Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Columbia University officials may care about advancing human knowledge, and about nurturing young people. Their moral sensibilities may be highly refined when it comes to academic pursuits. But such virtues apparently do not prevent these guardians of learning from acting like thugs when thuggery seems convenient.

Columbia wants to expand into an area of Harlem called Manhattanville and is willing to abuse the state’s eminent domain power to do so. Who cares about morality and rights, or the foiled lives and livelihoods of innocent people, when there’s property to be nabbed, right?

It’s quite a scam, actually. Columbia has acquired many buildings in the neighborhood, but is not maintaining them. Because of Columbia’s own run-down buildings, the state has formally declared the neighborhood to be “blighted.” If the entire area is now condemned, full ownership can be transferred to Columbia. Which will clean things up immediately.

Meanwhile, Nick Sprayregen, the owner of several well-kept buildings in Manhattanville, is having trouble renting out units of his self-storage business because of the specter of Columbia’s eminent-domain grab. Plus, the firm that New York State used to determine whether the land is blighted had also been employed by Columbia itself — to advocate government approval of its expansion and possible use of eminent domain.

In short, we have only a perverse pretense of due process here. Columbia flunks Ethics 101 but gets an A in con artistry.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

6 Comments

  1. Dave Betker says:

    Isn’t it convenient that the same students who rally to keep NROTC off their campus don’t seem to be interested in this simple case of civil rights? What a bunch of hypocrites!!!

  2. The assault you write about in today’s Common Sense is not the only affront committed by Columbia. I suggest you look at the makeup of the faculty and the disparaging things they have had to say about our country. I had a brief exchange with the president of Columbia at the time of some of the worst slurs by Columbia faculty members and his response, to say the least, was unsatisfactory. The university can extend some control over radical faculty and choose to do not. I pity the poor students who are exposed to these foreign professors and I pity those who swallow their garbage even more.

  3. ns says:

    for much more information on the eminent domain fight against columbia, go to –
    http://www.mylandismine.com

  4. Goldjason says:

    Paul,
    Its so refreshing to see comments like yours while we are awashed in the stench of hypocrisy by our Institutions of Higher learning.
    You must agree with me that Columbia is no exception. It extends to many more Ivy leagues than you dare to believe.
    Their MBA graduates apply the same principles that they were taught. Those poor souls who spent thousands for the prestigious brand name and go deeper into student loan debts thinking they are getting an “education”.
    Unfortunately what many have learned is to be a scam artist and hopefully never get caught. I felt sick when I saw a student on CNN TV saying that she was selling her eggs for $8000.00 so that she can finance her college education. She has done it before and will do it again but will keep some when she is ready to have her own children.

    Regardless of the branding, Columbia,Harvard, Wharton, U. Chicago,UCLA, etc there are only THREE BASIC LAWS that needs to be to be followed for one to be successful in life.

    SELF DISCIPLINE
    DO NO HURT TO YOUR FELLOW HUMANS
    BE TRUTHFUL

    Simple as it is , our modern society has found it difficult for many to follow.

  5. Jon says:

    we have a similar situation here in Newcastle Australia

  6. […] I’ve written about this case before. Two years ago I called your attention to some of what was going on, calling it a scam: “Columbia has acquired many buildings in the […]

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