Archive for the ‘communities’ Category

Note to Berkeley: Marines Are Not The Enemy

February 2, 2008

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 31, 2008

“Osama bin Laden couldn’t have said it better,” American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser said of the Berkeley City Council Resolution, which tells the Marines that they are not welcome there. “Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley, who voted for this disgrace.

Nonetheless, our Marines continue to bravely serve and in so doing, allow Americans to spout such foolishness. The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present.”

U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training ...
U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training simulation of a search through an Iraqi city built at the U.S. Marine Base in Camp Pendleton, California, June 29, 2006.
REUTERS/Mike Blake 
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Conatser, the leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization, was referring to a measure passed by the Council 6-3 Tuesday, that tells the U.S. Marine Corps that one of its recruiting stations is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”The City Council marched in complete lock-step with radical anti-war group Code Pink in attempting to drive out Marine recruiters from its San Francisco suburb. The City Council also voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a free parking space in front of a recruiting station, along with a free sound permit for protesting once a week.Marine recruiters at Berkeley have faced harassment from protestors who regularly block nearby sidewalks, generate excessive noise and disrupt business.”I have been a recruiter in the National Guard and I know that it’s tough duty, with long hours,” Conatser said. “What these recruiters do is essential to our national security.Without recruiters we have no military. And I don’t think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are.”Conatser pointed out that The American Legion strongly supports the war on terrorism, passing a national resolution of its own.”Resolution 169 was passed unanimously by The American Legion in 2005 and it has been re-affirmed every year since. It reminds Americans that you can not separate the war from the warrior and that the American people should stand united in support for our troops who are engaged in protecting our values and our way of life.”

With a current membership of 2.7-million wartime veterans, The American Legion, http://www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs.

Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.
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U.S. Marine Corps,
Berkeley
BERKELEY – Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered Friday to help the U.S. Marines leave town by negotiating an end to the lease for their recruiting station, even as he backpedaled on a City Council resolution declaring the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.In the face of an onslaught of pro-military criticism from around the country, Bates, a retired Army captain, also issued a statement that said the City Council’s resolution Tuesday night “did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy.”He said he would ask the council to modify the resolution at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12.

A Marines spokeswoman said Friday that the Corps has no intention of abandoning its space at 64 Shattuck Square that has been the subject of protests for months.

The council voted 6-3 Tuesday to tell the Marines that their recruiting station is not welcome in the city. In a separate vote, the council supported the women’s peace group Code Pink by giving it 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.

The council also voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines.
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Letter from A Former POW to Mayor of Berkeley

Dear Mayor Bates and the City Council of Berkeley: It is because of the Marines, Soldiers and Sailors that you are not conducting city business in Japanese or German. Here is an excerpt from the poem “What is a Vet” that follows.

Mike Benge civilian VN-POW 1968-73

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

WHAT IS A VET? Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a aged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together,a piece of shrapnel in the leg, or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweatingtwo gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t runout of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of  The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now andaggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when thenightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of hiscountry, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not haveto sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, “THANK YOU”.

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of thepress. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Whoserves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Lt. Col., USMC
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy ... 

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U.S. Education And Communities

October 14, 2007

By Kamala Sarup
In Nepal
October 14, 2007

In the US, the educational system is highly organized, respected and therefore, more influenced by educated people in small communities.  This means that school districts have lots of influence on what is taught in US secondary schools. In all parts of the US, but particularly in states like Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Iowa most of these adults believe, more or less, in the literal interpretation of the Bible, just as most of their forefathers did. They teach it in the churches and Sunday Schools. They see the public secondary school teaching of the Biblical beliefs in children.

Facts: Over the last 35 years, U.S. 8th graders score average or above average in math and science on international tests. U.S. high school students (HSers) score average or above in math and science on international tests.

Math and science teachings in U.S. colleges is good. Having taken hundreds of courses in a variety of colleges ranging from community colleges to ivy league grad schools, I can count on “good” teachers.

The teaching becomes progressively good. I think, If because of increasing math and science achievements in high school and college, US competitiveness in globalized economy will progress.

“I don’t countenance more administrative burdens on high school teachers, which detract from teaching, but I think that the standardization of curricula is beneficial to US High school teaching.

Theretofore, teachers taught what they wanted, when they wanted, If they wanted. The standardized tests bring focus to the math and science curricula and promote higher teaching ability in high school teaching and administration and comparisons of teaching quality can be made. This system is called competition and accountability. I like that because it has improved the quality of High School education,”
says an educator Pieniaszek.

He further argued “Because what US makes up in quality; that is, given a large population, it pushes 50% of the High schools into college and a few exceptional students become high achievers.”

Even on the other hand, the schooling in the underdeveloped countries becomes better, as it is in many of them, the students in those countries will become better scientists, engineers, programmers, and mathematicians. The teaching in most underdeveloped countries is also not bad. I think that if the US present increases fund in the quality of US education continues, then US living standards will increases.

“As I said, your mother must regard your education as a high priority to give you good education and an Internet access Kamala. Although it is an additional expense for her, it is an extremely worthwhile educational tool. You can learn about every subject through the school. However, I find that books are necessary to supplement the Internet at present because they cover each subject more thoroughly.

However, some day, books will be obsoleted as the Internet becomes more thorough and as students around the world have computers and Internet access,” he stated.

Children are easily educated by their parents and neighbors as in the past in the US. Pieniaszek said “that’s a hereditary survival skill, i.e, think and do like the people around you and your chances are better of staying and procreating education. If the parents are educated, usually likewise their kids especially if the educators come from the same community and share the same beliefs. Then there are the schools who teach the maths and science, humanities while the kids are young. It is an impressive system. However, in the US, the schools have money and they are organized. They have determined that the kids are believing in an education taught in the high schools and college schools. It’s a good opportunities to the parents and the leaders.

How can educators and scientists in a democracy wage employment to protect their liberal methods. I say, we fight back in the classroom, in the courtroom and across the Internet (e.g., this forum) with time.

Fortunately by my values, the environmental influences seem to be spreading generally around the world, in part caused by more education of worldwide communications, both visual and aural that shows more of the similarities than differences in behavior”.he added.

Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup associates and writes for:
http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/.

She is a regular contributor to United Press International – Asia News. She is specializes in in-depth reporting and writing on peace, anti-war, women, terrorism, democracy, and development. Some of her publications are: Women;s Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal (booklets); Prevention of Trafficking in Women Through Media, (book); Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (media research). She has also written two collections of stories.