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.

[2012]

[2015]

[2020]

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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