Northern Valley Beacon

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Far more uplifting than political races

Left to right  American Pharoah, Firing Line,  Dortmund

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Leave the empty stadium at Camden Yards. Go to Churchill Downs.

The top four 2015 Kentucky Derby picks:



American Pharoah, 9/4. Owner: Zayat Stables; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Victor Espinoza



Dortmund, 9/2.  Owner: Kaleem Shah; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Martin Garcia



Carpe Diem, 7/1.  WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stable; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: John Velazquez





Materiality, 12/1.  Owner: Alto Racing; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Javier Castellano

Thugs

The fraternity boys were at the Laketown Wharf Resort at Panama City Beach, Fla., at the same time as a group of disabled veterans.  The  boys pissed and puked off the balconies and spit on the veterans and made taunting comments about them screwing their service pooches.  A week earlier,  three college boys were arrested for gang raping an out-of-it woman on the beach while a hundred onlookers stood by and watched.  The woman did not remember the rape, but she was shown a video of the proceedings and recognized that the tatoos on the victim were hers.  

In the same town, during spring break, a party resulted in the shooting of seven celebrating students. Across the country in Santa Barbara, Calif., six police officers were injured, dozens were hospitalized, and a hundred were arrested when a college party turned into a "civil disturbance."

The U.S. and many other "advanced" nations have an extensive history of college student celebrations turning into riots complete with pillaging, looting, rape, and murder.  Black students are included in some of these incidents.  However, when black kids get involved, conservative publications print stories entitled:

Spring Break Violence is a Black College Thing



The demonstrations in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody has produced the same kind of journalistic response.  When the peaceful demonstrations turned violent, the media, with CNN leading the yammer charge, turned to examinations of why demonstrations involving African Americans turn violent.  Of course, they ignore the fact that many gatherings for ostensibly peaceful purposes, as during spring breaks, turn violent no matter what races are involved.  In response to the use of the word "thugs" in characterizing those who went violent,  a Baltimore councilman told a CNN host that you might as well use the word niggers.  He was noting that "thugs" is synonym for the terms to which people of claimed delicacy take offense.  Gov. Scott Walker and his minions used the term "union thugs: when he took away the collective bargaining rights of teachers and other government employees.  The Baltimore councilman is linguistically more sophisticated than the CNN hosts, whose major qualification for their jobs is that their brain be firmly and irretrievably  located well up the lower colon. 

Certainly, when demonstrations in behalf of justice and human rights turn violent, the demonstrations are compromised.  Violence subverts the purpose of the demonstrations and closes off any opportunities to communicate intelligently and effectively about the issues that need resolution.  Rage quickly displaces good intentions.  On the other hand, in the history of America, people do not understand issues under protest unless they are expressed in violent terms.   Nothing cracks the lid of oppression like rioting, destruction, and killing.  While some Americans may make a great issue of the choice of words,  words are used to evade the reality of issues at hand.  Violence is the language Americans understand.  Words are useless, except when a word like "nigger" cuts through the obfuscation;

The demonstrations in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., are in response to something that is endemic in African American communities:  black people, and other people of color or some stigmatized status are very frequently killed, beaten, and otherwise violated by the police.  Many, if not most, of the incidents are excused as the police doing their jobs.  

When the police use violence, they are "serving and protecting," but when the oppressed and disparaged turn to violence they are threatening all of civilization.  The huge and devastating irony comes from NRA and those who see the right to bear arms as the means to keep a predatory government at bay and quell it, if necessary.  Black communities and Indian reservations have experienced the arm of predatory and repressive government reaching into their lives through police departments and other law enforcement agencies.  They have histories which can be used to justify their violent reactions on the basis that they are resisting an intrusive and oppressive government.  Gun violence is a main concern in black communities, but one must wonder what can happen if they are armed with semi-automatic assault weapons with large capacity magazines, such as those used in the mass shootings at Aurora, Colo., and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.  

No one advocates violence.  But when young people gather for reasons both benign and malicious, it breaks out.  And it does get attention in ways that words and peaceful demonstrations do not.  America has lost its ability to make words count.  It has lost the critical ability to distinguish language of manipulation from language that names and designates reality.  The news media has given up the recording and reporting of situations and events for the constant exchange of opinions which generally have little basis in reality.  

No one advocates violence, but our culture has left little option to redress grievances in any other way.  Verbal registering of complaints is typified as whining.

So, America,  here come the thugs.  



Sunday, April 26, 2015

You can't argue with the climate, and have not much chance of changing it.

Bob Mercer reports on the continuing decline of the Democratic Party in South Dakota with the voter registration numbers as they have changed from January to April:


Republicans grew by about 1,100 to 242,163;
Democrats declined by more than 200 to 175,514;
Independents rose by more than 1,900 to 105,784;
Constitutionalists increased by 6 to 582;
Libertarians increased by 41 to 1,443; and
Americans Elect added 2, rising to 12.

The proportions of registered party members break down like this:

Republicans:         46 percent
Democrats:           33 percent
Independents:        20 percent 
Constitutionalists:    .1 percent
Libertarians:             .27 percent
Americans Elect:      .002 percent

The Democrats are the only party losing rather than gaining  registrations.  While Democrats may ask the obvious question of why, most political observers bemoan the single party dominance in state governance and are concerned about the absence of viable opposition in the affairs of state.  The venerable political reporter Kevin Woster, who now operates out of Keloland, says,  "I think the state is a better place with some degree of two-party balance. Three or four would be better."

Woster notes:  "But Democratic influence is almost non-existent in South Dakota these days, beyond the initiated-measure-referred-law process that relies on grassroots signature collection and issue-oriented statewide campaigns."  And he says, however, "the South Dakota Democratic Party could do a lot worse than its recent use of ballot issues for influence."

Over the years, the Democratic Party has taken the lead in a number of initiated referendums on subjects from abortion to raising the minimum wage which have successfully countered legislation or the lack of it in the Republican-controlled state legislature and state administration.  There is a dissonance between what people vote for when they are confronted with an issue and the kind of people they vote for. Put more directly, the question is why do people vote for representatives who do not represent what people want?

South Dakota is undergoing a demographic shift.  The root of that shift is in the displacement of the family farm by large corporate-allied agribusiness.  It is facilitated by a growing majority of people who down deep believe in inequality as  the preferred social order.  They believe in social stratification in which society forms layers from the superior to the inferior classes,  rich to poor  classes, high to low classes.  Even though South Dakota has been Republican-leaning during its history,  it was composed of rural people who worked the land and struggled on farms to provide for families and build communities.  They believed that for those not on the reservations to achieve their goals, they needed to be treated equally, fairly, and without discrimination. They regarded the people consigned to the reservations a lower, inferior class to whom the concepts of liberty, equality, and justice did not apply. In their own quests for equal and fair treatment, they often voted for Democrats, such as George McGovern, James Abourezk, and Tom Daschle.  Despite the current rage against liberals,  which produces much downright error about what liberalism is,  people have elected liberals to federal offices in South Dakota when concerned about fair treatment, equal opportunity, and justice.  

But as social psychologists point out, people often want the full benefits of liberty, equality, and justice for themselves while viewing society in terms of that social stratification mentioned before.  They tend to define themselves in the upper layers of that social strata and regard most  other people as in the lower.  Even if in  fact they are in the lower economic, educational, or social categories,  they associate themselves with those in the upper categories of wealth and power.  This is an old phenomenon in the way people perceive themselves.  During the peasant revolts in Europe when people began to resist domination by the ruling class,  many peasants sought to obsequiously ally themselves with the lords of the manors and their oppressors as the way to obtain favor and gain some advantage in life.  They identified themselves with the gentry, not with their fellows in labor and struggle.  

Today, many people see that the way to survive and, perhaps, even succeed in a country ruled de facto by large, global corporations is to toady to  their masters.  As agriculture has been absorbed into the ways of corporate life,  the demography of South Dakota has shifted to the right and is dominated by those who accept the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the very few as a natural stratification.  They think that their best opportunities lie in sucking up to the wealth and power and they regard other people as a mass to be controlled, exploited, and reviled. The voter registration numbers reflect strongly the shift of people who accept and accommodate corporate dominance as a way of life.  The South Dakota legislature, in its alliance and complicity with business schemes, demonstrates the degree to which it and the people who elected it are subservient to corporate power.  The handling of the EB-5 investment finagle demonstrates the dominant value system now operating in South Dakota.  Honesty, justice, and liberty are not even in the vocabulary except as terms of deception.

The GOP operates on three principles: 
  • inequality
  • subjugation
  • malice toward all except those in control
"If Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he would not only find his beloved Republican Party unrecognizable, he would find himself unwelcome in it," one blog so aptly puts it.  The GOP has adopted an attitude of benevolence toward none and malice toward all.  In its quest for ruthless social stratification, it promotes the concentration of wealth and power as anti-communist patriotism.  It questions whether the the lower 80 percent of humanity have any worth at all, although  it insists on the human value of fetuses so that it can subjugate women into brood sow status.  Mitt Romney memorialized the GOP rationale for dismissing the worthiness of the lower strata with his infamous 47 percent dismissal of it. 

John Thune and Tom Daschle prepare for a televised senatorial debate in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Oct. 17, 2004. (Jason McKibben, Argus Leader)
The John Thune -Tom Daschle  debate
The declining number of Democrats, the growth of independents, and the difficulty South Dakota has in maintaining a labor force (which includes intellectual workers) is a matter of the disaffection with the political attitudes exuded by the dominant party and the corrosive social climate they have created.The political climate in South Dakota changed with the campaign between Tom Daschle and John Thune in 2004. The Thune campaign engaged in massive character assassination with advertising and paid bloggers making frenzied defamation the main objective of the campaign. A signal moment came when Thune during a televised debate said that Air Force veteran Tom Daschle's questioning of the Iraq war "emboldened the enemy," the definition of what a traitor does.  People involved with the Daschle campaign thought the ironic absurdity of Thune's utterly stupid charge would not be lost on the people and would work against him. In a conversation I had with a prominent Republican,  he thought that Thune's campaign tactics would clinch Daschle's election, because people reacted against negative campaigning, particularly when it impugned the patriotism of a veteran with honorable service.  The election proved many people wrong, and it sent a signal that the South Dakota electorate had changed. It no longer reacted against negative campaigning, but enthusiastically embraced it and supported it.  Much of the electorate had joined the Limbaugh hate campaign against liberals, and they sacrificed any critical intelligence they had to any tactic that could rid the land of the liberal scourge.

Their gullibility, or raging animosity, or whatever it is, proved triumphant when Kristi Noem portrayed Stephanie Herseth Sandlin as a puppet-disciple of Nancy Pelosi.  As a Blue Dog Democrat,  Herseth Sandlin departed from the party stance on gay marriage, health care, environmental protection, and other issues.  To claim Herseth Sandlin was a Pelosi puppet was stupifying..  But the message found favor and a number of former Herseth Sandlin supporters were swayed by it.  Although her loss was also the result of the defection of significant portion of the Democrats who simply gave up on being represented in the House of Representatives.  Still, it was another sign of how the South Dakota electorate was changing.  That change was further indicated when the Democrats did not offer a candidate to run against Jhhn Thune in 2010.  The commentators railed against the party for failing to find a viable candidate, but it was not a failure of the party.  It was a triumph for the mean, defamatory, destructive, and insidious kind of campaign that the GOP in South Dakota engaged in.  The people endorsed it,, and potential candidates of ability, integrity, and principle could not subject themselves or their families to the destructive effects of the malice that is now the currency of South Dakota political campaigns. 

The latest signal of how the obsession with enforcing inequality and subjugation and conducting campaigns of character assassination in the state was evident in the Rounds-Weiland campaign of 2014,  Rick Weiland conducted an impeccable campaign of  visiting every town--at least twice--and actually talking with people about issues, while Mike Rounds rode the huge EB-5 ripoff scheme and the proceeds of corruption to a relatively easy victory. That says one heck of a lot about the  electorate in South Dakota.  The majority is more interested in allying itself with the power structure, no matter how crooked and corrupt, than in caring about such things as equality, liberty, and justice.  They avidly embrace the inequality, the subjugation, and the character assassination.  

Some may deny the shady and insidious political climate in South Dakota, but one cannot argue against the evidence of corruption and oppression.  At one time, some of us thought the Democrats could win by concentrating on the feckless and often inane Congressional records of John Thune and Kristi Noem, but fecklessness and inanity are just what the electorate wants as long their representatives don't make any noise about equality, honesty, and justice for the people who work in the state.

If some huge economic disaster hits the state, the people might look to a different party to provide some relief, but the state is getting mired more and more deeply in the prejudice and hate and joys of corruption promoted by the "conservative" movement.  

To wait for the political climate to change is foolery.  Why would a promising young teacher sign on where the pay is low and insult and abuse are all but guaranteed?.  Why would any person with talent, ability, and high expectations choose to work in South Dakota?  Why would anyone choose to waste their life in a place that is not Mars yet, but is hell bent on creating just that oppressive and desolate environment?  There are places that want to give equality, liberty, opportunity, and justice a chance.  What does South Dakota have to offer?

Expect the Democratic registrations to plummet.  There isn't much reason for hope in South Dakota. 










 
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

"The problem with politics isn’t Washington but the electorate."





The conventional commentators on politics seem to insist that the decline of the Democratic Party in South Dakota is because of some failures of the party  in gaining the approval of the electorate.  Over the years, as I maintained a list of the most active party members for Brown County, I have noted a demographic shift.  As attrition reduced the number of established Democrats, few people were there to replace them.  The children from Democratic families, especially those with political interests, have largely left the state.  As the county party held fund-raisers and campaign events in recent years,  they assumed a geriatric aspect,  and those most active in supporting and working for the party were decidedly older. Census and marketing data show that  people in Brown County who gravitated toward the liberal values and qualities promoted by the Democratic Party are being replaced by those who hold to the more discriminatory and excluding values of contemporary conservatism.  Current registration figures in the county show 9,612 Republicans, 9,300 Democrats, and 3,319 Independents.  Independents' voting shows that they lean toward the more conservative values and attitudes, although they also reflect a rejection of what politics has become.

All the would-be political strategists find fault with the personalities or campaigns of candidates, as if their pet theories could remedy all that ails the Democrats.  In reality, the constant self-sucking indulged by many Democrats is what repulses people, including members of their own party.  However, people cling to the assumption that campaigns manipulate the electorate, which is at the mercy and influence of strategists, while the fact is that the electorate has its own mindsets, composed as they are by prejudices, animosities, and values.  

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post takes on the notions about politics and quotes Rep. Alan Grayson:  “Essentially there are no undecided voters. Everybody has picked a team. The only question is, do your guys vote or not?”

 He cites a study by researchers at Princeton and Stanford, which finds:  "Americans now discriminate more on the basis of party than on race, gender or any of the other divides we typically think of — and that discrimination extends beyond politics into personal relationships and non-political behaviors."  Politics is now the hate game, and hatred is the controlling force in politics.  

The study finds:
In the contemporary American political environment, there is evidence of increasing hostility across party lines, which has been attributed to a variety of factors including candidates' reliance on negative campaigning and the availability of news sources with a clear partisan preference.

When political strategists are confronted with the deleterious effects of negative campaigning, they justify it because it works.  And the hate-mongering of people like Rush Limbaugh is dismissed as entertainment. We remind that public executions used to be entertainments for people, as they gatheedr en mass with picnic baskets to enjoy some poor wretches being hung or beheaded.   
South Dakota politics is dominated by a party which unabashedly promotes oppression and hatred as operating principles.  When people discuss the shortage of workers and their preferences for better pay and opportunity, they tend to leave out the political climate of South Dakota as a major factor.  When decrying the declining voter registrations of the Democratic Party,  they blame it on the failure of Democratic politicians to appeal to the voters, not to the possibility that people who subscribe to liberal ideas find the political climate of South Dakota hostile and unhealthy.  
Democrats are not leaving the party.  They are leaving the corrosive and morally depleted environment created by the other party.  Their priority is not winning elections.  It is finding a worthy and healthy life. As they leave, they leave the state to those who tolerate and even encourage oppression, corruption, and  injustice as the preferred way of life. 




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

“We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress,”

Iranian leader Rouhani makes a point about the tussle between President Obama and Congress over the nuclear negotiations with Iran.  He says, “We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress.” 

On a private email exchange,  some colleagues who include international relations professors have been discussing this point.  While the U.S. has taken the lead in the negotiations with Iran, its partners in the discussion are Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.  One professor pointed out that if the U.S. could not make a deal with Iran, it is possible that the other five participants could make a treaty without the U.S.  In fact, Russia has already lifted a sanction against Iran and has decided to resume supplying air defense missiles to Iran according to an agreement that has been held in suspension.  

Russia and China, some discussants point out, are very willing to proceed on the world stage without the U.S.  When the 47 senators signed a letter telling Iran that any agreement made with the Obama administration could be easily overturned by a new president, they in effect dismissed the other participants in the talks.  One writer said he heard that participants from Britain, France, and Germany were deeply offended by the dismissive letter and made overtures with Russia and China to proceed with an agreement without the U.S., if necessary.

Obama is concerned in these later years of his presidency with his legacy of accomplishment.  The GOP members of Congress which are so intent on obstructing him and destroying any claims to accomplishment seem unaware that in trying to take Obama down, they are taking the country down.  They have raised a serious question about America's fitness to have a leadership role in the Iranian nuclear negotiations.  


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Campus rape, journalism, and defamation. Right here in Aberdeen.



Rolling Stone did something that is extremely rare.  It made a mistake on the University of Virginia rape story, it asked a high-powered university department of journalism to examine just how the mistake was made,  it published the analysis, and it is taking the heat, including condemnations for not firing anybody, over its act of mea culpa. What is not brought up in all the discussion of journalistic practice is the matter of fad stories.  When some trend occurs in society and gains public attention, news organizations rush to publish and broadcast stories giving examples of the trend in hopes of attracting readers, listeners, and viewers.  Most fad stories, as they occur in the local media, are bumbling atrocities of literacy.

It is important for news organizations to examine trends.  The Wall Street Journal developed a significant way to do this in what has come to be known as a Wall Street Journal style of story.  The formula is to explain a trend with all the statistical and evidentiary materials that define its prevalence and then focus on an individual who has experienced the trend and show how it affects a real person in a real situation. That is what Rolling   Stone was attempting to do with the account of Jackie being sexually assaulted at an alleged fraternity party.  The report by the Columbia Journalism Department on what went wrong in the story does not mention the perils of fad stories,  which is that some people will want to be part of a trend.  Some of the best Wall Street Journal type stories were written during the agriculture crisis of the 1980s.  They demonstrated in precise and moving ways how financing practices destroyed farms, families, and individuals.  However moving the stories were, they did not stop the integrated industrialization of farming.  But they made clear its effects.

Generally, when one finds specific people to illustrate the effects on them of a trend, the reporter has to get permission to open their lives to examination, verification, and risk some criticism. The reporter cannot rely upon the accounts of the individuals featured in a story, but must verify and fact check their accounts with multiple sources.  That is where stories involving rape and sexual abuse present problems.  Traditionally, journalists do not use the names of rape victims so not to cause further trauma, invade privacy, and expose the victim to public display, which tends to call down more abuse from the malevolent and vicious.  In the Rolling Stone story the name Jackie was a pseudonym.  In deference to Jackie’s sensitivities and privacy, the reporter chose not to check out accounts by her friends or the members of the fraternity which was allegedly involved in the reported rape. 

A reporter for the Washington Post did some of the checking that the Rolling Stone reporter decided to forgo and found discrepancies between the Rolling Stone story and what witnesses recalled and documents recorded.   The fraternity records showed that no party was held at its house on the evening Jackie said.  No one could be found who fit the description of the person Jackie said she went to the party with.     The Charlottesville police department investigated the matter and found no evidence to support that the incident occurred, which is another way of saying the account Jackie gave never seemed to have happened.  Although some friends of Jackie’s said something seemed to have happened to her that night,  her account was contradicted by their recollections of their encounter with her that night.  The Columbia report also pointed out the discrepancies which would ordinarily cause a reporter to aggressively check out Jackie’s version of events. 

That is where the dangers of falling into the conventions of a current fad topic come into play.  Sexual assault on campuses and the handling of them by college officials is an au courant topic in the press right now, and Rolling Stone found an apparent victim who could give the magazine a first hand account.  Rape gets special handling journalistically.  The convention is that the victims are never named and circumstances that could lead to revealing their identities are obscured.  The names of people whose associations with the victim are also given pseudonyms.  In the commission of other c rimes, the victim and witnesses will be listed and reporters and fact-checkers can contact them directly and ask for their accounts of the events.  In deference to the assumed trauma experienced by a rape victim, the right to privacy, and the sensitivities of the victim, probing questions are avoided.  As the Columbia report details, this deference and the fear that Jackie might pull back from the story led the Rolling Stone reporter and editors to glossing over the journalistic process of establishing the facts.  Part of the current stance toward reporting on sexual assaults is that the word of the victim should be accepted and not questioned.  The assumption is that if an alleged victim reports a sexual assault, it happened.  The hard questioning and fact-checking that goes into the making a case for other crimes is not applied in sexual assault cases. 

Although, much of the current controversy about sexual assault and its handling by university officials involves prestigious campuses, places such as South Dakota and Aberdeen also have their stories and concerns.

Northern State University had such case with tragic consequences a quarter century ago in 1989.  Students in dormitories got a party going that started in one dorm and ended up in the dormitory that shared a parking lot with the building my office was in.  A young  woman reported that she was sexually assaulted and three young men were charged with rape.  My knowledge of incident comes from news reports and transcripts of court trials.  My spouse was a reporter at the time and covered the proceedings.

The young woman got very drunk and, according to testimony of witnesses, exhibited some aggressively sexual behavior with some of the men at the party in a dorm room.  She was carried out of the room to a car in the parking lot where the behavior between her and some young men continued.  Other party goers were gathered around the car as reveling spectators while what we once termed heavy petting was taking place in the car.  There were many witnesses of both sexes. 

Eventually the young woman was driven to her dormitory and put to bed.  When she awoke she realized she had been part of a spectacle and told a dorm counselor that she thought she had been sexually assaulted.  The counselor sent the report up to the office of student services and an investigation began.  Three young men were identified as being in the car with the young woman,  were expelled from the campus, and the matter was turned over to the police, who later issued arrest warrants for the young men charging them with rape of a woman too incapacitated to give consent to sexual acts.  

One of the young men blew his heart out with a deer rifle, which is how I became familiar with the case.  I was an officer in the faculty union and acted as the grievance officer.  My job in that role was to insure that due process was carefully observed in any matters involving faculty discipline or grievances.  Two professors who had had the suicide victim in class inquired if the expulsion of the young men from campus before any hearings were held was consistent with the rules of due process.  One of the professors said that the young man could be a bit of a jerk at times, but that the handling of the matter in a way that resulted in self-extermination did not seem to be in the best interests of the young woman, the young men, other students, and the university in general.  As the procedures applied to faculty for disciplinary matters were a matter of a negotiated contract, they have no application to students.  The handling of student matters is left to the discretion of the administration.  However, we agreed that the summary expulsion of the students sent a signal that the university had determined them guilty before a full investigation had been made and appropriate hearings held, and that did not reflect well on the university.  The university appeared more interested in dispensing punishment than engaging in the due process of justice.   I consented to make this point to the administration and was told, in effect, to buzz off; it wasn’t any of the faculty’s business.  It was clear to me that the administration just wanted no part in the whole matter and handed it off to the police. 

The charges against the remaining two men were carried forward in court.  One young man accepted a plea bargain and received a sentence.  The third young man insisted upon going to trial.  As time approached for the trial in August 1990, feelings were heating up.  Death threats were made, according to the police, but by whom against whom was never clear.  When the trial commenced, police guarded the court house doors and inspected people going in and out for weapons. 

The trial revealed that the young woman had a history of psychological instability.  It also revealed how prevalent alcohol had become as a factor in the social life on campus.  And it  showed that colleges are not equipped to handle the misadventures of their students.  What was essentially a drunken brawl which certainly required disciplinary measures had turned into a criminal case with the resulting death of a student.

The third young man was acquitted of the same charges as filed again the young man who killed himself and the young man who was sentenced on a plea bargain. 

The misapplication of the processes that lead to justice were a subject for years among the faculty.  The administration did not talk about it. 

Now the fraternity that was accused of giving the party at which Jackie claimed she was sexually assaulted is suing Rolling Stone in an effort to deal with unjust accusations against its members.   Justice requires that students both be safe from assault and from false accusations. 

Justice is not as popular a subject right now as sexual assault.  And going for the popular is what led Rolling Stone to publish a story for which no truth was verifiable. 


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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States

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