This afternoon Dean Jenny Martinez of Stanford Law School released a 10-page memorandum about the shameful Judge Duncan affair laying out the “next steps” regarding protests and freedom of speech. It is not until page 8 that we learn the most significant news—that “Associate Dean Tirien Steinbach is currently on leave.” Hopefully this is a prelude to her dismissal not only for her role in this specific matter, but for the obvious problem that Steinbach is out of harmony with the principles of freedom of expression Dean Martinez summarizes in her memo, not to mention California state law protecting freedom of expression on campus that Dean Martinez references at great length.
But there is one problem: previously Dean Martinez had recommended to students, and Federalist Society members in particular, that they seek out Dean Steinbach for “counseling” about the disturbance. Who are Federalist Society members going to see for counseling now? This new memorandum doesn’t say.
Equally relevant is that no students are going to be punished or sanctioned for their bad behavior, although this is understandable given that Dean Steinbach and other Stanford Law administrators and faculty encouraged the bad behavior. Stanford could hardly punish students without also punishing its own senior staff.
[W]ith respect to the students involved in the protest, several factors lead me to conclude that what is appropriate here is mandatory educational programming for our student body rather than referring specific students for disciplinary sanction.
But it turns out everyone will need re-programming:
Accordingly, as one first step the law school will be holding a mandatory half-day session in spring quarter for all students on the topic of freedom of speech and the norms of the legal profession. [Boldface in original.]
You might have thought that at a premier law school, students would ave learned the meaning of the First Amendment in their regular coursework, but apparently not. But I guess we’ve come to the point where Stanford Law students need remedial education.
Aaron Sibarium has more at the Free Beacon.
Harvey Mansfield, Harvard’s most prominent conservative on the faculty, is a few weeks away from his final seminar and retirement. It is doubtful the Harvard government department will replace him with someone like him. But partly that is because there is no one else like him.
Prof. Mansfield has just taken to the pages of National Affairs with a typically challenging essay on the topic of “common good conservatism,” which is one of the new schools of conservative thought and a first cousin to the “national conservatism” movement that sprung up a few years ago. Mansfield’s essay employs his full erudition in his usual way—with compact sentences packed with deep currents of thought stretching back to the classics (in particular, to Aristotle in this case), but mainly on refining our understanding the liberal tradition of the Enlightenment, which “common good conservatives” have come to reject nearly as much as postmodern leftists.
Here’s the set up:
Promoting the common good sounds too tame to cheer a charge against the enemy. Hearing it, one wants to nod in agreement and remain seated. It comes nonetheless from a new conservatism tired of losing to liberals and looking for a new and better organizing purpose that will bring the satisfaction of victory. . .
The common-good conservatives, by contrast, are disgusted with the debate on abortion and every other issue that they always, or typically, lose. That debate does not result in a sensible or tolerable alternation of power between the parties; it’s always liberals win and conservatives lose. Or this is how it seems, for liberals take the initiative and conservatives are forced to fight on defense. The common-good conservatives think it’s time to leave that aspect of the game, go on offense, and seek permanent victories. This is what liberals wish for when they demand that their victories must never be reversed: They mean that progress goes in one direction only — theirs.
By winning, common-good conservatives want to rule.
While Mansfield expresses considerable sympathy for the impulses and goals of common good conservatives, he is not quite ready to give up on liberalism rightly understood. Thus from the conclusion:
[C]ommon-good conservatives . . . should not exaggerate their plight. It seems now that both parties, and especially conservatives, forget where they are winning and think mainly of where they are losing. As Yuval Levin has said, conservatives care more for culture, where they think they are losing, while liberals care more for the economic issues, where they think they are losing. Both parties forget their indebtedness to our tried and true liberalism, which gives them partial victories dimmed by partial defeats.
In Minnesota, our legislature is considering a proposal to mandate the teaching of “Ethnic Studies” in all classrooms, starting in kindergarten. “Ethnic Studies” basically means wokeism or critical race theory, telling students that America is a hopelessly racist society, that white kids have it easy and black kids are doomed. (Asian kids don’t fit into this narrative.) This proposal, like so much of what we see coming from the Left, is frankly evil. Yet who will stand up against it?
Kofi Montzka, for one. Kofi is a lawyer, mother and activist who often collaborates with my organization. In the video below, she testifies against the Ethnic Studies bill in searingly effective fashion, despite the two-minute time allotment she was working under.
This clip deserves to go viral and be seen by millions of people. We need parents everywhere to be inspired to stand up against the racism and anti-Americanism that liberals are imposing on our public schools.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, looks to be trying to go from Meta to Meh, with the announcement of an additional 10,000 layoffs, and the cancellation of 5,000 current job openings. This, on top of 11,000 layoffs last fall that Mark Zuckerberg said would be the extent of it. Maybe this has some reason to do with reducing Meta’s headcount:
Between these layoffs and the precipitous decline of venture capital activity and IPOs in Silicon Valley, California may soon be looking at its worst economic swoon since the aerospace industry abruptly contracted at the end of the Cold War in 1990.
The Meta minions aren’t happy with Zuckerberg.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by staff at an all-hands meeting on Thursday, following the Facebook parent company’s announcement that it would lay off another 10,000 workers. Staff reportedly asked Zuckerberg how they can be expected to trust the company’s leadership after the surprise second round of layoffs. . .
That’s okay; I’m sure the laid off DEI staff can find jobs with Disney. Oh, wait: Disney to lay off 4,000 workers in April
The great Michael Ramirez has turned his easel to the Stanford disgrace featuring the shoutdown of Fifth Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan. We have followed the reporting of Aaron Sibarium and the opinion of the editors at the Washington Free Beacon on this deeply disgusting story. It is a disgrace without bottom.
Michael’s cartoon of the day is posted at his Substack site under the title “Stanford Universilly” along with links to sources and hand-selected news and opinion. Michael links to Sibarium’s “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” and comments with perfect justice: “This intolerance of free speech on a campus that supposedly promotes intellectual debate is a national embarrassment.”
Copyright Ⓒ 2023 Michael Ramirez. All rights reserved. Republished with permission.
• Let’s start with the Feel Good Story of the Day: Los Angeles teachers are about to go on strike (I know—how could you ever tell?), but many support staff have jumped the gun and already walked off the job, causing classes for half a million students to be canceled yesterday. Parents should heave a sigh of relief if a strike shuts down LA schools for good, though that is probably too much to hope for.
• Earth to Stanford: Even Whoopi Goldberg thinks your students are a bunch of dumb snowflakes poorly served by Stanford instruction:
“Maybe all the snowflakes in the world need to get over the fact that people are going to disagree with them, you see? It’s not just one side or the other. Everybody has to understand this is how we live. We don’t all agree. We do disagree, and it’s your right to stand up and say, ‘Hey, I don’t agree’ and… either leave or let somebody else tell you what the issue is, but we don’t show our kids that. We show them the nasty part now.”
I’ll be willing to grant Whoopi a commuted sentence for her own part in promoting the “nasty” side of political discourse just this once, because when Stanford loses Whoopi. . .
Meanwhile, I have discovered where the Stanford protests are planned:
• Wait—you mean Trump wasn’t arrested yesterday? I was promised a frogmarch in handcuffs. You means these photos are fake news:
Just shows you can’t trust the media. Meanwhile, what’s up with this whole line of Biden pics debarking from AF1? I can’t seem to find the story behind it, but the memeosphere is in high gear:
• Happy 92nd birthday to William Shatner. That is all.
• Finally—I’m actually away on a ski trip all this week, but managed to find a run complete with content moderation (hat tip: Janna Blanter):
Reporters Jonathan Swan and Luke Broadwater profile House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer for readers who get their news from the New York Times. Comer’s investigation of the Biden family business is therefore belittled as a look into “sinister-sounding allegations against Mr. Biden and his family.”
Were those “sinister-sounding allegations” formerly known as “Russian disinformation”? Maybe this is a step up.
“Sinister-sounding allegations” must be something like George Smathers’s legendary disparagement of his opponent as “a shameless extrovert” — something designed to fool the ignorant rubes. Indeed, that is the gist of the Times profile.
The profile features a photo of Comer in shadows with the New York Post cover regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop blown up on a poster in the back. Comer screens readers from a full viewing of the cover. The photo is an apt metaphor for the Times’s treatment of Comer and his investigation of the Biden family business.
The Times profile runs some 2500 words, but Miranda Devine is able to condense it into fewer than 280 characters for those who may want to “bottom line it,” as one or the other of the Presidents Bush might have put it.