Snapshots from Home

Les UDs have watched in amazement as a new house fifty feet from Garrett Park’s two big, beautiful town swimming pools installed its own quite large pool.

Garrett Park is rich, yes; but we’re not Malibu. Not every house installs its own tennis court/swimming pool complex. I mean, almost no house does.

Indeed, along with gorgeous, never crowded, beautifully landscaped pools for the use of Garrett Parkers, the town has two beautifully landscaped, never crowded, tennis courts. And a terrific basketball court (a house just down the street from the basketball court does have a private indoor one).

Anyway, we’ve scratched our heads about the private pool steps from the town pool, but okay.

Still, it’s strange.

Maybe this new phenomenon helps explain it.

A backlash against homeowners renting out private pools

It is only mid-spring, but already dozens of pools in and around Maryland’s most populous county have been listed for rent on Swimply, which launched in 2020 as people sought alternatives to public pools that shut down because of the pandemic on the heels of the wild success of apps like Airbnb and Uber. Hosts set hourly rates anywhere between $25 to $100 an hour to access private backyard pools that bypass lines and crowds.

… Many homeowners are eager to earn easy money by renting out a backyard pool …

A … group of 36 county residents from Chevy Chase, Rockville, Montgomery Village, Kensington and Rosemary Hills, wrote a letter opposing [a proposed bill regulating the practice] and asking the county instead to outlaw the amenity rentals altogether. The group argued that the rentals turn quiet residential neighborhoods into bustling business districts, without the infrastructure to support commercial activity. They raised dozens of concerns, largely over the added nuisance of strangers pouring into their neighborhoods because of the apps, congested roads, scarce parking, and noise and safety.

Now, Kensington… That’s getting much too close for comfort. Next town over. So now UD‘s wondering if this oddly situated and surprisingly large private pool in her town is a rental. Yikes.

‘Here are the 10 states with the lowest average IQ:

  1. New Mexico – 95.0′

UD‘s been blogging about NM for years and ain’t surprised it came out on top on this and on other intelligence measures; but it’s always good to be able to point to evidence, and the recent decision to stage a huge public rally among warring biker factions will do nicely.

The mayor of Red River is shocked at the mass shooting (three dead so far, several injured) that ensued, cuz you’d NEVER expect fine folk like these to have gotten drunk at Red River’s seven trillion bars and to have used their big big big guns to kill each other. Unprecedented!

How could such a thing have happened? Bikers were supposed to be at “a live music event by Warning Shot” (not making this up) but instead just blew past the whole warning thing and started killing each other. Coulda knocked the mayor and tourism director over with a feather: 25,000 armed bikers that hate each other! And now you tell me this didn’t bode well. Hidesight is 50/50 dude!!!!

‘This trial is a travesty. It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.’

Ken Paxton objects to his impeachment.

The most eloquent words spoken about January 6.

“I was just another idiot running around the Capitol,” [Jessica Watkins] said.

Game it out…

… and you too might pen a No Thanks letter to a university in one of America’s LGBTQ (Lawless Glocksucker Barbarian Tenureless Quisling) states.

UT-Austin tried to hire a game theorist for its new free-enterprise think tank. He turned down the job because of fights over tenure.

‘I must admit I have been closely following the activities of the Texas Legislature for the past couple of weeks, which has highlighted to me some potential risks that were not in the front of my mind at the outset of this process… If I moved from my current job, which is a decent job, to UT, what kind of intellectual community can I build there? … When you go somewhere as a senior faculty member, you’re thinking about, OK … how am I going to build that department? If I go there and I have tenure, but they don’t have tenure — and what I want to do is build a group in my field — that sounds very difficult because junior faculty wouldn’t want to come.’

Daniel Brinks, chair of the government department at UT-Austin, told lawmakers at a public hearing earlier this month that he made six job offers to fill two positions this spring and was turned down every time.

“People turn down jobs for lots of reasons, but from what these candidates told me, the uncertainty around tenure was a big factor in our failure to hire this year,” he told the House Higher Education Committee.

Might could be them real big guns yall got hangin off everybody too.

And baby when I say LAWLESS

‘I simply cannot get enough of this Nietzschean superwoman, the final form of the East German silicon-doping programme, who has missile-titted her way into my consciousness…’

Marina Hyde on the much-surgeoned Lauren Sanchez.

 “My only regret is that they should have brought rifles… We should have brought rifles. We could have fixed it right then and there. I’d hang fucking Pelosi from the lamppost.”

Charming Mr Rhodes gets eighteen years.


“In Canada, estimates are that between 100,000 and a quarter million people are pretending to be indigenous… About 25% of indigenous university faculty in Canada are estimated to be frauds.”

Jean Teillet

NYC’s full of truly scary crazy people, but it’s rare that one of them is a college professor.

The question is not Why is a violent woman running around the big city being violent? That’s not newsworthy. The question needs to be put to Hunter College: Why is one of these on your faculty?

Part of the answer lies in ye olde erotic attraction to radically chic violence that Leonard Bernstein made famous in that same city in the ‘seventies. Shellyne Rodriguez’s art, she tells an interviewer, “highlight[s] the audaciousness of the Biker Boys who take the streets undeterred by NYPD’s futile crackdown.” Makes elements of brainy artsy NY go pitapat.

This sort of thing also exists on some sort of urban mischief continuum with the non-revolutionary, white collar crime (undeterred by the SEC’s futile crackdown) that has always found representation on the boards of trustees of the sorts of schools that think Shellyne Rodriguez is cool. Recall the many high-level lawless money men/university trustees we’ve featured over decades on this blog, starting with Yeshiva University’s dynamic duo, Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin. At the very top of this mafia today are of course Trump/Giuliani (who hold far grander positions than mere trustee) and a whole world of superrich rapacious give-a-shit NY bad boys… UD‘s just saying that when a significant high-profile portion of the local culture is composed of high-risk-loving financial criminals (see Steven Cohen, Brown University etc. etc.) quite a few of them holding powerful positions on university boards of trustees, we shouldn’t be too surprised that this sort of world has room for other sorts of sociopaths. The school that hired Rodriguez features convicted insider trader and trustee Leon Cooperman.

These white/nonwhite criminal twains, trustee and professor, meet with a mutual thrill, a tacit sense of recognition, at a campus cocktail party, say, and if Rodriguez hadn’t attacked a man with a machete the other day, Cooperman would probably eventually have signed off on the tenure of Hunter’s own Jessica Krug. (‘Perhaps one of the most disgusting things [Krug] publicly did was to attempt to justify the brutal murder of 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, who died in a machete attack at the hands of gang members in a case of mistaken identity, by claiming that had he lived he would have ended up being a cop.‘) High-flying scofflaw cultures tend to have no trouble with nasty pieces of work like Rodriguez. Self-aggrandizing nihilist subversive meets self-aggrandizing nihilist subversive.

Yes, yes, post-machete, post-other forms of non white collar violence, Hunter has dropped Rodriguez like a hot potato.

Hunter happily goes on loving itself some bad boy Leon Cooperman, but then he’s not a poor artist. He’s a rich insider trader. He gets to keep his trusteeship.

So the question of how Hunter College found itself holding on to Rodriguez in the first place has two answers: Ever-popular radical violence, and the allied and fully mainstreamed “audaciousness” of NY white collar criminality.

Making the World Safe for DeSantis

As long as fools like the people who used to run Hamline University are around, we will need to keep worrying about assholes like DeSantis running the country. Places like Hamline write his The Woke are Destroying Us scripts for him.

The now-deposed prez of that school – taking a page from the idiots at Oberlin – reflexively attacked a professor for showing students images of Mohammed. A theocrat in the class squawked; the school verbally attacked/fired/ruined the career of the prof; the rest of us, who understand democracy, rose up as one and made all the idiots go away; and now it’s all over but the school-crushing legal settlements (Oberlin’s attack on an innocent party cost it thirty six mill).

The AAUP really went after them. Good.

Finally, a real alternative to ‘Thoughts and Prayers’

Newly released Uvalde footage shows police “vomiting and sobbing” after entering the abattoir.

Everyone’s tired of “thoughts and prayers,” but no alternative has emerged. Until now. Sobs and Vomits.

RIP Martin Amis. If only you were around to write an essay about Barbara Stiegler.

Yachts are the symbol of the neoliberal predation of the world… We are all impregnated by [neoliberalism’s] hegemony.

Galveston County’s 2023 Jeep Festival: A FANTASTIC success!
  1. No mass shootings.
  2. 230 arrests.
  3. Hundreds of injuries.
  5. Thousands of drunks puking in the ocean, revving their engines, playing screamingly loud music, injuring themselves and each other, endangering an army of police, frightening and disgusting the locals.
Martin Amis has died.

Like his buddy Hitch he was charismatic, sexy, unruly, hilarious. Also intensely and sensitively literary. Here are all my Martin Amis posts.


Parul Sehgal on her love of Amis:

Amis’s saw-toothed sentences seized me by the scruff and carried me off for good. The insolence of the novels, the high silliness, the shame, the jokes: “After a while, marriage is a sibling relationship — marked by occasional, and rather regrettable, episodes of incest.”

A.I. Mindreading

Judge orders Rudy Giuliani to detail finances in election defamation suit – POLITICO

(Click on the link for a photo.)

See if I can steady myself here. Check hair dye. Time was I could put my penis no questions asked in those hot jeans behind me now I’m practically impotent marrying a new wife every few years for the same reason Rupert does make the world think we’re still getting it up don’t think we’re fooling anyone. Look at me miserable old hunching holding myself steady against a trash bin outside another courtroom yada same old same old. Every day I’m in court getting sued. Wonder if the statement I just made about the fascist state going after me cuz of Don was a smart move did I sound like a hippie or something fascist state fascist state don’t know. Does that black policeman on the other side know the two women I defamed are black hope not. Anyway he doesn’t look friendly look what’s come of my life. Hero 9/11 now sloppy perv just trying to get some while fourteen ex-wives, fourteen strangers, forty ex-staffers, and the federal government go after me with everything they’ve got. Fuck ’em all I’ll die and then let’s see ’em recover any of my money. Fuck ’em. I know at least Andrew will be at my deathbed forget Caroline she hates me none of my wives will show up who cares born alone die alone money goes to Andrew if there’s any left after the fascists go after my estate fuck Don I guess he’s the reason all this happened where can I hide my assets what’s the name Credit Suisse I’ll go there God I’m tired

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