Arash of Plagiarism

For details of the latest, AMAZING, academic plagiarism, it helps to read French. Because even though attorney/politician Arash Derambarsh’s cut and paste définitivement rises to the level of English-language-world interest, someone has decided it won’t travel well. Listen up to realize just how wrong that is.

  1. Almost every word of his dissertation, at deadhead Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne, is plagiarized.
  2. Just in case anyone might look at it, he somehow got the university to agree to keep it secret for thirty years – because it contains incredibly sensitive, high-level, top-secret material, see.
  3. For its part, the university assigned as his committee various buddies and non-specialists, all of whom – vive la France – passed the thesis with flying colors.
  4. Someone managed to get hold of the thing, despite its ultra-top-secret status, and determined that it was entirely plagiarized, which forced the hand of deadhead Paris I, which began an investigation. Investigators were unable to find “the missing mandatory report on the defense (which legally has to be entered into the academic record for a PhD to be valid).” Derambarsh’s thesis advisor advised that it “was in a computer that had been stolen.”
  5. Arash submitted to the investigators an entirely different piece of writing, this one cleansed of copying. Ballsy.
  6. The thesis was voided; Derambarsh may never again register at any French university for any course of study.
  7. He’s been disbarred.

John Eastman: “I just dropped in to see what condition my sedition was in.”

His take on his famous memo keeps changing. Where is his sedition today?

Makes UD think of the classic song, featured in The Big Lebowski.

‘The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler asked, “Why would they publish, without analysis, a bunch of stuff that[‘s] already been fact checked as false?”‘

Well, they also published Joseph Epstein attacking a doctorate holder for being called doctor. Editorial decisions at the Wall Street Journal have gotten very mad tea party: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”


Though some scholars argue it should not be interpreted as a slight, a prayer in which men thank God for not making them a woman is recited each morning.


It’s like…

Though some scholars argue it should not be interpreted as a slight, a prayer in which white men thank God for not making them black is recited each morning…

‘But the prime minister’s former supervisor, Etienne Criqui, said standards were different before the invention of plagiarism-detecting software.’

Luxembourg’s prime minister committed plagiarism “unparalleled in its scope”in his master’s thesis. The headline in the Guardian says it all:

‘Only two pages’ of Luxembourg PM’s university thesis were not plagiarised

‘[O]nly “a few paragraphs in the introduction” and “an equally short conclusion” had not been copied wholesale…’

… Which leaves us free to imagine what those stunningly original intro and conclusion paragraphs had in them. Let’s see… hm…


I should like to thank my wife Babette, and our daughters Lucette and Lunette, for their steadfast love, support, and patience, as I sweated bullets to get this thesis in on time. Only they can know, because they lived with me throughout, what labor this work represented, and how many piano and dance recitals I had to miss because of it. Forgive me! I hope this accomplishment of mine can in some way compensate for, or at least explain, my absences.


I leave these pages with bittersweet emotions. My close study of voting systems in the European Parliament has been rigorous and even exhausting; and yet, as I bid it farewell, I find myself surprisingly melancholy, surprisingly reluctant to give up the work and hand my thesis in to my mentor, Professor Criqui*, whose no doubt minute reading of this work will result in extensive critical commentary and (I hope) a truly deserved A!


*Author of the forthcoming Post-Plagiarism-Detecting Software and the Collapse of the European University .


UD thanks Elizabeth.

Wanna know how smart the highest paid person at a high profile American university is?

[Washington State University football coach Nick Rolovich met with] Dr. Guy Palmer, a world-renowned WSU regents professor of pathology and infectious diseases… Over about an hour, Rolovich drove a conversation that focused on topics that were consistent with what Palmer said has been shared by the “anti-vax crowd on social media” over the past several years.

“Kind of typical ones: Is Bill Gates involved with the vaccines? Does [Gates] hold a patent on the vaccines?” Palmer recalled to ESPN. “He asked whether SV40 [the simian virus] is in the vaccines and whether that could be a dangerous thing. And the answer to that is no.”


The ignorance here is appalling. George Soros holds a patent on all the vaccines, not Bill Gates. Bill Gates isn’t even a Jew.

What Becomes a Revolutionary Most?

Honesty. John Eastman, Trump revolutionary who conspired to overthrow the United States government, speaks honestly about his anti-democratic praxis to Lauren Windsor. His pride in his almost-successful subversion of America shines forth just as strongly, in this exchange, as his anger at turncoat Mike Pence and at traitorous inside-the-Beltway RINOs more interested in their “cushy,” materialistic lives than sacrificing for the revolution.

Eastman himself seems to have made about $500,000 a year as a law school dean, but that’s not materialistic because he was doing the Lord’s work.

Yes. The Trump comparison everyone’s making has been unpersuasive to me, too.

Zemmour has often been compared to Trump and he does want to Make France Great Again. “We want to protect our language,” he says, “the most beautiful in the world, the most clear, we want to protect it from American and North African influence and inclusive writing.’”

A better comparison, though, might be with Boris Johnson. Like the British Prime Minister, Zemmour has a first-rate mind and is often mistaken for a clown.

In honor of all the excitement in France today about the Celine manuscripts…

here’s an excerpt from Journey to the End of the Night.

“It so happened that just to one side of my bench there was a big hole in the sidewalk, something like the Métro at home. That hole seemed propitious, so vast, with a stairway all of pink marble inside it. I’d seen quite a few people from the street disappear into it and come out again. It was in that underground vault that they answered the call of nature. I caught on right away. The hall where the business was done was likewise of marble. A kind of swimming pool, but drained of all its water, a fetid swimming pool, filled only with filtered, moribund light, which fell on the forms of unbuttoned men surrounded by their smells, red in the face from the effect of expelling their stinking feces with barbarous noises in front of everybody.

Men among men, all free and easy, they laughed and joked and cheered one another on, it made me think of a football game. The first thing you did when you got there was to take off your jacket, as if in preparation for strenuous exercise. This was a rite and shirtsleeves were the uniform.

In that state of undress, belching and worse, gesticulating like lunatics, they settled down in the fecal grotto. The new arrivals were assailed with a thousand revolting jokes while descending the stairs from the street, but they all seemed delighted.

The morose aloofness of the men on the street above was equated only by the air of liberation and rejoicing that came over them at the prospect of emptying their bowels in tumultuous company.

The splotched and spotted doors to the cabins hung loose, wrenched from their hinges. Some customers went from one cell to another for a little chat, those waiting for an empty seat smoked heavy cigars and slapped the backs of the obstinately toiling occupants, who sat there straining with their heads between their hands. Some groaned like wounded men or women in labor. The constipated were threatened with ingenious tortures.

When a gush of water announced a vacancy, the clamor around the free compartment redoubled, and as often as not a coin would be tossed for its possession. No sooner read, newspapers, though as thick as pillows, were dismembered by the horde of rectal toilers. The smoke made it hard to distinguish faces, and the smells deterred me from going too close.”

“Make it Gohmert! Make it Gohmert!”

And…. YES. A perennial favorite of this blog, Rep. Louis Gohmert (Texas), appears on the ultra-exclusive list of GOP reps said to have taken important roles in organizing January 6.

As UD scanned this article, the mantra Make it Gohmert echoed in her mind; and, bingo. She is delighted beyond description at the prospect of his big ol’ lawsuit on this matter (lawsuit-filing-wise, Louie’s model is of course DJT), plus the spilling of the details of his involvement in the historic event.


Largest context, of course:

This remains perhaps the most important part of the whole investigation: the period of hours in which Trump gleefully watched his supporters try to hunt down the members of Congress and indeed Trump’s Vice President and refused efforts to calm the situation or order federal troops to stop the assault on the Capitol.

A bargain at…

twice the price.

Why don’t we have any head shots of…

Jennifer Wenisch? A German-born ISIS fanatic, she was just sentenced to ten years in jail for allowing her five year old Yazidi slave girl to die of thirst while chained up in the desert heat. Can there be no photo at all of this woman? She will be out of jail in ten years – actually, she’ll probably be released in fewer than ten years … and humanity needs to be able to recognize her — to see her coming.

UD has looked in vain for a photo; all we’ve got is some person in court, hiding her face behind a large notebook.

[Wenisch] looked shocked when the verdict was announced, staring first at her hands and then at the ceiling as the judge read out the ruling.

“On the face of it, religious schools should teach mathematics,” said Mr UD this morning…

… as I summarized this writer’s argument about the refusal of ultraorthodox schools all over the world to comply with required state education standards – that is, to teach basic computer, verbal, and mathematical literacy, much less, for instance, empirical method, or the institutions, practices, and history of the country in which their students live.

The writer offers a welcome acknowledgement, from within the haredi world (he heads a hasidic boys’ school), of the bullshit nature of the arguments haredim make about the high quality, by any standard, of their children’s education. He notes that in reality

many hours are spent singing songs, listening to stories, and repeating material that has already been learned. In high school, meanwhile, most of the day is devoted to unstructured learning. This, for many students, consists primarily of socializing while absorbing a tiny amount of material...

[M]ost ḥasidic schools offer something like 90 minutes a day of secular studies to students ages six to twelve, the quality of which varies widely, but is mostly well below average; and these pupils then go on to high schools that provide no secular studies at all. I can tell you, as someone who attended mainstream ḥasidic schools, that by the age of fifteen I had forgotten almost entirely the smatterings of English and mathematics I had learned in elementary school and had to start again from scratch.

As I say, such honesty about – well, about what we already know, but about which haredim lie – is welcome. Yet instead of proceeding to offer suggestions about how the closed, hostile world of the haredim might be induced – more sensitively and successfully – by state education representatives to open up enough to educate their children in even minimally non-haredi ways, the writer suddenly goes on a tear about evil liberal conspiracies to “dismantle” haredi life entirely.

[The question is] whether the liberal state is willing to let a countercultural social movement that bends the rules of the liberal order grow up in its midst. From the perspective of the state, and those loyal to it, there are reasonable grounds to prevent that. What is not reasonable, however, is the sort of liberal triumphalism that imagines that, under the pretext of implementing minor or neutral reforms, Ḥasidim will simply be intimidated into dismantling their own social order...

Liberal order here means everything – everything – that is totally “antithetical,” the writer rightly points out, to the haredi way of life. Totally. Personal choice, autonomy, the use of reason to make decisions which are right for oneself and not necessarily the group (haredim, for instance, notoriously vote as an almost solid bloc; in the last election, almost 83 percent of them, as instructed by their rabbis, voted for Trump, the highest percentage of any voting group). The haredim represent a totally solid rejection of everything modern liberal democracies stand for. Full stop.


Eli Spitzer even goes on to acknowledge that for haredi parents “preventing college is the point,” so bravo to their schools for doing a bang-up job of making successful entry to college impossible… ? Aren’t we getting a little… weird here? Has Spitzer heard of Yeshiva University? Of quite a number of other seriously religious universities in America? But even those schools won’t take you if you don’t know what a computer is and get 250 on your verbal and nonverbal SATs… tests you can’t even take, come to think of it, without basic computer skills…


So what do we conclude from what is clearly a radical, all-encompassing, isolation and stupidization of a growing number of young people in the United States?

A country by the way which is itself quite religious?

America is the most religious wealthy country in the world, according to a recent survey. A Pew survey found that Americans said they prayed more than any other wealthy nation surveyed. Fifty-five percent of Americans report praying at least once daily, 6 percentage points higher than the international average.

Again, in line with it being a religious outlier in the advanced world, the US has an extensive network of religious – and often very culturally conservative – universities. As its current political battles suggest, America’s conservative religious culture and legal institutions arguably dominate – they certainly hold their own – in the institutions (had a look at the Supreme Court lately?) and practices of this country. Anyone looking for a liberal triumphalism set on dismantling religious, conservative life will find herself seriously challenged in this god-fearing, abortion under virtually all circumstances outlawing, country.

Because of course the point here is that ultraorthodoxy does not represent merely (in Spitzer’s words) “a countercultural social movement that bends the rules of the liberal order.” I mean, whoa, Nellie! Ultraorthodoxy is itself an outlier in the religious life of this religious country, where massive numbers of seriously committed religious communities educate their children to a more than acceptable standard for a productive, contributing life in the modern world. We are talking here not about counterculture, but cult – a withdrawn, broadly non-compliant cult whose members often display a positive contempt for the laws of a country many of whose claims upon them they simply reject (this contempt for the civic realm is in all respects far worse in Israel). Far from the triumphant dismantler Spitzer perceives, the reality of the extremely liberal city of New York, for instance, is that the very voting bloc ultraorthodoxy represents stays the hand of one politician after another who might for a moment think of changing that sect’s appalling status quo.

Does it not seem strange to Spitzer that a city so obnoxiously liberal as to remove Jefferson’s statue from its city council building trembles before the power of its ultraorthodox community?


In countries like Spitzer’s – England – the ultraorthodox help make possible the just as appalling educational wreckage many Muslim schools represent. Shouldn’t Muslim schools enjoy the same freedom from an evil liberal state that, for instance, wants to stop them from treating girls like dirt, assigning anti-semitic textbooks, and refusing to teach science?

Correction of the Day

An earlier version of this article misstated the losses from online card fraud in 2019. It was about $6 billion, not about $6 million.

The drag race, open to any idiot with thirty bucks, took place on a local landing strip; there was no seating for spectators, who gathered, as in a tailgate, along the strip, not far from the cars.

As the race concluded, “a car fishtailed into onlookers — including young children — after it crossed the finish line. There were no barriers beyond the finish line.”

Yeah, cuz once the cars are done, they go from 100 mph to 0 in seconds so you don’t need barriers there.

Two kids were killed and five people are seriously injured, including a three-month-old.

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