Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Top 32 Countdown, I

As the blog winds down, I thought it might be worthwhile to recall the most outrageous quotes of the case. The countdown will culminate on Friday.

Today’s post features #32 through #25:

32) “Under my leadership, the District Attorney’s office is an institution of unquestioned integrity.”

--Mike Nifong, “Letter to Durham Voters,” fall 2006; in one of the many examples of doublespeak that emanated from the Nifong campaign.

--------

31) “Burn it down!”

--Nifong citizens committee co-chair Victoria Peterson, outside the lacrosse players’ house, during the New Black Panthers’ visit to Durham. Last week, Peterson was endorsed for City Council by the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.

--------

30) “Mr. Rosenberg said he did so because he was concerned with the prevalence of alcohol on campus and bothered by ‘affluent kids violating the law to get exploited women to take their clothes off when they could get as much hookup as they wanted from rich and attractive Duke coeds.’”

--Group of 88 member Alex Rosenberg, explaining why he signed the Group’s statement, as quoted by Eliana Johnson in the New York Sun, October 27, 2006. Rosenberg is currently director of the A.B. Duke Scholarship Program—to which, presumably, some of those “rich and attractive Duke coeds” apply.

---------

29) “There was phone calls being made between the detective and Nifong to determine if they would want us to do the work and if the price was right and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, back and forth.”

--Dr. Brian Meehan, in his State Bar deposition, explaining how his lab was hired to work on the highest-profile case in Durham history.

---------

28) “If I publish something like this . . . my voice won’t count for much in my world.”

--Group of 88 member Susan Thorne, explaining why she could not fulfill her commitment to a lacrosse player to publish a statement of regret about signing the Group of 88’s ad—and instead signed the January 2007 “clarifying” statement, whose signatories expressly refused to apologize for the Group of 88’s ad.

---------

27) We had to stop those pictures [of the players practicing]. It doesn’t mean that it’s fair, but we had to stop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was right—it just had to be done.”

--Board of Trustees chairman Bob Steel, explaining to the New Yorker why Duke canceled the 2006 men’s lacrosse season.

---------

26) “Regardless of what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd, the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed. If these young men did in fact rape, sodomize, rob, and beat this young women [sic], it wasn’t simply because she was a women [sic], but because she was a black woman.”

--Group of 88 member Mark Anthony (“thugniggaintellectual”) Neal, “analyzing” the case, April 13, 2006.

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

25) “I don’t feel I’m part of the problem. I feel that I have assisted in revealing the problem . . . Durham has some healing to do, and I need to be part of that healing process.”

--DA Mike Nifong, at his 2007 inauguration ceremony, January 2, 2007.

-----------

Tomorrow’s post: #24 through #17.

155 comments:

wine country dude said...

#25 was always my favorite. This man, who did so much to tear the community apart and victimize innocent people, was proclaiming himself concerned about "healing" and thought that he should be part of the healing process!

Michael said...

“If our students did what is alleged, it is appalling to the worst degree. If they didn’t do it, whatever they did is bad enough.”

Should be in the top ten.

AF said...

Come now wine country dude, Mikey is all about healing. Oops, that's helping. Helping himself to the perks of the DA's office, helping himself to the local spotlight, helping himself to the statewide spotlight, helping himself to the national spotlight. He loved the spotlight. And in the end, he got all the spotlight he could handle. Bet at his perjury trial, he felt more like he was being examined by a proctologist than a lawyer!!
Old Mikey is really pathetic. Or pathological. Or both. Dragged his son through the disbarment and then the trial. Those sympathy votes didn't work, did they?????

j.nc said...

LOL- the countdown. Who will wager on #1 ???* I'm not sure but believe it will be on of the 88s. Or Broadhead's "bad enough / until proven innocent."

*sorry about the wager -just gotback fron Vegas.

Michael said...

"Instead of $30 million, how about a fish sandwich, a Yoo-hoo and a one-way Greyhound bus ticket?"

It would be nice if this could make it in. It's a late entry but certainly made the rounds.

Debrah said...


26) “Regardless of what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd, the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed. If these young men did in fact rape, sodomize, rob, and beat this young women [sic], it wasn’t simply because she was a women [sic], but because she was a black woman.”

--Group of 88 member Mark Anthony (“thugniggaintellectual”) Neal, “analyzing” the case, April 13, 2006.


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

This has to be one of my favorites of all time.

It's both hilarious and depressing...at the same time.

Michael said...

It would be nice to have positive and true quotes by Bannon, Cheshire, Rae Evans, Williamson, Cooper, etc.

AF said...

My personal favorite is @27.
Doesn't it make perfect sense to cancel the season so the media couldn't take pictures of the LAX team. Not only did the BOT throw the baby out with the bathwater, they threw the tub out too.

Sadly, what should have happened at Duke is that they should have canceled the administration and thrown the BOT out with the bathwater.

Incarcer8 the 88. They are one of the more incapacit8ed groups on the planet. They think they are gr8 but their opinion of themselves is gr8ly infl8d. Yes, they are overr8d.

Michael said...

re: 12:22

Actually Reade and Robert Wellington did feel the need to consume something else. Which is why they went to the Cookout Restuarant.

"The young men ordered a lot of food. As I remember it was around eighteen or nineteen dollars worth of food." (Elmo)

I found this at an old post at The Johnsville News. While there I learned that:

"9. It was a strict policy of the Duke Lacrosse Team that no team member could have a mustache." - Sworn Statement from Wellington.

http://johnsville.blogspot.com/2006/07/duke-case-reade-seligmanns-alibi-in.html

AF said...

Come now Debrah,
Would you possibly deprive the thugniggaintellectual of his "rising" analysis of the situation. His intellect tends to show every time he opens his mouth or picks up a pen. Did he ever weigh in on his girl's allegations of levitation? Or was that limited to Levicy? Thug mentality. At least now we know he has one.

Something happened. Repeat it 500 times and maybe you can find 10 more people to believe you. He is certainly putting his "Mark" on the case isn't he??

If, if, if. How many people said if? Too many said it. And not enough people truly tried to answer the question. They just rushed to judgment.

Let's not let the NAACP off the hook. What number did they draw KC? Jesse, Al?

How did you narrow it down? I would have had difficulty doing that. Hail to KC. King of the Blogosphere.

Gary Packwood said...

j.nc 12:17 said...

...LOL- the countdown. Who will wager on #1 ???* I'm not sure but believe it will be on of the 88s. Or Broadhead's "bad enough / until proven innocent."
...*sorry about the wager -just gotback fron Vegas.
::
I'll take Broadhead saying...The facts keep changing ...followed by Reade's ...Facts don't change!

The quotes 'snuggle' up nicely together for #1, in my opinion.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

#29 seems pretty lame; unworthy of inclusion on this list.

Debrah said...

TO AF--

LIS!

Everyone knows thug can break it down.....and throw down......while gettin' busy on the down low.

Thug's the man!

Charles Tansley said...

Susan Thorne is a weasel. Absolute weasel.

The Weasel's Email

rrhamilton said...

Top 10, maybe a Top 5ver: Eugene Robinson's fairytale about some distant time when lust-crazed white men "had their ways", ripping bodices off sobbing virgins of color. The part about the "droit de signeur" makes it ... well, Precious.

Debrah said...

The Brian Meehan quote comes in second just for the sheer nuttiness.

That guy exudes goofy.

Just think for a moment the combination of both Meehan and Thugintellectual in a social setting.

Neither of those ultra-kooks could make out in a cathouse with a platinum credit card.

LOL!!!
LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

You know it is a really really good list when the lowest ranking quote could have been number 1.

BTW, Professor Thorne's quote was a new one to me. Was she quoted saying this in the press?

Trinity 2007 said...

As a former student and Group of 88 critic, I can testify to both Professor Thorne's value as a teacher (and advisor) and her real struggles to balance her sincere beliefs of support of her students and the interpersonal politics of Trinity. Perhaps Professor Thorne was not courageous enough to stand up in this case, but she is a wonderful educator and really does care about her students (lacrosse players included). It's just sad that the incident played out this way...

Trinity 2007 said...

Btw, Professor Thorne did indeed write a follow up that she did not publish, and it is nuanced and supportive of the lacrosse players...(I know because she sent it to me, but I will not violate her trust and publish it here)

Stu Daddy said...

I disagreee with Tansley's 12:45 characterization of Susan Thorne as a weasel. From what I can gather, albeit as a distant observer with no direct experience, she appears truly to have been fearful, coerced or intimidated into towing the line with the powers that be in the Department of History and Women's Studies Program.

She put her job security and the politics of groupthink over a promise to a student and friend. Tough call, ethically ambivalent, but not deserving of the term weasel, although perhaps a gentler term like cold feet, waffle or cop-out describes her decision.

Stu Daddy said...

Sorry, that would be Tansley @ 12:55. Also, please note that the link with that post was a Blogger Page Not Found.

TruthHurts001 said...

I disagreee with Tansley's 12:45 characterization of Susan Thorne as a weasel.
...she appears truly to have been fearful, coerced or intimidated into towing the line with the powers that be in the Department of History and Women's Studies Program.


That makes her a WEASEL.

Anonymous said...

I imagine people like Amanda Marcotte may make it into this hall of shameful pronouncements, but there's quite a difference between her rantings and the travesties of reason that came from people like Chafe or Brodhead.

Marcotte only "exists" because of the ideological venom she spews on every subject. Marcotte is nothing, no one ever hears of her, without her poison. In this she is quite similar to a Wendy Murphy, and to many of the 88. Murphy's own excuse for her intemperance -- essentially that she only gets on TV because it's understood that she will dispense 'controversial' (i.e., rabidly anti-male) comments like a vending machine -- is quite plausible. It does seem to answer the otherwise inexplicable fact that the freakish Murphy is ever allowed on TV.

Should such shills' comments be lumped in with statements made by folks who are not paid to be agendists?

The race-pimps and mujeradeen among the 88 should be placed in the 'shills' category, too - and both the idiocy and impact of their comments discounted correspondingly. They are, after all, employed by Duke to peddle their agendas -- and you don't buy a crocodile, then faint with surprise when it eats the dog.

The very worst statements were those tarted up with correct spellings, literary/historical references and uttered in full sentences by characters like Brodhead and Chafe. These two had standing other than as pure agendists, they actually knew respectable ways to make a living - yet they chose to jump into the muck and roll around with the rest of them.

Brodhead's disarming, self-deprecating earnestness was much more devastating to justice than anything the race-rabble and other shriekers could ever have come up with.

Anonymous said...

Just finished the book. No question it has Pulitzer potential. Most remarkably, it has been written almost contemporaneously with events and will likely profoundly change the debate on several important issues, in particular academia and the justice system. Five stars plus and a sustained standing ovation from

Observer

mac said...

Nofang's quote is approximately correct: he did, indeed, assist in "revealing the problem." And certainly, "there is healing to do." And he does need to be "part of the healing process."

First of all, Nifong's "revealing the problem" is like the man who exposes himself in the park. (Yup. We've seen enough of THAT.)

"Healing" a cancer usually requires that it be isolated and removed. Lots of healing to do in the town of Durrhh of that kind.

Was Nifong speaking in the 3rd person by accident?

mac said...

One of my favorite quotes has to be Mark Anthony Neal's: not only is he not capable of distinguishing the word "woman" from "women," using the word interchangeably, his comment provoked a really funny comment from someone (not me) in a much earlier post:

Re. Neal's quote: "young men hoping to consume something that a black woman uniquely possessed."

Comment: "like DNA samples from multiple males?"

Will the owner of this comment please stand up and claim credit?

mac said...

Bob "Steely Dan" Steel's quote sounds like he's about to go out and shoot Old Yeller: such sadness, such empathy, such sympathy...such...horseshit.

mac said...

Susan Thorne:
You've pretty much guaranteed that your voice "won't count for much."

I think the word "timid" applies. Where would you have been on Kristallnacht, Sue?

mac said...

The words Dr. Brian Meehan spoke that Gottlieb actually understood with regard to the DNA as-explained April 10:

"dah dah dah dah dah dah dah..."

Anonymous said...

“Mr. Rosenberg said he did so because he was concerned with the prevalence of alcohol on campus and bothered by ‘affluent kids violating the law to get exploited women to take their clothes off when they could get as much hookup as they wanted from rich and attractive Duke coeds.’”
(emphasis added)

Question for the NC attorneys: Is it really "violative of the law" to hire strippers in NC? Or is Rosenberg just showing more of the Culture of Contempt (for the law, the truth, the students) that we've seen so much of from Duke faculty?

mac said...

Alex Rosenberg:
Aren't you discriminating against the Duke coeds who are not "rich and attractive?" Are they the only ones who get to "hook up?"

If that's the case, how do you explain Shadee Makalou?

mac said...

Nifong's "unquestioned integrity" is true: no one in Durrhh was smart enough to question it, including Judge Stephens.

mac said...

Victoria Peterson:
"Burn it down."

Is she referring to a roach someone in her proximity is smoking?

"Man, gimme that! Burn it DOWN!"

Anonymous said...

In earlier days, quotes such as these would have been overtaken by events and ultimately forgotten. Thanks to the blogosphere, they live and will never die!

Anonymous said...

"...consume something that a black woman uniquely possessed...." yechhh! OOOhhh, I'm gonna hurl! Sadly, thugniggaintellectual actually believes white men are out there panting and salivating at the prospect of "consuming" ...what?...did you see the photo of "Crusty" Mangum?? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

Trinity 2007 said...
As a former student and Group of 88 critic, I can testify to both Professor Thorne's value as a teacher (and advisor) and her real struggles to balance her sincere beliefs of support of her students and the interpersonal politics of Trinity. Perhaps Professor Thorne was not courageous enough to stand up in this case, but she is a wonderful educator and really does care about her students (lacrosse players included). It's just sad that the incident played out this way...

9/18/07 2:49 AM


Is the Race/Class/Gender cult like the Mafia -- once in, only death can take you out? Kind of gives new meaning to the old saying, "Socialism Equal Death".

Anonymous said...

2:51 AM -- fat lot of good that did anyone!

Anonymous said...

I think what Brian Meehan meant to say was best articulated by The Police many years before:

De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
Their innocence will pull me through
De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
Theyre meaningless and all thats true

Ralph Phelan said...

'31) “Burn it down!”'

When will Victoria Peterson be charged with incitement to commit a felony?

Yeah, yeah, I know. Right after Crytal Gail Mangum is charged with filing a false police report.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Susan Thorne appreciates the favorable comments posted above. I'm afraid I can't go along with them. Of all the people quoted today, she is the one whose response I find most chilling. Crystal Mangum may be sufficiently insane that she has no idea what is going on. Houston Baker appears to be sufficiently hateful that he doesn't care what is going on. People like Susan Thorne, however, understand the situation perfectly well and choose to protect their personal position rather than to do the right thing. People like Thorne are the reason that the Nifongs and Bakers of this world think they can get away with it.

mac said...

8:01
Brilliant!

Another Police flashback is "Roxanne," but in CGM's case, she'll have to put on something more germane than her "red light." Something in the order of a fat-suit.

Jader said...

Susan Thorne is probably one of the better members of the group of 88 (I know, not much competition). However, I would have more sympathy for her if she did not compound the damage by signing the qualifing statment. Why do we bother having tenure if the professors remain afraid of opposing the herd mentality of their peers?

Anonymous said...

To 8:37

If you want to keep your job and eventually get tenure you *will* sign statements handed to you by your chairman.

And interpersonal politics of Trinity must be balanced against support of its students! Wow.

scott said...

"Btw, Professor Thorne did indeed write a follow up that she did not publish ..."

Now that is a real "Profile in Courage" moment. Forgive me if I don't stand up and applaud.

Michael said...

Acadamia sounds like a little kingdom, complete with tyrants. I can understand her position if she doesn't have the means to deal with the aftermath of refusing. But then her management knows that she will just buckle under to whatever they want.

And it came out in this blog that she was basically pressured to do what she did. This, of course, reflects poorly on her management and they either already know it or could find out pretty easily. So it may be that she really didn't win anything in the end.

Of course it's a lot easier to live with yourself if you just do the right thing in the first place.

Michael said...

Addendum on Thorne: this is similar to what Himan did. He could have blown the whistle much earlier and refused to go into the Grand Jury.

sceptical said...

On availability of "Until Proven Innocent":

Ingram is one of the largest book distributors. They have an automated phone line (1-615-213-6803) to check stock and availability. Entering the ISBN of "UPI" (0312369123), we find that this company has ZERO copies of "UPI" in stock but has 2,632 orders and 368 on back order.

Thus there are no copies available at this time from a major distributor to bookstores, despite many orders for the book.

If this isn't incompetence on the part of St. Martin's Press, I don't know what is.

Michael said...

re: 9:16

I think that KC and Taylor are doing their best to address the book supply issue.

Truth and quality are enduring attibutes and I will patiently wait for Barnes and Nobles to get their next allocation.

-----

I'm watching the KC/Duke video right now and this one is much better than the version on YouTube. It also carries the introductions.

Anonymous said...

Cast Susan Thorne in a late 1930's German university and she would have been the classic silent sheeple that facilitated evil. Individuals have choices. She could have excused herself from signing.

I find her even more contemptable in that her email exchanges created a false expectation of compassion and support, both of which she reneged on. That's smarmy.

Sorry, but, I'd rather eat my lunch alone in my office for the rest of my life than throw away my conscience and values to conform to peers who are thugs.

She isn't a person that I would want to place before my children as a mentor, teacher or role model.

Anonymous said...

"Regardless of what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd, the young men were hoping to consume something that they felt that a black woman uniquely possessed."

Gotta love this one. "This is our conclusion, regardless of what the facts may be. Even if they were drearily drumming their fingers on their knees and sipping beer and checking their watches as the lying dancer (who will later call 911 to report racial slurs that in fact came in response to her racial slurs) squats over the face of the dancer who showed up to a job already tanked on booze and pills -- even if that is what happened inside of 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., our conclusion is still that they were driven by a hunger for something uniquely possessed by black women. Even the skanky, seedy, ex-con black women."

christoph said...

Good God, Thorne sounds like a beaten, cheated-on woman...but her abusive partner is the Women's Studies Department. She needs a peer counselor to give her the encouragement and self-esteem to leave: "Honey, if speaking with integrity causes your voice to not be heard in "your world", then get a new world where your integrity WILL be heard." And Thorne, if you won't leave for your own well-being, please leave for the kids. The next generation needs to see you being strong.

Anonymous said...

To Trinity 2007 @ 2:51: "Nuanced" is a way to say "something happened" while at the same time saying "something didn't happen."

There is no "nuance" in "I'm sorry."

Ralph Phelan said...

Jader said...
"Why do we bother having tenure if the professors remain afraid of opposing the herd mentality of their peers?"

Good question, that.

amber g. said...

Comment above: "LOL- the countdown. Who will wager on #1 ???*...
Has to be ....:
Mike N's "We are f*****"

haskell said...

27) “We had to stop those pictures [of the players practicing]. It doesn’t mean that it’s fair, but we had to stop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was right—it just had to be done.”

--Board of Trustees chairman Bob Steel, explaining to the New Yorker why Duke canceled the 2006 men’s lacrosse season.

--And fire Coach Pressler.

Well, it didn't have to be done. It was a terrible decision. Is Bob using the royal We? This statement speaks volumes about the BOT's Chairperson. Instead of simply stating that a serious accusation was being appropriately investigated, he punished the entire team and fired Mike Pressler, one of the real strengths Duke had. Clearly, nobody in the administration had a clue as to what was happening. The lacrosse team tried to speak up, no one would listen.

If you had to choose between Mike Pressler and Bob Steel, in terms of character, involvement, dedication and passion for Duke, Mike would be ranked way ahead. What is ironic is how badly Steel's strategy worked, and what is telling about Duke is their abject refusal to require accountability and responsibility, preferring to buy their way out of a debacle of their own making. Step down, Bob.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC - could you please post a cite for quote #28.

I can't get charles tansley's link to work.

I think this quote deserved a higher ranking - it's implications for Duke faculty and academia as a whole are pretty damning.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Chan Hall's early remark about paying for past crimes is somewhere on the list.

Anonymous said...

"Addendum on Thorne: this is similar to what Himan did. He could have blown the whistle much earlier and refused to go into the Grand Jury."

If I remember correctly Himan's testimony from the Bar hearings, at the time of the Grand Jury he still thought that Mangum had really been assaulted, and only later did he connect the dots and say 'no, the Emperor doesn't have any clothes and Nifong and Gottlieb don't have any actual case'.

As for Thorne... she feared that if she violated the groupthink, she would be ostracized, and her career would have been hurt. And she's probably right. But she's hardly the first person to have faced a choice between right and wrong where choosing right actually involved negative consequences. It may be understandable that the threat of her voice "not meaning much" caused her to renege on a promise to do the right thing and instead lend further support to the wrong thing -- but "understandable" is not always "forgivable".

"Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to lose his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?"

Anonymous said...

Fitting justice for Susan Thorne is that any coulda, shoulda, woulda by her will remain hollow. She is forever a signatory of the vile 88 Group manifestos. It can't be erased or reneged. It will be an enduring stain that follows her everywhere that Google goes.

An unpublished letter of support as Yogi Berra would say isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Hey, stu daddy, the Group of 88 didn't have the authority to fire her. There were surely others in the department that didn't sign.

She deserves her fate as a teacher to be scorned.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the women's studies profs/feminists of the 88 see the sad irony of their situation. Early waves of feminism sought social, political, and economic equality. Lots of women have found this and have moved on to thrive in our society.

Judging by some of the characters in the 88, the women's movement truly missed them.

We have Kim Curtis (who I guess thinks of herself as a feminist) who owes her lengthy employment as a "visiting" professor to men.

Then we have Thorne who can't say what she thinks or she might get snubbed by the popular girls. This "progressive" has apparently regressed back to middle school (if she ever got out in the first place).

Yes, women have moved ahead in our society. But apparently, this progress has occurred mostly outside of academia.

SAVANT

Anonymous said...

Those of you who are damning Professor Thorne should recognize that a percentage of people here would do the same to keep their positions and protect their careers.

I am not saying it is right but it is easy to type anonymously on a blog but much more difficult to actually jeopardize one's professional life.

The consequences are much more substantial than eating lunch alone.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, 11:03. I was pounding out a similar comment as I saw yours. You are dead on, and you said it better than I was about to.

sceptical said...

More on availability of "Until proven Innocent:"

Because of the inadequate supply of books, "Until Proven Innocent" cannot become a bestseller because there are not enough books to make it so, despite the demand from readers.

The low initial printing was a deliberate decision on the part of the publisher that the book was not going to be a bestseller. Publishers' main fear is that books already printed will not sell and will end up as "remainders." The size of the first printing is a clue as to the confidence the publisher has in the book.

St. Martin's Press grossly underestimated the demand for the book. This is publishing malpractice because they knew about the Readers Digest excerpt deal, they had a glowing blurb from John Grisham to put on the cover, and they knew about the public interest in the case.

While most of the blame goes to the publisher, the agent for Taylor and Johnson should have been looking out for their interests.

As a result, most bookstores do not have any copies, and there are lengthy delays to get the book on-line (3-6 weeks for Amazon, 1-2 weeks for Barnes & Noble).

What can be done by those of us who feel it is important that "Until Proven Innocent" receives better distribution?

The President of St. Martin's Press is Sally Richardson, who is well-known in publishing circles.

I suggest faxing or writing Sally Richardson to ask why copies of "UPI" are not available and when will they do a large second printing:

Sally Richardson
President
St. Martin's Press
175 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10010

Phone: 212-674-5151
Fax: 212-674-3179

Anonymous said...

Susan Thorne did not live up to a commitment made to her customer -- a student and his parents. She violated the trust placed in her as an educator. Should we assume that Duke has absolutely no chain of command? Nobody with whom she could consult about her dilemma? Peers outside of her department? Someone, say, like Professor Coleman.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:03

Prof Thorne could have, should have, not signed the original Ad. Other members of the depts (that so called "approved" of the ad)did not sign it.

Are you invoking the Nuremberg War Crime defense, "I was order to, I was afraid not to do as they said"? That argument did not work out well for the Nazis on trial.

She is an educated adult, she had choices, she chose poorly.

rrhamilton said...

welcome to DiW, professor 11:03 and professor 11:09.

Anonymous said...

Let's not hear any more about "academic freedom" or "academic integrity" for awhile .... It's too close to lunch for us on the East coast.

Ralph Phelan said...

"The consequences are much more substantial than eating lunch alone."

They range up to having to make a career change. Not only is this much less severe than thrty years in jail - it may be in and of itself a good thing. Why would anyone want to stay in an environment where they're afraid to speak their mind?

I've got uncles and great uncles (fewer every year, of course) who took personal risks to hide Jews in their homes during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. I've got others who did nothing. I don't blame the ones who did nothing as the risks to them of acting were pretty damned huge - much worse than maybe having to find a new job.

Ralph Phelan said...

“If I publish something like this . . . my voice won’t count for much in my world.”

By not publishing Thorne has guaranteed that her voice will never count for anything anywhere outside her world.

Dukex4 said...

Re: Prof. Thorne -- since the link to the email is now disabled, I cannot see for myself what she said, and how she said it. It is clear she had a dilemma, but I am not persuaded that she had little choice here. Maybe she couldn't bring herself to publish an apology, but she could have retained some (albeit rationalized) small piece of integrity if she had declined to sign the second clarifying statement. KC put it perfectly in his discussion of her actions at the end of his remarks--she felt the only way she could maintain her position in her department was to betray her students. She will have to live with that choice, and know that she has lost the moral high ground. And for what -- to align herself with people who don't care about students, who don't care about facts, who impose their ideological litmus tests on their colleagues, and who think the only people who are racist are those in the majority. I really don't feel sorry for her -- she chose this path.

Anonymous said...

I think my question to Susan Thorne is: why would you want to continue in a world where you can't speak the truth? It's a terrible place to be and she should reflect on that for a while. This whole episode has demeaned the role of professors and educators. Students should be wary in the future, as their rights and freedoms can be limited by those who purport to have responsibility for them.
It's a depressing comment.

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 9/18/07 11:03 AMsaid...
"it is easy to type anonymously on a blog but much more difficult to actually jeopardize one's professional life."

If, within the Duke Womens Studies Department, being a decent human being and speaking an obvious truth can "jeopardize one's professional life," by all rights that department should be disbanded tomorrow.

Ralph Phelan said...

KC -
I hate to tell you how to run your blog (though I obviously don't hate it enough to refrain from doing it :-) but it seems to me that quote #28 is producing sufficient and sufficiently interesting comment to deserve it's own separate, more detailed posting.

Steven Horwitz said...

I'm gonna have to side with the anti-Thorne crowd here. She has tenure. She should have scruples. If you made a promise, you keep it. If you think you can't keep your integrity in the department or discipline in which you operate, then you've got some choices to make.

And it's sad, because looking at her webpage, she seems like a productive and reasonable scholar, and she clearly, based on what her former students posting above say, does care about them at some level (and seems to be a good teacher).

Anonymous said...

First Year Seminars

I hope I did the link correctly! Many apologies if not. Just an example of Ms. Thorne's work.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

I have to agree with Steven Horwitz. What the heck is tenure for if not to stand up against the rabble EVEN IF IT HAPPENS TO BE IN YOUR DEPARTMENT.

I have some sympathy for untenured members of the 88 gangersters. I think they should be terminated as even untenured people should do the right thing. But I have no sympathy for a member who could not MAN UP and do the right thing when a lynch mob was forming. But I guess "MAN UP" is the operative adjective here.

j.nc said...

5:10 AM - you made my day:

"The very worst statements were those tarted up with correct spellings"

LMAO

Anonymous said...

Re Susan Thorne: Since we only have one lacrosse player's word on it, we can't be sure exactly what she said. If she said what is alleged, that's appalling. If she didn't say it, whatever she did say is bad enough.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please, enough from Susan Thorne's apologists. You are simply telegraphing that if placed in similar circumstances you probably would have done the same.

The woman in no way was going to be fired. She had legal recourse if harassed by department peers. Who would want the approval of such a bunch of creeps anyways? She's a study in the banality of evil that Hannah Arendt works examine. Her choice wasn't that hard if it was to do the right thing.

Her two-faced supportive emails prior to her betrayal make her in my opinion one of the most disturbing of the 88 Group. Her betrayal was all of the more personal and painful.

If academia is that bad a gulag then it's time for the faculty to collectively do something about it.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steve Horwitz said:

"If you think you can't keep your integrity in the department or discipline in which you operate, then you've got some choices to make."

At what point should the outside world take notice and action with regards to those departments and disciplines?

Will that intervention come from other departments, other universities, other disciplines ... parts of academia that still value integrity?

Or will intervention have to come from outside academia entirely?

Don't tell me you want to avoid politicizing the academy, as in this case its pretty clearly already politicized.

Don't tell me you don't want the government involved in choosing what academic work is worthwhile if any professor or student in that department receives government funds: as a taxpayer I do not wish to trust the likes of Thorne to make wise or principled decisions about how to spend my money.

AMac said...

One of the legacies of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Hoax/Frame will be what is suspected, but not known.

There are many examples--consider Duke's and now the City of Durham's efforts to avoid Discovery in the runup to a civil trial.

In this light, Prof. Thorne's purported explanation (#28) for declining to regret her signing the Listening Statement is very significant.

Prof. Thorne's remark implies that she felt pressure to show solidarity with the other Statement signatories. But it's unclear when she made the remark, or to whom she made it, or in what context it was made.

Many people opposed to the Hard Left faculty's anti-student conduct during the Hoax assume that some signers wavered from the G88 groupthink, and assume that they were pressured or threatened into contributing to the "Faculty Wall of Silence."

But, as of this writing, there is no firm evidence that this happened--only hints.

Here is an excerpt from a long comment I left at SEK's blog Acephalous, on 2 Sept 07 at 6:53am:

--- begin comment excerpt ---

An excerpt from Chapter 8 of Until Proven Innocent:

The majority of Duke's arts and sciences faculty kept quiet as the activists created the impression that Duke professors en masse condemned the lacrosse players... But, as some [professors] admitted privately to friends, they were... afraid to cross the activists—black and female activists especially—lest they be smeared with charges of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, or right-wingism."

That charge is, to my knowledge, at this time, unsubstantitated and undocumented.

An anonymous commenter at DiW left two remarks that are scurrilous if false and depressing if true...

Silent Source's first comment:

The "it did not cause any problems" line is naive. Faculty and employees in Arts and Sciences who voiced disagreement with the ad were subjected to angry denunciations, and in at least one case an employee was threatened with loss of employment for criticizing the ad.

"If harassment is associated with a hostile work environment, and the environment is larger than an individual departmental unit, then many faculty were harassed.

"That's not 'no effect.'"

8/23/07 1:54 PM


Silent Source's second comment:

"I'm Anon 1:54pm replying to AMAC and Gary Packwood

"Yes, it varied across departments. Many faculty were oblivious, for the usual reasons -- they teach no undergraduates, or run labs and projects full time. I'd guess a majority of the Arts and Sciences faculty dislike or regard as silly college athletics at the Division 1 level about as much as they dislike or regard as silly race/class/gender studies. Many faculty trained overseas are baffled, and bemused, by American obsessions with both college sports and "embracing diversity." In some of the departments "associated" with the ad, individual faculty members were pressured to sign it, and to sign the second ad if they had not signed the first. Nontenured faculty, and associate professors looking to move to full rank, were in very big binds in some departments.

"Staff members were in some places at real risk; one I talked to was specifically told by a supervisor to stop speaking in a public forum or else he would be fired. (That person refused to file a complaint for fear of future job retaliation.) There were related issues associated with the FODU petition, as individuals identified themselves as unhappy with the Chronicle ad, and supportive of all Duke students. Administratively, some faculty were given to understand that views on the lacrosse case would play a role in nominations of faculty members to committees by the Executive Committee of the Academic Council.

"I can't provide documentation in public, I'm afraid. Unlike KC, I have to live with these people for decades. Some people spoke to me, and to others, in confidence. Do I believe them? Yes, I do. It's possible KC may have some of this material in his book."

8/23/07 4:19 PM


--- end comment excerpt ---

"OhISee" rebutted succinctly on the same Acephalous thread at 9:23am:

"The assertions made by the silent commenter are worth the paper they're printed on.


It would be very valuable to have signers of the Listening Statement say on the record whether or not they experienced overt or subtle pressures to conform, during and after the collapse of the Hoax.

I wonder if Prof. Thorne would do so? (I presume that Prof. Johnson has already asked, and has an answer.)

Ralph Phelan said...

"It would be very valuable to have signers of the Listening Statement say on the record whether or not they experienced overt or subtle pressures to conform, during and after the collapse of the Hoax."

You'll have a better chance of getting an honest answer if you ask those who've left Duke ... better yet if you can find any who've left academia altogether.

Anonymous said...

11:03am and 11:09am

I disagree. There are sins of commission and sins of omission. Signing the statement and the clarifying follow-up are sins of commission. Thorne did not just keep silent (a sin of omission that according to many on this board a lot of us committed), she spoke up against the students, twice. I am at a loss to understand what extraordinary coercive powers could be brought to bear on her to sign the clarifying statement, especially after voicing her concerns about the fairness and appropriateness of the first statement. In my experience such powers do not and cannot exist without one's willingness to submit to them in the first place.

A Duke Prof.

Topher said...

I expect Brodhead, Houston Baker, Nancy Grace, and Duff to all make the top 5.

Anonymous said...


Ralph Phelan said...
"It would be very valuable to have signers of the Listening Statement say on the record whether or not they experienced overt or subtle pressures to conform, during and after the collapse of the Hoax."

You'll have a better chance of getting an honest answer if you ask those who've left Duke ... better yet if you can find any who've left academia altogether.

9/18/07 12:37 PM


I have an idea. How about a poster with 114 (87+27) pictures on it. It could say,

"We're not saying that all 114 were involved. But we do know that some of the faculty inside that university know what transpired and we need them to come forward."

The headline should be:

PLEASE COME FORWARD.

Anonymous said...

Thorn's department chair at the time was Sarah Deutsch (see KC's comments on her). After July 1, 2006 Deutsch was her dean. Figure it out. (It's not simply a future of sitting by herself and eating alone in the history department.)

inman said...

11:53

Thanks for the link. Regarding their course, they say:

"INSTRUCTORS: Susan Thorne and Thavolia Glymph

What is a plantation and why do some citizens view Duke as a plantation? This course is designed to broaden ongoing discussions by locating the question of Duke’s relationship to Durham in the global as well as local historical processes on which it ultimately rests. We begin with an exploration of the complex history of the plantation in the Anglo American world, moving from the late medieval plantation of Ireland established by English and Scottish settlers, to the forced migration of indentured Irish and enslaved African laborers to the plantation of the New World..."


This is a prime example of how a narrative is propagated and how certain words are given new and self-serving meaning.

There is A 1754 Map Showing British Plantations in America that in fact shows the entire known British claim in North America as a "plantation."

There is another map of Virginia (ca 1700 -- I thought it was a version of the Fry/Jefferson Map, but I can't locate it on-line) which shows the word "plantations" south of the James River in Surry County VA, in a relatively uninhabited area largely occupied by small farms and "squatters."

"Plantations" was not vested with the meaning that these so-called scholars appear to be giving it.

Anonymous said...

If Thorne was the Himan figure, then Holloway, Lubiano and Chafe were the Nifongs, Wilsons and Bakers.

These people are true believers. Why else would they have signed a gossip-based document that added fire to an already raging 30-year-prison-term inferno-like lynch mob?

I believe there is no chance these folks will step forward to admit the "chilling" effect of political correctness on speech on campus. Good grief, they are the ones who seek to CHILL THE SPEECH!

I am glad there is the tacit admission from Thorne about that chilling effect. She is no hero, and she certainly shot herself in the foot with the "Clarifying Statement," but she, ALONE, may have a conscience about the matter. That is VERY chilling.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: mac

Where would you have been on Kristallnacht, Sue?

You and others are far far far to easy on her with this comment and other similar comments. She was NOT in 1930s Germany. She has tenure. She could have not signed with esentially no consequences other than making a few people around her mad.

Yet she not only signed the first statement when the facts were not all known, but she signed the second. A wimp, a weasel, a abuser enabler etc. She is a woman with no backbone.

Anonymous said...

There's a wise, old joke (told in different forms) that explains Professor Thorne's soul.

Setting: The office of a veteran spy (VS). He receives a call from an unidentified person (UP).

UP: "My organization is prepared to pay you $10,000 for information about your country's double agents abroad."

VS: "My professional integrity is not for sale."

UP: "How about $100,000?"

VS thinks about the boat and exotic vacation he could buy, but responds: "My honor cannot be bought."

UP: "How about $5,000,000?"

Now VS is thinking about the boat, vacations, college tuitions, home in Vail. "Okay, I'll do it."

UP: "No. We'll pay $1,000."

VP (indignantly): "What?! $1,000? What do you think I am."

UP: "We know what you are. Now we're just bargaining over price."

Another Duke Prof

Penny said...

1:13 PM - as another apologist stepping up to the plate, so what?

She didn't have the character like so many appeasers of wrong doing in history to stand on moral principles. And, she teaches history no less, too bad it isn't more contemporary, she could define what kapos were to the Nazi system.

I'll repeat again, she wasn't going to be fired for refusing to sign. She had access to an attorney if her rights were subsequently violated for not signing. She had a contractual responsibility for the welfare of her students. Who would continue to work in such a dysfunctional and oppressive department? People have choices.

Who's the fool now?

Anonymous said...

rrhamilton

LOL - you're right. I'm 11:03, a professor. I immediately recognized 11:09 as one as well.

I am not saying the choice this woman made is one that I would make. To the contrary. However the cost of publicly criticizing powerful people on campus is substantial. It goes well beyond the department or the university. It can affect publications, grants and promotions, and thus salary.

An example: A professor in my department, a Duke Ph.D. as a matter of fact, spoke out against the university president. He never got a raise after that. When he retired he was still making less than $50,000 a year, the same salary he had been making when he was dean of the graduate school.

Anonymous said...

10:08: I disagree, only because that's one of the few statements Nifong made that was true! He was f*****!

My #1 would be Brodhead's comment that "the facts kept changing," and the reply (was it Collin's or one of the other's?) which should have been inherently obvious even to the Scarecrow without a brain--facts never change.

Anonymous said...

I just finished with the video of Prof. Johnson. At the end of his talk, he quotes from the email that Susan Thorne (sorry, I can't stomach calling her "Professor") sent to Dan Flannery. This young man had reached out to that woman and she evidently kicked him in the face. I wish her joy of her conscience.

Steven Horwitz said...

Ralph,

I hate to break it to you but you're turning into a slightly more sophisticated, but just as repetitive, version of "Is X a communist?"

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 9/18/07 1:13 PM
said...
"Thorn's department chair at the time was Sarah Deutsch (see KC's comments on her). After July 1, 2006 Deutsch was her dean. Figure it out. (It's not simply a future of sitting by herself and eating alone in the history department.)"

Well boo friggin hoo. It isn't a future of eating in a prison mess hall for the next 30 years, either.

scott said...

amac @ 12:28 PM said

"It would be very valuable to have signers of the Listening Statement say on the record whether or not they experienced overt or subtle pressures to conform, during and after the collapse of the Hoax."

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

Some of the signers signed because they believed the message then, they believe the message now, and unless they change their fundamental thinking process will go to their graves believing the message.

Others apparently signed because, their belief or non-belief in the message notwithstanding, they felt their positions within the Duke community would be threatened if they did not.

The first group were not coerced and would not and could not make any such claim.

So that leaves the second group.

Why would those signers now state "on the record" that they were coerced to sign?

If it is believed that Neal, Lubiano, Allison, Holloway, McClain, et. al. would actually have engaged these signers with threatening behavior if they did not sign last year, you don't think this gang of whackjobs wouldn't engage in negative sanctions against someone who is now speaking out?

If they were going to be pissed at someone who didn't sign then (many more didn't sign than did), how pissed do you think they'd be at the few who signed and now state they did so because of threats?

And you don't think that all of the signers who signed because they were cowed by this gang of thugs in April 2006 and January 2007, wouldn't be even more intimidated to make a statemnt that points out that thuggery now?

Anonymous said...

anon @ 1:13pm wrote:

"Thorn's department chair at the time was Sarah Deutsch (see KC's comments on her). After July 1, 2006 Deutsch was her dean. Figure it out. (It's not simply a future of sitting by herself and eating alone in the history department.)"

Careful please. What basis do you have for this allegation?

I don't know Deutsch personally so I have no grounds to assess it one way or the other. I agree that KC's profile casts doubts on her performance in this fiasco. However, it is inappropriate to suggest based on that profile only that she is the power that pressured Thorne to do what she did. (And I seriously doubt that KC would make such a suggestion.) If it were true, we would have a major problem indeed at Duke and I for one would like to know for sure that we do or do not have it.

A Duke Prof.

Anonymous said...

Is Thorne a Democrat?

Anonymous said...

trinity 2007 @ 2:49 a.m.:

It's just sad that the incident played out this way...

Professor Johnson:

The above comment and the responses to it raise the interesting question of contingency in the history of the Duke lacrosse case.

One of the strengths that you bring to UPI as a historian is the focus, not only on the "key turning points" of the story, but on literally dozens of incidents in which someone could have said or done something differently, or a different someone could have said or done something, and the case would have "played out" in a very different way. Nothing was "inevitable" about this case, nor any other historical event, as you well know.

Professor Susan Thorne, for example, the subject of trinity 2007's above-referenced comment, although a perhipheral player in this story, could have made any number of choices (I assume she is a free moral agent) that certainly would have altered her own role in the case, and might have changed others'. What if she had refused to sign the G88 statement? How might her refusal have influenced other faculty? What if she had sent her "private letter" out at the height of the hysteria? What if she'd made the same letter public at that time? Or used her classroom to encourage a more dispassionate presumption of innocence instead of what other faculty, with their "teaching moments," were doing at the time? What if her speaking out had encouraged others to speak out? What if there had been even a half-dozen of these "alternate-reality" Susan Thornes? How then might things have "played out" differently?

The counterfactuals that a historian could hypothesize about this case would fill another book. I think a list of them compiled by you and/or many of the commenters here would be provocative, enlightening, and fun.

LarryD said...

Trinity2007: Btw, Professor Thorne did indeed write a follow up that she did not publish, and it is nuanced and supportive of the lacrosse players...(I know because she sent it to me, but I will not violate her trust and publish it here)

Stu Daddy: She put her job security and the politics of groupthink over a promise to a student and friend. Tough call, ethically ambivalent, but not deserving of the term weasel, although perhaps a gentler term like cold feet, waffle or cop-out describes her decision.

White Feather (and I don't mean the US Military meaning)

Ralph Phelan said...

steve horwitz:

You've been in academia too long.

Quote #28 is shocking, appalling, disgusting ... and sufficient reason to start considering "Howoritzian" a compliment.

I believe we're approaching a tipping point, and KC's book is part of why. Remember what Michael Kinsley of all people said about it:

"The analysis... is hard to accept. ... It exposed a fever of political correctness that is more virulent than ever on American campuses and throughout society. . . Unfortunately for doubts, the authors lay out the facts with scrupulous care."

A major liberal has just been converted to the belief that the academy is fundamentally broken.

"Indoctrinate U" comes out in a few weeks.

Academia, like the Durham city government, seems to think that because they have gotten away with certain things for a long time they can count on getting away with them forever. That is not necessarily true, and like the Durham city government, you may find that change can come suddenly, discontinuously, and very unpleasantly.

To some extent I'm trying to do you and those like you a favor by warning you to clean up your own house as soon as possible. If your colleagues piss off the public enough to trigger government intervention in academia you're not going to like the result. I probably won't like it much either, but I like the current situation even less.

With academia as with the Durham city government, the more stonewalling and excuse making and wagon circling the outside world sees, the more they will want to see some outside authority force responsibility.

When the outside reformers come in, the usual whiners will say "Academic freedom" and we will wave quote #28 in their faces. They will say "value of tenure in protecting unpolular ideas" and we will wave quote #28 in their faces. They will say "politicizing the university" and we will wave quote #28 in their faces. Those institutions that have a preexisting record of opposing PC fascists will be able to say "It wasn't us, we don't need to be reconstructed!" Those who chose professional loyalty over loyalty to truth will not.

Steven Horwitz said...

Frankly, Ralph, I'm just tired of answering your same question over and over again. I have better things to do with my time.

I can't even agree with you (in this case about Thorne) without you doing your best imitation of our communo-phobic commenter.

rrhamilton said...

ralph phelan said ...
To some extent I'm trying to do you and those like you a favor by warning you to clean up your own house as soon as possible. If your colleagues piss off the public enough to trigger government intervention in academia you're not going to like the result.


"No Child Left Behind - College Edition" ... Has a nice ring to it.

btw, to Inman, doe the official name of Rhode Island still include "and Providence Plantations"?

mac said...

The only defense I can think of for Thorne is found in a single name: Lawrence Summers. That's not much of an excuse, however.

JLS: many Americans - (especially liberals) - pride themselves on how unlike the Nazis they are, how THEY would have stood up, how THEY would have done things differently. Well, we see how differently THEY would have done things.

(Like Michael un-Brave Hardt, who "loved" his way onto the group of 88.)

One wonders if they (and Thorne, in particular) would have done the same as one of the Va. Tech profs, who died protecting his students from bullets. He gave his life; he stood up, at the expense of his own life.

What a contrast: a profile in courage, and 88 + profiles in cowardice.

Michael said...

re: 10:35

Himan may have thought that there was an assault but he went in there knowing that at least Reade didn't do it.

Michael said...

re: 11:03

In engineering, if you see something wrong, it's your responsibility to bring it to the attention of management. Whether it is inconvenient or not or whether it affects your career or not. Especially if you work in areas where people can be killed or injured or where customers can lose large amounts of money due to engineering failures. If for no other reason, simple self-protection when something fails and prosecutors and attorney generals look for someone to blame.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I can't even agree with you (in this case about Thorne)"

You agree with me about Thorne the individual.
[This is nice, considering how rare it is for you to criticize a fellow professor - in fact it's about as rare as hearing a DA ciriticize a fellow prosecutor. But as with the DAs who finally publicly (though too little and too late) criticized Nifong, one has to wonder how appallingly far a member of your profession can go without engendering criticism. ]

As with Nifong, I believe Thorne is not just an individual problem, but is rather the tip of a structural icebergand you seem to agree that there's a structural problem.

But when I ask "what is to be done" about the structural problem you suggest dedicating 30 years of my life to an anti-Gramscian campaign to undo what the Gramscians did to the academy. Sorry, but I'm too impatient for that. Universities aren't the only government contractor I'm dissatisfied with the performance of and I'm unwilling to give themn that much special devotion. Anyway, the techniques the Gramscians used to against genuine liberals won't necessarily work against the totalitarians currently running some parts of the academy.

To me the lesson of quote #28 is that however wrong he may be on details, David Horowitz has the big picture right, and his proposed remedies are if anything too mild.

Ralph Phelan said...

Steven Horwitz said...
"communo-phobic"

A phobia is an irrational fear. I don't think being afraid of something that's killed 150,000,000 people is irrational.

The social necessity of treating self-declared Marxists as anything other than evil morons to be snubbed is one of the things wrong with modern academia.

Steven Horwitz said...

Now you're just lying Ralph.

I have repeatedly criticized the G88 for the LS and the clarifying statement. You want to go on your little holy war here, that's fine, but at least give me the respect of accurately describing what I've said and done.

And sorry you don't like my answers, but now that you admit that I have answered your question, maybe you can stop asking it.

Anonymous said...

The Thorne discussion reminds me of a time when a men's club, of which I was a member, called for a vote on some controversial political issue. My friend, a minister, went along with the group's vote. He knew his vote was the opposite of how he truly felt. He simply went along.
After a few more meetings, he stopped coming to the club. A pity in more ways than one.
JLJr.

Steven Horwitz said...

What is it with you today Ralph? Your sarcasm-meter on the fritz? That phrase was meant as a joking reference to our regular commenter.

I suggest you re-read my CV and see if you think I'm soft on, or ignorant of, socialism and communism. I've spent a goddamn career teaching and writing on the failures of communism and socialism both in theory and practice and I really don't need a lecture on its human cost from you.

And he IS irrationally afraid of communists, given that he's worried that everyone involved in the case is one, when clearly most are not.

Ralph Phelan said...

"I have repeatedly criticized the G88 for the LS and the clarifying statement. "

But not to the point of calling for any real action against them or against the employer who is failing to discipline them.

"And sorry you don't like my answers, but now that you admit that I have answered your question, maybe you can stop asking it."
OK, if I want to fix academia in years instead of decades, and I want allies, I'm stuck with Horowitz with two "o"s. I was still clinging to the hope that that that wasn't really the case, but if it is, it is.

Ralph Phelan said...

I guess my sarcasm meter is on the fritz.

But however much you may write against the evils Communism, do you not also every day sit down to lunch with Marxists and treat them as if they're not dangerous idiots?

inman said...

This thread is starting to look like a Horwitz / Phelan tennis match.

Back and forth, back and forth,...

...lob...smash...

Ralph Phelan said...

I get frustrated because Horwitz seems like a basically nice and reasonable guy who's in denial on just how bad the situation is. But maybe instead it's that I'm the one overstating the magnitude and imminency of the coming correction.

Anyway, we have pretty much covered everything there is to cover about both our differences and our agreements, so I really should stop pestering him.

Steven Horwitz said...

None of the colleagues I eat lunch with on a regular basis are Marxists. A couple of us are big fans of Animal Crackers though.

My regular crew of lunch pals consists of about 6 or 7 colleagues from departments ranging from Religious Studies, to the Library, to Math. They are all left of center to one degree or another. Not one of them is a Marxist, and none are even close.

So maybe you have a problem defining what a Marxist is. I don't eat lunch with any, that's for sure. (Seinfeld) Not that there's anything wrong with it (/Seinfeld)

Steven Horwitz said...

And I get frustrated by your overstatement of how bad it is and your willingness to implement solutions that I consider worse than the problem.

I'm happy to leave it there too Ralph.

inman said...

Steven & Ralph,

Look over there ---------> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>Stop it.

Anonymous said...

Is there any reason why Susan Thorne would not now apologize to the students targeted by the G88? Certainly her colleagues now know how ahe feels about their actions, so the damage she feared she would suffer is now all but assured. The only conceivable reason she has not apologized is that she does not believe the G88 were wrong.

In either case, she is trying to have it both ways. I can't remember where Dante put people like this but it can't have been anyplace pleasant.

inman said...

RRH

Actually Providence Plantation was the initial name ... Rhode Island came later. And were you aware that slavery was legalized in Massachusetts a couple of decades before VA? That state has always been way ahead of its time.

Anonymous said...

Steven,

I don't want to know who you eat lunch with and I don't want to read your c.v.

I come here to read about the rape hoax.

Tired of the nonsense

Steven Horwitz said...

426:

Is that you Debrah? ;)

Before she bites my head off, that was a JOKE ok?

Ralph Phelan said...

Anonymous 9/18/07 4:26 PM:
An important part of the rape hoax, and the reason this bolg even exists, is the question it raised in many minds, including out host's: "WTF is up with the Duke Faculty?!?!"

Any attempt to answer that question involves delving into the minutiae of academic life, from the formal charters of search committees all the way to the informal social and power dynamics involved when one faculty member invites another to join in on some political activism.

Steven has some very useful insider knowledge, and most of our disagreements not over facts, but over their interpretation and about the values we apply to the things we conclude.

haskell said...

First let me say I am very sympathetic with Susan Thorne. Raised as a True Believer, educated in the gospel of political correctness, surrounded by strong propagandists, then suddenly, confronted, with the terrifying insight that everything she had believed in might be wrong. I throw no stones.

Let me mention though, if I were a Duke student, and went to take the plantations course, I would point out that things are not at all as they seem to have been taught. If I had the time, I could cobble together a decent essay addressing the issues of plantations life, good and bad. But my basic tenet would be that in the United States of the mid-1800's, plantations were a progressive way of making a living. In fact, the Union needed the monies generated by the southern economies, here are a few quotations:

"The contest is really for empire on the side of the North and for independence on that of the South." -- London Times, November 7, 1861

"The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty. -- Karl Marx, 1861

"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision." Gen. Pat Cleburne CSA

"The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history... the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, no logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination - that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves." -- H.L. Mencken

I wonder what kind of grade I would receive??

Stu Daddy said...

Early in the morning when this thread began about Susan Thorne's betrayal of trust with her student and friend, Duke lax player Dan Flannery, my tough judge guard was down and a trickle of compassion for Thorne escaped. This beleagured, suffering academic realizes the wrong she has done. She's no weasel. She has an active conscience. There is hope for her if she drums up the courage she hasn't had so far and uses it to quit Trinity College to find an academic village less imposing than the Duke Plantation.

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz said of Five O'Clock Charlie...

And he IS irrationally afraid of communists, given that he's worried that everyone involved in the case is one, when clearly most are not.

9/18/07 3:34 PM

Actually, Steven, I think Charlie's point is to associate us (both DiW and its commentariat") with "McCarthyism".

RRH

Gary Packwood said...

inman 3:38 said...
...This thread is starting to look like a Horwitz / Phelan tennis match.
...Back and forth, back and forth,...
...lob...smash...
::
Lather, rinse, repeat.
::
GP

Steven Horwitz said...

Hadn't thought about it that way Hamilton... that's a lot of effort to go to on a blog you think is full of crazy people. I guess I'm more willing to believe someone thinks that's funny than to believe they'd have the patience to keep it up for as long as he/she has. But if you're right, and you may be, I have a whole new level of admiration for him/her.

Anonymous said...

steven horwitz says at 3:50...

So maybe you have a problem defining what a Marxist is.

[channeling Jeff Foxworthy] If the word "patriarchy" was anywhere in your civil union vows .... you MIGHT BE A MARXIST *laugh laugh laugh*

RRH

Anonymous said...

As to Susan Thorne (who does not merit any honorific title, IMO)

"No snowflake ever felt responsible for an avalanche."

hman said...

To 4:54
The real issue at stake in the American Civil War was whether the "America" created by the Constitution of 1789 was a nation-state or not. Because if was and intended to be a nation-state, the secessionists had to be opposed by any means necessary.
Slave holders and other malcontents could have left the USA, no one was stopping them. They just could not take American territory with them as they did so.
London and every other European capitol would have rejoiced to see the USA fail as a unified country.
By the way, would the CSA have cheerfully allowed Louisiana to secede and to re-connect with France?
Something about the deep South has always struck me as inimical to coherent thinking about politics and lawful process. Slavery?

Anonymous said...

With the decline of American education, a good percentage of students who neither know that Mexico is on our southern border or find the USA on a global map, it wiil not belong before students are saying "Slavery? "Whats that about?"

haskell said...

hman 6:22. Things in fact are often not what they seem. General Edward Porter Alexander strongly believed that a Confederate victory would have been a disaster and balkanized this country, exactly as you suggest, leading to marginalization and vulnerability of both North and South. I believe that slavery, as an institution, was on its way out. But it was part of the fabric of life in the United States until 1865. The assassination of Lincoln was of course a catastrophe, leading to the abuses against the South during Reconstruction, which led to the direct racial discrimination of the Jim Crow laws. Many perceptions of injustices in the South originated in events occurring in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rather than the plantation era of the ante-bellum years.

And, KC, I really did not mean to go off on a tangent, the original intent of my post was to wonder what would happen in a Thorne/Glymph Plantations Course if one were to go against conventional wisdom. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

KC, I hope you don't forget "whatever they did is bad enough" quote. It's my favorite.

Anonymous said...

“Mr. Rosenberg said he did so because he was concerned with the prevalence of alcohol on campus and bothered by ‘affluent kids violating the law to get exploited women to take their clothes off when they could get as much hookup as they wanted from rich and attractive Duke coeds.’”

When my daughter begins college - many years from now - I suspect I will not have to worry as much about her male class mattes and a campus of violence as her professors who seem to think female students are there not to learn but to act as "hookup" partner for athletes. Thanks Prof. Rosenberg for clarifying campus culture.


What a marooon!

wayne fontes said...

Anonymous said...

Steven Horwitz said of Five O'Clock Charlie...

And he IS irrationally afraid of communists, given that he's worried that everyone involved in the case is one, when clearly most are not.

9/18/07 3:34 PM

Actually, Steven, I think Charto lie's point is to associate us (both DiW and its commentariat") with "McCarthyism".

RRH


That's always been my theory for what motivates is blank a communist?. It would be interesting to have "ibac" comment on what was motivating him for the past 6 or 8 months before the blog ends.

Penny said...

This beleagured, suffering academic realizes the wrong she has done. She's no weasel. She has an active conscience.

That's speculating at best. On what evidence? Sorry, I must have missed the part where she exercised it publically.

# 89 said...

did that guy really call himself a "thugniggaintellectual"?? I thought this was an Ivy school?

Dear High School Students -

You are the future of this world. Please do not apply to Duke. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Signed,
#89

Anonymous said...

To 8:33

If you knew how much goes on between male college professors and 18 year old students you would not send your child to university.

Harvard, at least, has had the backbone to fire those who have used grade retaliation. Not so for the schools who have picked up these losers.

Anonymous said...

To 4:36

Many of us know about life in the academy. Some claim to know more than others. It is tiresome.

inman said...

There are at least two types of slavery. The first, about which much has been written, is that which is enforced by corporal punishment, even death. The second, and perhaps more insidious, is that which coerces the individual to accept, willingly, economic chains which enslave the soul, which enslave the will to be free.

There is a stain on modern America. The culture of debt -- know your FICO score -- and the notion that indebtedness is the norm and that in fact debt MUST be incurred to obtain a high score. This is the moral equivalent of iron chains being bound on the psyche of too many people.

It is also the worst enemy of higher education.

I recently analyzed the FASFA and the law relating to Federal funding of education. FASFA is the Federally mandated and uniform application for financial aide to attend a post-secondary eduactional institution. Any child who wishes to attend college must complete a FASFA.

Let's assume that all parents are prepared to circumnavigate the complexity of that application. (Barrier to entry number one.) Let's then assume that they are the average family with two children and an income of about $50,000. (I believe that's about the average.) Let's also assume that this family has a car payment and a credit card bill. Not unusual.

The FASFA application, the Federal system, does not take debt into account. It assumes that the applicant has no debt....

...and then here's the real insult ...

...the Federal system then says that a family must devote 47% ...FOURTY SEVEN PERCENT... of its so-called after-tax disposable income to fund eduaction. This is the equivalent of a tax that for the average family is in effect confiscation of income (47% FASFA requirement + 25 % Federal Tax + 7.65% FICA + 6% State = 85.65% ----> an average family paying for education must devote 85.65% of its income to payment OTHER THAN HOUSING, UTILITIES, FOOD, MEDICAL BILLS, etc.)

So what happens. Families are encouraged to incur Federally guaranteed debt. Families and children become indebted to a system that encourages a higher education, but that in some cases involves such ludicrous pursuits as the '88 -- good God, that's double jeopardy.

Upon graduation, the bill comes due. This is a bill that is paid over a decade or more.

This is the economic equivalent of slavery. If one wants an higher education, one must become an indentured servant. And then the concerns about how one's views will affect one's career become paramount -- I'll bet that Susan Thorne has financial obligations, perhaps even student loans, that weigh on her decisions. In other words, she is a slave on the modern day economic plantation.

The Federal system as currently written effectively says that a brilliant child of a hardworking family, white, black, hispanic, asian ... doesn't matter...that the brilliant child may not be able to attend college at all.

This, in my judgment, is the single biggest disgrace of Federal fiscal policy.

Please excuse my soapbox.

Debrah said...

TO "inman"--

You have presented a very grave and depressing scenario; however, you have also just made me feel very good at the same time.

I don't owe anything to anyone.

Not one cent as of this very moment!

:>)

Gary Packwood said...

inman 10:52 said...

....So what happens. Families are encouraged to incur Federally guaranteed debt. Families and children become indebted to a system that encourages a higher education, but that in some cases involves such ludicrous pursuits as the '88 -- good God, that's double jeopardy.
...Upon graduation, the bill comes due. This is a bill that is paid over a decade or more.
::
Double jeopardy yes but you get to work at Borders and Barnes & Noble and have fun and ...after a year or so you have a voice in the decision about which books are ordered.

Guess you could go back to school and become a nurse but that doesn't seem to work well.

How about journalism school and earn a masters and a soapbox?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

Inman, it sounds like what you're saying is that at the time one fills out this application it would be best to be paying one's expenses throught debt, not income. Am I right? This is sort of an important question for me.

RRH

Anonymous said...

Being an RN works so poorly that they are offered seven jobs for every five they apply for. the number of jobs an RN can work is only limited by how many hours they need to sleep. Actually, you can get RN jobs that are on-call positions and can sleep while waiting to be called. I would recommend nursing to anyone who wants a solid paying position.

Ralph Phelan said...

anonymous 9/18/07 9:09 PM said:
# 89 said...
did that guy really call himself a "thugniggaintellectual"?? I thought this was an Ivy school?


That's a scam Duke's been trying to pull for years. Somehow they even got the US News & World Report rankings to go along with it.

Ralph Phelan said...

inman (9/18/07 10:52 PM) came up with some usefully detailed information re FASFA:

...the Federal system then says that a family must devote 47% ...FOURTY SEVEN PERCENT... of its so-called after-tax disposable income to fund eduaction. ... Families are encouraged to incur Federally guaranteed debt....

This is one of the most important ways in which the Federal government has distorted the market for higher education.

It's an important part of what has allowed tuition to grow at twice the rate of inflation for decade after decade.
It's funded the "angry studies" departments.
It's funded the petty-tyrant deans who micromanage student life.

Government interventions like FASFA are justified to the public on the assumption that higher education is a benefit to the individual and society. This is a plausible claim if you're studying economics, chemical engineering or Chinese history at a university. It's even more plausible if you're at a voc-tech learning to weld. As a taxpayer and voter I don't believe it's a plausible claim in regards to Womens Studies.

If society is going to look at at the Duke Lacrosse Burning, the Summers affair, the Ward Churchill affair ... and decide we want to stop supporting this bullshit, modifying FASFA is a good place to start.

Reduce the 47%.
Look at the expected income of the graduate when deciding how large a loan to back.

Ralph Phelan said...

re: "five-o'clock charlie"

Whatever his motivation, I found it interesting how often the answer was "yes." Much more often than I would expect from a random sampling of the US population.

inman said...

RRH

Yes ... a tax return that shows little income is a blessing when it comes to Federal financial aide guidelines. But there is a catch, one needs to have assets in a form that doesn't generate income (IRA, Keough, pension, trusts funds, off-shore accounts in equity securities with no dividends). Otherwise, the assets become the basis for calculating the "Expected Family Contribution."

For a need blind school like Duke, a low income and no qualifying assets are a blessing.
___________________________________

To emphasize my earlier point and in my case, every dollar that I earn in excess of $50,000 (and up to about $250,000) is effectively taxed at a rate of 88% -- for the next 10 years while my kids are in school. So if I have a choice between a job paying $250,000 and one paying $50,000, I am for the most part indifferent. Only if the income clears the $250,000 hurdle does it really get my attention.
_________________________________

Last year was not a good year for my family -- my wife went through breast cancer and I didn't work so that I could help her. One consequence: my income declined to about $60,000 +/- (since 1997 it had been well north of 6 figures). But what I found was that under the Federal guidelines for financial aide, one son received a $32,000 grant-in-aide. Not a loan, a grant. $32,000 is the equivalent of $54,000 pre-tax. So by not producing income, I produced the equivalent of income.

Stunning, huh?

no justice, no peace said...

"Duke Students for an Ethical Duke"

This should strike a chord. Where are all the students FOR an unethical Duke?

The fact that an organization of students would feel the need to form a group to address faculty and administration ethics is simply amazing to me.

Who among us is for dirty water?

Yet the administration, BOT, and what may be a inordinate number of faculy not only are for dirty water, but they insist everyone else drink from the same polluted well.

Stunning...

One wonders if some of the Klan of 88 want to protest the organization by having sit-ins in the student leaders dorm rooms. Maybe they will barricade themselves in...

no justice, no peace said...

I always thought the question(s) should be, "Is ____ a progressive?"

It appears that there are ample faculty progressives to go around. They simply think that the basis of communism was right, but that no one, other than they, are qualified to properly implement the controls. They'll get it right this time, trust them...

They key is to monitor what they DO, not what they say.

The Duke hoax has brought about a bit of clarity on this point.

Ralph Phelan said...

31) “Burn it down!”

--Nifong citizens committee co-chair Victoria Peterson, outside the lacrosse players’ house, during the New Black Panthers’ visit to Durham. Last week, Peterson was endorsed for City Council by the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.


The three guys suing the city are much more restrained than I am. My reaction to the highlighted bit would have been to immediately call the city's lawyers and say "Remember the $30,000,000? Now it's $39,000,000. If Peterson wins, it goes up to $60,000,000."

And then make sure it got leaked to the press.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the Durham officals would be so scared by your threat, that they would say "We will get right on it."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing the extensive research into the Lacrosse Case.
I cannot find out the answer to a question, and would appreciate your help. I would like to know what charges, particularly any felonies, could have been brought against Crystal Mangum?