Monday, February 02, 2009

January Events in the Case

A summary from a quite busy January:

Duke's decision to sue one of its insurance carriers boomeranged; in an explosive filing, National Union revealed that the University has already spent more than $5 million on its defense--and that it notified its carrier of possible civil liability not when Crystal Mangum first made her allegations but instead the day after Nifong received DNA evidence almost certainly proving that Mangum's fanciful claims were wholly false. In other words: Duke appears to have recognized as early as March 30, 2006 that a civil suit likely would come not from Mangum but from its own students.

Durham inaugurated a new "minister of justice" who at best misled voters and at worst outright lied about her role in the lacrosse case. To make her priorities clear, new DA Tracey Cline invited as her special inauguration guest someone that the State Bar disbarred for prosecutorial misconduct. Cline also refused to endorse the findings of the Attorney General's investigation into the lacrosse case.

Cline also previewed a potential purge of her office--and didn't list ethics as among the top three criteria that she desired in potential assistant district attorneys.

Duke promoted to a deanship the third member of the Group of 88.

In 2008, the four leading Democratic presidential candidates were an African-American (Obama), a woman (Clinton), a Hispanic (Richardson) and a white male (Edwards). Yet, according to Huffington Post's campaign contributions database, the race- and gender-obsessed Bill Chafe and Tim Tyson donated money to . . . the white male. Will the equally race- and gender-obsessed Group of 88'er Grant Farred now label them "secret racists," as he did the Duke students who dared to register to vote in Durham?

Richard Brodhead's predecessor, Nan Koehane, offered excuses for Brodhead's performance in the lacrosse case, and fantastically suggested that, during her tenure as president, she had attempted to address the "root of the problem" exposed in the case. In fact, of course, problems such as faculty groupthink and the University's cavalier attitude toward the due process rights of students had grown much worse during Keohane's time in office, and no evidence exists that she had ever attempted to address them, either at their root or in any other form.

In legal developments, two discouraging developments for the civil suit team of Duke, Durham & Nifong. In Pearson, the Supreme Court gave lower courts more fleixibility in addressing claims of qualified immunity. In Van de Kamp, as Liestoppers noted, the Court reaffirmed that a prosecutor doesn't get absolute immunity for actions (as occurred with Nifong in the lacrosse case) undertaken in a police or investigatory capacity.

Not deterred, Nifong attorney Jim Craven filed an 11-line motion to dismiss the civil suit against his client. The falsely accused players' attorneys had little difficulty in responding. Perhaps, as one reader cleverly suggested, Craven would have had better luck (at least he would have received points for creativity) had he shortened his 11-line response to a haiku:

Fails to state a claim
No standing for injunction
D.A. is immune

The newest book on the case, Race to Injustice, combines impressive legal analysis with, unfortunately, essays that read as if caricatures of Group of 88 musings.

And the Wall Street Journal reported that Bob Steel's misleading remarks about Wachovia might cost him more than merely a spot on CNBC host Jim Cramer's "wall of shame."


Anonymous said...

Is Farred a Communist?

Anonymous said...

It always is fun to watch cockroaches scurry when the light is shone upon them. Have you ever seen such a group of dishonest people? And in the same city, too!

Anonymous said...

8:39 AM

Does 8:39 Know something I do not know . . . probably.

Anonymous said...

One reform that could and should come from this at Duke (and probably other universities too) is a statistical analysis of grades. The fact of the matter is that many of these types of politically correct idealogues need to be monitored. The lacrosse case has proven that so many . . . too many . . . of these so called professionals cannot be trusted to maintain anything like an objective mind set . . . they are all too often bigots.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how Farred could be a communist. He doesn't appear to be a part of the vanguard elite or the vanguard frauds. He may however be characterized as a useful idiot.

Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Univ. of Colorado flipped the light on and look what they found.

ex-Prof Ward Churchill update

"Ward Churchill is a plagiarist and a fraud, and, regrettably, we continue to pay for his deception."

"...The controversy resulted in a deeper look at Churchill's background. A faculty committee investigated, and the regents fired him, citing alleged fabrications, plagiarism and lies about historical facts in his academic work..."

"...had a clear pattern of lying for virtually his entire academic career. That's why he was fired. I believe the jury will reject Churchill's (claims.)"

One wonders why Duke hasn't extended Churchill an offer.

Anonymous said...

OneSpook said at 2:26pm:
One wonders why Duke hasn't extended Churchill an offer.


I would suspect they are waiting for him to be convicted of something so they can fast track him to a tenured/endowed position!!!


Anonymous said...

He may however be characterized as a useful idiot.

Uh, just leave off "useful" and I think that is a good description of Farred and his ilk.

One Spook said...

SULax88 @ 2:36 PM writes:

"OneSpook said at 2:26pm:
One wonders why Duke hasn't extended Churchill an offer."

No, actually I didn't say that, but it's not a bad idea, now that you mention it.

When you think about it, Duke could stand to expand their "diversity" hires by adding a poseur like Churchill. Duke's Angry Studies departments do not presently have any fake Native Americans with non-existent credentials and faux scholarship. Colorado raised the low bar pretty high when they made Churchill a department head when all he possessed was a phony Master's Degree from a fake university that didn't even use a grading system.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Just curious--how many folks feel as though Nifong should "hang" for his crimes incident to the Hoax--period--and how many would be essentially "open" to a reduced "sentence" (read: somewhat less civil liability) in exchange for Nifong "rolling" on Duke (that is, coming completely clean w/ respect to Broadhead, Steel, G88, et al.'s involvement).

A difficult, even unsettling question, to be sure, but provocative enough that I wanted to at least air it.

Debrah said...

This website is most amusing!

Some of you might wish to make a comment and enlighten those who have watched the screening of the little film made from Tim Tyson's book.

Tyson has left a comment on the website which is hilarious.

He's "dying" to see the film.

People need to know what a "fighter for justice" he really is.

Perhaps that part of the story was left on the cutting floor.

Michael said...

Watched the Cramer piece. At the end I was surprised at how apologetic Cramer was. I've never seen that before - he's usually full of bluster.

Has Steele offered his own apology yet?

I'm listening to the podcast, thanks for the links to multiple posters.

Anonymous said...

I'd be fine with negotiating with Nifong if he would shine the light on Duke, Durham, and the whole stinky crowd. But that would take more courage and integrity than we have seen. Of course, it might not take either of those qualities, just a dose of pathetic, whiney, self-centered weezly victimization of himself as a pawn in those mean ole people's hands. yep, I think he could pull it off. The terms? Nifong can never, ever again, as long as he breathes air, hold any office for which he might be responsible for the protection of citizens. Otherwise, he could, perhaps, apply as assistant legal counsel at Duke. ooops... they might not want him if he turned "state's evidence" In fact. even Cy might not want him. How could he ever walk the streets of Durham again. But then, you can't walk streets anywhere from prison, so yep... it might just work. Then he could go to another state with Detroit Mayor Kwame, and they could start some kind of non-profit organization to care for the down and outters of society. OH MY the possibilities are endless!!! :) :)

Anonymous said...

WSJ - Daniel Pearl and the Normalization of Evil

An excellent article - one everyone should read in order to better understand the pollution that relativism offers.

Mr. Pearl, a professor of computer science at UCLA, is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, founded in memory of his son to promote cross-cultural understanding, suggests a root cause is our Universities - a big surprise - evil faculty.

"...When we ask ourselves what it is about the American psyche that enables genocidal organizations like Hamas -- the charter of which would offend every neuron in our brains -- to become tolerated in public discourse, we should take a hard look at our universities and the way they are currently being manipulated by terrorist sympathizers.

At my own university, UCLA, a symposium last week on human rights turned into a Hamas recruitment rally by a clever academic gimmick. The director of the Center for Near East Studies carefully selected only Israel bashers for the panel, each of whom concluded that the Jewish state is the greatest criminal in human history..."

Much like the Duke hoax, the abettors hope we forget.

"Danny's picture is hanging just in front of me, his warm smile as reassuring as ever. But I find it hard to look him straight in the eyes and say: You did not die in vain."

One could make the case that the actions of Steel, Brodhead, and the Duke faculty were unexpected, even surprising. Aren't we surprised, almost daily by their actions/inactions?

Sadly their and others behavior as stewards of academia have lowered the bar so far, like murdering terror groups, that they have redefined our expectation on how they will behave. It no longer is a surprise, but an expectation.

Anonymous said...

"OneSpook said at 2:26pm:
One wonders why Duke hasn't extended Churchill an offer."

Maybe Duke will extend an offer to Madonna Constantine:-).

Anonymous said...

Inre: Cramer Mad Money Steel apology. I unsuccessfully tried to find the original broadcast with Steel actually on the set. Cramer needed to apologize; his interview didn't challenge Steel at any level. Cramer provided Steel a large, safe venue to spin the Wachovia story. The apology is so profound because Cramer realizes he made a huge mistake in trusting Steel.

The timing, of the original broadcast is very important. Steel, as I recalled claimed $10 billion in toxic assets. Within days that number had grown to over $30 billion, a monumental downside surprise. Some, like the SEC, consider that a problem.

Cramer, like him or not, provided (his friend) a forum to make his case. Steel took advantage of that trust. Shocking, I know.

Giving Mr. Steel the benefit of the doubt he was very, very foolish to be making any statements without knowing the full exposure his banks' problem loans. However, cavalierly damaging his friends’ reputation is another issue.

As mentioned in my earlier post. With so many, if not everyone, involved in the Duke hoax there is an established pattern of behavior that is no longer shocking, but expected and predictable.

As an aside, it appears the Steel is receiving the same poor crisis management advice that he did during the Duke hoax. Or maybe he is ignoring contrary advice. Regardless, he does not manage a crisis well.

Does anyone have a link to the original Cramer interview and not just the apology?

Debrah said...

Anne Blythe tells the story of another wrongly convicted man in the N&O and then brings up the Duke Lacrosse Hoax.

She, like so many there, is unwilling to outline the vast differences between the two cases and her part in keeping the Lacrosse Hoax alive.

Of course any wrongful conviction is abominable; however, how many of us would have been able to hire million-dollar attorneys?

They always play up the race and ethnicity factors; however, economic factors are the real issue.

Moreover, any "perosn of color" will never have to fight the tendentious media the way Reade, Collin, and David had to for so long-----and perhaps, on some level, still do.

This predictable way of reporting is really getting old. Daniels will be compensated financially much more than he ever would have earned in the 7 years he was incarcerated.

And in Durham, he'll be turned into a "god" for the race hustlers to use as their mascot.

Yet the N&O columnists and reporters continue to make snide remarks and try to minimize the Lacrosse Hoax.

Debrah said...

TO "NJNP" (6:58 AM)--

Thanks for posting that.

Great analogy. Many have really lowered expectations for decency and how we expect people to behave.

The Daniel Pearl execution is still so vivid in my mind. At the time, it seemed so unbelievably horrific.

Most people have become desensitized and have lowered expectations they once had for standards in the well as around the globe.

Debrah said...

Durham will soon serve as a location for shooting a new film. Yippeeee!

Give it up, Reyn.

The reason Durham was chosen are three-fold:

One, the economy is bad. Filmmakers will be choosing locations where they will get more for their buck. Cheaper lodging. Cheaper everything.

Two, take a look at the subject matter.

Three, Thom Mount is a nice man. His father used to have one of the most prestigious law firms in the area. He's part of the Durham "family".

I also believe that Mary D.B.T. Semans' daughter has tried to produce a few films in the past. Probably not successfully. Never heard of her.

It's all economic necessity and the reality that a hometown guy will receive a multitude of concessions from the doughnuts who run the town.

Anonymous said...

to No Justice,No Peace at 841 pm

here's the link for the original Steel interview on Mad Money

Debrah said...

OK, KC Wonderland addicts......

.......this is the place to go to vent all that you know and all that you want about Tyson or the Gang of 88.

As much attention as possible needs to be given to those like Tyson now, especially on the forum of a national commentator like Goldberg.

And leave your comments on any of the fora and always reference Wonderland as the source.

Registering is a minimal task, requiring little info except an email address.

You must assist in this mission!

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a Minding the Campus article about The Shape of the River, a 1998 book by Derek Bok (former Harvard president) and William Bowen (former Princeton president) and the issue was whether racial preferences in college admissions are justified.

Anonymous said...

maybe someone should nominate folks from the Duke 88 to the Obama government to get a little light shown on their past actions.

Anonymous said...

It was a terrible month for Duke and Durham. What next? Nifong rolling over?

Cline, Chafe, Tyson, Steel, Keohane, Farred and Steel. We need photo lineups of them.

Debrah said...

This is really something that is very difficult to believe.

Joe Neff has been doing an investigation into the probation system of the state, which has been shown to be a mess.

Check out his latest story on this woman who is a probation supervisor.

Read why she sent agents on an investigation and spent untold resources on such a venture.

This report would seem to be an April Fool's joke, but, unfortunately, it's just another glimpse into the horror show that is the justice system.

Meanwhile, offenders on probation without the slightest degree of supervision run rampant and commit murders and other crimes.

Debrah said...


How did I miss these exquisite pearls from one of the most prolific Gang of 88 mascots, Orin Starn?

And checking out the big O's photo, I feel I've missed out on having had one of the hottest profs in existence by being at university at the wrong time in history.


In the H-S, we have Orin at odds with Obama.

Quick! Alert the Prez!

Sports anthropologist nixes playoff concept

Dec 12, 2008

DURHAM -- Duke professor Orin Starn voted for Barack Obama in the Nov. 4 general election, but he has a profound disagreement with the president-elect when it comes to switching to a playoff system to determine college football's national champion.

Obama favors an eight-team playoff system with teams playing three rounds to determine a champion.

But Starn believes a playoff system would further lengthen the season -- it's already been stretched from five games in the 19th century to as many as 14 today, including league championships and bowl games -- and would be detrimental to Division I football players who, according to a new report, already spend 44.8 hours a week on the sport.

"I'm a big fan of President [elect] Obama, but he has it wrong here," said Starn, a professor of cultural anthropology who teaches a course on the anthropology of sports. "He's thinking as a fan and not about what's best for the student."

Starn says the amount of time a Division I football player spends on the sport leaves them very little time to enjoy being a regular student.

"A playoff system would likely add yet more games, and that would mean more chunks of travel and training for 19- and 20-year-old students who are already overstretched and spending more time on football than their studies and a genuine college experience," Starn said.

In spite of the incredible odds, Starn said many freshmen football players arrive on campus thinking their ticket to the NFL has been punched. So, instead of the players working hard to receive the best education they possibly can, they often focus on football.

"When they graduate and don't have a career in football, they've really lost out," Starn said. "What I'm talking about is getting things back in proportion."

Casey Hales, a starting long snapper on Duke's football team from 2004-2007, said he doesn't favor a playoff system, but thinks college athletes could handle a longer season if the NCAA decided to go that way.

"You would just have to work a little harder to get the work done," Hales said.

The debate about switching to a playoff system to determine college football's champion heats up toward the end of each season as teams battle for a chance to play in the national title game.

This season, the debate was fueled in large part by a three-way tie among members of the Big 12 Conference's south division -- Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech. All three had only one loss, but the Big 12's system for breaking ties awarded Oklahoma a chance to play for the conference crown, even though the Sooners had lost to Texas.

Oklahoma went on to win the conference title and will now play the University of Florida for a national title on Jan. 8.

Obama and others who support the move to a playoff system believe it's a fairer way to determine a national champion.

"If you've got a bunch of teams who play throughout the season, and many of them have one loss or two losses, there's no clear decisive winner," Obama said in an interview with CBS last month. "We should be creating a playoff system."

But such thinking, according to Starn, is shortsighted and doesn't take in to consideration what's best for the college athlete. Starn said stretching the season would only serve the interest of those who benefit from the multibillion-dollar business Division I football has become.

"While most student-athletes are hard-working and do their best in school, this [moving to a playoff system] leaves very little time for the ostensible main reason for their being in college in the first place, namely learning and an enriching educational experience that will prepare them for the rest of their lives," Starn said.

Anonymous said...

Durham can't seem to get anything right, and Duke just follows along.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Durham can't seem to get anything right, and Duke just follows along.

2/6/09 9:27 AM

It does seem that Durham has more effect on Duke than Duke has on Durham. Shouldn't it be the other way around. If Duke University were truly a great institution wouldn't its presence improve the place it is located.

Instead Brodhead and his ilk have allowed Durham to pull Duke down to its level.