Monday, February 16, 2009

Old "Friends"

A variety of figures whose performance in the lacrosse case drew widespread condemnation surfaced in the news over the past week—with scant, if any, suggestions that they had learned any lessons from their misbehavior.


In a race to the bottom for lack of integrity, it’s hard to choose between Selena Roberts and Alex Rodriguez. Now working for Sports Illustrated, Roberts broke the story that Rodriguez had tested positive for steroids in 2003. In an interview about her story with the MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Roberts affirmed that her obligation as a journalist was to “find the truth.” She expanded on this in an interview with ESPN Radio, where, according to Harry Stein, she opined, “What we tried to do is be very specific about what we heard and make sure that we found credible information and reliable people, and that we buttoned up every single hole to make sure to be absolutely right . . . It’s like being in court—once you say something, you can’t just strike it.”

It’s not clear when Roberts adopted this definition of her profession’s aim: her writing on the Duke case demonstrated an aversion to, rather than a quest for, the truth.

Perhaps Roberts’ focus on Rodriguez is fitting justice. Just as Rodriguez’s career will be forever tarnished by his admission that he broke the law over a several-year period, so too will Roberts be forever tarnished by her decision to set aside the standards of her profession to advance a preconceived ideological agenda, use her Times column to spew falsehoods, and then refuse to own up to her errors.


Selena Roberts looks like a beacon of truth and righteousness, however, when compared to Wendy Murphy. In the lacrosse case, the adjunct law professor compiled a record for untruths second only to that of Mike Nifong. (New England School of Law’s dean did not respond to repeated e-mails asking how he could continue to employ—as a professor of law—a figure who publicly and repeatedly stated outright falsehoods.)

The adjunct law professor was back in the news last week, in an article on “sexting” (teenagers sending nude pictures of themselves or their boyfriends/girlfriends as text messages). The Boston Herald, identifying Murphy as someone “who lectures on sex crimes at the New England School of Law,” reported the adjunct professor as saying that “sexting” almost has become an “epidemic.” Murphy added, “I know it seems heavy-handed to bring child porn charges. Law enforcement is using the only tool it has for what has become a huge problem nationwide.”

The evidence Murphy cited to show that “sexting” has almost become an “epidemic,” and that it “has become a huge problem nationwide”? None. But why let evidence get in the way of a preferred storyline, even if it involves support for charging 13-year-olds with child porn?

The other “expert” quoted in the Herald story was Sari Locker, a self-described “sex educator and TV personality,” whose official website photo is a bit on the . . . revealing . . . side. It’s good to see that Murphy is continuing to keep good company.


By the end of the lacrosse case, virtually the only publication that treated Murphy seriously was the Wilmington Journal, where Cash Michaels would regularly quote, without skepticism, from Murphy and either NAACP “case monitor” Irving Joyner or North Carolina NAACP head William Barber.

As the highest-profile case of prosecutorial misconduct in modern U.S. history was occurring in his midst, Barber did all he could to prop up the case offered by the perpetrator of that prosecutorial misconduct. Whether it was publishing an error-laden, guilt-presuming 82-point “memorandum of law” or going to the Duke Chapel to continue his organization’s character assault on Duke students, Barber spent more than a year strenuously advancing Mike Nifong’s efforts.

Last week, Barber was honored with the Paul Green Award by, of all, organizations, the North Carolina ACLU.

I share Barber’s opposition to the death penalty, and agree wholeheartedly with the NAACP’s efforts against the practice. That said: How can an organization committed to upholding civil liberties extend an award to a figure whose public conduct in such a high-profile case had exhibited an utter indifference to the importance of civil liberties?


Finally, Clark University has chosen to honor Karla Holloway. Next week, the Group of 88 extremist will give the keynote address at a Clark University conference entitled, “Evolutionary Momentum in African American Studies — Legacy and Future Direction.”

Holloway’s honor serves as a reminder of a principal academic lesson from the lacrosse case: in an academic environment dominated by peer review, terms like “excellence” or “quality” mean very different things than what non-academics might expect. That an Ivy League institution like Cornell could hire Grant Farred while hailing his scholarly credentials as excellent, or a top-tier liberal arts college like Clark could bring Holloway in to give a keynote address shows how such inherently subjective terms as “excellence” or “quality” are defined in the contemporary academy.


Debrah said...


Heartwarming updates.

We can't, however, overlook "The Thug Intellectual".

Neal makes a cameo appearance in this article while giving fashion advice.

Michael said...

The issue of sexting has been pretty big in the Boston area recently with police departments trying to figure out what to do about it.

I've mentioned this before but Wendy Murphy is on one day a week on a major talk radio show in the morning and she's talks about stuff in the news related to law and sex. The show has a big audience and she does ads for products from time to time so being in the news is a moneymaker for her.

The schools in Massachusetts are hurting and there are question as to whether or not it's a good time to go for a law degree. I haven't heard anything specifically about New England College of Law but I'd guess that they would be hurting in this economy too.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that sooner or later, these people are going to drive the non-drinking K.C. Johnson to drink!

Anonymous said...

I have a question for Prof. Johnson and other members of the Academy. We have seen some evidence of an erosion of Duke's reputation among prospective students. Undoubtedly, a major contributing factor to this decline is Professor Johnson's systematic exposure of the thin to nonexistent academic qualifications of so many of the Duke humanities faculty. Likewise, thanks to Professor Johnson and others we also have a better understanding of how humanities faculties have become a self-perpetuating cottage industry among various colleges and universities. My question is how the presence of these virulently militant "professors" and their coddling and facilitation by the Administration and BOT may be affecting the ability of Duke to attract prominent professors of subjects that impart intrinsic knowledge and add genuine value to society -- i.e., math, hard sciences, engineering, economics, etc. Can Duke or any other campus develop a faculty culture so obnoxious that it deters real professors from joining that faculty? Has anyone done any studies on this possible effect?

Anonymous said...

These people are an example of "Failing Upward," a symbol of the culture I read about somewhere years ago. Selena Roberts and company are wrong again and again, but get richer and richer as they move on to ever higher paying jobs.

From TN

Michael said...

I've read comments from current Duke students on the issues there and there are current students that are aware of the problems but Duke is still a highly-regarded destination for college seniors. I see that their engineering degrees are still well-regarded.

Anonymous said...

How do these people maintain their sense of what has happened in the light of so much evidence to the contrary? What warped mentality or temperment drives them? Can they not adjust their thinking to the truth? Put another way, what is wrong with these damned academic fascist sons of . . . . . es!

Anonymous said...

From the Sunday, 2/15/09, N&O:

Marchers call for budget justice

>>>Kristi Wandle of Cary came to the march by herself to support the group's platform.

"I agree with giving money to social programs as opposed to sending it overseas to kill people," she said.<<<

I guess Ms. Wandle doesn't realize that the State of Injustice, um, State of North Carolina does send money "overseas to kill people.

>>>Barber said that as long as there are poor children in this state, people without decent housing, INNOCENT BLACK MEN
in jail and immigrants denied rights, "we will raise our voices because silence would mean approval."<<< [emphasis added]

Does he not care about INNOCENT BLACK WOMEN? What about INNOCENT people of other races, including non-Hispanic Caucasian (a.k.a., "Whiteys")? I thought the NAACP was a supporter of the U.S. Constitution for ALL people, not just a select few?

Or am I mistaken? [insert sarcasm smiley]

Anonymous said... [02-14-09]

NAACP spearheads march to state -Legislative Building


>>>Also in the crowd Saturday was a Wilson man who is getting support from the NAACP. James Johnson, 22, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in the slaying of Brittany Willis, a 17-year-old who was kidnapped, robbed, raped and shot to death on June 28, 2004.

[State NAACP chapter president Rev. William] Barber says the state needs to restore faith in a justice system that wrongfully jailed Johnson.<<<<

What people who don’t believe in a system what indicts people for multiple felonies that never happen? (Ask some former Duke students; ask the people involved in the Little Rascals case.]

Also at WRAL:

James Johnson pleads in Willis murder case [Alfred plea]


>>> James Johnson, 22, pleaded to "attempted misprision of a felony" in connection with the June 28, 2004, slaying of Brittany Tyler Willis.
. . .
Johnson was detained for more than three years under a $1 million bond on charges of murder, rape and kidnapping before he was released on a reduced bond in September 2007.
. . .
Johnson's attorney, Irving Joyner [the NAACP’s “observer” in the lax case], asked the court to impose a prayer for judgment, meaning no conviction will appear on Johnson's record and the charge will be listed as pending indefinitely.
. . .
Jurors chosen last week . . . were picked from Edgecombe County, in part, because of pretrial publicity about allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and about racial division over the case. Johnson is black; Willis was white.
. . .
Court documents indicate there was no physical evidence linking Johnson.”<<<

“[A]llegations of prosecutorial misconduct and about racial division over the case” and “documents indicate there was no physical evidence linking” the defendant to the crime? Has anyone heard of such circumstances ever before? Just wondering.

Michael said...

I wasn't familiar with the Brittany Willis case but found a blog on it with background information. It doesn't paint Johnson in a very good light.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 10:58 asks:

"My question is how the presence of these virulently militant "professors" and their coddling and facilitation by the Administration and BOT may be affecting the ability of Duke to attract prominent professors"

Though quite damaging to Nifong's reputation & career, it appears that being part of The Hoax has only added to these professors palmarès. They've been able to guest lecture or even transfer to equally prestigious institutions.

Thus, I would deduce that these agenda wielding professors are the norm of their profession and that Duke is not alone with this problem.

In fact, due to Duke's prestige, perhaps they are spared the more egregious examples of such educator.

Anonymous said...

Is Roberts a Communist?

Anonymous said...

The point being that underlying all of this has been the racism of many academics and their supporters. These people behave this way because they can. It helps them to feel morally superior to couch their ideas in such a way as to appeal to that sense of superiority. It is academia today.

Debrah said...

Why am I not surprised?

Ted Vaden, the useless ombudsman at the N&O has fallen into a very cushy government job.

How many people his age are able to move on to a permanent high-paying job?

This is nothing more than payback from his Liberal Democrat friends in Raleigh.

Vaden is a milquetoast go-along-to-get-along creep who did nothing when I asked for his help regarding coverage during the Lacrosse Hoax.

This man is such a coward.

If it takes being this kind of person to have an easier life, then count me out.

Anonymous said...

Duke students should just stick to the objective majors like engineering finance or the sciences.

becket03 said...

Peter Wood also made an appearance, not in the news, but on the History Channel. I've been racking my brain to remember the show, but I've watched so much Lincoln, slavery, Civil War, and Native American stuff in these momentous few weeks of celebration for the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, I'm not sure where I saw him. I do recall he had his moral preening groove on though.


Anonymous said...


"Just as Rodriguez’s career will be forever tarnished by his admission that he broke the law over a several-year period...

I'm not sure Alex Rodriguez has yet been accused or found to have broken any laws.

He has admitted to using steroids to enhance his performance, but at the time 2001-2003, the substances in question were not yet formally banned in baseball, nor has it yet been determined from where he obtained the steroids.

It is possible that he obtained them from a licensed physician's prescription.

This is in NO WAY defending his use of performance enhancing agents, and although unsavory, it was technically not against the rules of baseball at that time , the prohibition came after the 2003 season.

Just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

Grant Farred is an exceptionally talented man. His scholarly credentials are not his failing. His failing is his racism. Why are you attacking his credentials, which I do believe are rather impeccable.

Anonymous said...

If you did a census of recent African-American Studies articles and lectures, you will find that 98% of it involves the topic of "Future Direction." Even Lubiano has admitted in writing that the topic is spent. It is almost as prevalent as Humanities Professors who note on thier CVs that they are interested in a number of subjects "... and Queer Studies." This generation of soft academicians will be laughed at like doctors now laugh at bloodletters.


Selena Roberts is a columnist and a damn poor one at that. She is also a calumnist.


The New England School of Law is for rich, dumb kids. Many states have at least one private law school for the disadvantaged. It is a Tier 4 school with a Tier 5 employee in Wendy Murphy. (NOTE: The rankings don't allow for worse than Tier 4). MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Thanks KC for continuing with this blog. I've been a reader and admirer from early on, and view your work as an outstanding expose on the political ideology strangling the conscience of American universities.

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing the NCNAACP's 82 informational points referred to as a “memorandum of law” and was wondering who you are quoting that referred to it in this manner.
I also object to your claim that "Barber spent more than a year strenuously advancing Mike Nifong’s efforts." I felt that Barber made it plain that there should be no rush to judgment against the Lacrosse players until the facts and evidence were known and that neither should there be a rush to condemn the accuser because of her profession or past history. Perhaps it would be fair to suggest that they were not strenuously advancing the case of the defense team.

Chris Halkides said...

G88'er Mark Anthony Neal was on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday to comment on the relevancy of the NAACP:

I only wish NCNAACP and the group of 88 were truly irrelevant, but they can still do plenty of harm.

Gary Packwood said...

Anonymous::2/16/09::10:58 AM said...

...I have a question for Prof. Johnson and other members of the Academy. We have seen some evidence of an erosion of Duke's reputation among prospective students. Undoubtedly, a major contributing factor to this decline is Professor Johnson's systematic exposure of the thin to nonexistent academic qualifications of so many of the Duke humanities faculty.
...Has anyone done any studies on this possible effect?
You neglected to mention 'staff' level employees of universities. Undergraduate Faculty and STAFF.

The existence of what you called 'virulent militant' faculty means little without STAFF level employees to 'whip-up' excitement on campus outside of the classroom.

In most universities now, these staff level employees have graduate degrees in 'student personnel' and they work within the university office of students affairs (student life sometimes).

Think of them as the 'marketing arm' of that group of 'virulent militant' faculty you talked about.

It is difficult to study the impact of such faculty and STAFF 'programming' for undergraduate students due to the fact that staff members who are part of the Office of Student Affairs have no curriculum that has been evaluated and approved by the faculty. They are loose cannons.

Loose cannons who know how to nurture campus un-rest around a whole host of politically correct issues to include diversity, violence towards women and just about any issues involving the evils of young privileged white males with a swagger.

Legitimate faculty hide from these 'staff' people as well they should.

Duke and other universities need to anchor down their loose cannon STAFF level employees with a curriculum requirement that includes measurable results which are clearly delineated.

The studies you mentioned should focus on those departments and schools who need a marketing arms and who are desperate for students to at least trickle into their classrooms and read their forthcoming publications.

Debrah said...

Durham has really gone off the deep end with this one.

I might be in the minority, but is this really a positive thing to add to the mixture of high crime, panhandling, and incompetence?

Will Duke University like having Green Acres in their backyard?

Perhaps little Orin can give tips on landscaping around chicken coops and creek beds.


Council OK gives chickens city roost

By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Feb 17, 2009

DURHAM -- A unanimous City Council voted Monday night to allow Durham residents to keep chickens in their backyards, provided they try to secure consent from neighbors and comply with several other restrictions.

The vote capped a weeks-long debate that at times even council members said was taking time away from other issues.

But members in the end agreed that they couldn't see a reason against following the example of other cities and towns in the state that have allowed people to have chickens.

"When the restrictions are in place, which they are, and when almost every major city in North Carolina allows hens, which they do, I hope this council will take the position of enhancing citizen freedom and not denying it," said Councilman Eugene Brown.

Before the vote council members did say they want City Manager Tom Bonfield to have his staff report back a year from now on how well the ordinance works.

The request came at the urging of Councilwoman Cora Cole-McFadden, who said she was particularly interested in hearing about the impact administering the ordinance would have on the city/county planning office.

The unanimity of the vote was the night's major surprise, as officials like Brown, Councilman Howard Clement and Mayor Bill Bell at different times had voiced skepticism about the proposal.

Bell in particularly prodded city/county planners to add language to the ordinance requiring would-be chicken owners to try letting neighbors know when they apply for permits allowing them to put in a coop.

The mayor for several weeks pushes to go further and give neighbors a veto over the erection of a coop next to them. But city attorneys blocked that, saying the courts would find such a provision unconstitutional.

Supporters who requested the change banded together into a group called Durham Hens. They turned out in force for two council meetings, and said they wanted the ordinance passed so they could gather eggs.

"We have to face the problem of a fragile economy and recognize that this ordinance is not a fight for pet chickens because they're cute and cuddly," said Christine Rasmussen, a Berini Drive restaurant. "This is a fight to provide a healthy and readily available food source to our families."

Critics of the proposal fretted that some people wouldn't honor the restrictions embedded in the ordnance, and that it would turn into an enforcement nightmare for the planning staff.

"I can't believe half the things that are in here," said Jackie Wagstaff, a former city councilwoman and school board members. "It's just a disaster waiting to happen and more stress to Durham's already stressed-out community."

Michael said...

An interesting (actually outrageous) case of judges sending juveniles to detention centers that they profited from. The judges will get 80+ months in Federal prison for this.

The state will have to figure out what to do with the 5,000 juveniles there. What a mess.

Nifong gets off with a night in jail and having to shift his assets to his wife. All of the judges got off on this case too. Basically men in power going after kids for no reason for personal financial gain.

Michael said...

Link to the story on the judges going to jail.

Anonymous said...

". . . so too will Roberts be forever tarnished by her decision to set aside the standards of her profession to advance a preconceived ideological agenda, use her Times column to spew falsehoods, and then refuse to own up to her errors."

And to double-down on the hypocrisy: Her SI editor is now mad that, while Rodriguez apologized privately to Roberts, he has not done so publicly to SI.

Duke Prof

Anonymous said...

Copy of the email I just sent to the NCACLU:

Re: William Barber: Scum


I have practiced law for more than 20 years, fighting for the rights of the oppressed and the wrongfully accused, and I take great exception to your honoring William Barber, whom I regard as an ignoramus, a bigot and a lyncher -- someone who forged full-force into an all-out, mindless, fact-free, vicious and just plain stupid attack on the rights of innocent people -- a vile and despicable practice that I thought the ACLU (and the NAACP) were sworn to stand against.

Yes, I dare to speak of the much-abused, much-maligned, falsely-prosecuted and blatantly defamed (by William Barber and others) members of the Duke Lacrosse team, who were guilty of nothing at all except being members of a group that Barber and similar scum disdain out of pure prejudice and blind hatred, whom Barber felt should be hanged without a trial. Barber is a clown, only not funny -- just a jerk, a moron and a disgrace.

Yes, I have long supported and admired the ACLU. I consider the ACLU one of the finest, most admirable and necessary organizations in the entire history of this country. And I mean that.

But, No, I do not support your honoring this liar and dirtbag. He is unworthy of you. You have disgraced yourselves by honoring him. Don't bother asking me for money. I used to respect you, and now I revile you.

Most sincerely,

[my real name]

Debrah said...

Thanks Chris, for that NPR link.

unbekannte said...

The head blogger of the Justice4Nifong gang of 3 has posted a claim that Reade Seligman's family met with Moezeldin Elmostafa. The post implies that the Seligman family paid off Moezeldin Elmostafa to give Reade Seligman his alibi. They give as documentation of that meeting a broadcast on MSNBC on April 19, 2006(, which included an interview with Mr. Elmostafa.

That broadcast also included an interview with Wendy Murphy who, to put it mildly, rabidly supported Mike Nifong's attempt to frame Reade Seligman, Colin Finnerty and Dave Evans. Wendy Murphy, whose errors in the case have been catalogued by Professor Johnson, never claimed that the Seligman Family ever tried to pay off Mr. Elmostafa. Not even Mike Nifong, in his desperate attempt to convict the Lacrosse players, ever grasped at that straw.

Anonymous said...

Having posted (anon. at 2:05 PM) my testy email to the NC-ACLU about them giving an award to William Barber -- whom I still regard as a charlatan -- it is only fair for me to report that I received a prompt and gracious reply from that organization.

I don't think it would be fair to quote the full text without permission, but in short:

The NCACLU response in no way tried to justify Barber's conduct in the Duke Lacrosse fiasco. Instead, the respondent acknowledged that the ACLU "knew going in that Rev. Barber might strike some as a controversial pick". The response went on to name quite a number of other issues where Barber and the NCACLU took opposite positions from each other.

Bottom line, his point was that the award given to Barber, called the Paul Green Award, has always been specific to death penalty issues -- and the organization felt that Barber's work on behalf of death-penalty abolition merited this particular award, notwithstanding their numerous disagreements with him. Mr. Barber has been, apparently, a tireless advocate on that issue.

The response also noted that the Duke Lacrosse case was "a painful moment for the community," adding a seemingly sincere comment that the respondent respected why I feel about it as I do.

In all it was a detailed reply, emphasizing that "just because we give someone an award, this does not mean we endorse all of his ideas." And the writer was not bashful about listing the areas of disagreement with Mr. Barber, nor, as I mentioned above, did he make any attempt to justify Barber's conduct in the lacrosse case, saying only that "you would have to ask him (Barber)" about that.

So, my irritation with the NCACLU was dissipated considerably by this intelligent response. Kudos to the NCACLU for not burying their heads in the sand when criticized, and for answering my concerns constructively and, I would say, forthrightly.

Gary Packwood said...

Duke Prof 2/17/09 2:04 PM...Said...

". . . so too will Roberts be forever tarnished by her decision to set aside the standards of her profession to advance a preconceived ideological agenda, use her Times column to spew falsehoods, and then refuse to own up to her errors."

And to double-down on the hypocrisy: Her SI editor is now mad that, while Rodriguez apologized privately to Roberts, he has not done so publicly to SI.
Roberts just decided to re-define the word 'confrontational' for her own benefit. Same for a very few Duke faculty and staff members. In fact, re-defining the term confrontational has become a national past time for those who embrace extreme political views.

Being confrontational should result in others being frightened or just plain shocked...which is the idea of course.

It would be helpful if the faculty governing body take on the task of interviewing confrontational faculty and staff to get at the facts and the truth before we find ourselves concerned with apologies or the lack thereof.

Lets keep mass confrontations at Duke and other universities confined to limiting communicable diseases during flu season unless the faculty governing body has identified a real problem that needs real attention.

Anonymous said...

KC, I thought you might like this.

Historians rank the presidents:

Being gracious winners, this week, liberals howled with delight at George Bush for coming in seventh-to-last in a historians' ranking of the presidents from best to worst.

This was pretty shocking. Most liberals can't even name seven U.S. presidents.

Being ranked one of the worst presidents by "historians" is like being called "anti-American" by the Nation magazine. And by "historian," I mean a former member of the Weather Underground, who is subsidized by the taxpayer to engage in left-wing political activism in a cushy university job.

So congratulations, George Bush! Whenever history professors rank you as one of the "worst" presidents, it's a good bet you were one of America's greatest.

Ah, I forgot to ask before posting this -- Are college professors allowed to admit that they read Ann Coulter? It's just that I've learned a lot about American academia in the last 2-3 years. It's easy to imagine the faculty lounges sponsoring "Two Minute Hate", with David you-know-who in the place of Emmanuel Goldstein. But I'm wondering if the-name-which-cannot-be-said-on-campus is "the Great Satan", like America, then is Ann Coulter "the Little Satan", like Israel?


Anonymous said...

Read this tonight in Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus piece in the NRO.

"...And I was reminded of a story I learned from Tony Daniels (a.k.a. Theodore Dalrymple). It’s sometime in the 1930s, I believe, before the Reich has really gotten going. A hundred “Aryan” scientists sign a letter against Einstein, saying that the theory of relativity is a Jewish hoax (or whatever). Asked for his response, Einstein says, “If what they are saying were true, one signature would have been enough.”

What a great way to point out similar falsehood(s) spewn forth from the Klan of 88's Listening Statement.

I still chuckle when I think that a call to action from professors in a, ahem, tier one school's humanities department was so poorly written that it needed a clarifying statement signed by even more professional thinkers.

Any yet they claim they were misunderstood.

One Spook said...

Anon @ 5:28 PM writes:

"Kudos to the NCACLU for not burying their heads in the sand when criticized, and for answering my concerns constructively and, I would say, forthrightly."

Fair enough.

Perhaps it would be interesting for you to ask the NCACLU just what their position was on the lacrosse case and secondly, where was their voice in support of Americans whose civil liberties were being denied?

I would submit that an effort on their part to support the presumption of innocence immediately at the outset would have significantly lessened the "painful moment for the community."

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Speaking of old 'friends', the daily comic strip Tank McNamara has been featuring Nancy Grace the last few days- outstanding stuff.

Anonymous said...

Found at Minding the Campus:

Los Angeles Community College teacher freaks out and goes loud on Christian student. Calls him "Fascist Bastard" and tells him to "Ask God" for his grade.

Debrah said...

Duke officials, Trinity Heights residents meet

By Ray Gronberg : The Herald-Sun
Feb 19, 2009

DURHAM -- Duke University officials stopped well short Wednesday of agreeing to calls from Trinity Heights residents for tighter policing of their neighborhood's student party house scene and a move to bring fraternities back on campus.

Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta, speaking for an assortment of Duke officials who attended a meeting with residents and city leaders, promised to keep residents in the loop as campus administrators consider the proposals.

But he added that he didn't "think any will be implemented exactly as described" by neighborhood activists in their request to the university earlier this year.

Moneta also signaled that the Duke leadership prefers to focus on counseling students about proper behavior in off-campus neighborhoods, and on prodding landlords to deal with problem tenants.

Landlords "aren't really referenced" in the neighbors' recommendations, he said, adding that Duke officials believe that's "another group we need to work with to get accountability and responsibility."

Trinity Heights activists indicated at the close of the meeting that they hadn't been expecting an immediate acceptance of their proposals by Duke.

A spokeswoman, Christine Westfall, said they intend to contact Duke and city officials three or four months from now to pursue the matter.

"We know this is the kind of thing that takes some time to process," she said. "We see this as a long-term project and are seeking a long-term solution."

Wednesday's meeting brought to a close, for the moment, a series of talks that began late last summer after a group of Trinity Heights residents sought a meeting with Duke officials to complain about renewed problems with off-campus party houses.

The initial meeting led to discussions involving residents, members of Moneta's student-affairs staff, command-level representatives from both the Durham and Duke police departments, inspectors from the city's Neighborhood Improvement Services Department and various other campus and city officials.

Participants agreed that the attention has produced an improvement in conditions around the party houses this school year.

But residents said there are still problems, and stressed that they want a solution that doesn't require repeated effort on their part to counsel new groups of students each fall.

Westfall and fellow resident Beverly Meek also emphasized that Trinity Heights leaders believe the ultimate solution is for Duke to allow fraternities to build housing on campus so they can hold social events there.

With such housing not now allowed on campus, "there's a breakdown or avoidance of moving something that doesn't work in our neighborhoods to a place where it can work," Meek said.

The party-house scene is "simply incompatible with neighborhood, residential life," Westfall said. "Parties that go on on weeknights until 11 [p.m.] are hard for people who put their children to bed at 8 [p.m.] and get up at 6 [a.m.]"

Anonymous said...

Anybody who calls Barber's list of 82 "Crimes and Torts" "informational points" undertands neither the definition of "information" nor "point."

Anonymous said...

Here is another stunning example of prosecutorial misconduct at DOJ, including hiding evidence. Maybe Nifong can get a job there.

"This followed last week's bizarre turn, when the chief of the public integrity section at Justice, William Welch, and his deputy, Brenda Morris -- the federal prosecutors who won the Stevens conviction -- were held in contempt of court. Judge Emmet Sullivan berated the prosecutors for failing to act on his January 21 demand to deliver internal documents to Mr. Stevens's attorneys. "That was a court order, that wasn't a request," he said. "Is the Department of Justice taking court orders seriously these days?..

Chad Joy claimed prosecutors covered up evidence and tried to keep a witness from testifying.

During the trial, Judge Sullivan had also admonished the prosecution for failing to share documents with the defense and redacting exculpatory passages from witness transcripts."

I agree that Ted Stevens deserved to be thrown out of congress, but prosecutorial misconduct is disturbing.

Debrah said...

Thousands of Duke student papers stolen

Feb 20, 2009

DURHAM -- Duke University police continued investigating Wednesday's theft of 8,000 to 10,000 copies of The Chronicle, the student newspaper.

The thefts occurred Wednesday morning from campus distribution bins, according to Chronicle General Manager Jonathan Angier.

Duke police Maj. Gloria Graham said the thieves hadn't been identified as of Thursday afternoon.

"A delivery person said she actually had a conversation with one of the young men [suspected of stealing the papers], but she couldn't provide any additional information.

"The other one -- nobody even saw them taking anything,' she said. "They just saw them standing around the newsstand. Perhaps they were going to, but it wasn't definitive that they had taken anything.'

Graham said she wasn't sure if charges will be filed if the thieves are identified.

"We'll have to consult with the DA's office and see whether or not they'd be willing to pursue it,' she said.

The Chronicle reported that its distributor first noticed the papers missing from the West Union Building and reported the incident about 8 a.m. Wednesday. All suspects were described as white males of college age, Graham said.

She said the thefts have been categorized as a larceny, although the thieves' identities and motives are so far unclear.

But The Chronicle reported that it had received tips that the thefts were fraternity-related.

Angier said the theft cost The Chronicle $5,000 in advertising revenue and another $3,000 in reprinting and redistribution of the papers.

Graham said the investigation is "still open and active".

Debrah said...

More sickening hypocrisy.

The law school at UNC-CH can allow someone like the disgusting Gene Nichol to crawl back and teach there after having been run out of William & Mary because he took down religious symbols and otherwise attempted to promote the rights of a few at the expense of the whole.......

.......after having endured him years earlier as the dean of the law school where he set up a make-work, taxpayer-funded position for then-candidate John Edwards called the "Poverty Center".

By the way, that very same postion that Nichol invented for Edwards is the position he now holds.
He crawled back to take a taxpayer-funded salary for a position that he previously set up, himself.

Is it any wonder that such parasitic and superfluous blowhards in the academy would object so strongly to having someone with different views be heard?

Anonymous said...

For the people who have bought the 88er's new narrative that the U.S. legal system promotes prosecutorial misconduct for those who don't have high caliber legal counsel, I recommend noticing that the federal prosecutors of former-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) have been found in contempt for failing to deliver documents to the defense.

I think the most interesting part of the story is in the second-to-last paragraph:

"The contempt holding is the latest chapter in the Public Integrity Section's misadventure in the case. Sullivan has lambasted prosecutors for a number of violations related to case evidence, witnesses and a whistle-blower complaint filed by an FBI agent accusing prosecutors and another agent of misconduct."

Anyway, as the story shows, prosecutorial misconduct does not spare wealthy defendants. In fact, I think it rather reinforces the view that for too many prosecutors, the conviction of a well-heeled white defendant -- whether a U.S. Senator or a Duke "preppy boy" -- is the prize most worthy of cutting the corners of the law.


Anonymous said...

In a fair and just world, the prosecutors in Ted Stevens case would be fired, disbarred for life and thrown to jail (at least for a day). Unfortunately, given the narrative (victim was rich white conservative), they will be promoted instead - just like Duke Hoax case.

These incidents (Nifong, DOJ Stevens case) need more publicity. Didn't DOJ refuse to investigate Nifong case for civil rights violations? I'm afraid that DOJ has been politicized to the core, by the narrative-driven weasels.

Anonymous said...

RRH says, "I think it rather reinforces the view that for too many prosecutors, the conviction of a well-heeled white defendant--whether a U.S. Senator or a Duke "preppy boy"--is the prize most worthy of cutting the corners of the law."

This is the key to the story of the Duke Hoax. Nifong needed The Great White Defendant(s) to win an election. It was straight out of Tom Wolfe.

From TN

Debrah said...

I couldn't resist commenting on this editorial page blog The Opinion Shop....

.....and will continue to do so when I see a post like that one.

We now know that outgoing ombudsman Ted Vaden was receiving a salary from Duke University for teaching some kind of class at the same time he was accessing the coverage of the Lacrosse Hoax.

The N&O staff has so many "good friends".

Anonymous said...

jamil hussein said,

"In a fair and just world, the prosecutors in Ted Stevens case would be fired, disbarred for life and thrown to jail (at least for a day)."

Those prosecutors are William Welch II and Brenda Morris. Far from being disciplined, Welch is up for a much-coveted U.S. Attorney's position with the Obama administration. I suspect that even the Obama administration -- which has shown its ability to "forgive" so many transactions by its favorites -- will not have the chutzpah to nominate a lawyer whose been held in contempt. But then, Welch is a lawyer with a much-prized GOP scalp in his belt and the new U.S. Attorney General is Eric Holder...

As far as Welch's co-contemnor, Brenda Morris seems to have made a career of unethical conduct. Look for her to get a professorship at an Ivy League-caliber law school -- If an unrepentant Marxist and terrorist like Wee Willie Ayers can get a gig at the University of Illinois, why not? -- or hired on at a government-connected law firm.

Interestingly, Welch and Morris were linked to the Duke Lacrosse Hoax in a prestigious legal blog:
"People often wonder how Mike Nifong could indict three innocent young men. Yet look at Morris and Welch. Neither will face any punishment for their unethical conduct. So who can blame people like Mike Nifong from seeing exactly how much they can get away with?"

And as "TN" at 10:11 PM noted, Tom Wolfe in Bonfire of the Vanities was telling the truth: For prosecutors in the U.S., a well-heeled white defendant is a rare and treasured thing -- the equivalent to the defense bar's actually innocent defendant. This country does have a "racist justice system", but not in the way that term is usually deployed.


One Spook said...

jamil hussein, "crackerjack Iraqi police spokesperson," writes on 2/20/09 @ 9:03PM:

"Didn't DOJ refuse to investigate Nifong case for civil rights violations? I'm afraid that DOJ has been politicized to the core, by the narrative-driven weasels."

Yes, the DOJ did refuse to investigate the lacrosse case. But, apparently you've forgotten the popular narrative as to "why" they refused.

According to the narrative, the refusal was due to Bob Steel's "Republican connections" and that the investigation was "quashed" by the Bush administration's Department of Justice.

However, this investigation could be opened at any time now, but failure to do so now cannot be blamed on the Bush administration any longer ... there's a new Sheriff in town!

Do I hear crickets chirping?

One Spook

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your constant updates on Selena Roberts. I found her writing to be terribly angry and wrongheaded before the lacrosse case. She's showed both traits in abundance since. The irony in Roberts' defamation of the players, of their ivory tower heritage, from a six-figure New York Times columnist is a microcosm of the problems in the media as a whole. Especially considering after being entirely wrong and publicly convicting innocent 20-somethings, she can walk comfortably into another six-figure job on the back page of Sports Illustrated. As the lacrosse case exposed, you have to wonder if there really is true justice.

Anonymous said...

Wow, way to miss a point, "Anonymous".
Ms. Wandle (aka - ME) was saying that GIVEN THE CHOICE, she'd rather her tax money went to social programs than war. She is fully aware that tax money goes to fund the military. Ms. Wandle has not been living under a rock for the past 30 years, thanks!

Also, I believe the other person you quoted was referring to the fact that black males are convicted more often than any other group, NOT that she does not care about the other groups. There is a definite bias in the system. Look it up.