So, I click on CNN.com and right there on the front page is: Berkeley to Marines: Get out of our city. Apparently, the majority of the citizens and their city council do not want the Marines to have a recruiting station in Berkeley. Also, according to the article, the GOP isn't too keen on the idea that Berkeley doesn't want the Marines recruiting there. They want to take back $2 million dollars in funds they provide to the city and they want to cut funding to the University of California – Berkeley campus.
Now, I'm not even sure where I stand on this issue. I don't support the war in Iraq, but I do support our troops. If I were to be asked by a member of my extended family if they should join the service, I'd probably tell them that they shouldn't. Too many of our servicemen and women are coming back with injuries (if they come back at all) and we're not giving them enough help and support whether it be physical therapy, medical attention or counseling (Have we learned nothing from Nam?). It is almost of if they are considered throwaways.
But, that's not really why I started this post. This is why I started this post (all of this next paragraph is completed quoted from the CNN online article).
Forrest Smith, who described himself as a veteran of U.S. Special Forces, said his son recently returned from a tour in Iraq and his daughter served in Afghanistan.
"My position on this is the Marines are the best thing we have," said Smith, decked out in Army fatigues.
He blasted the City Council for its action. "It's clearly an abuse of power."
Here's what bothers me. When I wrote my then State Senator (Republican Cathy Stepp) regarding the anti-gay amendment to the Wisconsin State Constitution, she basically wrote back and stated that it should be left up to the voters and majority rules. Well, how is that not the same thing in Berkeley? If the majority of Berkeley citizens do not want a Marine recruiting station there, how come "In Washington, a group of Republican lawmakers have introduced the Semper Fi Act of 2008"?
I mean, since Republicans believe in low government involvement, why do a bunch of lawmakers in Washington even care? According to the article, the Marines are not moving the recruitment office. According to the First Amendment, people have the right to protest. City Councils have the right to pass measures. So, why should any citizen in Berkeley be denied support because the government doesn't like what was said. It seems to be that the Federal Government is butting in where they don't belong.
I actually like what "Gunnery Sgt. Pauline Franklin, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command" said: "The Marine Corps is here to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which does guarantee the freedom of speech. In terms of the situation in Berkeley, the City Council and the protesters are exercising their right to do so."
Sounds like she's the only one that gets it.
PS. All quotes were taken from CNN's article at this link:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/02/07/berkeley.protests/index.html The only modification made to them was for formatting purposes.