This is my open letter to Mayor Bates. If you want to tell him your thoughts, here is his email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The seditious decision by Berkeley’s Peace and Justice Commission to introduce its anti-American declaration to the city council was wrong-headed and fundamentally dishonest. However, the reprehensible vote on this declaration by the council members, along with your support, is even more calculatedly malevolent.
You have accused your country (.pdf) thusly:
The United States has a history of launching illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression and the Bush Administration launched the most recent of those wars in Iraq and is threatening the possibility of war in Iran. These wars have produced catastrophic loss of human life, both civilian and military, as well as physically maiming and deforming and psychologically destroying countless numbers of civilians and military personnel.
The United States Marine Corps is being used as one of the means of perpetrating and prolonging illegal, unconstitutional and unnecessary wars of the United States. Military recruiters are sales people known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults into contracting themselves into military service with false promises regarding jobs, job training, education and other benefits. Many enlisted persons never see the benefits they are promised and find out they are not eligible for the educational benefits due to loopholes and they did not receive the training promised or it did not qualify them for jobs outside the military.
The United States military discriminates by refusing to hire gays, lesbians, or bisexuals. By ordinance (BMC § 13.28.030; Ord. 5106-NS § 1 (part), 1978), the City of Berkeley prohibits such discrimination; requires employers to post a notice that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited by law; and provides for a fine of up to $50 per offense for failure to do so.
Given that you are a former Army officer, and that you serve now as the leader of a city in the United States, your words and actions bring shame on all of us.
And your attack dogs from Code Pink are equally repulsive. One blogger noted:
By an 8-1 margin, the Council voted to designate a parking spot for Code Pink protestors directly in front of the Marine recruitment office. What exactly does Code Pink do in front of the office? Code Pink regularly defaces the office, writes on the sidewalks and posts signs on the windows saying “Recruiters Lie Children Die”. This week, three protestors chained themselves to the door of the office, blocking the entrance for over 7 hours before police finally broke the chains and arrested them. Hmmm, I wonder how fast someone would be arrested for blocking the entrance to Berkeley City Hall?…
Code Pink is circulating petitions calling for a Berkeley ballot measure to make it more difficult to open and operate recruiting stations. The measure would be modeled after anti-pornography laws. To Code Pink the United States Military = Pornography.
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Just because you and your council personally disagree with the policies of the President and Congress regarding the war in Iraq, and just because it is a popular stand in Berkeley to assume these anti-American attitudes, these sentiments are still not sufficient reason to dishonor the Marines in your midst.
If Berkeley wants to be independent, then by all means do so. But to expect that you will be permitted to slam our military with one hand while holding out the other hand demanding national monies for your projects is not only absurd, it is immensely tacky.
And despite your protestations, sir, the two hands are indeed connected. No free lunch, Mayor, not even for Beatific Berkeley.
It’s interesting that you have failed to return the phone call of a Gold Star mother who left a message for you after the vote. Are you too ashamed to speak to a woman whose son died in the service of your country, Mayor?
Here is the open letter Mrs. Lee wrote to you since you wouldn’t speak to her:
Mr. Tom Bates,
I was appalled at the decisions that your City Council made at your last meeting, telling the Marines they were not welcome in your city and then granting Code Pink a parking place in front of the Recruiting office free for six months along with a free noise permit. I called and left a message last week for you to call me, a Gold Star Mother whose son gave the ultimate sacrifice. It doesn’t surprise me that you didn’t return that phone call. Trust me I won’t just go away!
My son Marc Alan Lee laid down his life 8-2-06 for Americans to have all of the freedoms that we enjoy. He voluntarily went to his recruiter to find out what opportunities would be provided to him and what would be required for him to be a Navy SEAL. He was treated professionally and never once regretted his decision to become a Navy SEAL. He was honored to serve his country. He was stationed in California along with half of the SEAL community. I’m sure you’ve heard of the elite of the elite, as President Bush calls them.
Marc was very pleased with his recruiter, and he was never lied to, tricked or deceived. His recruiter played the role of counselor or coach to Marc and helped him get the right schools, to be fit and prepared, and to understand what was ahead. Marc pursued his recruiter. Marc had a dream and a goal and he pursued the recruiter who showed him how to make his dream a reality!…
Perhaps Berkeley could secede? It would make so many of the rest of us happy and Berkeley could perform its usual circus as it left the fold and sailed into the Pacific. No need for police or a military on the Utopian island paradise of Berkeley.
Your town and its philosophy is so repugnant to most of us that we’d be glad to help you pack and move. We’d even take up a collection for you. Not government money, just lots of contributions from Americans who think more highly of our military than your socialist town does, and who think less of you than you do of our soldiers.
You think the Marines don’t belong in Beatific Berkeley? We don’t think that BB deserves a place in America. In fact, I doubt even the EU rulers would take you. But if we have to put up with you, you’ll just have to go along to get along, Mayor. Tough, but there you are. Life in reality.
Mentioning 9/11 is just so… so 2001, isn’t it? That’s a California frame of mind if ever there was one. After all, no one flew any jets into the buildings in Berkeley so what concern is it of yours, right?
Do you and your fellow city employees have so little meaningful work to do that you’re reduced to this shameful display of disrespect? And it is disrespectful to call the Marines names or label them “barbarous” in an effort to force them out of town. All that energy and hatred so focused on your own Berkeley navel that you’re surprised when the rest of the country rejects your purported “right” to both receive federal monies AND reject the presence of military offices in your pristine little socialist paradise. The other side of rights is responsibility, Mayor. Deal with it.
If your father were still alive, Mayor, what would he say about what you and your city council have done? Do you think this would be a moment of pride for him?
You and your city are an embarrassment to the rest of us. In fact, several of your citizens have written me in the past to say how intimidated and unfree they feel whenever they express any public affection for their country in the Socialist paradise of Berkeley, California. People call them names, interrupt, and talk over them if they dare to say anything positive.
No wonder you don’t understand why you can’t chase a government office out of town and still collect federal benefits.
No wonder you can’t connect the dots — man, you can’t even see the page.
It’s not that you’re a moron, though I can see why people are saying that. Personally, I think your intellect is intact and functions well. The problem is that your ability to see reality has been impeded by your decision to wear the socialist rainbow glasses. Keep those spectacles on and you’ll never get it.
In fact, it may be too late for you. After reading your biography, I can find no history of your ever having held a position in the real world. All your experience is in state and local government. You’ve never had to exist in the real world. Just like Bill Clinton, you are a creature of the political classes. A whole career in “public service” is not much better than being on the dole. Our founding fathers would not have understood this kind of parasitical existence – and if they did it would not have been met with approbation. You are the creature they feared.
Why don’t you catch up on the actual history of the last two decades? Take your head out of the sand long enough to hear some reality. From Blackfive:
For any of you out there who are doubting the validity of this war and the evil that resides in our enemy I ask you to study your history again. Over the last 20+ years dating back to the bombing of the Marine Corps Barracks in Lebanon, various factions of radical Islamic Terrorists have been committing heinous acts of terrorism against the free world.
We are fighting the same enemy here. The brethren of an evil ideology that spawned the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 claiming almost 3,000 innocent lives. Take time to reflect on the type of evil that would put explosive vests on innocent women with Downs Syndrome and use them to kill and maim other innocent people.
While the American media strives everyday to rewrite the history of the most generous nation in the free world and cast disparity over all that we do as a Nation men like Mike and Nate [two Navy Seals killed in Iraq] are giving their lives to make sure the real history doesn’t repeat itself.
While the American media strives daily to erase the memory of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and paint this war as an unjust occupation of a sovereign nation men like Mike and Nate are out here hunting down and destroying the enemies of the very freedom that allows our media to try and discredit us. Terrorism is real, evil is real, this war is real and real men and women are in this fight because righteousness and freedom are worth fighting for.
If you don’t support this war I’m calling you out.
I’ve had enough of people sitting in their living rooms watching the lying media and jumping on the bandwagon against this war. Don’t ever say to me, “I support the troops, but not the war.” You might as well be telling me that I’m committing a crime. You are in effect saying that my cause is unjust and everything I believe in is a lie. I have held my tongue in the past, but I will never allow you to have it both ways again.
You cannot support me if you do not support this war. I am this war. It embodies everything that I believe in. If you believe that what we are doing here is wrong then you are in effect supporting the evil we seek destroy. If you believe I’m wrong for trying to stop evil people from taking more innocent lives then I fear there is no hope for you.
If you choose to dishonor my service and the sacrifice of my fallen brothers by taking a position against this war you are free to make that choice thanks to guys like Mike and Nate, but don’t expect me to sit idly by and bite my tongue while you do it. Do it in my presence and be prepared to try and support your feeble position while I enlighten everyone else on the reality of this war and the nature of the enemy we face. I will ensure that you look like the fool that you are.
The stuff I’m seeing out here you won’t see on Oprah Winfrey. I’m seeing really evil people doing really evil things and I’m doing everything in my power to stop them. There’s nothing wrong or unjust about that.
Call off those Pink Code dogs, Mayor. They bring you no honor at all and you’ll end up having to clean up after them.
Code Pink is not house-trained.
After finishing up this post, I sat down to read Bill Whittle’s collection of essays from his blog, Eject, Eject, Eject. The book, entitled Silent America, Essays from a Democracy at War, is still pertinent. Like all good polemicists, what he writes ages well.
I resumed my reading on page 88, and shortly came to this passage:
I believe that many of those who opposed the war because they simply could not – or in many cases would not imagine what life under real oppression is like. Remember these are the people who say, and seem to believe, that we in the US live in a police state, under a murdering dictator, where propaganda is spoon-fed to us like willing idiots and political opposition is crushed mercilessly.
I thought fleetingly of the useful idiots who inhabit Beatific Berkeley. Then this paragraph followed:
If you say such things long enough, and you spend all of your time in the company of similarly tin-foil hatted comrades, then you actually begin to believe that life in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein wasn’t that much worse than life in Berkeley under the racist, election-stealing, Wellstone-murdering, Earth-destroying Republikkkan administration.
Berkeley is (as New Orleans came to be) still stuck on stupid. It’s just their fate.
I had forgotten all about the “murder” of Paul Wellstone. That plane crash was one of KKKarl Rove’s machinations, wasn’t it? Whatever happened to that ol’ boy, anyways? You figure they buried him somewhere in an unmarked grave?