Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dear Committee Members

Dear Committee Members is out today.  Buy it.  (Especially if you happen to teach at the University of Minnesota.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MIT dean is found guilty of operating a $500 million hedge fund scam; MIT says, "No comment."

Some wise words from University Diary, the lacerating blog by Margaret Soltan: 

"UD gets that universities dread being tainted by the crooks they hire and promote. But with something this high-profile, you simply have to acknowledge it and regret it and all of that. Otherwise you leave people wondering why your school retained a highly praised and highly compensated Ponzi schemer in its school of business."

"Take a look at Yeshiva University – look at how well its doing with alumni giving and credit ratings and all of that in the wake of its decision to pretend that Bernard Madoff and Ezra Merkin had nothing to do with the school."

"Finally a novel that puts the 'pissed' back into 'epistolary'"

I am really looking forward to this novel, Dear Committee Members, out next week by U creative writing professor and novelist Julie Schumacher.

Unfortunately, the online sellers don't have a sample chapter, but you can read the raves from Fresh Air and Slate.

Monday, August 11, 2014

VA "allowed psychiatric patients to languish in a state of 'egregious neglect,' drugged up with powerful antipsychotics"

"Powers had been moved from his bed to a recliner, where he was rigidly bent forward, drooling uncontrollably, unable to communicate. His hands trembled violently. Records showed he was being administered a mix of powerful antipsychotic drugs, one of them with side effects that included tremors, also a primary symptom of Parkinson’s."

"But amid thousands of notes on his case, there was not a single reference to indicate that Powers, who died last year, had ever been seen by a psychiatrist after being admitted to the long-term care unit seven years earlier."

 “'Not once,' said Chopra, still sounding shocked. Hospital staff had also not ordered a standard blood test for a patient in his condition taking such medications. 'Something like this would be shocking if it happened in a Third World country.'”

More neglect at a VA, another whistleblower punished.  Read more in the Boston Globe.

Say goodbye to the Clozaril King

Illinois has suspended the medical license of Dr. Michael Reinstein, aka The Clozaril King.  Reinstein "received 'illegal direct and indirect remuneration' from the maker of generic clozapine; did not consider alternative treatments for his patients; and disregarded patients' well-being because of potentially life-threatening side effects of the drug."  

"In 2009, ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune detailed how he had prescribed more of the antipsychotic clozapine to patients in Medicaid's Illinois program in 2007 than all doctors in the Medicaid programs of Texas, Florida and North Carolina combined. Autopsy and court records showed that, by 2009, at least three patients under Reinstein's care had died of clozapine intoxication."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Crying, screaming," university president tells staff: "Do you people know what you are doing to me? I’m not even wearing underwear today, because I haven’t even had time to do my laundry this week."

"Three days before she became Winthrop University’s president last year, Jamie Comstock Williamson yelled at school employees for not having enough file folders, threw an item against a wall in Tillman Hall, and made one campus employee cry, according to an employee statement given to the school’s trustees."

And that's not even the best of it.

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/08/09/6217969/winthrop-staff-to-trustees-williamson.html?sp=/100/101/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A salute to our 37th president

  Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story is a short film made by Woody Allen in 1971. PBS declined to air it for fear of losing its funding.  (If you've never seen Spiro Agnew play tennis, you are in for a special treat.)

HT Matt Lamkin