how dare she and you people dishonor his memory! I have lost several close, personal friends in the war, and without exception, they all believed in what they were fighting for, so I dare anyone to use their sacrifice in protest!

So, to all of you who think we should get rid of the recruiters and the military in general and stop defense spending, you go on living in your Utopian fantasy world where people like Bin Ladin will stop trying to kill us if we just give them a hug and sing Kum Ba Ya.

Get a clue, people. to quote Jack, "We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by people with guns." and Goerge Orwell: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"

Posted by: John at February 1, 2008 09:16 AM

The Soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

By Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC

This has been posted by the wife of a retired Marine and the mother of an active duty Marine.
Thank GOD for people like my husband and son!

Posted by: Missy at February 1, 2008 09:56 AM

As they protest the Marines, here is what they are being protected from by those very same Marines:

Female bombers strike markets in Baghdad

Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two mentally retarded women detonated in a coordinated attack on pet bazaars Friday, police and Iraqi officials said, killing at least 73 people in the deadliest day since the U.S. sent 30,000 extra troops to the capital this spring.

Posted by: Frodo at February 1, 2008 11:32 AM

Please, please let the mayor and city council of Berkeley know how you feel. Here's the contact information:

Mayor - Tom Bates
2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Email: mayor@ci.berkeley.ca.us
TEL: (510) 981-7100
FAX: (510) 981-7199
TDD: (510) 981-6903
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Linda Maio
Phone: (510) 981-7110
FAX: (510) 981-7111
Email: lmaio@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Darryl Moore
Phone: (510) 981-7120
Email: dmoore@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Maxwell Anderson
Phone: (510) 981-7130
Email: manderson@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Dona Spring
Phone: (510) 981-7140
Email: spring@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Laurie Capitelli
Phone: (510) 981-7150
Email: lcapitelli@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Betty Olds
Phone: (510) 981-7160
Email: olds@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Kriss Worthington
Phone: (510) 981-7170
Email: kworthington@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Gordon Wozniak
Phone: (510) 981-7180
Email: GWozniak@ci.berkeley.ca.us

City Auditor
Ann Marie
TEL: (510) 981-6750, TDD: (510) 981-6903
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm
Email: auditor@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Posted by: Trafalgar at February 1, 2008 03:10 PM

> I don't want to politicize his death. Lord knows, I can't speak for him. No one, least of all me, has that right.

His death has already been politicized, Cass, by making it an Orwellian unfact.

Mentioning it, him, and what he clearly believed in, is merely giving HIM a voice they took away in their desire to silence all dissent.

I think that -- as long as you don't put words in his mouth -- that calling attention to his existence, his choices, his beliefs and the implications his actions clearly suggest, then you are doing nothing more than a service to him and to his life.

He was clearly the kind of person who typifies a true citizen of America, and the ideals it was founded upon.

Posted by: obloodyhell at February 1, 2008 03:56 PM

> How can anyone not honor such a man?

I assure you that "Pink Liberty" above can fail.

Posted by: obloodyhell at February 1, 2008 03:58 PM

Last time I looked, children weren't even allowed to join the military. Only adults can, and I don't really think a grown-up needs Code Pink's protection. Using the "health and safety of our youth" or whatever they blathered is just disingenuous.

Posted by: April at February 1, 2008 04:21 PM

To the Left, everyone is a child, except for them.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 1, 2008 04:49 PM

I have lost several close, personal friends in the war, and without exception, they all believed in what they were fighting for, so I dare anyone to use their sacrifice in protest!

It is not like Code Pink can use their own sacrifices, you know. So you have to be a bit more sensitive to the realities here. Some sympathy for Code Pink is deserved, given CP's problems.

So, to all of you who think we should get rid of the recruiters and the military in general and stop defense spending, you go on living in your Utopian fantasy world where people like Bin Ladin will stop trying to kill us if we just give them a hug and sing Kum Ba Ya.

That's actually not what they think. What they actually think is that while Bin Laden is a problem, the worse problem is inside the United States. Thus, so long as the Left can help rid the problems inside the US with the help of AQ, Hamas, Iran, Syria, etc, then the Left will take care of terrorism after they have taken care of the US.

They don't believe that Bin Laden will stop killing. They just believe that the people that he kills isn't nearly as important as the people the Left needs to stop, like the US Marines.

Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two mentally retarded women detonated in a coordinated attack on pet bazaars Friday, police and Iraqi officials said, killing at least 73 people in the deadliest day since the U.S. sent 30,000 extra troops to the capital this spring.

The Democrats are already working on euthanasia, in partnership with Europe and Planned Parenthood. What more do you need as a solution to mentally retarded women being detonated?

When Democrats and Leftists get that working inside the US, they promise that such things will stop happening in Iraq as well.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 1, 2008 04:55 PM

"What they actually think is that while Bin Laden is a problem, the worse problem is inside the United States."

Actually, ymar, from what I've seen and heard, it's more that they believe that America is the reason why there are Bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's, et al, in the world. And since we created the problem, we must fix it -- by first fixing that within America that created these men in the first place. It never occurs to them that these men were simply evil, cruel humans in the first place. And (to complete the circle) if they *were* evil, something (the US) must have happened to them to make them so.

Posted by: Sly2017 at February 1, 2008 05:23 PM

I wonder..if Bush didn't continue the already existing state of war with Iraq (we were already at war with Iraq since Kuwait..it was a cease fire agreement not a treaty numbnuts)and didn't invade then would the City still have committed this brazen act of total hypocrisy?

Kiss that federal money goodbye.

Posted by: Jason Paisley at February 2, 2008 05:06 AM

As a Canadian living in Canada I found is difficult to believe any body could take this position against your Marines.

It is an embarassment to the USA and I sincerely hope that there economic negative inpact against them. I for one will avoid coming anywhere your city and spend my money elsewhere.

Surrey BC

Posted by: Barney Biggs at February 2, 2008 01:11 PM

Actually, ymar, from what I've seen and heard, it's more that they believe that America is the reason why there are Bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's, et al, in the world.

That's why the problem inside the US is worse to them. Since without it, everyone else lessens in severity, including foreign terrorists.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at February 2, 2008 03:07 PM

Mr. Mayor,

I thought of so many ways to eloquently state how angry I am that your city would take the measures it has to shut down the USMC recruiting station, but I can't seem to find the right (eloquent) words to stress my feelings. With that said, I can only say your city has brought absolute shame, dishonor and disgrace on itself, the State of California and the United States of America. With your vote I truly believe your city has brought this nation to one of its lowest points in recent history.

As appalled as I am over this matter, I am truly grateful for the service of Marines, Sailors, Airman (of which I am a veteran), Coast Guardsman and Soldiers (of which my wife is currently serving) who have dedicated their lives to give you and your city a voice in which to tell the Marines to leave. I want to thank you, Mr. Mayor, for your service to the US Army. I can only hope in time you will draw from the integrity that caused you to raise your hand in defense of this country, and direct it to helping your city officials see the abhorrence of their actions.


Posted by: Joe at February 2, 2008 05:15 PM

Y'all have discussed this up & down, back & forth quite thoroughly! Thank you!

Mt two cents!! As odious & despicable as the actions of the Berzerkly city council are,
it is best that we become aware of what kinds
of peeps are being elected to govern us!!I think the blogosphere is doing a great job of bringing
this reality to our attention without the editing, spins, slants & lies of the MSM!! There seems to be a groundswell of strong negative repsonse directed at the Berzerkley City Council, which is coming from individual americans directly. To me this is closer to unfiltered & unedited democracy than what we've had heretofore! Given the reality of our situation, this is good & what is needed!!

Posted by: Lance at February 2, 2008 05:20 PM

I'm going to let you guess why this issue got to me. I started a letter writing/call in campaign today to try and get the word out to as many people as possible about this situation.

Involved in this information chain were calls to the recruiting center to let them know they are not alone, my state congressmen and senators, the President’s comment line and … the Berkeley mayor via phone and e-mail.

I am encouraging everyone else that feels the same level of disgust at these libtards to do the same because, believe it or not, your voice DOES matter. Within 10 minutes of contacting my Senators office I got a call back from them advising that they will be co-sponsoring the bill to axe federal funding for Berkeley. God bless Texas.

To offer the Marines support: The number is (510) 705-8060
To tell the mayor what a retard he is: The Mayors office number is (510) 981-7100 mayor@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Our Marines need your support, they have been there for this nation for the past 236 years fighting, bleeding and dying for the very right that is now being denied them. With a few phone calls you can do the same for them with no risk.

Don’t let them down.

Semper Fi’

Posted by: Sgt K USMC at February 6, 2008 04:10 AM

Semper FI!!!! A Veteran of the first desert trip, and the husband of a 24 yrs Honorably Retired E-8, we have 30 yrs service to our Great Country, it really saddens me to see the ignorance of some in this state. However, I have learned and observed through the years, that arguing with Idiots, only brings you down to their level where they can beat you with experience. They are ignorant, stupid, and very closeminded, unable to see past the end of their pointed noses above their constantly running pie-hole. Maybe one day when they grow up and mature, again, highly unlikely, they might understand what it means to SERVE YOUR COUNTRY, asking not what everyone can do for them.

Posted by: Joe at February 6, 2008 09:04 PM

Wow... this amazes me ... the total lack of understanding. Let me explain somthing to all of you the protest... And listen well if you dont believe me go talk to a member of the armed forces..

Heres how the recruiting process works you get what they called flagged for this duty.. its not by choice (sometimes they do make this a career but most of the time not) They get to pick a region of the country they would like to be sent most of the time its because they are from around the area or like the area. They work hellish long hours usually 8am till 8pm Monday through Saturday and I've heard of some places working on sundays.. they have numbers they have to meet.... Again this is not a job they asked for it was a job they were asigned to do and because they have pride in what they do they do it to the best of their ability. Just like there comrands in Iraq they are doing the job they were told to do.

Also people are starting to say now that the recruiters lie to people and tell them miss information let me tell you somthing else now of course in any society there is going to be a bad apple but it is written if you give misleading or false information to someone (i.e... you wont go to war) it could possiably be the end of your career. To most of the recruiters its not worth it.

A group came into a local recruiters office here pretending they were looking to join... they had a camera and said they were video taping so his mom could see what he was thinking of doing.. they aske many dumb and rude questions like... Can I smoke weed.... Can you get me outa of going to war.. and so on the recruiter answered truthfuly and honestly at the end they stood up said congradulations you passed the test (he never lied) if he had lied they said they were going to post it on You Tube... They were part of some orginaztion cant remember the name now though... but what I think is funny because they didnt get the answer they were really looking for they dont want to post the video on you tube because it was the truth.

And my last thoughts... You say you dont supoort the the war but you do the troops.. no you dont if you protest any function the military is doing you are not supporting the troops because most of the time now.. those recruiters have been in Iraq.. remember that the next time you protest them your saying you dont care what they did for you and this country.

Posted by: Lindsy at February 7, 2008 09:19 AM

I fully support the honorable armed services especially the MARINES . God Bless our great soldiers . Piss on berkely california . I hope our Government cuts off all Federal funding for any program in this s___thole of a town.

Posted by: John at February 9, 2008 02:17 PM

Sorry, guys. The city of Berkeley doesn't deserve any more federal funding. Hope that the Semper Fi Act of 2008 passes and that they understand. It's Berkeley vs. The United States. These residents should see what it's like to live under oppression. The same oppression that the Iraqis lived under when Sadaam was in Power. Then, even though doubtful, they'd understand that what we are doing is providing people liberty that we have and that the city of Berkeley residents (only a few ignorant ones) take for granted. Code Pink speaks for a small percentage of the Berkeley residents and it's unfortunate that the city council-members are a part of those few trying to speak for all. Oh well, what goes around comes around.

Posted by: Vincent at February 10, 2008 05:07 PM

Remember its just Berkeley. This is the only way these kind of people can get attention. SHAME ON THEM. They remind me of the French. They want to drive the bus but dont want to do the up keep & all ways want a free ride. Degenerates, Cowards. Code pink? Should be code yellow. USA either Love it or Leave it. If you dont want to defend it go to France.

Posted by: BUTTERFIELD at February 10, 2008 10:00 PM

Sounds good. So when is the next protest at the abortion clinics? I new to this protesting so I would figure that everyone is on the same page as far as killing innocents? So all my fellow Berkley residents stop thinking that this is the 1960’s all over again. Yes we should be out of Iraq but how dare you attack our brave AMERICAN soldiers who fight to keep your freedoms. You don’t have to agree with our government but how dare you infringe on others rights just because you don’t agree with someone. It is strange that your protesting others rights because you’re so pious, thinking that you know what is the right thing…. sounds a lot like an evil dictator????

Posted by: Patrick at February 12, 2008 05:48 PM

If allowed, and due to my comments length.

I'd like to post my Live journal page, with your permission of course.

I watched the entire meeting tonight and made comments regarding it as they happened. I also posted my letters to the Mayor and City Council of Berkeley there.


Posted by: Sgt K USMC at February 13, 2008 05:44 AM

US Army Sgt Stan Goff, Special Forces and West Point trainer (ret) in particular warned "liberals" against offending The Troops, because he's familiar with US counter-insurgency operations in Latin America in which he participated, and he pointed out that the LAST thing American dissidents need or want is a military that is NOT on the side of The People.

Posted by: Gary at February 13, 2008 08:16 AM

I agree with CodePink, we should remove military from the US and all Police. Lawlesness is best.

I'm sure we all just get along and the world will love us, because all men/women/unknown genders are by nature good nature.

Group hug ! Kissy kissy !! wear flowers on your head !

Posted by: Mark GsChwind at February 13, 2008 11:50 AM

I'm a bit confused. First, CodePink and Berkeley City Council say they want the Marines out. Then they say they want the troops back home. So which is it? In or out? Either you want the military here or you don't, and you dont get to pick where 'here' is! They pick where they place the men and women of our military and what jobs they will do. And why would the troops want to come back home if this is what they have to come back home to?!

Second, I'm actually not fooled for a minute. This has nothing to do with the Marines being in their fair city. This was an excuse to start a protest on the war. If you want to protest, then protest. Knock yourself out! It is most certainly your right to do so. Just don't use others as an excuse to launch your protest off of. Put your big girl panties on and just do it!

And finally, to all the Armed Forces of the United States of America, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you and we are praying for you!

Posted by: TaLina at February 14, 2008 01:01 AM

I was Army, my brother was Army, my father was Army I'm also proud to say I'm an American. However I'm not sure where to start here, on one hand Code Pink has every right to protest, it breaks my heart though to see what they're protesting, the Armed Forces of this great country have defended their right to say whatever they feel for almost 2 1/2 centuries now, yet they choose to strike out against those very champions. The city council of Berkeley is elected/appointed as a representing force for the good of the community and ALL of the inhabitants therein. It truly sickens me to see said council abusing this power, showing prejudice and bias where there should be none. Yes, they should uphold CP's first amendment rights, but they should also uphold the rights, nay...honor the memories of all soldiers, past and present, by protecting the rights of not only the recruitment station, but also the right of choice of those in the community that would entertain the thought of joining the ranks of those who bravely give so much in the name of Freedom, Justice, and the American Way. (corny sounding yes, but is it not the truth?) In any case I'm appalled that any branch, no matter how small or insignificant, of this country's government would resort to this kind of bullspit.

Posted by: Dshai aka Andy, Ex-Army at February 14, 2008 08:27 AM

I so hope that Berkeley liberals continue to show the world just what fools they are.

Posted by: Kathy at February 14, 2008 10:08 AM

Dear Mayor,

Knowing your support for the little guy, I'd like to request an allocation similar to what you gave CodePink -- I just want a little area to practice my amateur artillery. How about that parking spot right by the Recruiting Station. I promise I won't hurt anything human, so that looks like a good spot.

Posted by: NealJ at February 15, 2008 03:35 PM

Amen Brother, amen...Praise the lord and pass the ammunition...

Posted by: Dshai aka Andy, Ex-Army at February 15, 2008 07:59 PM

I am a retired soldier of 20 years in the Army. I am simply horrified by your recent actions concerning the Marine Corps recruiting office, and the spineless groups which you support with your actions. I personally wouldn't take a piss on any one of you if you were on fire! I pray that each of you is defeated in any future election, because you are not worthy of service in any civil capacity in our fine Republic. I think you are all vile and reprehensible oxygen thieves. Pull your heads out while you still have some time. You can still make a positive impact!!

Posted by: Jimmy G. at March 25, 2008 08:57 PM

George W. Bush is indeed hated and despised. Bush may not be “self-aware” relative to his narcissistic personality disorder. A lot of mentally ill people are oblivious and/or in denial of their mental illness. But Bush is probably aware that he has psychological problems. Bush may quibble over semantics or interpretations or opinions about whether it would be appropriate or fair to say that he has psychological problems of “clinical significance.”

George W. Bush is gravely mentally ill and needs help.

It is on the Internet: people are “counting the days til Bush leaves office.”

The American people can hardly wait til Bush leaves office. The presidency of Bush has been a nightmare for the American people and for the world. The narcissistic personality disorder of Bush has certainly contributed to what is almost his inability to do anything right.

Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993


Posted by: Andrew Yu-Jen Wang at November 24, 2008 06:12 PM