Mistake: “a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge or inattention.”
Allison Kasic is formidable, frank, funny and female. The director of campus programs at the Independent Women's Forum, she graduated from Bucknell University, where she was heavily involved in campus politics, serving as the executive director of the Bucknell University Conservatives Club (BUCC) and editor-in-chief for the Counterweight, Bucknell's conservative magazine. Allison and her BUCC colleagues were featured on the cover of New York Times Magazine in May 2003 as a result of their activities at Bucknell. Allison has written for The Weekly Standard, National Review and Human Events as well as her own blog.
Is Allison a feminist?
That depends on how who you asks defines feminist.
Allison Kasic on Allison Kasic (National Review Online, April 19, 2005): "I consider myself a devoted feminist. But because I care about all women, even those in the womb; because I think women should have the right to choose between working in the home and working outside of it; and because I reject the culture of victimhood, I apparently do not meet the Bucknell Women's Resource Center notion of what it takes to be a feminist."
Amanda Marcotte, the vile anti-Catholic blogmistress (briefly) for the John Edwards presidential campaign, in her blog (Pandagon, August 9, 2006) disagreed and dismissed Allison as "IWF’s naive college blogger,"
For example, Allison was an organizer of "Take Back the Date, a campaign that seeks to 'restore chivalry' on college campuses," and commented, “Young women still overwhelmingly want to get married, but they are not engaged in the traditional courtship that leads to marriage. This can have dangerous consequences and long-term effects on marriage.”
There’s NO dispute that Allison is NOT politically correct.
”Carrie Lukas' book (The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism) finally comes out this week. I read an advance copy last month -- this book is great and gets full AK recommendation. You can buy it here or check out a free chapter here. Or, if you're friends with me, I'll let you borrow it 'cus I'm a class act like that.
”Allow me to share my favorite review from Amazon.com:
’I found this book to be incredibly sexist, misogynist, and probably racist, too. In fact, I hated it SO MUCH that I absolutely refuse to read it! The idea that some brainwashed, Patriarchy-loving Stepford Wife is allowed to challenge my right to have everything I want is a crime against all women everywhere.’
”That's a keeper. Any book that can get such a response from a feminist gets my approval. But seriously, the book is awesome. Imagine a book like Who Stole Feminism but make it less dense and add in some pop culture references. For anyone familiar with the PIG series (this the fourth installment, with the first three covering the topics of American history, Islam, and science) this book fits in nicely. It's a quick and entertaining read -- a good primer for anyone interested in the topic. You'll learn the basics about everything from divorce to sex ed to the wage gap. And along the way there will be humorous side bars and suggestions for further reading if you want more details.”
The good news is that The Herald-Sun published a guest column by Allison on March 13, 2007 entitled “Duke students deserved better from university.”
Now that’s obvious to everyone (including those who won’t admit it) except the comatose and oblivious.
Allison: “If one thing is clear from the year-long scandal that has engulfed Duke University, is that mistakes were made. Players exercised poor judgment in attending a party of unsavory nature. District Attorney Mike Nifong botched the investigation from day one and finally left the case under mounting criticism of his conduct. But the mistakes of another major player in this scandal, Duke University, have gone vastly underreported.”
Botch: “to foul up hopelessly” or “to put together in a makeshift way.”
NOT botched up, Allison.
Mr. Nifong rigged the investigation. Evidence: he refused the offers of three co-captains of the 2005-2006 Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team to take polygraph tests, refused to meet with Reade Seligmann attorney Kirk Osborn to consider alibi evidence, avoided interviewing false accuser Crystal Gail Mangum, ignored her very low credibility and contradictory statements, and ordered an identification procedure that violated due process and federal, state and local guidelines.
Mr. Nifong was not a nitwit doing his best, but a shameless political opportunist deliberately proceeding with bogus charges in a desperate (and eventually barely successful) attempt to win enough black votes to win a Democrat primary election in order to keep his job and have a better pension when he finally left it.
But Duke IS a “major player” and its “mistakes” “have gone vastly underreported.”
Let’s be clear: the Duke administration behaved outrageously, by telling the players to talk to the police but not their parents and leading the players to believe that the uproar occasioned by the phony gang rape claim would be swiftly and successfully resolved if the parents and any lawyers for the players were kept in ignorance of what happened.
I would not sanitize that by calling it a mistake.
I’d call it a betrayal and a breach of fiduciary duty instead of a mistake.
Allison: “Last spring, three Duke students were accused of rape after the most famous college party this side of ‘Animal House.’ It's not a situation any academic institution wishes for. But Duke had an opportunity to teach its students valuable lessons about the legal process, including the bedrock principle of a defendant being innocent until proven guilty. Instead, politically motivated professors used the opportunity to push their agenda on race relations and hurl accusations at the lacrosse team. Meanwhile, the administration adopted a ‘guilty until proven innocent attitude’ and was silent as their students were denied due process.”
Amen to all that! Duke had a duty as well as an opportunity and it failed to fulfill its duty to the lacrosse student-athletes and let the “politically motivated professors” run amuck.
Allison: “Consider Duke's immediate reaction to rape allegations from a stripper with a shaky story and a history of false accusations: the university ended the men's lacrosse season and forced the resignation of coach Mike Pressler. When the accuser picked two, then later three, lacrosse players out of a police lineup that only contained Duke lacrosse players (a major procedural error), the players were suspended from school.”
Actually, Duke’s immediate reaction was NOT to end the men’s lacrosse season. Duke thought it could handle the situation, but Mr. Nifong needed…a rape scandal.
The men’s lacrosse season was not ended until Mr. Nifong arranged for the release of information about a vile email written by one player to others in an attempt at comic relief that brought only grief.
Once that private email was publicly reported (out of context—it was a play on “American Psycho,” which is studied at Duke, as the undisclosed reply emails show), there was an announcement of a premature end to the Duke men’s lacrosse team’s season and many people mistakenly thought of the email as proof that something horrible really had happened to the false accuser instead of as a profane and puerile attempt at humor that is proof that private email taken out of context can be devastating.
Allison: “It took 10 months of clearly improper conduct from District Attorney Mike Nifong before Duke issued a statement questioning Nifong's conduct. Only recently -- after every shred of evidence pointed to the boys' innocence -- were two players invited back to campus.”
Duke University was in mitigate-damages mode. Much too little, much too late.
”Duke's professors behaved even worse. While the administration silently failed to defend clear violations of students' rights, many members of the Duke faculty went a step farther and declared the players guilty. Never mind the facts -- the idea of privileged white jocks committing a horrific crime was too tempting for many Duke faculty members. The situation could be used to allege rampant racism and sexism on campus. And they did.”
EXACTLY! “Never mind the facts”. Or, as CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin put it at an IWF conference on the Duke case on March 15, 2007, “Some crimes are so important that innocence is not a defense.”
Allison: “In early April (one month after the allegations broke), 88 faculty members took out an advertisement in the Duke Chronicle described his way by Inside Higher Ed:
’The professors definitively asserted that something ‘happened’ to the accuser, while saying ‘thank you’ to campus protesters, who called the players ‘rapists’ and distributed a ‘wanted’ poster with lacrosse players' photos. The statement's author, Wahneema Lubiano, gleefully labeled the players the ‘perfect offenders.’”
Not all 88 were faculty members, but the great majority of them, and yet not fit to be, based on the way they responded to the Hoax.
They did much worse than make a mistake. They were bullies who abused their power, not blunderers. (One failed the two lacrosse players in her class, the only members of the class she failed, and they were passing before that party.)
A Duke mom ("Momtothree") commenting on the 88ers in general and their libelous "Listening" ad in particular put it perfectly, in a rebuttal posted at LieStoppers on November 27, 2006 under the title "Our Collective Voice--A Duke Mom Responds to Stuart Rojstaczer".
"Well, Mr. R., I’m a Duke mom and the ad certainly had an impact on me.
"I suspect this will sound kind of 'right wing,' to you, but, truth be told, Duke at the end of the day is marketing an educational product, an educational experience, if you will, that is quite costly, and actually requires a lifetime of saving and sacrifice by those who end up paying those tuition bills.
And we care deeply about the intellect and character of the people, the faculty, who will be teaching and influencing our sons and daughters.
"And I want to believe that those same faculty care deeply about the sons and daughters whose education has been entrusted to them.
"When I see how agenda-driven is a core group of the humanities faculty at Duke inflaming an already inflamed situation at Duke, before the facts have become known, a group who would put their own personal passions above the welfare of, at least, portions of their student body, then, Mr. R., I am very taken aback.....
"...my feelings about Duke have not changed because of the Duke Rape Hoax and Nifong’s role in bringing it about. My feelings about Duke have changed, and I believe, sadly, it will probably be a permanent change, because of actions and words of the Group of 88 and the actions and words of President Brodhead and the Duke administration.
"Now, as I said, I’m just a Duke mom, but, believe me, I know moms. And I know that moms are paying attention to this case. Maybe as moms, we’re a little bit idealistic about teachers. While the roles of teachers and moms in our kids’ lives are certainly different, we still want to assume that they share with us a little bit of the awesome responsibility of having young lives, even lives of eighteen to twenty somethings, entrusted to them. And, here, I guess I’m getting really idealistic, we even assume they would consider it a sacred duty to, well, at least do no harm.
"For many, the biggest shock of this case has been to see, in the most blatant terms, that police and prosecutors would pursue a prosecution of three young men based on no evidence and refuse to accord them any of the hard-won protections of legal due process that this country has achieved.
"For me, and probably for other moms, the bigger shock has been to see teachers, Duke faculty, whom we would hope would be shining beacons of learning and integrity to our kids their life long, because of the wonderful educational experience they brought to our sons and daughters in their classrooms or lecture halls, when we see them taking time out in a very public statement to suggest there is something rotten about these very students, the young men and women with whom they share a campus and a university and whose education and growth as individuals is one of the primary missions of that university, in some cases, students that they themselves teach, to read in their statement, in effect, that if the something rotten they find in those students isn’t outright criminal, it is bad enough, well then, I must tell you, we are shocked and dismayed and saddened and changed.
"Now when you say that the statement of the Group of 88 was just a piece of free speech, and after all, really has no impact on the case, I have to tell you, Mr. R., you are really missing the point.
There are mom and dads and kids all across America who will be making educational decisions in the future. And yes, we are attracted by the wonderful educational opportunities that Duke will continue to offer, and yes, even by the prestige the university has and no doubt will retain. We also care about family ties to a university that has meant a lot in our lives.
"But we are not deaf, dumb and blind. We can’t just ignore something so deeply shocking from such a large group of faculty, representing many departments.
"There will be an impact from that statement, not because anyone is opposed to free speech, but because the thoughts and sentiments expressed are so troubling, so anathema to the role of teacher, of educator. It burns into my mind because I hear the Group of 88 saying, in effect, 'there are no teachers here,' at least for certain kinds of students."
Allison: ”A visiting instructor in the English Department went so far as to organize a protest outside a house of several lacrosse players. Inside Higher Ed reports that until recently only three Duke professors, comprising a meager 0.2 percent of the Duke faculty, had publicly criticized Nifong.”
There’s one more reason for Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty not to return to Duke.
Allison: “Throughout this long process, Duke missed several opportunities to stand up for its students.”
Duke did not miss them, Allison. It chose not to take them.
Duke failed its men’s lacrosse student athletes; failed their parents who had placed their trust in Duke as a guardian of their sons and failed to validate a system of honor, which should be the basis of student life at Duke, and instead bowed to a rogue prosecutor and out-of-control faculty.
Allison: “Rape is a serious crime. But as the Duke case shows, rape allegations can also be a dangerous weapon. That is why we must be able to trust the legal system to sort through the allegations and deliver justice. Students also deserve justice from their university. Nifong has stepped aside from the case and faces possible disbarment. Who will hold administrators at Duke University responsible? Students and alumni should step up and declare that we expect better from our universities.
Right! But do they dare? Do they care?
Some, to be sure. But there need to be many more.
For there is rot at the Duke core.
Plenty administrators and faculty should be shown the door.
At the IWF conference on the Duke case held on March 15, 2006 in Washington, D.C., Stuart Taylor, Jr., America's top legal commentator and a former Princeton rugby player, not only explained how a connection to a player on the team led him to investigate the phony gang rape claim theretofore being treated as gospel by the media, but bluntly described the media treatment of the story as "a disgrace," lamented the media's "complete indifference o the evidence" and named names, including Raleigh New & Observer, Herald-Sun, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today. That is, the local newspapers in Durham, North Carolina AND America's leading newspapers.
Still, the Hoax was exposed.
LieStoppers poetess Joan Foster explained that it was NOT because the media (with a few notable exceptions: Mr. Taylor and MSNBC's Dan Abrams spring to mind) let the truth get in the way of the agenda they generally share with the gruesome Group of 88:
"It's a challenge I'll admit it!
She's tough to canonize!
What a pity ALL that DNA
Is from ALL those other guys!
"But it's the duty of the media
To let agenda obscure fact!
Despite all the hideous challenges...
We must keep Crystal's victim hood intact!"
Crystal had lied.
But the media tried.
Fortunately, as Mr. Taylor said at the IWF conference, the bloggers were not to be denied.
Question [from the audience]: "Without bloggers, what would have happened in the legal system?
Mr. Taylor: "The case would have gone to trial and likely ended with a hung jury."
IWF forum panelist Christina Hoff Sommers recalled reading a New York Times article by Duff Wilson last August and wondering whether she had been wrong to have dismissed the case entirely.
Mr. Taylor pointed out that LieStoppers, within a few hours, had “shredded” the Wilson article “from top to bottom.”…”an amazing performance of journalism on the fly.”
Mr. Taylor's unstinting praise of the LieStoppers piece is completely deserved, but his explanation was incomplete: Mr. Taylor himself demolished the article in a Slate article posted on August 29, 2006 and entitled "The New York Times Is Still Victimizing Innocent Dukies."
Mr. Taylor not only demonstrated that Mr. Nifong did not have a case and was a prosecutorial disgrace, but highlighted the shamelessness of The New York Times itself:
"Imagine you are the world's most powerful newspaper and you have invested your credibility in yet another story line that is falling apart, crumbling as inexorably as Jayson Blair's fabrications and the flawed reporting on Saddam Hussein's supposed WMD. What to do?
"If you're the New York Times and the story is the alleged gang rape of a black woman by three white Duke lacrosse players—a claim shown by mounting evidence to be almost certainly fraudulent—you tone down your rhetoric while doing your utmost to prop up a case that's been almost wholly driven by prosecutorial and police misconduct.
"And by bad journalism. Worse, perhaps, than the other recent Times embarrassments. The Times still seems bent on advancing its race-sex-class ideological agenda, even at the cost of ruining the lives of three young men who it has reason to know are very probably innocent. This at a time when many other true believers in the rape charge, such as feminist law professor Susan Estrich, have at last seen through the prosecution's fog of lies and distortions."
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.