Monday, November 17, 2008

Odds & Ends

The shameless Wendy Murphy is back, this time spouting off in a Boston Globe letter to the editor. Conducting an investigation and presenting physical or DNA or witness evidence in court? Not a requirement, it seems, to Murphy: “There's nothing inherently difficult about prosecuting rape. It is, in fact, the easiest and least expensive crime to investigate and prosecute. The victim takes the stand and says she was forced to have sex without her consent. If the jurors believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, they vote guilty.”

The villains? “We've always used the law as a way of indulging male entitlement over women's freedom. That we allow defense attorneys to obfuscate and eroticize rape trials as a way of distorting the truth to produce an unfair result only adds insult to injury.”

In reality, what “only adds insult to injury” is that anyone could take seriously the utterances of Murphy, a figure who seems oblivious to the truth, and someone who seems unaware of the basic tenets of due process. What does it say about the values of the Massachusetts Bar that it allows such a person to practice law in the Bay State?

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The Durham “grassroots” has also made its return, this time in the form of Fahim Knight, “chief researcher for the “Keeping It Real Think Tank.” (The think tank’s mission: “to inform African Americans and all people of good will of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolisms and reinterpret the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world.”)

In a recent post, Knight brought his . . . unusual . . . analytical tools to the lacrosse case. How and why were charges dismissed? Due to the machinations of . . . Duke! That, of course, is the same Duke that reached a settlement with the falsely accused players and is currently facing massive civil rights lawsuits for violating the unindicted players’ rights. But, in the world according to Knight, Duke was actually rigging the case in the players’ behavior.

Nifong, of course, is a victim in this version of reality: “Duke University used its enormous influence and power to punish District Attorney Michael Nifong and to set an example for other ambitious adversaries who might consider in the future of contesting Duke’s power. Nifong has been character assassinated [sic] and has been publicly ridiculed for daring to come up against this historical great tobacco rich and aristocratic dynastic family institution. The North Carolina Bar Association, which is controlled by Duke(!) eventually disbarred Nifong stripping him of his law license and ability to earn money.”

And what of the false accuser, Crystal Mangum? Knight writes, “This writer also believes the victim [sic] Crystal Mangum who resides down the street from where I live, and I believe she was also paid off by Duke. Duke in one sense made her to go away. She has recently published her memoirs [en]titled, “The Last Dance for Grace: The Crystal Mangum Story” and willing [sic] to bet you she has been very selective at the advisement of her attorneys[?] about how far she was going to go with telling the story because I am quite sure she had signed a clause with Duke University forbidding her of speaking or writing the truth.”

Unclear is exactly what Duke paid for. While Mangum never told the same story twice, she did claim to prosecutors that she had been attacked (while, as a reminder, she was levitating in midair, and shortly after she had spent seven minutes chatting with her father while simultaneously performing an exotic dance). Perhaps Knight is claiming that Duke paid Mangum to offer a story so bizarre that no one except Mike Nifong and most of the Group of 88 would believe it?

On Friday, I e-mailed Knight to ask him why Duke would have “paid off” Mangum to help students that the University’s leadership and activist faculty had gone out of their way to revile. He didn’t respond.

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ESPN ombudsman Le Ann Schreiber recently commented on the network’s decision not to report allegations that Jets quarterback Brett Favre had phoned the Detroit Lions management to pass along inside information about his former team, the Green Bay Packers. The reason?

“When allegations are made against somebody,” [ESPN senior vice president and director of news Vince] Doria said, “with no confirmation or evidence on our part, and you go to the person and get a denial, and then use the denial to you as justification for putting the allegations out there—to me, that has always seemed an unethical way to get a story out if it involves a matter of character.”

That is old school journalistic ethics, music to any ombudsman’s ears, and yet Doria is right about the perception problem. ESPN can’t win on this one, because no one can come up with recent precedents.

One reason, of course, that “no one can come up with recent precedents” is how espn.com handled (and, by refusing to repudiate the story, continues to handle) the lacrosse case. An ESPN piece that appeared as an insert column on April 11, 2006—the day after defense attorneys announced that the DNA tests Mike Nifong had promised would exonerate the innocent all had come back with no matches—was reported by Eric Adelson.

Citing one and only one source—and an anonymous source, at that—Adelson provided “a detailed account of the exotic dancer’s arrival at the hospital the night of the alleged sexual assault.” The source claimed that Mangum was “beat up . . . She was hysterical . . . She was crying, she was pretty banged up.” Paraphrasing the anonymous source, Adelson suggested that “there were bruises on her face, neck, and arms” and “there were injuries to the woman’s pelvic area.”

Adelson’s performance would hardly conform to “old school journalistic ethics.” There were, in fact, only two logical explanations of his column: (1) He invented the anonymous source; or (2) An anonymous source—which, as a thread in the old Liestoppers convincingly argued, was probably former Duke Police Officer Sara Falcon—lied to him.

Astonishingly, even after the completion of the Attorney General’s investigation—which provided, it’s worth reiterating, not a scintilla of evidence to corroborate the claims of Adelson’s single anonymous source—Adelson stood by his story. Last summer, I e-mailed Schreiber to bring to her attention the errors in Adelson’s story. She didn't respond.

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Duke scored a victory late last week, when Judge James Beaty upheld the University’s argument that it had the power to unilaterally defer meetings to discuss discovery requirements. Beaty wrote,

Having considered the arguments of the parties, the Court concludes that allowing discovery to proceed further at this time, prior to the filing of Answers and prior to a determination of the claims and parties that will remain following resolution of the Motions to Dismiss, would be premature and inefficient, particularly in light of the scope of this litigation and the number of claims asserted and the number of Defendants named. In addition, proceeding with full discovery at this time would likely result in significant discovery disputes that could only be resolved by determination of the issues raised in the Motions to Dismiss.

Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that further discovery should proceed only after the pending Motions to Dismiss are resolved.

The decision was a perfectly logical one, although, of course, normally one party in a case doesn't get to unilaterally change the rules.

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And the Durham Police Department sustains its classy reputation.

50 comments:

One Spook said...

KC writes:

"And the Durham Police Department sustains its classy reputation.

And, according to the N & O report: Chief Lopez said,

"There's no exact words that were said," said Police Chief Jose L. Lopez Sr."

Can someone from Durham translate that one for me? Inexact words, maybe? "Classy" from top to bottom ...

One Spook

Jacob said...

nice post

Anonymous said...

Balzac said, “To distrust the judiciary marks the beginning of the end of society.”

Regardless of whether the grounds for delaying discovery are 'perfectly logical',
the conclusions drawn by the public (which has witnessed all too many legal shenanigans in this case already)
may not be 'perfectly logical'.

At any rate, it's long past time to get the alleged perpetrators under oath. And if the system fails to be able to accomplish this, then it (and all its courts, judges, schools, etc.) are not worth the effort to maintain them.

Anonymous said...

Wendy Murphy is a damned fool . . . she wants total definition of any word or words she wishes to discuss. It doesn't work that way Wendy. I would hope that the intellectually dishonest ilk of which Wendy is one would be constantly challenged and essentially told to go to hell. What they have to say has nothing to do with fairness or law or anything other than their own narrow minded sexist bigotry. These people are unbeliveable and yet very dangerous to everyone and the rule of law. They are no better than the lynch mobs that roamed communities across the nation at the end of the nineteenth century. It remains to be seen how many she and someone like the infamous Susan Smith would require punished to satiate her ego. Murphy represents the kind of person you would not want to find yourself alone with after class . . . certainly not without the door open to witnesses.

Gary Packwood said...

I think we are going to learn eventually that Fahim Knight and his 'Keeping It Real Think Tank' is tied in with Sojourner's Place who 'brand' themselves also ...as a 'Think Tank' and central clearing house for AA Black Bloggers...especially bloggers concerned with professional African-American Women.

http://tinyurl.com/6958us

"As the think tank for the Afrosphere, the AfroSpear is a collective of black bloggers from around the world who convene online to discuss, strategize, and develop solutions to problems affecting people of the African Diaspora".

Think Tank now becomes the phrase defining ideology ...."The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture".

And I know of no other place in America other than Duke University in beautiful downtown Durham, where there is a critical mass of AABlack and Women's Studies professor who have nothing better to do than develop a new and improved ideology. Forthcoming, of course.

Never argue with anyone who is espousing a new form of vague ideology. They love to watch you sputter and shoot yourself in the foot.

Facts matter.
::
GP

Debrah said...

Wendy Murphy needs to move to Durham.

She and Mr. Knight could start a group for wayward victims that never were.


As a sidebar, does anyone else find it strange that the black vote came down so strongly against same-sex marriage?

Why does anyone care about this issue unless you are gay and want to "marry"?

Gary Packwood said...

MINDING THE CAMPUS
Obama And The Campus Left
by
K.C. Johnson

"No politician can publicly defend the current situation of professors operating in a groupthink atmosphere, to the detriment of the students they teach".

http://tinyurl.com/6mpqfl
::
GP

Anonymous said...

"historical great tobacco rich and aristocratic dynastic family institution."

There must be about 3 (sics) in here.

I have never heard of DUKE referred to so ..... what? What does that say?

As for Wendy Murphy - is anyone except old and angry women living in trailer parks still watching her?

qa said...

KC:

re your Adelson comments :

“Adelson’s performance would hardly conform to “old school journalistic ethics.” There were, in fact, only two logical explanations of his column: (1) He invented the anonymous source; or (2) [the] anonymous source .... lied to him.”

[I admire your politely indirect way of saying that either Adelstein lied or his alleged source did.]

“Astonishingly even after the completion of the Attorney General’s investigation—which provided, it’s worth reiterating, not a scintilla of evidence to corroborate the claims of Adelson’s single anonymous source—Adelson stood by his story.”

Not only is there an absence of corroboration of this repeated and not retracted falsehood, there is an affirmative presence of proof of its falsity.

photios said...

The judge's decision is troubling, since he puts no weight on the fact pointed out by the plaintiffs that the defendants have a history of destroying and falsifying evidence. Also, he makes a point of citing the law according to which (as he interprets it) if they do destroy evidence, there is no automatic penalty: it is up to him to decide whether to impose a penalty or not. Taken as a whole, the decision stops just short of outright encouraging the destruction of evidence. We have reason to be deeply suspicious of NC judges, and this ruling only adds further grounds for suspicion.

skwilli said...

Murphy is certainly "odd" but I doubt that her same old tune will "end".

Michael said...

Wendy Murphy is on a very popular Boston radio talk show with Tom Finneran (former Massachusetts House Speaker). They usually take opposing sides of an issue. She's on one day a week.

So she's out there and her popularity, either as a hero or villain, has to be pretty high to stay on the air.

bill anderson said...

Wendy Murphy is pure evil. She is the champion of lies, period.

I was encouraged by the responses to her letter to the editor, and one person even brought up the Duke case. Murphy is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with journalism and academe today.

Anonymous said...

Is Murphy a Communist?

cs said...

Malcolm Berko thinks Durham is paradise:

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/couriernews/business/berko/1281822,3_3_EL16_BERKO3_S1.article

Anonymous said...

"Nifong has been character assassinated [sic] and has been publicly ridiculed for daring to come up against this historical great tobacco rich and aristocratic dynastic family institution.'

Lawyers- please plead "character assassinated" in RCD's and the players lawsuits.

Tell this author how commas work. Maybe even slip in an adverb once in a while instead of an adjective.

This work of (sic) would make a great composition exam for a 6th grader to have to attempt to correct. Very entertaining though. What a moron.

Anonymous said...

It appears that Obama will nominate Eric Holder as his AG. I quick check revealed this information on his tenure as a prosecutor in the public integrity section of the US Justice Department:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n7_v86/ai_15480292

Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

While Wendy Murphy is an evil liar, Malcolm Berko (thanks to cs at 7:55 am) can do a lot of damage to any one who is foolish enough to read his columns and take his investment advice. In all seriousness, this guy's investment advice should be avoided.

C. Thomas Kunz
Durham, N.C.

Debrah said...

A magnificent one by KC.

"Stu Daddy" brought this to my attention this evening.

Simply brilliant and should be read by everyone.

Stu Daddy said...

With president-elect Obama's questionable choice of Eric Holder for Attorney General, is it likely that Jamie Gorelick will continue with Duke's lawsuit defense team?

Debrah said...

Ha!

Stu Daddy's Diva World critique of KC's Minding the Campus masterpiece:


Stu Daddy said...

"Professor KC Johnson at Minding the Campus... Obama and the Campus Left

KC needs to tie one hand behind his back, just to make it fair."

Debrah said...

Rick Martinez of the N&O appeals to William Barber not to pick and choose.

Does anyone believe that Barber will ever yield to a "teachable moment"?

Anonymous said...

I live in Western North Carolina. Yesterday the former Polk County Sheriff was convicted of a felony. The quote from Attorney General Roy Cooper is as follows:

"Law enforcement officers must be above reproach, but they are not above the law"

Does that apply to officers in other counties in North Carolina? Does that apply to Durham County?

These Polk County charges went back to incidents in 1988 and 1989. Can we hope that those DPD goons who investigated and perpetrated the Lacrosse Hoax will eventually be hunted down and charged and MADE TO PAY???

Debrah said...

From the grotesque and bizarre website cited previously, this page shows a close-up of the party on Buchanan Blvd.

You can see Reade's face and the sneer as if he's disgusted by the drunken show.

This website seems to consist of altering lacrosse photos to match the Mangum enablers' fantasies.

We should all monitor the place to see if any laws are broken or if anything needs to be reported to their website hosts.

These people invaded my space and used images of me without permission.

I wish LS could prove that they hacked their website so that the authorities could be brought in.

RoseMontague said...

Believing that Duke University paid off some people and used it's power and influence in Durham to get the Lacrosse player's case dropped is almost as crazy as believing they conspired with Nifong and local Law Enforcement to frame them.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

KC, I have said here more than once that -- because of political correctness -- in 100 or 150 years, the "accepted truth" of the Duke Lacrosse Case is likely to be the opposite of your version.

Fahim A. Knight-El is only the latest writer who has sought to use this case in order to become the 21st century's Ida B. Wells. As Wells herself said -- and proved: "History is a weapon."

RRH

Anonymous said...

So ... Duke was In On It?????!!!! Paid the "victim" off to protect her "attackers"????!!!!!!

This has ALMOST got to be the nuttiest Conspirarcy Theory ever offered about anything ...

The only thing that I can think of that actually is NUTTIER is one that someone advanced after the JFK assassination -- that the true assassin was none other than OFFICER J.D. TIPPIT ... the poor police officer who died after confronting Lee Harvey Oswald.

Things that make you go Hmmmm ...

Debrah said...

Crime Happens from Duke Magazine

Anonymous said...

Another phony rape claim: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/21/MNHJ149JCO.DTL.

Prosecuting women who make such false claims is the only deterrent.

Anonymous said...

Just remember,Wendy Murphy is to the legal world what The Rev Wright is to theology

Anonymous said...

Debrah said...
A magnificent one by KC.

"Stu Daddy" brought this to my attention this evening.

Simply brilliant and should be read by everyone.

11/18/08 11:46 PM


The humorous thing about this article is that KC -- though obstensibly writing about Obama --dedicates as many paragraphs (seven) to the GOP vice-presidential candidate as he does to putative subject.

The moth-to-light attraction of KC and other Obama supporters to Palin establishes that she -- while not as beautiful as the Divah -- is not only the most accomplished political woman of her (and KC's) generation, but the most compelling politician of either sex.

I've left a comment about KC's article (not a copy of this one) on the "Minding the Campus" site as well.

RRH

One Spook said...

Regarding KC's posting at Minding the Campus

KC writes:

“In the Duke lacrosse case, the Illinois senator was the only presidential candidate, from either party, to demand that the Department of Justice investigate former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.”

As much as I respect KC Johnson’s incredible work on the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, his statement above is absolutely false at worse and nothing but hyperbole at best. Barack Obama never once “demanded” that the Department of Justice investigate former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

Barack Obama could have written to the DOJ and demanded such an investigation, but he did nothing of the sort. He could have joined in with four elected representatives; Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla. who all wrote to the DOJ and made such a demand, but he did not. At any time during the campaign during his hundreds of speeches, Obama could have publicly voiced support for a DOJ investigation into Nifong’s wrongs, but he never once did that … not ever.

Barack Obama’s sole effort regarding the Duke rape hoax was to write a private reply to a letter from a constituent wherein he reiterated the constituent’s assertion that “Congressman Walter Jones has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to initiate a federal inquiry into Mr. Nifong's prosecution …” and then Obama wrote that, “This independent inquiry is needed, and I will be following its progress closely.”

But, this very private reply to a constituent was posted on the Liestopper’s Board and then magically spun into something far more significant than it ever was by ABC news that termed Obama’s private reply as “Another voice has joined the call for a federal investigation into the handling of the Duke Lacrosse case.” and by KC Johnson’s numerous postings on this subject.

Obama never “joined in the call for any federal investigation” nor did he “demand” any DOJ investigation, ever --- he simply replied very privately to a constituent that an “independent inquiry is needed.” In short, he “voted present” on the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.

And, in addition to never having publicly commented on the call for an investigation, there is no evidence whatsoever that Obama has ever “been following its progress closely” as he asserted. When it was announced in the New York Times on December 6, 2007 that the Department of Justice would “not investigate Michael B. Nifong, the former Durham County district attorney, for his handling of the Duke University rape case” not one comment from Obama was ever heard or written.

Yet the idea that Obama “demanded” such an investigation or “joined the call for a federal investigation” continues to be a spurious “article of faith” among Obama supporters and readers of KC Johnson’s very outstanding Durham in Wonderland Blog.

I, and many others, believed that such an investigation was needed. If, after Obama assumes office he directs the Department of Justice to initiate an investigation into Nifong’s actions and the violations of the civil rights of the lacrosse players by Nifong; Duke University and a number of its professors; The City of Durham, NC; and the Durham chapter of the NAACP, I will rejoice and be the first to commend Obama.

Until that happens, please spare us the hyperbole in describing Obama’s efforts in this matter.

One Spook

Debrah said...

I suppose it's not surprising that one Duke Lacrosse Hoax enabler decides to assist another.


So disgusting!

Debrah said...

The saga continues.

Wonder why some still try to minimize the public stance Obama took regarding the Lacrosse Hoax when other senators and congressmen in North Carolina sat around for the duration and did nothing.

Very few people would have inserted themselves into a case on the East Coast while representing and living in a state halfway across the U. S.

If some want to appeal to the President-elect to go further regarding the Duke case, then contact him and ask him to do so.

Given the current civil suits and the disbarment of Nifong, I doubt any politician will get involved now.

Debrah said...

"The humorous thing about this article is that KC -- though obstensibly writing about Obama --dedicates as many paragraphs (seven) to the GOP vice-presidential candidate as he does to putative subject."


Well, she has been in the news and we did just finish with an election that took two long years to complete.

Palin was another one of McCain's impulsive, shoot-from-the-hip maverick moves.

There's much speculation now about her political future.

But it's not that simplistic.

Just because a pol is able to attract attention doesn't mean she/he can deliver beyond the show.

I concur that Palin has the charisma to make a very good politician. She's a natural and someone even Bill Clinton said he admires---(no surprise since Palin wears a skirt).

Here's the problem: She's just too conservative for many voters.

I admire her ability to multi-task. She is an obviously successful politician while also being a wife and a mother to five children.

Very unusual and commendable.

Here's what I don't like about her:

1) She's rabidly pro-life.

2) That Midwestern nasal twang is even more pronounced than the one Hillary Clinton had a decade ago.

3) She likes to go out and kill animals and skin them. UGH!

Although I do eat meat sometimes, this kind of hunting is a turn-off unless it's the only way people have to avoid starving.

Palin could turn out to be a real leader in the Republican Party; however, IMO she needs to polish her act and loosen the reins on those stiff conservative views.

Most voters are not attracted to the Far Left or the Far Right.

Lastly, I think the media deliberately tried to make her look stupid when she clearly is not.

Joe Biden as well as Obama made many gaffes that were not illuminated by the media.

I never like to see that kind of an imbalance no matter who I'm supporting with my vote.

KC Johnson said...

To RRH:

You wrote, "The humorous thing about this article is that KC -- though obstensibly writing about Obama --dedicates as many paragraphs (seven) to the GOP vice-presidential candidate as he does to putative subject."

The article wasn't about Obama, ostensibly or otherwise--it was intended as an analysis of how the presidential election might affect political support for higher ed reform.

Over the past eight years, the default position has been: the Republicans good on the issue, but unwilling to do enough; the Democrats basically unsympathetic.

The article's thesis is that the election effectively changed both of these tenets: Obama's win provides a chance (as wouldn't have been the case with virtually any other Dem) that the Dems might actually become an ally on higher ed reform issues. On the other side, the conduct of the Repub. campaign, and the overt anti-intellectualism of Palin, has very, very much hurt those of us in the academy (like me) who have argued that higher ed reformers need to work with the Republicans politically.

I wrote the article in part as a message to conservatives who are interested in higher ed reform, trying to point out how the continued support that a figure such as Palin is receiving from many in the GOP badly undermines those of us who have been arguing that the Republican agenda on higher ed should be treated as an intellectually serious one.

One Spook said...

Debrah writes @ 2:10 PM

Wonder why some still try to minimize the public stance Obama took regarding the Lacrosse Hoax ...

Very few people would have inserted themselves into a case on the East Coast while representing and living in a state halfway across the U. S.


Obama never took a "public stance" on the lacrosse hoax, ever. Never, ever, ever. He also never "inserted" himself into the case.

His sole and only involvement was having made a private reply in a letter to a constituent, which reply constituted no "public" action or "inserted" himself into the case at all. He could have chosen to do both of those things, but he did not.

Your comments are a perfect example of precisely the type of myth that has arisen about Obama's actions, and that is why I made the comment.

Read.

One Spook

Debrah said...

(Shaking head)......

It's understandable that one would want to debate and push their point-of-view on any given subject; however, occasionally this never-ending exercise reminds me of a distant relative who used to show up at family outings when I was a very small child.

There's a comical reason why I remember this woman which I will get to later.

She was a second or third cousin of my father and had been an attractive woman in her youth. As the years went by, her marriage dissolved through a contentious divorce.

And as the story goes, this woman spent the rest of her life reliving her failed marriage and criticizing her former husband. People would avoid her because the conversation would invariably be about her former husband and her former marriage. Never mind that he had long since gotten on with his life and remarried.

This woman spent the rest of her life beating to death the past. She never married again because no one wanted to be around her.

I told this little story to Julius Chambers several years ago during a phone conversation as an analogy for the way some in the black community ruin the present and the future by living in the past and bringing up tales long lived and gone.

He didn't say anything. LIS!

Well, that's how I feel now about the way this Obama-Duke Lacrosse case is being beaten to death.

I was too young to really remember the woman well who is mentioned above, but years later I was constantly reminded by other family members what I had blurted out once when she came to dinner.......

"Mommy! That woman has two butts!"

......with the unchecked candor and curiosity only a child can convey because the woman's tummy was literally as prominent as her backside.

Needless to say, the adults in the room worked feverishly to change the subject.

LOL!!!


Let's do that now with this Obama-Duke Lacrosse saga.

Or not.

Anonymous said...

KC,

Have you ever considered getting a life?

Debrah said...

"Your comments are a perfect example of precisely the type of myth that has arisen about Obama's actions...."

Obama was mainly responding to NC's Walter Jones' efforts and the fact that he came out in support of those efforts meant something.

There was dead silence from other politicians.

These endless attempts to minimize the impact of anything positive that Obama might have done reminds me of the relentless Far Left who have gone after George Bush for so long.

There's never any acknowledgment of the genuine efforts from either man from their respective detractors.

Anonymous said...

Debrah said at 2:35 PM...

[Even-handed praise for Palin omitted.]

Here's what I don't like about her:

1) She's rabidly pro-life.


She apparently got this reputation partly from her answer to two questions in the Alaska governor's race debate in 2006. There the moderator asked what she would do if her daughter became pregnant. She said, "I would choose life." Then the moderator asked, "What if she were raped?", and Palin said, "Again, I would choose life."

More importantly was Palin's decision not to abort her son, Trig. This had to outrage the abortion extremists as it contravened most of their arguments for abortions-of-convenience: How again could they argue that the following reasons justify abortion?

(1) "I have a stressful job."
(2) "I already have a complete family."
(3) "I'm too old to have another baby."
and most compellingly,
(4) "The baby would be born with severe disabilities."

When a 44-year-old U.S. state governor with four children gives birth to a child with Downs Syndrome, she undercut in the most dramatic way imaginable the abortion-of-convenience arguments that underpin the moral culture that supposedly buttress a "pro-woman" ideology. No wonder they feel they have to destroy her!

2) That Midwestern nasal twang is even more pronounced than the one Hillary Clinton had a decade ago.

True, there are three words that never go together: "Northern accent" and "charming". And thanks for reminding me that Hillary had that same "nasal twang" a decade ago. If she can overcome it, perhaps Palin can as well. I've already noticed that Palin is saying a lot fewer "and alsos". (Southern politicians make the same adjustment. I've seen Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and George Bush's accents become far more pronounced when they speak in front of "down home" audiences. Of course, this is not because Southern accents aren't considered "charming", but because of the media bias that says that people with Southern accents are "dumb".)

3) She likes to go out and kill animals and skin them. UGH!

Although I do eat meat sometimes, this kind of hunting is a turn-off unless it's the only way people have to avoid starving.

Many modern Americans, including me, prefer that someone else do the killing and skinning for them. However, it was through the Palin candidacy that we have learned the moose meat is not only less expensive than beef, it is also more healthful. See this nutritional discussion including the many comments.

RRH

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson said at 3:22 PM...

To RRH:

You wrote, "The humorous thing about this article is that KC -- though obstensibly writing about Obama --dedicates as many paragraphs (seven) to the GOP vice-presidential candidate as he does to putative subject."

The article wasn't about Obama, ostensibly or otherwise....


If I mistakenly thought your article was about Obama, at least I'm in good company as even the headline writers at MTC entitled your piece, "Obama And The Campus Left".

The article's thesis is that ... the conduct of the Repub. campaign, and the overt anti-intellectualism of Palin, has very, very much hurt those of us in the academy (like me) who have argued that higher ed reformers need to work with the Republicans politically.

I would think that upon deeper reflection you, KC, would find in Palin a kindred spirit -- a fighter, a refomer, someone unafraid to call out members of her own institutional cultures when she feels they have done wrong.

I must say that I am getting tired of hearing about this trope of "anti-intellectualism". I've been thinking about writing at greater length on this subject. I think that most people (not you necessarily) who toss around this term are really saying, "I'm an arrogant fool with a title and if you don't like me, you're 'anti-intellectual'!"

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute recently gave a 33-question exam on American history, political science, and economics to thousands of Americans. This is a cut-down version of a 60-question exam on which I made a perfect score a few months ago. The findings: "regular Americans" scored an average of 49%; "college educators" managed 55%. I've read elsewhere that U.S. political officeholders averaged 44%. This is more proof (though I needed no more) that the ivory tower masters of the universe vastly exaggerate the intelligence gulf between themselves and Joe Sixpack.

In short, the people who whine loudest about "anti-intellectualism" remind me of an old Texas saying: "I'd be the richest man in the world if I could buy them for what they're worth and sell them for what they think they're worth." One of these days, I'll write more on this subject. In the meanwhile, I hope you'll take another look at Palin and the other Joe Sixpacks of the world.

RRH

One Spook said...

Debrah writes @ 11:14 PM:

"Obama was mainly responding to NC's Walter Jones' efforts and the fact that he came out in support of those efforts meant something.

There was dead silence from other politicians.


Yes, Debrah, Obama's private reply "meant something" ... and I hope it means that he will insist on a Department of Justice that will pay attention to the presumption of innocence and due process rights for all accused, irrespective of race, class, or gender.

I did not comment in order to "minimize" what Obama did but rather, to accurately state what he did in light of you and others promoting a false narrative of what Obama's actions were in this matter.

And, yes, there were other politicians who were silent on the matter. There were also four other politicians; Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla. who all wrote to the DOJ to demand an investigation and who spoke publicly on the matter.

Obama did not join in those public demands nor did he take a public stance on the issue in the public forum as other politicians did. For you or anyone else to assert that he did is false, period.

And, as KC continues to illuminate others in the blogesphere and media who continue to promote false narratives about the Duke lacrosse hoax, you can expect me to clarify any comments that mischaracterize Obama’s actions in this case as well.

One Spook

KC Johnson said...

To RRH:

There are fewer things of which I can be certain than that I am not a kindred spirit to Sarah Palin :)

I agree with much of what you said about the dangers of "over-intellectualism"--but I find the Lilla article (cited in my piece) quite persuasive on the shortcomings of the 2008 campaign.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson said at 12:25 PM...

To RRH:

There are fewer things of which I can be certain than that I am not a kindred spirit to Sarah Palin :)


Don't sell yourself short, KC. I did say "upon DEEPER reflection".

In fact, why don't you try to schedule an interview with the Alaska governor to discuss the issues you care about? The result would be the most ever read blog report by a college professor. We among the Sunshine Band can help you with the questions if you want.

RRH

One Spook said...

KC:

Regarding your Minding the Campus article thesis, you wrote:

"The article's thesis is that ... the conduct of the Repub. campaign, and the overt anti-intellectualism of Palin, has very, very much hurt those of us in the academy (like me) who have argued that higher ed reformers need to work with the Republicans politically.

After reading your article and recognizing your thesis despite what I also thought was an overt emphasis on Governor Palin's alleged "anti-intellectualism," a couple of thoughts occurred to me.

Perhaps Joe Biden's two instances of plagiarism as reported in the New York Times might hurt some conservatives in the academy who argue that higher ed reformers need to work with the Democrats politically.

And, notwithstanding anything I've written previously, I do not believe that the selection of a vice presidential candidate by either party has much to do with the achievement of goals that higher ed reformers in the academy seek.

While I have "hope," I am not nearly as optimistic as you that anything we've seen from president-elect Obama signals either a desire for reform in the academy; concern for due process; or any desire to "revisit the race-based affirmative action upon which so much of the current academic establishment rests."

That said, I "hope" that my feelings "change" on these matters and if Obama, as president, takes assertive steps to address these issues, I'll support it in any way I can.

One Spook

KC Johnson said...

To O.S.:

You wrote, "I do not believe that the selection of a vice presidential candidate by either party has much to do with the achievement of goals that higher ed reformers in the academy seek."

I agree with you, in normal circumstances. But this selection wasn't a normal circumstance. As I pointed out in the article, Palin's choice violated the central tenets that sensible higher ed reformers have offered over the past decade or two (importance of merit, danger of "diversity" tokenism, etc.). Some commentators (Kathleen Parker, Heather MacDonald most notably) stayed true to their ideals and criticized Palin as unqualified. But many others (NRO Online, Weekly Standard most prominently) didn't--enthusiastically celebrating Palin even if doing so meant contradicting much of what they had argued on higher ed issues in the past.

The result of this, alas: such publications will have far less credibility on ideas associated with merit and "diversity" in higher ed in coming years, since defenders of the status quo will be able to fling the arguments they presented in backing the Palin selection back in their faces. We've already seen this with the NR--Parker has effectively been purged, Frum and Buckley resigned.

I think that consistency in ideas matters for those championing higher ed reform--because we start from a position of weakness.

On Biden--doubtless his instances of plagiarism would have harmed conservatives in the academy who had argued for working with the Dems politically. Off the top of my head, however, I can't think of even one such figure. So it's not a problem.

You may very well be correct that the Obama years aren't good for higher ed. I continue to believe, however, that his election presents an opportunity--highly unusual under a Democratic adm., and one that certainly wouldn't have existed under Hillary, John Edwards, or virtually any other national Dem--for real progress on issues associated with higher ed.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson said at 5:41 PM...

Palin's choice violated the central tenets that sensible higher ed reformers have offered over the past decade or two (importance of merit, danger of "diversity" tokenism, etc.)


I'm trying to imagine how an Obama supporter can write those words without, at a minimum, a sense of irony.

RRH

One Spook said...

KC writes @ 5:41 PM:

"I think that consistency in ideas matters for those championing higher ed reform--because we start from a position of weakness."

I certainly agree with that. I have read Parker and McDonald's views (and other so-called "conservative" pundits), but I'm not persuaded that the selection of Palin was based solely on gender.

It was a well designed, albeit risky, "political" move in essence, not a move based on "ideas." The McCain camp saw a strong need to select a running mate who would appeal to the party's conservative base and her selection was, in my view, more for that reason.

While it is arguable that other candidates were available who might have appealed to that same base, none would have brought either the excitement or interest that Palin's selection did ... any other reasonable choice would have resulted in two white male political insiders on the ticket.

And, it is important to remember that relatively few sitting senators have ever been elected to the Presidency. Palin is an experienced chief executive Governor, and history would allow that such experience resonates well with the electorate.

It's very difficult to persuade me that Palin does not posses more experience and preparation than Obama, although she certainly lacks his Ivy League credentials, for whatever that's worth.

It would have been interesting to have seen an interview (similar to the Couric chat with Palin) with a right-leaning journalist on the subject of foreign policy with Obama a mere few days after he had announced his candidacy. I doubt that he would have fared as well as Palin did. Yet most of the media, plus you and a legion of other Democrat (and some Republican) pundits have had a field day criticizing Palin's performance. You all put a good deal of emphasis on that event and forget that Obama had nearly two years to hone his stump speeches and canned responses, versus a few days for Palin.

So, that single event and ignoring her executive experience somehow morphed into a belief that she was "unqualified" and that her selection was based solely on gender.

And, with this essay, you have continued that meme and expanded it now into a charge that "consistency in ideas matters."

I disagree that her selection represented any notion of an inconsistency in ideas, or that it will be detrimental to those who champion higher education reform.

And finally, I did not state that "the Obama years aren't good for higher ed." I allowed that I do not share your optimism, and I hope that I'm wrong.

I may not agree with you on all issues, but I, and most others who comment here, certainly agree with you on the need for such reform.

One Spook

Debrah said...

TO RRH--

This is something you might want to read.

Just to give an example of how rabidly Leftist my surroundings are.

This fellow goes a bit too far, yet the paper gladly prints it.

Perhaps you want to continue your defense of Palin on the editorial pages of this paper.

It's owned by the News and Observer. They have a bit more autonomy and are able to cover the "village" separately.