Saturday, February 17, 2007

Talking with Regulars & Readers – 2-17-07

Readers Note: This is a post in the old web log tradition: just “notes at the end of the day for others who understand the material.” John

JinC Regular and Churchill buff Corwin asked for more Churchill. Others have too.

I’ll post a response to that request in the next week or so. If I don’t, I count on Corwin to say, “Hey, John, remember you said …..”

Regarding the comment thread for “Professor Piot responded.”

I often say the much of the best JinC material is on the threads. That thread proves it.

Take a look if you haven’t already.

In terms of particular comments on that thread ---

Locomotive Breath at 8:18 and 8:40 AM and Anon at 12:47 PM self-identify as having backgrounds as academic journal editors. Their comments are very informative as regards Professor Piot’s inability to make the tape of his Feb. 12 ad hominem available so Professor Johnson and others can respond to Piot’s very serious charges directed at KC Johnson.

KC often looks in at JinC and reads the threads, so he may see the above referenced comments.

In any case, I’m sending him an email as soon as I finish this post calling those comments to his attention.

Re: Wayne Fontes’ comment. It’s “on point.”

But that’s not why I mention it.

Some time back Fontes commented at JinC and I misunderstood his purpose.

I posted an apologia, but the way the net works I’ve never known whether he saw my apol.

In any case, I was glad to see him back and commenting. I hope he lets me know if he sees this.

Kent posting as kbp said in part:

“You did a great job of challenging Piot to supply a record of his comments, but trusting what was reported by you & others that attended, I see no advantage for him to do so.”
I don’t know about the “great” part; and I felt I was really “urging” or “encouraging” Piot but Kent had “the heart” of what I was saying to Piot.

Anon@ 12:12 PM said: “I do suggest you meet with Prof. Piot regardless of his response (or lack thereof) to your questions. Any sort of dialogue with a member of the 88 is a significant step forward.”

Others have made similar comments.

I’ll say more but at this minute I’m being pulled by my wife to get ready meet friends for dinner.

I’ll be back tomorrow morning.

I hope HumboltBlue hangs in there. I want to say some things to him.

I’ll finish on this thread and respond to the Addison threads tomorrow.

Thank you.


Bill Anderson's latest: "Read it all."

Professor and blogger Bill Anderson has another “good one” up. This one begins:

While the State of North Carolina continues to insist that Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty, and David Evans kidnapped and sexually assaulted Crystal Gail Mangum on the night/morning of March 13-14, 2006, the state actually is ignoring real crimes that its own agents and agents of the City of Durham have committed.
Bill then presents documentation and case history to support what he’s saying.

“Read it all,” as Glenn Reynolds says.

Regulars & Readers post later today


Sorry I haven't gotten back to R&R posting.

There are a lot of comments I want to respond to.

I'll do some of that later this afternoon.

Look back in around 6 PM.


A laugh with Liestoppers

Do you all remember a Raleigh News & Observer op-ed written a month or so ago by Cathy N. Davidson, Duke faculty Group of 88 signatory and Ruth F. DeVarney professor of English and interim director and professor of interdisciplinary studies, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University?

Davidson attacked those she called “right-wing ‘blog hooligans.’” She described them as “hateful, ranting and sometimes even threatening folks [who] don't care about Duke or the lacrosse players.”

Just about everyone who’s followed the Duke Hoax ‘debate” concluded Davidson was referring to blogs such as Durham-in-Wonderland, Friends of Duke Univeristy, Johnsville News and Liestoppers.

No one seemed to think Davidson had ol’ JinC in mind when she said “blog hooligans.”

I felt victimized by Davidson. I sent her a very polite email that’s in this post.

I assured Davidson I knew she didn’t mean to do it deliberately, but by not targeting me as a “blog hooligan,” she’d put me in a very embarrassing position as far as fair-minded people were concerned.

I asked Davidson to attack me. Here’s part of what I said:

But if you say JinC is a hooligan blog, people will know you mean it.

I’ll be relieved of my present embarrassment, and the good name of John in Carolina among decent people who value justice will be safe.

So will you please attack my blog by name?

I don’t expect you to do anything as elaborate as taking out a full page ad in The Chronicle or even writing a letter to the Ashley/Nifong Durham Herald Sun.

A brief email response to this letter will do; and I will post it on the main JinC page.

All I need is something like the following:

Dear John in Carolina:

You’re a right-wing blog hooligan.


Cathy N. Davidson
Etc, etc, etc.

If you’ll do that, Professor Davidson, the sun will shine at JinC.

Thank you in advance.
I’ve never heard from Professor Davidson but about a half-hour after the post went up I received a helpful email from the good folks at Liestoppers.

They alerted me that I’d misspelled Davidson’s first name. I had “Kathy” when it’s “Cathy.”

Oops! Sure enough, I’d said “Kathy” instead of “Cathy” four times in the post.

I made the corrections and then sent Liestoppers the following email:
Dear Philip,

Thanks a lot for that katch.

I don’t know how I kould have made such a kareless mistake.

I hope I didn’t make that same mistake when I made up Sgt. Gottlieb’s notes for him.

Will I be embarrassed if he reports he interviewed Krystal Gail Mangum.



Professor Piot responded

Readers Note: Here's a 1,2, 3 post.

1) A post including an email I sent Duke faculty member and Group of 88 signatory Professor Charlie Piot.

2) Professor Piot's prompt and informative response to my email.

3) My response to Professor Piot.

That's followed by a copy of the cover email I sent him with a link to this post.

As most JinC Regulars know, I observe civility and expect commenters to do the same. I'm quick to hit the delete button.

Something else I think most JinC Regulars would say: "John means it when he offers Piot personal good wishes."

Folks, The Regulars are right about that. In fact sometimes they fuss with me because they think I'm a softie.

So be it.

I have very strong disagreements concerning much the Group of 88 did and I have very strong differences concerning what some individual Group of 88 members have done. I also think many of them appear to be more ideologues than scholars. Also, that many have so far shown themselves unwilling or unable to engage in serious discussion in which their beliefs or actions are questioned.

Because I believe those things I have an obligation to give anyone of the 88 or their supporters a fair go as regards their criticisms of me. They deserve that until they show, if they do, that all they want is a one-way shout street.

To some people that looks like softie. Well, I am what I am and no hard feelings if folks move on.

If Piot responds, I'll try to get him dialoguing here or somewhere else.

Some of us will have some very critical things to tell him and some probing questions to ask.

Done civilly, that's fine. Rough or rude: No way.

Let’s wait and see what happens.



On Monday, Feb. 12, six Duke faculty members, five of whom last April signed the inflammatory and discredited Group of 88's “listening statement,” presented something called “Shut Up and Teach?: Faculty and Public Issues.” It was billed as a lecture. Presenting professors were Pedro Lasch, Wahneema Lubiano, Mark Anthony Neal, Diane Nelson, Charlie Piot, and Maurice Wallace.

African and African-American & Cultural Anthropology professor Charlie Piot's lecture began with a brief criticism of blogs in general as "anything but democratic."

Piot's lecture then degenerated into a vicious personal attack on the distinguished historian and blogger Robert KC Johnson whom Piot accused of, among other things, "inciting racist attacks on African American faculty" and using "the common strategies [of] totalitarian regimes."

Piot ended with: "KC - Shut up and go back to teaching."

Piot's remarks are summarized here.

I want to respond to Piot's ad hominem..

Last evening I sent Piot the following email. I'll keep you posted on what, if anything, I hear back.


Dear Professor Piot:

I'm a Duke alum and blog as John in Carolina.

I attended last evening's event at the Mary Lou Williams Center.

I plan to post on your remarks.

Where are they posted?

I want to link to them so readers at my blog can check anything I say about your remarks with what you actually said.

You said in your remarks that bloggers don't encourage free speech.

I wish you had said "some bloggers."

Some bloggers, like some professors, don't encourage free speech.

But other bloggers, like other professors, do.

Everything I've posted on my blog is available to you and anyone else in my archives which can be accessed from the main JinC page.

I don't know a blogger who's posted often on the Hoax witch hunt and its terrible injustices whose archives aren't available to everyone who visits their main pages.

Thank you for your attention to this email.

I look forward to your reply and the chance to link to your remarks.


John in Carolina

Dear John in Carolina,

Thanks for your note. I've promised my piece for publication in an academic journal, with the proviso that it not be published elsewhere beforehand. I'll certainly let you know when it comes out.

I didn't use the term "free speech" in discussing the blogs, but said they haven't fulfilled their democratic/populist promise - something Peter Lange also said in his letter to faculty in early January.

I've never met a professor who discourages free speech. Professors may have their own strong opinions about things, like everyone, but they're certainly open to opinions that differ from their own. And socalled left faculty, especially, like a good tussle in the classroom. All I look for in an essay, eg, is a strong well-written, well-supported argument - whatever the student's position or politics may be. I know this to be the standard of colleagues as well.

I don't know where KC Johnson gets his information about faculty. His portraits are caricatures of the folks I know. Lubiano and others are deeply committed faculty, brilliant teachers, folks who love Duke and love their students (whether left or conservative). They are also complex nuanced thinkers, who don't just toe an ideological party line. And the debates over politics, Duke's campus culture, etc, within this group - although it's not really a "group" - are deeply contested. Johnson's caricatures of these dedicated scholars and teachers do a disservice to us all and to Duke.

I'd be glad to get together with you over lunch to talk about these issues more, if you'd like.


Charlie Piot

Dear Professor Piot:

Again thank you for your informative and detailed response to my email.

As regards the “free speech” matter, we could settle that quickly and assuredly if your remarks were on the net.

For now I’ll not contest what you say if we can have a gentlepersons’ agreement that my failure to contest is not a concession, but a civility pending a chance for me, JinC readers and others to view the tape of the Feb. 12 presentations at the Williams Center on Duke’s West Campus by you, four other Group of 88 colleagues and another “88” supportive faculty member.

If when the tape is on the net, it shows I was wrong, I’ll quickly correct as I did in this post after a reader called my attention to an error I made regarding your colleague, Professor Wahneema Lubiano.

Like so many others in the Duke community and elsewhere I was very disappointed to learn your Feb. 12 lecture is not available to those who’d want to listen carefully to it and, very likely, contest much of what you said, particularly your attacks on historian, professor and blogger Robert KC Johnson which you ended with: “KC – Shut up and go back to teaching.”

Per your Feb 12 lecture:

1) Am I right that you accused Johnson, of “inciting racist attacks on [Duke] African-American professors?” (I have that as a quote in my notes.)

2) Did you say, as my notes indict, that at his blog, Durham-in-Wonderland, Johnson practiced “common strategies [used] among totalitarian regimes” which you’ve studied?

I hope, Professor Piot, I’m wrong about both questions.

If I am, I want to work with you to correct what I attributed to you.

I’d also want to work with you to determine the most effective way I can apologize to you, Johnson, Duke and JinC readers for bringing those questions up in the first place.

However, if I’m right about those questions, consider the position you’ve put Johnson in tonight.

Look also at the position you’ve put fair-minded people who care about Duke in.

You, a Duke University Arts & Sciences professor, have accused another academic of heinous actions. But he can’t defend himself. He has no transcript of your attack. He has no videotape.

How can Johnson prove he didn’t do what I’m saying you accused him of in your “lecture?”

How can others, such as Provost Lange whom you cite in your email or any other Duke faculty member, judge the verity or even the minimal fairness of what you said about Johnson without a tape or transcript?

By withholding the tape and delaying release of a print copy of what I believe is indisputably an ad hominem targeting Johnson, you’ve put Johnson in the same position the 46 Duke students were in last Spring when the False Accuser, the Raleigh News & Observer, so many at Duke, and DA Nifong were attacking them.

Isn’t there any way you can make the tape available on the net? On campus yesterday and today even some who still are “Brodhead backers” thought ill of your attack on Johnson. One said: “He made us all look bad.”

Mind you, I’m not trying to restrict your speech. I want to make what you said more widely and immediately available.

Here is a link to my latest post concerning your remarks.

Regarding your luncheon invitation: I’d like to meet with you for a luncheon provided we first work out what I see as major differences between us as regards faculty duties and the purposes of the University.

In brief, I found Professor Weintraub’s Chronicle letter today a model of how a professor should address important issues as well as a much needed and stirring affirmation of what Duke must always strive to be.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With best personal regards I am sincerely,

John in Carolina

Dear Professor Piot,

Sorry to be late getting back to you.

Again, I appreciate your response.

Here are two links:

The first is to a brief post letting JinC readers know I'd contacted you.

The second is to a post in which I again posted my first email and your response. I then posted a second email to you. Please take a look here.

I hope we continue to talk.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Friday, February 16, 2007

The Churchill Series – Feb. 16, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

I’m sure more than once in your life you’ve done what you’re about to see Churchill do: pointed out how committees charged with a task often wind up doing nothing or make matters worse.

It’s 1912. He’s thirty-eight and First Lord of the Admiralty. He prepares a memorandum for the Sea Lords regarding the need for the Admiralty to respond quickly and decisively to threats posed to British interests by the fast growing German navy. He says in part:

There is one epicycle of action which is important to avoid, viz ---

recognition of an evil;
resolve to deal with it;
appointment of a committee to examine it and discover the remedy;
formulation of the remedy;
decision to adopt the remedy;
consultation with various persons who raise objections;
decision to defer to their objections;
decision to delay application of the remedy;
decision to forget all about the remedy and put up with the evil
Well, there you go. He had it, didn't he?

Now without any committee involvement, I’ve made three decisions:

1) To say thank you to those of you who’ve recently commented. I appreciated your words.

2) To wish you all a nice weekend and tell you I hope you’re back on Monday. (which will really be Tuesday)

3) To end this post.
The memorandum excerpt is found on pgs. 49-50 of Steven F. Hayward's Churchill on Leadership: Executive Success in the Face of Adversity.

The Addison Series #1 – “This horrific crime”

On Feb 12, 2007, Raleigh News & Observer readers learned Durham police:

”are investigating allegations that a Duke University student was raped at an off-campus party on Gattis Street around 3 a.m. Sunday.
An 18-year-old woman said she was raped in a bathroom of the residence, according to a Durham police news release. …

Anyone with information about Sunday's incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 683-1200. Callers don't have to identify themselves, and cash rewards can be paid for information leading to arrests."
If on Feb. 12 or since, a citizen with information called CrimeStoppers, there’s a very good chance that information was processed by DPD Cpl. David Addison, DPD’s liaison with Durham CrimeStoppers which DPD maintains is a separate organization independent of DPD.

Addison’s CrimeStoppers work is his regular full-time assignment. However, Addison’s DPD supervisor, Maj. Lee Russ, told me during a recent interview (email exchange) “Cpl. Addison does occasionally fill in as the department spokesperson for media requests.”

March 24, 2006, was one of those occasions when Addison, a sworn police officer, filled in as DPD spokesperson for the regular DPD spokesperson, civilian employee Kammie Michael.

March 24 was a very busy day for Addison: the Duke lacrosse story was breaking. In WRAL – TV’s first report on the case, Addison told the public:
”You are looking at one victim brutally raped. If that was someone else's daughter, child, I don't think 46 [DNA tests] would be a large enough number to figure out exactly who did it.”
That same day Addison spoke to the Raleigh News & Observer which the next day reported in a story the N&O told readers concerned “sexual violence”:
”[A]uthorities vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity.

‘We're asking someone from the lacrosse team to step forward,’ Durham police Cpl. David Addison said. ‘We will be relentless in finding out who committed this crime.’”
Addison went days telling the public about the “victim” who’d been “brutally raped.”

On March 28, he even distributed to media and the community a CrimeStoppers "Wanted" poster that included this:
”The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community.”
But Addison’s “horrific crime” never happened, and there was no wall of solidarity or silence to crack.

The three Duke students who lived in the house where the rape was alleged to have occurred had all denied that a rape or any other crimes against the accuser, Gail Crystal Mangum, had taken place. They cooperated with police. They voluntarily went to a police station, answered questions, signed written statements, and offered to take lie detector tests. They voluntarily went to Duke Hospital and submitted to what police call “suspect kit testing.”

On March 20 police interviewed the second dancer, Kim Roberts. She told them she’d been with the accuser for all but a few minutes the night of the alleged attack. Roberts told police Mangum’s story she’d been gang-raped and beaten for 30 minutes was “a crock.”

There’s something else Addison knew about on March 24 which, mercifully, most of the public doesn’t know much about. But it’s very important.

As a veteran police officer, Addison knows about the kinds and severity of physical injuries a woman suffers when she’s brutally beaten and raped by even one strong young man, to say nothing of being brutally beaten and raped by three strong young men. Like all DPD officers he's trained to administer emergency first aid to victims of such horrific crimes while he awaits the arrival of the EMS ambulance.

Addison knew Mangum had suffered no such injuries. He knew she hadn’t even suffered slight injuries.

Sgt. John Shelton, who responded to a call shortly after midnight on March 14, found Mangum in Roberts’ car at a Kroger parking lot, in Shelton’s words, “just passed out drunk.”

Shelton saw no evidence of physical injuries and arranged for another officer, Willie Barfield, to take Mangum to Durham Access, which provides short-term support service for substance abusers. Barfield also saw no signs of any physical injuries.

Barfield only later took Mangum from Durham Access to Duke Hospital because she said at Access she’d been raped.

Addison understood the significance of his brother officers’ actions that night.

Addison knew Mangum’s story was false, just as he had to know his shills about the players’ “stonewall of silence” were false. Yet he went for days telling the public about horrific crimes and a “stonewall of silence”.

Why? Because he was told to.

Some people have claimed Addison was "free-lancing" and had somehow convinced himself that what he was saying was true.

That explanation doesn’t stand scrutiny.

Even if you allow that somehow, against all the evidence to the contrary, Addison was convinced on March 24 that a “horrific crime” had occurred, you’re still left with the problem of why he then went for days as DPD spokesperson shilling the “crime” and “wall of silence” falsehoods.

Why didn’t, for example, on March 25 Addison’s supervisor, Maj. Russ, direct him to say that DPD was doing what the N&O reported on Feb. 12 it was doing with regard to the recent rape allegation: “Police are investigating allegations that a [woman] was raped at an off-campus party?”

Why didn’t Russ on March 25 direct Addison to tell the public that the players had been very cooperative with police?

Just the day before, for example, all 46 lacrosse players had complied with the nontestimonial order that they submit to DNA testing and mug shot and torso photos which required them to strip to their waists and hold their arms away from their sides.

Every one of the 46 players, including some who weren’t even in Durham the night of March 13/14, could have, as individuals, appealed the order. But none did. Suspects can’t be more cooperative than that, as Russ and Addison know.

As for the "free-lancing" argument, police department spokespersons must be very careful about what they say and it must be cleared with both the investigating officers and “higher ups.”

If a police spokesperson goes “off message” on a critical matter, he or she has to quickly correct, or someone else does it for the department.

The Duke lacrosse case was a very critical matter. But Addison didn’t self-correct; nor did anyone from DPD step forward and correct his falsehoods.

That tells us Addison’s falsehoods were “on message.”

So now let’s ask: Who approved Addison’s shilling those falsehoods? And why?

I don’t believe Addison’s work was part of a DPD directed plan. I believe his work, while of course known to Russ and everyone else in DPD, was part of a cut-out operation in which certain Durham police officers participated but the cut-out was not directed by DPD.

It was directed by DA Mike Nifong and he was responsible for Addsion’s falsehoods.

Nifong may not himself have directly told Addison what to say. Others may have done some or even all of that. Tomorrow I’ll discuss who those people might be.

But Nifong had to be signing off on everything Addison said during those critical days starting on March 24 and continuing through at least March 28, when Addison distributed the CrimeStoppers “Wanted” poster.

March 24 is the day Durham police officers were ordered to report directly to Nifong. Had he wanted to, he could have stopped Addison’s falsehoods just as easily as he directed the “no wrong choices” photo ID and the withholding of the exculpatory DNA evidence.

In the next day or two I’ll report on certain DPD actions with regard to the CrimeStoppers “Wanted” poster, as well as possible legal actions which may be brought against Addison, Durham police and Durham City as a result.

I plan to end the series with a third post discussing what Addison might be able to contribute to the public’s and law enforcement agencies’ understanding of how the witch hunt developed and how the players were framed. Addison has a great deal to tell us.

I’ll also discuss in that last post what I see as the extremely exposed position Addison’s in as regards any investigation by public law enforcement agencies as well as civil suits which might be brought against him.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Churchill Series – Feb. 15, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

I can’t cite a source but if you’ll trust the top of my head you’ll enjoy this story.

Sir Stafford Cripps was a Labour Party leader who served during WWII in Churchill’s National Unity Government, first as Ambassador to Russian and later as Leader in the House of Commons. He again held cabinet office when Labour came to power in 1945

Cripps manner was severe and his life-style austere. He was a non-drinker.

Something else. Cripps’ skin has been described as alabaster in color except for his nose, which for some reason had a reddish hue.

One day Cripps and Churchill were lunching. Near the end of it Churchill said: “I must tell you, Stafford, I think it was wonderful of the Almighty to arrange it so I would get to do the drinking and you would get the nose.”

To Readers and Regulars


Great comments are coming in.

I'll respond once later tonight.

Also tomorrow.

Dinner and family now and for the next few hours.


Duke Prof: Disagreement is not McCarthyism

Duke University's student newspaper, The Chronicle, today published a letter from Professor of Economics Roy Weintraub in which he references a "flyer" for the "Shut Up and Teach" event sponsored on campus Feb. 12 by members of Duke faculty's Group of 88.

It follows in full; after which I offer a few comments.


To the editor:

I have read the "flyer" for Monday's "Shut Up and Teach" panel discussion, with its reference to Joseph McCarthy, suggesting that dark forces are trying to silence some politically minded Duke faculty.

In the late 1940s, my father, an economist, was attacked in newspaper editorials in The Brooklyn Eagle for teaching communism to nice Catholic boys at St. Johns University. He was, of course, an early Keynesian.

In the late 1940s, the man who would become my doctoral adviser had to leave the United States for almost a decade to avoid the agitated involvement of the Regents of the University of Michigan in his tenure case, based on his admitted connection with the Communist Party as a graduate student and young instructor. In those years with the Smith Act in place, one could be jailed for being a Communist Party member. That he was doing the work for which he would later win the Nobel Prize mattered not at all to the Regents.

And my college classmate was Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's older son.

So I read with astonishment the recent panelists' invocation of McCarthyism as their characterization of the criticism they have received for their public statements or writings. They face no death sentence, no jail time, no threats from Trustees or administrators of employment termination, no loss of income, no loss of custody of their children, no loss of their passports, no reduction whatsoever in their public or private circumstances.

I don't ask the panelists to shut up and teach. I ask them instead to understand that for various Duke faculty, staff, administrators, students, parents and alumni to disagree with them in public or in private is neither McCarthyism nor an academic travesty and betrayal of the values of our institution, but is rather an expression of their believing otherwise.

E. Roy Weintraub

Professor of Economics

It's very hard to find the words to express the relief, gladness and pride I felt when I read Professor Weintraub's letter.

It reminded me of the quietly spoken, brief, clearly stated, factually supported, carefully reasoned lectures with which the many outstanding professors I was fortunate to have at Duke would often begin a class before opening it up for discussion.

In just a few paragraphs Weintraub explained what McCarthyism was really like; highlighted shame claims of victimization; and rightly asserted that free, civil questioning and disagreement not only have a place at Duke, but affirm its essence and purpose.

Thank you, Professsor Weintraub.

PM at Free Republic or Liestoppers

Citizen journalist Locomotive Breath asked me to PM at FR or LS.

I'm a tech dummy.

I don't know what PM means in this context.

PM to me means evening or Winston Churchill.

Can someone help?

Starting at 10:45 AM Eastern I'll be off line untl about 5 PM.

Thank you.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Churchill Series – Feb. 14, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

It's short and fun today.

At item from the Feb. 2, 1948 edition of TIME magazine:

Labor M.P. Emrys Hughes, having heard certain disquieting rumors, had a question to ask of His Majesty's Government in the House of Commons last week. Was it true, he wanted to know, that shortly before New Year's Eve, 1947, two crates containing 24 bottles of whiskey had been flown from Scotland to ailing, vacationing Winston Churchill in North Africa?

"Such shipments were not specially specified in the records," answered Board of Trade President Harold Wilson.

The House laughed good-naturedly. But the answer did not completely satisfy another honorable gentleman. "If there are any of the bottles left over," cried Communist Willie Gallacher, "will the Board President see that they are passed on to the miners in my constituency?"
TIME went on to give an update:
It was unlikely that any bottles were left over. Winnie was back home, in fighting trim, and as much of a wassailer and a statesman as ever.
Have a nice day.


On Feb. 12, I heard Duke University African and African American & Cultural Anthropology professor Charlie Piot deliver an ad hominem that was billed as a lecture. Piot’s target was historian, professor and blogger Robert KC Johnson. See here for a few quotes and summary of what Piot said.

Piot didn’t make copies of his remarks available and taping was not permitted. I’ve emailed Piot and asked that he post his remarks so we can compare them with what Johnson has actually said

Piot’s a signatory of the Duke faculty’s Group of 88’s now discredited “listening statement.” Johnson’s spotlighted the Group of 88’s prejudgment and abandonment of Duke students falsely charged with major felonies by a hoaxer and rogue DA. He’s also exposed conduct by individual Group of 88 members that many in the Duke community and elsewhere find shocking. For examples of Johnson's "88" postings see here, here and here.

Piot’s attack drew loud applause from the audience of about 150 that included other Group of 88 members and many of their students.

While we wait for Piot to post (fingers crossed), I want to respond to a recurrent theme in his ad hominem: “Johnson, with no known connection to Duke, ….”

Piot said it at least three times with emphasis on each word.

He reminded me of folks here in Durham who before the election were saying things like: “With no connection to Durham, that person still dares to criticize our DA, Mike Nifong.

Piot reminded me of a few other things ----

For more than 30 years I’ve had various connections to DU’s Medical Center. During that time physicians and research scientists from all over the world with no known connection to Duke have been sending letters, journal articles and lengthy emails to Duke physicians and scientists.

Often what is sent is critical of something being done at DUMC - a research study design or interpretation or maybe a patient treatment protocol, for example.

The DUMC physicians and scientists are, of course, interested in who sent the material, but their main interest is to determine whether the material, especially critical material, can help them and those they serve.

And that’s what you’d expect of them, isn’t it?

What kind of Duke physicians and scientists would assess material, especially material critical of what they’re doing, with emphasis on a critic’s “ no known connection to Duke?”

Piot’s “no known connection to Duke” repetitions exposed, IMO, a self-indulgent insularity which, while no doubt a salve to his ego, is absolutely antithetical to what Duke A&S faculty are supposed to be.

It was no surprise to see Piot’s faculty “88” colleagues applaud him. All the ones we’ve heard from since last April have manifested the same self-indulgent insularity and hostility to reasoned criticism that fueled Piot’s ad hominem targeting Johnson.

But I was very saddened to see the students also applaud Piot. I think that’s because, like most people, I have hope for the young.

Driving home after the event and since, I’ve found myself wanting to say a few things to the students.

It didn’t matter whether any of the nine U. S. Supreme Court justices who ruled in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education had any known connection to the school board. The justices’ valid finding that racially separate public schools are inherently unequal, and therefore unconstitutional, is what mattered.

Professor John Hope Franklin, who helped prepare the brief that argued that position before the court, could tell the students that. He’s a Duke emeritus professor who’s often on campus and enjoys talking with students. I’m sure many of the students listening to Piot that other night have met Franklin.

Franklin could also tell the students that many people with no known connection to the University of Mississippi were very critical of its segregation policies. They supported James Meredith when he sought to enroll there despite opposition from much of the faculty.

I’d ask the students if they agreed Meredith could never have enrolled at Mississippi without the help of those people.

I’d listen to what they said; thank them for giving me a chance to make my point; and wish them well.

A request to Group of 88 Prof Piot

On Monday, Feb. 12, six Duke faculty members, five of whom last April signed the inflammatory and discredited Group of 88's “listening statement,” presented something called “Shut Up and Teach?: Faculty and Public Issues.” It was billed as a lecture. Presenting professors were Pedro Lasch, Wahneema Lubiano, Mark Anthony Neal, Diane Nelson, Charlie Piot, and Maurice Wallace.

African and African-American & Cultural Anthropology professor Charlie Piot's lecture began with a brief criticism of blogs in general as "anything but democratic."

Piot's lecture then degenerated into a vicious personal attack on the distinguished historian and blogger Robert KC Johnson whom Piot accused of, among other things, "inciting racist attacks on African American faculty" and using "the common strategies [of] totalitarian regimes."

Piot ended with: "KC - Shut up and go back to teaching."

Piot's remarks are summarized here.

I want to respond to Piot's ad hominem..

Last evening I sent Piot the following email. I'll keep you posted on what, if anything, I hear back.


Dear Professor Piot:

I'm a Duke alum and blog as John in Carolina.

I attended last evening's event at the Mary Lou Williams Center.

I plan to post on your remarks.

Where are they posted?

I want to link to them so readers at my blog can check anything I say about your remarks with what you actually said.

You said in your remarks that bloggers don't encourage free speech.

I wish you had said "some bloggers."

Some bloggers, like some professors, don't encourage free speech.

But other bloggers, like other professors, do.

Everything I've posted on my blog is available to you and anyone else in my archives which can be accessed from the main JinC page.

I don't know a blogger who's posted often on the Hoax witch hunt and its terrible injustices whose archives aren't available to everyone who visits their main pages.

Thank you for your attention to this email.

I look forward to your reply and the chance to link to your remarks.


John in Carolina

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Churchill Series – Feb. 13, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

Churchill on May 13, 1940 in his first speech to the House of Commons as Prime Minister.

In October, 1940, with the Blitz at its full fury, Churchill asked Herbert Morrison, a Labour Party leader, to accept the office of Home Secretary. In Their Finest Hour, the second of his six volume history of WW II, Churchill tells us with supreme understatement it “was no bed of roses which I offered Herbert Morrison:"

These pages certainly cannot attempt to describe the problems of London government, when often night after night ten or twenty thousand people were made homeless, and when nothing but the ceaseless vigil of the citizens as fire guards on the roofs prevented uncontrollable conflagrations; when hospitals filled with mutilated man and women were themselves struck by the enemy’s bombs; when hundreds of thousands of weary people crowded together in unsafe and unsanitary shelters; when communications by road and rail were ceaselessly broken down; when drains were smashed and light, power, and gas paralysed; and when, nevertheless, the whole fighting, toiling life of London had to go forward, and nearly a million people be moved in and out for their work every night and morning.

We did not know how long it would last. We had no reason to suppose that it would not go on getting worse.

When I made the proposal to Mr. Morrison, he knew too much about it to treat it lightly. He asked for a few hours’ consideration, but in a short time he returned and said he would be proud to shoulder the job.
Morrison was a native Londoner, the son of a police constable. He held the Home Secretaryship throughout the war and is today seen as having done a very credible job as Home Secretary under the most difficult circumstances.

Morrison later served in the Labour Government, first as Leader of the House and then as Foreign Secretary. He left the Commons in 1959 and was made a life peer. He chose as his title Baron Morrison of Lambeth, for the section of London in which he’d been born and in which his father had served as a constable.

Addison Series News & background post


I had two posts laid out for the Addison Series.

But they've been "overtaken by events"

One event - A Duke student says she was raped early Sunday morning at a party sponsored by a Duke fraternity.

Press reports of Durham PD statements yesterday and today regarding the alleged crime offer a timely and powerful contrast to Addison's statements as DPD spokesperson last March, as well as his creation and distribution of the "Wanted" poster.

So I'm reworking the posts to include material from yesterday and today.

Two - Some of you in emails and some members of an informal JinC "sounding board" of family/friends who are informed and reasonable critics have raised questions about Addison's actions, including whether they libeled the Duke students.

I was going to get to the libel question at the end of what' I'd planned as a three post series.

The emails and "sounding board" members have convinced me to put the libel matter up near the front of the series.

So I'm reworking my posts to get at the “libel” matter more quickly.

I'll post the first of the "new posts" tonight.

For those of you who like to read ahead, here's a JinC post from last May: "Duke lacrosse: What about the posters?"

The post provides a good basis for the series posts I'll be publishing.


Duke 88 whine reviews

Last evening Duke's faculty Group of 88 sponsored "Shut up and Teach? Faculty and Public Issues." Five of the 88 signatories and a supportive colleague offered what they billed as a "lecture."

I was there for more than an hour and will offer my whine review later today after I complete some travel.

Meanwhile, Citizen journalist Locomotive Breath was there and has a report at Liestoppers Forum. Give it a look. LB's a very good reporter.

Also, KC Johnson posts today on "The Group of 88's Latest Defense"

Message to KC: You should have titled your post: "The Group of 88 Exposed Again."

Folks, I hope you're back tonight.

Monday, February 12, 2007

No Churchill post Feb. 12, 2007


Sorry to skip today.

Work load and an evening listening to members of the Group of 88 slowed down my blogging.

I'll be posting again tomorrow night.

Thanks for your understanding.



More on the affidavit's results

Last Friday, Feb. 9, Beth Brewer, a Durham resident who led the campaign to unseat DA Mike Nifong in last November’s election, filed a sworn affidavit in Durham Superior Court requesting the court remove Nifong from office. The affidavit cited as cause for removal many of Nifong’s statements and actions which the NC State Bar’s Ethics Committee cited when it brought charges against him.

I posted Saturday on Brewer’s action and the news a judge would stay her request at least until the Bar acts on its Ethics Committee’s charges. Even if the judge stays her request, Brewer’s action accomplished a great deal. I discussed some of what it accomplished.

Today, in this post, I'll say more about what Brewer's filing accomplished.

A WRAL report on the filing included the following:

The complaint is significant, former federal prosecutor Dan Boyce said, and raises questions not only about Nifong's ability to serve as district attorney, but also his right to practice law.

"I think he's got to consider whether, in the interest of justice and in fairness to the people of Durham County, whether it's time to resign," Boyce said. "There's too much attention being focused on him and not enough attention being focused on the (Duke lacrosse) case itself."
As noted in Saturday’s post, Boyce ran in 2000 as the Republican candidate for NC Attorney General, losing to the present Attorney General, Roy Cooper.

Boyce is, as far as I know, the first state-wide leader of either party to call on Nifong to resign.

Boyce’s call for Nifong’s resignation, coming as it does from a very well-respected former federal prosecutor, state attorney general candidate and member of the NC Bar should prompt reporters to ask other NC leaders whether they agree Nifong should resign.

Governor Mike Easley, now in his seventh year as governor, recently said Nifong was his worst gubernatorial appointment.

Well, Governor, do you agree with Boyce? Should your worst appointee resign?

Members of both parties now seeking their party’s nominations for state-wide offices – particularly governor and attorney general – should be asked by media whether they too think Nifong should resign.

Law professors and leading attorneys should be asked for their opinion on resignation.

By prompting Boyce’s resignation call, Brewer’s filing has helped make it easy for NC’s media to ask the Nifong resignation question when news reporting and to comment on it when editorializing.

If editorialists don't think Nifong should resign, what do they think a district attorney charged by the State Bar’s Ethics Committee with scores of ethics violations including withholding exculpatory evidence should do during the months he’s preparing his defense and a cloud hangs over his office?

Should Nifong perhaps take a leave of absence? Are there provisions in state law for the appointment of a temporary replacement? What about that, Governor Easley?

Or should we just go on for months in Durham with a situation in which, if a police officer, for example, is trying to get a witness or suspect to cooperate in a criminal investigation, the officer is forced to say something like: “Why, yes, our DA had been charged with withholding exculpatory evidence. Does that bother you?”

An awful lot of good has already come from the affidavit filing. And a lot more good can come of it.

Once more to Beth Brewer and those working with her: Well done and thank you.

“Wanted” & “Vigilante:” Not the same

“Wanted” and “Vigilante” posters played very important roles in fueling the Duke lacrosse witch hunt and enabling the frame-up of three innocent young men – David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann.

The two posters helped inflame public opinion, provoked hate groups and unstable individuals, and endangered not only the Duke students who were the posters’ targets, but anyone who might be unintended victims of a violent act(s) directed at one or more of the lacrosse players.

Some people use the terms “Wanted” and “Vigilante” interchangeably. But the terms really refer to very different posters.

“Wanted” is the term for what is in fact a series of at least four posters produced by Durham CrimeStoppers.

All “Wanted” posters are text only; they offer cash rewards for information concerning what the first “Wanted” poster described as “a crime” committed at the March 13/14 party.

“Wanted” posters are identified as having been produced by Durham CrimeStoppers, an organization that Durham police (DPD) maintain is independent of DPD , although the DPD has assigned one of its officers, Cpl. David Addison, to work with CrimeStoppers as the DPD liason.

Addison produced all of the CrimeStoppers posters.

The first “Wanted” poster, produced and distributed in late March, is the subject of a request by a Durham attorney, Alex Charns, acting on behalf of an unindicted lacrosse player.

Charns says the first “Wanted” poster libeled the players because it told the community a crime had been committed at the party. Charns has asked for a public investigation by DPD into the production and distribution of the first “Wanted” poster and a full public apology by the City of Durham to the entire lacrosse team.

To date his requests have been denied.

What follows is the full text of the first “Wanted” poster taken from a faxed poster copy with a header containing Durham Police Department in large letters superimposed against a background that included a police officer's shield, the Durham skyline, and the Durham City logo.

On Monday, March 13,2006 about 11:00pm, the Duke University Lacrosse Team solicited a local escort service for entertainment. The victim was paid to dance at the residence located at 610 Buchanan. The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community. Durham Police needs your assistance in solving this case. We are asking anyone who has any information related to this case, please contact lnv. Himan at 560-4582 x229.

Information can also be provided anonymously through Durham CrimeStoppers at 683-1200 or by email to (Please use an anonymous email account). Durham CrimeStoppers will pay cash for any information which leads to an arrest in this case.
The three subsequent posts were modified by Addison at the direction of his DPD supervisor, Major Lee Russ. The modifications eliminated reference to the accuser as "victim" and the language concerning a "horrific crime."

“Vigilante” is the term used for a poster that contains text and face photos of 43 white Duke lacrosse players.

The poster contains only 43 of the 47 players whose photos were at the lacrosse website because Duke learned the photos were being “pulled” from the lacrosse website. It feared whoever was doing that would use the photos for targeting the players. It removed their photos before the person(s) got all 47 players’ photos or 46 if the intent, as is likely, was to just get photos of the white players.

The “Vigilante” poster is not a solicitation for information for which money would be paid; and it was published anonymously, as “Vigilante” posters traditionally are.

In an interview last May, Maj. Russ said DPD would like to find out who produced and circulated the “Vigilante” poster.

The “Vigilante” poster is headlined: PLEASE COME FORWARD.

That’s followed in smaller type by:
”We’re not saying that all 46 were involved. But we do know that some of the players inside that house on that evening knew(sic) what transpired and we need them to come forward”

Durham Police Cpl.
David Addison

3/26/2005 (sic)
Next to all that is this:

Please call Durham CrimeStoppers at 683 -1200. Callers may remain anonymous.

The bulk of the poster is taken up with the face-photos of the 43 white lacrosse players wearing team jerseys.

At the bottom of the poster there’s this in very small type:

Note: There are four more players that were not retrieved from the website before Duke took down the lacrosse team's roster on Monday morning, March 27th.

Folks, I’m sure you noticed that the persons who published and distributed the “Vigilante” poster didn’t say why there were only 43 players’ photos on the poster.

That's vigilantes for you.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

About December & Addison

Earlier today I said I’d begin posting tomorrow, Feb. 12, a series concerning Durham police Cpl. David Addison.

I also said I explain why I hadn’t published a series about him last December, as I’d said I would.

Three things delayed the series.

One - Last Spring and early-Summer, I published often on Addison’s actions. I thought those posts would give me a strong base for the December series. They did.

But since last Spring much more information about Addison and those critical days last March and April had been revealed than I’d realized. To integrate that information into a series took more time than I’d allowed.

Two – When I contacted sources to update and double checked information, many of them provided new information and background that I needed time to digest.

What I was getting wasn’t “Deep Throat” material. A professional reporter might easily in a few days have woven the information and background into the series. But I couldn’t.

Three – I often find it tough to write about the Hoax and its monumental injustices.

That’s especially true whenever I get close to the start of the witch hunt and the frame-up. They did such great harm to innocent people and yet could’ve easily been prevented, or at least quickly exposed and corrected.

Here's one example of what I mean ---

Could we have had the “wall of silence” falsehood;” the “Wanted” and “Vigilante” posters; and the endangerment of the players, other Duke students, and really, any bystander in Durham, if the N&O, along with reporting Addison’s false claims, had also reported statements by Duke’s John Burness, DPD Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and others that the players had cooperated with police?

Or if ….

I could cite many more “ifs.” I’m sure many of you can too.

Bottom line – I frequently "walk away" from the computer.

It hurts to be in touch with all the wrongs that were done and are still playing out; and to know they could so easily have been prevented.

I often ask myself how the players, their families and close friends can bear to read about what happened.


Duke 88 whine news

Tomorrow, Feb. 12, six Duke faculty members who signed the inflammatory and error-filled “Group of 88” “listening statement” will participate in something called “Shut Up and Teach?: Faculty and Public Issues.” It’s billed as a lecture.

Time and place information:

Monday, February 12th, 2007 :: 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM

Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

Duke West Union Bldg. (On West Campus close to the Chapel and Perkins Library)

Lecture: “Shut Up and Teach?: Faculty and Public Issues”

Professors Pedro Lasch, Wahneema Lubiano, Mark Anthony Neal, Diane Nelson, Charlie Piot, and Maurice Wallace

Against a current of criticism and attempts at intimidation directed at faculty who comment on larger social and political issues, and following the events of last spring, this forum addresses connections between faculty interests and local, national, and international politics.
You can read more about the event here.

Directions provided by the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture:
From West Campus Bus Stop:

When facing the Duke Chapel, go up the sidewalk leading to the Chapel on the left side of the bus stop. The first building on your left (across from Perkins Library) will be the West Union Building.

Enter the building and go left down the hallway to the Duke Card Office. At the end of the hall turn left and head up the stairs. The MLWC is located on the second floor.
Special thanks to a number on Anon readers who provided information concerning the event and the link above.

Open sourcing is wonderful. And so are readers who step up and help ol’ JinC.

For more about the event read KC Johnson's "Group of 88 Rehab Tour."

The Cpl. Addison series

On March 24 WRAL – TV’s first report of the Duke lacrosse case included a Durham police officer’s statement that a brutal rape had been committed:

"You are looking at one victim brutally raped. If that was someone else's daughter, child, I don't think 46 (tests) would be a large enough number to figure out exactly who did it," said [Cpl. David Addison of the Durham Police Department.]
On March 25 the Raleigh News & Observer published its now discredited front-page, above the fold, five column wide ‘anonymous interview” story headlined:
Dancer gives details of ordeal

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
Addison is quoted in the story:
[A]uthorities vowed to crack the team's wall of solidarity.

"We're asking someone from the lacrosse team to step forward," Durham police Cpl. David Addison said. "We will be relentless in finding out who committed this crime."
At the time most of the public believed what Addison said.

We now know the brutal rape never happened. The “wall of solidarity” was also a falsehood.

The lacrosse players had been cooperative with police which the N&O knew at the time but didn’t report.

Addison, too, certainly knew of the players’ cooperation. So why did he shill a falsehood?

Who is Addison anyway? Why was he giving press interviews on behalf of DPD? Why did he give out false information? Did DPD correct Addison’s false information? Who was supervising Addison on March 24? What did Addison do after his March 24 interviews? What’s he doing now?

In a series starting tomorrow, Feb. 12, I’m going to report on those questions and others relating to Addison’s involvement in the Duke Hoax.

The series is based on media reports, interviews with attorneys and Durham police officers (both on and off the record, including two on the record interviews with Addison's supervisor, Major Lee Russ, DPD documents relating to Addison's actions and other information.

For now, three matters:

1) Short answers to the above questions:

Addison’s primary DPD assignment last March and now is to serve as DPD’s liaison with Durham CrimeStoppers which both DPD and Durham City manager Patrick Baker say is an organization independent of DPD. Addison also occasionally serves as a DPD spokesperson.

Addison’s occasional service as a DPD spokesperson doesn’t explain why for a critical period (Mar 24 to 27) he served as DPD spokesperson instead of DPD’s full-time spokesperson, Ms. Kammie Michael. (Michael is a DPD civilian employee; not a sworn officer.)

The question of false information is tied to who was giving Addison information and reviewing what he was saying. Maj. Russ has told me he was Addison's supervisor, but in my most recent interview with him (email exchange) Russ begged the question of who provided Addison with information.

On March 24 DPD officers working on the case were directed to report to DA Nifong.

Did that mean Addison therefore had a “second supervisor” providing him “information” for public consumption?

I can’t answer that question with certainty, but in the series I give it a hard look and offer some thoughts.

In late March and April DPD did act to correct a major portion of the false information Addison disseminated but, in contrast to the blaring hype most media gave Addison’s initial false information, DPD’s corrections received scant media coverage.

One especially notorious piece of false information which DPD acted to correct in April was the CrimeStoppers “Wanted” poster, which Addison wrote and distributed starting on March 27. The posted included this:
The Duke Lacrosse Team was hosting a party at the residence. The victim was sodomized, raped, assaulted and robbed. This horrific crime sent shock waves throughout our community.
The series includes a good deal of information about the “Wanted” poster as well as the “Vigilante” poster (see below).

2) There’s much confusion concerning the “Wanted” and “Vigilante” posters. Many people think they’re one and the same. Last Spring, I was one of those people.

But the posters are not the same. There are major differences between the two. Knowing those differences is important in understanding how the witch hunt began and played out.

Both posters are the subject of extensive reporting in the series because Addison was involved with them. As already mentioned, he authored the “Wanted” poster, but he did not author the “Vigilante” poster, although he’s quoted on it and his statements no doubt influenced the person(s) who did produce the “Vigilante” poster. (The person(s) who authored the “Vigilante” poster has not been identified.)

Tonight I’ll post on the differences between the two posters. Look for the post after 10 P.M. Eastern.

3) I promised to post the Addison series last December. I delayed for a number of reasons which I’ll discuss in another post tonight.

Seeking "Shut up and teach" info

Tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 12, six members of Duke's discredited faculty Group of 88 will participate in a "Shut up and teach" something or other at Duke.

I went to the web address where there's supposed to be time and place, etc. info.

I got a message box: the site is damaged and can't be repaired.

Does anyone have time and place details.

I want to post on them.