January 29th, 2023
After disbarment, John Eastman will reportedly take a position as George Santos’ Chief of Staff.

If [John] Eastman is ultimately disbarred, it would be a sudden end to an ignominious legal career. He is not very good at reading the Constitution or the law. In 2020, well before he began plotting to overturn that year’s election, he published a widely derided op-ed in Newsweek suggesting that vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris might be ineligible for that office because she was supposedly not a U.S. citizen at birth. You do not need to be a former Clarence Thomas clerk or a former Chapman University law professor, as Eastman is, to Google “Kamala Harris birthplace” and read “Oakland, California,” thus making her a natural-born citizen.

Eastman then suggested, however, that birthright citizenship itself might not be constitutional, a theory that characterizes much of his approach to the law during the 2020 election. The answer to any legal question is whatever John Eastman wants it to be, and if someone as misinformed as, say, the Supreme Court of the United States disagrees, they are also wrong and should correct themselves accordingly. This approach led him to conclude in an infamous set of memos after Election Day in 2020 that the Twelfth Amendment allows the vice president to throw out individual states’ electoral votes at his discretion and personally declare a winner. The point here is not to be right or correct—fortunately for Eastman, because he was neither—but to give a legalistic guise to a coup attempt.

The New Republic

January 27th, 2023
Head of Education Association a Thief. But at least…

she’s illiterate.

January 5th, 2023
The Tragedy of the Public Spare

Royalty is ridiculous – this we all, including royals, know. Glued to their gowns the gapers may be, but the Disnoid trashiness of the spectacle in its modern pointless form is the main thing, especially after the death of Elizabeth, the only royal who seemed to mean something (but what?). The old kings (Juan Carlos, Gustaf of Sweden) are the moral degenerates you’d expect the idle meaningless rich to be ; younger kings (Charles, Felipe) are visibly embarrassed/annoyed by the whole enterprise. They want to mean something, but the whole point of royalty is that they are never allowed to.

The least unpleasant place to be in this dead living world is very safely distant from the throne itself. Baby Edward is clearly the happiest of the Windsors; when he ventures out on his few vague royal thingies no one knows who he is, and this lack of crowd and media interest allows him to pursue a modest and contented private life without, for instance, worrying hysterically about the physical safety of his children every moment they are on display in a world of violent crazies targeting royals just because. Remember the HUGE fuss Prince Harry recently made about royal security for his lot. He was right to fuss. Royals are serious targets – from the media (that’s how Harry lost his mother) as much as from crazed individuals with guns and knives. His grandmother was attacked while on horseback during a ceremonial function; a berserk man got into her bedroom. Etc.

The royal world’s most unpleasant place to be features in the title of the destined to be much-read SPARE by Harry.

You can see the problem currently in three royal houses: England, Denmark, and Norway. Harry claims that at his birth his father washed his hands of the insultingly stupid Diana, remarking that “my work here [shtupping Diana enough to produce an heir and a spare] is done.” This, and the internationally broadcast death of one’s mother in a traffic tunnel, cannot be a solid foundation for a happy life. Harry has suffered bitterness, resentment, and mental instability for years, and it’s not his fault that the strong-willed, highly intelligent, and absolutely non-royal woman who has stabilized him repels his royal family. If he can come to terms with having very little relationship with that family, he will continue to generate his own family, friends, and meaningful projects stateside.

The spare in Denmark is super-pissed because his mother the queen, in a gesture lots of other contemporary royal houses are also making, has stripped his four children of prince and princess titles, reducing them to the risibly low count/countess. The gesture acknowledges the pointless expensive absurdity of modern royal houses, and seeks to make them much smaller objects of republican discontent. Prince Joachim is taller, smarter, and more articulate than the crown prince, clearly believes he himself should be king on his mother’s death, and has not at all hidden his rage at his mother’s swipe at his kids. He’s moving his family to (where else) America, and seems disinclined to look back.

Norway is the most … baroque example of surreality among the surviving royal houses of Europe. The rightful heir to that throne, if you don’t count her lack of a penis, is Martha Louise, the elder of the king’s two children. Her brother seems a presentable, somewhat full of himself, king to be; but you can’t blame Martha for being a little annoyed about how things worked out. She too lives in the United States, with her New Age Shaman husband to be. Her failure to be lifted up to the throne of Norway has meant the freedom to pursue a large set of incredibly stupid beliefs and rituals in Los Angeles.

December 27th, 2022
‘[President] Ottow said that part of the solution might be to add context to the image…’

A tumultuous to-do rages at Leiden University over a painting depicting six male former trustees huddled together smoking cigars. A few weeks ago, one wag – a professor attending a meeting in the faculty conference room where the whimsical, perhaps somewhat annoying, portrait hangs – suddenly got up and turned it around on the wall. Everyone in the room had a good laugh … and … cut!

But … no cigar. Anti-cancel-culturists called the joke a vicious gesture, while anti-puffing-patriarch forces said hey good idea bury the fuckers.

And so it as Kurt Vonnegut put it goes.

The president of the university (see my headline) decided the whole thing was a fine community-discussion opportunity plus let’s put it in context.

UD has a suggestion about the latter, which is why not hang a counterfactual in the same room depicting abstemious female trustees in a quilting circle.

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

UPDATE: A different version, with hilarious faculty comments.

December 13th, 2022
From the Harvard Crimson

‘A former Harvard admissions officer told a federal jury on Friday that the school’s ex-fencing coach, Peter Brand, “made the difference” in the admissions outcomes of a wealthy Maryland businessman’s two sons.

Brand, who was fired by Harvard in 2019, is facing trial alongside telecommunications executive Jie “Jack” Zhao for allegedly accepting more than $1.5 million in bribes to get Zhao’s sons into Harvard College as fencing recruits.

Prosecutors say Brand accepted an array of kickbacks from Zhao in exchange for getting his sons into Harvard. As part of the alleged scheme, Zhao purchased Brand’s home at a premium, made college tuition payments for Brand’s son, and covered the cost of Brand’s new sports car…

Jurors … heard on Friday from a Needham town employee who raised alarm when Zhao purchased Brand’s 1,364-square-foot home for almost twice its assessed value.

Chip Davis, the city’s former chief assessor, said the sale price was “very surprising.”

“Even if there’s a 5-10 percent change” between the assessed price and the sale price, “we go and inspect,” he said. “This was dramatically higher than that.”

After the sale, Davis said, he knocked on the door of Brand’s home for an in-person inspection. He found that the house’s condition suggested its value was “pretty close” to the 2015 assessed value of $549,300 — rather than the sale price of $989,500…

In his May 2016 notes, Davis was perplexed by the sale price, according to an exhibit shown to jurors Friday.

“Sold to buyer from Virginia for 990k??? Place is vintage 1960s in bad shape???” Davis wrote. “Makes no sense.”

In fall 2017, Zhao sold the home for $665,000, taking a 32 percent loss on the transaction. Davis returned for another visit triggered by the sale price. “Makes no sense,” he wrote again in his notes…

Zhao’s attorney suggested Zhao may not have known how to assess the house’s worth and noted property values in Needham change year to year.’

December 9th, 2022
Wow Art Institute Gave the Dude An Honorary Degree!

Who knew?

More on the often cynical, high-risk business of honorary degrees here.

December 8th, 2022
‘In 2000, [Shelby] White was appointed to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, a government organization formed in 1983 to help combat illicit international trade of antiquities.’

Good cover.

Trustee, NYU. But… when your trustees include Maria Bartiromo, I guess you’re past caring.

November 25th, 2022
As Thanksgiving ends, one more person to be grateful for.

Dick Morris: We need more like him.

Political strategist and best-selling author Dick Morris told Newsmax Friday that he’s predicting a mass extinction event for Democrats in the November midterm elections.

“I’m predicting something more than a tsunami, more than a tidal wave, more than an earthquake,” Morris said during an appearance on Newsmax’s “American Agenda.” “Do you remember, in the history books, how the theory is that a meteorite hit the Earth right around where the Caribbean Sea is and that the resulting dust killed all the dinosaurs and made them extinct? Well, that’s the magnitude of what I think is going to happen.”

Host Bob Sellers said, “Typically tsunamis come when the party out of power has 170 seats or something like that,” pointing out that Republicans currently hold 212 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I think they may go up to 270,” Morris said. “I think they may pick up 60 seats. That’s why I likened it to that prehistoric event because what I think you’re really dealing with, to a certain extent, is the extinction of an entire generation of Democratic wannabees, Democratic candidates, where they’re basically going to lose their whole freshman and sophomore class.

October 2022.

November 14th, 2022
GOP Backs Off From Trump
October 31st, 2022
Brazil Nuts

‘We have been obliged to waste our time publicly refuting the theory that vaccines contain nanobots…’

October 30th, 2022
Herschel Walker already has…

frequent flyer miles.

September 27th, 2022
Leavin’ on that Midnight Train to …

… საქართველო.

SING IT

Russia proved too much for the man (too much for the man, he couldn’t take it)
So he’s leaving a life he’s come to know, ooh (he said he’s going)
He said he’s going off to find (going off to find)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, what’s left of the world
The world of the sane he knew not long ago

He’s leaving (leaving)
On that midnight train to Georgia, yeah (leaving on the midnight train)
Said he’s going off (going off to find)
To a simpler place and time, oh yes, he is (whenever he takes that ride)
(Guess who’s gonna be right by his side?)

And I’ll be with him (I know you will)
On that midnight train to Georgia (leaving on a midnight train to Georgia, woo, woo)
He’d rather live in that world (live in that world)
Than live with Putin in ours (his world is nuts, his and his alone)

August 30th, 2022
On abortion, Republican candidates are…

killing it!

August 27th, 2022
But they haven’t yet tracked down the pic of him wearing his Reichsführer-SS uniform…

… so Doug Mastriano is fine. He’s fine.

August 18th, 2022
And lo they smote all the books that were therein, including, uh, THIS one.

Once you start challenging library books, the firmament’s the limit. Provincial Keller TX has gotten TWO challenges of THE BIBLE, baby! Datz right. You don’t like Gender Queer; someone else happens not to like The Good Book. Hah! Both books get pulled. Plus purty much everything else in the library, I’d warrant. Eventually it’ll all go, and the state of utter ignorance the good folk of Keller seem to want for their kids will win the day. Good on ya, Keller.

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