Headline of the Day



Lara Logan, the Fox person who said Anthony Fauci is just like Josef Mengele, has been dropped by her talent agency…

….and even Fox isn’t sure it agrees with her that Fauci is history’s worst psychotic sadist.

But her problems are just beginning.

Congressperson Paul Gosar is reportedly suing her for defamation on behalf of the Mengele estate. An email sent to major news outlets, purporting to come from his office, says: “No one, arguably, has been more consistently and viciously maligned in our time than Dr. Josef Mengele, whose contributions to twin studies alone merit acclaim. Now Lara Logan puts him in the same boat with a man who with his Chinese abetters released a fatal pathogen into the world population and is directly responsible for the deaths of millions. Logan will answer for this calumny.”

Lift Every Voice and Press SEND

A reader alerts UD to a University of Kansas provost who plagiarized the MLK Day inspirational message he sent to everyone at the university. “If you want to go technically, then yes,” he replied when asked whether he did it, shaming all us tight-asses who care more about the trivial technicality of stealing other people’s words than the wild sweeping grandeur of uplifting sentiment.

D.A. Graham highlights “communications specialist,” “integrity leader,” “and “Adjunct Faculty: Writing” on his LinkedIn page.

Wow. UD’s beloved Janis Ian is still at it.

Put her in high heels, so she can’t run
Carve out between her legs so she can’t come
Get her a dress, for easy access
Tell everybody that she’s just like all the rest

How long? How long, how long, how long
How long? How long, how long, how long

Tell me I’m ugly so I’ll buy your crap
Tell me you want me ’cause I don’t talk back
Tell me I carry the original sin
Tell me I’m holy when I cover up my skin


Pushing all the buttons there, eh? We’ve got FGM; we’ve got burqas. “[S]ome radio stations have told her they won’t play it,” and good for her! Who gets to be seventy and still get banned? “I will not disappear,” she sings.

Her voice is still remarkably strong, and her guitar work has held up well.

For UD, the Ian song that’s held up beautifully over decades and decades is Jesse, which I love to sing and play at the piano.

‘All the blues and the greens

Have been recently cleaned

And are seemingly new

Hey Jess me and you’

The song has a drifty sad pace which really grows in dramatic focus and intensity; more than that, the poetry of the thing is remarkable: All of its details are banal and domestic – the bed, the hearth, the light on the stairs, the floors and the boards, the pictures, the table – but they heighten until we feel the pathos of her material as well as emotional isolation (she still sets the table at noon).

And then we have at the end this amazing image: ‘We’ll swallow the light on the stairs.” Come back, and we’ll become the light. We’ll become all the light we need.

Attention, World Terrorists!

In America, it’s one-stop shopping! You can come here with no weapons at all and buy all the guns you want for your terror attack right off the street!

Why kill people in countries where getting weapons is difficult? Why run the risk of transporting them? In America the streets are lined with Glocks.

It’s rare that you find fully realized FICTIONAL characters in the world…

…. By which UD means that almost every actual, non-fictional human being presents with nuance, a sense of unreachable depth, ambiguity, contradiction. Norman Maclean gets at this when thinking about his tragic younger brother: “[I]t is those we live with and should know who elude us.”

Even those to whom we’re closest, that is, ultimately present as mysteries, exhibit the human traits of unreachable depth and contradiction. Everyone, really – or almost everyone – is recognizably human by virtue of their possession of a complex, enigmatic, and vulnerable private self.


And then there’s Alan Dershowitz. For as long as he’s been in the public eye, Harvard’s finest seems nothing — nothing — but a strutting monomaniac, a staggeringly unidimensional embodiment of the medieval humor “choleric.” Tip him forward in time and find him, post-medieval, on Moliere’s stage, firing up the floor boards with rage, hypocrisy, sense of entitlement, and faux moral indignation. A person who regards himself as a supremely righteous exemplar in a world of villains, his speech consists of rifle-blasts of accusations against his enemies: LIAR LIAR NAZI WHORE LIAR WHORE NAZI.

Moliere’s Dershowitz has gotten rich defending, in courts of law, female genital mutilators, murderers, and many other bad people, but this, he roars, proves his ethical superiority: GIVE ME YOUR TIRED YOUR POOR NO ONE ELSE WILL DEFEND THESE HUDDLED MASSES. And despite evidence of his using that wealth to lead a rather decadent personal life among rather decadent friends (sometimes they are the same people he is defending in courts of law, or in the newspapers, or, reportedly, to President Trump, in search of a pardon for them), he boasts that he belongs to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR synagogues. So there!

Like all flat characters, Dershowitz is as hilarious as he is heinous; it’s always funny in a startling way to find puppetry rather than profundity – Ubu rather than Macbeth – and as he gets close to death and we realize the long-expected moment of self-recognition or shame or at the very least reflection, the moment he becomes a recognizable human being instead of a machine, will never come, our laughter at him becomes more unsettling. It is guilty laughter, laughter at a person trapped in a failure to become a person.

His latest rifle-blast, in the pages of scummy Newsmax, begins with a boyish, wide-eyed, gentle, baffled photograph of his friend Prince Andrew. In this picture, Andrew asks Why is this happening to me? And in the fevered defense that follows, Dershowitz explains that it’s all because of greedy whore Virginia Giuffre, who also plucked Dershowitz himself out of thin air to sue for millions of dollars. It’s a travesty. A TRAVESTY.

‘A fossilized feather found in McGraths Flat still contains its original pigment sacs that can be discerned under an electron microscope.’

Credit: Michael Frese.

Der Todd in Hawaidig

The hideous University of Hawaii is a perennial subject on this blog, in particular because of its sordid sports program. They’re always hiring high-priced asshole football coaches, always quickly firing them amid scandal, and then always digging into their empty pockets to pay the coaches zillion dollar buyouts. You’d think a university system might, over the course of decades doing the same stupid ruinous thing, learn a thing or two. Not Hawaii.

Game attendance is pathetic. Deficits are astounding. But above all the place is constantly buying out assholes. The latest is standard-issue hyperchristian hypocrite Todd Graham, who between sermons about Christ’s love talks dirty and treats players like shit. You see this dude all over university football – Son, let us pray, you stupid cunt hold onto the fucking ball. Its more sophisticated form can be seen at places like Baylor, where soldiers of the lord preside over armies of rapists.


A tenured Penn lawyer named Wax

Has problems with Asians and blacks

Though everyone’s through

With her vile racist spew

The school cannot give her the axe

Adrian Vermeulen: “So, nu?”

Italy’s Church of Saint Ducea: The wave of the integralist future.

A reader writes to ask if I’ve noticed the developing Mackenzie Fierceton story.

Have I ever. UD has been circling this thing for a few days, waiting for more information to be released before she blogs about it.

The much-laureled U Penn student’s last name – Fierceton? – was the first thing that seemed strange to ol’ UD. No one else has it – the only mention of it I can find appears in a translation of the ancient Chinese Classic of Mountains and Seas – a book of myths whose translator puts the name “Fierceton River” on an obscure location.

Mackenzie’s last name used to be Morrison. Here her mother, Dr. Carrie Morrison, talks about breast density. Mackenzie dropped Morrison and added the dramatic Fierceton, which is fine, even fantastic, if you want to mark your separation from your roots, your own free fierce identity or whatever.

Fierceton’s roots are what you’d expect for someone born to a prominent physician: Private schools, horseback riding, cool vacations. But she has garnered all sorts of university goodies (scholarships, awards) reserved for underprivileged people, her argument being that her mother abused her, and in her teens she ended up in foster care. So she’s arguing that this means her background is foster care/abuse/underprivilege. Which a certain chapter of it is, but qua formulated humanoid she’s much more privileged than not, which puts into question the legitimacy of her underprivilege-based goodies.

Further – it certainly matters whether her claims of maternal abuse, amounting to broken bones, blocked breathing passages, and other nightmares, are true. All of the charges against her mother were dropped, and it looks as though hospital records list injuries much less nightmarish than the ones Fierceton claims.


One thing Fierceton has going against her is America’s really rampant culture of self-aggrandizing fakes, like UD‘s erstwhile colleague, Jessica Krug, an upper middle class Jewish woman from Kansas City who got all sorts of academic goodies by pretending to be a poor black person. Thanks to scads of identity scammers, we all have a vivid category into which to place Fierceton, whether this placement is in fact fair. Institutions are also hypersensitive – given this cultural background of scamming – to the possibility of being exploited by fakers, and in the case of Fierceton they have indeed started to come down hard on her. She is suing in response, so we will eventually know where at least some of the facts lie.

‘[Those] who have engaged in [certain extreme] forms of political violence … have themselves strongly communicated their disassociation from [any particular political] community through their actions. And if they are prepared to carry out such acts of serious political violence then they have no grounds for complaints if the community chooses to banish them. They have already, in effect, self-excluded.’

As the Supreme Court today rejects without comment ISIS propagandist Hoda Muthana’s appeal of the decision to declare her not an American citizen, we do well to recall Christian Barry and Luara Ferracioli’s comment about self-exclusion.

And listen. It’s just Muthana’s bad luck that the political and judicial establishment of this country has its hands full, at the moment, with January 6 domestic terrorists. We can’t get rid of those assholes. Apparently we can rid ourselves of Muthana.


Here are my Muthana posts.


It is time for Muthana to do what she should have done long ago: Look for alternative citizenship. She has claims on Yemen through her parents. And slavery is still quite popular in Yemen, so as an ISIS slaveholder, Muthana would feel right at home. Through her son, she has claims on Tunisia. Several countries offer citizenship for a price, and they may be willing to take a chance on her. Letting her innocent son grow up in the squalid prisoner camp they now inhabit is pretty vile behavior; even if she cannot accompany him to, say, Tunisia (his father was Tunisian), she should, for his sake, allow him to go.

Through her philosophically committed, extreme, and persistent violence against the US and other democracies, Hoda Muthana has certainly destroyed her own life. No one can be surprised if a person this depraved decides to go ahead and ruin her child’s life too. But it would be nice if she decided not to.

There’ll Always be a ‘Bama

A second suit was filed by Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California, against Mr. Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Giuliani and Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, accusing them of inciting the mob violence…

Mr. Brooks, who wore body armor onstage at a rally preceding the violence as he told the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking ass,” represented himself at Monday’s hearing after the Justice Department declined to do so…

“This was not to inspire people to attack the Capitol,” he said of his speech.

Les UDs came back from Rehoboth Beach to a big treefall in their front yard.

They knew all about it, because their neighbors took pictures and emailed them. Under wet, heavy snow, the main tree had fallen on some bundled wires, so there was a safety issue. PEPCO came out and pulled the wires back up, and then Asplundh came out and took away a lot of the big stuff.

Les UDs have been raking, lopping, hatcheting, and sawing the rest of it. Good honest work. We drag everything out to the front of the house and wait for the town maintenance guys to haul it away.

‘Americans Hope That Jim Jordan’s Refusal to Talk Becomes a Trend’

Rep. Jim Jordan’s announcement that he is refusing to talk to the January 6th committee has sparked celebrations across the nation, as Americans express hope that the congressman’s abstention from talking becomes a sustainable trend.

The guy’s a crooked old wrestling coach. (Scroll down.) UD‘s hope is that from now on he expresses himself, as our mothers always taught us, with fists, not words.

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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...
Ducks and Drakes

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