Archive for the ‘Academia and the left’ category

The Left’s Mania

May 11, 2017

The Left’s Mania, Gingrich Productions, Newt Gingrich, May 10, 2017

The Left is getting trapped in its own mania.

Steadfast liberals in the media, academia, and Congress are so pathologically opposed to President Trump and the Republican majority – and so fiercely committed to rejecting the fact that the American people elected both, that they now willfully embrace vulgarity, insults, violence, and hysterical dishonesty.

Late night comedians are so dismayed that they have traded jokes for political assaults and opening monologues for lewd diatribes. Take for example Stephen Colbert’s unhinged rant against President Trump last week. His comments were as obscene as they were offensive, and went well past the line of political satire. Had a TV personality made a similar implication about President Obama or Secretary Clinton, he or she would have been promptly fired and blacklisted from the entertainment industry. Not surprisingly though, Colbert’s network, CBS, took no such action, further proving the media’s growing complicity toward this kind of behavior.

Meanwhile, on college campuses such as Middlebury College and UC-Berkeley, instead of learning to respect those with differing views, liberal students have resorted to violence and threats to silence those with whom they disagree. The academic institutions have largely let it happen – although Middlebury College has said it plans to discipline about half of the more than 70 students who rioted in order to keep Charles Murray, a libertarian social scientist, from speaking March 2, the college has been vague and indecisive about what the ultimate discipline might be. What message does this send to the student body? It implies that if you disagree with someone, it’s okay to shout them down and, if necessary, hurt them.

At UC-Berkeley, administrators have simply given up policing the violent Left. CNN reported that during one protest, “masked agitators” caused $100,000 in damage to the campus. The mere threat of another riot – and the college’s inability or unwillingness to defend against it – kept Ann Coulter from speaking there last month.

Finally, faced with the reality of their dwindling influence, Democrats nationally have turned to fear-mongering and outrageous lies to undermine the efforts of the Republican majority.

Here are a few examples:

  • Elizabeth Warren on May 4 tweeted that the American Health Care Act “will devastate Americans’ healthcare. Families will go bankrupt. People will die.”
  • Bernie Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on May 4, “If the bill passed today in the House became law, thousands of Americans would die.”
  • Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Republicans will be responsible for “every preventable death, every untreated illness and every bankruptcy” if AHCA is passed.
  • Democratic groups across the country have promoted the blatant lie that victims of rape, domestic abuse, and sexual assault could be denied health insurance under the law. Even the Washington Post had to stand up and correct this complete falsehood.
  • Some spread the untruth that Congress was unaffected by the AHCA and had some other tier of health care. This is demonstrably false.
  • There are some liberal groups even offering to send the ashes of the dead to Republicans in Congress. This is just morbid and deranged.

From the party of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s pledge that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” the Left has descended to the politics of cremation and demagogic fear-mongering.

Let’s be clear: The Left is calling Republicans looking for a better health care plan murderers in order to distract from the complete failure of Obamacare. These extreme liberal over-reactions have even caused the New York Times to pause and fact-check their outlandish claims.

The Left is behaving like it has nothing to lose. The irony is its members’ actions are promoting ideas that are completely opposite to liberalism. Liberals are trapped in a pathology of anger and desperation that is leading them to silence dissenting opinion with vulgarity, threats, and violence; and obstruct real progress by spreading lies and propaganda. I discuss this pathology at length in my new book, Understanding Trump, which will be released June 13.

All Americans who care about maintaining the basic tenets of civil society today must stand up to the Left’s campaign of violence and intimidation.

Outrage After Dartmouth Appoints Israel Boycotter as Head of Faculty

May 8, 2017

Outrage After Dartmouth Appoints Israel Boycotter as Head of Faculty, Washington Free Beacon, May 8, 2017

Dartmouth Hall / Wikimedia Commons

The pro-Israel community at Dartmouth College is reeling following a decision by school leadership to appoint as their new head of faculty a leading supporter of the movement to boycott Israel and Jewish academics.

Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon is facing criticism following his recent decision to appoint Native American studies Professor Bruce Duthu—a leading supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment movement, or BDS—as Dartmouth’s dean of faculty.

Dartmouth, which declined Washington Free Beacon requests to comment on the matter, has come under criticism from the pro-Israel community, including within the school’s own staff, for elevating Duthu to a post of prominence. Duthu’s vocal support for boycotts of Israeli academics and efforts to lead the charge in the BDS movement is dangerous, these individuals argue, and anathema to academic freedom.

The appointment also has renewed fear within the campus pro-Israel community given Dartmouth’s anti-Semitic past, which included the active “Christianization of its students”

While pro-Israel faculty members spent weeks petitioning Dartmouth’s leadership about Duthu’s support for the BDS movement—which included co-authoring a leading BDS document backing the boycott of Israeli academic institutions—President Hanlon moved forward with the decision, prompting some to go public with their concerns.

Dartmouth economics professor Alan Gustman sent a faculty-wide email last week expressing his concern over Duthu’s anti-Israel activism and the college leadership’s apathetic response to these fears.

Dartmouth’s top faculty member should not be an individual who is opposed to working with Israeli academics based on their national origin, Gustman argues.

“In view of Dartmouth’s anti-Semitic history and Professor Duthu’s endorsement of the anti-Semitic BDS document, Dartmouth must not simply appoint Duthu to the position of Dean of the Faculty and ignore the implications of that appointment,” Gustman wrote. “Professor Duthu should either publicly disavow the full ramifications of the BDS positions he has publicly endorsed, or resign his position as Dean and return to his faculty position where expression of these views is sanctioned as academic freedom, but is not representative of Dartmouth College or its faculty.”

Duthu “cannot, without contradiction, 1) assure council signers of the NAISA document and holders of their position of his support for action to boycott Israeli academic institutions, and at the same time 2) administer his job as Dean of the Faculty, while assuring Dartmouth that he will not take such action,” Gustman wrote. “Given its history, Dartmouth cannot turn a blind eye to this contradiction. These issues must be directly and publicly addressed by the Dean, the President, and by the Board. Papering over hypocrisy and prejudice is no way to run an Ivy League College administration.”

When asked to comment on the issue, a Dartmouth spokesman told the Free Beacon, “Thank you for the opportunity, but we are going to decline.”

Dartmouth’s silence on the BDS controversy has raised charges of hypocrisy, given the college’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

Dartmouth President Hanlon and other top officials issued a public statement condemning Trump’s immigration policies, but continue to remain silent in the face of charges the school is promoting boycotts of Israel.

“Dartmouth’s commitment to the free and open exchange of ideas, global research, and education manifests itself in dozens of partnerships and in international study and exchange programs,” the anti-Trump statement read. “Our engagement with the full human diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences is critical—to both the strength of the Dartmouth community and the effectiveness of Dartmouth’s learning and leadership. We recognize, value, and celebrate the essential contributions of our international students and scholars.”

The controversy also has begun to resonate in Washington, D.C.

“Dartmouth has long been a hotbed of thinly-veiled anti-Semitic activism, which was excused by the faculty and the institution as criticism of Israel,” said one senior official at a national pro-Israel organization who requested anonymity when discussing strategy. “This disgrace is the logical result. A bureaucrat who is supposed to manage an institution dedicated to the open exchange of ideas but who says that those exchanges shouldn’t include Israeli Jews. Parents will ask themselves if those are the sorts of values they want their kids to learn.”

Josh Block, president and CEO of the Israel Project, told the Free Beacon that Dartmouth must show its commitment to academic freedom.

“This is about dialogue and academic freedom, and simply put, anyone who rules out engaging an entire country, let alone the world’s only Jewish state, is simply unfit to run an institution dedicated to liberal education and higher learning,” Block said.” And that is before we examine the despicable, anti-Semitic double standard being applied, in which the flaws of Israel’s democracy are held up for sanction while the professor and his fellow travelers embrace or ignore numerous regimes committing actual atrocities on historic scale.”

“It’s not just Dartmouth’s reputation that is being damaged, it is the university’s very credibility as an institution capable of discerning right from wrong,” Block added. “Post-modernism married with Moral Relativism is the disease of our time, and a toxic cocktail on display so far here.”

Stephen Smith, an executive director USC Shoah Foundation, which fights anti-Semitism, publicly condemned Dartmouth for elevating Duthu in a recent op-ed.

“Those who call for singling out Israel for the Divestment, Boycott, and Sanction will deny they are anti-Semitic, but the result is clear: when you exclude a colleague by association to their affiliation with an Israeli institution of higher education, you are not targeting the state, you are targeting the individual,” Smith wrote.

Social Media Coordinator for UC Berkeley Illegal Aliens Urges “Beating… White People”

May 7, 2017

Social Media Coordinator for UC Berkeley Illegal Aliens Urges “Beating… White People”, The Poing (Front Page Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, May 7, 2017

Let’s suppose for a moment that a white student at Berkeley had tweeted a call for beating Mexicans for Cinco de Mayo. We all know what would happen. The full court press would descend. It would end with his life over and Berkeley adding three diversity deans and two buildings named after Pancho Villa.

But the other way around is fine. Assuming that the authorities and the media are forced to address it, they will, as in the past, call it youthful high spirits and sarcasm. Because they agree with it. That’s the dirty truth lurking under the surface.

“Let’s celebrate 5 de Mayo by going to Dolores Park and beating the shit out of white people, in the spirit of La Batalla de Pueblo,” tweeted Prieto.

Juan Prieto, an English student at UC Berkeley, made the remark on Twitter two days after receiving Berkeley’s Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Recognition Award for Service to Undocumented Students.

“Let’s celebrate 5 de Mayo by going to Dolores Park and beating the shit out of white people, in the spirit of La Batalla de Pueblo,” tweeted Prieto, who later locked his Twitter account. The illegal immigrant student referred to a battle in Mexico in which the Mexican army defeated French occupiers.

“It’s Twitter,” said Prieto to The DCNF. “I post dumb shit on Twitter all the time. Aha. But I see how this fits into your agenda, and no matter what I say, you’ll write your article so that I continuously get threats for the next two weeks until white supremacist [sic] have another person of color to attempt to silence via virtual bullying.”

Prieto is the social media coordinator at UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program, which provides academic help, legal support, and financial aid info to illegal immigrant students.

Prieto, very predictably, played the victim. Even more predictably Berkeley is ignoring it. And the same media, which ran his self-promoting claims to be living in “fear” will ignore his racism and threats of violence.

The New York Times gave him column space. “Even at Berkeley, I Face Threats as an Undocumented Student – New York Times”. Don’t expect it to spend space discussing the threats Prieto poses to white students. And Prieto has a history of promoting and celebrating left-wing violence in racial terms.

 On Feb. 7, Berkeley student newspaper The Daily Californian ran a series of opinion pieces in support of “violence as self-defense.”

“My campus did nothing to stand between my undocumented community and the hateful hands of radicalized white men,” wrote Juan Prieto, a UC Berkeley student. “A peaceful protest was not going to cancel that event.”

“Only the destruction of glass and shooting of fireworks did that,” Prieto wrote.

The so-called ‘violence’ against private property that the media seems so concerned with stopped white supremacy from organizing itself against my community.”

This is real fascism. Or Communism.

He describes himself on Facebook as a “Self-entitled punk who rather leach off of the American system than construct a life for himself” (he adds a Communist hammer and sickle to the end of his bio).

Potemkin universities

May 4, 2017

Potemkin universities, Washington Times

(Are we doomed? — DM)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

College campuses still appear superficially to be quiet, well-landscaped refuges from the bustle of real life.

But increasingly, their spires, quads and ivy-covered walls are facades. They are now no more about free inquiry and unfettered learning than were the proverbial Potemkin fake buildings put up to convince the traveling Russian czarina Catherine II that her impoverished provinces were prosperous.

The university faces crises almost everywhere of student debt, university finances, free expression, and the very quality and value of a university education.

Take free speech. Without freedom of expression, there can be no university.

But if the recent examples at Berkeley, Claremont, Middlebury and Yale are any indication, there is nothing much left to the idea of a free and civilized exchange of different ideas.

At most universities, if a scheduled campus lecturer expressed scholarly doubt about the severity of man-caused global warming and the efficacy of its government remedies, or questioned the strategies of the Black Lives Matter movement, or suggested that sex is biologically determined rather than socially constructed, she likely would either be disinvited or have her speech physically disrupted. Campuses often now mimic the political street violence of the late Roman Republic.

Campus radicals have achieved what nuclear strategists call deterrence: Faculty and students now know precisely which speech will endanger their careers and which will earn them rewards.

The terrified campus community makes the necessary adjustments. As with the German universities of the 1930s, faculty keep quiet or offer politically correct speech through euphemisms. Toadies thrive; mavericks are hounded.

Shortchanged students collectively owe more than $1 trillion in student-loan debt — a sum that cannot be paid back by ill-prepared and often unemployed graduates.

Test scores have plummeted. Too many college students were never taught the basic referents of liberal education. Most supposedly aware, hip and politically engaged students can’t identify the Battle of Gettysburg or the Parthenon, or explain the idea of compounded interest.

Many students simply cannot do the work that was routinely assigned in the past. In response, as proverbially delicate “snowflakes,” they insist that they are traumatized and can only find remedy in laxer standards, gut courses and faculty deference.

“Studies” activist courses too often are therapeutic. They are neither inductive nor Socratic, and they rarely teach facts, methods and means of learning without insisting on predesignated conclusions. Instead, the student should leave the class with proper group-think and ideological race/class/gender fervor of the professor — a supposed new recruit for the larger progressive project.

Universities talk loudly of exploitation in America — in the abstract. But to address societal inequality, university communities need only look at how their own campuses operate. Part-time faculty with doctorates are paid far less than tenured full professors for often teaching the same classes — and thus subsidize top-heavy administrations.

Graduate teaching assistantships, internships and mentorships are designed to use inexpensive or free labor under the protocols of the medieval guild.

One reason that tuition is sky-high is because behind the facade of “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces” and “culture appropriation” are costly legions of deputy associate provosts, special assistants to the dean, and race/class/gender “senior strategists” and facilitators (usually former faculty who no longer teach).

Few admit that a vastly expanding and politically correct administrative industry reflects a massive shift of resources away from physics, humanities or biology — precisely the courses that nontraditional students need to become competitive.

One of the great mysteries of American life is nontransparent university admissions. No one knows quite how alumni legacies, deference to college athletics, or poorly defined affirmative action and haphazard diversity criteria actually operate.

At the California State University system — the nation’s largest — nearly 40 percent of incoming students need remediation in math and English after failing basic competency tests. Universities are now scrambling to offer university credit for what are, in truth, remedial high school courses, apparently to prevent eager (but entirely unprepared) students from hurt feelings when they butt up against the reality of college classes.

Careerist university administrators more often make the university change to accommodate the student rather than asking the incoming student to prepare to accommodate the time-honored university.

The results are watered-down classes, grade inflation — and student frustration and anger upon learning that entering college is not quite the same as graduating from college.

The way to ensure student confidence and self-reliance is not through identity-politics courses that emphasize racial, sexual and religious fault lines. Instead, only classes ensuring that students are well trained in writing, speaking, computing and inductive thinking will give assuredness of achievement — and, with it, self-confidence.

Apart from the sciences and the professional schools, campuses are a bubble of unearned self-congratulation — clueless that they have broken faith with a once-noble legacy of free inquiry and have lost the respect of most Americans.

The now melodramatic university has become a classical tragedy.

UCLA: Coddling Hamas on Campus While Trampling the First Amendment

May 2, 2017

UCLA: Coddling Hamas on Campus While Trampling the First Amendment, Front Page MagazineSara Dogan, May 2, 2017

(Israel seems to be doing very well despite these and similar jerks. Please see, Israel’s 69th Independence Day: Remarkable Achievements, Continuing Dangers. If only freedom of speech in academia were doing half as well as Israel, it would be a great improvement. — DM)

Editor’s note: UCLA is the latest school to be named to the Freedom Center’s report on the “Top Ten College Administrations Most Friendly to Terrorists and Hostile to the First Amendment.” It joins the campuses of Brooklyn College (CUNY), Tufts University, Brandeis University, and Vassar College on the list. These campuses provide financial and institutional support to terrorist-linked campus organizations such as the Hamas-funded hate-group Students for Justice in Palestine while actively suppressing speech critical of Israel’s terrorist adversaries and their allies in the United States.

Last night, the Freedom Center placed posters exposing the links between SJP and Hamas terrorists on the UCLA campus. UCLA administrators such as Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Jerry Kang have previously labeled similar Freedom Center posters “ethnic slander” and an effort to “trigger racially-tinged fear.” These posters pose a challenge to the UCLA administration to abandon these attacks on speech that exposes the truth about SJP and its ties to terrorism, and to fulfill its constitutional obligation to uphold the First Amendment on campus.

University of California-Los Angeles: Jerry Kang, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Gene Block, Chancellor:

UCLA Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang has undergone  extreme intellectual and political contortions in defending the UCLA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as “an officially recognized student organization, based on political commitments, that is also in good standing” despite SJP’s constant manifestation of Jew hatred on the Los Angeles campus.

In one widely noted expression of the group’s anti Semitism, SJP members illegally questioned student government candidate Rachel Beyda about whether her status as a Jew would bias her decisions on campus matters. It also attempted to create a litmus test for student government candidates by introducing an initiative that would require them to sign a pledge to not take trips to Israel sponsored by pro-Israel organizations.

Such incidents violate UCLA’s Principles of Community which state, in part, “We are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue, in a respectful and civil manner, on the spectrum of views held by our varied and diverse campus communities.”

Despite his title as the UCLA administrator in charge of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Vice Chancellor Kang has ignored SJP’s continual violation of these Principles of Community, disregarding the harassment of Jewish students forced to endure SJP’s mock “apartheid walls” plastered with Hamas propaganda and its rallies decrying the founding of the Jewish state as “Al-nakba” or “the catastrophe.”  But when the David Horowitz Freedom Center hung posters on campus exposing SJP’s ties to anti-Israel terror group Hamas, and naming campus activists who had worked to bring about the destruction of the Jewish state, both Kang and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block were quick to condemn them.  In an email to the entire 50,000 member UCLA community, Kang said the posters were  “designed to shock and terrify,” and accused the Freedom Center of using “the tactic of guilt by association, of using blacklists, of ethnic slander, and sensationalized images engineered to trigger racially-tinged fear.” In a second diatribe, he claimed the posters caused “chilling psychological harm” and “focused, personalized intimidation.”

University Chancellor Gene Block also reacted to the posters by stating “Islamophobic posters appeared on campus, in complete disregard of our Principles of Community and the dignity of our Muslim students. But we can, and we will, do our best to hold ourselves to the standards of integrity, inclusion, fairness and compassion that are the hallmarks of a healthy community.”

Quick to defend SJP and its violent rhetoric, Kang and Block have been missing in action when Jewish students faced intimidation and harassment from anti-Semitic speakers and Hamas propaganda plastered across campus.

In addition to the incidents listed above, UCLA SJP holds an annual “Palestine Awareness Week” on campus featuring speakers who endorse the genocidal BDS movement against Israel. SJP’s 2016 event featured journalist Max Blumenthal, who stated during his address that suicide bombing against Jews is justified by “the occupation” and described Palestinian terrorists as “young men who took up arms to fight their occupier.” He also compared Israel to the Islamic state, calling it “‘JSIL,’ the Jewish State in Israel and the Levant.” Another speaker, Miko Peled, also defended Palestinian terrorism, renaming it “a struggle for freedom and justice and equality,” and describing terrorists as “very brave Palestinians who are engaged in fighting this brutal occupation.” Peled also described Jews as analogous to Hitler, calling Jewish soldiers “young little Jewish gestapos,” and further accused Israel of “massive, violent, brutal oppression,” “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” and of being “a colonialist, apartheid, racist system.”

Nor is such hate speech directed at Israel and Jews restricted to SJP events. In 2015, UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies held a conference on “Palestine and Pedagogy” during which speakers compared Israel to the Nazis, praised anti-Israel terrorism and supported the BDS movement against Israel. UC Irvine Professor and Director of the UC Institute for Humanities Research Theo Goldberg accused Israel of practicing “eliminationist racism” similar to the Nazis’ and claimed Israelis view Palestinians as  “vermin, cockroaches, rats, snakes…that take boots on the ground to get rid of.” Goldberg further charged that Israelis make “snuff films” featuring the deaths of innocent Palestinians which go viral resulting in “an orgasm” for Israelis. Meanwhile UC Riverside Professor David Lloyd called Israel “a colonial Zionist project that has become a…nightmare, ever more rigid and oppressive” and endorsed the right of Palestinians to take up arms against Israel.

This hate speech was ignored by Kang and Block and other appeasement-minded UCLA administrators.

Kang’s support for SJP and its pro-terrorism agenda was also evident in his lack of support for second year law student Milan Chatterjee, president of the Graduate Student Association (GSA) at UCLA.  When he attempted to keep the GSA out of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction controversy on campus, Chatterjee was subjected to such severe harassment by SJP and Kang that he resigned. He later announced he was leaving UCLA to continue his law degree elsewhere because of the “hostile and unsafe campus climate” created by groups supporting the BDS movement on campus in concert with the UCLA administration.

Chatterjee wrote in a letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block: “It is unfortunate, indeed, that your administration has not only allowed BDS organizations and student activists to freely engage in intimidation of students who do not support the BDS agenda, but has decided to affirmatively engage in discriminatory practices of its own against those same students. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, the fact is that the UCLA campus has become a hostile and unsafe environment for students, Jewish students and non-Jewish, who choose not to support the BDS movement, let alone support the state of Israel.”

In comments made to the media, Chatterjee also stated, “I filed a complaint with the office of Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jerry Kang, who took zero action and refused to investigate… This is very disturbing behavior and shows a double standard at play at UCLA. If SJP files a complaint, they will bend over backwards. If it’s anyone else, they don’t care.”

In their zeal to defend pro-terrorist campus organizations like SJP, both Kang and Block have not hesitated to violate the First Amendment rights of their critics. The taxpayers of the state of California would be well advised to take note of their actions.

Democrats vs. Free Speech

May 1, 2017

Democrats vs. Free Speech,  Power LineJohn Hinderaker, April 30, 2017

It’s happening all across the country, not just at bastions of photo-fascism like Berkeley and Middlebury. The University of Arkansas one of many recent instances. Wherever Democrats predominate, they enforce orthodoxy. I seriously believe they would shut us all up, if they could get away with it.

The way Michael Ramirez portrays Berkeley goes for the entire Left. Click to enlarge:

“Now I can sit down, relax, and burn a good book.” Heh.

L.A. Police Commission Makes Violent Protests Like UC-Berkeley More Likely

April 28, 2017

L.A. Police Commission Makes Violent Protests Like UC-Berkeley More Likely, PJ MediaJack Dunphy, April 28, 2017

(Jack Dunphy is the pseudonym of a police officer in Southern California. — DM)

University of California, Berkeley police guard the building where Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Announce that the law will be enforced, then do it. Perhaps this is too much to ask these days.

**************************

Imagine you’re at work one day when your boss calls you into his office. “Uh oh,” you think, “this can’t be good.” And indeed, despite the gloss he tries to put on it, it isn’t. The company has adopted a new policy, he tells you, one that will change the way you are evaluated in the performance of your duties.

There are new criteria to be used, criteria designed not to measure how well you performed a given task, but rather to inform you that, no matter how well things may have turned out for you and your company, you should have performed it differently. What’s worse, the judgment will be made not by your peers, your superiors, or even by people in your line of work, but rather by people who have never done your job – and couldn’t if their very lives depended on it.

If you didn’t quit on the spot, you would very likely look askance at your boss and this nonsense he’s peddling. And you would return to your office in the discomfiting knowledge that the place is being run by imbeciles.

You now have a sense of what it’s like to be a police officer in Los Angeles these days.

I have often written of the politics of Los Angeles, one of the more peculiar aspects of which is that the city’s police department is overseen by five mayoral appointees to the police commission. In addition to setting policy, the commission is vested with the authority to determine the propriety of an officer’s use of deadly force.

In making these determinations, the commissioners weigh not only an officer’s decision to fire his weapon, but also the tactics he used as the incident unfolded. And, even though an honest appraisal of such an incident would presumably require a certain level of experience and expertise, not one of these commissioners has ever served so much as a single day as a police officer.

Last October, I wrote in this space on the current fashion of police “de-escalation,” i.e., the avoidance of using force in restoring order, obtaining compliance, and making arrests. Like all fashions, this one was inspired by ephemeral considerations, to wit, mostly ill-informed opinions on high-profile police use-of-force incidents recently seen in Los Angeles and across the country. The Los Angeles police commissioners, five of the most ill-informed people you’re ever likely to find in one room, recently codified this fashion in the form of a new use-of-force policy for the LAPD.

In truth, the new policy (PDF) is not at all a drastic departure from the one it replaces. The changes amount to no more than a few words, these intended to emphasize the desire for alternatives, if any are available, to the use of deadly force. So it is not the policy itself that officers find objectionable. Rather, it is the knowledge that their fate may one day rest in the hands of the people whose idealistic notions of police work cannot be squared with how police work is actually performed.

In my October piece, I linked to this Los Angeles Times article concerning the September 2015 shooting of Norma Guzman, who was killed while approaching officers with an 8-inch knife. Though LAPD Chief Charlie Beck ruled the shooting to be “in-policy,” the commission disagreed, arguing that the first officer to fire on Guzman should have “redeployed” to a safer place.

And this is where the commissioners’ lack of real-world experience becomes obvious and alarming. They disapproved of the outcome, so they propose that different actions by the officer would have resulted in a better one. But in doing so they fail to consider what might have happened had the officer done what they think he should have.

In the video accompanying the Times’s story, we can see that the passenger officer alights from the police car and apparently spots Guzman walking toward him. He draws his weapon and, we are told, orders her to stop and drop the knife. She fails to comply and is shot when she gets to within about ten feet of the officer.

The driver officer, having exited the police car and come around the rear, also fires as he sees Guzman approaching his partner. In the commissioners’ imagination, the passenger officer should have distanced himself from Guzman before firing. But consider that in doing so, he would also have distanced himself from his partner, whose view of Guzman was momentarily blocked by the police SUV.

One can easily imagine a scenario in which the passenger officer “re-deploys” only to expose his unwary partner to the danger posed by Guzman. What’s more, this scenario might easily have resulted in Guzman being between the officers, thus creating the danger of deadly cross-fire.

What’s more, had the passenger officer “re-deployed,” the commission’s euphemism for “run away,” he may have violated the LAPD policy that prohibits partners from separating. Had he done so and left his partner to face Guzman alone, the commission surely would have found fault with either officer or both if Guzman had been shot.

It’s one thing for police officers to critique the actions of their peers with the aim of improving safety, it’s quite another for five political appointees with no relevant experience taking months to evaluate decisions officers must make in an instant. No less authority than the U.S. Supreme Court has made this clear, ruling in Graham v. Connor (1989) that “the ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

In the current climate, hindsight on police matters abounds, and the acuity is most often less than 20/20, with the L.A. police commission perhaps in need of a long white cane and a seeing-eye dog. And with all this myopic second-guessing comes the apparent reluctance among some police managers to uphold the law whenever there is a risk of a violent encounter with those who are breaking it. The most notable recent example can be found on the campus of the University of California, in Berkeley, where the campus police chief so disgraced herself at the Milo Yiannopoulos event earlier this year.

Following that disgrace, I offered some advice to her and her campus overseers on how to handle a visit to the campus by Ann Coulter, who was scheduled to speak on April 27. Already the campus officials have embarrassed themselves once more, first by rescinding the invitation to Coulter, then by rescheduling her appearance to a date during the week before final examinations.

In first canceling the event, university officials said it was “not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully — or that the safety of Ms. Coulter, the event sponsors, audience and bystanders could be adequately protected.” In this they admit their own ineptitude and their unwillingness to accept the fact that in order keep these people safe they may have to use force against those who threaten them.

It’s quite simple: Announce that the law will be enforced, then do it. Perhaps this is too much to ask these days.