UD has long wondered whether she’s got what it takes to write for the tabloids. She was reminded of this when she saw the quick cheap way some woman who works at a university in Fresno just got herself MUCHO publicity by calling Barbara Bush a racist.


Don DeLillo says

Everything we need that is not food or love is in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and the extra-terrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity, the cults of the famous and the dead.

My Bush/Daniels shocker – whose fundamental idea derives from simply conjoining two big names in the news – goes in one of several directions.

1. Supernatural: Stormy Daniels is inhabited by the ghost of Barbara Bush; she now shamefully repudiates her adult industry past.

2. Religion: It can now be revealed that in her last days Barbara Bush reached out to Stormy Daniels and converted her to the true faith.

3. Illegitimate Child: Stormy Daniels is the wayward child Barbara and George Bush were never able to acknowledge: UNTIL NOW.

4. Lesbian Affair: George Bush the Elder privately resented the powerful and possibly consummated attraction between these two famous women.

5. Political Conspiracy: Barbara Bush was put to death by the same man who threatened Stormy Daniels because both represented forces threatening the political and financial empire of the Trump family.

William and Mary and Mary Jane

Police said they’ve broken up a drug ring that included eight students and a professor at William & Mary.


Brookdale Community College is investigating a professor of sociology who cursed at a conservative student.

The incident, which was captured on video by a second student and has since been shared online, happened last week during a class on intercultural communication.

Doubly True for America’s Jock Schools.

[A] majority of the NFL’s consumer base simply doesn’t care about the character of players off the field. I’m not doubting the sincerity of people when they say they care, but when the rubber meets the road, a rash of domestic violence cases around the league won’t stop the masses from tuning in.

Sibling Rivalry…

… American-style!

After covering scads of research misconduct stories over the long life of this blog, UD’s gotta say that this article about a disgraced Ohio State cancer scientist really…

stinks. Something in here really stinks.

First, he’s one of the biggest bigshots at Ohio State, and he’s been faking important – and at times clinically implemented! – cancer research for twenty years.

Ching-Shih Chen, a former professor in the College of Pharmacy and the Lucius A. Wing Chair of Cancer Research and Therapy, [and 2010 winner of OSU’s innovator of the year award,] was found to have committed research fraud beginning in 2001 throughout his almost 20-year career at Ohio State.

Of course he tried blaming everything on his research assistants (virtually all research fraudsters try that as their opening gambit), but a look at his laptop cleared that up.

According to the investigation, Chen often blamed any issues with the data on postdoctoral researchers or other lab workers, but the findings proved Chen was solely responsible for research misconduct relating to the manipulation of 14 different studies

So – how do you remain a very highly compensated superstar OSU researcher while lying and stealing and making false accusations and putting patients at serious risk for twenty years??


OSU would really rather not talk about it. They would really rather not talk about it. As in: The guy resigned last year, but we’re only now getting a peep about any of this. So that’s a scandal on top of a scandal.


As to why you might want to keep your trap shut about Chen: Well, say you’re president of the United States and you had Russian prostitutes pee on each other in front of you in a Moscow hotel room. You’d want to keep it quiet because it’s embarrassing. The OSU thing is kind of like that.

Another possibility: Chen had friends in high places. People who might have had their doubts about the dude, but he was a buddy, and he was a big grant-getter. Let him be.

If you don’t find this hilarious…

… you’re probably not on UD‘s wavelength.

It’s not all hilarious, but her riffs on dentists and colonoscopies are truly worth the price of admission.


UD is intrigued, amused, and inspired by America’s Barbara Ehrenreichs and Zeke Emanuels. It’s a reassuring sign of a free and advanced culture that we generate people willing to press hard philosophically – but also in very personal and practical terms – on ultimate questions of value and meaning.


I happened to read the excerpts from Ehrenreich’s book at the same time I read, in a recent New York Times, about the scandal of doctors widely prescribing antidepressants while knowing virtually nothing about how difficult withdrawal from them might be. The language in the article – about blithe assumptions and subsequent nightmares – could be lifted verbatim from any article about opioids.

La Kid’s just out of minor surgery and texts UD that she is…

… “dosed up on morpheme.”

An Unusual Outcome

In the wake of plagiarism allegations, the president of Hobart William Smith Colleges has resigned. This rapid outcome (allegations against him were made only a few days ago) suggests the charges were probably true, the plagiarism significant, and the fight to retain the position not worth it.

You can say it…

diplomatically. Or you can just say it. It is what it is.

But when your country has 133 million guns lying around, it’s a problem.

I’ve pretty much given up covering, on this blog, the incessant stories about loaded guns left in restrooms, park benches, classrooms, and hospitals. About twelve year olds walking around the neighborhood holding AR-15s. Guns in this country are like falling leaves in the autumn, seashells in the summer, snowflakes in the winter, and pollen in the spring. It’s raining guns.

Because of all the mass killings, many Americans are currently scared shitless about getting ripped to shreds by an AR-15, so we’re seeing far more reporting of threats and sightings and all. Before everyone got scared shitless, I guess the sight of a little boy walking in front of your house carrying an AR-15 was like, okay. Fine. But now it’s like wait maybe that’s not good.

So even though we’re pretty stupid ’round these parts, it begins to look as though the fact that guns are dangerous is sinking in.

“The headlines today in the New York Times…”

Mr UD muttered over this morning’s breakfast.

He began reading them to UD.




“Well, as to the second,” said UD, “Didn’t Mao say “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single drip?

Brilliant, Gutsy, Karen Dawisha has Died.

No one went after the Russian oligarchs in print the way she did; so much so that Cambridge University Press was too scared to publish her book. (Simon and Schuster did.). In response to Cambridge’s retreat, Karen wrote the following, in 2014:

Last week the EU and the US Government issued a visa ban and asset freeze on the very inner core that is the subject of my book. Many works will now come out on the makeup of the list and why each individual was placed on it. The answers to these questions are in my book. Isn’t it a pity that the UK is a ‘no-fly’ zone for publishing the truth about this group? These Kremlin-connected oligarchs feel free to buy Belgravia, kill dissidents in Piccadilly with Polonium 210, fight each other in the High Court, and hide their children in British boarding schools. And as a result of their growing knowledge about and influence in the UK, even the most significant British institutions (and I think we can agree that CUP, with its royal charter, 500-year history and recent annual revenues in excess of $400m, is a veritable British institution) cower and engage in pre-emptive book-burnings as a result of fear of legal action…. [Perhaps some day we] can once again turn to CUP with the knowledge that it is indeed devoted to publishing “all manner of books” and not just those that won’t awaken the ire of corrupt Russian oligarchs out to make a further mockery of British institutions.

How topical, with the Russians still poisoning dissidents in London. How brave and lucid and true.

The Island Of Lost Theses

UD has covered many stories in which a person has lost his or her thesis. As physical objects, these things seem hard to hold onto; and what makes it worse is that in almost all of these cases the degree-granting university itself can’t seem to get hold of the thing. Where do they go?

Madrid regional president Cristina Cifuentes lost hers “in one of several house moves. The university has so far not presented it.”

[T]he post-graduate degree in Regional Law included 1,500 hours of classes, study and presentation, with students required to attend at least 80 per cent of classes.
However, none of the students … said they had ever seen Ms Cifuentes in class, despite the fact that she was already a well-known politician.

It also transpired that she only registered for the MBA three months after it began and that the marks for two of the 12 modules in her file had been given two years after the course was completed.

… The case has also tainted the university, which [a newspaper] says colluded with the politician in trying to cover up the affair with forged papers.

UD has a couple of suggestions to make. The first is obvious: 100% online class! Duh! Second: In response to students saying they never saw her. Cifuentes can claim that precisely because she is so famous, she went in disguise. What’s a burqa for?

The Don DeLillo-esque Death

A small airplane crashed Monday night on the TPC Scottsdale Champions Course and police confirmed there were multiple fatalities…

[Versace] King got about 100 yards and began recording video of the fiery crash. He said emergency crews were on the scene several minutes later. He added the weather was “perfect” at the time.

…The Champions course is one of two golf courses at the TPC Scottsdale. It is just east of the TPC Stadium Course, where the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open is held.

“Nothing in the academy bylaws allowed for ousting a member who had committed scientific misconduct.”

In the current case of Eric Noji, it’s odd that no one ever considered his self-description on his academic web page… odd.

Professor Eric K. Noji is a medical doctor, skilled wildlife biologist, passionate environmentalist and iconic figure in the humanitarian community whose medical work and travels to the most austere and hostile of environments on earth are both mythic in their epic sweep and inspirational in their chronology of self-sacrifice on behalf of children who are homeless, abused, starving, or left destitute by disasters, violence or war.

The phrase mythic in their epic sweep didn’t … seem… odd to anyone?

No one wondered why under skills and expertise he listed over one hundred specializations?

I mean, yes, after decades of alleged plagiarism and lies, Noji has been removed to Disgraced Rogue Central: Saudi Arabia. But no one seems able to convince the Institute of Medicine that they should rescind his membership.

After much anguishing, the IOM has decided that, okay,

membership [can] be rescinded if an individual provided false information before becoming a member.

Falsification, plagiarism or fabrication after a doctor becomes a member of the elite organization isn’t grounds for removal…

This sort of approach explains why Bernie Madoff maintained his country club memberships through much of his … unpleasantness. These places are private organizations and they’re a mite on the stodgy side and they like to do things their own way.

Once Bernie was carted off to prison for life because he stole $65 billion, his clubs apparently decided to take another look at his membership status…

And UD is going to guess that the big splashy New York Times article that just came out about the IOM and its highest-profile member might get its expulsion machinery cranking …

Next Page »

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It’s [UD's] intellectual honesty that makes her blog required reading.
Professor Mondo

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truffula, commenting at Historiann

Margaret Soltan at University Diaries blogs superbly and tirelessly about [university sports] corruption.

University Diaries. Hosted by Margaret Soltan, professor of English at George Washington University. Boy is she pissed — mostly about athletics and funding, the usual scandals — but also about distance learning and diploma mills. She likes poems too. And she sings.
Dissent: The Blog

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Notes of a Neophyte