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Justice at Duke


The Wall Street Journal
12 April 2007


"We believe that these individuals are innocent." With these six words, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper yesterday ended a travesty of justice that had lasted 395 days.

That travesty has been known from the start as the "Duke lacrosse scandal." It began as a narrative all-too-familiar to those schooled in the "race-gender-class" ideology taught at Duke and other prestige universities: White male privilege, in the form of the Duke Lacrosse team; black female victimization, in the person of a stripper from the other side of town hired to enertain them. Into this template came the allegation of rape, unleashed amid the modern world of media saturation that elevates instant judgment.

Mike Nifong…now may face disbarment, which seems apt for such an abuse of his authority. We wonder, though, whether any analogous sanction will be meted to those on the Duke faculty who rushed to condemn the accused long before their guilt could reasonably be established.…

Excerpt from
The Wall Street Journal, editorial,
12 April 2007




Cultural Amnesia

by Clive James

Norton 2007


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was first a neurologist, then a psychopathologist, in which second role, and based in Vienna, he developed the technique of conversational "free association" that we now recognize as the distinctive feature of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and counseling in whatever form we might happen to encounter them. Since at one time or another most of us will spend hours telling our troubles to somebody we hardly know, this is a very widespread influence for a single thinker to have had. On an academic level, Freud's theories about human personality will always be argued over, as they were when they were being developed. The quarrels of his disciples with him and among themselves are interesting studies in how animus and outright hatred can arise from purely mental differences. The driving force of any ideology stands revealed: it can't be coherent without being intolerant. p. 224

W.C. Fields. Woody Alen and Steve Martin have a common ancestor, and his name is W.C. Fields. A greater prodigy of comedy even than Chaplin, Fields could create dialogue for himself that was as funny as his physical presence. (Chaplin's abiding limitation was that he couldn't: the real reason that he wanted to stay silent forever.) p.206

Doctor held in sex abuse cases.

The Los Angeles Times
6 April 2007

Noted child psychiatrist William Ayres is accused of molesting young male patients in cases dating to the 1970s. He has been arrested and is in jail.

Dr. William Ayres, 75, a former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, was arrested without incident at his home in Northern California, said San Mateo Police Capt. Mike Callagy. He was charged with 14 counts of lewd and lascivious acts on children under age 14. The alleged victims are male, Callagy said, and are now grown men.

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