Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Reflections on the Law School Conference, II

Though President Brodhead’s apology attracted the most attention at the Law School’s Court of Public Opinion conference, several other presenters offered insightful case-related comments as well.

Paul Haagen. For me—and for others coming into the case from outside of Duke—the introduction to Haagen was not a welcome one: his “helmet sports” remark from the deeply flawed N&O March 25 article.

Yet as I learned more about the case, it became clear that Haagen’s role was almost wholly a positive one. As chairman of the Academic Council, Haagen ensured Jim Coleman’s appointment as chairman of the committee that investigated the lacrosse players’ behavior. He also promoted one of the few unequivocally good ideas to come out of the whole affair—the faculty athletics associate program.

That his successor, Paula McClain, said that (unnamed) colleagues were “aghast” that Haagen’s idea would even be considered gives a sense of what might have occurred had the Academic Council been under less inspired leadership. As Sports Law Blog tartly observed, “Apparently, Professor McClain—who is co-director of Duke’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences—believes that in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse scandal, the University needs to distance itself from its sports teams, rather than embrace them.

At the law school conference, Haagen offered a detailed explanation of his approach to the case:

1) He believed (correctly) that Duke faculty needed to avoid specific comments on the criminal case.

2) He did everything he could to have the response conform to existing procedures and to create a common base of information to the shifting set of questions about the team. The Coleman Committee resulted from these goals.

3) He wanted to minimize the sense of isolation among Duke athletes and their coaches, and he personally reached out to facilitate exchanges.

4) He hoped to minimize tensions among the faculty—no easy task when Steve Baldwin, the first professor to criticize the Group of 88, was greeted with an implicit call for violence from one colleague and an intellectually dubious claim of racism by another.

In the end, Haagen hailed the “remarkable” performance of Duke coaches—people who felt “assaulted,” but didn’t become bitter and showed impressive self-restraint. And he raised a question that should form an important lesson of the case: when professors have an opportunity to raise their issues, how aggressively should they exploit that, and what are their other responsibilities? Haagen noted that his “deepest concern was that a number of people didn’t ask very seriously what the tradeoffs were when they used an opportunity to push an issue.”

Sergio Quintana. Quintana, a reporter for NBC17,* recalled that when the crisis began, he spoke to some Duke students who felt that the University was throwing the players under the bus. These students, however, were afraid to speak on camera, lest they get in trouble.

Indeed, if any "listening" ad with anonymous student quotes needed to appear in spring 2006, it was from these students, who understandably feared speaking out. With one grade-retaliation lawsuit so powerful that Duke settled out of court with a public announcement that the grade was changed; and with at least five cases of unprofessional classroom behavior documented in UPI, the students’ concerns seemed reasonable.

Such fear of retaliation wasn’t confined to the student body, of course. Take the case of History professor and Group of 88 member Susan Thorne. Last winter, Thorne told a lacrosse player (in writing) that she understood the harm that the Group’s statement caused, and planned to pen a public essay expressing her regret for the statement. Instead, a few weeks later, she signed the “clarifying” document, whose signatories reaffirmed the Group statement and announced that they would not apologize.

When asked why she had gone back on her word and not published her apology, Thorne coldly replied that “If I publish something like this . . . my voice won’t count for much in my world.”

Quintana’s recollections and Thorne’s behavior serve as reasons why the “Campus Culture Initiative” seemed so misguided. What accounts for a faculty culture where a tenured professor like Thorne believes that she has to betray her own students to maintain influence; or where a host of professors considered it proper to use class time to denounce the lacrosse team?

Those questions about campus culture few, if any, figures in the administration have proved willing to address, even as the CCI focused on the race/class/gender ideological triumvirate so appealing to the Group of 88.

Michael Cassidy. Another clearly good thing to come from the lacrosse case: Duke’s commitment of $1.25 million over five years to expand the Law School’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic and Innocence Project.

Cassidy, a former Boston prosecutor who now teaches at BC Law School, represented a quite different approach to confronting prosecutorial irresponsibility. Cassidy criticized the DHC ruling on Mike Nifong’s unethical comments, contending that Nifong—as a candidate for election—should have had wide latitude to speak out. Yet the comments Cassidy referenced (a) announced that a crime occurred or (b) denounced the character of people Nifong’s office had publicly identified as suspects.

Finally, the institutional response panel provided a useful reminder—while Duke might have had to base its decisions in this case on incomplete information, that condition applies to all crises.

[Note: I am traveling to Boston today for a talk at the Harvard Club; comment moderation, therefore, will be sporadic at best.]

*--corrected

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Haagen a Communist?

Anonymous said...

. Cassidy criticized the DHC ruling on Mike Nifong’s unethical comments, contending that Nifong—as a candidate for election—should have had wide latitude to speak out. Yet the comments Cassidy referenced (a) announced that a crime occurred or (b) denounced the character of people Nifong’s office had publicly identified as suspects.


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

Either this guy is an idiot or poorly prepared. Likely both.

Anonymous said...

Is Haagen a Communist?

No, you fool, he's an ice-cream entrepreneur.

Anonymous said...

12:30.

Dass is not correct.

Gary Packwood said...

(Haagen) raised a question that should form an important lesson of the case: when professors have an opportunity to raise their issues, how aggressively should they exploit that, and what are their other responsibilities?
::
I think any second year law student could sling together a little impromptu training session for the professors (and staff) and train them - while speaking slowly - that they should not create a hostile work environment for students, other faculty and staff...and their OTHER responsibility is to prepare for jail time if they do intentionally engage in hostile work environment harassment...again.

The second year law student will need to use small words and extra large fonts for his/her Power Point presentation since this bunch is going to claim ignorance of the law.

Is ignorance of the law a defense?
::
GP

Anonymous said...

What kind of school is Boston College Law if Cassidy teaches there? How uninformed can you be?

haskell said...

GP 12:46

"use small words and extra large fonts for his/her Power Point presentation"

Uh ... I am not sure this will work. You will probably need a translator, from English into Academic Verbose Grandiloquence. Of course, the translator will also have to be a gay woman of color, who would agree to throw in a few misspellings and grammatical errors so the participants would not be uncomfortable. And everyone else on campus will have to take the course in the name of fairness and non-discrimination. Musical entertainment at the break will be furnished by the Potbangers.

Anonymous said...

Why should Duke or any other school "embrace" [varsity] sports teams? Why is distancing so awful an idea?

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

You guys just are wrong about Cassidy's analysis of Nifong's statements. Nifong's sin was that the Duke 3 were innocent as Nifong knew.

Sure Nifong's remarks were what was used to disbar him, but no case would have even been brought had the accused been guilty or really had their been a reasonable case that they were. While it is the job of the police and particularly the prosecutor to seek the truth and justice, YOU BETTER BELIEVE THEY ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE WHEN THEY ARE INVESTIGATING OR PROSECUTING YOU.

Nifong's statements would have seems appropriate even noble to many had he had a case. Nifong's statements were used to disbar him because they were on the public record and were technical violations of the ethics cannons.

And Cassidy's point about the lattitude that someone running for DA has to tell the public about what types of crimes he will treat how seriously is a good one. And again let me stress, had the accused been guilty, NO ONE would have even bothered to raise the issue of Nifong's statements.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Professor Sowell has weighed in again about the culture and incentives on college campuses and also the NYT on this case:


Columbia, Duke and the Media

Anonymous said...

Re your characterization that Haagen "believed (correctly) that Duke faculty needed to avoid specific comments on the case", didn't Haagen "specifically comment" on the case in the 3/25 article? As I recall, he said that male athletes in general were more prone to violence against women than males in general, and that male athletes in "helmet sports" were even more prone to violence against women. Certainly, he wasn't talking about the men's swimming team at Duke. KC, according to your own writings, Haagen has attempted (well after the fact) to distance himself from these comments by claiming that the N&O interviewer was fishing for dirt (he must have known that at the time he spoke with her) and that his comments were taken wildly out of context. There is no evidence that Haagen denies making these inflammatory comments, and the N&O states that he never complained that his comments were incorrectly quoted or taken out of context. Indeed, your source notes seem to suggest that the N&O stands by its reporting of Haagen's quotes. What troubles me about his behavior is that at the time of the interview, he was not only speaking in his capacity as a sports law professor, but also, ostensibly, as the Chair of the Academic Council. Given his characterization of the N&O reporter as agenda-driven against the lacrosse players, his comments were particularly suseptible to being read as a statement of an increased likelihood of guilt coming from the head of the faculty. Given Haagen's post hoc characterization of the context of the interview, he had to know at the time he spoke to the N&O that his comments would be construed as harmful to the players at a time when public opinion and media scrutiny against the players was solidifying. Remember, the N&O article in which Haagen was quoted came out at about the same time that Brodhead cancelled the Georgetown game. It was the height of the media feeding frenzy. Haagen seems to have been on both sides of the lacrosse case, and now that the dust has settled, he can pick his winner.

Anonymous said...

4:11
He may have been on both sides, but at least he found the right side for part of his statements. Most of the academics chose the wrong side and adamantly supported it.

Anonymous said...

"With one grade-retaliation lawsuit so powerful that Duke settled out of court with a public announcement that the grade was changed;"

Was the Prof guilty of this fired?
If not, it shows Brodheads words are meaningless.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...No, you fool, he's an ice-cream entrepreneur...."

You realize that ice cream is worse for you than cigarettes, single male scotch, most strippers, and an open mind.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...Why is distancing so awful an idea?"

I think we are seeing a flash point and distancing from the fraudulent AAAs and Gender studies.

The academy should be "distancing" from fraudulent departments.

Does NCCU have a women's studies program? Why not?

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

@ 1:35 am

It is OF COURSE perfectly appropriate for a private university to decide to downgrade or even eliminate athletics. I think thus because I have no tolerance for this "diversity" nonsense; if a private university wants to discourage or even prohibit the attendance of athletes or any other arbitrary sub-category of humanity, it has the right to be that short-sighted.

What is not appropriate is for faculty to push their position by demonizing people accused but not found guilty. Suppose for example people had used the recent accusation of rape against some black students at Duke as an argument for excluding black applicants from Duke. What is morally despicable in the one case is in the other as well.

Anonymous said...

KC --

I must say that this post is confusing. You tell us "several other presenters offered insightful case-related comments as well" but then you talk about Michael Cassidy, and the only case-related comments clearly attributed to Cassidy, in this post or in past posts, are clearly anti-insightful. The only insightful comment that is placed as if it might have come from Cassidy is the observation that "while Duke might have had to base its decisions in this case on incomplete information, that condition applies to all crises". While this is indeed an excellent point, it's not attributed to Cassidy but to "the institutional response panel", which "provided a useful reminder" -- which not only casts doubt on the theory that Cassidy said it, but leaves open the possibility that no individual panel member came out with this observation. It's rather confusing.

scott said...

Cassidy referred to Mangum during the conference as "the victim". When called on it (she was no victim, she was a false accuser), he backtracked to "alleged victim."

That tells me all I need to know about Cassidy.

And while some of Nifong's statements could have been considered acceptable had he had a case, many were still completely over the top and had no place being issued no matter what the situation was. A prosecutor calling a defendant a "hooligan" in public is never acceptable.

Anonymous said...

"Suppose for example people had used the recent accusation of rape against some black students at Duke as an argument for excluding black applicants from Duke. What is morally despicable in the one case is in the other as well."

The difference is that in one case, a voluntary behavior which is unacceptable (rape) is being linked with an uncontrollable variable (skin color and genetic heritage), and in the other, a voluntary behavior (rape) is being linked with another voluntary behavior (the playing of sports, or the playing of contact sports or "helmet sports").

This is not to say that I think either link is sustainable enough to justify excluding students on that basis, but excluding students on the basis of voluntary behavior is not as illogical as excluding them on the basis of their unchosen skin color.

Anonymous said...

Until Proven Innocent now ranked #171 at Amazon. Dropping fast!

Ralph Phelan said...

Cassidy is not "poorly prepared," an "idiot," or "uninformed."

He's a prosecutor.

Nifong was not a fluke.

Anonymous said...

1:35

When have the diversity racists embraced anything but their deeply flawed ideology?

Oops, replace ideology w/ narrative, you should understand that.

Ralph Phelan said...

GP/Haskell.

The problem is not explaining the rules to the 88 and their ilk.

The problem is being willing to enforce them.

Lubiano violated university policy by using university funds to pay for the "Listening Statement." So far as I know therre's been no talk of asking her for reimbursement, much less any sort of discipline.

The real rule they operate under is "You can do anything you want to." They already know that, so why should they waste their time listening to an explanation of rules that don't apply to them?

Anonymous said...

While Haagen may not be a Communist, his ice cream entreprenurial partner Dazs clearly is. That is what has made Haagen Dazs such a formidable competitor to Ben & Jerry's-- two clearly Communist Vermonters.

Debrah said...

Simply no one does it better that Thomas Sowell.

If only he were a young man just starting out in academia. He is definitely someone who is courageous enough to effectively pull the trigger.

He's still a lion on the significant issues:

"Now, after reaching an out of court settlement with both the students and the fired lacrosse team coach, Brodhead gets a standing ovation at his own law school for an apology that sidestepped the real issue and might well have been part of the out of court settlement."?

Anonymous said...

Re: 2:26 a.m.,s "Nifong's statements were ... technical violations of the ethics cannons."

I realize it was early in the morning when you wrote that, but technical violations? Nifong's improper comments were found to be substantive violations of rules designed to protect a bedrock Constitutional right: a fair trial by a jury of one's peers.

Ken Duke
Durham

Debrah said...

TO 4:11 AM--

Your analysis is pure perfection.

When viewing that conference, I had the thought of just how useless it was.

Imagine having those people--and Chemerinsky, who was leading--discussing a volcano that has long-ago blown. Now the lava has solified.

Those people provided no leadership or calls for fairness--with the exception of James Coleman--when that volcano blew and was flowing over their university campus and its students.

The conference was a badly directed show to give Duke a facade of "taking charge"....and a bit of that dreaded word--"closure".

That Brodhead received a standing ovation is clear evidence of nothing having been learned.

Debrah said...

H-S editorial:

When people begin agreeing with Bob Ashley on Brodhead's dog and pony show, then you know this Hoax will be swept under the rug....even by former critics.


Lacrosse case stirs Duke introspection

The Herald-Sun
Oct 2, 2007

Duke President Richard Brodhead's Saturday speech -- reprinted in its entirety below -- was seen by some as a shameless political effort to defer mounting criticism of his handling of the lacrosse case. Another way to see it, which we find more accurate, was an honest attempt to draw positive lessons from the lacrosse debacle.

After all, what did Brodhead have to gain from calling more attention to himself? He's already been the subject of a steady stream of criticism since the case began, including calls for his resignation, the latest from former Duke basketball star and ESPN broadcaster Jay Bilas.

It's been reported Duke may be facing a lawsuit from the other lacrosse players. But how would acknowledging mistakes help that case? Indeed, you might assume Brodhead would just want to keep his head down.

But what's a university for, if not for learning? And what better way to learn than from one's missteps? In that spirit, Brodhead said he had four main regrets:

-- The university should have done a better job reaching out to players and their families.

-- The administration should have made it clear that the professors who spoke out did not speak for Duke.

-- By deferring to law enforcement, Duke may have left the false impression it didn't care about its students.

-- The legal system can be perverted by a single individual.

From the beginning, Brodhead faced a near-impossible situation. If he had risen aggressively to defend the players, he would have been seen -- properly -- as throwing Duke's considerable weight around to influence the legal system. When the case broke, he said several things that even now are hard to dispute: These are serious charges, the players are innocent until proven guilty, and let's let the system work.

Then he convened committees to report on various facets of campus life. Who can argue that introspection wasn't called for?

'If there's one lesson the world should take from the Duke lacrosse case,' Brodhead said Saturday, 'it's the danger of prejudgment and our need to defend against it at every turn.'

The truth is that people prejudge criminal defendants all the time. Most people who see the photo of the suspect arrested for murder or bank robbery make assumptions about his or her guilt. But Brodhead is right. We need to be very careful about such preconceptions.

It's debatable whether Brodhead needed to apologize. But in doing so, he showed an admirable capacity for honest self-analysis. We hope it will help speed the process of healing the wounds of the lacrosse case.

One good sign was the standing ovation Brodhead received from the capacity audience, which included supporters and critics alike."

Debrah said...

Thomas Sowell's ending remarks:

"The real problem on these and other campuses is that no one has to take responsibility. With the power being in the faculty, administrators can evade responsibility, and trustees are not around enough to exercise the ultimate power that is legally theirs.

Moreover, so long as alumni and other donors keep sending money, there is no price to be paid for caving in to the threats of campus ideologues."

Anonymous said...

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...No, you fool, he's an ice-cream entrepreneur...."

You realize that ice cream is worse for you than cigarettes, single male scotch, most strippers, and an open mind.

10/2/07 7:17 AM

-----------------------------------
'Single male scotch' is obviously a patriarchal, oppressive, othering drink. It is disempowering of female bodies and must be eradicated. Castrate!!! Castrate!!!

K. Rudy

Anonymous said...

"Thorne coldly replied that “If I publish something like this . . . my voice won’t count for much in my world.”"


What is the purpose of having tenure if a professor can’t speak her own mind?

Anonymous said...

"Why should Duke or any other school "embrace" [varsity] sports teams? Why is distancing so awful an idea?"


What then is the purpose of diversity? Shouldn’t you attempt to understand and have compassion for people who come from a different background then yourself?

Ralph Phelan said...

I think the Quintana/fear of retaliation thing has gotten far too little attention. It's truly appalling if students on an American campus are afraid to speak their minds.

scott said...

10:24 AM --

UPI reached a higher ranking (lower number) than 171 a couple of weeks ago.

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

When you write a book that reaches # 170 on Amazon, you can come back and tell us all about it.

Until then, your comments about where this book ranks are merely petty jealousy.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...why the “Campus Culture Initiative” seemed so misguided..."

The CCI SEEMED misguided?!?!

At the time is was wrong and based upon lies. It would be wrong without the hoax.

Put the effort in the context of the times and it becomes ANOTHER effort from Brodhead to reward the frauds while stabbing his own students in the back.

It should be clear that a CCI anywhere is a very bad idea and bad for consumers of education.

Anonymous said...

Just a point of correction: Sergio Quintana is not with News14. He is with NBC17.

Anonymous said...

As a follow up to previous post that went out prematurely, here is how the rankings are determined from the website:

The Collegiate Power Rankings from NCSA are calculated for each college/university at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels by averaging the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup ranking, the NCAA student-athlete graduation rate of each college/university and the U.S. News & World Report ranking. The collegiate power rankings based off of the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup rating evaluates the strength of NCAA athletic departments, while the U.S. News & World Report rating recognizes institutions of academic excellence. The student-athlete graduation rates are based on those provided by the NCAA.

ACC Esq

Anonymous said...

KC, have fun at the Hahvud Club today. Don't forget to mention the most privileged white males they ever "graduated", the Kennedys.

Btw, for those who think $10 million apiece is too much for the Durham Three, how about this: $11+ million for a woman who "Knicks coach Isiah Thomas subjected Browne Sanders to unwanted advances and a barrage of verbal insults".

RRH

Debrah said...

TO 1:46 PM--

That's all it is: jealousy.

A "bookstore troll" occasionally shows up screaming like a fishwife.

If KC didn't have to leave, his promotion of the book could have been much more extensive.

He'll soon be gone....and I bet he'll go crazy missing us!

LOL!!!

Eric said...

Cassidy made an idiot of himself. He constantly argued for the prosecutor to be able to say things which prejudge cases openly, both in the lacrosse case and in other cases. He referred to the "victim" in the Duke lacrosse case -- he didn't even have the brains to say "alleged victim". You'd think he was channeling Nifong. He made clear that he actually knew little or nothing about the case which was the impetus for the existence of this conference.

Debrah said...

Why doesn't SeƱor Quintana from NBC17 do an entire series on the topic he brought up at the conference?

I also find that whole issue intriguing and one that, if true, is a whole new scandal in and of itself.

For anyone--student or professor--to feel too scared to voice an honest opinion is quite frightening.

You pay to go to a school where you feel threatened if you speak?

The whole conference was too much like an outline....not in-depth enough. If you don't have the time to really discuss a topic, then why have a conference at all?

I wanted to hear more about people on the Duke campus being afraid to speak to local news reporters.

(BTW....I hope KC didn't stand for the "ovation" after Brodhead did his thing.)

Gary Packwood said...

no justice, no peace 1:47 said...

...Inre: "...why the “Campus Culture Initiative” seemed so misguided..."
...The CCI SEEMED misguided?!?!
...At the time is was wrong and based upon lies. It would be wrong without the hoax.
...Put the effort in the context of the times and it becomes ANOTHER effort from Brodhead to reward the frauds while stabbing his own students in the back.
...It should be clear that a CCI anywhere is a very bad idea and bad for consumers of education.
::
The CCI is part of the accreditation plan for Duke and all other universities.

The CCI has been around for hundreds of years under many different names.

The idea is to ask the campus 'community' to sit down and discuss the following three questions:

1. Why do we do this stuff here?
2. Why don't we do more of that stuff here?
3. Who cares?

The students get wound up and the administrators don't have to do any work.

Everyone forgets that the students just want to graduate and get away from talking about stuff that doesn't have anything to do with graduating.

It is the job of the BOT and their President to insure that Hostile Workplace Harassment like Arson, does NOT become a CCI issue.
::
GP

Debrah said...

Read the words in this "welcome" to Duke. Guranteed to produce a heaving session:

Brodhead's Welcome

Anonymous said...

Somebody really messed up in the marketing of KC's book. Either that, or the Barnes and Noble and Walden powers that be were told not to feature it. It had been ridiculously difficult to purchase.

But the book itself is sheer genius. My husband, a law student, is glued to the book ( I held him off until I finished it first, because Duke is MY school not his:) )) The research and quality writing are worthy of a Pulitzer.

But who really thinks that will happen, unless somebody somewhere in the book world makes it happen.

At least, the historical record is there, in case anybody wants to know.

Thanks, KC

Debrah said...

A very comprehensive look at Brodhead from 2004.

It seems he has a history of being moved by the Black Panthers.

Reade, Collin, and David never stood a chance with someone like Brodhead at the helm.

The Education of Richard Brodhead

AF said...

10:24

Are you the wonderful WahWah??????????
If you are celebrating UPI's current ranking 171, your green-eyed monster has escaped again. As a refresher, just remember that being 171 on the current list (or any list) is better than being some self-imagined publication listed on a CV that somehow never has or probably will be published (if, in fact, it has actually been written).
Guess being at 1000171 on the Amazon list and knowing that UPI is at 171 is rather depressing, isn't it??????????
Oh well, have a great day. Don't spend it all sulking!

Anonymous said...

This whole affair has been characterized by groups trying to control the narrative. Resoved, the issue has been one of avoiding blame. Broadhead has blame devolved onto one Nifong, but it was never Nifong and Nilong alone. It was always a collection of people who bully and intimidate and follow a metanarrative long preconceived who not knowing the facts and regardless of the facts pushed and threatened others with a fierceness and intimidation. This is a reason students did not speak out. This is a reason faculty did not speak out, and a reason Broadhead did not speak out in a timely manner. He was silent except for the narrative, and the narrative drove the mainstream media from printed page to screen media. There were few, a pitiful few, a mere handful, who said no. Otherwise, this was a progression of an unsuccessful lynch mob of pseudo-intellectuals who prowel not only the campus of Duke, but the campus of many universities. It was a would be-want to be lynch mob patrolling secular discussion and subject matter of thought not unlike the thought or moral police of many undemocratic countries. These people are horrible.

Anonymous said...

10:24 -

I don't know about Amazon, but Costco in Durham had at least 50 copies of UPI that were sold out within 2 weeks. I got one of 'em.

Great book, Prof. Johnson. I intend to keep my copy in a prominent place so that I will _never_ forget what happened at Duke and in Durham.

Duke '82

Anonymous said...

President sent email to Duke's faculty a few times in the last 18 months regarding LAX case. Why no email from him to the faculty again on his apology ?

Anonymous said...

Tangential to be sure but I went looking for some of the professors in the Gang of 88 on the web site

http://ratemyprofessors.com

Some of the most egregious on your list have had their ratings pulled off for review. Others are fairly highly rated but the comments made it fairly clear that Duke University is more like a high school that a real university. The courses are taught and graded like high school courses (witness comments like "she gives lots of extra credit", "she really wants her students to get good grades", etc.) Should I be surprised that a number of the comments were semi-literate at best?

Anonymous said...

Concerning the difficulty in purchasing UPI, I was in Sam's today and checked the books to see if they had the new Justice Thomas book. They did not. Have never had "It's Not About the Truth" or UPI. They did have a good supply of Ann Coulter's new book. I believe it just came out. I'm thinking her publisher knows how to get a book on the bestseller list. Of course, they may just print more copies because they know it's going to sell well. But I really believe UPI would be selling like crazy if it would everywhere you looked, like all books Clinton.

There is an Amazon link at AnnCoulter.com for UPI. Although I sure no one here will like that it refers to "Stuart Taylor's New Book." Hey a sale is a sale and Ann Coulter sells books.

JeffM said...

@ 9:56 am

No, the problem is making decisions about individuals on the basis of which groups the individual happens to belong to. You want to distinguish between those groups for which it is proper to judge the individual by the group rather than the individual personally and those groups for which it is improper. It makes no difference: the worth of every individual is related solely to that individual, never to any group. Your morality is despicable, and your capacity to provide a plausible justification for your immorality makes you even more despicable because you clearly have the capacity to know better.

Anonymous said...

I just got back from K.C.'s talk at the Harvard Club.

K.C. was great tonight. In person he is even better than on the blog, if that is possible.

I thought I knew this case inside and out yet I learned so much more tonight. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my book to have him autograph it. He promised he would when he gets back next year.

Thank you K.C. for a great evening.

Anonymous said...

RRH,

The Knick's coach did fire the plaintiff after she complained, and I imagine she is looking for punitive damages. He probably could have benefited from coughing up an apology quickly and refraining from actions that further inflamed the situation--poor judgment from highly paid people in prestigious positions of power is not so unusual apparently.

Observer

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: Ken Duke

I know it was late in the morning at 11:11 when you posted BUT TRY READING MY POST AGAIN.

My argument is that Nifong was disbarred for knowingly prosecuting innoncent people but that is too hard to prove so the committee feel back on technical violations that would have been ignored had he had a case.

So yes Nifong's words are technical violation of the cannons of ethics that had little or NOTHING to do with his disbarment. Prosecutor all the time offer opinions about the types of people who murder, rape etc people. Nifong's words or similar ones would have been in his closing arguments had the case gone to trial.

Anonymous said...


Debrah said...
A very comprehensive look at Brodhead from 2004.

It seems he has a history of being moved by the Black Panthers.

Reade, Collin, and David never stood a chance with someone like Brodhead at the helm.


The Education of Richard Brodhead

10/2/07 6:49 PM


Interesting that RB graduated from the same college and the same year that G.W. Bush did -- Yale, 1968. Did they go to the same prep school together? Of course, their paths diverged in 1968, with RB staying on his student draft deferment to continue his SouthEast Asia Avoidance Studies while Bush entered military service. The article says RB got married just "three weeks after his Ph.D orals" -- does anyone with a good memory of selective service want to explain how getting married help one avoid the draft?

So, he was a coward, er, conflict avoider in 1968, and little has changed.

RRH

Debrah said...

TO RRH--

When checking out Brodhead's history in Durham, it's amazing how many ties his wife has to the little community types.

Trinity Park, Durham Arts Council, Hayti...etc.....

All the groups in which Bob Ashley and the city "leaders" would also take part.

Debrah said...

TO 10:16 PM--

Thanks for reporting back to us!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

This whole affair has been characterized by groups trying to control the narrative.... These people are horrible.

10/2/07 8:30 PM

You mean hobbile, I assume.

Anonymous said...

"Interesting that RB graduated from the same college and the same year that G.W. Bush did ... Of course, their paths diverged in 1968, with RB staying on his student draft deferment to continue his SouthEast Asia Avoidance Studies while Bush entered military service."
-----------------------------------
I'm not sure that G. W. Bush is the best available example of sterling military service...

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

re: RRH

In Dec 1969 a draft lottery was held for men of Brodhead's age. Thus his marriage probably in the 1970s if his grad school orals were two or three years after graduation, likely had nothing to do with his draft status.

He likely had a student deferment from age 18 until that time. I believe he would have been 22 in Dec 1969.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...
"Interesting that RB graduated from the same college and the same year that G.W. Bush did ... Of course, their paths diverged in 1968, with RB staying on his student draft deferment to continue his SouthEast Asia Avoidance Studies while Bush entered military service."
-----------------------------------
I'm not sure that G. W. Bush is the best available example of sterling military service...

10/3/07 12:39 AM


Actually this raises a very interesting question: Of the Yale class of 1968, how many besides Bush went into the military?

RRH

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

re: RRH

In Dec 1969 a draft lottery was held for men of Brodhead's age. Thus his marriage probably in the 1970s if his grad school orals were two or three years after graduation, likely had nothing to do with his draft status.

He likely had a student deferment from age 18 until that time. I believe he would have been 22 in Dec 1969.

10/3/07 12:54 AM


I agree with you. I doubt that the marriage thing helped him very much -- not like it would've a few years earlier. The student deferment was critical though.

RRH

Anonymous said...

Another comment about the Harvard Club talk. I heard one person mention that it showed courage for the club to host a talk about such a controversial issue. I am not sure courage was the word they used, but similar.

PC is totally engrained in the culture of Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

"So yes Nifong's words are technical violation of the cannons of ethics that had little or NOTHING to do with his disbarment. Prosecutor all the time offer opinions about the types of people who murder, rape etc people. Nifong's words or similar ones would have been in his closing arguments had the case gone to trial."

Sorry, 11:13, but I don't find your argument very convincing (it's "canons" in this context, by the way, not "cannons".)

Yes, prosecutors do make strong declarative statements about the guilt of specific parties and about the character of whoever would commit such crimes, in opening arguments and in closing arguments too. However, that occurs after the trial has begun, and it occurs in a context where it's clear to all that the defense, too, will get its chance to make equally strong declarative statements about the innocence of the defendants.

Saying that it was only a technical violation of the canons of ethics for Nifong to make strong declarative statements on the guilt of certain parties and of their character before he had even gotten indictments, because he would be expected to make such statements later, at the time of trial, is like saying that if Mike Tyson jumps Evander Holyfield in a dark parking garage and starts trying to pound him into submission... it's okay as long as those two have a match coming up in the ring, and Tyson is guilty of only technical violating the rules by attacking Holyfield before the match has actually started.

Anonymous said...

"JeffM said...
@ 9:56 am

No, the problem is making decisions about individuals on the basis of which groups the individual happens to belong to. You want to distinguish between those groups for which it is proper to judge the individual by the group rather than the individual personally and those groups for which it is improper. It makes no difference: the worth of every individual is related solely to that individual, never to any group. Your morality is despicable, and your capacity to provide a plausible justification for your immorality makes you even more despicable because you clearly have the capacity to know better."

I'll ignore your ignorantly made declarations about my morality, and explain again why your analogy is flawed. Your analogy tried to draw an equivalence between students who play sports and black students and say 'these are both sub-categories of humanity; if it's wrong to exclude the sub-category of black students, it must be wrong to exclude the sub-category of students who play sports.'

However, the reason the exclusion of any group is being discussed is the theory that, in certain groups, members are too prone to certain unacceptable behaviors. It should be blatantly obvious that there is a huge qualitative difference between predicting the behavior of individuals in a group that is defined by its members' behavior and making similar predictions about a group that is defined by an aspect of its members' outward appearances.

Now, as I already indicated, I do not think there is enough of a link between playing sports -- even "helmet sports" specifically -- and anti-social behavior, that anyone could reasonably defend excluding students just because they were athletes. But to try and draw equivalence between playing sports, and being black? Purely ridiculous. Perhaps colleges should be told that they can no longer exclude students who belong to street gangs? or to racial supremacist hate groups? Your analogy fails, and while I'm not going to follow your tactless example of trying to smear someone as "despicable" for the great crime of seeing a situation differently, I will say this: In my mind, one of the worst things you can do in civilized discourse is to play the race card. But one of the few things that is worse is to go out and filch the race card from someone else to play it.