Author Archives: Steven Hayward

Who Are We Letting Out of Prison?

Featured image Here in California, the federal courts have ruled that California’s overcrowded prisons amount to violation of the 8th Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment,” and rather than build more prisons, California is releasing a large number of inmates. This coincides with the national move to “de-incarcerate.” Who are we letting out? The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office has a website where you can scroll through the names of inmates »

Civil War on the Left, Part 24

Featured image By the usual train of serendipitous internet wanderings, I ran across The Kinfolk Kollective, which uses K in the same sense as “Amerika” back in the 1960s. The subtitle gives the first hint of coming attractions: “All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk. Where do you stand?” The post I stumbled into is an attack on Caitlyn Jenner—from the left. Jenner’s sin, apparently, is remaining a Republican and not genuflecting sufficiently in the »

Are American Universities Overrated?

Featured image Periodic surveys of higher education around the world usually find American universities dominating the top of the lists. But I wonder whether they deserve this high esteem—especially after the last two weeks. European and Chinese universities tend to feature more large, rote-learning lecture classes, sometime with as many as 800 students in the lecture hall. That’s not teaching; that’s just a large TED talk. Seminars and interactive discussion are much »

Trump at Gettysburg

Featured image Today is the 152nd anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and leave it to the people at Funny or Die? to render Donald Trump’s version: Thanks. What an incredible crowd. They tell me this is the biggest crowd in the history of the North. A while back some founders got together. And I mean they were good people but they really didn’t know anything about building a country. C’mon, you know, »

Stockman Agonistes

Featured image Everyone’s pretty much forgotten about David Stockman, the supposed wunderkind director of OMB under President Reagan. If’s he’s remembered at all it’s for becoming a traitor to Reagan’s supply-side economic policy in 1981, with a series of ill-advised conversations with left-wing journalist William Greider, then of The Atlantic. I call Stockman a “supposed” wunderkind because his intellectual probity and general disposition have always been unstable if not unsound. I observed »

National Review, the Musical! [Updated With Comment by John]

Featured image If Broadway can turn Alexander Hamilton’s life story into a rap musical, then why can’t we turn National Review‘s 60th anniversary into a musical number as well? Here it is: NR asked me to contribute a short item to the 60th anniversary issue on what one book stands out for having influenced my thinking at a young age, and I selected C.S. Lewis’s Abolition of Man. Since it’s behind a »

The Bottomless Ignorance of Barack Obama

Featured image Liberals have gushed from the beginning on how brilliant Barack Obama is, and point from time to time to the fact that he was a professor of constitutional law (!) at the University of Chicago, one of the nation’s premier law schools. Of course, if you actually check on what he taught there, it was trendy lefty stuff like a course entitled “Race and the Law” (I have a friend »

Civil War on the Left, Part 23

Featured image Right now President Obama and the usual liberal hive are agitating mightily against the supposed racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia of Republicans (and at least one Democratic governor) who are opposed to accepting more Syrian refugees. But a few liberals are breaking from the party line, starting with Kevin Drum at Mother Jones: Liberals Should Knock Off the Mockery Over Calls to Limit Syrian Refugees Here’s the thing: to the average »

After Paris: A Roundup

Featured image It is sport for conservatives to mock France—who can resist “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”?—but in fact when the French get serious they are capable of serious things. I still get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about the time French intelligence blew up the Rainbow Warrior in 1985, the Greenpeace “protest” ship that was almost certainly infiltrated by the KGB. “Anonymous” reminds us over at the Claremont Review of Books, [W]hoever rules »

The Spreading Virus: Kansas Edition

Featured image Now playing at the University of Kansas. From the Associated Press: LAWRENCE, Kan. — Racial tensions are growing at the University of Kansas with a call for three top Student Senate leaders to resign and a recent graduate initiating a hunger strike. The Senate’s Student Executive Committee is demanding that Student Body President Jessie Pringle, Student Body Vice President Zach George and Chief of Staff Adam Moon step down by »

Trump: Where’s the Beef?

Featured image Walter Mondale began his comeback against Gary Hart in 1984 by borrowing from the TV ad sensation of the moment—Clara Peller’s famous Wendy’s ad that ended with “Where’s the beef?” (Hart had talked endlessly about “new ideas,” but never seemed be able to name one of them that amounted to anything.) Trump is not going to let that happen to him! He’s got the beef. Literally: I’d be curious to »

The Spreading Virus: Amherst Caves

Featured image Up to this point I thought the Best Performance of Cowardly Cravenness in a College President would go to CMC president Hiram Chodosh, but it appears Amherst’s president, Biddy Martin, wants the crown, too. Here’s Martin’s lugubrious letter responding to student demands distributed yesterday: November 15, 2015 Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Families, On Thursday night I attended a student-organized protest against racism and other entrenched forms of prejudice »

The Spreading Virus, Yale Postscript

Featured image Before the commotion at Yale over Halloween costumes recedes into the rearview mirror, let’s get a closer look at one episode that has drawn only peripheral attention. By coincidence, the William F. Buckley Program at Yale was having a conference on the subject of threats to freedom of speech on campus at the same time the Safe Space Cadets (SSCs) were having their meltdown. One of the speakers, Greg Lukianoff »

The Spreading Virus, Amherst Update

Featured image UPDATE to the UPDATE: It turns out that @AmherstUprising is apparently a parody Twitter account! I know what you’re thinking: how can you tell? It has, as Stephen Colbert would say, a sense of “truthiness” about it. Well done, whoever you are. The student movement does call itself “Amherst Uprising,” but their “official” Twitter feed is @UprisingAmherst. (Or is it authentic? Perhaps it’s the Judean People’s Front against the People’s »

The Week in Pictures: Missouri Loves Company Edition

Featured image The most squalid week in American higher education since the 1960s closed out with student protesters at the University of Missouri complaining that the Paris terror attacks was taking away from their publicity. Even more reason they should all be expelled, along with every professor of grievance studies. Let’s hope someone—maybe even us, but more likely the French—soon deprives ISIS of any safe space. And finally. . .   »

The Spreading Virus, Claremont Update (3)

Featured image It’s pretty clear that Claremont’s Dean of Faculty, Peter Uvin, belongs out on the barricades with the student protesters. Having helped push Dean of Students Spellman out the door, yesterday he sent the following email to Claremont faculty letting them know that re-education camp is in their future, as well as the corruption of the curriculum: Dear members of our community, Yesterday afternoon, a large group of faculty met for »

The Spreading Virus, Part 6

Featured image A reader at the University of Nebraska passes along this campus-wide email: Subject: From Chancellor Perlman re: Social media disclaimer A screen capture of a Facebook exchange has been circulating on social media, and as common as that is, in this particular case it warrants this note. In this exchange, one person, whose name is listed as Joey Simpson, uses derogatory and racist language. Another person asks:  “Aren’t you affiliated with »