Adam Schiff says Alan Dershowitz is not a “reputable” constitutional lawyer.

But hyuk I mean if you’re gonna go down that road re Jeffrey Epstein’s BFF…!

‘[L]aptops in most lecture courses harm both their users and many others. Our professors, as facilitators of our learning, have a duty to make the hard choice and, in that specific context, ban them. It’s time to close the lids and open our eyes.’

The remarkable spectacle of university students reminding their professors of their basic pedagogical responsibilities continues. This Emory student has done more than most professors – he has reviewed the now-extensive literature on the vile effects of laptop use in most college classrooms, and he has arrived at the obvious conclusion. As have many responsible professors. But so many others who continue to allow laptops – are they lazy? cynical? – have not.

‘Multiple Punches Thrown, Player Picks Up Chair To Hit Someone WWE-Style During Wild Brawl At The End Of Kansas-Kansas St Game’

Life of the mind, USA.

American Burqa
Gun rally, Virginia.

Trubu Roi

… Trump implored Rex Tillerson, then secretary of state, to help him jettison the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. “It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines to a group of aides…

… While visiting Pearl Harbor, according to John F. Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff, Trump seemed to have no idea what had actually happened there. Throughout he is misinformed and confused while at the same time utterly certain of himself.

… Administration lawyers came up with a nickname for Matthew Whitaker, the former acting attorney general. They called him Mongo, after the illiterate galoot played by Alex Karras in the Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles.”

Update on the ISIS-generated collapse of the Norwegian government.

I guess ISIS – what’s left of it – can claim this as a major victory. The seasoned terrorist Norway now harbors – a person who refused to give medical authorities her dying child until she brokered a deal to get her own ass out of al-Hol camp – is so dangerous and degenerate and expensive and awful that Norway’s crucial governing partners pulled out of that country’s coalition in protest against the decision to let her in, and the government has collapsed.

Don’t hold your breath for the in-solidarity-with-this-poor-mother march through the streets of Oslo.

So, let’s review.

Point One: All women in al-Hol camp are, like this woman, innocent.

She continues to claim she’s innocent of the terrorism charges against her, while setting off the threat of a government crisis that was more real than ever Monday morning…

The 29-year-old woman at the center of the conflict, meanwhile, continues to claim that she had nothing to do with actual terrorist activities over the past several years. Newspaper Aftenposten has reported that she’s charged with traveling to the Middle East in 2013 and being involved first with the Al-Qaida-linked terror group Jabhat al-Nusra and later the Islamic State (IS).

She has told Aftenposten, however, that she merely was looking for a way to avoid being forced by her family in Oslo to marry a Pakistani cousin. She was born in Pakistan…

Born in Pakistan. Is she a citizen of Pakistan? Can she apply for Pakistani citizenship? And how plausible that in order to avoid a forced marriage she decided her best move was to join a terrorist organization that matched her with serial sperm depositors! For seven years. The women in al-Hol are the last holdouts of ISIS – she fought to the bitter end.

Point Two: ‘[H]er defense attorney has argued that it will be difficult to prove any actual terrorist activity.’ Uh, yeah. Why do you think countries don’t want terrorists back? I mean, aside from the obvious, which is that they’re terrorists. Because it will be difficult to prove any actual terrorist activity. I mean, haha, define your terms! One man’s ISIS fanatic is another man’s Aunt Bee! Plus listen – turns out things get pretty chaotic in seventh-century cults/war zones… Turns out people don’t keep records! I mean, maybe this woman kept a diary, like Earnest’s Gwendolyn, to have something sensational to read in the train! Today I whipped my Yazidi slave until she bled. The weather still continues charming. Let’s check it out during her custody hearing!

Point Three: ‘Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide reported that claims would be lodged against the woman to pay for her own travel expenses back to Norway.’ Travel expenses, security expenses, medical expenses, housing expenses, child care, court costs – we’re right on it! Her work as the camp IT specialist earned her massive bucks, some of which will go toward a villa in Palo Alto, but a portion of which will come right to us, the government of Norway. Don’t worry that your tax dollars are paying for your country to fly back, surveil, and house a Pakistani-born, veteran ISIS fanatic.

‘He said she had since shed her niqab and took joy in wearing colors.’

How interesting! When an ISIS member’s lawyer wants to justify her having been allowed to return to Norway from Syria’s Al-Hol camp, he goes right to her niqab-dump! Why ever does he do that? How interesting that he clearly thinks we’ll be … reassured about something… consider it something positive and good… that a woman has rejected the niqab…

Yet my burqa:my freedom, and my niqab:my freedom have become international memes; the world’s press routinely publishes I love my burqa and you’ll never take it away from me opinion pieces. We are intended to find Islamophobic this man’s implication that removing the niqab – and hey wait a minute – –

How do we know she didn’t dump it under duress, desperate as she is to get Norwegian medical care for one of her children?

“The woman remains a security concern,” [a local terrorism expert] acknowledged. “But at least she will be under control and surveillance in Norway. Apart from France, no European-born returnees from the war in Syria [have] carried out new terror attacks in Europe.”

Oh yeah right apart from France… As in – apart from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play…

Bringing her back to Norway is bringing down the Norwegian government; but after all what a good idea to let this “ISIS Wife,” as the NYT headline absurdly calls her, back in the country.

Keep calling these chicks ISIS wives. Go ahead. I mean, that’s all the poor stupid dears were, right? Mobile vaginas immobilizing themselves for a time in ISISland in order to produce babies for one husband after another. No other personal identity here, and certainly no moral agency and certainly no slave holding or beheading applauding or propaganda issuing… The sexism with which these women are being received in Europe and America is astounding.


UPDATE: Norway’s ruling coalition has disbanded after the populist Progress Party (FRP) left the government, partly due to the repatriation of a mother with suspected ISIS links from Syria.

The Prime Minister said there were no options, but there were. Bring in the child for treatment while the mother stays behind and works out her citizenship options. She grew up in Norway and presumably has family there who can look after the child. She has a Pakistani background, and one of her husbands has (had?) Chilean roots – she may qualify for citizenship in those countries, or in whatever country her other husband came from (he is not identified in news stories).


ANOTHER UPDATE: So as the thing becomes a big story – a whole government falls because someone thought Norway needed to repatriate and permanently surveil an ISIS militant – we can scan a big ol’ page of news stories about it and find not ONE reference to this woman as an ISIS militant. Let’s see what we find… ISIS spouse, ISIS widow, ISIS bride, ISIS wife… Occasionally we get suspect, woman, returnee… But take a look and you’ll see overwhelming use of the reductive, sexist formulation. Do we call ISIS men ISIS husbands? Why not?

Something for UD to like, and something for Mr UD to like, in the New York Times Presidential Endorsements.

They’ve endorsed two candidates this time around: Elizabeth Warren (my pick) and Amy Klobuchar (about whom Mr UD is enthusiastic).


Donald Trump, Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz have joined together in a pervy, hypocritical cabal to argue that Trump did not smirch the Constitution.

Get Rich Quick. If you get caught, Get Sick Quick.

From her years of covering university and non-university fraud stories, UD has learned a few things.

  1. Everyone steals. (No, no, no, I know that not EVERYONE steals. But if you take the long view, it sure as hell looks as though almost everyone, at some time or another, in some denomination or other, steals.)
  2. When lusty lifelong larcenists get caught, they suddenly turn out to be harboring hundreds of one hundred percent debilitating physical and mental illnesses.

UD gets that this is a legal strategy – he was too crazy to know what he was doing while he spent twenty years stealing from institutions in the subtlest, most brilliantly devious and undetectable ways – ways that fooled even the best auditors. His lifelong depression and anxiety made it impossible for him to truly enjoy the robust beach vacations he took at the expensive condo he bought with purloined funds; he could barely turn the wheel of the Lexus SUV he got with his booty. He is a broken man, in short, and an hour in a lockup will bring on a fatal flare of his heart attack issues.

UD saw the most brazen use of he’s half dead and prison will kill him in the Greek university system, quite possibly the world’s most disgusting. From one of many such stories:

[In the matter of the] enormous, long-running theft of funds by the leadership of Panteion University:

The thieving rector, Emilios Metaxopoulous, is already out of prison, a few months into his 25-year sentence. No doubt a fine Greek surgeon (“A U.K. court on Wednesday jailed a former executive of medical-goods supplier DePuy International Ltd., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, for channeling £4.5 million ($7 million) in bribes to Greek surgeons…. [Greek surgeons’] demands for bribes have put operations out of reach for some Greeks. Stents for heart operations, for example, cost up to five times as much in Greece as in Germany…”) was found to attest to his deathly illness.

The vice-rector, serving a 16-year sentence, preceded the rector out of prison, for he also has a deathly illness. The vice-rector seems to have been in jail for twenty minutes or so.

More recently, a Florida man who spent decades stealing hundreds of thousands from the United Way looked like this in court:

[Guy Thompson] became emotional at times, such as when the mental health counselor who performed his forensic mental health evaluation, John Bingham, discussed how Thompson suffered from major depressive disorder stemming from family troubles in his childhood and a pressure to provide in adulthood for his family members, who were “big spenders.”

Bingham testified that Thompson was “very upset and remorseful of the whole situation” and “very upset with himself for having engaged in that behavior.” 

He also said Thompson had depression and anxiety for nearly his entire life, and had indicated he might have a mild neurological impairment. 

[Thompson’s attorney] told the court that since Thompson was arrested and charged, he has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, has had a pacemaker installed, has hypertension and has been seen by numerous doctors and specialists.

Sing it!

I am the very model of a medical catastrophe.

Inside of all my organs there’s a heightened state of atrophy…

Before Ken Starr joined the presidential defense team, Mother Jones revisited his leadership of Baylor University.

On the college level, football players were not exempt from sexual assault allegations. Just look at what women suffered at Baylor University as a result of the “institutional failures at every level” under the leadership of Art Briles and then-school president Ken Starr (yeah, that Ken Starr.) One lawsuit alleged that 31 Baylor football players had committed 52 “acts of rape” between 2011 and 2014.

The university has settled several Title IX lawsuits with sexual assault survivors who accused officials of allowing a “rape culture” and failing to properly act against incidents of sexual assault. That included a Baylor volleyball player who alleged she was drugged and raped by at least four football players in 2012.

A new book, with a chapter about the work of UD’s father-in-law, Jerzy Soltan.
A link to the book.

It’s a beautiful world.

[Senate Republicans] know Trump did what he’s accused of and don’t care. Writing to Politico’s John F. Harris, a Trump supporter recently described the president as “our O.J.,” an apt analogy for Republicans’ vengeful determination to give a guilty man impunity. (As it happens, Trump will be represented by one of O.J. Simpson’s old lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, at his Senate trial.)

If Don DeLillo were writing White Noise today…

he would definitely have found a way to use this in the novel.

UD creates the paths around our house; Mr UD names the paths and makes maps.

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Latest UD posts at IHE





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