Saturday, July 14, 2007

A liberal media bias? Really?

The Rasmussen polling organization reports:

By a 39% to 20% margin, American adults believe that the three major broadcast networks deliver news with a bias in favor of liberals.

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 25% believe that ABC, CBS, and NBC deliver the news without any bias.

Similar results are found for CNN and National Public Radio (NPR). By a margin of 33% to 16%, Americans say that CNN has a liberal bias. The nation’s adults say the same about NPR by a 27% to 14% margin.[...]

There is one major exception to the belief that media outlets have a liberal bias—Fox News. Thirty-one percent (31%) of Americans say it has a bias that favors conservatives while 15% say it has a liberal bias. [...]
All the networks plus CNN and NPR are seen as having a liberal bias.

Who would have believed that? Can it be true? What does the NY Times say?

A liberal media bias?

Why that’s like hearing President Clinton really did engage in sex with Monika Lewinsky or that Clinton’s spiritual counselor at the time, The Reverend Jesse Jackson, was balling with a member of his staff who later gave birth to a baby the liberal media referred to as a “love child.”

I mean, isn’t that the kind of stuff conservatives make up?

Further along in the Rasmussen report we learn:
Those not affiliated with either major party tend to see a liberal bias everywhere except Fox. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of unaffiliateds see a liberal bias at the major television networks while only 19% see a conservative bias.
So about 66% of people who self-identify as "unaffiliated" see a liberal bias at all major TV networks except Fox.

Do the Democrats know about this problem?

What will Dan Rather, the NY Times, Sen. Harry Reid, NPR, Speaker Pelosi, Newsweek, et all decide to do about “this problem” besides blame President Bush and demand an immediate surrender in Iraq?

The entire report is here.

INNOCENT: Disbarment Order – Short Form

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

Most of you know the NC State Bar has just released its order disbarring former Durham DA Mike Nifong.

The order is well worth reading. It can be found here at Liestoppers.

But it’s 28 pages long. Many of you won’t have time to wade through it.

So ol' JinC has been looking for a short-form summary, preferably one of 10 words or less, that contains the essence of what the Bar’s order tells the public.

I just found it:

”You have been told some fantastic lies.”
Thank you, David Evans.

Radical Islam: Denial won't help

Here’s Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby:

Is Radical Islam connected to terrorism?

Notable British voices spoke out on that subject after Britain's recent terrorist near-misses -- the two unexploded car bombs in London's West End and the fiery SUV rammed into the main terminal at Glasgow's international airport.

Consider what four of those voices had to say:

One declared that the word "Muslim" must not be used in connection with terrorism, and insisted that even the phrase "war on terror" should be scrapped.

The second likewise cautioned against pointing a finger at Islam, contending that in London, "Muslims are . . . less likely to support the use of violence to achieve political ends than non-Muslims."

The third, asked whether Muslim extremists might be responsible for the attempted atrocities in London and Glasgow, counseled: "Let's avoid presumptions. . . It can be the work of Muslims, Christians, Jews, or Buddhists."

By contrast, the fourth noted the resemblance of the latest terror attempts to "other recent British Islamic extremist plots," pinpointed "Islamic theology" as "the real engine of our violence," and described British jihadists as "mindless killers" who have "declared war upon the whole world."

The first three statements, disingenuous but quite politically correct, were made respectively by

(1) Britain's new prime minister, Gordon Brown,

(2) London Mayor Ken Livingstone,

and (3) Daud Abdullah, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.

Just days before the second anniversary of the deadly 7/7 London transit bombings, and less than a year since 24 British Muslims were arrested for plotting to blow up passenger jets over the Atlantic, the three men spoke as if they had no inkling that Britain is a battleground in militant Islam's global jihad -- as if only a boor or a bigot could imagine that Muslims might somehow be linked to the car bombs in London and Glasgow.

And the fourth statement?

Those were the blunt words of Hassan Butt, a onetime spokesman for the radical Islamist organization al-Muhajiroun, who has renounced his former life.

In an essay published last week in the Daily Mail, Butt emphasized that jihadists are motivated not by opposition to British or US foreign policy but by a fundamentalist theology that seeks to subject the entire world to "Islamic justice." (emphasis added)

Radical Imams teach their followers that they must fight for Dar al-Islam (the House of Islam) against Dar al-Harb (the House of War -- i.e., infidels to be defeated). And "in Dar el-Harb, anything goes, including the treachery and cowardice of attacking civilians."
The rest of Jacoby's column is here.

Radical Islam is an enemy every bit as terrible as the Nazis.

There is no appeasing such people which is something Winston Churchill would tell PM Gordon Brown.

What's caused the Terror War is not anything the West has done, but what the Radical Islamics believe.

Did you hair about Edwards' latest

Excerpt from a Washington Times editorial:

[John Edwards, the] onetime Democratic senator from North Carolina with the $400 haircut announced to fanfare that he is "suspending his campaign" to conduct a poverty tour of rural America, with a stated aim of examining and calling attention to poverty in the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia and the Rust Belt.

Mr. Edwards is not actually "suspending" anything. It turns out that the "suspension" is to last a mere three days, in which period Mr. Edwards will cover eight states and 12 cities in this purported "Road to One America." If it's Tuesday, this must be Grinders Switch.

That sounds to us just like the torrid pace of a presidential campaign. Mr. Edwards won't have much time to listen to the voices of poverty, that much is for sure. Also sure are the echoes of Robert F. Kennedy's celebrated tour of earlier poverty. But no, there's nothing here about a "campaign."

The only thing suspended is Mr. Edwards' willingness to answer questions about his personal wealth, given his fiery affection for populism. Surely it's only coincidental that the tour sounds and smells like the leg of a campaign, that "tours" work wonders for some campaigns and that Mr. Edwards now seeks something to cure a sincerity deficit.

Mr. Edwards will be lucky if this tour doesn't make that deficit worse.
I can’t believe Edwards really thinks his campaign “suspension” will fool anyone.

And I think the Wash. Times is right about the tour very possibly making things worse for him. In fact, I think it will.

How about you?

The entire editorial is here.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Churchill Series – July 13, 2007

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

Something different today: a not good news report from the UK. We read in the tabloid The Sun of July 13:

FURY erupted last night after Sir Winston Churchill was axed from school history lessons.

Britain’s cigar-chomping World War Two PM — famed for his two-finger victory salute — was removed from a list of figures secondary school children must learn about.

Instead they will be taught about “relevant” issues such as global warming and drug dangers. Churchill’s grandson, Tory MP Nicholas Soames, branded the move “total madness.”

The decision to axe Churchill is part of a major shake-up aimed at dragging the national curriculum into the 21st century, it was claimed last night.

But the plan — hatched by advisers — angered schools secretary Ed Balls, who vowed to probe ALL the changes to the curriculum.

The proposals will see traditional timetables torn up, with pupils focusing on modern “relevant” topics such as drug and booze abuse, climate change and GM foods.
Churchill — voted the greatest ever Briton — goes off the required lessons list, along with Hitler, Gandhi, Stalin and Martin Luther King. […]
The rest of The Sun story is here.

Here’s an example of how the story was reported by a non-tabloid newspaper, The Nothern Echo, which serves the Northeast area of England.

And this brief post found at America Thinker makes a very important point.

Your thoughts?

Have a nice weekend.


Diane Sawyer’s “most hurtful moment”

We read at

Thursday’s edition of "Good Morning America" featured a Diane Sawyer anecdote that revealed the low opinion Americans have of journalists.

After wrapping up a segment on people who avoid jury duty, the ABC co-host recounted the "hurtful" experience she had in a courtroom:

[Wrap up of segment on getting out of jury duty.]

Diane Sawyer: "You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, 'Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?'

And I said, 'That's what journalists do.' And everybody in the courtroom laughed.

It was the most hurtful moment I think I've ever had." (emphasis newsbusters)
I don’t doubt the laughter was hurtful.

But should Sawyer have been surprised?

I mean, the courtroom wasn’t filled with other liberal and leftist journalists, was it?

So you can see and hear Sawyer recount her "most hurtful moment," Newsbusters' post links to Video (0:55): Real (1.51) or Windows (1.71 MB), plus MP3 Audio (607kB) and MP3 audio (just the soundbite -- 130 kB).

INNOCENT: Duke’s Burness Made Me Smile

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

The disgraceful conduct of many at Duke who helped enable the witch hunt and frame-up, and who even now are helping enable the cover-up, has always bothered me, as I’m sure it has most of you.

Sometimes the actions and failures to act of trustees, administrators and almost all faculty have been outright shocking and anger-provoking

For example, Duke’s silence when a vengeful crowd shouting for “stern and swift justice” gathered outside the house on N. Buchanan Blvd waving “CASTRATE” and “GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE” banners.

But along with all the terrible and disgusting things I’ve witnessed at Duke since the hoaxer first made her grossly improbable and contradictory claims, there've been some things said and done there that have made me smile

Let me tell you about one such instance.

Like many of you, I’ve frequently read and heard Duke President Brodhead’s whiny, self-excusing and blame-shifting statements regarding what he did and didn’t do in response to the Hoax.

“The facts kept changing,” he told the late Ed Bradley during a 60 Minutes interview last fall. “Every day we learned new things that no one knew the day before.”

And this January Brodhead told Chronicle reporter Rob Copeland: "Once the situation existed, it had to be dealt with. I'm really not immune to self-criticism in any way, I believe we've handled this as straightforwardly and honorably as we could have, given the extraordinary nature of the situation and the changing nature of the facts."

Yes, those darn facts that kept changing. They’re so much harder to manage than the ones that don’t change.

And how could Poor Richard have known that he should have spoken out when that vengeful crowd shouted physical threats and waved their odious banners in front of a house in which Duke students lived, which Duke owns and which is directly across the street from Duke’s campus?

With all of that as background, I was reading Don Yaeger with Mike Pressler’s It’s Not About The Truth. When I got to page 107 I read:

”He may be the smartest person I’ve ever met,” said John Burness, Duke’s senior vice president for public affairs and government relations. “He is a really deep thinker and it’s fascinating to watch how he thinks and how he talks because he starts with the big picture and he works his way down to the points. He is so fast with his wit you just do a double-take sometimes.”
My wife asked why I was smiling.

“Here, read this,” I said.

She did and smiled.

How about you?

And would you support changing Burness’ title to: senior vice president in charge of promoting the interests of President Brodhead and those controlling the board of trustees?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Churchill Series – July 12, 2007

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

Over the years I’ve found few instances of Churchill using foul language. But in October, 1918, while Churchill was serving as Minister of Munitions and visiting the Western Front, a trying episode provoked him to use the “f” word.

In Martin Gilbert’s Winston S. Churchill (Vol. IV), The Stricken World, 1916 - -1922 (Houghton Mifflin, 1975), Gilbert quotes from Churchill’s principal private secretary Eddie Marsh’s account:

First a tyre burst with one of those loud reports which make one think one has been assassinated – and then in the village itself, Winston gave the chauffeur a wrong direction, left instead of right, at a cross-road.

The chauffeur . . . preferred not to back but to go on till he could turn the car – and on we went in the dark, on and on literally for kilometers between the close hedges of the roadside, it must have been the original “long lane that has no turning.”

It’s impossible to imagine anything alternately more comical and provoking. The climax of Winston’s cursing was, “Well, it’s the most absolutely f---ing thing in the whole of my bloody life.”(p. 154)
But all ended well as Marsh recounts they soon came to a place to turn and were headed in the right direction again.

The N&O's Talk Radio Spin (Post 3)

This is the third post fisking a Raleigh News & Observer "story" that appeared in the news columns but belonged on the editorial page. The first post is here; the second is here.

In this third post we pick up the story where the N&O's "news story" tells readers:

Talk radio contains 10 times as much conservative talk as liberal talk, according to a study released last month by The Center for American Progress, a research and educational institute that works for "progressive and pragmatic solutions," and Free Press, a group that focuses on media competitiveness.

The report, "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio," found that among the 257 news-talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the talk was conservative and 9 percent was progressive. Ninety-two percent of the stations did not broadcast a single minute of liberal talk, according to the study.

Those numbers are providing ammunition for critics.
Not so fast, liberal/leftist N&O.

Readers who use a search engine will easily find The Center for American Progress homepage.

A little more searching and they’ll learn that the – ahem – “progressive” Center’s President and CEO is John Podesta, who served faithfully as White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton.

The Center’s Distinguished Senior Fellow is former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

And then there’s Jennifer Palmieri. Readers who access her bio at the Center’s site will learn [excerpt]:
Jennifer Palmieri is the Senior Vice President for Communications at the Center for American Progress. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Palmieri was the National Press Secretary for the 2004 Edwards for President campaign. She held the position of National Press Secretary for the Democratic National Committee during the 2002 election cycle, and is an eight year veteran of the Clinton White House.
Anyone who spends time at the Center’s site will quickly realize it’s staffed by Democrats who lean liberal and left.

The N&O should be honest with readers, say the Center is a liberal/leftist Democratic dominated advocacy group and let readers judge for themselves how reliable and objective it’s “report” findings are.

More tomorrow.

I’m not finished with the Center or the N&O’s slanted “news story.”

Liestoppers Has Disbarment Order w/out pdf

If you struggle with pdf but want to paste parts of today’s NC State Bar Order for Nifong’s disbarment into a document, has it in copy form here.

Thanks Liestoppers.

INNOCENT: What's wrong with Durham?

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

Right Angles blogger Jon Ham has a great post up for all of you who've been asking: "What's wrong with Durham?"

Jon knows whereof he speaks. He was an editor at the Durham Herald Sun back when it was a well-respected newspaper. He's now one of the leaders of The John Locke Foundation, a North Carolina-based policy institute.

I can also confirm two rumors about Jon.

Yes, he's the father of columnist and pundit Mary Katherine Ham.

And yes, he does live in Durham's Trinity Park.

But as you'd guess, Jon didn't rally with the pot-bangers and some Duke faculty, students and "community activists" who waved the "CASTRATE" and "GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE" banners as they cheered on the frame-up.

Jon's post is here.

The Real Mike Nifong

Friends and supporters of the disgraced Mike Nifong keep claiming the public doesn’t know “the real Mike Nifong.”

Today, I read through 117 Findings of Fact in the NC State Bar’s order disbarring Nifong. While each of the findings tells us something, findings 63 through 66 stood out to me as revealing in a few paragraphs the real Mike Nifong.

Take a look. See if you agree.

63. On May 12, 2006, Nifong again met with Dr. Meehan and two DPD officers and discussed the results of DSI's testing to date. During that meeting, consistent with Nifong's prior request, Dr. Meehan provided Nifong a 10-page written report which set forth the results of DNA tests on only the three evidence specimens that contained DNA consistent with DNA profiles from several known reference specimens.

The three items in DSI's written report concerned DNA profiles on two fingernail specimens that were incomplete but were consistent with the DNA profiles of two unindicted lacrosse players, including DNA on a fingernail found in David Evans' garbage can which was incomplete but was consistent with David Evans' DNA profile, and DNA from the vaginal swab that was consistent with the DNA profile of Ms. Mangum's boyfriend.

DSI's written report did not disclose the existence of any of the multiple unidentified male DNA found on the rape kit items, although it did list the evidence items on which the unidentified DNA had been discovered.

64. Nifong personally received DSI's written report from Dr. Meehan on May 12, 2006, and later that day provided it to counsel for the two Duke Defendants who had been indicted and for David Evans, among others.

65. When he received DSI's written report and provided it to counsel for the Duke Defendants, Nifong was fully aware of the test results that were omitted from the written report, including the test results revealing the existence of DNA from multiple unidentified males on rape kit items.

66. Three days later, on May 15, 2006, Nifong sought and obtained an indictment against David Evans for first-degree rape, first-degree sex offense, and kidnapping.
Now that’s the real Mike Nifong, isn’t it?

It’s scary to think Nifong had prosecutorial power and would have had it for four more years if a lot of decent people like many of you reading this hadn’t risen up and said, “No more!”

Thanks go to Baldo at Liestoppers who made the Bar’s order available in a non-pdf form. I don’t know how he does it but I sure appreciate it.

INNOCENT: NC Bar Disbarment Order & Comments

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

The Raleigh N&O reports:

A disciplinary panel of the N.C. State Bar has issued its written order disbarring former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.

The panel last month said it was disbarring Nifong for misconduct in his handling of rape and related charges against three former Duke University lacrosse players. Nifong withheld important DNA evidence from the players' lawyers and misled them and a judge about this, the panel said.

The disbarment takes effect 30 days after Nifong is served with the order, which was filed Wednesday.[…]
At the actual order can be read (pdf).

It’s very detailed, well-organized and devestating in its descriptions of Nifong's conduct. Excerpts from the Bar’s order:
Nifong’s misconduct resulted in significant actual harm to Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, and their families.

Nifong’s misconduct resulted in significant actual harm to the legal profession.

Nifong’s misconduct resulted in prejudice to and significant actual harm to the justice system.

Nifong’s false statements to the Grievance Committee of the North Carolina State Bar interfered with the State Bar’s ability to regulate attorneys and therefore undermined the privilege of lawyers in this State to remain self-regulating. […]

The Hearing Committee has considered all alternative and finds that no discipline other than disbarment will adequately protect the public, the judicial system and the profession, given the clear demonstration of dishonest conduct, multiple violations, the pattern of dishonesty established by the evidence, and Nifong’s failure to recognize or acknowledge the wrongfulness of his conduct with regard to withholding of the DNA evidence and making false representations to opposing counsel and to the Court […]
A few first thoughts - - -

The Bar’s order reads like a KC Johnson post. Treat the order as a “must read.”

The matter of “false representations to … the Court” will be looked at again by Judge Smith later this month at a criminal contempt hearing for Nifong.

It’s not hard to predict how Judge Smith will rule. The question is what penalty he will impose.

The order states that Nifong took over direction of the case on March 24. That and the Bar’s finding of “significant actual harm” to the three young men and their families greatly strengthens the already strong case for civil action Seligmann, Finnerty, Evans and their families have against Nifong.

The order sets a standard for the Whichard Committee. The Baker and Chalmers’ “covered-dish” reports serve as disgracefully low bars examining DPD conduct in response to the Hoax.

The State Bar has just given the Whichard Committee a high bar below which it dare not fall.

If it does, the committee will expose itself to the same kind of public ridicule that greeted Baker and Chalmers’ “reports.”

It’s a good day for justice in North Carolina.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Churchill Series – July 11, 2007

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

The last two series posts concerned impressions of Churchill formed by Beatrice Webb, the Socialist reformer, author, and co-founder with her husband Sidney of the Fabian Society and the London School of Economics, when she first met him at a dinner party in July, 1902. Churchill was then 27 and sitting in his first Parliament.

Today I want to discuss a few of the people Churchill and Webb both knew. I think you’ll find some of the connections fascinating.

Webb was born in 1858. In 1882 she met the then President of the Board of Trade, Joseph Chamberlain. They had a brief, intense affair.

Joseph Chamberlain later served as Colonial Secretary during the Boer War in which Churchill fought. Chamberlain was a leading advocate of the war.

Churchill emerged from the war as one of its heroes. He used the public acclaim he received to his political advantage to gain his seat in Parliament. Almost 20 years later, Churchill himself became Colonial Secretary.

Since boyhood, Churchill had known Joseph Chamberlain and his two sons, Austin and Neville.

Well, you know where this is going with Neville.

But did you know Austin was a Member of Parliament and held a number of Cabinet offices? Or that he was an early and outspoken opponent of Hitler and appeasement?

Despite those political differences, Austin and Neville, who were half-brothers, got on very well.

Austin died in 1937 just weeks before Neville became Prime Minister.

Webb, whose husband served for a time in the Commons and was later made a peer, continued to meet Churchill socially as she did the two sons of the man with whom she’d had affair in 1882.

Webb died in 1943. Three years before she’d seen her nephew, Stafford Cripps, appointed by Churchill Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Churchill was speaking of Cripps when he famously said, “There but for the grace of God goes God.”

There’s more I could say but this post has gone long enough.

If you google the people I’ve mentioned, you'll get confirmation of what I’ve said here.

Have a good day.

INNOCENT: The AP needs to correct Finnerty story

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

The AP is running a story on Collin Finnerty's transfer to Loyola of Maryland. But the story has a problem in it, as you'll see when you read the email below.

If your area news outlet runs the story with the problem, I hope you contact the outlet and ask for a correction. Any news organization using the AP can add to or modify an AP story provided the byline indicates something like "from AP and other sources."


This email went to the general manager of the Triangle's Eyewitness 11 News.

Dear General Manager:

Collin Finnerty is one of the three Duke students the disgraced former DA Mike Nifong, certain Durham Police officers and others framed for gang-rape with enablement by many in the media and at Duke.

You're now running an AP story on his transfer to Loyola of Maryland.

The AP report includes: "Eventually, state prosecutors whotook (sic) over the case from the local district attorney dropped all charges."

As you know, Attorney General Cooper didn't just drop the charges. He made a point to telling the public: "... these three individuals [,David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

To your credit, Eyewitness 11 News published Cooper's statement in full:

I'm making two requests:

1) That you insert a statement concerning Finnerty's innocence into the AP story as you're permitted to do or find another news source which is reporting both Finnerty's transfer and his innocence;

2) That you provide an AP contact email where I can register a complaint.

I blog as John in Carolina. I'll be posting this email.

I'll also post in full your response.

Thank you for your attention to this email.


John in Carolina

INNOCENT: Duke's Very Small Bathroom

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007
As many of you know, Duke University owns the house on N.Buchanan where Crystal Mangum later claimed she was raped by 5, 3, 4, no, wait a minute, it was 20 men.

In today’s Durham Herald Sun Durham Realtor Graham Hayes Marlette has a guest column, “How I always knew there was no rape.” Marlette begins:

The main reason for my certainty [Letters, April 2006] of the lacrosse players' innocence back in April of 2006 is that the crime, as described, could not have taken place.

Several key factors argued against even a remote possibility that anyone was raped.

The scene of "the crime that never was," 610 North Buchanan Blvd., was familiar to me. Several years ago, it was for sale and, as a realtor who markets Trinity Park, I remember my interiors. The bathroom facilities could hardly accommodate two adults in any posture and certainly not four hefty athletes sexually assaulting an equally hefty pole dancer while she was levitating four feet in the air, just to cite one of the accuser's many stories.
Marlette’s description of a very small bathroom in which four people couldn’t fit is the same description I’ve been hearing about that bathroom since last March.

Questions: Why didn’t the mainstream media last March ask to see the bathroom, describe it for us and publish photos and videos of it?

The Raleigh News & Observer published a photo of the players going for DNA testing with their head covered with shirts and jackets, and another photo of the infamous and anonymous “Vigilante” poster. Why couldn’t it have published a photo of the bathroom?

Why aren’t we seeing photos and videos of the bathroom now?

Duke owns that house.

As far as I know Duke didn’t do anything last March to encourage media to photo and video the bathroom?

If the public could have seen how small that bathroom is, it would have helped people understand how wildly improbable Crystal Mangum’s claims were.

The "it was a crime scene" excuse for not showing the bathroom doesn’t work because the photographing and videotaping could all have been done from outside the room.

Even now, Duke’s Dick Brodhead, the University’s President, should arrange for someone to provide the media with the dimensions of the bathroom and what it contains. And Duke should encourage the media to report on its size and contents, and photograph and videotape it.

Marlette’s column is here.

The Churchill Series – July 10, 2007

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

On July 8, 1902 Beatrice Webb, age 43 and a prominent socialist who would later help found both the Fabian Society and the London School of Econmics, was a guest at a dinner party at which Churchill, then 27 and sitting in his first Parliament, was also a guest.

Webb recorded her impressions of Churchill which I posted yesterday. Today I want to comment on Webb’s observations.

Webb begins by saying she found Churchill “[r]estless – almost intolerably so, without capacity for sustained and unexciting labor . . .” If by “restless” she means ambitious to improve his station and quick to move from one subject to another, I agree.

As for his lacking “capacity for sustained and unexciting labor,” Webb is wrong. By age 27 Churchill was a published author and a rising politician who friends at the time often remarked spent long hours working on a brief speech. Throughout his life Churchill demonstrated an extraordinary capacity for sustained and very often unexciting labor.

Webb goes on to call our hero: “egotistical, bumptious, shallow-minded and reactionary, but with a certain personal magnetism, great pluck and some originality – not of intellect, but of character. More of the American speculator than the English aristocrat”

Webb’s choice of words from “egotistical” right through to “some originality” could almost be the default description of Churchill at that time. Egotistical, bumptious, etc all appear in letters and diaries of those who met and knew Churchill, including his friends. So does the suggestion that he is more American than British.

Webb was spot-on when she recorded: “Talked exclusively about himself and his electioneering plans – wanted me to tell him of someone who would get up statistics for him. ‘I never do any brainwork that anyone else can do for me.’”

Churchill’s “I never do anything …” comment is the sort of thing he said all his life.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about some friends and colleagues Webb and Churchill had in common. I think it will be a fascinating post.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The N&O’s Talk Radio Spin (Post 2)

This post continues my fisking of a Raleigh News & Observer “news story” reporting on “conservative talk radio.”

Like most N&O “news stories,” this one had a strong liberal/leftist bias. My first post was titled: “The N&O’s Talk Radio Spin (Post 1)."

In this second post we pick up the story where the N&O is telling readers:

Talk radio contains 10 times as much conservative talk as liberal talk, according to a study released last month by The Center for American Progress, a research and educational institute that works for "progressive and pragmatic solutions," and Free Press, a group that focuses on media competitiveness.

The report, "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio," found that among the 257 news-talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the talk was conservative and 9 percent was progressive. Ninety-two percent of the stations did not broadcast a single minute of liberal talk, according to the study.

Those numbers are providing ammunition for critics.
Now, once again folks, as I said in Post 1, when discussing liberal vs conservative talk radio, you always have to factor in on the liberal side the hundreds of government subsidized NPR stations located all across America, often in studios on college campuses.

Those locations on college campuses give those NPR stations another form of government subsidy in that the rents they pay, if any, reflect the fact that the NPR studios are located in buildings and on land that’s exempt from local property taxes.

There’s something else many of you have no doubt caught on to but which I want to say “for the record:” whenever liberal/leftist MSM news organizations say “progressive” as in “progressive and pragmatic solutions” they really mean “liberal” or “leftist.”

But it’s hard for most of them to say that. And who can blame them?

Who wants to run for President and say, “My fellow Americans, I have some liberal solutions for America’s problems. First, as my hero, Senator Edward M. Kennedy said back in the ‘80s when he ridiculed as “Star Wars” President Reagan’s strategic defense initiative . . .?”

Or how about: “I’m proud to say I’m a liberal and if you elect me, I promise within my first hundred days to bring back welfare?”

Look for Post 3 tomorrow.

Who knew an N&O story could be such fun. And with just one little word: “progressive?” Or is it “liberal?”

Anyway, I reported. You decide.

DPD/Duke 3/29 Mtg.: More Questions

The Durham Herald Sun recently reported Durham City Manager Patrick Baker’s explanation for why he met on March 29, 2006 with Durham Police Sgt. Mark Gottlieb and Inv. Benjamin Himan:

Baker on Tuesday said the March 29 meeting allowed him to hear from Gottlieb and Himan first-hand, to make sure they and Duke police were working smoothly together and to make sure the detectives had the resources they needed to finish the investigation
Well that seems simple enough. We can all understand the city manager wanting to meet with the two principal investigators in a case the Raleigh N&O said involved “a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence.”

But why was DPD Deputy Chief Ron Hodge at the meeting?

You say he had day-to-day charge of DPD at the time because, as Baker told us for many weeks, DPD Chief Steve Chalmers was “away” taking care of his “sick mother.”

But that doesn't work. Chalmers was at the meeting, too.

Why weren't Gottlieb and Himan’s supervisors, Capt. Lamb and Lt. Ripberger, at the "just checkiing" meeting?

And why, according to the H-S, did a “police attorney” it failed to name attend a meeting Baker said was just to make sure Gottlieb and Himan “and Duke police were working smoothly together and to make sure the detectives had the resources they needed to finish the investigation?”

A “police attorney” isn't needed at such a meeting.

Besides, Baker himself is an attorney who before he became city manager provided legal counsel to DPD.

When Duke University’s Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security Aaron Graves and Duke’s Police Director, Robert Dean, walked into the meeting, were they surprised to find all the other people there? Or had they been told in advance?

Folks, I’m sure you've figured out the Baker/Duke/DPD March 29 meeting wasn’t about "just checking” with the detectives and making sure they had the “resources they needed.”

Baker’s explanation is preposterous.

Something else: why would Graves and Dean participate in a meeting at which DPD had an attorney; at which the person who called the meeting, Baker, is an attorney; and at which Duke is not represented by an attorney?

Did Graves and Dean have a green light from their Duke supervisors to attend a meeting with Baker and a “police attorney” without Duke being represented by an attorney?

I don’t know what the actual purpose(s) of the March 29 meeting was/were.

But it was surely something very, very important involving law, rights and proper legal conduct. That’s why all those “heavy hitters” were there cum “police attorney.”

I said more about that on May 30 when I first posted on the Baker/Duke/DPD “just checking” meeting in this post: “INNOCENT: DPD & Duke Contacts: Questions.”

Now I just want to provide two parts of an outstanding Liestoppers post and end with a few brief comments.

First, part of a Liestoppers’ timeline based on depositions and Bar trial testimony:

March 27, 2006: [Nifong assistant] Sheila Eason requests [via email] information from Duke Police

Hi, Lt. Best.

As we discussed on the phone, Mr. Nifong, our DA wants any and all details documented in writing concerning the incident involving the alleged gang rape by the Duke Lacrosse Team members of Crystal Mangum….All details, even though they may seem insignificant, may add together to help us with this case. Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

March 27, 2006: Nifong, Himan, Gottlieb possibly discuss obtaining emails and additional "stuff" from Duke. . . .

March 31, 2006: Duke PD delivers key card data to Sgt. Gottlieb. Gottlieb notes that key card information was "requested by us."

Inv. Smith and Stotsenberg from Duke Police drove up to the District 2 substation as I was leaving. They had three reports they delivered reports to me requested by us. Two were for staff at Duke who are being harassed due to this case (Duke reports #2006-1548 and 2006-1515), and one is a key card report for the team members on 3/13/06 to 3/14/06.
Now this from the Liestoppers post:
It appears that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) protected key card records of Duke University students which District Attorney Mike Nifong sought by subpoena 0n May 31, 2006 were actually provided to the Durham Police Department, and in turn to the ex-DA, on March 31, 2006. . . .

A review of the case notes and State Bar deposition of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb reveals that the private key card records were obtained from Duke University without a court order and in violation of FERPA.(emphasis added)

Gottlieb's deposition also reveals that the information provided illegally by Duke University contributed to the indictment of Collin Finnerty while leading directly to the indictment of Reade Seligmann.

The key card date, illegally obtained and purposefully misconstrued by Sgt. Gottlieb,offered the only "corroboration" presented to the Grand Jury of Seligmann's presence at the scene of the imagined crimes.
We need to know more about what really went on at that March 29 meeting. The best way to find out is to put all the particpants under oath and question them.

The need for state and federal investigations into criminal acts and civil rights violations becomes more obvious and urgent every time we learn more about the frame-up and what people at Duke and in Durham may have wittingly or unwittingly done to enable it.

INNOCENT: Will Steel Resign?

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

Friends of Duke University posts a letter from a Duke alum that gives reasons why BOT chair Bob Steel should resign. The letter appeared in today’s Durham Herald Sun under the head:

Steel shouldn’t serve as Duke board’s chair
I want to comment on the letter. If you’ve already read it, scroll down to the double star line where my commentary begins.
To the editor:

While Duke has finally announced seven new members of its Board of Trustees, the university has yet to reveal results of May's election of leaders of the board. With two new vice chairs, including the first African-American, this certainly is newsworthy.

This secrecy has the result of shielding Chairman Robert Steel from scrutiny for standing for re-election. Yes he is a titan from Wall Street, and yes he's a loyal son and benefactor. But he has now accepted a key position in the federal Treasury Department. The potential for conflict of interest properly caused Steel to recuse himself from overseeing Duke Management Company, the arm of the university that invests more than $7 billion. This is a responsibility assigned to him by university by-laws and a key element of his job; unable to fulfill this requirement, he should have retired.

Duke has invested an unusually high percentage of its money in private equity and hedge funds -- two bets that have paid off big for several years. But day after day, we see how similar investments are wobbling. Even the major hedge fund run by Goldman Sachs, Steel's former Wall Street firm, lost six percent last year. Two tangled hedge funds run by the firm of another Trustee are in the financial news daily with loses likely to exceed $1.2 billion.

Duke faces critical decisions on investment strategy and as contemplated by the by-laws, the chair should give his imprimatur. In this context, Steel's re-election is inappropriate.

New York

The writer is a Duke alumnus, '63, Duke Law '66.

What does it tell us about Duke’s current governance when the trustees still haven't revealed the results of their election of board leaders?

Many Duke alums share Rickards’ concerns. And so do many experts in the area of government ethics.

Last Dec. 1 The Washington Post reported [excerpt]
[W]atchdog groups and others have expressed concern about Steel's situation.

They worry that he will inevitably have to choose between his fiduciary duty to Duke, which has an endowment of $4.5 billion and about $3 billion in other investments, and his role at Treasury.

His position there makes him privy to often-sensitive price-moving information about U.S. markets, especially those involving management of the government's $8.6 trillion in debt.

They also doubt that a senior Treasury official, whose hours are grueling, would have enough spare time to also chair a major research university.

In addition, they question the propriety of allowing a top federal official to head an organization that in fiscal 2006 alone, according to Duke, received $1.1 billion in federal funds, including $45,543 from Treasury for a clinic for low-income taxpayers.

"It's a conflict of interest," said Thomas J. Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group. "In his role as the chairman of the Board of Trustees, there will be decisions he will make that will be in conflict with his role as a high-level government official."

Melanie Sloan, executive director of the left-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, agreed. "The concept of having a government job is that you work only on behalf of the American people, and being a trustee creates a divided loyalty," she said.

Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America, added: "He's creating the very real possibility that he will face situations where he has not just the appearance of a conflict but the reality of a conflict and then will have to decide how to behave. There will always be questions about whether he handled that kind of situation appropriately."
KC Johnson last December took a look at both Steel’s “hands-on” role in Duke’s “throw them under the bus” response to the witch hunt and frame-up as well as the potential for conflicts of interest resulting from Steel's dual roles. KC's post, "The Steel Trap," is a "must read."

Here’s part of what KC said:
In the lacrosse case, perhaps no person has played a more unexpected role than Board of Trustees chairman Bob Steel. In the contemporary academy, trustees are normally quite hands-off. But when they do involve themselves in University affairs, they more often than not focus on issues such as upholding standards, promoting intellectual diversity, or working to uphold the University’s financial well-being or overall reputation.

Since March, Steel has avoided all of these customary patterns.

He has been remarkably hands-on, vigorously defending the Brodhead administration’s actions to interested parties and journalists behind-the-scenes. His actions do not seem to have been designed to uphold either the University’s reputation or its long-term financial standing.

Occasionally, he has stepped out publicly, though in dubious ways. His most prominent role in this regard came when he rationalized the suspension of the season, pointing not to presumption of innocence, due process, or “victims’ rights,” but instead public relations. As he informed the New Yorker, “We had to stop those pictures [of the players practicing]. It doesn’t mean that it’s fair, but we had to stop it. It doesn’t necessarily mean I think it was right—it just had to be done.” That quote hardly inspires confidence of a BOT chairman providing moral leadership for the University.
Indeed it does not.

Steel needs to resign. Does anyone think there are trustees on the board with enough courage, influence and love for Duke to convince Steel to do that?

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Churchill Series - July 9, 2007

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

On July 8, 1902 Winston Churchill, then twenty-seven and sitting as a Member for Oldham in his first Parliament, attended a dinner party. One of the other guest was the Socialist and author Beatrice Webb. In Ted Morgan's Churchill: Young Man in a Hurry,1974-1915 (Simon & Schuster, 1982), he shares the impressions Webb formed that night of Churchill:

Restless – almost intolerably so , without capacity for sustained and unexciting labor – egotistical, bumptious, shallow-minded and reactionary, but with a certain personal magnetism, great pluck and some originality – not of intellect, but of character. More of the American speculator than the English aristocrat.

Talked exclusively about himself and his electioneering plans – wanted me to tell him of someone who would get up statistics for him. “I never do any brainwork that anyone else can do for me.” – An axiom which shows organizing but not thinking capacity.

Replete with dodges for winning Oldham against Labor and Liberal candidates. But I daresay he has a better side – which the ordinary cheap cynicism of his position and career covers up to a casual dinner acquaintance.

Bound to be unpopular – too unpleasant a flavor with his restless, self-regarding personality, and lack of moral or intellectual refinement . . . But his pluck, courage, resourcefulness and great tradition may carry him far unless he knocks himself to pieces like his father.(p. 160)
I'll say more about Webb and her comments tomorrow.









The N&O’s Talk Radio Spin (Post 1)

The liberal trending left Raleigh News & Observer today “reported” to readers on efforts to bring back something called “the Fairness Doctrine.” The story began:

After conservative radio talk show hosts helped bury an immigration bill, Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi complained that "talk radio is running America."

Lott suggested a remedy that immediately got talk-show hosts talking: He suggested bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, which would force broadcasters to provide more political balance on the nation's airwaves.

"It's absurd," said Mike Shanin, a self-described conservative radio-talk show host in Kansas City, Mo.

Shanin said there's no doubt that liberals have been left behind in the world of talk radio and that it makes perfect economic sense: "If liberal talk worked, it would be on. It's been tried." . . .
Shanin's right as far as he goes. Liberal talk radio has, for the most part, failed when forced to compete the free-market environment. It just can’t stand up to conservative talk radio in that environment.

But liberal talk radio has been hugely successful when granted government subsidies and other special considerations. Just look at the hundreds of NPR stations across America.

That’s why liberals want government agencies at all levels to spend more money supporting NPR stations.

It’s even likely that most liberals agree with leftists that the government should invoke the discredited, out-of-date and unfair “Fairness Doctrine” to limit the access conservatives and others have to the airwaves.

Further along the N&O offers a subhead,
Tilt to the right
The N&O did that just in case its most devoted readers wouldn’t understand why “conservative talk radio” needs to be shackled by the Big Brother hand of Big Government.

The N&O follows it subhead with:
Talk radio contains 10 times as much conservative talk as liberal talk, according to a study released last month by The Center for American Progress, a research and educational institute that works for "progressive and pragmatic solutions," and Free Press, a group that focuses on media competitiveness.

The report, "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio," found that among the 257 news-talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the talk was conservative and 9 percent was progressive. Ninety-two percent of the stations did not broadcast a single minute of liberal talk, according to the study.
These two paragraphs are worth a closer look, as is the rest of the N&O’s spin story.

I’ll do that when I post again on this story tomorrow.

In the meantime, two things:

1) You can read the rest of the N&O's story here and draw your own conclusions;

2) Unless you’re a “devoted N&O reader,” you’re surely smart enough to know I’m going to start out tomorrow exposing the N&O’s use of “progressive” in place of “liberal” or “leftist.”

I hope you’re back tomorrow.

Durham’s Bank & H-S Problems

Do you recall my posting concerning a July 4 Raleigh News & Observer story which began:

A bank whose board chairman is Durham Mayor Bill Bell has agreed to overhaul its operations after running afoul of federal and state regulators.

[Durham’s] Mutual Community Savings Bank has agreed to an order that, among other things, calls for it to stop operating with "inadequate management" and "in such a manner as to produce net operating losses?"
Well today, July 9, Durham’s only daily newspaper, the Durham Herald Sun, finally got around to reporting on the story.

The story’s worth looking at not so much for what it reveals about the bank’s problems, but for what it tells us about the H-S.

The H-S’s story begins:
Federal banking regulators are putting pressure on Durham's Mutual Community Savings Bank to change its senior management in order to stop bleeding red ink, a move bank officers and experts say will have minimal impact on customers.

It is unclear whether merger discussions between the 86-year-old bank and another historically black Durham institution, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, might be affected by a cease-and-desist order issued recently by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the N.C. Commissioner of Banks.

In the order, regulators criticized the bank's "unsafe and unsound banking practices."

The order also demanded that the bank, based on East Chapel Hill Street downtown, look into the performance of chief executive officer William Smith and chief financial officer Donna Sylver and "have and retain qualified management" with regulators' supervision.

Tony Plath, a UNC Charlotte finance professor who has been following the issue, said the order is "very, very serious."

"What the FDIC is telling the bank is that they're needing to make changes to the management team," he said.

But the impact on customers will be minimal, Plath said. Smith echoed that.

"Our customer deposits are still FDIC insured," Smith said

But Smith and Mayor Bill Bell, chairman of the Mutual board, could not say what impact the order might have on merger talks with Mechanics & Farmers. .
The H-S story continues here.

In its first paragraph the N&O let readers know Mayor Bell was the bank’s board chair; the H-S didn’t mention that until the ninth paragraph, and then only in the context of the Mayor being unable to comment on merger talks.

Bell is one of seven members of Mutual Community’s Board of Directors. All are prominent African-Americans and most live in Durham. But Bell is the only Mutual director the H-S identified as such.

The N&O provided a sidebar to its story which listed six board members along with their most recent annual compensation. The N&O failed to list Mutual president and CEO William G. Smith as a board member.

Mutual board members include Bishop Elroy Lewis, one of Durham’s best known clergymen and pastor of the historic Fisher Memorial United Holy Church. Lewis has been active in support of what NC NAACP chair Rev. Dr. William Barber II has called his organization’s “monitoring of the Duke rape case." The N&O reported Lewis received $4,250 in 2006 for his service as a Mutual director.

NC Central University Provost and former Durham School Board member Dr. Beverly Washington Jones is also a board member. Her 2006 compensation was $4,500.

Bell, as bank board chair, received $7,500 for his 2006 service.

Why didn’t the H-S mention the very prominent Durhamites who serve on the Mutual board? Why didn’t it report on any attempts it made to interview them?

The H-S knows Durham leaders such Bishop Lewis and Provost Jones are Mutual board members.

Even if the H-S by some chance “missed” the N&O’s July 4 story, with 30 seconds of googling the H-S could have found this page where Mutual provides photos and bios of its board members and this page where it lists the directors’ committee memberships.

The only reasonable conclusion to the questions of why the H-S didn’t report on the prominent Durhamites who are Mutual board members and their compensation is it decided not to.

When H-S editor Bob Ashley took over the paper in January, 2005 he told people to give him a chance and watch what he would do with the paper.

People have watched. That’s why the H-S’s circulation has dropped about 30% since Ashley took over.

Mutual’s financial problems can be fixed and personnel changes can be made. In any case, Durham has many financially strong, service-oriented banks that compete for our individual and commercial business.

But we have only the H-S as a community newspaper. And that’s a major problem because today’s Mutual bank story is typical of how the H-S often cuts and spins the news to satisfy those on Bob Ashley’s “Don’t Upset” list.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

INNOCENT: About Race & Opportunity

"... these three individuals [David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann,] are innocent of these charges."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Apr. 11, 2007

Folks, Below is a letter that appears in today’s Durham Herald Sun. If you haven’t already read it, I hope you do.

I don’t agree with a lot of what the letter writer, Odessa Shaw Jr., says, but he also says some things I agree with.

I decided to respond to Mr. Shaw with a letter and send copies to journalists John McCann of the Durham Herald Sun and Cash Michaels of the Wilmington Journal. Both are African-Americans who’ve written often on aspects of the Duke Hoax. I’m going to invite them to respond as well as you.

Shaw’s letter appears under the head: "The race factor"

Rodney Turner, in his letter of July 5, stated that the "Duke LAX 3", were railroaded because of their "wealth, race and sex, by Durham's black leaders, Durham police, Mike Nifong, Duke professors, (and I love this one) feminists gone wild," and that if the LAX players were not "white and rich" we would never have heard of the Duke LAX case.

That, in a way, makes the point that so many have made about the case. If this had been three young men of color from N.C. Central University, you wouldn't have had any of this mess. The chances are that with no hotshot lawyers in their corners, they would still be in jail waiting for a trial date.

So my question to Turner is this: Using the same amount of evidence, which was shaky, which is more racist, the fact that the young men accused were rich, white and from Duke and got all this attention, or three young men who are not white and from lower income families and no influence, getting no attention at all under similar circumstances?

Odessa Shaw Jr.

Dear Mr. Shaw:

With regard to the treatment the Duke students on the lacrosse team received, we can agree that 46 of them were declared suspect by Durham police and court ordered to submit to DNA testing and mug and torso photographing based on no other physical description than the students’ race.

We can also agree that an angry crowd gathered outside the house where three of the students lived and waved large “CASTRATE” and “GIVE THEM EQUAL MEASURE” banners; that the Durham Police Department said a “brutal rape” had been committed when there was no evidence it had; and that almost no black or white leaders criticized the crowd or the police.

We can agree that our major daily newspapers - the N&O and The H-S – never condemned anything I’ve just described. They editorially supported most of it and reported sympathetically on the angry crowd waving the banners.

We didn’t hear any criticism of the “CASTRATE” crowd or of the police DNA and photographing order based solely on race from the NC NAACP or the NC ACLU.

Surely whatever you, I or anyone else might think of our newspapers, Duke’s leaders and the rest, we don’t think they’d ever let the same thing happen to black students at Duke or Central.

And remember the threats, including death threats, that racists shouted at Reade Seligmann outside the Durham County Courthouse and within the courtroom on May 18?

That kind of terrible thing used to happen to blacks and no one did anything about it. Now it's happened to Seligmann and nobody's done anything about it.

So there’s bias at work against whites just as there’s bias at work against blacks and Hispanics. It just rears itself in different circumstances.

You’re absolutely right about the criminal investigative and prosecutorial systems being stacked against low-income people and minorities.

So what can we do about changing that?

The injustices of the Duke Hoax have drawn more attention to criminal investigative and prosecutorial failings than any recent North Carolina case. That attention provides an opportunity to bring public pressure to bear to improve the criminal justice system.

We need to take a close look at the State Bar which licenses attorneys. Except in the Nifong case, the Bar has generally gone easy on prosecutors who violated defendants’ rights.

It may surprise people to learn the Bar is not a state agency. It’s a professional organization that has the privilege of licensing by authority of legislation.

The argument for such an arrangement is that the profession can do a better job of licensing and “policing” its members than the state can.

But given what we’ve learned about the Bar’s “go easy” treatment of prosecutors, it may be time for the people to consider adding to the legislation authorizing the Bar a sunset provision, so that every 5 years, for example, there’s a public review of the Bar’s functioning before its privileges are renewed.

Many NC district attorneys want to weaken open discovery legislation. People ought to oppose that. From what we’ve learned about how the system typically works, it’s clear we need more, not less, open discovery.

Those are examples of the kinds of things I wish people of both races in North Carolina were talking about and working together on to improve the justice system for all.

What do you think?


John in Carolina

Cc: John McCann
Cash Michaels