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Protesters clash at recruitment center

Original post made on Feb 15, 2008

Dozens of people flocked to Mountain View's U.S. Army Career Center on Friday to stage a protest -- some to protest the presence of military recruiters in Mountain View, others to protest the protesters.
SEE VIDEO FOOTAGE!

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 15, 2008, 3:33 PM

Comments (57)

Posted by Army Officer, a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2008 at 7:36 pm

When you protest a recruiter's office, you protest everyone in uniform. We stand as one and united. Protest outside your politician's office and stop grandstanding if you disagree with the war in Iraq. I am hispanic and joined while in high school and no one lied to me. The Army ended up paying for my education at UC Berkeley, allowing me to become an officer, and earn enough to buy a house in Mountain View. It's the protestors who are uniformed and lying. Spend some time in Iraq or Afghanistan and you'll understand what this war is really about and why it's worth fighting.


Posted by Stephen Ferroni, a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Oh boy this can't be good for business?

Steve Ferroni
Owner Play It Again Sports located 10 feet from recruitment center.

I see both sides but I wish they would take this somewhere else I am just trying to eek out a living!


Posted by BillyJoe, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2008 at 1:10 am

[Post removed by Mountain View Voice staff.]


Posted by An Educated Hispanic, a resident of Castro City
on Feb 16, 2008 at 8:42 am

The grannies should protest the schools (as well as the politicians) if they think they need to save Latinos from the military. How do they arrive at the assumption that Latinos in this town are so dumb and gullible and need saving from themselves? What a bunch of racists. Mountain View schools are failing our hispanic children. If recruiters are invading our schools, then let them if it means they have a better chance of an education and social mobility as the Army Officer above alludes. If the schools were doing a better job, what would the grannies be protesting, that recruiters are stealing all the kitchen help and garnders in the area? That they one day might compete with the Day Laborer center? The military even offers a chance at citizenship for children of illegals.

I support our military and so should everyone who's not out fighting alongside them. Take the blame game somewhere else!


Posted by justsaying, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm

I agree - It is bad for business
If the grannies really want to make a difference they would "protest" with their congresswoman - this is very disruptful
I heard on the national news last night that berkeley has a running tab of over $93,000 to pay cops in riot gear overtime as the protesters of the anti-military are there everyday making a giant mess even thought the other side is no longer a presence there anymore. Peaceful? This has made the business next to them very mad as well the businesses are telling berkeley "enough is enough" they really dont appreciate that group any longer - hmmm wonder if they will be called unwated unwelcomed intruders next?
Take it where it belongs - not the recruiting stations if they realy do "care"


Posted by Jean Browne, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2008 at 1:53 pm

First let me correct a statement that lady did not only poke a finger she pushed him real hard in the chest.
I only wish these people would protest at the polititions homes in front of the White House or any other home of our leaders. They spend so much time in the wrong places.
Thanks to my daughter and other fine military members they can cause all the raucus and add extra cost to our police departments.
Get a life.
Proud Air Force Mom


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2008 at 3:22 pm

We support our troops! Mountain View's a pro-military town, take it or leave it!


Posted by GSB, a resident of Castro City
on Feb 16, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Imitating Berkeley's missteps is not a good idea.


Posted by Nick, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2008 at 1:21 am

The article from the New York Latino Times cited below goes on to state that over 1/2 the Iraq casualties from New York have been either African-American or Latino.
Is such a poverty draft right and just?

"Residents of East Harlem are outraged over an Army recruiting station that will soon open in their neighborhood. They say that the U.S. Army is stepping up efforts to over-target neighborhoods with high concentrations of Blacks and Latinos.

"The Army already muscles its way into high schools," said Gloria Quiñones, who has two sons ages 20 and 24. "Now, they're entrenching themselves into our community to get kids to fight in a war that's based on a lie about weapons of mass destruction"


Posted by Nick, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2008 at 1:24 am

Correction: Just double checked the source of that quote

It is from the New York Latino Journal for Feb. 18, 2008


Posted by Army Officer, a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2008 at 10:04 am

"Within a couple of percentage points, the figures from Iraq show that the deaths are representative of the composition of the military right now," says David R. Segal, a University of Maryland sociologist who is director of the university's Center for Research on Military Organization. "So the real question is how representative is the military of society as a whole."

Segal says that studies show that the all-volunteer military is resolutely middle American, with the top 25 percent—the economic elites—and the lowest 25 percent largely failing to serve.

"There's a preponderance of what we might call upper-working-class or lower-middle-class servicemen," Segal says. "The numbers represent economically distressed America, small-town kids with ambition but no jobs who are using the Army as a way to get out and progress."

One study of American deaths in the Iraq war has already yielded significant findings about race. Brian Gifford is a researcher with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley. His study "Combat Casualties and Race: What can we learn from the 2003-2004 Iraq Conflict?" will be published this winter in the journal Armed Forces & Society.

"Hispanic deaths were way over-represented in the opening war phase in Iraq, comprising about 16 percent of all deaths," Gifford said. "But they represent just 11 percent of Army and Marine combat personnel and less than 9 percent of all active-duty personnel."

Other studies show that in some Marine units involved in the heaviest fighting before the occupation, Hispanic casualties were as high as 19 percent of all deaths.

Hispanic casualty rates dramatically declined, however, as soon as the occupation began and there were less-frequent, less-intensive battle conditions. For this period, Hispanic deaths represented less than 12 percent of all deaths, roughly proportional to the group's numbers within the active military.

"If any group of minority service members faces an elevated risk of casualties, it is Hispanics under high-intensity combat conditions," Gifford wrote in his study. "When U.S. tactics dictate a more active, aggressive role in finding and attacking enemy targets, Hispanics incur casualties in excess of their participation in ground combat units. In less intense environments, the Hispanic casualty rate more closely resembles their presence in the military as a whole."

Most experts agree on the explanation for these unexpectedly high Hispanic casualty rates. The majority of Hispanic recruits are either first- or second-generation Americans with relatively low rates of educational achievement. Their test scores simply don't justify placing them in relatively select—and safer—occupations behind the front lines.

I was surprised by this the last paragraph myself which actually supports the Educated Hispanic's assertion that the Raging Grannies might want to protest the schools instead. The lower ranks of combat forces would hold individuals who volunteer with lower test schools. But they are statistically outnumbered by higher test scorers. However, they are led by the Army's best officers and non-commissinoed officers, who compete for combat unit positions.

African American volunteers into the Army have been declining since 2001.


Posted by Nick, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2008 at 12:36 am

Appreciate so much the informational comments and reasonableness of the second Army Officer. I think, however that simply blaming test scores and, by extension the schools, for Latinos' assignment to more dangerous combat roles falls short.

First, the tests in question are probably administered only in English, a disadvantage for test takers for whom it is a second language. Paradoxically early insistence on English-only instruction which is currently imposed on the schools, hurts student achievement more than it helps.

Second, educational achievement is very tightly related to family income and educational background. Poverty has a huge impact at all stages of child development.

Third, peer pressures play a role in influencing students to cut class and/or drop out. And then it does appear to many that there is racism in the military. Could racism play a role in the assignments?

And the question still remains whether a "poverty draft" is fair.


Posted by X14, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 18, 2008 at 12:57 am

Army Officer> Spend some time in Iraq or Afghanistan and you'll understand what this war is really about and why it's worth fighting.

They can't they do not have what you have - courage.

It is far easier to yell from the sidelines with no view of the trouble you have seen.

"The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity."

Regrettably the protesters against the military fail to understand that someone exchanged their free thinking for conformity.


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2008 at 1:35 pm

An interesting discussion. It seems that Army Officer's quoted research pretty much lays to waste the urban myth of a "poverty draft" with the quotation, "the top 25 percent—the economic elites—and the lowest 25 percent [have been found] largely failing to serve." If there were indeed a "draft," then we should be more concerned with the other end of the spectrum--"the economic elites" who profit from the sacrifices of the middle class--but what else is new there. Even if 12-16% of casualties and deaths are hispanic, this should not diminish the fact that 84-86% percent of other races are being wounded and dying as well.

I also read somewhere that the Marines and Army appeal more to Latinos because of the codes of honor and respect that the these two corps espouse. This might account for the slightly higher casualty rate as these organizations comprise our ground forces. Or, alternatively, it's not uncommon for certain ethnic groups to be found predominately in one service or another. For example, the Navy is host to many Philipino Americans. Could it be that there are very few Philipino American casualties in this war because, guess what, they are serving on ships, not on land! Nonetheless their service to the nation should not be minimized.

This brings up the assertion of racism in the military, but it is not backed it up by any research. Militaries in modern Western history have been known to be great levelers of society. From what I've read, the military has made great strides in reducing racism. A good reference for me was Colin Powell's biography.

The question of education as related to income levels and military service seems dubious as well. Yes, poverty can influence education, but again I believe it has already been demonstrated that the military is mostly composed of lower-to-upper middleclass individuals. This would actually support the assertion above that the schools are partly to blame for the poor test results of its middleclass, not lower class, graduates. Perhaps some Latino recruits just can't take a test, or were graduated through the grade levels without ever meeting the criteria (so much so that the state had to impose an exit exam for high school students to make sure they meet minimum levels of proficiency). Gee, there's a shocker, how many times have we heard that California schools are at the bottom of the performance list in spite of all the money being spent! How many times have we been told that educators are loath to teach kids how to take tests. Well, guess what? Those same kids who don't do well on a military entrance exam, are probably going to do even worse on their SATs or any other test. So are we going to blame military recruiters for that as well?

In sum, it's not the poor and dumb that are being tragically wounded and dying for this country, as some would like us to believe, its the patriotic, courageous, and non-self serving middleclass men and women of all races that make up this great country. I also believe they are some of the best and brighest this country has to offer. Above all, the strategy of the Raging Grannies is obviously flawed. It seems they should be raging against what causes poverty and makes our schools perform so poorly.


Posted by Uptodate, a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

Regarding Nick's comment on drop outs and low scorers in the minority community joining the military. The military doesn't want and in most cases can not take high school dropouts or low scoring or illiterate wannabees. Military standards are very high. Individuals that want to join the military have to meet high standards of moral, physical and mental fitness, that the average youth has difficulty meeting. By moral, no trouble with the law, no arrests, gang affiliations etc. By physical, they can not be overweight and have to meet a stringent physical exam (ie dental, cardio etc)and pass physical standards, that the average youth have difficulty meeting. And last but not least they have to score a passing grade on the ASVAB test, the SAT for the military. So this concept that any Jorge, Dick or Harry can walk into a recruiting office and sign up, is simply ignorance of what the qualifications are for our modern military. This ignorance extends to those "old saws" that the poor, dumb and minority are "victims" of military recruitment. The military, and the Army especially are a reflection of today's society. The Chelsea Clinton's of this world are seldom reflected in today's Armed Forces, just as high school drop out Jose is not a member of the service. I often read that the Army is an all Volunteer Force, that is really not true. You are not going to find a long line of qualified candidates lined up outside a recruiting station. The Army is a recruited force, just like the folks that work at any major corporation are recruited to work there. Google is not an All Volunteer Company, but a quality company that recruits to get the best and brightest, just like the US Army. So comments about "poverty draft" or "minorities getting the shaft" are devoid of the facts. Many minorities flock to the Army because they know its a great place to get a fair shake, where racism is not tolerated and its perfectly normal to have black leaders issuing orders to white subordinates. By in large most minorities that are qualified for the service, opt for the non-combat arms branches, ie logistics, supply, administration to get skills for after they leave the service. The military is one of the few places to give every one equal opportunity, irregardless of race or previous income level. That is the main draw and its hard to argue against.


Posted by A Veteran, a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 21, 2008 at 8:59 pm

agree with x14. sounds like typical liberal mentality, support a cause only when it suits their agenda. All these protesters ought to go live in the middle east, and I don't mean go for a week on some plush cruise, I mean actually live on the economy and abide my the laws for at least month, and then see how fast they appreciate the USA baby!


Posted by rhansen, a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2008 at 7:57 am

Dear entire staff of the Voice,
(as your editorial states it is the opinion of the entire voice)

I live in Sunnyvale but a neighbor of mine owns a family business in Mountain View and she brought me a copy of the Voice because I was quoted in the paper dated February 22, 2008.
You see, I'm one of "those" mothers.
"Those" that your staff finds offensive. "Those" who your staff feels her son "sold out" to serve his country. "Those" that your staff feels needs to shut up and let the grannies take over. "Those" who you despise because I am a mother of a son serving in the military. Oh it came through loud and clear in your message of page 13.

I'm not sure that matters to the "editorial" staff. Judging by the tone of the - and I quote you in all caps as you print it "EDITORIAL, THE OPINION OF THE VOICE" our country should not have a military. Let me explain to those who do not understand. Right now we have a "volunteer Army". In order to have a volunteer military there must be recruitment. Or the draft could come back if that is more pleasant to some.

So am I wrong to think that the entire staff of the Voice feels the military is a horrible group of young men and women looking to grab your sons and daughters at first light and whisk them off to Iraq or Afghanistan? You certainly did paint a nice picture for Ms. Sally Lieber and associates that feel it would be the worst thing possible if anyone, God forbid would want to serve their country. This is what you printed on page 13 in capital letters, Opinion Of The Voice. How sad indeed.

Thank you for allowing us military families to see "The Opinion Of The Voice" as it truly is. At least you don't play coy as some groups do and insult our intelligence. How sad indeed that an entire staff feels the military is so bad a thing. How much sadder yet that an assemblywoman does not understand the military she despises either.

As for Ms. Lieber how well she sleeps at night with her family partly depends on how well my son does his job that he sought out to do. She is privileged to be able to spout off what she wants to safely partly because of how well my son does his job. She is also able to freely do what she likes partly because of how well my son does his job. She is very ungrateful at best. And we know her kind. Hate the job but somebody has to do it, but then to stay in politics one must side with whatever sounds good at the time. She is very privileged and ungrateful indeed to have those choices.

I signed the opt out sheet as you kept printing over and the grannies kept singing over and over and over. Not because I don't like the military as your staff appears. Not because I don't feel the military is a most important job of this nation as your staff appears. Not because I think the military as you agree with the grannies is full of murders, rapists, and liars as your staff appears. I signed the opt out because I felt if my son wanted to enlist he could find his own way of getting information. There is a war going on and most mothers do not want their children to possibly get in harms way. You know what Mr. Weiss and staff of the Voice? He did find his own way of getting information. He sought out the recruiters on his own. He did so without me knowing. He worked with recruiters for nearly 2 years before announcing to his family that he would enlist at 18. And you know what Mr. Weiss and staff of the Voice? I wish that I would have been more open minded and learned more with him instead of playing catch up to find out information. So let me give you a little lesson in case the staff missed that part. It does not matter if you signed that "OPT OUT" Ms. Lieber is almost smothering me with or that the grannies are screaming at the top of their lungs or that the staff of the Voice is so very quick to agree with Ms. Lieber on. Anyone with children that have not gotten Alzheimer's knows, your child will usually find his or her own way regardless of what the parent wants. So please Ms. Lieber don't insult us with more of your laws and bills on the pretense of wanting to save my son from the horrible thing we call serving our country. Unlike you some people still find it an honorable profession.

But I would also like to tell Ms. Lieber and the ill-informed, mis-informed, un -nformed (or possibley all of the above) staff who's opinion is boldly plastered on your paper, I would like to tell you that my son was told exactly what he would be offered and what he would or would not get. There was no rosy glass held up for him to look through.
He was told that if he wanted to be in the group he requested that he would have to work harder than most men ever would. He was told that he would have to sacrifice more than some men ever would. He was told that he would be expected to be better that a lot of men would. He was told that he would be pushed to his limits and then might not make it at all.
There were never any lies. And I would like to tell Ms. Lieber and your staff who's opinion is plastered all over your paper agreeing with Ms. Leiber and the grannies that my son worked very hard to be one fine Army Ranger. And we are proud of him and all that are serving, have served and those who gave all and all who gave some even if you are not. And that is what matters not "the opinion of the Voice" who are very uneducated in terms of the military. Funny how the groups you agree with can say anything that they want even if it is a lie and it will be printed for all to see and understand that the Voice agrees with it so it must be so.

If this is not the opinion of the Voice, then the Voice should not put that verbiage on its paper as it does on page 13 in all CAPS.

Thank you for your time of reading this from one who actually knows what the military did and is doing for her son.

Mrs. Robbie Hansen
Proud Mother of
Ranger Hansen


Posted by Pete Kramer, a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2008 at 8:36 am

I grew up in Moutain View and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1972, when the Armed Forces Recruiting Office was downtown. Shortly after I enlisted, the Recruiting Office was fire bombed. The fire bombing didn't alter the course of history. America has a military. It is an all volunteer military. Military service affords opportunities for many as and is pretty much key to a country being able to defend itself. One of the things the military defends is this notion of a "free country." It seems that the anti-recruiting protesters have dismissed the concept of a free country. Just as you are free to walk in to Burger King and conduct business, or not, it seems to me that anybody is free to walk in to the Recruiting Office and conduct business or not. If you don't agree with the business, stay out and don't support it. I find lots of businesses distasteful. I've yet to see protesters outside an insurance office and I find the insurance game particularly sleazy and offensive. Wait a minute, what about a protest outside all of the law firms? Leave the recruiting office and it's neighbors alone. If you want to protest the war, fine, I'm with you, but let's find a truly meaningful way to do it.


Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Feb 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

Don Frances is a registered user.

A message to Mrs. Robbie Hansen:

"So am I wrong to think that the entire staff of the Voice feels the military is a horrible group of young men and women looking to grab your sons and daughters at first light and whisk them off to Iraq or Afghanistan?"

Yes, you're wrong.


Posted by rhansen, a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2008 at 10:57 am

Thank you Don Frances, Editor of the Voice but unfortunately the print on page 13 states the words "Editorial, The Opinion Of The Voice".
That leads all who read to think that the entire staff does agree with what was printed. As I said that verbiage should not read as such if the entire staff of the Voice does not agree with the editorial
However - besides that I thank you for not agreeing that the military is horrible.


Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Feb 22, 2008 at 11:32 am

Don Frances is a registered user.

Mrs. Hansen,

You're welcome.

Let me briefly summarize the editorial which so outraged you:

The first five paragraphs summarized the Friday protest, without really taking sides but not without a few playful jabs at the Raging Grannies -- calling them "street theater," for instance.

The remaining four paragraphs switched gears and supported a very simple bill reintroduced by Sally Lieber (it was vetoed two years ago) which would make an "opt-out" form which already exists in local high school orientation packets more visible. Under this bill, parents who don't want the military to receive their child's personal information can find the form more easily. That's it.

How you took from this editorial all that stuff printed above, I'll never know.

A note on editorials: Opinions expressed by the editorial staff -- usually the publisher and possibly one or more editors -- are presented as that paper's "official" opinion. However, they reflect only the owner and publisher's opinions, not that of the entire newspaper staff. This is the case at all papers everywhere.

We wish your son good luck.


Posted by Mary, a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm

I have living in my home right now a college student who is in the reserves and is quite clear about the fact that she is doing this to finance college. Although her family is not "poor" this is part of the :poverty draft," which now affects middle income families as well as low-income. Keeping college unaffordable is a great strategy if you want to stage military adventures to control oil resources in foreign lands. It is not good for our youth or their families and i don't think it is good for the rest of us either.
I think most of us would agree that Denmark is both free and democratic. They not only provide college for free, they also pay the students a living stipend. You think we spend a lot on education? Well, Switzerland and Sweden, countries with a comparable average income, spend twice as much per pupil on education as the United States. Plus they provide all sorts of early childhood programs, known to enhance learning. And within the United States, when you count expenditures as a percentage of average income, California is dead last. Got it? Dead last.
In business, most people get it that you get what you pay for.Nonetheless the Scandia report shows that with comparable populations, public schools do as well as private schools. Got it? As well as private schools.
Now go thank your child's underpaid teacher.


Posted by Christina Daley, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 23, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Mrs. Hansen: Many people are concerned about recruiters' access to high school students, and your child's situation may or may NOT be representative of what others are experiencing. Congressman Mike Honda (D-San Jose) is addressing it in Washington D.C. after receiving many complaints from parents. In doing so he is representing his constituents, as is Assemblywoman Sally Lieber.

As for editorials, they are in all major newspapers and it is very common for papers to take a position on issues, in particular proposed legislation.


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Mary:

Without a powerful military protecting our interests overseas our lavish American lifestyle would come to an end. Your grossly naive if you don't believe it. Our economy is tied to overseas commerce and a policy of engagment and enlargement. Check out Bill Clinton's national military strategy from the early 1990s if you don't believe it.

Denmark was rescued from facism by Allied forces during WW2, the majority of which were Americans--by the way. In return for their service they were given the GI Bill with which many attended colleges. During the cold war, Denmark and the rest of Europe was propped up and protected by NATO, with the bulk of troops once again American.

If the student in your house is in the military solely for money for college that would appear to be a calculated risk on her part and nothing more.


Posted by Dale, a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2008 at 7:52 am

Mary,

I find it hilarious that, in this discussion, you want us to emulate Denmark. Their minimum military age is 15 and they have conscription (mandatory military service).

It is between the students (and their parents) whether or not they choose to serve in the military. It is shameful that the "Raging Grannies", who hide behind a protected class, are yelling at the parents of servicemen and women.


Posted by justsaying, a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2008 at 10:12 am

wow - just saw this
emulate denmark - lets see they ran a cartoon that got them in a lot of trouble - oh yes radical muslims killed people for that one and i love honda and lieber takeing their cause to the top - omg! i sure hope they can live with the alternative as they seem to thing they represent the nation or what?


Posted by Robbie, a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2008 at 10:25 am

Mary --
I will not start a yelling match with someone who obviously is what she considers and underpaid teacher -
Let me tell you what my son's underpaid teachers said when they found out he was going to enlist instead of going to DeAnza Communicty College with most all the other children in class - notice I did not say university or college - one actually said she could just cry now because he would die - WOW how do you like that for Homestead High School Underpaid Teachers? and the comments kept coming from other underpaid teachers.
Denmark free? tell that to the nuns who were killed and the cartoonist who is living in hiding.
California dead last? Yes that does say a lot about teachers in California as they make a lot more money than those in other states that are ahead of them -
Now I know I've upset you with some of these facts - sorry - you are very upsetting as well so we're even. At least we live in a "free" country because of our military that saved Denmark so we can express ourselves.
Thank you Mary for reminding us of that.
Now go thank a soldier that you speak English and have the right to complain.


Posted by Mary, a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:28 am

Oh my the spirit of clear thinking must be weeping today.
'
Denmark's free college education is not something to be emulated because our armed forces singlehandedly defeated Nazi Germany? Hmm--the French came to our aid during the Revolutionary War--so what does that say about our institutions? Plus, do you really think we won the war singlehandedly? Do all those historians who credit the Russians for keeping the Germans busy on the Eastern front have it wrong?

There were some violent incidents in Denmark, so that means a free college education is bad? Or Danes are not free? Hmm, hard to get much more violent than lynchings, which were still taking place in the U.S. within my lifetime. And at present do we really have less violence in the US than they have in Denmark?

And do adolescents always hear and accurately report what adults say to them? If you think a little, It is a pretty safe bet that no adult actually said "you will die." Express concern about the student's safety or even fear that he might die--sure. Offend him by not expressing approval of his decision?--probably. Accurately quoted?--very unlikely.

Finally, the news about a middle class student joining the military because she can't otherwise afford college is evidence that you don't have to be poor to be affected by the "poverty draft." Whether it is a calculated risk is not the point. And really, now, should you have to risk your life to get a college education? Is that the best we can do in the richest country on earth?


Posted by Mary, a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 26, 2008 at 2:40 am

Got curious about the liberation of Denmark.

Denmark was liberated by the allies all right, but by the British and the Russians, not by American forces(Yeah, I did notice on re-reading that the comment up above did not claim that the U.S. did it singlehandedly, though that is a common image). In addition to sabotage during the occupation, the Danish resistance also contributed to the allied invasion on D-day by disrupting the train network, delaying the arrival of German reinforcements in Normandy.

It is to the credit of the Danes that even under German occupation the Danish government refused to pass anti-Jewish laws. When the Germans finally dissolved the government, Danish civilians transported the vast majority of the Danish Jews to safety in neutral Sweden by means of fishing boats and motorboats. Plenty to emulate there!

Got curious about those teacher salaries, too.
It turns out that by and large those states with the highest cost of living, such as New York and California pay the most, which makes total sense. However, nine other states pay beginning teachers better than California does. And teacher salaries are far behind professions requiring a similar level of education.


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2008 at 10:37 am

The Danes are also the happiest people on earth!

Web Link

Americans? Way down on the list. :(

Somehow, they are happy (and well taken care of) despite high taxes. Free education and health care were cited as reasons for their sunny outlook.


Posted by Happier, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2008 at 11:19 am

So Happy, looks like you will be moving.


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Not me -- I don't go for that "love it or leave it" business. Instead of running away, I'll work on improving the place I'm at.

I like to think that's what most war protesters are doing too -- trying to make their country a better place.


Posted by Andrew L. Freedman, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I, too, am a Marine (1974-76). I'm probably a better Marine now, working for the Veterans Administration Hospital, than I was as an 0311 (ground infantry rifleman) during my enlistment.

Although I am strongly against the war in Iraq, I am opposed to our recruting stations being picketed. As others have voiced, the proper venue of protest is our elected representatives.

I would estimate that I am a better person having been a Marine than I would had I not enlisted. There are good character traits one acquires as a Marine that stays with you for life. Not to say that everyone should be a Marine, but at least folks should have the opportunity to go to a recruiting office.

Andrew L. Freedman
Palo Alto, CA


Posted by Dale, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Mary, you conveniently passed up the point that Denmark has mandatory military service and the minimum military age is 15.

I also find your attitude toward those who choose to serve as rather condescending. If someone wants to protest the war, fine. Go protest policy makers. But protesting recruiters IS protesting the military. Besides the fact that most of them are also combat veterans, you are basically saying "military service is a bad thing", are you not? As if you somehow have to SAVE people from providing a service that this country needs. How about those classy grannies yelling at PARENTS of servicemen and women... is that a 'support the troops position'?

PS: I also greatly appreciate your "liar liar pants on fire" rebuttal you gave to Robbie. Either she's a liar, or her US Army Ranger son is.


Posted by Mark, a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 27, 2008 at 12:24 am

The over-representation of minorities is a myth.

Web Link




Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 27, 2008 at 12:50 am

Sorry "Happy" and others, but you and your anti-war protesters aren't improving anything for anyone in this country. The very people that you spit upon, are the ones who defend your freedom to protest as well as all the other freedoms we Americans enjoy.
The military men and women that you despise, are truely the best of us. They are willing to risk life and limb to protect the lives of others. They alone make true peace possible by ensuring its defense.
You and your anti-war friends on the other hand, only make loud and self righteous displays of peace. You mouth platitudes and strike postures that cost you nothing. You give encouragement to our enemies, demoralize our troops and undermine our country's ability to protect its citizens.
The only Americans I know of who aren't happy are the ones with your twisted world view. The rest of us know that there is no country on earth as great as ours, with a constitution that safeguards so many individual rights as ours. We know that our country is worth fighting for and worth dying for.
I pity you.


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 9:43 am

"Resident," talk like yours is all kinds of crazy.

"The very people that you spit upon" ... "The military men and women that you despise" ... where do you get this stuff? Who spit on anybody? Who's despising whom?

With all your bitterness and false pity, you don't sound happy at all. You sound downright sad and lonely.


Posted by Robbie, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 11:05 am

Again - I will not reduce myself again to argue with the "blame America first" group that show themselves by wanting to emulate all other countries that they seem to feel are so much better than America. Yes the teacher did say Die - I was not lying Mary
As far as false pity - well - you have to have been at one of the anit-military festivals to see whats done by those so called well educated people
If those that feel this country is so bad that we have it so horrible and that serving our country is a "last resort" to a full life - I truly feel pity on you
Bye-


Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 27, 2008 at 11:44 am

"Happy", you are the one who wants to believe that Americans are "way down on the list" when it comes to happiness. I think you are just projecting your own unhappiness onto others.
Apparently your happiness depends on having a nanny state take resposibility for all your needs, like healthcare. Of course, abdicating your resposibilities to the state also means giving up your freedoms and choices to the state as well.
I want to live in a free country. I don't want incompetent, irresponsible, big government bureaucrats making my decisions for me (especially about things like healthcare).
One of the few things I do expect the government to provide, is a strong military to defend our country - our lives, our freedoms and our form of government. The U.S. Constitution sets forth that provision (and NOT a provision for healthcare, etc.). I am very happy with the country our founders fought and died to establish. I will gladly do my part to preserve this country from those like you who would throw away our freedoms for a little comfort.
The anti-war mongers haven't changed much in the last forty or so years. In fact some of them, like the silly "grannies", are the same old crowd. They spat on our soldiers back then, and they still do now - if only figuratively. They show that they despise our troops by demonstrating outside recruting offices and posting nasty comments on stories about wounded soldiers.
The anti-war movement lost the Vietnam war for the U.S. by encouraging the enemy to hang on just when they were ready to surrender. They forced our withdrawl from Vietnam, allowing millions of people to be be buthchered by the brutal communists as a consequence.
We cannot afford such a repeat of history in the war on terror. Those of us who are responsible and informed patriots will see to it that it never happens again. In this way we will truely be making this country a better place.


Posted by justsaying, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 12:06 pm

oh my goodness - again such deciet - I read the web about Danes being happy - in case you only read the headlines like most people here's a clip of the "body" of the story
common - anybody can take things out of context

After careful study, Christensen thinks he isolated the key to Danish anti-depression. "What we basically figured out that although the Danes were very happy with their life, when we looked at their expectations they were pretty modest," he says.

By having low expectations, one is rarely disappointed.


Posted by justsaying, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm

my bad - there was more in the article on Denmark

Christensen's study was called "Why Danes Are Smug," and essentially his answer was it's because they're so glum and get happy when things turn out not quite as badly as they expected. "And I was thinking about, What if it was opposite? That Denmark made the worst, number 20, and another country was number one. I'm pretty sure the Danish television would have said, 'Well, number 20's not too bad. You know it's still in the top 25, that's not so bad,'" he says.

History may also play a role in the country's culture of low expectations. If you go to the government's own Web site, it proudly proclaims "the present configuration of the country is the result of 400 years of forced relinquishments of land, surrenders and lost battles."


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 1:24 pm

"Resident":

Oh, I get it, you only meant spitting *figuratively*. Of course. And you know that I "despise" the military because ... well, you don't really. You just assume it.

But you're surely right, because you've got it all figured out in advance -- no need for input from anybody else. I might turn out to be from a military family myself. Maybe my dad fought voluntarily as a soldier in past wars. I might even think the grannies are silly myself. What would facts matter when certainty is so much more comforting.

Here's a revealing line: "I will gladly do my part to preserve this country from those like you who would throw away our freedoms for a little comfort." You would "preserve" your country from fellow Americans whose opinion you disagree with? By doing what, exactly? Posting sharp words on Town Square?

I would say you've got it exactly backwards: You would subvert the foundation on which this country was built -- free speech and free ideas -- in order to give yourself a little childish psychological comfort, in the form of knowing your military "kicks ass" and "never loses," or if it does it's the fault of "liberals," etc. etc. What a baby.

By the way, I don't "want to believe" that anybody is way down on any list -- I was only reporting what an article said. I'm sure you've got a pat answer for that too -- "liberal media" or some such. Like I said, you've got it all figured out.


Posted by aol447, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm

happy doesnt sound happy anymore


Posted by Get Real, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Say Happy, just because someone disagrees with you dosen't mean they are depriving you of your free speech. talk about being a baby!
People have the right to ignore, debate or even work to oppose your ideas. You still have your freedom of speech and we still have the freedom to vote and speak out against anything you happen to believe in. That's how I read what Resident said. Sounds like you are a little paranoid. Everyone has the right to free thought and free speech, not just you.
BTW Happy, you picked that article for a reason. Resident is entitled to his/her opinion as to why.


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Get Real,

I totally agree with you, my rights of free speech are for now completely intact.

So are yours, Resident's, um... aol447's ... pretty much everybody's (except for a few American citizens being detained at Guantanamo and elsewhere, who have had their right stripped from them without due process). I never said otherwise.

I said Resident *would* subvert this essential right, and I draw that conclusion from the quote I excerpted. Maybe I misread it. Maybe you're right, he just meant ... hell, who knows what he meant.

What seems pretty clear to me though is that whenever somebody comes out in protest against any of the government's military policies, any at all, a lot of other people start assuming they HATE the military itself, hate its enlisted men, their families, "despise" them, "spit" on them (I guess figuratively) .... worse, these "anti-war mongers," as Resident hilariously put it, are somehow a direct threat to those people and institutions and must be dealt with accordingly in some sinister yet vague way.

Don't take my word for it -- reread some of the posts above.

There's nothing American about that attitude in my book, which is my essential point.

Damn straight I'm Happy -- and I will continue to wield my pen with a smile on my face.


Posted by Dale, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Happy,

Protesting recruiters IS protesting the military and all those who choose to serve. On their website they mock the term "Career Center" and they defaced their office with signs that say things like "Killing is NOT a Career". Yeah, their appreciation for our men and women in uniform is very apparent. Not to mention the baseless accusations.

From Their Website:
"Gail Sredanovic, a member of the organization, said that the army is targeting poor and minority groups by telling them that the army was their only hope for a positive future."

Is there any evidence that the Mt. View recruiting station is specifically targeting minorities? Is not arrogant for them to suggest they have to "save" minorities from "sigh!" serving in the military? Are they so racist as to suggest because someone is a minority they can't make up their own freaking mind?

"There is a clause in these service contracts that no one knows about," she said. "All the conditions to receive this money can change. The army rarely pays the full amount that they promise."

Great, what is the text of that clause and on what page of the contract.

"Only about 15 percent receive the full amount of money because it is difficult to meet the requirements."

Specifics please. Every college has a VA rep to help veterans through the process.I'm just wondering what's so difficult about the requirements. My wife got her associates degree through her father's benefits, who is a veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam.

"They don't receive all their benefits once they complete their service," said granny Sredanovic. "This is an outrage and we should all demand better treatment for our veterans."

Yes, army recruiting offices are the right forum for protesting about VA benefits. I guess better treatment for veterans don't apply if that veteran is assigned to recruiter duty. When that happens those poor, (supposedly) "targeted minorities" are suddenly open season to spit on.




Posted by Dale, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 7:31 pm

OH, and another thing. I also noticed that they stuck pictures of dead Soldiers and Marines to the windows. Has it dawned on them that some (likely MOST) of them were proud of their service and would not want their image used in such away? I'm also wondering if they even bothered to ask permission from the families of those fallen Soldiers and Marines. I would venture to guess not, considering they were screaming parents of servicemen.

The Raging Grannies are out for attention, pure and simple.


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Dale,

I appreciate your arguments here, and want to thank you for not impugning my patriotism (I'll take what I can get).

The argument that anti-war protesters shouldn't bother recruiting centers (they're instead told to protest in front of "politicians' houses," whatever that means) is a worthy one. However I think it's often an argument of convenience. When you get down to it, anti-war types -- who universally say they support the troops and want to bring them home -- get derided in exactly the same way no matter where they protest. They're told, by "Resident" and his ilk, that they hate America, hate the troops, spit on the troops, etc. I got told that earlier today. And do you want to know why I was told that? Because I wrote: "I like to think that's what most war protesters are doing too -- trying to make their country a better place." Fightin' words!

So the "Resident" crowd is on a hairtrigger, and I don't think it matters, to them, exactly where or how one protests the war. Indeed, in another comment thread here in Town Square (the one about the soldier's romance), somebody jumped in and said if you want to support the troops, send them home, and got brutalized for it. He was told to leave his America-hating, troop-hating, terrorist-loving, defeatist comments somewhere else.

So it's not just certain places -- even certain comment threads on town square are sacred.

But I think you've got a different take here than most others, Dale. You're digging into the actual recruitment policies of the US Army, which the grannies say is bad. I think neither of us know for sure if they're right. I've heard stories (an ex-Marine came on the radio recently and said that even the troops hate the recruiters; if that's true, then protesting the recruiters is definitely NOT protesting all those who chose to serve) but I can offer no real proof or first-person testimony. But as you indicate, if the recruiters are the grannies' real beef, it makes sense to protest them directly, right?

Anyway, I now realize I've painted myself into a position of defending the grannies, which believe it or not I don't intend to do: I actually do think they're absurd. But I also know where they're coming from, and I know that most of the "Resident" crowd think they know, but they don't.

Signing off for the night,
Happy


Posted by Dale, a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Happy,

Here are some facts that I do know. Most recruiters are themselves, war veterans. Most recruiters did not volunteer for the duty, they are on a temporary assignment that was given to them. If any Soldier or Marine hates recruiters, and they are given the assignment, are they going to hate themselves?

Do you see the absurdity in it? 'Protest recruiters but love the troops'. Recruiters ARE the troops.

The rhetoric of the Raging Grannies IS anti-military, pure and simple. They don't honor military service. They think it's a BAD thing. They don't honor war veterans. They consider them poor, hapless victims who fell victim to their gullibility.

To infantrymen on the front lines... to the radiologist working in an army hospital... to the Soldier working in administration... to the mechanic working in the motor pool... their message is loud and clear. You do NOT have a real career. KILLING is not a career. You only joined because you were too stupid to know better, and it's up to the Raging Grannies to warn others.

The Raging Grannies are a disgrace.


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2008 at 10:49 am

Dale,

Thanks. I plan on looking into these contentions, particularly about the recruiters' backgrounds and about how they are regarded amongst rank-and-file. I have a feeling there's more to this story.

I only want to underscore: anti-war protesters generally believe they're doing the right thing. Just like anti-abortion and abortion-rights protesters, anti-immigration and immigrants' rights protesters, you name it.

They are not evil America-haters, the way, for example, terrorists are.


Posted by Not Impressed, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 28, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Yes "Happy", the road to hell is paved with the "good intentions" of ignorant, silly, unintelligent and selfish people, like the anti-war protesters. - Just because someone believes something is right dosen't make it so.
It is very telling that you are planning to look into the claims of so called ex-Marines and the like, to see if you can dig up any dirt against military recruiters. You, after all, "have feeling there's more to this story".
I doubt however, that you will investigate the backgrounds of such military critics, to verify if they actually even served in the military, - as they usally prove to be frauds.


Posted by Happy, a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm

A very unimpressive post, "Not impressed."

First, you call anti-war protesters names -- all of them, it seems, no matter where or how they protest (just as I described in an earlier post).

Then, you find it "telling" that I want to look into an issue for myself. I guess it's telling you find independent thinking to be so extraordinary. Got it all figured out already, do you?

You "doubt" that I'll investigate the bla bla bla. Doubt away. You know nothing about me or, it seems, the issue at hand.

Here's a "fraud" for you to investigate, "Not impressed": Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, who unseated a jackass pro-war rightwinger last year to become senator of Virginia. Webb is a decorated Vietnam veteran and a former Republican, who eventually switched parties when he realized the GOP was actually destroying the military rank-and-file he loved. How? Through indefensible and mismanaged wars, for one, whereby troops were being injured and killed needlessly without even benefiting the security of the nation.

Webb was against going into Iraq from the start. He now advocates an immediate withdrawal from Iraq:

Web Link

I wonder what you've got to say about Sen. Webb's courage or patriotism, "Not impressed." Is he a fraud too? Are all who are against the war in Iraq "ignorant, silly, unintelligent and selfish people"?


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 28, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Happy:

So how about stating your main point on the original issue at hand? You seem to be more occupied with getting a reaction than anything else. Try to be clear and concise and focused.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 28, 2008 at 6:04 pm

For a name caller yourself Happy, your post is just pure hypocracy. Now, on to the phoney politicians who will use anything to get votes.
The best way to get elected by democrats, is to slap the military around while pretending to care about them, especially if you can say you are or were one of them.
That fraud John Kerry, is a stellar example. (Good thing his fellow servicemen told the public just what he really was, thus ending his bid for the presidency.)
Politicians who lack real values and convictions, jump parties and start spouting democrat talking points, to get media attention and to get elected (when they are running in democrat controlled areas). Nothing new here.
In fact those few democrats who support the war on terror, or do not advocate immediate withdrawl, (or at least a time table for withdrawl) run into grief with their own party. Some are simply rejected, like poor Joe Lieberman. Even Hillary, ran into trouble with her supporters for talking out of both sides of her mouth about the war.
Webb needn't have changed parties just to deal with bureaucratic mismanagement of the war or to make sure the troops got proper leave time, etc., especially if he had any real republican ideals. In fact, he probably could have accomplished more if he had remained a republican.
The link you posted shows he is a pretty agressive climber, so my guess is that he became a democrat to gain attention, power and votes. In other words, he's just a cheap, sleazy politician.


Posted by Dale, a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Happy,

Inevitably there WILL be disgruntled members and former members of the military. After all, nothing in life is all roses. But the majority of prior service complainers are probably draftees from Vietnam or had some type of adverse discharge. I don't have scientific data to back that, it's just my opinion from the time I've spent in the military.

And as I see it, the opinion of someone who was kicked out is irrelevant. I'll even go further and say the opinion of someone who was punished at any time under the UCMJ is irrelevant.

And of course, by laws of probability, I'm sure there are those who served honorably and are still disgruntled.

I will say that there is nothing wrong with someone protesting or speaking out against a war. The government SHOULD be under extreme scrutiny when using military force.

That being said such organizations like Code Pink and the Ranging Grannies are a complete disgrace. If you ARE against the war and you have a three-digit IQ, you should steer clear of them. Their rhetoric is divisive and they accomplish nothing meaningful. THEY are the reason people paint war protesters as "anti-Military". Because THEY undoubtedly are.


Posted by Lives downtown, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Most protesters I see look very "fringe" and not very "core" to our society. Lots of old leftist hippies, lots of 20 year old idealists who get their view of life from their professors.

Most protesters I see that are anti-Bush, anti-Globalization, anti-military recruiter... look like pathetic, pusillanimous facists.

Most have bumper stickers covering the rears of their cars. The usual tripe. More often then not, they drive a Prius too.

Hey, that's what I see.


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community
on Feb 29, 2008 at 3:14 am

"Lives downtown" is correct about the indoctrination of college and university students by their professors.
Not long ago when I was a student at a local university, nearly every one of my courses was taught by an extremely liberal instructor who constantly pushed his or her politics in class. Only science courses, like engineering and physics, afforded me some refuge.
Students who indicated that they didn't agree with their professor's political beliefs were not appreciated. They were often given lower grades, for comparable work, than those who reflected their professors views.
Many, if not most, students never even heard a fair representation of any other views. From what I have been told, this is a widespread problem in education. To say the least, it is very disturbing.


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