Casualty of war

I've been watching with interest the saga of the big-shot university presidents who allowed themselves to get sucked into testifying in front of politicians about management of campus hate speech over the Israel-Hamas war. You talk about a no-win situation.

Now one of them, Liz Magill, has been pushed out the door at Penn because of what she said on the Congressional hot seat. And some folks with a lot of clout would like to see her fellow witnesses, Claudine Gay of Harvard and Sally Kornbluth of MIT, suffer the same fate. It's sad, and troubling, but I must confess, part of me finds it a little amusing. Here are three suits each making north of a million a year, serving as face cards for the most prestigious schools, and none of them had the common sense to avoid being embarrassed on Capitol Hill. 

Where did Magill go wrong? A big part of it is her background as a law professor, and some bum coaching she apparently got from a big-bucks law firm, WilmerHale, in preparation for her testimony. She was all loaded up with sharp lawyer talk when straight talk was obviously called for. When the Trumpy bobblehead on the dais threw the grenade, Magill fumbled it instead of lobbing it back.

Speaking before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the trio of college leaders defended their responses to incidents of antisemitism on their campuses.

The flashpoint came when questioned by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who asked for a yes-or-no response on whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” violated the schools’ codes of conduct. In varying ways, Magill, Harvard University president Claudine Gay, MIT president Sally Kornbluth said their answers would be context specific, and related to whether speech turned into conduct....

A bipartisan group of more than 70 members of Congress sent a letter to board members of Penn, Harvard and MIT on Friday demanding Magill and her counterparts get removed.”...

That echoed calls from the powerful Wharton Advisory Board and former US Ambassador Jon Huntsman, who exclusively told CNN removing Magill is not “even debatable.”

One mega donor, Ross Stevens, threatened to cancel a massive gift, now valued at about $100 million worth of shares, if Magill doesn’t leave.

Whaddya know? Money talks. Magill says she'll stay on until her successor arrives, but I wouldn't bet on her still being there on Friday. She lasted less than a year and a half at Penn.

Seven earlier years on her résumé were spent as the dean of the Stanford Law School. It figures. What a decade that joint is having. And I see that the most recent Stanford law dean, who presided over a free speech scandal of her own, has been rewarded for that performance by being named the Stanford provost. Maybe she'll be next up for the mansion at Penn.

Anyway, I went and looked up the Penn code of student conduct, and it seems to me that Magill should just have pulled it out and read from it. Students are required –

To refrain from conduct towards other students that infringes upon the Rights of Student Citizenship. The University condemns hate speech, epithets, and racial, ethnic, sexual and religious slurs. However, the content of student speech or expression is not by itself a basis for disciplinary action. Student speech may be subject to discipline when it violates applicable laws or University regulations or policies.

Those first two sentences (my italics) is how I would have answered the bomb-thrower's question. But that's just me. I don't get paid a million bucks a year.


  1. I prefer straight talk over lawyer salad.

  2. You're exactly right. "I am responsible for seeing that the student code of conduct is enforced. It reads as follows..." Maybe you can get a high-paying 'of counsel' or consulting position at WilmerHale as a side gig. It looks like they need some help.

    1. You don't get paid $1500/hour to bill 15 minutes to point out the obvious answer, which Jack correctly noted. Saw it time and again in my downstate practice, where Big Law in ImPortantLand was all too often: "too clever by half".

  3. Academia is just bonkers these days, at least as broken as government, and it's the exact same people breaking both systems.

    The first person I ever saw fired was an alleged Harvard grad, she turned over copy to us that was filled with grammar issues and confusing sentence structure. Her major was English. It took me a while to reconcile that the Ivy League isn't about education, it's about networking, connections, and (most importantly) access to capital. They don't get rich because they have good ideas, it's purely because they're connected to other rich people.

    And it's since come out that the Harvard gal plagiarized her doctorial thesis. If Harvard is finished for her we all know she could still run for City Council in any American city which has seem a dramatic increase in property crime.

  4. It's the big bucks donors that are causing all this chaos. They dictate what congress spends its time on (or wont touch) and also what (and how) the universities teach.

    1. Murder, rape, arson, kidnapping, torture and christ knows what all else along withy Jew hate born of educational bigotry and educational retardation is causing this chaos.

      From my reading here when we suffer the same fate from the lunatic hejira at our border collaborationists will not be difficult to find.

      Obama and Biden finance and tolerate Hamas and Iran and moreover are a pair of weak and delusional sisters.
      Besides, chasing Jews on campus, cornering them in libraries and classrooms, destroying images of those raped, murdered, mutilated, Jews posted on city streets - well that could be interpreted as microaggression.

      All three of the mediocre gorgons need to hit the road.

    2. Can you please translate from MAGA to English for me?

    3. Sure. Here goes - maga to English

      Note that I do not think America can be made great again. Moreover, President Trump has never been my leader of choice.

      You fail to understand that these three apparatchiks and the apparat they embody are repulsive and unacceptable. That failure probably precludes mutual understanding.

      I believe that Iran subsidizes Hamas and that the Biden and the Obama administrations have delivered pallets of cash to those in charge in Tehran. Indeed, the misguided tolerance and encouragement of Iran that those two administrations have fostered contributed to the October butchery in Israel.

      I am horrified by the student sympathy and adoration for Hamas and its actions in the October 7 nightmare. I have watched for 30 years as Jew hate has been grown and legitimized on university campuses. The three administrators under the congressional gun are, I believe, mediocre scholars and bureaucrats who have encouraged and made possible the persecution of Jews and so many other who are sensible or who would actually develop critical thinking and discussion.

      Substitute black, LBTQ, Trans for Jew in Stefaniak's inquiry and there is no doubt of the outcome and outcry that would result.

      While I've grown very tired of the answer yes or no challenge to a witness, here is what point it was useful.

      That trio represents an unsustainable status quo that is contributing to the collapse of the nation.

      We have unknown millions of opportunists flowing across our border. An attack identical to the one that was inflicted upon Israel will happen to us.

      Drug cartels manage the depthless squalor of our border and influence American governance.

      China will have an effective military within out borders because of our porous national boundaries.

      Influencers, politicians, educators, and writers here openly collaborate with the inimical foreign forces within our nation.

      Our schools take money and direction from China and the Middle Eastern states. American elites on the local and national level embrace our enemies. The change will be in that they will soon acknowledge their subsidies and do so with a sense of pride and impunity.

      Collaboration chic is here and growing. Our elites are a craven reproduction of the craven original: Vichy. Guarantee their pensions and emoluments and they will act in anticipation of the occupying power’s will.

      This venue serves to demonstrate how Portland got to its current state of being and how Multnomah County thinking is and has metastasized throughout the nation.

      Smirking and smugness are effective in this day and age when masculine, serious, and unemotional action and plans for action need be proposed, discussed and implemented.

      Well-padded and smirking cowardice are forces to be reckoned with. I believe that they are irresistible.

    4. Well stated. It's not a question of MAGA vs UN-MAGA. It's a question of Right vs Wrong and these three idiots cannot hide their stupidity. They should not be in charge of anything other than cleaning sewers.

  5. Punishing "hate speech" is an inherently subjective endeavor. I may know it when i see it, but who the hell am I? It depends entirely on the source of the speech.

    DEI culture tries to simplify hate speech determining who is a "victim" and who is an "oppressor" before assigning blame. In any conflict, an "oppressor" need not have actually be oppressing anyone currently. So long as the conflict involves a worthier "victim", it is sufficient that the identity of "oppressor" can be genetically or culturally categorized as the historic oppressor.

    The absurd result is that the "context" used for determining whether calling for the genocide of the Jews is hate speech just depends on who is advocating for it. If it involves uneducated rednecks then it is definitely hateful, but if it is Palestians (uneducated or not) it likely isn't. If you are a progressive ally with an opinion, it's weight may depend on your individual victimhood identity.

    That hearing was an "Emperor has no clothes" event for academia. They have conceded so much territory to the Social Justice Fundamentalists, that the "good intentions" card won't save them.

  6. For once, I basically agree 100% with you on this one.

    I swear, the rest of us idiots know instinctively not to touch that one with a 10+’ pole, but somehow the BS job having university president/Sr. vice-provost (& whatever other 10 Lavishly paid (at best) BS admin jobs they’ve tacked onto the costs of college or additional work/constraints they’ve saddled professors with these days?) chatbot AI in their bird brains breaks down when faced with the ‘denounce hamas’ & other easily recognized & avoidable or refutable Hasbara lines used 1000x previously with Israel’s typical lavishly funded cry-bullying they try on everyone else.

    New York food cart vendors & (the better of working class) New Yorkers in general even seem immune to provocation &/or being filmed ripping down those fake posters the Israel cry-bullying put up in NYC as provocation to film someone ripping them down?

    I remember a friend worked near one of those higher ups offices (recently installed in the early 00s) as a starving student and he would fume (at a state university in a well funded state (WA), no less) & say ‘I never see her do anything nor even show up >3hrs/day apart from rub shoulders, run up expense bills to do that & her job/justification for it is, at most/best, to get fired/ be the flak, plan activities for this very expensive student summer camp &/or network for herself & the university for her future collecting a pension and getting a revolving door job.

    Going to college now sounds like (even more of) an expensive chore (except maybe what are essentially becoming vocational & technical schools at a place like Auburn or something that are probably still much like they were ~1985?), so if we burn the ivys to the ground (especially humanities) and no one gets to go, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings, if I’m honest?
    We couldn’t handle it, so now no one gets to go/tough shit?
    It mostly produces annoying and the worst among us, no great loss?

    You see that guy Stuart Seldowitz go off at the food cart guy on video?
    That New York Egyptian younger lady calmly saying ‘honestly, I’m honestly not that surprised someone in govt. would have those opinions…’ Respect?

    Maybe if we didn’t pass NAFTA & invade Iraq we wouldn’t be so much the poorer with a bunch those people trying to move here to chase/fight over the last crumbs of the cookie like rats?
    I do want more $, time off and fewer people in general as much as the next guy, but not in a racist way per se?

    His story is particularly hilarious given that even if you’re fairly high up/burrowed in as a ‘public servant’ in municipal govt, I gotta figure your revolving door floor is $350k/yr in side hustle/graft/corporate work/lobbying etc, but his employment history after being they high up is jobs stuff like selling insurance…
    …dat smile, I think he’s a drunk / too much of annoying a-hole & also he sued all the way to the supreme ct, on some rental scam he had going after getting caught & lost, so presumably they are also leery to rehire him after that (they don’t like snitches, people that bite the hand & drag stuff out in court &/or call attention to others of their ilk with similar scams?).
    Amazing fumbling of the bag there…

    Can Israel get even 1 (1) normal seeming human decent person that isn’t just dying to let the hate out & isn’t a washed-up has-been celebrity at best?

    I guess that’s what happens when you’re an imperial proxy/newest ethnostate settler colony that has a nuke that’s been getting US blank checks for the last ~30+ years?
    Lose creativity & goes to your head?

    Accordingly, israel does have actual weapons of mass destruction & the US needs to do a humanitarian intervention to recover them for safe keeping…

    1. Sometimes academia exposes itself in public and brings along the fellow travelers. It’s kinda sad to listen to their confident whining.


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