September 26th, 2024


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  • EEstor… that’s what I’m talking about. Got my fingers crossed that it goes big and that it goes big fast.

    September 26th, 2024

    Well endowed…

    Watching Amanda interview Jarvis my mind wandered to the Harvard endowment. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not wandering off into the misty distance of a techno-elitist, white privilege rap. I follow Amanda with pleasure. Her perigrinations promise not the picaresque vicissitudes of — oh, Tom Jones, nor Sal Paradise, nor even “Half Cocked Jack” Shaftoe and/or the lively Eliza; but, there is a pleasant revelatory energy that she broadcasts, and a modest Miller Lite ambience that is easily associated with the contradictions inherent in undertaking a road trip, an American journey, in a hybrid SUV. So I hope I can be forgiven for wool-gathering about the Harvard endowment while Mr. TV Guide himself — one of her personal heroes — and god knows we all need personal heroes and Jarvis is as Presbyterian as the next man and bully, I say, bully… harrumph, hack-hack-hack-hack…

    About the endowment… roughly US $29.2 billion, accumulated during the uninterrupted 370 year growth of the institution, which, for the arithmetically challenged was founded in September, 1636. The fund, which returned 16.7% during FY2006, performs about as well as, maybe a little better than the 461 private endowments tracked by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO, not to be confused with some Verdi opera Babylonian king, really).

    At that incredible rate of return the endowment could more than double in five years if the managers just let it ride and if no more grateful alumni made any contributions. Speaking of grateful alumni (are dropouts “alumni?”)… it’s come to my attention that the Harvard endowment is worth more than Bill Gates himself!

    September 26th, 2024


    Bruce continues his examination of Alexander Cockburn’s put-down of the 9/11 contrarians, those who think more was done to pull down the unimaginative architectural shoebox monstrosities at the lower end of Manhattan than simply flying a couple of airliners full of passengers and jet fuel into them.

    We’ll never have proof because any evidence pro or con was hauled away and destroyed. So, I think it doesn’t do a lot of good to speculate. Jerry McNeely, my screen writing teacher hammered on the fact that truth is stranger than fiction so a writer should stay away from it. This was before the age of the docu-drama. And of course most docu-dramas suck, proving his point that a good story is a contrivance simply told. I don’t know what the story is regarding the WTC demolition and I don’t think it matters. What matters is what’s happening every day. The energy spent detailing the conspiracies around bin Laden, the deaths of Paul Wellstone and Mel Carnahan, the Bush/Saudi partnership, the furshlugginer Grassy Knoll… all of these things are better put aside to concentrate on why Billy Frist is a suck dog opportunist and Glenn Reynolds is his Butt Boy, on why Senator Allen never should have been elected in the first place, and why he damn sure better not be elected now that everybody knows he is an overt racist elitist bigot of the first water.

    The conspiracy of course exists. Laura Bush is as culpable as her Pet Goat. The point is, that we don’t get anywhere poring over dead documents like the Warren Commission report. We get somewhere when we can expose the current misbehavior of the miscreants in such a way that even the NASCAR daddies become ashamed to identify with them.

    When Senator Allen speaks of the turtles in his pond and says “Around here, only the [African Americans] eat them,” he scores points with his constituency. The politics of conspiracy are also politics of polarization, but one offhand racial epithet from a patrician senator playing good-old-boy mobilizes more bigoted assholes than the most brilliant conspiracy theory mobilizes well intentioned and thoughtful liberals, no matter how well wrought the theory.

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