May 25th, 2023
 “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.

May 24th, 2023
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.

May 11th, 2023
‘Asked if he believed white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the military, Tuberville said in referring to the Biden administration, “They call them that. I call them Americans… [T]he Democrats are attacking our military, saying we need to get out the white extremists, the white nationalists, people that don’t believe in… Joe Biden’s agenda.’


April 7th, 2023
Not sure why it took so long, but…

… better late, etc.

April 5th, 2023
Vile rich old farts on the decline.

Trump, Berlusconi, Murdoch: An era is closing. Ave atque vale.

March 31st, 2023
“[Mark] Ridley-Thomas engaged in a corrupt conspiracy with a university dean to steer taxpayer-funded contracts to the school in exchange for benefits for his son.”

Blast from the past time – see these 2022 posts for background – as yet another high-level University of Southern California scandal resolves itself. We’re done with the deadhead dean of the med school; we’ve moved on to the bribery-facilitating dean of the social work school, who has already pled guilty. Veteran LA politician Ridley, her comrade in crime (truly grubby details here), now also awaits sentencing.

I know – it’s all wholly overshadowed by the first indicted prez… but since we brought this up last year, we needed to finish the story.

March 22nd, 2023
‘In its lawsuit against Cigna last October, … the Justice Department described an insurance executive’s email that referred to diabetes with complications; depression; and vascular disease as “the golden nuggets we are looking for.”’

Sickness McNuggets!

And now the mean government wants to take them away.

Details, if you can stomach them.

March 9th, 2023
Start here.

It’s a 2017 announcement, from the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, of that year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Laurence Doud.

The criteria for this award is very selective and discerning. The award is intended to distinguish those who have the continued passion and dedication to pharmacy throughout the years… Doud has been one of the most influential and deeply committed executives to independent pharmacy.

Move on to this Albany College of Pharmacy honorary degree citation:

After decades of consolidation, most industry observers in the 1980’s believed that independent pharmacy would not survive. Larry Doud was not one of those people. Since he joined Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC) in 1987, RDC has become one of the nation’s largest drug wholesalers, serving community pharmacies and home health care dealers (and by extension, patients) in eight states. During that time, RDC has helped launch and maintain more than 400 independent pharmacies – including the College’s own student operated pharmacies. Since the early 2000’s, the number of independent pharmacies has remained relatively stable, in part due to the efforts of people like Larry who understand that independent pharmacists remain an important part of the nation’s health care system.

As Larry’s carted off to jail for having flooded the Northeast corridor with opiates, let us pause on that independent and ask why Larry was so eager to foster his own independent chain of pharmacies unhampered by any large corporate controls… Let us also ask why Larry’s awards/honors/praise remain intact today on the websites of pharma organizations and schools. Just what are they trying to say?


Prosecutors asked for “15 years in prison, saying that he should be held accountable for the ‘shattering impact’ his actions had on people to whom he had unlawfully funneled opioids.” He got two and a half.

March 8th, 2023
When did standards for inclusion among NYU’s trustees go into the crapper?

[T]he Fox host might have believed the wild allegations about Dominion she was allowing Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell to spew on her show.

Maria Bartiromo represents an academic institution of some repute on its BOT; yet the ongoing Dominion case against Fox News reveals her to be far too stupid to do anything but embarrass a university.

At least her fellow Fox people were prostitutes/cynics who only claimed to believe conspiracies advanced by the seriously mentally ill; Bartiromo, her lawyers now suggest, actually believed Sidney Powell and her bedlamite sources.

And there she sits, setting academic policy for NYU.

February 24th, 2023
It’s not just that, in the wise words of Helen Lewis, “ROALD DAHL CAN NEVER BE MADE NICE.”

It’s that valuable art of any kind – painting, architecture, music, and of course literature – is the fierce enemy of nice. When the latter-day forces of Orwell’s Junior Anti-Sex League get hold of Dahl or Joyce or Nabokov or Rimbaud or whoever wrote the brilliant Stupids series and try to shove their purification of it down our throats, we need to puke the whole thing up, right back in their faces.

Because only being covered in vomit, again and again, keeps the ever-eager purificationists from their task.

January 24th, 2023
The disgusting culture of Baton Rouge and its disgusting state campus, LSU, does it again.

Hours after a mass shooting at one Baton Rouge bar – many of whose patrons come from LSU – an underage sorority member from LSU gets utterly wasted in another Baton Rouge bar, after which she’s gang raped and then fatally hit by a car. Not making this up. That’s how a 19 year old LSU student died.

Of course LSU has a long history of dead and almost dead frat boys; drunk, raped, and dead sorority girls is a new one on me. But you can see the progression that got us here. LSU’s brainless boozing in illegal bars, its sadistic fraternities, plus… what else is there? Football. Plus absolutely no discernable academics, or institutional ethics (an incredibly impoverished and ill-educated state, Louisiana gives tens of millions to LSU’s football team and almost nothing to LSU qua university). That’s about it. It all takes place in Baton Rouge, currently America’s deadliest city, guns going off absolutely everywhere.

The word for all of this is sleaze, mes petites; and if you really think this is the right college environment for your teenager, go for it.

January 18th, 2023
Hamfisted Hamline deserves all the shit coming its way…

… via a hijabi who took offense at an image of Muhammed shown in the classroom. The professor was immediately fired; the school is now, in its public comments, backtracking like a bat outa hell but it’s too late. They won’t have to pay the prof (who is, correctly, suing) as much as Oberlin had to pay that bakery, but the same cretinous reflexive bullshit did in both schools and as Joan Baez plaintively asked so many years ago when will they ever learn?

January 1st, 2023
I keep thinking of Leopold and Loeb…

… as I read updates on the reported Idaho killer. So many accounts of the suspect suggest an intellectual interest in what it would feel like to kill someone, coupled with an arrogant sense of one’s exemption from ordinary morality. Both murders involve[d] lengthy strategic planning and stalking; all victims died by slashing (shooting lacks the up-close visceral thrill of feeling yourself putting someone to death), and all perpetrators went to impressive lengths to get away with the crimes.

L&L were wealthy brilliant elitists who arrived at their fate via a peculiar take on Nietzsche’s superman; Kohberger’s homicidal fascination drew him toward formal study in criminology. Just as crazy people can be drawn to psychiatry (see, most famously, the fictional Hannibal Lecter), so mass killers may be drawn to criminology, a field in which they can spend all day luxuriating in lurid details.

One hundred years after L&L, Kohberger has the cultural advantage of a zillion slasher films/video games, etc. etc. It will be interesting to find out if he is a fan of these.

December 20th, 2022
Yale is Usually Nimbler than this.

Unlike deep south football factories, which routinely keep their sports hero bio pages up even when the hero is, for instance, a mass murderer, fancy schmancy schools like Yale erase the bio pages of criminals, frauds, plagiarists, and other embarrassments toot sweet.

And yet in the case of this woman, handcuffed in a New York courtroom because she appears to have stolen 3.5 million from her last employer, NYU, Yale remains a fan.

(By the way: On greed, recall Christopher Hitchens on Ayn Rand: “I don’t think there’s any need to have essays advocating selfishness among human beings.  I don’t know what your impression has been, but some things require no further reinforcement.”)

You never see Harvard drop the ball like this. That’s the difference between a school with a 55 billion dollar endowment, and one trying to manage on 41.4 billion.


On a trickier, far more disgusting matter, the University of Colorado has found the right solution. They were unlucky enough to be housing John Eastman as a visiting scholar when he was actively trying to destroy American democracy. They kicked his ass out, and solved the bio page problem by marking the historical fact that he was there (it’s wrong to be Orwellian about it and pretend – à la Yeshiva University/Bernard Madoff – he wasn’t), while removing everything about him except the undeniable factual point of his having, yes, admittedly, been in residence.


Huzzah! They finally got around to 404ing her.

September 16th, 2022

This isn’t about one’s attitude toward [Bill] Clinton. He was wrong to do what he did and wronger still to lie about it. This is about the use of sexual morality as a political weapon. It is only ever used as such by right-wing hypocrites. Newt Gingrich was having an affair while he was carrying on about Clinton’s morality—an affair with the woman who became his third wife, whom serial adulterer Donald Trump appointed as our nation’s envoy to the Vatican! Balzac would have rejected this as a plot line that was beyond belief.

Michael Tomasky writes a brief, poignant farewell to Kenneth Starr (no link; here’s an earlier appreciation), who, in his guise as dirty rotten hypocrite prez of Baylor, often featured in these pages.

Next Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE