Oh Lord Look at the Photograph.

A New York magazine article about Alan Dershowitz features this photograph [scroll down] of then-Harvard prez Lawrence Summers, Jeffrey Epstein, and Dershowitz at a “dinner Epstein hosted in 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.” Look at the setting. Look at the restaurant. Any fellow Cambridge denizens recognize it?

Let me help you. Look at this photograph.

Note the same purple chair. The place is the (now defunct) Upstairs on the Square, where you “feel like you’re walking into Alice In Wonderland,” and where very young girls being taken out to tea are everywhere.

Nice, huh? I mean, where else would Jeffrey Epstein go out to dinner with Summers and Dershowitz?

At this point, one can only feel for his family.

Why haven’t the Dershowitzes staged an intervention?

Epstein Denied Bail.

Coulda knocked me over with an elderly Russian masseuse named Olga.

Alan Dershowitz’s Premature Ejaccusation

Harvard’s highest-profile professor – seen here in New York City – has titled his latest opinion piece J’ACCUSE, aligning himself with an earlier martyred victim of antisemitism. The difference is that when Émile Zola wrote his J’Accuse, Alfred Dreyfus had been condemned to lifelong penal servitude, whereas Dershowitz is accused of penile pervitude.

And the New Yorker article he’s attacking hasn’t come out yet; Dershowitz bases his J’Accuse on rumors he’s heard about it.

The pride of Harvard is a serial j’accuser, having used the same headline in a 2012 piece j’accusing all Germans who have a problem with male circumcision of being Nazis. He likes to talk about his underwear and his many enemies, most prominently the fourteen year old prostitutes out to get him and I dunno if I were Harvard University I’d really be asking myself at this point if I want the institution mentioned up front in every article about a mad filer of lawsuits who harbors a seriously misplaced martyr complex.


UD thanks Andrew.


And now Scathing Online Schoolmarm will take a closer look at Dershowitz’s latest J’Accuse.

Before she analyzes particular sentences, SOS would like to make a general statement about this curious little essay which attacks a non-existent article.

It doesn’t read as though a human being wrote it. It reads like something issued by the government of Oceania, a flaming piece of hackwork, and SOS wonders why this is. For all its nutty attacks on Nazi, Jew-hating Norway, Dershowitz’s J’Accuse #1 kind of read like him; you heard his authentic madhatterdom in every phrase. But listen to J’Accuse #2:

[E]very American should be outraged at this partisan effort by a giant of the media to stifle the marketplace of ideas by exploiting the past credibility of The New Yorker to try destroy the reputation of a public intellectual with whom they disagree... This is the latest weapon in the partisan warfare that divides our nation.

Doesn’t the traffic pile-up of cliches and the general odor of forced emotion suggest that Dershowitz palmed that day’s effort at self-defense off on an atelier of assistants? Tell ’em I’m gonna sue!! shouts Dershowitz into the phone, and the assistants oblige:

… The New Yorker picked on the wrong innocent victim, because I have the will and resources to fight back against the falsehoods [it] is directing at me and those who want hear my voice… The truth is my weapon in this war of words, and the truth is unequivocally on my side.

The problem with defense attorneys who’ve gotten rich defending really scummy people is that high-minded rhetoric isn’t a good look for them. (From comments on an article about Dershowitz’s latest yowl: “When the lawyer for Claus Von Bulow, OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump says that he’s on the level, what choice do we have but to believe him?”) The truth is my weapon! says Joan of Arc and… Alan Dershowitz? It’s why a lot of what he writes sounds more like The Onion than Zola. The man doth protest too much, and protesting too much leads to suspicions that a person has something to hide.

So when, at the end of the piece, Dershowitz cites an anonymous source assuring him that for a still-non-existent New Yorker piece about him, the author did research, some of which landed her on disreputable websites, one is simply gobsmacked.

[She] trolled the internet and came across a neo-Nazi, Holocaust denial website called Rense.com, which both the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center have declared to be anti-Semitic. This site accused me of beating and murdering my first wife.

Why would you write this? Why would you bring it up? You are asking SOS to regard you as Joan of Arc/Alfred Dreyfus because someone you won’t identify told you the writer of an attack on you that doesn’t exist looked at a disreputable website while researching you?

It is UD/SOS‘s humble opinion that the wear and tear of a long and kinda icky public life has caught up with this guy. He’s not as agile as he once was. Harvard can expect a lot more embarrassment.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Mike Lofgren’s column makes UD all nostalgic for the rapeabilliest campus in America, and its late lamented leader, Ken Starr!

One of Epstein’s lawyers was Ken Starr.

Yes, that Ken Starr, independent counsel of Bill Clinton-era fame, that half Eagle Scout, half Cotton Mather for whom, apparently, all sex was illicit.  Despite his ostentatious revulsion [against] the White House malefaction that he investigated with merciless thoroughness, he managed to be much more broad-minded defending pedophilia and sex trafficking charges when, in 2007, Epstein offered him a big payday.

Starr’s subsequent presidency of Baylor (the largest Baptist university campus in the world), from which he was fired for doing nothing about reports of campus rape later sustained in court, shows a similar moral relativism. It appears our high-level criminal class needs a sanctimonious front man or two to keep the Bible thumpers in line.

Not Humbert Humbert himself, but rather John Ray, Jr., Ph.D., is the voice we’re going to have to steel ourselves to hear in our nation’s latest installment of Lolita. For we are about to be instructed, over and over again, that Jeffrey Epstein is sick, sick, sick.

Ray, you remember, is the dolt who prefaces Humbert’s confession.

[A]t at least 12% of American adult males—a “conservative” estimate according to Dr. Blanche Schwarzmann (verbal communication)—enjoy yearly, in one way or another, the special experience “H.H.” describes with such despair… [H]ad our demented diarist gone, in the fatal summer of 1947, to a competent psychopathologist, there would have been no disaster… He is abnormal. He is not a gentleman. …

As a case history, [this] will become, no doubt, a classic in psychiatric circles. Above all, there is the ethical impact [this should have; it warns] us of dangerous trends; [it points] out potent evils. [It] should make all of us—parents, social workers, educators—apply ourselves with still greater vigilance and vision to the task of bringing up a better generation in a safer world.

The “In-Control Rapist” Defense

“It’s not like he’s an out-of-control rapist,” [one of Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyers told the judge on Monday].

Although she opts for the conventional bookending approach, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours nonetheless demonstrates how far we’ve come in press coverage of the international, ongoing, burqa-banning story.

Yes, in covering the ban in Quebec, the writer begins and ends with the difficulties one Muslim woman there has had because she veils. UD looks forward to the day when at least a few writers covering burqa and/or hijab bans will bookend their articles with arguments that some forms of veiling represent “an affront to Muslim women.” Or begin by noting the women of Iran and Saudi Arabia who are organizing, at great personal risk, to rid themselves of veils. Or how about bookending articles with comments from Frenchwomen who used to veil and now don’t (because it’s illegal), and who report feeling as if they have been freed from prison.

But this is only a quibble. UD is actually thrilled by this article, because it’s yet another indication that under the pressure of rapidly globalizing burqa bans in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, more and more journalists are finally approaching the subject with a sense of balance. Kestler-D’Amours acknowledges up front the popularity of veiling bans in Quebec; she quotes generously from government officials making the case for integration, and at no point calls anyone in favor of bans islamophobic. She is, in short, even-handed; like most rational people reporting on the subject, she has surveyed the spectacular majorities for banning in most countries of the world (here’s an example, from one of Europe’s holdouts), and, whatever her personal views, has accepted this as a reality to be taken seriously.


Indeed it’s time opponents of veil bans (which means virtually all journalists) grew up and stopped with the nahnahnah islamophobe business. The numbers (over 80% of the French supported the ban; over 70% of Germans would support one) and the laws are against them; it’s getting worse every day; and the only sensible route, it seems to ol’ UD, is for people writing about bans to make an effort to put themselves inside the heads not merely of people who want to wear veils, but also of people who object to them. In the immortal words of the immortal: You know something’s happening but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?

‘Nordic Nazis make organic eating a cornerstone of their ideology.’

A sentence that made UD laugh.

Dersh Cam: A Series

I was the man; I kept my underpants on; I was there.

I am a camera.

I came; I saw; I …

Enough already! What matters is, in those days, if you didn’t know Trump and you didn’t know Epstein, you were a nobody — and Harvard University’s most famous emeritus has never been a nobody. The recent tragic, McCarthyite attempt to make me a nobody I spun around into major personal publicity.


In those days I followed around pretty close to Epstein, yeah… Just watching! Totally keeping my underpants on, but always in a corner somewhere observing like Boswell to his uh Johnson and look don’t tell me Life of Samuel Johnson wouldn’t have been a shitload more readable if he’d had the kind of access I had to Jeffrey.

So just to get this series started: The Italian. THE ITALIAN. Since she’s already spilled the beans, I can add what I saw.

She was 21 then – way too old for Epstein, but maybe it was a slow day for him because just as she describes it her modeling agent sent her there she thought for work (not sex work) and she comes into the room – I’m in the corner reading Baby’s Bris and first it looks like he’s interviewing her and then he takes all his clothes off! He lies down on the massage table and hands her a vibrator! I’m being very quiet and wondering does he want to watch her use it on herself or is she supposed to… I don’t know… vibrate him? But these idle thoughts were suddenly interrupted when she takes the thing, looks kind of confused, and throws it at him!

In her account, she then blacks out for awhile and when she comes to she runs out of the room and out of the mansion… So what happened while she was blacked out was Epstein sighs, lowers the vibrator to the floor, grabs his cell phone and calls LARRY SUMMERS to make final arrangements about a Harvard science conference he was sponsoring on Pedophile Island! I had to admire the guy. From one to the other like that.

The Italian chick is gone, he’s finished the call, and here’s Epstein still buck naked but with an ex-erection. “Larry wants me to put my name on another institute at Harvard,” he said, “but I hesitate.”

“Why, Jeffrey?”

One of his fingers moved along his chiseled cheekbone.

“It makes me feel old.”

‘[T]he supposed author of a Forbes story calling [Jeffrey] Epstein “one of the largest backers of cutting edge science” conceded in an interview that he was given $600 to post the pre-written article under his own name.’

UD would like to know who this pathetic, contemptible person is. Forbes has of course pulled the article; but how many other Forbes articles are lies issued under the names of people willing to sell out their bylines for – in this case – six hundred bucks from a sex convict?

Forbes‘ famously clever motto is Capitalist Tool – but until now I didn’t think I was supposed to take it literally.


Oh wait. It’s apparently Drew Hendricks! Silly UD; all I had to do was go to the 404 page and read the url. LOL. More laughs here.

‘Epstein Paid $350,000 to Tamper With Witnesses, Prosecutors Say’

Sing it.


His friend Ghislaine

Is talking to the men.

His friend Ghislaine

Wants to avoid the pen.

And where’s that nasty pen?

Darkest Tenn.! Darkest Tenn.!

And if you are Ghislaine

What then? What then?

… In Hartford, Harrington, and Hampshire

Sex trafficking hardly ever happens…

His friend Ghislaine…

‘Chris Melzer, a spokesman at the Berlin office of UNHCR, said German attitudes toward the hijab do not necessarily emanate out of Islamophobia. “Many in Germany think that headscarves display inequality, and women’s equality is very important in Germany,” he said. Other than Islamophobes, a section of German intellectuals see the hijab as a symbol of oppression, a misogynous tradition.’

Again, hurray. More and more often, as UD has been noting here, articles about various forms of resistance to women who veil dedicate at least a few sentences to the possibility that this resistance is not islamophobic.


The term Islamophobia is … used to silence discussion on issues like the niqab – despite the fact that its use is hotly debated by Muslims around the world. Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria have all passed various laws opposing the wearing of garments like the burqa and niqab. These bans are often motivated by security concerns, but they also make it clear that face-covering is not a central practice in Islam. These nations see the niqab as deeply divisive, not only in Western societies, but in their own Muslim-majority societies too.

But rather than argue its case, groups like the Muslim Council of Britain seek to shut down debate altogether. By painting arguments like mine as bigoted and beyond-the-pale, they aim to wrest control of the conversation in favour of another view: that Muslims are perennially demonised and objectified by the very same societies, and media outlets, which allow us to freely express our views.

  Qanta Ahmed

Acosta Resigns.

Good. Because it’s really hard to rhyme “Acosta.”


OTOH. UD thinks we’re moving to Caligula too fast. It’s possible Epstein will bring down the presidency or screw up re-election, but you’ve got to pace these things, and it’s only counterproductive to go to Caligula at this point.

Thus sprachs Michelle Goldberg’s headline in the NYT, but UD needs to insist that however “depraved” (Goldberg’s word, and I’m fine with it) this administration is, until it forces every woman on the White House staff to strip and prostitute herself with a stallion in the Oval Office, it’s not really in Caligula’s league. Rather, if you want to characterize what Trump has brought into the White House, go here, to a 2014 secret party of the one percenter boys; or (in its Early Years manifestation), recall the Duke lacrosse boys ordering strippers in for the evening. This isn’t the culture of Caligula; it’s about money crimes, woman abuse, and drinking. The only two obviously crazy people in this world are super-sanctimonious, totally blind VP Pence, and I Kept my Underpants On, Mommy! Alan Dershowitz. Neither seems capable of Caligulan behavior, but both are certainly as batty as the “little boot”; and while the unhinged Dershowitz is well on his way to permanent nervous breakdown, we do need to worry about Mad Mike assuming the throne.

Anyway, all UD is saying is cool your jets. All things come to those who wait.

Spider Web, Morning Sun…
UD‘s forest.

Next Page »

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