I'm relatively sure that majority of my Gentle Readers are familiar with the latest kittenish activities of that liberal socialist Utopia known to us lesser creatures as Berkeley, California.
For those who may have missed the fun, allow me to shed some light.
The City Council of Berkeley apparently has a genuine 15-body committee named -- and I swear by Freyja that I'm not making this up -- "The Peace and Justice Commission".
In an effort to greatly expand the practice of punching hippies for fun and profit, the Berkeley Ministry of Justice -- oh, I'm sorry, didn't mean to cause Orwellian flashbacks there -- the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission decided to forward a recommendation to the main City Council of Berkeley, California regarding the Recruiting Station belonging to the United States Marine Corps located in that wee city.
No doubt the Gentle Reader is expecting a convoluted pronouncement following the current Liberal mantra of "Opposing The War, But Supporting The Troops".
In this, the Gentle Reader underestimates the legendary, nay -- Biblical -- ability of the Berkeley City Council not only in packing the communal bong, but in drawing deeply thereof.
Allow me to quote:
(1) Direct the City Attorney to investigate and report back to Council within 60 days on City options for enforcing Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, with respect to military recruiting offices in Berkeley;
(2) direct the City Manager to send letters to the Marine Corps Recruiting Station at 64 Shattuck Avenue and to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, advising them that the Marine recruiting office is not welcome in our city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders; and
(3) encourage all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station, and applaud residents and organizations such as Code Pink, that may volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley.
I do note that Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley City Municipal Code prohibits the City of Berkeley from contracting for services from any company that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
I had not realized that the City of Berkeley was contracting with the United States Marine Corps -- matter-of-fact, I'm under the impression that the Marines are renting that office space from a private company.
That must have been one really good bowl of Amsterdam Dark, because at the same time, the City Council decided to approve a dedicated, marked parking spot for Code Pink right dead-square in front of the Recruiting Station, as well as permission for a table on the sidewalk in front of the Recruiting Station -- and a permit for a megaphone -- every Wednesday for the next six months.
The (metaphorical) detonation by various Conservatives has been somewhat satisfying.
The best has to go to US Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who is happily drafting legislation to rescind any earmark money directed towards Berkeley -- about 2.1 million dollars worth.
Not that Berkeley's co-conspirators on Capitol Hill will let this legislation slip by, but it does tend to warm the cockroaches of my heart.
As far as the Berkeley City Council reactions -- well, once the Doritos ran out, Mayor Tom Bates offered to help the Marine Corp break their lease on the office. Apparently the landlord is a "very nice friend" of the Mayors. The Mayor also noted that the recommendation "did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy."
Well, it's nice to know that's cleared up.
I am ashamed to report that Mayor Bates is former United States Army.
Yesterday, following the Berkeley City Council mandate, three protestors chained themselves to the door of the Recruiting Station and scuffled with those attempting to enter, reportedly for about seven hours before the Berkeley PD cut them loose and hauled them off.
That, folks, provides the final element of the classic offence of Sedition -- not that anyone on the Berkeley City Council is going to get arrested for it.
Nice to dream, though.