Phony People and Their Fake Issues

In case you missed it, three morons chained themselves to the Marine Corps recruiting station in Berkeley, and our liberal media and the liberals in the blogosphere are silent in the face of this grave threat to our nation:

The demonstrators promptly said they will keep protesting outside the recruiting station at 64 Shattuck Square until the Marines leave Berkeley – which is what the City Council advised the service to do in a vote Tuesday night that called the Marines “unwelcome intruders.”

The council also voted to allow members of Code Pink, the protest group that helped organize Friday’s blockade, to park at a designated space in front of the recruiting office every Wednesday afternoon and operate a loudspeaker.

The council’s action apparently made Berkeley the first city in the nation to call for the ouster of a military recruiting station from its borders.

“We made really great statements by blocking the door,” said one of the three blockaders, 64-year-old Mary Ann Thomas of Oakland. “It’s time we became more articulate about what we’re doing.”

Fortunately, conservative bloggers and Sen. Jim DeMint are springing to the aid of the downtrodden Marines:

Conservative bloggers and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also believe more articulation is necessary – from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

DeMint began drafting legislation Friday to cut $2.1 million in federal funding to Berkeley in a current congressional budget bill and transfer the money to the Marine Corps. The funding would include $750,000 for prospective ferry service, $87,000 for the Berkeley Unified School District nutrition education fund and $243,000 for the Chez Panisse Foundation, which promotes nutritional awareness in school lunch programs.

“The First Amendment gives the city of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money,” DeMint said in a statement.

He called the council’s vote “a slap in the face to all brave servicemen and women and their families.”

Conservative blogs blasted the council and Berkeley in general all day with comments such as one on “Gathering of Eagles”: “These cretins disgust me.”

It is always heartening to watch our right-wing friends stick up for the little guy- the USMC and the federal government. Without their help, these three old people chained to the door of a recruiting station might get us all killed by Islamofascists.






144 replies
  1. 1
    p.lukasiak says:

    I think you need to add a “Democratic Stupidity” tag to this one. While the wingnuts are certainly over-reacting, for the Berkeley City Council to treat a Marine Corps recruiting office as if it were the KKK recruiting office is pretty freaking dumb in and of itself.

  2. 2
    John Cole says:

    I think you need to add a “Democratic Stupidity” tag to this one. While the wingnuts are certainly over-reacting, for the Berkeley City Council to treat a Marine Corps recruiting office as if it were the KKK recruiting office is pretty freaking dumb in and of itself.

    No doubt.

  3. 3

    Sounds like a job for Delta to me. Goddammit! Liberal terrorist hippies are on the loose.

    Every time I see one of these stupid stories I wonder if anyone out in wingnuttia realizes that they are giving these knuckleheads what they want: attention. We have a crew of “peace protesters” who chain themselves to the fence at Kirtland Air Force Base (also home of Sandia National Lab). The no nukes crowd, “peace” activists, and a few priests make it a regular Friday occurrence.

    I think you need to add a “Democratic Stupidity” tag to this one. While the wingnuts are certainly over-reacting, for the Berkeley City Council to treat a Marine Corps recruiting office as if it were the KKK recruiting office is pretty freaking dumb in and of itself.

    We’re talking Berkeley here. The Democrats may be to conservative for these folks. And I haven’t seen anything about party affiliation. “Left-Wing Stupidity” is appropriate.

  4. 4
    IanY77 says:

    Oh look, Michelle Malkin is outraged over something again. It’s amazing how rare that is. She hasn’t been outraged over something is what…5 minutes or so. Christ, it’s like she’s made of stone or something.

    /usual caveats that yes, those protesters were asshats who need a good bitch slapping. But if I worked myself into a rage every time three idiots of the opposing ideology did something I didn’t like, I’d never get to sleep.

  5. 5
    calipygian says:

    I think we need a little Eugene Debs style sedition trials. Wouldn’t want the Doughy Pant Load’s thesis about liberal fascism to go unproven.

  6. 6
    myiq2xu says:

    Back in 2003 if there were 10,000 people holding a peaceful march and candlelight vigil protesting the war and 3 whackjobs doing something like this, guess where the news crews would be?

  7. 7
    grandpa john says:

    Well hell, why would these wingnuts care? Its not like any of them ever actually go to recruiting offices and sign up. with out directions I am sure they couldn’t even find the place.
    De Mint? Jesus, I find myself in a continuous state of self argument trying to determine which of my two senators is the biggest and most embarrassing asshole.

  8. 8
    canuckistani says:

    Well, I guess the mystery of declining recruiting numbers has been solved. And they would have got away with it too, if it wasn’t for those meddling pundits.

  9. 9
    myiq2xu says:

    Jim DeMint’s wiki page doesn’t mention military service, even though he turned 18 in 1969 which makes him old enough to have served in Vietnam.

    Add his name to the “Chickenhawk Caucus” roster.

  10. 10
    myiq2xu says:

    From wiki re: Jim Demented:

    On Tuesday, May 29th, DeMint asserted that WMDs are only yet to be found in Iraq. He then went on to blame troop deaths on Democrats, saying, “I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we’ve got to get out, we’ve got to cut and run.”

    Maybe they hid the WMD’s in the People’s Republic of Berkeley.

  11. 11

    Maybe they hid the WMD’s in the People’s Republic of Berkeley.

    Heh. I find beautifully ironic that the war criminal John Yoo is now on the faculty of the Law School at UC-Berkeley. Maybe he can chain himself to a vegan restaurant so the folks at the Great Orange Satan can get a little outrage going on.

  12. 12
    ThymeZone says:

    Jim DeMint is a full-on fuckhead.

    He’s written a book which basically says that what’s wrong with America is that we have to whisper when we bash gay people.

    The stupid fuck is from South Carolina.

    Why are even talking about him? He’s beneath contempt.

  13. 13
    tBone says:

    /usual caveats that yes, those protesters were asshats who need a good bitch slapping. But if I worked myself into a rage every time three idiots of the opposing ideology did something I didn’t like, I’d never get to sleep.

    Three idiots plus the Berkeley City Council. Way to live up to stereotypes, you fucking douchebags.

    I can almost sympathize with the wingers on this one, although a few days of their escalating, spittle-flecked outrage will probably cure me of that.

  14. 14
    Pb says:

    So, regarding cutting off federal funds for the entire city of Berkeley as a reaction to a vote of their city council… where does that rank in the pantheon of conservative principles?

    Also, remind me again what’s wrong with occasionally giving protesters a place to protest, or why it should even be necessary to have the government do that in the first place, given the five freedoms of the First Amendment?

  15. 15
    Tom says:

    I fully support them cutting Berkeley’s federal funding by $2.3 million. Not as retribution for this dumb shit, but on principle.

  16. 16
    LiberalTarian says:

    Berkeley sucks. I don’t know where people get this idea that it’s some liberal bastion. Funny, the article I found said something about the City Council calling the Marines unwelcome, right? When my daughter went to school there she felt VERY unwelcome. Trying to get a residential parking pass was a nightmare, there are a number of ordinances directed at students that most citizens would howl against …

    So, much as I would like to defend Berkeley, I just can’t find it in me.

    But man, I hates me some right wing, so there you go. Hm. Hate on the right wing, defend Berkeley. Sigh. Not worth it.

  17. 17
    Fritz says:

    Any dead earmark is a good earmark. Let’s see if we can get earmarks cut off to all sorts of other places.

    It is rather entertaining that the City Council in Berkeley hands out parking places as political favors.

  18. 18
    4tehlulz says:

    This may be the most action that this recruiting station has seen…ever. The recruiters are probably happy to be relieved of the tedium from the lack of chickenhawks recruits signing up.

  19. 19
    4tehlulz says:

    Now that I think about it…

    “We made really great statements by blocking the door,” said one of the three blockaders, 64-year-old Mary Ann Thomas of Oakland.

    Wouldn’t she making a bigger statement locking down an Oakland recruiting center rather than one in Berkeley?

  20. 20
    magisterludi says:

    *Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right- here I am -stuck in the middle with you”. Steve Miller is finally good for something.

  21. 21
    The Other Steve says:

    It is always heartening to watch our right-wing friends stick up for the little guy- the USMC and the federal government. Without their help, these three old people chained to the door of a recruiting station might get us all killed by Islamofascists.

    LOL!

  22. 22
    Nicholas Weaver says:

    As someone who works in Berkeley and use to live in Berkeley, this is expected but F@#)(*# nuts.

    The City council effectively saying that a legitimate business and governmental function is unwanted? Its not like there is a draft. Anyone who walks through that door WANTS to join the Marines, and believes in:

    a) He/she should be a solder

    b) He/she wants to belong to the most effective branch of the military.

    I’d never join the military, I think the war is F@)#* batshit stupid (but at this point we are stuck), but I’m absolutely ashamed that the Berkeley city council is facilitating an attack on the US Military recruiters.

    Why, for example did it take 7 HOURS for the BPD to snip the locks and arrest the protesters?

  23. 23
    The Other Steve says:

    When my daughter went to school there she felt VERY unwelcome. Trying to get a residential parking pass was a nightmare, there are a number of ordinances directed at students that most citizens would howl against …

    Students are second class citizens everywhere I have ever been.

  24. 24
    The Other Steve says:

    The City council effectively saying that a legitimate business and governmental function is unwanted? Its not like there is a draft. Anyone who walks through that door WANTS to join the Marines, and believes in:

    When I was in college our student government would frequently vote for things such as a plan to annex Japan, or some such thing.

    It had no effect on real life.

    You can spend your life being outraged about things that don’t matter, or you can slam your head against a concrete wall. Both are equally productive.

  25. 25
    The Other Steve says:

    He’s written a book which basically says that what’s wrong with America is that we have to whisper when we bash gay people.

    Hey, I agree with Jim DeMint on something. Bigots of the world unite and speak loud and freely.

    It’ll be a lot easier to spot them then.

  26. 26
    12across says:

    Jim DeMint is just not funding “hate speach”. I thought that fighting “hate speech” was a “liberal value”?

    I don’t see anything wrong with protecting the brave men and women that serve our great country from these commies. I just hope that when Berkly is attacked or suffers some natural disaster that they don’t go looking to the troops or national guard to help.

    And like Senater DeMint says, they can say whatever they want, but American doesn’t need to pay for to support their hate ful mouths.

  27. 27
    Fritz says:

    As far as students being second-class citizens — well, sure. Town/gown strife, sometimes leading to rioting and murder, has been a fixture of university towns since Salamanca.

    I can see the town side as well. A friend of mine owned some property near the University of Washington in Seattle. He said it was horrible. Noise, congestion, people vomiting on the street, random vandalism, broken windows, etc. And if somebody called the cops on the students, well, normal people have to work during the day, leaving nobody at home.

    Universities bring jobs and prestige to a city. But large populations of transient young adults are always difficult to deal with.

  28. 28
    myiq2xu says:

    Anyone who walks through that door WANTS to join the Marines, and believes in:

    a) He/she should be a solder

    b) He/she wants to belong to the most effective branch of the military.

    Young, impressionable kids who see commercials that show military life to be fun and exciting.

    What if we made the recruiting commercials conform to “truth in advertising?”

    What if we made them show the bodies of the dead and maimed soldiers and marines coming home?

    What if they showed the long stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror?

    If they did that, we wouldn’t need recruiters, we would need a draft.

  29. 29
    J sub D says:

    Young, impressionable kids who see commercials that show military life to be fun and exciting.

    Yep, ther’re too young, ignorant and foolish to make such an important decision for themselves. The possibility of hostile fire would never occur to an 18 – 22 year old (prime recruiting age). We need to stop these sub adults from enlisting
    and marrying
    and borrowing
    and entering into contracts
    and owning a gun
    and voting.

  30. 30
    cbear says:

    I just hope that when Berkly is attacked or suffers some natural disaster that they don’t go looking to the troops or national guard to help.

    Wonderful. The O’Reilly faction is heard from.
    Aren’t you missing the Hannity Gooper Hour or something, Jerky?

    The military should have as much right to have a recruiting station on campus as the Code Pinker’s have to protest it.
    I’m not threatened by either, and neither is anyone else.

  31. 31
    srv says:

    Marine Corps recruiting station in San Francisco

    Contrary to popular opinion, Berkeley isn’t in San Francisco.

    Sorta like calling Seacaucus the “Big Apple”.

    While the USMC still tries to maintain a strong urban presence, the Army has been withdrawing recruiters from the urban blue strongholds. Portends a military that is even less representative of “United States” than it is already.

  32. 32
    srv says:

    “The First Amendment gives the city of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money,” DeMint said in a statement.

    I love it when a Senator from a welfare state talks about other peoples money. Californians only get back 80 cents on every tax dollar we pay.

    South Carolina would sink tomorrow without Blue State taxes.

    Leeches.

  33. 33
    Fritz says:

    The notion that young people would not join the military if they weren’t persuaded by Hollywood is arrogant, elitist nonsense.

    My older son’s best friend is in the Marines, waiting to go to Iraq. He made his choice for a number of reasons, but he knows the risks. He certainly is not an impressionable young man swayed by fun TV commercials.

    Oh — and cbear — the recruiting station is in a commercial office in the city of Berkeley, not on the campus of UC Berkeley.

  34. 34
    grandpa john says:

    I just hope that when Berkley is attacked or suffers some natural disaster that they don’t go looking to the troops or national guard to help.

    Won’t do them much fucking good will it since they are all in Iraq anyway

  35. 35
    cbear says:

    Fritz.
    Thanks for the info. My point remains the same.
    I don’t care that the Marines recruit or that people protest their recruiting. It’s American, or at least used to be.

  36. 36
    libarbarian says:

    Since when have young people needed TV commercials to make them feel bulletproof?

  37. 37
    TR says:

    I love it when a Senator from a welfare state talks about other peoples money. Californians only get back 80 cents on every tax dollar we pay.

    South Carolina would sink tomorrow without Blue State taxes.

    Leeches.

    My thoughts exactly. The blue states need to stop supporting the lazy red staters with their tax money.

  38. 38
    cbear says:

    The blue states need to stop supporting the lazy red staters with their tax money.

    Yeah, and they should have to give us their women too.
    Although they can keep Coulter, K-Lo, Pammy Atlas, and Michele. Those four should be enough to handle the few remaining straight goopers.

  39. 39
    John says:

    “While the wingnuts are certainly over-reacting, for the Berkeley City Council to treat a Marine Corps recruiting office as if it were the KKK recruiting office is pretty freaking dumb in and of itself.”

    Actually it’s not. Seeing as your military is now little more than a meatgrinder that couldn’t give a flying fuck about your soldiers after they’re done with them… I’d say it’s a prudent move.

    Maybe if A) you pulled your sorry excuse for asses out of the country you wrongfully invaded, and B) this admin actually starts treating vets with respect, rather than just talking about it… then they can stay.

    Until then… I wouldn’t want the Marines within ten feet of my kids.

  40. 40
    ThymeZone says:

    The blue states need to stop supporting the lazy red staters with their tax money.

    According to Michael Moore, at the time, Newt Gingrich’s district got more federal money, per capita, than any other district in the country, when he was in congress.

    Moore’s point was that the “conservatives” have never been serious about fiscal responsibility. They have only been serious about using it as a wedge issue. Once elected, they spend like drunken sailors.

    That’s why I say that there never has been an actual “conservative movement.” Not only is it a sham, but the sham is what the people really want. They want the issue demagogued, and then when the election is over, they want their government handouts.

  41. 41
    Xanthippas says:

    DeMint began drafting legislation Friday to cut $2.1 million in federal funding to Berkeley in a current congressional budget bill and transfer the money to the Marine Corps. The funding would include $750,000 for prospective ferry service, $87,000 for the Berkeley Unified School District nutrition education fund and $243,000 for the Chez Panisse Foundation, which promotes nutritional awareness in school lunch programs.

    So they want to take money for kids’ lunches and give it to Marines? I guess you really can’t have guns and butter.

  42. 42
    Fritz says:

    So the Berkeley city council wants to give a public parking space to Code Pink on Wednesdays. What if a counter-protester parks there? Is the city going to tow a vehicle based on the speech of its owner? Hmm… I smell First Amendment lawsuit!

    BTW — pork is a bipartisan sport. I live in WA state, and our Senator Murray, who started out her career as a “mom in tennis shoes” (great theatrical shtick there), is the premier Senate Democratic champion of pork. Followed closely by the two Democratic Senators from California, of course.

  43. 43
    cbear says:

    Chez Panisse Foundation

    Oh great, wait til some random illiterate gooper picks up on that name— we’ll have non-stop blogging about the House of Pansies in Berkely.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    While the wingnuts are certainly over-reacting, for the Berkeley City Council to treat a Marine Corps recruiting office as if it were the KKK recruiting office is pretty freaking dumb in and of itself.

    Considering how low the Marines standard has fallen in order to fill their recruiting quotas, the distinction between the two is not what it was before.

  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:

    Yep, ther’re too young, ignorant and foolish to make such an important decision for themselves. The possibility of hostile fire would never occur to an 18 – 22 year old (prime recruiting age). We need to stop these sub adults from enlisting
    and marrying
    and borrowing
    and entering into contracts
    and owning a gun
    and voting.

    Says the guy who experiences combat through a screen.

    Nothing really prepares you for combat or facing the realization that yes, you can get killed even if you do everything right.

    The military has taken great care in the last couple of years to deemphasize the uglier side of military duties and lowered their standards to take whoever they can convince, con or otherwise get into the service.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    “The First Amendment gives the city of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money,” DeMint said in a statement.

    Delightful, so when does Demint’s funding get pulled?

    After all, First Amendment and all that, but we don’t have to fucking pay him either, AMIRITE?

  47. 47
    Zuzu says:

    Minor correction for JC : the recruiting station is in Berkeley, not SF per your post.

  48. 48
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Times sure have changed. I recall getting thumped around by the Alameda County Sheriffs in the late Sixties for blocking the streets to keep the buses from getting to the Oakland AFEES center.

    Now I express my outrage in snarky blog posts.

  49. 49
    Dug Jay says:

    Until then… I wouldn’t want the Marines within ten feet of my kids.

    And this represents the “best” that the lives of a few hundred thousand marines made possible by their sacrifice over the past century? I think not; what that disgusting sentence represents is utter stupidity as expressed by a subhuman piece of shit.

  50. 50
    Zuzu says:

    Never fear. The wingnut thug brigades can’t wait for the chance to mix it up with the singing grannies.

    Code Pink Meets the Brown Shirts

  51. 51
    Zuzu says:

    12across Says:

    Jim DeMint is just not funding “hate speach”. I thought that fighting “hate speech” was a “liberal value”?

    Yeah, ferry service and school nutrition programs are pretty hateful speech, all right.

    Wingnut brain cells at work.

  52. 52
    Don says:

    A dozen or so morons behave poorly and the response that comes to mind is to cut off funding for school lunches for thousands of kids. It’s really hard to figure out the thought process that leads up to that.

  53. 53
    cbear says:

    I recall getting thumped around by the Alameda County Sheriffs in the late Sixties

    I recall getting in no end of fights in the late 60’s because I my hair was over my shoulders in Junior High School. Yet, I was the guy who was intent on enlisting, until the war ended, even though I knew the war was wrong.
    I knew it was wrong, because as I posted in a previous thread, my father (a colonel) and my uncles (both generals) gave me the facts. However, I felt honor compelled me to join and serve, just as it did to protest—which I did.

    Funny thing is—the same fuckboys I used to fight with over the length of my hair—wouldn’t have dreamed of enlisting and would have shown up in sequins and a boa, complaining of anal cysts, if drafted.

    Goopers never change. They’re all cowards.

  54. 54
    J sub D says:

    Says the guy who experiences combat through a screen.
    J sub D, FCCM, USN, Retired. That’s Master Chief to you, dipshit!

    I’m so tired of the they’re too young bullshit. If an 18 year old mugs you, do you want him prosecuted as a minor?
    Didn’t think so. They are adults with all of the responsibilities and rights that anyone else has. Agree or not, you are still a dipshit.

  55. 55
    cbear says:

    Zuzu-

    Don’t pay any attention to 12across.

    The nickname stands for 12 inches across his lip. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that if you are so inclined)

  56. 56
    myiq2xu says:

    The notion that young people would not join the military if they weren’t persuaded by Hollywood is arrogant, elitist nonsense.

    My older son’s best friend is in the Marines, waiting to go to Iraq. He made his choice for a number of reasons, but he knows the risks. He certainly is not an impressionable young man swayed by fun TV commercials.

    I guess we can defund all those recruiting commercials like “Army Strong” and whatever the jarheads are running these days.

  57. 57
    myiq2xu says:

    I’m so tired of the they’re too young bullshit. If an 18 year old mugs you, do you want him prosecuted as a minor?

    We don’t let them drink until they’re 21, but we let them enlist.

    BTW – I was 17 when I enlisted, but California let’s them be tried as adults much younger.

  58. 58
    J sub D says:

    We don’t let them drink until they’re 21, but we let them enlist.

    Correct. And that’s a crock as well. You’re an adult at 18 for everything except alcohol. Rridiculous.

    BTW – I was 17 when I enlisted, but California let’s them be tried as adults much younger.

    With your legal guardians permission. The age of trying someone as an adult we can address on an appropriate thread. It is a very difficult issue for people who can reason.

  59. 59
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Ironically enough, three years after my last street action I was in the Mekong Delta. Lost my undergraduate deferment, along with every other person within a fifty mile radius of Berkeley, Joined the Navy and then volunteered to serve in-country RVN. It was either that or spend my whole four year hitch in South Texas!

  60. 60
    Silver Owl says:

    Having a truly shitty inept civilian leadership wrecks the military. It certainly does not help how poorly the wounded are treated by not only the some of the leadership in the Marine Corps and Army these days but the government as well.

    It was a really bad decision when the Marine Corps and Army went smarmy salesman route on the recruiting front. Young adults with family members who are former or active military or who are friends with former or activity are much better informed than those who’s only contact is with a recruiter.

    Bottom line is if you’re going military, Navy or Air Force is the saner choice until we get a much better civilian leadership.

  61. 61

    Its not like there is a draft. Anyone who walks through that door WANTS to join the Marines, and believes in:

    a) He/she should be a solder

    I assume you mean soldier? You don’t want to call a Marine a soldier. If he’s sober you’ll get a scowl, if he’s drunk you might be in trouble. Marines belong to the United States Marine Corps, they are not soldiers.

  62. 62
    J sub D says:

    It was a really bad decision when the Marine Corps and Army went smarmy salesman route on the recruiting front.

    The military has been in salesman mode ever since we went to an all-volunteer force. Maybe I’m overestimating the intelligence of today’s 18 year olds, but I figure they know there is a couple of wars going on, and that the Army and Marine corps are taking almost all the casualties.
    No, I’m not. They know.

  63. 63
    J sub D says:

    Marines belong to the United States Marine Corps, they are not soldiers.

    As an ex-sailor, I know that. Marines are just that, Marines. We swabbies have a 200+ year feud going on with the jarheads United States Marine Corps. They are great guys, superb fighers that you want at your back.

  64. 64
    ThymeZone says:

    I wouldn’t want the Marines within ten feet of my kids.

    Must chime in. I lived for quite a while in Orange County, CA, home of El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, and Tustin’s Marine Corps Air Station (helicopters).

    I lived literally walking distance from each of these facilities, and most of neighbors, in both cases, were Marines. Gotta say, these people were the best neighbors I ever had. A little boisterous at times, but just great people, and they’d give you the shirt off their back if you needed something. I have never enjoyed the people around me as much as I did during those days.

    My son lived with me during a good deal of that time and he thoroughly enjoyed the Jarhead culture we lived in. Other than the fact that there was a little too much alcohol flowing from time to time …. my favorite neighbors ever.

    We could talk about anything, including politics, and the Marines never got uptight, never pushed their views on anyone, listened respectfully, and spoke intelligently.

    Good times.

  65. 65
    Zuzu says:

    Dennis – SGMM Says:

    Ironically enough, three years after my last street action I was in the Mekong Delta. Lost my undergraduate deferment, along with every other person within a fifty mile radius of Berkeley, Joined the Navy and then volunteered to serve in-country RVN. It was either that or spend my whole four year hitch in South Texas!

    Wow. Thank you for your service. Were you riverine or offshore?

  66. 66
    Zuzu says:

    TZ –

    I grew up in a military family, though my dad retired when I was still young.

    I hardly remember a Christmas that we didn’t have a young guy or two from El Toro at the table.

  67. 67
    Delia says:

    El Toro got decommissioned a few years back. Part of it is now a satellite campus for Cal State Fullerton and I don’t know what they did with the rest. The county bigwigs wanted to put in an airport but all the residents voted it down decisively. I don’t live there anymore, so I don’t know what the final outcome was

  68. 68
    Zuzu says:

    My dad was Air Force, but El Toro was the closest base, so I have lots of memories of hitting the PX there.

    For some reason we went to Los Alamitos to use the pool.

  69. 69
    Silver Owl says:

    It has nothing to do with intelligence but about being naive.

    Recruiters are not forthcoming about military life nor battle. A family member or friends of the family that was or is military will certainly discuss both the pros and the cons of military life and combat.

    When my nephew J wanted to go Army, my brother who is retired Army talked to him, along with some of his friends who are Air Force and Navy. My father also retired Army spoke to him as well. My cousins, one a former Marine and the other retired Navy talked to him too. More complete information. J went Navy.

    The twin nephews are going to go military the same thing is happening. Are they stupid? Of course not. Naive? Absolutely.

    They have spoken with recruiters. There were gaps of information about military life and war that our family and friends filled in that the recuiters did not mention and the twins did not know to ask about. Now that they have a cousin who is also active military they have yet another source for information.

    As a military family, we’re not fans of recruiters either. Not because the military is not an honorable and valid career choice but because recruiters for the most part are full of shit and do a disservice by not being as up front and forthright as they should be. I can imagine how families who aren’t traditionally military would be even more antagonistic towards recruiters. The military leadership can and should address that issue.

  70. 70
    myiq2xu says:

    The military has been in salesman mode ever since we went to an all-volunteer force. Maybe I’m overestimating the intelligence of today’s 18 year olds, but I figure they know there is a couple of wars going on, and that the Army and Marine corps are taking almost all the casualties.

    They know, but they don’t know.

    I watch those recruiting commercials and except for the uniforms they look nothing like real military life, let alone combat.

    For me it didn’t happen in the military, but it’s really different from Hollywood when you have a gun pointed at you, or when you point one at someone else with your finger on the trigger. I’ve done both, and even though no one got hurt I don’t care to repreat the experience.

  71. 71
    Zuzu says:

    As a military family, we’re not fans of recruiters either. Not because the military is not an honorable and valid career choice but because recruiters for the most part are full of shit and do a disservice by not being as up front and forthright as they should be. I can imagine how families who aren’t traditionally military would be even more antagonistic towards recruiters. The military leadership can and should address that issue.

    Very good points.

    Ask a few active duty military recruits if they felt they were told the truth by their recruiter, and I’d wager there’d be very few yeses.

  72. 72
    cbear says:

    Zuzu-

    Very small point, but the Air Force does not have PX’es, which stands for Post Exchange. They have BX’es, which stands for Base Exchange.

  73. 73
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Were you riverine or offshore?

    Thank you. I was riverine, a member of the Brown Water Navy, stationed at NSAD Binh Thuy about 24 klicks from Can Tho on the southernmost mouth of the Mekong River.

    I thought that the Vietnamese were charming (When they weren’t shooting at me) and I bear them no enmity. The people with whom I spoke were uniformly puzzled by the fact that we had taken the time and trouble to come so far and expended so much effort to destroy their country. I imagine that many Iraqis are now subject to the same confusion.

  74. 74
    J sub D says:

    They know, but they don’t know.

    That’s true. As others have posted it is wise to talk with a vet or active duty person who isn’t your recruiter (whoi do have quotas to fill).

    But isn’t that true about any new chapter in life? College? Marriage? Parenthood? Careeer change? And don’t proponents of all of these talk up the good parts and minimize the downsides? I don’t fault the recruiters or the military for doing just that. Recruiters, like car salesmen, are not your friends. Buy a used car, get an opinion from somebody who knows cars and you trust. If you don’t do that and end up with a Vega, don’t fault the salesman, fault your own decision making process. My point is that an 18 year old is legally an adult and deserves to be treated that way. No exceptions and no excuses.
    When we were all young, dumb and ready to take on the world, didn’t we rightfully expect to be treated that way? Youth today is every bit as smart as we were.

  75. 75
    Zuzu says:

    Zuzu-

    Very small point, but the Air Force does not have PX’es, which stands for Post Exchange. They have BX’es, which stands for Base Exchange

    I understand. But we were shopping at El Toro, a Marine station.

    Truthfully, it may also have been a BX. But as my mom grew up in and married into the Army (my dad us Air Corps before it was Air Force), we never called it anything but the PX.

  76. 76
    Zuzu says:

    Dennis –

    Interesting. May I ask what years you were there?

    Ever cross paths with anyone of Swift Boat fame?

  77. 77
    myiq2xu says:

    But as my mom grew up in and married into the Army (my dad us Air Corps before it was Air Force), we never called it anything but the PX.

    My dad was Army Air Corps when he first enlisted and then retired as an E-8 in the Air Force.

  78. 78
    cbear says:

    Zuzu-

    Only the Army has PX’es. All others are BX’es.

    One of those things you learn when your whole family is Army lifers. “Goddamnmit boy, that’s a PX, not a BX…if you want to go to the goddam BX, join the goddamn Air Force, the goddamn Navy, or those goddamn Marine pussies.”

  79. 79
    DougJ says:

    Anyone know what kind of countertops these guys have at home?

  80. 80
    myiq2xu says:

    When we were all young, dumb and ready to take on the world, full of cum, didn’t we rightfully expect to be treated that way? Youth today is every bit as smart as we were.

    These kids, just like us, are willing to kill and die for our country. They swear an oath to follow orders.

    This places a solemn duty on our leaders regarding how they use those kids.

    The disaster in Iraq is not due to the failure of our military, it is due to the failure of our leadership and the voters.

    We failed them.

  81. 81
    Zuzu says:

    My dad was Army Air Corps when he first enlisted and then retired as an E-8 in the Air Force.

    Yes, my dad trained in the Air Corps after West Point. Married an Army girl in San Antonio. Retired as a Colonel…sorry, don’t know what that translates to.

  82. 82
    Zuzu says:

    One of those things you learn when your whole family is Army lifers. “Goddamnmit boy, that’s a PX, not a BX…if you want to go to the goddam BX, join the goddamn Air Force, the goddamn Navy, or those goddamn Marine pussies.”

    Yep, we were Army way back. Grandfather, great-uncle, and dad all went to West Point and were career officers…though as said, my dad became Air Force when it all changed.

    My brother went to the Air Force Academy and was a fighter pilot … two tours in Vietnam. Got out and became a successful entrepreneur.

    His son graduated from West Point last year … so I guess we’re back to rooting for Army.

    My son is a maritime officer, attended a maritime academy, but is not military. As much as I honor the service, I’m glad he’s not in. All three of us daughters grew up to be peaceniks.

  83. 83
    DougJ says:

    Speaking of phony people, things have really taken a strange turn over at Blogs4Brownback.

  84. 84
    Zuzu says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    These kids, just like us, are willing to kill and die for our country. They swear an oath to follow orders.

    This places a solemn duty on our leaders regarding how they use those kids.

    The disaster in Iraq is not due to the failure of our military, it is due to the failure of our leadership and the voters.

    We failed them.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I always hear that we have the freedom to speak out because some soldier fought for it. Okay, I pretty much agree.

    On the other hand, the reason that soldier is not sent to risk his or her life in more ill-conceived foreign adventures at the whim of a dictator is because of a populace that holds its leaders accountable.

    I think it’s an unspoken covenant. They volunteer to risk their lives, but depend on their leaders – and us – not to ask them to do it needlessly.

    In other words, a citizen who holds the leaders accountable is doing his or her duty. And yes, supporting the troops.

    And that’s why, when I saw my nephew raise his hand to take that oath with GWB watching on, I despised that man more than ever for the betrayal of that trust.

  85. 85
    wobbly says:

    I have a nephew in Iraq.

    Right now.

    Virginia National Guard, volunteered to get money for collegeflunked out of said college, and is now in someplace called “Camp Taji”.

    I’ll vote in a heartbeat for the candidate most likely to get him out that place ASAP.

    And that’s Hillary Clinton.

  86. 86
    myiq2xu says:

    I think it’s an unspoken covenant. They volunteer to risk their lives, but depend on their leaders – and us – not to ask them to do it needlessly.

    The covenant is implicit, but maybe it should be explicit.

    Maybe it should be part of the oath of office for the President.

  87. 87
    myiq2xu says:

    I have a nephew in Iraq.

    My nephew is still in basic training, but you know where he’ll be as soon as the training ends.

  88. 88
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Zuzu, I was there in ’71-’72. I think that I missed Lt. John Kerry by about four months. No one I knew personally became famous, we all just took care of each other and counted the days ’til we went back to “The World.”

  89. 89
    Zuzu says:

    Dennis – SGMM Says:

    Zuzu, I was there in ‘71-’72. I think that I missed Lt. John Kerry by about four months. No one I knew personally became famous, we all just took care of each other and counted the days ‘til we went back to “The World.”

    Ah yes, he left in ’69. But there seem to be so many “personalities” involved with this whole SBVT thing … both pro and con … that I wondered if you’d met any of ’em.

    Sounds like you were part of the turning-things-over-to-the-
    Vietnamese time, yes?

  90. 90
    Nicholas Weaver says:

    Ask yourself this:

    Would the city council effectively endorse the protesters (not enforcing trespsassing laws for 7.5 hours, giving preferred parking rather than letting them pay $15 ($8 if you arrive before 8am) in the local garage like anyone else) if you replaced the Marine Corps recruiting station with Planned Parenthood?

  91. 91
    Nicholas Weaver says:

    Oh, and cutting that ferry service would be a good thing. As much as Iraq is a cluster_F#@()*, the marines could use that money better than a perhaps hundred rider a day ferry which departs from the berkeley Waterfront (which has no reliable mass transit NOR significant residential population)

  92. 92
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Sounds like you were part of the turning-things-over-to-the-
    Vietnamese time, yes?

    Sure was. They called it “Vietnamization.” Most of the Vietnamese were not really into the war. Ho Chi Minh was still a revered figure and in the part of Vietnam where I was (Known to the military as IV Corps) the enemy was honest-to-goodness Viet Cong (Indigenous guerrillas) as opposed to NVA (North Vietnamese Army) who filtered in from North Vietnam and who predominated in the other three corps. The idea for us was to turn the boats over to Vietnamese crews, after they were trained, and deploy them with one American adviser aboard. Because of the Vietnamese crews disinterest in prosecuting the war some of the boats returned unscathed but sans adviser. The official doctrine was never officially changed but we doubled up to make sure that no boat left without two Americans aboard. For the last six months, we Navy guys were the only ones in our part of the Delta; the Air Force was long gone, the Army pulled out and the Marines were all busy to the north. The result was that guys were occasionally robbed at gunpoint by members of the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam). That last left me with strong feelings about the wisdom of providing our best weapons to those supposedly our allies in what is essentially a civil war.

  93. 93
    Pug says:

    And like Senater DeMint says, they can say whatever they want, but American doesn’t need to pay for to support their hate ful mouths.

    Obviously not a Berkeley graduate. Just for full disclosure, I graduated from Berkeley in the mid-70’s. If three old ladies is all they can muster these days, in the middle of an unpopular war, things have really changed in the old town. Wouldn’t be related to there not being a draft, huh?

    No denying the Berkeley city council is whack. They also have their own little foreign policy and, I have to give them credit, they passed a resolution condemning the Taliban long before any of the wingnuts had ever heard of them. Still, for the most part they’re pretty silly and everybody knows it.

  94. 94
    Zuzu says:

    Nicholas Weaver Says:

    Oh, and cutting that ferry service would be a good thing. As much as Iraq is a cluster_F#@()*, the marines could use that money better than a perhaps hundred rider a day ferry which departs from the berkeley Waterfront (which has no reliable mass transit NOR significant residential population)

    Spoken like someone who has never tried to cross the Bay Bridge during rush hour.

    WTA

  95. 95
    Zuzu says:

    Dennis –

    Wow, you’ll never hear THAT from any of the John O’Neills of the world. In fact, here’s what he had to say at the time:

    Mr. Kerry went on to say: “We found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take the fight against the threat.”

    The unit Mr. Kerry and I served in does not exist any longer. The waterways we once patrolled and fought on are now patrolled by South Vietnamese. To paraphrase Winston Churchill “Give them the tools and they will finish the job.” The continuing efforts of the brave South Vietnamese men who fight on the same rivers and canals we once fought on rebuts Mr. Kerry far better than I could. SBVT

    A little more revisionism from Mr. O’Neill…he lies about his own service in VN in that letter a couple of times. He turns his 15 months on the rivers and offshore into “almost three years.” Lying little slug.

  96. 96
    myiq2xu says:

    Spoken like someone who has never tried to cross the Bay Bridge during rush hour.

    Or after an earthquake.

  97. 97
    Zuzu says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    Spoken like someone who has never tried to cross the Bay Bridge during rush hour.

    Or after an earthquake.

    Yep.

  98. 98
    Nicholas Weaver says:

    Spoken as someone who commutes regularly in the bay area, the ferry system is a F@#)(* joke.

    If you want to get to SF in rush hour, take Bart. The only difference between bart and the proposed ferry is, oh, bart runs every 10-20 minutes, carries more people, actually takes you FROM populated areas TO populated areas, costs less, pollutes less, oh, you get the idea….

    The number of people who’d be closer to the ferry station insetad of Ashby, Berkeley, or North Berkeley bart is so small it would be cheaper to buy them all scooters to get to Bart than it would be to have the ferry.

  99. 99
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Three people are helping to cut federal subsidies to a city? Can we get a few thousand more to go to cities across America and do the same? Wow, what a great way to cut government spending! ;)

    People are free to be stupid in America. Obviously, there is plenty of stupidity on all sides in this latest tempest in a teapot.

    Regarding age of adulthood, drinking age and so on, I think they have to come to some logical adjustment on this. Either raise voting/enlistment/adulthood age to the age of drinking, or lower the drinking age to 18. Personally, when it comes to deciding if you want to join the military, 21 should be the age. In a national emergency I can see it being lowered to 18, but I think most people are mature enough at 21 to make decisions that are better than ones they would make at 18.

    I have friends and family in all branches of the military and coast guard, and I support the military all of the way. I wanted to join the Air Force (due to the influence of one Sgt. Robinson, a good friend of the family), but epilepsy and a screwed left kneecap put that goal permanently out of reach for me.

    That does not mean I support the improper use of our military, as is the situation now. Our military is a tool that only works whenit is used for what it was designed for. The Rumsfeld redesign of our military is a perfect example of this.

    IMO, anyone who joins the military for purely financial or career reasons while not taking into account that this decision could very well mean that they will die sooner than they may like, is too stupid to do anything competently at that time in their life. I do think recruiters should have to spell out what the possible negative ramifications of military service are just as much as they emphasize the positive aspects. I would think that this would blow out the chaff and make for a better military.

    But this current tempest in a teapot is just so stupid from just about any angle. If we were drafting, I could see a protest like this being valid. If there were an actual crisis where we needed the military to protect us, I would bet that the same people who disparage them now would be among the loudest voices calling for their help then.

  100. 100
    RSA says:

    Coming in late: Dumbassery all around. The Berkeley city council and Code Pink–do they ask the local IRS office to shut down when taxes are raised, or picket the nearest federal courthouse when the Justice Department commits yet another grievous offense? That’s not where the decisions are made. Of course, DeMint is not covering himself in glory either. The next time a South Carolina school board comes out against the teaching of evolution, I’ll suggest that federal funding for school lunches be removed from those school districts, using his argument that their idiocy (in this case damaging the future economic prospects of students who can’t really defend themselves) should be on their own dime.

  101. 101
    Nicholas Weaver says:

    Oh, and lets assume the AMAZINGLY optimistic estimate of 2700 passanger trips a day 20 years from now…

    Lets see, a bart car has ~30 rows, each 4 wide, so 120 people per bart car sitting. So the entire million dollar a year+ boondoggle is equivelent to two additional BART trains running ONLY from Berkeley to the SF waterfroot.

    Leaving from a spot

  102. 102
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    A little more revisionism from Mr. O’Neill…

    John O’Neill is, by my experience, full of crap. I only fought in the southern part of the Delta, up coast to the Rung Sat Special Zone and upriver to Chau Duc where the Vinh The canal to Thailand intersects the Mekong so maybe I didn’t see the part where the Vietnamese enthusiastically took over.

    What I did see was that people have a deep-seated desire to write their own history and that they tend to resent the hell out of anyone who tries to write it for them.

  103. 103
    DougJ says:

    Jesus, how many of you fuckers are from California?

    I miss Berkeley. Was just out there and watched the first round play-off games at Raleigh’s. Good times.

  104. 104
    cbear says:

    What I did see was that people have a deep-seated desire to write their own history and that they tend to resent the hell out of anyone who tries to write it for them.

    Yep.
    I might add that killing or maiming their family members, friends, neighbors, relatives, and countrymen tends to concentrate their resentment on the perpetrator of that mayhem.
    Sometimes you end up with people who want to kill your family members, friends, neighbors, relatives, and countrymen.
    People are funny that way.

  105. 105
    Llelldorin says:

    Lets see, a bart car has ~30 rows, each 4 wide, so 120 people per bart car sitting. So the entire million dollar a year+ boondoggle is equivelent to two additional BART trains running ONLY from Berkeley to the SF waterfroot.

    You’re overestimating the size of a BART car. BART cars seat 68-72 passengers, and have a maximum crush load of 150.

    It doesn’t invalidate your point; it just means you’d need about twice as many trains as you thought.

    Still, speaking as someone a little sick of those “crush loads”, I’d be happy if a few thousand boat-lovers got off of my trains. I’d be even happier if they’d just run 10-car trains on the Fremont-Richmond and Daly City-Dublin/Pleasanton lines, instead of absurdly overcrowded smaller trains.

  106. 106
    Zuzu says:

    So the entire million dollar a year+ boondoggle is equivelent to two additional BART trains running ONLY from Berkeley to the SF waterfroot.

    Aside from the fact it’s been pointed out that it would actually take about four trains to carry the same number of passengers, maybe they should re-think rebuilding the Bay Bridge and just run more and more BART trains back and forth.

    There’s a point where the system just can’t accommodate the projected congestion, and providing a safe, environmentally friendly, and competitively priced alternative – that also allows you to take your bike during rush hour and your dog any time … and allows you to walk around and enjoy the view didn’t seem like much of a boondoggle to the voters, who approved it.

  107. 107
    Zuzu says:

    John O’Neill is, by my experience, full of crap. I only fought in the southern part of the Delta, up coast to the Rung Sat Special Zone and upriver to Chau Duc where the Vinh The canal to Thailand intersects the Mekong so maybe I didn’t see the part where the Vietnamese enthusiastically took over.

    What I did see was that people have a deep-seated desire to write their own history and that they tend to resent the hell out of anyone who tries to write it for them.

    Well put.

  108. 108
    myiq2xu says:

    Jesus, how many of you fuckers are from California?

    Something like slightly more than 1 in 10 citizens of Los Estados Unidos lives in California, many who were born elsewhere.

    This gave rise to our unofficial motto – “Welcome to California. Now go home.”

  109. 109
    Zifnab says:

    Coming in late: Dumbassery all around. The Berkeley city council and Code Pink—do they ask the local IRS office to shut down when taxes are raised, or picket the nearest federal courthouse when the Justice Department commits yet another grievous offense? That’s not where the decisions are made.

    No. Federal tax policy is set in Washington DC. But it is carried out at the local IRS office or courthouse. That said, if I’m living in Berkley, CA I might not have the time, money, or resources to fly 3000 miles to picket the Capital Building. It might make more sense – logistically – for me to express my protests close to home.

    What’s more, when the benign policies of the federal government – attempting to recruit X number of able bodied, healthy, intelligent American citizens to serve the country in a military capacity – get expressed in unethical ways – with recruiters lying to potential recruits or intimidating local communities. If local IRS officials were to try and hustle you up for extra money or the local federal courthouse judge was the center of a government intimidation effort, where would you protest?

    And how many times have Dreggas or TZ popped the question, “When do we get to bust out the pitchforks and take a stand?” Well, folks. There’s your angry mob. There’s your pitchforks. And what are you doing now? “Oh poo-poo! Such incivility! How dare the peasants bust out the torches and the pitchforks?!” To those who criticize civilian protesters for their choice of venue in the middle of an illegal war at the height of history’s most inept Presidency, I say to you – Blow Me. Maybe get off your ass and protest better, show us how its done. Otherwise, wank off.

    Of course, DeMint is not covering himself in glory either. The next time a South Carolina school board comes out against the teaching of evolution, I’ll suggest that federal funding for school lunches be removed from those school districts, using his argument that their idiocy (in this case damaging the future economic prospects of students who can’t really defend themselves) should be on their own dime.

    Gah! No! Wrong again! Exactly what is the point of cutting the school lunch program in regards to teaching evolution? If you don’t teach science properly we’ll starve your kids? Yeah, that sounds like a great way to better educate the public. Why not go the extra mile and cut teachers’ salaries? Fire all the janitors? Bull-doze the parking lots? Nothing teaches evolution like survival of the fittest, eh?

    DeMitt’s little reallocation stunt is pure, petty, vindictive “revenge”, cushioned by his general disdain for public funding of education anyway. I’m sure he’d happily cut ferry services, nutrition education, and school lunches even without this little protest. But now the little slim ball gets to cut funding while wrapping himself in the American Flag. “Oooo! I’m such a patriot! I stole your lunch money!”

    If the US Military doesn’t like getting blackballed by local communities, if it doesn’t like people protesting on its doorsteps and getting shit from college campuses, then perhaps it should get its fucking act together. If Iraq has taught us anything, I’d like to think that its about fighting home grown insurgencies. Clearly, if the powerful persuasive tactics and diplomatic efforts (read: fucking retarded douchebaggery) of DeMint are our primary tools of war, we’re getting our asses handed to us overseas for a damn good reason.

  110. 110
    cbear says:

    Zifnab-

    Well, that kind of closes out this thread with a bang.

    Bravo.

  111. 111
    Jess says:

    Well said, Zinfab!

    As a former Berkeley resident (born in California, product of at least five generations of Californians), I have to say that the unrelenting silliness of Berkeley is an excellent counterpoint to the unrelenting (and far more dangerous) silliness of the worst of the red states. Furthermore, we need silly ideas and posturing–it’s what keeps the discourse vital and it’s how new ideas get on the table for consideration. I’m sure the leaders of the American Revolution were roundly condemned as crackpots back in the day–self-rule? freedom of worship? freedom of speech and assembly? Ridiculous! Throwing tea into the harbor to protest taxes? What immature, self-dramatizing twits!

    I’m also a former resident of a sober, reasonable, moderate European community as well, and I was delighted to return to the beautiful wackiness of our country–it’s something to celebrate, not condemn.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    J sub D, FCCM, USN, Retired. That’s Master Chief to you

    Push a button, kill a target on a screen.

    Wow, that really prepares you for your first firefight.

  113. 113
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    I fully support them cutting Berkeley’s federal funding by $2.3 million. Not as retribution for this dumb shit, but on principle.

    I fully support any inhabitants of a municipality on which such a cut was enacted not being required to pay federal income tax. If you live in a city the feds won’t support, you don’t have to support the feds.

  114. 114
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    And this represents the “best” that the lives of a few hundred thousand marines made possible by their sacrifice over the past century?

    And American will be eternally grateful for the recent sacrifice of the lives of so many Marines to prevent the Iraqis from strapping water wings to their arms, swimming to the East Coast, and throwing WMDS they don’t actually have at defenceless American citizens.

    Face it – there’s a real sacrifice being made, but it’s not for “freedom” or “liberty” or “defence”. The US Marines you laud are patsies, lemmings shoved off a cliff for teh benefit of a great visual.

  115. 115
    srv says:

    Jesus, how many of you fuckers are from California?

    I’m just visiting until all the damn Californians leave Austin.

    It strikes me that John is discriminating against the left coast. Posters are our host in WV, a gay Canadian in Atlanta (not that there’s anything wrong with that), a Texan who isn’t even in Austin anymore, and Tim who is obviously at some snooty east coast University.

  116. 116
    Natascha says:

    You know the pretty apartment building that is often in the background of the Code Pink protest pictures? I live there. Yep, lucky me– front row seat. Also a 3rd year poli sci major at Berkeley.

    I pretty much consider myself left of center on most issues. I opposed the war from the start (still amazed at how us 15 year olds at the time called it right…), etc. But I think BOTH the protesters and the Michelle Malkin/ DeMint ilk are a bunch of dumbasses. Two sides of the same coin.

    First of all, the City of Berkeley is a college town, and the location of the recruitment center is a whopping 2 blocks away from campus. It is surrounded by apartment complexes (inhabited by Berkeley students of course), and other facilities that are widely used by the students… like a train station and several restaurants. Every Wednesday, when the protests typically take place, huge crowds assemble to the point where a police presence is necessary. There have been many occasions where the protests have gotten violent and fights do break out.

    Keep in mind, students live around there, and from what I’ve seen for the last six months, NO students have taken part in the protests. My guess is that a lot of the folks who assemble are carpetbaggers, coming from Oakland and other neighboring cities. The situation, first and foremost poses a safety threat to the students. I would not count out a Marxist loon setting off a homemade bomb, nor would I put it past the police to use force.

    Secondly, I think it’s a fascinating fixture of American politics that protestors actually do take the time to organize to let their beliefs be known. However, those “honk for peace” signs do NOTHING but irritate the shit out of me when I’m trying to get some sleep at 7am on Wednesday morning. Nor do they go away after I come back from class a 3pm and want to study in my room. And now the City Council has authorized the protestors to use loud speakers? Lovely. It’s a fucking college town! The only people getting disturbed are students. Of course students aren’t happy or joining in the protests.

    If it’s true, I think it’s despicable for the Marine recruiting office to come to Berkeley so that they can affectively target students for their failed endeavors in Iraq and Afghanistan (I would consider serving under another Commander-in-Chief). But people on both sides are so overzealous, that they fail to examine any possible unintended consequences that could come with their actions. For example, it would be tragic for someone to get injured or die in the midst of the protests, because these protests are being carried out in the name of getting us out of Iraq for the sake of saving American lives. And as I said before, after seeing these protests, it’s a great possibility that lots of people could get hurt.

    But, on the other hand, fuck that senator. The response for the protests are just fucking ridiculous. We pay taxes in Berkeley. I don’t know the population of Berkeley, but for goodness sake; on average, 50 people (sometimes a lot more, somtimes a lot less) assemble to protest the recruitment center during noon. Most times there are about 10 old ladies doing nothing more than hold signs and sitting on lawn chairs. For the entire City of Berkeley to be punished for the actions of a very small proportion of the population (if they are even citizens of Berkeley, anyway), is fucking ridiculous. And as I said, the students don’t participate in this garbage. So why the fuck is the dumbass from 3000 miles away proposing a bill that would eliminate earmarks for UC Berkeley, when he doesn’t really know what the hell is going on? Dumbass.

    Both of the parties in this situation represent the worst of their respective sides: the stupid, loony lefties vs. the pretentious, chauvinistic, dumbass right-wing nutjobs.

    UGH!

  117. 117
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Phoenician,

    It sounds like you think that those Marines (and all of the rest of the military) should have revolted rather than go to Iraq.

    Soldiers, sailors, aviators and marines are tools. Understand? Tools, as in wrenches and such. They do not decide anything other than how to complete the assigned mission. Period. And I am damn glad that they do so.

    It is the mechanics who need to be held to account. They are abusing the tools, using them in ways that they were not intended. Now you see what happens when a monkey is given a wrench. ;) He beats the shit out of everything with it. The shop foremen are letting the monkey run rampant, and they were the ones who let him loose.

    Just as our military could turn against this war, they could also just as easily turn against us. It happens in other nations, far too often for my liking. Our men and women will not do that, and that is because they are us. They have been given a job to do, and like it or not they have to go and do it. If they could talk freely, I would bet that other than the hard core Rambo types, nost probably think that Iraq is a fucking quagmire.

    It is up to us to convince the idiots in charge to get the tools back from the monkey. Since they will not do that, then we have to force their hand with this next election. Once you get their attention, they will respond just long enough to get the heat off of them. Then they will lapse into their abject ways of ruling until we have to slam them again.

    For me, that is reason enough to vote for Obama. He does not plan on rushing out, but I think he would get us out of there faster than any other candidate.

  118. 118
    RSA says:

    Great post, Zifnab.

    Gah! No! Wrong again! Exactly what is the point of cutting the school lunch program in regards to teaching evolution?

    I didn’t mean that part seriously; it was intended as an absurdity. I agree that such tit-for-tat retributions are entirely inappropriate.

  119. 119
    lou lozano says:

    Berkeley City Council Receives Tickets to Hell

    Philadelphia, PA (February 2, 2008) Philadelphia based website; http://www.ATicketToHell.com has sent each member of the Berkeley City Council a ticket to hell. Although this is offered as a gift that will bring chuckles, giggles, and maybe even hysterics that turn to tears, there are times, like this when the message is clear: Your actions may bring you more that you ever dreamed.

    The reservation and tickets were sent anonymously. The council will received:

    · Each council member’s name entered into The Complete Book of Damned Souls.

    · A Certificate of Reservation for the council.

    · A One Way Ticket to Hell on the Express One Stop Hellevator™ for each member.

    Although designed as a novelty gift and to be sent without malice, this reservation to hell has provided an outlet for pent up emotion and frustration. ATicketToHell.com, although somewhat controversial believes laughter is a great way to diffuse anger and reservations to hell will provide humor to both the sender and the receiver while reminding those who receive it that individual opinion may not be the best for the greater good.

    “The gift is perfect for anyone, especially former spouses and significant others, politicians, lawyers and generally rude and nasty individuals” explained Lou Lozano site founder.

    For more information regarding ATicketToHell.com please contact Lou at lou@atickettohell.com.

  120. 120
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    It sounds like you think that those Marines (and all of the rest of the military) should have revolted rather than go to Iraq.

    Soldiers, sailors, aviators and marines are tools. Understand? Tools, as in wrenches and such. They do not decide anything other than how to complete the assigned mission. Period. And I am damn glad that they do so.

    I preferred “I was just following orders” in the original German.

    When this war is over – not that it ever really will be; you can’t unscramble an egg – guys like this or these may be seen as the real heroes.

    More likely the US will continue to delude itself about the nobility of invading and occupying other countries based on lies.

  121. 121
    spanielboy says:

    Senator DeMint will punish children through the school’s nutrition funds to make a point with the city council? It looks like $300,000 of nutrition funding will be diverted to the USMC. Two wrongs don’t make one right. DeMint needs to pull his head out of his ### and find something that punishes the council and not innocent bystanders. But in the GOP world, this is typical behavior for the course.

  122. 122
    Shiva H Vishnu says:

    DeMint is a fool. He squeeked into office by the thinnest margin imaginable. I didn’t vote for him because he claims to be churchy and yet is seen constantly attending “Gentleman’s Clubs”

    Students have a right to protest whatever they want. It should be remembered, they are the future. Maybe we should all ask the same question these students are asking, Why chose schools to canvas for military fodder? Why not go into some of the Corporations and see if their members would like to join up

    South Carolina is changing … look for these fools to get the axe first chance we get.

  123. 123
    Weaseldog says:

    To continue to follow the path that we are on…

    We really don’t need education in the US. With a powerful military, we can just simply demand what we want from other countries.

    John McCain say we’re going to have a lot more war when he become president. So cutting education will make available more people for recruitment.

    As Dick Armey has argued, the people of Japan and India are smart and well educated. Let them have the tech jobs.

    So let the Mexicans and Chinese have all of the non skilled jobs. We can create money out of thin air and use it to buy military hardware. Then we can negotiate from a position of strength. To do so, we need to have a military population, not a civilian one. And to this purpose, we don’t need civilian laws and rules, but military ones. Like in 2000, the Supreme Court needs to appoint our presidents. And the President needs the power of all three branches of government.

    This is the path America wants to be on, in order to stay safe. I believe this is the path we will continue to take.

  124. 124
    tBone says:

    I preferred “I was just following orders” in the original German.

    Wow – from 0 to Godwin in only three posts.

    More likely the US will continue to delude itself about the nobility of invading and occupying other countries based on lies.

    Aside from the Bush deadenders, who exactly in the US do you think is still deluding themselves about Iraq? Has there been some renewed public groundswell of support for the occupation that I’m unaware of?

    Please, do all us all a favor and go chain yourself to a recruiting station instead of polluting the comments here with your bullshit.

  125. 125
    Buck says:

    12across Says:

    And like Senater DeMint says, they can say whatever they want, but American doesn’t need to pay for to support their hate ful mouths.

    Great. Does this mean we can now finally bring a halt to funding faith-based initiatives? Or do you prefer your hypocrisy served hot?

  126. 126
    Punchy says:

    I love how the Code Browners are upset that the Code Pinkers are blocking people from getting into the recruiting station. Blocking everyone, of course, except themselves…who are far too fucking chickenshit to enlist.

    SQUAAAAAAK!

  127. 127
    Weaseldog says:

    Isn’t Christianity the official religion of US Federal Government now? Didn’t that bill pass?

    If so, then of course the government should continue to fund faith based activities and missionary work.

    The next thing Congress needs to do is decide which Christian faith is the official US faith.

    It obviously can’t be Catholics because they are godless liberals.

    The battle will probable come down between Baptists and Methodists. I’d put my money on Baptists.

    Whichever faith wins, will be able to decide which Christian initiatives that the government subsidizes, and to what degree.

    “Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war!”

  128. 128
    Dick's Cheney says:

    My son joined the Navy because he was too lazy to get a job or go to college. He told me so. Having joined the Marines myself when I was 18 I know that enlistees come in three different flavors: patriots, war lovers and slackers.

    Patriots join for God and Country or to fight the terrorists. They can sometimes be war lovers too, but usually aren’t. Professional soldiers (Academy grads, officers, career NCOs) usually all fall into this category. Good on ’em. Ooh-Rah. They are 5% of the military.

    War lovers make up 5% more. Some come in as war lovers, some join the group, some leave when they find out they really aren’t war lovers but this is a reason some join. It’s probably higher now that there is a chance of combat, but when I was in (1979) even the unlikely possibility of action was cited as a reason for joining by some.

    Finally the vast majority (probably 90%) are slackers, unwilling to go out and get some crappy job and crappy apartment to fund their video game and beer lifestyle – but equally as unwilling to put in the work to get an education or a skill that would allow them their leisure pursuits. Of all my son’s Corpsmen and Marine co-workers whom I’ve met all of them fall into this category. I fell into this category as well when I joined. If the Mommies and Daddies of America allowed their kids to stay at home and play Xbox while keeping the fridge stocked with Bud the war would be over tomorrow.

    My son is constantly stopped when he is in uniform and people say exactly the same thing – “thank you for your service”. I’ve had neighbors I barely know knock on my door and ask me to “thank your son for his service”. My son doesn’t like the attention, not because he really isn’t serving anyone but himself and is embarrassed (which is the case and he should be embarrassed) but because people accost him at inopportune moments and he’d rather be left alone – it’s inconvenient for him.

    The recruiters I met from the Army Navy and Air Force were nothing more than uniformed car salesmen trying to sell my son a lifestyle or appeal to his patriotism or blood lust, whatever worked to get him in the door and fill their quota. My son lived in an air-conditioned sea-land container for 7 months, but he had his Xbox and a Burger King on base so it was “all good”. The civil war raging outside his compound was noisy and occasionally dangerous when a shell was accidently lobbed their direction but really “fuck the ragheads anyway” as he says. He’s looking forward to his second tour in a couple of weeks because the regular hours he has to keep on base here “suck” and he has less to do in Iraq.

    It’s kind of hard for me to get excited about this kind of “service”.

    I’m sorry to be so long-winded about this but it is necessary to point out that the whole military worship culture we have in this country is bullshit based on a lie of unselfish sacrifice. It doesn’t exist. We need far more Smedley Butlers in this country and far less Oliver Norths to re-teach us this obvious truth.

    Good for these people that challenge this stupid pointless war and the stupid pointless people who defend and encourage it. Good for people who chain themselves to recruiters doors and keep them off of our campuses and who actually follow their consciences and do dangerous, unpopular things because they believe in them. Most of our military sure as hell isn’t doing the same.

  129. 129
    Zifnab says:

    Isn’t Christianity the official religion of US Federal Government now? Didn’t that bill pass?

    I think someone passed a bill declare Christianity to be the majority religion, which is about as significant as passing a bill declaring white is the predominant skin tone.

  130. 130
    DougJ says:

    Lou, that was really fucking stupid.

  131. 131
    Zuzu says:

    We need far more Smedley Butlers in this country and far less Oliver Norths to re-teach us this obvious truth.

    Smedley’s famous and ever-timely quote:

    “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    Smedley Butler

  132. 132
    Weaseldog says:

    I think someone passed a bill declare Christianity to be the majority religion, which is about as significant as passing a bill declaring white is the predominant skin tone.

    Things like this can be used to justify pandering with subsidies.

    This sort of legislation is the proverbial ‘foot in the door’.

    Things like this and the loss of habeas corpus seem meaningless until they are not.

  133. 133
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Aside from the Bush deadenders, who exactly in the US do you think is still deluding themselves about Iraq?

    All the people who use the terms “defending our freedom” or “liberation” in relation to this war – and that’s more than just the dead-enders.

  134. 134
    TenguPhule says:

    Soldiers, sailors, aviators and marines are tools. Understand? Tools, as in wrenches and such.

    And when they wear out, throw them away and get a new one.

    They do not decide anything other than how to complete the assigned mission. Period. And I am damn glad that they do so.

    Do not think. Just kill. Do not question. Just kill.

    You are not men. You are machines. Friend Computer tells you so.

  135. 135
    BC says:

    No-one is forcing people INTO the recruiting office. It isn’t an illegal office of any sort. The war continues, and if young people choose to sign up, they have that right.

    If there was a united protest against the war to shut it down, the recruitment office will be forgotten.

    Protest the war & why it continues, not a tiny cog within a giant machine.

    =my2c

  136. 136
    Weaseldog says:

    No-one is forcing people INTO the recruiting office. It isn’t an illegal office of any sort. The war continues, and if young people choose to sign up, they have that right.

    Can I opt of paying for it?

    The gov is spending us into an economic depression in order to keep the money flowing to Dubai.

    Is the war worth sacrificing the US in order to win it?

    Would you trade the well being of your family for the war?

    Have any of us been asked to make sacrifices as previous generations have?

  137. 137
    The Oracle says:

    My God, if the U.S. Marines can’t handle a little “heat” from some little old ladies practicing their God-given constitutional rights, how the hell can they hope to fight and win against the Islamofascist right-wing religious fundamentalist terrorists?

    I served in the U.S. Air Force. I presume that all U.S. Marines have sworn to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of these little old ladies, just as I did.

    Unfortunately, it is apparent that others have never sworn this oath, and if they have, they’ve chosen not to honor it.

  138. 138
    TenguPhule says:

    No-one is forcing people INTO the recruiting office.

    Wanna bet? Forgot about those reports on recruiters doing everything short of sticking a gun to their heads to sign on the dotted line? Would you like to double down on the probability that they’re still doing so?

    The war continues, and if young people choose to sign up, they have that right.

    And other people have the right to make those recruiting offices unbearable. After all, they ruled it legal for Anti-abortion protesters outside of clinics, which arguably serve a more necessary purpose….

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    My God, if the U.S. Marines can’t handle a little “heat” from some little old ladies practicing their God-given constitutional rights, how the hell can they hope to fight and win against the Islamofascist right-wing religious fundamentalist terrorists?

    Well, England is having trouble with little old ladies going out and beating up young hoodlums…..

  140. 140
    passing by says:

    To be truthful, John, I think much of the left blogosphere is so caught up in the Obama – Hillary race that they simply missed the incident in Berkeley. I know I saw a couple frames about Code Pink on one of the TV shows as I was flicking by looking for Obama news. I just kept right on going because Code Pink isn’t worth my time. They missed class on the days when how to bring about change was taught.

  141. 141
    THeDRiFTeR says:

    Where are them sniper men when you need em?

  142. 142
    R.L. says:

    With luck, North Korea will ultimately develop the right nuke necessary to find it’s way into Berkeley’s city limits. This would be one North Korean move I could readily applaud, a sort of North Korean thank you note sent on behalf of the Japanese–whose cities were destroyed by nukes designed, in no small part, by technicians at…you guessed it, UC-Berkeley….

  143. 143
    Ahahah says:

    “Don Says:
    A dozen or so morons behave poorly and the response that comes to mind is to cut off funding for school lunches for thousands of kids. It’s really hard to figure out the thought process that leads up to that.”

    Hey Don, it goes WAY past that, and has for decades with that worthless speck of shit call Berkeley. Here’s some free speech: The Berkeley City Council and all who support it, are now considered “unwelcome” and “intruders” on US soil, and will be dealt with accordingly.

    How’s that?

  144. 144
    sue poole says:

    Dear Oracle:

    I am writing a letter to the editor of The Berkeley Planet. As a native South Carolinian, my mind is boggled by DeMint’s hate talk condemning hate talk.

    And, yes, the military services fought for the freedom of three old ladies to protest the selling of military life as prelude to career when, these days, the armed services are really looking for cannon fodder to send into a quagmire.

    Your comments about the Marines being able to take the heat was right on target. Oorah and semper fi, I say. My uncle fought on Iwo Jima. He was a teenager, and underaged at that when he lied to enlist. He did because 1) he was a small town VA boy looking for his way in life and 2) he felt a duty to prevent the Nazis from conquering the world, whether he was cannon fodder or not. Because of men like this, fighting for freedom of speech and assembly, for the right to differences of opinion, WWII was not a quagmire, and my uncle was one the ‘sleeping giants’ who saved the world from totalitariansm

    I shudder to think that he fought and lost his health in three wars to ensure the right of a vindictive hate talk hater to talk hate talk and then compound the hypocrisy by taking food out of the mouths of poor children and a transporation alterantive from citizens already stressed and pressed by crazy bridge commutes.

    DeMint has every right to criticize protesters. WWI and WWII veterans ensured that privilege. Taking away transportation and school food programs is another issue. WWI and WWII veterans didn’t offer their lives so Jim DeMint could exact vengeance for comments he disliked 3000 miles away. At least, that is my feeble understanding.

    Anyway, I would like to paraphrase some of what you have said here in this letter to the editor. I have spent many weeks as a visitor in Berkeley, CA, and I even attended a council meeting, so I know how political protest and council deliberation in Berkeley has devolved from serious to silly. I wonder if Marines died so Code Pink could get free parking in Berkeley?

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