Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Roundup

The AP’s Aaron Beard reflected on the past year for Duke lacrosse in a piece published last week—a season that, he noted, “ended in an almost eerie come-full-circle moment: For the second time in three seasons, Duke’s lacrosse team had lost by a single goal to Johns Hopkins in the NCAA championship game.”

Though the defeat was a crushing one, Beard predicted that, with some time to reflect, “it’s a loss that’ll start to look pretty good once the sting subsides.” And, indeed, the transformation is remarkable—from the “wanted” poster, and “castrate” signs, to 88 of their own professors taking out a full-page ad denouncing them, to regular race-baiting attacks from a demagogue prosecutor . . . to a situation where most (apart from a handful of bitter sportswriters) welcomed their march to the championship game.

Beard commented on Collin Finnerty’s reception at Monday’s game against Johns Hopkins, where he “was mobbed by friends and well-wishers as he made his way through the stands.” Finnerty, unencumbered, explained, “They went through a tough time and had a tough year with everything in the case. It’s back where they belong, and I’m happy for them.”

As Coach John Danowski correctly observed, “These kids have done everything and more that’s been demanded of them (since the scandal), and they’ve lived just about a perfect life. They just lost a lacrosse game today.”

Read the full article here; it is, typically, first-rate.

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For those who haven’t seen it yet, Green Eggs and Bacon is an excellent new blog on Durham events. The blog includes recent posts on the police inquiry plan; strategies for pressuring the Duke administration; and the condition of the Duke faculty.

Read more here.

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One impact of the decision of many Duke departments to prioritize the hiring of figures who specialize in the analytic triumvirate of race, class, and gender is to ensure that specialists in more traditional approaches to scholarship are not hired. As a result, courses on more traditional topics are either eliminated from the curriculum or “revisioned” along heavily ideological lines.

A good example comes in a course from the History Department’s fall 2007schedule. This term, Group of 88 member Jocelyn Olcott co-taught a course with Wahneema Lubiano—which gives a sense of her ideological perspective. Olcott describes her research interests as the “feminist history of modern Mexico”; her book “shows women activists challenging prevailing beliefs about the masculine foundations of citizenship” by examining “how women inhabited the conventionally manly role of citizen by weaving together its quotidian and formal traditions, drawing strategies from local political struggles and competing gender ideologies.” In most circles, such interests would hardly be considered mainstream, although at Duke, that isn’t the case.

What course will this self-described specialist in Mexican feminism, whose most recent journal article is entitled “Miracle Workers: Gender and State Mediation among Textile and Garment Workers in Mexico’s Transition to Industrial Development,” teach in fall 2007?

“Regime Change and U.S. Interventions.” The course description:

This course will examine episodes of U.S. interventions abroad that resulted in the overthrow of democratically elected regimes. While we will focus on Latin America as the primary region of study, we will also consider comparative cases. Readings and research will consider cultural, social, and economic tools of intervention as well as military and diplomatic methods. Students will divide into four research teams and, using documents provided by the instructor as well as those that student find on their own, will research and write histories of U.S. interventions in Guatemala, Chile, Iran, and Congo.

So—for $43,000 in tuition and fees—parents are sending their children to be taught about U.S. foreign policy toward Iran by a specialist in Mexican feminism. Amazing.

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This week’s humor section comes from the Liestoppers forum. First, some proposed suggestions for Durham’s new slogan—of which City Councilwoman Diane Catotti surely would approve:

  • Welcome to Durham! We’ve Been Working on the Railroad
  • Durham—Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here
  • Welcome to Durham: We Put the “Lie” in “Liestoppers”
  • Welcome to Durham: City of Mendacity
  • Durham: Justice for Just Us!

The latter slogan especially reflects the Catotti approach.

The “blog hooligans” also are running a poll asking readers to predict the Nifong defense. Best choices include:

  • Insanity
  • Cy made me do it
  • !@#%# Cheshire

My money is on the third option.

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I haven’t written about the De Anza rape case largely because apart from the superficial (highly publicized rape allegations against college athletes), the differences between it and the Duke case far outweigh any similarities. The issue in the De Anza case is consent; witnesses exist; the acknowledged behavior was far more troubling than anything associated with the Duke case; and the chief prosecutor certainly can’t be faulted for politicizing the inquiry or for any sort of procedural misconduct.

Any hope, however, that the Duke case might have caused journalists to reflect on how they cover rape cases was belied by a column in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. C.W. Nevius eight times described the accuser as the “victim”—not even tossing in the “alleged” qualifier—and stated, again without qualification, that at least one of the partygoers was “assaulting her.”

Moreover, he provided a Nifongian standard for taking tape cases to trial. The district attorney, he declared, “should do the right thing—what the victim wants—take it to trial and let a jury decide.Durham County learned what happens when a prosecutor abandons prosecutorial discretion and makes the “victim” a de facto district attorney. Hopefully, Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr will have learned from Nifong’s mistakes.

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An intriguing post at JinC at the relationship between the Duke police and the Durham police in the critical days before the April 4 non-lineup “lineup.” The post asks some good questions, and notes that circumstantial evidence suggests that the link was far closer than has been previously realized.

Liestoppers explores the issue as well.

All of this yields a question: What did the Duke Police know about the procedures to be used in the April 4 lineup, and when did they know it?

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Hostility to the NCAA’s correct decision to grant the Duke players an additional year of eligibility seems especially strong in Virginia. UVA coach Dom Starsia has denounced the move to every reporter who will listen, and last week Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Paul Woody criticized it as well.

“The behavior of the Duke players before the night of March 13,” scolds Woody, “hardly was exemplary”: “the two women working as exotic dancers who were present March 13 did not show up by chance. They were hired by a lacrosse team member. One of dancers made the false accusations against the players. Such behavior by the athletes alone was reason enough for the Duke administration to take disciplinary action against the team. Canceling the season should have sent a message to every Duke athlete.”

Is Woody claiming that every sports team some of whose members drank beer or participated in distasteful entertainment over spring break should have its season cancelled? Perhaps he should apply for a job as sports information director at BYU, which would thrive under such a system.

“By taking this case to the NCAA,” Woody claimed, “the school administration essentially condones the players’ behavior.” The Duke administration did no such thing. It said that, because of Mike Nifong’s misconduct and the threat to the players’ safety it caused, there was no way the season could continue.

A good case can be made, of course, that the Brodhead administration did not cancel the season because of safety concerns. But at the heart of Duke’s appeal was a correct premise: that even an administration not cowed by faculty extremists within its midst could not have allowed the games to go on, because in the environment that existed in Durham last spring, there’s no way the school could have guaranteed the players’ safety.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

KC - as usual, you are the best. Leaving us with GEandB is kind. I was just thinking before I dialed in, "what are we going to do after June." Can not thank you enough for gathering us together and doing our best to help this team. I am so happy to hear about Collin's reception at the game.

Anonymous said...

Nofing is going to use the "evil twin" defense. It wasn't really him but his evil twin who doesn't have a law license to lose and who is kind of mean and has consistantly gotten Mikey into trouble over the years...

Then, Nofing is going to vow to track down the "real" bad actor here -- his twin really has been victimized by society and needs help, after all.

Michael said...

[take it to trial and let a jury decide.”]

That's really easy to say when you aren't footing the legal bills. How about the San Francisco Chronicle putting up the money for the legal bills for the defense attorneys should they prevail? And how about time and expense for the players and their families? And paying for the legal costs of the state too.

It's really easy to be generous with someone elses time, money and life.

Anonymous said...

KC - "...a Nifongian standard for taking tape cases to trial."

Anonymous said...

Duke will change only if people refuse to pay a fortune for the "privilege" of having their kids indoctrinated by these haters - but there's more pressing danger in Durham than just a bit of abstract damage to the psyche.

If you believe the Gang of 88 and their Durham counterparts, your daughters aren't physically safe. If you don't believe the Gang of 88 et al., then you know that your sons aren't physically safe.

Those are your choices. Why on earth would you send your kids into such a mess?

Anonymous said...

Duke's failure to address its rogue professors is an utter embarrassment to the university, its students and its alumni. Do the trustees have no shame?

Anonymous said...

the high amounts of sexual assault on college campuses yearly shows that people's daughters are not safe. at duke last year before graduation, a female student alleged she was raped at a party in which marijuana was being blown into the room by a fan. as for the coach in Virginia's comments, all i can say is right on! finally someone speaks up for what is morally correct. the behavior of the team that night was foul; they did way more that night than just drink beer and they should not have been rewarded by the ncaa. had they been black atheletes so charged, they would not have gotten any eligiblity back.

Anonymous said...

The liestoppers thread points out that Travis Mangum stated that his daughter had [past tense] made a positive ID of three suspects on 03 Apr, when the taped non-lineup lineup was on 04 Apr. This was in a taped interview.

She went on to ID four suspects [that would be one more than three] on 04 Apr, but the extra ID was of someone who was known to have not been at the party and she was led past the bad ID without it being taken down as an ID at all. This is all on the tape.


This really fails the smell test, to put it mildly.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Victoria Peterson is on tonight (@1:21)!

Anonymous said...

Michael = you are right on.
1:21 If people's daughters were not out in the middle of the night, drunk, they would be a lot safer.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

"Durham, you can't make this sh!t up."

KC, the above quote came from Liestoppers joking about a new Durham motto, but trust me, I've been saying the same thing all year about your blog. ;>)

Anonymous said...

On her Duke web page, assistant professor Jocelyn Olcott states: I work on feminist history of modern Mexico. My first book, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico, explores questions of gender and citizenship in the 1930s. I am currently working on two book-length projects: a history of the 1975 UN International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City (under contract with Oxford University Press), and a cultural, political, and labor history of motherhood in twentieth-century Mexico.

It is clear from Olcott's publications and conferences listed on the internet that Womyn's Studies meets Herstory. I wonder how her "gendered perspective" of history will seep into the male-dominated political and military history of U.S. interventions in Latin America, Iran, and the Congo that are the topics of her course this coming fall semester.

It's a good thing the main method of teaching is team research by the students because nothing in Olcott's academic research interests or publications indicates any expertise in the topics of her course. However, some of her personal experience reveals her to be quite the revolutionary. She was a cohort of professor Diane Nelson in disrupting the speech on academic freedom by David Horowitz at Duke in 2006.

Looking at Olcott's publications and reading between the lines of her course description, one can easily glean how one should think to receive a good grade in "Regime Change and U.S. Interventions."

She should advance far in Duke's history department, with its former chair, feminist and listening statement signer, Sally Deutsch now the new dean of social studies. Is it a requisite now for all female academic historians to have a "feminist perspective" on history?

Where are you, readable Barbara Tuchman?

Would Deutsch and ilk allow an Arthur Schlesinger to teach in the history department? Would Harvard, with its new president, hire Arthur Schlesigner now? Did Arthur Schlesinger like lacrosse?

Anonymous said...

1:21:00 AM says:

"they did way more that night than just drink beer and they should not have been rewarded by the ncaa".
______________________________

Doctors are concerned about that small, ping pong ball sized growth that tops off your spinal cord.

Anonymous said...

"They did more than . . . ." No, thse kids got husseled all the way around by a culture they didn't begin to know anything about, and for reasons of their own the Group88 refuses to confront that culture even now. The affair has been one of dishonesty on the part of the intellectual community and a so called academic climate at Duke University. These educators were doing their thing from start to finish intimidating everyone to their "truth." They were no more than a gaulded lynch mob without galluses. They are all to reflective of an academia-in-wonderland across the country: Integrity, honor, truth are less important to them than agenda, propaganda, personal grand standing. Yes, something happened that night in Durham . . . .

Art Deco said...

In the years running from 1973 to 1982, Congressional inquiries and civil proceedings in Federal court examined the question of the U.S. government's complicity in the coup d'etat which removed Salvador Allende from power. The conclusion of these various inquiries: evidence examined was consistent with Henry Kissinger's contention that the 1973 coup in Chile was planned and executed by the Chilean military and national police without consulting with the U.S. Government. What kind of history is she teaching these youths? Do they get to hear about the various and sundry occasions when electoral institutions abroad were midwived or protected by some combination of our military, diplomatic corps, and intelligence services? The Dominican Repoublic (1978), Grenada (1983-84), Guatemala (1983-86), El Salvador (1981-92), Panama (1989), Ecuador (2000), and Bolivia (1978-82) come to mind.

mac said...

KC,

You mentioned Nevious' article in
the San Francisco Chronicle,
and hoped that the prosecutor
would learn from Nifong's mistakes.

While it would be nice to see prosecutors
learn from Nifong's "mistakes,"
it would be better to fix the
Grand Jury system; it has no level
of accountability. As has been
admitted here (and elsewhere) by
lawyers and others:

"You can indict a ham sandwich."

That's what needs to change -
(it would, if there wasn't so much
money to be made by allowing
unjustified charges going to
trial) - not some vague hope
in the moral/spiritual awakening
of professional prosecutors!

mac said...

1:21 is the kind of troll that
keeps this thread going!
Once in awhile, someone - probably
smoking a little weed - decides
to see how many people he/she/it
can get to respond. It's like a
kid in a zoo, trying to get a rise
out of the gorillas.

So why do we keep responding?

Maybe it's the way the case was
laid out and perpetuated, with
such a huge amount of collaboration
by authorities, educators and
media. The case against the boys
was a coup -d'etat against justice.

Just because the random 1:21 shows
up to rattle the bars of the cages,
we shouldn't automatically respond.

"Hey, Durl! Lookee here! I kin
piss off a whoooole buncha dudes
an' make 'em write back. I caint
even get my mama to write me back!"

Duke parent 2004 said...

Professor Johnson surely knows he'll be enjoying his retirement before the Jocelyn Olcotts of our time crawl back under the rocks at our leading universities. Thomas Kuhn was wrong about many things in his blockbuster book on the structure of scientific revolutions; but he might have been correct in writing that paradigm shifts often succeed only after the old guard literally dies off. Today's old guard includes Jocelyn Olcott and her cronies at Duke.

For many years I have enjoyed e-mail correspondence with notable conservatives on the faculties of notable universities. At first, I wondered why they squirmed less than I did at the antics of their Olcottian colleagues. Then I began to see commonalities in their responses that heartened me and should hearten many concerned parents. Here are a few highlights:

1. Many conservative and traditionalist students operate at far greater wattage than do their complacently liberal and even radical professors. Moreover, they often carry highly calibrated cant detectors, the readings of which they have been known to discuss with their less discerning and more impressionable friends on campus. These bright lights are very much in the thoughts of the legions of college students who say they learned more from their "peers" those four years than from their professors. In short, more than a few Stephen Millers walk our campuses.

2. University administrators are more craven than committed. For years they have genuflected to the radicals on campus. As university affairs become better known off campus, primarily through the Internet, those administrators will less willingly risk incurring the wrath of alumni and parents. And it's not just the "nowness" of the Internet they fear; it's just as much its "thenness." Minions of Larry Moneta stripe will find it harder and harder to run away from their follies at former haunts. (Here I'm thinking of Moneta's perfidy at Penn during the infamous water-buffalo incident.) Google and LexisNexis have become the greatest friends to the good guys --and the greatest embarrassments to the blockheads and Brodheads of our time.

3. As university tuitions and fees continue increasing at rates far higher than inflation, parents and even students will increasingly demand more for their outlays. Parents who until recently trembled at asking why the academic year is a full month shorter than it was just a few decades ago now openly challenge the schools to explain why their children must don farm boots when "exploring" the course catalogue. Parents who are looking at expenditures in the hundreds of thousands of dollars will increasingly ask their own children to justify exposing themselves to the likes of Lubiano, Farred, and Olcott. Progress will be slow, but it will be certain.

Finally, a note to younger parents . . . Your obligation to your children does not cease with your writing tuition checks. You have been in the world. Your children need (and want, though they might not admit it) your advice and counsel even when they pretend to be fully fledged at college. I have put three wonderful children through three big-name universities--at a cost of almost $500,000. For that outlay, I insisted they at least hear me out. They complied. Today they thank me, as for the most part they spent their time, and my money, wisely. You cannot do better for your children than engaging yourself in enterprises such as DIW and then passing along to them what you've learned and what criteria they should apply when assessing their own choices and the consequences of them. You might even have to read some books! It's worth doing.

scott said...

You were correct in not spending time on the case involving the DeAnza College baseball team. Other than the fact that it involved a party hosted by a college sports team and a rape charge the cases have little in common. No one should be allowed to use that case in any discussion of the Duke lacrosse case except perhaps to use it as an example that further exonerates the Duke 3.

That would be based on a critical element present at the DeAnza party that was missing at the Duke party -- credible eye witnesses having no affiliation with the accused who saw "something happening." Reports state that women soccer players, present at the party, saw what was going on and broke it up.

So there very well could be a valid reason for taking the DeAnza case to trial, but not, of course, for the mis-guided reason postulated by C. W. Nevius. Mr. Nevius joins the group of America's sportswriters who are either ignorant of or choose to ignore a basic premise of the American justice system -- presumed innocence until proven (beyond a reasonable doubt) guilty. We should not be surprised that he echoes the position of several New York Times sportswriters -- the SF Chronicle, while never having been able to claim "paper of record" status certainly rivals its east coast big-brother in producing a product suitable for fishwrap or puppy training, but little else.

KT said...

Anonymous @ 1:21:00 AM said...
"had they been black atheletes so charged, they would not have gotten any eligiblity back.

If they had been black athletes, this wouldn't have had any traction with DPD, Nifong, the Potbangers, or the G88. However, if charges would have been brought against three black athletes, as you assert, I guarantee Duke/Brodhead would have been way too PC to cancel the remainder of the season in the first place. The NCAA would never have been involved. Get a grip on reality!!

Anonymous said...

It is possible to find two black men, and three black women and two white women who are highly qualified to be on this committee. Jim Coleman has been suggested....let's name some more.

bill anderson said...

Some years ago, I read an insightful comment in Sports Illustrated (which did not give us insightful comment during the LAX case) in which the writer admitted that sportswriters will portray athletes either as "heroes or bums." There is no in-between.

Thus, a sophomoric email -- by a sophomore, of course -- becomes a Crime Against Humanity. Yet, Ryan McFayden is no bum. Nifong and the police tried to use that email as a way to extort FALSE testimony from him.

They told him, "You testify as to what WE want you to say, and we do not release this email. But if you refuse to testify in the way we want, we release it," or something to that effect.

That, dear readers, is subornation of perjury. That is a CRIME, a felony, and giving perjured testimony is a crime/felony. McFayden paid a very, very heavy price FOR NOT COMMITTING A CRIME. Think about that.

You had Nifong and the police -- and Judge Ronald Stephens as a co-conspirator -- demanding McFayden commit a felony, or they would try to ruin his life because of something stupid that he wrote.

That is the essence of this case, and it is why there MUST be a criminal investigation of Nifong and the others.

wine country dude said...

Good comments on the Nevius column in the SF Chronicle. I also e-mailed him, yesterday, telling him his work was standard Bay Area pap.

As a Bay Area-n, I have seen his work before. He strikes me as a decent enough fellow, but with the standard liberal/feminist sympathies. Nothing particularly unusual about him in the Bay Area. Which makes his column all the more disturbing.

This is the way it is in the Bay Area: prosecutors are bad people, except when they are pursuing people accused of racial or sexual crimes. Then, the interests of justice require that the position of the accuser (who, throughout, remains anonymous while the accused's name is blared throughout the media)be accepted at face value and made the basis of a vigorous prosecution.

Makes me feel like I need to take a shower.

Anonymous said...

bill anderson said...
Some years ago, I read an insightful comment in Sports Illustrated (which did not give us insightful comment during the LAX case) in which the writer admitted that sportswriters will portray athletes either as "heroes or bums." There is no in-between.

================================

Anderson is right about Sports Illustrated. In the past, it usually (at least eventually) would write the truth in a non PC fashoin. This case showed they no longer can do this.

In fact, early in the case, I told a friend that SI would publish a hard hitting article demonishing the liars in this case (something like KC Johnson has been doing).

They never did.

At 48, after I reading SI for nearly 40 years, I did not renew.

Gary Packwood said...

Hostile Work Environment

Professors who specialize in the analytic triumvirate of race, class, and gender are creating a hostile work environment for unsuspecting students.

Sitting quietly in class while some professors suggests that your parents and grandparents are the source of the world's problems is unbelievable stressful for young people.

That would be doubly so for unsuspecting students who are preparing for careers in math, science, engineering or law...where they need to focus on truths and proofs.

But wait! It's not just the professors who are creating this hostile environment. There are groups of students who are loyal to these professors along with Duke staff members who offer programming for these students as an assist to the professors.

You get race, class and gender programming in and out of the classroom.

Extremist professors and their campus fans must be amused that they have arrived in such an exalted position whereby they can sully the reputation of their student's parents, grandparents and the people who are the founding fathers and mothers of Duke University.

Now that is irony!

Parents, alums and legitimate scholars have a choice. Do you want this hostile work environment to continue for these young people or ...are you going to take back your university?

And, don't bother asking Diane Catotti for her opinion.

Anonymous said...

Duke 84 - 43,000.00 And that is just the tuition. books, flights home for the holidays, lab fees, frat fees, wxpense money and the list goes on and on. It is also for less than eight months education.

Anonymous said...

Bill Anderson is right again. There must be a criminal probe of the crimes committed by Durham police. The McFayden example is an excellent one. By refusing to do what the corrupt police and Nifong wanted, he has suffered greatly for his ill-timed e-mail parody of the American Psycho book, which was required reading in several Duke classes.

Anonymous said...

I had to look up the term "quotidian" as I didn't know what it meant. Sorry, I'm just a dumb electical engineer.

If I ever had to take a course with Olcott and Lubiano I think the alternate definition would apply:

"2.) Recurring daily. Used especially of attacks of malaria."

As far as taking one of their courses, I can imagine that bouts of malaria may be the preferred option ....

Anonymous said...

to 1:21am, What piece of evidence do you have that those boys did more than drink beer? You failed to add they ate dinner, played video games, and got rides homes from taxi cab drivers......

Anonymous said...

10:02

Well written, but I must cavil with your assertion that conservatives are somehow less prone to indoctrination than liberals. Suggest you listen to WABC AM. Sean Hannity, eg, is 1 of the most gullible--downright stupid--people in the media, considered by many to be a leading conservative.

Perhaps you meant to write that cognitively superior individuals are more likely to make decisions on their own? That I'd agree with in a heartbeat.

Polanski

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

One bitter sportswriter that we've overlooked is Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post. After watching the team's outstanding performance on Monday at Ravens Stadium, I got into my car, turned on the radio and there was Shapiro on Washington Post radio, WTWP.

Shapiro went through the Post sportswriter mantra that we've heard too often - they're not choirboys, they're not heroes, they're not role models, they drink beer, they hire strippers and they're racists.

Bitter is the right word to describe Shapiro. Bitter that the dream story didn't work out, bitter that the players were declared innocent, bitter that the team showed class throughout the whole ordeal. He, Feinstein, Wise and the rest of them need to get over it.

Aaron Beard wrote about Finnerty's warm reception on Monday. Seligman got a great greeting on Saturday. It was good to see.

Anonymous said...

From a New Jersey lawyer. To Anonymous at 1:21 a.m., would you and the rest of the folks in the "Duke Lacrosse players were not choirboys" crew care to specify what each of the players did that was so horrible. Underage drinking is endemic on college campuses (and overconsumption was endemic even when I was in college 30 years ago, although the climate in Boston made public urination a risky practice for much of the year). It appears that hiring strippers is now common (even women are hiring strippers). The racist comments were made in response to racist taunts by Kim Roberts Pittman. Please spell out what the lacrosse players did that was, according to the fairly loose standards that prevail for contemporary morals, so horrible.

Michael said...

re: 1:25

Agreed. We go through this every week. Some unimaginable crimes committed that are vaguely thrown out there to imply that they did something really, really bad!!!!

That are really nothing.

Of course they can't enumerate the supposed crimes or they would be easily refuted.

It's really just a lot simpler to remember that word from Cooper. The one that started with I.

Anonymous said...

My question is whether the oilman would have been better giving the revenue money to oppossing newspapers than NYT,WP, HS and NO?

wine country dude said...

@ Anon 1:25

From a CA lawyer.

Agree. With apologies to Samuel Johnson, this notion that the LAX players were caddish is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Consider:

1) Precious and friends called the LAX 3 rapists. That was undone.

2) Precious et. al. called them assaulters. That was undone.

3) Precious et. al. called them racists. That won't fly, because none of the LAX 3 made any racist comments, and the one that was made by a fellow LAX'er was in response to a racist comment by a dancer. So, that was undone.

4) How else can we possibly condemn them? Well, the LAX players were caddish. Why? because there was probably some underage drinking and they hired some strippers (it's never made clear why hiring strippers is caddish, but hiring oneself out as a stripper is not, well, equally contemptible).

Underage drinking? I am shocked. Young men, in their 20s, hiring a stripper? I am taken aback.

Moreover, this petty moralism is not applied equally to members of so-called "protected groups". Were this a female team that hired the Chippendales, there would be no condemnation, but probably a hearty round of self-congratulation that the team was feeling its oats and pushing back stereotypes and otherwise Challenging the Patriarchy. Your next course, Professor Curtis?

This kind of analysis, that substitutes the principle "we'll get you somehow, for something" for careful analysis and even-handededness, would be laughable if the consequences were not so dire. It's the obverse of the old racist canard where a black man , being beaten by a group of white men, cries out: "What'd I do? What'd I do?"

The response: "a N's always done something!".

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gary Packwood said...

The "Re-Visioning America" article is just excellent. Thanks

A must read.

Quoting Duke Parent 10:02... 'Parents ask why their children must don farm boots when "exploring" the course catalogue'.

Just read the "Re-Visioning America" article.

Why those boots are needed will become clear.

CAUTION: Don't allow yourself to feel guilty if those farm boots are not union made.
::
GP

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 12:37 said...

..."What are we going to do after June?"
::
I volunteer to help field questions from Duke parents who have just talked with their child about their Angry Studies course and have said ....

SAY WHAT?

We might offer a valuable BLOG for unsuspecting parents who are just normal people.

Harvard, Yale and Brown parents have to pay!
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Good points< gary packwood in "Hostile Work Environment" at 11:51 a.m.

But there is one glaring omission in your comment: "Extremist professors and their campus fans must be amused that they have arrived in such an exalted position whereby they can sully the reputation of their student's parents, grandparents and the people who are the founding fathers and mothers of Duke University."

These extremist professors not only are so exalted that they can sully the reputations of students indirectly but they can insult the students directly and personally, and the administration doesn't utter a single admonition (with the exception of Lange's letter to Houston Baker).

Armed with their PC agendas, these professors seem invincible before a feeble or enabling administration. They can do and say things that would get other employees and students suspended, fired or eased out.

Anonymous said...

This course will examine episodes of U.S. interventions abroad that resulted in the overthrow of democratically elected regimes.


Ever notice how these people can't bear to admit there were two sides involved in the cold war? Stalin and Mao kill into eight figures each, and we are the bad guys?

This sort of thing is invariably a deliberate selective presentation and distortion of the facts. An objective study will show that there is some complexity and that we have made mistakes but that the US has been an exporter of good in a world that in many parts can't seem to produce enough of this domestically. In addition, there really have been other powers who sought to create trouble in many parts of the world -- with quite a bit of success.

In fact, these same powers would have loved to create trouble domestically for the US. How would this have worked? Frame the debate through abuse of the power of the press and having radicals scream until they seem to be the norm, find some indigenous groups that can be turned against others, maybe take over the educational system?


The way to teach the social sciences is to teach people to think and to seek objective truth by taking in raw facts first, followed by narrations by others, recognizing that these others are very likely to be presenting things in a very biased way. Learn that people do have different perspectives and are often misinformed and misguided. This is true for primary sources, but even more so, for other "historians", "social scientists", and on, and on, and on...

Learn to see when a position is supported not by the light of facts and clear thought, but by hypocrisy, collusion, and the dogma of victimhood.

There is plenty of real evil in history and good also. It is essential to have some sort of sense of perspective to clearly see things for what they are -- the mission of many of those who try to "teach: this sort of thing is to warp student's sense of perspective so badly that they see things as they are not.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yes, "Revisioning America" is a very good article and food for thought, not just in the field of history but also in literature.

Thanks for pointing out the article, GP. I had missed it, as KC had obscurely linked the article in his post above with the single word, "revisioned," not noting that it was an article written by him in 2004.

A quotation from the article: "Attempts to exclude or politicize beyond recognition historical fields considered "old-fashioned" will deny an entire generation of future citizens a full understanding of the American past. Colleges should not be staffed according to a theory that teaching about the history of the American government is immoral."

Unfortunately, teaching objectively about American government and politcal philosophy is more difficult and requires more learning than picking some small segment of history and presenting it with a PC perspective, thus creating "original" research, which seems to be the road to getting promotions and books published by Oxford Press (see Deutsch and Olcott) and Duke Press.

Some of the courses in history and literature taught at Duke now have such a narrow perspective that they would have been considered mere topics for a paper when I was a student there. I was a bit perturbed that my son, an engineering student there several years before the lax hoax, was not required to take more foundational courses in humanities. In retrospect, I very glad he didn't waste his time on any of the all too numerous frivolous courses now offered in history and literature there--and it seems sometimes taught by people not really qualified to teach the topic (i.e. Olcott's course on U.S. incursions).

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Why are the Duetsch comments gone K.C. ? Never seen that before.

Gary said...

duke parent2004:
Thomas Kuhn was wrong about many things in his blockbuster book on the structure of scientific revolutions; but he might have been correct in writing that paradigm shifts often succeed only after the old guard [dies]


One of Kuhn's point was that science and disciplines themselves makes progress when they posit a problem that can be measurably addressed. For example, for awhile the goal in painting became realistic rendering and all kinds of advances were made in 3D perspective and rendering. This stopped when photography arrived and art went back to subjective impressions [as Seinfeld would say "not that there's anything wrong with that"].

Engineering and hard science departments have been less infected with the "correct thought" because they have more objective goals to address and eventually more effective theories or techniques can overthrow paradigms that were themselves highly useful (war is still fought using Newton's laws, even though we know them to be just "slow movement" approximations).

I don't know how you actually tell whether you've deconstructed pre-feminist Mexican indian corn bread resource allocation correctly or not. This is a problem that can't be solved entirely -- history can be important and subjective at the same time. However, perhaps one could assert and defend that democracies and markets are measurably better (statistically) for human health/freedom/wealth/good micro-brews etc than socialism.

One could try to asses when the US was wrong/evil in past interventions and when it was right /good and maybe how to tell the difference (in truth, this also is subjective, or worse there really is no hard truth for it but examination is still useful -- I suspect the answer lies near how much it actually effects vital interests vs wish lists).

This would put things like history/anthropology/social studies in a more utilitarian mode -- but my guess is that such a mode will allow actually advances in thought and analysis to be made ... for the purposes of better democracy/economy/health etc.

Anonymous said...

Do ya think Ms Olcott, in her comprehensive discussion of Iran, might care to reflect upon the way women's allegations of rape are treated in countries under Sharia law?

Not to mention cultures where male members of her family would be entitled/expected to perform an 'honor killing' to restore the family image. I'll bet she does not touch it with a 10' pole...

mac said...

Slogan of Durham?
"We put the 'Durh' in Durham!"

Nifong's defense?
"Yes," Adam admitted," but it was the woman
you gave me who brought me the
fruit, and I ate it."

Levicy's defense:
"The serpent tricked me," she replied. "That's why I ate it."

CGM, as the serpent:
"I got two more of you WMFs in my
sights than I aimed for!
Sh&%, I got me a truckload!"

Gary Packwood said...

Gary 6:46 said....

...This would put things like history/anthropology/social studies in a more utilitarian mode -- but my guess is that such a mode will allow actually advances in thought and analysis to be made ... for the purposes of better democracy/economy/health etc.
::
Don't you think that they more you move towards utility, the 'wish-list' goes out the door and the economists set up shop?

That is not such a bad thing but analysis and measurement attract much attention from those so inclined and someone always wants to move the discussion along to include financial accounting.
::
GP

mac said...

You know, it's funny: KC said that
"there's no way the school could
have guaranteed the student's
safety," and therefore might have
been justified in cancelling the
season. Might be true; might not.

What it says, however, is that the
administration wasn't even about
to try to guarantee anyone's safety.
What follows, logically, is that
the University was nearly ready to
allow a lynching:
a real, honest-to-God lynching.

After all, they allowed the DPD
unhindered access to the students;
they allowed threats to occur from
the New Black Panther party, from
Duke students, from the facutly.
They did this without making it
clear that threats would not be
tolerated.

Duke nearly presided over a lynching.

Cancel the season? They should have
provided security for the students,
instead of allowing posters declaring them "wanted."

Gary said...

Gary Packwood said...

I volunteer to help field questions from Duke parents who have just talked with their child about their Angry Studies course and have said ....


Hey, there's no wikipedia entry for "angry studies" -- "department" or otherwise. Want to start one? That could then reference a blog ... but I'm not angry enough to start a blog on that topic. Perhaps KC should morph this one into something like that.

I sort of look at life as coming pre-packaged with parasites. You can't get rid of them, you can just keep them in check and occasionally, rarely turn them into something useful. I don't care so much that angry studies buffoons exist as I care that students have a core exposure to the dismally few political and economic ideas that actually worked. Since there are so few such ideas, one could teach it say 4 or 5 times in different guises (history, economics, sociology, war ...).

The ideas (so sez I) stem from local optimization via feedback devices (free markets and democracy where you can go out of business or be voted out) and the legal/institutional/cultural structures that allow this (due process, balance of power, rational inquiry, free speech). That's pretty much indexes all humanity has learned on these topics in the last 4K years.

It provides infinite material however. For example: Is democracy best for aiding the above? [hint of other organizations: Random sampling, jury type systems etc]. If someone started such a blog, I'd guest on it positing these kinds of engineering eye view ideas.

Unlike the founding fathers, I trust people about as far as I can throw them, and that ain't nearly far enough. I'm always interested in how to make good government even when guys like Bush get in. Part of this is back to the founders: balance of power. Another is self-limiting systems. Even the provision that all laws must expire within say 5 years unless renewed would limit government size and at least cause a focus on what's important. I'd love to blog on how evolution takes exactly this strategy via the entropy in copying information. Could a kind of jury system serve as another branch, or replace a branch of government? On and on.

Gary said...

I just added the term "Angry Studies" to wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_studies

Note, I just try to fairly convey what the term means and how its used and not to impute that it's true or not since that is in keeping with Wikipedia's purpose. Please don't spam it up with your personal rants on various professors or departments. It can be used to reference blogs if any on the topic of academic bias etc that would be the proper place to put rants if any.

Anonymous said...

scott said...
No one should be allowed to use that (the De Anza)case in any discussion of the Duke lacrosse case except perhaps to use it as an example that further exonerates the Duke 3.

Oh, but Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News doesn't see much difference in the cases.

"But there is another striking comparison between the two cases. After the charges were dropped, some De Anza team members who had been at the party were talking as if they had done absolutely nothing wrong.

One player was quoted in the Mercury News this way regarding the 17-year-old girl who was the alleged rape victim: "From the beginning, I kind of felt like it was a witch hunt and the De Anza players were victims and not really this girl."

If this sounds familiar, that's because the exonerated Duke lacrosse players (supported by many of their fellow athletes at the school) said much the same thing - that they felt aggrieved and targeted when they hadn't done anything to deserve scorn."


http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6000309

Anonymous said...

TO "mac"--

What you have posted is the very heart of the matter. Can anyone in the civilized world....in the United States of America....within an elite university where students pay around $50,000 a year to attend....even entertain the thought that just because an accusation is made that those accused cannot feel safe enough to stay within the walls of that elite university?

This is what has begun to make me laugh about the issue of black "victimhood". This issue is one of extreme extortion on our society and is nothing less than criminal behavior in the issuance of such double standards.

It is total madness. If I were a male and in the position of these lacrosse players, I know that my father would have opened up hell on these cowardly, hapless Duke administrators and would sue them into eternity.

Debrah

another.anon said...

Gary,

Re: The 'Angry Studies' entry.

It's M. Simon, not M. Smith.

Good start, though. Exposure may be the best way to counter these types.

Gary said...

another.anon said...

Gary,

Re: The 'Angry Studies' entry.

It's M. Simon, not M. Smith.


Corrected.

It's perhaps useful if people put on Wikipedia the typical code-word terms the angry studies departments use and "deconstruct" them. Oops!, Used one of those terms in my meta-narative. Oops!

But, such wiki entries would have to be kept clean, simple and rant free to survive and not start needless edit flame wars. Rants are not needed in any case: I think clear, unemotional un-rantlike definitions of their meta-terms are enough. Their terms will condemn themselves in the light of day.

kenb said...

Gary,

I don't think it's correct that the founding fathers trusted people. The idea of "balance of power" was to oppose interest to interest, and thus to avoid dependence on politicians being honestly motivated for the common good.

"Angry studies" - a nice straightforward article. I suggest "professors are considered to be..." rather than "seem to be".

Anonymous said...

Of course, they are not choirboys. No doubt about it. Ryan McFayden did not "sing" for Nifong or DPD.

Bill Alexander

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, a news paper had to be careful of alleging criminal activity by a person until that person had been found guilt by a court of law. The law of libel and slander were a powerful deterrent to false accusations and false innuendo of wrongful conduct. However, a famous twentieth century Supreme Court case called New York Times vs. Sullivan made it impossible, in all but the most extraordinary circumstances, for a public figure to win a libel case against a newspaper. The result is all around us. Our newspapers are riddled with vacuous unsupported drivel of which this is only one example:

“I don’t think I’ve been proven wrong, because . . . I said, I think they’re probably guilty of everything but rape.”

If there were real, enforceable laws against libel or slander, no editor would have allowed this statement to be published at this point in time. If journalists really did a better job than blogs they would be held to a standard that did not permit such mean spirited remarks without careful support. If journalists are actually held to a higher standard than bloggers I see little evidence of that here.