Saturday, March 08, 2008

California judges: It's in the water.

Shawn Sage is a highly motivated, seemingly very intelligent, focused young man. He wants to join the Marines and in his words, he wants to serve his country.

Unfortunately, Shawn is a foster child in the California legal system. As a foster child, Sage must get the permission of a judge to join early and to receive a signing bonus.
Standing in his way is Children's Court Commissioner, Marilyn Mackel. She won't allow him this opportunity. Why?

Marilyn Mackel reportedly told Sage and a recruiter that she didn't approve of the Iraq war, didn't trust recruiters and didn't support the military.

"The judge said she didn't support the Iraq war for any reason why we're over there," said Marine recruiter Sgt. Guillermo Medrano of the Simi Valley USMC recruiting office.

"She just said all recruiters were the same - that they `all tap dance and tell me what I want to hear.' She said she didn't want him to fight in it."

Marine recruiter, SGT Guillermo Medrano went on to add:

"She expressed concern that recruiters treat recruits 'like another warm body,' he said. 'She said, `All you care about is your numbers."'

At this point, the 10-year Marine said the court bailiff raised his hand and addressed the young Sage.

"My son's in the Army," he said. "He did the Delayed Entry Program. They don't care about you. They're just there for the numbers.

"I said, `No, I'm not them," Medrano said. "I care about Shawn (and) about every single person I put into the Marine Corps. I follow them. I take care of my kids. I treat them like my Marines.

"It just felt like, wow. I even told Shawn, I said, `Dude, it feels like we've been burned at the stake at the Salem witch trial.' She just had some kind of animosity toward military personnel."

As the article states, this IS an abuse of power.

I understand that the commissioners are charged with protecting the welfare of foster children, but Sage is clearly a well-taken care of child, with a great head on his shoulders.

Sage has overcome being abandoned by parents at the age of two, has kept his wits about him (when a good deal of foster children suffer), and has found a calling and has set goals for himself.
He is so focused that he has won a state contest to speak in front of state legislators in Sacramento. The contest awards this opportunity to the winning entry that provides a change to current laws. Sage proposed a change to the law that required him to appear before Mackel for permission to enter the Marines via early decision.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth introduced legislation last month that would allow foster teens to enlist in the service without express permission from a judge.

Instead, AB2238 would allow foster children 17 or older to sign up with the consent of a foster parent or social worker.

"Here is one impressive young man who somehow made it through the challenge of the foster system, had a clear sense of a career path and was denied that opportunity by a judge basically because of her personal bias," said Smyth, R-Santa Clarita.

Sage was honored at his school for this award.

Wouldn't you want that kid fighting for us? He will end up being a real leader some day given his persistence and focus.

I always see recruiters at my school. Once they get students signed up for service, they come in to meet with them, they meet with administrators, and the recruiters sit down with the students to talk to them quite often about their futures and about how they are doing in school. I've even seen some do some light tutoring and checking of assignments that the recruits are given by the recruiters.

I also know for a fact that the recruiters that come to my school have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have even brought others that have served in war zones to our school to speak about their experiences. I have been there for those presentations. The veterans do not mince words about the realities of Iraq and Afghanistan, the good and the bad.

Hopefully, Mackel will be removed from her position. She doesn't take her oath seriously. I dare say, Sage has studied his oath and takes it very seriously.

(H/T: Daily News Los Angeles)


USA_Admiral said...

This really makes me sick. It makes me wonder how long the Republic will last.

RT said...

The open bias with which some people are allowed to operate is astounding. It is one thing to have those beliefs, but it is another to force those beliefs onto others by abusing your office.