First things first. When I was a little boy studying at yeshiva elementary school (Jewish parochial school), I had a first-grade English teacher who was first grade, Mrs. Sherman. Yes, Missus Sherman. She taught me two things I always have remembered. Having learned to speak English in Brooklyn, I did not initially know that “then” and “than” were two different words. The Yankees were better then the Mets, chocolate was better then vinella, becawss dat was da way we tawked then. Mrs. Sherman taught me “than.” It was a revelation and laid the foundation for my writing today at The American Spectator. The second thing she taught me was that you don’t say “me and Stuey”; you say “Stuey and I” whenever using the two nouns and that conjunction in the nominative case. And in the objective case, you say “Stuey and me.” But, with a poetic exception, you never say “Me and Stuey.”
Shift forward half a century, give or take. This week, our country saw something far more worrisome than the predictable collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. We saw the further degrading of our culture to the degree that so-called “law students” at a so-called premium university barked and yipped like dogs and disrupted a speech by an Article III judge, the Hon. Kyle Duncan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He had been invited to address the conservative and libertarian Federalist Society of Stanford Law School, and the dogs who masquerade as “law students” at Stanford came to bark and growl and howl and bay and yelp and whimper. Caninites, if not Philistines.
I am a child of White Privilege. My grandparents had the privilege of fleeing pogroms in Russia and Galicia. My father had the privilege of working 10 hours daily, six days a week, with time off only for observing the Shabbat (Sabbath) according to its laws. I was very privileged. I was home every summer, never at sleep-away. I traveled by public transportation. But I had two parents at home, and they made me do my homework every night. Na-na-na-na-na.
I come from a different America. We may lose — even may already have lost — that America forever; I hope not. If we have — or if we do — who will stand for freedom and core decency if that America is gone while the likes of China, Russia, Iran, Arab Muslim sheikhdoms, North Korea, and other tyrannies proliferate? Will the planet take a detour back to the Middle Ages, albeit with social media and chatbots with which to draft our surrender, or to 1940s Germany and its occupied vassals? Who will stare down the axes of evil if America becomes a nation of feminized men and women who deny their gender that is dominated by whining victims demanding trigger warnings from Xi, Putin, and the ayatollahs?
The America I always knew is one where you respect a police officer even when he or she is a jerk and worse. You respect your parents and do not share their secrets and disclose their private life experiences in a movie about your life. You respect your teachers and never would threaten them with a lawsuit but revere them if they truly teach you knowledge and independent thinking skills as well as real math, reading, true history, and honest science. And, omigosh, you respect judges.
When a judge rules against you, you do not bang down the doors of the courthouse or demonstrate outside the judge’s home. You do not threaten him with a whirlwind. Rather, you respectfully appeal his or her ruling to a higher court. And when you run out of appeals, if you still lose, you suck it up, go home, learn from your loss how to do better next time, and you indeed do better next time. But you never threaten a cop or a parent or a teacher or a judge. You don’t shout them down. You treat them with respect — if not for them personally, then for the role or uniform or badge or robes they represent.
I have seen video of the despicable disruption by extreme-leftist agitators when the Hon. Kyle Duncan came to Stanford. Initially, I note that he and the Stanford law students who invited Judge Duncan were heckled by, say, 60 of those from the Stanford Law kennel. Stanford Law School has more than 600 students, so the kennel contingent comprised maybe 10 percent of the student body. I am not sure whether they have studied math, since Stanford probably no longer gives much credence to math scores as an admissions criterion lest its student body be overpopulated by academically driven Asian students and others from environments that reward academic achievement based on merit. Regardless, for all the publicity the pack of dogs generated for itself, barking and yelping and whimpering, 90 percent of the student body had nothing to do with it.
But someone who had a big part to do with it was the moron and toxic blight at Stanford whom they call the Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her name is Tirien Steinbach; I do not know whether she is named for the fictional dwarf by that name. At least a Lannister always pays his debts. These DEI deans are malignancies on the body academic, absolute poison. They get paid boatloads of money collected from overblown tuition, which saddles students and their parents with debt for life, to provide an ostensibly valuable service that my law degree, rabbinical degree, advanced history degree, and other educational attainments still leave me unable to fathom. What do these noxious DEI warts do to better society other than to promote reverse racism, divide people by ethnicities and skin color, in many cases promote anti-Semitism, and preach virtue-signaling effluvium that, once analyzed objectively between the lines, promote nothing but hate, the good woke kind of hate, hate for the values that once made America great?
This Assistant Dean of DEI cannot even speak unmarred, educated English. She said that even “abhorrent speech” should not be censored “because me and many people in this administration do absolutely believe in free speech.” Well, me and many people regard her as an idiot who could only be called a “dean” in an upside-down era of cultural chaos when men are women, women are men, others are neither, he is they, they is she, and Supreme Court justices cannot tell you what a woman is, even though me and others can. Some “dean.” What a joke.
How will this all play out in 10–20 years? One possibility is that this entire country will go the way of Silicon Valley Bank, where freedom can attract only low long-term interest, ending in freefall collapse and getting shuttered down. The other possibility is that these disrupters instead will fail along their paths. They will stand before judges who will demand compelling arguments, cerebral insights, and hard citations to law and who will not provide them safe spaces in the courtroom. They will work at law firms with demanding partners who will pay ample lip service to woke ideology but, in the end, will tell them unexpectedly at 7 p.m. almost every night that they have to draft a 15-page legal brief and have it on the partner’s chair by 8 a.m. the next morning. Therefore, they will have to stay up all night, researching and writing, shepardizing and massaging text, and will barely be done by 7:59 a.m. on the morrow. Exhausted though they be, they will leave their work product on the partner’s chair promptly at 8, will retreat to fall asleep back at their office desks, and will learn, when they wake up hours later, that the partner came to the office that day at 2 p.m. and had no interest in seeing the brief anymore.
What will these law students do when they do not have a dean of DEI to provide them with cookies and cocoa, comfort pets, and trigger warnings to overcome the microaggressions amplifying their pain?
Will America have descended so far down the tubes that it will cater to such overpaid victimized whiners? And how will their clients feel when they grasp that their attorneys perceive themselves to be even more victimized than themselves, the plaintiff clients? What happens when the lawyer tells them: “You were rear-ended and now need lower-lumbar surgery because you cannot walk, and you will not be able to move your neck painlessly ever again, but I — your lawyer — have it far worse because you did not warn me in advance that you were going to tell me about an accident that would trigger a bad memory I have from a TV episode I once saw at age 6 when a man was in a car crash. We will need to meet again on another day. I need to recover now in a safe space. I would call a therapist, but every time I see the word ‘therapist,’ my eyes see the words ‘the rapist,’ and that triggers me into remembering an article I read about Ted Bundy.”
Really, what will America be like when all these barking dogs coddled by nocuous DEI deans leave the citadel of their kennel and enter the real world? What will the real world look like? What will it do to them? What will they do to it?
Me and lots of others are wondering.
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