Desperate Housesellers of Needham

All the Cambridge girls made fun of him cuz his house was only worth half a million even though he coached at a school worth forty billion and overrun with the hyper-rich. “He can’t even afford to live in Cambridge,” smirked the walking-distance-to-Harvard crowd; and he was a fencing coach, too, which should have meant serious money but in his case didn’t.

Economists tell us that you’re only as rich as the people around you – if they’re living way over your head, it doesn’t matter whether objectively you’re doing okay. You feel like shit. So who can blame him for trading his insider knowledge of Harvard admissions for big money? His life has been a living hell, honey.

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

To access the deep structure of this story, read this. Carefully.

“Trump claimed that Democrats as a party would use the ‘power of the law to punish their opponents’ if they’re handed the reigns to the country.”

Silly British tabloid thinks we’re a monarchy too.

Ah, sweet mystery of life.

You can’t have a sip of Campari.

It’s hotter than ten Kalaharis.

So tell us Michel.

I mean, what the hell?

Why did FIFA select the Qataris?

‘Amani Ben Ammar, 34, an accountant who emigrated from Tunisia to Montreal six years ago and comes from a Muslim family, said she supported the bill because it was imperative that those representing the state in positions of authority appeared to be neutral. “How can a judge wearing a Muslim head scarf be deemed neutral in a case involving a homosexual?” she asked, referring to Islamic views condemning homosexuality. “Diversity is important in society, but the state needs to avoid conflicts between professional duties and religion… I left my country because of the pressure of Islamization and do not expect to find that in Quebec,” she added.’

One hears far too little from women like Amani Ben Ammar, but they are the reason large majorities of Europeans and Canadians favor burqa bans and other public sector secularism legislation. Good on the New York Times for adding her voice to a trend whose coverage typically features only a morally outraged reporter, plus international elites screaming Islamophobia. Such coverage leaves unspoken the reason why 60-80% of many countries’ citizens, when asked whether they support burqa bans, say yes.

For Bloomsday.

I have come to the conclusion that it is about time I made up my mind whether I am to become a writer… I foresee that I shall have to do other work as well but to continue as I am at present would certainly mean my mental extinction. It is months since I have written a line and even reading tires me. The interest I took in socialism and the rest has left me. I have gradually slid down until I have ceased to take any interest in any subject. I look at God and his theatre through the eyes of my fellow-clerks so that nothing surprises, moves, excites, or disgusts me. Nothing of my former mind seems to have remained except a heightened emotiveness which satisfies itself in the sixty-miles-an-hour pathos of some cinematograph or before some crude Italian gazette-picture. Yet I have certain ideas which I would like to give form to: not as a doctrine but as the continuation of the expression of myself which I now see I began in Chamber Music. These ideas or instincts or intuitions or impulses may be purely personal. I have no wish to codify myself as anarchist or socialist or reactionary…

A 1906 letter from James Joyce to his brother.

Excess signage around Garrett Park’s Black Market Bistro.

Seen on today’s early morning pick up trash walk. UD thought she’d have plenty to pick up – Saturday was insane with activity all over town – but the town crew must have swept through late yesterday, because the streets were frustratingly pristine. She did collect one half-full bottle (calorie free health drink, natch) in Wells Park, and a black plastic fork in front of the tennis courts, but that was it.

UD also lays some of the blame on fellow Garrett Parkers, who, all day long every day, do exactly what UD does.

12 Angry Men and Women

‘[B]eing pissed off at the local college is not a valid legal doctrine for taking millions of dollars.’

An AAUP blogger demeans the Ohio jury in just the way the administration of Oberlin College has consistently done: The jurors are vindictive village idiots, unable to understand concepts like harm, defamation, and the rule of law, able to use the legal system only to stick it to the elitists down the block. For those who want to get rid of embarrassingly inexpert juries altogether, the lopsided outcome of the Oberlin trial ($44 million in damages and penalties to the college), in the Gibson Bakery case, is the icing on the cake.

Yet although this clearly was an angry jury, that doesn’t mean their verdict was dumb. The jury knows that Oberlin won’t in the end pay out that much money; they know that an appeal is thunderingly obvious. Appalled by the … well, let’s use the language of the AAUP blogger — a man who is sympathetic to Oberlin…

… Oberlin students behaved disgracefully, only to be exceeded by the incredibly stupid and repulsive actions and comments by Oberlin administrators. Protesters demanded a boycott over a case where the Oberlin students were clearly guilty (and later pleaded guilty) and there was no evidence of racial discrimination. They made accusations of past racism, but never presented any convincing evidence publicly. Oberlin’s administrators were even worse. They hurt Gibson’s business by refusing to stand up on their behalf and by boycotting the bakery for a time. They tried to intimidate Gibson’s into dropping charges against the Oberlin students by threatening to continue their boycott, and even asked the bakery to call the college rather than the police when students shoplifted in the future. And Oberlin’s administrators sent each other very dumb messages that alienated the judge and jury so much that the actual legal regulations about defamation [were overlooked].

Appalled by this behavior, which I suspect was felt as a personal attack on their community’s economy and reputation, the jury decided to communicate as forcefully as possible its unacceptable nature — perhaps with an eye to Oberlin eventually gaining some compassion and rationality along the way. As Bill Maher put it in lamenting Oberlin’s actions, “How do we get mainstream liberals to stand up to that faction?” One way is to jolt them awake with outrageous court awards; once awake, mainstream liberals might ask themselves why Oberlin has as a vice president and dean of students an angry factionalist, a woman way, way out of the liberal mainstream. That happened because no one’s watching. Now people are watching.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm Asks: Why Did Oberlin Want to Spread Student Tensions More Widely?

In court, one of the College’s attorneys, Rachelle Zidar, argued that the College and [the dean of students] did not seek to injure [Gibson’s Bakery] but rather the pause [in their business relationship] was meant to diffuse tensions that had built within the student body.

Time for Oberlin to Smear the Entire Jury as White Supremacists and Picket their Homes.

Pending an appeal, that’s their only move.

This is one angry jury; they just added $33 million in damages. See this post for details.

Why are they so angry? I’m gonna go ahead and guess.

  1. Most people really hate bullies.
  2. The jury perceives itself to be defending not just a family but a way of life, and the reputation of its community (which, by the way, voted for Hillary Clinton). These are things they take very seriously.
  3. Oberlin has throughout this fiasco handled things with the delicacy, kindness, and rationality of Donald Trump. In the way of Trump, it has basically, and repeatedly, dismissed the jury as losers. The jury did not take this well.

Oberlin at this point desperately needs an outside public relations firm. But apparently it is too clueless even to realize that.

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

UD thanks tp.

Why neighbors get a real bang out of gun stores.

When close to one hundred percent of the people in a part of Arlington Virginia registered opposition to a gun store opening in town near an elementary school, a lawyer for the shop owners expressed bafflement. “What’s the danger they anticipate? Do they think 2- and 3-year-old children are going to come over and buy guns? … Or somebody at the store is going to start shooting up the place? I don’t know what they think is going to happen.”

Perhaps UD can help him out. At 3:00 AM last night, about a mile away from her house…

Four suspects are on the loose and one person is dead after a burglary at a Rockville, Maryland, gun store…

… As there are four possibly armed suspects on the loose, police are urging local residents to navigate the area with extra caution.

… The five suspects rammed into a police cruiser as they were fleeing the scene, causing police to shoot at the car, officials said.

Police later found the car a few blocks away from the area with a dead man inside, according to police.

Police say they found a bag with multiple firearms inside in a backyard not far from the scene. Three other guns were found outside the car the suspects tried to get away in. It appears two stolen cars were used in the incident — one to ram the storefront and a getaway car.

I just don’t know what people think is going to happen.

Remember: Update your files from ‘Purdue’ to ‘Mundipharma.’

The American courts are taking care of Purdue; time to direct our attention to Purdue’s overseas conspirator, Mundipharma. Cuz they might be having a spot of trouble addicting us here, what with all the lawsuits, but overseas they are coked to the gills.

As Marx might put it, the people of the globe have nothing to lose but their sobriety; and they have a world of druggy deaths to win.

Look at Italy, a country transitioning from two glasses of wine for dinner to two bottles of morphine for eternity. I’ve just linked to a long article, but it’s worth reading for the bubbly richness of that nation’s surrender to Mundipharma’s ambassador, Guido Fanelli, a man who wants everybody Oxyed unto death. Fanelli’s war plan is so familiar to those of us who have for years tracked academic pharmawhores in the US – the releasing of bogus scientific papers, the organizing of bogus scientific conferences, the gathering-in of kindred prossies from universities and laboratories.

As the U.S. market contracts, opioid consumption is climbing overseas. Canada and Australia are already following America’s catastrophic course, with rising rates of addiction and death. Others may be on the cusp of crisis: Researchers in Brazil report that prescription opioid sales have skyrocketed 465 percent in six years. Overdose deaths are going up in Sweden, Norway, Ireland and England, fueled by prescription painkillers and the illicit drug trade.

Fanelli, “a motormouth and a braggart,” made it reasonably easy for Italian police to discover and record his epic monologues about his Oxy-obtained yacht, so he and various Mundipharma executives are currently somewhat up shit’s creek.

But there’s so much more to come:

Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University professor, published a paper in 2017 pleading with the world to pay attention, especially as prescription rates rise in developing countries with minimal regulation. “As Oxy marches around the world, the things we see in Europe will be disturbing,” he said, “but less so than they will be in Botswana or India.”

‘Until there are convictions for FGM practitioners [under the U.K.’s child abuse laws], I won’t see any progress.’

The Queen bestows OBEs on two anti female genital mutilation activists, which is great. The more publicity the better. But as one of them points out, you’ve got to start putting people in jail.

Here in the States we’re still working on putting No-Clits Nagarwala in the slammer. UD thinks that eventually this will happen. In the meantime, it’s nice to realize that her life and vocation are ruined, so she can’t cut up any more children.

Busted.

Crowds of obnoxious Israeli ultraorthodox (there’s no real sense in railing against them, since they will in a few years be ruling a halachic religious state… but let’s fight the good fight anyway) scream every Saturday at people trying to enjoy their dinner at a Jerusalem restaurant. No one’s allowed to open a restaurant on the Sabbath, see.

The eatery’s owner decided she’d had enough; she and her female waitstaff waded into the crowd of ultras and pulled up their blouses to expose their bras, which scared the ultras away.

“Klil Lifshitz, the 28-year-old lesbian who opened Bastet 2 1/2 years ago with a ‘super feminist’ wait staff rather than decamp to liberal Tel Aviv as most of her friends had,” is my heroine; she scared away the ultras.

Maybe if they had some military experience the ultras would be able to stand up to a few bras.

Surely Klil’s next tactic (when the boys get it up enough to come back) is mooning… and after that, well, UD just can’t say.

Florida Gators: They’re KILLIN’ it.

Always one of the American university’s most criminalized football teams, the University of Florida Gators have lately outdone themselves. Aaron Hernandez’s Former Florida Teammate Charged With Murder runs a headline, and, yes, believe it or not, the team boasted two future murderers playing side by side! Hernandez killed acquaintances; Earl Joiner allegedly killed his wife. Earl Joiner Becomes Second Florida Gator to be Accused of Murder from 2007 Team notes another headline. Storied team! A school can’t pay for this kind of publicity!

Herd Instinct + Political Correctness: A Most Expensive Confection.

A slice of Oberlin College’s administration, students, and faculty ganged up on a local bakery.

Oberlin College staff — including deans and professors — and students engaged in demonstrations in front of Gibson’s Bakery following the arrests of … three students, [a] lawsuit [filed by the bakery] stated. The suit also said Oberlin Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo and other college staff members “handed out hundreds of copies” of a flier to the community and the media stating that Gibson’s Bakery and its owners racially profiled and discriminated against the three students. The court documents include a copy of the flier, which included the words “DON’T BUY.” “This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION,” the flier read, according to the lawsuit.The flier also listed 10 of the bakery’s competitors and urged customers to shop there instead.

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

Students carried signs accusing the bakery owners of white supremacy or simply saying “Fuck Gibson’s.”

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

All three students eventually confessed, one to having tried to steal wine, and two others to physically attacking a person from the bakery who tried to stop them as they exited the store.

A jury just told Oberlin to pay the bakery eleven million dollars. Punitive damages – to be decided later – may raise that figure quite a bit.

A subtle moral lesson for Oberlin students from the people who run their school:

  1. Rush to judgment.
  2. Pay for your mistake with other people’s tuition money.

Details.

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

Update: Those who argue that this was a bad decision, with frightening implications for free speech on campuses, make two points:

  1. It is impossible to assess what damage was done to the bakery by a concerted effort (large protest gatherings in front of the store and broadly disseminated messages to the community to boycott Gibson’s because it was and had long been a racist institution) to shut it down.
  2. The attack on the bakery did not come from officials who speak on behalf of Oberlin. Thus, “to punish a college for not reining in its students, administrators, and faculty even when they are not speaking on the college’s behalf represents an extraordinary threat to academic freedom and to freedom of speech.”

As to #1, you can see from these clashing financial experts at the trial that Oberlin did itself no favors by hiring as their expert someone who dismissed out of hand any evidence of harm to the business. No doubt the guy on the other side inflated stuff, but Oberlin’s problem lies in the fact that when a crowd of people vociferously and steadfastly condemns a business as racist, it’s reasonable to expect long-term damage. UD grants that we’re in a rather gray zone here, but if she consults her own response to obscene deep-rooted bigots of the sort the Oberlin literature about Gibson’s evoked (she shrinks away as fast as possible), it’s intuitively obvious to her that many people are going to stay away from the bakery. Serious damage will ensue.

On #2: Actually, a college should – must – rein in people like the Oberlin vice-president and dean of students who stirred up the student body against an innocent business (UD personally thinks the deathblow in that trial came from the parade of African American locals who testified that far from a racist location, Gibson’s Bakery was a place of love) and in texts boasted of her ability to organize the students to do her bidding. Oberlin might have saved itself a lot of grief if it at least issued a statement acknowledging that this woman acted badly. Intemperate ideologues who rush, disastrously, to judgment, don’t seem to UD the very best candidates for deans of students; but if you insist on hiring them, you should be prepared to distance yourself when they make a mess of things. If you choose not to distance yourself, you should be prepared to absorb some legal blows.

Next Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE

Archives

Categories

Bookmarks

UD REVIEWED

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.
AcademicPub

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.
Dagblog

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