“Every successful revolution starts with takeover of closed visitor center with gift shop. #OregonUnderAttack #YallQaeda”

UD anxiously follows the tweets chronicling the situation in Oregon.



(So far, only one source – International Business Times – is printing the photograph. I assume it’s authentic, but that could change.)

The Managing Editor of a University of Missouri Student Journal that Encourages Creativity…

isn’t quite so tolerant of new stuff when it comes to his womenfolk. Professor Youssif Omar’s niece, a fourteen year old student at a local high school, apparently decided to experiment with what life without the hijab would be like – I mean, this is America, you get to decide… Or can you decide if you’re fourteen?

Haha, I guess not, because when Uncle Youssif saw her unveiled at her school he grabbed her by the hair, dragged her to his car, and beat the crap out of her.

Among his skills on his Linked In page (a page that lists a staggering number of advanced degrees in a wide variety of fields), Omar features teamwork, and ain’t it the truth. When it comes to keeping the family “team” in working order, Omar goes above and beyond the call of duty. Risks arrest.

I mean, he has been arrested. For felony child abuse. Plenty of time to read through those creative writing entries when he’s in jail.


UPDATE: Missouri disavows any connection.

An English Professor, An Art Professor…

killed at Bataclan.

Paris 2015.


‘And I send these words…

to Paris with my love,

And I guess some chansonniers there will understand them,

For I guess there is latent music yet in France — floods of it …’


“[T]he current wave of censorship that threatens the continuing excellence of U.S. higher education can be repudiated, as it should be, as a transitory moment of weakness that disrespects what our institutions of higher learning must represent.”

To that end, UD‘s University of Chicago recently assembled a faculty committee which came up with “a powerful new statement on the importance of freedom of expression on campus.” Here’s a place where you can, if you like, add your endorsement to it.

The U of C statement revisits and clarifies the nature of free thought.

Under the category democracy, this blog has covered growing numbers of hideous, farcical, tiresome, and alarming instances of speech repression on campus.

More on a depressing trend here.


Think back, in this connection, on Carl Schorske, who has died at the age of 100.

At UC Berkeley, Schorske was regarded by colleagues as a liberal thinker and a reputed supporter of the aims of the Free Speech Movement, identifying with students’ demands for free speech and respect.

“You have to convert the poison of social discord into the sap of intellectual vitality,” Schorske said in an interview in 2000, reflecting on his time at UC Berkeley.

UD thanks Dirk.

Saudi Arabia?

Women harassed when they refuse to go to the back of a public bus. Women forced to sit in segregated areas at public health clinics and at burials in cemeteries. Women berated for wearing clothes deemed to be immodest. Women’s voices banned from a radio station. Women excluded from participating in municipal programs and state celebrations.

A woman attacked in a [public] square for wearing jeans.

A woman soldier, in uniform, called a “whore.”


Wilde Speculations.

Like the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board, UD has been struck, since the inception of his campaign, by what a Wildean character Donald Trump is. But while she has been tending toward Lady Bracknell, the paper points to Dorian Gray.

He is our nation’s “Portrait of Dorian Gray,” the not-so-secret creation of our worst values.

Like the hidden portrait which over the years manifests the cruel and dissolute truth of Dorian Gray’s life (while he himself maintains a black-magic youthfulness), Trump is the portrait with the curtain drawn fully aside, the picture of young and at the same time dissolute America which many of us would prefer not to see (hence the outrage his candidacy has excited).


For UD, the Trump Bump isn’t quite this grim or this simple or even this moral a tale. That’s why the rollicking amorality of The Importance of Being Earnest – subtitle: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People – seems closer to the truth. Though loud, Trump is – like Aunt Augusta – trivial (note that the Huffington Post is covering his campaign in its Entertainment section). The Trump/Bracknell comedy derives from the contradiction between this triviality and their cosmic self-importance.

The reason the Bracknell role is often played by a man is the same reason Donald Trump is played by a man: Both are unfortunate victims of too much male hormone. Both parody The Hyper-Male of any culture, not just America: Braying, belligerent, boastful, brainless, and utterly beside the point.

Both care, in the crudest fashion, only about money (“A hundred and thirty thousand pounds! And in the Funds! Miss Cardew seems to me a most attractive young lady, now that I look at her.”), and both make absolutely nothing happen. Bracknell flounces and rages but both parties marry over her objections; Trump flounces and rages but the Republic romps along.

Bracknell and Trump are the best parts of the shows they’re in, yes. But this glorious country is not going to form an alliance with a parcel.

Vox populi.

Cruz shut down the government. Paul filibustered the Patriot Act. And together they can’t edge out the loudmouth clown who delights the GOP’s nativist base by declaring that the U.S. should have invaded Mexico instead of Iraq.

Garrett Park Fourth of July Parade…


… A photo taken moments ago by our
friend and fellow Garrett Parker Koneti.

Click on it to see Les UDs sitting
in front of their Prius, UD clapping
and Mr UD holding a copy of the
Declaration of Independence, which
every year he reads to UD while the
parade is going by for maximal inspiration.

La Kid Rainbows a Recent Photo of Herself…


…to celebrate marriage equality.

“Empty cans make the most noise.”

Farah Ann Abdul Hadi. Hell yeah.

Whether it’s sex-segregated events at its universities…

… or bans on women driving, England seems to have woken up to the fact that it’s a democracy. It is actively fighting back. Last year it beat back the segregationists, and now it seems to have beaten back the woman-annihilating wahhabis. Or rather the haredim.

Women’s Liberation.


A woman casts off her burqa
as she escapes ISIS.

Details here.

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