“Once, when she was in Paris with her daughter, Rachel, who is now an animal-rights lawyer in Denver, she peed in the garden of the Tuileries Palace at night.”

First sentence of a great short story in search of an author.

“When I woke up 5 days later I didn’t remember anything. I thanked everyone at the ICU for my life, went home, and then slowly as the opiates faded away, remembered the trauma of the surgery & spent the first two days home kind of free-falling from the meds / lack of meds and the paralyzing realization that nothing matters. Luckily that was followed by the motivating revelation that nothing matters.”

Wonderful writing, post-op, from Sarah Silverman.

But he’s TOTALLY into circumcision!

[Trumper Warning]

I’ve seen this guy hold his grandsons at a bris.

Life in These United States

The company’s drivers expressed safety concerns that FedEx trucks were being stopped on the road by online pharmacy customers demanding packages of pills and that the delivery address was a parking lot, school, or vacant home where several carloads of people were waiting for their drugs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Trump proved that many evangelical voters, supposedly the heart of a True Conservative coalition, are actually not really values voters or religious conservatives after all, and that the less frequently evangelicals go to church, the more likely they are to vote for a philandering sybarite instead of a pastor’s son.”

I dunno… UD can’t stand Trump, of course, but…

Doesn’t something hopeful lurk in Ross Douthat’s sentence?

‘In total, these three countries are home to 36 million Muslims. Yet there was scarcely any public opposition to the ban.’

As Europe struggles over banning the burqa, several African countries quietly, and with virtually no opposition, ban it. Others officially support a ban; yet others are actively considering one.

And what a shocker that women are expressing no opposition to surrendering this beloved garment.

That Ole Devil Called Ted

[Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner] told an audience at Stanford University Wednesday that [Ted Cruz] is “Lucifer in the flesh.”

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

More Ted commentary, in Rolling Stone:

Ted Cruz comes from the Ivy League and once clerked for William Rehnquist and cynically portrays himself as a down-home duck-huntin’ yahoo who doesn’t know that Jemmy Madison would kick his ass up and down Independence Hall for treating the First Amendment as a blueprint for a Christian theocracy.

***************
Ex-Cruz-Iating

An Exorcist Told us How to Rid Ted Cruz of Lucifer, Just in Case John Boehner is Right

Sentence of the Day

An Oregon man is accused of tipping a prostitute with an exotic primate swiped from his own pet store along with stolen Girl Scout cookie money and a laptop computer.

Greenness and Mortality.

Great name for a landscaping business.

Twisted Sister

A British Labour councillor who tweets her love for Hitler because he killed all those Jews has “denied she [wrote] the tweets and claimed her sister may have posted them.”

“[University of Wyoming] athletics appears to remain a priority, as the vote to approve the [increased] appropriation came on the same day that the Joint Appropriations Committee voted to cut $45 million from Wyoming K-12 funding and eliminate the $3.3 million Family Literacy program budget.”

Keeping them dumb in Wyoming.

********

And okay – today’s theme on University Diaries seems to be stupidity. I mean, UD keeps reading more and more Americans worrying about how stupid we are. The context seems to be the GOP presidential front-runners, and it’s not confined to the left.

I don’t mean obvious stuff like Bill Maher’s. The Weekly Standard, which UD thought was Sarah Palin’s biggest booster, just ran a review of a book called Too Dumb to Fail. Excerpts from the review:

I had thought that Matt Lewis’s new book about the conservative Republican future, Too Dumb To Fail, had a title that was accurate but a bit ahead of its time. Then, on the eve of the book’s publication, Sarah Palin endorsed the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, with a rambling “speech” that thoroughly earned a New York Daily News front page headline “I’m With Stupid”…

[Southern evangelicals] as a group tend to lack intellectual curiosity and rigor. Bringing a decidedly unintellectual group into the [conservative] movement, Lewis contends, encouraged the movement itself to move away from its strength, its use of argument to explain America’s challenges and propose real solutions that solve them…

Pandered to by [media] “leaders” who profit enormously from keeping their flock sheltered, this has created a worldview in which conservatives are an embattled majority suppressed only by the betrayal of elites and their putative leaders. “Informed” by such falsehoods, it is no wonder when we ponder a future as I write of a Republican party led either by a demagogue or a charlatan.

********

And here’s a description of the highest-profile student/athlete at one of America’s highest-profile public universities.

[Maty] Mauk isn’t just stupid. He’s a true hard working moron.

********

There’s one thing UD likes about this sudden national freeing of stupidity from the closet.

When La Kid was a kid, she and I loved a series of books called The Stupids. Then we were instructed by a child-something specialist among our acquaintance that it was very very wrong to read The Stupids, very wrong to use the word, let alone laugh at The Stupids.

Of course UD and La Kid ignored this person. But it’s always sort of been in the back of UD‘s mind as an annoyance that this person said this to her and to her daughter. It makes UD happy to see how far we’ve come as a country just in the last couple of decades in terms of naming the problem openly.

‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.’

[F]or many Republicans — the ones not living in fantasyland — the current battle for the party, between the nihilistic forces of Trump and Cruz on the one hand and the uninspiring conventional politicians on the other, feels like something deeper… It feels like the party is on the brink of breaking apart.

Now that Bill Cosby has been arrested…

UD proposes that George Washington University’s last president, Stephen Trachtenberg, volunteer to appear at his trial as a character witness.

In arguing that GW should not revoke the honorary degree it gave Cosby a few years ago, Trachtenberg wrote:

What good would it do to void Mr. Cosby’s diploma? Who actually celebrates it today? He is revealed and reviled… There is a rough charm to the proposal that we should recall our degree from Mr. Cosby, but it is a blunt instrument that does not do real justice to the dreadful challenge it seeks to address. It does not actually get to right. It provides no real comfort to the abused.

Mr. Cosby knows that we no longer esteem him. Everybody knows. He is down. He is out. The degree is as null and void as it can be. It is self-executing. However much he may deserve it, I am disinclined to kick him again to underscore our own virtue. It’s too easy.

And now some district attorney is about to kick him yet again! It seems to UD that the same language Trachtenberg has used to attack self-righteous people only interested in underscoring their own virtue can be used to attack the court for having arrested Cosby.

What good does it do to arrest Mr Cosby? Who actually celebrates him today? He is revealed and reviled… There is a rough charm to the proposal that we should haul the courts into this situation, but they are a blunt instrument that does not do real justice to the dreadful challenge [they seek] to address. It does not actually get to right. It provides no real comfort to the abused.

Mr. Cosby knows that we no longer esteem him. Everybody knows. He is down. He is out…. However much he may deserve it, I am disinclined to kick him again to underscore our own virtue. It’s too easy.

Quotation of the Day.

Tenure is not immunity… [Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist James Tracy’s] harassment of the parents of murdered children was vulgar, repulsive and an insult to the academic profession. Faculty concerned about the status of tenure should, in fact, be relieved that [Florida Atlantic University] began termination procedures… While there are real reasons to protect tenure for academic research, Tracy’s ‘scholarship’ makes a mockery of what academics do. His termination both holds Tracy accountable for his despicable behavior and reduces pressure on elected officials to end tenure.

News from Australia

The previous prime minister, ardent Monarchist Tony Abbott, reintroduced knighthoods in a shock announcement in March 2014, without consulting his cabinet colleagues, some of whom told the media, with typical Aussie bluntness, that the move was “fucking stupid”.

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