Friday, August 17, 2007

Week in Review

Mike Nifong’s petulant letter to the Bar managed to return him to national media attention, two weeks out from his criminal contempt trial.

  • New York Post: “Duke DA: Dog Ate My Law License”
  • Newsday: “Disbarred Duke DA Takes His Final Shots”

Nifong even managed to get a link from the Drudge Report, which has around 14 million visitors per day. Locally, Duke Basketball Report headlined the affair, “Bad Nifong Reappears,” while Baldo offered his take.

Perhaps not exactly what the ex-DA had intended when he fired off his missive.


As the Michael Vick case moves on, Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Terence Moore had an interesting article that brought to mind events of the Duke case. After watching a rally for Vick promising to support him even if he were guilty, and hearing the head of the Southern Christian leadership Conference suggest that the civil rights organization might honor Vick at its annual conference, Moore expressed wonderment at “this blind loyalty given to Michael Vick by many in the African-American community.”

To use the parlance favored by unnamed Duke “senior administrators,” Vick is hardly a “choir boy.” (Moore notes that Vick’s supporters appeared to “forget that he hasn’t exactly been Warrick Dunn, a certified ‘outstanding human being’ after years of flourishing on and off the field.”) More troublingly, Moore encountered rationalizations from Vick’s backers: “‘It’s just dogs,’ I keep hearing as a mantra, from the church to the barbershop to the grocery store.”

The reaction to Vick in some quarters of the African-American community brought to mind the blind—and short-sighted— support for Crystal Mangum among some Durham black residents. The lacrosse case provided a perfect opportunity for North Carolina African-American organizations to bring attention to the issue of prosecutorial misconduct—which disproportionately affects the poor and minorities—and perhaps even create a coalition across ideology for reform.

Instead, of course, the NAACP placed on its website Al McSurely’s guilt-presuming memorandum of law. NCCU students participated in what one defense attorney termed a “pep rally for an indictment.” More than 90 percent of Durham’s black voters cast their ballots for Mike Nifong. Overtly racist comments came from NCCU student leaders or former city Democratic officials—and passed without rebuke from the city’s political and media leadership.

As things appear now, those who blindly supported Vick appear to have been misguided—but surely no more than those who blindly, and in some cases gleefully, championed Mangum’s cause.


Interim DA Jim Hardin was back in the news this week. He dismissed reports that he might stay on the job until the 2008 elections, although he said he wasn’t familiar with Mike Easley’s progress in naming a permanent (interim) replacement for Mike Nifong.

In an interview with WRAL, meanwhile, Hardin suggested that his office had an image problem, caused by people associating Nifong’s conduct with the office as a whole. Remarked Nifong’s former boss: “We’ve had to deal with it in a couple of cases when we were selecting juries. I mean, it’s on everyone’s mind. It still is, to some degree.”

Hardin, clearly, has made some good moves. He fired Linwood Wilson. He recently brought on board a specialist in legal ethics. But he hasn’t given any public accounting (nor is he likely to) how the two most senior prosecutors in the office (David Saacks and Tracey Cline) helped get the ball rolling on the lacrosse case by signing off on a transparently excessive non-testimonial order requiring all 46 white lacrosse players to give DNA. Nor has he said what steps the office will take to ensure that prosecutors show greater respect for civil liberties in the future.

WRAL concluded by noting that Hardin had suggested that Easley appoint Nifong to the position in 2005. Hardin cited Nifong’s experience and reputation. Hardin: “Looking at it from that perspective, it was the right thing(!). But, if I had to do it over again, I might’ve done things differently.”

Not exactly the most reassuring statement.


Of the Group of 88, only one member (Arlie Petters) has publicly expressed regret about the statement’s impact. Two other (tenured) Group members privately apologized, in writing, to lacrosse families—only to retract those apologies when they signed the “clarifying” letter, which affirmed, “There have been public calls to the authors to retract the ad or apologize for it . . . We reject all of these.”

About the only other moderate voice to emerge from the Group of 88 has been Lee Baker. Baker is, to my knowledge, the only Group member to publicly assert “that there was a miscarriage of criminal justice” in the lacrosse case. He did so in a way suggesting that the players’ backers were unconcerned with social justice, but his statement stands out in comparison to anything else the Group members have produced.

One other point about Baker: virtually alone among the Group, he appears to believe in transparency. Her had placed some of his syllabi on-line (the only Group member to do so), and also some of his scholarship.

Steve Horwitz took a look at one of Baker’s articles. Is it all that surprising that someone whose scholarship appears to be more mainstream than that of his Group colleagues also had adopted at least a slightly more moderate approach to the case?


An important post at Liestoppers asks what happened to North Carolina legislation requiring transcripts of all grand jury sessions. This seemed like an easy item to fix, and one much in need of repair. Because no transcripts are currently required, we’ll never know if Sgt. Mark Gottlieb told the grand jury on April 17, 2006 that one week before, Dr. Meehan hadn’t found any match to Reade Seligmann’s or Collin Finnerty’s DNA—but had found matches to the DNA of unidentified males. Or whether the sergeant mentioned that the only evidence against Seligmann and Finnerty (the April 4 lineup) resulted from Mike Nifong ordering the police not to follow their own procedures. Or whether the grand jurors ever learned of the March 15, 2006 UNC medical report.

As Liestoppers notes,

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned on August 2, 2007 without passing much needed reform of the current grand jury system, insuring NC will remain in the legal dark ages. By not requiring a record of grand jury proceedings, prosecutors are free to follow disbarred DA Mike Nifong’s bad example and deny defendants a probable cause hearing where a lack of evidence and fraudulent affidavits, as in the Duke Hoax case, could be revealed early in the process. Instead, cynical prosecutors may continue pretending that an easily manipulated grand jury has the tools and ability to conduct a true hearing of available evidence, both inculpatory & exculpatory.

Instead—amazingly—the state legislature substituted the bill to require grad jury transcripts with an act “allowing a district court judge to perform marriage ceremonies.”

In addition, the Liestoppers writers observed that while the legislature preserved the open discovery statute, it did nothing to require police officers to follow customary procedures in retaining evidence:

Of course, nowhere does it state that a police officer must keep notes or record interviews. So Sgt. Mark “No notes” Gottlieb can keep his Dry Erase Board and hope that Ben “With what?” Himan may occasionally photograph it for discovery. Miraculously recovered memories are still safe, which comes in handy when filling in large holes in cases.

LieStoppers is deeply disappointed that the North Carolina General Assembly, despite being nationally humiliated for having an easily manipulated grand jury system which wrongly indicted three totally innocent men for a crime which never happened, has chosen to do nothing. NC remains a state where another Nifong can easily “indict a ham sandwich,” as it has not addressed the system failures which allowed the wrongful indictments in the Duke Lacrosse Hoax.


Yesterday, Duke announced that linebacker Michael Tauiliili would be suspended for one game (the season opener against UConn). Tauilili, who is 20 years old, was arrested on charges of driving while impaired (he had a .12 blood alcohol level), assault by pointing a gun (an air pistol), carrying a concealed weapon (a knife), and assault.

Football coach Ted Roof explained the decision: “From the start, we wanted to reach a decision that is fair to Michael, our team, the athletic department and the university. We also will allow the judicial system [to] run its course, and the outcome of that process could require further disciplinary action.”

Hopefully, this move suggests a renewed respect for the presumption of innocence so lacking from the administration in the lacrosse case. Otherwise, the action is rather difficult to explain. The administration officially claimed that it canceled the March 25 and March 28, 2006 lacrosse games (12.5 percent of the season) solely as punishment for the party, not due to a presumption of guilt. Tauiliili lost 9.1 percent of his season for behavior (driving with a .12 blood alcohol level, though underage) that most (outside of BYU and Liberty, at least) would consider far more serious than a spring break party with drinking and lewd entertainment.

No word yet on whether the Group of 88 plans to take out an ad denouncing Tauilili. Also no word on how the Tauilili arrest has affected Peter Wood, who theorized last April about how the lacrosse players were upper-class undesirables, unlike “the football players here,” who “are often rural white boys with baseball caps or hard-working black students who are proud to be at Duke.”


University of Alberta law professor Russ Brown correctly reminds readers that, while Mike Nifong has departed from the scene, Nifong’s media enablers remain unpunished.

“What to do,” he asks, “about these students having been presumed guilty and duly vilified on CNN by that venom-sputterin’ legal gadfly, Nancy Grace? One hopes a big, fat defamation lawsuit is about to land on Time Warner’s lap.”


[Update, 9.03am:

Today’s Herald-Sun reports that the paper’s managing editor, Bill Stagg, has resigned to accept a job working for the Duke Medical Center. According to the H-S,

Stagg said The Herald-Sun proved it was “the smaller paper that could, and did”—particularly in its higher education coverage(!).

“I think the paper has done an admirable job covering the Durham community,” he said.

Such remarks raise the question of whether Stagg even read his paper’s coverage of the lacrosse case.

And who will replace Stagg? An inside candidate. Editor Bob Ashley said that he was “disinclined” even to post the opening on journalism websites.



Anonymous said...

When will the civil lawsuits begin? And the defamation suits? And the libel suits?

Jack said...

So many troubling thoughts come to mind as I read the various accounts in this posting, but one shuddering, indisputable fact: the African American community has been so terribly misguided by their so-called leaders and role models in America. After fifty years, I guess there has been some progress, but…

Anonymous said...

Where does Vick's friends turning on him, fit the "keeping it real" scenaro? He has been paying these guys way for years. Talk about racing each other to the jail to plea bargin -where is Geraldo when we need him?

Anonymous said...

Re: the bill to require grand jury transcripts:
I emailed Sen. Daniel Clodfelter, the author of SB-1131, asking him to explain how his bill magically became a law authorizing district judges to perform marriage ceremonies. I also urged him to reintroduce his original bill requiring grand jury transcripts at the next session of the general assembly. I haven't heard back from him.

Topher said...

Thursday afternoon I watched Reade Seligmann's testimony on the LieStoppers sidebar. What a stud. Of course it helped that the charges had been dropped and he was a free man, but to be so straightforward on the stand was some guts.

While the "sociopath next door" was weeping to the cameras, Reade was showing the committee that the Fong messed with the wrong guys.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Your point about Vick is that the African American community is misguided, and NOT that we should let the justice system run its course and presume innocence?

Just wanted to be clear that you think he's guilty and should be treated accordingly. You know, without a trial and everything. Just so that we understand that the issue here is how black people are acting, not the importance of the rule of law.

haskell said...

The behavior of some in the African-American community and prominent figures of that community is discouraging and frustrating. I would remind you of the classic Passive-Aggressive personality disorder.

Anonymous said...


I think what KC is describing is the difference in behavior in the two cases. In the Duke case the lacrosse players were thought to be "guilty." In the Vick case there have been all kinds of excuses for "killing dogs" as in "they are just dogs." One rushes to convict while the other runs away from the rule of law and toward excusing behavior whether it is true or not . . . right?

Anonymous said...

I think what KC is describing is the difference in behavior in the two cases. In the Duke case the lacrosse players were thought to be "guilty." In the Vick case there have been all kinds of excuses for "killing dogs" as in "they are just dogs." One rushes to convict while the other runs away from the rule of law and toward excusing behavior whether it is true or not . . . right?


One of the most prominent persons to comment on the Vick case was Senator Robert Byrd, who said among other things that he wouldn't mind witnessing an execution.

Michael Vick Dogfighting Case Makes Way to Floor of U.S. Senate

That doesn't sound much live a presumption of innoncence to me.

Imagine that. A Grand Keagle of the KKK who wouldn't mind seeing another execution.

Anonymous said...

Therefore according to KC the real problem is the "short-sighted" support for Vick, just like the support for Mangum. Vick is the defendant in this case. In Durham, Mangum was the falsely purported victim. Two different positions, two different circumstances. The proper analogy in the cases would be between the three lacrosse players and Vick. The differences between the two cases for KC seem to be that he deemed the lacrosse players innocent-until-proven guilty (which turned out to be the case and Vick guilty-until-proven innocent. That's the only way to make sense of the assertion that the African American community's defense of Vick is wrong-headed. Now imagine that the Af-Am community in Durham had supported the three white players (for whatever reason). Would you have said that their sympathies were "short-sighted" or is that just code for "the case didn't turn out the way that they thought"? Or to imagine it another way, what if the three lacrosse players had been guilty? Would the rush to judgment by some in the Durham community have been wrong or "justified"?

The clear answer here is that even if the outcome of the court case is what you presumed to be the case, that in no way justifies your rush to judgment. The point of the legal system, in fact, is to shield as much as possible the adjudication of a case from the emotions and presuppositions of a community, wherever their symapthies might lie.

I don't find myself surprised that KC manages to avoid a principled defense of that sentiment. Instead he makes this an object lesson about how the African American community always bets on the wrong horse--or has the wrong dog in the fight, as it were. It's too predictable that we get yet another story about the supposed failings of black folk. "Some people would say" that there is a discernable pattern in his musings.

Anonymous said...

I think something is being missed here with these comments regarding KC's entry. He was referring to those who will "support him even if GUILTY" and "they are just dogs" as their reasoning. I don't know about you, but to me, that IS misguided.

Anonymous said...

You are intentionally misreading KC if you are seeing contradictions in his comments on Michael Vick vs. his Duke Lacrosse comments. On other posts he has clearly stated a wait and see position on Vick. He is not contradicting that here. Here he is not saying, 'let's convict him now.' He is only saying that now is not the appropriate time to honor him at the annual civil rights conference.

KC Johnson said...

To the 8.06:

I don't believe I mentioned Robert Byrd in any way. Since you did, I found his speech to be grandstanding at its worst, and highly improper.

To the 8.28:

The two examples raised by Moore involved, in the first case, people saying they would support Vick if he were guilty or innocent (as Jesse Jackson said he'd pay Mangum's tuition even if she lied); and in the second case, a civil rights organization stating that it was going to honor Vick--something well beyond upholding the presumption of innocence.

As for Vick, he certainly is entitled to the presumption of innocence--just as outside commenters are entitled to draw inferences from three days of reports, confirmed by his spokesperson, that Vick's lawyers and the government are negotiating a plea deal.

Ralph Phelan said...

8:28 -

The point is the "stick together right or wrong" mentality. I'd have no problem with the sincerity or consistency of blacks claiming Vick was being framed - Lord knows after what we've seen in the last year and a half I could believe prosecutors doing just about anything. But the "it was only dogs" line sounds a lot more like "we don't care what he did, he's one of ours."

Combine that with the 2006 quote of NCCU students:
Chan Hall, 22, said ...he wanted to see the Duke students prosecuted "whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past."

senior Shauniste Duvance remarked that “people want to support her because, you know, she’s a black female and they want to see justice done . . . Nobody knows for a fact if she’s telling the truth or if she’s lying, but either way, people are like, we want to support her regardless of if she’s telling the truth or not.”

Junior Jerelly Dawson that “it’s kind of like a black against white thing, and then, just taking our own side. Like, kind of, you protect your family members, you’re not, don’t want to see what’s happening on the other side. You just want to keep that family kind of tight.”

If black activists are fighting for justice for all, then even if they happen to spend most of their energy on black victims of injustice, both principle and self-interest argue in favor of supporting them. But if their philosphy is "my race, right or wrong" to the point of helping promote injustice against white people, then both principle and self-interest argue in favor of treating them as enemies.

Bob H. said...

To anonymous @ 8:28 am

Your point is well taken. Unfortunately, like others who post anonymously, it is difficult to ascertain if you are the same individual who posted at 7:37 am.

That aside, it is hard to dispute the notion that the public’s outrage, fed in part by the sensation seeking, insipid media, can appear more fierce when the offense is against animals, as opposed to humans. And whether the media outlets portray an accurate measure of public sentiment is debatable; talking heads from PITA, and a few placards hanging from protesters’ necks at the courthouse does not a plebiscite make. Nonetheless, whether it’s because he’s a high profile celebrity, a sinister looking black man, or both, Michael Vick has very little support, or presumption of innocence, outside the black community. And in the black community, it seems his actions do not matter.

Anonymous said...

I honestly can't see how Chan Hall, Shauniste Duvance, and Jerelly Dawson have been elevated to the position of "activists."

Two of them, Duvance and Dawson, are simply relating their view of what the NCCU community felt at that time. I don't get the sense from those quotes that they were giving their personal opinions...note the references to "people."

Chan Hall, to my knowledge held a student government position at that makes him an "activist" is beyond me since I have no evidence of him being involved in the wider community outside of his school.

Jack said...

Professor Johnson:

Are you contending that African Americans are misguided if they do not draw the same inferences as outside commentators?

Anonymous said...

To the 8:28:
I didn't take KC's comments on the Vick case as a rush to judgment. He simply pointed out that Vick's supporters have taken the position that even if he is guilty, he will still have their support. I don't recall any similar statements re the Duke lacrosse players. Moreover, two of Vick's buddies have fallen on their swords and offered testimony against him...a far different kettle of fish. Imagine if two members of the Duke lacrosse team had made a similar offer of inculpation. I doubt that KC, or anyone else, would have been beating the presumption of innocence drum. Vick will plead out and try to salvage what's left of his football career.

Anonymous said...

To Steven Horowitz. Why do you step up to defend any of the Hate-88 people? We both know they are all grown up and knew what they were signing and what it meant. Also, you are judged by the company you keep. Except for a few, none have appologized for what they have done. Their actions and lack of dialogue speak volumes to their character. These "hateful" 88 want to believe in something that results in 3 innocent people going to jail also says volumes about what kind of people they are. Regardless of their individula levels of schlorship and differences between them. They became a group when they signed those ads twice. Many on KC's list have figured out the 88 are NOT JUST biased people they are past bias and have entered sickness. These are truly defective people is the only conclusion.

KC Johnson said...


In the post, I was agreeing with Moore in terming misguided those African-Americans who were (a) rallying on Vick's behalf saying they didn't care if he were guilty or innocent; (b) themselves presuming guilt but rationalizing it; (c) in the case of the SCLC, proposing to honor Vick for no apparent reason.

Jack said...

Fair enough.

Ralph Phelan said...


I'm assuming that folks like Sharpton and Jackson are able to make a good living (and Nifong got reelected) by playing to sentiments like the ones above.

So you're right - it's not just "black activists" who've gone from demanding justice to "my race right or wrong" and "lets hurt some white people just for the heck of it." It's also a substantial proportion of the black population in this country, and almost all of the black voters in Durham.

That's not a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm the 8:06 commentor.

Perhaps its worth it to some people to point out that Terence Moore is black. Just another data point that puts paid to the notion that the black community is a monolith without diversity of opinions.

Too often on this blog it appears that its assumed that all black speak with one voice or only have one view. In this regard Moore joins the ranks of James Coleman, La Shawn Barber, Jason Whitlock, and countless others who are less well known.

Anonymous said...

Nifong and the overwhelming majority of the Group of 88 are black?

I think that would be news to them.

KC Johnson said...

To the 9.40:

Excellent points. I have been fulsome in my praise of both Coleman and Whitlock: their spring 2006 comments were prescient, and they were among the first willing to speak out against Nifong.

Ralph Phelan said...


I am quite aware of that. I am also aware that the vast majority of Durham's black voters voted for Nifong. So there does exist a large number of black people who would gladly put me in jail for no other reason than to exact revenge for what someone else with my color skin did 20 or 50 or 100 years ago.

This is something that my own self-interest requires I be cognizent of.

Ralph Phelan said...

"And who will replace Stagg? An inside candidate. Editor Bob Ashley said that he was “disinclined” even to post the opening on journalism websites."

I'm surprised too. I'd have expected him to try to recruit Cash Michaels.

scott said...

"Hopefully, this move suggests a renewed respect for the presumption of innocence so lacking from the administration in the lacrosse case." (This comment from KC in re: Tauiliili arrest)

I'm sure KC was trying to be charitable here, but we know that any action taken by Duke stems from the fact that the alleged offender is not a white man from a toney suburb in NY or DC not a realignment of the administration's understanding of the Constitutional presumption of innocence.

Memo to Dick: a comment on whether or not what Tauiliili did was "bad enough" would be helpful here.

Rhetorical question: Does this incident disqualify Tauiliili from achieving / retaining "choirboy" status?

Jack said...

Perhaps there are black people who do not share the monolithic mentality, but they are not "countless"; they are few, far between, and decidedly unspoken in their positions. Those individuals you mention speak as thoughtful individuals, not as, or on behalf of, members of the black community. Like the radical Muslims, intent on the destruction of Western society. We hear they are a small segment of Muslims, not representative of the true sentiment among Muslims. Really? But, in fact, hardly at all, anywhere in the world, does one hear, read or see other Muslims repudiating the violence and chaos preached by the "radicals". Perhaps out of fear? Perhaps out of complicity. Regardless, it is the so-called radicals who now define Islam; it is their stage, unchallenged. So too, in the black community: Jesse and Al Sharpton have the stage over any other moderate, voices of reason. Likewise, the Duke faculty. Since no one has challenged the Gang of 88, one can only infer they have the support of their peers.

And ralph phelan is correct - it is in one's best interest to recognize those who will do you harm.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday was a great day for anyone who is a fan of Duke lacrosse. Duke hired a new assistant lacrosse coach named Ron Caputo. Ron is an incredible lacrosse coach and a first class guy all the way around. He is from Long Island and worked for Coach Danowski for a number of years as an assistant at Hofstra before accepting the job at Duke.

Duke could not have made a better choice and the players and team will benefit greatly from having Ron on staff.

The hiring was announced on on the lacrosse main page.

Anonymous said...

To the black community's blind support of Vick and Mangum, you can add O.J. Simpson, T. Brawley, and the rather sorry set of people on the Black Caucus.

Anonymous said...

Those individuals you mention speak as thoughtful individuals, not as, or on behalf of, members of the black community.

I only just recovered from the laughing fit induced by that incredible comment.

So Coleman, Whitlock, Barber, were colorless, "thoughtful individuals" because they shared your opinion but those who don't are automatically part of the mythical, black monolith?

Debrah said...

To anonymous poster @ (9:30AM)--

I couldn't agree more with your comments. This has been my view all along since last Spring when it became clear that in Durham many who were, and are, in positions of authority and responsibility staged an open démarche against the lacrosse players.

I recall vividly that I was watching the news when Nifong first began his national act. I told someone, "isn't it horrible?", because we were all led to believe--right out of the gate--that a rape had taken place, and that Nifong had all the evidence to prove it.

In school I used to date lacrosse players, go to their parties, befriend many who were in my classes....and not one of them at that time was anything other than a gentleman....and everyone of them whom I knew were from good families.

Even then, I can say that they were the polished ones inside the athletics department.

Consequently, I was more than a little interested in these Duke athletes who were labeled "farm animals" and slandered and libeled even before charges were brought.

My view is that we should give NOT ONE inch of consideration or understanding to any member of Duke's faculty who behaved so enthusiastically...and with a mission to illuminate some bad white boys.

I must also disclose that I have a bit of guilt in the far recess of my mind because of the way I always slammed white people and kept a knee-jerk attitude that one should always give black people a special treatment. This is what many of us grew up believing, but when you finally come out of this self-induced idiotic and archaic social and cultural coma, you feel even stronger that this cultural affirmative action must stop.

It's demeaning to those who receive it.

And lastly, there are things in life that define you which eclipse all other things your life has been about.

A gross analogy, but one that fits==adjusting to size of outcome on society--is the Gang of 88 to Adolf Hitler's mentality.

If you were a Jew in Hitler's Germany, you had better have had some ties to Yeshiva because your fate was sealed.

With the Gang of 88, you had better not be a white male with a few credit cards and with a solid nuclear family, or whatever you did do will be bad enough.

The harm these people cause, on its own smaller scale, is just as devastating to their victims.

Therefore, anyone who attempts to understand or rationalize the lives of people like Duke's 88 or Ward Churchill should be viewed with more than a little curosity.

From me, they will receive only ridicule.

(About the Vick case, at least Adolf Hitler was said to be a stellar and loving pet owner.)

Debrah said...

Looks as though Butch Williams' work on the Vick case will be short and sweet.

A plea deal is reported to be in the works, with only about a year of jail time for Vick.

Not long enough.

Anonymous said...


(Part 3 of 3)

As we have seen so far, Political Correctness shares many aspects with history's great religions. Political Correctology, or "Correctology" as the believers like to call it, has what may have started out as a well-intentioned set of rules, a creation theory, and the religion is faith-based. Another similarity is that Correctology, like many other religions, has a history of warring against non-believers. Like the Christian crusader's long sword, the Islamic funamentalist's backpack of virginal dreams or the Puritan's use of the word "witch," Correctology has developed its own offensive weaponry.


I assume that quite a few Asian boys join temples and become monks so that they can train in a cool deadly martial art that they must then vow never to use. What a shame. That is a lot of offensive destructive capability to be wasted on a lesson as simple as self-discipline.

Correctology is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike that. You see, Correctologists have become masters in the "Racial Arts," but they, unlike the monks, did not acquire the lesson of self-discipline. The Reverend Jesse Jackson, to pick a name completely at random, is a 10th degree Racial Arts blackbelt. Instead of staffs, throwing stars and nunchaku, Reverend Jackson fights using words. For example:


"Racist" is the Correctology equivalent to the crusader's long sword or the Inquisition's "heretic." Use of the "R" bomb requires the hearsay-based ability to speculate about the inner-workings of another person's mind, usually based upon a very meager amount of evidence's bastard cousins, hearsay and conjecture. See also "Racio-telepathology."

"Voice" is a word that describes each member of Correctology's protected class. The funny thing about these "voices" is that they are always claiming to be almost drowned out when they are invariably at their shrillest. They want us to believe they're at a "2," but really they're at "MAX. VOL." White males and non-liberated (read: shaving) females are not "voices," and if sound does emanate from them, it is classified as "hate-filled speech." The word "voice" is the sympathy-provoking and narcissistic way of saying my speech is more important than yours.

"Racio-telepathology" is the skill-set needed to divine racism and discrimination in places in which it does not exist. It is generally acknowledged that one must be specially trained in the Racial Arts and particularly "sensitive" to be able to locate racism in the complete absence of racism. It is also used to locate "White Guilt," which is the Correctology equivalent of "Original Sin."

"Diversity" is the quota system that will somehow (this is unexplained and therefore faith-based) resolve the issues of single-parent families, unemployment, gang violence, misogyny, black on black crime, black on white crime, black on gay crime, gay on black crime, etc....

"Discriminatory" is the word used to describe any act by a person of another race or gender that has told the speaker of the word to do or not do something he or she does not like. For example, at a fire station, the word might be used like this: "I'm afraid you can't be a fireman." "That's discriminatory, and it's only because I'm black!" "No, it's because you're in a wheelchair, and also because you're black ... oops!"

"... and Queer Theory" is always the last thing listed by a Gang of 88 professor in his or her areas of concentration, as if they typed it onto their CV sheepishly, fidgeting while both of their hands were in their pockets. The word "sheepishly" was selected and tested specifically for purposes of usage in the preceding sentence. "... and Queer Theory" is established, by process of correlation, to be a prerequisite to tenure in a number of departments at Duke University.

By careful usage of these words, skilled Racial Artists can defend their religion and spread it imperialistically into businesses, schools or governmental entities. The lessons taught by the Inquisitors and Witch Hunters were not lost on those who practice the Racial Arts. If a heretic admits his disbelief, he is "discriminating" and must be punished. If a non-believer attempts a legitimate discussion about the merits of diversity quotas, she is a "racist" and must be punished. Amen.


[NOTE: Part 4 of 3 will be forthcoming on the subject of "Logical Fallacies." FURTHER NOTE: This parody is the work of the author and should not be attributed to any reasonable person]

"K.C. Johnson smiles on fortune." Old English Adage. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

One Lacrosse player gets kicked out of school for an e-mail related to courses taught at Duke, another for a minor drug charge and three for false indictments, brought on by Liefong AND DUKE!!!No weapons, no violence..humm...sounds fair to me. A losing team that disgraces the Duke name and a ONE game suspension...intresting. Kind of like Nartley being 'promoted' for his threatening e-mail to Pressler. Scarey things are happening at Duke....

Debrah said...

About Bill Stagg's resignation, I think that even he--someone who defended the H-S coverage to me during one of my myriad screaming sessions with them this past year--might have had enough of editor Ashley. Who's to know--or care?

Stagg was so clueless about his own paper that he didn't know that you could access its website--such as it is--even if you did not subscribe to the paper. LOL!!!

When defending the lacrosse coverage and the editorial staff's unwillingness to publish a few columns I had written to rebut their "baby doll handling".....he became flustered and told me to go back and look at the entirety of coverage and I would see that they have been objective.


Perhaps a position with Duke provides better medical coverage. As domestic diva Martha Stewart says, "That's a good thing."

Stagg should take full advantage of their psych ward.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

Re: anon 9:30

As I have said several times here and elsewhere, the 88 gangsters are worse racists than many pre-1960 racists of the old south. Those racists often had a very negative view of black in general but viewed the blacks that worked for or with them better then they viewed blacks in general. The 88 gangsters are such hate filled racists, even the white males among them, in their own classes are hated.

As for Duke hiring this guy from the H-S, the fact that they see no reason to justify hiring someone from that paper shows that the Brodhead administration is still a huge issue for Duke. I am not saying that no one from the H-S should be considered for a job at Duke, but in light the last year or so, it should be publically justified.

Anonymous said...

"And who will replace Stagg? An inside candidate. Editor Bob Ashley said that he was “disinclined” even to post the opening on journalism websites."

What sane, self-respecting person would even want such a job? Even the H-S insiders can't be that stupid. The H-S is a turd paper.

Anonymous said...

Debrah, Well said. I think we are both waiting for Steve's response. I am willing to listen to reasonable arguements unlike the 88 my mind still seeks perspectives, favts and points of view. Give it a shot Steve?

ITFTM said...

To address a few distortions, misrepresentations, and slanders, in no particular order:

From 8:06:

"One of the most prominent persons to comment on the Vick case was Senator Robert Byrd, who said among other things that he wouldn't mind witnessing an execution.

Michael Vick Dogfighting Case Makes Way to Floor of U.S. Senate

That doesn't sound much live [sic] a presumption of innoncence [sic] to me."

If 8:06 actually read the linked article, he would find Byrd's position spelled out with a bit more complexity than he is representing:

"[Byrd] publicly declared his outrage, saying he's witnessed one execution but wouldn't mind seeing another "if it involves this cruel, sadistic, cannibalistic business of training innocent, vulnerable creatures to kill."


Byrd, 89, said he would not prejudge the men's guilt or innocence, but he left no doubts about his sentiments.

"I am confident that the hottest places in hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt," he said." (emphasis added)

8:06 severely misrepresents Byrd. Byrd specifically states that he is not prejudging Vick to be guilty or innocent, but from 8:06's "not much of a presumption of innocence", you would think Byrd had said nothing on the subject. Byrd also made clear that there was a very strong condition on his statement, a condition that 8:06 completely omitted any mention of. "If he's guilty, I want him to go to jail" and "I want him to go to jail" are two very, very different statements, but 8:06 chose to leave the "if" portion of Byrd's statement.

Speaking of important omissions, 8:06 refers to Byrd as "a Grand Keagle of the KKK", leaving out any mention of Byrd's involvement with the KKK being over half a century in the past.

From 7:35:

"Just wanted to be clear that you think he's guilty and should be treated accordingly. You know, without a trial and everything. Just so that we understand that the issue here is how black people are acting, not the importance of the rule of law."

If 7:35 is concerned about the "importance of the rule of law", then one would think he/she would also be concerned about "how black people are acting", if how they are acting demonstrates that they are giving insufficient importance to the rule of law. A rally at the Georgia Dome pledging to support Vick whether he is guilty or innocent would certainly qualify, as would multiple statements given to media such as Newsweek and NPR by African-American NCCU students saying that the lacrosse players should be "whether it happened or not [as] justice for things that happened in the past" (Chan Hall) and "people want to support her because ... she’s a black female ... people are like, we want to support her regardless of if she’s telling the truth or not." (Shauniste Duvance) With such open contempt for the importance of the rule of law on display, what exactly is your basis for "be[ing] clear" that "the issue here is ... not the importance of the rule of law"?

From 8:28:
"The differences between the two cases for KC seem to be that he deemed the lacrosse players innocent-until-proven guilty (which turned out to be the case) and Vick guilty-until-proven innocent. That's the only way to make sense of the assertion that the African American community's defense of Vick is wrong-headed."

Hardly true. As already discussed, "the African American community's defense of Vick" includes some who made clear that they would support Vick even if he was guilty. Are you claiming that there is no basis for calling that "wrong-headed"? (A word that KC did not use, by the way.) Even aside from that, there is the issue of strength of evidence. I myself frankly don't know what the strength of the evidence is in the Vick case, but surely it would not be unreasonable to call sufficiently fervent defense of a defendant against whom there is sufficient evidence "wrong-headed"?

So we've had some people publicly stating that they wanted the players to be prosecuted -- regardless of guilt or innocence. And we've had some people publicly stating that they would support Michael Vick -- regardless of guilt or innocence. For you to claim that you can only make sense of this by assuming KC to be the one with a double standard says much more about you than about KC.

f the "only way" you can make sense of KC asserting that it is problematic for people to call for prosecution of the lacrosse players, regardless of guilt or innocence, and problematic for people to declare support for Vick, again regardless of guilt or innocence

haskell said...

anonymous 10:44

Dude, your Freudian slip is showing. It was "countless", not "colorless". Also try be be a bit less obtuse. See my earlier post today on the passive-aggressive personality disorder.

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from Jason Whitlock "Real Talk" column dated 8/16/07.

"For those of you unfamiliar with Real Talk, let me give you a quick primer on its history and points of emphasis:

1. Real Talk is a must-read for any hardcore football fan. No one in America writes more provocatively and intelligently about football than yours truly. Football is in my blood.

2. If you have a closed mind or agenda when it comes to American race issues, you will not like Real Talk. I love to write about race. It's a pervasive issue in the sports world and should not be ignored. My opinions on racial matters are unpredictable. Black or white, liberal or conservative, you should leave your expectations at the door. I'll disappoint you.

3. The AOL version of Real Talk gained national notoriety when I exposed NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas for being the gangsta paradise, Black KKK rally that it was. Real Talk became a world-wide playa when I dissed Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Vivian Stringer for turning Don Imus' inappropriate attempt at humor into a national pity party/recruiting video/marketing tool for their individual cause$."

Jack said...

To anonymous @ 10:44 am

My point was simply that the people cited (by others, not me) did not claim to speak on behalf of the “down trodden” blacks; they did not frame their remarks in the legacy of segregation, the Old South or Jim Crow. Those individuals, to the best of my knowledge did not invoke the spirit of the Scottsboro Boys, inflame the passions of the blacks of Durham, or expound in black centric sound bites for the media. They did not remind us of their own sense of prejudice and disrespect at the hands of white people. They are people in responsible positions, and carefully chose their words to express their opinions on justice and fairness, without playing the race card.

Thoughtful expression need not agree with a particular point of view. And your engagement in thoughtful discourse might be more constructive if you could respond to someone’s remarks without the pithy sarcasm.

And Debrah - sorry, but I find any reference in this case, any at all, to Adolph Hitler most objectionable.

Anonymous said...

Does Godwin's Law apply to this blog?

Godwin's Law
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

Ralph Phelan said...

"O.J. Simpson"

Not sure he belongs on the list. While it appears very very likely that he killed those people, it appears equally likely that the LAPD falsified evidence, with the connivance of forensics lab personnel and the approval of the prosecution team. Sound familiar?

Ralph Phelan said...


"mythical, black monolith"
Nifong got 90% of the Durham black vote. That's not mythical.

Anonymous said...

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has also printed a news story about people who support Vick. It was in the context of a Falcons event where people showed up wearing Vick jerseys. Some of them were white and some were black. That story, as I recall, did not quote anyone trying to rationalize Vick's alleged actions. The people expressed their enjoyment of seeing him play football and the like and hoped the allegations would not prove to be true.

I must admit that I cringed when I saw KC quote Terence Moore. Like several other sports writers in the AJC, he really struggles for attention. I am not sure what role these sports editorial writers play anymore since nowadays we can see the games, the players, their press conferences and press releases directly and unfiltered. Largely, their articles are contrived to prompt a reaction (like talk radio) and serve little, if any, purpose otherwise. While TM may have encountered a few people who want to rationalize away Vick's alleged actions, I don't accept that many blacks (or whites or anything else) in Atlanta fall into the group he describes. He just realized it was a good story and would fill a column. It is nothing more than that, believe me.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, we are taking this "presumption of innocence" thing way too far. The presumption of innocence is a presumption under the law. It is not a presumption is the arena of public opinion.

As a member of the public, I have a right to reach any presumption I want based on any information or biases that I deem appropriate.

This is not to say that I am not to be held responsible for defamation for false statements of "fact". It is not to say the journalists should not be held to a standard of responsible journalism. And, it is not to say the professors should not be held to the standards adopted in their schools' handbooks.

However, my right to presume Vick guilty or not guilty is guaranteed. It is, after all, only a personal opinion. I can within certain constraints express a personal opinion with respect to my presumption.

Just because a person is presumed innocent under the law does not mean that the public must go brain dead until there is a conviction.

Mike in Nevada

Anonymous said...

Where is Debrah? Did the communist get her?

AMac said...

Each of Duke's professors should be viewed as an individual.

As far as the Listening Statement, the sixty (or so) faculty signers each chose to affix their name. Thus, people who praise them for Speaking Truth to Power (elsewhere), or who attack them for their Rush to Judgment and bigoted thinking (most commenters at this blog) are treating them as persons--not on the basis of an assigned trait that is fixed or even irrelevant.

Any signer who comes to regret being associated with the text that he or she endorsed is free to Clarify their position.

Likewise, the scholarship of these faculty members can only be viewed on an individual basis. A priori, one would expect a range, from better to worse, and one would expect to encounter difficulties in evaluating the work of some who have chosen arcane areas of study. And so it is. It turns out that looking at scholarship is helpful in framing some of the systematic failures that led to the party, the Hoax/Frame, and Duke's institutional readiness to throw the falsely accused men (and others) under the bus.

The least accomplished of the Group of 88 appear to produce the quality and quantity of work product that one might expect from a college sophomore. That some--not all--of the Listening Statement's signers were ready to hurl their brickbats from very glassy houses is certainly relevant to the case.

"As bad people, the G88 must necessarily be bad scholars!" is about the emotions of the speaker, not a considered view of the strengths and weaknesses of Duke's professors.

Who can only be evaluated as individuals.

Anonymous said...

Because there have been questions about the 88s' teaching, it's probably worthwhile to note that Lee D. Baker has recently won an undergraduate teaching award at Duke.

It's probably worthwhile to remind the blog readers that the 88 may believe in "transparency" in terms of posting their syllabi online at Duke, but that it is sometimes difficult and time-consuming to maintain an individual, no desire to be not be "transparent." The intended audience, students/potential students at Duke have access to the syllabi.

Ralph Phelan said...

Jack & Anonymous 12:30

Godwin's Law is clearly not useful when you're discussing actual Nazis, I think we could all agree.

I believe it's equally unuseful when discussing other murderous totalitarian ideoloogies such as Communism or Wahhabi Islam. Nazi Germany is an obvious comparison case.

Here we have a group of academics, many of them political radicals, calling for people to be judged by their group membership rather than as individuals, and nod-&-wink supporting a group of street thugs coming onto their own campus to threaten a subset of their own students for their politics & ethnicity (New Black Panthers.)

If you've had even a cursory exposure to the early days of the National Socialist Workers' Party, the Bolsheviks, or any other totalitarian movement this all sounds very familiar.

I find the comparison entirely appropriate.

KC Johnson said...

On the Godwin's Law issue . . .

Try to find other avenues of comparison, if only to allow more liberal give-and-take.

Ralph Phelan said...

'"As bad people, the G88 must necessarily be bad scholars!" is about the emotions of the speaker, not a considered view of the strengths and weaknesses of Duke's professors.'

But "Dang, there's an unusually high concentration of loonys, dingbats and academic duds in this group" is an interesting observation. The correlation between poor scholarship and poor citizenship probably means something.

Anonymous said...

NOW still has this up on their web site. It's rather profetic that everything NOW said in the article came tru to their disadvantage. Clearly they're not helping their cause.

Do these thugs have a clue?


Anonymous said...

haskell @ 12:02 PM said:

haskell said...

anonymous 10:44

Dude, your Freudian slip is showing. It was "countless", not "colorless". Also try be be a bit less obtuse. See my earlier post today on the passive-aggressive personality disorder.


Considering that I quoted from the comment tto which I was respnding I'm at a loss to understand how you could misinterpret what I said.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Phelan @ 12:37 said:

Ralph Phelan said...


"mythical, black monolith"
Nifong got 90% of the Durham black vote. That's not mythical.

And somehow we can extrapolate that the prevailing views in a relatively small population like Durham are representative of blacks on a whole?

One Spook said...

KC @ 9:30 writes:

In the post, I was agreeing with Moore in terming misguided those African-Americans who were (a) rallying on Vick's behalf saying they didn't care if he were guilty or innocent; (b) themselves presuming guilt but rationalizing it; (c) in the case of the SCLC, proposing to honor Vick for no apparent reason.

BINGO! I think some of you misinterpreted what KC wrote.

Imagine if during the long pendency of the Duke lacrosse case, Duke University and a group of Duke Alums had all advanced a "boys-will-be-boys" argument; that's tantamount to the "it's just dogs" meme.

And, if the Boy Scouts of America suddenly decided to give the LAX three a "citizenship" award; tantmount to the award contemplated by the SCLC.

None of that happened in the Duke case. Get it?

One Spook

Ralph Phelan said...


Mayor Ray Nagin was reelected.

Whatsisname, the black congressman who used emergency personnel to help him retrieve bribe money from his freezer during Hurricane Katrina, was reelected.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are making a mighty good living peddling this stuff.

And then there's the lunatic world of black talk radio.

I don't claim blacks with this cluster of beliefs and attitudes are a majority in this country, just that they are a large enough fraction to be kind of scary.

Anonymous said...

A conspiracy of the LAPD, the forensic lab and the Prosecutors would hang together about five minutes. What a myth,
People forget that the Nazis were stupid bullies. I do not see the black community that way. Black leaders (not Al and Jesse) need to help them out of the wilderness.

Anonymous said...

Eric, 1:19, the NOW posting from their website is almost comical if it weren't so damn sad. NOA takes the media to task for their portrayal of the accuser in the Duke case.

Nevermid the fact that NOW refers to her as the victim (nevermind that pesky alleged) and talks about the perception of rape over and over. I don't suppose that NOW has commented on the fact that there was no rape in this case huh?

It's also pretty funny to look back on as NOW bashes Dan Abrams, Tucker Carlson, and others for saying things they didn't like in response to comments made by Wendy Murphy and Georgia Goslee.

Hmmmm....and exactly who turned out to be right and who turned out to be wrong in their positions on this case? Does NOW not realize they look like biased idiots for posting this on their site to this day?

They save the best for last at the end of the article. They ask NOW members to contact the media and let them know what they think about the coverage. I think that's a great idea, especially at this point.

Hey Dan and Tucker you were right all along, Goslee and Murphy are idiots who had it wrong from the beginning.

Thanks NOW!!

Anonymous said...

By the way...although it is not listed in any prominent place on their website, you can contavt NOW at

Anonymous said...

It ia regrettable that posters keep mentioning the Nazis, but to dismiss them as "stupid bullies" demonstrates a real lack of knowledge of German history.

Anonymous said...

8:06 AM

Was Sen Byrd talking about a dog?

Anonymous said...

There's another damning fact against Vick - the two guys busted with him have ratted him out.

KC's point has been clear to any rational person reading what he wrote: you can't cry for calm and due process when it's a black person, and rush to judgment when they're white and not exhibit a double standard or prejudice.

Ralph Phelan said...

"A conspiracy of the LAPD, the forensic lab and the Prosecutors would hang together about five minutes. "
No cop wants to confront a crooked prosecutor - instant carreer death. No prosecutor wants to confront a crooked cop - he'll never get any cooperation from the police again. Do you have even the slightest inkling how often crime labs report what their customers want to hear rather than the truth?

Three painful truths about the "justice" system to confront:

(1) Nifong was not an anomaly. He maybe did more bad things at once than most prosecutors do, but prejudicial statements, lying to the press and witholding evidence happen all the time. Nifong getting stopped was the anomaly. If he'd drawn Judge Hudson again instead of Smith he might have been getting convictions right about now.

(2) Meehan was not an anomaly. And his lab just got a fat contract to do forensic work for the State of Florida.

(3) Sgt. Gottlieb is not an anomaly. He's still working as a police officer. His department just got a clean bill of health from a national accrediting agency that went out of its way to praise their handling of the Duke case.

The notion that police, prosecutors and labs would go along with a frameup to get a conviction (and all that was required of most of them was to not protest) is not at all implausible.

I happened in Durham, why is it hard to believe it happened in LA?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Johnson mentioned two of the 88 who apologized in private and then reupped with the haters. Imagine the pressure all 88 are under to not apologize.
What hold do the "leaders" of this group have over its members. A Duke anthropologist ought to study (undercover, of course) how this group keeps members in line.
What does the behavior of this group say about academics in general?
A recent study showed that many tenured profs, in fear of offending their peers, do not speak up or take oppositional positions.

Ralph PHelan said...

"Hmmmm....and exactly who turned out to be right and who turned out to be wrong in their positions on this case? "

It depends - do you mean who had the correct facts or who had the right "narrative"?

inman said...

Ralph Phelan...

Question --

In the phrase "black talk radio" -- does one emphasize "black talk" radio or black "talk radio"?

Anonymous said...

More than Godwin's Law, what belongs on this blog is the concet of meme (memetics).

We are dealing with shared, cultural ideas and how they clash with each other.

For instance, "facts wrong, narrative right"; black racism; constitutional idealism; class privilege.

Anonymous said...


I didn't see anywhere in their web site, an apology (whoops, my bad), a contraction or any update.

However relevant the facts are, NOW wants to compel the media to only report the accuser side and at the same time not print any facts regarding the accuser. An example would be 'she was a stripper', which in NOW’s world is a no-no. NOW doesn't want her to be "dehumanized." NOW and the others want to sanitize the accuser side and demonize the defender side. Sounds familiar.


Here it is again, what a joke.

Anonymous said...

What I'm having a hard time with is Tauiliili missing a game for his offenses and Ryan McFayden being expelled for sending a private email.

Anyone have any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, not the Grand Kleagle, but rather the Grand Beagle . . . not at all like the Bulls (Not to be confused with the Bull as in Schlitz malt)). . . the pit bulls or Red Dog. If mistreating the dogs was not breaking the law, I understand given the conditions the dogs lived under, killing the dogs could be considered and act of mercy, but the betting had to be a way of laundering money too. . . lots of money changing hands perhaps in cash and unaccounted for and that I don't think is so good . . . er, it's illegal. But, hey, maybe they didn't know that. You think? Hey, I want to bet two dollars on the big Red Bone. What's that . . . well it's a dog's life . . . .

Anonymous said...

A transparency question: KC, do you somehow consider it to show a lack of transparency--obscurantist tendencies, perhaps--when faculty post their syllabi on their own university webs, but not elsewhere? I ask because of your comment on Lee Baker today after someone earlier made it clear that Duke (and, maybe, other universities) limit viewership to students, ie, the people who need them.

Anonymous said...

nifong is small potatoes

Anonymous said...

2:36 I know a lot about German history - in the end, they were "stupid and bullies". Like the bible, after the ten Commandments, the rest is frosting.
2:45 DA Gil in no way compares to Nifong. Gil is not dishonest.
NC SBI declared there was no team DNA from the materials in the rape kit. Even Meeham said that - he hid the fact that there were numerous others DNA there also.
I believe DPD did not conspire with NIfong - just got out of the case ASAP. There is no evidence that the LAPD salted the blood samples or conspired against OJ. Actually, Marcia and Darden were such bad lawyers, they lost the case.
Finally - we read this stuff on this blog all the time. "You do not know aything about German History." You do not know, what we do or do not know - just our opinion, This is not a scientific journal or a PHD class in German history - just a blog.

Ralph Phelan said...

"What I'm having a hard time with is Tauiliili missing a game for his offenses and Ryan McFayden being expelled for sending a private email.

Anyone have any ideas?"
Well, nobody's trying to get reelected on the Tauiliili case, no professors are takingout statements, and nobody's demonstrating. Why would Duke take any action when there are no bullies to appease?

Anonymous said...

The comparisons between Michael Vick murdering, hanging and drowning dogs that he deemed insufficiently bloodthirsty to fatten his pocketbook, and 3 Duke lacrosse players "guilty" of attending a party, are ludicrous and absurd.

I understand KC writing about the comparisons, because other, less thoughtful commentators have displayed such stupidly contrasting attitudes in the 2 cases, about presumption of guilt. But, the facts of the 2 cases could hardly be more different.

There are at least 4 witnesses swearing to Vick's involvement, with illegal activities and business entrenched on his own property, which could not have escaped his notice or been done without his participation. There is massive, physical evidence.

Nobody -- NOBODY -- could assume the guilt of the Duke lacrosse players, and also the innocence (both factual and legal) of Michael Vick, except of course a mob of racist, brainless, bigoted haters who care only about skin-color, and nothing about facts or justice. And that includes, to their shame, the NAACP.

It's fine, of course, to insist that Michael Vick be given the benefit of legal presumptions, and that all of his rights be vigorously defended. But where were these racist, foaming bigots when some white boys were being railroaded by a black liar and whore? -- adding faggots to the flames, heating up tar and gathering feathers from their own chicken selves, that's where.

KC Johnson said...

To the 3.14:

In terms of transparency, there's really no difference between a professor who only hands out his or her syllabus to a class or a professor who posts his or her syllabus on a website that's confined to students who are enrolled in the class.

Neither approach would be considered transparent, since no one from outside the class (including parents, alumni, or trustees) can get any sense of what's being offered in the classroom.

To provide some sense of what I mean by transparency, here's the site for my US-Middle East class from last year. I don't use Blackboard (the closed website) specifically because--as a professor at a public university--I feel that any NY taxpayer has a right to, at the very least, get a sense of what I'm teaching.

Anonymous said...

I believe our justice system is basically honesst. I do not believe crime labs are dishonest. I do believe it is impossible for three people to keep a secret, let alone the DA, labs and police department. That won't wash

gak said...

Off topic sort of.
The Rock/Country singer Uncle Kracker got busted in Raleigh on 2nd degree sexual offense as reported on WSOC's web site. $5 mil bond to get out. I guess whites are more likely to run then blacks. Didn't that guy who is accused of raping that girl at the black frat party get out for 50K


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Follow up to KC Johnson, 3:32. Blackboard, unintentionally, I would guess, does a diservice in that it is closed. No way to see syllabi, selected readings. I post my syllabi on my own web site from time to time to get the word out on what I am teaching, how I am teaching, and what readings I am using.
Sometimes, I would like to see how some e-books are being used by other classes. Well, I have no way of finding out if I do not know the prof.
I hope Blackboard recognizes this and will figure out a way to open part of its site to those not registered for a particular class. Also, many citations to one's work are lost by Blackboard being closed.

Gary Packwood said...

Eric 3:10 said...

...I didn't see anywhere in their web site, an apology (whoops, my bad), a contraction or any update.
...However relevant the facts are, NOW wants to compel the media to only report the accuser side and at the same time not print any facts regarding the accuser. An example would be 'she was a stripper', which in NOW’s world is a no-no. NOW doesn't want her to be "dehumanized." NOW and the others want to sanitize the accuser side and demonize the defender side. Sounds familiar.
...Here it is again, what a joke.
NOW wants to create a diversion for the purpose of moving attention away from the Hoax.

NOW is asking us to beat up on the media instead of the Alarmist who created the hoax and moved the hoax forward.

We need to focus our attention on the G88 and their Alarmist comrades across the nation who are moving this new age garbage forward.

Don't be diverted.

Anonymous said...

Is Hardin a Communist?

KC Johnson said...

To the 3.54:

I agree completely.

Some things (e-reserves, for instance) need to be password protected, but it's unfortunate that the system closes off all access.

Debrah said...

At last.......something on which Robert Byrd----former-Grand-KKK-Wizard-cum-never-ending-Democratic-senator-cum-utterer-of-the-dreaded-yet-comical-"N"-word-on-national-TV-yet-is-still-welcomed-by-his-Liberal-colleagues-instead-of-living-a-life-of-riducule-from-the-race-hustlers----and I can agree:

"I am confident that the hottest places in hell are reserved for the souls of sick and brutal people who hold God's creatures in such brutal and cruel contempt," he said." (emphasis added)

Anonymous said...

It's one thing for NOW to only want the media to report the accuser's side of things in rape cases, (assuming the accuser is a woman) after all NOW is the Natl Org of Women. But let's stick to the facts and call her just that, the accuser.

Calling her the victim makes their piece an outright lie. She wasn't a victim. She was a liar.

The point is NOW can be biased on behalf of women, after all that's who they represent. But at least be honest. By lying, (and I'm all for anyone telling me why this piece is not an outright lie) they align themselves with groups like the NAACP, UBUNTU, and the NBPP.

Pretty sad.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I believe our justice system is basically honesst. I do not believe crime labs are dishonest. I do believe it is impossible for three people to keep a secret, let alone the DA, labs and police department. That won't wash"

Did you follow the link to the Innocence Project page on forensic science abuse?

Did you look at anything else on their site?

Do you believe in Tinkerbelle too?

Debrah said...

Let me make clear my point of alluding to Adolph Hitler when discussing the pathologies housed inside the minds of people like Duke's Gritty Gang of 88 and their misguided apologists.

My objective first and foremost was to express the human beast one has to be in order to try to destroy lives because of the race or ethnicity of someone. I believe we have that in bold relief with respect to the lacrosse case.

If those same partisan and hyperbolic characters can conjure up the German dictator when slamming the president or anyone else to the right of pathetic loon Cindy Sheehan, then I will rest easy in making my points this way.

Although, at least the president's objective wasn't to ruin the lives of three innocent young men....and then brag about it.

Ralph Phelan said...


"Is Hardin a Communist?"

A quick Googling hasn't found me anything about his political affiliations or views. Maybe someone more tuned in to NC politics would know.

Ralph Phelan said...


I don't consider Nifong "small potatoes" by comparison.

While the actions cited in your link are hilariously hypocritical, and support the thesis of my 9:00am, 9:37 am, 9:52 am, 12:37 pm, and 2:02 pm posts, they are far less evil than what Nifong did.

Which is worse - losing your job or going to jail for 30 years?

rrhamilton said...

With all the other comparisons being dragged in -- from OJ to Nazis -- I'm surprised no commenter has mentioned the Chris Collins case at Oklahoma State.

Anonymous said...

8/17/07 3:53 PM

How do you do that?

Jack said...


The absolute horror, degradation, the suffering and carnage of the Nazis and Adolph Hitler can not and should not in any way what so ever be used in connection with the Duke Lacrosse hoax. To compare this situation, in even the most tenuous way, to one of the greatest atrocities in human history is…indescribably odious. While I would not accuse you of making casual references to the Nazis, any reference you do make is only from an impersonal, abstract and historical perspective; books, films, lectures perhaps. There were millions of people who actually lived through such a nightmare, were herded into camps, buried their murdered wives or children, were themselves gassed, tortured or worse – do you think you do their memories justice to link their experience to false rape accusations, to denigrating students by a college faculty? A greedy, self serving DA?

As you post here so often, usually with constructive commentary, albeit with an occasional smart ass tone, do yourself and others a great service. Find some other analogy to express your outrage and anger with how the Duke administration behaved and how the students were treated. The line of thinking you have taken and are now attempting to rationalize is hideously out of scale and profoundly offensive.

Anonymous said...

" the paper’s managing editor, Bill Stagg, has resigned " Whatever the reasons and whatever he said, he did *resign* from the H-S to take a post as a low-level PR person. It says to me that insiders find the H-S an unattractive place to work.

rrhamilton said...

Divah said at 4:09 PM...
Although, at least the president's objective wasn't to ruin the lives of three innocent young men....and then brag about it.

Well, Bush did ruin the lives of Gore, Kerry, and Edwards. We can't say he ruined Joe Lieberman's life, since Joe recently trounced an 88ist in the only 2006 election where the Iraq War was the only issue dividing the candidates.

Debrah said...

I have almost no confidence in Jim Hardin. His little dog and pony show for the media is just that. He had worked with Nifong for years. He then recommended him to take his place when he was appointed to be a judge.

I have no doubt in my mind that Hardin and the DPD cut some corners and violated some--or many--procedures when getting an indictment for the murder of his wife against Michael Peterson.

I don't care if Peterson is guilty or not. I'm talking about the procedures used against him by those who went nuts at the chance to nail someone who had made fools of them with just the written word.

Orlando Hudson should be stripped of his robe for allowing what he did to come in as evidence.

They ransacked Peterson's home and went through everything but his jock strap. And no doubt they would have gone through that as well if the information that he was bi-sexual had been at their fingertips.

The DPD is full of not only seasoned and petty black racists, but some narrow-minded little white rednecks who hate anyone who has lots of money.

They dripped hatred for Peterson and his lifestyle--a successful novelist and owner of one of the most historic mansions in the town, which was often used as a location when movie crews came to the Triangle--mainly because he wrote a column in the former H-S making fun of everything that they did wrong, which was a lot.

Hardin cannot distance himself from Nifong's actions. Nor can Easley. They are from the same mold. If Hardin wanted real change, he'd have cleaned out the entire staff of the DA's office and started over.

Excellent points were made by KC today that the same people who were there helping Nifong in the railroading are still there.


Ralph Phelan said...

"they align themselves with groups like the NAACP, UBUNTU, and the NBPP.

Pretty sad. "

NOW aligning itself with the NAACP isn't exactly new. Looks like they've both gone rotten together.

Not surprisingly, really, considering the improvements in the position of women and minorities in recent years. Consider how MADD has turned into a bunch of raving neoprohibitionists. If an organization is formed to solve a specific problem, and it substantially solves the problem (not eliminates, but alleviates to the point it's no longer an emergency) they have three choices what to do next.

(1) Declare victory and go home. If you have anyone who makes a living working for the organization, they will resist this option very energetically.

(2) Find a related problem that needs work, so your organiztion, which is already up and running, can continue to do good. The March of Dimes made this transition.

(3) Insist that the problem you were formed to solve really is still an emergency, by making mountains out of molehills and making up lies about how little progress has been made.
That's the NAACP/NOW/MADD strategy.

Ralph Phelan said...


Comparing this situation to the 1942 Nazis is, as you say, obscene.

Comparing it to the 1932 Nazis is insightful.

The widespread acceptance of political bullying and envy/resentment based injustice is how it started.

Anonymous said...

KC--Don't you think parents can ask about syllabi? And why are they nosing into their college-aged children's courses...

Your course on American foreign policy in the Middle East, yes? What are your foreign languages for research?

Ralph Phelan said...

Oh yeah, Jack, speaking of evil totalitarian ideologies - have you noticed how often the "Is XXX a Communist" question has been answered "Yes"? And remember our fan of Muslim terror, miriam cooke?

The philosophy and methods of totalitarianism are all over this case.

Debrah said...



Gore, Kerry, and Edwards are doing fine.

Gore is now an Oscar winner for a documentary--even if the subject matter was mostly fiction. And rumor has it that Tipper is trying to get him off his doughnut diet....right after she gets off hers. LIS!

Kerry will always be fine. He has Teresa, or as he says, Ta-Ray-Sa....and a lifetime supply of ketzup.

Edwards, well, his Daddy was a millworker....and that's all you need to know!


AMac said...


Do this Google search: "tutorial html href anchor tag". Follow the instructions of one of the top four or five sites.

Replacing [ and ] with < and >, the "anchor tag" you're focusing on formats like this --

[href=""]Tiny URL dot com[/a].

By the way, using Tiny URL dot com is an alternative to the anchor tag, you can try that instead.

Anonymous said...


I don't mean to be off point. I think you're right that they are diversionary but they are trying to use the media as their vehicle to divert. The facts could only help NOW.

They keep the hoax alive by not amending their own web site. They simply want to "ignore the elepahant" in their midst.

NOW only accessorizes the 88. I think it's relative to keep that grist away from the 88's mill. It's also important to keep focus on the the real villians, the G88.


KC Johnson said...

To the 5.00:

"And why are they nosing into their college-aged children's courses..."

Because, in most cases, they're paying the tuition?

Somehow, I don't think that it's improper for parents to look at syllabi is a winning stance.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if Hardin is communist. What's important is that socialists and progressives receive the same spectrum of sunshine as received by other political affiliates (particularly those right-of-center).

Whitewashing the Left is part of mainstream-media's reason for being. There is a demonstrable bias in the press, and now the internet has dampened that influence.

The de factor moral authority the Left covets is being eroded by their own actions and the attention of bloggers, et al.

Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the question, "Is {insert name} a communist?" a bit of rhetorical comedy not meant to be taken seriously? At least that's how I've always viewed the question.

Debrah said...

To jack--

Thank you for your thoughtful and dramatic response.

I'll just paraphrase Condoleeza Rice when responding to the odious remarks made about her by the geriatric former banana boat crooner, Harry Belafonte. (He called her a "house n!gger" by the way.)

She said, "I don't need Harry Belafonte to tell me what it is to be black."

Likewise, the Diva doesn't need to be schooled on the atrocities of Hitler's Germany.

I can only use my freedom of expression to convey how odious and damaging the Gang of 88 and their ilk really are.

Jack said...


Neither debra nor anyone else has ever bothered to nuance their comments to distinguish specific eras within an abominable regime.

In common parlance, when referencing Hitler and or the Nazis, the intent is obvious. There are terrible things thriving in the world today, I agree, but when we compare the atrocities of the Third Reich to lesser evils, we inure ourselves from recognizing the real equivalent. And from what I've seen in my 51 years, they have all been lesser evils.

Debrah said...

On days like today when so many little things have gone wrong.....(ah, the tedium of life).....

.....perhaps we all have to just go a little crazy and go with the flow on occasion, just to get through the mess.

This version of Crazy by Morissette---(not a favorite artist of mine, but I love her interpretation of this song)---even ends with a catch-you-by-surprise lesbian twist......

.....which is a nod to all you Gang of 88 lurkers.

I just know how you love the topics of sex and gender!



Jack said...

Yes, debra, you may, as you self-righteously stated, exercise your right to free expression. In doing so, you are offending the memories of real people who endured an evil you only know in an academic way. And, you are drawing an analogy that between two events that are incomparable.

I think you are wrong on one point - contending that you don't need to be schooled on the atrocities of the Third Reich, and then comparing any aspect of it to the Duke case. A person knowledgeable of the Holocaust, with a sense of the terrible human suffering, could never make such a comparison.

Are you so intellectually limited as to be stuck on an analogy that is both offensive and wrong?

inman said...

For all who want to refer to genocide or racial bullying or evils, there was the equivalent of a modern day "pogrom" in NY's Crown Heights in 1991. A Jewish man was killed; before he died, he identified his killer; the killer confessed to the police; the weapon (a knife) was linked to the killer and the crime.

A NY state court jury acquitted the killer...who partied with the jury afterwards.

Sounds like what could have happened in Durham -- just in reverse.

Crown Heights Pogrom ...1991

inman said...

Jack --

Was Pol Pot not as evil as Hitler? Or were his sins less because his victims were asian and not Jewish?

Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge

Estimated victims -- 1.6 million to 3+ million.

Sorry, but Hitler did not have the monopoly on evil.

But I do agree with the notion that Hitler's evil is different from the evil in the lacrosse HOAX.

In the case of the lacrosse HOAX, 300 million US citizens were victimized (albeit, indirectly) for if our judicial system had failed (and/or fails) to exonerate the innocent, then we are all at risk.

But what's a few hundred million, here or there.

Gary Packwood said...

Off topic but if you wish to follow the Hurricane coming our direction, you can do so here.

[href=""]Hurricane Dean[/a]


Anonymous said...

Geez, now the jack-booted analogy police wants to herd us into his train of proper English. All Aboard!

KC Johnson said...

A modified off-topic note:

Let's move along from comments on past world leaders . . .

Debrah said...

To Jack--

I have read with much interest your voluminous responses.

We perhaps disagree!

Don't mean to be vexatious, but you do not know the shape_of_my_heart.

Jack said...

I will if they do.

Anonymous said...

[href=""]Tiny URL dot com[/a].

So it would be ...

Like This?

Anonymous said...

4:43 It says to me that the HS is going under and the rats who can swim are jumping ship first.

Anonymous said...

No ralph - Most of those Innocent Project folk were convicted by eye witness accounts. The overturning of the convictions are done by DNA comparisions - a science not known twenty years ago. Not the same at all.
BTW, quoting the Innocent Project in light of Neufeld's disgraceful commentary about the Duke Lax case is a laugh.
The only comparison I see to the horror of the Nazi camps, is Stalin's camps.

Steven Horwitz said...

Sorry folks, been on the road all day.

First, thanks for the link KC - can I ask you to correct the spelling of my last name and take out the second "o"? Thanks.

Quickly: Anon at 930 - Amac at 104 answers your questions: I judge them as individuals and being a bad person doesn't make you a bad scholar. I have condemned the G88's throwing their students under the bus AND their refusal to apologize. That is a very different matter than the quality of their scholarship.

It continues to make me laugh that so many folks complain about how the G88 treated the LAX players as if they fit the G88's preconceived stereotypes and then turn around and do the very same thing to the G88.

And for Debrah (sorry KC, I know you asked for it to stop, but I must respond):

I find it extraordinarily offensive and ignorant for you to characterize what the G88 did as even being remotely Hitler-like. Jack has made the argument better than I could. Let me only just add that you started your comments by agreeing with Anon at 930's critique of me, leaving the suggestion that I am somehow in the business of defending Nazi-like tactics.

As Jew, I can't begin to express how offensive that is on multiple levels. I'm happy to take criticism for my beliefs, but to leave that implication hanging there is way over the line.

Let's see if you have more class than the G88 and can actually apologize and not try to wiggle your way off the hook.

Anonymous said...

3:53 As KC has never writen that in order to post, one needs to be a HS graduate, have a GED and be proficent in spelling or grammer, he has not writen one needs to know how to link. I am for KC continuing to runhis blog in the few weeks remaining.

Anonymous said...

Mr Horowitz = that has been one of saddest things to come out of this fight for injustice. To many bloggers are behaving like the 88 -except the 88 never stalked anyone. Always great to read your posts/

KC Johnson said...

To Steve:

Sorry about that: I must have confused you with David Horowitz--since, as we know, all the "right-wingers" are alike . . .

don t. said...

No.1 I propose we start a movement to have Ashley nominated for the position of President of Duke U. It would be a hell of an improvement over what we have now.

No. 2 How in God's name can you'all compare a bunch of brain-damaged supercilious nitwits to an insane meglomaniac is beyond reason. Get real!!


inman said...

Steven @ 9:49

I think I appreciate your sensitivity to Hitler and the Holocaust. I say "I think" because I do not have deep visceral feelings, for noone of my family nor those of my faith were victims -- and accordingly, I cannot fathom the mind and emotions of those who, by virtue of heritage or religious belief, are close to that nightmare.

With that said, it seems to me that this is another diversity lesson. I have learned that many have a view that the Holocaust can only be viewed as the penultimate of mankind's evil. Whether or not I (or others) believe that the Holocaust was penultimate evil is, frankly, irrelevant. For all those who do believe and feel for this singular blight on mankind's history, respect is due. Or required. That was the enormity of the evil. All mankind must kneel and pray that such evil never happens again.

But the contrapositive is also appropriate. If one does not have an understanding of the attrocity or its effect on those close to it, then respect requires that a polite education ensue. The assumption that a reference to evil necessarily indicates an understanding of evil is not necessarily valid.

don t. said...

Incredible!!!!!! Duke Medical Center is hiring someone who thinks that the H-S has done a good job!! Good judgement is apparently not a prerequisite for the position. How is it that dung beetles.........????


Anonymous said...

"What I'm having a hard time with is Tauiliili missing a game for his offenses and Ryan McFayden being expelled for sending a private email.

Anyone have any ideas?"

Well, that e-mail, regardless of having been intended to remain private, DID in its overt content state an intention to commit premeditated homicide. If you take that stated intention at face value, it is something that requires even higher priority than someone who could have caused injury with drunken reckless behavior.

I'm not saying I agree with this. I think Tauiliili should have faced much more severe penalties, for one. But I can see how one might assess the situation in a way where it seems logical to suspend T-Boy for one game and to pull McFadyen out of school immediately by contrast.

One Spook said...

KC posts at 11:00 PM ...

"I must have confused you with David Horowitz--since, as we know, all the "right-wingers" are alike . . ."

All right ............ now THAT is damned funny! Hahahahahahah!

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Professor Horwitz! As a gentile, I find the frequent mention of Nazis, Adolf (not AdolPH) Hitler, etc., in comparison with what happened at Duke revolting. Two of these young men are off to Brown and Loyola-Maryland, folks, not Auschwitz-Birkenau and Treblinka. I mean, please.

On another note, KC, your definition of "transparency" is limited. Just because you CHOOSE to place your syllabi on line, those who don't are not per definition failing to be transparent. I'm sure that the G88 provide their syllabi upon request to parents, other faculy, members of the Board of Overseers, etc. Point of fact: some students prefer paper syllabi to electronic.

As someone who is computer-abled, I do NOT expect faculty to maintain individual websites or public links beyond what the university demands or makes easily available to them. I'd rather they taught and did research!!!

Anonymous said...

History Lesson:

Inman, if you are Christian, plenty of people of your faith were victims of the Holocaust. They simply weren't primary targets. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were extremely diverse. Victims of their racial agenda included, but were not limited to: Jews, Roma, Slavs (among civilians, especially Poles, above all the intelligencia and clergy), Communists, gays, and Seventh Day Adventists.

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.53:

"Point of fact: some students prefer paper syllabi to electronic."

Indeed, they do. One reason why I (and every professor I know) also gives out paper copies of their syllabi.

I hadn't realized that transparency and having professors "who taught and did research" were mutually incompatible.

Debrah said...

Well, maybe I did wake up in Teheran this morning.

Anonymous said...

KC at 8:39--

The two aren't incompatable and you know it; nor was it asserted that they were. STRAWPERSON ALERT!!!!!! But neither are the concepts of not publicly posting syllabi and lacking transparency absolutely compatible. You can't dictate the behavior of others. This is a topic where you might--if you did not have this odd need to go for the juggular--say, yes, true enough.

My experience is that it is not easy to put up and maintain an independent website. What I said was, given the choice, I'd rather have more and better research and teaching from faculty than their syllabi available to the public on line. Someone who doesn't do research only English OR doesn't have access to printed published primary sources OR has a family OR other obligations--say, lots of doctoral students--you don't have may make the decision not to maintain an independent website on which post their syllabi. Or they may maintain a website an not post all of their syllabi. Electronic syllabi are not THE measure of transparency for everyone. Even if you would like it to be!!!

Anonymous said...

A correction to my 9:48: jugular

KC Johnson said...

To the 9.48:

I had thought when you noted that you would rather that professors "taught and did research!!!" than took the (60 seconds?) to post an electronic syllabus that you were suggesting posting a syllabus might have some impact on a prof's ability to teach well and do research. My apologies for misunderstanding you.

Merriam-Webster defines transparent as "characterized by visibility or accessibility of information"; I hardly think my definition is an extreme one or one that I am seeking to "impose" on others.

As to this specific case: Group members have, repeatedly, suggested that their critics have unfairly characterized their teaching. Yet, to date, none of them have chosen to make publicly available any of their syllabi or other teaching items.

In effect, then, they're saying: "Our critics are wrong, but we won't supply any evidence to substantiate our claim. Trust us."

They certainly have a right to take such an approach. It does not, however, strike me as a particularly persuasive line of argument.

Indeed, I would think the Group would be eager to publicize this information--since, presumably, doing so would discredit their critics.

Anonymous said...


If the faculty member in question has a website and/or the space to to upload the syllabus. Constructing a personal website is time consuming and not all universities provide faculty space for uploading material for the public.

I'm not sure how much a syllabus tells the class and/or the teaching.

Debrah said...

Does everyone see the response post from KC@(11:49AM)?

This is a prime example of why he is so effective....

.....his essence, if you will.

Most people--man or woman--would have responded with a more dismissive tone...with maybe a touch of disdain on the side.

This is so effective. I love it!

I can hate him one day and the next agree with gusto!

It's a talent, debating this way, and is one of the primary reasons he is able to make the Gang of 88 look so foolish.....with flair!


KC Johnson said...

To the 12.16:

Obviously some schools lack the resources to have faculty webpages. That surely isn't the case at Duke. Some of the Group members, in fact, have quite intricate websites.

"I'm not sure how much a syllabus tells the class and/or the teaching." I agree--one reason why I also put my lecture notes on-line. That said, a syllabus is, after all, a contract between the student and professor, and it gives some sense of the topics covered and readings assigned.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horowitz

My family connection to the Nazis is a bit different than yours. I had an uncle (now deceased) who hid Jews in his basement during the occupation of the Netherlands, and various cousins who stole ration cards to help support them, etc,

Because of the family stories I heard growing up I've had a lifelong interest in the question of who collaborates, who resists, who kvetches impotently, who keeps their head down and tries to ignore what's going on, and why these different people make the choices they made.

I agree that comparing any of these Durham/Duke pikers to Hitler or Stalin is over the top. They haven't the charisma or strategic sense to get beyond the regional scale. Huey Long is more like it.

But comparing them to concentration camp guards, storm troopers, Stasi, kommisars, Saudi Arabia's religious police, or the corrupted academics of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and the modern Middle East seems to me very useful. When a black student or professor of AAAS stages a phony "hate crime," how can one not think of the Reichstag fire? When someone copies Nazi tactics, they should expect to be compared to the Nazis.

I also learned as a child that totalitarian movements are best opposed while still small.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC 12:19

If a professor has no website then the lack of a publicly available sylabus could be excused as lack of technical skill and time to acquire it.

If a professor has a website and no syllabus, it's lack of transparaency.

Anonymous said...

Let's start spelling Prof. Horwitz's name right.

Steven Horwitz said...

Thanks 112. I've dealt with the extra "o" problem my whole life, as has my father and brothers. I've learned to just ignore it unless it's someplace public.

I've especially learned to ignore it when it's negative and on the web. Google can't correct misspelled names. ;)

Anonymous said...

1:08--Professors can have websites for a variety of reasons, some of which don't include syllabi and this can have nothing to do with lack of transparacy. Don't be so rigid.

KC, do you think your students miss out on a learning experience--how to take notes--when you post yours? And doesn't posting your lecture notes cramp your ability to respond to changing situations as they may arise in class?

Anonymous said...

No, comparing the people/events in Durham to Stasi is not only not useful, it's demeaning to all of the Germans who suffered under STASI. Again, people died. Or their lives otherwise ruined. Calling names just because you don't like someone's/s' behavior doesn't clarify much.

KC Johnson said...

To the 5.12:

Before I had a website (when I taught at Williams), I gave out paper copies of my lecture notes. In a dozen years of teaching (at Williams and Brooklyn), I can't recall more than a handful of students who have chosen not to take their own notes as well.

The ability to address questions is one reason why I lecture extemporaneously, from notes, and don't use PowerPoint, which is far more constraining. In our 75-minute classes, I generally assume that around 25 minutes will be give-and-take from questions or discussions.

Ralph Phelan said...

"No, comparing the people/events in Durham to Stasi is not only not useful, it's demeaning to all of the Germans who suffered under STASI. Again, people died. Or their lives otherwise ruined."

Nobody went to prison for 30 years, but for a while it looked close - I'd have called that a "ruined life." That it didn't happen wasn't for lack of trying.

The stress of this possibility on family members caused at least one early death and at least one early sickness (diabetes).

A witness (Elmostafa) was harrassed by police and arrested on trumped up charges because he refused to change his testimony from the truth to what they wanted.

Easily identifiable people who made death threats in open court were not punished.

I'm not saying Himan and Gottlieb are the equivalent of Stasi (yet), just that it's clear they'd like to be.

Street thugs (the NBP) were allowed to come onto the Duke campus to threaten the lives of students there.

A man who threatened to rape the daughter of a political enemy was rewarded with the 'Griffith Award which goes to graduating students who "have made a significant and positive impact on University life."'

People were driven out of their homes and lived in their cars because they feared for their physical safety.

When I see politically driven physical intimidation, I think "Brown Shirts," and I
stand by the analogy.

Look at the above list and tell me again that it doesn't look like the early stages of the descent into tyranny.