Berkeley's War against Marines escalating

Rick Moran
The City of Berkeley has declared war on the Marine recruting office in town, referring to them as "intruders," and both sides appear to be gearing up for battle.

Yesterday, three Code Pink protestors chained themselves to the door of the recruting office and were allowed to block entrance to the center for an astonishing 7 1/2 hours.

And the conservative blogosphere has exploded in indignation while at least one senator appears ready to do something
about the situation:



We made really great statements by blocking the door," said one of the three blockaders, 64-year-old Mary Ann Thomas of Oakland. "It's time we became more articulate about what we're doing."

Conservative bloggers and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also believe more articulation is necessary - from the opposite side of the political spectrum. 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.

"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."
The protestors screamed at potential recruits trying to get into the office:
You guys are just cannon fodder!" the chained protesters shouted at three teenage boys who walked past the office and said they wanted to go inside. "They want to train you to kill babies!" The teenagers turned around and left.
The poor kids probably thought they had met some escapees from an insane asylum. How else can you explain this kind of breathtaking ignorance on the part of a Berkeley City Councilman?
"I guess they've never heard of free speech," Councilwoman Dona Spring said. "I've had a lot of nasty phone messages today, threatening me with things like saying, 'I'll take you out.' But they can go ahead. I don't feel scared."
The chances of that Councilman being "taken out" are as good as my chances in winning the Miss America Pageant. What she is really saying is that any criticism of her position infringes on her free speech rights - a novel interpretation of the First Amendment but one that the left uses regularly to stifle debate.

Meanwhile, Hizzoner, the Mayor of this cuckoo's nest, is backpedaling furiously after the avalanche
of criticism:
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered Friday to help the U.S. Marines leave town by negotiating an end to the lease for their recruiting station, even as he backpedaled on a City Council resolution declaring the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.

In the face of an onslaught of pro-military criticism from around the country, Bates, a retired Army captain, also issued a statement that said the City Council’s resolution Tuesday night “did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy.” He said he would ask the council to modify the resolution at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12.
Bates said he had received more than 1000 emails from pro-military people from around the country criticizing the Council for passing a resolution that called the Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders." Of course, the resolution made no attempt whatsoever to "differentiate" between the Marines in Iraq and those that Bates so piously and cynically says deserve "our respect and support." Funny way of showing support, no? Branding serving Marines as "intruders" in their own country?

And the pro-military group Move America Forward has
initiated a petition to keep the Marines in Berkeley. So many people tried to sign the on line petition yesterday that it crashed the website. Michelle Malkin has a list of the names and addresses of the City Councilmen in case you would like to express your opinion on the issue.

This battle isn't over - not by a long shot.
The City of Berkeley has declared war on the Marine recruting office in town, referring to them as "intruders," and both sides appear to be gearing up for battle.

Yesterday, three Code Pink protestors chained themselves to the door of the recruting office and were allowed to block entrance to the center for an astonishing 7 1/2 hours.

And the conservative blogosphere has exploded in indignation while at least one senator appears ready to do something
about the situation:



We made really great statements by blocking the door," said one of the three blockaders, 64-year-old Mary Ann Thomas of Oakland. "It's time we became more articulate about what we're doing."

Conservative bloggers and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also believe more articulation is necessary - from the opposite side of the political spectrum. 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.

"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."
The protestors screamed at potential recruits trying to get into the office:
You guys are just cannon fodder!" the chained protesters shouted at three teenage boys who walked past the office and said they wanted to go inside. "They want to train you to kill babies!" The teenagers turned around and left.
The poor kids probably thought they had met some escapees from an insane asylum. How else can you explain this kind of breathtaking ignorance on the part of a Berkeley City Councilman?
"I guess they've never heard of free speech," Councilwoman Dona Spring said. "I've had a lot of nasty phone messages today, threatening me with things like saying, 'I'll take you out.' But they can go ahead. I don't feel scared."
The chances of that Councilman being "taken out" are as good as my chances in winning the Miss America Pageant. What she is really saying is that any criticism of her position infringes on her free speech rights - a novel interpretation of the First Amendment but one that the left uses regularly to stifle debate.

Meanwhile, Hizzoner, the Mayor of this cuckoo's nest, is backpedaling furiously after the avalanche
of criticism:
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered Friday to help the U.S. Marines leave town by negotiating an end to the lease for their recruiting station, even as he backpedaled on a City Council resolution declaring the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.

In the face of an onslaught of pro-military criticism from around the country, Bates, a retired Army captain, also issued a statement that said the City Council’s resolution Tuesday night “did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy.” He said he would ask the council to modify the resolution at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12.
Bates said he had received more than 1000 emails from pro-military people from around the country criticizing the Council for passing a resolution that called the Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders." Of course, the resolution made no attempt whatsoever to "differentiate" between the Marines in Iraq and those that Bates so piously and cynically says deserve "our respect and support." Funny way of showing support, no? Branding serving Marines as "intruders" in their own country?

And the pro-military group Move America Forward has
initiated a petition to keep the Marines in Berkeley. So many people tried to sign the on line petition yesterday that it crashed the website. Michelle Malkin has a list of the names and addresses of the City Councilmen in case you would like to express your opinion on the issue.

This battle isn't over - not by a long shot.