President Bush urged citizens this week to go back to work and try to restore normalcy to their everyday lives.
Accordingly, the People's Republic of Berkeley, Calif., wasted no time in returning to its business as usual: stifling political dissent under the guise of "tolerance," stamping out every last ember of patriotism for the cause of "peace," and hating America while greedily feasting off the fruits of freedom so lovingly tended by their fellow countrymen.
The home of the Free Speech Movement spent much of the week attempting to squelch the free speech of those who were outraged by the 9-11 terrorist attacks. According to KPIX-TV in San Francisco, firefighters in Berkeley were ordered to take American flags off their trucks in advance of an anti-war rally. An assistant chief told the station that the safety of flag-waving firefighters "could be compromised if protesters try to remove the flags and destroy them."
Only in Berkeley must firefighters fear retaliation from self-righteous "pacifists."
Over on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, the Express Yourself generation showed its gratitude for the blessings of liberty by attempting to shut down the student-run daily newspaper during a 10-hour standoff. More than 100 protesters stormed the office of The Daily Californian demanding an apology for an editorial cartoon printed on the day of the attack.
The cartoon, drawn by UC Berkeley alumnus Darrin Bell, showed two men dressed in robes, with long beards and turbans, standing in a large hand amid flames in hell. One man exults: "We made it to paradise! Now we will meet Allah, and be fed grapes, and be serviced by 70 virgin women, and ..." The other man has a book at his feet with the words "Flight Manual" on the cover.
The Berkeley mob reacted to the tame cartoon as if it were an act of terrorism. "They have to be held accountable," said Wajahat Ali, a member of the Muslim Student Association. "Vile," another demonstrator proclaimed. This was a "hate crime" that "dehumanized" Arab students, others complained.
Only in Berkeley can a measly drawing be viewed as a war crime while the rest of the nation mourns the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children at the hands of foreign terrorists.
Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee, who represents parts of Berkeley and Oakland, did her constituents proud by casting the lone vote against a congressional resolution last Friday supporting President Bush's use of military force against the perpetrators of last week's carnage. She blasted supporters of military action -- that is, the vast majority of Americans -- for embracing "the evil that we deplore."
"We"? As conservative author David Horowitz, who met Lee during his old days as a Communist sympathizer in the Bay Area, noted this week: "Barbara Lee is not an anti-war activist, she is an anti-American communist who supports America's enemies and has actively collaborated with them in their war against America." Barbara Lee worked for powerful Berkeley congressman Ron Dellums, who coddled the communist dictatorship of Grenada.
Only in Berkeley can the treacherous be treated as American heroes as their leftist ideology fails around the world.
Echoing the blame-America pabulum of his Berkeley elders, student Patrick Rizzo of Berkeley High School told the Alameda Times-Star: "I think the United States deserves it. It's pretty sad for the poor people, but the United States does the same thing."
Young Mr. Rizzo's attitude is typical of the Berkeley kids marinated up to their pierced eyebrows in moral equivalence.
Only in America do we tolerate this radical indoctrination of self-loathing in government-run schools. Only in America do we suffer the fools bred in Berkeley who "liberated" a crane to protest animal testing for life-saving research; who established "sister-city" status with the dictatorships of El Salvador and Nicaragua; who banned military recruiters on its high school grounds; and who humiliated a Japanese group of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the name of diversity.
In the foreign regimes that the Berzerkleyites so revere as superior to our own country, they would be rotting in jail for their political heresies. Tortured with cattle prods. Or buried up to their necks in sand and stoned to death.
Here, we shake our heads and let them rant. God Bless America.