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Monday, October 15, 2007

Duke Case — Identifying the Academic Rot

After KC Johnson's pruning of dead and rotten academic woodToday's items- Updated:

Luke Sheahan / Contributing Editor / FamilySecurityMatters.org:
Duke President Richard Broadhead and the Rot at Our Universities -- Perversions of our justice system are disturbing, but there are legal remedies that the defendants are taking. Mike Nifong has been disbarred from practicing law and is being sued by the defendants as are relevant members of the Durham police force. That a human being could be so selfish as to attempt to ruin the lives of innocent young men simply to get reelected so that at retirement he could collect his full pension is astounding but not unheard of. Indeed, to a certain extent we expect such bad apples in an imperfect race such as ours. What’s even more astounding is the behavior of the mainstream media, especially the New York Times and CNN, which ate up Nifong’s lies without even a bit of skepticism, and the Duke administration and professoriate who worked tirelessly on behalf of political correctness to support Nifong’s false claims. [...]

Some Duke professors would go on to punish lacrosse players with bad grades, Duke would be sued as a result. So obsessed with their preconceived notions based on feminism and radical theories of gender and race that they could not withhold their judgment for evidence to become public nor could they behave with even a semblance of professionalism toward these students. Such juvenile behavior one would hope to see fading in college freshman, not exemplified in college professors. But such is the human heart.

At no point would Duke President Richard Broadhead take any action against such unconscionable acts nor would he ever speak out on behalf of the lacrosse team to at least encourage its detractors to wait until the conclusion of the trial. [...]

Until Proven Innocent is one of the great legal books of our time, while meticulously researched, it reads like a crime thriller. Read it to understand the rot infecting the human heart and read it to understand the rot permeating our universities.

Charles Piot, associate professor, cultural anthropologyKC Johnson / Durham-in-Wonderland:
Reflections on the Piot Principles [see comments] -- “Clarifying” professor Charles Piot has published his attack on the blog—promised in his appearance at the February “Shut Up and Teach” forum, in which he said that critics of the Group of 88 should “shut up and teach”—in the most recent issue of Transforming Anthropology.

In reading this post, keep in mind: above all else, the Piot article gives a sense of what is considered a scholarly publication in his field.

The “Piot Principles,” as laid out in his article:
  1. Ignore contemporaneous documents, if doing so will advance the metanarrative.
  2. Don’t mention conflicts of interest.
  3. Even into spring 2007, at least one Duke professor continued to use class time for questionable non-academic activities.
  4. In a scholarly publication, authors should avoid citations when making their most difficult-to-sustain points. [...]
Charles Piot / Transforming Anthropology:
KC's World [9 pages, pdf] -- This essay focuses on the blogosphere that has grown up around the Duke lacrosse case. For some, the virtual space of the Internet (with its personal blogs and web pages) holds out promise as an expanded public sphere, an opportunity for more democratic debate, a place where anyone with access to a computer can have their say, a populist paradise. [...]

Of the half dozen or so blogs that have sprung up around the lacrosse case, KC Johnson’s Durham-in-Wonderland is the most doggedly engaged with the afterlife of the events of last spring—and is the one I focus on here. [...]

John in Carolina: Where's Piot's "KC - Shut Up?"

TJN: More 'Group of 88' Spraying
LieStoppers forum topics of note:
  • TORTMASTER Deconstructs The "Listening" Ad -- Let's look at the Listening Ad, but first let's look at it in context. It was drafted mere days after the alleged rape became public knowledge. Was it rash to jump on a bandwagon that was only 12 days old?

    Keep in mind that even eventually disbarred attorney Mike Nifong would not indict anyone for the alleged crime until 12 days AFTER the Listening ad was published. Any conclusions about a "social disaster" did not even have enough time to become properly gossip-based yet. [...]

    The context also includes the fact that the Listening ad's author, Wahneema Lubiano, chose to publish it in the school's newspaper. What better way to cause harm to students than publish something about them in the student's own newspaper? Who better to publish it than gobs of faculty and whole university departments and programs?

    The context also includes other editorials written by the Gang of 88, including the infamous one by Professor Chafe with the Emmett Till comparison. He wrote the following in the Duke Chronicle a week before the Listening Ad [...]

  • Meeting Joan Foster, Mike, and Mike!, A great time was had by all -- Fellow Blog Hooligans, I [Bill Anderson] was privileged to have lunch yesterday with Mike Gaynor, Mike McCusker (of Crystalmess fame) and our own Joan Foster. [...]

    This case was an assault on civilization itself. We had the denigration of the scientific method in dealing with evidence that has been a bedrock of criminal investigations for hundreds of years. We have seen the denigration of all standards of academic excellence, replaced by what can best be called Harry Potter science, and faux academics.

    This is one of those very important moments that defines the current state of modern culture. It is MUCH more than just a weird criminal case [...]

  • Theory for the Weary
  • Samiha Khanna Laxcast Interview
Mike McCusker / Crystal Mess blog:
Tortmaster, Hero of the Hoax -- A long, long, loooooong time ago, the only reason to visit talkleft became the opportunity to read the consistently excellent analyses of a single voice of reason among many, many vapid blowhards.


His utter vaporization of the "Listening Statement" Revisionists in today's Chronicle warrants re-publication in full, in as many fora as possible, as the student athletes' attorneys hone their Bowie knives for jungle conflict. Tortmaster's painstakingly thorough evisceration of the ad, which exemplifies the "critical thinking" of 88 lucky coffee house poets and assistant librarians, [...]
One Spook's Musing's blog:
MOO! Gregory Parses "The Listening Ad" -- This is an absolutely brilliant analysis of the Group of 88's "Listening Ad" composed by frequent DIW commentor Gregory, posting as "Tortmaster. [...]
Michael Gaynor:
Laudable LieStoppers: Philip Wood's miracle -- LieStoppers: folks with good reason to be anonymous dedicating themselves to and taking risks for strangers in need, because it is the RIGHT thing to . . .
LieStoppers forum: Mike Gaynor doesn't use a pseudonym
John Steele Gordon / American Heritage blog:
The Duke Non-Rape Case—Sources -- In a post last June, Alexander Burns wrote, regarding the Duke case, “I . . . find it believable that the Duke faculty, as well as members of the national media, joined in a ‘rush to judgment that was racist at its heart.’ . . . I’m curious where I might look for evidence of such racism. I’ll admit that I try my hardest to block out the hysterical yammering of Nancy Grace and journalists like her, so I’m probably not as tuned in to this case as the average American. This being the case, what would I say if I wanted to convince somebody that the media and faculty would have reacted differently if the exotic dancer in the case had been white?”

I would highly recommend Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, by Stuart Taylor and K. C. Johnson. It reads like a John Grisham novel (in fact it’s blurbed by Mr. Grisham) but is written by a nationally respected legal reporter and a history professor at Brooklyn College who blogged exhaustively on the case as it was unfolding. [...]
Elizabeth Cooper / Utica Observer-Dispatch
Pro-Longeretta ad invokes Duke lacrosse rape case -- An ad supporting Republican district attorney candidate David Longeretta compares the handling of the Desiree Case homicide case in Utica early in this decade to the Durham County, N.C., district attorney’s handling of the Duke lacrosse rape case last year.

The ad was published on Page 4B in last Thursday’s O-D.

Longeretta faces interim District Attorney Scott McNamara, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 election.

What the ad says:
The ad begins, “Mismanagement in a D.A.’s office can result in grave miscarriages of justice.”

“It happened in Durham County, North Carolina when the disgraced D.A. Michael Nifong accused young Duke University lacrosse players of rape. It happened in Oneida County when an innocent deputy sheriff was accused of murdering a 16-year-old girl. There was a rush to judgment and a disregard of evidence. The deputy faced life in prison. The real killers eventually went to prison for 12 years of less! This cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The ad says Longeretta would”work harmoniously with individuals, institutions, government agencies and courts,” and adds that Longeretta would keep justice free of personal political agendas. [...]
Letter to Herald-Sun:
Durham taxpayers shouldn't pay for Nifong

I find it curious that letter writers who reside in places other than Durham would like to see local taxpayers severely punished for the behavior of former District Attorney Mike Nifong. While Nifong's handling of the case was egregious, the three exonerated lacrosse players and their expensive attorneys should not be enriched, regardless of what the armchair quarterbacks who live in California, Florida and elsewhere say while cheering the lacrosse players on with schadenfreude.

A lawsuit should make one whole. Million of dollars would put the lacrosse players in a better position than they would have been had they never had a party and never invited women from an escort service over to provide "high-brow" entertainment. I lived in Durham from 1983 until 2005. The residents are a wonderful bunch of people and do not deserve to be financially abused. They are not responsible for Nifong's handling of this case, and the lacrosse players' pain and suffering is certainly not worth the millions they seek.

Elizabeth Deaver
Danville, Va.

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