Bollinger & Hayek

Not the champagne, Bollinger, but Lee. That would be the oleaginous president of Columbia University, the chap who never met a politically correct cause he didn’t embrace, who acquiesced in entertaining the preposterous Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia, then “bravely” denounced him publicly. (I wrote about that discreditable episode in a column called "The Poverty of Liberalism.") [Update: a friend writes to remind me that in Decline and Fall,  Evelyn Waugh called the club of upper-class Oxford student drunks and hooligans the Bollinger Club. "Why not," he asked, "Why not rename Columbia University the Bollinger Club?"  A sound suggested I recommend to all and sundry.]

Lee Bollinger is the very model of a modern major bureaucrat. His leading characteristic, apart from ideologically pliability,  is contempt for people who disagree with him. Perhaps he will wind up in Congress. Like so many members of that bastion of privilege, he displays an inveterate disregard for the rights of others. Bollinger’s latest assault is on the property rights of a couple of small-time Harlem businessmen. Gurnam Singh and Parminder Kaur own—or perhaps I should say “own”—a self-storage business and a gas station in West Harlem. Bollinger wants the land they occupy to full his “vision” of Columbia University’s hegemony on the Upper West Side. So he is going to take it. [UPDATE: The same friend tells me that "Parminder Kaur is probably in fact Gurnam Singh's wife. The wife of a Singh is called Mrs Kaur." I am glad to know that.]