Quote Of The Day: Berserkley Edition
-- Sen. Jim DeMint
It's just the typical, infuriating Berkeley stuff: The City Council decides freedom actually is free, and votes to kick the Marine recruiting station out of town, calling them "unwelcome intruders."
I wonder if the citizens of Rome's more "enlightened" quarters took the same sort of actions against the Roman Legions' recruiting office ... just before the Huns showed up.
The Council let Code Pink park in front of the recruiting station, broadcasting hate speech. And the city stood by for 7 1/2 hours as three aging war protesters chained themselves to the recruiting station door to block access to the building -- something that is a Great Sin to the Left if done to a baby-killing emporium, but apparently is acceptable in this case.
Some on the sane side of the political spectrum blogged about this as it was occurring. For their efforts, the SF Chron -- supposedly an objective newspaper, he noted wryly -- led off its article:
As the right-wing blogosphere railed ...You have to be right-wing to see the US military as a force for stability and good in the world? You are railing if you criticize such foolishness? Aren't the left-wing City Council and Code Pink the true railers? (The Chron did not, as you can guess, refer to the Council or the protesters as left-wing; does that mean they're mainstream?)
Into all this, as those of you who followed this story as it unfolded know, waded the Republican senator from South Carolina (home of a gazillion military families), Jim DeMint:
DeMint began drafting legislation Friday to cut $2.1 million in federal funding to Berkeley in a current congressional budget bill and transfer the money to the Marine Corps. The funding would include $750,000 for prospective ferry service, $87,000 for the Berkeley Unified School District nutrition education fund and $243,000 for the Chez Panisse Foundation, which promotes nutritional awareness in school lunch programs.Can you say "died in committee?" DeMint's bill will never make it to the floor, but as symbolism goes, it's better than a bunch of aging anti-Vietnam war protesters chaining themselves to a door.
"The First Amendment gives the city of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money," DeMint said in a statement.
He called the council's vote "a slap in the face to all brave servicemen and women and their families."
I'd amend the bill to de-fund the Berkeley police department, because as public sidewalks were being illegally blocked, the commerce of the nation illegally halted, and individuals' rights to enlist in military service trampled upon, here they were. Across the street. Hands in pockets. Doing nothing.
The National Guard came to the aid of Oakland, Berkeley's neighbor, during the devastating fires in 1991, to the tune of $1.3 million in time and materials. Should something similar happen in Berkeley, let's hold the Guard at the city boundary. Commanding officers can instruct the troops that saying "Neener! Neener!" is optional.
Update: Sign Move America Forward's petition to the Berkeley City Council here.