Friday, February 02, 2007

Defending the Group

It’s not easy to put together an unapologetic defense of the Group of 88, but Samson Mesele at least tried to do so in yesterday’s Chronicle. The Group, he lamented, are the true victims in this affair, “browbeaten and savagely misrepresented.”

How so?

1.) The Group is really student-friendly.

“The 88 professors who published the ad last April did give their support,” argued Mesele, “to the students who spoke up at the March 29 forum.” Mesele quoted another Duke student, Paul Slattery, who asserted that claiming “the 88 don’t support students” really means “the 88 don’t support the right students.”

This viewpoint would be more reasonable if dozens of Duke faculty regularly took out ads in the campus newspaper proclaiming their “support” for different student blocs. Of course, that doesn’t happen. And “support” occurs in many ways: by holding the forum and allowing the small number of students to publicly address their concerns, the faculty showed “support” for the students.

So why, then, did the Group feel compelled, one week later, to show even more “support” for this handful of students through a denunciatory ad talking about what “happened to this woman” and thanking the protesters for not waiting?

One of the anonymous students allegedly said, “Being a big, black man, it’s hard to walk anywhere at night, and not have a campus police car slowly drive by me.” Would not a more effective way of showing “support” for this anonymous student have been demanding that the Duke Police Department cease its apparently official policy of slowing down when officers see big black males on campus? (Of course, if the Duke Police do not engage in such behavior, such a protest would have been meaningless.)

Or what about Group member Alex Rosenberg, who has repeatedly stated that he signed the ad because he was concerned with the prevalence of alcohol on campus and bothered by “affluent kids violating the law to get exploited women to take their clothes off when they could get as much hookup as they wanted from rich and attractive Duke coeds.'” Which students was he supporting?

It seems, alas, that the Group was more concerned with exploiting the case to champion their personal, political, and curricular agendas, rather than to “support” anyone. As one of the Chronicle commenters correctly noted,

Once again, the main issue is not what was said in the Listening Statement (everyone has a right to an opinion) it is *how* and *when* it was said. The Listening Statement was sound bites taken out of context which were placed in the public domain that came out at the height of the lacrosse crisis. And this had a profound effect on the accused students, the university, the community, and, ironically on the 88 professors themselves.

2.) The students’ statements had nothing to do with the lacrosse case.

Argued Mesele, “The student testimonials from the AAAS event . . . did underline Duke students’ troubling experiences with such nationally felt problems as racism, sexual violence and class privilege—and as such, their words were used in the ad.”

To my knowledge, no transcript of the March 29 forum exists. The ad, of course, uses anonymous quotes from alleged Duke students, but there’s no way of knowing how or when the ad’s primary author, Wahneema Lubiano, assembled these quotes. Nor is there any way of knowing how many of the ad’s signatories actually saw all 11 quoted from alleged students before the ad appeared.

In the event, here are some of the alleged quotes from anonymous Duke students:

  • No one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself central to this conversation, how to keep her humanity before us . . . she doesn’t seem to be visible in this. Not for the university, not for us.
  • I can’t help but think about the different attention given to what has happened from what it would have been if the guys had been not just black but participating in a different sport, like football, something that’s not so upscale.
  • If something like this happens to me . . . What would be used against me—my clothing? Where I was?

It is hard to see how these quotes addressed “nationally felt problems as racism, sexual violence and class privilege.”

3.) A tension exists between “social justice” and “criminal justice.”

This argument is a new one. Mesele obtained a statement from Group of 88 member As Lee Baker, who claimed, “The so-called 88 were focused on social justice, while many of the most adamant supporters of the lacrosse players were outraged that there was a miscarriage of criminal justice. Now, the question is in this climate, can one embrace both?”

There’s an implicit assumption in that statement, of course, that “the most adamant supporters” of the lacrosse players aren’t focused on social justice—continuing the 88’s problem of making public statements based on caricature. As I’ve noted before, I’m a centrist Democrat, and have been a very active supporter of gay rights and abortion rights campaigns. I support Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. The people at the Liestoppers blog are local Durham residents, with no personal connection to the lacrosse team, who took on a political campaign against Nifong (the Cheek effort), a campaign organized around the need to protect the constitutional rights of all defendants against an overzealous prosecutor. That might not be a sufficiently advanced social justice agenda for Baker, but before this case, I had never considered vehemently championing civil liberties as inconsistent with “social justice,” as Baker seems to imply.

On the other hand, the 88/87 have remained defiant, silent about Nifong even as his misconduct was condemned by the state bar and as their own words were cited by the defense as one reason on why a change of venue was needed. Some of their number (Karla Holloway, Grant Farred, Alex Rosenberg) have made inflammatory statements attacking other Duke students who have sympathized with the lacrosse players. That’s not behavior most would consider consistent with championing social justice.

As someone who’s followed this case very closely, moreover, I’ve seen no evidence that the 88 are at all concerned with a miscarriage of criminal justice in this case, in which the people targeted were targeted in large part because of their identity a students at the 88’s own school.

4.) Brodhead was a guiding ideological force behind the Group.

Mesele explained,

The night of April 5, 2006, Brodhead wrote in a mass e-mail that the incident “troubling our community... has brought to glaring visibility underlying issues that have been of concern on this campus and in this town for some time-issues that are not unique to Duke or Durham but that have been brought to the fore in our midst.” The next day, The Chronicle printed an advertisement titled, “What does a Social Disaster Sound Like?” . . . Thus, the dialogue about the “underlying issues” to which Brodhead referred has not ended.

It would be interesting to know if Mesele’s sources are forwarding this argument. This connection certainly goes well beyond anything Brodhead has said publicly.

In the end, a 1975 Duke alum did a pretty good job of summarizing this latest Group apologia.

1) We should renew our conversation about the ad, although no link is provided and whose only online remnant appears to be a cached copy of a deleted web page.

2) Critics who say the 88 professors did not defend the accused are wrong, because the 88 did give their support to students who at the March 29 forum spoke about their troubling experiences with racism, sexual violence and class privilege.

3) Matters of social justice are of such profound concern that it is appropriate, indeed courageous, to advance it on the back of an utter hoax.
Mesele, at least, deserves credit for making the case, which is more than we have seen from most Group members.


Anonymous said...

He's a sophomore who doesn't know the difference between "rein" and "reign." It's fine for him to argue that certain issues would exist even had there been no lacrosse case, but that doesn't make a case that the G88 has been misrepresented. The G88 said way too much if all it wanted to do was address those underlying issues, and the "way too much" part is conspicuously absent from this piece.

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Anonymous said...

Browbeaten - They can give it out, but can't take it. Only three out of the 11 supposed quotes were identified. The writing looks very similar to me. Did the Karla and the 88 make the quotes up - you bet. And yet another uninformed person enters the fray. Lawyer Antoun - where are you?

Anonymous said...

Serena Sebiring spoke at the meeting. She then helped organize the protests. Later she goes on cable and tlks about the strong evidence of a sexual assault. But the listening statement was about larger social issues and not the lacrosse team. Yea right.

I notice he draws support from Saturday Night citing 40 sexual assaults in the past year. Funny because when Chloe Chien dropped into this forum she said it was a hundred. Of course she never answered any requests for documentation.

Anonymous said...

oh kc, how can you support anyone who writes something with a title as trite as "the audacity of hope". Obama is a lightweight.

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Anonymous said...


As we all painfully know,

(1) you likely know nothing about Mesele, not his IQ, not his SAT scores, not the basis for his admission to Duke, not anything.

(2) you likely know nothing about "typical" anything at Duke, not typical blacks, not typical IQs of blacks, not typical admission standards for blacks, and not how Mesele compares to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Three lacrosse players remain charged with crimes they didn't commit, held hostage first by Nifong, now by the state of North Carolina and its attorney general, Mr. Cooper. The state will pay dearly for this travesty of justice. Arguments about the group should come after this criminal case ends.

Anonymous said...

I thought his last line was the kicker, inviting students to "display a scrap of courage and attach your names to your opinions --like 88 professors who preceded you." I found that ironic because that is one of the most troubling aspects of the original "Listening Statement." The statement was signed by numerous professors but they were able to make certain statements without being accountable for them because the ad is structured to use unidentified quotes of students. The professors don't take ownership of the thoughts conveyed by the students--the thoughts are just injected out there. We are left to wonder whether the teachers agree with each thought, and if not, we wonder what the teachers wanted to convey by publishing them under their names. Even the student quotes are not attributed to the specific students so we don't know if they would stand by them if their names were revealed. That really should be one of the lessons of this entire matter. Particularly in the context of a criminal investigation, people should be very careful what they say to the media.

Anonymous said...

"Polanski" and others should start their own blogs.

M. Simon said...


Not always true. But it is a good bet.

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kcjohnson9 said...

Please avoid discussion of IQ issues, since this is just speculation that isn't really relevant to this specific article.

12.34's point is a good one. Indeed, why isn't Mesele calling for these anonymous students quoted in the ad to come forward?

M. Simon said...


Obama is a lightweight.

Ah, but he is a University of Chicago light weight.

Sadly I fall into that demographic as well.

All is not lost however. He has the (corrupt) City of Chicago machine behind him.

Tony Rezko Obama

for some info.

BTW I voted for (communist) Obama over (theocon) Keyes. Despite voting Bush in '04. Can't abide theocons.

BTW KC - if you ever study economics the Democrats will seem a lot less attractive. (Did I mention I was a Democrat once?) A good place to start? "The Road to Serfdom" by Hayek. Nice intro by Milton Friedman in the paperback edition.

Or the Youtube Free to Choose video.

You destroy economic freedom and political freedom goes too.

Anonymous said...

The ad always struck me as something a depressed high school girl might make with cut outs from feminist magazines.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about anyone else, but we burned candles and prayed for my youngest to get accepted to Chicagos MBA program. Thank God, he did.

M. Simon said...

And I'm a funny kind of Republican,

I'm against drug prohibition.
I think the government shoud stay out of the abortion issue.
I regularly put up articles on a pro-gay blog Classical values
I'd vote for Joe Lieberman if he was running for President. He gets the war. He gets economics. He understands that without a strong economy there is no money for welfare and other such programs.

Anonymous said...

--12:19am--- I have to agree with you. And disagree with KC on this one.
IQ is a very significant factor here. We are dealing mostly with affirmative action hires and the way they view this situation at Duke is not the same as other people do.
And yes, anyone who doesn't know the difference between "rein" and "reign" and they are at Duke, does not belong there.
When will people in this country ever be able to speak the truth instead of suffering this madness?

M. Simon said...

Anon 1:12 AM,


Now a tour of duty in the military (they get leadership) might be of use too. It helped me.

Unknown said...

The Economics Department letter only made 2 points. 1 The irregularity of the investigation and the courts. 2. They welcomed student athletes. Sort of gives the feeling that maybe a significant number of teachers in other departments DON'T. Sad when professors stigmatize a group.

M. Simon said...

Let me say it again: Angry Studies is an attempt to turn innate differences between groups into political capital.

It is the hidden force in all the Duke case manuverings by Nifong, The Gang of 88, etc.

However, one must treat individuals as individuals. Because group characteristics only deal with averages.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, KC, for removing the obnoxious posts.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The attempt to make a distinction between "social" justice and "criminal" justice really got my attention.
Considering the context of the ads appearance, that was a naked statement of the supremacy of groups rights over individual rights.
I mean, criminal justice is different than social justice because one can face social injustice which is not a violation of any law. But the mis-use of criminal law to oppress innocent parties is always a form of social injustice.
Unless the persecuted are from the wrong group, apparently. There is no other way to interpret that part of this most recent attemt to explain why the actual innocence of individuals can be immaterial to the achievement of "social justice."
I hate these people.

Anonymous said...

"IQ is a very significant factor here."

KC was correct, seeing as there is no such thing as IQ, and for those who maintain that anyone anywhere has devised a method for testing an unknowable quantity, please, save your "Bell Curve" bullshit for FOX news.

Anonymous said...

--1:21am--- It would help if black people would try defining themselves and living their lives as individuals.
Then so many of us wouldn't mistake them as one lump of groupthink.
As Karla says--"othered".
(Now that was so cutting edge!)

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again.
Just to be heard above the lecturing and evasive liberals.
In this world IQ and intelligence are very important.
Of course, how would a liberal know? They have done away with standards. Now we have the Duke88.

Anonymous said...


You can't even quantify it, define it or in any way make a credible case that IQ exists, so please you twittering dunderhead, stick with the issue at hand or better uyet, just have a coke and a smile and shut the fuck up

Anonymous said...

The 88 adhere to a set of noxious ideas. They lack wisdom and an understanding of how the world works outside of academia, and a few of them may actually be evil. But they are not stupid. Some of them are actually brilliant. Gratuitous insults about "intelligence" undermine the cause of justice to which this blog is devoted.

Anti-Leftist Liberal

Anonymous said...

--1:39am-- Go beat your wife and stop trying to direct traffic here.
Your protestations will not change the fact that if most of the Duke 88 took an IQ test--which is valid in so many ways if you're not afraid of the outcome--the results would most likely hover around 90 or a bit above.
Bet on it.

M. Simon said...

1:39 AM,

Your ignorance (or is it bias) is showing.

IQ is real (in so far as it measures something called in the field "g").

It is a good predictor (on average) of success in the real world.

It correlates with brain volume and intellectual (as opposed to motor) reaction time.

Really. Get an education - something hard to come by evidently.

Guaunyu said...


Interesting perspective, but I wonder if you know what your own IQ is. I'm not trying to be cute. I've never had an IQ test. I've had other standardized tests (more than I care to remember) sure, but never an IQ test, so I have no idea what my IQ is. I wonder how many people really do?

Beyond that, you seem to think Liberals have done away with standards. How exactly is that? Seriously: what have Liberals done to do away with which standards?

Anonymous said...

--1:44am--- Uh-huh.
And I submit that anyone who is walking around an elite university campus and doesn't know simple stuff like the difference between "rein" and "reign", doesn't know a whole lot of other basic things.
And that's scarey.
Dsicipline before freedom.

Anonymous said...

M Simon, for a guy who posts some sharp stuff, falling back on the ridiculous notion that the Bell Curve proved anything other than Murray and Herrenstein wrote a crock of crap is surprising/

Again, you havenm't quantified, defined or even begun to explain what IQ is, because as all "educated" folks know, it's hogwash. There is no one indicator that predicts how anyone will perform in the "real world".

Just stick with the case of three men being railroaded.

Guaunyu said...

Anti-Leftist Liberal:

(1) Love your handle!

(2) I can't speak as to how smart the Group of 88 may or may not be. They clearly lack common sense, but I doubt that's quantifiable.

(3) "Gratuitous insults about 'intelligence' undermine the cause of justice to which this blog is devoted." Yeah! What you said.

Anonymous said...

how about the difference between scary and "scarey"?

Anonymous said...

-- 1:36am-- I was tested as a senior in high school as hovering around 140.
I don't think that your intelligence quotient should be written in stone, but make no mistake, like the lie detector test that many malign, it' s a good indicator of the raw material available, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

--1:54am-- I concur. You need to learn how to spell it.

Guaunyu said...


So, you're basically saying you'd stop thinking you know what all black people think if all black people would stop thinking alike?

Dude, that made me dizzy.

Do you think maybe you're making another overgeneralization in the context of saying when you'll stop overgeneralizing? Maybe?

M. Simon said...


Brain Size vs IQ. There is a connection.

IQ, Reaction Time, Death. Faster thinkers live longer.

The new research builds on earlier studies showing that people with lower IQs tend to die at younger ages than those with higher IQs. Deary and Der, however, wanted to use a more fundamental measure of mental ability - which they define as efficiency in processing information. They thought IQ tests might relate to physical health because people with higher IQs typically are more likely to be in occupations with safer environments. Reaction time is moderately related to IQ, but is a simpler assessment of the brain's information-processing ability - one that doesn't bear so much on other, possibly confounding factors like knowledge, education, or background.

So IQ is measuring something.

So let me give you a quiz you are a passenger and you have a choice of pilots, each has similar visio-spacial co-ordination, one has an IQ of 70 the other has an IQ of 130.

Who you gonna call.

To say IQ has no validity is BS. It is a belief that not even your own experience will support.

If you choose the IQ 70 guy all that will prove is that there are at least two morons on the plane.

M. Simon said...

So let me give you a quiz you are a passenger on a 747-400 and you have a choice of pilots, each has similar visio-spacial co-ordination and motor skills, one has an IQ of 70 the other has an IQ of 130.

Who you gonna call?

To say IQ has no validity is BS. It is a belief that not even your own experience will support.

If you choose the IQ 70 guy all that will prove is that there are at least two morons on the plane.

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but my suspicion is that the 88, Sam Hummel, Ubuntu, etc., are trying to paint alternate motives for themselves (the real motive having been a lynch mob) in preparation for the lawsuits.

M. Simon said...

Or lets say there is a nuke reactor under constructionwithin legal distance of your home (couple of miles I think).

They let you choose who the reactor operators are going to be. They will be trained while the reactor is being constructed.

There are two groups. One has IQs of 70 the other has IQs of 130. However well trained when the reactor is operational those are the people who will be operating the plant?

I can tell you how the Navy does it. They give IQ tests and take the very best of the lot and first turn them into Electronic Technicians and if they can pass that course with good grades they go on to Reactor Training. The guys who dropped out were duller than the folks at the top of the class.

So in the real world IQ tests work. Perfect? Nope. But they help. determination can make up for less smarts. Not completely however. No matter how determined the IQ 70 guy is never going to be a rocket scientist. Don't matter how determined.

Anonymous said...

--2:05am-- Too funny!

Anonymous said...

re intelligence

To fellow posters who argue that intelligence doesn't matter:

Please cite 1 current Duke student or Duke graduate whom you would describe as black and brilliant.

Affirmative action at elite institutions is cognitive subterfuge.

Simon, there's another original for you.

Now I go to bed.


Anonymous said...

of course Obama's trite "Audacity of Hope" is up there with Bush's hokey "A Promise to Keep". Didn't John Kerry write a book in which he argued that organized crime was the greatest threat to America.

In any event, Obama isnt all that. I live in Chicago, and I voted for Keyes. Keyes is execrable, but given Obama's stance on partial-birth abortion, affirmative action and all the other liberal claptrap (i.e., we're gonna take your hard-earned money to try to remake society), he is unacceptable.

M. Simon said...

Polanski 2:18AM,

Actually, I liked my 2:05 AM better.

And you are going to have to work (harder, smarter) to top "Angry Studies".

M. Simon said...

2:43 AM,

I hope I never have to vote for Obama again as long as I live.

We had two terrible candidates in '04.

BTW my State Senator Syverson basically forced Keyes down the party's throat. Keyes only got 2/3s of the Republican vote. There were a significant number who did not vote for either Obama or Keyes.

Anonymous said...

Please cite 1 current Duke student or Duke graduate whom you would describe as black and brilliant.

That's really not necessary.


Anonymous said...


Polanski is a provocateur, and a snob.

That's why people dislike him.

Anonymous said...

I liked "Rosemary's Baby", "The Fearless Vampire Killers" and "Chinatown".

I just don't know what drives people to post what they do.

M. Simon said...


Polanski would never be welcome in polite society. If the Emperor has no clothes he is liable to just blurt it out. Probably at the most inconvenient time.

Which is why I enjoy his posts.

Not to every one's taste to be sure.

january said...

I came over here because the commentary has (until now) been more intelligent and relevant than all the nonsense over on the Talkleft discussion boards.

All the right wing/left wing, IQ/no IQ bickering is making me change my mind.

Really, really, boring.

Anonymous said...


Defending the G88?

Would prefer you post on "Defunding the G88."

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the piece, but the kid made a spelling error.

Anonymous said...

So IQ is measuring something.

So let me give you a quiz you are a passenger and you have a choice of pilots, each has similar visio-spacial co-ordination, one has an IQ of 70 the other has an IQ of 130.

Who you gonna call.

To say IQ has no validity is BS. It is a belief that not even your own experience will support.

If you choose the IQ 70 guy all that will prove is that there are at least two morons on the plane.


Anonymous said...

There are plenty of us out here who enjoy Polanski's posts.

I read DIW everyday, and have since its inception. Although I rarely post, I must go on record in support of Polanski.

Anonymous said...

The 88 and their apologists manage a difficult feat: to be astonishing and tiresome at the same time.

How many times must they be told? It is like explaining something again and again to a very slow student. Hopelessness sets in.

The "listening" statement was poisonously wrong. Its naked prejudice emboldened a corrupt DA and served as a call to arms for a unreasonable mob. It was public stupidity: ugly, recklessly unjust, indefensible. Its effects linger.

The excuses offered for it are as contemptible as was the statement itself, and that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

This is an unpublished letter to the Chronicle:

I became a Duke employee in 2006 after having spent 27 years in the business world working for a Fortune 100 company. Watching the lacrosse case unfold I find it interesting to contrast how the business world might have handled it with how the Duke Administration has handled it. The fundamental question is whether academia is different than business or government and, if it is, how is it different and why is it different?

Effective crisis management must always be unique to the situation. There are however several basic principles that can be applied. I focus on three of them: 1) defining the real problem, 2) defining all the constituencies, and 3) managing the flow of information.

Defining a PR-related problem in business frequently revolves around the belief that the corporate image has already been or potentially will be tarnished, and that revenue will decline and shareholders will suffer as a result. How does the Duke Administration define the lacrosse case “problem”? The official line as far as I can tell is to narrowly define it as a legal problem that should be left entirely to the judicial system. This view however does not appear to be consistent with the actions of the Administration in canceling a team’s season, or in suspending and then “unsuspending” two of the players prior to final resolution of the legal case. So I – and probably others - cannot determine what the real problem is as defined by Duke’s Administration, and it is therefore not surprising that many comments have been publicized that are critical of the President and members of the Administration.

Duke University has many constituencies. To name a few: the Board of Trustees, the faculty, staff, students, the parents of students, alumni, donors, and the community in which the university resides. In the business world there are plans and strategies that detail how each constituency - or stakeholder - is addressed. People are held accountable for their effectiveness in dealing successfully with their respective constituencies. I would have thought that President Broadhead’s responsibilities to his many constituencies would have been clearly laid out in a job description in the Human Resources section of the Duke website. I couldn’t even find a job description. Is academia so different than business that employees don’t need to know to what and to whom their university leaders are accountable?

Managing the flow of information in a large corporation is surprisingly straightforward – only designated people are authorized to talk to the media. Unauthorized employees who talk to the media and who purport to represent the company are fired. At first glance this seems totalitarian – it is not. Employees can speak publicly on any topic they wish, provided they do not represent themselves as speaking on behalf of the company. In crisis situations most employees simply do not have access to the totality of information that senior management has, so speaking out prematurely makes everyone look bad. The 88 faculty members who signed and published the social disaster ad even before indictments were handed down have been criticized. But these criticisms have missed the main issue: who were these 88 signers representing, and what gave them the right to do so? Who were their constituents: themselves, all of the Duke faculty, a subset of Duke’s students, all of Duke’s students, or some other group? It would be easy to wave the flag of academic freedom here, but this ad reflects on Duke as an entire institution. This would never be tolerated in the business world, so what is it about academia that makes it different? The loud silence of the Administration suggests that either the ad was condoned, or that there is nothing that could or should have been done to prevent it.

A common complaint in large corporations is that rank and file employees rarely if ever get to hear the views of their senior management teams. Executives who get criticized on opinion surveys for this are “encouraged” to go and talk to employees – in person. I’d like to see more of this with the senior management team of Duke University. Attendance at basketball games doesn’t cut it.

james conrad said...

the G88 group & defenders are more of a cult than anything else, with their own language which only they understand. there is no reasoning with these people, you are wasteing your time, these guys have drank the kool-aide and no reasonable arguments or facts will ever penetrate this mind set

Anonymous said...

Mesele's editorial is another attempt in in a series or responses about the Ad to re-write history in an attempt to give cover for the Ad itself.

In none of these responses that have been issued since Meehan admitted in court that he and Nifong had conspired to withhold exculpatory DNA evidence, only the latest nail in the coffin that is Nifong's case built upon prosecutorial misconduct, has there been an admission that the Ad was a premature rush to judgment on the guilt or innocence of the LAX 3, and offered something that resembles an acknowledgement that the Ad fanned the flames of a lynch mob mentality.

Further, these same defenders of the Ad keep trying to make the point that the Ad was about "larger social issues" of ongoing sexual violence and racism at Duke, not about the LAX case. I respond "that doesn't pass the laugh test." Many of the quotes related directly to the case at hand and the comment about thanking those who were protesting and not waiting, well, we know that wasn't directed at students who were troubled about incidents that had taken place in 2000 or 2003 or 2005.

This guy should stop defending the Group of 88 and instead tell them to "man up" and issue an apology for their rush to judgment screed. Then, if there really are issues of ongoing sexual violence and racism (real ones, not hoaxes), they should concentrate on fixing those, not continuing with covering their asses for a stupid Ad from 10 montha ago.

Anonymous said...

Does he make extra money summers working as a contortionist at the circus? Nice job kid, way to be there lastest with the leastest. sic semper tyrannis

Anonymous said...

12:19am Anon:

"He's a sophomore who doesn't know the difference between "rein" and "reign."


AMac said...

KC Johnson wrote --

"before this case, I had never considered vehemently championing civil liberties as inconsistent with 'social justice'”...

KC is moderate enough to be sincere, but aware enough to be disingenuous.

Doubtless, some of the 88 are fashionistas who just jumped on the bus. In their spare time, they decorate their cars to Free Tibet, Visualize Whorled Peas (or something), and remind their lessers that War Is Not The Answer.

But the Listening Statement was written by the other sort of maroon. The sort that tingles when they think of Bolsheviks in 1917, the CCP in 1948 and the Late Sixties, the Sierra Madre Mountains in 1956, Saigon in 1975.

Yeah early enthusiasm about Pol Pot was a trifle misplaced.

For these maroons, worrying about civil liberties when there are Gramscian Victories within sight is ... quaint. They like omlets.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to 7:18. Your comment on crisis handling and the business/academe distinction was both interesting and (maybe)an example of serious input that might encourage some other contributors to be more rational/adult in their posts.

Anonymous said...

Human intelligence is complicated. But does anyone really think that students at Duke are morally superior to students at Emory or Wake Forest because of the gap in their relative SAT scores? Or that the Duke LAX case is so complicated that the average student at NC State couldn't reach an informed opinion?

I'd hope the answer to both questions is no. So why go off on a tangent about IQ that just makes supports of the Duke 3 look like bigots? It's an unnecessary distraction from the real issues.

Anonymous said...

Please--enough about "rein" and "reign." Yes, it's an embarrassing error--but a small one, and the type of error you can find in major newspapers, advertising, and even serious published books every day now that we are in the spell check era. People in a hurry don't proofread any more, but spell check won't catch typographical errors if they are themselves words. There is plenty of importance to discuss (and disagree with) in the substance of this Chronicle column without obsessing over typos.

Anonymous said...

1:14 AM
"And yes, anyone who doesn't know the difference between "rein" and "reign" and they are at Duke, does not belong there."

Hey, after reading the whole article, I'm surprised the didn't use "rain".


Anonymous said...

I'd like to agree with Huesofblue's 8:05 post. Many commenters on this blog are quick to criticize the Group of 88 for speaking without thinking of the possible impact of their words on the accused or on their university as an institution (and rightly so). By the same token, commenters who are concerned about justice for the accused might want to think about the possible impact of their words before providing so much ammunition to people who would like to dismiss all lax team supporters and/or all bloggers on the case as bigoted cranks. Surely there must be some other online forum where you can discuss intelligence and IQ to your hearts' content, without linking that discussion to this case.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if this was mentioned before, but a simple search on Duke Website reveals that Mesele is a Robertson Scholar and very active in aclu@duke. I say if he was not black he would not be a Robertson. He knows it; we know it; everybody knows it.

If being black gets you a Robertson at Duke, why stop there? He, and others like him, has every reason to use their blackness to their advanatage for rest of their lives to further their existence. This is a normal and simple phenomenon. If you give cheese to mice when they jump, they will jump again and expectt more cheese. What is so complicated about this to grasp?

Anonymous said...


I see your points, but I also think that most corporations would have handled many aspects of the Duke LAX crisis the exact same way that Duke did. The accused employees would have been placed on leave. If the department had a reputation for rowdy and raucous behavior, the manager of that department would probably be quickly replaced by someone with a straight arrow reputation. The corporation would almost certainly form the equivalent of the CCI and institute some diversity training as damage control. And in general the firm would do everything in it's power to put as much daylight as possible between it and the alleged wrongdoers. The fact that Dave Evans had his job offer rescinded speaks volumes to how the corporate world would have handled the situtation.

Now granted, the group of 88 might not have taken out an ad in the New York Times if this happened at Bear stearns or Morgan Stanley, but if they really thought there was a culture of rampant racism and sexual violence I can all but guarantee there would be a class action lawsuit. And how would a major corporation deal with a lawsuit like that? They'd probably settle fairly quickly and pay a lot of money for an iron clad confidentiality agreement.

I'm not sure the corporate model is really what Duke should have followed.

Sarah D said...

I just added the following comment at the Chronicle

The faculty 88, were not misunderstood, they were not commenting on some other social issues as their apologists try to claim, they jumped onto a nasty vigilante bandwagon for the sake of an ideology, what they did was reprehensible and inexcusable. If any have a defence it is merely that they could not help themselves.

For many of them. the event as they perceived it, or chose to perceive it, last March was the one they had spent most of their adult lives waiting for, it was that seminal moment when the anecdotal would become an actuality and would justify everything they stood for. For decades hence this would be the case of reference, the definitive proof of white male iniquity. We can but marvel at how much they desperately wanted that woman to have been raped as they gleefully signed their names.

How desolate they must now be as every day it becomes clearer that this was not the holy grail after all.

Others amongst them have no such excuse, their behavior was cynical and calculated, had Nifong succeeded in forcing innocent but frightened boys to accept a plea bargain, as they no doubt expected him to (and as has happened so often it shames our nation) they would not now be asked to explain their unforgivable betrayal, and would have gained significant credits in the world of Academia.

The gang of 88 deserve their shame for what they did to innocent young men, and the irony is that if one day a rare event occurs and a black woman really is raped by a gang of white jocks, after what has happened nobody will believe her, and, for that, they deserve further shame.

Jeff Z said...

“The 88 professors who published
I don't know where all this IQ stuff came from, but the corporate management comparison is intersting.

To pick up from the original post:
Getting away from "rein" v "reign," which could just as easily be a spellcheck or typo, what about the solipsistic logic? I thought this was revealing:

Original: "...the ad last April did give their support,” argued Mesele, “to the students who spoke up at the March 29 forum.” Mesele quoted another Duke student, Paul Slattery, who asserted that claiming “the 88 don’t support students” really means “the 88 don’t support the right students.”

Is the same as:

“The 88 professors who published the ad last April only give their support,” argued Mesele, “to the students who spoke up at the March 29 forum.” Mesele quoted another Duke student, Paul Slattery, who asserted that claiming “the 88 support students” really means “the 88 support the right students.”

Anonymous said...

james conrad,

Oh, oh. You wrote "wasteing," not "wasting." Standby for Polanski and m. simon to insist (1) you must not be as white as they are, and (2) you are certainly too dumb to win any arguments. Meanwhile, as they fiddle, the accused players remain under indictment and caught up in a world where many folks either defend the Group of 88 or hijack reasonable discussions by going off on some IQ rant.

Anonymous said...

Not entirely on topic, but some of you might find this link on affirmative action interesting:

It's about the increasing number of African-American college students who are, in fact, just African. Not too groundbreaking, but it suggests there's more at play than just race.

james conrad said...

re 8.50 lol, oh well, wasting appears some posters may have an agenda of their own and/or to much time on their hands... no worries, its all part of the blog experience

Anonymous said...

Police officers slowing down because you're a "big, black man" says nothing about you. It has nothing to do with you. It says something about the typical Durham community and the Durham Police. I think that "slowing down" pales in comparison to a calculated, institutionalized railroading of others for crimes they didn't commit.

Do they expect Durham Police Department officials to be former FBI agents or experienced criminal profilers? Durham PD are likely, mostly good people, but you can't expect the same level of intelligence among them as you have among the Duke student body. This "big, black male" detected idiocy because idiocy was there in the form of the DPD. This "big, black male" could probably join the DPD and overhaul the entire institution with drastic positive results within months. So, why can this "big, black male" see a couple of sub-intelligent Durham cops slowing down for a "big, black male", because it's the only thing they can think to do, and feel sorry for them?

At this point, I can think of no other explanation for the behavior of the 88 and this "big, black male" than they want to be victims they want bigotry and hate and racism to exist. I can forgive the 88 for this weakness. They are sad, soiled academics, but the "big, black male" should know better. He got into Duke after all.

AMac said...

Some great comments on this thread. Thanks Huesofblue, Sarah D, anon 7:28am, and especially Duke Employee 7:18am.

Antonio Gramsci is the patron saint of the Group of 88. Via the estimable GNXP, some of J. Cantrell's thoughts (emphasis added):

----begin excerpt----

[Gramsci] understood that progressive causes would become hegemonic in the West only after its advocates made the long march through the institutions.

[Thinking about weaving is] the best way to grasp the picture. A weaver uses a loom to spin threads that crisscross and thus connect and tighten the entire cloth. The weaver who makes a mistake may unweave, may slowly back out his weaving, in order to correct, after which he will weave toward completion. ...Gramsci’s long march through the institutions [is] cultural weaving. The progressive cultural warrior against traditional values... was to weave into existing institutions, slowly exposing their members to progressive ideas and language. When the more repressive members... catch on and cause a ruckus, the progressive cultural warrior should deny, preferably without lying outright, and slowly weave back to make peace. When the storm dies down, the progressive cultural warrior is to begin the weaving process again. Eventually, the weaving in and out, with each re-weaving going deeper into the whole cloth, will mean that progressives will be so deeply entrenched in institutions that even if they announce their intentions to use those institutions to remake society totally, they could be removed from the cloth only by ripping it and leaving it incapable of being repaired.

----end excerpt----

Despite Samson Mesele's impressive effort in yesterday's Chronicle, Professor Cathy Davidson's Op-Ed remains the Bayeux Tapestry of the hoax.

Anonymous said...

Are the G88 all (or mostly) tenured ? I wonder if we should be attacking the idea of tenure, leaving people like the G88 more open to risk for bad behavior.


Anonymous said...

8:30 AM sarah d

Great comment. You've outlined the situation beautifully.

I think this part nails it:
"We can but marvel at how much they desperately wanted that woman to have been raped as they gleefully signed their names."

This is the disturbing ingredient that makes it impossible to confess. To do so would admit a serious ethical void or worse.

james conrad said...

re:Bday i agree, the problem with tenure is, its difficult if not impossible to fire non performing employees. i note western europe has pretty much abolished tenure in academia.i dont know the particular's of KC Johnsons battle to gain tenure however, the fact that there WAS a battle tells me theres something very wrong with this system. posner on tenure

Anonymous said...

KC -- I might consider closing the comments section down. Your blog is now the go-to site for the real truth on this disaster of a case and the Duke faculty's disgusting use of it to further its agenda. The comments section, however, has often become a mix of race-based IQ blather and some hateful vitriol. There certainly is a place for such discussions, but I submit that this is not that place, particularly with the whole world watching now.

Anonymous said...

"The 88 professors who published the ad last April did give their support, to the students who spoke up at the March 29 forum. In response, their most extreme opponents have used minor instances of verbal ambiguity within the ad to wage a convenient war against academicians they do not like, wrongly suggesting that these professors do not care about their students. As junior Paul Slattery, Duke Student Government chief of staff, has argued in online forums, the blanket claim "the 88 don't support students" translates to "the 88 don't support the right students." In its careless simplicity, the broad assertion implies that standing behind marginalized female and minority students is neither meaningful nor productive."

I do not understand why the GRUMPS (defined in a previous comment as the Group of 88 and the Rump, collectively) and those defending them failed, and contiunue to fail, to appreciate that "support" of the "marginalized female and minority students" should not and does not justify the GRUMPS assistance in "heightening the public condemnation of those accused of a crime"--especially when those accused are their own students. Even if we accept for argument the purported intent of the GRUMPS as "clarified" in the Open Letter, is ANYONE, including Mr. Mesele, willing to argue that the ad actually did NOT heighten campus tensions and fan public condemnation of the accused? If not then, given the widely acknowledged consequences of the ad and the Open Letter, the GRUMPS owe a public apology to the accused. If they actually did not intend to heighten condemnation, that should make offering an apology even easier, and, yes, the apology must be made if the GRUMPS hope ever to be taken seriously by the vast majority of the civilized, literate world, who by and large consider their behavior well outside the bounds of ethical conduct.

May I add that ethics adhere to what should be fairly universal standards. Politics, obviously, do not. But to the extent that anyone argues politics or support of "marginalized" populations justify ethical breaches, we have a problem.


P.S. I understand why Prof. Johnson believes the IQ discussion inappropriate in the context of this particular student and this particular piece of writing. In general, though, I think the OT discussions are relevant to the broader context and stimulate thinking. Would it help if we started OT comments with a warning system of some kind for those who find them uninteresting or would that just be more annoying?

Gary Packwood said...

IQ, Division I Athletics, and The Faculty

This is all about a small group of faculty members who dream of the day when they can bring the Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) system to Duke. We have the same challenge here in Houston at Rice University.

Emory University has 18 varsity sports under the auspices of NCAA Division III, a club sports program, an intramurals program and a Fitness Emory program.

Various faculty members at Duke jumped on the current legal problems of the three young men as THE stick that will break the camels back of Division I athletics at Duke.

Now that group of faculty looks silly as does the leadership at the Women's Center.

The IQ of Division 1 student athletes is an old old issue and using the current troubles to move that debate forward again is just not appropriate.

Faculty members who oppose athletics spend far too much time trying to gain their rightful place in Valhalla rather than helping the students learn.

The only thing missing was the usual faculty reference to IRONY.

Less Jerry Seinfeld and more teaching please.

Anonymous said...

The comments section, however, has often become a mix of race-based IQ blather and some hateful vitriol.

A perfect example being the fool who posted the other day about 9/11 being carried out by the US government.

Oh. What is that? That is not the kind of post you are referring to? Take your moralizing elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I would like to make several comments.
First,Re "social justice:there is no way to objectify this concept.(Heinlein wrote a article on the impossibility of this decades ago.The gist was it becomes'something of which the speaker approfves'
Secondly,I do believe in IQ.I find the people who don't and are threatened by the concepy of IQ generally and ethnic based differences specifically to be akin to fundamentalists denying evolution or people demaanding a terra centric universe.At the end of the day,Galilieo et al still murmur,"Yet it still moves".
Third,I wonder why the IQ question is included in these discussions.This blog pertains to an injustice done to the Duke LAx team in general and three students in particular.If one wants to get race based,Prof Coloeman is certainly brighter ,and more important much more ethical than Mr. Ding Dong.
I commend KC for his post of 12:34 and for his work on this case.
And lest I be accused of being disingenuous,I'm pro choice,pro gay marriage and pro -Barack.

Anonymous said...

To 10:24 and KC

I agree. I used to visit frequently to get the truth about the case and developments. It has disintegrated greatly into nasty and argumentative nonsense. I would be embarrased for a new reader to think this was the definitive case study site now.

Anonymous said...

Form the original "listening statement":

"No one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself central to this conversation, how to keep her humanity before us . . . she doesn’t seem to be visible in this. Not for the university, not for us."

That little line has always burned my blood. Those who have exploited this case have never kept the accuser at the front of conversation. For that matter, they have never kept the "Alleged Victim," the fictional metanarrative by which the accuser is turned into the "perfect victim," has never been kept at the center. Even if the accuser and Alleged Victim were one in the same, I suspect the people who explioit this case would STILL be making damn sure that THEY were the central to the "conversation" (or as they would have it, their monologue).

Anonymous said...

Additionally (as I put on my jiffypop beanie) I tried posting a very temperate response to Mr Mesele compared to some of the other hissyfits that the Chron posts, and it appears that my IP has been rejected.

Given that I have never trolled or flamed on those comment boards and have always kept on topic, the more paranoid angels in me are now thinking that calmer critics of the 88 are being blocked out by someone at the Chron who wants, for some reason to keep the invective from "outside" the Duke community at peak volume for some reason.

That in itself doesn't get passed my overall BS detector since the Chron has been very good in its overall coverage and commentary.

Anonymous said...

10:24 AM,

KC's done fine so far without your coaching.

Anonymous said...

The prime movers in the Group of 88 typify how affirmative action is destroying elite institutions.

So the posters that are decrying discussions of IQ--or the Gang's lack of intelligence--are indeed being disingenuous.

This sophomore displays a low degree of ability. Noted. Let's move on.

Anonymous said...

"Additionally (as I put on my jiffypop beanie) I tried posting a very temperate response to Mr Mesele compared to some of the other hissyfits that the Chron posts, and it appears that my IP has been rejected."

Given that I'm back on the Chron boards, I retract my earlier statement but I still have to wonder what went on yesturday...

AMac said...

Kevin 11:32, sometimes the Chronicle's server accepts comments right off, but then their appearance can sometimes be delayed by many hours. It seems that a setting gets toggled to "moderator approve" now and then (or for new IPs).

Anonymous said...

KC, some typo fixes please:

I think your "identity a students" should be "identity as students"

Thanks much for quoting me (duke75alum), but please change "to advance it" to "to advance them".

This is terrible KC, we need to sleep and we have actual jobs and this case is in limbo! Please give us a day off.

Anonymous said...

"Kevin 11:32, sometimes the Chronicle's server accepts comments right off, but then their appearance can sometimes be delayed by many hours. It seems that a setting gets toggled to "moderator approve" now and then (or for new IPs)."

Yeah but mine never appeared even as some really nasty stuff and flamewars was being commented. I don't know if my machine somehow was putting of a "spam" signature or what. For me, unless things get weird again, it's water off a ducks back.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wonders whether the charges of racism and bias are invented or not, they only need to read these boards. These posts, those removed and those remaining, reflect the deep prejudice and animosity directed at any who defend the 88. Just a question, when a white male Duke student defended the 88 recently, to your gathered disdain, there was not one statement about his IQ.
There you go folks...all the evidence one would want of your own disgusting, ignorant set of presumptions. You can't remove it fast enough KC for the truth of these posts to disappear.

Anonymous said...

7:18 Excellent article - that is what this board is about. Not the juvenille name calling, cursing . sexual inuendo and body parts.

Anonymous said...

11:53 AM
"...reflect the deep prejudice and animosity directed at any who defend the 88."

Um...the G88 defends a Hoax. What do you expect? The Minister of Justice who evaluated the case is now a defendant. Due process was corrupted. Ask the NC state bar. False accusations, corruption of judicial process, and the support of such should offend anyone.

The discussion of IQ is irrelevant to the case and tries to piggyback inappropriately to this blog, just as the G88 tried to piggyback it's own agenda to the false accusation. I'm confident that the majority of posters on this board would agree.

Anonymous said...


I'm not familiar with this person. Where do I find his defense of the 88?

AMac said...

anon 11:53am --

Let me enthusiastically second what you wrote! Fight the power, and KC is the power!

Nobody here will be able to rebut the impressive arguments you made about how the Group of 88 were right in the first instance and remain correct. I agree--amen that they didn't apologize in their recent Rump statement! They have nothing to apologize for!

I'd like to re-state that powerful reasoning that you offer in defense of the G88. It's that Some posters in these threads write dumb or controvesial stuff. And also,

... checking ...
... checking ...

Well, anyway, anon 11:53am, you're still correct, even without logic!

Us virtuous types don't need reasons to know how marvelous we are.


Anonymous said...


What's that guy talking about?

Sarah D said...

To anonymous at 11:53 AM

This issue has created very strong feelings and they are expressed in different ways, some better than others.

We are not a single group or political gathering, we are individual people from across the internet who are expressing out personal views and it is completely disingenuous to suggest that the few off color messages which have been removed are a reflection of the majority of Duke 3 supporters.

If you were to genuinely claim that to be the case then you would have to accept responsibility for the racist and sexist filth which is being written about the defendants on other sites.

Anonymous said...

IQ pertains because it is so lacking in Crystal Gail Mangum, and apparently, in Barrack Hussein Obama. Nifong is obviously a dimwit, as are most of his minions in Durham government. I know these people, interact with them altogether too often, and they are by and large stupid. Inarticulate, irredentist, amoral, and profoundly ignorant of the larger world. Does IQ matter? Those who would argue that is doesn't are stupid. Or waiting for some sort of AA boost in life. Good luck with that.

james conrad said...

meanwhile....HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!!!

Anonymous said...

11:53 says: "These posts, those removed and those remaining, reflect the deep prejudice and animosity directed at any who defend the 88."

It sounds as if labeling all of us racists probably satisfies your purposes in commenting here. If you read this site for long, however, you will eventually notice that we represent a wide variety of views about many different topics. But if your feelings hurt easily, this may not be the place for you.

Now, would you like to participate in the discussion? If so, please present some points. Perhaps you can enlighten us. Let's start with whether you believe the Group and the Rump owe an apology to the accused students and why or why not?



Anonymous said...


It's not only IQ.

A lot of what this case addresses is black misbehavior:

--black Durhamites
--black media

The definite subtext of this joke is the problem of integration:

How to integrate Duke with unprepared black faculty and students

How do whites get a fair trial in a majority-black Durham

I'm sick of it.

Gary Packwood said...

To much time on their hands

Perhaps if you block posts to this board from midnight until 6 AM, we would attract a better crowd.


Anonymous said...

It looks like someone's (10:24) feelings may have gotten hurt and now they want to institute some kind of "speech code" on this blog.


Anonymous said...

Unprepared black students? Funny I didn't encounter a preponderance of unprepared black student as compared asian, hispanic, indian, anglo or any other ethnic group during my 4 years at Duke.

So, what are you sick of? Stupid, victim-entitlement hypocrites? Well, I'm sick of them too, but unfortunately for the expediency of the process, race simply isn't a useful metric for identifying stupid, victim-entitlement hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

In 20 years of university-level teaching, I have had many Black students. A few -- but just a few -- were unqualified. I have also taught a significant number who have been among the best. Last semester, in a large, rigorous, and objectively-graded (multiple choice exams) class, three of the top six students were Black (one African American, two African). Certain African ethnic groups, such as the Ibo of Nigera, consistently produce large numbers of stellar students. Why? Perhaps it is because Ibo culture (like Jewish culture and Chinese culture) stresses learning.

IQ tests can measure certain aspects of intelligence, but not all. But is IQ genetically fixed? If so, why does average IQ continue to rise, requiring a constant re-norming of the test? (This is particularly true of the IQ component known as "g.") Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for You, contends that cognitively demanding popular culture, especially video games, is boosting overall intelligence. Perhaps that is nonsense, but the rise of "g" is undeniable.

Anti-Leftist Liberal

Anonymous said...

This is all about a small group of faculty members who dream of the day when they can bring the Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) system to Duke. We have the same challenge here in Houston at Rice University.

Emory University has 18 varsity sports under the auspices of NCAA Division III, a club sports program, an intramurals program and a Fitness Emory program.

Well, we all know that the G88 are about mediocrity, not merit. What's new.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to an interesting article. If this works, thank M. Simon. If it doesn't work, sorry, and M. Simon, can you tell me what I did wrong?


P.S. I am linking to this as further evidence that IQ is not necessarily fixed at all. Our IQ perhaps improves over generations in response to environmental stimuli.

Anonymous said...

OK. It looked good, but it definitely did not work. Suggestions welcome.


Anonymous said...


So What are We Actually Measuring?

If an IQ test is supposed to measure a person's intelligence, the question is: What is intelligence? Is it the ability to do well in school? Is it the ability to read well and spell correctly? Or are the following people intelligent?


The physician who smokes three packets of cigarettes a day?

The Nobel Prize winner whose marriage and personal life are in ruins?

The corporate executive who has ingeniously worked his way to the top and also earned a heart attack for his efforts?

The brilliant and successful music composer who handled his money so poorly that he was always running from his creditors (incidentally, his name was Mozart)?18

The problem is that the term intelligence has never been defined adequately and therefore nobody knows what an IQ test is supposed to measure. In spite of this the futures of thousands of children are determined by the results of this test.


Anonymous said...

Try cutting and pasting this if you would like to read the article: and if that fails google "ashkinazim, IQ, DNA, link."


Anonymous said...

Once upon a time there lived an old woman who had a number of hens, ducks, and geese. She used to send her little daughter to the meadow every day to take care of the ducks and geese.

But she had one goose that she never allowed with the others. This one had a little house and yard of its own. It was such a wonderful goose that the old woman was afraid of losing it.

Each day this goose laid a large golden egg. The woman could hardly wait for the new day to come, she was so eager to get the golden egg.

At last she said to herself, "I will kill the goose and get the gold all at once."

But when she had killed the goose she found that it was just like all the other geese.

In her haste to become rich, she had become poor.

Moral: Greed destroys the source of good.

I think of KC's posts as the golden eggs.

Anonymous said...

Chronicle Comment #3 above: A tension exists between “social justice” and “criminal justice”

The way I look at the group of 88’s position is not that it creates a tension between social and criminal justice but that their desires for changing society into what they believe in results in their overarching philosophy that the “end justifies the means.” The end is the “social outcome” and the means is the “criminal and civil justice system”. Society controls social outcomes through laws enacted for the good of all. The problem here is that the criminal and civil laws (the means) as perceived by the G88 do not achieve the ends (social justice) as they would have it. Therefore, they feel it is justified in changing (or even worse ignoring) the means to achieve the desired ends.

Dangerous attitude that has gotten more than one group into real trouble (i.e., KKK, Weather Underground, Al-Qaeda, etc.......).

Anonymous said...

12:42 PM,

But, of course, if there was no action on this blog from midnight 'til 6 AM we would miss some of KC's daily analysis of this case.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is truly interested in the IQ debate and the nature of intelligence, please visit

In Silicon Valley--as elsewhere where genius is located--blacks are not "playahs."

That's a fact, Jack.

Anonymous said...

AntiLeftist Liberal

viz. g increasing, I'd visit There's an article about open borders and lowering of US IQ. The average Mexican IQ is only 90.

Another IQ-related problem. What researchers are finding is that the children of black professionals are doing poorly in elite public schools. Without affirmative action, the prospects of these children are not optimistic given the fact that IQ always regresses to the mean of any race. E.g., you could be Einstein's son, but you have a very low probability of inheriting his genius.

Anonymous said...

Anti-leftist liberal says:

If so, why does average IQ continue to rise, requiring a constant re-norming of the test? (This is particularly true of the IQ component known as "g.")

This is yet another example of a small amount of knoweledge being a dangerous thing.

The so-called Flynn effect seems to have stalled and perhaps even reversed in some places. It might also have been an artifact of testing and other things. One needs to keep with papers in journals like Intelligence or Individual Differences to have any idea of what is going on.

Secondly, as someone who has had a lot of experience with the Chinese (including having one for a spouse and thus, half-Chinese children), it is pretty clear to me that genetic factors play a big part in their so-called cultural advantages.

Anonymous said...


The Flynn effect argument was adequately disproven by Charles Murray (Google it. Forgot where I read it.). Yes, genetic factors are the overwhelming predictor of IQ. Identical twin studies are very convincing on that.

Not much social justice where genetics is concerned.


Anonymous said...

2:33 Anti

Murray has documented small spikes in IQ among the least intelligent, probably related to nutrition.

Murray has not been able to document any increases in g.

Interesting interview with Murray in Gene Expression.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the citations -- it looks like I hve some reading to do about IQ research. But I do stand by my statement that 'intelligence" is a complex matter, only some aspects of which can be measured adequately in standardized tests.

Anti-Leftist Liberal

Anonymous said...


Yes, intelligence is a complex matter. Some researchers have demonstrated that creativity is an IQ-related attribute, but only up to 120. Above that, there does not seem to be a correlation between IQ and creativity. Very complex, indeed.

IMO, g is a term that makes the most sense, because that includes creativity and emotional intelligence.

A poster above somewhere took a shot at Barack Obama's supposed intelligence. I agree with him to the extent that Obama's "smarts" derive almost entirely from his oratorical skills.

Anonymous said...

Not much social justice where genetics is concerned.

Well, except that a realist about IQ also realizes that there are many ways that an individual can fail to realize their full genetic potential.

For example, poor pre- and peri-natal nutrition, mothers in some groups who consume alcohol during pregnancy (yes, there is evidence that even only moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy affects some groups more than others), high levels of lead in the environment, and so forth.

These are things we can, and should, do something about.

Anonymous said...


good points


M. Simon said...


You didn't paste this:

between the quotation marks.

M. Simon said...

Well nice try. I guess you got the url wrong.

When you try next time paste the url in the post as well as making the link so that if there is an error the site can still be reached by copy and paste.

Keep practicing until you get it right.

In the mean time I'll gin up a very short tutorial that I can paste here.

Use this 'til then.
HTML cheats

Art Deco said...

I’m a centrist Democrat, and have been a very active supporter of gay rights and abortion rights campaigns.

Wretched causes both, Professor.

M. Simon said...

M. Simon said...

james conrad 8:50AM,

Uh, I do not believe I have ever made an issue of bad spelling or picking the wrong cognate.

The Maker knows I do it often enough myself.

I believe in treating individuals as individuals. If a person is honest with a good heart, I don't care how smart they are. I respect doing the best with what ever gifts you have.

However, there is a reason Ashkenazi Jews have won 27% of the American Nobels despite being 3% of the population.

Looking at that case suggest a difference in the average intelligence between the Ashkenazi Jews and the rest of the population.

Similarly we can look at black performance and see that there is an average difference in the other direction.

Those differences are predicted by the average difference in IQ scores.

Which has nothing to do with individuals. Some blacks will be smarter than some Ashkenazi Jews.

Which is why the emphasis on individual Liberty in America is such a great thing. A man can do as well as he is able.

However, average differences between groups explains why it is so hard getting equality of numbers in some occupations and colleges.

Or think of it this way. Do you want your football teams made up of people adept at partial differential equations or those who excel in athletic ability? I'm a Bear fan and I'd rather see athletic ability.

I'm not going to complain one bit that Jews are under represented in the NFL. That would be stupid. Yet if you make the argument in the other direction (re: IQ), you are a racist.


Anonymous said...

For all those so interested in IQ, read the Bell Curve. This book tells it all- even including how a bus boy with intelligence can help a business..

M. Simon said...


IQ enters into the equuation because affimative action quotas can not be met if standards are upheld.

This is not because of racism but because of the differential differences in population IQs.

So the Angry Studies people are making a political issue of innate group differences.

Which is why IQ enters the discussion.

OTOH some groups excel at athletics. Where is affimative action for the low performers in that area?

M. Simon said...

Anti-Leftist Liberal 1:06 PM,

I think you are making my case. Differnt populations will have different IQs.

And yes IQs have been rising. However the differences between populations is not changing.

Some think it is due to generally improved nutrition.

Anonymous said...

I hope Mesele is going to be an African American studies major. That sure is where he belongs. Maybe he can join the Black Panther party too. That is where he is heading. Poor guy...

M. Simon said...


IQ correlates somewhat with brain size, and better with intellectual reaction time.

So IQ is real. Is it a perfect measure. Nope. It may not do much predicting for an individual. It does well in predictions about populations.

The answer?

Treat people as individuals.

Anonymous said...

To :my fellow commenters,
Let's honor our hosts wishes and stop commenting on IQ.

Anonymous said...

I’m happy to take Samson Masele up on his challenge to review the contents and meaning of the “Group of 88”’s Listening Statement.

Certain characteristics of the statement are unmistakable. It depicts the environment at Duke as one of racism and terror. In support of that picture, the only specific evidence pointed to in the ad is the alleged rape by members of the lacrosse team.

Going through the statement in sequence makes this quite clear:

The first paragraph contains a specific reference to the alleged incident (“Regardless of the results of the police investigation. . .”) After a one-sentence second paragraph, the third paragraph also refers specifically to “what happened to this young woman.”

Thereafter follow 11 anonymous quotes. Of those 11, four of them (the third, fifth, ninth and tenth) specifically reference the alleged event. (“If it turns out that these students are guilty, I want them expelled”. . . “If something like this happens to me – what could be held against me. .”. . . “no one is really talking about how to keep the young woman herself central to this conversation”. . . “I can’t help but think about the different attention given to what has happened from what it would have been if the guys had been not just black but participating in a different sport. . .”

The other seven quotes all decry a general atmosphere of racism, but notably, none of them cite a single piece of specific evidence in support of that picture. The first quote expresses a longing for the “absence of terror,” the second sweepingly condemns fellow students as “racists,” while the fourth speaker asserts broadly and without evidentiary details that police cars slow down in his presence. The sixth does refer to a specific event: a conversation in which two people express different views on the relevance of race. The seventh, again without evidentiary detail, alleges broadly that she is groped and propositioned at the parties she attends. The eighth, like the sixth, complains about the expression of a competing, offending viewpoint, although as a trend rather than as a specific incident. The eleventh and final quote complains that Duke is not responding adequately to “this,” though it’s not fully clear whether “this” refers to the rape allegations, or to the broad picture painted in the other quotes.

After these quotes, the Group of 88’s narrative then picks up again with yet another specific reference to the alleged incident (the disaster “. . . won’t end with what the police say or what the court decides.”)

There is no other way to fairly read the statement other than as a rush to judgment about the guilt of the accused students, and as a broader condemnation of the university environment based in large part upon that judgment. Take away that alleged incident, and there is nothing else in the ad that plausibly substantiates the depiction of the Duke campus as a “social disaster.”

The text of the Group of 88 statement is completely at odds with the Group’s subsequent attempts to portray it as being about wrongdoing other than the alleged sexual assault. If the Group of 88 has any other compelling evidence for their portrayal of the Duke campus as a hotbed of racism, the ad does not present it. Beyond the discussion of the alleged incident, the rest of the ad consists solely of hearsay, generalizing stereotypes, and allegations of habitual attitudes and behavior, unsupported by details about specific offenses or perpetrators.

What has concerned many about the conduct of the Group of 88 is their collective failure to admit their error in rushing to judgment and to come clean about it. Instead they have attempted to redefine what their statement actually said, and the effect that it had, in ways that are simply not credible in the eyes of objective observers. There has indeed been “willful misreading” of the Group of 88 ad, but mainly from the Group of 88 themselves. The ad was not, as some have later falsely claimed, about “hook-up” culture, excessive alcohol intake or the generally rowdy conduct of athletes. It hung entirely on one specific alleged incident, without which all of the other rhetoric in the ad is simply a heap of general accusations, finger-pointing and name-calling, wanting any evidence whatsoever.

At some point, some recognition is in order that Mr. Nifong was not the sole committer of improprieties here; the conduct of the Group of 88, as well as that of many journalists, deserves recognition and correction.

The end result of this story is deeply ironic; those who worry about “social justice” are often quick to note that racism can only be overcome if people are willing to step back and to look objectively at their own behavior. The Group of 88 has refused to do that, now, for several months. Is it really so hard for a group of credentialed academics, people whose job is supposedly to search for truth, to simply acknowledge that they screwed up and to say that they are sorry? If they cannot do this with such an obvious case of error, how can they expect others to do so with more difficult issues?

Another irony here is that the Group of 88 has proved right about one thing: the wake of this incident has shown heightened and regrettable racial tensions. Unfortunately, rather than acting as defusers of such tensions, the Group of 88 was perhaps the prime source. If they really did care about the issues they claim to, they would look in the mirror, publicly recognize the tragic consequences of their own actions, and begin to atone for them. We’re still waiting.

Anonymous said...

What “attempts at intimidation” have Monday’s presenters (all but one of whom are tenured) experienced? Group members don’t say.

I've thought about the intimidation angle this morning and came up empty. The only thing I can figure is that to the G5 subset of the G88 the intimidation is the criticism. In a battle of wits, this group is defenseless. Ergo, any criticism of their actions is intimidating. Any attempt at dialog is intimidating. Anything other than one-way speech is intimidating. Free speech is only legal in the first person to this group.