Thinking Big; JROTC …

by on June 17, 2008

To the Editor:

I agree with Randy Shaw’s column: progressives have been very wimpy the last couple of decades about what they demand.

Now if only BeyondChron and others such as the Bay Guardian would extrapolate Randy’s points to elections, we might get some real change in our government. Unfortunately, Randy and BeyondChron do not practice what Randy preaches when it comes to elections. Instead, they advocate voting for the lesser of two evils, like Barak Obama, who’s just another pro-corporate, anti-environmental war monger, albeit a less offensive one than Hillary Clinton or John McCain. In the primary elections, progressives should have wholeheartedly thrown their support behind deserving candidates, such as Dennis Kucinich. In the general election, it should be Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, or whomever is the Green Party candidate in one’s state.

As I’ve been saying for years, lesser-of-two-evils voting has helped move this country far to the right over the past couple of decades. We need a more aggressive approach, one that does not allow support for candidates who don’t support progressive positions like implementation of a single-payer health care plan, strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and renunciation of U.S. imperialism and oil wars.

Connect the dots, people. If what Randy advocates is correct, and I believe it is, it certainly also applies to electoral politics.

Jeff Hoffman
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Anti-JROTC zealots would have us believe a military junta dragged us into Iraq. Elected civilians did this. To blame the military for Iraq shows complete lack of basic knowledge of recent history and how government works. They sound like Gerardo Sandoval – they would disband the US Military.

The SF School Board’s actions against the 1,600 students and families who volunteer for JROTC smacks of the tactics of the Taliban. Deny opportunity to free speech of alternative viewpoints in classrooms – the only difference being that the school board hasn’t murdered teachers.

Sustainability is the responsibility of everyone. Yet the process begins with us!

Tony Belway

Beyond Chron:

Let’s see how accurate of a news organization you profess to be. In reference to the recent guest editorial on JROTC that came out on 16 Jun 2008, I would like to see you correct a few errors.

The author of that article stated “The military will do everything possible to keep JROTC….in our schools.” I can’t speak for the recruiting piece, but I can speak factually about JROTC. You are entitled to your opinion, but not to changing the facts, that would make you less than credible. So I challenge you to show a shred of evidence of the following:

1. Show me how, when and where the military has made any effort to keep JROTC in the public school system in SF, or anywhere. What active duty member from any of the services has organized, petitioned, written, protested, debated JROTC in San Fransisco? The answer is a big Zero, and I think you know that. As a side note if you don’t like the 4000 dead soldiers and Iraqi, and Afghanistan citizens dead, then protest your Congress not the military. They go where told, and I am sure they would rather be home with family than defending your right to lie.

2. JROTC is not a military program. Hey I will give you a piece of free advice, going after the military on this program will get you no where as it is not a Military sponsored program! The program is Congressionally mandated, and the services must comply, they have no choice. So you need to write your civilian congress reps to rescind their title 10 law. Yes civilians put it in to practice!!!!

3. The organized effort you have seen from SF area is a direct result of citizens just like you, entitled to the same freedoms as you. The program is voluntary, and so if parents and their children want to be in the program why does that bother you? Don’t the Gays say the same thing “Hey if I want to be gay and be part of a gay program at school how does that affect you?” You don’t have to let your kids in it, that’s your opinion. But why does SF that tauts itself as so progressive want to shut a group of citizens off from doing what they want to do. Have not Homosexuals been fighting for that same right of “tolerance”, why so intolerant to the other opinion.

4. If you have any integrity you will clarify for your audience that the military has not lifted a finger to keep the program in the schools. The teachers all retired military personnel with distinguished records are employed by SF, and if they have done anything in this effort, it has been in an advisory capacity only, and I believe you know that as well.

Dan Wenceslao

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