Thursday, February 07, 2008

Boycott Berkeley Petition Update II

As of this writing, the Berkeley petition weighs in at 4,070 signatures. Several Marine veterans are organizing an appeal to pay for my travel and lodging so that I my deliver our petition to the Berkeley City Council at its February 12th meeting in person. I encourage the Center's supporters to join in this effort by making a donation via the Center's PayPal account.

If I permitted, I will attempt to meet with some of the city council members individually (at least the one who voted 'nay'). I will also attempt to be put on the list of public commenters to address the council at its public meeting. Reading though the rules, I may only have two minuets to address the council, so I will have to make it the most effective two minuets possible (and I expect that there will be many attempts to interrupt me with the heckler's veto).

My goal will be to explain our effort calmly and plainly, and attempt to speak to the common sense of the situation. I will state that this is not a question of a council member's individual right to be for or against the war, but instead a question concerning the proper role of local government. The Berkeley City Council has taken a stand that attacks our Constitution. Furthermore, by attacking the Marines, it is attempting to punish a strictly non-political government institution for political decisions that it does not make.

Such an attack cannot be expected to come without consequence, and my presence will be to signal that thousands of Americans are willing to cut the City of Berkeley off in answer to its reckless and ill-conceived stand.

Lastly, I will attempt to visit the Marine Recruiting station myself. If denied free entrance by protesters, I intend to use every legal means available to punish those who impede my right to visit the offices of my government.


Gideon said...

Berkeley is backing off a bit. See here.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

Having watched the video of the Council's meeting, this alleged retreat is disingenuous. The City Council's efforts were explicitly directed at the Marines, only exempting moral condemnation for those who serve in the Corps for "economic reasons." One councilmember explicitly attacked the Marines as racist murderers, and none of the Council members spoke out in opposition.

In any case, as a local government, none of the council's actions fall within the purview of a local government's proper mission. No one elects a city council member on their basis of their foreign policy views, and it is utterly ridiculous for this Council to act as if they have any sort of mandate to speak on this matter.

Burgess Laughlin said...

Nicholas, if you have time, could you explain what you mean by "the common sense of the situation"?

"Common sense" has various meanings, the best being: The philosophical principles, objective or not, that dominate a culture and guide a society's actions implicitly. Thus the dominant explicit philosophy of one generation might become the "common sense" of the next generation.

If that is the meaning you are using, I wonder what the "common sense" of Berkeley culture is.

But perhaps you have another meaning in mind.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

I borrowed the phrase "explain the common sense of the situation" from the play 1776 which attributes the sentiment to Jefferson as he wrote the Declaration. My argument is that the differing opinions on the war are not relevant to this debate. What is relevant is the substantive constitutional issue that arises when a local government attempts to circumvent the functioning of the national government by attempting to barricade federal offices. We live under a constitutional union; to attack that union in the manner the Berkeley City Council has is a grave error which all should be capable of understanding.

In this context, the "common sense" I refer to is fact that as a people, we must support and obey the constitution as we mange our disputes with one another; a view that I think is and ought to be common knowledge among most Americans. If the Berkeley City Council fails to acknowledge this fundamental fact and recognize that it has committed a brazen assault against our form of government, it will have explicitly signaled that it should be striped of assets and power accordingly.

Mel McGuire said...

Here's a video of what's happening in front of the Marine facility.

Mel McGuire said...

I see you already have the video. Sorry.
Anyway, I can't imagine that the withdrawal of protection for right to enter is legal.

Mel McGuire said...

I think this is a good time to share an insight into the epistemology of one illustrious member of Berkeley's "Peace and Justice Commission".

I had complained about his use of the term "racism" to refer to a harsh criticism of Islam. In his response he wrote:

"Dear Mr. McGuire:

I understand that race is not religion, but I think I
made my point clearly enough and believe the term
"racism" is being used more and more the way I did. As
to how that has happened, it is intuitive. It feels
like racism and ones natural response (at least mine,
and others I've heard use the word similarly) is that
the term applies."

I fear that 2 minutes will be quite insufficient to penetrate such mentalities.

Burgess Laughlin said...

As shown by the quotation Mr. McGuire offers, the problem is even more deep than an epistemological problem. The problem is metaphysical (ontological).

The council members are democrats, that is, advocates of democracy, which is a political system based on an ethics of altruism and collectivism, an epistemology of emotionalism, and a metaphysics of "social metaphysics." The People are reality.

If the people now use "racism" in a different way than last year, then that is the meaning, and one feels that it is so.

P. S. -- Mr. McGuire is correct in that 2 minutes of public speaking will not reach such people. Nor will 2 hours, 2 days, or even 2 years of courses at ARI.

There is no way to reach irrational people.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

> I fear that 2 minutes will be quite insufficient to penetrate such mentalities.

Or perhaps all that it will take. ;-)