Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Zook Files

The Paula Zahn race panel from a few weeks back continues to spark controversy. First, Wheelock College professor Gail Dines, who appeared unaware of many of the central details of the case, complained that on the program, she “appeared as not just a gullible fool, but even worse, a gullible fool with a feminist agenda.” Then, Dines’ co-panelist, Kristal Brent Zook, published an essay suggesting that the episode demonstrated how “most cable and broadcast news outfits are simply not interested in investigative reporting or deep thinking.”

Both Dines and Zook were especially displeased with the third member of their panel, Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, who asserted that the accuser had lied and chastised prominent black leaders, such as Jesse Jackson, for seeming to buy into her story. To Zook, Peterson refused to recognize that “the accuser was, and still is, a complicated and conflicted human being. As are we all.”

What qualifications did Zook bring to the Zahn telecast? She holds a Ph.D., from Cal.-Santa Cruz’s “History of Consciousness” program.* (I’m not making this up.) She also penned several articles early on in the case for Essence.

Zook has claimed that she spent more time with the accuser’s family than any other reporter, and I have no reason to doubt her assertion. Her early reporting had at least two scoops.

First, she revealed that the accuser’s mother met with plaintiffs’ lawyer Willie Gary, in preparation for an eventual civil suit. “I think he would make a good lawyer. A very good lawyer.” Gary reciprocated, contending, “It appears that a grave injustice has been done. And if I can help in any way to level the playing field, then I’m willing to do it.” It no longer appears, of course, as if Willie Gary is willing to do much of anything on this case.

Second, Zook broke the story that in 2005, the accuser spent a week in a mental hospital, allegedly for a “nervous breakdown.” Zook accompanied this information with a blast against the case’s “vicious turn as defense lawyers . . . filed a motion seeking the young woman’s past medical and mental-health records.” Since Judge Osborn Smith would give the defense access to most of those records, “vicious” might not be the most appropriate adjective to describe the defense motion.

Zook’s reporting also (unintentionally) painted a picture of an accuser whose behavior was—to put it charitably—bizarre. The accuser’s aunt stated, “She needs some help. That girl needs some professional help.” Zook described the scene:

Racing back and forth to undisclosed locations with her two small children in tow, the young woman has not spoken to anyone from the press and will only call her parents. Sometimes, said the aunt, she doesn’t even talk to her mother and father when she calls, but simply blurts out, “I’m okay, Mama,” before quickly hanging up . . .

Although the parents say their daughter drives by the family home on occasion—as she did early Thursday afternoon when this reporter was present—she does not stop. “She looked me straight in the face,” her mother told Essence. “But she saw you were here, so she kept on going.”

It never appears to have occurred to Zook that such behavior is in no way normal, under any circumstances, and would suggest that the accuser is probably not the world's most credible witness.

A number of points made in Zook’s three Essence articles, plus a fourth penned by Bridgette Lacy, have failed to stand the test of time, though neither Zook nor Essence has acknowledged the errors.

For instance, a Lacy article quoted the father claiming the accuser’s “face was swollen.” Unless the accuser was beaten between Duke Hospital and her home, this assertion was untrue.

In one of her articles, Zook asserted that “both the alleged victim and her parents have received a number of anonymous death threats over the telephone and on flyers that were strewn across their front yard in recent weeks.” But, she admitted, she had never seen any of these alleged flyers—nor, she further conceded, had the father, though he claimed they included the letters "KKK."

The accuser's father explained why: “I really didn’t even get a chance to see them because the police came by so fast and put them in bags.” How the police found out about the flyers so quickly Zook didn’t say—nor, it appears, did she ever bother to ask the police this question. Given the Herald-Sun’s willingness to all but invent news favorable to Nifong, it seems rather hard to believe that this development, if true, would have escaped notice of the H-S' crack staff.

Zook also was the reporter who floated the claim that the accuser had “started screaming at the sight of White men in the streets.” Given that, at the time, the accuser was dancing in a most limber fashion before a presumably mixed-race crowd, it’s hard to accept this story as credible, either.

The father also told Zook what for many would be a routine item but in this case raised questions: “She takes her children to school and picks them up. She works. She goes to school herself.” How did the accuser take her children to school, and pick them up, given that her drivers’ license was revoked? Zook never said, perhaps because her reporting never mentioned the accuser’s 2002 arrest.

Despite her own less-than-stellar record on the case, Zook slammed the mainstream media in a recent essay and radio interview. The interview made clear its basic thesis: host Peter Hart opened by saying, “There are many facets to this case, of course one we’ll set aside are the missteps made by the Durham D.A. Mike Nifong.” Such an approach would, I suppose, make achieving the desired storyline a bit easier.

For instance, Zook blasted the media for never revealing that “in addition to working as an exotic dancer, the 28-year-old woman had held a variety of other jobs . . . she had sold cars at a local dealership, worked in an automobile assembly plant, and lifted and bathed elderly patients in a nursing home.” By failing to look “more closely,” Zook explained, most journalists missed out on her insights about the accuser. Who is this person, who Zook admits she has never met? “The blurred image that emerged for me was both lovely and tragic. It was the face, simply, of a human being.” (I’m not sure anyone has denied that the accuser is a “human being”; indeed, it would be difficult for her to make a police complaint otherwise.)

More to the point, Zook faulted the media’s approach to the case. A journalist’s job, she suggested, is to accept uncritically assertions by prosecutors, remain silent (except, apparently, to pen puff pieces about accusers), and await a jury’s verdict. Reporters, according to Zook, should “report the jury’s finding. Report the conclusion of the trial. Stop trying to report conclusions before due process.” Indeed, if “the trial hasn’t happened yet, let’s just stop and let justice make its way, let the trial take place, let the jury do their jobs.”

Investigative reporting? Holding the police or politicians accountable for their actions? Evidently no self-respecting journalist would engage in such activity.

Zook agrees with most observers that “there’s a very good chance that [the trial] won’t happen ever.” Many might point to the lack of facts to justify a trial; or the prosecutor committing massive misconduct. Not Zook. We won’t see a trial, she reasons, “because of the media speculation.” If only the N&O and 60 Minutes had remained silent, and allowed Nifong to lurch forward, North Carolina justice would be a better place.

It would be interesting to see just what approach to journalism they teach in the “History of Consciousness” program. Zook’s framework doesn’t seem to reflect the traditional view of a free press that challenges those in power.



Anonymous said...

These types of professors appear to be everywhere. Why do universities allow this. Meanwhile, check out the Liestopper hoax blog. See Agatha's post on Brian Taylor. Fascinating, to say the least. How deep does the corruption run in North Carolina?

Anonymous said...

Are you really such a clown that you can't tell the difference between Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz? And do you really believe that an interdisciplinary history of consciousness program has no value? Please, your anti-intellectual agenda simply means that your colleagues were correct--you should have never received tenure. I feel sorry for your students.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Group of 88/87 weighs in.

Anonymous said...

12:11-No, I'm just one.

Anonymous said...

And do you really believe that an interdisciplinary history of consciousness program has no value?

Is that a trick question?

Anonymous said...

But a sad one.

Anonymous said...

You know, 12:10, I would have guessed Santa Cruz for History of Consciousness. California taxpayers are being taken for a ride.

Anonymous said...


Once again, KC Johnson is providing a textbook example of how bloggers can serve as an effective balance to incompetant and/or agenda driven reporting.

I can't speculate on whether Zook's inaccurate reporting is a product of incompetance or agenda, but in either case it reflects poorly on her "History of Consciousness" training. So yes, I would have to say that her work is not a ringing endorsement of the History of Consciousness program – whether from Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, or Santa Claus.


Richard said...

And do you really believe that an interdisciplinary history of consciousness program has no value?

Actually I think it has negative value. If I didn’t know any better I would have thought that it was an article from the Onion. I have an idea. Why don't they set up a History of Unconsciousness program. Then they can bring the two programs together and see if they are able to produce a rift in the space-time continuum.

By the way, Angela Davis is a professor in the program. What more evidence does one need to know that this program is worthless.

Anonymous said...

Zook received her Ph.D from the program in which Angela Y. Davis is one of the professors. Enough said as to Zook's qualifications. Unfortunately for Duke and its students, the Group of 88 seems to include more than a few Angela Y. Davis wannabes.

K.C. may have inadvertantly typed "Santa Barbara," rather than "Santa Cruz" (a harmless error he is likely to correct); but the link is to UC Santa Cruz, so he obviously got the school right. As for your question, I do not know what K.C. believes; but I "really believe that an interdisciplinary history of consciousness program has no value." In fact, with Angela Y. Davis as a professor in the program, the program likely has a negative value.

Texas Professor

KC Johnson said...

Foxed the Santa Cruz error--I had a friend who used to teach at Santa Barbara (which is a very good school), and somehow had that in my mind.

Good point, 12.23: I assume it is a trick question :)

David Brennan said...

It's ironic that this university is giving out degrees in consciousness when the idea is, to the frustration of computer programmers everywhere, still abstract and not quantified. (If they happen to have uncovered an empirical definition for consciousness, I can refer them to several A.I. computer programming teams who've been laboring on it for years.)

But I'm betting that, whenever we can concretely define consciousness, a search for empirical truth will be one facet of conscious entities.

Anonymous said...

Thank God it's not UCSB. My brother went there.

I might have known. "History of Consciouness" has UC-Santa Cruz written all over it. Since KC isn't from Cali he might not be aware of UCSC's reputation for BS subjects like that in which case he should consider himself lucky. Let's put it this way - I guarantee that the faculty at Santa Cruz would make Wahneema, Holloway and the 88 look like conservative republicans by way of comparison. They are total nutcases.

Anonymous said...

Why are Brodhead, Bell and
the NAACP so chumy?

What is it about Ms. Mangum's
background that keeps this
FRAUD afloat?

wayne fontes said...

Did Zook really write an article to tell us Prcious is complicated and conflicted, has held jobs in the past and can drive a HI-LO.


I'm waiting for the next piece when I find out she brushes her teeth every day and enjoys watching TV.

To 12:10
I would put it on par with Shadee Malaklou's "Dating Mating Hookup Culture at Duke".

Anonymous said...

I'm sure then that Ms.Zook had no problem with the way the Scottsboro trial of 1931 was handled. Thank God that 60 minutes wasn't around then!

Vivian Thomas said...

KC...I won't believe this History of Consciousness crap until I see the actual diploma and speak to the dean and department chair who signed it.

Even UC-Santa Cruz would stoop that low.

Vivian Thomas
PhD in Underwater Fire Prevention from Harvard University

Michael said...

Okay, a comic relief topic.

Can you get a minor in subconscienceness?

You know what? I made that word up. And then decided to google it to see if anyone actually used it. I got ten pages back.

Someone actually wrote this paragraph in an review:

I started to give a review in "deconstructionist" fashion - blather on about architecture surpassing old notions of "in" and "our", of reason giving way to the Neitzhien Uberwill, of absurd interpretations of text, relative yet "ultimate" truth and the unholy trinity of angst, subconscienceness and desire.
I was afraid, though, that it would be taken seriously by students (quote unquote) of post-modern "thought".

The danger of deconstructionism is undeniable. When literature and music are culturally interpreted, ethics are situational, when one speaks of slavery as freedom or humanity as inhumanity, we are lost in a sea of intellectual flotsam. The personal connections to fascism - Heidegger, Paul de Man, Blanchot, Bataille - can be overlooked. The intellectual similarities can't: The supremacy of will (Nietzsche) over reason and logic ("homogenising"), an obsession with emotion and political discourse, the celebration of the group over the individual (identity politics) and the idea that truth is what the critic, dictator or prophet says it is. Deconstructionism is, needless to say, popular among folks favoring modern "intellectual" movements with fuzzy tenets.

Here, he speaks to us eliptically (of course) as he partakes in the familiar one step forward - two steps backward approach. But if one follows Deconstructionism, why can't HIS writings be interpreted as an S&M fantasy or a desire to be a Greek Orthodox priest in drag? How do we know what he really means since he suggests that we often write exactly opposite of what we mean?. He writes of God, death, solitude, life and sacrifice BUT in a new voice of existentialism and doubt. He employs vague, self-defined and self-referential terms which effectively shield him from serious study.

Derrida, for all his rampant explicating, gets hot under the collar when his own words undergo the deconstruction challenge. Few have questioned his writings since (1) many are impossible to understand and (2) they may or may not mean what they say. What began as a new approach to literature has evolved into the language of intellectual totalitarianism. No one denies his extensive knowledge of Western literature; what galls are the bewieldering interpretations and his ironic attempt at building a new ethos based on syllogism. As another reviewer stated, take it slow, read several times, search for meaning even when there is none.

Vivian Thomas said...


UC Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz are both no better than clown-colleges. I feel sorry for anyone who's ever attended either school.

A "History of Consciousness" PhD from either school is roughly the equivalent of Burger University. This is not debatable.

HumboldtBlue said...

I have no idea what that last post was about, but hell, if they're handing out Phd's in 'Conscienceness' of any sort at the home of the Banana Slugs, Humboldt's most famous export isn't doing its job.

Anonymous said...

To 12:55
So, the NAACP is still interested in this case? Could it be just a coincidence that a past president of the NC NAACP had a surname of Mangum?

M. Simon said...

KC gets down.

Anon 12:10AM does have a point.

The scientific method and our current view of the world did not come to us all at once. Conciousness evolved.

We would have to look into this to see if it is pure crystal gazing or based on some evidence, however limited.

We are pretty sure monkeys don't think like humans. Something changed along the way. Quantity changed quality.

Anonymous said...

interdicsciplinary consciousness ...

whatever the hell that is ...

and didn't the latest president at Santa Cruz commit suicide after the local news learned her live-in girlfriend had been given a six-figure salary job ... or maybe it was in the 80k range, don't want to get too interdisciplinary here

M. Simon said...

OK, I read the reast of the thread.

I used to admire Angela Davis and Huey Newton.

So I know how really awful they are.

If Angela was part of the History of Conciousness degree then it is total BS.

M. Simon said...

Wiki - History of Conciousness.

See also:

* Critical Race Theory
* Feminism
* Feminist Theory
* Film Theory
* Philosophy
* Postmodernism
* Psychoanalysis
* Religious Studies
* Science Studies
* Social Movements
* Visual Studies

Anonymous said...

Oh, geez, Alex, I'll take History of Consciousness for ninety-nine cents....

Anonymous said...

now the LAX boys are responsible for the war in Iraq

Anonymous said...

To Zook, Peterson refused to recognize that “the accuser was, and still is, a complicated and conflicted human being. As are we all.”

Note to Kristal Zook: complicated and conflicted human beings sometimes fail to tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

I do hope to find that some intellectually gifted student/athlete will list "interdisciplinary history of consciousness" as his or her major in a press guide. I further hope that it is a hooligan lacrosse player.

Anonymous said...

I have seen Rev, Jesse P on a few occassions and have always been very impressed by him. He is a proud educated black manm trying to help his people. Like Bill Cosby, right now he is a voice in the wilderness. Will continue to pray for him and his people. Dimes,Zook and Zahn could not match his intelligence,passion or writing ability. No wonder they don't like him. PHD in history of consciousness - Who Knew.

Anonymous said...

M. Simon said...

Wiki - History of Conciousness.

See also:

* Critical Race Theory
* Feminism
* Feminist Theory
* Film Theory
* Philosophy
* Postmodernism
* Psychoanalysis
* Religious Studies
* Science Studies
* Social Movements
* Visual Studies

In other words, horse sh*t. Do they give these degrees away in specially marked boxes of Kracker Jacques for the Derrida set? The tax payers are being robbed. And the Gang of 88 are the tip of the iceberg.

Luke said...

"was dancing in a most limber fashion..." So very tactful KC.
You know, if the investigators have clips of that, I wonder if they have video of her giving lap dances on the same date. (Not being inflammatory here...remember that a few years before she had lifted the taxi driver's keys during the time she was giving him a lap dance. She then stole his cab, etc...)

I gather that Zook never spent any time with the accuser herself, just her family.

Anonymous said...

Your reponse to this question:

"And do you really believe that an interdisciplinary history of consciousness program has no value?"

What a wonderfully witty retort that has left a smile on my face...thanks!

Is that a trick question?

Anonymous said...

Honey worked at a car dealer?

Hmmmmm......seems we've heard about a car dealer before....

Anonymous said...

This case seems to revolve around whether or not we remember that some people are human beings. For example, the quote in the listening ad:
“No one is really talking... how to... keep [CGM's]humanity before us…”

"[CGM's] was the face, simply, of a human being."

The title of yesterday's lead post in Pandagon:
"Sometimes I Almost Feel Just Like a Human Being"

(which, BTW, quotes another blog that contends that bloggers are ...human beings.)

I, for one, am ready to stipulate that they are all human beings. Now, human beings, please stop claiming that this POS case has any merit at all. It's embarrassing and annoying the rest of us human beings.

Anonymous said...

swelling happens not immediately at the time of the event, neither do bruises.
you people are going to have a surprise you don't want.
get ready, word is the new da is not dropping this.

bill anderson said...

If we are to take Zook's comments seriously, then had no business dealing with the Wilson case, since the prosecution and the jurors had spoken.

It is amazing to me to see the black writers and "leaders" suddenly demanding "standards" of justice that they would never -- and with good reason, never -- accept for themselves. They are demanding injustice in the name of justice. I'm not sure if this is cause for disgust, anger, or just plain sadness. Maybe all three.

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says: Ah, taught by Prof Angela Davis. Do you know they still have an "Angela Davis Lounge" at the univ of Michigan. Yes, they honor this anti-American communist bitch, who received the Lenin Prize from the East Germans, and remained a party member even after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She is now one of those racial Marxists. The History of Consciousness program at Santa Cruz was created by historian Page Smith to prove his thesis "that the Ph.D. degree is a fraud." That is a real quote.
One of the students who enrolled in the program was that great intellect, good old Huey Newton, who RECEIVED a Ph.D. from the program. Angela Davis wasn't yet a "professor" there. Huey's doctoral thesis was titled, "War against the Black Panthers". What a school!!! P.S. Justice was ultimately served when Huey got his on August 22, 1989 on an Oakland, CA street, right near where he murdered police officer John Frey. Davis will get hers for supplying the guns in the Marin County courthouse hostage taking of a judge, an asst DA,and several jurors. The judge's head was blown off, the Asst DA was shot , but survived, permanently paralyzed. All to free George Jackson.... Yes, it was all fun and games back then.

Anonymous said...

Huey Newton got his Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz in the history of consciousness program. He wrote it on the repression of the Black Panther Party.

I taught there for a year and my colleagues and I used to joke that the city of Santa Cruz was a national park for the preservation of the sixties.

The campus is breathtakingly beautiful. From its inception it was designed to be a kind of alternative college like Bard or Goddard. There were no grades, only narrative evaluations. A transcript from UCSC was a nightmare.

Two types of students thrived there. The ones who were self-motivated and the ones who wanted to maneuvre their way through doing as little as possible.

The politics of the place was totally bizarre. The response to the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran was to stage a march of 400 UCSC students to the town City Hall in support of the Iranians.

The school nickname was changed from the Dolphins to the banana slugs. The banana slug is a slimy creature that looks like a banana that was found along the cross country trails in the hills in back of the university. The cross country team adopted the banana slug as its mascot and had images the creatures emblazoned on their uniforms.

It's also the alma mater of Victor Davis Hanson who has written a bit about the place.

Anonymous said...

The problem with people like Zook and Dines is they can never admit they are wrong.
It doesn't matter what the facts are. Since they are never wrong, any evidence that disputes their view has to be wrong.

Anonymous said...

According to Zook's bio, she received degrees from both UCSB (bachelor) and UCSC (docorate) so it's accurate to say that both schools shaped her world view. Now that I know Zook's pedigree, her credibility as a "journalist" is zero with me.

I second 12:44's remarks -- especially the comparison between Duke's G88 and their like-minded colleagues at UCSC.

UCSC makes even Cal Berkeley look sane. Duke should not want to aspire to reaching UCSC's major league level of nuttiness. They're causing enough damage already by their AA minor league level performances.

Kimberly said...

The problem with people like Zook and Dines is they can never admit they are wrong. It doesn't matter what the facts are. Since they are never wrong, any evidence that disputes their view has to be wrong.

And that, in a nutshell, is why we get to mock Zook's PhD, no matter where it's from or what subject it was in. Anyone who can ignore facts to the extent that she has and willingly twist reality so that it supports her narrow viewpoint doesn't deserve to have Ph.D. after her name.

It's one thing to choose sides; it's another thing altogether to spread lies and hysteria, either through maliciousness (making up lies about physical findings) or cluelessness (if she's really so dumb as to believe the story about KKK flyers that no one will admit to actually seeing).

Anonymous said...


I sincerely feel grateful for your blog. I greatly doubt we have many political views in common, but the capacity for critical thought, for competent expression, and for equitable treatment of the individual will always trump political creed in my book. You give me hope for the university and the Democratic party as institutions.


Anonymous said...

To 12:10 am

A history of consciousness program?

Can you give a definition of what human consciousness is? Do you have any well confirmed theory of how it operates? Has the definition or mechanism changed? (History is about the processes of change; as the Marxist historian E. H. Carr said, those unable to provide intelligent explanantions of change take cover in the social sciences.) What are the sources from which one could extract a history of consciousness?

Nonsense, pure and simple.


Howard said...

The background of Prof. Zook: graduate of an obscure college; Ph.D thesis in nearly nothing; and being rewarded with a professorship at another obscure college reminds me of a story once told by a comedian.

He was standing in the unemployment line and when the guy in front of him went to the window he was asked his qualifications. He told the counselor that he had a degree in Oriental Mythology. After checking some papers the counselor told the guy, "I'm sorry but we have no jobs for Oriental Gods right now." That is obviously not the case when it comes to employment in our higher education system, one that provides employment for every misfit on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Bad Zook. Naughty Zook. Bad, bad, bad, wicked, naughty Zook.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh- 6:53 you are frightening me! Did some new DNA evidence show up too? Think the swelling and brusing that you claim we are gonna hear about might be from the drug addled stripper's "side business"? Enablers die hard. Better luck trying to scare the GJ members into silence next time too.

Jim said...

Something else to chew on: Linwood Wilson's stellar investigative career, documented.

bill anderson said...


Yeah, and I remember that "word was" that Michael Nifong had two mystery witnesses he was going to reveal at the Dec. 15 hearing. Well, we had one mystery witness, a fellow by the name of Brian Meehan. You might have heard of him.

Anonymous said...

Hey I get dibs on "nano-meta-narratives"...

And so many in my family didn't think I'd amount to much.

bill anderson said...

I was interviewed the other day by Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, and he told me he had interviewed a number of NCCU students. Surprise, surprise, they still are holding to the "she was raped" version. Now, this is not due to facts, but to simple peer pressure.

But, then, Cash's friends still are trying to convince us that Tawana Brawley really was telling the truth. No doubt, Cash believes it, too.

RockyMountainMan said...

The irony of Kristal Zook teaching a course on the "History of Consciousness" is that she evidently either lacks consciousness or she lacks a conscience.

Anonymous said...

9:03 AM

By the time this is over, Wilson may wish he'd remained "tired of the work."

How does a clown like this get a job as an investigator for the DA's office? Oh, I just remembered, Nifong was in charge of the hiring.

Anonymous said...

I think this is the deal with interdisciplinary studies and meta narratives and all that stuff:

Take a group of people that is too stupid to understand calculus or physics or chemistry or medicine. They also don't want to engage in the drudgery to learn about history or laws or the like to the depth that the facts are studied in these disciplines.

Now combine that stupidity with massive arrogance. They know that they are better and smarter than other people, and their opinions are the truth.

The result: Studies going "above" the studies they don't understand. That's interdisciplinary and super-duper meta and all that. That's why you get feminists who are woefully ignorant of facts spouting their opinions on law, history and even what the learning paradigm should be in mathematics and medicine and the like. You get feminists saying that Newton's writings (which they have never read) are a "rape manual", that logic and coherent thinking are the tools of oppression of the Patriarchy etc.

All these "educated" people do is learn some big words (heuristic and methodological and patriarchal and heteronormative and phallogocentric), write utterly misinformed crap, agree with the utterly misinformed crap of others in their field and teach the new generation of moronic students that can't understand anything else.

Read the prank that the professor of physics Alan Sokol played on these postmodern nitwits, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone said "Gad-Zooks" yet? Now is the time, I think.

As for the last name Mangum, it is a common name here in Durham, like the name Alston. These are names that slaves took or were given based on the last name of their owner. There is a touching PBS documentary about a young man whose last name is Alston. He is white, yet all his classmates with the same name were black. It took a while for him to figure out why that was the case but the lightbulb finally went on. I will not try to encaspulate his experience here - but the story is worth watching.

The point is - the name Mangum may or may not indicate close family relationship. Doesn't rule it out, doesn't rule it in.

So Crystal Gail Mangum could lift patients in and out of baths, could lift a cab driver's keys, could lift herself onto a pole, just couldn't lift her life out of the gutter. I guess that is too much heavy lifting.

Given the quality or lack thereof, in Zook's reporting, virtually any of the alledged facts, such as the swollen face she reports, are suspect. This story has gone down the rabbit hole and until all charges are dropped, down is up, up is down and words mean what we say they mean. No where did I leave my Banana Slug sweatshirt... mmm, banana slugs...

Gary Packwood said...

Interdisciplinary history of consciousness...program.


Is that a program for the study of the evolution of Alzheimer's disease in America as a major health care challenge for the elderly?

Anonymous said...


Well said.


Class/race/gender studies programs that grant PhDs are all a joke, but they are nevertheless busy churning out idiots who will leverage these pseudo-degrees for the rest of their lives. It is the modern version, spawned by the radical feminists, of "Reverend," an often-meaningless prefix used by activists with names like Jesse to, among other things, excuse the use of church pulpits as political stumps. That's still going on of course, and the silly/angry studies will continue, too. After all, where else but academia and the media can these turkeys find protected employment.

Anonymous said...

People like Zooks and the crooked Durham judges just want to keep the status quo, which for Durham is controlled by the AA constituency. For example, Judge Hudson wants to clamp down on Grand Jurors talking about what they WOULD HAVE DONE if the facts were as described now in the press - Durham County damage control at its best! Lead in the water, uncertified and burning landfills, politicians on the take – they just got a 3 to 6% raise! Incredible!!

“Orlando Hudson, Durham's senior resident Superior Court judge, said he is thinking about what, if any, action to take against the two, who appeared on ABC's ‘Good Morning America.’ “

Anonymous said...

Michael at 12:58 wrote, "the personal connections to fascism - Heidegger, Paul de Man, Blanchot, Bataille - can be overlooked. The intellectual similarities can't."

Yes indeed! The extreme left and extreme right are twins. The trolls reading this blog are terrified that we genuine liberals, whether Democrats or Republicans, are starting to realize this.

Anti-Leftist Liberal

Gary Packwood said...

For the younger folks reading all of this.

Angela Davis and Huey Newton are freeze dried hippies from another era.

Think before iPod.

M. Simon said...


Mild vaginal edema can be cause by the excitement of sexual activity.

However, I think a trial might be very interesting. I can't wait to hear CGM under oath. It will be worthy of some kind of fiction award. Or perhaps she is so special we can name the award after her. A permanent honor.

So far it is the prosecution that has been on the recieving end of the bombs.

M. Simon said...

bill anderson 6:58AM,

It is interesting to see a desire for revenge so strong that they are willing to double or quadruple their own troubles just for the sake of that revenge.

Which shows how little they value themselves.

It is a wonder.

Anonymous said...

I must admit that in the 70's and early 80's I dabbled in what might be called " consciousness " . And so I have read a veritable library on the " topic " and engaged in both organized and ad hoc
" explorations " .

The term itself , " History of Consciousness " made me smile the Cheshire Cat . Talk about a Rabbit Hole !

Broadhead and his expedition of " explorers " insist that we enter .

Anyway let's start with this , why did Broadhead not come out in strong support of the lacrosse players first amendment rights ? Why is his support for same so cynically reserved for rank leftists who use hate speech ?

Anonymous said...

Gary Packwood:

Angela Davis is a communist, not a hippie. Huey Newton was a Black Panther, not a hippie.

I met the late Eldridge Cleaver at college where he was serving his community service time after returning from Algeria. He had become pro-American and anti-Black Panther by that time, and was much reviled as a turncoat by Huey and other radicals. Life is funny that way...

M. Simon said...


I believe Angela beat the rap.

Gary Packwood said...

Yes, I forgot about Eldridge Cleaver.

Him also.

M. Simon said...

What are the sources from which one could extract a history of consciousness?

You could read what people wrote.

The mode of thought should show through in non-stylized writing.

People used to think thought came from the belly. Which is a different mode of conciousness.

There are a lot of approaches one could take to study the problem.

Study people alive today. Maybe there are remnants. Or people who are abberatiional by today's lights who would have been normal 2,000 years ago.

M. Simon said...

10:15 AM,

Yes, Eldridge Cleaver,

I saw him at the Berkeley Community theater on his last public appearance before he left for Libya.

There was a time when I fell for all that stuff.

It is a much harder sell these days. Thank the Maker.

Anonymous said...

It's amusing how the Nifong/Precious-enablers are simply DYING for a trial...but I'm not really sure why.

Can you imagine Crystal on the witness stand, being asked to identify the five male customers whose semen was in her rectum??? Then defense attorneys can parade her customers in front of the whole world to explain how much they paid her to have unprotected anal sex. What a gal!

Her face will become well known as the face of a lying degenerate prostitute...NOT the face of a college student/working mom. The black community must be so proud.

War Eagle

M. Simon said...


The tem you are looking for is statist.

M. Simon said...


Correct that Algeria.

The mind fades over time.

M. Simon said...

Wilson will get shreded by the prosecution.

It will not be a fair fight.

Anonymous said...

I had a manager for many years whose attitude was "I may not always be right - but I am never wrong."

Richard Aubrey said...

I suppose it shouldn't be astonishing, but I can't stop being surprised at the raw numbers of corrupt--legally, morally, intellectually--people who have associated themselves with the case.
Nutty professors, potbanging kids, local pols pandering, bloggers with agendas, reporters with agendas. Where do all these people live? How do they live without help in, say, remembering to breathe?

Anonymous said...

"Zook" : a legal term which requires a trial when preconceptions of guilt don't fit the known

Anonymous said...

To: M. Simon... From: Sweetmick.Yes, Angela Davis beat the rap. First, who is the schmuck who referred to Davis and Huey Newton as hippies? Probably the stupidist, most ignorant comment I have heard. And Adolf Hitler was an urban planner.
George Jackson got shot to death trying to escape from prison. The last 2 Soledad Brothers, John Cluchette and Fleeta Drumgo got their comeuppance, too. In fact Davis gave the eulogy after Drumgo was executed. She described Drumgo as a "communist martyr". She is the one remaining thug who has not received justice. Her attorneys used the novel defense, at the time, that the only way to show that white America was not racist was to acquit Davis. See how far we've come?

Anonymous said...

I am a small business owner. Would someone mind telling me what value a graduate of the "History of Consciousness" program at the notorious, excuse me esteemed, UC Santa Cruz would bring to my company.

No, I dont sell fries and Shakes.

Anonymous said...

...when you're halfway through, you get a degree in semiconsciousness!


dougjnn said...

These types of professors appear to be everywhere. Why do universities allow this.

Because leftist dogmatism and affirmative action pandering has largely taken over a great many universities humanities and social science departments (other than economics and sometimes history in many cases) in a great many American universities. Simply put in many places Leftist ideologues make sure that only professors who share their dogmas more or less, and preferably affirmative action eligible proffs to boot, get hired or especially offered tenure.

Consider the unquestionably qualified and scholarly prolific KC Johnson’s own struggle to obtain tenure in history at his NYC Brooklyn college. It required an appeal over the heads of the local department heads and colleagues to the system wide Provost I think it was, with a good deal of attention to the case in some of the local media. None of that would have likely been possible if he weren’t so clearly more qualified than most of his colleagues.

The problem is often worst at some of our most elite institutions.

The rot that the New Left > Post Modernism and identity studies (Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, African American studies, PoMo humanities exegesis of bad motives everywhere) has brought to American universities outside of the hard sciences is truly appalling.

dougjnn said...

Would someone mind telling me what value a graduate of the "History of Consciousness" program at the notorious, excuse me esteemed, UC Santa Cruz would bring to my company.

That graduate would probably be black and probably be a woman as well or instead. If you don’t realize that that’s value aplenty right there, then you’ve just proven yourself to be irredeemably racist.

So shut up.

And so it goes in the PC universe.

Anonymous said...

I am a small business owner. Would someone mind telling me what value a graduate of the "History of Consciousness" program at the notorious, excuse me esteemed, UC Santa Cruz would bring to my company.

The state has determined that diversity will be good for your business.

Expect a visit from the EEO office soon to discuss your non-compliance with our enlightened views.

Gregory said...

Zook and Dines should check the inside of the elastic portion of their underwear. I think they will find that they are "OWNED" by Reverend Peterson.

The debate looked like Dan Quayle (Dines/Zook) versus Lloyd Bentsen (Peterson).

Of course I expect a better result in the general election (final outcome of the case).

Go K.C.! Keep up the best blog on the web!

dougjnn said...

I say above--
The rot that the New Left > Post Modernism and identity studies (Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, African American studies, PoMo humanities exegesis of bad motives everywhere) has brought to American universities outside of the hard sciences is truly appalling.

As well many of those professors who don’t really share the dogmatism of the cultural Marxists (by way of the Frankfurt School, the New Left, Marcuse, Post Modernism and Foucoult and Derida) and think much PoMo stuff is silly, and are instead merely liberal in a more traditional or mainstream Democrat party sort of way, are afraid of being jumped on as reactionaries or racists if they criticize the critiques of the far leftists – particularly when those lefty groups have lots of blacks or highly feminist women or Muslims amongst their ranks, which they nearly always do.

If you don’t yet have tenure it does not help your chances to be seen as someone who has taken leftists to task on behalf of presumption of innocence and avoiding a lynch mob mentality – when the victims of that rush to judgment are white males that is. Even if you have tenure, your chances for trading up in career to a better post run a very real risk of being blocked by Lefties at those locales.

Such a stance is regarded by the lefties as clear evidence of racial and gender insensitivity at best, and probably actual racism at some unforgivable and career damaging level more likely. In contrast it’s pretty much impossible to be so dogmatically left as to hurt your chances. I mean it would be McCarthite to be otherwise, obviously.

Yeah it’s really that bad.

Oh and it’s no random event that one of the largest locuses of early integrity in the form of “not so fast” and “let’s first learn more of the facts and proof” variety came from within Duke’s economics department. Econ departments are frequently regarded as horrid reactionary places – meaning many there tend to be merely liberals and even think market mechanism with appropriate regulation have some utility. As well they tend to take actual wattage to do well in, as opposed to many “studies” departments, where striking the right pose will often do the trick, particularly if you’ve got the favored identity.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

The ivory towers of the Gang of 88, Zook, Davis, Churchill, et al, are about to get a swift kick.

In a move echoing similar legislation (in Virginia, South Dakota and Pennsylvania), Missouri Representative Cunningham has just introduced legislation demanding that state-funded colleges and universities announce each year what they have done "to ensure and promote intellectual diversity and academic freedom." In other words, have they taught something other than Marxist, victimology, hate-filled rant at tax-payers' expense?

Dang! If Brodhead and the Gang of 88 had to answer that question right now, we'd be hearing crickets!

Anonymous said...

I suggest instead of Duke Lacrosse Scandal or Hoax, the proper name for the situation is Duke Lacrosse Frameup by corrupt officials and lying accuser.