Shanghaied

… Wendy Taylor, whose 43-year-old sundial sculpture stands on the banks of the River Thames near London’s Tower Bridge, told British news outlet The Independent that a holidaying art aficionado alerted her to the apparent replica [of the piece in Shanghai].

… The Chinese version, by an unspecified artist, has stood in a park next to the Huangpu river, which courses through the commercial hub, since 2006, Shanghai media reports said.

It has since been removed and [a] journalist saw park workers filling its circular base with plants and flowers on Thursday.

At the same time [journalists watched] workers removing two other statues, one of which resembled “Lute Being Played by Evert Taube”, which stands in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

The other bore a striking similarity to the centrepiece statue of the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Might as well get all our spring cleaning done at the same time.

“He didn’t do nothing bad.”

His student’s plea on behalf of the school superintendent who has spent his tenure plagiarizing from everyone says it all.

“… [Vladimir] Medinsky … implies that Catholicism is not a part of Christianity and [he] does not appear to know that Denmark is in Scandinavia.”

This is Russia’s culture minister, whose medieval history dissertation is, experts say, “scandalous, a real parody.”

Holey Thesis

A Catholic university said the president of Mexico met the requirements for graduation with a law degree, while acknowledging parts of his 1991 thesis were plagiarised.

Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City issued a statement late on Sunday, saying the thesis submitted by then-student Enrique Pena Nieto – elected president in 2012 – conformed with the standards of the time.

“The thesis introduced original ideas” and used outside ideas with and without citations, the statement said. “The (current) general regulations of our institution are not applicable to former students.”

Copyme Mucho

… 197 of 682 paragraphs in [Mexican President Enrique] Pena Nieto’s [law] thesis were copied from authors ranging from Mexican historian Enrique Krauze to University of New Mexico academic Linda Hall.

The Mystery of the Trinity

An Anglican priest in Australia plagiarizes three books of biblical commentary. Finally his publisher figures this out.

Three volumes by Peter T O’Brien, a theologian, author and priest, have been recalled and destroyed by Eerdmans publishing. Editors found several instances where the text ran “afoul of commonly accepted standards with regard to the utilization and documentation of secondary sources”.

… The initial allegations were made against O’Brien’s ‘The Letter to the Hebrews’. But further examinations of his ‘Letter to the Ephesians’ and Epistle to the Philippians’ found they were also “untenable”.

But this is by far the best part:

“In the [three] New Testament commentaries that I have written, although I have never deliberately misused the work of others, nevertheless I now see that my work processes at times have been faulty and have generated clear-cut, but unintentional, plagiarism.”

And speaking of corruption (see Rio Olympics post below), when stories like this one break…

… about an allegedly corrupt school superintendent in Florida, you know that lots of people in that system must have been aware of his activities for years, but until a brave administrator finally called him on it (she has already been “locked out of her school district email and can no longer access her data”) he just kept at it. I mean, it’s Florida… He must have figured…

And he did enjoy a long run. You can sort of trace the guy getting more and more imperial as time went on, to the point where he was allegedly “forcing staff to write papers that he used to complete his Master’s Degree.” He’s also alleged to have, with astonishing abandon, labeled students learned disabled, since the system gets extra funding with each such student.

Also, since you don’t have to include these students in determining graduation rates, graduation rates look much better…

I like the eugenicky feel of this guy, with his manipulation of populations for the betterment of his budget and his salary (higher degrees earn you more). UD is settling in for what will certainly be Further Tales of the Superintendent.

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PS: The Superintendent comes from an interesting family. His old man, Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant, is famous for alerting the citizenry that the people behind the Common Core idea want “every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

His mom’s pissed because she and the old man were just found guilty of Homestead Exemption Fraud – onaccounta they claimed the exemption for a property they don’t, you know… exactly live in.

Madame Van Zant’s defense is a real brain twister. UD‘s been swirling it around in her head for some time. Although the property has sat abandoned for eight years,

“We’ve been anticipating moving back very shortly for a long time,” she said.

This reads to UD like one of those Chomskyian sentences you need to diagram, but even after you diagram them they don’t yield up their meaning…

Trump Apologizes!

Everyone’s been asking him to, and UD has the transcript, hot off the press, of the candidate’s statement:

I have no one but myself to blame. I do not lay the fault or the blame of the charge at anyone else’s feet. For no one is to blame but Donald Trump. I take the responsibility. I take the blame. I take the fault. The Republican party leadership has been compassionate and kind and considerate and long-suffering toward me with some exceptions. To the thousands and thousands of ordinary Republicans who are godly, that uphold the standards of the Grand Old Party, its representatives that are heralds and criers of redemption, its candidates on the front lines… I have sinned against you and I have brought disgrace and humiliation and embarrassment upon you. I beg your forgiveness. To my campaign staff, you that are already bearing an almost unbearable load, to continue to say and tell the great story of Donald Trump, I have made your load heavier and I have hurt you. Please forgive me for sinning against you.

I know that so many would ask why, why? I have asked myself that 10,000 times through 10,000 tears. Maybe Donald Trump has tried to live his entire life as though he were not human.

Many ask, as I close, this: Will the campaign continue? Yes, the campaign will continue. Under the guidance, leadership and directives of my fine staff, we will continue to take our “Midnight in America” message all over the country. Thank you. Thank you and God bless you.


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

There is already, however, talk of plagiarism.

When a food critic is fired for plagiarism, it’s TMP all over the place.

Too Many Puns, that is. Already we’ve got

Restaurant Critic Canned After Plagiarizing LA Food Critic Jonathan Gold.

Headline writers may also make use of

shelved
tabled
goose is cooked
in hot water
in a stew
baked
creamed
pulled a double
poached
skimmed…

Amusing Tweet

With the revelation of plagiarism, Trump stands to lose the significant support he enjoyed from academics and journalists.

Ryan D. Enos
Political Scientist
Harvard

When it comes to American plagiarism, which this blog only two weeks ago called…

… “the life blood of this and almost all other nations,” UD always refers her readers to its explanatory urtext, The Great Gatsby. Gatsby is the great American novel in part because it captures better than any other literary work the entirely engineered, shabby dreamweaver thing that is the modern self-made – or rather made-self – American.

If you cry for poor James Gatz/Jay Gatsby at the end of that novel, dead in his pool, spare a tear for Melanija Knavs/Melania Knauss/Melania Trump/Melania whatever last name she takes after Trump divorces her… because it’s not really her fault that she read a plagiarized speech written for her (she’s not well-educated — like Gatsby, who advertises himself as “an Oxford man” but who had only a glancing acquaintance with that school, Melania claims to have graduated from college when she did not) instead of an original speech written for her. F. Scott Fitzgerald already gave us her shiny bogus world, which she had every reason to believe was shiny and bogus all the way down.

Is there a scammy, crime-tinted, er, aspect to that world? Has her husband, like Gatsby, been a little less than legit in his dealings? Well he didn’t graduate from Wharton for nothing and it’s a big bad dirty world out there, etc., etc. etc. but the main thing is that it all looks good and no one’s floating in a pool. Keep the aspidistra flying. Brazen it out.

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

Yes of course there’s an ugly under the pretty. Slave Michelle provides the labor; Master Melania and her Manipulators exploit it. But after all “the Obamas don’t really belong in the White House, i.e., they didn’t legitimately achieve their current status.”

Not everybody, in other words, gets to play the Gatsby game – like say if you were really born in Kenya.

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

Has damage been done to Trump’s campaign, as some observers suggest?

No. Trump’s followers are people who do not mind that their candidate correctly characterizes them as “the poorly educated.” Melania would have done damage had she attempted to disentangle, in the minds of her listeners, Slovenia, Slovakia, Slavonia, Slobodan Milošević, and Lower Slobbovia.

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

UD thanks Dave.

TW! (This blog now issues Trumper Warnings when it’s going to link to a Trump-related news article.)

University Diaries, comme vous le savez bien, loves fascinating plagiarism tales. Plagiarism being the life blood of this and almost all other nations, there are huge gobs of unfascinating plagiarism tales – the new school superintendent (yawn), the new school superintendent (did I already say that?) …

But when this nation’s Savant of the Secondary Market, when our Genius of the Jumbo Loan, turns out to have plagiarized from obscure earlier texts in his Billionaire’s Road Map to Success… well, UD sits up and takes notice.

At least 20 pages of the Trump Institute book were copied entirely or in large part from “Real Estate Mastery System.” Even some of its hypothetical scenarios — “Seller A is asking $80,000 for a single-family residence” — were repeated verbatim.

That’s why you pay so much for the Secrets of the Master at Trump Institute/Trump University!

If the people of Alachua County don’t think they deserve anything better than…

… a school superintendent whose self-published book has significant plagiarism, and includes sentences like “The flow of hot unpretentious lava with many fingers,” that’s their business.

Your Morning Giggle

In Romania, you can get out of prison if you write enough books. One book = 30 days reduction in sentence.

One businessman just got out after writing five books; one of his comrades in crime, also now released, wrote four books.

Dark rumors of a plagiaristic nature are beginning to surface, however…

‘Roberts said he disagrees. “I didn’t know there were academic norms at all,” he said.’

Next stop: Visiting professorship, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

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