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July 7, 2008
Negotiating with Tree-Climbing Criminals
It has happened yet again. Environmentalist extremists have
literally taken to the trees in order to “protect” a small greenish area
from planned construction work. The culprits this time are protestors at
Berkeley, who have spent an incredible 18 months at the top of trees in
order to prevent the university from building on the land.
One news article quoted a tree-climber supporter who gave her
name as Citizyn: “They’re very well-trained tree climbers. They’re very
experienced, and I have trust in them that they’re going to keep
themselves safe and they’re going to keep defending the grove.”
Wait, you train for these things? Oh Citizyn, did you not
make it out of tree-climbing boot camp yourself? It’s OK, I bet you’re
the best bra-burner out there.
The situation has been quite ridiculous generally, but in the
past couple of weeks, it has even gotten, err, gross. Arborists working
for the university found themselves ducking to avoid feces being flung
at them by the “green” protesters.
Of course, while any normal organization would not wait to
take the necessary actions to get such repulsive individuals off of its
property, the university decided to negotiate with the tree-climbers,
begging them to lower their bodily waste on a daily basis in exchange
for food. These negotiations led to what such negotiations normally lead
to, namely to campus officials delivering the water despite the
tree-sitters’ insistence on holding on to their excrement.
Now what is clear is that these tree-huggers are sickening
social outcasts. What is not so clear is the rationale behind the
administration’s insistence on negotiating with such individuals. What
are these officials thinking?
The university should instead do one of two things: Either
have the police get the protestors down, or leave them up there starved
and sitting in their own filth.
But it is too much to hope that many 21st Century
American university officials resort to such rational behavior – this
surrender to those that would break the law and act repulsively is in
fact part of a national trend in American academia.
The Berkeley tree-climbers, in fact, might have gotten their
inspiration from an incident only three years ago at Cornell University.
The university was planning on building a much-needed parking lot out of
a hideous collection of brush and bushes severely mislabeled by campus
environmentalists as “Redbud Woods.”
The “Redbuddies,” from students to professors, chained
themselves to the trees and climbed up to their branches in order to
stop the construction work. Of course, instead of considering these
protestors trespassers and delivering them to police, the university
administration proceeded to “negotiate” with this handful of extremists
and ended up cutting a deal with them. The administration literally set
up a tent in the woods, and had the university president sit under that
tent next to a young, smelly tree-climber to sign an “agreement” whereby
the school made several concessions in exchange for the Redbuddies’
descent from the trees. It was a very classy sight, so worthy of an Ivy
Today, the Redbud Woods have become the Redbud parking lot,
servicing the Cornell community much better than the woods that had
received no attention from anyone until they were designated for
But the road there was not pretty. If an uninvited individual
climbed up a tree in your backyard, one clear course of action would be
calling the police. If he flung excrement at you, the proper step would
probably be sawing the tree down. But under no circumstances would you
urge him to come down in exchange for anything of value.
Apparently, such basic logic does not apply to today’s
American universities. It cannot possibly be comforting to consider that
the same individuals who are negotiating with tree-climbing,
excrement-pitching creatures are also designing every aspect of young
Americans’ curricula. Something needs to change, or many simply need to
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