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Author Topic: Berkeley Recants
Ron Lambert
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About a week ago, the city council of Berkeley, CA, voted to call on the Marines recruiters to leave, calling them "unwelcome intruders." Since then, several congressmen threatened to introduce bills to cancel the $2 million in federal grant money the city is receiving. A couple of days ago, the Mayor issued a public apology, and the city council said their previous resolution was non-binding, and they never meant to show disrespect for American people in uniform. Thus they gave in quickly to pressure when it looked like they might actually have to pay something for their unpatriotic insults to the American military. Likely the storm of virtually universal condemnation from all over the country had something to do with it, too. One thing Americans will not stand for today is anyone showing disrepect to our men and women who serve in the military, laying their lives on the line, to fight the war on terror in distant lands, so we won't have to suffer it coming here again.

By way of background, there is a long, lengthy, and complicated series of procedures any group must go through in order to gain permission from the city of Berkeley to operate and engage in any kind of public advocacy. The U.S. Marine Corps. went through this lengthy procedure and obtained a legal permit to operate their recruitment center. The anti-war group was given a special dispensation that allowed them to bypass all these legal filings and procedures, so they could begin parading around with anti-American anti-military picket signs almost immediately. The Marine recruiters have declared they will not leave Berkeley.

During the first desert storm, when American forces were literally bulldozing the entire Iraqi line of dug-in troops, American troops were heard by the world's reporters who were there declaring to the cowering, terrified Iraqi troops, "It's OK, you're safe now." Safe to be in American hands. These young men and women in the U.S. military knew this instinctively. They knew this is the kind of country America is. And indeed, within a few months, all the captured prisoners were allowed to return home. The American military is different from any other military force that has ever existed.

America is the only nation that engages in wars, and takes no territory--even rebuilding the destroyed lands of its former enemies. Today the Iraqi people have turned against the terrorists and insurgents, because they have been closely acquainted with American troops for years now, and have learned they can trust Americans to keep their word and actually seek their good. They tell the Americans where the enemy's hideouts are, where their weapon caches are, and the Iraqi police and army are growing in numbers despite desperate efforts by terrorists to intimidate them, and work with American forces backing them up to destroy the last remaining strongholds of the enemy.

The terrorists themselves have said they have placed their main effort on confronting Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. While they have been spending their resources in this way in what has proven for them to be a losing effort, they have been unable to mount any more terrorist attacks in America. In Afghanistan, girls are allowed to go to school--which the Taliban had forbidden. Women are no longer treated like non-persons with no property rights. Women are allowed in government now.

In Iraq, people are able to go to restaurants again, to the newly re-opened Baghdad zoo, have open weddings in public places again, and Sunni and Shiite associate together peaceably. The dramatic transformation of Iraqi social life in recent months is clear testament to the successful war effort being made by the U.S. military working with the Iraqi police and army that Americans have trained and equipped. There is still need for more progress to be made in forming a true coalition government--but at least it is possible now, with the sectarian violence all but vanished.

When America finally succeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan, they will leave behind the only truly open democracies in the Middle East--besides Israel. They will leave behind friends who are grateful, like the Japanese were following World War II, when Americans helped them restore order, repair the damage of war, and establish a free democracy. America even gave back the island of Okinawa.

These are the things that are happening now. We can see them happening. And we can see that despite the costs to us, and to those who made themselves our enemies, it is worth it. The American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan know this, since they are there and they can see the good they are doing. At least half of the American soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve second and third tours of duty, because they see the good they are doing, and feel proud and honored to be a part of it. And when they do finally come home to their own families, everyhere all over America they are celebrated as true heroes--that is, everywhere but in Berkeley, California, where spoiled children of a privileged, fanatically liberal elite think they can make themselves seem righteous by denouncing those who are truly good--the American soldiers. But America holds these treasonous, ungrateful villains in contempt, and are turning their backs on them, and are honoring the returning soldiers all the more.

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TomDavidson
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*wipes tear from eye*
That's as moving a piece of long-form historical fiction as any Russian novel.

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Ron Lambert
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The only cockroaches are the would-be tyrants.
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steven
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J-I-N-G-O, J-I-N-G-O, J-I-N-G-O, and Jingo was his name-o.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
And when they do finally come home to their own families, everyhere all over America they are celebrated as true heroes--that is, everywhere but in Berkeley, California, where spoiled children of a privileged, fanatically liberal elite think they can make themselves seem righteous by denouncing those who are truly good--the American soldiers.
I do like the "No Military Predators in Our Town" sign.
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Samprimary
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I like reading what Ron Lambert writes because he is under the impression that it is an accurate portrayal of really pretty much anything he thinks he understands.

You don't get that kind of innocent dissonance of complex political situations anymore. It's refreshingly appealing to think that for some people, politics is easy. You just put on your rose-colored glasses, and squint 'till you get everything looking just how you want it.

If only, you think, it could be as easy for me! You might stop bothering to question the competence of leaders and the legitimacy of their accounts. All that wasted time dissolved in a wide-brushed sociopolitical monochrome. You'd spend a little time and money buying plastic flags and yellow ribbons for your car, perhaps occasionally stopping to praise the president for standing firm against massive unpopularity, scandal and setback, but largely, life would be a lot less concerning, don't you think?

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steven
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"You don't get that kind of innocent dissonance of complex political situations anymore."

From people as intelligent as Ron, not very often.

Ron's like a sincere, non-malicious, non-self-promoting version of Michael Savage. It is kind of refreshing.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
life would be a lot less concerning, don't you think?
No. Because fully 50% of the population would be the enemy -- and maybe more, depending on whether you were fixating on more than one issue in any given week.
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brojack17
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I thought it was well put Ron. I agree with you completely. When I read the Berkley story, I got very upset. Of course, the city and it's citizens are allowed to protest, but I'm also allowed to think they are Birkenstock wearing hippies that don't bathe.
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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
they have been unable to mount any more terrorist attacks in America.

Why is that surprising?
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Zhil
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If anyone's interested in some photos of the protests that were staged in front of the recruitment office:

October 7, 2007
February 1, 2008

Note: The site has a bit of a rightie bias, but the pictures speak for themselves, methinks.

What happened was pretty much what I expected. Pander to the liberal constituency, and then backpedal like crazy when actual money is on the line. Meh.

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TomDavidson
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It's worth noting that one of the reasons federal funds are provided to schools is for this purpose: to be both a carrot and a stick. There are many, many schools that originally got hooked on federal funding, only to discover that this came with strings that could be attached at any time, without their approval or even necessarily their knowledge.
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Lyrhawn
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I've been thinking about this story for a couple days since I first saw it. And about Ron's post since I saw it. And for the moment, I'm going to do something uncharacteristic, and not launch into a lengthy diatribe about how incredibly wrong you are Ron, except to say that you ARE horribly wrong.

That and the soldier love in this country is over the top, in my opinion. Respect and appreciation is one thing, but we're into fanaticism.

As tacky and inappropriate as I felt the protestors were, I think the Congressional Republicans who felt attacking school children was the appropriate response are equally heinous. The best behaved group in this situation was the "recruiter" himself, who responded in a measured, appropriate way, and I thought he was pretty clever too.

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TomDavidson
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*nod* I actually thought the recruiter's letter to the editor was considerably better thought out than the quote by John Stuart Mill he hung up earlier.
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Dan_Frank
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I also want to say I think that was relatively well put, Ron. And, though I disagree with you on some issues, I definitely agree that what Berkeley tried to do was ridiculous, insulting, and, of course, typical.

This is speaking as someone who grew up there.

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Samprimary
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quote:
No. Because fully 50% of the population would be the enemy -- and maybe more, depending on whether you were fixating on more than one issue in any given week.
But, that's like saying that half of the people on the field are the Washington Generals fighting the Harlem Globetrotters. They're like a prop in ron-o-vision, there to get inevitably vanquished by a resurgence in morals n' values. This vanquishing is always curiously right around the corner, whether it be the inevitable crushing of the Evolutionism (sp) lie, the immediately impeding awakening of the populace from the obvious global warming deception, or the assured consummation of Real America's victory against sleazy spoiled liberal brats.

See, if you're Ron, you could reimagine the world carefully enough to make it into a foreordained, perpetually assured victory against foes that you understand only as paper-thin caricatures with obvious motives and embarrassing delusions. And who cares if it never actually turns out like you think it should! It's always just about to.

It's like a never-ending teacup ride of smug anticipation, and you can hang around and reassuringly pat people on the back and assuage them with your neverending wisdom. Don't worry, scientists! Undeniable evidence of Christian creationism is right around the corner. Don't fret, Jews, you won't go to hell forever, you know. I know! I'm Ron Lambert!

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Joldo
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I can understand Berkeley's stance, though. I mean, they're not protesting the Marines--they're protesting the Marine recruiters. And recruiters are known for using predatory tactics. If you look at this from one point of view, these are people preying on kids to send them to an environment where their lives are in constant danger. From that view, it's not an irrational protest at all: it's the only ethically sound response.
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Scott R
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I don't think the problem is that protesters exist.

Actually, I'm SURE that *I* don't have a problem with protesters existing.

I have a problem when laws are not applied equally to parties who are operating within legal limits. Which, from what I've been able to see, the Marine recruiters were certainly doing.

I have a problem with hero-worshipping soldiers. I think they deserve respect; I think that fawning over the military is very dangerous. It tends to create a wall between the soldier and the citizen, which is what makes military dictatorships eventually possible. Our country is established so that the citizen is ALWAYS the greatest political power (idealistically). Hero-worship removes that principal ideal.

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Olivet
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I thought the "Impeach W" stickers were cute. I mean, they should get some use out of them before they become obsolete. It's good to be frugal.

It's also good to be able to protest things you disagree with, but I think it is the duty of the body politic to see that the rules are applied to everyone equally. I don't expect people to always live up to that ideal, but I think we should remain conscious of it.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I like reading what Ron Lambert writes because he is under the impression that it is an accurate portrayal of really pretty much anything he thinks he understands.

You don't get that kind of innocent dissonance of complex political situations anymore. It's refreshingly appealing to think that for some people, politics is easy. You just put on your rose-colored glasses, and squint 'till you get everything looking just how you want it.

If only, you think, it could be as easy for me! You might stop bothering to question the competence of leaders and the legitimacy of their accounts. All that wasted time dissolved in a wide-brushed sociopolitical monochrome. You'd spend a little time and money buying plastic flags and yellow ribbons for your car, perhaps occasionally stopping to praise the president for standing firm against massive unpopularity, scandal and setback, but largely, life would be a lot less concerning, don't you think?

Let's ask OSC and see how it's been working for him.


Yeah, I agree. Ron Lambert, one issue in your writing in general is that you write the broadly applied, yet partisan statements that are at once supposed to be meaningful, but feel hollow and fabricated: "the story of virtually universal condemnation from all over the country." This sentence prevaricates right away, "from all over the country" is not the same thing as "throughout." You may not have payed mind to the distinction, but you clearly wanted to emphasize "virtually universal." Except, "virtually," I find that people who wish to ignore a salient point will employ this word in order to dismiss unwanted possibilities. And we see that these possible disagreements are going on "all over."

You see in Berkley and San Francisco, there is not strong support for the war, the president, or in fact, at a times, the federal government. Lest you should forget what you know about the constitution, remember that it is a right and a duty for us as cities states and people to rise up against injustice when we are oppressed. There is not someone from another state or time zone to tell us when that time comes, and many people in Berkley surely feel the time has already passed for action.

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Synesthesia
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I'm not sure if it's totally that simple.
For one thing, the idea of fighting terrorism overseas to keep the war from here is DEEPLY DISTURBING.
So it's perfectly OK to take people whose lives have already been unstable and make it MORE unstable just to keep it out of our backyard?
The perspective might be different for people who are actually living there, for many of the folks who are fighting there. It's not a simple matter of black and white, us vs them, red vs blue. It's complicated. No president's speech, OSC article, liberal diatribe about war for oil can truly capture the complexity of this issue.
So the use of simple language really has to stop on every side.

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Samprimary
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Well, I'm all for simple language as long as it just doesn't fly in the face of reason. Like, say, you could put it that whether or not someone agrees with the principle of the war on terror, it's generally agreeable that perhaps the people in charge of it "didn't know what they were doing" or could even be said to have "cocked it up a tad"
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airmanfour
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quote:
Originally posted by Joldo:
I can understand Berkeley's stance, though. I mean, they're not protesting the Marines--they're protesting the Marine recruiters. And recruiters are known for using predatory tactics. If you look at this from one point of view, these are people preying on kids to send them to an environment where their lives are in constant danger. From that view, it's not an irrational protest at all: it's the only ethically sound response.

Odds are the recruiters have been in combat at least once before landing the much-sought-after Berkeley posting, and that they'll be in combat again after their tour there ends. You think that these guys would trick people into joining when they know that they are going to have to depend on them in combat later? The recruiters are going to go back to Iraq as team leaders and platoon sergeants for the same kids they signed up, and you think they'd jeopardize that relationship for anything?

They offer a unique way of life that has a lot to offer. These aren't slimy Army recruiters or absent Air Force recruiters.

Think Marine.

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Samprimary
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quote:
You think that these guys would trick people into joining when they know that they are going to have to depend on them in combat later?
Short answer: yes.

Do not seriously assume that you don't find in Marine recruiters what you'll also find in recruiters for other branches. That's some blatant home-team bias there, bucko :)

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Zhil
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I like how those recruiters in that story basically kidnapped the poor kid. Haha, take that, witless, unassertive teen with no life experience! That'll teach you to be young.

I wonder if it's because his father was a Marine that his family got harrassed, because I, nor anyone I know, got that level of crap from recruiters. Hell, LaRouche assholes are more conniving and persistent than the Marine recruiters on the Berkeley campus. Then again, it's the Berkeley campus. More idiots are liable to join the LaRouche suckfest than the Marines.

The way I see it, the opportunity to join should be open (so I'm okay with the idea of recruiters in the city) but that sort of behavior is unacceptable. If a specific recruiter at the Berkeley branch acted like that, I'd be mad at him, and him only. Not all recruiters do that stuff, right??

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Icarus
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That story sounds farfetched to me.
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Zhil:
I like how those recruiters in that story basically kidnapped the poor kid. Haha, take that, witless, unassertive teen with no life experience! That'll teach you to be young.

I wonder if it's because his father was a Marine that his family got harrassed, because I, nor anyone I know, got that level of crap from recruiters. Hell, LaRouche assholes are more conniving and persistent than the Marine recruiters on the Berkeley campus. Then again, it's the Berkeley campus. More idiots are liable to join the LaRouche suckfest than the Marines.

The way I see it, the opportunity to join should be open (so I'm okay with the idea of recruiters in the city) but that sort of behavior is unacceptable. If a specific recruiter at the Berkeley branch acted like that, I'd be mad at him, and him only. Not all recruiters do that stuff, right??

LaRouche? URG, those folks keep calling me all the time.
I will not join their group. I won't. LaRouche according to Wikipedia had some illogical views.
But I am not sure if I would want one of my future children to join the armed forces. I am a bit afraid of the culture. If they wanted too, they would be free to. It would be their decision, but if something like the Iraq war is going on...

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Glenn Arnold
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My son was harassed by the Marines until he told them he wasn't a 0 on the Kinsey scale. He says the thinks he's about a 1.5.

They didn't really understand what he was talking about, but they stopped calling.

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Zhil
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
quote:
Originally posted by Zhil:
I like how those recruiters in that story basically kidnapped the poor kid. Haha, take that, witless, unassertive teen with no life experience! That'll teach you to be young.

I wonder if it's because his father was a Marine that his family got harrassed, because I, nor anyone I know, got that level of crap from recruiters. Hell, LaRouche assholes are more conniving and persistent than the Marine recruiters on the Berkeley campus. Then again, it's the Berkeley campus. More idiots are liable to join the LaRouche suckfest than the Marines.

The way I see it, the opportunity to join should be open (so I'm okay with the idea of recruiters in the city) but that sort of behavior is unacceptable. If a specific recruiter at the Berkeley branch acted like that, I'd be mad at him, and him only. Not all recruiters do that stuff, right??

LaRouche? URG, those folks keep calling me all the time.
I will not join their group. I won't. LaRouche according to Wikipedia had some illogical views.
But I am not sure if I would want one of my future children to join the armed forces. I am a bit afraid of the culture. If they wanted too, they would be free to. It would be their decision, but if something like the Iraq war is going on...

It's just... The first time I was approached by a LaRouche supporter, it was 9 at night, it was freezing cold, it was raining like crazy, and this girl with a heavy chinese accent was handing out fliers. She didn't have a freaking umbrella, and was soaked.

She told me that she was an illegal immigrant, and that LaRouche supporters had funded her escape from China. WTF?? Even if she wasn't lying (which I think it was) why tell that to people?? I felt so sorry for her, I stuck around and listened to her hogwash. She wouldn't let me go until I took one of her fliers and promised to go to a LaRouche meeting. (I lied.)

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Boothby171
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quote:
they could begin parading around with anti-American anti-military picket signs almost immediately
I'm sorry...anti-American signs?

I didn't see any anti-American signs. Maybe he means a bunch of people expressing their constitututional rights of free speech and assembly? Maybe he's thinking of the America where the government is never wrong, and so it's OK to ban free speech an dassembly.

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Synesthesia
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If they want to be against recruiters, it's their business. There is this thing called freedom to consider, which means we don't have to agree about EVERYTHING. How else can we learn the whole picture if we're just sticking blindly to our own side?
Plus they did use saran wrap for their bloody handprints and chalk instead. They have every right to disagree with what is happening in Iraq. Without disagreement there is the potential for abuse.

I was on my way to an interview, after a Children's international guy with nice eyes begged me to support a child (and I did, even though I don't have a job, that's not logical) when this girl in front of Borders accosted me asking me what I thought of China and American working together. I said China has human rights violations.
She launched into a diatribe.
I made the mistake of giving these people my number.
Now i[ve had some guy call up and gripe about Facebook and Myspace and beg me to go to a meeting.
Unfortunetly I'm too polite. But I am NOT going to one of their meetings since I read about LaRouche and some of his strange theories.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
If they want to be against recruiters, it's their business.
Sure it's their business. It's also their business to decide whether or not they want federal money without federal responsibilities.
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Lyrhawn
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I don't like that argument. It sounds too much like "Sure they can exercise their freedoms if they want, but only if they are willing to accept the consequences."

Freedom isn't supposed to have consequences like that, otherwise it's not, you know, FREE.

quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
My son was harassed by the Marines until he told them he wasn't a 0 on the Kinsey scale. He says the thinks he's about a 1.5.

They didn't really understand what he was talking about, but they stopped calling.

When my brother came back on leave from the Marines to do a recruiting stint, he gave the recruiting office my name (without my knowledge or permission) and the head recruiter must have called me three dozen times. Finally, after politely telling him most of the time that I wasn't interested, I flatly told him to leave me alone, and that it was never going to happen, which led to an hour long argument with my brother later over how "rude" I was. And this was before I was even 18. While I appreciate the job they were doing, it was like dealing with an armed telemarketer.

quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:

I have a problem with hero-worshipping soldiers. I think they deserve respect; I think that fawning over the military is very dangerous. It tends to create a wall between the soldier and the citizen, which is what makes military dictatorships eventually possible. Our country is established so that the citizen is ALWAYS the greatest political power (idealistically). Hero-worship removes that principal ideal.

I agree entirely. I think the level of fanatacism for soldiers in this country is getting to a really over the top level. It's a mass overcompensation from Vietnam. Hopefully it'll balance out some day.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Freedom isn't supposed to have consequences like that, otherwise it's not, you know, FREE.

Um, no. Free speech doesn't mean there are no consequences to my words -- just that I have the right to say them.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I don't like that argument. It sounds too much like "Sure they can exercise their freedoms if they want, but only if they are willing to accept the consequences."

That's exactly right.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Um, no. Free speech doesn't mean there are no consequences to my words -- just that I have the right to say them.
That's controversial.
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ClaudiaTherese
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There is a 2006 GAO document on the need for better oversight regarding "Recruiter Irregularities." Although the GAO noted that there is likely significant underreporting, the overall numbers do not suggest (to me) that most recruiters are involved in problematic recruiting tactics. However, the following was still concerning to me:

quote:
... between fiscal years 2004 and 2005, allegations and service-identified incidents of recruiter wrongdoing increased, collectively, from 4,400 cases to 6,600 cases; substantiated cases increased from just over 400 to almost 630 cases; and criminal violations more than doubled from just over 30 to almost 70 cases.
70 cases of criminal violations by military recruiters in one year troubles me. [I do not know what these "criminal violations" were, but that number was the opposite of reassuring. To me. Doesn't mean that most recruiters are doing this -- of course! -- but, nonetheless, there is a significant number who have been found to violate criminal code. That isn't good.]

---

Edited again to add: for clarity, from page 19,

quote:
Our work covers recruiting irregularities that affect all services’ active and reserve component enlisted personnel. For the purposes of this report, we define recruiter irregularities as those willful and unwillful acts of omission and improprieties that are perpetrated by a recruiter or alleged to be perpetrated by a recruiter to facilitate the recruiting process for an applicant. These recruiter irregularities range from administrative paperwork errors, to actions such as failing to disclose disqualifying eligibility criteria or instructing applicants not to reveal medical conditions or prior civil litigation, to criminal violations committed by a recruiter who is subsequently prosecuted under articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Criminal violations may include such actions as sexual harassment and falsifying documents. [italics added]
Table 2 breaks down substantiated and unsubstantiated recruiter irregularities by service branch. Table 3 does the same for criminal violations.

Of note, these sorts of comparisons have to be taken in context. For example, a hospital that has aggressive oversight and intervention for medical errors will look worse on paper than a hospital down the street that turns a blind eye and/or punishes whistleblowers -- yet it actually may be safer. [Or not. It's complicated to determine.]

A closer read of the discussion of these tables shows that the Air Force instituted (if I am reading correctly) an oversight push during this time period. Also, one recruiter may be responsible for multiple violations; e.g., 4 Navy incidents were intensively invesigated to turn up 9 criminal violations amongst them, if I am reading correctly.

[ February 10, 2008, 02:35 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Lyrhawn
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rivka -

Yeah, I'd see your point if they were shouting obscenities or something. But it was nothing close to that, not the original City Council declaration that started this whole thing. The actual protests themselves were pretty tasteless, but that's not what got the ball rolling.

I guess my first statement was too broad, you're right, sometimes speech does have consequences, and really what you're protected against is imprisonment for saying things the government doesn't like. But I guess I'll be more specific. I don't like this particular form of threat from the government. If you read their specific complaints, they have some really valid points in there.

I don't like Federal dollars being used as a way to tell political dissidents to sit down and shut up, to say nothing of the fact that the people being told to comply contribute to that fund too. If they want to cut off all federal aid, I think they should get a refund of some sort of some of the money they put into that fund. I'm not really worried about this particular measure going through. Congress will never pass a bill that removes funding from Berkeley. I don't even particularly agree with the way Berkeley is going about this, but I think it's a horrible door to keep open do try and punish them for expressing valid concerns.

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Stan the man
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quote:
Lest you should forget what you know about the constitution, remember that it is a right and a duty for us as cities states and people to rise up against injustice when we are oppressed.
They believe themselves to be oppressed? Wow. They should leave their little world sometime and see the world. Maybe if they unchain themselves from their Ipods, cell phones, and "gucci" clothing they might even notice opression is in a lot of places but here.

quote:
That and the soldier love in this country is over the top, in my opinion. Respect and appreciation is one thing, but we're into fanaticism.
And really, a lot of us in the service don't want the fanatic "love." But we do get tired of being spat on. Heck, most the guys I ever served with just wanted to be left alone.

quote:
And recruiters are known for using predatory tactics
That is the most generalistic heap of bullcrap I have ever seen. Yes, some recruiters cross the line. But most recruiters that do their job, do it right. It's a sales pitch to get someone in. Not one of my recruiters lied to me. There may have been things they didn't tell me, but that was my fault for not asking. They may gloss over or enshrine some things, but no one is holding a gun to the kid's head when he signs the paper. None of the recruiters I had or know ever told any of their recruits that the service was easy. Never told them that they would 100% succeed. No, because most of us agreed on a simple truth. You get out what you put in. If you aren't putting anything in, don't expect a handout.

quote:
From that view, it's not an irrational protest at all: it's the only ethically sound response
I'm not saying anything against the protest. It is their right. However, ethically????? Did you hit your head? Since when was it ethical to curb laws, and get special favors to fight what you believe to be an injustice? The LEAST they could have done was do all the proper paperwork and whatever else was needed to do it LEGALLY. Apparently, Berkley could have been able to speed that on up as long as they did it legal. It's like putting a campfire out with a blowtorch. It makes no sense at all.

quote:
I have a problem when laws are not applied equally to parties who are operating within legal limits. Which, from what I've been able to see, the Marine recruiters were certainly doing.
Yeah, what Scott R said.
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Stan the man
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quote:
I don't like Federal dollars being used as a way to tell political dissidents to sit down and shut up, to say nothing of the fact that the people being told to comply contribute to that fund too
An' I don't like tax dollars going to welfare, but it still happens.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Freedom isn't supposed to have consequences like that, otherwise it's not, you know, FREE.
You and I start from really different places in this discussion, I think. To me, freedom of speech almost means anything but speech free of consequences, because in the modern age at least.

As for their complaints...well, honestly Berkeley has such a (well-earned) reputation for far-left radicalism that I automatically mistrust claims coming from them made against basically anyone who isn't themselves far-left, much less the military.

Berkeley is the Fred Phelps of municipalities.

As for their complaints? A lot less reasonable than you're making them out to be. Hell, the very first sentence is a tirade against US foreign policy...but don't stop the money-flow!

Yup, recruiters do sometimes lie. The word of a military recruiter without verifying signed documents is really not something you want to trust implicitly, if you're a potential recruit.

But how many people don't know this going in, really? And if they don't, why is the solution throw the recruiters out instead of compelling them to change their practices? The answer is pretty simple: the beef is not with recruiting practices so much as with the military itself.

The only concern that really has merit in my opinion is its stance against don't-ask-don't-tell.

Really, 'Peace and Justice Commission'. Ugh, right away that is so deliberately provocative Berkeley hardly gets to play the victim card.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Freedom isn't supposed to have consequences like that, otherwise it's not, you know, FREE.
We do not have absolute freedom. We have specific freedoms. These freedoms are not guaranteed to us without sacrifice because we do not live in a magical rainbow fairy gumdrop land where it is never at risk.

quote:
Maybe if they unchain themselves from their Ipods, cell phones, and "gucci" clothing they might even notice opression is in a lot of places but here.
They're berkely college leftists. Gucci, really?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
And really, a lot of us in the service don't want the fanatic "love." But we do get tired of being spat on. Heck, most the guys I ever served with just wanted to be left alone.
I'm against either extreme. Soldiers do a difficult job that few are willing to step up and do, and often it's vital, so they deserve my respect, or at least they should individually start from a position of respect (it can still be forfeited if they are crappy individuals), and my appreciation, but not my undying devotion. Being in the armed forces isn't the be all end all. I think far too often they are used as political pawns, and I'm a little surprised they haven't intervened, but not entirely, if I were them I'd probably rather the adoration than risk the aforementioned spitting.

Rakeesh (and to a lesser extent Samp) -

I toned it back a bit in my second response because I know that obviously there isn't universal freedom of anything really in this country, though there's certainly an ideal to appreciate and uphold. I guess I spoke before I really took a chance to think my response through critically.

And I specifically said that I don't really even agree with Berkeley on this one. I think they're a bit out there, and I think they could have made their point FAR less, flamboyantly, for lack of a better word, but it's their point of view, and regardless of how horribly they present it, it has a sliver of merit.

quote:
You and I start from really different places in this discussion, I think. To me, freedom of speech almost means anything but speech free of consequences, because in the modern age at least.
To be perfectly honest, I probably fall between what I originally said (yeah, I'm contradicting myself) and where you are. I don't think free speech is an absolute, though I do think that, unless it is inciteful (incitement to riot or other damaging ways) speech, hate speech, or in other less specific ways, damaging in a physical sense to people's safety, that it should be as unhindered as possible. That sets a lot of restrictions on speech that I'd probably be fairly okay with, but this situation doesn't fall under that umbrella.

And to be a frank, part of my umbrage is probably rooted in my extreme annoyance at the "We fight for your right to free speech...so shut up!" argument that seems to be trotted out whenever someone has the temerity to say anything negative about the military. I've seen a lot of hints of that already in the reponse to this, and blatently in the statements the Congressional Republicans made. That automatically pushes me closer to defending Berkeley, whether I like or agree with them or not.

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Samprimary
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quote:
And to be a frank, part of my umbrage is probably rooted in my extreme annoyance at the "We fight for your right to free speech...so shut up!"
Yeah, that's up there with "love it or leave it" in terms of terrible jingomania :/
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Sterling
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I think I've said this before, but it bears repeating: do we really want to suggest that the only reason schools are federally funded is so they can produce soldiers?

Theoretically, the point of education is to produce informed citizens who can be a part of participatory democracy and do productive work that allows them to be economically self sufficient, yes?

And perhaps, then, some of those informed, educated citizens, armed with the best available information, will choose to serve their country in the military- but frankly, that's strictly secondary. At least, it ought to be.

As kids without a high school education are more likely to go on government assistance, and more likely to commit crimes, funding high-school education is a perfectly worthwhile investment without short-sightedly deciding that it's also required to be an efficient producer of infantry.

Punishing kids for the actions of their elders is also holding one group responsible for another's free speech. By any reasonable definition, that's shameful.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think I've said this before, but it bears repeating: do we really want to suggest that the only reason schools are federally funded is so they can produce soldiers?
One of the reasons schools are federally funded is so that the federal government can force them to do things.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I guess the problem is that we hold soldiering up to a higher bar, not so much because they necessarily deserve it, but because the idea that soldiers are just average Americans is profoundly disturbing. To find out that Marine recruiters use the same tactics as car and real estate salesmen is deeply disturbing. My favorite is this: "Now, there are two reasons you haven't joined yet, it's either because you are scared, or you are lazy, so boys, which one is it." I can't make this kind of stuff up. I'm not that good of a writer or a salesman. I can laugh when that sort of pressure is applied by a football coach, but it's UBfortunate to hear those words come out of one of our "heroes." And it wouldn't even be so bad if there weren't so many apologists within the Armed Forces. But as it stands, I'm all for military recruitment in public spaces, and I'm all for the protesting of military recruitment in public spaces.

[ February 10, 2008, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I think I've said this before, but it bears repeating: do we really want to suggest that the only reason schools are federally funded is so they can produce soldiers?
Considering the tiny percentage of students in public schools who go on to join the military, if that is the intent it's not being served very well.

quote:
One of the reasons schools are federally funded is so that the federal government can force them to do things.
And it's not always stuff we hate.
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Ron Lambert
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It is the ROTC programs that usually come in for chief criticism by the paranoid, anti-military Left. After all, they are right there in high schools and colleges training kids. But one big fact that puts the kibosh on the paranoid Left view is that less than 2% of ROTC graduates actually go on to careers in the military. Most of the people who view ROTC with favor look at it as more closely akin to Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, with some extra military discipline added in.

Don't Democrats recruit to get people to join Young Democrats organizations on campus? They probably engage in more actual brainwashing tactics than do the Marines.

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Rakeesh
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Wow, I really disagree with that last part, Ron.

Unless you're comparing Young Democrat recruitment techniques and USMC recruitment techniques, in which case I'm not really knowledgeable enough to criticize.

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Stan the man
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quote:
I think I've said this before, but it bears repeating: do we really want to suggest that the only reason schools are federally funded is so they can produce soldiers?
Seeing as the average is about 5% of the population that can even meet all the wickets to join the military, are you really worried about that? Even a lot of that 5% needs to get waivers to join. I have 2 myself.
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