Historian Richard Samuelson turned up for Friday evening happy hour this week, with 14-year-old Oban in hand, to kick around this week’s less-than-neat headlines. Is it merely a coincidence that Jen Psaki chose April Fools’ Day to have the news come out that she’s going to join MSNBC? Irony is truly dead.

Meanwhile, on the great existential question of the week—”Team Smith” or “Team Rock”—Lucretia disdains either choice, while affirming the general principle that “violence is always the answer.” Steve offers up that “King Richard,” the film for which Will Smith won his best actor Oscar, is in some small ways a conservative film, though it suffers the typical over-exaggeration of all sports movies, so it gets no better than a C.

This week it was revealed that despite Judge and soon-to-be-Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s supposed embrace of “originalism” in her confirmation hearing, she doesn’t believe in the philosophy of the American founding that is the core of constitutional originalism rightly understood. (She told Sen. Grassley in answer to a questionnaire that she has “no opinion” about whether human beings have natural rights. Which fits with not knowing what a woman is.) Yet another reason to vote No on her nomination.

Finally, we revisit Samuelson’s 2014 satire/prophecy that Harvard would embrace “egalitarian admissions” in about they way they are in fact starting to do just now. As they say, the only genuine and reliable news source these days is the Babylon Bee. Sample:

In a move designed to foster diversity and to create a university that “thinks like America,” Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, the President of Harvard University announced yesterday that the school will embrace egalitarian admissions. The school will no longer give priority to students with good grades, high SAT scores, and impressive extra-curricular activities. Such policies have, Dr. Faust acknowledged, created an “elitist” and “inegalitarian” atmosphere at the college. “It is unacceptable in 2014 to be favoring the intelligent over the unlearned, and the energetic over the slothful,” she proclaimed.

The war on satire continues.

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There are 9 comments.

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  1. Leslie Watkins Member
    Leslie Watkins
    @LeslieWatkins

    Another great listen on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

    Richard Samuelson should consider doing some stand-up. I think it would help hone his already significant satirical skills in critiquing the fall of our so-called institutions of higher learning.

    I hope y’all are right that the radical feminist backlash over any significant change to Roe will be greatly muted by a much wider dislike of abortion among the American public, especially after the first trimester, since 1973. I would be more sanguine if I thought the elite had any interest in natural rights rather than the siren songs of lore.

    Finally, I think Lucretia is wrong to call youngsters (and presumably their parents) who try to get into schools they are educationally unprepared for“stupid.” Not high-ranking does not mean ignorant. I think they should keep trying because it more and more reveals how stupid university administrators are. And you just never know who might excel despite poor SAT scores. Never hurts the try-er to try. Especially given how our topsy turvy society is giving them an edge, it would seem to be the smart thing to do.

    Thanks, guys!

    • #1
  2. Lucretia Contributor
    Lucretia
    @Lucretia

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):

    Another great listen on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

    Richard Samuelson should consider doing some stand-up. I think it would help hone his already significant satirical skills in critiquing the fall of our so-called institutions of higher learning.

    I hope y’all are right that the radical feminist backlash over any significant change to Roe will be greatly muted by a much wider dislike of abortion among the American public, especially after the first trimester, since 1973. I would be more sanguine if I thought the elite had any interest in natural rights rather than the siren songs of lore.

    Finally, I think Lucretia is wrong to call youngsters (and presumably their parents) who try to get into schools they are educationally unprepared for“stupid.” Not high-ranking does not mean ignorant. I think they should keep trying because it more and more reveals how stupid university administrators are. And you just never know who might excel despite poor SAT scores. Never hurts the try-er to try. Especially given how our topsy turvy society is giving them an edge, it would seem to be the smart thing to do.

    Thanks, guys!

    I do not disagree at all with the way you frame your “admissions” policy.  My complaint is with those students who genuinely have neither the aptitude nor the attitude to succeed.  Grades and standardized tests are at best imprecise indicators of a likelihood to succeed in college, and many of my best students have been failures at one point or another in their academic careers.  But college is now little more than a money-making racket–with the federal government subsidizing the exploitation of students who are not capable of benefitting from higher education.  For example, I and some of my administrative staff have spent countless hours dealing with the mother of a student who is not bright, not motivated, and not well-prepared for university-level work.  She is convinced her wonder child is the second coming of Einstein and that it is the failure of the college, the program, the instructors, and the student services staff that he cannot seem to make it to class, complete his assignments, or pass his tests.  Of course, not all DIDLs have doting, helicopter parents, but they have nevertheless mastered the art of the excuse–with the implicit backing of the university administrators.

    • #2
  3. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    I knew the Williams were Jehovah Witnesses because of Barry Obama. It was the 2019 Australian Open and some reporter was asking one of the sisters what she thought about the first black President being sworn into office. She said she didn’t vote because she was a JW and didn’t know that was going on.

    • #3
  4. Leslie Watkins Member
    Leslie Watkins
    @LeslieWatkins

    Lucretia (View Comment):

    Leslie Watkins (View Comment):

    Finally, I think Lucretia is wrong to call youngsters (and presumably their parents) who try to get into schools they are educationally unprepared for“stupid.” Not high-ranking does not mean ignorant. I think they should keep trying because it more and more reveals how stupid university administrators are. And you just never know who might excel despite poor SAT scores. Never hurts the try-er to try. Especially given how our topsy turvy society is giving them an edge, it would seem to be the smart thing to do.

    Thanks, guys!

    I do not disagree at all with the way you frame your “admissions” policy. My complaint is with those students who genuinely have neither the aptitude nor the attitude to succeed. Grades and standardized tests are at best imprecise indicators of a likelihood to succeed in college, and many of my best students have been failures at one point or another in their academic careers. But college is now little more than a money-making racket–with the federal government subsidizing the exploitation of students who are not capable of benefitting from higher education. For example, I and some of my administrative staff have spent countless hours dealing with the mother of a student who is not bright, not motivated, and not well-prepared for university-level work. She is convinced her wonder child is the second coming of Einstein and that it is the failure of the college, the program, the instructors, and the student services staff that he cannot seem to make it to class, complete his assignments, or pass his tests. Of course, not all DIDLs have doting, helicopter parents, but they have nevertheless mastered the art of the excuse–with the implicit backing of the university administrators.

    I retired from working as an editor at two universities (they battled in the Final Four earlier tonight), so please believe me when I say I am well aware that universities have become little more than status-seeking, money-making (yet also money-pinching) rackets. And I have no doubt—especially these days when young people are so pampered and pandered to—that counseling students who can’t handle the work—and don’t even try—is, well, crazy-making in the extreme. (Is it a feature or a bug of the ridiculously high cost of college?) Knowing that these students are backed by administrative cowards must make the task virtually unbearable.

    I greatly enjoy hearing your observations and critiques and intended my comment as a small suggested edit elicited by that appreciation. I hope that comes across.

     

     

     

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    What’s that you say?

    Originalism as a legal hermeneutical theory doesn’t operate in a vacuum?  It needs a rule of natural law theory to accompany it?

    Nice little thesis you have there, @lucretia and @stevenhayward.

    This would be the legal equivalent of the Rule of Faith in theology, wouldn’t it?

    Good.  Now all we need is a book on @markeckel would like to edit such a book.  At the moment, we need some abstracts!

    Lucretia and Steven Hayward, I would be honored if you would consider writing something for this–or forwarding it to some of those smart people you know so they can step up!

    • #5
  6. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I would like to hear an explanation about why a conservative doesn’t believe in natural rights. 

    • #6
  7. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I would like to hear more about the part where you talked about control and progressivism / liberty and nature. I didn’t quite follow that, and it seems like a big deal.

    You should be able to develop your human capital at a fair price anyway you want at any time in your life. The Government Education Edifice is mostly a racket. There isn’t any area in this country that is more ripe for tons of deflation. It’s going to be a wipe out. 

    The employers need to put the screws to the accreditation system. It mostly just makes everything worse.

    • #7
  8. LibertyDefender Member
    LibertyDefender
    @LibertyDefender

    Steve mentioned [Rowan & Martin’s] “Laugh-In” while discussing what to name Jen Psaki’s New pshow on NBC, but I was earlier in the podcast reminded of the Laugh-In contemporary show “Truth of Consequences,” when Steve tried to set up a joke for Richard, by mentioning Groucho Marx’s “elephant in my pants” joke. 

    “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know.”

    –Groucho Marx

    In the Truth or Consequences episode of my memory, host Bob Barker set up a scene where a guest comedian was to be assisted by a series of straight men who were selected from the studio audience. The audience would then vote for whichever contestant they thought was the best straight man.  As the scene played out, one of the contestants was revealed to be a ringer, a professional straight man.  Hilarity ensued.

    Richard, you have an enthusiastic straight man in Steve, but the act could use a bit of polish.

    By the way Steve, who was that lady podcast co-host I heard you with last week?

    • #8
  9. LibertyDefender Member
    LibertyDefender
    @LibertyDefender

    Inspired outro music choice, by the way.

    David Clayton-Thomas singing Lucretia – how could it ever get any better?

    • #9
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