The Plagiartarian Wing…

… of the Republican party.

Its leader.

“Young Man in a Hurry”…

… is perhaps the most common variety of plagiaristic experience – see Jonah Lehrer and Johan Hari for a couple of high-profile recent cases. And at only 25, Phil Jacob, of Australia’s The Daily Telegraph, is another perfect case in point. Stealing quotations and pretending you got them in an interview with the subject, copying and pasting large chunks of text from other sources, tweaking other sources (updating; providing specific local content) to make the content look like your own – they’re all there, all the patented techniques. And, of course, as is true of almost every high-profile case of plagiarism UD has covered on this blog, there are multiple examples of it in Jacob’s work. Plagiarists tend toward the prolific.

Jacob has resigned.

UD welcomes readers from…

KOMPROMITACJE, a first-rate (according to Mr UD, who speaks the language) blog out of Poland. Its proprietor linked to UD‘s comments about Zygmunt Bauman’s plagiarism.

“[W]hile admiring the pedantry of the authors of the Harvard Guide to Using Sources, and acknowledging their gallant defence of the private ownership of knowledge, I failed in those 60-odd years to spot the influence of the obedience to technical procedural rules of quotations on the quality (reliability, effectiveness and above all social importance) of scholarship: the two issues that Mr Walsh obviously confuses…”

Read and learn. Should you attempt the delicate feat of being at once a revered intellectual and an occasional plagiarist, and should your plagiarism be discovered by some graduate student, say this:

[W]hile admiring the pedantry of the authors of the Harvard Guide to Using Sources, and acknowledging their gallant defence of the private ownership of knowledge, I failed in those 60-odd years to spot the influence of the obedience to technical procedural rules of quotations on the quality (reliability, effectiveness and above all social importance) of scholarship: the two issues that Mr Walsh obviously confuses…

Let’s note the elements of Zygmunt Bauman’s response, one by one.

[W]hile admiring the pedantry of the authors of the Harvard Guide to Using Sources, [I laugh condescendingly at the small-mindedness of anyone who would compile a book of rules about proper citation. Such books are for little people - like the little person who has had the presumption to try to attack my eminence.] and acknowledging their gallant defence of the private ownership of knowledge, [I am a committed (way committed in my youth but that's none of your business) man of the left who stands way above the petty and absurd defense of private property which is the entire concept 'plagiarism.'] I failed in those 60-odd years to spot the influence of the obedience to technical procedural rules of quotations on the quality (reliability, effectiveness and above all social importance) of scholarship: the two issues that Mr Walsh obviously confuses… [Sure, I could be a citation nazi; I could lose all my social importance via lockstep 'obedience' to 'rules,' but this behavior is beneath me. Plus my attacker is 'obviously' an idiot.]

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a winner.

Good Thing There’s No ‘Thou Shalt Not Plagiarize’ Commandment.

[Annette Schaven,] former education minister in Germany who resigned over plagiarism allegations has lost a legal bid to have her doctorate restored.

… A Duesseldorf administrative court upheld [its revocation] Thursday.

… [Angela] Merkel’s government plans to make Schavan … Germany’s next ambassador to the Vatican.

Modern Russia and the Reproduction of Labor

“The scandal over [Vladimir] Putin’s [plagiarized] dissertation led nowhere. But because the head of state’s deed had no repercussions whatsoever, a new trend emerged in the country: plagiarism in the writing and defense of dissertation works began on an unprecedented scale.

Mechanically reproducing the labor of others is all the rage in the post-communist world. Romania’s prime minister, another plagiarist, just got off the hook too.

Larry Husten, Forbes:

In a scientific culture that values quantity over quality charges of plagiarism should be neither surprising nor unbelievable. The obsessive drive to publish, to garner as many references and citations as possible, is extremely unhealthy. Quantity has become the enemy of quality and individual responsibility. I am always amazed when scientists and authors boast (or have others boast for them) about their CVs containing hundreds of publications. In my opinion this should be considered a badge of shame. The author is, essentially, admitting that he or she is willing to take credit for work for which he or she has had no involvement.

But big guns like Thomas Luscher are western culture’s last true heroes! Onward they ride, on the backs of their lessers, to glory!

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

The Charge of the Write Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Theft
Wrote the six hundred.
“Forward, the Write Brigade!
Ghost for the big guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Theft
Wrote the six hundred.

Sant’Annetta di Plagio

Annette Schavan will be moving to the Vatican, in Rome, her office confirmed on Monday. The former [education] minister is a practising Catholic and used to be head of the Central Council of German Catholics.

The new post means she will represent the German government abroad, despite the University of Düsseldorf stripping her of her degree [because of plagiarism], leaving the education specialist with only a high school leaving certificate.

Chicago State University Once Again

Chicago’s most scandalous university (see earlier posts about it by typing Chicago State University in my search engine) boasts a provost who allegedly plagiarized significant portions of her dissertation.

While he said it seems unlikely that [Angela Henderson] was “trying to pull a fast one,” the work shows that she does not have “a full and complete understanding of academic protocols and scholarly expectations.”

“That is a problem if that person is provost of a university,” [Daniel] Wueste said.

With its risible graduation rate (around 10%), its disappearing student body, its constantly shifting but always inept and crony-ridden administration, and its useless board of trustees, Chicago State boasts virtually every attribute of a truly terrible university. As its own faculty rebels, Chicago State’s paranoia grows out of control. The university’s spokesman, asked to comment about the plagiarism allegations, said “[W]e are talking about a series of claims made by some individuals who have shown they will go to great lengths to undermine any member of this administration in any way they can.”

Too right. The claims have been openly made by CSU faculty members who want legitimate people running the university. These faculty members are indeed trying to undermine the administration. It ought to be undermined.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

$350 an hour for copying a clutch of Wikipedia pages: While his students go into debt and fail to get jobs, a Georgetown law professor shows everyone exactly how postmodern simulacral culture works. He gets an expert witness for the prosecution gig and lifts much of his expert report from the web. Look Ma – No hands! And I’m getting $350 an hour at the same time! Are you proud of me?

But now he’s gone and fucked up the case.

“[James] Feinerman’s pervasive plagiarism from this unreliable and error-prone source, which has been rejected by federal courts all over the country, casts serious doubt on the reliability of his entire testimony,” … said [a defense lawyer] in a court filing.

Now you know what Feinerman’s gonna say when he’s finally forced to say something. You know because for years you’ve been reading this blog on the subject of the atelier crowd, right? Feinerman’s gonna blame it on the people he hired to write his expert report for him.

Really, really look Ma no hands.

Most career plagiarists collapse into apologies when unmasked…

… but – as we learned from that ol’ rascal Rand Paul – some opt for snarling full-frontal attack on the unmaskers. It’s not, in the long run, a winning strategy, as the latest snarler will soon learn.

She’s Sulura Jackson, principal of Chapel Hill High School, and if reports are correct she’s been plagiarizing as long as the senator. And just like Paul, she’s royally pissed that anyone has the unmitigated gall to call her on it.

Jackson acknowledged she will use form letters, books and articles to inform her writings, but she denied any wrongdoing.

“I’m not under the impression that I can’t use that,” Jackson said. “This is not anything that I’m selling. This is not anything that I’m using for personal gain.”

Jackson indicated she was surprised some teachers are angry, adding that had they questioned her, she would have cited her sources.

“I’ve never intentionally said these are my words, these are my thoughts,” she said. “I’m getting these thoughts from other places. I don’t pull them out of thin air. I’m always reading.”

But the documents, which are signed by Jackson, seem to contradict that statement.

…Jackson [further] said it’s unfair to [compare her plagiarism to her students' plagiarizing]. “It’s like apples and oranges,” she said. “I don’t think you can put those two together because students are submitting work for a grade. I’m not submitting it for a grade. I’m not submitting it for any kind of compensation.”

That last bit is … UD doesn’t know what to call it. It goes beyond the president of Kean University explaining that the conduct code for students certainly doesn’t apply to him. The bit about compensation is … I dunno. It’s only 8:30 AM and … you know… you need to draw together some energies to deal with these things… She’s not being paid for her writing … But of course this is a crucial part of her job for which she’s compensated… Giving speeches and releasing statements and all… Whereas … Did she say students are getting compensation for their writing…?

For an award-winning principal this woman is both confused and – like the senator – queenly. Rand Paul and Sulura Jackson have perfected off with their heads arrogance. UD doubts it will carry either of them through.

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

UPDATE: The school board will discuss a personnel matter in their meeting this evening. It is appalling but not surprising that leaders of the school system have defended this woman. UD has seen this haughty contempt for students and their parents in several of this country’s public school systems.

‘Trustees said the university’s academic integrity policy applies only to students, drawing the hottest anger of the evening from the audience, which chanted “Shame on you” and “The board must go.”’

Some universities are such class acts that UD has trouble covering them. Take the massively inappropriately named Kean University.

Kean’s on probation because… well… because everything, including having a president who apparently lied on his cv and blamed the lies on his staff. My headline is taken from an article about the board of trustees having enthusiastically backed the president in his time of trial. What a relief for him to know that only Kean students are expected to act with integrity.

Oh, plus the university’s associate vice president for academic affairs is a plagiarist. A top-flight plagiarist, though. When stealing large chunks of text, she’s careful to replace the name of the school in the original text with the name Kean University.

Source document:

“It is vitally important to Parkland that meaningful research focus on the factors which influence student decisions, to ascertain which ones have a positive influence on student retention behavior. In addition, a key to help retaining students is the ability of Parkland to identify ‘at-risk’ students early enough to permit intervention strategies to work.”

VP Academic Affairs document:

“It is vitally important to Kean that meaningful research focus on the factors which influence student decisions, to ascertain which ones have a positive influence on student retention behavior. In addition, a key to helping to retain students is the ability of Kean to identify ‘at-risk’ students early enough to permit intervention strategies to work.”

She even found an obscure school (top-flight plagiarists know to look for obscure sources for their material) to steal from!

Despite all her hard work, the woman has been asked to resign. I’m sure the accreditation people won’t notice this latest awkwardness.

“Washington Times Ends Rand Paul’s Column After Plagiarism”

See, here’s the thing. Even though (wow – fun red helicopter landing at the White House as I write) Senator Paul assures us plagiarism is no biggie and the whole thing’s been cooked up by haters, newspapers really don’t appreciate being used as data dumps by people too busy and important to bother actually writing anything for them.

If you ask UD, the whole rich famous important person as plagiarist thing (as opposed to desperate pathetic high school superintendents and the like) is really about the culture of entitlement – a culture a lot of people (see another reference to helicopters, just below this post) really really don’t like. Monsieur Tea Party looks – post-plagiarism – like exactly what he is, which is just about as far from a populist as you can get. He looks like a high-handed give-a-shit SOB who breaks rules and blows things off because he can. Because he’s got a squad of staffers doing everything for him. Rand Paul’s initial response to the plagiarism revelation was echt entitled person. UD believes she can put it into two words. It is: Fuck You.

This response has made things worse for Rand Paul, so he’s gone to Entitled Option Two: He’s blamed it all on said squad and fired everybody in sight. Let’s see how that works out for him. Meanwhile, the Washington Times rightly rids itself of a parasite.

Rand Paul’s Plagiarism Gets a Spine

An entire section of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s 2013 book Government Bullies was copied wholesale from a 2003 case study by the Heritage Foundation, BuzzFeed has learned. The copied section, 1,318 words, is by far the most significant instance reported so far of Paul borrowing language from other published material.

… The copied text relates to the 2003 case of David McNab, a Honduran businessman who, along with three American businesspeople, was convicted of multiple felony counts related to the illegal harvest and importation of Caribbean spiny lobster tails in violation of the 1900 Lacey Act.

Senator Rand Paul Makes the New York Times.

But it’s all so trivial.

If things get any hotter for Paul on the plagiarism front, UD recommends his team dig up the spokesperson for Newt Gingrich during his presidential campaign. That guy really knew how to defend his guy.

Next Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE

Archives

Categories