Academic left

Death to DEI

Featured image Bryan Caplan, professor of economics in George Mason University’s excellent economics department, has a long article out today with the James Martin Center about the attempt to impose a mandatory “Just Societies” course for all students at George Mason starting next fall, and the course is a total ideological DEI wokefest. He also has a separate Substack article that goes into lengthy detail. Partly because Caplan blew the whistle on »

Liberal Fragility

Featured image Liberals really are extremely fragile people. This helps explain why they need “safe spaces” with cuddly stuffed animals, grief counselors, and warning labels against “microaggressions.” The latest evidence is a completely unironic and totally un-self-aware piece in the New York Times about the anguish of liberal law professors having to teach constitutional law at a time when the Supreme Court leans right. It’s so upsetting that some professors are moved »

Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, 1964-2024. RIP

Featured image This fall will mark the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the famous “free speech” movement at UC Berkeley. You can find my account of it, written in the aftermath of the Milo Yiannopoulos riot of February, 2017, which I was present for, at this link. The Yiannopoulos riot was bad enough, but last night there was a sequel at Berkeley. As loyal readers may know, I am not around »

Thought for the Day: Feckless Business Leaders

Featured image It is gratifying to see finally some business and finance leaders like Bill Ackman and Ken Griffin figure out how deep the rot runs in our universities. But it’s not as though no one was trying to tell them this for a very long time. Such as: I can think of no better illustration of the impotence of non-ideological pragmatism when confronted with an aggressive ideology than the performance of »

Wanted: A Real Consumer Guide to College

Featured image It’s clearly good news that the DEI jackboots are getting the boot in a lot of places, and that Ivy League presidents are being shown the door for their moral turpitude. But as everyone knows, these improvements are marginal, as the inmates (faculty and administrators alike) are still fully in charge of the asylum. Even without the DEI thought police, you still have to contend with faculty such as this »

United Auto Workers for Genocide [Updated]

Featured image Private sector unions in the U.S. have been in decline for a long time. Currently, only around 6% of all private sector employees are union members. And most of those union members are not left-wing; on the contrary, they tend to vote for Republicans and especially for Donald Trump. Their leaders, nevertheless, are mostly throwbacks: socialists if not outright Communists. And in today’s world, being left-wing means being in favor »

Legislatures Are Coming For DEI

Featured image It is slowly dawning on liberals across America that DEI is, in most contexts, illegal. The whole point of DEI is to discriminate against disfavored groups, and in favor of preferred groups. Liberals have a hard time understanding that there is anything wrong with this, but the courts–most notably, recently, in the Harvard and UNC cases–are beginning to set them straight. In many states, legislators aren’t waiting for litigation to »

The Grievance Studies Project revisited

Featured image Peter Boghossian thinks the time is ripe to revisit the investigation of academic grievance studies that he conducted in 2017 and 2018 with his fellow iconoclasts James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose. For background read the New Discourses post “The Grievance Studies Project.” Check out Boghossian’s current set of linked tweets beginning with the one below by clicking on the time/date. Several of the tweets include a video excerpt from the »

Fried Rice

Featured image Over the weekend physicist Lawrence Krauss wrote in the Wall Street Journal about how wokism and other postmodern fads have infiltrated STEM fields, as though the famous Sokal hoax was a how-to manual: [P]ostmodern cultural theory is being infused into the very institutions one might expect to be scientific gatekeepers. Hard-science journals publish the same sort of bunk with no hint of irony. . . He notes a course on »

Has Harvard Always Been Anti-Semitic?

Featured image Hamas’s October 7 massacre has focused attention on anti-Semitism in American universities. The Claudine Gay episode brought such attention to Harvard, specifically. The Times of Israel notes that anti-Semitism has a long history at that institution: In a 1934 editorial, Harvard Crimson student journalists spoke out in favor of hosting top Nazi and former Harvard man, Ernst F.S. Hanfstaengl. Nicknamed “Putzi,” Hanfstaengl was Hitler’s foreign press chief and graduated from »

Don’t F*** With Bill Ackman’s Wife

Featured image Bill Ackman is a lifelong liberal whose political donations have been to Democrats. But, as a Harvard alumnus and a Jew, he was appalled by Claudine Gay’s incompetent and borderline anti-Semitic Congressional testimony, as well as her lack of any body of original scholarship. So for the first time, he stepped into the cultural and political fray. The Left responded predictably, by attacking his wife, Neri Osman, who is brilliant »

Left-Wing Press Gnashes Teeth Over Gay

Featured image Claudine Gay’s well-deserved downfall was a bitter blow to left-wing journalists. The Associated Press, America’s most biased “news” organization, angrily termed the plagiarism scandal that undid Gay a “conservative weapon.” The AP later made a modest adjustment to its headline, explaining that the original headline didn’t “meet its standards.” Some would say it has been a long time since the AP had any standards. The article itself manifests the AP’s »

Better Late Than Never

Featured image Bill Ackman is the wealthy Harvard alumnus who has taken the lead in trying to reform that institution. In the wake of Claudine Gay’s self-destruction, he wrote this lengthy Twitter post in which he diagnoses the sickness of institutions like Harvard. It is very good, and appropriately uncompromising in its denunciation of the totalitarian DEI culture that prevails on campuses and elsewhere. Money quote: DEI is inherently a racist and »

Breaking: Gone Gay

Featured image Well, 2024 seems to be off to a great start: Claudine Gay is resigning as president of Harvard. It had to kill the Harvard establishment to take this step, since they had framed the possibility as “giving in to the right.” Of course the problem is that Gay’s resignation will change little at Harvard, or any other elite university. It is a certainty that Harvard will find someone equally committed »

The Deep Meaning of Claudine Gay [Updated]

Featured image Harvard University has circled the wagons around President Claudine Gay, reportedly encouraged to do so by no less than Barack Obama. This despite the fact that Gay not only embarrassed the university with her inept and tone-deaf Congressional testimony, but has also been exposed as a serial plagiarist. And not only does the university seem unworried by Gay’s plagiarism, it has emerged that Harvard exonerated Gay before conducting a secret »

The Face of Evil

Featured image On December 3, a radical group hosted a “teach-in” titled “From Minnesota to Palestine.” The panelists linked America and Israel as “settler colonialist” nations–the only ones, apparently, in world history–and thus the source of all evil. This is the whole thing. It goes on for more than two hours, and I don’t recommend that you watch it. Among other things, the panelists celebrate the Hamas massacre of October 7 as »

Yoram vs. Robby

Featured image In the ongoing controversy about what to do about campus anti-Semitism, Princeton’s Robert P. George advocates for more robust free speech on campus, while Yoram Hazony, author of (among other books) Conservatism Rediscovered and The Virtue of Nationalism, disagrees sharply with his former Princeton mentor in a Twitter exchange that deserves a wider audience. Here’s Robby’s argument: Over the past two months, the public has learned about some crazy things »