Category Archive 'Bay Area Tolerance'
13 Feb 2008
The Berkeley City Council attempted to make nice with U.S. Marines recruiters Wednesday morning by taking back a letter it planned to send calling the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.
But a motion to formally apologize failed.
Instead the City Council with a 7-2 vote at 1 a.m. sought to clarify one of its Jan. 29 Marines motions with new language that recognizes “the recruiters’ right to locate in our city and the right of others to protest or support their presence.”
The new statement also said the council opposes “the recruitment of our young people into this war.”
The council heard testimony from about 100 people who came from as far away as Colorado to weigh in on the issue.
At the same time, the council let stand four other items it passed at its previous meeting, including one encouraging “all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station,” another asking the city attorney to investigate whether the recruiting station is breaking the city’s law against discrimination based on sexual orientation and two items giving the peace group Code Pink a free weekly parking space and sound permit to protest at the Shattuck Avenue recruiting station once a week.
Read the whole thing.
09 Feb 2008
Toledo, Ohio has joined Berkeley, California in ordering the Marine Corps out of town.
A company of Marine Corps Reservists received a cold send-off from downtown Toledo yesterday by order of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.
The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.
Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.
“The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people,” said Brian Schwartz, the mayor’s spokesman.
“He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area.”
9/11 is over six years in the past, far longer than the American public’s attention span typically lasts. People in Berkeley and Toledo again feel terribly safe.
This sort of civilian hostility and disdain toward the fighting men whose service allows the same civilians at home to sleep safe in their beds in an old story. Rudyard Kipling responded in 1892 to the same kind of attitudes and behavior in Victorian Britain with the poem Tommy. The title refers to “Tommy Atkins,” a generic nickname of the period for a British soldier.
I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mr. Atkins,” when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.
Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy how’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.
We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind,”
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.
You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country,” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
But Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!
08 Feb 2008
The (very faint) possibility of the loss of federal funds has the more-practical class of Berkeley politicians eager to retreat, but the real communists are not so easily intimidated.
As six Republican senators devised a plan to yank $2.3 million in federal funding for Berkeley programs, the mayor of the famously liberal city apologized Wednesday for his hard stance against a Marine recruiting center.
Two City Council members vowed to soften their stance as well.
At their Tuesday council meeting, leaders will discuss scrapping a letter that might be perceived as targeting the center or the Marines.
The letter said that the recruiting center was not welcome on Shattuck Avenue and that the Marines were uninvited and unwelcome intruders.
“That letter will probably be pulled back and maybe more moderate language will be put in place which is appropriate I think,” said Berkeley mayor Tom Bates.
“Subtly stated in the resolution is perhaps an impugning of the soldiers fighting for us in Iraq and other places,” Berkeley City Councilman Laurie Capitelli. “And that was never the intention but that really needs to be cleared up. As I walked to my car that night I realized I regretted it and I had made a mistake.”
Bates said the city didn’t mean to offend anyone in the armed forces and the focus should have been on the war not the troops.
“There’s really no correlation between federal funds for schools, water ferries and police communications systems and the council’s actions, for God’s sake,” said Bates, a retired U.S. Army captain. “We apologize for any offense to any families of anyone who may serve in Iraq. We want them to come home and be safe at home.”
The letter was originally approved in January and has not been sent.
City officials said they got a flood of e-mails, many asking them to reconsider their position.
Councilmembers have said they would replace the “intruder item” with words expressing their support for the troops but not the war in Iraq.
The Republican plan would give the funds, intended for a school lunch program, UC Berkeley and ferry service, to the Marines instead.
“Patriotic American taxpayers won’t sit quietly while Berkeley insults our brave Marines,” said one of the senators.
The recruiting center opened about a year ago and quickly became a target of anti-war protesters including the group Code Pink.
Last week the council passed resolutions giving Code Pink a place to park out front. Some have said that meant the city giving was giving the group a place to continuously protest the Marines.
“What we’re doing is we’re announcing a bill that we intend to get on the floor to strip transportation from the city of Berkeley,” said East Bay Republican Assemblyman Guy Houston. “What they have done in Berkeley is they have set aside a parking spot and in my opinion a public right of way, a public transportation corridor, specifically for a private organization — in this case Code Pink — to harass and annoy the United States Marine Corps and their recruiting efforts. We think that playing around and having an agenda with the public right of way is subject to ramifications. There is $2.3 million in proposition 1B transportation dollars. We think that should be in jeopardy.”
Others on the Berkeley City Council seemed quite firm on their stance, NBC11’s Christie Smith reported.
Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Barbara Lee said they plan to fight the Republican bill.
05 Feb 2008
MoveAmericaForward.Org has a petition to sign, and contact information for the Berkeley City Council, excuse me! the Berkeley People’s Soviet.
To: The City Council, Mayor and City Manager of Berkeley, California
We, the undersigned, do register our complete outrage with the City of Berkeley for the recent resolutions that criticized our Marines, as part of an effort to harass the Marine Recruiting Center and chase all vestiges of the United States military outside of the city of Berkeley, California.
We take particular umbrage with the instructions given to the City Manager of Berkeley to tell the United States Marines that they are, “uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”
It is shameful for you to attack our military men and women who nobly and bravely serve this nation to protect our security and defend our freedoms and liberties. Those liberties include the right to Freedom of Speech, which you seem to believe should not be afforded to the members of the United States Marine Corps and service personnel in other branches of the Armed Forces.
I call upon you to immediately revoke the resolutions passed that defamed and insulted our U.S. Marines and issue a public apology to this nation, and in particular, the honorable and heroic men and women of the United States military.
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is proposing fiscal consequences for Berkeley’s unpatriotic gesture.
DeMint said he would draft legislation to strip the city of federal money, including funds destined for UC Berkeley, for school lunches in the Berkeley Unified School District, and public safety.
“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.
Which, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports, is prompting contemplation of a retreat to the safety of the left’s traditional “We-support-the-troops-just-not-the-war” self-protective manuever.
Council members Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli on Monday proposed that Berkeley rescind its letter to the U.S. Marine Corps that stated that the downtown Berkeley recruiting center “is not welcome in our city,” and publicly declare that Berkeley is against the war but supports the troops.
The City Council will vote on Olds’ and Capitelli’s two proposals at its meeting next Tuesday.
“I think we shouldn’t be seen across the country as hating the Marines,” said Olds, who voted against last week’s proposals. “If you make a mistake, like we did, you should admit it and correct it and move on.” …
Olds said she heard from hundreds of people angered by the city’s action, including many in her Berkeley hills district.
“People are so mad about this. They have relatives in the service, and now they think they’re not welcome in Berkeley,” she said. “My twin brother was a Marine in World War II. He’d be turning in his grave if he saw this.”
The council appears split on the idea of backing down. Some council members said the original proposals inadvertently insulted veterans and those currently serving in the military. Others said Berkeley should stand by its convictions.
“People are used to Berkeley taking a stand for peace, but you have to do it intelligently,” said Councilman Kriss Worthington, who voted against sending the letter calling the Marine Corps unwelcome. “You don’t want to slap one group in the face and then, the next minute, slap the other group. I think we have an obligation to be thoughtful and sensitive and not be counterproductive to the cause of peace.”
Councilwoman Dona Spring said the council should not be cowed by the volume of hate mail and threats.
“I still oppose the Marines recruiting in Berkeley because it’s one way of protesting this wasteful war,” she said. “Our military policy is a shambles. But we’re not in opposition to the Marines; we oppose the policy that directs the Marines.”
Meanwhile, the Code Pink protesters said they were disappointed that Berkeley might rescind its letter to the Marines.
“I hope they’re not acting out of intimidation,” said Code Pink spokeswoman Medea Benjamin. “Berkeley is a city of peace, and a recruiting station does not fit Berkeley’s values.”
Mayor Tom Bates, a former Army captain, said it probably wouldn’t hurt if the council clarified its position.
“It’s a symbol, but there are consequences to symbols,” he said. “A lot of people think we’re anti-Marine, but there’s a difference between the warriors and the war. This is an attempt to clarify that.”
03 Feb 2008
ZombieTime has make-your-blood-boil photos of the Berkeley moonbats harassing the Marine Corps Recruiting Station on Shattuck Square.
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has introduced legislation cutting off federal funding to the leftwing California city. Personally, I’d like to see the Hayward Fault spring into action and drop the city of Berkeley right into the Bay.
31 Jan 2008
San Jose Mercury News:
Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Marines in Berkeley have got to go.
That’s the message from the Berkeley City Council, which voted 6-3 Tuesday night to tell the U.S. Marines that its Shattuck Avenue recruiting station “is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”
In addition, the council voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines because of the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy. And it officially encouraged the women’s peace group Code Pink to impede the work of the Marines in the city by protesting in front of the station.
In a separate item, the council voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.
Councilman Gordon Wozniak opposed both items.
The Marines have been in Berkeley for a little more than a year, having moved from Alameda in December of 2006. For about the past four months, Code Pink has been protesting in front of the station.
“I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don’t belong here, they shouldn’t have come here, and they should leave,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates after votes were cast.
Frankly, if the next president designated the city of Berkeley a target location for artillery practice, a lot of Americans would applaud.
05 Aug 2007
I don’t suppose one is required to feel sorry for Silicon Valley’s millionaire working class economically exactly, but there is definitely something pitiable about seeing the Porsche and Mercedes stuffed into the minimum of parking associated with a 2000 sq. ft. 1950s tract house on a postage stamp lot.
California is in some respects a lot like Hell. Those condemned to reside in the Valley literally have its temperatures. And the great majority of the more favored, those cooled by balmy Pacific breezes, live like Sisyphus, in possession of real wealth, yet surrounded by conspicuously displayed examples of far greater wealth. Able to own a nice automobile, but still unable to afford a decent home.
â€œYouâ€™re nobody here at $10 million,â€ Mr. Kremen said earnestly over a glass of pinot noir at an upscale wine bar here. …
“People around here, if they have 2 or 3 million dollars, they donâ€™t feel secure,â€ said David W. Hettig, an estate planner based in Menlo Park who has advised Silicon Valleyâ€™s wealthy for two decades. …
Celeste Baranski, a 49-year-old engineer with a net worth of around $5 million who lives with her husband in Menlo Park, no longer frets about tucking enough money away for college for their two children… Yet like other working-class millionaires of Silicon Valley, she harbors anxieties about her financial future.
“I donâ€™t know how people live here on just a normal salary,â€ said Ms. Baranski. …
David Koblas, a computer programmer with a net worth of $5 million to $10 million, imagines what his life would be like if he left Silicon Valley. He could move to a small town like Elko, Nev., he says, and be a ski bum. Or he could move his family to the middle of the country and live like a prince in a spacious McMansion in the nicest neighborhood in town.
But Mr. Koblas, 39, lives with his wife, Michelle, and their two children in Los Altos, south of Palo Alto, where the schools are highly regarded and the housing prices are inflated accordingly. So instead of a luxury home, the family lives in a relatively modest 2,000-square-foot house â€” not much bigger than the average American home â€” and he puts in long hours at Wink, a search engine start-up founded in 2005.
â€œIâ€™d be rich in Kansas City,â€ he said. â€œPeople would seek me out for boards. But here Iâ€™m a dime a dozen.â€
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