Say it loud and say it proud: Malaysians love to cut off our infants’ clitorises!

We’ll tell it to the UN, we’ll tell it to the world! We’re here, we’re clit-slashers, get used to it.

What if they gave a game and…

nobody came?

American Doctors Tweet Against the NRA…

… which, typically, is stupid enough to think that people are more interested in getting riled up against elites than in saving their children’s lives.

With a nation’s daily carnage fully before their eyes, with our hospitals overflowing with the dying, the NRA tweets this:

Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control.

Enraged, heartbroken, doctors are tweeting back.

Unless you are working beside me in my Pediatric ER while I code a child dying from a gun shot wound while his mother screams in a way that will stay with you forever you need to STAY IN YOUR LANE. Gun control and gun violence is ABSOLUTELY my business.

There’s a lot more where that came from.


Should this get ugly, UD has a helpful hint for the NRA: Send out a tweet saying that George Soros is funding the doctors’ tweets. Jewish doctors, you know … Soros is a Jew …

Certain public university systems – Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico – wallow.

They wallow. They simmer in their own juices. They don’t get nowhere.

To be sure, they’re corrupt. I don’t want you to think they aren’t corrupt, or that there isn’t a connection between their being corrupt and their wallowing. There’s a direct connection. People can certainly make money off of wallowing.

On this blog, we make a point of following the nothingness of these schools, with a particular eye on their sports programs, since here the futility, absurdity, and nihilism is at its most obvious.

Take New Mexico. Here’s a typical recent article about it in the local press.

First sentence:

Missed budget projections, lingering debt and low game attendance have all contributed to serious financial troubles at the University of New Mexico Athletics Department.

There’s no there there, see? No one’s at the games – UD is surprised the teams show up – nobody’s in budgeting … The schools I’m talking about, located in America’s nature wonderlands, are an extension of their magnificent silent mountains, their deep echoing oceans, their stretches of frozen tundra…

Crucial to this vast chasm is a really stupid and corrupt state legislature, and all three of these states have them. A certain dance is danced, to be sure… I mean, like clockwork, when a school like New Mexico is in such profound shit that it demands more money from the state, the state says whoa wait uh what’s up over there? What you guys been doing? Didn’t we, uh, give you some money…? Don’t we give you some money every year…? So the head of the House appropriations committee pledges to

take a “fine toothed comb” to the UNM Athletics budget before determining what additional funding looks like, if any.

“We are going to dive into these numbers very closely,” Rep. [Patty] Lundstrom said. “The questions I am going to ask are about compensation packages. I want to know what benefits these coaches and the athletic director have. I want to know how much over their base pay they are receiving of taxpayers’ dollars.”

Yeah cuz for the last hundred years or so while the school lies there on the ground dead all the money we send you goes to the athletic staff and NOW’S THE TIME WE MEAN IT THIS TIME WE’RE REALLY GONNA …

UNM’s Athletics administrators and coaches are among the highest paid state employees. While [AD Eddie] Nunez has made cuts to programs to save dollars, he hasn’t made any cuts that would personally affect his own personal finances or the personal finances of his staff. The high salaries and many benefits that UNM Athletics administrators and coaches are entitled to by their employment contracts have remained untouched…

…[S]everal salaries [are] above $300,000 per year with a variety of 13 different types of benefits ranging from free-use vehicles to media pay, promotional pay, incentive bonuses, season tickets to games, country club memberships, retention bonuses, free spouse travel to games and in one case a relocation expense totaling nearly $20,000.

[Scathing Online Schoolmarm says: a variety of 13 different types is redundant. Just write 13 different types. You could even write just 13 types. The high number jumps out more if you just go directly for it.]

The AD’s response to this fact is a beaut. In an entire culture of stupidity, it still manages to stand out.

“I am a supporter of incentives because to me, it incentivizes people to do something. If they achieve it, some great things are happening.”

SOS will not attempt to parse this, because she is old and fragile; she will merely remind you that the athletic program at New Mexico is a debacle.

‘Contempt for Civil Society’

[The] recurrent leitmotif in ultra-Orthodox electoral messaging is “in line with Israeli Haredi school curricula” and its “contempt for civil society,” said Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, an organization that studies the content of textbooks across the Middle East…

“The big picture is that there is a definite clear and concerted effort to keep Haredi children behind the walls they built up and away from everything they consider bad, all the temptations of the modern world,” Sheff explained. “That is to say, civics and democracy are taught in a very restricted manner” and many of the ultra-Orthodox “are not given an expansive view of how civil society and democracy works and [about] individual choice in choosing representatives. Take away the civics and democracy education, and give ‘rabbis-know-best education’ and presto, you have a situation where large [numbers] of people will be very open to being told how to vote at election time.”

… Samuel Heilman, a professor of sociology at Queens College, [says:] “The basic orientation is that individuals are not the ones to make political decisions, because if they are, then the power brokers lose their capacity to in effect deliver a bloc vote and their greatest power and strength is their ability to deliver that … I think the idea of every person thinking for himself, whether politics or anything else, is very threatening to the Haredi community. It’s not about politics so much as independent thinking and decision-making, and that’s the real risk.”

‘Once Again, Some of the People at a Mass Shooting Had Almost Been Killed in an Earlier Mass Shooting’

Mass gun slaughter: It’s everywhere you want to be!

Well, you already know I spent my last birthday…

… heading into Woodstock with my sister at the wheel, the two of us belting out Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock. You know I sing and play guitar (though I mainly sing and play piano now), and that my roots are very Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Joni Mitchell. (My aspirational roots are Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, but let’s get real…) For Joni Mitchell’s 75th birthday, Canadian singers talk about their favorite songs of hers.

Although I sat around my freshman dorm room at Goucher College obsessively listening to the sad songs on Blue, it’s her fast ecstatic songs that have stayed with me: Woodstock, Carey, California. These are the songs that, decade after decade, sashay through my head while I sashay.

Leaf Season Chez Les UDs

UD‘s shadow greets you.

Cal State Channel Islands, California Lutheran…

… these are among the universities near last night’s mass shooting at a college night in a bar in Thousand Oaks.


“[E]very country contains mentally ill and potentially violent people. Only America arms them.”


Also Pepperdine, Moorpark…


“[S]ome [of the victims] were survivors of the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas that left 58 dead last year.”

UD Gets a Talking-To From Social Security.

Maybe I read too much Kafka growing up. Whatever – I hate and fear bureaucracy; I always assume having anything to do with it will be hell. So I ignore and neglect it as much as humanly possible.

Naturally therefore I filled out my retirement benefits application wrong – and wrong in a very — I hate this word — impactful way. I paid reasonable attention to what I was doing when I filled it out, but that wasn’t enough, and I made one significant mistake.

I ignored the first few letters from SSA alerting me to the rather expensive implications of my fuckupery; when I finally held my nose and began reading further letters, I realized I had to try to fix what I’d done. But how? Would the SSA even allow me to change the form?


So … the rest of this narrative is going to be as UDesque as what I’ve already written. What you are about to read is in fact echtUD.

I decided my best bet lay in action directe. Forget phones and internet: This would have to be face to face in a local SSA office. No doubt the office itself would be appalling and the wait (in order to be told to fuck myself) would be all day. Fine. I deserved the punishment.

Washington Avenue, Rockville, was all I had by way of location, but I figured I’d get to the vicinity and check my phone for the exact address. Except that my phone for some reason wasn’t connecting, so I had to keep walking and reading the fronts of office buildings… And there it was.

I entered exactly the crammed immiseration chamber I anticipated – six packed rows of seating from which you stared at numbered windows and a computer screen above them which told you what waiting list digits had just been called. I drew a deep sad breath, took my number (C395), and sat down with an article about the war in Yemen.

To my left, in a little alcove, hovered two genial but hawkish policemen: If your cell phone rang, they rushed over and told you to put it away or leave the room. When a large Chinese family loitered for a bit at the exit, they hurried them out. These two kept the room quiet and orderly.

I also noticed that the SSA clerks dealt calmly and efficiently with people — even disheveled, confused people.


My number was called way, way before I figured it would be. I gathered my pathetic paperwork, mentally rehearsed the terse sob story I’d prepared, and drove forward to window 3. I expected one of the following outcomes.

1. You’re in the wrong office. You need to go to Silver Spring, Baltimore, New York…
2. What? I don’t understand.
3. Once you do what you did on the form, there’s no going back.
4. You have to file an appeal. Here’s a list of fees, forms, and attorneys…
5. Come back tomorrow with more documentation.

I had just watched the woman who asked my name and age handle a befuddled shuffling young man who said to her by way of introduction I’m very sensitive…

Rather broke my heart, if you really want to know, but she was kind and patient and solved his problem. Maybe she could even make some sense of ol’ UD.


“No problem.”

Did I just hear that? Did she just say in answer to my convoluted hopeless entrapment in the deathcogs of the machine that she was about to reattach my positive negalator to my negative posilator licketysplit and all was well?


“But tell me,” she said, trying to smooth out the incredibly creased pages of my passport so she could read them for i.d., “why did you make that mistake?”

“Because I’m dumb,” I grinned.

She didn’t grin.

“You know,” she said, “I have a bit of an issue with uninformed clients.”

What followed, as the immiserated masses waited their turns behind me, was the talking-to I mentioned in this post’s title. This was the sort of thing I was expected to know; it’s not all that difficult to understand what to do. One shouldn’t be afraid of bureaucracies. One has to deal with them sometimes. Etc. Etc.



I didn’t begrudge her. Au contraire, I deserved it; there were actual needy people all over the room, people not floating along on high FICO scores, lots of SSA money, and several other sources of funds. Why the hell was I clogging up the works?

I mean, she didn’t say that last stuff; that’s me talking. She simply – and kindly – told me to face the music.

‘The weapon used in the attacks was a broomstick. One of the suspects told police it was a tradition going back years at the school. Another suspect is quoted saying it had happened to him in years past as well. The victims told police they had heard rumors about what they called “brooming,” but thought it was just a myth, not a tradition.’

Which – if true – is why the principal of Damascus High School, near UD‘s house, was foolish to write in her initial public statement that the rapes were limited to the school’s junior varsity football players.

Background here. As you know if you read this blog, anal rape and high school football go together like a horse and carriage.

Washington DC, at Dusk, After a Rainy Election Day.

Taken by La Kid from
the offices of Bain & Co.


(Most of its words and phrases
are taken from this article.)



Lightsail of artificial origin!
Non-trivial periodicity
Of the light curve! O Oumuamua:
I am in an excited state of spin.


You are excited by external torques…
Curved sheet, hollow cone or ellipsoidal,
Part of the vast unbound population,
Are you alien, probe, mineral, Orc?

Voting on a Rainy Day at…

… Garrett Park Elementary School.

(UD attended several centuries ago.)

Pediatric Dentistry…


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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. ...
Medical Humanities Blog

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 ...
The Bitch Girls

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.
Mary Beard, A Don's Life

[University Diaries offers] a broad sense of what's going on in education today, framed by a passionate and knowledgeable reporter.
More magazine, Canada

If deity were an elected office, I would quit my job to get her on the ballot.
Notes of a Neophyte