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California Dreaming

California Dreaming

The Legal Insurrection Reader Reception capped off an intense 72 hours in La La Land.

I’m back from California. In less than 72 hours on the ground, I packed in three important events, including a talk on campus free speech and culture for the Cornell and Harvard Clubs in Orange County, a panel appearance about anti-Israel activism on campuses at the national conference of Alums for Campus Fairness, and our Legal Insurrection Reader Reception.

Orange County

A Legal Insurrection reader and Cornell/Harvard alumnus was kind enough to make his home available for the Cornell Club of Orange County and the Harvard Club of Southern California.

We had a very engaged crowd of about 40 people. I discussed campus “call out” and “cancel” cultures, which most often target non-liberals, and anyone else who fails to adhere to campus far-left woke orthodoxy. I talked about some of my own experiences, as well as developments at Cornell and nationally. There was a great dialogue after I was done, and I sensed what I sense every time I give similar talks — a frustration by parents that they feed their kids into this massive higher ed machine, and their kids come out four years later politically unrecognizable. We talked about whether alumni should just walk away financially from supporting this system, or try to play a role in rebalancing.

Alums for Campus Fairness

Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) is a group that seeks fair treatment for pro-Israel and Jewish students on campuses.

It was founded by several Vassar alumni arising out of the anti-Israel activism by faculty and students starting in 2014. You may recall that I ended up in the middle of that controversy when I challenged pro-BDS Vassar faculty to a debate, which no one accepted, and I ended up giving a lecture on campus that was well attended. I also covered other events that year, including the picketing of a class that included a trip to Israel (and the “West Bank”) and the spreading of a Nazi cartoon by Students for Justice in Palestine. The Vassar alumni mobilized after those events, and ACF is the result. It’s now a national organization that has chapters on 38 campuses, and operates in partnership with StandWithUs. This was ACF’s first national conference. I appeared on a panel concerning legal aspects of protecting students.

Legal Insurrection Reader Reception

Wow, what a night. We had about 30 readers plus several Legal Insurrection authors in addition to me: Kemberlee Kaye, Leslie Eastman, and Samantha Mandeles.

Leslie and Kemberlee got all glammed up, and it worked!

The event was held at The Milky Way kosher restaurant. After spending some time chatting with readers, and eating dinner, we put on a presentation prepared by Samantha showing a timeline of Legal Insurrection history from 2008 to present. I’m hoping to have that in a format we can post on the website, and you can play, sometime soon.

The event was particularly special because the Wife was able to accompany me — the first pleasure trip we’ve been able to make in several years due to illness. It was nice to be able to bring her along to meet the crew and the readers.

All four authors made short statements, and then I walked readers through the timeline from Legal Insurrection’s founding in October 2008 through the present, narrating along the way.

Here’s Samantha operating the presentation as I narrated.

I covered many of our most famous stories and investigations, and our plans for the future.

I wasn’t sure  whether to post this image. It invites a caption contest. But since her campaign’s on its last legs, here’s to you Liz.

You may recall photos I posted many years ago of me and reader/commenter LukeHandCool. Here we are in 2012 and 2015 in Santa Monica, and in 2020 at the reception. I think he has aged much better than I have.




Hopefully we will see you at the next reception, date/time/place to be determined. Hoping for Florida in March or April.


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Who is the cutie in the pink/fuscia top?

“The event was particularly special because the Wife was able to accompany me — the first pleasure trip we’ve been able to make in several years due to illness.”

This is wonderful news to hear. I hope that it means that the situation has improved or, barring that, at least stabilized.

Ooh I could have played piano there behind you

This Left Coast Reader Reception sounds and looks great. In the future it would be my wish to participate in a future Legal Insurrection Reader Reception or at least have the opportunity to view a video of the speaker presentations. The history of Legal Insurrection presentation sounds especially nostalgic.

If you need a Bouncer for your next event in the Midwest, contact me. I can be very jittery at times.

That was a WONDERFUL evening. I was happy that the event was scheduled for last night because there was negligible likelihood that I would win an Oscar.

Professor Jacobson was awe inspiring.

The Legal Insurrection women (Leslie “The Future First Mom When Her Son Is President” Eastman, Kemberlee “The Linonesshearted” Kaye, and Samantha “Iron Grip” Mandeles) are REAL and they’re SPECTACULAR. The professor has assembled a fantastic team.

And the Southern California Legal Insurrectionists that attended had me feeling I was among family.

Thank you!

I am going to give this a FABULOUS grade. A+.

A good time was had by all at the reception! It gets lonely out here on the left coast, and it’s nice to be among the like-minded once every decade or so!

Thanks to Prof Jacobson and his lovely bride for coming all the way out here. And thanks to Samantha for putting the presentation together. And Leslie and Kemberlee for being a part of it all. As the was said in the presentation, it’s great that the LI team comes from all over the country, and has intellectual diversity to boot.

And thanks to the Milky Way, whose fries were delicious! (Who knew you could make such a good kosher patty melt!)

I’ve aged better than you? I don’t think so.

You and Mrs. Jacobson look great and haven’t changed a bit. Even after the health issue she’s been through, Mrs. Jacobson remarkably looked as beautiful as ever.

Oh, and when I told her my birthday was last Friday, she told me your birthday. I’m almost three months older.

The bratty little brother I always wanted!

It was a great night. Thank you for the delicious food and a very fun and informative evening!

    Great talking with you there! Must be gratifying to know the Professor went out made sure the event was within walking distance of your home! It’s little things like that which make LI such a great place to hang out.

      Sorry, I thought I had posted this under Ira’s comment. Somehow it ended up under yours. Did we meet Sunday? I don’t remember. Mad Cow you know.

        LukeHandCool in reply to Pasadena Phil. | February 11, 2020 at 4:24 pm

        No, unfortunately we didn’t meet. I told my wife a gentleman from Pasadena was coming and that he had said he used to take the Bundy exit to work. We live one block west of Bundy, just north of Wilshire.

        I only met two people. My wife and I thought we’d be arriving a bit early, but it was already packed when we got there. A guy who volunteers where I work (at LAPD) showed up after I told him about it, and he came with a friend whom he’d told about the event. (So, two new readers right there. And I’m sure they’ll spread the word.)

        So, I met his friend and one other gentleman who came over and started talking with us. The presentation started soon after my wife and I arrived and before we knew it, it was time to leave. The time went by so fast! My wife and I were talking with Mrs. Jacobson most of the time. Professor J. is a very lucky man to have such a strong, beautiful and charming wife by his side. I don’t think he could do it without her support.

        I wish I could’ve met more people there. Hopefully next time!!

        Thanks again to Professor Jacobson. He probably spent a small fortune. Let’s go Dutch treat next time he’s in L.A. so we don’t force him into bankruptcy.

          So I did see you. I was standing right behind you and your beautiful wife at that table. You look just like your icon.

          About Bundy, my office was on San Vicente and I would hit the gym on Bundy around 6am. Allowed me to beat the traffic, get my workout in, eat breakfast and still arrive at work in plenty of time.

          I plan to make a contribution to the LIF to ease my guilty conscience.

          LukeHandCool in reply to LukeHandCool. | February 11, 2020 at 10:17 pm

          The traffic is only becoming more insane.

Colonel Travis | February 11, 2020 at 3:49 am

Awesome. I would love to meet Prof. et al., one day.
Great people, great site.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | February 11, 2020 at 3:59 am

Looking forward to your trip to Florida!!

Thanks for fighting the good fight!

Wonderful event! I think I talked to most of my fellow attendees but I may have missed a couple. Everyone was thrilled to be there. What a relief to have a “safe space” to meet the people who make this site so great. Made me feel like I’m part of something big and important. Everyone had a great time. Thank you for doing this Professor.

It was a fine Left Coast gathering, Dr. Jacobson. Thanks for coming out. I enjoyed meeting your terrific writing/ research team. Legal Insurrection is a strong shot in the arm for us conservatives out here in (currently) Commie California – a good reminder that we are not alone. Keep up the very good work.

Thanks to the Legal Insurrection Team for hosting this wonderful event! Food, Company, and Presentation were all A+!. This was my first time meeting anyone that I had read online. My wife, who is not into US Politics, also had a good time.

It was very very interesting to hear more about the background of Legal Insurrection, and more about the team members. What an amazing team, I had no idea.

Thank you a thousand times over for making the trek to California and hosting a terrific reader reception. It was wonderful to see you and your wife in good health and to catch up after many years. The Legal Insurrection means a lot to me. As others have stated, we Californians in our “People’s Republic” don’t often have the opportunity to hear personally from conservative thinkers, especially not those like you and your team, who fearlessly fight the good fight every day. Your presence here was a shot in the arm! Thank you for hosting this wonderful event!

It was fun to meet Professor Jacobson, Kemberlee Kaye, Leslie Eastman, and Samantha Mandeles! It makes your articles even more interesting.

Joe from Long Beach

it wasn’t *THAT* great a party: LAPD never even showed up, let alone arrested anyone, and *NO* one danced on the tables…

on a MoMe scale of 1-10, i’d give it a 9: good people, good conversation, but damn, there were a lot of old farts there.


    You must have left early. The Professor hardly had time to finish his incendiary presentation before we stormed out into the streets smashing storefront windows, flipping cars and setting dumpsters on fire. Traffic was tied up for miles! I left once it started turning violent.

    LI sure knows how to throw a party!