How the mighty have fallen. This article from the Sacramento Bee describes recent actions of the Berkeley City Council. See the highlighted paragraph and my comments at the end:
Berkeley approves supplying conscientious objector material
Published 12:45 a.m. PST Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Left-leaning Berkeley, already under fire for briefly banning big flags on fire trucks and opposing the bombing of Afghanistan, has voted to lend a hand to would-be conscientious objectors.
The Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday night to supply workers who answer the city's general information phones with material about the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors.
The idea is to have information available so staff can refer anyone who calls asking about how to avoid military combat.
The measure had been scheduled for a vote Tuesday as part of the consent calendar, items that are passed without debate. But it was postponed for more discussion after Councilwoman Betty Olds said she wanted to see the item amended to include giving staff information about military recruitment for people who called wanting to enlist.
That amendment was rejected.
The proposal came from the city's Peace and Justice Commission, which adopted a resolution earlier this month noting Berkeley's "unique and honored tradition of promoting alternative social values and viewpoints including nonviolence and pacifism." "During this time of military action, especially, we felt it was important that young people, who are of an age to consider enrolling in the military, have the full range of information available to them," said commission member Steve Freedkin.
Freedkin said he doesn't know of any instances where someone has called the city to ask about avoiding the military, but it would be good for city staff to be prepared.
The vote comes two months after Berkeley drew hundreds of angry e-mails, including many threatening economic boycott, for a council vote that asked the government to "help break the cycle of violence" and stop bombing Afghanistan as soon as possible.
Mayor Shirley Dean, who loudly opposed the flag and Afghanistan decisions, declined comment on how she felt about Berkeley engaging in another war-related item.
As for the measure itself, Dean said she did not "see any real problem in giving people information. I would see a problem if it was advice or counseling or guidance."
Freedkin says he doesn't know of any instances when people have asked for info about CO status. Perhaps ... just perhaps ... that's because America has (and has had for 30 years) an ALL-VOLUNTEER MILITARY? No one has been drafted since 1971, dummy!
And the Berkeley City Council voted for this?
At one time, Berkeley used to refer to itself as an intellectual center. Now it looks like all those intellectuals must have pickled their brains on recreational chemicals. It's time to stop fighting the last war, folks....