A strong woman stands up to a propagandist. Brava.

The practice of female genital mutilation is part of the story. Onyesonwu undergoes FGM and her powers are severely impaired. Steven Barnes, an African-American science fiction writer, criticized this element in the book. In a review for American Book Review, he said Okorafor made traditional African culture look bad and should have used her book to celebrate the good aspects of the culture. Okorafor responded:

“Culture is alive and it is fluid. It is not made of stone nor is it absolute. Just because I believe that aspects of my culture are problematic does not mean I am ‘betraying’ my people by pointing out those problems.”

‘USC’s leaders never responded to the inquiries. Numerous phone calls were not returned, emails went unanswered and a letter seeking an interview with USC President C.L. Max Nikias to discuss Puliafito was returned to The Times by courier, unopened.’

Only after The Times published its report Monday did USC address the matter publicly.

The University of Southern California not only ignored – for a year – well-sourced questions from the Los Angeles Times about deadhead supreme Carmen Puliafito; the office of its president went to the trouble of returning by courier, unopened, a letter requesting an interview.

Kids, can we think of a better way to say fuck you? I don’t think we can.

And now USC is trying to make us believe that they’re just getting wind of Carmen’s… uh… is there one word into which we can bundle what the $1.1 million a year head of the Keck medical school has been up to after hours – during hours – for years?

*********

How can we explain USC’s suicidal behavior? Carmen’s almost certainly gonna bring down the president and some trustees. Probably lots of USC patients are going to be suing the school, since – I don’t know – if you found out that your suspicions about the madman checking your eyes – the guy everybody told you was fine – the dean of the med school for chrissake! – were in fact accurate, wouldn’t you be a little pissed? How much money did you spend to get treated by a meth head?

USC sure likes to make fools of people – reporters, patients. On the other hand, it serves and protects people like Carmen Puliafito.

*********

Again, then: Why? Why did President Nikias and his provost, the wonderfully named Quick, not only do nothing as their million dollar man drugged his way into oblivion on screen, but ignore and insult anyone who tried to tell them what was going on?

Well, remember they did the same thing with the last high-level highly-compensated, high-profile, high-as-a-kite campus hero: Steve Sarkisian. So we’ve got a pattern here; we’ve got a culture here. Let me suggest what that culture is.

USC is Hollywood. The school is in (roughly speaking) and of Hollywood. School song:

Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me

Headline of the Day.

Suburb Acting, Singing and Dancing Brings ‘Good News!’ to The Shedd

Deerbath – formerly birdbath –

… in UD‘s backyard.

“[I]t is up to individual schools to decide about whether staff and pupils can wear face veils…”

But guidance from England’s Department for Education doesn’t include language about parents and visitors.

A face-veiled parent was asked to remove her veil during a visit to her daughter’s school, and she has now sued on grounds of discrimination and you know what? UD doesn’t think her prospects are very good.

Her action will certainly prompt additional language in the rules, covering not just students and staff, but also parents and visitors. So of course in that sense what’s she doing is liable to be decidedly self-defeating.

Clearly the intent of the language is to cover people who enter the school grounds, so this looks like a quibble on her part. Then too, judging by recent European Court of Human Rights decisions, and recent polls showing close to sixty percent support for a burqa/niqab ban in England, few are in a face-veil-positive mood, especially, as Maajid Nawaz notes, in connection with ‘identity-sensitive’ environments. All of this may play a role in a judge’s thinking.

However this case works out, UD feels for this woman’s daughter. She has just been admitted to the school, and the first thing that happens is that her mother sues the school in a case that attracts national publicity. Nice going, Mum.

In response to campus outrage and embarrassment over the Carmen Puliafito scandal, the University of Southern California has announced the immediate release of the following adjectives:

Disgusting
Tragic
Outrageous
Despicable
Egregious
Shocking
Contemptible

“Watch this space,” announced President Nikias, “for additional adjectives as appropriate.”

Marc Kasowitz Update: Desperately Seeking Warmth

Amidst the brouhaha surrounding Kasowitz Benson Torres’ representation of Trump, the firm is losing partner Charles Miller, who after 11 years is leaving for the 70-attorney firm Tarter Krinsky & Drogin. Miller, who will be a partner leading Tarter Krinsky’s new securities and financial services litigation group, didn’t address the turmoil at Kasowitz but said he’s looking for “something smaller” with “a little more warmth.”

Kasowitz is out as the president’s lawyer, and has been spotted taking it easy on a Clearwater beach.

They’re sending a guy to jail for THAT?

A former University of Oklahoma system regent just got nailed for embezzlement.

He used a bunch of the money for

the restoration of his 1980 Ford Bronco.

Something about Bjork on Mars, and Some Guy’s Frozen Nuts…?

UD‘s having trouble making sense of this story. Give her a moment.

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

And here’s the obligatory I AM STUNNED TO DISCOVER THAT A (choose one from Column A)

FOOTBALL COACH

BASKETBALL COACH

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

is a super-sanctimonious-Christian fraud! You never see that combination at our universities! You never see a noisy pious moral scold who turns out to be a greedy horny cheating little shit!

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

Hearken, ye sinners! O list, ye lost ones!

The Hugh Freeze saga at Ole Miss haveth everything. It haveth the alleged recruiting violations, the former player on the holy draft night of 2016 who telleth of the cash payments, the aggrieved former coach (Houston Nutt), the disciples from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, the lawyers, the escort service, the “misdial” to the escort service, the suggestion from the athletic director that perhaps the “misdial” was part of a “pattern.”

It haveth the mingling of the gods on the fields and the gods in the sky.

“I don’t stand over them, make them do it,” coach Freeze sayeth of his players and his religion to Kent Babb of The Washington Post in 2014. “Certainly they hopefully see that it’s important to me and maybe the way I live and the way these other coaches live. Maybe it attracts them to it.”

The Twitter feed of the man from Independence, Miss., doth lineth with his Bible.

Here we seeeth the juxtaposition that will never stop astounding, the one that has breathed through the whole story of this most American of games since Rutgers playeth Princeton in 1869 and the legend goes that a witnessing professor hollereth: “You men will come to no Christian end!”

Here, a grubby game (and deliciously so) intersects with a peacocky purity.

Update, Puliafito Pileup.

Pileup because the scandal looks likely to take down the president of the University of Southern California, plus other high-ranking do-nothings.

“The mood on campus is one of stunned depression,” a USC physician said in an email to me, asking me not to use his name. “Students are upset that this was allowed to happen at their medical school, while the faculty are flabbergasted as well as embarrassed.” The physician said that in his opinion, Puliafito should have been immediately suspended in March 2016 [the meth incident] and an investigation launched.

“By allowing him to continue to practice,” he said, “patients’ health was put at risk.”

Reach Out and Shoot Our Trucks

Thank God the Second Amendment is alive and well in this country.

“On balance, while the grievor’s record of service has been excellent and while the cost to the grievor of discharge is undoubtedly heavy, I find that there are insufficient mitigating factors to warrant interfering with the penalty of discharge in light of the very serious nature of the grievor’s misconduct.”

That’s Canadian. Here in the USA, we’re more straightforward:

Fine prof, and it’s too bad she’s going to lose her job, but she’s a liar and a thief, so out she goes.

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

A professor at York University committed extensive benefits fraud, and then tried to lie her way out of it. She submitted

more than 100 false benefit claims totalling more than $8,000 for paramedical services, including physiotherapy and massage, on behalf of herself and her family. She did so by altering electronic copies of genuine invoices for prior services…

Massage! Why didn’t I think of that when filing false benefit claims??

[Her] conduct as her scheme unravelled worked against her. When the benefit administrator made inquiries about her claims, she fabricated and submitted additional fraudulent invoices. After further inquires, she denied she had ever submitted the electronic claims at all.

What a tangled hot stone massage we weave…

Newspaper poem.

UD likes to write poems whose words are taken from a newspaper or magazine article.

DARKNESS VISIBLE

Two ghost columns of visible writing
Lay beneath the parchment on a book board.
Bookmakers reused medieval binding
Whose text the makers had scraped and obscured.

Imaging hyperspectral, fluorescence,
Revealed the meaning of the hidden notes:
The old precursor text was in essence
A group of sixth-century Roman codes.

Well, the new dean met with USC medical students. Turns out they’re pissed.

One of them had the audacity to suggest that the president of the University of Southern California should resign, given how incredibly badly he dealt – continues to deal – with his beyond-disgraced million-dollar med school dean (Is the now ex-dean on leave? The school seems to say that he is. Is that leave with pay?).

“If this is true, if it turns out that it is a cultural problem with the university, with President Nikias, will you [She’s addressing Carmen Puliafito’s replacement as dean.] fight for President Nikias to be let go, so we can bring in another president who wouldn’t let this happen?” the student asked.

Because it sure looks as though the prez knew a lot was wrong with Puliafito, and that he therefore knew this worst of outcomes – a big national scandal – was possible… After all:

At the meeting on the Keck campus, students — some wearing hospital scrubs — said university administrators should have known more about Puliafito’s troubling behavior, including reports that he appeared drunk or otherwise intoxicated at campus events. One woman said that it “seems shocking that no one has been able to figure anything out in the last 10 years. … People are now going to be questioning our professionalism.”

So that’s a new but not surprising thing – he appeared drunk or otherwise intoxicated at campus events.. In earlier Pugliafito posts, I’ve anticipated that we’ll be getting reports of his having exhibited signs of trouble at public USC events. You don’t reach this guy’s depth of squalor without revealing it in various ways. But, as the student’s comment suggests, the thing that needs explaining here is why the university kept the guy in his position for years. Achieving his degree of debauchery is not the work of a day. What sort of university president lets his medical school dean – his $1.1 million man – slide down the long slide and not do something about it? Especially given the simultaneous meltdown of his football coach, Steve Sarkisian?

Or was that in itself the problem? Was the president simply overwhelmed with a pretty amazing set of events – the alcohol/drug breakdowns at the same time of a dean and a coach? A 2015 Newsweek opinion piece is titled:


USC IGNORED THE WARNING SIGNS ABOUT STEVE SARKISIAN’S DRINKING

And the writer asks:

[W]here were the real adults — [USC Athletic Director Pat] Haden, university president C.L. Max Nikias and chief operating officer Steve Lopes —

when Sarkisian showed up drunk at one USC event after another?

For sure the university should ask itself whether a president who mishandled both of these crises – Sarkisian and Puliafito – is fit for the office.

You know the joke…

Even though Morris and Sadie had been married for a very, very long time, they still decided to visit a divorce lawyer in Camden Town. At the first meeting, the solicitor asks them, “Why in the world do you want to get divorced? You each look well into your nineties. Why now of all times?”

Morris replies, “Actually, I’m 102 and my wife Sadie is 101.”

The solicitor is totally bemused and asks them again “So why do you want a divorce now?”

Sadie replies this time, “Well, we wanted to wait until all of the children were dead.”

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

A variant of it is playing out in Palm Beach, with an 88 year old wife demanding a divorce from her 89 year old husband because of the 61 year old tart he has on the side.

All of their children are still alive, but the article about them still made me think of the joke.

They’re both characters, so the whole article is worth reading. Especially the bit about the Wite-Out.

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