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.
… 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?
… 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.
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.
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.
… enjoys yet more of the fruits of its extra-legal labors as the dean of its school of social work (way back when) pleads guilty to bribery.
At 83 years of age, Dean Marilyn Flynn has made what’s formally known as the I’m Too Old For This Shit plea; and now her partner in crime, political bigshot (way back when) Mark Ridley-Thomas begins twisting slowly in the wind as his trial is set to begin.
Type University of Southern California in my search engine to set off on a long, long trek through the wilds of malfeasance.
It’s such a small crime, and the jails are already full, and hell just let em go. The results have been spectacular if you’re a fan of neighborhoods with no stores in them, and the president and trustees at Oberlin, faced with their own neighborhood shoplifting problem, wasted no time expressing the same contempt for archaic law-abiders/merchandise retainers as their model, one-time SF DA Chesa Boudin.
An archaic local bakery, on discovering an Oberlin student shoplifting, viciously accused him of the crime, and then, when he denied it, proved its truth by approaching him and opening his jacket, in which two stolen wine bottles were hidden.
The crude, reactionary nature of the bakery’s response to the theft of its merchandise outraged Oberlin, which, under the organization of one of its deans, so relentlessly harassed the business – tagged as racist – that it practically collapsed.
The business sued Oberlin and won big – a way-angry jury awarded the bakery 44 million in damages, which a judge reduced to 36 mill. Oberlin proceeded to fail to pay, sending the suit to higher courts and failing upwards, and now Ah fuck it ok we’ll pay. Though where in our measly ONE BILLION DOLLAR endowment we’ll find it I don’t know…
… one of the world’s greatest short stories.) Look at more and more of the No Exceptions crowd start backing away real quick from their original position on abortion.
One of them sings a sad ballad.
Where is that girl with the zygote?
That little girl was my big electoral chance
The one whose father beat and raped her
But no abortion under any circumstance!
Did I need a gentler hand?
Did I need a lighter touch?
On abortion I was tough
Nothing was too much
Kill the mother in a clutch!
But the moment when I said full ban
All my voters turned away
God please say it’s not too late
For me to totally reverse today
Was my stance a little cruel? Was my bloodlust less than cool?
Did I let my mind go wild? Were my thoughts defiled?
She’s just a little child…
Yes it seems there were a million things
I was dumb enough to say
Can my voting base forgive
If I walk them back complete today?
Should I blame my Trumpy operatives
Who told me incest didn’t count?
What a shame
I failed in human decency
Before I lost the game
Was I something of a dick?
Was my world a little sick?
Was there too much MAGA crowd
All too mean and loud
And not enough of me?
Though I’ll ask myself my whole life long
What went wrong along the way
Would I make the same mistakes
If I tried to be humane today?
If that girl with the zygote
Walked into my life today?
The hyper-pious ex-PM (‘Najib recently said Islam’s holy book, the Koran, would be the guide for all government policies and actions.’) allows modesty edicts to repress Malaysian women, while he himself pleases Allah by stealing seven hundred million dollars directly from the Malaysian people.
Theologically, it is a conundrum; Allah smiles equally upon downtrodden black-cloaked women AND the world’s largest kleptocracy case. He smiles at sick Malaysian children dying from lack of treatment because, of the six billion in the fund meant to help them and their country, four billion was stolen.
Everything would have been peachy; America’s sweetheart, Goldman Sachs, would have pocketed its suspiciously massive fees from 1MDB, all the other crooks who stole hundreds of millions for themselves would have been fine…
But people began to notice the absence of four plus billion dollars from the world. Things began to sour, see, onaccounta
‘Because the money was stolen, it wasn’t invested; without investment returns, the fund couldn’t pay back the bonds.’
Shades of pious Bernie Madoff (in his case his piety was orthodox Judaism — he acted as the treasurer – not making this up – of Yeshiva University)! Pious Najib and his legion of co-conspirators overlooked the fact that if anything goes wrong with schemes like this, you’re up shit’s creek cuz the money’s already up the nose of your cocaine-snorting, super-yacht-private-jet-super-thin-nyc-penthouse-owning Islamically pious investment group.
Najib now enjoys twelve years of uninterrupted prayer in a Malaysian prison.
Watch this video, titled Behind Goldman Sachs’ Alleged Involvement in the 1MBD Scandal. It explains the gist of the thing. I know you’re distracted by The Trump 300 (700?), but trust me 1MDB is more important; America will survive a once-in-a-lifetime madman having attained the presidency; the sad sick world cannot be defended from lethal international criminals (including, again, our own adorable Goldman Sachs) unless we all make an effort to understand how they are killing us.
… Via the Los Angeles Times review of Bad City, a book about disgusting events at pretty much always-disgusting University of Southern California. My coverage of these particular grotesqueries can be found here. Put University Southern California in my search engine for years of scandal and corruption.
[T]wo major scandals at USC involv[ed] two doctors employed by the university: the medical school dean, Carmen Puliafito, and a gynecologist who worked at USC‘s student health center. Both doctors took advantage of young women to satisfy their prurient desires. Eventually, the book becomes a pointed critique of USC’s culture of secrecy and its shameful efforts to protect its public image. The university’s supporting role in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal serves as a kind of coda to a dark tale of privilege, amorality and coverups...
In one especially outrageous scene, [Dean] Puliafito brings a pair of addicts into his office at the Keck School of Medicine, where they don the doctor’s USC lab coat and an inflatable Trojan hat after smoking heroin...
Forcibly evicted by the citizens of SF, the city’s appalling district attorney discovers (no he doesn’t, and he never will; but the rest of us discover it again today) that acting on assumptions and theories rather than acting on reality is murderously stupid.
[H]e didn’t seem to care that he was making the citizens of our city miserable in service of an ideology that made sense everywhere but in reality. It’s not just about Boudin, though. There is a sense that, on everything from housing to schools, San Francisco has lost the plot—that progressive leaders here have been LARPing left-wing values instead of working to create a livable city…
[W]ith the smartest minds and so much money and the very best of intentions, San Francisco became a cruel city. It became so dogmatically progressive that maintaining the purity of the politics required accepting—or at least ignoring—devastating results...
Policy makers and residents largely embraced the exciting idea that people should be able to do whatever they want to do, including live in tent cities and have fun with drugs and make their own medical decisions, even if they are out of their mind sometimes. But then fentanyl arrived, and more and more people started dying in those tents...
[It’s] a sort of progressive-libertarian nihilism, …the belief that any intervention that has to be imposed on a vulnerable person is so fundamentally flawed and problematic that the best thing to do is nothing at all. Anyone offended by the sight of the suffering is just judging someone who’s having a mental-health episode, and any liberal who argues that the state can and should take control of someone in the throes of drugs and psychosis is basically a Republican. If and when the vulnerable person dies, that was his choice, and in San Francisco we congratulate ourselves on being very accepting of that choice...
During his campaign, Boudin said he wouldn’t prosecute quality-of-life crimes. He wanted to “break the cycle of recidivism” by addressing the social causes of crime—poverty, addiction, mental-health issues. Boudin was selling revolution, and San Francisco was ready. In theory.
But not in fact. Because it turns out that people on the left also own property, and generally believe stores should be paid for the goods they sell...
We tricked ourselves into thinking psychosis and addiction on the sidewalk were just part of the city’s diversity, even as the homelessness and the housing prices drove out the city’s actual diversity. Now residents are coming to their senses. The recalls mean there’s a limit to how far we will let the decay of this great city go. And thank God.
Don’t read the section on the school board unless you’re absolutely vomit-proof.
The thing on nihilism and congratulating yourself on your radical personal freedom morality when someone dies on the street dovetails wonderfully with the same contemptible shit deep in the far-right libertarian weeds… The same necrophiliac splendor… Congratulating yourself, really, on your corpse-love… (“In February 2021, at a corner in the lovely Japantown neighborhood, just a few feet from a house that would soon sell for $4.8 million, a 37-year-old homeless man named Dustin Walker died by the side of the road. His body lay there for at least 11 hours.”) On the right, excitement at the big bloody holes in place of children a truly superior sporting rifle can make; on the left, the same excitement at the big bloody holes fentanyl can make all over dead bodies in city plazas. I wish I were Cormac McCarthy or William Burroughs or Irvine Welsh or Anthony Burgess or John Fowles or hey even Jonathan Swift so I could begin to be adequate to the blood-soaked hard right/hard left orgasms of this my beloved country. So many of our teenage massacrists spent all their time, before they picked themselves up out of their chairs, getting off on exactly this via unspeakable video games. No gun restrictions for this country. The pleasure is too deep, and lots of our senators either share the bloodlust or would never think of getting in its way.
For eight years, police have been trying to prove that Charles Adelson had Dan Markel killed. Anyone who followed the appalling story of a man killed simply because he wanted to share custody of his children knows that the evidence has always pointed to the brother of Markel’s ex-wife, but authorities only recently had sufficient proof of the conspiracy. Now a trial can proceed.
To be sure, they’ve got the weapons to deploy. But it seems increasingly important to call the Russians exactly what they are.
It’s been a long sit-down, but an appeals court has topped off the college v. bakery court case with a flourish: Gibson’s will indeed be served an abundant money feast from Oberlin (background here). So: bitter for Oberlin, sweet for Gibson’s.
The main miscreant in the matter, a VP at the school who sicced a student mob on an innocent local bakery (screamed all over town it was racist, organized a boycott, when all it did was confront a shoplifting Oberlin student), has moved on to generate her own particular form of magic at Oglethorpe. No doubt she is as we speak scanning commercial life in Atlanta to find a cafe against which she can organize a student mob. The obscenity she staged at Oberlin will cost the school thirty mill; here’s hoping Oglethorpe has a large legal payout fund.
It’s all about defending the dignity of the unborn.