Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday Roundup

There are some figures about whose performance on the case it’s easy to pass moral judgment: Mike Nifong. Mark Gottlieb. Wahneema Lubiano.

But other actors bequeathed a more mixed legacy. Take, for instance, Ben Himan. Himan was critical in obtaining the fraudulent March 23 non-testimonial order—which started the whole case in motion. And he was willing to carry Nifong’s water as the only officer to testify before the grand jury that indicted Dave Evans.

Yet, in sharp contrast to Gottlieb, Himan did take—and turn over—handwritten notes. And, whether by accident or design, he was excluded from the two highest-profile instances of law enforcement malpractice in the case—the April 4, 2006 lineup, and Linwood Wilson’s December interview with Crystal Mangum.

Moreover, while some members of the DPD continued their corruption (Gottlieb); others maintained the “hear-no-evil/see-no-evil approach (Hodge, Chalmers); and still others retreated behind the blue wall of silence (Soucie, Clayton), Himan worked to redeem himself. From all accounts, he performed professionally during the AG’s inquiry, vindicating the office’s decision to employ him as the only Durham police officer involved in Cooper’s handling of the case. Unlike Gottlieb, he provided an honest deposition to the State Bar.

Himan’s testimony before the Disciplinary Hearing Committee provided one of the high points of Nifong’s ethics trial:

And in Nifong’s just-concluded contempt trial, Himan again provided critical testimony. Although he admitted that he didn’t particularly understand the specifics of the DNA discussions with Dr. Brian Meehan, he did recall one highly significant item: Meehan told Nifong and him that the DNA tests hadn’t just revealed existence of unidentified males, but they had revealed four unidentified males. Nifong conceded the point.

Himan’s testimony proved that Nifong lied to the court when he said that he and Meehan had no conversations beyond what the May 12 report contained. Meehan clearly would have needed to have explained precisely how he determined that DNA from four—as opposed, say, to three or five—males was found in the rape kit.

We hear a lot about the need for “healing.” Surely one step in that process would be for DPD leaders to publicly assert that Himan’s professional behavior since January 2007 represents the values the department would prefer its officers have.

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The New York Times produced its finest article on the case in its coverage of the Nifong guilty verdict. The reason wasn’t hard to determine: the Times didn’t send Duff Wilson to the trial, and instead relied upon Aaron Beard’s wire-services story.

Beard’s nicely done opening scene-setter:

From the day he took over the Duke lacrosse rape case, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong charged forward with a strident determination that the guilty would end up in jail. Ultimately, the since-disgraced former prosecutor only succeeded at putting himself behind bars.

Beard accurately recognized Osmond Smith’s motivations, noting that the judge “opted for a largely symbolic punishment—the public humiliation of sending a prosecutor to jail—that he said would help protect the integrity of the justice system.”

Beard also got some excellent quotes:

  • Jim Cooney: “None of us take any joy in what happened today or what is going to happen to Mr. Nifong in a week. But it was the inevitable outcome of a lot of actions.”
  • Joe Cheshire: “Do I feel sorry for him? I feel sorry for his family. I think what he did was willful and intentional and damaged seriously this state and the lives of these boys and their families. I don’t feel sorry for Mike Nifong. Sorry if that sounds cruel, but I don’t.”
  • Kevin Finnerty: “It’s not a happy day for us, but we’re thrilled the system works, that justice has happened, and we’re moving on.”

The article was the latest in a long line of fine pieces by Beard.

---------

Yesterday, my colleague, Stuart Taylor, did an interview with NPR’s Scott Simon about Until Proven Innocent. The audio of the interview is on-line. NPR also published an excerpt from the chapter analyzing the Duke faculty’s initial response to the case, entitled “Academic McCarthyism.”

In this week’s Newsweek, Evan Thomas reviews the book, and obtains comments from Nifong attorney David Freedman and Duke spokesperson John Burness.

  • Freedman, responding to our portrayal of Nifong: “There are a number of people who testified at the state bar proceeding that [Nifong] was a very caring career prosecutor.”
  • Burness, responding to our portrayal of the faculty’s rush to judgment and Richard Brodhead’s timidity: “This book provides one interpretation.”

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Victoria Peterson was noticeable by her absence at the Nifong trial. But a DIW reader encountered her last week in the Durham Kinko’s. The City Council candidate had some interesting ideas to offer:

  • The disbarment of Nifong was terrible. If anyone should be prosecuted, it’s current DA Jim Hardin for the Michael Peterson case. V. Peterson continues to believe that M. Peterson (no relation) is innocent.
  • The “victim,” according to Peterson, is very credible. Why? Crystal Mangum served in the military. Anyhow, a trial needed to occur, so people could hear the other side. (Apparently, Mike Nifong’s 50-70 interviews weren’t enough.) What evidence would be presented at trial? According to Peterson, the rape kit—the work of SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy—was all that was needed. (Peterson didn’t say how Mangum would explain away her final story of the attack occurring as she was suspended in mid-air.)
  • Peterson also denied all suggestions that Mangum was a prostitute. Why? “They didn’t have sex with her that night. Even the boys admit they didn’t have sex with her.” (How, then, a rape occurred Peterson didn’t reveal.)
  • Who was the real “victim” of this affair? Mike Nifong, of course. Peterson compared him to James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, the civil rights activists who were killed in 1964, in Philadelphia, Mississippi. (Peterson, however, had the trio going north, apparently to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be killed.)
  • Who was the real villain of the affair? Roy Cooper—who Peterson contended was bought off by money from “New York, Boston, and New Jersey.” The fact that he got this money when he “isn’t running for office” shows that it was a payoff. (Cooper, in fact, is a candidate for re-election as attorney general in 2008.)

No word yet on whether Nifong will return the favor and serve as Peterson’s citizens’ committee co-chair in her City Council bid.

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The folks at the Liestoppers discussion board noted that Nancy Grace was MIA on the Nifong criminal contempt trial, as the guilt-presuming former prosecutor gave way to a "guest host." Grace was, of course, all over the story, making false claims and guilt-presuming insinuations, in spring 2006.

But, as Jon Stewart observed in a great skit a few months ago, Grace has a habit of absenting herself on days when the story didn't go her way.

---------

A reminder of the continued difference between the editorial leadership at the N&O and the Herald-Sun: the reaction to news that Durham's insurance company is pressuring the city to shut down the Whichard Committee inquiry, and keep all aspects of the DPD's misconduct in the dark.

The N&O's response was right on target:

Durham police played a role in the misguided prosecution, whether by going along with Nifong's efforts, by not protesting strongly enough that the evidence did not justify charges, or by both . . .

City administrators have put that investigation in neutral gear for the next several days because the insurance company that would face a big payout if the students sue and the city loses is having the jitters. The company says that Durham can't take any actions that might hurt the city's cause if it later has to defend itself. If the Whichard commission bores down to the truth, and if the department is shown to be at fault, that perhaps could undermine the city's position in court.

That might cause some tears to be shed for the insurers -- but actually, we thought that taking the financial risk is what the insurance business is all about. Besides, no one was crying as Durham paid its $220,000 annual premium for just this possibility. The company, by the way, is a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc., better known as AIG. It recently reported second quarter 2007 net income of $4.28 billion. If the Duke students sue and win, AIG's exposure would be $5 million, minus Durham's $500,000 deductible -- not an insignificant sum, but one the company should be able to handle. Durham has since changed its insurance carrier . . .

Regardless of what the students or AIG do, Durham's leaders should instruct the Whichard commission to proceed. Accountability needs to be determined for the way police headquarters handled the case. For instance, it's still unclear whether Nifong or police brass were in charge of detectives assigned to the investigation. Critical questions remain about how photo lineups were conducted. Are lineup policies the right ones, and if so, can Durham citizens be sure they are followed -- even when the pressure is turned up? Frankly, it also would be good to know how much oversight was provided by City Manager Baker, and later, how hard he pushed for the truth when writing his unsatisfactory report in May.

The lacrosse case was a shock to Durham's justice system, but it raised questions about justice across North Carolina. The entire state therefore has a stake in the commission's work. If an insurer can shut down Durham's inquiry, what good will it do to appoint any government fact-finding commission when a law enforcement agency's conduct is at issue? Reaching the truth as to how this case went so badly awry has to trump an insurance company's bottom line.

How did Bob Ashley and the Herald-Sun editorial page respond? Outrage at an outside entity dictating policy decisions to Durham officials? A call for the Police Department to stand tall and rectify its past mistakes? A commitment to finally getting to the truth?

There's no choice now but to shut [the commission] down.

Bob ("Eyes Wide Shut") Ashley strikes again.

---------

In today's Chicago Sun-Times, sports columnist Rick Telander had a blunt take on last week's events in Durham:

Michael Nifong, the disgraced, disbarred and grasping former Durham, N.C., district attorney, finally will serve time in jail -- one day -- for his role in the bogus Duke lacrosse rape case.

While supposedly pursuing justice, truth and American ideals, Nifong stirred the local flames of sexism and racism to near-riot levels by withholding evidence and making unfounded claims of sexual brutality against three Duke lacrosse players.

Maybe a lot of people in Durham and at Duke and, yes, across the nation, were far too eager to believe in Nifong's rhetoric, but the D.A. himself is the scum circle at the top of the dirty pond.

Consider Nifong's waffling, language -- statements to the court Friday: ''I now understand that some things that I thought were in the [DNA] report were, in fact, not in the report. So the statements were not factually true to the extent that I said all the information had been provided. ... It was never my intention to mislead this or any other court. I certainly apologize to the court at this time for anything I might have said that was not correct.''

How about saying, ''I'm a lying sack of [expletive]. Goodbye.''

--------

To give some sense of the seriousness of Nifong's conviction--regardless of the symbolic jail sentence--Newsday, Long Island's leading newspaper, ran the disgraced ex-DA as its cover photo in Saturday's edition.

The paper also had quotes from members of the Seligmann and Finnerty families.

  • Kevin Finnerty: "It does give us closure. I think the three boys have their reputations back."
  • Deb Hussey, Kathy Seligmann's sister: the Seligmann family "is looking forward. They are not looking back."

It's worth noting the irony that, on Friday, as Mike Nifong began his new life as a convicted criminal, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty also began their new lives. Both moved into their dorms at Brown and Loyola, respectively.

120 comments:

Debrah said...

Joe Cheshire: “Do I feel sorry for him? I feel sorry for his family. I think what he did was willful and intentional and damaged seriously this state and the lives of these boys and their families. I don’t feel sorry for Mike Nifong. Sorry if that sounds cruel, but I don’t.”

I love you, Joe Cheshire!

Anonymous said...

For anyone who is in the area:

Linda Alcoff, described as the "director of women's studies at Syracuse University", will give a free public lecture, "Racial Profiling as Epistemic Practice: When is Identity Relevant?", supposedly about the Duke lacrosse case, 4 p.m. Sept. 6 at UNC Charlotte.
See

http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_news/story/254197.html

for more.

Debrah said...

Who was the real “victim” of this affair? Mike Nifong, of course. Peterson compared him to James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, the civil rights activists who were killed in 1964, in Philadelphia, Mississippi. (Peterson, however, had the trio going north, apparently to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be killed.)

Sorry if this sounds cruel, but V. Peterson should be put into a mental institution.

Michael said...

[Peterson also denied all suggestions that Mangum was a prostitute. Why? “They didn’t have sex with her that night. Even the boys admit they didn’t have sex with her.” (How, then, a rape occurred Peterson didn’t reveal.)]

She needs a date with Meehan.

[who Peterson contended was bought off by money from “New York, Boston, and New Jersey.”]

Boston? I don't recall anyone from Boston.

sceptical said...

KC, I very much disagree with your characterization of Ben Himan. His role in the early stages of the attempted frame-up are in noway made up by his work for the special prosecutors or his self-serving testimony. I find it quite odd tha you defend him. Himan, if he really was a good guy, could have stepped forward at any point to stop the frame-up as the main investigator. The only reason he hesitated about the indictments was that he was afraid they were going to indict a players who wasn't even in Durham that night.
Himan was an inexperienced and not too bright rookie who was pushed around by Nifong and Gottlieb. For you to praise him is unwarranted; he was like the young SS officers in World War II who said they were just following orders. This is not a man to be praised.

sceptical

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 12:16 said...
...For anyone who is in the area:
...Linda Alcoff, described as the "director of women's studies at Syracuse University", will give a free public lecture, "Racial Profiling as Epistemic Practice

...When is Identity Relevant?", supposedly about the Duke lacrosse case, 4 p.m. Sept. 6 at UNC Charlotte.
...See

...http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_news/story/254197.html
...for more.
::
Thanks for the heads up.

Here is her template which I think KC gave us last month.

On Prejudging the Duke Lacrosse Team Scandal

Linda Martín Alcoff
Director of Women's Studies

http://www.alcoff.com/content/dukelacrosse.html
::
GP

Anonymous said...

The immaculate conception was a nonejaculatory event--why not Duke?

Given that Nifong is a religious gent, I must give him the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

How’s this for a possible reason there is no charge against CGM, who probably could easily be picked up even today for plying her trade if anyone was so inclined – imagine the people who would do anything in their power to prevent a “narrative” along these lines from coming out in court:

· Learned that there was to be a “performance” involving Duke students and that, as a consequence, the fee was going to be many times what was usual – but went ahead and had a number of other dates, after all, you’re a working girl with a busy schedule
· Showed up impaired and unable to stand, much less dance
· Was paid anyway after a very short interval of not dancing, and helped into the car of so-called “sister” – the Duke students were for the most part, actually quite tolerant and even compassionate, under the circumstances
· In an effort to ensure the lads would not report them to police, “sister” provoked an exchange (where a player repeated a remark from a black comedian’s sketch) and immediately started screaming about race-related hate crime, then called police herself – giving multiple inconsistent versions of events (foreshadowing here?)
· Fine “sister” robs you of not only the $400 you just “earned” but a significant additional sum you were carrying
· Pimp, driver, and/or boyfriend (“brother”) had beat you the last time you were so impaired you actually lost money as a whore – so you ask “sister” to put the marks on you and start thinking about a pre-planned excuse about how you were beat up, raped, and robbed – not realizing who had actually stolen the money
· Exemplar “sister” then drives very short distance and attempts to dump you in a parking lot, rather than bothering to take you home (and being there when “brother” discovers missing money) – winds up getting a store security guard involved and then the police, tells lies to police about what had happened to cover for herself in an attempt to extricate herself from the mess she’d created
· Desperately wanting to avoid the police, act like you’re passed out, etc. – wind up being taken to Durham Access, rather than jail – even though you’re not fooling anyone at this point (?!)
· Run into the first of a number of fools that night at Durham Access when someone stupidly asks a leading question about rape, a rape allegation winds up coming from somewhere
· Recant about the rape, then pick it back up – its working for you, they’re taking you to that place you get drugs and not to jail or back to “brother”
· Run into another fool – this one indoctrinated to believe you no matter what and who was played not only by you, but later by the DPD and DA and who clearly overstepped her station (perhaps this person has learned something but won’t admit it)
· The next morning, get processed out – leaving a smoldering pile of paper but not yet many believers, a pile that would ordinarily have come to nothing since it was transparently false, even at that point
· Soon after, go to UNC hospital trying to use this story and perhaps new-found realization of how many fools are around in an attempt to get drugs there – telling yet more different stories

Later…

· Durham Police and representative of DA seem very interested in your case, despite the fact it is a transparent fraud
· You give vague descriptions of “attackers” and yet more inconsistencies, DPD is eager to help you come to one particular version of facts and make IDs – start being shown photo line-ups
· You know nothing happened, so you ID no one as an attacker
· DPD/DA start pressuring you to make an ID
· You again pass
· This time, DPD/DA threaten to go after you – for prostitution, false statements, child neglect/endangerment, etc.
· DPD/DA coach you on upcoming line-up – there will be no wrong answers, just make an ID
· You participate in staged and false ID session – and still manage to get it wrong, DPD helpfully ignores when you ID someone they know was not there, managing to get it wrong despite the fact this was just about the only was for you to do so
· As “case” progresses, DPD/DA puts you into false witness protection program and continues coaching you on what to say
· At the time DA hands “case” over to AG, there is a final coaching session on how to handle things, the deal that is going to cover everyone’s misdeeds, not to talk to anyone, etc.
· Disappear from view
· In court, come across as a very non-exemplar “princess” – not a sympathetic person on any level, with lots of self-inflicted problems and questionable scholar and mother credentials

In this admittedly speculative scenario, charging CGM risks having her turn state’s evidence. Nofing has to keep silent and throw up the incompetent defense – he only makes more trouble for himself if he starts blaming others or bringing any events such as these to light. But CGM or Himan… there’s the opening where someone who was not interested in a cover-up could start to uncover the truth.

j.nc said...

Does anyone listen to Peterson? OR is she simply a loose cannon that is ignored (by anyone except the MSM)?

She is... well... mmm...errrr. Maybe for MY mental health I should not read this blog.

kbp said...

?????????????????

Himan has been good for nothing more than selective memory when needed. He's a criminal turned witness, one with ever changing stories that can't be trusted.

He couldn't even keep his story about how familiar he was with DNA evidence straight at the contempt hearing. He knew more about DNA than any of the attorneys on the defense or prosecution teams at that hearing.

Michael said...

re: 12:51

Thanks for the link. I read that whole piece of, well, I don't have a polite term for it.

Did KC ever do a piece on her?

haskell said...

"Baghdad Bob" Burness: "This book provides one interpretation".

"I don't judge a regime by the damning criticism of the opposition, but by the ingenuous praise of the partisan."
-- Jean Rostand

Anonymous said...

In a sense, I have come to appreciate Victoria Peterson. In a situation that has incurred so much anger, rage, and potential tragedy, Ms. Peterson consistently has provided great comic relief.

Anonymous said...

Victoria Peterson should have her own television show. Or a big-budget documentary. I'd pay to watch. Her views are hilariously entertaining, and the way she sidled up to that reporter doing the live telecast at the Bar Hearing was positively science fiction-ish.
_________________

Am I the only one who was appalled when Judge Ronald Stephens made his offer to provide a statement on the witness stand instead of suffering through questions and answers like a common witness? I have seen it happen before, but not because a WITNESS suggests it. In my opinion, that is one arrogant man.

It also takes an arrogant judge to testify on behalf of an old friend when that old friend had LIED in the judge's courtroom (in the same case).

Back on June 22, 2006, during a hearing in Stephen's court, Nifong said he only discussed the CONTENTS of a report with Brian Meehan and nothing else. Of course, we know that Meehan and Nifong discussed a BUNCH of exculpatory DNA that was not IN the report.

Was it not a CONFLICT OF INTEREST for the Judge to testify on behalf of Nifong? Stephens should have, instead, run back to his chambers and, sua sponte, issued his own Petition for Contempt against Nifong, yes?

Does the North Carolina Code of Judical Conduct permit a Judge to IGNORE lying in his courtroom, then testify on behalf of the liar in another courtroom (but in the same case)? I would suggest that a fair reading of Canons 1, 2 & 3 does not permit such scurrilous behaviour.

P.S. Don't argue the legal fiction of the subpoena because nobody "sheds a tear" because they were forced to go to court and testify. Plus, Judges can quash subpoenas pretty damn easily.
_________________

[Speculation Alert!]

Does K.C. have some information about Himan cooperating with the Feds? Just guessing....
__________________

Wouldn't it be cool if, during Nifong's jail stay, he was told he had some visitors, so he happily made that long walk to the visiting room to find Reade, Dave and Collin waiting for him? I think the conversation might start off like this:

DAVE: So, how are things?

...
__________________

Thanks for your live blogging, K.C.! There were some racist trolls trying to impugn your reputation while you were traveling and comment moderation was off. Apparently, some people think that because nasty anonymous racists or attention seekers leave posts on your site, it says something about YOU. I know, pretty crappy logic. I hope you have been able to remove the posts like you have in the past and have also been able to GET SOME SLEEP!
___________________

"'Istanbul or Constantinople'? It's nobody's business but K.C.'s." MOO! Gregory

Carolyn said...

"...Himan’s professional behavior since January 2007 represents the values the department would prefer its officers have."

Wow.

You know, someone once described the Nazis as a group which made everyone else look good in comparison. If that's so, then Mikey has just made himself the unofficial goose-stepper of Durham. I mean, who else but Nifong could make a cop as dumb and corrupt as Himan seem like someone ANY police department would 'prefer'?

james conrad said...

off topic a bit but i just read a scott johnson article at powerline which examines journalism and the academy. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018170.php

Anonymous said...

Mangum is trying to figure out why those three guys got a financial settlement but not her. Her confusion on the matter is shared by thousands of Durham citizens who are incapable of comprehending how that could happen.

james conrad said...

journalism & the academy

Anonymous said...

I agree with sceptical and kbp. Why has Himan suddenly become the exemplary Durham cop?

Meehan stated in court on December 15, 2006, that he had completed testing of several rape kit items by April 8th and 9th and confirmed in response to Bannon's questions (pointing out the exact results from the underlying data) that multiple male DNA was found on these items. He specifically stated that he informed Nifong of these results at the FIRST meeting on April 10th, a meeting that Himan attended. There was NO MENTION of "vaginal swab" in the list of items confirmed by Bannon as tested by April 9th and showing multiple male DNA.

Yet Himan, who at the Bar hearing said he understood little of what Meehan said and that he took no notes at all, told the court on August 30, 2007, that Meehan only mentioned ONE unknown male DNA finding and that it was on the vaginal swab. Himan suddenly clearly recalls that Meehan said it was a very weak result. He remembers that he saw low peaks and high peaks that indicated the "vaginal" finding was a low one.

Here are the lies.

1. Meehan admitted telling those present at the meeting about ALL of the testing so far and that several items had been tested.

2. MULTIPLE male DNA was found on those items, not just ONE unmatched male's DNA.

3. If Himan was shown results and told that one result was weak because of a low peak compared to OTHERS that were high peaks, then obviously there were OTHER results. Since NO dna was found of any lax player, obviously the comparisons indicate that there were OTHER matches being shown to Himan. Himan clearly knew about MORE THAN ONE unknown male finding, by his OWN (inadvertent) admission.

We now know that the vaginal sperm found was Murchison's (and, of course, so does Himan on 8/30/07). Indictments of Seligman and Finnerty occurred AFTER April 10th. Himan is obviously covering himself and DPD, here, by claiming that the only male DNA he KNEW ABOUT at that point was "vaginal" and that it was logical he presumed it to be from the male with whom Mangum had acknowledged having sex.

So Himan's suddenly recovered memory, the likes of which KC mocked and ridiculed when same was reflected in Gottlieb's "straight-from-memory" typed notes, is an example of what a policeman should be?????

Have we also forgotten about the stark conflicts between Himan's written notes and his typed notes? His failure to interview and follow-up on MANY aspects of this case that would have confirmed other, less reliable, witness testimony?

And, NO reaction at all to a ONE-DAY jail sentence for the man whose lie(s) to Smith directly resulted in the dragging out of false indictments against three young men for over a year, lost reputations, delayed education, and millions of dollars in legal fees?

Have we gone so far into Durham, KC, that we have become Wonderland? I am simply stunned at this change in you and your failure to make one comment on Judge Smith and the sentencing. This seems to be an odd virus going around, lately.

Twaddlefree

Anonymous said...

The whole of Durham is crazy . . . it isn't that people disagree so much as they are in different universes . . . what an apt title Durham-in-Wonderland . . . but that is why a lynching is such a catharsis. Can you imagin the pain these people possess in their minds . . . their tormented covert rascism that torments them so much is disguised in code words of priviledge and gender and class that allow them to hate. They are like Nazis who have turned their world upside down becoming the narrow squint eyed Snopes of the lower classes they dispise. They are the yahoos and nabobs of their own creation looking out at a newly planted landscape of bigotry, a bigotry of their own doing, observing all of it from the safety and the protected priviledge of their offices and classrooms and cloaked in a petty petrified arrogance possessed of a snobbery distain of any apology. They have led Duke and Durham up and down a tobacco road to nowhere but hate and sistrust and they are the "educated" people.

Anonymous said...

Is Hinmsn a Communist?

Anonymous said...

If Victoria Peterson wins her council race, can she maintain her chicken business or will it be considered a conflict of interest?

AF said...

Change in residence:
CGM and VP are now suitemates at the McBryde Building at Dorothea Dix. This will be a long-term residence. CGM has enough psychotic needs to be a resident for life. Vic needs to have the massive chip excised from her shoulder. Both are menaces to society.

For the sake of the children, CGM needs to be charged and then institutionalized. Research has shown that children who grow up in the environment she is providing (the world's oldest profession with abusive pimps) will lead the children to the same kind of lifestyle. To save the children, someone please bring CGM to the system so the children can be removed from this horrid lifestyle.

As for Himan, he's done a great job of CYA. He is a survivor, available for the best case scenario possible. He could have been honest at the Grand Jury hearing. Alas, he wasn't and the result was the train leaving the station.

Love the suggestion that Dave, Reade, and Collin visit Mikey in jail. Hopefully, those back doors will be locked and Mikey will have to enter via the front doors like he orchestrated the entrance for the LAX team. How about a reunion of the LAX team outside the jail for Mikey? You know, two rows, each side of the aisle. Wouldn't that be poetic justice? Or, just justice in this case!

bill anderson said...

I think that we can be assured that Alcoff's speech will be a continuation of the Big Lie that began early on the morning of March 14, 2006. A director of women's studies at a major university is not going to let truth and the facts of a case get in the way of the "narrative" that provides her a good living and six-figure paycheck.

Like so many other "narratives" that accompany the "identity studies," the ones that Alcoff will present will be those that fit into her little world, period. No doubt, there will be plenty of people in the audience who will cheer her every dishonest word, just as there are people at Duke, like William Chafe, who care not a whit for what is true, but rather would prefer to live the lie.

We can be thankful that the three young men were declared innocent before they ever went to trial, because judging from what I see in Durham and Duke University and elsewhere, they easily could have been convicted even had Mangum herself declared her own stories to be lies. There simply is no reasoning with people who live by narratives that expressly avoid any truth.

Anonymous said...

To 12:51

Wow!! You just presented possibilities that I have been thinking for a long time but you put them in a reasonable and logical order, which was something the DA's office surely was missing.

sceptical said...

KC,

The timing of your attempt to redeem Ben Himan is interesting--just 2 days before the publication of your book.

You may honestly believe that Himan is a good guy but there are other possibilities.

Were you just exhausted from your trip to Durham and not thnking clearly? What were you inhaling or imbibing? Or have you cut Himan slack because he was possibly a source for your book, or the lacrosse families, or the feds?

Ben Himan needs to be indicted, not praised.

No one is perfect and your post on Himan proves that.

sceptical

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I find it remarkable, or rather, I would had I not been aware of her extreme ideological bias, that many of the "facts" she will present were actually debunked by Roy Cooper. It isn't about "narratives". It's about justice delayed and, by people such as herself, denied. She should be a disgrace to academia and relegated to some junior college in the middle of nowhere. Instead, I see her getting a promotion. I wonder if her and her ilk are one of the reasons college courses taken over the internet are becoming more popular.

Anonymous said...

KC is not the only one rehabilitating Ben Himan... I wondered why (and asked of someone close to the case). His response, while not stating outright, led me to believe they need Himan to continue telling some truths -- such as those he's told to the Bar and in Smith's courtroom that led to the disbarrment and guilty verdict against Mike Nifong.

Early on I wanted Himan to be the honest young cop run over by a corrupt DA and PD authority... however, I too have come to believe that "With what/we're f*cked" Himan played a very big part in the prosecutorial pursuit of 46 young men for a crime that never happened. He should not be given a pass. However, his testimony in the coming civil suits may prove helpful -- not to the city of Durham and/or other defendants.

Anonymous said...

sigh... still waiting for my copy... but Until Proven Innocent is currently:

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #245 in Books

Congrats KC! If you'd like my mailing address I'd be happy to email it to you :o)

scott said...

Anonymous @ 12:16 AM
GP @ 12:51 AM
Michael @ 1:33 AM

I, too, read Alcoff's piece linked by GP.

Here are 3 statements that provide the basis for her perspective:

1. "Narratives are like theories, generally with some historical content, which are used to make sense of new events and to bring order to complicated facts."
2. " ... when a black man is dragged behind a truck until he is dead, this event is connected to a history of lynching and antiblack racism."
3. "Such historical narratives do not tell us everything we need to know about the new case or new claim, but they tell us some of what we need to know to understand the new event."

We could use Alcoff's theory to evaluate her own work. That is

When a Director of Women's Studies writes about the "Duke Lacrosse Team Scandal" (her words), her work is interpreted through the recent history of prejudicial comment and statements made by Directors of Women's Studies about white males who belong to certain sports teams and social clubs.

Granted that Alcoff's piece was published in September 2006 before all of the facts were known, but she still manages to include several "facts" of the Duke Case that we know to be fiction. Some were known to be fiction before her piece appeared, so Alcoff either wasn't following the story closely or chose not to let the real facts get in the way of her preconceived notions.

Anonymous mentioned that there is no charge to attend her upcoming presentation.

Unless Alcoff has revisted the case so as to include all the facts that we now know to be true a year after this other dreck appeared in a U of Syracuse publication, I'd say the price of admission places the actual value on this upcoming presentation to anyone familiar with the truth.

If Alcoff is still banging the same pot she was a year ago, she stands to infect those in attendance that are just now trying to figure out what really happened. They will walk away with a false interpretation of the events surrounding this case. They, too, will become candidates for the "Something Happened" mob.

scott said...

The NYT should get no praise for using the work of a non-NYT reporter. That doesn't make any statement about a possible change from their consistent-from-day-one stance that "something happened" to Mangum. Most likely an editor was taking a snooze break when the piece was included.

And did this story appear in the print version of the NYT or was it only covered in the on-line version? If so, was it on Page 1 above the fold as Duff Wilson's was last August?

Nope. The NYT remains a POS rag.

I have only one quibble with Beard's story -- "pitifully weak" shold have been written as "non existant."

no justice, no peace said...

9:43 Inre; "...I'd say the price of admission places the actual value on this upcoming presentation ..."

Actually the cost is much more than zero. There is an opportunity cost - wasting ones time.

The time could be better spent reading KC's book, taking a walk in the park, or working in ones garage to develop alternative cures for cancer.(see very interesting link below).

One wonders if the following gentleman would be considered an intellectual.

Possible Cancer breakthough invented in garage

I believe Rice U. has conducted some interesting research with gold molecules that attach to cancer cells.

Regardless, the race/gender/class warfare hustlers are a waste of resources. Let them shout from street corners.

KC Johnson said...

To sceptical:

Himan wasn't a source for the book--I've never spoken to him.

The praise for Himan in this post is relative: compared to everyone else involved in the case, he's at least tried to redeem himself in recent months. And his testimony was critical in both the Bar trial and the contempt trial.

He's obviously no Sgt. Shelton--the person who saw through Mangum from the start. But he's no Gottlieb or Chalmers, either.

To Scott:

Yes, my praise for the NYT was intended to be sarcastic. Obviously, the paper's party line hasn't changed.

no justice, no peace said...

Nifong picture on this a.m.'s Drudge report show him being sworn in with his right hand raised and left hand on the bible...

VISITS TO DRUDGE 9/02/07

8,660,492 IN PAST 24 HOURS
404,550,915 IN PAST 31 DAYS
4,832,173,500 IN PAST YEAR

The best is yet to come.

The top story is about the Idaho senate resignation.

The top untold story is why that story was released to coincide with Hilary Clinton's campaign financing problems.

scott said...

nj,np --

In re: opportunity costs...

Point noted. I stand corrected. :)

scott said...

KC --

Obviously my sarc meter was on the fritz. Thanks for clarifying that.

rrhamilton said...

First on Himan: Who can blame him for acting like he was going along with the Hoax in the beginning? He saw that no one of importance in the DPD or the DA's office believed the responding officer who called CGM a liar. Given that the metanarrative demanded indictments of the lacrosse team, what good would it do anyone for one more police officer (Himan) to say (aloud) that he thought nothing happened?

The other day, KC used the term "eviscerate". He used it to describe Brad Bannon's one-liner retort to Nifong's lawyer's contention that no "significantly exculpatory evidence" had been withheld: "That's absolutely false and you know it."

Here's what I think of when I think of "eviscerate": Put Prof. Linda Alcoff on the witness stand and let her explain under oath her false blood-libel. When I think of "eviscerate" I think of how any good lawyer would take this liar apart paragraph-by-paragraph, sentence-by-sentence, and word-by-word. Within two hours she would be weeping on the stand, but the whole examination would, in my estimation, take about eight hours.

By the time a good lawyer was finished with Prof. Alcoff, observers of the examination would be checking her name, birthdate, and number of children -- to see whether she lied about those, too.

jamil hussein said...

Will there be suit against New York al-Times, al-Newsspeak or al-CNN?

They knowingly made false statements, published the pictures of victims and willfully ignored the truth. I know this is what they do on daily basis (CNN made even a deal with Saddam and promised not to report bad stuff from Iraq etc) and their motto is "anything worth lying, we'll do it", but still..
I think now even many democrats have realized that MSM, and al-NYT especially are full of dangerous agenda-driven lunatics who lie all the time, use forged documents etc.


I cannot understand if this is allowed. Why aren't all johnedwards wannabee ambulance chasing trial lawyers working for the victims?

Upper West Side liberals who read NY Slimes and watch al-CNN still believe that something happened and the victims were guilty.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Evan Thomas, in his review of 'Until Proven Innocent', makes this claim:

"(The authors write, however, that Brodhead stressed the presumption of innocence in his public statements.)"

I have noticed that Taylor and Johnson do observe from time to time that Brodhead's public addresses did mention, or imply, a presumption of innocence. But STRESSED??! Hardly. Those phrases were gently snuck into his speeches for CYA purposes, and listeners could easily have missed them.

And Brodhead's actions spoke far louder than his words, even "whatever they did was bad enough". End the season, fire the coach (and claim he 'resigned'), turn over the team's personal information to DPD (and fake to their parents that it hadn't been), make a nuclear powered fuss over the team's drinking and ignore all the other well-known underage drinking on campus...

Presumption of innocence, not. And certainly not stressed. Evan Thomas should read the book again.

Anonymous said...

Since the rumors of federal intervention appear to be gaining momentum, and Detective Himan has now been cited as possibly being turned by DOJ investigators, let's look at what may be afoot. If the feds are conducting an inquiry, they would be looking to turn somebody involved by squeezing them. Himan would be a good subject to concentrate on because he was directly involved in virtually every aspect of the case; in considering that, we would have to conclude that the feds would like to have his honest testimony to use against his co-conspirators. If that is so, it is not likely that they would allow him to subpoenaed by the Special Prosecutor appointed by Oz Smith because Smith himself may be implicated. Also, having Himan given sworn testimony before the Smith court could very well impact negatively on any future DOJ prosecution--IOW, they don't want a loose cannon out there running off at the mouth and saying anything that future defense attorneys can use against their prosecution. Look at Himan in that light, and it doesn't look like he's in their clutches. Yet.
Secondly, as another poster pointed out, DOJ isn't likely to set out on an investigation of Durham at this point in the Bush administration because they couldn't finish it in time to gain anything in the political sphere. And whether we admit it or not, DOJ is all about politics.
Bottom line for me is that we won't see any federal action againist the Durham cesspool until the stars are right and some politically correct situation occurs. Like maybe a white DA trying to frame an innocent black person for a non-ejaculatory event. IOW, don't hold your collective breaths.
Retired Federal investigator

Gary Packwood said...

Don't you think that Cooper gave Durham Officer Himan as hope for the future?

It is unfortunate that Durham, the third leg of the Triangle, has firebombed itself in a way that is reminiscent of the Allied bombing of Dresden during WWII (The Bombenholocaust), but the fire and smoke are clearing it is important to find some redeeming qualities remaining that can be called upon to rebuild trust in the DPD.

Himan has been given that opportunity to redeem himself and help build a new and better DPD.

Lets hope that others, including the new Police Chief, make use of Himan as did Cooper, as a building block as they seek to earn that trust from the community.

If not, they really are ...Fucked.
::
GP

Gary Packwood said...

I believe that Linda Martín Alcoff is trying to repackage hypothesis testing as ...narratives without testing.

Graduate students are required to take a research methods course where they learn about the process of searching for the truth by crafting a statement of hypothesis (or null hypothesis) and then testing the hypothesis using a whole array of statistical tools.

Alcoff is doing the exact same thing without the statistics and without the emphasis on searching for the truth.

It just never occurred to any of us that you could (or would want to) politicize a 4X4 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).

She is advocating degrees of freedom with no truth searching and eventually ...she will fail.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

"CNN made even a deal with Saddam"

Jamil, habibi.

How about that picture of your buddy Donny Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam.

When war comes into a country it produces lies like sand.

Right, habibi?

Anonymous said...

I'd cut Officer Himan some slack. He is no sycophant of Nifong - even standing up to him with the :"With WHAT?"
As a junior detective in a dysfuntional police department with absent and confused leadership and, partnered with the hopelessly corrupt Gottlieb, he probably did as well as he could. Yes, he could have blown the whistle, but to whom? Mr. Baker? Mr. Bell? The Feds? The Durham Herald Sun?
JLJr.

mac said...

I'm sorry, but I have to agree with KC on the issue of Himan: everyone keeps demanding that the 88 apologize, and when one of the principals in the case actually does - (in a real sense, in his testimony) - we still hammer him?
I won't.

Repentance is key. Nifong didn't, and only pretended to apologize; Himan did, he's a better person than 87 of the 88, Brodhead, Duff, Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy...

Victoria Peterson should play Aunt Esther should anyone make a movie based upon Sanford & Son.

Anonymous said...

Many posters here seem to be adamant that KC's willingness to forgive Himan is inappropriate, but the post of "Twaddlefree" at 6:28 is the only post that tries to give specifics to justify that. I cannot comment on the facts that Twaddlefree presents as I am not near my research materials and I'm not about to counter someone else's facts with solely my own memory, so I will merely answer the general spirit of the other posts.

Two things need to be taken into consideration before judging Himan: the role of his inexperience, and the distorting effects of hindsight. Yes, the inevitable comparison has been made to the low-level individual in an evil enterprise who says "I was just following orders." Can we automatically condemn that individual, however? Not without realizing that when you are new to your position and inexperienced, you are often told "This is what we're doing; your job is to do your part in it; even if we told you why this is the right thing to do, you won't truly understand why until you have more experience." You have two choices -- you can be obstinate, and demand to know why things aren't being done the way you, an inexperienced newcomer, think they should be done; or you can trust that the people who are laying out the high-level strategy have the good reasons for what they're doing that you'll understand later.

Obviously, with the benefit of hindsight, we know that Nifong had no good reason to rig the lineup, no good reason to surpress the DNA evidence. But Himan was hardly the only one to be fooled; how many public commentators, some with far more experience, openly admitted that there was nothing in the evidence that had been made public to justify Nifong's assertions of guilt but proclaimed confidently that Nifong must have something to act as he was doing?

Some may still judge Himan harshly, especially if Twaddlefree's account is correct and complete. However, we mustn't mistake what is obvious to us now for what should have been obvious to Himan then.

Anonymous said...

this wsj editorial of whats happening at DARTHMOUTH

has tremendous application for DUKE and BROADROTTEN and the bunch of appeasers and harassers at DUKE











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The Illiberal College
September 1, 2007; Page A6
One of the more momentous cases in Supreme Court history, Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819), involved an attempt by the state of New Hampshire to wrest control of the privately chartered school from its board of trustees. But a corporate charter like Dartmouth's, the Marshall Court ruled, is the same as a private contract; the state could not simply annex the school.

The sanctity of contract has preserved the independence of not a few colleges and universities. But institutions of higher learning now shy from the same oversight their faculties have demanded of the corporate world, and some of the lessons learned in that 1819 case are being unlearned. Consider the Dartmouth of today, still serenely humming on the banks of the Connecticut River, but home to what appears to be a power play against its own alumni.

In 1891, Dartmouth agreed to a pact that instituted a novel scheme of democratic governance. Alumni -- the school's financial underwriters -- won the right to elect half of its non-administrative or ex officio trustees, who oversee the school and hire and fire its president. (The remaining seats are filled by appointment and typically go to big donors.)

The candidates for elected trusteeships have traditionally been vetted by a small committee, ensuring quiescence. Over the last four years, however, no fewer than four reform-minded candidates won seats on the board using a provision allowing nomination by petition. They include Silicon Valley CEO T.J. Rodgers and Virginia law professor Stephen Smith, who have raised the profile of such issues as academic standards, bureaucratic bloat and free speech.

Their presence has proven to be a tremendous offense to Dartmouth's inner circles. Like administrators at most universities, these academic elites expect only money -- not opinion and oversight -- from their alumni donors. A year ago, the administration worked with a small committee of alumni to alter the petition process to make it less likely that outsiders could win. They lost in a rout in an alumni referendum.

But rather than accept that rebuke and seek some common ground, the school's president, James Wright, and his trustee allies now seem prepared to overhaul the school's governance more or less by fiat. The scheme the board's governance committee is most likely to adopt next week has been dubbed "The Harvard Plan" because it would preserve the faint form of democracy while arrogating most power to an unelected internal committee. At Harvard, this is called the "Corporation"; a larger elected body, the Overseers, has little power.

Former Harvard Dean Harry Lewis recently recounted the disposition of the Corporation during the Larry Summers debacle: "[It] was a leadership vacuum. . . . If Harvard were a public corporation . . . the shareholders would have been up in arms about the failure of the directors to care responsibly for the institution." It is not surprising that the "best practice" Dartmouth seeks to emulate is precisely the practice that enabled Harvard's expulsion of Mr. Summers.

Should the board decide to vitiate Dartmouth's own experiment in democracy, it will be a departure from standards of good governance now required in the marketplace, as T.J. Rodgers explains nearby. Worse, it will be one more sign of a widening crevice between the real world and life on the nation's campuses.

The endowments of the 25 wealthiest institutions of higher learning total $178 billion, and a college education is one of the largest investments a person will ever make (in tuition and donations as an alumnus). It isn't a surprise that alumni stakeholders have begun to show interest and exert influence. The only surprise is the lengths to which academic elites will go in order to keep out the light of day.

hman said...

It is impossible to know, from my vantage point anyway, the content of B. Himans soul. If he is like most of us, his inner character and intentions are (and have been) confused and inconstant.
I read history for fun. I think that many here do as well. So I toss this question out to the gang: How many historical actors, of a middle rank, who find themselves enmeshed in bad behavior committed by virtually entire the organization for which they work take a stand instantly and publically against their bosses?"
I am not saying playing along is OK, I am saying that real people in real situations reveal their characters in ways that fall along a continuum. There are selfless heroes (thanks be to G d) There are some monsters from the crypt. But the real work, it seems to me, for making the world a decent place is to find ways to shephard the greater mass in the middle towards following the "better angels" of their nature.
In other words, when you see good behavior, exerted against the current, recognise it by name and give public thanks. Because if you are determined to give thanks and praise only to displays of perfect moral courage you will not ever be heard from.

Debrah said...

I think KC's charactrization of Himan, for the most part, is quite OK.

Everyone knows there are no stand-up guys in the DPD, but the fact that Himan has provided, and will continue to provide, critical information for the lawsuits to come is a positive thing.

His testimony thusfar has helped to bring down Mikey.

I don't see that KC is praising him. Just encouraging his current behavior with positve dialogue.

Debrah said...

"Victoria Peterson should play Aunt Esther should anyone make a movie based upon Sanford & Son."

Mac, you are exactly right. I can't believe how true that comparison is!

Anonymous said...

Regarding reform of American academia: To paraphrase a Marine saying, "When you have them by their government contracts, their hearts and minds will follow."

Debrah said...

The N&O had no editorial comments about Mikey's jail sentence.

Two letters from today's H-S. There were no editorial comments about Mikey the jailbird, either:

Sue Nifong, accuser

I just read that the three Duke lacrosse players are suing the City of Durham. While I can understand they are upset, it seems to me they are suing the wrong party. There was no mention of suing Nifong or the woman who lied about being raped.

These two people need to be taught a lesson. They need to understand the misery they have caused these three young men. I sincerely hope that neither Nifong or this woman will be allowed to get out of this situation without some consequences. We all learn by facing consequences for our actions.

CINDY WRENN
Yorktown, Va.
September 2, 2007

Newspaper faulted

You wish that someone had stood up and screamed that the photo line-up and in fact the whole case against the Duke lacrosse players was a sham? That someone could have been, and should have been, you! Instead of digging into the investigation and seeking facts, you chose to take up a torch and join Nifong's lynch mob.

Now, while hoping the damage to the city will be minimal, you slough off entire blame for the debacle onto the city's actions. The real shame of this is that while Duke has settled and Durham will either settle or pay a horrible but deserved price, your paper, which is every bit as culpable, will remain unscathed. You haven't even had the common decency to apologize for your deplorable shirking of journalistic responsibility. I agree that you should endorse candidates in all upcoming elections. That way, should any voter be unsure, he/she may simply read your choice and vote for the opponent.

DAVE HIGHLANDS
St. Petersburg, Fla.
September 2, 2007

Debrah said...

Come on you sleepy heads.

Wake up and get happy!

I have even brought in this little show for the Gang of 88 sex and gender faction.

Don't be so sad and blue!

Anonymous said...

Mac at 11:57 said "I'm sorry, but I have to agree with KC on the issue of Himan: everyone keeps demanding that the 88 apologize, and when one of the principals in the case actually does - (in a real sense, in his testimony) - we still hammer him? I won't. Repentance is key. Nifong didn't, and only pretended to apologize; Himan did, he's a better person than 87 of the 88, Brodhead, Duff, Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy..."

DITTO. My thoughts exactly.

On another note, at mass today, the gospel according to Luke addressed the virtue of humility. Father in his homily analogized humility to truth - "which should never be minimized or exaggerated". His homily made me think of the G88 - they sought to exaggerate the "truth" of the accuser and minimize the "truth" of the accused, i.e., they exaggerated her circumstances (single mother stripping to put herself through college) to portray her only as a virtuous victim and minimized the goodness of the accused (truthful men of good character) to portray them only as aggressors. In their error, they can not see the actual truth and therefore humble themselves to apologize for their rush to judgment.

Unlike Himan, who, I believe, has sought repentance through truthful testimony, the G88 steadfastly refuse to do so. Therefore, I think Himan has been redeemed, but the G88 and their ilk have not.

james conrad said...

i dont see why some posters want to jump on himan.himan is basically a kid with 4 years experience as a police officer who was picked as the lead investigator in the highest profile criminal case in durham history. basically nifong wanted a rookie and thats exactly what he got. gottlieb had already been reasigned away from the duke students after developing a fetish of arresting them, naturally he was brought back to assist himan in the investigation.

miramar said...

Haskell 1:44 AM is correct to call Burness "Baghdad Bob," but we should remember that his statement ("This book provides one interpretation") is hardly a convincing denial, or any denial at all. Since Duke has already paid out what must be millions of dollars to assure the three accused players’ silence and to keep Duke out of court, about all he can do is release this absolutely pathetic comment. Like Nifong, we have a remarkable contrast to his position 18 months ago, when he was apparently the anonymous source for much of the negative press the lacrosse team received at the time.

As far as the Herald Sun is concerned, I would turn Ashley’s logic on its head. If he is so concerned about the wallets of Durham’s taxpayers, then that is a clear admission that an independent review of the DPD would find plenty of ammunition for future lawsuits. Since Ashley insisted that the players had to prove their innocence, why shouldn’t the DPD do the same? One wonders why they would be worried about a review if they are in fact innocent.

Anonymous said...

Victoria Peterson is truly a sick, deluded individual. I am constantly amazed at the lengths that people will go to in perpetuating evil. It seems that all advanced civilizations reach a point where the worst beings that society has to offer gain control and then that civilization-through war, famine or disease is destroyed The future does not look bright.

sceptical said...

[i]"KC Johnson said...
To sceptical:

Himan wasn't a source for the book--I've never spoken to him.

The praise for Himan in this post is relative: compared to everyone else involved in the case, he's at least tried to redeem himself in recent months. And his testimony was critical in both the Bar trial and the contempt trial.

He's obviously no Sgt. Shelton--the person who saw through Mangum from the start. But he's no Gottlieb or Chalmers, either."[i]

********



KC,

How has Himan "redeemed" himself in recent months? I haven't heard any apologies or contrition.

Are you claiming that Himan may be a little better than Gottlieb or some of the others in the Durham PD because he:
1) Did not illegally destroy his notes;
2) Did not commit perjury in his later testimony (although he did in fact earlier);
3) Gave some damaging testimony about Nifong in the NC Bar and Nifong contempt hearings
(although he carefully tailored his testimony to limit his own liability);
and 4)Might be, by implication, helping the feds (not stated by you)?

I thought these were things that all police officers were supposed to do.

KC, I respect you and all you have done, but I have one reply: Hogwash!

Even if things are happening behind the scenes now, Himan was the lead investigator in this fiasco from July, 2006 (after Gottlieb was off the case)through the bitter end. His actions now, or his inexperience then, do not eliminate his criminal liability for his past deeds in this case (although they may mitigate the jail sentence he deserves).

I believe in redemption, and I have welcomed back people such as Ruth Sheehan and Jackie Brown who saw the errors of their ways and publicly tried to right the wrongs. Since January, which you delineate as a change, Ben Himan has so far done nothing more than what I would expect of any police officer. More facts may come out, but Himan had a major role in trying to frame Dave, Collin, and Reade and Himan deserves no accolades.

sceptical

rrhamilton said...

Anonymous said...
For anyone who is in the area:

Linda Alcoff, described as the "director of women's studies at Syracuse University", will give a free public lecture, "Racial Profiling as Epistemic Practice: When is Identity Relevant?", supposedly about the Duke lacrosse case, 4 p.m. Sept. 6 at UNC Charlotte.
See

http://www.charlotte.com/breaking_news/story/254197.html

for more.

9/2/07 12:16 AM


I don't know if this is a violation by Duke of the settlement reached with the Lax Three. It's difficult to imagine that the settlement permits Duke to feature speakers who have told the following lies:

"The Duke Lacrosse team was organized very much like a fraternity, with most of the team living together and apart from the rest of the campus. The facts that are not in dispute here are that the team members hired sex workers for group entertainment, that they asked for racially specific types of sex workers (not black, as it turns out), that some of them referred during the evening to the sex workers as niggers and bitches, that one shouted out to a sex worker (as heard by a neighbor) "Hey bitch, thank your grandpa for your nice cotton shirt," that one said to a sex worker that he was going to shove a broomstick up her, and that another one sent around a sick email professing his intention to rape, kill, and skin the sex workers. Those are the facts that are not in dispute. Also not in dispute is the fact that the Duke Lacrosse team has violated laws systematically over at least the past 5 years, becoming notorious among the administration for boorish behavior, such as public urination and hitting golf balls at buildings."

I think someone from the Lax legal team should be alerted of this probable violation by Duke of the terms of its settlement. And someone should tell Prof. Alcoff that she isn't covered by the settlement. Expect actionable slander at this one.

R.R. Hamilton

Debrah said...

Kevin Finnerty, Collin's father, was quoted this weekend as saying that Mikey's sentence provided closure for his family.

But how can that be when the families are just embarking on the civil suits?

Perhaps he was just using the phrase to say that on this particular Issue, it provided closure.

I really like Kevin and how he has always conducted himself in interviews. He's always been my favorite lacrosse Dad, but I wish everyone--him included--would come up with a new phrase.

gak said...

I could find nothing on abc11's web site about the justice dept monitoring the case. Something about that surprised me. If it is true, I would think that judge Smith would have given Mikey 30 days and $500 fine just to cover his own robes. Also, I would think that those giving character testomony would be less likely bend reality (Marcia Morey) knowing that they are being looked at closely.

Debrah said...

Below are a few lines from a (JWR) John Leo column a few weeks ago in which KC was also mentioned.

Evan Thomas gives me the creeps most of the time. The same with Katrina Vanden Heuvel. I want to like them....I try.....but there's just so much of a smarm factor to wade through.

Katrina also gives Hitchens the creeps---he no longer writes for The Nation---so that's good enough for me.

LIS!

*************************

If anyone ever starts a museum of horrible explanations, the one-liner by Newsweek's Evan Thomas about his magazine's dubious reporting on the Duke non-rape case — "The narrative was right but the facts were wrong" — is destined to become a popular exhibit, right up there with "we had to destroy the village to save it."


What Mr. Thomas seems to mean is that the newsroom view of the lacrosse players as privileged, sexist, and arrogant white male jocks was the correct angle on the story. It wasn't.

Debrah said...

To sceptical--

Don't torture KC.

That's my job.

Gary Packwood said...

mac 11:57 said...
...Victoria Peterson should play Aunt Esther should anyone make a movie based upon Sanford & Son.
::
For the younger members of our community.

Fred Sanford and Aunt Ester
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlvJr4vj5Iw

Enjoy
::
GP

Anonymous said...

America has G88s all over the place--corporations, universities--THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.

The point is not to coerce them into apologizing.

What we should be concerned with is ensuring that their sources of nourishment are not funded by non G88s.

Let the 88s spew among the riff-raff. Re-estabish academic standards at Duke. End affirmative action.

Trinity

One Spook said...

R.R. Hamilton @ 2:42 PM writes:

"Linda Alcoff, described as the "director of women's studies at Syracuse University", will give a free public lecture, "Racial Profiling as Epistemic Practice: When is Identity Relevant?", supposedly about the Duke lacrosse case, 4 p.m. Sept. 6 at UNC Charlotte."


I don't know if this is a violation by Duke of the settlement reached with the Lax Three. It's difficult to imagine that the settlement permits Duke to feature speakers who have told the following lies:

Say what, RRH?

Looney Linda Alcott's presentation is being sponsored by and held at UNC Charlotte, not Duke. Somehow I do not think that Duke's settlement agreement would mandate a prohibition of the discussion of the lacrosse incident, "lies" or not, at UNC Charlotte, Duke, or anywhere else.

One Spook

Debrah said...

TO 4:10PM--

Well, if it doesn't, it should.

These people...taking their show on the road as members of the academy should shut the **** up about this issue.

Someone should make them aware that they have done enough.....and will be personally accountable for any further slander, libel, or gross exaggerations about the Duke LAX team.

UNC-Charlotte isn't such a great school, anyway.....and is probably filled with students not as fully-equipped.....who would easily fall under the spell of this indoctrination urchin.

(Generally speaking...)

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

You really do play hallway monitor here a little too much for my tastes.

Anonymous said...

One Spook, my bad re. UNC instead of Duke. But I imagine that the settlement does include a pledge from Duke that it will cease to criticize the Lax players, and I would think that would include inviting speakers with a record of such criticism to speak on campus on the very subject covered by the settlement. In fact, that may be why she is speaking at UNC instead of Duke.

RRH

Anonymous said...

Is Gottlieb a Communist?

Debrah said...

To 4:36PM--

Did I disappoint you?.....Leave a bad taste in your mouth?

GIS!

One Spook said...

KC writes:

A reminder of the continued difference between the editorial leadership at the N&O and the Herald-Sun: the reaction to news that Durham's insurance company is pressuring the city to shut down the Whichard Committee inquiry, and keep all aspects of the DPD's misconduct in the dark.

The N&O's response was right on target:"


I disagree.

The Whichard Committee also known as the "Committee to Investigate Durham Police Department in the Duke Lacrosse Case," had one meeting on July 20. In that meeting, they discussed 13 topic areas and questions presented by the Duke lacrosse defense attorneys.

The Committee has an outside legal counsel representing the city, and is headed by an attorney and former judge.

Given that potential civil lawsuits could be filed against the City relative to the actions of its police department, I believe that the City's counsel reminded his client that they are under no obligation, and indeed it is quite unwise, to incriminate themselves by probing and potentially uncovering misdeeds in their police department.

That is why I commented here regarding the actions and lack of progress of the committee even before the news of the insurance company stepping in with their threat to drop the city's policy that, "... the city was about to shoot itself in the foot, if not the face."

An insurance policy is not a suicide pact, folks, anymore than the US Constitution is, notwithstanding some of our citizens believing that it is.

Indeed, our system of laws provides for a fundamental right against self-incrimination (See: The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution).

I believe that the lawyers representing the City have appropiately urged caution, and that the committee will, and should, take no further action until all civil suits are settled.

Some of you might not agree with that approach, but it is clearly the City's right, just exactly as the LAX three had a right of due process and a right to a presumption of innocence.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Would someone please do the right thing and send flowers to Mikey at the jail on Friday?

Debrah said...

KC lusciously opines:

"It's worth noting the irony that, on Friday, as Mike Nifong began his new life as a convicted criminal, Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty also began their new lives. Both moved into their dorms at Brown and Loyola, respectively."

Rich irony, indeed.

One Spook said...

RRH @ 4:47 writes:

But I imagine that the settlement does include a pledge from Duke that it will cease to criticize the Lax players, and I would think that would include inviting speakers with a record of such criticism to speak on campus on the very subject covered by the settlement. In fact, that may be why she is speaking at UNC instead of Duke.

I would agree that the settlement agreement might cover future criticism by the parties to the suit against each other, but I do not see how any such agreement could pertain to any Guest Speakers of either party who might potentially criticize the other party.

IMHO, such a provision, in addition to being arguably illegal on its face, would be virtually impossible to enforce.

One Spook

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 4:36 said...
...Debrah,
...You really do play hallway monitor here a little too much for my tastes.
::
Depends on how much hall monitoring is needed!

You looking for work?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

4.36

I agree that Debrah is a mite bossy--and < literate.

"fully[hyphen][sic]equipped"? And she has the temerity to question the bona fides of a good school like UNC?

Only in Wonderland.

Anonymous said...

The Attorney General found that there was no credible evidence that a crime occurred.

Himan went in front of a grand jury and said things which got three innocent men indicted. In the Evans case, he was the only grand jury witness.

The man is a criminal, pure and simple.

Debrah said...

LOL!!!

ROTFLM-T's-O !!!


TO (Anonymous) 5:31PM--

I was referring to UNC-Charlotte--the school being discussed-- and one of many schools now capsulized inside the UNC system, of which UNC-Chapel Hill is the Big Daddy, and IMO the only really good school among them.

That's just my opinion. Not forcing it on anyone.

You don't like my use of the hyphen? Navel-gazing today, are we?

Listen, I sometimes hyphenate words--though rarely--to suit my way of speaking. I talk fast and "fully-equipped" felt good at the time.

Moreover, I'm not so sure that it shouldn't have been hyphenated for my purposes.

Don't lose your pants while looking for your navel.

:>)

Duke1965 said...

Bill Anderson @ 8:49 said,

"We can be thankful that the three young men were declared innocent before they ever went to trial, because judging from what I see in Durham and Duke University and elsewhere, they easily could have been convicted even had Mangum herself declared her own stories to be lies. There simply is no reasoning with people who live by narratives that expressly avoid any truth."

-----------------

Bill, I've been practicing law for over 30 years, and until the Duke case, I'd never seen a "narrative" interfere with the facts in a criminal case to this extent, except possibly the "bad cop" narrative of the OJ case..... the Duke lacrosse case, of course, was much worse than the OJ case, because the narrative could have led to a conviction.

Narratives have no place in the justice system. If this sort of thing is a trend, we're all in deep doo doo.

Anonymous said...

While we are all looking forward to the publication of Until Proven Innocent, it is important to note that the publication of this book will have a major negative impact on Prof. Johnson's academic credentials. The list of publications on his page on the Brooklyn College web site, while quite lengthy, currently shows only three items in the all-important "forthcoming publications" category. With the actual appearance of the book, his list of "forthcoming publications" will slip to a mere two, far less than the G88 luminaries whose credentials he criticizes. Perhaps in the future Prof. Johnson will be able to devote less time to doing actual productive work and more time to making up lists of things he might publish someday, thus restoring his academic standing.

Anonymous said...

"Delivery estimate: September 17, 2007 - September 21, 2007

* 1 of: Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC"

Hooray; today I snagged a copy at the Borders in Moorestown and was able to cancel my Amazon order.

No Spoilers; only want to say that, so far, it does not disappoint!

rrhamilton said...

One Spook says ...

I would agree that the settlement agreement might cover future criticism by the parties to the suit against each other, but I do not see how any such agreement could pertain to any Guest Speakers of either party who might potentially criticize the other party.

IMHO, such a provision, in addition to being arguably illegal on its face, would be virtually impossible to enforce.


You may be right. I don't know if you're an attorney, but I look at Prof. Alcuff as "a bull known to gore". The rule is, if there is a bull known to gore and you bring him onto your property with foreknowledge of this propensity, then you will be obligated for any damages caused by the bull's subsequent goring activities.

Duke can't say, "Oh, we promise that none of our bulls will gore your oxen ... but we reserve the right to bring in outside bulls and to be immune from liability when those bulls do what our bulls can't."

As I say, though, you could be right, but I think there are arguments on both sides. It's probably not worth speculating on, except for one thing...: Why do you think she's going to give this hate-speech about Duke's white males at UNC and not at Duke? Doesn't it seem like she's traveling a long way to get close to but not actually on Duke U. campus?

Debrah said...

".....but their most biting scorn is aimed at the 'academic McCarthyism' that they say has infected top-rated American universities like Duke."--Evan Thomas, Newsweek

Read again Thomas' critique of the book.

The nuance is subtle, but unmistakable in its question mark tone rather than a demonstrative certainty of fact that the other reviewers of KC's book offered up.

This is the smarm factor to which I alluded earlier.

Anonymous said...

Using the actions of the G88 to come to the conclusion that 'academic McCarthyism' has infected top-rated universities like Duke is worth some smarm.

Maybe we should also draw some broad-sweeping conclusions about privileged white male athletes after one of their parties goes bad. Wait a minute...

mac said...

Duke 1965 (6:13)

Considering the spread of the narrative, the extent of the hoax - (and the extant as well) - I'd say we're "all in deep doo doo."

The beast ain't dead yet.

Debrah said...

To 7:20PM--

From what fetid, low-rent corner of the academy have you emerged?

hman said...

To 6:18
On the other hand, when I was a Medical Student in olde Boston Town the highest form of argument-stopping gamesmanship while on rounds was to quote knowingly from a "Soon to be published article in the N.E. Journal of Medicine."
Game, set, match.

Debrah said...

To 6:19PM--

I'm thinking I might have to do the same.

The delivery date is too distant for me.

However!....Much to the dismay and chagrin of KC's detractors....all this means is that the books are selling so fast that bulk delivery through Amazon is delayed a bit.......so they can get more books from the printers!

It's a bestseller, people!

M. Simon said...

Anon 9/2/07 7:20 PM,

You would be correct absent evidence.

Anonymous said...

Who said I was in the academy Debrah? The G88 can't hold a candle to McCarthy. Maybe that's hard for you to see with your lips so firmly attached to ... use your imagination.

Debrah said...

Just called Barnes & Noble.

The book is listed as a bestseller already.

When I go to my Apple Store next week in the same location, I'm getting one there.

Can't wait for my Amazon orders. They can serve as gifts.

¡ Fantastico !

mac said...

Nancy Grace? On her non-appearance during the criminal contempt trial? Of course she's absent: she's likely been murdered - again. I'm sure she'll be resurrected - again.

This time, I hope she doesn't come back as a weasel.

Debrah said...

To 8:23PM--

Do keep going with that imagery.

It's so steamy...I love it!

mac said...

While I'm on the issue of the unknown...

I'm wondering if North Korealina is an occult-state? - (not a red state nor a blue state: an occult state.)

I mean, it seems as if DNA from semen has special properties in North Korealina, unlike anywhere else known to man: it somehow WON'T appear in an alleged violent rape, but it can somehow materialize from a car seat, from a toddler, from who-knows-where?

If I were a parent from another state, I might also reconsider allowing my daughter to attend a college or university in a state where she might become pregnant - (while perhaps being levitated by unknown forces) - without human participation.

Anonymous said...

"The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong."--Evan Thomas. Wow, I missed that one. So I googled around, it was in Taranto, and in the AJR article "Justice Delayed," so I've little excuse for missing it.

It's right up there with Rather's defense of fake but accurate (not his exact words, but close, "truthy" enough!) It's the trend of "truthiness" -- slackening non-fiction's truth standards to those of fiction, as if non-fiction weren't sometimes enough of a crystal ball already.

Nifong a convicted criminal. Now that's extra exoneration of the lacrosse players. "Heck, they sent the prosecutor to jail!" even if only for a day. It's still bang, zoom, to the moon! Is the comparison valid? The moon is is lonelier than the hoosegow, I imagine. I sometimes thought that Nifong should have a long, "soul-penetrant" stay in the slammer, but I won't dwell on it. Anyway, I'm sure the speaking tours and fees are coming, after his brief "lunar" stay, and Nifong can make a living doing that sort of thing if Ward Churchill can. Nifong can bring the 88 Dukes of Hate to sing backup. Still, there's been some justice done and, as KC points out, the NYT actually printed a smart article by Aaron Beard. I say, music time, theme: space flight!

mac said...

Bob Ashley could be a cheerleader for the Salem withcraft trials; when the witches were burned, and later when evidence proved that they weren't witches after all, he'd claim that he was practicing veterinary medicine, instead, and that instead of "burn the witches," he was really shouting:
"worm the bitches!"

How did such a disingenious lout ever get into an editorial position?

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

From the 8:23 -

"The G88 can't hold a candle to McCarthy."

Had G88 the political power that a US Senator does, they'd leave him in the dust. They could form their own echo chamber, and hold specious Investigations, and be slavishly quoted and broadcast by the MSM. Unless some little starlet had to interrupt her sex life for a day in the calabozo, they'd dominate the news indefinitely.

Even without that broader political power, they and their colleagues in other Universities have the ability to intimidate entire campuses. Larry Summers was stomped by their tribe, and instead of defending him on First Amendment (or classic scholastic inquiry) grounds, Harvard had to lavish the tribe with money and appointments to appease them.

They are the modern equivalents of Senator McCarthy, and they infect the whole country. Just walk up to one and ask, Sir, have you no decency? Watch the blank stare, (not many have the historical comprehension to recognize the quote) followed by the 'righteous' indignation. And thenceforward watch your back.

Anonymous said...

They are the modern equivalents of Senator McCarthy, and they infect the whole country. Just walk up to one and ask, Sir, have you no decency? Watch the blank stare

I tend to stare blankly at crazy people too. Don't you?

No Longer Anonymous said...

in re "academic McCarthyism"

Nice euphemism, Professor Johnson. Is that your trope?

No, what transpired among Dulke's professoriate was good old-fashioned Caucasian hating. One of the more salient characteristics of the 88's "braintrust" was stupidity, so using that criterion I guess you could compare it to McCarthyism, which was a stupid movement populated by mediocrities.

Anonymous said...

To 7:50: yeah, but all of those things "to appear in NEJM" actually did appear, and the one-uppers actually had some knowledge of the real world. This sort of fleeting "to appear" status would probably not count for much with the G88 crowd. It's got to be like the million dollars "to appear" in my bank account someday, and not like the sun, "to appear" in the east tomorrow morning.

Debrah said...

TO "mac" (8:54PM)--

It's really sad.

I think how different the whole dialogue would have been throughout this Hoax if only the local media had behaved--(as in having done their jobs).

I have mentioned this before, but the former Herald-Sun had a very balanced and professional editorial editor--Bob Wilson.

For me, he was one of those people you get to know a bit slowly. He was no-nonsense and could always devise the most biting headlines for a column.

His always dressed in a meticulous fashion with everything coordinated and was from the old school when less was more.

Nothing like the weasel Ashley.

Professionalism was ripped from that paper when it was bought by Paxton.

I have to admit that I have special affection for Bob Wilson because I learned so much from him. I used to do a lot of freelance columns--as a hobby--and found that I really had fun with it.

Thanks to the balance of the H-S editorial pages before 2005, the Triangle enjoyed lots of quality and evenhanded opinions when Bob Wilson was there.

Those were quite positive times and I look back on them with affection.

One Spook said...

rr hamilton @ 6:43 writes:

Why do you think she's going to give this hate-speech about Duke's white males at UNC and not at Duke? Doesn't it seem like she's traveling a long way to get close to but not actually on Duke U. campus?

You're right, rr ... there are good arguments on both sides on the invitation issue, and you're also right that it isn't worth speculating on anymore.

To answer your question, I have a hunch she is going to UNC because they "invited" her ... most likely on recommendation from others in the race, class, gender and angry/hate studies cult at that school. Those would of course be folks who are fellow travelers and no doubt known to the Group of 88.

That's as *close* as the Group of 88 dare get to inviting some airhead like Alcoff to Duke because, as I've mentioned, I think they're on a pretty "short leash" for the time being at Duke, lest they mouth off post- settlement and get sued by any of the LAX players.

I hope someone from this comment group attends her speech and takes copious notes, etc. AND asks "good questions."

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Debrah,

When you are in the Apple store, say hey to my son - he works, er, is employed there.

And wear the boots - you must wear the boots... ;^)

Mike Lee said...

If anyone is looking for a reason the 3 falsely accused players should sue the Hell out of (and have no mercy on) Durham, I offer Exhibit A:

Victoria Peterson

I agree with Debra, she belongs in a mental institution.

inman said...

OK....

...I feel somewhat down. I know that this blog will be closed down soon as KC travels to a new adventure, one more feather in his cap. Although I do not know the man, I do know what I have read here over the last few months. Based on those months, his posts, comments by spectators and my observation, I have come to this:

For the most part, KC Johnson seems to be a good man, one who believes in truth and justice. His forthright and, at times, penetrating analysis of the HOAX was certainly a factor in the arrival of justice. For that he deserves acclaim. And lest someone belittles my accolade..to be a "good" man is the penultimate compliment. For in "good", there is all to which a man could aspire. The alternative was (and is) evil, and KC Johnson stood against the quality of evil ... and its personification, Nifong.

Now there is someone else equal to Nofong's evil. In the bright light of evil, I now know that Victoria Peterson carries the banner of insidious intent, for her blindness to truth and facts feed her racist agenda. Victoria Peterson is a dangerous person whose adherence to and propounding of agenda adjusted truth is surely intended to sway those less apt at forming responsible judgments and at acting as the citizens intended by the Founding Fathers.

Durham cannot afford the vicious bite of a Victoria Peterson. Unfortunately, I sense that Durham may not be capable of ridding itself of this disease, this Victoria Peterson, this evil. God willing, Durham will show that it is indeed a good city and exorcise itself of Victoria Peterson, a malignancy.

So, KC is still good. I look forward to hearing and seeing his conitnued success.

Victoria Peterson is still evil. I await with trepidation her communion with the devil.

Anonymous said...

Inman

"penultimate" means 2d to last--what word were you thinking of?

no justice, no peace said...

8:56 inre; McCarthy...

"...They are the modern equivalents of Senator McCarthy, and they infect the whole country. ..."

No they are much, much worse.

McCarthy was right.

The Klan of 88 are wrong.

Debrah said...

TO 9:37PM--

Really?

I love that store...although I overpaid for my computer. LOL!

Most of the people there are great.

:>)

Debrah said...

You know, everyone can think about this bizarre Hoax in Durham that we've all witnessed since Spring 2006.....

.....and it seems like a nightmare.

Something a fiction writer might have devised after drinking a gallon of Jack Daniels...with a splash of ginger....and a twist of lemon.

Just sitting back quietly, I can think of no explanation for people like Mike Nifong or Victoria Peterson.

These are very sick people who have passed themselves off as being relatively normal for quite some time.

How many more are out there?

(Contemplating the strange...)

Anonymous said...

To Inman

'Penultimate' is not a fancy alternative to 'ultimate.' Means 'next to last.'

Anonymous said...

HIMAN is Chest-deep in this whole thing. I don't get how Himan's self-serving statments buy him anything.

Go back and look at how the investigation was conducted. You can't ignore all the evidence Himan ignored and then withhold tons of evidence in Grand Jury testimony so that you can get you guys.

There's no Justice in Himan.

*

inman said...

To several commentors:

"Penultimate" is appropriate, for otherwise I would have to annoint KC as equal to or even beyond the true Trinity.

"Ultimate" must be reserved for a Deity.

And our Father and his Son and their manifestation as the Holy Spirit are second to none. According to my belief. (Amen)

Penultimate is the best I can do.

Anonymous said...

Himan was integral in this case going forward.

Himan knows when to jump ship, but it doesn't change how many people he attacked and hurt while captaining his old ship.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Hinson was obviously granted immunity from future prosecutions for his testimony. He was also promisted he could keep his job. Pretty great deal for him! No reason to praise him except for the brains to accept a great deal in exchange for honest testimony!

Please, delete numerous posts from Debra! Is this the Debra blog?!

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 9/4/07 8:14 AM said...
"No reason to praise [Himan] except for the brains to accept a great deal in exchange for honest testimony!"

Remeber, we're talking about Durham, North Carolina. By local standards he's a genius and a moral beacon.

Anonymous said...

Ralph, he is neither, and that is an insult that must not be allowed to stand. Imagine having your community judged by a lowlife slimeball, and you being equated to that same low standard. Shame on you. And there are two "m's" in remember. How's that taste, smart guy?

Ralph Phelan said...

"Imagine having your community judged by a lowlife slimeball, and you being equated to that same low standard."
Sorry for the imprecision. I didn't mean the entire population of the town, just everyone who works for the town or its police department, and all local elected officials including judges. I'm sure the general population still contains a few decent people, but they're clearly a minority of the voting public as none of this corruption is new.

Anonymous said...

Well, this may be a terrible, terrible mistake, but here goes...

My name is Michael. I'm an extremely proud (and often defensive) citizen of the evil cesspool called Durham. I'm here to talk, and as best as I am able, to listen.

That's the closest thing to verbal asbestos pants I can put on, as I'm guessing I may get flamed a bit for being here.

Rather than try to respond to everything that's here, though, I'd like to at least leave this comment. Many of you seem worried that Victoria Peterson holds some manner of sway here, or might be elected to Council or some other important office. Let me set your minds at rest -- since long before this case, Victoria Peterson has been a punchline in this town. Some of you call her evil, others call her mentally ill. I think self-promoting idiot is quite thorough enough. Her politics, what you can make of them, are so contorted as to be comical (She's a Ronald Reagan-loving Republican who thinks Affirmative Action needs to be radically expanded -- go figure that one out.)

She will rant, rave, publish fliers, and file answers in all of the candidate forums. And in the end, she will get no endorsements from the PACs or powerful organizations, receive almost no donations, and get votes only from her friends and those who aren't paying attention when they vote. And next year, she will be back at nearly every Council meeting, taking her allocated 2 minutes to speak on every issue under the sun, pissing off every council member as they listen to her rant with thinly concealed annoyance.

She has been running for office nearly every year for over a decade. She's never come close to being elected, and she never will. Set your minds at ease on that account.

And with that, you may return to flaming me and my city.

Ralph Phelan said...

I've got to agree with 9/7/07 12:08 AM about Peterson. Wierd-@$$ cranks have been part of humanity since day one, and that Durham has one is not surprising, alarming or in any way a problem.

The problem is that the New York Times quoted her with the sole identifier of "civil rights activist". And that problem isn't hers or Durham's, it belongs 100% to the New York Times.