Clarice's College Guide

If you’ve recently lived with a high schooler in his last two years at home, your mailbox doubtless has been overflowing with college brochures. They picture friendly, sage-looking professors with tweed jackets and leather elbow patches; ivy-covered classical-looking buildings, interior shots of oaken libraries and wholesome-looking students studying in sylvan retreats. This week’s news has put me to mind of creating my own online college course. Here at Clarice College we haven’t any pictures of sage professors -- though we do use top men and women in their field -- and ivy-covered buildings, but our courses are especially relevant and candid. Best of all, it’s free -- all you need is internet access and a computer.

1. Core Curriculum

At our school we teach how to lie, bully and master the art of self-aggrandizing arrogance while cleaning up on outside consultancies, made possible by our minimal teaching requirements.

This week we are featuring demonstrations by Jonathan Gruber of MIT and Ben Edelman of the Harvard Business School.

Jonathan Gruber played an instrumental role in fashioning the monstrosity which ensnares one-sixth of our economy – ObamaCare. When a hapless Mr. Weinstein was trapped by its high costs and low coverage, he dug up numbers of Gruber’s taped speeches at conferences of other heath care “experts” bragging about his key role in writing the Act, smarmily suggesting he pulled this one off because the people are “stupid”, and then when called to account by Congressman Darrell Issa, responded: "In excerpts of these videos I am shown making a series of glib, thoughtless, and sometimes downright insulting comments. I behaved badly, and I will have to live with that…"

Still, he refused to say how much his work enriched him. (Credible accounts say about $6 million from the federal and various state governments.) And he denied he’d been an architect of ObamaCare. Unfortunately for him there are videos of him seeming to contradict this.

Congressman Issa has subpoenaed Gruber’s records.

There might be a problem with lying under oath:

As The Hill notes, in a late 2010 lecture to students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Gruber is a faculty member, he talked about the health law and described his role in its creation, saying, "Full disclaimer: I'm going to describe it objectively, but I helped write it."

In another 2010 video, captured by C-SPAN and posted at Townhall, Gruber also noted his bias in favor of the law while claiming to have helped write it. "Once again, unabashed, I helped write the federal [health care] bill as well," he said. That remark was made the same month that Obamacare was signed into law.

Two years later, Gruber hadn't changed his story. In a now-infamous 2012 lecture on the law's health exchanges at Noblis, Gruber not only said that states that don't set up exchanges don't have access to tax subsidies, he also referred to the "the one bit of the bill I actually wrote." 

The issue isn't whether those statements were glib. It's whether they were true. (Notably, when asked by Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-Tenn.) whether other embarrassing videotaped statements were lies or not, Gruber would only say that his remarks were "glib and thoughtless and really inexcusable.")

There is no way to reconcile his multiple past statements with the statements he made this week while under oath. Either Gruber spent two years lying about his role in writing the law, or he was lying this week in his sworn congressional testimony. 

For how to deal with such contingencies, we will be offering a course at a later date.

Also teaching this course will be Ben Edelman, a graduate of Harvard Law School and an associate Harvard Business School professor in the Negotiation, Organizations and Markets unit. Ben enjoyed the food from a mom and pop Chinese restaurant near his home but made history when he complained that the website misstated by $4 the price of the food, rejected the owner’s apology for an out-of-date website and an offer to refund the difference. The email correspondence continued on with the professor arguing on dubious authority that he was entitled to treble damages.

“Indeed, just reading the statute carefully ought to have given the professor some pause. While he makes a big deal in one of the emails about being ethically bound to deal only with an attorney if the restaurant is represented by counsel, it strikes me as a possible ethical problem to be making demands (particularly on an unrepresented party) for which one lacks a legal basis. I don't think negligent belief about the law helps the professor here.”

Edelman has done this sort of thing before regarding a former neighborhood sushi restaurant.

What we are hoping students will learn from this is how not to negotiate, how not to show your regard for those outside the academic precincts, and again how to apologize -- as Edelman did -- when caught out being a pompous ass.

2. Our Training Guide for College Administrators

College Officials Are not neglected here at CC. We’ve some useful courses for them, too.

(a) How to abjectly kowtow to the irrational.

There’s lots of irrationality on campuses and you should learn how to quickly bow down to it. The trustees don’t like to see strong administrators -- they just want their names on buildings and avenues for getting their friends’ dumb kids into your school so genuflect, genuflect, genuflect. And to teach us how we have a number of first-rate college presidents up to bat this week.

For starters there’s Smith College’s Kathleen McCartney

The president of prestigious Smith College is red-faced and apologetic Tuesday for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that "all lives matter."

Kathleen McCartney wrote the phrase in the subject line of an e-mail to students at the school, whose alumni include feminists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and celebrity chef Julia Child. McCartney was attempting to show support for students protesting racially charged grand jury decisions in which police in Missouri and New York were not charged in the deaths of unarmed black men.

Protesters have adopted several slogans in connection with the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, including "Black Lives Matter." McCartney's more inclusive version of the refrain was seen as an affront that diminished the focus on black lives and racism, according to emails obtained by FoxNews.com.

“We are united in our insistence that all lives matter,” read the e-mail, in which she made clear she was strongly behind the protests, writing that the grand jury decisions had “led to a shared fury… We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest.”

So, at Smith, black lives matter -- even if the slogan is in support of two thugs whose deaths were connected to their illegal activities (and in Garner’s case ill health). Nor is it significant to these students that black-on-black crimes far exceed deaths by blacks at the hands of police or of white people for that matter. White lives, Asian lives, presumably do not matter.

Not to be outdone by Smith, we have Jane Close Conoley, president of California State Univerity.

In a Dec. 5 op-ed, the president of California State University (CSU) claimed if you are “light skinned” you have “significant unearned privilege” and routinely think less of those who are different than yourself.

In her piece, “Privilege at The Beach,” -- referencing the Long Beach area where the school resides -- Jane Close Conoley, a white woman herself, asserts that “light skin color and high income levels may attract significant unearned privilege.” Those who qualify for such privilege, often unknowingly exert distrust and “lower expectations of behavior” on those of another skin color.

“This privilege can manifest itself in numerous ways that afford automatic trust, deference, and security,” writes Conoley, in the piece first noticed by the Pundit Press. “Those who are less affluent with darker skin or from other cultures can be targets of micro to macro aggressions, distrust, and low expectations for behavior.”

Conoley claims that if a non-white person walks into a department store they may be followed by employees and their presence is often times acknowledged with “suspicion and fear.”

“Those with privilege are often unaware of this discrepancy, as people treat them with respect -- as all individuals should be treated,” Conoley writes. “When they enter department stores they are greeted with smiles and offers of help. When they ask questions or request additional service, they are answered cordially. On approach, they are seen as benign.”

See more here.

(Someone else living nearby held much the same views. David Ruenzel, who made a living excusing black crime and denouncing white privilege, was just murdered there by two black thugs.

The Ruenzel case is unusual.  Academics and other professionals who engage in such odious talk are usually shielded from the dangerous violence it engenders. It’s the little people in unguarded communities without means to avoid it that suffer.

(b) How to ignore facts and jump to conclusions

We thought that we could skip this course for now after the Duke Lacrosse debacle, but no, we have to keep reminding you guys that when it comes to white male students, it’s the narrative that counts.

Teaching this course this week, we have the president of the University of Virginia who based her actions on a now thoroughly debunked Rolling Stone article. 

The article was suspicious from the outset. Among other things (rather like the Feinstein released intelligence report) the sourcing was not first-hand, but that didn’t stop President Teresa A. Sullivan from acting on it.

The University of Virginia is suspending all fraternities and associated parties until January 9 following a Rolling Stone magazine article that described a student's account of being gang raped and her frustration at trying to bring her alleged attackers to accountability.

"The wrongs described in Rolling Stone are appalling and have caused all of us to re-examine our responsibility to this community," school President Teresa A. Sullivan wrote in a statement to the university community. "Rape is an abhorrent crime that has no place in the world, let alone on the campuses and grounds of our nation's colleges and universities."

Student leaders will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Monday on the campus to "give voice to the student perspective," according to a Student Council news release. Participants include the Student Council president, the leader of the Inter-Fraternity Council and the presidents of One in Four and One Less, support groups for victims of campus sexual abuse.

Remember, above all “responsibility to this community” in college administrator talk does not include responsibility to white men, fair play, or respect for the truth.

This course, Rape Studies can be taken in lieu of how to kowtow to racist division advocates.

3. Law School Guide

We have not forgotten law students. While our courses do not lead to law degrees, they are helpful to those enrolled in law schools.

Sensitive Law Students and Exams.

Both in the framing of exam questions and the timing of them, today’s law students at Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard have proved to be astonishingly sensitive and uninterested in fact over narratives, just like the Lackwitz sisters of Smith. Cornell Professor William A. Jacobson was not impressed:

As we reported, a wide range of Harvard Law School students, represented by over a dozen student groups, issued a set of demands to HLS administrators in light of the failures of grand juries to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

One of the demands was to delay exams, like happened at Columbia University Law School.

HLS did not relent, although it did issue some statements of concern and sympathy.

I have it from reliable sources that law students at Harvard are, as we write, being subjected to the oppression of having to take final exams as scheduled.

Here’s my position:

“The decision of Columbia Law School to allow students selectively to postpone exams as a result of emotional upset over the Ferguson and Garner grand jury decisions shows, once again, how far law schools have strayed from their mission.

Few if any of the students complaining talk about the evidence, the forensics, the law that might have justified the grand jury rulings. Instead, it’s all about them and their emotions. Are we training students to think and act as lawyers, or emotional activists?

If we are training students to be lawyers, we should insist that they act like lawyers, and understand that there will be decisions with which we disagree, but that cannot interfere with our professional obligations.

Cry if you want to, but keep representing your clients, complying with court deadlines, and pushing forward under adversity.”

So, there you have it -- potential enrollees, you can genuflect to unreason at Columbia and turn out graduates too delicate to function in their chosen profession -- or not. The choice is yours.

Even exam questions can cause flutters of indignation, and when it’s pretty clear the administration will not stand firm for common sense against race baiting, you can bow to unreason as one UCLA professor did.

Law school exams often present legal conundrums ripped from headlines of the day, but one UCLA law professor is apologizing for basing a test question on what is apparently a taboo subject -- the fallout from the police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Mo.

Professor Robert Goldstein said the exam question was designed to test students’ ability to analyze the line between free speech and inciting violence. It cited a report about how Michael Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, shouted, “Burn this bitch down!” after a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

The question then asked students to imagine that they are lawyers in the St. Louis County Attorney’s office and had been asked to advise the prosecutor “whether to seek an indictment against Head” for inciting violence. The exam reads:

“[As] a recent hire in the office, you are asked to write a memo discussing the relevant First Amendment issues in such a prosecution. Write the memo.”

But students complained, and writer Elie Mystal at the popular legal blog “Above the Law” opined that the test question was “racially insensitive and divisive.” Mystal also incorrectly alleged that the question asked students to “advocate in favor of extremist racists in Ferguson.”

Goldstein has apologized for putting the question on the test and has promised not to grade the question.

“I clearly underestimated and misjudged the impact of this question on you. I realize now that it was so fraught as to have made this an unnecessarily difficult question to respond to at this time. I am sorry for this,” he wrote in an email to his students that a UCLA spokeswoman.

4. Student Life.

At CC we recognize that education is not just studying and learning from books. There are lessons to be learned outside the classroom (even the online one). Like how not to be caught with your pants down in the middle of a Massachusetts winter: This week it was Harvard’s naked primal screamers running smack dab into a black lives matter kerfuffle on the quad.

If you’ve recently lived with a high schooler in his last two years at home, your mailbox doubtless has been overflowing with college brochures. They picture friendly, sage-looking professors with tweed jackets and leather elbow patches; ivy-covered classical-looking buildings, interior shots of oaken libraries and wholesome-looking students studying in sylvan retreats. This week’s news has put me to mind of creating my own online college course. Here at Clarice College we haven’t any pictures of sage professors -- though we do use top men and women in their field -- and ivy-covered buildings, but our courses are especially relevant and candid. Best of all, it’s free -- all you need is internet access and a computer.

1. Core Curriculum

At our school we teach how to lie, bully and master the art of self-aggrandizing arrogance while cleaning up on outside consultancies, made possible by our minimal teaching requirements.

This week we are featuring demonstrations by Jonathan Gruber of MIT and Ben Edelman of the Harvard Business School.

Jonathan Gruber played an instrumental role in fashioning the monstrosity which ensnares one-sixth of our economy – ObamaCare. When a hapless Mr. Weinstein was trapped by its high costs and low coverage, he dug up numbers of Gruber’s taped speeches at conferences of other heath care “experts” bragging about his key role in writing the Act, smarmily suggesting he pulled this one off because the people are “stupid”, and then when called to account by Congressman Darrell Issa, responded: "In excerpts of these videos I am shown making a series of glib, thoughtless, and sometimes downright insulting comments. I behaved badly, and I will have to live with that…"

Still, he refused to say how much his work enriched him. (Credible accounts say about $6 million from the federal and various state governments.) And he denied he’d been an architect of ObamaCare. Unfortunately for him there are videos of him seeming to contradict this.

Congressman Issa has subpoenaed Gruber’s records.

There might be a problem with lying under oath:

As The Hill notes, in a late 2010 lecture to students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Gruber is a faculty member, he talked about the health law and described his role in its creation, saying, "Full disclaimer: I'm going to describe it objectively, but I helped write it."

In another 2010 video, captured by C-SPAN and posted at Townhall, Gruber also noted his bias in favor of the law while claiming to have helped write it. "Once again, unabashed, I helped write the federal [health care] bill as well," he said. That remark was made the same month that Obamacare was signed into law.

Two years later, Gruber hadn't changed his story. In a now-infamous 2012 lecture on the law's health exchanges at Noblis, Gruber not only said that states that don't set up exchanges don't have access to tax subsidies, he also referred to the "the one bit of the bill I actually wrote." 

The issue isn't whether those statements were glib. It's whether they were true. (Notably, when asked by Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-Tenn.) whether other embarrassing videotaped statements were lies or not, Gruber would only say that his remarks were "glib and thoughtless and really inexcusable.")

There is no way to reconcile his multiple past statements with the statements he made this week while under oath. Either Gruber spent two years lying about his role in writing the law, or he was lying this week in his sworn congressional testimony. 

For how to deal with such contingencies, we will be offering a course at a later date.

Also teaching this course will be Ben Edelman, a graduate of Harvard Law School and an associate Harvard Business School professor in the Negotiation, Organizations and Markets unit. Ben enjoyed the food from a mom and pop Chinese restaurant near his home but made history when he complained that the website misstated by $4 the price of the food, rejected the owner’s apology for an out-of-date website and an offer to refund the difference. The email correspondence continued on with the professor arguing on dubious authority that he was entitled to treble damages.

“Indeed, just reading the statute carefully ought to have given the professor some pause. While he makes a big deal in one of the emails about being ethically bound to deal only with an attorney if the restaurant is represented by counsel, it strikes me as a possible ethical problem to be making demands (particularly on an unrepresented party) for which one lacks a legal basis. I don't think negligent belief about the law helps the professor here.”

Edelman has done this sort of thing before regarding a former neighborhood sushi restaurant.

What we are hoping students will learn from this is how not to negotiate, how not to show your regard for those outside the academic precincts, and again how to apologize -- as Edelman did -- when caught out being a pompous ass.

2. Our Training Guide for College Administrators

College Officials Are not neglected here at CC. We’ve some useful courses for them, too.

(a) How to abjectly kowtow to the irrational.

There’s lots of irrationality on campuses and you should learn how to quickly bow down to it. The trustees don’t like to see strong administrators -- they just want their names on buildings and avenues for getting their friends’ dumb kids into your school so genuflect, genuflect, genuflect. And to teach us how we have a number of first-rate college presidents up to bat this week.

For starters there’s Smith College’s Kathleen McCartney

The president of prestigious Smith College is red-faced and apologetic Tuesday for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that "all lives matter."

Kathleen McCartney wrote the phrase in the subject line of an e-mail to students at the school, whose alumni include feminists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and celebrity chef Julia Child. McCartney was attempting to show support for students protesting racially charged grand jury decisions in which police in Missouri and New York were not charged in the deaths of unarmed black men.

Protesters have adopted several slogans in connection with the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, including "Black Lives Matter." McCartney's more inclusive version of the refrain was seen as an affront that diminished the focus on black lives and racism, according to emails obtained by FoxNews.com.

“We are united in our insistence that all lives matter,” read the e-mail, in which she made clear she was strongly behind the protests, writing that the grand jury decisions had “led to a shared fury… We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest.”

So, at Smith, black lives matter -- even if the slogan is in support of two thugs whose deaths were connected to their illegal activities (and in Garner’s case ill health). Nor is it significant to these students that black-on-black crimes far exceed deaths by blacks at the hands of police or of white people for that matter. White lives, Asian lives, presumably do not matter.

Not to be outdone by Smith, we have Jane Close Conoley, president of California State Univerity.

In a Dec. 5 op-ed, the president of California State University (CSU) claimed if you are “light skinned” you have “significant unearned privilege” and routinely think less of those who are different than yourself.

In her piece, “Privilege at The Beach,” -- referencing the Long Beach area where the school resides -- Jane Close Conoley, a white woman herself, asserts that “light skin color and high income levels may attract significant unearned privilege.” Those who qualify for such privilege, often unknowingly exert distrust and “lower expectations of behavior” on those of another skin color.

“This privilege can manifest itself in numerous ways that afford automatic trust, deference, and security,” writes Conoley, in the piece first noticed by the Pundit Press. “Those who are less affluent with darker skin or from other cultures can be targets of micro to macro aggressions, distrust, and low expectations for behavior.”

Conoley claims that if a non-white person walks into a department store they may be followed by employees and their presence is often times acknowledged with “suspicion and fear.”

“Those with privilege are often unaware of this discrepancy, as people treat them with respect -- as all individuals should be treated,” Conoley writes. “When they enter department stores they are greeted with smiles and offers of help. When they ask questions or request additional service, they are answered cordially. On approach, they are seen as benign.”

See more here.

(Someone else living nearby held much the same views. David Ruenzel, who made a living excusing black crime and denouncing white privilege, was just murdered there by two black thugs.

The Ruenzel case is unusual.  Academics and other professionals who engage in such odious talk are usually shielded from the dangerous violence it engenders. It’s the little people in unguarded communities without means to avoid it that suffer.

(b) How to ignore facts and jump to conclusions

We thought that we could skip this course for now after the Duke Lacrosse debacle, but no, we have to keep reminding you guys that when it comes to white male students, it’s the narrative that counts.

Teaching this course this week, we have the president of the University of Virginia who based her actions on a now thoroughly debunked Rolling Stone article. 

The article was suspicious from the outset. Among other things (rather like the Feinstein released intelligence report) the sourcing was not first-hand, but that didn’t stop President Teresa A. Sullivan from acting on it.

The University of Virginia is suspending all fraternities and associated parties until January 9 following a Rolling Stone magazine article that described a student's account of being gang raped and her frustration at trying to bring her alleged attackers to accountability.

"The wrongs described in Rolling Stone are appalling and have caused all of us to re-examine our responsibility to this community," school President Teresa A. Sullivan wrote in a statement to the university community. "Rape is an abhorrent crime that has no place in the world, let alone on the campuses and grounds of our nation's colleges and universities."

Student leaders will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Monday on the campus to "give voice to the student perspective," according to a Student Council news release. Participants include the Student Council president, the leader of the Inter-Fraternity Council and the presidents of One in Four and One Less, support groups for victims of campus sexual abuse.

Remember, above all “responsibility to this community” in college administrator talk does not include responsibility to white men, fair play, or respect for the truth.

This course, Rape Studies can be taken in lieu of how to kowtow to racist division advocates.

3. Law School Guide

We have not forgotten law students. While our courses do not lead to law degrees, they are helpful to those enrolled in law schools.

Sensitive Law Students and Exams.

Both in the framing of exam questions and the timing of them, today’s law students at Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard have proved to be astonishingly sensitive and uninterested in fact over narratives, just like the Lackwitz sisters of Smith. Cornell Professor William A. Jacobson was not impressed:

As we reported, a wide range of Harvard Law School students, represented by over a dozen student groups, issued a set of demands to HLS administrators in light of the failures of grand juries to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

One of the demands was to delay exams, like happened at Columbia University Law School.

HLS did not relent, although it did issue some statements of concern and sympathy.

I have it from reliable sources that law students at Harvard are, as we write, being subjected to the oppression of having to take final exams as scheduled.

Here’s my position:

“The decision of Columbia Law School to allow students selectively to postpone exams as a result of emotional upset over the Ferguson and Garner grand jury decisions shows, once again, how far law schools have strayed from their mission.

Few if any of the students complaining talk about the evidence, the forensics, the law that might have justified the grand jury rulings. Instead, it’s all about them and their emotions. Are we training students to think and act as lawyers, or emotional activists?

If we are training students to be lawyers, we should insist that they act like lawyers, and understand that there will be decisions with which we disagree, but that cannot interfere with our professional obligations.

Cry if you want to, but keep representing your clients, complying with court deadlines, and pushing forward under adversity.”

So, there you have it -- potential enrollees, you can genuflect to unreason at Columbia and turn out graduates too delicate to function in their chosen profession -- or not. The choice is yours.

Even exam questions can cause flutters of indignation, and when it’s pretty clear the administration will not stand firm for common sense against race baiting, you can bow to unreason as one UCLA professor did.

Law school exams often present legal conundrums ripped from headlines of the day, but one UCLA law professor is apologizing for basing a test question on what is apparently a taboo subject -- the fallout from the police shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Mo.

Professor Robert Goldstein said the exam question was designed to test students’ ability to analyze the line between free speech and inciting violence. It cited a report about how Michael Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, shouted, “Burn this bitch down!” after a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

The question then asked students to imagine that they are lawyers in the St. Louis County Attorney’s office and had been asked to advise the prosecutor “whether to seek an indictment against Head” for inciting violence. The exam reads:

“[As] a recent hire in the office, you are asked to write a memo discussing the relevant First Amendment issues in such a prosecution. Write the memo.”

But students complained, and writer Elie Mystal at the popular legal blog “Above the Law” opined that the test question was “racially insensitive and divisive.” Mystal also incorrectly alleged that the question asked students to “advocate in favor of extremist racists in Ferguson.”

Goldstein has apologized for putting the question on the test and has promised not to grade the question.

“I clearly underestimated and misjudged the impact of this question on you. I realize now that it was so fraught as to have made this an unnecessarily difficult question to respond to at this time. I am sorry for this,” he wrote in an email to his students that a UCLA spokeswoman.

4. Student Life.

At CC we recognize that education is not just studying and learning from books. There are lessons to be learned outside the classroom (even the online one). Like how not to be caught with your pants down in the middle of a Massachusetts winter: This week it was Harvard’s naked primal screamers running smack dab into a black lives matter kerfuffle on the quad.