Thursday, November 01, 2007

With Friends Like These . . .

From today's Herald-Sun:

The lacrosse case put a lot of pressure on many of us. I happened to be the president of the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association (the house is in our neighborhood) at the time the case broke. It was a very difficult time for us.

There were pressures from many sides threatening to cause this situation to spiral out of control. It easily could have. Many of us worked very hard to keep the focus on the positive aspects of the neighborhood and Durham, the many positive contributions of Duke and most of its students to Durham, and to keep the lacrosse incident in the proper perspective.

Mayor Bill Bell was a key individual in this effort. I personally witnessed his calm demeanor on a cold night in front of the courthouse while we both were being interviewed on national television.

Is Bill Bell perfect? No, he's human like the rest of us. But I've seen him show a command of considerable calmness under the bright lights when we really needed it. I know he did a good job under a difficult situation. I also think he has done a pretty good job, in general, of keeping the City Council moving ahead. He has my vote.

The letter writer was John Dagenhart.

That's the same John Dagenhart whose wife, Ellen, was a member of the potbangers' organization and then expressed skepticism about the possibility of a civil suit between the players and the city. (In a 2003 article, Ellen Dagenhart charged that Duke students' actions made the neighborhood "a dump.") And it's the same John Dagenhart who appeared in the Times' first guilt-presuming article (March 31, 2006) and who appeared on Larry King the day the first DNA results came back negative to assert "this is one episode amongst many years of problems that we have had with a small number of students causing a large problem." The only complaints filed about this "one episode," of course, were wholly fraudulent ones.

It's reassuring to hear Dagenhart assert that Bell's leadership helped him in his efforts "to keep the focus on the positive aspects of the neighborhood and Durham, the many positive contributions of Duke and most of its students to Durham, and to keep the lacrosse incident in the proper perspective."


Anonymous said...

Both Mr. and Mrs. Dagger-in-Heart have striven endlessly to cast the lacrosse team in a bad light, and to encourage the strongest possible punishments against the young Duke men's every small infraction against the paradoxical mentality of Trinity Park, which simultaneously champions the rights of "anti-establishment" criminals (if of the correct race and class) who routinely burglar, rob, rape and kill in Trinity Park, while insisting on relentless prosecution of every minor misdeed by those evil while boys who dare to pee on the lawn.

With "protectors" like the Dagger-in-Hearts, Trinity Park truly needs no attackers.

Gary Packwood said...

John Dagenhart said...There were pressures from many sides threatening to cause this situation to spiral out of control.
Who was threatening 'TO CAUSE this situation to spiral out of control' and did you provide their names for the AG along with their strategy to CAUSE problems for Durham?

How did the 'many sides' become organized so quickly?

Anonymous said...


"to keep the lacrosse incident in the proper perspective"

Reporters have set up shop at the Dagenhart residence to learn more about the intimate details of the "lacrosse incident". Until yesterday, authorities were only aware of a bogus rape claim against certain Duke students. Now, it appears the lacrosse team may have actually scrimmged in Trinty Park without a game permit. Residents are outraged.

This incident, coupled with uneven lawn growth (blamed on a unique Pee-on fertilizer) has aroused the community. Mayor Bill "Bill" Bell has toured the district in his new chauffeured Cadillac Escalade and declared the area a lawless community and an environmental diaster.


miramar said...

There is an interesting comment at the end of the 31 March 2006 NYT article that KC cites. This website has done a number of interesting counterfactuals, so how do you think Duke and Durham would have reacted if a student had said the following:

"People in the community and on campus are both watching to see what disciplinary action, what stance the university is going to take," [Duke student Venis] Wilder said. "Is this going to be a team of [poor black] men who get away with assaulting a [white] woman? People are really watching to see how Duke is going to respond."

Is it just me, or would she have been suspended from school if she had made the statement above?

mac said...

Satire alert!

Interesting link ("expressed skepticism") to the variey of opinions regarding the potential damages that the City of Duhh faces.

Among those opinions that are interesting are James Coleman's and Alex Charns': Coleman sees the suit's price tag as having a potential deterrent effect on future DPD misbehavior; Charns comments about the lost reputation of the accused students - particularly because of the fact that many (if not most) of the people of Duhh still think "something happened." Both voices are reasonable and well-measured.

What a contrast between their pinios and those expressed by certain others...

Note of advice for the citizen denizens of Duhh (has a ring to it, you think? "Citizen denizens of Duhh?") who still think "something happened": put down the weed; it makes you paranoid, and you end up suffering from CRS disease. You obviously cant remember s#!+, so stop making stuff up. Or go get a sample of Thorazine from DUMC. A whole region is missing their village idiots, who must have all migrated to Duhh like a gaggle of misguided geese.

What a contrast with Coleman and Charns is Ms. Ellen Dagenhart: obviously, the name "dagen" means "stone" (or "hart of stone") - as her opinion rings out as entirely lacking sensitivity, taste or balance. If it (her opinion) should have been a plate of fish, it would be wise to send it back. (Hey Ellen: there's lead in your water in Duhh: maybe you should invest in a better filter? And stop chewing on your mercury thermometers! Please!)

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bell is a crook and the Dagenhart and his wife are enablers and have spread lies and horrible rumors about the lacrosse team. They were one of the first to hold up "Castrate" signs and demand the house be burned down. Their idea of "proper prospective" is the damn the innocent and let corruption reign in Durham.

bill anderson said...

Gee, what was the "proper perspective"? The true "proper perspective" would have been to recognize that the whole thing was one big hoax.

Instead, we have people to this day insisting that "something happened." Interesting, is it not, that the Trinity Park crowd is among the people still wanting to promote the Hoax as though it were true?

If these people really want to put the entire thing in its "proper perspective," then they would admit that they were wrong, and that they were part of a lynch mob that falsely accused innocent people of crimes that never were committed. Anything short of that is a lie, but I am sure that the Trinity Park crowd is up to lying.

Anonymous said...

To Miramar:

Spot on. Suppose the falsely accused students had been, say, Jewish, and a mob of potbanging demonstrators had assembled outside their house with a huge purple banner reading "Gas Them!!" Or if the students had been black and the mob had held up a "Lynch Them!!" banner. There would have been an outcry, quite rightly, and Brodhead and his faculty would have led it.

But the students were white male athletes. So huge brightly-colored banners reading "Castrate!!" and "Give Them Equal Measure" and "Confess!" were apparently a legitimate exercise of free speech. It still staggers me, 18 months later, that neither Brodhead nor anyone else in authority at Duke uttered a word of condemnation, then or since.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, Ellen Dagenhart, a realtor, is a very active member of Preservation Durham. Isn't Robert Steel a major contributor to and an active member of this organization? I remember conjecturing, early on, when Ellen Dagenhart's name was brought up, that there were a number of "interlocking directorates" with a vested interest in eliminating the lacrosse players (and any Duke students) from the Trinity Park neighborhood.

Nicole said...

To 2:47
You are absolutely right. Our society has certain tabus and rightfully so. On the other hand, for Christians or white people it's always open season to blame, insult or assault.

Jim in San Diego said...

From a troglodyte just recently aware of the blogosphere:

Blogs have revolutionized news. The revolution is just beginning.

No MSM could have or would have, the attention to detail to identify John Dagenheart and expose his biases, WITHIN HOURS of publication of his letter.

A big "wow".

Anonymous said...

Is Dagenhart a Communist?

Anonymous said...

more attempts by Durmites to re-write history. call 'em out every time you see it, K.C.

Anonymous said...

I am an old and cynical kind of person so I usually expect the worst from people until they prove me wrong. Ellen Dagenhart, GRI has had a financial interest in churning Trinity Park prpoperty from a realtor standpoint. She would benefit if the many student rented homes were sold by Duke to new buyers. She currently is holding the listings on newly renovated properties at 508 and 710 N Buchanan and other Trinity Park properties over the last year. What did she gain financially by creating the Trinity Park Uprising? Has anyone looked into it at Duke? Clearly there are sales commissions to be earned on the currently listed and newly renovated homes on N. Buchanan. What role have the Dagenharts played in focusing DPD action on the students? Did Ellen make any money by forcing Duke to buy and sell the Trinity Park properties? This isn’t rocket science folks, just follow the money. I'll bet Himan and Gotlieb were on her speed dial!

Anonymous said...

I find Mayor Bell's quotes to be preposterous, and offensive. How all of these people can lie and deny facts of massive corruption, just boggles the mind! The crimes of guilt exceed the LAX case, and goes back much further into Durham's notorious past.

These people deny the truths, then when forced to comment, always use excuses. I am sick of excuses! The "BULL" in Durm has existed far too long, and is beyond just having Washington leaders peer in and have a "Look-See."

My family has waited almost 3 years needlessly for an investigation to be done into my brother's murder. Other families have suffered the same cruel fate at the hands of the courts, officials, and law enforcement. There are no reasons big enough to convince us "THEY" care, and are "moving forward?!"

I have personally sent hundreds of FOIA requests, spoken to every department and official in legislature but the president, and have still been ignored. They know all about me, and am quite sure I have been a burr in their saddles.

WHEN, the FEDS finally decide to move to action, I am nationally requesting my own personal meeting to take my testimony of the abuses and abject denial of due process of law, and the numerous personal and civil rights violations.

THIS is why I have had to come forward into the blogosphere to have a voice. I have not made my quest a secret, and am not alone.

Far more than Duke University has been touched, actual lives have been destroyed. The respect and dignity of an entire city and state has been greatly tarnished, and most of all our leaders in federal government have failed us all immensely.

The clock on the wall has silently ticked away long enough, and is anxiously awaiting for the alarm. So are we!
Rhonda Fleming
You Know Where
You Have My Number

Anonymous said...

Per the news article "None of the players spent more than a few hours in police custody"
If it were my sons, ANY time spent in police custody would be WAY too much time and I imagine there are lots of parents that feel that way, beginning with the Seligmanns, Finnertys and Evans. I was amazed when they were arrested and booked based on the lack of evidence. I can't imagine just how degrading, humiliating, insulting and scary that would be. So a few hours would be WAY too many!!!!!

traveler said...

Just a quick search of Ellen Dagenhart brought in some information that could use further discussion.

She is a “Realtor at Marie Austin Realty.” She is the president of Preservation Durham.” Does she ever sell the houses listed as historic homes by the non-profit organization? What a deal? The non-profit does the advertising, and she has this inside information as a realtor? Just questions.

See her Picture at:

"There were a lot of homeowners and taxpayers who were calling the cops saying, 'Please come and make yourself seen,' " [said Dagenhart, who has known Gottlieb for years.]

Pops Concert, Trinity Park, Artists sponsored by Ellen Dagenhart, Realtor.
(Do you think this is the potbangers?

(Always the little realtor, free words here too)
Whatever you want home to be...
Ellen Dagenhart, Durham Resident
“Just the other day, we closed the sale of a wonderful historic home”

Of Interest:
Cynthia Brodhead is also listed as a director for Preservation Durham.

[Mangum] Street in Old North Durham. (Could this be family?)

Anonymous said...

Students or anyone else who regularly disregard their neighbors by making a lot of noise late into the night and early morning create deep feelings of animosity and resentment.

Anonymous said...

well, 5:24, late night noise that upsets yuppie a-holes buying junky old houses on the cheap don't get to retaliate with bogus rape charges do they? maybe the "castrate" rally was "ok". buy a house in a real neighborhood in a real city.

Anonymous said...

5:54: People who "Bear false witness against their neighbors" create a lot of animosity in me!

How shall I find redress? Accuse them of a crime that is so serious as to ruin their reputation, cost them millions of dollars in defense lawyers, and risk ruining their lives?

As I read it, having a noisy and ill=advised party was stupid... but neither a sin nor a crime.

But now "bearing false witness against a neighbor" is BOTH a sin, AND a crime.

Who was more wrong????


Anonymous said...

Stuart Taylor on PBS Channel 13 news in a few minutes. I heard he's great on there.


Anonymous said...

Oops. Make that 5:24 NOT 5:54.

Ditto on thoughts


Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous 5:24 said...

...Students or anyone else who regularly disregard their neighbors by making a lot of noise late into the night and early morning create deep feelings of animosity and resentment.
That is absolutely correct.

It would interesting to see the number of times students who lived in that area were told by Duke in a meeting, to back off the late night parties and the noise...for the reasons you stated.

I'll bet you lunch that number would be ZERO.

The community knew which of those houses were owned by Duke. How many times did Duke meet with those neighbors to discuss their grievances? That number will be ZERO also.

Those kids were allowed (enabled) to hang themselves and we need to know who those enablers were!

Debrah said...

This letter was in the H-S on October 29th. I mistakenly scrolled on by it because I hated the title.

Anything trying to prop up and glorify Bill Bell is nauseating; however, I'm very glad that KC found it and dissected the players.

I remember the chalky-faced John Dagenhart and Bill Bell when they were on Larry King in the Spring of '06.......and I hate to break it to Dagenhart, but both he and Mayor Bell looked and sounded like two blooming idiots at the time.

Now, a year and so many months later, it's obvious that he and Bell really are idiots---the blind leading the blind.

Those Trinity Park maggots are an overt strain of bloodsuckers. Every town has them.

Tacky little matrons like Ellen Dagenhart and their trained husbands will move into a neighborhood on a deal, fix up a home that they bought on the cheap....then proceed to buy a few rundown homes in the neighborhood nearby.

As a result, it becomes their neighborhood.

They join all the requisite civic clubs and organizations to keep the commission network alive.

Some, like Dagenhart and the popeyed wonder Diane Catotti, develop close ties to places like Duke as well.

Consequently, they become the neighborhood movers and shakers.....(menopausal matron madness working overtime).

Once you allow such people to have the police department, city hall, and administrators of a university on speed dial......they are able to harm anyone they the lacrosse team.

With career parasites like Bill Bell, who has been a government freeloader for over three decades---as Mikey was a DA in Durham for almost three decades---and so many others who keep one another in power by attempting to help cover the corruption as Dagenhart has done in this pathetic letter......we are once again seeing how Durham operates.

Do yourselves a favor and check out who is supporting Bill Bell for mayor. Many of them were the same people who spoke out against Nifong publicly and organized the goofy Lewis Cheek campaign.

Are they supporting Bill Bell beause they are stupid people?

Are they supporting Bill Bell because he's a part of their old PAC machine?

What's truly disgusting is that people like Bell have not been held to account for their behavior in the Lacrosse if Mike Nifong could have gotten away with much of anything without their active support.

traveler said...

To two Anon. posters: I think you may be onto something.

1. Anonymous said...
“… buying junky old houses on the cheap…”

The Preservation Durham page says:
“Some homes are fixer-uppers, others are move-in ready! Property owners can earn local and state preservation tax credits for renovating historic buildings in Durham.”

(Which I think means they pay low taxes, and the rest of pay for their renovations.)
2. Anonymous said…
“Ellen Dagenhart, GRI has had a financial interest in churning Trinity Park property from a realtor standpoint. She would benefit if the many student rented homes were sold by Duke to new buyers.... What did she gain financially by creating the Trinity Park Uprising?”
(Preservation Durham asks residents to nominate houses for preservation. And, as luck would have it, they have a commissioned salesperson right on the spot.)
Endangered Durham

(Looks like a cozy arrangement. Maybe a D-I-W realtor can shed some light on this, in case it is another hoax. Who do you think is getting after Duke about their student rental housing? Hmmmmmmmmm)

Anonymous said...

Ms. Dagenhart says "take it to court and let it be heard"... Well honey chile' that's exactly what these boys' attorneys are gonna do. But you might wish that DUrrhhhh had settled when they had the chance. And you might just want to find yourself some kinda job besides real estate in Durham, because I just suspect that there's not gonna be a lot of folks wanting to move in for awhile.

Anonymous said...

to the 6:06 who wrote " a real house, in a real neighborhood in a real city..." take your elitist insults and get lost

Anonymous said...

to the 6:43 who asked which is worse making a lot of noise in the middle of the night or bearing false witness, are you serious? the next time I have to listen to boisterous voices at 1:30am for the third night in a row, what am I supposed to do? Just relax and go back to sleep with the thought that all is well because some poor addict under the direction of a member of the stasi, bore false witness? I suggest you try it and let me know if it works for you.

Ralph Phelan said...

" a real house, in a real neighborhood in a real city..." take your elitist insults and get lost

What you were responding too was poorly phrased, but I think the author had a real point. What I think he meant (and what I know I mean):

People who buy a house near a college and then complain about the parties remind me of people who buy a house in East Boston and then sue Logan Airport about the noise of the planes, or who buy a house in the country and then complain about the smell from the pig farm next door.

When you buy a house you should know what kind of neighborhood you're moving into and be prepared to deal with it as it is, or else not move there. Moving into an existing environment and then demanding as a matter of right that it be totally transformed for your convenience is pretty arrogant.

traveler said...

Re: Alleged realtor Ellen Dagenhart

Ellen Dagenhart charged that Duke students' actions made the neighborhood "a dump.”

What a way with words Ellie has. One would think a rich elitist could do better. She had better consult with Dr. Neal for better phrasing techniques.

traveler said...

Re: Re: Alleged realtor Ellen Dagenhart

Cynthia Brodhead is on the Durham Preservation Board. Dagenhart could have just happened to indoctrinate Cindy into the mindset that the house at 610 N. Buchanan, and other rental housing, would better serve any Professor Unrepentant, than a bunch of ‘farm animal‘ men. Man, I do miss Houstan.

Dear Cynthia engaging in a little ‘pillow talk’ with Dick, could pass the hoax information along? Would that be information incest? Taxpayers need to know if they are financing the remolding of tacky houses in the name of ’Preservation’ while comparatively rich people live in them paying little property taxes.

Durham-in-Wonderland: Upholding "Separate-but-Equal" Justice
"The Duke Admin. has been actively purchasing land and rental housing then developing and selling the property to "respectable" families (often Duke ..."

And, who could help this little plan right along? It pays to cultivate the right people, yes it does! Feeding at the public trough is nothing new. Let’s think about this, Houstan would call Ellie what…? Calling Dr. Neal, we need a catching little naughty word.

traveler said...

Re: Ellie, Pesky questions-these-

It seems as if I remember some Duke faculty in a TV clip. Did the media ask any G88 type if they were sorry they wrongly accused the three men?

What IF these “so-called historic houses“that taxpayers are helping finance,are being bought by G88 faculty types for resell? The more I read, the more it seems that Ellen Dagenhart was almost harassing the Duke lacrosse players to leave. A common tactic?

So,as another poster indicated, what was she actually doing as an activist against the lacrosse players, making money? Was she seeking out cheap houses to sell and resell? A real win-win-win situation!

Any discussion remotely broaching this subject between Cynthia Brodhead and Ellen Dagenhart would seem like a real conflict of interest to me, since President "Prodhead" would be making a decision that might enrich Ellie.

Certainly it is clear that Dagenhart, Lisker, and Manju Rajendran, were in lock-step to make it look like the neighbors were in an uproar.

One thing, the Cakalack Thunder, is a drum core that performs at protests, often with Manju. They were not neighbors, and many others came from the outside.

How many honest neighborhood protesters were really there? In my opinion, Ellen Dagenhart seized an opportunity to advance her own agenda.$$$ Now where have we heard that song before?

Lisker’s little dears supplied the clothesline of tee-shirts for the 'Sunday in the park-like' outing. I wonder if the little dears were striped to the waist while their tee-shirts were on the clothesline? Shudder!

Anonymous said...

Re: Mr. Phelan's post at 10:37am

He is certainly right that one who moves next to an airport should not complain about the noise.

But if one became a homeowner before, for example, fraternities started to buy up houses in a neighborhood, one would have every right to be upset and resentful towards thoughtless, boorish behavior.

In any event, there is a basic standard of conduct that people living in proximity to one and other ought to observe regardless of who arrived first. Allowing neighbors to sleep is part of it. For many students, college dorms are terrible places to live because some students are lousy neighbors.

And I am not demanding anything. I assume there are applicable ordinances and that the authorities have the power to step in.

I am angry about the lack of basic respect that some people display toward their neighbors. That some of the people behave so thoughtlessly and selfishly are college students is, in my book, no defense. It is, I think, a very bad reflection on the students and their university if such situations go unaddressed by the students and university administration. It shouldn't be necessary to call the police. All we are talking about here are basic manners.

I appreciate Mr. Phelan's effort to rephrase the previous poster's point, although I think Mr. Phelan gives him/her too much credit. And if circumstances were different, I would find the analogy to Logan Airport funny.

Debrah said...

I doubt very much that the Dagenharts are "rich".

All things being relative, if she had made millions in the real estate business, why live in a place like Trinity Park?

That's why I call them "WalMart people".

No doubt they have some money, but not real money.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I have had a broker's license since I was old enough to take the test. My father encouraged me to get one in case I ever wanted to use it--I haven't yet. He had a real estate company....and he was worried.....thinking that I should know more about life than music and drama.)


If Dagenhart were "rich", she'd be buying up hotels and city buildings, not rundown houses.

KC Johnson said...

To the 1.04:

One thing that very much surprised me about this case was Duke's residential pattern, which is highly unusual--around 80% on campus, the others (mostly seniors) just off campus, and rigorous enforcement of alcohol policies on but not off campus. This is a structural problem--one that makes town/gown tensions all but inevitable. At the same time, it's my understanding "community" groups also have opposed the idea of Duke expanding, which would have enabled the building of more dorms.

All that said, to reference the specific topic of this post, I fear that by their participation in the potbangers' organization, the Dagenharts have forfeited the right to lecture anyone else on "manners," basic or otherwise.

Ralph Phelan said...

I fear that by their participation in the potbangers' organization, the Dagenharts have forfeited the right to lecture anyone else on "manners,"

Or noise violations, for that matter.

mac said...

Traveler has a point (a couple of them!) and they remind me of the DC real estate crowd, when they'd drive white people out by selling to a black family, then scare the rest into selling - cheap.

Then they'd sell to black families - and they'd sell the properties for exhorbitant prices.

Anyone who doesn't think machinations such as these are above those in the real estate markets likely hides their teeth under their pillow (even the artificial ones.) Just in case the tooth fairy still makes house calls.

Whether or not the Dagenharts do such things? Don't know; don't care. No matter what their deeds are, whatever they've said with regard to the hoax and the suit "is bad enough."

Anonymous said...

Enough - these Dagenharts have had their fifteen seconds - boring.

no justice, no peace said...

Inre: "...Students or anyone else who regularly disregard their neighbors by making a lot of noise late into the night and early morning create deep feelings of animosity and resentment."

Neighbors who move into the noise cone of an airport or across the street from a church, should not be surprised at the noise during peak air travel times or the lack of parking out front on Sunday mornings.

traveler said...

Anonymous said...
Enough - these Dagenharts have had their fifteen seconds - boring.
Ellie, Do YOU think we should just "move on" again? When Mrs. Brodhead resigns, we can move on to other questionable “Hook-Ups”. Where is Ann Allison when you need her?

Anonymous said...

"Neighbors who move into the noise cone of an airport or across the street from a church, should not be surprised at the noise during peak air travel times or the lack of parking out front on Sunday mornings."

Except that is not what happened here. Duke students, during the Keohane administration, moved off campus in order to free themselves of drinking rules. In so doing some student groups began to have big parties lasting late into the night. So if there were "neighbors who moved into the noise cone.." it was the students, not the longer term residents.

In any event, distress about disruption is not the same as allegations of felonies, and the neighbors, while properly upset about the former, backed away pretty quickly from supporting the latter.

mac said...

I can sympathize with people who don't appreciate loud parties at the expense of their quiet afternoons, their dinners, their sleep. As I write, the thugs across the street, or the thugga-&*^^%-non-intellectual, is playing his crappy hip hop loud enough for it to be heard from all parts of my house.

I understand loud music; I'm not that far removed from that age. I understand. But they also have a back yard and a side yard, and a front porch aims it directly through our home.

So can I sympathize with neighbors of college students? I've seen problems in many college-towns. It's gonna be an issue.

However, these days, getting even is so much more fun than just calling the law: if someone doesn't like kids peeing in their bushes, their are plenty of decent (and inexpensive) digital cameras to be had. Simply take a picture of the dude with his parts exposed, put it on UTube (after the arresting officer gives you the boys' names) and send an email with a link to his/her parents, or to the college president. Johnny/Jamie will get the picture, directly or indirectly. And so will their parents. And friends. And professors.

In this case? We called the law. It was dealt with. And if they keep f'ing up? Lots of ordinances that deal with a house that needs repair: paint, downspouts, sagging porches. Lots of little things that may keep their attention on keeping their adult-man-child from causing them reciprocal harrassment. Besides, same as 4:35 said with regard to Trinity Park neighbors: we were here first.

If the neighbors of Duke students don't appreciate loud music and public urination, I'd think they could be creative.

And as 4:35 says:

"Distress about disruption is not the same as allegations of felonies."

Anonymous said...

(There has been an on-going discussion on LieStoppers Forum of Herman Melville scholarship in relationship to Richard Brodhead's academic record. Tonight Jim Coooney posted about the relationship of the Duke lacrosse case to Melville's greatest work Moby Dick (MD). This may at first appear to be off-topic but great literature reflects life.):

JimCooney Posted: Nov 3 2007, 05:11 PM
roup: Members
Posts: 16
Member No.: 949
Joined: 13-April 07

Amen. MD remains the greatest novel penned by an American and one of the greatest works of fiction in Western literature. Like Ahab with the white whale, each time I read it, I pile new meanings on it. Moreover, it is fitting that in this of all cases - - one characterized by obsession to the disregard of everything, one in which so many people attempted to pile their own life views (or the way in which they believed that life worked) on one thing (the lacrosse team), and one in which the people in charge recklessly plowed forward and eventually lost everything - - that we ultimately end this case with a discussion of Melville and Moby-Dick. Nifong (and the 88) who sought to use the lacrosse case to impose meaning on the world would have been fitting members of the Pequod (and indeed would have gladly steered her to the whale itself).

And so, to end this post (and the case) I can think of nothing more appropriate than to quote from the last of Ahab:

"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"

The harpoon was darted; the stricken whale flew forward; with igniting velocity the line ran through the groove; - ran foul. Ahab stooped to clear it; he did clear it; but the flying turn caught him round the neck and voicelessly as Turkish mutes bowstring their victim, he was shot out of the boat, ere the crew knew he was gone."

Anonymous said...

As ralph phelan @ 11/02 10:37 AM notes:

Moving into an existing environment and then demanding as a matter of right that it be totally transformed for your convenience is pretty arrogant.

This is why Californians are so hated in Washington/Oregon/Idaho/Montana. After they drive up real estate prices beyond the reach of the locals, they demand that horses be kept off the streets and the local saddlrey start serving lattes. Won't even go into the PC politics they bring to town meetings, imposing everything on the locals that they fled the Golden State to escape. The locals call them Californicators.

Barry Ragin said...

All that said, to reference the specific topic of this post, I fear that by their participation in the potbangers' organization, the Dagenharts have forfeited the right to lecture anyone else on "manners," basic or otherwise.

KC - what information do you have that the Dagenharts were involved in any of the "potbanging?"

Anonymous said...

I think some correction about Trinity Park is warranted:

1) Ellen and John Dagenhart weren't somehow involved in starting revitalization and gentrification in TP. And the idea that it happened with some kind of partnership with this so-called gang of 88 is, sorry folks, ridiculous. First of all, the Dagenharts have lived in the neighborhood for only about a decade; revitalization began in the mid-1970s.

2) The poster who noted that Trinity Park was a well-established, strong neighborhood in advance to Duke students moving in in large numbers in the 1990s is absolutely correct. Please note that public urination is by no means the only perceived offense; I know of one neighbor who had a beer bottle thrown at her head by a drunk young person, and others who've had petty vandalism on their property. (None of this was done by the lacrosse players, by the way, to the best of my knowledge.)

3) "Those Trinity Park maggots are an overt strain of bloodsuckers. Every town has them. Tacky little matrons like Ellen Dagenhart and their trained husbands will move into a neighborhood on a deal, fix up a home that they bought on the cheap....then proceed to buy a few rundown homes in the neighborhood nearby."

Is this really what public discourse has come to? Three levels of assumptions, insults and bravada by people who've never set foot in the neighborhood? Who don't know these people? (And as noted above, sorry, but this isn't what happened contemporaneously with the Dagenharts and TP.)

mac said...


It's the Dagenhart's revisionism and visciousness toward the young men - (not only their neighborhood identity) - that's so troubling. Most of us understand what it's like to have loud, drunken neighbors. Most of us would not insist that loud drunken behavior - (which was not, apparently, in much evidence at the lacrosse house) - was somehow deserving of charges of rape, hooliganism and racism.

The Dagenharts helped build the animus: they have to ride it, as well.

Debrah said...

"Is this really what public discourse has come to?"


There is no easy way to describe petty cretins.

Don't fake refinement and plead a weak stomach after what we have all witnessed from many residents in Trinity Park.

And living in the Triangle as I do does not make me a stranger to this location.

The Dagenharts made themselves an issue by their abhorrent behavior in the Spring of 2006. They played an overt role in slamming the lacrosse players in the media.....and we will not forget that DPD's Gottlieb was always on their speed dial.

Living anywhere for a decade as you say they have makes them a part of the community---hook, line, and sinker.

In fact, given their pathetic role in the Lacrosse Hoax, I really wasn't hard enough on them.

Have they apologized for their slander?

Ralph Phelan said...

"This is why Californians are so hated in Washington/Oregon/Idaho/Montana. After they drive up real estate prices beyond the reach of the locals, they demand that horses be kept off the streets and the local saddlrey start serving lattes. Won't even go into the PC politics they bring to town meetings, imposing everything on the locals that they fled the Golden State to escape. The locals call them Californicators."

In New Hampshire we get "Massholes," who move up here to avoid the taxes and crime and immediately start voting for higher taxes and more "social benefits" and "compassion" for criminals.

Anonymous said...

There is no revisionism from the Trinity Park people. The truth is that the Duke students have been terrorising that neighborhood for about 15 years and that is why the people there support Gottlieb and the police crackdown. There have been many incidents and many of the worst ones were covered in the local press so they are not exaggerating the history one bit.

Like a lot of older neighborhoods in the Triangle, Trinity Park is very stable and most of the people have lived there a long time and have been there BEFORE the Duke students moved in so the analogy about people moving near an airport and therefore having no right to complain is frankly stupid as it does not apply to this case. Also,the area was gentrified some time ago so to accuse the Dagenhearts of exploiting the neighborhood in some way is just ridiculous but that is typical of the character assassination practiced by people on this blog like Debrah, who has said a lot of things that are frankly libelous about the Dagenhearts, IMO, and like a lot of this blog, have no basis in reality.

Debrah said...

TO 3:19 AM--

Good luck in your future defense of these people.

If you wish to talk about what's offensive and libelous, just revisit what those people did and said about the innocent lacrosse a crucial time when they were in harm's way.

Their comments fueled community upheaval and death threats from the New Black Panthers.

You might not want to get too close to that.

After all, the civil suits are just beginning for Durham. Don't ever accuse me or anyone else on this blog of anything except relaying the truth that the entire country knows.

I think your friends just need to sit back and stop talking.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you need to stop talking because lacrosse players are not the only ones who can sue someone! What you said about them was hateful and demonstrably untrue and if they chose to sue you in court about your comments, they would win.

As to the rest of the country knowing something, how the hell would they know of the long history of Trinity Park and the problems with Duke students there if they are not from here and have not been reading the local reports for a number of years? Most of the "rest of the country" people on this blog are the stupid ones on here writing about "dont move near an airport and then complain" when that is not the case in Trinity park!

The out of town people only know the "reality" of Durham from defense lawyers' spin and this blog. Unfortunately, most of the people on this blog are blind to the realities of the situation. For example, instead of condemning the poor behavior of Duke students in this case and in the Trinity Park area in general(unruly behavior, neigborhood complaints and arrests in the area which are well documented in the N and O and the Herald Sun and go back aabout 15 years and would certainly be available for display in court in any lawsuit), the majority of people on this blog chose to attack the people at Trinity Park rather than to admit that some Dukies were not good citizens and were disrespecting their neighbors. The reason for this behavior on the blog is the fear that admitting the truth about student behavior there might depict the LAX team in a less than favorable light and also would weaken the theory that Gottlieb was persecuting Duke students unjustly, etc. Too bad the rest of Durham knows the true history of the Trinity Park situation.

Debrah said...

TO 5:33 AM--

It's futile to even have a conversation with someone like you.

You obviously are so close to the people there--or you live in the neighborhood yourself--that you cannot and do not wish to see the wild difference between punishing Duke students for unruly and annoying behavior......and actively aiding--publicly--in their possible imprisonment on false felony charges.

You, and those like you, exemplify Durham.

Clueless, at best.

Harmful, at your worst.

This blog has revealed facts about what these people did. You cannot change that by trying to silence and threaten participants.

And I couldn't care less about the "history" of Trinity Park. It's a knock-off joint.

This blog has only illuminated what some of its residents did out of pettiness and "revenge".

Anonymous said...

If the Duke students were the saints you people allege, why would there need to be any "revenge"? A large group of people do not wake up and just decide to tell the newpaper about their neighbors' behavior requiring the presence of police if there is no history behind it. Face it, there is a long history there and the people of Trinity Park actually lived next door to these miscreants and they were not under any illusions about what these young men were capable of whatsoever. It is well known here in Trinity Park that the last police call to 610 Buchanon before this incident involved a young, naked white woman seen coming out of a window and then running to Duke's campus. This occured about a year before the alleged rape incident and several of the Trinity Park neighbors called in to 911 about it. I guess since a young WHITE woman may have been mistreated there, that might give a pause to even someone like you, Debrah. But it probably won't because you are trying to promote your own metanarrative and so is this blog. Like I said, the rest of Durham knows the truth, however, and this revisionism will not work for anyone except Yankees who do not live in Durham and read this blog thinking the people posting here are in touch locally, which you are not.

And as for trying to threaten or silence someone, you have a nerve as you were the one who started out obliquely threatening the Dagenhearts with "the lawsuits are just starting in the Duke case" and "I think your friends need to stop talking", etc. I just reminded YOU that lawsuits can go both ways and if they chose to sue YOU they have a lot of evidence on their side that what they said about student behavior is true and what you said about them trying to redline the neighborhood is b---s--t, like 99% of what you say on this blog,Debrah. As usual, you people can dish it out but you cannot take it.

Debrah said...

TO cowardly anonymous attack dog @ (10:15 PM)--

I advise you to reread some of the posts above.

They outline in detail so much more about this issue than I ever could. "traveler" has found quite interesting information that you have ignored.

Instead, you choose to continue your cowardly anonymous attack on me because I post with my name. Your tactics here show what kind of character you have. None.

No one here is "dishing" anything.

Your friends are low-rent. They participated in the pot-banging slander. Many posters above have commented on this fact.

See if you can answer some of those issues which many commenters have revealed for us. Perhaps you can attack them as well.

You're a fool and attacking and threatening people are all you have left.

I am done with you, coward.

AMac said...

Anon 11/9/07 5:33am / 11/10/07 10:17pm wrote --

"You people"

Anon, there is no "you people of this blog" that doesn't include the person who stares back at you from the mirror. You are unwittingly addressing a bunch of different individuals with distinctive takes.

Of course, it's harder to direct a response when some post anonymously (again, check mirror).

More to your point: if you look into the Innocence Project's profiles of people who have been wrongly convicted of capital crimes, you will be surprised to find that some of these fellows are not nice. Many didn't commit the murder that landed them on Death Row, but have done other bad stuff over the years.

Is the Project therefore a public disservice? "Whatever they did is bad enough"?

Your stereotype of the You People doesn't take into account that many of us/them have read Charlotte Simmons and Stuart Rosjacker.

Had your Trinity Park pals focused on legitimate Quality-of-Life concerns, they would have a powerful case. Had they apologized for their part in the railroading once the outline of the Hoax/Frame became clear, they'd have salvaged a morally respectable position.

But they didn't, and they didn't. Schadenfreude is fun while it lasts, but your Potbanging comrades forgot about its tendency to curdle.

By all means, if you think your disgruntled chums should sue, urge them to do so. Many of 'us' who are interested in the Hoax/Frame from afar--I'm a damnyankee, gasp!--think that a proper Failure Analysis would be facilitated by the facts that lawsuits' Discovery processes would bring to light.

On the other hand, if Progressive Trinity Park residents draw the lesson that they should henceforth refrain from supporting unjust felony charges, even when laid against people they have reason to dislike: perhaps they learned something useful. Maybe that insight will help them in solving their neighborhood's day-to-day problems.

Anonymous said...

All that b...s... above does not change the simple fact that you people on this blog are trying to pretend that Duke students do not have a history of misbehaving in the Trinity Park neighborhood and that the defense's attempt to make it look as if Gottlieb was arresting students for no reason and that this explained his motive for "framing" the Duke 3 is "a crock". The people of Trinity Park did not do anything except:

1.confirm that there was a history of problems with students in the neighborhood when asked by the press.

2.defend Gottlieb when he was defamed by the defense lawyers and their media tool at the News and Observer, Neff, who dutifully wrote a story with their theory on Gottlieb's motives according to the defense. In reality, Gottlieb was one of the few really helpful officers who enforced the police crackdown on these drunken disrespectful youngsters. The whole neighborhood was grateful to him. We all know he worked the later shifts when there was more drinking=more arrests. So much for the defense's B.S. theory about Gottlieb's motives.

3.The only reason there was a crackdown in the first place was that the students did not curb their behavior when they recieved tickets or summons in the past. The students are a very entitled bunch as a group and have ignored warnings, tickets,etc. The neighborhood did not see any improvement until the penalties increased and there were arrests. It is that simple; there is no grand conspiracy to violate student rights, etc. The main objective in the neighborhood was to protect the property values and to not have vomit, urine and broken bottles in the yard, on the side of houses or thrown at neighbors. Period.

4.You cannot prove any of the neighbors participated in the pot banging and some of us did not even vote for Nifong. So much for the "enabling" lie. Most of the potbangers were members of Faculty and activsim groups.

And last but not least, funny that the poster above mentions CHARLOTTE SIMMONS which was based on Duke and heavily researched there by Wolfe. In the novel, Lacrosse players were depicted as a group of sexual predators(wonder why?)as a whole. Guess the Duke 3 can add Tom Wolfe to the lawsuit list. Oops. I forgot. His book was published well BEFORE the rape allegations. Wow what a coincidence! Tom Wolfe, a world famous writer known for his roman a clef style and meticulous in the field research goes to Duke (and some other colleges but primarily Duke, where his daughter just graduated) and spends months researching, interviewing students, faculty, and even attending student parties as source material for his book...and he just happens to come up with a very negative depiction of the lacrosse team as drunken bullies that take advantage of girls. Maybe some of you on here can interview Tom about why he wrote what he did. You can then add him to your blog hitlist like you did the residents of Trinity Park.

And to Debrah,
B---h, please. If you do not like Durham, the triangle etc and consider it low rent, then move back to wherever you came from; you are definitely not a real North Carolinian even though you try to ape the white supremacy and classism of some of the people down here. All you have is their prejudices which you are parading to the world on this blog in a desperate attempt to fit in.

AMac said...

Anon 11:31pm --

Just to acknowledge reading your comment. You make a few worthwhile points. Some of the other ones, not so good.

If you meant to rebut any of the observations made at 11/12/07 at 9:40am, I may have missed that.

Except "funny that the poster above mentions CHARLOTTE SIMMONS." Not so humorous, actually. My point in bringing it up was that Evans, Finnerty, Seligmann, and their teammates and coach didn't deserve what was dealt to them even granting that the narrative in Wolfe's novel of Dupont College should be taken as the Literal Truth About Duke And Every Member Of The Lacrosse Team.

Also see Project, Innocence for a variation on this theme.

You report that Sgt. Gottlieb's actions during the Hoax/Frame were wholly admirable. Well, it hardly seem so from this distance.

You suggest that your Trinity Park neighbors had nothing to do with the "CASTRATE" and "GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE" potbangers. Maybe the listserv messages that have been made public don't give quite the right impression. But I'm not from there--perhaps your assertions would ring true with the "Liestoppers" crew, who include a number of Durham residents. But even if some Trinity Park people joined the Rush to Condemn party, that doesn't mean that everyone did.

As far as taking responsibility by apologizing for their harmful actions, doesn't seem that anyone save the lacrosse players have done much better than the faculty and activists you describe as the real potbangers.