The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Head

The English narrator of ISIS

Now finds himself somewhat in crisis:

‘I chopped no one’s head!

I made not one man dead!

Get to know me – I’m really the nicest.’

This takes the cake.

I mean, it’s better than the cake. The developing story of the latest fake hate assault has much more drama than the mere addition of some anti-gay icing.  Yet it’s the same contemptible attention- and money-seeking behavior (the cake guy sued Whole Foods; once WF proved he homophobed himself, it countersued), and UD has learned over the course of this blog that the business of staging things is sickeningly common. And of course incredibly destructive to efforts to take seriously actual hate crimes.

All the way back in 2004, UD covered the Professor Kerri Dunn business, when she spray-painted her car with swastikas etc. and everyone at Claremont McKenna rallied on her behalf and worried about incipient fascism until the guys who happened to be taking a walk nearby at the time she did it told the police about watching her paint her car. An education professor at Columbia University, under threat of being fired for plagiarism (of her students!) hung a noose on her office door and claimed to be the victim of a hate crime. A conservative student at Princeton wrote himself some really nasty, anti-conservative letters and enjoyed right-wing martyrdom until he had to admit the truth…. Croyez-moi, I could go on! And on!


UPDATE: Now this I really don’t get. Washington Post, headline:


Heartbreak is ridiculous. Anger’s the ticket. The Post editor continues:

I tried telling myself that it is possible that two assailants were walking around downtown Chicago at 2 a.m. in January in 10-degree weather, waiting for a black victim. In addition to that, they were stalking around with a bottle of bleach and a rope. And ultimately, the prey they selected was an actor on a show that they must’ve been somewhat familiar with, because they were able to not only name the show but also know that he played a gay character. Never mind the fact that he was likely bundled up because again: Chicago, January, 10 degrees. Also, after he fought to get away, he left the rope around his neck until he got to the hospital.

This ain’t doubt; it’s close to certain knowledge he was bullshitting. Mature political actors – people like newspaper editors – don’t go into denial when people do bad, illegal, and destructive things; nor do they enter into heartbreak when what seemed obviously the case turns out to have been the case. When weirdly flagrant and flagrantly weird events occur, serious people respond with skepticism.

Reminds you of Amy Bishop, doesn’t it?

Professor Bishop, like the Aurora mass shooter, opened fire shortly after she learned of her termination (at the University of Alabama); and like the Aurora shooter she did the deed during a meeting with colleagues. And like the Aurora shooter, she had quite the violence/mental illness history (she sent bombs to perceived enemies; she shot her brother to death) and should never have had access to a gun. How much of the scary criminal background of these two employees did the university and the factory know about?

“You can take our PICture! You can take our PICture!”

UD, on this brilliantly sunny and quite cold late afternoon, was standing at one of her front windows idly looking out, and coming down the street were three elaborately costumed girls telling whoever was listening that they could take their picture.

She opened the window.

“So I can take your picture?”

“Yes. You can take our picture.”

“Hold on.”

UD got her phone and went outside. She asked the girls to pose between her two bulls, Ferdinand and Isabella. “You all look great. Birthday party?”

“No. We just decided to dress up.”

Graduated Sackler; Has the Esformes Chair…

… how many more besmirched names can this guy fit on his business card?

Defenseman Duckworth: He’s Got it All!

The compleat Louisiana State University student, Li’l Cade The Frat Man smiles at you from his latest mug shot. Get lost in his baby blues and you’ll find everything that makes LSU the fabled school that it is: Sports, Sadism, and Stupefacients.

Witnesses described being forced to lie on broken glass, face down while they both sprayed with a hose, had milk crates thrown at them, and were urinated on.

Duckworth was booked on three counts of misdemeanor criminal hazing (misdemeanor) and one count each of attempted second degree battery, second degree battery and false imprisonment — all felonies.

This was not Duckworth’s first brush with the law. In 2017, he was arrested following a home invasion and burglary near LSU. During a search of the home where the reported robbery took place, police found marijuana and MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Duckworth was booked on one count of possession with intent to distribute …

Honey, only two things missing – sexual assault and possession of an illegal AK47 – and you know the cops is gonna find them iffn they just look more careful.

You can read up on LSU right here on this here blog iffn you want some background on how a university becomes famous for spawning vast colonies of students like this here Li’l Cade. I mean, the place’d be nuthin without its Greek life.

Soccer: Bringing the World…

... together!

Sowwy, Babes.

Anal rape is all growed up.

“[L]ecturers and professors are neither capable of nor tasked with evaluating the facial expressions and gestures of the students.”

Burqa backers sure do twist themselves up into pretzels defending the garment. As another German university bans full facial veiling in classrooms, a Green Party politician assures us that teaching has nothing to do with seeing the people you’re teaching.

FGM: Another Conviction

Australia this time, with a mother feeling for some reason compelled to lie through her teeth about having arranged a procedure she thinks comes “from God.” The jury found her guilty in a matter of minutes. Send enough mutilators to jail and the baby-slashing rate will go down.

Snapshots from Home

UD‘s hometown, Garrett Park, is “the first Maryland town to ban single-use plastic straws,” I’ll have you know. The town council member behind the new law is one of the owners of Founding Farmers restaurant.


UPDATE: From the comments section.

UD loves the locally-popular Garrett Parkers are snobs meme cuz it makes her feel all elite. Listen up:

I live just outside Garrett Park.

This new ordinance is silly, because there’s only ONE restaurant in Garrett Park, and they probably find plastic straws are too “common” for their aesthetic anyways.

Hm – ‘just outside’ … Lady Bracknell?

Never speak disrespectfully of Society, Algernon. Only people who can’t get into it do that.

Not only do we Garrett Parkers find anything short of silver straws common, we also find common people who randomly put quotation marks around certain words, and who write anyways when they mean anyway.

Hiding Miss Daisy

To cover up the scheme, … Esformes ordered his deputies to bribe Florida regulators to get advanced warnings of their inspections and would physically hide patients who didn’t qualify for government-funded care before inspectors arrived.

Hokay, now that we’ve wrapped up the Guzman trial…

it’s time to turn to the father of the most highly-bought-after player on the University of Pennsylvania basketball team! I promise you that the trial of the biggest Medicare fraudmeister in American history will be fun. Incredibly fun.

Wonder if Jerome Allen will follow it from his jail cell.

John Hammergren’s Best Friend Turns on Him

The FDA has stood back and watched proudly as its buddy John Hammergren [scroll down], head of drug distributor McKesson, pockets seven hundred million dollars for ten years of work — but he earned every penny of it, having engineered the distribution, for instance, of five million opioids to Kermit, WV, population four hundred.

Hammergren’s the sort of pusher-billionaire the FDA’s in the business of ignoring… ignoring? Nay, encouraging, as he finds and exploits bottomless wells of addiction in this nation’s hollers and thereby does his part to make America the economic miracle that it is. He’s honored everywhere: Arizona State University named him Executive of the Year; he sits on the board of the prestigious Center for Strategic and International Stupefacients… Because we want people like Hammergren setting policy for us, and for the world, China and India having much larger populations than Kermit, and awaiting McKesson’s ministrations…

Well, it’s all been a win-win arrangement, but now the butcher’s bill is really coming due on the whole opioid thing – ie it’s not just no-‘count West Virginians dying anymore, and even the FDA has today felt compelled to murmur a little demur or two…


The FDA’s his best friend. Wanna know who his lover is? The DEA.

Grapes of Wrath, by Lloyd Blankfein

I been thinkin’, long as I’m a outlaw anyways, maybe I could — Hell, I ain’t thought it out clear, Ma. Don’ worry me now. Don’ worry me…  I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a prime minister so corrupt he’ll make us billions, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a filthy leader taking all the money out of his country, I’ll be there.   I’ll be there in the way Malaysian children die in the hospital cuz they’re sick an’ they know Goldman and the prime minister took all the money out of the country . An’ when folks eat dirt and live in the streets — why, I’ll be there. See? 

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Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
New York Times

George Washington University English professor Margaret Soltan writes a blog called University Diaries, in which she decries the Twilight Zone-ish state our holy land’s institutes of higher ed find themselves in these days.
The Electron Pencil

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

There's always something delightful and thought intriguing to be found at Margaret Soltan's no-holds-barred, firebrand tinged blog about university life.

You can get your RDA of academic liars, cheats, and greedy frauds at University Diaries. All disciplines, plus athletics.
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

[UD belittles] Mrs. Palin's degree in communications from the University of Idaho...
The Wall Street Journal

Professor Margaret Soltan, blogging at University Diaries... provide[s] an important voice that challenges the status quo.
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Inside Higher Education

[University Diaries offers] the kind of attention to detail in the use of language that makes reading worthwhile.
Sean Dorrance Kelly, Harvard University

Margaret Soltan's ire is a national treasure.
Roland Greene, Stanford University

The irrepressibly to-the-point Margaret Soltan...
Carlat Psychiatry Blog

Margaret Soltan, whose blog lords it over the rest of ours like a benevolent tyrant...
Perplexed with Narrow Passages

Margaret Soltan is no fan of college sports and her diatribes on the subject can be condescending and annoying. But she makes a good point here...
Outside the Beltway

From Margaret Soltan's excellent coverage of the Bernard Madoff scandal comes this tip...
Money Law

University Diaries offers a long-running, focused, and extremely effective critique of the university as we know it.
Anthony Grafton, American Historical Association

The inimitable Margaret Soltan is, as usual, worth reading. ...
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I awake this morning to find that the excellent Margaret Soltan has linked here and thereby singlehandedly given [this blog] its heaviest traffic...
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As Margaret Soltan, one of the best academic bloggers, points out, pressure is mounting ...
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Many of us bloggers worry that we don’t post enough to keep people’s interest: Margaret Soltan posts every day, and I more or less thought she was the gold standard.
Tenured Radical

University Diaries by Margaret Soltan is one of the best windows onto US university life that I know.
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If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte