Thursday, June 28, 2012


Three brief items:

1.) The N&O reports that Crystal Mangum, in papers filed by her de facto attorney, Sydney Harr, has demanded that her bail be reduced (to $50,000) and that the murder charges against her be dismissed, on grounds of self-defense.

The Harr/Mangum team had already made requests along these lines; chances of getting a better outcome this time seem doubtful.

2.) Speaking of Harr (a local retiree best-known for heading a committee of die-hard Nifong fanatics): the Durham News reports that the State Bar will investigate him for practicing law without a license. Harr had admitted that he had "helped" Mangum write her previous legal filings, but argued that he did so after informing her he wasn't an attorney.

“You can’t disclaim the unauthorized practice of law simply by saying I am not an attorney,” David Johnson, deputy counsel for the State Bar, told the Durham News.

Harr (hilariously) claimed he wasn't aware of the rule. (This is the same figure who has termed himself so expert in ethics rules that he can demonstrate the incorrectness of Nifong's disbarment.) He also has told the Bar he won't practice law again--a promise that would seem to be undermined by his delivery of the most recent batch of Mangum papers.

3.) Continuing the practice of Duke elevating Group of 88'ers into positions of authority, as of July 1 the Duke Sociology Department will have a new chair--Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, one of the two or three most extreme members of the Group. In addition to signing the Group statement, Bonilla-Silva had signed onto an even more extreme case-related document, a May 1, 2006 letter that could only be described as willfully ignorant about events in the case.

I looked at Bonilla-Silva's scholarship and teaching record in this post. To give a taste: in a syllabus (a legally binding document between university, the professor, and students), Bonilla-Silva wrote, We conclude the class with a discussion of some of the solutions that have been proposed to deal with the racial dilemmas plaguing the United States of Amerikkka (I will remove the three Ks from this word when the USA removes racial oppression from this country!).” And, as an example (he said) how he wasn't biased against white people, the chairman-designate noted, “Historically, many good people supported slavery and Jim Crow”—just like the “good people” in the current environment who “oppose (or have some reservations about) affirmative action.”

Imagine the (appropriate) howls of outrage if a university like Duke named as a department chair someone from the far right whose views and rhetoric were as extreme as Bonilla-Silva. Perhaps Bonilla-Silva is being prepped to succeed Paula McClain when his Group colleague steps down as graduate dean.


Anonymous said...

By having Eduardo Bonilla-Silva chair its Sociology "Department," Duke implicitly concedes that such a "Department" is little more than an AA cesspool. Serious academics don't take Duke seriously anymore (save, perhaps, for some of its engineering and hard science departments). Any faculty member that can lateral out of Duke has already done so. Those who remain are the slugs that no other school wants. In all, it's a shame; Duke once showed promise.

Anonymous said...

Is Harr a Communist?

Anonymous said...

Disgrace heaped on disgrace. Shame on what's left of integrity at Duke.
What can be done to Harr to stop this wingnut from running off a third attorney? How can Mangum be restained by a judge from having contact with this sleeze? Or can she just represent herself in court and have harr in the audience?

Anonymous said...

CGM's July 2nd appearance should be interesting. Will Woody Vann be replaced yet again? Will Chris Shella make a return engagement? Is this an opportunity for Cline (given that she has a thirty day reprieve in her own legal travails and she is attempting to get her private practice off the ground)to strut her stuff as a defense attorney and make more claims against the judiciary of the Tarheel state? Or will the non-attorney Sidney Harr serve as CGM's mouthpiece? The major networks made have cancelled the soaps but that is because none of their writers could even imagine the scenario that is Durham.

Nicolas Martin said...

The legal practice laws protecting the attorney cartel should be abolished.

Anonymous said...

"Duke Lacrosse Memorial Games"?- So that's what they call it now.
"George Zimmerman's Dad Testifies Voice Howling for Help Is His Son"

"The Tawana Brawley/Duke Lacrosse Memorial Games continue."

Lois Turner said...

"The legal practice laws protecting the attorney cartel should be abolished."

Same thing with the physician cartel, to be honest. In a free society every man should have the inalienable right to remove an appendix or transplant a kidney, especially his own.

Lois Turner said...

Mr. Harr is not a communist.

You're probably confusing him with Andy Barr.

Or perhaps Joel Barr.

Or maybe you were thinking of Sam Carr.

Maybe Albert Farr, but he was probably before your time.

I have my suspicions about Johnny Marr and Roseanne Barr. But nothing has been proven so farr.

Anonymous said...

Far right. Roy Weintraub has been interim dean and chair of Econ. It's been done. Do some research.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Mangum is offering a "stand your ground defence". Ironic isn't it.

KC Johnson said...

To the 2.12:

Could you clarify: are you suggesting that Bonilla-Silva should have been appointed chair of the economics as well as the sociology department? Or that Bonilla-Silva's race-baiting (and occasionally outright racist) commentary is somehow comparable to the work of Weintraub (

Do tell.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone still believe the prosecutors have a real murder of manslaughter case against George Zimmerman?

The interview with the co-worker is interesting but not relevant to the case against Zimmerman.

Please see the story linked below. It illuminates better than anything else I've read the reasons why hard evidence is so essential to prove any case. Once you are charged, all kinds of people are likely to start reading malevolent intent into completely innocent behavior. Even people who like a defendant will do that...never mind the people who didn't like the defendant to start with.


Anonymous said...

And the Bonilla-Silva appointment is just pitiful. Just one of a very long string now of bad appointments...a truly terrible lesson for the kids at the university.


Lance the Intern said...

Any updates on Crystal's court appearance today? From what I understand, this hearing was in regards to the last 3 motions filed.

Anonymous said...

Mangum's court appearance was postponed until August.

(It's quite possible the city would prefer a plea bargain to a trial; and that she get "time served"... IMHO)

Anonymous said...

Is Bonilla-Silva a Communist?

guiowen said...

Actually Roy Weintraub is one of the leading mathematical economists in the world. I myself am a game theorist and can attest to that. Unfortunately he seems to believe in free markets and this makes him anathema to certain people.

Anonymous said...

So, the lawyer wannabe, Harr, basically has added to the delay in Mangum's case, published material illegally on his web site, gotten himself in a little tepid to warm water with the Bar, and managed to get Shella out and Vann in. Wow, Atticus Sidney Finch!
Save your pennies, folks, it's time for Duke to send out another fund-raising appeal. My 88 pennies are all set aside for mailing....

Anonymous said...

Anyone who comes to Duke to major in Sociology deserves a department with this guy as its chair.

Anonymous said...


Nicolas Martin said...

The legal practice laws protecting the attorney cartel should be abolished.


I've been practicing for over 20 years now, and I have done a lot in many areas of the law. Even so, there are many areas in which I would be only slightly better than a layman, and I realize this. Perhaps you don't realize the complexities involved?

Certainly, Harr doesn't. He's already admitted he's a fool with regard to Ethics law. He's also scared away the best attorney Mangum could ever hope to have. He's a fool on a fool's errand, and surely not the poster child for the "Unauthorized Practice of Law Movement." MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...


Observer said:

Does anyone still believe the prosecutors have a real murder or manslaughter case against George Zimmerman?


Yes. Zimmerman got out of his vehicle, with a gun, and chased Travon down (or stalked him, I don't care how you want to phrase it) even after the 911 dispatcher told him not to. If you saw any of the videos of Zimmerman at the alleged crime scene describing what happened, the one thing you don't see is a street nearby. Zimmerman and his gun had to go quite a long way to confront Trayvon.

Will he be found guilty? I don't know, but there was a prima facie case for an arrest, and that's why there was an outcry in the first place.

Moreover, I would not compare Mangum using "Stand Your Ground" or a similar type of self-defense law to the Zimmerman situation for irony purposes. Mangum was arrested pretty quickly, and no national hue and cry was needed. As you may have also noticed the hue and cry diminished once Zimmerman was finally, and appropriately, arrested. MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Serious academics don't take Duke seriously anymore

This is laughable.

Any faculty member that can lateral out of Duke has already done so.

There's nothing to support this, actually.

Those who remain are the slugs that no other school wants.

On the contrary, Duke has recruited some exceptional scholars of late. Check out Dean Patton, for example. Do some research.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Duke continues to, on occasion, attract a scholar of note really does not mean anything in terms of its fundamental ....overall....downward slide into academic mediocrity. So long as the basketball program remains a juggernaut, and certain wealthy interests continue to buy season tickets in Cameron Indoor.....the University will prosper. But, as far as I am concerned, it is morally rotten at its core. Until the boil gets lanced, my 88 pennies will be in the mail with a big old wet sloppy kiss off!

Anonymous said...

To the Anon @ 10:10 --

"Any faculty member that can lateral out of Duke has already done so."

"There's nothing to support this, actually."

As a Dept. Chair at an Ivy League school, I can assure you from first-hand experience that lateral efforts designed to cherry-pick Duke's "stars" began in earnest once the world understood the enormity of Duke's civil exposure.

gwallan said...

The Violence Against Women Act, and the Creation of South Park Nation

William L. Anderson implicates VAWA.

Anonymous said...

I suppose they figure that, since enough time has passed, donors will not remember that the university aided and abetted the attempted frame of its own innocent students.

"This September, the University will publicly announce the start of the largest capital campaign in Duke’s history.

"The campaign will conclude in Fall 2017 and will focus on the University’s core strategic values, particularly supporting and expanding the [race/gender/class] faculty, . . . President Richard Brodhead said."

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Gregory, Please check out the evidence available on-line. It's pretty clear that the dispatcher told Mr. Z. that they did not need Mr. Z. to follow Mr. M. because the dispatcher understood that Mr. M. had approached Mr. Z.'s car in a threatening manner. The dispatcher's concern is not for Mr. M but for Mr. Z. Mr. Zimmerman did not "chase" Mr. M. who actually had more than enough time to escape while Mr. Z. patiently gave the dispatcher directions to the neighborhood. If you look at the map, it's obvious that Mr. Z. exited his vehicle because he wanted to try and keep Mr. M. within sight until the police arrived, if at all possible. The space into which Mr. M. disappeard and where he was ultimately and tragically killed had a sidewalk between the buildings, not a street. Mr. Z. had a choice--either stay in his vehicle and lose the person he mistakenly believed was interested in robbing his neighborhood or harming its inhabitants or try to keep the guy in sight by following on foot.

Can you just try to look at the evidence with the presumption of innocence in mind. Didn't we learn how important this is in the Duke case? Was the lesson actually lost even on us?


Anonymous said...

"As a Dept. Chair at an Ivy League school, I can assure you from first-hand experience that lateral efforts designed to cherry-pick Duke's "stars" began in earnest once the world understood the enormity of Duke's civil exposure."

That may well be true. However, it does not support the claim that "Any faculty member that can lateral out of Duke has already done so."

I would expect a Dept. Chair at an Ivy League school to have better reasoning skills.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7/13/12 10:45 AM

The gang of 88ers will not lateral out of Duke. They have too much invested in their tenured positions..

They lack the guts, the spine, the moral courage to admit they got the Lacrosse case wrong, however.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Ivy League Chair is either an impostor, a liar or an idiot, or some combination thereof.

First, Duke science departments especially have been "poachable" since the 1970s, as there are insufficient resources to hold promising junior scientists. In both the humanities and social sciences, when Stanford or Princeton or Yale or Chicago call, people leave.

The bigger story since 2006 in fact has been the near collapse of funding for state universities, especially those in California. UC-B and UCLA have seen many faculty leave for Duke. UNC is a disaster area for faculty now. That has led to group hires even from places like Princeton in mathematics (NAS!). Engineering too has seen astonishing hires from engineering rich state universities, as has computer science.

It was not lacrosse in 2006, but rather the economy since 2008, that has mattered for faculty movement. And given the feminization of faculties nationwide, and the preponderance of "foreign" scholars in all the STEM+E disciplines (who don't make decisions because of administrators but rather on who their colleagues will be ), hardly anyone cares about the 88's past stupidity, or the administration's weaknesses or strengths. The anonymous Ivy League Chair is almost certainly a fraud, AND an idiot.

One piece of evidence: look up NAS faculty at Duke in 2005, and today. Another, look at Guggenheim winners at Duke in 2005-06, and for 2012-13

Anonymous said...

Latest news is that Crystal Mangum will be part of a Discovery Series on women and knives: women who use knoves on their partners - one will have to look up the exact title.

Supposedly she was interviewed for three hours - not much about the Deye murder (for which she is currently in jail awaiting trial) but more about the lacrosse case and somewhat about her arson charges of two years ago.

Anonymous said...

I could care less whether the good guys are or are not leaving duke. They will get my 88 pennies and a stuff -it from me till brodhead is teaching freshman english at NCCU.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who says that Duke, as a credible institution of fairness, intellectual honesty and equal opportunity, is today....what it was before Brodhead....simply has no clue. The university may be richer than ever....the buildings bigger....the signs larger....the basketballs bouncing higher. BUT, would I send my kids get a true education, in a setting with values that are important? Hell, no!