A sociopathic willingness to use the institutions of the state to destroy innocent people who have angered you.

That’s what it looks like Amy Cooper harbors, now that a second instance of her calling the powers of the law down on a man who has angered her has surfaced.

[Martin] Priest said Amy developed a “fascination” with him when they worked together at Lehman Brothers and filed [an expensive] lawsuit against him in 2015 with “fabricated” claims. “I never had a romantic relationship with her, period. She purposely engineered false allegations against me. And she made up allegations targeting my family’s physical safety,” Priest told The [Daily] News. … The lawsuit was dismissed in March 2018 after all parties failed to appear at back-to-back hearings, online court records show.

Right, so she’d done her thing, made her point, scared the shit out of the guy, and now her work was done. No need to expose her lies to scrutiny in court.

Precedents? I’ll give you one real, and one fictional. Whenever another Amy — Amy Bishop — got mad, she went hard against the person who made her mad and then boohooed to the cops that a frail innocent well-bred person like her could never do anything violent. Even more crazily, there’s Fatal Attraction’s Alex Forrest — another highly educated, impressively employed urbanite who didn’t take it well when a man angered her.

More violent than Cooper? Sure. But who knows what a cop might have done if Cooper had stayed at the scene and continued to make her hysterical claims against Christian Cooper?

Larry Kramer, who won the right to die at an advanced age, has died, age 84.

I mean, he won it. He fought hard for it and won it for himself: a full life. And he fought to win it for everyone else too.

Opening my copy of Reports from the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist, I go right to his 1987 speech to the Boston Lesbian and Gay Town Meeting – the beginning of Gay Pride Weekend. You want Larry, that’s where you get Larry.

… I believe this gay community of ours has a death wish and that we are going to die, because we refuse to take responsibility for our own lives… What’s the number of dead friends at which you can decide to stop just sitting quietly like the good little boys and girls we were all brought up to be – and start taking rude, noisy, offensive, political action? One? Ten? One hundred? … If I use gross language – go ahead, be offended – I don’t know how else to reach you, how to reach everybody. I tried starting an organization: I cofounded GMHC, which becomes more timid as it becomes richer day by day. I tried writing a play. I tried writing endless articles in the Native and the New York Times and Newsday and screaming on “Donahue” and at every TV camera put in front of me. I helped start ACT UP, a small bunch of too few very courageous people willing to make rude noises. I don’t know what else to do to wake you up! … “You want to die, Felix? Die!” That’s a line from The Normal Heart. In his immense frustration, Ned Weeks yells it at his dying lover. That’s how I feel about all of you… I am telling you they are killing us and we are letting them! Yes, I am screaming like an hysteric. I know that. I look and sound like an asshole. I told you this was going to be my last tirade and I am going to go out screaming so fucking rudely that you will hear this coarse, crude voice of mine in your nightmares. You are going to die and you are going to die very soon unless you get up off your fucking tushies and fight back! Unless you do – you will forgive me – you deserve to die… [Y]ou are saying that your lives are worth shit, and that we deserve to die, and that the deaths of all of our friends and lovers have amounted to nothing.

This woman fucked up on SOOOO many levels that the word amycooper will surely become part of our language.

As in I did an amycooper/I amycoopered, when we perform such extensive wrongness in the course of one brief continuous action that we actually manage to ruin our lives. This New York City business executive decided she was entitled to be (in the precisely correct word of her victim) an obnoxious “scofflaw.” Why should she leash her dog in a part of Central Park where leashing is the law? Let lesser people obey rules. And here comes this nobody to ask her to leash her dog. Begone, nowhere man!

This man, in fact a rather famous birder, wanted to bird-watch unimpeded by a loose animal, and he did not back down.

Mr. Cooper, 57, [no relation to Amy Cooper,] a Harvard graduate who works in communications, has long been a prominent birder in the city, and is on the board of the New York City Audubon Society.

Words were exchanged, and rather than demonstrating the simple civic understanding that would entail her apologizing and leashing her dog, Cooper became hysterical, called the police, and said a black man was threatening her. Although she is intelligent enough to have graduated from the University of Chicago, she behaved in this way knowing full well that her adversary was filming her.

“I am pretty adamant about not being a participant in my own dehumanization,” [he later explained in an interview].

His film attracted more than 40 million views in fewer than 48 hours.


There’s an interesting footnote. Christian Cooper, clearly a deeply decent person, is unhappy that the woman’s life has been destroyed.

“It’s a little bit of a frenzy, and I am uncomfortable with that,” he said. “If our goal is to change the underlying factors, I am not sure that this young woman having her life completely torn apart serves that goal.”

He is absolutely right; and though it’s hokey as hell, one way out of her total destruction would be for the two of them to meet again and shake hands. For him to accept her personal apology.

Portfolio: Health Minister, State of Israel

Cause hundreds of Israelis to die by telling them to ignore the coronavirus.

Pressure psychiatrists to lie about the mental health of a fellow ultraorthodox sect member in order to keep her from being extradited to Australia on 74 counts of sexual assault against children. Protect bunches of other sect members also accused of sexual abuse:

[Yaakov] Litzman allegedly intervened improperly to aid at least 10 sex offenders from Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community.

Pass out bribes.


Litzman has now resigned. Who will take his place?

I’m putting my money on Moshe Katsav.

‘McDermand did not respond to an interview request. He is currently working as a senior lecturer at the university.’

Well, he wouldn’t, would he. His total mismanagement (we’re being kind: it’s just as likely it was total deliberate rule-breaking) of his school’s sports programs has fucked Stephen F Austin University over but good. The school has rewarded him by putting him back in the classroom, where he can share with generations of students his … innovative sports management techniques.

Stephen F. Austin faces a series of penalties, including the vacating of games, for a lack of institutional control violation (Level I) involving the “erroneous certification” of 82 student-athletes in nine sports over the past decade, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the NCAA announced an eventual postseason ban for the school’s baseball, men’s basketball and football programs, all of which were included in Wednesday’s release, due to an insufficient Academic Progress Rate.

With the latest reprimand, the school must return 50% of revenue (more than $60,000) from the 2016 NCAA tournament, when the basketball program was led by current Illinois coach Brad Underwood, and vacate any games that included ineligible athletes. Other penalties include a 2.5% reduction in football scholarships and a 5% reduction in baseball scholarships — which can be assessed this season or next season — plus three years’ probation.

Such trivial stuff: You wouldn’t want any heads to fall because of it… No one’s fault, really, and McDermand doesn’t want to talk, so let it go…

I sought an excerpt and sought for it in vain…

… (to paraphrase Yeats), as I looked around for language about tea in order to honor the first International Tea Day,

I finally remembered “Lament” by Thom Gunn. One of the most beautiful AIDS-era poems, it recalls the long sad death of a friend, and among its lines are these:

… Your cough grew thick and rich, its strength increased.   
Four nights, and on the fifth we drove you down   
To the Emergency Room. That frown, that frown:   
I’d never seen such rage in you before
As when they wheeled you through the swinging door.   
For you knew, rightly, they conveyed you from   
Those normal pleasures of the sun’s kingdom   
The hedonistic body basks within
And takes for granted—summer on the skin,   
Sleep without break, the moderate taste of tea   
In a dry mouth.

And THIS is how you repay us for decades of overlooking your welfare fraud, electoral fraud, internecine violence, and failure to educate your children!

The poorest town in America, where living conditions are so crowded and squalid that in 1992 seventy percent of their children got hepatitis A, thanks this country for its willingness to let it live a welfare-dependent, scofflaw existence by breaking virus-containment laws and endangering hundreds of children, as well as the people of neighboring communities.

I wonder. If local and state authorities had ever, over the course of the last fifty years, taken the endemic law-breaking of this locality with real seriousness, I wonder if it might have stopped spreading epidemic illnesses among its children. (Don’t even talk to me about measles! Or vaccinations!)

Now that the Mat-Su Alaska School Board has Changed its Mind about Banning All them Nasty Evil Novels from their …

classrooms, Texas motivational speaker Eric Hogue steps up to ban not books but women. In his capacity as mayor of a small city, Hogue has decreed that women may not lead prayers at city council meetings onaccounta the Bible done said they caint.

Now ah don’t know much bout Christian invocations afore civic meetings, ahm a big ol’ blue stater, and round these parts the idea of praying together afore a town council meeting is pretty fucking weird, and, you know, making sure the prayer always happens to be Christian is even fucking weirder. But you caint quarrel with Mayor Hogue’s Bibleology – the Good Book do indeed go on bout how stupid and pointless women are, and how they better shut up ifn they know what’s good for them.

And I for one am ready to bow down to the superiority of men like Mr. Hogue to the female race. Just look at the guy and ask yourself if you could ever (I mean, ifn you’re a woman ask yourself) hope to accomplish all that he has accomplished. Start with his picture. (Scroll down.) The man is a Clown for Christ, bringing the Good News About Women, in a chock-full of chuckles format, to young people all over America. He has even self-published a clown book – Clinky The Clown (not to be confused with the very similar-sounding, very famous, Blinky The Clown) – which you can purchase. And he’s a magician!

What woman could hope to compete, invocation-wise, with a clown-magician who takes every single word in the Bible literally? Mayor Hogue, the stage is yours.

From your lips …

… to God’s ears.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream; merrily merrily merrily merrily…

… these two just got creamed.

From the outset, these two Varsity Blues parents passing their daughters off as rowers not only denied they did anything wrong; they truly believed… they knew… they did nothing wrong. That’s why they felt confident demanding that a judge throw out all the charges against them: How could anyone sustain charges when they did. nothing. wrong?


UD likes to point out instances of true moral degeneracy when they occur. For these two people, being rich means you use your money to hurt less wealthy people, corrupt systems, and gain advantages. Everyone knows that, and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s reality. While serving their jail terms, and then throughout their subsequent lives, these two will continue to believe this, though they are now willing to acknowledge that stinking legal systems exist under which this activity may actually be prosecuted.

Mean antisemites shut down our school just cuz we’re exposing kids and endangering the elderly.

“It just seemed like they were trying to see what they could get away with.

Why not? When you don’t know what science is, quarantines seem silly.


A growing number of schools and synagogues have reopened in recent days, defying city and state restrictions.

Are parents on board? Who cares?

According to a recent report in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, some Borough Park schools have ended phone instruction, forcing parents to choose between sending their children to illegal in-person classes or risk falling behind.

America. It’s back!

The pandemic forced a temporary shutdown of random mass shootings recorded by the shooter, but as of tonight, we’re back in business: A wee babe with an AR-15 opened fire at a shopping center because “society is mean.”

The echt, iconic American scene playing itself out in Glendale Arizona – an insane idiot barely out of his teens trying to kill us all with his enormous rifle – tells you that we were only temporarily out of commission. Now we’re back, all guns blazing.

We get Doordash; they get…


A box turtle eyes UD shyly…

… from beneath a bush in her new garden.

Soundtrack: Deafening early morning birdsong.

“[R]emote education is nowhere near the caliber of the on-campus experience.”

Duh. Any idiot knows that online instruction, while sometimes okay, is never great, never anything like face to face real time real world classroom education.

Not that UD didn’t constantly hear, at campus meetings (long before the virus) devoted to onlining more and more of her university’s offerings, that online was “exactly the same quality as in-class.” People actually said this. They said it confidently. They said it as if prefacing it Everyone knows that… As if anyone who might be thinking about demurring might want to keep their trap shut.

The drama, spontaneity, and challenge of other smart human beings sitting around you discussing an issue? The intensity-packed emotional/intellectual presence of a flesh and blood professor in love with her subject and excited by her students’ responsiveness to it? That cherished moment after class when some of her students come up to her and want to keep talking into the hallways and into her office? Meh. Meh! Feh. Feh! Who needs it!


The university told a whopper. It made a Whopper.

Eh alors. Universities tried to keep the Online Whopper fresh and sizzling, tried to make it a tenderly expertly fashioned Beef Wellington rather than a … Whopper… But all it took was some scrutiny by a few people uncynical and serious about their education to reveal the sesame bun under the puff pastry.


And lo! Behold the lawsuits all over this land as people realize that $30,000 a semester for techno-fumbling, anonymity, and emotional disengagement is on the high side.

Next Page »

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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