Monday, February 7, 2011

Braving Berkeley: Into the Lion's Den

He looked at the flier and froze like a statue for a few long seconds. "Are you sure you know where you are?" asked the student. "Yes, of course," I answered as I passed out more fliers defending traditional marriage near Sather Gate. But he insisted: "No. You don't understand... Do you really, really know where you are? This is Berkeley! You are at UC Berkeley! I can't believe it."

Many other students repeated the same line in utter disbelief: "Do you really know where you are right now?"

So there we were on the middle of campus with our tall TFP banner fluttering majestically in the wind, very visible to all. And just in case the banner was missed, you could hear the bagpipes echoing off the buildings loud and clear. Yes, we knew where we were and we did not intend to leave before finishing the task at hand, to promote the truth and sanctity of traditional marriage.

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Californians call Berkeley "Berserkly." That is no understatement. I was informed that suicides occur on campus at least once a month and U.S. Marine Corps' recruiters run higher risks there than they would facing terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan. They deal with "Code Pink" protesters and hecklers on a daily basis.

Maybe that is why pro-family Californians' eyes get big when we tell them we visited Berkeley. However, every single TFP volunteer embraced the challenge and looked forward to the campaign at this historically liberal bastion.

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"Best thing that ever happened at Berkeley"

Right away, a delighted student exclaimed: "Give me a high five! This is the best thing that ever happened at Berkeley!

After forty five minutes, a group of pro-homosexual counter-demonstrators showed up waving rainbow flags and holding signs. A student wearing a yellow T-shirt carried a large metal trash can and slammed it down beside our banner with a loud boom. He encouraged people to discard TFP literature. Very few did. But when a flier was thrown out, the pro-homosexual activists cheered and howled in piercing, shrieking tones.

After slamming down the trash can, the fellow in the yellow t-shirt could not control his temper. He gave us the finger, took out his cell phone and tried to take a picture. However, he was so visibly nervous that he could not manage to keep his hand steady enough. It moved uncontrollably in all directions.

Observing the sight, a conservative student commented: "You (TFP) guys are professional. They (pro-homosexual activists) aren't. Gay pride is a joke." One of the leftist protesters heard him and said, "What did you say!?" hoping he would back down. But he stood his ground, unintimidated, and repeated even more firmly: "I said gay pride is a joke! I can say what I want!"

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Zero tolerance for God's marriage

A common trait among pro-homosexual advocates is this: They preach tolerance but show none. They have zero tolerance for God's marriage. In fact, two pro-homosexual activists spit on our flier and threw it down at our feet and two others burned them in a bizarre type of pagan Wiccan ritual.

When this occurred, John Miller addressed the crowd: "Attention folks, this shows you how diversity is put into practice at Berkeley."

"This is tolerance; burning the flier honors the flier. When you burn something you honor it," sarcastically said the student who self-identified herself as a witch.

"So I suppose -- following your logic -- witch hunts honor witches," continued Mr. Miller.

"Your kind burned my kind for generations," said the woman. And making an obscene gesture she yelled, "I'll see you in hell."

Mr. Miller replied: "Don't hold your breath."

Pro-homosexual activists steal, vandalize and burn TFP fliers

"Where are they burning the fliers?" asked a reporter with The Daily Californian. "I heard they are burning your fliers." Then I discovered some bad news: pro-homosexual activists managed to steal a box of 1,200 TFP fliers. They walked off with them unnoticed because each TFP members was busy in discussion circles. An intensive search for the stolen fliers proved fruitless. It was a real shame.

Moments later, smoke started billowing out of the one of the steel trash cans about 200 feet away. Were the stolen fliers burning in that trash can? It was a fair assumption and I informed a police officer about the fire. The police officer verified that in fact the fliers did belong to us and filed a police report, case number 08-03752, registering "stolen/vandalized fliers."

Lots of gray smoke permeated the campus and the police officer decided it was prudent to call in the fire department for help. Within minutes, sirens blared and from our vantage point, we saw a large fire truck opening its way through a busy pedestrian street. Thousands of students quickly moved to the side, curious to know what had happened. We gladly explained.

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Firemen in full gear jumped out of the truck and sprayed down the hot, smoking trash can, and then agitated the ashes to make sure it was completely extinguished.

Something interested happened next. Students who initially refused to take our flier, after seeing the fire and smelling the smoke, turned back shocked: "Can you give me one of those?" A steady stream of students approached to ask for fliers. This is unusual.

A pro-homosexual student sitting on a bench was overheard saying: "I want to punch the bagpiper out!"

I think I should mention that in the classroom buildings, the labels on both the men's room and woman's room had a question mark "?" scribbled in after them, challenging the distinction between manhood and womanhood in an attempt to promote androgyny.

"You are like Teutonic Knights!"

After eight days on the streets of California, we've been called just about every bad name, for simply opposing same-sex "marriage" in a polite and peaceful manner. At this point, the names are like water off a duck's back. It doesn't bother us much. But at Berkeley, a new sort of insult was formulated against us which made us happy. Yes, happy. I'll explain.

A liberal student paused by the TFP standard to challenge John Miller and other TFP members. He attacked religion and anyone who respects the Bible. He called us Catholic fools. After substantially loosing the discussion, he used more insults. Seeing how unimpressed we were with his insults, he said: "You people are like the Teutonic Knights!" thinking we would take great offense. Boy was he shocked when we thanked him for the eulogy: "That's a compliment. The ideals of chivalry are precisely what we aspire to imitate."

He just stood there in shock, shaking his head, dumbfounded.

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Chanting We Want God

Before departing campus, we gathered for prayer. We invoked Saint Michael and Saint Joseph, our caravan patron, followed by the TFP motto: "Tradition Family Property – America."

The pro-homosexual opposition gathered around us in large numbers. They harassed, shouted, and yelled. Although we normally lower the banner after prayer, we decided to parade off campus, singing a hymn by St. Louis de Montfort, "We Want God" as well as "God Bless America."

Aggressively waving rainbow flags in our faces, a mob of pro-homosexual activists followed us wherever we went. They jeered and laughed. Meanwhile, the lyrics of our chant reverberated louder than their jeers: "We want God, O men ungrateful… the foolish laugh at the Faith, in vain they rise against the Lord. Bless O Virgin, the proclaiming of our Faith. We want God until we die."

For the greater glory of God, our mission was accomplished.

This event took place on September 8, 2008.
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1 comment:

  1. UC Berkeley is a university where the chancellor can spend $3,000.000 for consultants to do the work of his job. When UC Berkeley announced its elimination of student sports including baseball, men’s, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse teams and its defunding of the national-champion men’s rugby team, the chancellor sighed, “Sorry, but this was necessary!”
    But was it? Yes, the university is in dire financial straits. Yet $3 million was somehow found by Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) to pay the Bain consulting firm to uncover waste, inefficiencies in UC Berkeley (Cal), despite the fact that a prominent East Coast university was accomplishing the same thing without expensive consultants.
    Essentially, the process requires collecting, analyzing information from faculty, staff. Apparently, Cal senior management believe that the faculty, staff of their world-class university lacks the cognitive ability, integrity, energy to identify millions in savings. If consultants are necessary, the reason is clear: the chancellor has lost credibility with the people who provided the information to the consultants. Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau has reigned for eight years, during which time the inefficiencies proliferated to $150 million. Even as Bain’s recommendations are implemented (‘They told me to do it’, Birgeneau), credibility, trust, problems remain.
    Bain is interviewing faculty, staff, senior management and academic senate leaders to identify $150 million in inefficiencies, most of which could have been found internally. One easy-to-identify problem, for example, was wasteful procurement practices such as failing to secure bulk discounts on printers. But Birgeneau apparently has no concept of savings: even in procuring a consulting firm he failed to receive proposals from other firms.

    Students, staff, faculty, California Legislators are the victims of his incompetent decisions. Now that sports teams are feeling the pinch, perhaps the California Alumni, benefactors, donors, will demand to know why Birgeneau is raking in $500,000 a year while abdicating his work responsibilities.

    Let there be light for transparency

    The author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way the senior management operates.
    PS University of California Berkeley (Cal) ranking drops. In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked Cal the 2nd leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place.
    University of California, Berkeley in the news