Public Comment

More Letters from Beyond Berkeley Regarding the City Council’s Ruling on the Marine Recruitment Center

Friday February 08, 2008

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Planet is only printing letters from locals regarding the ruling on the Marine Recruitment Center. Signed letters from non-locals and letters addressed to third parties will be published on our website. Unsigned letters will not be published. 


Dear Mayor Tom Bates, 

I realize that I’m probably wasting my time in that there will be no response to this e-mail, but as the right of free speech works both ways, I feel compelled to express my opinion on the despicable actions that you’ve attemted to performed in the name of some “Whack Job” organization that you seem to have decided to sponsor, and I ask the question if your organization actually condones their behavior. 

I am referring specifically to your recent sponsorship of Code Pink and their treasonist efforts to remove the Marine Recruitment center in your alien city. Do you people actually not realize how moronic you appear, to the rest of this great country when you propose and attempt to denigrate and legislate treasonist proclomations against our brave men and women fighting to defend freedom and liberty. 

How stupid of you to associated your city council with an organization so intellectually challenged that they can’t even spell the word “Assasination” correctly while illegally scrawling it over the word Selection on the window front of the Marine Officer Selection Office. (I won’t belabor the point, but I do find it amusing that whenever these “Whack Jobs” get their moment in the spotlight, they alway manage to demonstrate their illiteracy. How hard is it to spell check the word “assassination?") 

The dictionary definition of the word “assassination” is as follows: Assassination is the murder of a political figure or another important individual. An added distinction between assassination and other forms of killing is that an assassin usually has an ideological or political motivation. 

Marines kill, they do not assassinate. And the fact that they have killed our nation’s enemies over the years is the reason why your organization exists, which I’m sure you don’t like to acknowledge or think about. The supreme strength, and irony, of our way of government is that the people who join the Marines are essentially putting their lives on the line to protect your right to despise your protectors. Whether or not this particular war helps defend that freedom is beside the point; your protest is against the Marine Corps as an organization, one that has been in business for longer than the country has been founded. Somewhere along that timeline, your freedoms were in jeopardy, and the Marines were there as part of the effort to keep that from happening.  

Your actions to thwart the opening of recruiting offices leads me to question exactly what your motives and goals are.  

Obviously, your organization is against the war in Iraq. Are you also saying that you want to abolish the military altogether? Are you implying that either there will never be another need for a military force, or that even if there is, our country will be at fault and the aggressor, and this is your attempt to stop that from happening? As I said, I know none of you will take the time to respond, but on the off chance you do, I would very much like to know the answer to that question. 

Just what good is your short-sighted attempt to stop people from entering the military to fight in this war going to do our country in the event that we truly need to be defended? Are you really so naive to believe that if we were to unilaterally disarm ourselves, abolish our military and force them to hold bake sales to supply themselves with arms and munitions, that this is a good thing? That we wouldn’t instantly be attacked by other nations who want to see our downfall? Or are you suggesting that we deserve to be cast down and conquered? 

The fact that you are working towards legislation that would bar recruiters from the city of Berkeley can really only be interepreted in a couple of ways. 

1) You are trying to set an example that you hope other communities will follow to stop recruiters from their mission of keeping our military up to strength, thereby crippling its ability to conduct any type of operations, or 

2) You believe that for whatever reason, the young men and women of your community are too good for the military. If some other community wants to sacrifice their sons and daughters, fine, but OUR children are much too precious. The fact that this demonstrates the very elitism that you profess to hate so much in individuals like George W. Bush seems to be lost on you. I would be very interested to know the results if there were a study to determine whether or not the gene that recognizes hypocrisy is missing from your members’ DNA.  

Again, this email is designed to both register protest, and better understand exactly what your goal is in your absurd attempts to block recruiting for the military in your community. Please explain to me how this helps our country. 

I look forward to any reply you care to make, no matter how civil or uncivil it may be. 

David Hill 

Westminster, Colorado 



Know this Berkeley, the city sleeps protected by the blanket of FREEDOM supplied by the US Marines. CodePink undermines this warmth and FREEDOM. We expect you to apologize to the Marines. 

Kevin Bester 

Madison, Wisconsin  



I would like to thank Council members Kriss Worthington, Betty Olds, and Gordon Wozniak for your no votes on the Berkeley City Council’s latest resolution regarding the presence of the U. S. Marine Recruiting Station. My commentary is addressed to the six members who voted for the resolution opposing the presence of the United States Marine Corp Recruiting Station. 

As a former Californian, I am reminded why I left the land of Fruits and Nuts every time I read or hear about the shameful, ungrateful, and just plain stupid utterances of those who do not understand or appreciate the price that must be paid for the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States. Those of us who have paid that price understand its cost and respect those who stand between our freedoms and those who would take it from us. It is fortunate for those like yourselves without the Honor and Integrity of those who serve their Nation, that they never fail to serve you. 

I served in Vietnam and I hate war and all that it does to those of us who survive; fellow veterans and families of those who died. It is sad that this is the price that must be paid for freedom. It is sadder still that there are those who don’t understand, refuse to appreciate or fail to respect the cost paid by our service people and their families so that we remain free. 

Ron Barger 

East Wenatchee, Washington 



You are aware of the actions of the Berkeley City Council and their attempts to remove a US Marine recruiting office in your city. I am not a little unhappy with their position, even hostility to our wonderful men in uniform. They promote hostility to all most Americans hold dear when the vote to provide Code Pink parking space directly in front of the recruiter’s offices. They have gone too far! 

RG Metzger 

Dallas, Texas 



A city and some of its citizens do not agree with the policies or actions of the Federal government and decide to take what they believe to be a moral, courageous stand to protest those policies. In this case, it is Berkeley and the Iraq War. Forty some years ago it was numerous towns and individual citizens who felt that they also knew better than the Federal government. The citizens then stood in school house doors to prevent the carrying out of Federal orders to desegregate. Is this any different? Not in my mind. We live in a democracy. Whether the Berkeley city council likes it or not, President Bush is the elected head of our government. Since January 2007, he has been funded by a Democratically controlled Congress. The means to change policy is in their hands. I would have a lot more respect for the World Can’t Wait group and the Berkeley city council if they staged their protest in Senator Feinste in’s office (she voted for the war), Senator Clinton’s campaign offices (she voted for the war), or any number of congressmen who voted for it and continue to support it. But no, better not upset the powerful when you can pick on young Americans instead. 

To block the path of young people who want to serve is not moral or courageous. To prevent soldiers or Marines from carrying out their assigned tasks is not moral or courageous. The Marine Corps did not start this war nor does it vote to maintain it. I challenge the World Can’t Wait to confront those who did rather than acting out their rage on the backs of those who are already carrying the weight of this war.  

BTW, I’m a former Marine. I think this war is idiotic, and have voted Democratic in all but 1 election including all the time I was in the Corps. Groups like those making a scene in Berkeley at our military mens’ expense are why a large segment of the American voting public does not trust the Democratic party with the Presidency. 

Semper Fidelis, 

Michael Greene 

Alexandria, Virgina 



As Stalinism continues its inevitable retreat into the trash bins of history, adherents struggle to hold on to its last outposts in North Korea, Berkeley, and Turkmenistan. 

These extremists have decided what is right for you and are willing to force you to comply. Individuals have no right to think, speak, or act for themselves. 

From comrade Bates stealing newspapers that don’t agree with him, to leftist stormtroopers preventing Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking in Berkeley, to the current thugs preventing individuals from visiting the Marine recruiting station, Berkeley has become the American capital of the anti-free speech movement. 

Mark Johnson 



What a bunch of hypocrits. Only after the “crap hit the fan” are thewe wimps now concerned. I hope many businesses join Mr. Dennard in the boycott of the City of Berkeley. I would also hope that the Council does not speak for the Majority of the Citizens of the City. If so the City is in Deep trouble. 

Jim Brown 

Retired U. S. Air Force 



Did you know you have to be a college graduate to sign up to be a Marine at the Berkeley Marine Recruiting Center? A high school student or even a college undergraduate cannot get recruited there. This recruiting of the college graduate is to train them as future officers. One must remember that the college graduate has a degree, a driver’s license, voting rights, can get married and can even legally drink, so I am sure he is quite capable of choosing a future career without the demonstrators Code Pink blocking his way. I am sure that these people are attempting to do good, but I feel their energy and time could be better serve by tutoring in the schools. And the Berkeley City Council should take a more liberal rather than a fascist view by supporting free speech in its home town. 

Martha Jones 



From the southern part of our great land, I read with great dismay that the City Council of Berkeley passed a resolution, in essence, to drive the Marines from the city. I had to read, and re-read the articles/links/headlines to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. Wow, what a story, and what an indictment on a pack of buffoons who are becoming the laughing stock of America. I am speaking, of course, of the Berkeley City Council. From a city which boasts of its high intellect, I’m seeing nothing but pea brains. How could anyone possible elect these fools, and, after this, allow them to remain in office! Sadly, they have done irreparable harm by placing a shroud of shame upon that community for years to come. I might have expected this from some misguided, naïve college students just starting to learn the ways of the world, but never from adults who were elected officials! God help the fools of the world, of which Berkeley has more than its share.  

Semper Fi, 

C. M. Collins, III 



Those of you who voted to, essentially, make the United States Marine Corps recruiting office “persona non grata” in Berkeley have perhaps delivered one of the lowest blows to our brave men and women EVER in the history of this country. While I am not in favor of this war in Iraq, our future ability to cope with an increasingly tumultuous world climate, will have our country in need of many more brave young men and women in the future. The call that many of our young people feel to defend our country is a wonderful thing. When I served in Vietnam, I was ready to die for my comrades and they for emotion I suspect none of you have ever experienced or have the courage to experience. 

Do not confuse our military with the broken foreign policy of the current administration. There will be a time I believe, and it will be very soon, that we will need that military more than ever. My wife, a graduate of Berkeley HS is even more repulsed by your actions than I. And how do you think the surviving parents, wives, husbands and children are coping with your callous and short sighted action? I suspect some of them may even be constituents of yours. 

May God save us from the likes of the six of you who voted for the resolution in question. 

Milt Rogers 

Boulder, Colorado 



Dear Mayor Bates, 

In that you and your city have chosen to gravely insult the brave men and women, who have indeed bought you that right with their blood, I am informing you that my company will no longer do business with any of our current suppliers located in the Berkeley, California metro area. 

In that my company is in international resort real estate development, and do business with and am associated with, developers and investors worldwide, I am informing all of my contacts, associates and patrons that we will no longer do any business of any sort with anyone living in the Berkeley area. In that we/MDG Resorts are currently building a state of the art mega-yacht marina, all of the suppliers of Marina equipment, all owners of Yachts , all suppliers of Yacht materials & supplies, all yacht brokers and all tangential yacht business purveyors will likewise be informed that we will not do any business whatsoever with anyone from the Berkeley area. 

Likewise all suppliers of building materials, both interior and exterior, currently associated with any of our several resort developments (Brisamar 300+ villas and 200+ condos: Porto Hussong, 500+ condos, 180 slip mega-yacht marina) both of which I might add have international recognition by virtue of glowing reports in Robb Report, Wall Street Journal, Yacht World, Forbes. I will likewise inform all of our investors, most of whom are very wealthy yacht owners, casino owners, high net worth international businessmen, of our decision to essentially boycott all products and providers located in, or associated with in any way whatsoever, Berkeley, Ca. 

Trust me when I say that having been in the real estate development business for over 35 years, our list of contacts and associates is long and very, very impressive. We, and I personally, are going to recommend that they ALL along with us boycott your city, its purveyors, suppliers, and businesses and CHARITIES of every kind. 

You have every right to choose to take the obnoxious anti-military stance you have taken, and as stated, that right was bought for you with the blood of better men than you. 

I too have every right to do all that I can to insure that your city suffers consequences arising from that obnoxious, sickening stance. 


Brian G Dennard 

Principal Director 

Meridian Development Group, LLC 



In my humble opinion, the Berkley City Council, through it’s recent resolutions, is guilty not only violating civil rights laws but also of treason in its attitude towards the Marine Recruiting Center located there. 

Freedom of Speech is guaranteed in the US Constitution. Yet, I am willing to bet that organizations other than Code Pink do not receive the same courtesies. Are organizations that back the war receiving parking privileges in front of city hall to protest this city’s anti-war and anti-military resolution? Are pro-life organizations going to get parking spaces in front of abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood? Doubt it! 

As for the arguments for the resolutions, the woman who said, “It is not favoritism,” is sadly mistaken. Pacifists have no more rights than pro-military, pro-life, pro-choice or the Ku Klux Klan for that matter. Freedom of Speech is for everyone despite the fact that you may not agree with them. 

Then there was the gentleman who called the recruiters, “criminal liars.” I believe he is right in that if they are lying they are committing a criminal act under the Military Code of Conduct as well as civil law. However, that is for the courts to decide not someone who makes rash statements and fails to back them up with facts. 

Then there is the woman who felt like a hypocrite because she arranged for a psychiatrist to lie about her son’s mental condition to keep him out of the military during Vietnam. I would suggest that if she feels so guilty about it she turn herself, her son and the psychiatrist in to the authorities. Although I am sure the statute of limitations is probably up. Instead find a Vietnam vet, or a conscience objector who still did his duty, or someone who went to prison rather than lie and tell them your story. They will probably be very sympathetic. 

As for the Marines not having, “had the sense not to come here,” I would point out that it is very apparent that not everyone agrees with that statement. If there were not people in the area interested in joining the Marines, the center would close. Then too if there aren’t people going into the center then why is it necessary to provide Code Pink with special parking. If it is not a busy place, there should be plenty of parking available. 

In encouraging the protest of Code Pink at the Recruiting Center the City Council is interfering with military recruitment, thus aiding the enemy. The recruitment centers and those who man them have no say in policy. Washington D.C. makes the decisions as to where and when we fight, not downtown Berkley. Therefore, in protesting at the Center, Code Pink is making the statement that they are ant-military as well as anti-war. Moreover, the city makes the same statement when it offers special courtesies to Code Pink. 

As I said in my opinion this constitutes treason! 

Rodger L. Solomon 

Gillette, Wyoming