Friday, December 21, 2007

Latest Suit & Reader Comments

I promised something tonight responding to the extremely thoughtful comments on the thread of this post: Local Coverage of Latest Suit.

What I’m about to offer isn’t as good as it ought to be because it’s a busy time of year. But I’ve reviewed what I’m posting here and think it’s a “not too bad” response I’ll stand with.

Now to begin:

In one way or another, most of you commenting have made clear you see the suit filed two days ago by attorney Bob Ekstrand on behalf of three unindicted Duke students who played on the University’s 2006 Men lacrosse as an action that moves the Hoax case into “a new world”

I agree.

Ekstrand’s brief on the students’ behalf absolutely rejects the Allen Building/Chronicle/MoveOn.Duke storyline which has Brodhead struggling in “a confusing time” when, as he told the late Ed Bradley during a 60 Minutes interview, “the facts kept changing.”

Ekstrand’s brief doesn’t make any “facts kept changing” claims or concessions. It asserts laws and procedures were ignored and violated by many.

And who were they?

They weren’t just those we’ve all come to agree did such things – Nifong, Gottlieb, Himan, Meehan, Addison, DPD supervisors, and Baker.

They included the most powerful and senior of Duke’s trustees and administrators who acted in cooperation with the maleficents I’ve just named.

Ekstrand calls the collective of Duke University officers led by BOT chair Robert Steel and president Richard Brodhead, Durham City and Durham Police personal led by city manager Patrick Baker and police chief Steve Chalmers, and others “the Consortium.”

He asserts they cooperated and conspired against his clients while acting to convince the public they were acting to promote a fair and legal criminal investigation.

Examples of what Ekstrand’s taling about:

He documents Duke’s responsibility for the investigation of Mangum’s lies based on NC Statue and DU/DPD common practice. Thus, DU’s Police Department began the investigation of Mangum’s lies and quickly concluded they were just that.

Enter BOT chair Bob Steel who, Ekstrand asserts, directed DUPD to cover-up its investigation and finding, and to cede “authority” to investigate to DPD.

Ekstrand’s brief’s a long read but extremely interesting.

It’s too bad our local news organizations - mainly the Raleigh N&O and the Durham H-S (The Chronicle won’t publish until after the New Year) – won’t press Duke even half as hard to explain what it did as they pressed for the cancellation of the lacrosse team’s season.

To the commenters who noted Steel directed an awful lot of Duke's response (no surprise) but pushed to turn over the case from DUPD to DPD, I’ll say this:

I'm surprised Steel get involved in that kind of act so directly that Ekstrand would be confident enough of what Steel did to name him in the brief as doing it.

One commenter said: "Uglier" and Dukier."


An alum friend asked offline what I thought of Bob Ekstrand?

Here’s part of my response:

Bob Ekstrand knows what he's doing.

He is, by virtue of training and experience, IMO, one of the best, if not the best, attorneys this second 3 could have retained.

Bob knows Duke, Durham and "the street."

He knows the relevant past - eg. Gottlieb's treatment of Duke students compared to their treatment by other DPD officers.

And he knows the people who know Gottlieb has abused Dukies and those in Durham who supported what Gottlieb did.

So he knows where to go to find witnesses to support what he’s saying; and he knows who to subpoena to expose how Gottlieb was able to do a lot of what he did before and during the Hoax.
I think that fits with what a lot of the commenters have been saying.

Also this from another email I sent today to let some folks know what I was seeing here in Durham:
Concerning reaction here to Ekstrand's suit: if I were to lump everything I've heard from people at Duke, attorneys here and others who are following the case closely, it would come out as an attitude shift by those people in the direction of seeing the case as "uglier and Dukier."

I haven't talked with anyone who hasn't been moved in that direction.

Even MoveOn.Duke folks are saying things like, "This is something Duke's going to have to deal with," and they don't mean the suit itself.

They mean matters Ekstrand stated in his filing.

Sometimes they acknowledge that explicitly but always its apparent in their tone of voice and body language.

And something else: I've said to just about everyone I've talked to something like this: "If just half of what's being claimed in that filing is right, it's much worse than we thought."

No one's disagreed with that, and everyone has come back with an add-on type comment.

And finally something else: I've said to most people something like: "As I was reading the filing, I kept asking myself: ‘Where was Duke’s counsel's office during all of this?’"

To a person, everyone's come back with something like: "Well, if you were doing what they were doing at Duke, you wouldn't want the counsel's office involved."
Folks, I’m sorry this isn’t better organized.

But I’ll stand with it.

Now it’s your turn.


Anonymous said...


Once again, it ain't a "hoax." The correct term is FRAME. I shall keep reminding you until you get it correct. And you know what a pest (a friendly pest, to be sure) I can be...

Walter Abbott

RedMountain said...

Do you think that Steel made the decision to cede this case to the DPD based on a desire to see innocent students prosecuted? Or did he try to make a decision that he felt was the best for Duke as a whole based on what was known at the time? My opinion is that Duke wanted an impartial look at this case because they didn't want to be accused of covering up a crime that was becoming a hot topic in the public domain and didn't want their investigation being perceived as favoring their students over the accuser. I don't believe they thought the DPD would prosecute a case that had no evidence of a crime.
I do think the initial investigation by the Duke Police did show that no sexual assault happened but I don't think the investigation was complete. I also think they felt the Durham Police would reach the same conclusion based on what they were hearing. And I believe they felt the Durham Police had more resources to do a full and impartial investigation without giving the appearance of favoritism. It would also seem that they were not pleased by the party, strippers, and underage drinking in the first place but I do not believe that they ever wanted these players to go to jail for a serious crime that never happened.

The idea of a "consortium", some type of vast conspiracy involving multitudes of co-conspirators is an exaggeration, in my opinion.

Enoch said...

I have a number of thoughts, John.
1. The breadth of this suit will make the normal closing of ranks, the wall of solidarity that you might expect from Duke and Durham, difficult. The net is big. Discovery will be huge. The potential for someone to disclose new and damaging information is high. The principal defendants will have to extend indemnity to everyone on the list to keep the defense coordinated.
2. I agree that the conspiracy argument seems a stretch. If it's true then the whole thing is just that much worse.
3. Duke had no desire to send their students to jail BUT, they were perfectly willing to let that happen to guard their interests. Duke is highly exposed by actions that protected Duke by unfairly exposing the students to harm and by actions that attempted to cover up their decisions. The key is to get past the surface decisions to the background communications and to the conversations that led to those decisions. Broadhead is likely dead meat through the process.
4. I would think that Duke saw the suit or knew its substance before it was filed. This means that either Duke was unwilling to settle (unlikely given their history) or that the students are asking for more than a few bucks. This makes the students and this suit dangerous, a dagger poised at the throat of the Dukies and the City. The students are young, not especially motivated by money and ready to fight to set things right. Bend over Durham.
5. Don't forget that there is are other players out there who will also file. Expect a different approach from them but one that will make defending two suits with two different approaches highly difficult for the defendants.

Anonymous said...

I agree with redmountain on the reasoning for turning the investigation over to DPD. Duke needed to stay out of the investigation.

Political Correctness was the driving factor. Duke couldn't be seen as supporting "these hooligans", even if the constitution of the United States was on their side. After all, the constitution means what the PC types say it means.

Once in the hands of the DPD and Nifong, the boys only hope was exposure to the light. Whatever monitary award anyone gets out of this fiasco above expenses should be used to set up a watchdog group to keep the press honest.

The press was a willing accomplice and the catalyst that fanned the fires of racism and prejudice.

This latest case will no doubt bring the whole sordid mess out into the open as each defendant grabs for materials and evidence with which to cover there butts.

Anonymous said...

John, Organized well enough!

Thank you for your commentary, and for the read on "the street" in Durham.

Uglier and Dukier.... and apt description for a sorry and sad situation.

It's time to clean house!

Anonymous said...

To redmountain...

You say, "...I do not believe that they ever wanted these players to go to jail for a serious crime that never happened."

The point is not whether Steel, Brodhead, and others within the Duke administration WANTED the players to go to jail. The point is that they were willing to SIT BY AND LET IT HAPPEN, if doing so prevented Duke from being placed in the hard position of having to take a stand in support of civil liberty protections for its students.

After all, as Steel supposedly said to one of the lax parents, "If they (the three lacrosse players) are convicted at trial, they can always get this cleared up on appeal".

Cold blooded heartlessness... and gutless to boot!

RedMountain said...

To anon at 7:42. I am not sure if the driving factor would be Political Correctness. I think it was more of a PR thing than a PC thing.
To anon at 8:00. In ref to your cold blooded heartless comment. Many times leaders make decisions that favor the company or the team that may seem that way to some of the individuals involved. I believe he felt the good of the university was the main priority here. And sometimes that decision draws heavy critisism in light of new information.

Anonymous said...

There is strong evidence that there was a conspiracy, at least at some levels, e.g. the fraudulent scheme to cover up the unlawful release of the key card information and Levicy's changing stories,and falsifying medical records after the fact to support Nifong's ever changing and weakening case.

Steel's statement to Jason T.that Duke wanted the case to go to trial was made in Sept., 2006 when all but the most biased and hate filled people knew the case was a hoax. Steel knew this certainly by early April, 2006. The argument that he was willing to have 3 innocent students face the real possibility of 30 years in prison for the good of the institution does not wash. In fact if Duke stood up for the students' rights from the beginning, it would not be in this mess right now.


Anonymous said...

There is strong evidence that there was a conspiracy, at least at some levels, e.g. the fraudulent scheme to cover up the unlawful release of the key card information and Levicy's changing stories,and falsifying medical records after the fact to support Nifong's ever changing and weakening case.

Steel's statement to Jason T.that Duke wanted the case to go to trial was made in Sept., 2006 when all but the most biased and hate filled people knew the case was a hoax. Steel knew this certainly by early April, 2006. The argument that he was willing to have 3 innocent students face the real possibility of 30 years in prison for the good of the institution does not wash. In fact if Duke stood up for the students' rights from the beginning, it would not be in this mess right now.


Anonymous said...

Was the case a "hot topic" before the Durham Police Dept. took over? I have not followed this case as closely as some, but it seems to me to be a better PR move to let a ridiculous allegation die an early death rather than fan it into a raging inferno so that you can not be accused of covering up a crime. If the Duke Police Dept's conclusion (which was correct) had been followed, we never would have known CGM, KC Johnson or Mike Nifong etc. So the question is: was this a "hot topic" and therefore was turned over or did it become a hot topic because it was turned over.

Brant Jones said...

I think it was more of a PR thing than a PC thing.

PC drove the PR.

The PC side (be they tenured radicals or the NAACP) are expert at making a media-attracting fuss and throwing charges of "racism" that the press will treat as true until proven otherwise, and then ignore the proof otherwise.

The university administration is terrified of "scenes," whereas the PC side actively enjoys them. Thus PC has the practical power to rule the university.

Anonymous said...

Red Mountain:

I read your initial post. I think you are a rational man attemping to explain Duke's actions from from an institutional standpoint.

Sadly, I think you are wrong.

All evidence from Day 1 indicates Duke has been hijacked by the race/gender/class part of the political class. There was never any attempt, as far as we can see now, from Duke to reign in the extremists on the campus. A university president won't meet with parents? Professors are buying ads and distributing wanted posters? Incredibly, even today, we see hate filled revisionist letters/columns being written without any worry of consequences by Duke professors. That's a university protecting itself? How does one explain all the Nifong support actions from so many different parties?

I will submit a more reasonable expanation for the scenerio. BOT chair Steel is part of the extremist element.

With that single piece of the puzzle in place, all the other actions by Brodhead, the professors, the students, and the Duke police are explained.

Until the latest suits were filed, I had my suspicions, but now I think I am right. That's why he and his secretary have been named and why Duke refused to settle. He's also the one person to have had some influence over the local papers, the local police and any federal involvement.

Its starting to look like we have found the hidden puppetmaster for the frame.


RedMountain said...

To Brent @ 8:56 and the question of when it became a "hot topic"-this form the complaint "After Mangum’s allegations became a national media story, the Duke University Defendants and Durham Police Defendants conspired, agreed, and understood that the Duke Police Department would abandon its investigation of Mangum’s false claims, and cede the investigation to Sgt. Mark D. Gottlieb, a known rogue officer, who, upon information and belief, only weeks before, was taken off the patrol beat due to his abusive tactics with Duke students" (p. 33)

To Ken @ 9:11,
I appreciate your comments, and you are correct that if I am wrong then it will indeed be 'sad'. I will admit that it is possible, but I won't change my opinion without proof. At this point, I still consider it to be highly improbable.

Anonymous said...

Red Mountain:

"At this point, I still consider it to be highly improbable."

I put forth my hypothesis mainly based on actions of the university. However, there were non actions that speak just as loudly. How could the entire law section of Duke remain silent even to this day? I have not ignored Colemen but the entire group seems cowed. How is/was that possible?

You may not have run into wealthy powerful exteremist PC types. I have. I am cursed with one as one of my relatives. You may think my scenerio seems improbable. Let me say that the world is brimming with these types.

I believe nothing happened at Duke without Steel's approval.


Ralph Phelan said...

redmountain -

The claim that Steel & Brodhead were acting in their perception of the institution's best interest (which they saw as avoiding bad PR and appeasing the politically powerful of Durham so they could get the zoning variance they wanted) may explain a lot of their actions.

But it fails to explain some singular inactions:

Based on university rules they had quite a bit of power to tell the radical faculty to STFU already (like "or else we'll make a formal complaint about you misusing university funds to pay for the 'Listening Ad.'") So why didn't they?

And certainly I'd have expected some retaliation against the radicals for helping create a negative PR situation for Duke - instead they've all received promotions, increases in funding and authority for their programs, etc.

The speculation that the radicals have political allies all the way to the top of Duke's power structure is starting to look pretty plausible.

Anonymous said...

Redmountain, it seems to me that what you quote also raises my question. It seems improbable that the Duke Police Dept. would have made what they deemed a groundless allegation into a national media story. Your theory works if the defendants of the new suit had nothing to do with the publicity of CGM's allegation. But the quote you gave seems to imply that Duke and the Durham PD were responsible for the case's publicity because why would the Duke PD make a big deal of a groundless allegation?

Brant Jones

Ralph Phelan said...


After what happened to Larry Summers I can readily believe that Brodhead (and pretty much any other university president in the US) is totally 'whipped' by their tenured radicals.

But the BOT is a whole 'nother story. They're the real bosses. If they're going along, it's because they choose to.

Anonymous said...

Discovery goes both ways, Can't wait to see the disciplinary files on these three, especially MW. Should be pretty interesting. Barry Sanders' 12/20 N&O column hit the proverbial nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

So you are in favor of ad-hominem arguments? Interesting.

Brant Jones

Anonymous said...

For some reason I think Redmountain is Stuart Rojstaczer @ fortyquestions....

The PR slant makes me think so, but, hey....I probably wrong, but this is fun!!!!

Anonymous said...


Beer, Beer, and more Beer...

It's not illegal....

As a matter of fact, I'm drinking one right now you L7!!!!

Anonymous said...

I understand , from a reliable source,that the leaders of the NC Methodist Church are very sympathetic to and supportive of the PC way of thinking. Under Duke's Charter the Church elects 24 of the 37 members of Duke's Board of Trustees. And as specified in Ekstrand's complaint, Duke's clergy (Methodists as well as Catholics ) were very unchristian toward the players as they joined in the rush to condemn.

Politics at many levels ( within Duke, Durham, NC and even at the federal level)drove the insidious actions against the lacrosse players.

Anonymous said...

10:33 AM - what a clown!

So you really can't wait to see disciplinary files on MW? You must lead a very dull life.

I imagine that the three families behind the Eckstrand lawsuit have thought long and hard about the lengths to which John Burness and similar Duke-affiliated "hatchet people" will go to disparage their reputations.

MW's father is a professor at Duke. It is almost certain that he decided to place the importance of restorative justice for his son about concerns over his career. Do you really think that he will be cowed by your interest in MW's disciplinary file.

Bug off.

Ralph Phelan said...

Can't wait to see the disciplinary files on these three, especially MW.

Unless those files include gang-rape, publicizing them can only improve the plaintiffs' reputation.

Anonymous said...

Discovery goes both ways, Can't wait to see the disciplinary files on these three, especially MW. Should be pretty interesting. Barry Sanders' 12/20 N&O column hit the proverbial nail on the head.

10:33 AM

Actually, we saw whatever "disciplinary" information would be "relevant" in the Coleman Report AND Ekstrand's complaint. Ryan McFadyen was well-thought-of by his professors and was (and is) an excellent student.

Duke and racists like Barry Saunders have gone out of their way to portray McFadyen and the others as a bunch of thugs, which is not true. The real thugs were the Durham police and Nifong.

I wonder if Barry Saunders ever made jokes about the Duke 3 getting raped in prison. Just wondering.

Ralph Phelan said...

You may not have run into wealthy powerful exteremist PC types. I have. I am cursed with one as one of my relatives.

Teresa Heinz-Kerry

Do you have any references on this topic - how widespread they are, why they exist, etc.? I have seen the term "trust-fund liberal" floating around out there, but it sounds like you're talking about a phenomenon occuring at an even higher wealth level.

RedMountain said...

To Anon @ 12:33 and your question re Barry Saunders ever making a joke about the Duke 3 gettin raped in prison. If he has, I haven't seen it. I have however seen jokes about Nifong getting raped in prison, which was not one of the prouder moments for that particular board. Emotions tend to run high on both sides of this case, and jumping to conclusions and sterotyping people is common.

I tend to be skeptical of everything I read in the mainstream media just as I tend to be skeptical of this lawsuit, certainly at least until I see some of the defendants responses to it. I do believe the American justice system will sort this out and I am rooting hard for justice in this case. From a historical perspective, I think this case is very important and I believe it is even more imprtant that we get the true history here.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, thoughtful comments and debate

Anonymous said...


=>Do you have any references on this topic - how widespread they are, why they exist, etc.? <=

I don't know if you are serious or being facetious. However, IMO it is a strange phenomenon.

I grew up with a Long Island liberal who went off the reservation totally as he grew older. Why he went in that direction I'll never understand. Outwardedly, he is a professional in every sense wih a wonderful education. Excellent speaker with a sharp logical brain...until it comes to political causes. Then it becomes a war, literally. It has nothing to do with BDS or righting past wrongs. I have come to the conclusion that its a mental condition. I can provide no other explanation.

Relative to Bob Steel, he could be a professional rational person outwardly and a raging off the ledge liberal internally. You just cannot tell from appearances.

That's why I made the comment to Red Mountain.


RedMountain said...

To Ken @ 1:26,
I did see your comment and I believe you have more experience with this than I have. From my little experience, it is possible to be both rational and a liberal at the same time, something you may have not seen evidence of in your neck of the woods.

no justice, no peace said...

The following is something I posted on DIW several months ago regarding crisis management. It was before I was aware the CMT was organized so it does not mention the BOT, but the fact they were organized and did such a poor job reinforces their poor crisis management performance.

Managing the Crisis You Tried to Prevent - Norman Augustine,

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune:
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries…” – Julius Caesar, Wm. Shakespeare

Six Stages of Crisis Management,

1. Avoid the Crisis: “...chronic carelessness stems from a blind spot common among executives - and especially chief executive officers: They actually believe that they are in control of their companies’ fortunes…Make a list of everything that could attract troubles to the business…Discretion and privacy can be critical to avoiding some kinds of crisis...”

Brodhead and the Gang of 88 fail.

2. Preparing to Manage a Crisis: “…should view and plan for the inevitability of a crisis in much the same way one views and plans for the inevitability of death and taxes not out of weakness or fear, but out of the strength that comes from knowing you are prepared to…play the hand that fate deals you.”- Steven Fink “We must make plans for dealing with crises; action plans, communication plans, fire drills, essential relationships…”

Elevating the AAAs frauds to Dept status, and electing a Gang of 88 bigoted racist to lead the faculty hardly rates as properly preparing to manage a crisis. Encouraging the students to meet with the DPD without counsel and allowing the police into the dorms are, we may soon discover, criminal.

3. Recognizing the Crisis: “…If you can keep your head when all about you are losing their, its just possible you haven’t grasped the situation” – humorist Jean Kerr. “ Companies sometimes misclassify a problem, focusing on the technical aspects and ignoring issues of perception…”…”Are you going to believe what you see, or what I’m telling you?” – Groucho Marx

It is clear the leadership believes the race/gender/class warfare b.s.

4. Containing the Crisis: “…stop the hemorrhaging. This is the phase in which the tough decisions have to me made and made fast…”

This assumes one has a leader to make the tough decisions. Duke does not have a leader.

5. Resolving the Crisis: “In this stage speed is of the out independent experts who took (take) the facts to the public…”
Lethargic efforts by an inept administration that not only allowed the story to be presented by fraudulent liars, but continues to do so in spite of the overwhelming evidence that another liar manufactured a story.

6. Profiting from the Crisis: “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes” – Oscar Wilde,,…”If a company has handled the previous steps flawlessly (that is, has not somehow managed to make the crisis even worse), the sixth stage offers an opportunity to recoup some losses…”

“The bottom line of my own experience with crisis can be summarized in just seven words: tell the truth and tell it fast.” - Augustine

The lack of leadership, transparency, governance, and allowing a small, vocal fraudulent minority to be the voice of the University is pitiful. Duke deserves everything it has coming.

Character is judged by ones action and inactions. In this crisis Duke has earned an “F”.

RedMountain said...

To no justice, no peace. The people that count gave them a 'P' for Pass. Sadly, you grade doesn't count, despite your terrific post. I believe they deserve a poor grade as well, but the jury may ultimately decide what Duke "deserves' because of this. Not all of the essay has been turned in for judgement yet.

Anonymous said...

redmountain - of course it is possible to be rational and liberal at the same time.

But it is also possible to compartmentalize one's thoughts, remaining quite rational in most aspects of life, but losing all rationality in the desparate need to believe illusions connected to long held beliefs.

What is your theory as to why so many outwardly rational people were so easily misled by Nifong, the deceiver?

As far as I've seen, about the only person involved in this affair to admitedly openly that their predisposed biases left her vulnerable to being misled terribly by Nifong was... Ruth "We know, you know" Sheehan.

Were you one of the misled... in the heat of the early certainty? I would not be surprised.

RedMountain said...

No, I was not misled, I believed the players were innocent from the beginning. I was not certain of that until later than most; that I will admit to. As far as this discussion goes, I just hope not to be misled into believing a vast conspiracy based on accusations.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe you should ever apologize in any way for your work. You have made an invaluable contribution to the effort to find the truth.

Thank you.

resistance said...

Hmmm, interesting discussion, I especially like the names - so creative !!

Ken Dallas, yup that one is familiar
No Justice, No Peace, yup
abb, yup

Red Mountain - nope... now Rouge-mont, that one I know, but I thought the name was Mark or something... Dark Caves on a Vermilion Hillside...

Anonymous said...

Steel's secretary - As Richard Nixon wrote "NOt content to vilify me and my family, they even attacked my little dog Fallo." I think Bob threw mud at everyone, he could think of and is hoping it sticks on some with his allegations. Filing ain't proving, as Nifong found out.

Anonymous said...

You are a Historian - ever see a "conspiracy" like this stay quiet for almost two years?

resistance said...

I'm not a Historian, but I am around a large number of conspiracies - mostly in business, where the stakes can be pretty intense. And yes, I have seen them stay quiet for a lot longer than a mere few years! It simply turns on how much people's interests can be damaged by having the matters leak. Stopping all the holes for people who have little at stake - not so much. On the other hand, those leaks are typically subterranean, and impossible to confirm. And there are always a lot of people invested to poo-poo any such rumours!
And that is what I am seeing here. There have been little leaks all the way along - quiet postings on various sites, people carefully offering hints, reported conversations from people who are friends of friends, or that were met in a bar.
Two of the measures of a theory are its explanatory power, and its predictive power. And then the theory gets researched, and evidence provided if obtainable. I think they call that process discovery.

LaRrY said...

I think everyone will agree that no one thought this was a rape case until Gotlieb got on the scene. He arrived long after the fact of CGM was making up her many stories. In fact, it was concluded by both the Duke and Durham PD that no rape occurred. Everyone agreed. My guess is that all the cops were talking about it and making irrational remarks about white Duke students and a black female fake rape. Gotlieb got involved to find CGM's stolen property. It would not surprise me then to think that very soon after gotlieb picked up the case Gotlieb and nifong informally decided to pursue the rape aspect of this case. ( I beleive nifong new about this case long before he claims he knew about it ) Gotliebs interest was for screwing Duke students and nifongs interest for winning an election. At this point someone told Duke cops to back off of the case because the DPD (gptlieb, et al.) were going to follow thru on the lies of rape. At that point our friends Steel and Brodhead came up with their plan to deny any involvement (oops, investigation) and run from any responsibility for the case and assuring the DPD full cooperation by anyone from Duke. This is when Alleva clearly saw that it was not about the truth anymore.

The rest is history.

Ralph Phelan said...

I don't know if you are serious or being facetious.

Quite serious.

Your relative.

Teresa Heinz-Kerry.

The takeover of the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, etc.

George Soros.

"Trust fund liberals" as a recognized subgroup of the Democratic Party.

The radicalization of a significant fraction of the upper class is an interesting, important, and I would say dangerous phenomenon.

Somebody somewhere must be studying it.

Ralph Phelan said...

From my little experience, it is possible to be both rational and a liberal at the same time,

KC Johnson is a great example of this.
Tip O'neill and Daniel P. Moynihan are good historical examples of Democratic politicians fitting this description.
I'm having trouble thinking of current ones I could respect as much....

Anonymous said...


"The radicalization of a significant fraction of the upper class is an interesting, important, and I would say dangerous phenomenon.

Somebody somewhere must be studying it."

I would hope so.

I mentioned previously that I felt it was a mental condition. My observations are that one part of the brain that controls anger is abnormally stimulated by certain events or stimuli. Rational thought processes are overruled.

Why it becomes evident during political activities I cannot explain. It doesn't seem to be explained by any prior events that may have happened to the individual. (e.g. I would suggest that most/all of the potbangers and banner carriers at Duke had not been victims of prior sexual assaults. Yet they demonstrated as if they had.)

My own hypothesis based on discussions with associates is that is is a heredity condition caused by a gene defect. Unfortunately, it appears to be spreading.


resistance said...

Ken re: rationality deficits and anger...

As I understand it, fear, anger and anxiety are states that trigger adrenaline. Fear is I believe the most fundamental of the set. Frequently one is less aware of the underlying fear in both anger and anxiety. I view anger as the more aggressive of the two, in that it can arise much more quickly, and be experienced as more intense.

Anxiety is commonly thought of as a more chronic condition, but it also contains a more visible element of fear than does anger.

One of the associated neuro-chemicals for these states is the production of cortisol. Cortisol appears to reduce the availability and efficacy of short term working memory, and also interfere with the formation of longer term episodic memory.

Without full working memory, the rational processes do not work nearly as well. Logic chains lose their cohesion, the definition and subsumed concepts of words shift, and executive functions for monitoring, planning and plan modification diminish. The result is that such people do not always appear rational.

Consciousness-raising sessions use techniques like mild sleep deprivation, over-intense focus, multi-direction bombardment of stimuli. Such things raise anxiety levels. It is far easier to persuade someone of the "rightness" of an idea if you can induce such a state. Consider the success of a certain mustachioed chap from the second world war... That is why he spoke at such length, and in such large rallies. Combined with oratorical rhthym patterns, a suppression of the audiences' cognitive interpretation abilities is not hard to achieve. This is particularly so if you first arouse anxiety in the audience by dwelling on another matter than causes anxiety - lack of living space for the people, and the (alleged)insidious control of a certain religious group.

(I think that is why social activists are so fond of marching and banging on things- rhthym, the group reinforcement, it makes things easier for the activist. And of course the activists reward is a feeling of power - Manju Rajendran (sp) for instance. The audiences'reward is the suppression of cognitive skills, and its replacement with a feeling of rightness and efficacy - usually completely misplaced, but...)

As for why it appears in political settings - I think this is clear. People are anxious, it is a complex world, the rules that once shaped one's life have relaxed in favour of choosing your own destiny . . . The anxiety needs a focus, so some cause is embraced to be the target for the displaced anxiety. Now political effort appears to hold promise of being efficacious against the anxiety, and advancing the cause. So the driving pressure to be politically active. Then, these cause affiliations become your social circle, your raison d'etre, and your identity. This same heightened state of anxiety is one of the drivers behind the popularity of pot these days(not that it wasn't always somewhat popular).

People are caught in cycles of anxiety, displacement, cortisol, and the resulting irrationality. And it feeds on itself - more causes, more pot-banging, less rationality. To the outside observer - more delusion and lunacy.

Just an observation from your local bartender.

Anonymous said...


I liked your analysis. It's very thought provoking.

I think its entirely possible that extremist agendas start with some type of anxiety. As I have mentioned before, I have dismissed environmental variables (with the possible exception of high density living conditions). In thinking it over, however, that may not be quite valid as different individuals obviously have different amounts of anxiety levels that could have been influenced by their family.

Your discussion helps explain some of the irrational behavior of pot bangers and professors who would possibly risk a career for a short extreme public action.

Whatever the cause and effect, I still believe it is a mental abnormality that appears to be spreading.


Ralph Phelan said...

I suspect many of the "conspirators" went along unwillingly, after having it made to clear to them that blowing the whistle would lose them their jobs. For examle - I doubt that the DUPD cops who knew what really happened on the loading dock were happy with the lies they heard told about it ... but they were ordered to keep their mouths shut.

I suspect there are some folks with uncomfortable consciences actively hoping to get subpoenaed so they can finally tell the truth.

RedMountain said...

To ralph phelan,
Do you suspect a conspiracy based on the actual evidence or the hope that something along this line of thinking will be revealed? Is this lawsuit based on wishful thinking with the hope that someone will say something in discovery that will tie them to a conspiracy?

I suspect that many of the named defendants will be dropped prior to the conclusion of this lawsuit, and the numerous members of the 'consortium' of the 'frame' will become the 'hoax' of a few.

Ralph Phelan said...

"Do you suspect a conspiracy based on the actual evidence"

A whole lot of people knew the "overheard it on a loading dock" story was a lie and said nothing.
I'd call that a "conspiracy of silence."

Whether it rises to the legal definition of conspiracy is another question ... we will see at trial.