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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. [...]
discussion:
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!
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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. [...]
discussion:
KC Johnson: Metro on UPI
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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. [...]
related:
LS forums:
Brodhead as Academic Lightweight, A Critic, Never a Scholar
MELVILLE: THE MAKING OF THE POET, Book that Starts off With BRODHEAD
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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. [...]
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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. [...]
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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. [...]
discussion:
KC Johnson:
Sheehan on Gell -- Ruth Sheehan makes a compelling case that selective prosecution occurred in the recent Alan Gell case.

LS forum:
OOOPS....GELL GOING BACK TO JAIL
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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." [...]
discussion:
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:

LieStoppers:
------
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. [...]
discussion:
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 ) [...]
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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. [...]
related:
LS forum: Karla Holloway -- "Professor of Law"
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

DeFlock Yourself

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. – Edward R. Murrow
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A NATION OF SHEEP by Judge Andrew P. NapolitanoIn A NATION OF SHEEP, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano frankly discusses how the federal government has circumvented the Constitution and is systematically dismantling the rights and freedoms that are the foundation of American democracy. He challenges Americans to recognize that they are being led down a very dangerous path and that the cost of following without challenge is the loss of the basic freedoms that facilitate our pursuit of happiness and that define us as a nation.

Judge Napolitano reminds readers what America is all about, that the purpose of government is to protect freedom, and freedom is the ability to follow your own free will and not the will of government bureaucrats. He asks the simple question, which are YOU, a sheep or a wolf? Do you blindly follow behind where you are led, or do you challenge the government at every pass, forcing it to make decisions that will protect our freedoms?

Judge Napolitano asks the questions that no one else will, challenging readers to rethink why they are blindly following a government that has only its own interests in mind. He asks:
  • Why is the government using the war on terror as an excuse to sidestep the Constitution?
  • Why are Americans not challenging and questioning the government as it continues to limit more and more of our freedoms?
  • What part of "Congress shall make no law..." does the government not understand when it criminalizes speech?
  • Whatever happened to our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that are proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, guaranteed by the Constitution, yet ignored by the governments elected to protect them?
  • Why does every public office holder swear allegiance to the Constitution, yet very few follow it?
  • Don't we have rights that are guaranteed and cannot be taken from us?
related:
DiversityTV.net:
Napolitano: A Nation Of Sheep -- A surprising 3 minutes of truth from “The Verdict” with Judge Andrew Napolitano. Should Americans continue to sit back passively and allow the government to fleece away our freedom?

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Brian Doherty / Reason.com:
Americans: Sheep to the Constitutional Slaughter? -- An Interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Andrew Napolitano is one of American media’s most tenacious defenders of Americans' rights. His official title at Fox News, where he appears regularly on Fox and Friends and The Big Story, is “Senior Judicial Analyst.” But at the often Bush-besotted network, the decidedly skeptical Napolitano thinks of himself more as “House Civil Libertarian.”

He’s the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in New Jersey history, and a former teacher of constitutional law at Seton Hall Law School. He also writes books alerting Americans to how their own government threatens their liberties, including The Constitution in Exile and Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws. Nick Gillespie interviewed Napolitano for our March 2005 issue.

Napolitano’s latest book is the pugnaciously and provocatively titled A Nation of Sheep. The book is certainly sharply critical of the Bush administration for its assaults on our freedom and privacy. But Napolitano also provides valuable historical context, showing there’s little new under the sun when it comes to the tendency of power to expand, even in a nation explicitly built to keep government powers as tiny oceans in a sea of individual rights. [...]

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Duke Case — Nov. 28, 2007

Items of interest - updated:

Harvard law student / bloggin with mr. cooper:
Worlds Collide -- Had the legal ethics class with Dershowitz today -- the focus was the Duke lacrosse case, so I was obviously fairly interested. We read that new book, Until Proven Innocent, and we were told that Nifong's lawyer was going to be there, so I figured it should be a good show watching Dershowitz berate him. The class started, and I looked to the back of the room to see if there were guests, and there were no lawyerly looking guys, but there was one familiar face -- Reade Seligmann, one of the three indicted players. He talked for basically the length of the class, with Dershowitz posing questions. Definitely interesting to hear the facts of the case directly from one of the guys in person instead of, like, 60 Minutes. This was the first class I've actually paid attention in for months. [...]

discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Reade Seligmann Tries to Make a Difference, Innocence Project Run; Harvard Law Talk
-------
A man went to a brain store to get some brain to complete a study. He sees a sign remarking on the quality of professional brain offerred at this particular brain store. He begins to question the butcher about the cost of these brains.

"How much does it cost for engineer brain?"

"Three dollars an ounce."

"How much does it cost for programmer brain?"

"Four dollars an ounce."

"How much for lawyer brain?"

"$1,000 an ounce."

"Why is lawyer brain so much more?"

"Do you know how many lawyers we had to kill to get one ounce of brain?"
------
Stu Woo / Brown Daily Herald:
M. lax jogs to help innocent prisoners -- Just before 4 a.m. this morning, men's lacrosse player Reade Seligmann '09 planned to lace up his running shoes, throw on a bright-yellow traffic jacket and run laps around the Main Green.

Seligmann, the former Duke lacrosse suspect who was vindicated earlier this year, will be jogging for the Brown team's fall charity project: a 36-hour run-a-thon to raise funds for the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to exonerating innocent prisoners through DNA testing.

Seligmann pitched the idea of a lacrosse team charity event for the Innocence Project even before he committed to transferring to Brown this spring. Head Coach Lars Tiffany '90 liked the idea and organized the event this fall after team members approved, much to the delight of the New York City-based organization.

"It's an extraordinary thing that (Seligmann) and the whole team are doing," said Eric Ferrero, the Innocence Project's communications director. "That's money that will let us take additional clients and conduct additional DNA testing on behalf of our clients who are currently in prison fighting to prove their innocence." [...]
discussion:
KC Johnson: Update: Good News from Brown
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News & Observer:
Lawyers ask for more time in lacrosse suit -- The City of Durham and others sued by the three exonerated Duke lacrosse players want more time to craft responses to the allegations in the suit.

Any motions to dismiss and other responses were due Dec. 10. But the lawyers have asked a judge for an additional month.

Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, the three exonerated lacrosse players, filed suit in federal court in Greensboro this month alleging that former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong, the city of Durham, the DNA laboratory hired by the disbarred former prosecutor and numerous police officials conspired to falsely charge the former Duke students with rape. [...]
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Lawyers ask for more time in lacrosse suit
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WRAL:
Duke Lacrosse Suit Lawyers Want More Time -- Attorneys in the Duke lacrosse civil rights lawsuit want more time to respond to the complaint filed last month by the three exonerated former Duke students. [...]

Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann are asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees and numerous changes in the way the Durham Police Department handles criminal investigations.

The joint motion, agreed by all parties, asks to allow until Jan. 15 for defense filings and then 90 days afterward for the plaintiffs to respond to defense filings. Several of the defendants are expected to file motions to dismiss the suit. [...]
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John in Carolina:
A Chronicle Double Standard -- NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, who recently published The Conscience of a Liberal, spoke at Duke University last evening. The school’s student-run newspaper, The Chronicle, gave his talk prominent coverage in today’s paper. Krugman shares liberal 'Conscience')

Fair enough.

But a few weeks ago when National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor, co-author with KC Johnson of Until Proven Innocent, spoke at Duke The Chronicle imposed a news blackout on Taylor’s appearance. [...]
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Matt DaSilva / Lacrosse Magazine:
In John We Trust -- In troubled times, John Danowski's steady leadership and affable character made him the face of the game -- and LM's Person of the Year --

Note: On Monday, Duke men's lacrosse coach John Danowski was announced as Lacrosse magazine's 2007 Person of the Year. The following feature appears in LM's December issue, which includes a comprehensive 2007 Year in Review package. [...]


It's hard to believe now as we settle into wrought-iron chairs outside the dining area of the Washington-Duke Inn and Golf Club on Duke University's West Campus, and John Danowski looks completely at peace in his pale yellow sweater, sleeves rolled at the forearms. Brian, the waiter whom Danowski calls by his first name, collects the bill and leaves us on a ridge overlooking the 18th hole.

Danowski never got golf. For someone who grew up playing "ballistic" sports, whose father was an NFL quarterback, it was too slow. But he came to appreciate the solitude, how you could play the back nine and discuss nothing but gradients, greens and bunkers. It was all about the game.

Lacrosse used to be that way. [...]
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Gang of 88 trainee

Robert Zimmerman / "low-level" Duke faculty / Re:harmonized blog:
The Duke lacrosse racket (postscript) -- Near the end of yesterday’s post, I described the liestoppers as having to prop up their claim to be crusading for Truth, Fairness, and Justice on the basis of the lacrosse case by engaging in “rhetorical warfare that brings the battle lines into sharp relief” (I’m using the term “liestopper” loosely for the vehement defenders of the lacrosse team that gather on , , etc.). Right on cue there was a flare-up of that today. The main thing it reminded me was how much of it is hypersensitivity on behalf of the team–more overcompensation, I think, for the fact that the lacrosse players are less than compelling as victims of Grand Injustice. A refrain on the message boards of liestopperland is the many more or less libelous insults that left-wing professors, columnists, bloggers, etc. have hurled at the team, and the oh-so-few apologies that have followed. Today it was one of those revisited–Prof. Claire Potter (aka Tenured Radical) insulted the team back in April and never made good, then a few days ago she took a jab at DIW. KC Johnson came back this morning huffing and puffing about her “reckless, unsubstantiated allegations.” [...]
-----
Robert Zimmerman / "low-level" Duke faculty / Re:harmonized blog:
The Duke lacrosse racket -- Representing one side, the ““–activists who rallied on March 26, 2006 to denounce the lacrosse team at the site of their disastrous party on Buchanan Blvd. For the other side, , a professor at Brooklyn College and outspoken critic of critics of the lacrosse team, who blogs on (DIW). Neither stands alone–I’m not claiming that either is single-handedly responsible for the way things have turned out. In the first few weeks after the news broke there were a number of rallies condemning the team’s actions and highlighting the issues of sexual assault and racism, some on campus and some off, and there were similar messages in the media and elsewhere. The potbanging protest left an especially deep impression on all that followed, though. And there are several other blogs and web sites dedicated to exposing the terrible injustice they believe has been done to the team. DIW seems to me the most influential and insidiously polarizing of them. is the grassroots hub of the network, though, and for my own convenience I’m going to refer to the community as a whole as “liestoppers.”

To some extent DIW and the potbanging protestors is an arbitrary pairing I’ve settled on by indulging the bad habit–one I share with most everyone else who commentates about the case–of writing first and foremost about the things that piss me off. Despite all sorts of differences, though, what the pair has in common (treating the protestors as a single perspective) is significant. Both were galvanized by an act they saw as despicable, and so blatantly true to type for the people who committed it that it was also a perfect scourge. Diametrically opposite the bad guys are some good guys, and the portrayals of both sides of the face-off are predictably skewed. [...]
comment: Zimmerman writes a 1600+ word summary of the lacrosse case and conveniently forgets to mention the numerous anti-lacrosse actions of the infamous Duke "Group of 88" faculty? How nice. Instead, he focuses on KC Johnson and the "potbanging protestors," note he misspells protesters as "protestors." (The word is also misspelled on the Group of 88 'Listening Statement') This guy is a keeper at Duke.
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Glenn Sacks / MensNewsDaily.com:
CNN's Nancy Grace & the Duke Lacrosse Case -- Carey Roberts' interesting new column The Disgrace of CNN's Nancy Grace (MensNewsDaily.com, 11/27/07) details the way Nancy Grace beat the drums against the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players. [...]

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show also skewered Grace over her enthusiastic support of the false accuser, noting that Grace is "the person who had staked the most on this case." On April 11, 2007 North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced they were dismissing the charges and said that the accused players "are innocent." The next day Stewart asked "Put through hell for over a year--how will the media show contrition?" He then said "let's see how Nancy Grace handled it" and cut to Grace's April 11 show--and there was a substitute host!



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Carey Roberts / MensNewsDaily.com:
The Disgrace of CNN's Nancy Grace -- When special prosecutor Nancy Grace won 100 felony cases in a row, she was riding the fast-track to legal notoriety. But in 1997 the Supreme Court of Georgia charged her with “inexcusable” actions that “demonstrated her disregard of the notions of due process and fairness.” And eight years later her career came off the rails when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded Grace had “played fast and loose” with ethical canons.

So Grace left Georgia and signed on as a commentator for Court TV. In 2006 Nancy again boarded the fast train when she struck a deal with CNN to anchor her own Nancy Grace Program.

Then along came a woman named Crystal Mangum — drug abuser, exotic dancer, and serial rape accuser.

Shortly after the alleged March 14 assault, wild stories began to circulate about what had transpired at 610 North Buchanan. Within days Nancy Grace was claiming — falsely – that the players had refused to provide DNA samples. She theorized, “If there had been evidence, I’m sure it was flushed down the commode or gotten rid of, innocently or not.”

Just for good measure, Grace added this remark for her vigilante-justice viewers: “What if this girl was your girl? You know, I’d burn the place down, for Pete’s sake!” [...]

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tenured Blowhards

Claire Potter: Teacher? My Ass!
related:
KC Johnson / Durham-in-Wonderland:
Checking in with . . . Claire Potter -- Wesleyan College professor Claire Potter, host of the blog “Tenured Radical,” has compiled quite a record on the lacrosse case. [...]

more discussion:
KC Johnson:
Claire Potter Replies -- Potter also has an unusual conception of blogs. It's my sense--and, indeed, the sense of most who blog--that those who read blogs are "readers." Potter, however, seems to consider people who read blogs to be "followers"--unintentionally, perhaps, revealing her closed-mindedness. [...]

KC Johnson:
Airbrushing -- regarding Claire Potter's disturbing tendency to delete comments that challenge her factual inaccuracies [...]

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Wishes: Birdzilla

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BirdzillaLoren Coleman / CryptoMundo:
Watch the Skies! Here Comes Birdzilla! -- Ramirez thought he was after a prowler in the back of his mother’s Southwest Side home. But what greeted him on the garage rooftop still gives him goosebumps now.

“That’s when the thing up there turned to me, and it was in a perched state, and it started to turn,” he said. “It started to move its arms and this giant blackness was just coming out. At that point, I dropped the stick and I ran.”

Ramirez sketched a drawing of the large, bird-like creature. The image is disturbing, and similar to dozens of sightings across San Antonio and South Texas.

“If you were to take a man’s face and pull his chin down, just like a stretched face,” said Ramirez.

“I was just terrified and as I was running. I just thought it was going to carry me off or something.”

An earlier KENS story about a large, prehistoric-like bird drew more than 100,000 hits on MySanAntonio.com. More than a few people in San Antonio came forward to say they’d seen the creature, too. [...]
comment: How would a Birdzilla taste with some organic rice & sausage stuffing?
via Prof. Hex

Duke Case — Nov. 20, 2007

Item's of interest - updated:

Luke Sheahan / Foundation for Individual Rights in Education / TheFire.org
The ‘Group of 88’ and Richard Brodhead -- I’ve posted a few times on Stuart Taylor Jr.’s and KC Johnson’s wonderful and frightening book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. FIRE friends need no introduction to the disregard for due process and common decency permeating the academy, but let the following serve as yet more anecdotal evidence. [...]

Lacrosse player John Walsh was given a bad grade for a make-up assignment by Professor Claire Ashton-James. When Walsh met with her about it she said, “If you guys really were innocent, I would feel sorry for you.” Visiting Professor Kim Curtis flunked one of the lacrosse players. He sued and Duke changed his grade to a pass. Other faculty members took class time to publicly demonize the students and discuss their presumed guilt, even with some of them present in the class. Professor William Chafe compared the students to the murderers of Emmett Till. Professor Sally Deutsch, now a dean, still believes that the rape occurred, the overwhelming evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has taken the extraordinary step of declaring the young men innocent, an unnecessary measure in the American judicial system that demonstrated the absurdity of the claims against them. But the Duke faculty never seemed to care about the facts. [...]

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American Council of Trustees and Alumni / goactablog.org:
Getting a grip on groupthink -- Several years ago, Emory English professor Mark Bauerlein published what remains one of our sharpest commentaries on how academic groupthink narrows the scope of scholarship and teaching--and, by extension, the kinds of knowledge that are valued and produced within our higher education system. Responding to recent studies documenting the political uniformity of four-year college and university faculties (especially those in the humanities and social sciences), Bauerlein sought to deepen our understanding of how pervasive and yet subtle intellectual conformity is in the academy. [...]

These ideas were taken up last week at a conference hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. Entitled "Reforming the Politically Correct University," the conference featured presentations by ACTA president Anne Neal, the Manhattan Institute's John McWhorter, National Association of Scholars executive director Peter Wood, and FIRE president Greg Lukianoff. Neal spoke about what alumni and trustees can do to help ensure free inquiry, fair personnel decisions, and curricular integrity at the institutions where they are stakeholders and fiduciary overseers.

Another key participant was National Journal's Stuart Taylor, co-author with KC Johnson of the remarkable Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. The book outlined the institutional obsession with race, class, and gender at Duke and beyond--a theme Taylor revisits in his recent commentary on the University of Delaware's doctrinaire residential life curriculum (see "Academia's Pervasive PC Rot"). [...]
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The Home of TheEmerged blog:
My take on the Durham Hoax / Nifong Case -- . . . Brodhead in particular acted with a cowardice that is shameful to exam even from the distance I have. The Gang of 88's reactions are shameful but unsurprising to anyone that's experienced the groupthink common to university faculty. [...]
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Law & Order Criminal Intent TV series / USA Network:
NEW ORIGINAL EPISODE -- NOVEMBER 29TH 10/9C
When a key witness in a high profile rape is found dead, Logan and Falacci dig into the rape case, discovering a football team who protect their own, and an ambitious Assistant District Attorney with an agenda. Don't miss the premiere of "Offense" on Thursday, November 29 at 10/9C on USA! [preview clip]
discussion:
LieStoppers forum:
Law and Order : Criminal Intent, Nov. 29th episode?
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North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers:
Lessons Learned from the Duke Lacrosse Case -- Join Joe Cheshire, V, NCATL President, Jim Cooney III, Brad Bannon, and Wade Smith as they discuss the details of the Duke Lacrosse case and the lessons that they learned during one of the most nationally publicized and scrutinized cases of this century. [...]

Time: Friday, Nov 30, 2007 - 08:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Location: Academy Headquarters, 1312 Annapolis Drive, Raleigh, NC
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Duke lacrosse lawyers on how they did it
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Shuchi Parikh / Duke Chronicle:
Nowicki sets judicial review body -- A committee of students, faculty and staff formed by Dean of Undergraduate Education Steve Nowicki will appraise the University's judicial policies and produce recommendations by the end of Spring.

The committee was created in response to concerns about the state of judicial affairs raised by Duke Student Government President Paul Slattery, Nowicki said.

In a memo to administrators and the Board of Trustees sent in September, Slattery, a senior, argued that current policy infringes on a number of students' rights, including the right to remain silent, call or cross-examine witnesses and request a hearing panel. [...]
discussion:
KC Johnson: update -- . . . Steve Nowicki has named a special committee to look into the due process-unfriendly student judicial system. The committee membership suggests that the group could produce meaningful change [...]

On the Liestoppers board, Michael Gaynor continues his peculiar defense of Dr. Brian Meehan, whose failure to produce a report that listed all his test results (as he was required to do under both North Carolina law and his own lab's protocols) was concealed for seven months. [...]
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Barry Saunders / News & Observer:
NAACP can skip this case -- Maybe, just maybe, this is why NAACP membership is down and the once-mighty civil rights organization is regarded as an afterthought -- if it is regarded at all.

It's certainly one reason that I am sitting here trying to decide whether to send in my membership application.

As much as I appreciate the NAACP's history, its current actions are hard to defend. [...]
related:
TJN / 10/23/06: R.I.P. NAACP 1909 - 2006
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LieStoppers blog:
The Missing EZ DRY ERASE Board -- After extensive research using the "Gottlieb Method" of recovering missing notes we were able to recreate the EZ DRY ERASE Board of 10 April 2006.
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John in Carolina:
Brawley $$$: Anyone Surprised? -- Who’s surprised Glenda Brawley and Ralph King think they should be millionaires? [...]

Here’s another easy prediction: The “civil rights activists” who'll take up Glenda Brawley and King’s “cause” will insist $$ has nothing to do with “the cause.” [...]

Glenda Brawley is a fugitive from NY State. That being the case, has Gov. Spitzer said whether he favors issuing her a NY driver's license if she comes to NY illegally? [...]
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John in Carolina:
What’s a newspaper column for? -- In the Oct. 29 post I noted an error Duke professor Karla Holloway [Group of 88 leader] made in an op-ed (Come on, Cosby: Lay off talk about race ) published Oct. 25 by the Orlando Sentinal.

Holloway referred to Harvard Medical School professor Alvin Poussaint as a “psychologist.” He’s in fact one of America’s preeminent child psychiatrists.

I thought to send Holloway a link to my Oct. 29 post which contained links confirming Poussaint's a psychiartist.

But Holloway’s never responded to any email I’ve sent her. I don’t know if she even reads them.

So I called the Sentinal’s public editor, Manning Pynn, to ask about a correction. [...]

When Pynn called he’d already fact checked. He apologized for the error and said the Sentinal would ask Holloway to make a correction.

Fine. But what if a columnist/op-ed writer declines to make a correction? Then what?

Pynn said the Sentinal then goes ahead and makes the correction anyway because – and this is not an exact quote but a close paraphrase of what Pynn said – a column is a place for opinions; not a place to misstate facts.

Pynn went on to say just about all newspapers take very seriously their responsibility to get the facts right and to quickly admit errors when they make them. [...]
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Duke lacrosse case ended up being a hate crime against three white college students, but that's not going to be listed in the FBI report.

AP / MSNBC:
FBI reports hate crimes rose 8 percent in 2006 -- Annual count doesn't include all police agencies — among them Jena, La.

WASHINGTON - Hate crime incidents in the United States rose last year by nearly 8 percent, the FBI reported Monday, as racial prejudice continued to account for more than half the reported instances.

Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability. That was up 7.8 percent from the 7,163 incidents reported in 2005.

Although the noose incidents and beatings among students at Jena, La., high school occurred in the last half of 2006, they were not included in the report. Only 12,600 of the nation’s more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006 and neither Jena nor LaSalle Parish, in which the town is located, were among the agencies reporting. [....]
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Flashback: April 25, 2006 -

News Hounds dumping on truthMarie Therese / NewsHounds.us:
Wall Street, "K" Street Take Aim at a Poor Black Woman --

News Hounds Editorial

The ultra-rich protect their own. They'll stomp on anyone who dares to intrude on their world of wealth, privilege, power and prerogative. As we News Hounds have reported extensively, the pundits at FOX News have, to a man and a woman, abandoned their self-proclaimed support for victims of assault and mercilessly denigrated the young African-American woman who has accused members of the Duke University Lacrosse team of rape. The white power elite is out in force to crush a single young woman who had the courage to come forward and do what all those pompous "pro-victim" hypocrites at FOX News told her to do: Report it to the police so the perpetrators will not be able to walk the streets and do it again.

Apparently the "presumption of innocence" does not apply when the perps are the children of people you meet at the White House, in line at the Kennedy Center or at posh soirees at the Plaza Hotel! [???]

Well, it's time to let the world know just what kind of power brokers this young woman is up against, especially since her family reported last night on FOX News, that they have received death threats and that the young woman is "frantic".

What follows is a little glimpse into the intricate web linking some of the Duke player's families to Wall Street and K Street, who'd like nothing better than to see this young woman disappear.

[...]

CONCLUSION

The hypocrisy at FOX News in this case is just staggering. [...]

Two nights ago Greta van Susteren cross-examined - oops! - "interviewed" - the former husband of the victim. She stopped the segment as soon as it became obvious that he was a genuine human being who supported his ex-wife, whom he claimed is not a drinker or a drug user and is the kind of woman who would walk across the street to help someone in trouble. [...]

Had this been a white woman claiming to have been raped by an all-black sports team, FOX News would be asking for the death penalty. You know it. I know it. We all know it.

Somewhere in their deepest hearts, the FOX News hosts know it, too.

In the meantime, we here at News Hounds will continue to the best of our ability to keep you, our readers, informed about the daily distortions on the "fair and balanced" channel that claims it is "most powerful name in news". [...]
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comment: Fox News certainly did not distinguish themselves in their coverage of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax. In fact, Fox's coverage was pitiful. There was journalist extraordinaire, Geraldo Rivera, for example:
JOURNALIST EXTRAORDINAIRE - Geraldo Rivera"You know, it's not always the nuns that get raped. Sometimes it's strippers that get raped." — Geraldo Rivera gravely and fatuously intoning on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," April 2006.
But, this slimy distorted News Hounds editorial from April 2006 that smeared the indicted lacrosse players and their families was a low point. It was a nonsense rant against Fox News and it completely blew the principle of the "presumption of innocence" to pieces.

News Hounds dumped all over the true story and the facts that had emerged and proved that their blind anti-Fox bias makes them as unbalanced and hypocritical as Fox News.

So, who can you trust to get a story straight?
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Duke Case — Hoax Vampires & Gang of 88 Trolls

Items of interest - updated:

Hoax vampires smell blood money

Glenda and Ralph KingDorian Block / NY Daily News:
20 years later, Tawana Brawley has turned back on the past -- CLAREMONT, Va. - Many people in this rural town of just 300 know the story of Tawana Brawley, but most have no idea her family lives among them.

Brawley - whose claims of being raped by a "white cop" shocked the city 20 years ago - has long since turned her back on New York. She changed her name, converted to Islam, moved south and got a bullmastiff "trained to bite" in case someone unwanted comes to visit.

The Daily News tracked her family to Claremont, Va., once one large plantation, now a tiny town of cotton and soybean farms, with a two-room library and post office, but no police department or local newspaper.

In a wide-ranging two-hour interview, Glenda Brawley and Ralph King, Brawley's mother and stepfather, revealed glimpses into her life. [...]

Glenda Brawley and her husband have not spoken publicly since a grand jury in 1988 decided there was no evidence their daughter was raped, yet they agreed to talk to The News for one reason: They are adamant that their daughter was raped and the men who did it were never punished.

"I could be looking at the television any day and they say the 'Tawana Brawley hoax,'" King said. "What hoax?"

"How could we make this up and take down the state of New York? We're just regular people," Glenda Brawley said to her husband. "We should be millionaires." [...]

discussion:
LieStoppers forum:
Tawana Brawley...AGAIN, "We should be millionaires."

FreeRepublic:
Report: Family wants Tawana Brawley case reopened

comment: Over a year ago, TJN was wondering: Duke Case: Where is Tawana Brawley? The other question was: "whatever happened to those two outstanding arrest warrants for Brawley and her mother in New York State?"

related:
Tawana Brawley addresses supporters at a Brooklyn church in 1997. Her stepfather, Ralph King, is at right.AP / CNN:
Report: Family wants Tawana Brawley case reopened -- Twenty years after her allegations of a racially charged rape became a national flash point, Tawana Brawley's mother and stepfather want to reopen the case, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Glenda Brawley and Ralph King want to press New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to re-examine the November 1987 incident, which a state grand jury ultimately concluded was a hoax, the Daily News reported.

"New York state owes my daughter. They owe her the truth," said Glenda Brawley. She reiterated her stance that her daughter was indeed raped by a group of white men who smeared her with feces and scrawled racial epithets on her body. [...]

Al Sharpton & Tawana Brawley 1988Google/AP:
Kin Want Infamous NY Rape Case Reopened -- Brawley was 15 when she went missing for four days from her home in Wappingers Falls, about 75 miles north of New York City. After being found, she made the shocking allegation that she had been abducted and raped by six white law enforcement officials.

The case quickly made headlines and drew the attention of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who became an outspoken advocate for the teen.

But a special state grand jury found evidence Brawley had fabricated her story. A former Dutchess County prosecutor who had been implicated in the case later sued Brawley, Sharpton and other Brawley advisers for defamation, winning a $345,000 judgment against the advisers and a $185,000 judgment against Brawley.

A spokeswoman for Sharpton, who was held liable for $65,000 in the case, did not immediately respond to an e-mail message early Sunday. The former prosecutor's lawyer did not immediately return a telephone message.

Brawley has changed her name and become a nurse, the Daily News reported.

discussion:
John in Carolina:
Brawley Comments & Predictions -- Many people will wonder, as I do, whether Glenda Brawley and Ralph King have been reading about all that money the parents of the Jena 6 received.

People who wonder about that will be called racists by people like Sharpton.

Attorneys for the three men fraudulently indicted in the Duke Hoax will use this latest in the Brawley Hoax to bolster their contention the three men will all their lives be subject to people seeking to exploit them.

“Civil rights activists” supporting Glenda Brawley’s and Ralph King’s demands will say that’s not true.

But we all know it is.

more Brawley discussion:
Betsy Newmark: Tawana Brawley 20 years on
West Virginia Rebel: Paging Al Sharpton
Sean Hannity forum: Say it ain't so! - Tawana Brawley case to be re-opened?
Angela Winters /Politopics: ARE THEY SERIOUS?

BitsBlog: Brawley hoax redux -- Glenda Brawley whose daughter was not raped twenty years ago, is petitioning New York State governor and attorney general, Eliot Spizter and Andrew Cuomo to “reopen” the case. [...]

Len's Lens blog:
Now, that's chutzpah
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Shmuel Rosner / Rosner's Guest / Haaretz.com [Israel]:
KC Johnson -- Professor Johnson, a noted critic of 'groupthink' in the academic world, and author of Until Proven Innocent, is now teaching in Israel. Readers can send questions. [...]

An early critic of the prosecution's conduct in the Duke Lacrosse case, Johnson published a highly regarded blog on the issue, Durham Wonderland. He then co-wrote, with Stuart Taylor, the recently published Until Proven Innocent. The book argues that "law enforcement, a campaigning prosecutor, biased journalists, and left-leaning academics repeatedly refused to pursue the truth while scapegoats were made" of the falsely accused Duke students.

We will discuss issues related to academia, the U.S. and Israel. Readers can send questions to rosnersdomain@haaretz.co.il.
discussion:
KC Johnson:

Haaretz Blog
-- I'm a guest on the Haaretz website this week; the link is here.

LieStoppers forum:
KC Johnson in Israel's Haaretz Newspaper, Criticizes Trends in Academia
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Gang of 88 trolls spew on KC Johnson

KC Johnson:
The Academic "Street" -- In her peculiar January 2007 N&O essay, Group of 88 member Cathy Davidson invented a past that never existed—she claimed rampant racist defenses of the lacrosse players on the “campus quad” in the days after the story first broke—to rationalize the Group’s ad. The Davidson essay, for the most part, took its appropriate place in the “Group of 88 Rehab Tour” as an initiative that only made the Group look more foolish. [...]

Just as it’s hard to miss the ill-concealed anger in the anonymous comments left by Group defenders, so too has it been hard to miss the anger in statements offered by Group defenders in their own name—such as Charlie Piot; or Prasad Kasibhatla (who urged people to read the Piot piece, and then boasted he would not even look at a critique of the Piot article).

In this respect, the anger of which Davidson claimed to be so concerned is far more characteristic of the Group and its defenders than of critics of the Group. Indeed, a level of fury appears to be a consistent element of the Group and its defenders. [...]
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Ken Larrey / letter published Nov. 19th / Duke Chronicle:
Wolf's DSED column damaging, inaccurate -- I am profoundly hurt and disappointed by what Elliott Wolf has produced in the Nov. 15 issue of The Chronicle, "Physician, heal thyself," but I am especially appalled at the way Wolf has gone about producing it. We-Duke Students for an Ethical Durham and friends/partners-are all preparing a well-reasoned, fair and well-informed response to Wolf's column, not only as a necessity but also a courtesy to Wolf that we believe he has not extended to us, nor is it what he has provided to the readers of The Chronicle. [...]

related:
Duke Students for Ethical Duke:
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Michael Gustafson / Duke prof. / letter published Nov 19th / Duke Chroncle:
Apologies for a possible misstatement -- I was quoted in Thursday's issue of The Chronicle, in Elliott Wolf's column "Physician, heal thyself," as stating, with respect to Duke Students for an Ethical Duke, "I told them that I will not be part of this lynch mob."

To clear up what I said to DSED early on-before they had really formed-was I would not be part of *a* lynch mob. I do not believe Duke Students for an Ethical Duke is a lynch mob, nor is that why I am not their faculty advisor. I do not blame Wolf for the wording in the quote because it is entirely probable that I spoke incorrectly. I do think it is important to clear up what a huge difference in meaning one word makes as well as the timing of my statement. [...]
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John in Carolina:
What "lynch mob" at Duke? -- The Johnsville News does another fine aggregation job: This time it concerns a recent Chronicle column written by last year’s Duke Student Government President Elliott Wolf, in which he was highly critical of Duke Students for an Ethical Duke (DSED)and its public spokesperson, Ken Larrey. [...]

The Chronicle editorial board has never said anything critical of the members of the Duke community who waved the CASTRATE” banner; or of the New Black Panthers when they threatened Seligmann.

So I hope you understand my shock when I turned to TC’s editorial page and read that DSED is “this lynch mob?”

Gustafson is now saying he was misquoted but he can understand how Wolf would have misunderstood him.

Gustafson says even small words matter (agreed!) and that he was talking about “a” lynch mob, not “this” lynch mob. [...]
comment: Big thanks John.
The Duke Chronicle ain't been right since they got their new pet mascot, Patsy, the ass kissing politically correct monkey.
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Gabby McGlynn / Duke Chronicle:
Lax DNA lab head leaves post -- Meehan's sudden departure has sparked speculation about the outcome of the lawsuit. Some attorneys have said that Meehan's move is a bad omen for DNA Security, but others believe it will have little impact on the course of the suit.

"I don't think it's going to have any bearing on the lawsuit," Bob Sar, an attorney for the lab, told The Herald-Sun. "I wish it would, but I don't think it will."

James Williams and Bill Thomas, attorneys for two Duke players who were not indicted, said, however, that Meehan's departure will reflect unfavorably on DNA Security.

"What was done in the Duke lacrosse case was an obvious violation of scientific protocol," Thomas told The Herald-Sun. "I think it would jeopardize the accreditation of DNA Security. It seems to pose significant accreditation problems for the company. [Meehan's] departure is not at all surprising."
discussion:
LieStoppers forum: Meehan out of job
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Jon Ham / Right Angles blog:
Where political correctness will take us
-- This is the same logical end, and the explicit goal, of political correctness: To make people afraid to say what you don’t want them to say. [...]
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Neil Shouse & Associates / California Criminal Defense Blog:
Mike Nifong and The Duke Lacross Case -- Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong stated publicly that a small group of lacrosse players from Duke University raped a woman. After putting these young men and the University through a living hell, it was Nifong who was the ultimate wrong doer. He has had his bar license taken from him and he, himself, is facing criminal charges. Don’t fool yourself. The Nifong problem is not isolated to Durham, North Carolina. Quite often, I find reasonable doubt that is clearly obvious in a court file provided by the prosecutor; however, the young and inexperienced prosecutor, fueled by their need for trial experience and/or directed by a supervising district attorney looking to make a name for him or herself pushes the case to trial. Regardless of what the underlying reason is, the issue is people’s lives. [...]
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Willful Ignorance is no defense for Brodhead & Duke

John in Carolina:
Attorney Spilbor Knew; So Did Duke -- Duke President Richard Brodhead and his supporters use Duke Hoax myths to excuse the University's bungled and shamelful "throw them under the bus" response to Crystal Mangum's and Mike Nifong's lies and the prejudices of many of its faculty.

The myth they most frequently use goes something like this:
It was a really, really confusing time. The facts kept changing. The issues were so complex. Who could have known?
. . . I want to recongnize attorney and FOX News consultant Jonna Spilbor for what she posted at Findlaw on April 14, 2006; and for what it helps us understand about Duke University's Hoax response then and now. [...]
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John in Carolina:
Good News at Liestoppers
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John in Carolina:
When’s Duke’s Turn? -- “Winning By Intimidation” is the college fight song of the Academic Left which dominates most campuses and routinely fleeces alumni and friends.

Duke’s alumni and friends, good people, are especially easy to fleece; and not just by faculty Leftists.

Have you watched the last year-and-a-half as Duke caved to Crystal Mangum’s and Mike Nifong’s lies so cravenly that its President, Richard Brodhead, proclaimed whatever the framed students did “was bad enough,” while refusing to say anything critical of Nifong even months after the NC State Bar launched an ethics investigation that led to Nifong’s disbarment?

Yet we’re told by Duke's Development Office that financial giving from alumni and friends is now higher than ever.

That’s why I say Duke alumni and friends are easy to fleece.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Just ask Professors Houston Baker, Kim Curtis, Stanley Fish, Wahneema Lubiano and Charles Piot how easy it is to fleece Duke.
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Then vs. now

John in Carolina:
N&O’s Sheehan & Community Silence --
Dear Ms. Sheehan:

You no doubt recall that on May 18, 2006 racists shouted threats, including death threats, at a young man outside and within the Durham County Courthouse where he’d gone to participate in a proceeding following his indictment for rape and other felonies.

The racists – members of the New Black Panthers Party and others – were so bold that in a crowded courtroom they shouted “dead man walking.”

Britian’s The Guardian reported the young man at that point "blanched."

The community response to the young man’s torment was silence.

The President of Duke University where Reade Seligmann was a student said nothing critical of the racists and nothing supportive of him and his family.

No Duke trustee, top administrator or senior faculty member spoke out. Neither did any Durham public official.

The community’s religious and civic leaders? They were silent too.

And you didn’t write a column about the threats and the silence. [...]
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Gang of 88 copy cat

Damian Guevara / Cleveland Plain Dealer / cleveland.com:
Case prof gets prison for reporting fake hate mail to FBI -- A Case Western Reserve University assistant professor received a six-month prison sentence Friday for falsely reporting to the FBI that she received racially-charged hate mail.

Ramani Sri Pilla must also pay back $66,000 the FBI and university spent investigating the false claims, according to the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd.

Pilla, 41, of Cleveland Heights, taught statistics at the school since 2002. She told FBI investigators that between August 2006 and February 2007, she received four hate letters, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Rowland wrote in court documents.

Pilla, who is Indian, named three co-workers as possible suspects and said the letters were likely retaliation for making discrimination complaints to the university, according to documents. Pilla also sued in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, accusing the school of not protecting her.

She later admitted that she wrote the letters and sent them to herself. [...]
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Neal Best / Watchdog blog / Newsday:
NY Times columnist to leave for SI gig -- Columnist Selena Roberts is leaving The New York Times and is headed for Sports Illustrated, which recently lost its star columnist, Rick Reilly, to ESPN.

The Bristol Stompers also were interested in landing Roberts, but she evidently resisted their charm$, something few newspaper sports journalists have been able to do in recent months and years.

At last Selena can join the recent Times alumni club at SI, which includes Damon Hack and Lee Jenkins. [...]
comment: Roberts can join the proven liar, SI legal analyst Lester Munson, as part of the SI Pants on Fire Squad.
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bum's Rush — Nov. 17, 2007

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  • New Record Set for Storing Hydrogen in Material for Fuel Cells

    Though we're likely still a long ways off that vaunted hydrogen economy, it's been encouraging to witness the string of breakthroughs in storage and production technology that have taken place over the last few months. Now a team of scientists from the University of Virginia,…

  • Katrina and Rita Responsible for Nation's Worst Ever Forestry Disaster

    Image courtesy of WaPo's Kevin Clark As devastating as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may have been, the amount of pain and destruction they inflicted on Louisiana and Mississippi may have just been a prelude to the larger ecological disaster they now pose. Though largely unreported until now, new…

  • Living Without Credit

    Picture this: I’m 18, going to college, living 3,000 miles away from home. I stop in at a music store and fiddle around with one of the keyboards there. It’s nice. I strike up a conversation with one of the salespeople. He’s nice. He asks if I’d like to buy the keyboard I’m playing. I tell…

  • How to Study Less by Learning Things Once

    You read over your notes. Then you read them over again. Then you read them over a third time. Then you take the test and are surprised at just how much you missed. Despite reading everything three times! A lot of study time is wasted because of one problem: you fail to learn things the first time…

  • Take your Christmas back

    It is well into November and the world is ramping up its Christmas hype. We are bombarded with Christmas food, Christmas gifts, Christmas expectations and Christmas pressure. This can be one of the best times of year, but many people end up overcome by stress, guilt, molten credit cards and broken…

  • Lifehack Digest for November 14

    Force Yourself To Save! 15 Painless Ways To Pay Yourself First The Digerati Life offers up a list of tips about building your savings. While some of the advice you’ve heard before — “pay yourself first” — TDL explains how to move from cliche to action. Tags: finance money advice saving …

  • How to Email a Stranger

    Way back in July of this year, I suggested that one way to add kick to a research paper was to consult an expert. A lot of people disagree with this, imagining, I think, a flood of sloppy emails from students begging the experts to do their homework for them. That was never my intention, of course…

  • Links for Friday, November 16th

    Google Trends Reveals People’s Predictability - The correlation between searches on “rain” and “depression” is fascinating. apophenia: algorithms for dumb security questions - Great idea for creating a reusable “security question” pattern. (cf. previously here ) [via anarchaia ] …

  • VIDEO: Nissan GT-R Gran Turismo-inspired video display in action

    Filed under: LA Auto Show , Videos , Supercars , Nissan click above image to view video of the Nissan GT-R's display in action Our friends from Fast Lane Daily had the opportunity to get intimate with Nissan's US-spec GT-R at the 2007 LA Auto Show, and although we've gone over every…

  • Top five upcoming tech gadgets for cops

    Filed under: Gadgets , Government/Legal , Tech , Police/Emergency Many criminals today have tools to evade capture, and now tech companies are doing their best to help law enforcement catch up. License-reading cameras, infrared lights, GPS tracking, enhanced communications, and WMD sensors are…

  • For shame! Cupholder option in new Lotus Exige S

    Filed under: Coupes , Lotus We were as taken-aback as the blokes over at Autocar when they discovered that the new, Performance Pack-equipped, Lotus Exige S came with an optional cup-holder. "It can't be true!" we screamed to the God of Oversteer, but it is, and although it's as…

  • Racer X Design KC-427 Concept offers modern interpretation of the Cobra

    Filed under: Concept Cars , Time Warp , Tuners , Shelby Nearly four years ago at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show, Ford launched a Cobra Concept with a 6.4-liter V10 and a modern design twist of the classic two-seater. While it was cool to see a modernized version of the original, it still lacked the…

  • LA 2007: Audi's 5.2L V10 FSI engine on display

    Filed under: LA Auto Show , Tech , Audi While browsing the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show we discovered Audi's 5.2L V10 FSI engine in all its 450 hp glory. It was perched on a stand in the Audi booth mated to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, and was strategically displayed amongst the…

  • Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka comes to the US

    There are a few Bison Grass vodkas out there, but there's only one made from Bison Grass located in Europe's last primeval forest. The vodka has been made in Poland since the 14th Century and is now coming to the U.S. A herd of 400 Bison live in the forest where the grass is taken from, so…

  • Kahlua Party Tips

    Probability is, you want your parties to be as fun as mine rather than the kind that the people only show up to because you're holding their small animals hostage and threatened to sell them to a gourmet restaurant unless they show up. Kahlua's got a new site full of party tips from people…

  • Top 10 Wines for Thanksgiving

    The super-awesome, funkadelic, Natalie MacLean has brought out 10 of the best wines for pairing with turkey. 8 out of the 10 are under US$25, so they won't leave you feeling like you need to go broke because you invited 25 people over for your roast beast. My favorite? The 2005 Maison Champy…

  • It's Drammies Time Again!

    The Scotch Blog is having their annual awards for various Scotch related activities. This year promises to be bigger and with more categories, you can even submit your own category for consideration. It's a true People's Choice award! How else can Tom Cruise win an award for something? So…

  • Bambu Rum

    David Kanbar's uncle was the founder of Skyy Vodka and he later became an executive at the company. Once he left Skyy, he started his own Gin and is now moving on to his own rum. The rum is labeled as "Rum for vodka drinkers" as it is triple-filtered and distilled four times.…

  • Download Squad Week in Review

    Filed under: Weekend Review "Have login, will travel" reads the card of a modern geek. Although Download Squad didn't technically go anywhere this week, we did scour the web for the downloads, news and views you need to stay current. Miss something? Fear not. Here are the highlights…

  • MPlayer being ported to Windows Mobile

    Filed under: Video , Windows Mobile , Freeware , Open Source , Mobile Minute MPlayer is probably the most powerful and versatile media player for Linux. Many popular Linux and Windows media players like SMPlayer and KMPlayer are built on MPlayer. And thanks to amitv_17 at the XDA-Developers forum ,…

  • Mister Wong offers empty bottle for charity

    Filed under: Fun , Internet , Social Software , web 2.0 Well here's an idea you don't see every day. Geekdom superhero Tim O'Reilly stopped by the shoomze-booth of social bookmarking site Mister Wong at the recent Web 2.0 Expo and the forward thinking gents at the booth snagged the…

  • Together 2.0 - organize your stuff easily

    Filed under: Utilities , Macintosh , Productivity , Shareware Earlier this week we previewed Bento , the new personal database application by FileMaker. Today we take a look at another Leopard-only Mac application aimed at keeping your files organized and easy to find: Together 2.0 . Together,…

  • What programs do you load after a clean Windows install? - Ask DLS

    Filed under: Audio , Internet , Security , Utilities , Video , Windows , Office , Productivity , Commercial , Freeware , Ask DLS Here at Download Squad HQ, we install and uninstall a lot of applications, tweak a lot of settings, and do a whole bunch of other things that generally makes Windows…

  • Extra, Extra

    Today on the Gothamist Newsmap : a scaffolding collapse on 127th St. and Morningside Ave. in Manhattan, a stabbing at East 96th St. and Rutland Ave. in Brooklyn, and a shooting on Guy R. Blvd. in Queens. That huge fire visible across the Hudson last night was a blaze that consumed a sailboat docked…

  • With Writers Still on Strike, Much of SNL Staff Fired

    Wait a minute, didn't Brian Williams host Saturday NIght Live just two weeks ago, the one where Barack Obama appeared in the opening ? Yes, but with the Writers Guild strike still on, Saturday Night Live decided to revisit the recent past, versus dig into old "Best of" clip shows. The…

  • Cop Busted As Drug Dealer Enabler

    An NYPD detective was arrested in the breaking up of a Bronx drug ring this week. The bust was comprehensive and prosecutors are alleging that officer James Calderon used his inside knowledge of police activities to enable crack and heroin dealers to operate with relative impunity. James Calderon…

  • When Robbers Steal From Open Houses

    We knew open houses were fun for some people, but they offer goods ripe for the stealing. Last weekend, an Upper West Side apartment, where a real estate broker was holding an open house, was robbed by a pair of thieves posing as potential buyers. Prudential Douglas Elliman vice president Heddings…

  • Television Watching: Fox Porn, Rather, Strike, Rural Imus

    Fox News Porn Robert Greenwald, the man behind the 2004 documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism which concluded that Fox News Channel is biased to the right based on memos and footage from the network, is at it again. This time around he is using clips from the channel culled from…

  • Best Maps of the Week [Recap]

    • Getting Cheesy in Berlin • Cheap & Chic London Hotels • The Best Fries in LA • Getting More Airline Miles at Restaurants & Bars on LA's Westside • The LA Girl's Guide to Makeup Shopping • 'Sex...

  • Act Like a Kid in LA [Los Angeles]

    Sometimes the responsibilities of adulthood become too much to bear: setting your own bedtime, drinking, clubbing, spending money, and having sex can just get overwhelming. So every once in awhile,...

  • Kyla Ebbert, the young lassie tossed off ... [Sex]

    Kyla Ebbert, the young lassie tossed off a Southwest flight for her revealing outfit, was later readmitted to the flight after adjusting her wardrobe. That didn't stop her from making the talk-show...

  • 10 Ways to Keep Warm in Berlin [Berlin]

    Last weekend, Berlin had its first snowfall of the season. Big wet flakes came down and splatted on the ground, promptly melting to form a sort of bog with the fallen and now rotting leaves. Having...

  • DC's Best Falafel [Washington DC]

    DC without partisan sparring is like Rudy Giuliani without divorce papers. If it's not happening now, look for it in the next five minutes. But if there's one thing all District residents should...

  • Cinematical Seven: Best Adapted Screenplays, 1997-2007

    Filed under: Awards , Cinematical Seven , Lists There's a pretty informative story about how, after getting the gig to adapt his own novel The Cider House Rules , John Irving sat down feeling fairly confident, thinking something to the effect that "Hey, all I have to do is re-type who…

  • Retro Cinema: Straight Time

    Filed under: Drama , Warner Brothers , Retro Cinema Ah, Dustin! If you've only been exposed to the latter-day, comic Dustin Hoffman ( Meet the Fockers , Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium ) or the better-known, showy Dustin ( Rain Man , Tootsie ), then Straight Time will be a pleasant…

  • Jenkins & Linney Talk About 'The Savages'

    Filed under: Comedy , Drama , Newsstand The first feature from Tamara Jenkins , the Natasha Lyonne-headed Slums of Beverly Hills was a pretty darned decent late-90s film. Alan Arkin. Marisa Tomei. Jessica Walter. Mena Suvari. The cast rocked, and the film was dysfunctional fun. So, hearing that…

  • Some Movies Like Cell Phones

    Filed under: Tech Stuff , Exhibition The dreaded cell phone -- it's one of the big cinema no-no's that gets ignored over and over again. It's almost guaranteed that at some point in any moviegoing experience, a phone will ring. It's one of the long list of reasons that many people…

  • Review: The Life of Reilly

    Filed under: Comedy , Documentary , Independent , Theatrical Reviews I love this movie. I don't say those four words often, so I had to put them first. And isolate them. While watching The Life of Reilly I laughed my hardest since Superbad . I also got seriously choked up for the second time at…

  • It's Filled With Flaxy Goodness [Barry Awaits His Cut]

    Sales of flax seed oil have gone through the roof thanks to the constant coverage of one Barry Bonds. "We've doubled our revenues since last year," said Stephanie Stober of www.flaxusa.com, based in...

  • To Watch Tonight [Chinese Fire Drill]

    What to watch while wondering why the Chinese government has to ruin everybody's fun... • Boxing: Super Featherweights, Humberto Soto vs. Joan Guzm├ín. Demetrius Hopkins highlights the...

  • A Busy Day In the Blogosphere [Blogdome]

    • Want to own Mike Vick's dog fighting compound? Of course you do--sign here. [100% Injury Rate] • An action packed retrospective on the great Dale Hunter [Food Court Lunch] • If...

  • Hugh II: The Nedessey Continues... Part 3 [I'm Not Eligible For The Award For 3 Weeks]

    I don't know if this qualifies for today's Hugh, but during last night's Nevada-Hawaii game, I couldn't control my laughter everytime the color guy said "WAC Offensive Player of the Week." -efelde84...

  • Cherundolo's Goal Is the Difference In Johannesburg [Soccer Closer]

    The US Men's National Team earned a victory over South Africa this morning (at least it was this morning here, I think it was tomorrow there). A 27th minute goal scored off of a Steve Cherundolo run...

  • Devin Harris is not on the All Star Ballot ?

    Can someone please explain to me how and why Devin Harris is not even on the All Star Ballot ? I don't know who actually puts the ballots together. Supposedly its a bunch of media members ( which may be all the explanation I need) who decide who is on or off. No matter, its a sure bet none of…

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