Thursday, June 12th, 2008...11:46 pm

Arresting Marines

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My wacky hometown of Berkeley seems to cause a stir in the national media every once in a while. Many residents, like me, roll their eyes at the sometimes absurd media reaction to the always absurd event. The most recent jaw-dropping situation back in February was the City Council’s decision to declare the US Marines “not welcome in our city”. No matter my views on the Iraq War, I think the City Counci’s pattern of passing irrelevant, impossible to enforce, and inappropriate resolutions is a colossal waste of time. Truly, the city has many more pressing (but less controversial) basic functions to attend to.

For the most part, I have stayed completely clear of the numerous protests on both sides of this situation. I honestly had no clue as to the status of the Marine Recruitment Center in Berkeley. Apparently it is still open. I was at the Thursday Farmer’s Market this afternoon and ran into this lady who was inviting everyone to come and “arrest the Marines” later today. It was so amusing to watch the responses of the people she would approach. For the most part everyone had looks of confusion and “you must be kidding me”. Ironically, the very rights that this woman enjoys (such that she is not arrested for her anti-government activity), are in place thanks to the US Marines.

My 18-year-old cousin Preston is a new Marine. He joined a year ago fresh out of high school and has completed his training. In a few weeks we are gathering as an extended family to send him off to Afghanistan. It will be a sad and joyous time. He is a driven, principled young man who is taking action on the things he believes. He is worthy of my thanks and respect as a citizen. And of that woman’s.

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