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College Insurrection Tag

Kids these days. Students who neglected their studies to protest the Michael Brown grand jury decision were disappointed when their appeal to the administration for special accommodations during finals was rejected. According to Fox News Cleveland:
Over 1,300 Oberlin students signed a petition for college administrators asking for understanding and “alternative modes of learning” as they continue to cope with what’s happening across the country. They asked for the normal grading system to be “replaced with a no-fail mercy period,” and said “basically no student …especially students of color should be failing a class this semester.” In response, Oberlin President Marvin Krislov said that he understands their concerns and that he and the Academic Deans took the request seriously, however “we are in firm agreement that suspending grading protocols is not the way to achieve our shared goal of ensuring that students have every opportunity and resource to succeed,” he said in a statement. Administrators did offer students some assistance in the form of counseling and other support services. They also added increased flexibility in terms of students making “incomplete requests.” They also extended the deadline for students to change from “a grade to the pass/no pass” option.

The opinion of capitalism as the greatest evil known to man is not only the dominant view at Cornell and other college campuses, it is the irrefutable dogma of the mindless droves of the overwhelming majority of faculty and students. They look at the injustices in the world, at the inequities, and to the ill-fated, and assume capitalism is to blame. It’s an assumption of guilt before innocence in order to make capitalism—a simple system of private property, free enterprise, and free exchange—into a scapegoat for them to explain away their own insecurities, self-loathing, and inability to accept the world as it is. Anti-capitalists on campus can roughly be divided into two groups: the activists and the academics. The screaming and hollering activists feel sorry for themselves because capitalism does not reward their invaluable skill-set of marching, poster-making, and spoken-word poetry. Instead of obtaining the education and skills that markets demand, they attempt to use force, intimidation, and sheer numbers to get what they want. They are motivated by a deep-seated, unrelenting sense of entitlement. The academics closet themselves from reality with a vain pursuit of theoretical perfection. To them, every little imperfection in a capitalist economy is a call to arms (and another paper on the road to tenure). They, along with the activists, forget that capitalism is exclusively to credit for bringing man out of mud and caves to interstellar capsules, from sticks and rocks to 3D-printing devices, and from scavenging for grass and weeds to a world of leisure and entertainment at one’s fingertips. It is the student activists, though, that are particularly egregious in their hypocrisy. (At least the academics try to justify their anathema towards capitalism with their research and writing.) Dressed in designer clothes and shoes and clutching their smart phones and espressos, they snarl at the detestable 1% and lament the pernicious flow and concentration of capital. As copies of Das Kapital jostles alongside iPads in their name-brand backpacks, their conversations alternate between what fraternities are throwing parties that night to the dastardly deeds of the bespectacled robber barons of Wall Street. In class, they ignore lecture and shop online, and intermittently make posts on Facebook and Twitter about how much they loathe mindless consumerism. Their online audience, however, is too engrossed in their own online shopping and gaming to take notice.

As we reported over the weekend, Lena Dunham's account of being sexually assaulted by a Republican student at Oberlin is the other collapsing campus rape story. New details are emerging which cast a longer shadow of doubt over Dunham's claims. According to a new report from Paul Bond of the Hollywood Reporter, Dunham's publisher is going to alter the language in her book:
Publisher to Alter Lena Dunham Book After Rape Story Questioned, Attorney Says The publisher of Lena Dunham's book, Not That Kind of Girl, will tweak a passage where the star and creator of the Girls TV show describes how she was raped in college by a Republican named "Barry," an attorney for the man told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. Attorney Aaron Minc said he has been in contact with Dunham's lawyers at Ziffren Brittenham in Los Angeles who assure him that future printings of the book, subtitled "A young woman tells you what she's 'learned,' " will come with a disclaimer that "Barry" is not the real name of the man who raped Dunham when the two were students at Oberlin College a decade ago.
In an even more explosive development, Random House has offered to pay the legal fees for the accused man known only as "Barry One."

The crumbling of Rolling Stone's story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia is sending shock waves through the media this weekend but there's another rape story which is also now being questioned. Lena Dunham of the HBO program 'Girls' claimed in her recent memoir 'Not That Kind of Girl' that she was raped by a Republican student while attending Oberlin. Breitbart News has conducted an extensive investigation of her claim and the facts are coming up short. John Nolte reports:
INVESTIGATION: Lena Dunham ‘Raped by a Republican’ Story in Bestseller Collapses Under Scrutiny After a month-long investigation that included more than a dozen interviews, a trip to the Oberlin campus, and hours spent poring through the Oberlin College archives, her description of the campus remains the only detail Breitbart News was able to verify in Dunham's story of being raped by a campus Republican named Barry. On top of the name Barry, which Dunham does not identify as a pseudonym (more on the importance of this below), Dunham drops close to a dozen specific clues about the identity of the man she alleges raped her as a 19-year-old student. Some of the details are personality traits like his being a “poor loser” at poker. Other details are quite specific. For instance, Dunham informs us her rapist sported a flamboyant mustache, worked at the campus library, and even names the radio talk show he hosted. To be sure we get the point, on three occasions Dunham tells her readers that her attacker is a Republican or a conservative, and a prominent one at that -- no less than the "campus's resident conservative." For weeks, and to no avail, using phone and email and online searches, Breitbart News was able to verify just one of these details.
Nolte's report is long but worth reading in full. Breitbart's investigative work was so thorough that Eugene Volokh of the Washington Post is already entertaining a scenario in which the accused man identified as 'Barry' could sue Dunham.

We have long tracked the increasing aggressiveness of anti-Israel groups on campus. See my post this summer, Expecting anti-Israel violence on campuses this fall, for a partial catalog of such instances. One component of these protests is non-student activists inflaming the situation. For example, on April 10, 2014, after the Cornell student assembly tabled an anti-Israel divestment resolution, a non-student Ithaca activist (kat yang-stevens) confronted me and falsely accused me of putting my camera in her face. In fact, the video clearly shows (language warning) she made it up in order to create an incident. On November 19, 2014, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine organized a mock Israeli checkpoint at Ho Plaza, a central student gathering point on campus between the Cornell Bookstore and Willard Straight Hall, where many student activities are centered. [caption id="attachment_106917" align="alignnone" width="600"]Cornell SJP - Mock Checkpoint Ho Plaza 11-19-2014 (Image via Casey Breznick)[/caption] Casey Breznick, Editor in Chief of the Cornell Review and an author at Legal Insurrection, has the story at the Cornell Review Blog of a confrontation that took place when a group of pro-Israel students counter-protested holding Israeli flags and signs calling for peace. Here is video we put together based on footage provided to us by multiple student sources, showing yang-stevens pulling the same ploy she pulled on me last April, claiming that the student had his camera in her face (which he denies both in the video and also in communications with me), as yang-stevens taunted the pro-Israel student to hit her. As another person shouted out "Fuck you Zionist scums": (Language Warning) In addition to his Review report, Casey told me:

Back in September, Prof. Jacobson asked How long before Bill Maher is banned on campus? It turns out the answer is... about a month. Greg Piper of the College Fix reported yesterday:
UC-Berkeley students try to derail Bill Maher from speaking at graduation Comedian, pundit and HBO host Bill Maher is scheduled to speak at the University of California-Berkeley’s December graduation, and students are already lining up to get him disinvited, citing his controversial remarks on Islam, the Daily Californian reports:
The petition was authored by ASUC Senator Marium Navid, who is backed by the Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian Coalition, or MEMSA, and Khwaja Ahmed, an active MEMSA member. The petition, which urges students to boycott the decision and asks the campus to stop him from speaking, has already gathered more than 1,400 signatures as of Sunday. … “It’s not an issue of freedom of speech, it’s a matter of campus climate,” Navid said. “The First Amendment gives him the right to speak his mind, but it doesn’t give him the right to speak at such an elevated platform as the commencement. That’s a privilege his racist and bigoted remarks don’t give him.” … “(Jon) Stewart and (Stephen) Colbert are critical of religion, too, but Bill Maher has, on several occasions, said to rise up against religious people and religious institutions and take action,” Ahmed said.
Here's an example of what's gotten Maher into trouble with Berkeley students. (language warning – NSFW) If you watched the video, you may have noticed that Maher mentioned Ayaan Hirsi Ali.