Silencing Asna Tabassum For Safety

Asna Tabassum was chosen to give the valedictory address at the University of Southern California graduation. It’s quite an honor, and one she earned through her efforts and accomplishments, having achieved a grade point average above 3.98 with a major in biomedical engineering and a minor in resistance to genocide.

And then it was decided that she should be silenced.

Andrew T. Guzman, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said the decision was based on maintaining “campus security and safety” in the email. The valedictorian, Asna Tabassum, said in a public statement later Monday she feels the university has “abandoned” her. Continue reading

The Voodoo Of Picking A Jury

One thing that most trial lawyers agree upon is that jurors are a remarkable bunch. The seriousness with which they do the job of following the evidence and finding facts fairly is enough to restore your faith in humanity. Most of the time. But can a Manhattan jury, with Donald Trump as defendant, put aside bias? Jury consultant Julie Blackman says that a fair jury can be picked in New York County, even when Trump is the defendant.

For Mr. Trump, we’re about to find out.

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Short Take: True Threat Or FAFO?

Put aside whether a resolution by the Bakersfield City Council is consequential or performative crap. It’s obviously the latter, as it serves no meaningful purpose other than to reflect its acquiescence to the demands of the woke. But to 28-year-old Riddhi Patel, it mattered no matter how silly it may be. It mattered a lot.

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When Education No Longer Matters

When public schools shut their doors and went online for Covid, there was a fairly strong argument that it was a waste of time. While some teachers extolled the virtue of their online teaching and the dedication of their highly motivated students, the harsh reality was that education took a beating and students obtained little benefit. To be fair, it was understandable, even if teachers denied it. As Upton Sinclair noted, “‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

But Covid is over. Schools are open. The only thing missing is the students. Continue reading

Seaton: Sheriff Roy and the Outrage Tornado

Sheriff Roy Templeton had a headache. The assembled group of adults before him hadn’t stopped yelling since he stepped into Principal Doreen Jessup’s office at Nick Saban Intermediate School and asked “What’s the problem?”

When the school called about a row involving some parents and teachers, Mud Lick’s head law enforcement officer decided he’d handle the incident personally. Roy Junior started at Saban Middle in the fall and Sheriff Roy thought getting a little positive face time with the principal of his son’s new school would be advantageous. Continue reading

When Fines Shock The Conscience

Her situation was sympathetic, and perhaps good neighbors would either have been more helpful or, at least, less antagonistic. But then, many homeowners know how that one house down the block falls into disrepair and brings down the neighborhood. Much as you can feel empathetic toward the troubles that one person is facing, you can also understand why others who maintain their property, both for the sake of appearances and property values, expect their neighbors to do the same.

Sandy Martinez was that one person whose neglect of her property brought down the neighborhood. Why her neighbors didn’t lend a hand is unknown. Maybe there was a feeling of animosity between them. Maybe they were just selfish neighbors, concerned only for their own property. Maybe Martinez was just a problem neighbor and the others had enough of her problems becoming their problems. But when the fines for her neglect reached $165,000, things went too far. Continue reading

Must Hecklers Be Tolerated For The “Health of Free Speech”? (Update)

In a post that infuriated the progressive left, Jonathan Chait argued that the illiberal authoritarian left whose latest performance is the disruption of President Biden’s events are not engaged in the legitimate exercise of free speech, but its antithesis.

The twist, of course, is that the mobs shutting down the opposition to Trump are not Trump supporters, or at least not right-wing Trump supporters. Pro-Palestinian activists have set out to disrupt Democratic Party officials from speaking and raising funds to defeat Trump.

A New York Times story recently drew some attention to the political problem this creates for Democrats. Indeed, some of the protesters are trying to defeat Biden (ergo, to elect Trump) to teach the Democrats a lesson, and others are merely trying to force the Democrats to move left before the election.

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Tuesday Talk*: Where Do You Stand on Student Debt Forgiveness?

It’s back, not that it’s ever really been gone. But this time, it’s back, bigly.

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced a second attempt at federal student loan forgiveness. The new plan, which is estimated to affect over 30 million borrowers when combined with earlier efforts, aims to enact widespread loan cancelation primarily by expanding existing forgiveness programs and targeting borrowers with high balances due to accumulating interest.

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Should Justice Sotomayor Take One For The Team?

“Don’t RBG us, Sonia,” has become a rallying cry for those who fear that Justice Sonia Sotomayor might give Trump yet another seat on the Supreme Court. Some pundits have been quite open about it, citing her diabetes to offset that fact that Justice Sotomayor is a mere babe at 69 years, compared at least to the presidential candidate at 81.

Others, like 78-year-old Senator Richard Blumenthal, are trying to soft-pedal their push.

“I’m very respectful of Justice Sotomayor. I have great admiration for her. But I think she really has to weigh the competing factors,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “We should learn a lesson. And it’s not like there’s any mystery here about what the lesson should be. The old saying — graveyards are full of indispensable people, ourselves in this body included.” Continue reading