Smarter Than They Look, I Guess

Today's musical question posed by Andrew Heaton: Why Are We Funding Harvard? If you're like me, you'll greet this Reason video from Andrew Heaton with a Costellovian mixture of disgust and amusement:

Some text:

Harvard's endowment grows faster than its annual tuition costs every year. It literally has enough money to cover the tuition for every student forever, without any financial assistance from taxpayers. So why are we taking tax dollars away from the 99 percent of Americans who never went to an Ivy League college and giving it to the incubation chamber of tomorrow's trust-fund tycoons?

Heaton strikes a very good balance between outrage and hilarity.

Also of note:

  • A belated Father's Day link. Kevin D. Williamson goes unexpectedly heartwarming in the NYPost: Four babies in two years makes a very special Father's Day.

    On Father’s Day of 2022, I didn’t have any children. On Father’s Day 2024, I have four little boys.

    We had been expecting the first boy in 2022 — the identical triplets, born earlier this year, were a surprise.

    When you tell people you have triplets, the first thing they ask is whether you underwent IVF.

    For the record, you can engineer fraternal twins or triplets via IVF — you just insert two or three embryos at once.

    Identical triplets just happen.

    Identicals are what happen when you and your wife talk about how you wish you’d met earlier in life so you could have had a bigger family, and God, who listens and has a sense of humor, says: “All right, big shot — let’s see how you do.”

    Pictures at the link, and if you don't go Awwww, I'm not sure I want you reading my blog.

  • One more belated Father's Day link. But no more after this, I swear. If you weren't irked by the Andrew Heaton video above, maybe this will do it. Eric Boehm reports: The Federal Government Is Funding Dad Jokes.

    "Did you hear the one about the world's greatest watch thief? He stole all the time."

    But even that guy might be impressed by the sticky fingers of the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), a tiny corner of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that managed to pilfer nearly $75 million in taxpayer money last year to maintain, among other things, an official government repository of "dad jokes."

    It's funny—but not in a good way.

    The agency's website is the source of the cringey joke above, along with other forehead-slappers such as "Why don't you ever see elephants hiding in trees? Because they are really good at it," and "Have you seen the new type of broom? It's sweeping the nation."

    To be honest, these jokes are better than the ones on the back pages of the AARP Bulletin.

  • Hey kids, what time is it? According to Joanna Williams at Spiked, it's Time to retire the ‘far right’ slur.

    As the EU establishment struggles to make sense of last week’s revolt in the European elections, one thing is clear: our outdated vocabulary is not up to the task of describing today’s political landscape.

    Gains for France’s National Rally, Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) have been described as a ‘far-right surge’ in newspapers and TV reports, not just across Europe but around the world. Even before the election results came in, labels like far right and extreme right were bouncing off commentators’ keyboards. All agree that the far right is on the rise and ordinary people need to worry. This is Europe’s ‘Trump moment’, explained Politico. Some go further. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally is described as ‘neo-fascist’, while academics calmly ask if the AfD is the new Nazi Party. ‘Fascism has arrived’, declared French author Emilia Roig when the election results became clear. Yet with almost a quarter of Europe’s voters having backed a party branded ‘far right’, it is worth asking how accurate this label is and what purpose it now serves.

    The article has a European tilt, but (come on) it's clear the same thing is happening in the US, with the MSM deeming "far right" as, roughly, anyone more conservative than Susan Collins.

  • Well, this is sad. I've been an Eric Clapton fan since I first heard Layla. I have a lot of his music. (Even his clunker, "August".)

    But now, in this article from Ed Driscoll: Strange Brew: Eric Clapton’s Anti-Israeli Turn. It's a history of his, um, controversial remarks, starting with his substance-fueled Enoch Powell appreciation in the 1970s. And his anti-vax stuff more recently. But now, quoting "David Lange of the Israellycool blog":

    But now Clapton has outdone himself when it comes to displaying his own antisemitism, moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy. In an interview with The Real Music Observer YouTube channel, he criticizes the Senate hearings into antisemitism on US college campuses, while stating that Israel is running the world (a clear antisemitic trope). At the same time, he fawns over Putin, Russia, and China – who he claims are all unfairly demonized – while expressing the desire to play there with his “brother” Roger Waters:

    [Instagram embed elided]

    There is little doubt in my mind that Clapton is a raging antisemite, much like “brother” Roger. Besides the clear antisemitic trope, his love of human rights violators Russia and China and his characterization of them as “‘unfairly attacked” reveals a great deal about the double standards by which he judges the world’s only Jewish state. Heck, he even shows tacit support for Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, which is not nearly as justified as Israel’s actions in Gaza now.

    If only Clapton took his own advice when it comes to Russia and China and actually visited Israel in order to get an accurate picture of the situation – not that I think it would make a difference to someone with this much prejudice against Jews.

    I won't be deleting the Clapton tracks from my iTunes library, but I'm pretty sure I won't be throwing any more dollars his way.