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Friday, November 30, 2007

Duke Case — Flackademia

I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly. - Michel de Montaigne
Items of interest - updated:

George J. BorjasGeorge J. Borjas / Harvard econ. prof. / The Borjas Blog:
You Get What You Pay For -- I've just finished reading a superb book, Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson's Until Proven Innocent, the definitive account of the Duke lacrosse rape case. The parts of the book that I found most interesting revolve around the widely publicized "send them to the gallows" reaction of a sizable chunk of the Duke faculty. There is one very revealing passage at the beginning of the book, the consequences of which reverberate throughout the story:
...Duke sought to join the Ivies, Stanford, and MIT among the nation's leading institutions. It chose to do so, however, on the cheap: bypassing the sciences (where the combination of salary and lab costs for a new hire ran around $400,000), the school focused on bringing in big-name humanities professors, for whom the only startup cost was salary. Politically correct leftist professors were in vogue nationwide, and the leftward slant of Duke's humanities and social sciences faculty accelerated...
Why is it that this trend so afflicts the humanities and the "soft" social sciences? An easy answer would be that these fields lack a well-defined theoretical framework and have little attachment to (or understanding of) the scientific method--making the professors highly susceptible to the latest fads sweeping the intelligentsia. [...]
Evan Goldstein / Footnoted blog / Chronicle of Higher Education:
The Price of Duke's Stinginess -- George Borjas files his item under the title "You Get What You Pay For," and by that he means that Duke University has a faculty "highly susceptible to the latest fads sweeping the intelligentsia" in large part because it is cheaper to do so. [...]

comment: Scholarship and the scientific method are certainly not in the wheelhouse of the Duke Gang of 88 and their many cohorts. Why do Duke parents spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send their kids into the clutches of ideological blowhards?

update: Just noticed that the TJN post title "Flackademia" is the first time that "word" has appeared on the internet. It's not a true "Googlewhack," but might be considered a Googlewhackblatt? That makes our day in the global village we call Johnsville.

2d update: Damn, now that a "word" has been invented that probably means TJN will need to write a definition. More work.

3rd update: Wow, Google is fast! Not four minutes after update #1, Google has updated itself to include the TJN update. That is unreal!
Arch T. Allen / Duke lax book reviews / Metro NC:
Duke’s Reign of Terror -- For “these professors,” it is “a war or a revolution. … In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows. …” Those prescient words of Edmund Burke described intellectuals encouraging the French Revolution and foretold the Jacobin Reign of Terror — wrought not with gallows, but with the guillotine, an instrument of the intellectuals. Burke’s words, written over two centuries ago, resonate now regarding the Duke University intellectuals who rushed to condemn the Duke lacrosse players accused of gang rape at their infamous 2006 spring-break party.

Neither the gallows nor the guillotine awaited the Duke lacrosse players, but Jacobin-like protesters marched in the street to their house. They shouted threats through bullhorns, banged pots and chanted, “They must be rapists!” They declared: “You can’t rape and run,” decreed the players “wanted” and demanded that they “confess.” As punishment to fit the presumed crime, the pot bangers proposed “give them equal measure” and “castrate!”

The pot bangers and their Duke enablers are contemporary equivalents to Jacobins, and “reign of terror” describes their actions better than their own “metanarrative” about the gang-rape allegations. [...]
KC Johnson: Metro on UPI
Calling out a Flackademic

Michael Gaynor / RenewAmerica.us:
Richard Brodhead, rebuked book reviewer -- What a shame that Mr. Brodhead came to Duke based on the notion that he was a great scholar. [...]

Professor Emeritus Hershel Parker, America's premier Melville expert, deftly took former Yale dean and current Duke president Richard Brodhead to task for a baseless criticism of the second volume of his Melville biography (the first earned Professor Parker Pulitzer Prize finalist status) that simultaneously reflected Mr. Brodhead's presumption, ignorance and meanness masked by the illusion of scholarship and wit. [...]
LS forums:
Brodhead as Academic Lightweight, A Critic, Never a Scholar
News & Observer:
Judge gives city more time to respond to lacrosse lawsuit -- The city of Durham and others sued by the three exonerated Duke lacrosse players will get more time to craft responses to the allegations in the lawsuit.

Chief Judge James A. Beatty Jr. entered an order Thursday in federal court giving the lawyers until Jan. 15 to file any motions to dismiss and other responses to the allegations. The previous deadline was Dec. 10. [...]
Bob Kerr / Providence Journal:
Running around for a cause and a teammate -- It was a perfect morning at Brown on Wednesday, cool and sunny and rich in all those Brown possibilities. And in the middle of it, and around the edges, was the Brown men’s lacrosse team, the guys who play the game that nobody plays in a casual way.

Team members started running around the green Tuesday morning and kept running, in one hour shifts, until Wednesday night. They put in 36 hours in darkness and daylight and turned the green into a place to raise money and awareness.

The money raised — they were hoping for $25,000 — goes to The Innocence Project, which provides free legal services to convicted felons whose innocence might be proven by DNA testing.

But there is a subplot to all that running.

“It’s a way to welcome a new teammate,” said Mike Cummins, a senior from Princeton, N.J., as he sat at the information table at the side of the green.

The new teammate is Reade Seligmann, who knows a thing or two when it comes to innocence. He knows how innocence can get all beat to hell when it gets tossed into the middle of a national media circus. He knows how innocence can get lost in the frenzied rush to make a particular situation fit a particular agenda. [...]
Ruth Sheehan / News & Observer:
State's indecent liberties -- How did Alan Gell, North Carolina's poster boy for the wrongly imprisoned and nearly executed, end up serving time for getting a 15-year-old pregnant?

Maybe, after being sent away at age 19, he is stuck in a teenage time warp. Maybe he just couldn't keep his trousers zipped. Maybe the State Bureau of Investigation is out to get him.

I'd say it's a combination of the three. This week, Gell was sentenced to five years for taking indecent liberties.

If that seems harsh for indecent liberties, it is.

Department of Correction data show that Gell got a longer sentence than 75 percent of the people convicted of the same crime this year -- nearly half of whom got only probation.

This, even though there were no aggravating circumstances in the Gell case. This, even though the Gell case involved a consensual relationship and neither the victim nor the victim's mother wanted Gell prosecuted. Rather, they want him out, to be a father to his year-old son.

The refreshing thing is that Gell admits that what he did was wrong. That's something the state has never done, even after fabricating and withholding evidence that nearly led to his execution for a 1995 murder. [...]
KC Johnson:
Sheehan on Gell -- Ruth Sheehan makes a compelling case that selective prosecution occurred in the recent Alan Gell case.

LS forum:
Nathan Tabor / Townhall.com:
Prosecutors Out of Control -- The actions of former-District Attorney Mike Nifong in the Duke University lacrosse case have put the problem of prosecutorial abuse front and center for all Americans. Nifong, although a local prosecutor, has become the poster boy of prosecutorial abuse on every government level. With a story line that included sex, racial tensions, and gender and income inequality, the Duke case captured the attention of the media and the nation. We now know that Nifong willfully disregarded evidence of the boys' innocence and thanks in large part to enormous public attention and condemnation, he has been rightly stripped of his badge and the keys to his office. [...]
Dean Sue Wasiolek at leadership panelJulia Love / Duke Chronicle:
Dean Sue kicks off leadership series -- Flickering candles and potted poinsettia set a light and festive mood for a panel discussion in the Refectory Cafe Wednesday night, but the event centered on a big question.

As part of the inaugural discussion in the Office of Student Activities and Facilities' Distinguished Leaders in Action series, Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek joined a panel of 20 students to ponder what it means to be a leader.

"That word [leadership] frightens me because it carries a lot of responsibility to do something, to be something," she said. "I'm not exactly sure what leadership is, but I know it when I see it." [...]
LieStoppers blog:
Leadership - The Dean Sue Method -- Dean Sue was the Duke Administrator who handled the University’s response in that first crucial week of the Lacrosse Hoax. She is best remembered by the parents of the Duke Lacrosse team as being the person who ordered the Lacrosse players that they should not tell their parents. This was followed by the decision to use an attorney who apparently was representing the best interests of Duke and not the students in negotiations with Sergant Gottlieb. While Cpl Addison of Crime-stoppers was making false & incendiary statements about the Duke Lacrosse Team in local media with his “Wall of Silence” accusation, Dean Sue remain silent not revealing she knew the Team Captains had cooperated fully, given statements without counsel, offered to take polygraphs, and freely submitted their DNA samples. Later it was learned that Dean Sue served on Durham Crime-stoppers Board of Directors and they had taken no action to correct the misdeeds of Durham PD Crime-stoppers I/C Addison, who released the infamous wanted poster.

With that resume one might question why was Dean Sue chosen as the person to kick off the “Distinguished Leaders in Action series?” [...]

LieStoppers forum:
Dean Sue and "Leadership", Demonstrating how to lead
Forum topics of note:

Howard Goldenthal / book review / NowToronto.com:
Jocks on trial -- Until Proven Innocent is a seething indictment of the individuals and institutions in Durham, North Carolina that conspired to put three demonstrably innocent young men in jail for 30 years. [...]
KC Johnson: Now on UPI
John in Carolina:
Duke Fundraising -- Only a few years ago a college or university fundraising drive with a $1 billion goal was a rarity. Now we’re seeing “$3- and $4-billion megadrives at top-tier universities,” says Chronicle columnist Kristin Butler. ( Duke Pays, part deux ) [...]
Interview with a Bonehead

Matt DaSilva / Lacrosse Magazine:
Five Questions: Dom Starsia -- When the NCAA's controversial decision to grant 33 players from Duke's 2006 men's lacrosse team an extra year of eligibility was announced in June, Virginia men's lacrosse coach Dom Starsia was its most vocal opponent, calling it "the most ham-handed thing I've been around in a long time" in an article published by the Raleigh News & Observer. Two months later, Peter Lamade reported to fall practice in Charlottesville.

"Funny how that worked out, huh?" Starsia said Wednesday.

Lamade, an integral member of Duke's 2007 team that advanced to the Division I national championship game, will play his fifth year for Starsia and the ACC rival Cavaliers in 2008. According to Starsia, Lamade has been advised not to comment on the decision due to the continuing legal fallout of the Duke lacrosse case. [...]
Duke Students for Ethical Duke:
Back in Business/Fraudulent Posting? -- He claims that Duke professor Dr. Karla Holloway will be subjected to an ethics hearing by the student body. If there is any basis to that claim, then it is even more shocking news to us. The posting, however, seems at the moment to be a fraud. [...]
LS forum: Karla Holloway -- "Professor of Law"

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