April 7, 2006

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Rise Up and Use Your Vote

Bush and the Republicans do not care about immigrants. I’m a hispanic immigrant who has served our country in the United States Marine Corps. Hispanics everywhere should rise up in peaceful protest and never vote for another Republican. Republicans and bush have betrayed latinos everywhere. This country was built on the backs of our brothers and sisters.  Let us not forget that this land once was Mexico! Rise up and let your voice be heard and speak for those who have died trying to find a better life. Use your voice and vote against Republicans who have betrayed our people.

Joseph M. Moreno
via e-mail

Vote April 11

I believe that the tens of thousand of eligible American voters that marched in protest of legislation on immigration this past week can make greater positive changes to our nation by registering to vote and by voting beginning with the April 11, 2006 special election.

John Herrera
Vista

Video Military Games are Wrong

While I support our troops, I believe it is time to end the false and misleading recruiting practices of our military. According to the Marine Corps Times, the government has set recruitment goals that are 7% higher than last year, but most branches of the armed services are below their current recruitment goals. The military knows they need to make adjustments in order to increase recruitment but they should not be allowed to take students’ private information. The military has also started distributing video games in an effort to connect with young people. These games make war seem like a lot of fun, something that can be easily controlled, and if you get killed just hit the reset button! In real life, dying or having your arm or leg blown off is nothing like a video game. It’s for real, and it’s permanent. Is a few thousand dollars for college three or four years down the road  worth dying for?

Cynthia Tecson
San Diego

Schools Should Demand Beer Ads Removed from SDSU Venues

I am mad at MADD for not leading the fight to get the Miller lite signage off the sports, Cox, Azrtrak Gym scorboards removed once in for all. On the center field wall of Gwinn Stadium and recently out on the wall of the new girls baseball field Miller Lite stands out. Just picture the message it sends to young newcomers to SDSU when they are addressed by Dean Weber and other high officials of the campus pictured on the center scoreboard of the Cox Auditorium flanked by Miller lite signage. Not withstanding these despicable advertising locations, there is Louie’s Bar in the Aztec center with a beer garden with suds guzzlers seen by all students coming on to the campus from the bridge over College Ave. When students leave the campus via the bridge the pitchers of beer continue to do just what the beer companies and college administration want it to do and that is give a message to one and all that beer and drinking is neat and the in thing to do. The steps from the trolley also take students close to the beer garden.

It burns me up as people I talk to pointing out these ads and bar just shrug this scene off and say :”Well you know the school needs money” yes and they don’t give a hoot from where they get it and are absent minded over the message it sends.

If Miller was so enamored with SDSU it could give it’s money anonymously, but it wants to see it’s name up on the scoreboards  to tell the world that SDSU loves BEER. It’s time for MADD to get to work and fight to remove this blight.

Norman Mann
via e-mail

Loss of Respect?

When a nation loses respect for its own honored dead, can it retain respect even for itself? How quickly we beat the drums and unfurl the banners, press the uniforms and polish the armor when our political leaders give the call to arms!

The medals, the accolades, the glory and the parades, however, soon fade away - to be replaced by tears, emptiness and the bitter and lasting taste of loss and hollowness.

And yet, we still adhere eternally to the mistakes of the past, to the morbid game of preying upon one’s own, and of burying our mistakes in the same soil, as did our predecessors. “How soon we forget!”

”And what pray tell is in a medal - a little brass, a hank of ribbon, a few pints of blood, and the magnificent courage of mere mortals, that’s what!!”

And what of these kudos of courage that often find themselves encased beneath glass, on the shelve of some undeserving collector, or tossed into a drawer, there to gather dust and rust - or are these medals something more perhaps?

Are they the sum of a person’s life, their dreams, their aspirations, their hopes and a future never realized? And when a man (or woman) bleeds and maybe even dies for his country, should a few mere mortals place a price upon his sacrifice or his worth? “And yet, some would dare to do just that!”

A Bill has been introduced into both the House and Senate that would award a “Posthumous Purple Heart Medal” to those who rotted away from disease, starvation, lack of medical care and a myriad of other fatal causes inflicted upon our prisoners of war. Men in often tattered uniforms, shoeless, and nearly bare in all but pride and courage!

And yet, some still attempt to draw a line between their suffering and mortal sacrifice and those who perished from shot or shell! And yet, this false distinction is not limited to one’s comrades who survived, but rather is even shared by men and women in expensive garb and highly educated. Finely dressed and grandly paid representatives of “We The People”, who in a few cases, and although they claim otherwise, have forgotten (if they ever knew) what it is like to see a child or a father off to war, never again see that face that once smiled down upon you with love and concern!

So where is our concern for those who never returned home or who languished in Prison Camps? That Heart-Shaped Medal that bares the profile of our first president? That last badge of honor, be it in death, that should have been awarded posthumously to those who willingly surrendered their last breath so that we may all breath free?

Although many have answered this call to rectify a long-standing oversight, why are there not more within our government who are flocking to the memory of those who died in Prisoner of War Camps? One would think, or at least hope that those who benefited the most from the sacrifices of our departed warriors would be the first in line to return even a modicum of the respect and caring that was gifted to them. A unanimous outcry of respect for those who gave their all!

And yet, even considering the growing number of legislators who stand firmly behind HR 2369 and S 2157 (Honor Our Fallen Prisoners of War Act), there are still (unfortunately) those who have forgotten the greatest of all gifts that any human can give to another - the lives that were given up so that we can all live free and proud!

"These heroes died, even as Prisoner of War, so that we all may live!”

VERITAS

Rick Tavares
San Diego

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