consultants are sandburs



Saturday, December 31, 2016

Russian hacking?

Dan Goodin, a regular Ars Technica writer citing published opinion of private sector security pundits, is unimpressed with the publicly released government report.

"Friday, December 9, 2016 Open Letter to Mayor Betsy Hodges & Mpls. City Council on US Bank Stadium, Downtown East."

Arne Carlson's opinion. Read it, should you doubt the gentleman's willingness to go into detail.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Latest on Gopher boycott and the arguably flawed EOAA report - Freeman on reevaluation sees no cause to charge any crime - evidence of consensual sex was the police report, and ...

Strib reports:

County attorney again declines to file charges into alleged sexual assault by Gopher football players -- Review of the case didn't uncover any significant new evidence, said County Attorney Mike Freeman.
By David Chanen Star Tribune - December 30, 2016 — 4:21pm


[...] Freeman said that veteran prosecutors, [and] victim witness advocates of his office reviewed the university's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) report that resulted in the suspension of 10 Gopher football players after a student's claims of sexual assault from the Sept. 2 incident were found valid by a university investigator.

"That report shined a light on what can only be described as deplorable behavior." Freeman said in a statement. "And while the university's investigation included a handful of new interviews, the information elicited was not significantly different from the information presented to this office following a thorough investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department."

Freeman said that reviewing the EOAA report and comparing it to the MPD investigation shows "no new significant evidence" that would enable prosecutors to bring charges against any of the players. He pointed out that prosecutors have a higher standard of proof than the University.

"As a result, our decision not to bring charges remains unchanged." Freeman said.

[...] The EOAA report, which was made public when it was obtained and released by KSTP-TV, found after a four-month investigation that the alleged victim's account was "more credible" than the players'.

[...] One of the witnesses interviewed by the EOAA included a football player who told the EOAA that he and others were listening at the door when he recalled "from the stuff [the woman] said, it didn't seem like she was into it. She said something and [the men present] decided it was messed up."

That statement proved to be crucial in the school's actions in finding the woman's account of Sept. 2 more credible than the players' statements.

The university also uncovered evidence indicating that the players "deliberately attempted to impede the university's fact-finding efforts," according to its report.

But the university has more leverage over students, who have to talk to EOAA investigators or face violating the student conduct code, which could result in anything from a warning to an expulsion.

[italics added]


Those guys got railroaded.

Do you see anything in attorney Hewitt's staff output that hints of respect for due process?

If so, please in a comment state what.

That Hewitt staff is guilty of spoilation of evidence, in having not preserved a video record of interviews while appearing to have a prior intent to find wrong-doing. Their interview process was entirely in their hands, and any reasonably objective person would say, "Why not preserve a record? What's wrong with that idea?"

The affected players should sue. If doing that they should be entitled to get discovery of initial and ongoing emails and conversations Hewitt had with Coyle and/or with Kaler. I.e., inquiry aimed to uncover admissible evidence of ongoing bias, if any, and prejudicial intent entering into things.

The video the police reviewed is objective. It does not lie. It does not misrecollect. It does not make highly quesitonable "credibility" decisions with a dismissive sentence or two in a frigging eighty page report. The EOAA-Hewitt staff persons never looked at video evidence if I read the 80 pages correctly.

Why not? Wouldn't you, if wanting to be fair and objective?

And the accused have Fifth Amendment rights; and the right to have an attorney present during any questioning by authorities where a punitive penalty, civil or criminal, is at risk. If EOAA advised them of their Miranda rights, the 80 page EOAA report of its record assembly is wholly bare of any such contention.

BOTTOM LINE: If the EOAA effort does not reek of prior intent arguably bordering on bias to you; your opinions of the quality of the Hewitt staff's conduct, aims, and output differs from mine. That EOAA report is circumstantial evidence of the internal EOAA procedures and methodology; and inferences within the public from circumstances surrounding the EOAAs document history and content can differ person-to-person.

To me, it stinks.

Yes the young men acted in a way most in Minnesota would view as "deplorable" just as Freeman stated. But "deplorable" is a judgmental word one can also attach to the Hewitt-Coyle-Kaler way of doing things; and they would be expected to show a higher level of maturity and dedication to fairness and dedicated due process than ten eighteen or nineteen year old jocks.

After all, their salaries are higher. [UPDATE: If you can find how much public taxpayer dollars are and have been paid annually to Kimberly Hewitt, for example, you are a better web searcher than I am. It is public data, and should be directly and easily available. Especially for a human resources area employee. There is this, but what if you are not within the University community with a MyU account, ... This link exists; so where's Hewitt? And what's her severance benefit package and retirement plan; i.e., the entire compensation package vs. a scholarship if you can keep it, for the jocks. Shouldn't there be transparency on taxpayer dollars spent on UMn salaries and perks? Administrative department head salaries in particular, i.e., for that close-knit internal small-membership leadership club?]

_____________FUTHER UPDATE_______________
BINGO: Hat tip to BizJournal; yielding a single dated record, 2014, but indicative - follow the link for each data item's caption:

Hewitt,Kimberly Dawn
$134,735.00 [2014 salary]
Director (University-Wide)
Equal Opp & Affirm Action
TWIN CITIES

So, going into 2017; and guessing at the perks; say two hundred grand +/-. 250?

For what, fairness or pursuit of an agenda? Football players collectively with not only numbers on their backs, but targets (quoting from that summer 2015 email, last paragraph) "scheduling a strategy" does suggest some level of prior inclination for 2016. I.e., a scheduled strategy.


Pursuit of "the football program?" An ongoing effort at finding a complainant who'd proceed [none would in 2015 per that email]; and then what objectively reasonable steps would you guess were taken to lead to "credibility" being determined in some quaint closed-door fashion as noted in passing in a conclusory cursory ten line paragraph in an 80 page document? Is this right or wrong? You decide.

Google search = "kimberly hewitt" site:http://www.startribune.com/

Understanding history? That search returned the linked email, posted by Strib; within this 2015 summary report.

Railroading? Greasing the skids? This July 2016 Strib item stating:

The University of Minnesota is creating a special panel of students, faculty members and staff to decide if students accused of sexual assault should be disciplined.

Officials said they plan to train a pool of 35 volunteers to preside over hearings, as part of an effort to cope with an upsurge in complaints about sexual misconduct on campus.

“We thought we could make some changes, make the overall process move faster,” said Kimberly Hewitt, director of the U’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, which investigates complaints of sexual assault.

In the past, students who were unhappy with the outcomes of those investigations could request a hearing before the Campus Committee on Student Behavior. But Hewitt said there was growing concern that the committee members, who also handle complaints about cheating and plagiarism, needed more training to handle allegations about sexual assault.

Creating a Star Chamber? An existing body side-tracked to be more "efficient" after being "suitably trained?" That wording may not track the precise terminology of Strib's report; but they capture the gist. How else would you read it? In your mind how does that excerpt square with the year-earlier aim of cementing a "strategy?"

If "due process" and norms were deliberately eschewed; norms such as having a jury-like requirement reflecting peer values - judgment by peers fairly and unbiasedly selected, and proceedings in the open and not behind closed doors apply before young men, regardless of what they did in having what arguably was "consensual sex" with a single female, together and in sequence, are severely punished; then the thing should be remanded, for precisely that. If due process does not apply; what in the world is this university teaching their students? And why in the world are taxpaying citizens  paying for that? If you trust that eighty page report as objectively flawless; bless you for being a most trusting soul. I distrust it. Cutting corners; and disdaining the notion of  keeping an unimpeachable record where video interviewing is easily implemented; suggest specific goal-oriented "efficiency" trumped good judgment and sound practice.

Opinions can differ.

______________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Lovers of pure irony should be certain to read that last referenced Strib item; all the way to the final paragraph. There had been a right to a hearing de novo if the closed door admin review outcome was disliked. What happened, and why, with the question reaching beyond what administrators at the U were quoted to have said in support of junking a hearing de novo? It is bothersome. Sophistry frequently is.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE______________
It would be helpful if, beyond bald assertion, attorney Hewitt would lay out the argument that Title IX gives her EOAA jurisdiction off-campus, over the sexual lives and practices of students; ideally with specific citation to statute and case authority. Also, is there any rationale beyond streamlining to have junked a right to a more public followup hearing de novo, beyond some sort of internal closed door thing without any record preserved from which an appellate review panel might find error?

Again, read that last cited Strib item all the way to its final paragraph. In reporting, Hewitt has been quoted asserting Title IX justifies all she engineered as she engineered it; and rational skepticism wanting a showing beyond that bald assertion ought to be forthcoming. As a thing of value in educating the young about the right way to be doing things. It was not up to Wolitarsky and Leidner (and other senior ball players aware of prior events) to do that educating. It is not part of their employment contract.

In closing a lack of expertise in Title IX here at Crabgrass is admitted. Attorney Hewitt claims to be a crackerjack expert on it and gets that generous publicly paid six figure salary. Her feet need holding to the fire to produce a credibly structured argument that her EOAA jurisdiction goes to expressions of adult student [the woman and the men are by law adults] sexual expression choices off campus.

Remember the beginning of this post noting Freeman reviewed and held firm: Within his jurisdiction, there was no prosecutable offense. Hewitt must justify her assertion of jurisdiction as a first step; and then she must explain all the corner cutting, lack of a decent record, and junking of a right to a hearing de novo as somehow, beyond hand waving, arising from Title IX. It is that, or a question of whether she truly is earning her paycheck or whether she might be replaced in an upgrade effort.  After all, that seems to be the unchallenged test to which Coach Clayes is now being subjected.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On the TV now, in the background, 4th quarter, the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Does this firm have any reasonable cash flow other than from government military contracting?

If not, taxpayers are paying for those dudes to puff their chests on the public dollar.

Shouldn't they be made to reimburse the government for the money spent on that non-major bowl thing? Don't taxpayers deserve that?

This is not Boeing with substantial civilian income streams; where even Boeing is not into retail, but with its civilian cash flow from equally large bargaining adversaries, the airlines; who have Airbus to keep the field sort-of level; duopoly vs monopoly.

Praise Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, for restraint with the public's dollars.

More on the short-lived Gopher football team boycott. And on the strange silence of the EOAA report about possible lack of institutional control, for which university tort liability to the woman might arguably attach.

First, Reusse has a recent Strib report, here, (Hewitt mentioned), which may help reader understanding of history.

Without tracing back a link, the restraining order was reported to have no-contact parameters; the athletic department where the woman was reported to have a job; and the entire stadium where the woman was reported to have some ill-reported job duty during games; the cause of the initial four-player two game absence from game days. Also, from memory, that earlier reporting quoted the woman post-attainment of the restraining order saying, "I just wanted to be safe."

With no reported detail on whether there was ongoing verbal harassment of the woman at her job, of the kind of "Gee look what I have on video on my phone," or something similar, then one would presume the woman duly complained to athletic department staff and also, presumably met dead ears. That is on the job harassment tolerated by "the boss" after notice; and if it happened that way it might be actionable.

Last, reporting is that Freeman as County Attorney is having his office reconsider whether chargeable crime occurred.

That is escalation of the threat to the young men under other scrutiny; subsequent to the boycott hitting the news. Prosecutors are in the habit of seeking stern sentences beyond offered plea bargaining deals; if a plea bargain is refused. With that background, a reconsideration after the players stood up collectively to be counted as wanting due process has the smell of retaliation.

A single bad evening's event of bad conduct and bad decision making of the young men under scrutiny, along with the level of liquor consumption the woman admits prior to seeking party activity, is one thing; whereas a tolerated ongoing level of verbal on the job harassment of the woman would be a separate worry; and one attaching blame to the institution; to "the boss," and with the woman having had a lawyer at the point the restraining order was attained - if memory of reporting is correct - then the woman seems to hold a gold plated or solid goal potential cause of action against the institution and its deep pocket. Expect it, perhaps or perhaps not.

That aspect of unreported possibility which EOAA reporting could have investigated and illuminated makes the lack of such inquiry or "weighing of evidence and questioning of supervisory staff at where the woman worked in the athletic department" suspect, as if the EOAA regarded such "diversion" from the issue were thought by EOAA investigators as irrelevant for investigation; curiously so; and the press should be pressing the EOAA and the Gopher athletic department in that direction even while the EOAA ignored the question.

LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL: From Clem Haskins days that term is the familiar catch-all program sanctioning buzz-word of the NCAA. And given the magnitude of the cash flows college football generates for the institutions and the NCAA they want "institutional control" to be ever vigilant. They say. But the institutional goal is exploitation of the unpaid professional football players universities employ to weekly beat up on like individuals on "the other team."

Peril to the cash cow could be the preeminent NCAA concern, among those who are on its staff to police programs, and HEY, FOLKS those troublesome boycotting rude boys need a lesson; which would square with the prosecutor reconsidering a no-charge finding. Let's teach how when nails stand up, they get hammered down is a way of phrasing such possible motivations.

The lesson the college paid high level leadership might be aiming to import is one possibly aimed at student athletes not making the cut at the next level; in the real world the boss is right and don't stand up to the boss without expecting adverse impact. If that's what college educations have sunk to these days it would be a sad event. We all should hope that looking closely and skeptically at the institution and its leadership will prove that such worry is groundless.

It could be groundless. Or not. Why, we may deliberate, are the press and institutional employees not looking for anything under the hat that way.

Providing the accused fresh due process evidentiary hearings on the record; with judgment by peers being important because student value systems of community reasonableness might differ from that of institutional elders getting paychecks. Judgment by peers dates back at least, in writing, to the Magna Carta as a constraint on the power and arbitrary discretionary authority of the king [a/k/a Kaler]. Restraining a king to accept judgment by a jury of peers was a Magna Carta consideration having an ongoing life and relevance from all the way back to 1215 - i.e., nine centuries old, as a concept of due justice. The text of the historic document is online in modern English, here.

As argued previously at Crabgrass, there are loose ends to loose ends, a Gordian knot of loose ends; and having ten young men walk the plank resolves only a few. The press owes the public a broader viewpoint; and taxpayer financed institutions of higher learning should be held to a high standard within their leadership ranks, and accordingly be very conscious of how their actions may appear. They should not have a blind eye to themselves while judging young men under the hardest of sexual misconduct standards; yes means yes seems the early evening situation, and stop means stop, after a consensual start is the bugaboo of the new standard of correctness being advanced; ten men being at risk.

In a nutshell, the rug is not big enough to sweep any dimensions of culpable institutional negligence under, and out of sight. Also, there is the Nixon dimension; a cover-up can lead to a more entrancing and commanding line of inquiry than candor might entail.

In closing, reflection back to the Reusse item link in the opening paragraph is appropriate. Hewitt may have had a driving agenda which confused her lawyer's objective embrace of due process; with that seeming to be the boycott nexis. Reusee suggests an axe to grind; or at least a point to be made; and Reusse suggests the boycott leadership, prominent seniors with a few years of experience of Hewitt attention to athletics, may harbor the view the lady lawyer has an axe to grind against the high profit male athletic programs. The second cash cow sport at the U., (ahead of hockey), has not been without attention. But the campus scrutiny was ended once the criminal law authorities found no prosecutorable fault. How that result squared with Hewitt was not, to my knowledge, reported by the press. This time, EOAA reach was not as deferential to the County authorities as with Lynch.

A cynic might suggest that if there's to be a lynching without due process; don't make it a guy named Lynch.

____________UPDATE____________
If there was job site ongoing verbal harassment by players of the woman while she was an employee of the athletic department, there'd only arguably be institutional liability if athletic department leaders knew or reasonably should have known of harassment. If the woman complained to athletic staff, and it turned out to be to a deaf ear, and then a lawyer/restraining order and a complaint to EOAA from a woman who says, "What I wanted was to feel safe." Had an athletic department effort of any force been made to make her feel safe, and then the lawyer/restraining order/EOAA thing landed anyway, the story would be different. We don't know the facts, and apart from the actual facts, we don't know what would be admissible evidence and how an impartial jury of peers would decide on whether there might be civil institutional liability allowing recovery of compensatory and possible punitive damages on a job site tolerance of harassment action. Things do not appear to be over with the boycott having been effective for less than a week. It got the question of due process into the sunshine. More shoes may drop. Coach might not be around to see all rumblings and settlement.

Gavin Newsome? For President, Democratic Party, in 2020? Remember you read of it here, second. Hearing it first from Bill Mahar, via YouTube as I learned of the thought about a possible 2018 candidate now, for Governor of California. But, but, the last President moving from Governor of that west coast State was a bad-as-roadkill absolute disaster . . . Well-

Watch it. It speaks for itself.
Watch Mahar, this link, in a video worth watching from start to finish.

But focus at around 4:25 into the interview when Mahar drops the Newsom name. Bio website links,

http://www.gavinnewsom.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Newsom

This websearch. Negative history, to some, here. Within that report:

Tourk worked as an aide to Brown before joining Newsom's first mayoral campaign in 2003. The next year, he became Newsom's deputy chief of staff and served as one of the mayor's key strategists.

He was instrumental in turning Newsom's idea of inviting homeless people to one location and providing them with myriad services into a reality. Almost 15,000 people have since received services during more than a dozen Project Homeless Connect days in San Francisco.

In his resignation statement, Tourk said, "I am honored that, as deputy chief of staff, I helped create and implement key policy initiatives such as the Homeless Connect program that is now a national model for its compassionate and comprehensive approach to helping the homeless."

Newsom's statement said Tourk "was instrumental in my first election, organizing a strong early re-election effort, and shaping successful policy during his service with the city and county of San Francisco. We all wish Alex well and know he will be successful in all of his future endeavors."

I wholeheartedly embrace that policy priority after coming to realize that homelessness among youth (hat tip to Jim Abeler on that issue) and all other older people is a strikingly stressful imposition of the wealthy control bloc in our nation upon those suffering outdoor homelessness; while being cravenly purposed that way by those having the power to address and fix the situation, in ours, the wealthiest nation of all time; that craven purpose being to intimidate those many, many citizens on the razor's edge, paycheck-to-paycheck, and especially the young under student debt burdens fostered for the identical reason while facing control-bloc intolerance toward payment of a decent living wage at the same time they dilute labor pool supply/demand competition via flawed immigration policy which should be focused on stern enforced employer sanctioning when non-citizens without work permits are employed at serf-like compensation rates, sometimes off the books.

Publicly visible homelessness plight makes malcontents who presently are not quite as badly off more pliant and less strident, which seems hand-in-glove with other issue-positioning of the rich. Less Occupy; more lining up and shutting up. All that.

Add to that abominable pattern the right-wing union-busting will and advocacy of "right to work" [for less] shills, and the miasma is staggering.

There will be no "Great Again" change in things without that entire brand of stuff being mucked out of the national stable.

Last, citizen safety net provisions are the oft-ignored or minimized duty of government, (especially local governments); and not a duty of private religion or private charitable giving. The latter have stepped in mainly because of the shameful and inexcusable dereliction of duty by the former.

Temporary Crabgrass shutdown.

Briefly this morning public access to the blog was interrupted. Readers may have encountered a Google account sign-in screen intercept.

Public access should now work fine.

Over Christmas, from a few days before to a few days after Dec. 25, the workstation was misbehaving while being updated. Some problems remain, but it appears system security and stability have been restored. While troubleshooting the workstation and running security scans (until reasonably confident), posting and accessing the Google account was suspended per the last post - Dec. 22.

After DNC and Podesta and Powell had their systems penetrated, precaution (a/k/a paranoia) seems/seemed appropriate.

Even for non-prime-time targets . . .

CONSIDERATIONS: Had an outsider captured ability to alter the station system; or to gain Google account access (e.g. via a keylogger during mail sign-in) the worry was/would be alteration of link addresses in posts; spoofing legitimate sites or linking through a malware site to the Google stored blog content. And/or using a possibly compromised email account to send phishing attempts.

Were that to happen to any online system or mail account (not merely Crabgrass, etc.); readers/recipients might experience penetration and compromise to their systems and online accounts.

REMEMBER: Current publicly reported belief is that DNC/Podesta penetrations were via a phishing email containing a malware link which ended up wrongly opened.

With such a worry in mind; and this morning gaining believed full secure author's access to the Google blog while believing the workstation disturbance fixed; access was curtailed. That was for interrupting blog access to do blog troubleshooting (which is a limited thing for non-programmers using online provider-supplied templates). Curtailing access earlier would have risked attempting to reset core blog function via a potentially penetrated path. Leaving the email and blog accounts alone until reasonable belief of access risks being low seemed the better procedure.

Presently, per date/time stamp of this post, all is believed to be in good order after security scans (including rescue disc usage). Only after reaching that point was the blog taken off-line until a review of author settings and such suggested it should be okay to restore public read-access to Crabgrass.

REQUEST: If any reader notices or believes to notice content causing security/privacy worry (bad links, altered links, etc.), or to believe an email has been spoofed as if from me, or that a problematic comment has been allowed; such reader is asked to take the time to submit a comment or to send an email (4crabgrass@gmail.com) describing the worry. Opinion content the reader disagrees with, and only that, is likely not malware, but notice of anything seeming to suggest a security/privacy breach is what is requested.

LAST: May all readers enjoy a good new year, with good health and prosperity into the future. (Even the 1%'ers who may land here and read. Even those taking more than a fair share from everyone else. Even the Trumps and the Clintons. Even military brass, NSA cyber intruders, legislators, lobbyists, Freedom Clubsters,  idiots, union busters, and those paying the help less than fifteen bucks an hour. But then I repeat myself.)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

As a matter of Christmas cheer, I hope the Clinton-Democrats enjoy seeing the daily Trump distribution of spoils.

Because they caused it.

Not that progressives would have spoils for that sort; but somebody has to say Clinton Foundation is not equivalent to DNC, or to Minnesota's DFL. Clinton Foundation is 1% garbage; indeed, corporatist unprogressive garbage. A version of political original sin.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Strib continuation on the Gopher football boycott and its reversal - op-ed commentary links.

One news item, revisionary attention.

Song time for lawyers Hewitt and Freeman; from 2015 and this past September-October respectively? And is the tune fit for an untenured head coach?

Or is it wait and see?

A prediction with the defensive backfield depleted; Cougars rip Gophers. Then -

Links in no particular order: Frank LoMonte on secrecy games and moves behind the curtain -> result announced, rationale absent and process obscured purportedly out of respect for student record privacy; Sami Rahamim dissing "great again" and "toxic masculinity" unlike among preying manti [that is the plural of mantus, look it up] with an unstated premise the EOAA multiple pages are gospel and overstatement is art; and lawyer Marshall H. Tanick about collective action without a bargaining unit and a bilaterally negotiated employment contract, key introductory words six paragraphs into the op-ed, "the harm could have been averted or minimized, had other means of recourse been available to the squad. One such would be a labor union representing the interests of the players."

My vote, clear from earlier posting, Tanick has the better thoughts to take from the situation. Opinions can differ.

A big plus for the Tanick item; it is presented with the term "EOAA" wholly absent. Some may not find it hard to say "EOAA report" and "objectivity" in the same sentence, an affliction possibly not touching lawyer Hewitt who might have more of a problem with the words "due" and "process." But that's between the ears of another person, among motives in totality, and ways and means.

UPDATE: From the Tanick op-ed:

The players are not the only losers in barring unions for college athletes. The institutions suffer, too, because the lack of restraints imposed by having to deal with unions makes them susceptible to the kind of erratic decisionmaking that plunged the U into such chaos.

"Erratic" decisionmaking is a good way to phrase things. It judges error, without saying "ham-handed" or, worse, "biased." Who is the EOAA in this and was there any policy agenda leading the "fact-finding" and credibility assessments of the 80 pages written, allegedly, not for public disclosure because of that privacy of student records bug-a-boo? How good is a fig-leaf if not attained and used with exemplary due process? Go figure.

FURTHER: Wolatarski is said to be the senior English major, so perhaps he can shed light on Lewis Carroll's trial of the Knave:

'Please your Majesty,' said the Knave, 'I didn't write it, and they can't prove I did: there's no name signed at the end.'

'If you didn't sign it,' said the King, 'that only makes the matter worse. You must have meant some mischief, or else you'd have signed your name like an honest man.'

There was a general clapping of hands at this: it was the first really clever thing the King had said that day.

'That proves his guilt,' said the Queen.

'It proves nothing of the sort!' said Alice. 'Why, you don't even know what they're about!'

'Read them,' said the King.

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. 'Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?' he asked.

'Begin at the beginning,' the King said gravely, 'and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'

These were the verses the White Rabbit read: -

'They told me you had been to her,
And mentioned me to him:
She gave me a good character,
But said I could not swim.

He sent them word I had not gone
(We know it to be true):
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?

I gave her one, they gave him two,
You gave us three or more;
They all returned from him to you,
Though they were mine before.

If I or she should chance to be
Involved in this affair,
He trusts to you to set them free,
Exactly as we were.

My notion was that you had been
(Before she had this fit)
An obstacle that came between
Him, and ourselves, and it.

Don't let him know she liked them best,
For this must ever be
A secret, kept from all the rest,
Between yourself and me.'

'That's the most important piece of evidence we've heard yet,' said the King, rubbing his hands; 'so now let the jury - '

'If any one of them can explain it,' said Alice, (she had grown so large in the last few minutes that she wasn't a bit afraid of interrupting him,) 'I'll give him sixpence. I don't believe there's an atom of meaning in it.'

The jury all wrote down on their slates, 'she doesn't believe there's an atom of meaning in it,' but none of them attempted to explain the paper.

'If there's no meaning in it,' said the King, 'that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn't try to find any. And yet I don't know,' he went on, spreading out the verses on his knee, and looking at them with one eye; 'I seem to see some meaning in them, after all. " - said I could not swim - " you can't swim, can you?' he added, turning to the Knave.

The Knave shook his head sadly. 'Do I look like it?' he said. (Which he certainly did not, being made entirely of cardboard.)

'All right, so far,' said the King, and he went on muttering over the verses to himself: '"We know it to be true - " that's the jury, of course - "I gave her one, they gave him two - " why, that must be what he did with the tarts, you know - '

'But, it goes on "They all returned from him to you,"' said Alice.

'Why, there they are!' said the King triumphantly, pointing to the tarts on the table. 'Nothing can be clearer than that. Then again - "before she had this fit - " you never had fits, my dear, I think?' he said to the Queen.

'Never!' said the Queen furiously, throwing an inkstand at the Lizard as she spoke. (The unfortunate little Bill had left off writing on his slate with one finger, as he found it made no mark; but he now hastily began again, using the ink, that was trickling down his face, as long as it lasted.)

'Then the words don't fit you,' said the King, looking round the court with a smile. There was a dead silence.

'It's a pun!' the King added in an offended tone, and everybody laughed, 'Let the jury consider their verdict,' the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'

'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'


'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.

'I won't!' said Alice.

'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

'Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) 'You're nothing but a pack of cards!'

At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her face.

'Wake up, Alice dear!' said her sister; 'Why, what a long sleep you've had!'

Words of a Nobel laureate.

Not with any particular purpose in mind, just, song time USA. One person's thinking from years ago anyway. Hat tip to RB.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Competence is needed at the VA. Not some fool in the center chair acting dangerously. Going rogue.

This YouTube link. "Poor decision, obvious negligence, ... When shooting or throwing always know what is behind your target ...".

A perfect microcosm for what they've done ...

If Trump does not appoint the individual should Trump watch out over every fence for a flying axe?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Labor solidarity means labor solidarity. College football players got screwed in the Northwestern bargaining unit shell game the NLRB pulled; and now some U.Minn. players are getting screwed, for getting screwed.

Strib image - this report - LABOR SOLIDARITY

They work, they have a contract. Express and implied terms of an athletic scholarship contract can exist beyond what is public knowledge. Basically the scholarship contract given to football players is:  You bring in mega-bucks for us, we give you a scholarship; and there is no actual nor reasonably implied contract terms saying consensual sex between adult students will impair such a deal.

The University of Minnesota, from appearances reported in Strib coverage, argauably appears to have broken and breached its contract with the collective unit - the team - which should be a collective bargaining unit after all.

Did Kaeler and/or Coyle consult a lawyer about contract duties owed players before making a unilateral decision which fairly clearly defames a substantial percentage if not all of THE TEAM - the players with whom it had contracted? Directly against some; indirectly against all.

Opinions can differ. Yet the players arguably are right to refuse performance of their contract to earn millions for the school; given that the school has itself arguably unilaterally breached the deal.

There is no duty to preform given a prior breach by the other side, in most contracts. Events of a punitive nature by U. administrators happened which reflect upon and are related to the contract between the U.Minn. and its recruited players who accepted scholarships there instead of elsewhere on the actual or implied promise they'd be treated fairly. Not in an arbitrary and capricious way, but legally correct instead.

This is the second bad AD hire of Kaler. Does he have to be allowed three strikes before being out? First time, harassment was not curtailed. This time, overreaction in light of the first mistake seems apparent.

This time a sexual-encounter situation from the past which had run its course with a police and prosecutorial decision that crime was absent; and with a civil settlement including a cross covenant not to sue, so that involved persons had under advice of counsel resolved issues between them.

Settlement exists of record between the young adult woman who went to a player's apartment after having consumed alcohol; and the player(s) with whom she had sex. The matter was put to rest.

But Kaler and his subordinate decided that was not proper or sufficient; and further publicly attacked the reputations of players. If they failed to consult counsel before doing it, each should be sued for defamation; and let the chips then fall where they may.

Here is Strib reporting:

Background on allegations

According to police reports and the student’s testimony, the student, who is part of the gameday operations at TCF Bank Stadium, drank five to six shots of vodka on the night of Sept. 1 before heading out of her apartment with her roommates toward Dinkytown.

She then went with two football players to the Radius, an off-campus apartment building. Though she said her memory was spotty, she recalled Djam in a common area asking her to go up to his apartment. She would later testify that she had no intention of having sex.

She said she felt panicked when Djam walked her into his bedroom, but later testified that he never pushed her, prevented her from leaving or said anything threatening to her.

Asked during a court hearing why she didn’t leave, she said, “I felt scared, trapped, isolated with someone I felt had power over me.”

At some point, they began having sex. The police report said “she doesn’t have a recall about how the sex acts started.”

After Djam, others followed. She told police she saw a line of men waiting to take turns.

“I was removing myself from my mind and my body to help myself from the pain and experience going on,” she testified.

She estimated there were at least a dozen men. “I was shoving people off of me,” she testified. “They kept ignoring my pleas for help. Anything I said they laughed. They tried to cheer people on.”

About an hour and a half later, she said, she was allowed to leave. She called her sister, who told her to go to the hospital immediately, where she was given a rape exam, while her mother made a report to Minneapolis police. The next day, an officer sat down with the student, who described her version of what happened.

That is an account from one person, with a lot of state-of-mind allegation not wholly consistent with what objective conduct she engaged in and which she'd admitted. The allegation was made that at some point in the process something consensual changed to saying "No" happened; but with that not honored. There is no testimony of how many sexual partners the woman had in the hour and a half before she left the involved premises. There is no medical evidence presented within the Strib reporting of injury beyond and inconsistent with consensual sex with multiple partners.

If she was obviously impaired from alcohol consumption to be unable to consent to having sex that would be a consideration. Yet the report was drinking with female friends and then going out on the street with them, voluntarily, and not too stumbling drunk to not be able to walk upright.

The report is silent about what if any expectation or intent existed within the female group that went to the streets; nor is any testimony reported in the Strib account from the woman's drinking partners about her level of inebriation at the time they collectively hit the streets. I.e., whether any of the woman's female drinking cohorts feared for her level of impairment is absent from the Strib item. As is whether they even noticed.

Strib continues:

[... Police] interviewed Djam. He acknowledged having sex with the woman, but was adamant that it was consensual. As proof, he played them three separate videos, totaling about 90 seconds, taken that morning.

During an 8-second clip, the woman “appears lucid, alert, somewhat playful and fully conscious; she does not appear to be objecting to anything at this time,” Wente wrote in his report. After viewing two additional videos, he wrote “the sexual contact appears entirely consensual.”

Police later interviewed four other players, who each said the sex was consensual.

[... Police] sent the investigation to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office for possible prosecution. In it, he wrote about the videos, “at no time does she indicate that she is in distress or that the contact is unwelcome or nonconsensual.”

On Oct. 3 the attorney’s office announced there would be no charges.

There was issuance of a restraining order; i.e., there was an ex parte proceeding where only the complainant's version of facts are before an issuing judge. Ex parte non-adversarial restraining order proceedings can be subject to abuse.

From Strib reporting, it appears none of this happened on campus, or otherwise under campus jurisdiction. (Unless the apartment building in which the incident occurred was campus owned/run housing.)

Police, having no incentive to misstate facts, saw video evidence and reached conclusions consistent with consensual conduct by an adult woman, presumably off-campus.

From that Kaler and Coyle in spite of the recited evidence punished players without any apparent written findings, conclusions, or explanation to the players and with Strib reporting no opportunity of the affected players to be heard prior to issuance of a punitive decision.

That suggests an impaired proceeding on its face, unless Strib's report abridged out pertinent facts.

There is nothing in the Strib reporting that there existed any express term of the employment contract [which again is scholarship issuance and fair and lawful treatment in exchange for money making for the university], which would bar or would have barred consensual sex between adult students.

Consensual sex between adults is a norm and a right, and not an employer's concern if not happening on employer premises during employment time. Moreover, in loco parentis seems to be an outdated concept this century.

Bottom line from the reporting, and without any Strib reporting of any rationale being articulated by the perps; Kaler and Coyle is; Employer authority has been overstepped; absent due process of a hearing; and the EOAA situation - happenings before the Kaler-Coyle decision - is unreported. If a written findings and conclusions report was issued by the EOAA it has gone unreported by Strib; (however no university board should be allowed to circumvent due process).

The collective aspect of the team's reaction: Here, going outside of the incident is merited. See this generic websearch. And this.

This item. Also, here and here.

Many can contend the NLRB showed no conscience with the Northwestern players; and others can disagree; but for the remainder of the team each has had his character besmirched to some degree, by the public scapegoating of teammates; the cliche being "There is no I in team."

Each player has been directly or indirectly promised the university will used honest and imperative best efforts to field a team that honors each scholarship recipient by fielding the most successful team lawfully feasible, and that the university will take no steps to lessen individual opportunity to gain attention at the next level; where payment for services is generous for those making that cut.

The university is obliged to not take any arbitrary steps to wrongly besmirch by association all its athletes by wrongly and arbitrarily defaming teammates in public, especially to an ever salaciously oriented local or national press.

When such duty to honor the responsibility toward the team and everyone on it is breached by flawed conduct; every player suffers; and even absent a collective bargaining unit (as most who labor for a living might want with the players not having a bargaining unit via an unfortunate NLRB precedent); implied responsibilities under an atheletic scholarship still reasonably have to exist to not denigrate or discredit the collective and individual character of a team or its members improperly.

Kaler and Coyle shoot from the hip conduct seems part of the gist of Strib's report, and it arguably breached each athlete's contract, to the point the athletes should have the recognized legal right to take remedial action; which is what they collectively decided to do.

It is reasonable to conclude: The team is right. The bosses are in breach, or appear to be. Surely reporting might have carried more detail, such as possible bias on the EOAA decision makers part, or other aspects of the EOAA adherence to due process; but the key step is there was no public explanation between an EOAA recommendation [not a mandate, nor binding] and a decision given the press without any written justification by the two perps, nor with any indication the two perps consulted counsel before acting.

I think every member of the team might join in a defamation lawsuit claiminng they collectively were defamed by a decision issued the press that reflects on each of them; over apparently lawful though arguably disagreeable conduct of a few.

The few; they had a chance to get laid; the woman entered a situation suggestive of consent and there was tangible documentation - video - suggesting to authorities that consensual sex was at issue; i.e., there was no criminal conduct by anyone [false reporting still being a question but one where the mutual cross covenant not to sue stymies resolution].

BOTTOM LINE: IN LOCO PARENTIS IS DEAD AND ENGAGING IN IT BY KALER AND COYLE WAS QUESTIONABLE; AND ARGUABLY SHOULD BE PUT TO CIVIL LAW LITIGATION BY THE PLAYERS - UNLESS THE TWO PERPS BACK DOWN AND APOLOGIZE IN SOME MANNER ACCEPTABLE TO EACH AND EVERY PLAYER SO THAT A SETTLEMENT CAN BE PUT INTO PLACE.

AND SCREW THE BOWL GAME. KALER AND COYLE POISONED THAT WELL. LAST, IF THERE WAS PRESSURE FROM THE REGENTS OR ANY ONE OR SEVERAL OF THEM; THAT FACT DESERVES PUBLICITY, SCRUTINY, AND RESOLUTION.

_____________UPDATE_______________
Strib posts redacted police reporting. Nothing appears online about the U's EOAA process details.

The entire thing seems fairly sordid; but university careers are at stake. The prosecurorial decision to not charge any crime is consistent with the redacted report. What convinced EOAA personnel to weigh evidence against the men and in favor of the woman is unclear.

With counsel for the men involved in part of the process, one might infer the interviews could have been coordinated; but there is not any evidence counsel coached testimony. There is no blood alcohol reading for the woman from near the time of the incident so extreme inebriation is speculative.

What a jury in an adversarial setting viewing witness demeanor and testimony might believe under either a reasonable doubt standard or a preponderance of evidence standard is speculative; absent such a situation enfolding. It is a complicated case, and if there was evidence of physical coercion it is absent in the police reporting.

Either a woman had extremely bad judgment and after the fact felt remorse for unwise conduct was the truth; or whether there was unreasonable coercion or inebriation beyond ability to consent is a question the public can consider, but it's ultimately a he said - she said situation where ending a college football employments while also publicly impugning men's characters as unfit to continue their football employment is a serious thing; and the willingness of the woman to settle on cross covenants not to sue and to then use an EOAA process of unclear nature to stigmatize the men seems high handed.

Is there any reader who feels the woman involved in the situation acted without fault? What tangible evidence is there that nonconsensual sex happened? There is only testimonial evidence either way. The tangible evidence, absence of screams of no, or stop, or such seems lacking. The woman appears ambivalent about what happened.

Would you have prosecuted any of the men? Would you say that once not prosecuted, Coyle and Kaler overextended their authority? Would you say the incident will hurt recruiting for the program no matter the ultimate resolution? To your mind, is due process a difficult concept, and were the men accorded "due process?"

Last, and the point here - is the entire team justified in saying the boss is wrong and we are on strike?

That is the question the boycott raises. Not whether a bunch of young men might have acted better even where a prosecutorial decision was made that no crime should be charged? Clearly it is super sleazy. But is there a requirement a college athlete employed to play football and bring in millions to a college should, that a team to a man should, be Tim Tebow? To me, no, but readers should consider things where rape is a serious felony and people having consensual sex, even if in kinky ways is up to them. And morning after remorse as a possible factor has to be deemed a possible explanation where that answer is between the ears of one young woman who's admitted conduct showed super-bad judgment.

____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
Reusse has an item, Strib online here, byline December 17, 2016 — 6:54am, concluding:

Why are the players — including senior leaders Mitch Leidner and Drew Wolitarsky — standing up for 10 teammates after these suspensions and calls for expulsions?

Relax, baby boomers. The players’ agenda here isn’t to support group sex or assaults.

I contend these football players felt as if they all were in Hewitt’s cross hairs from the time her e-mail — with its wide-ranging accusations based on little evidence — surfaced as a major news story.

The Gophers’ protest could be as simple as their conviction that 10 teammates never had a chance with Hewitt and her staff of advocates. There is e-mail evidence from July 2015 to support that theory.

The Hewitt mentioned is a university official, per this online item - this web search; with the Daily having reported July 20, 2016, here. Three officials are mentioned in the Daily report, each female. A question of gender balance might exist. The DFL, for example, has requirements in its caucusing to assure gender balance. And that is for politics in general; not politics between the genders, as in sexual assault vs. non-assault situations. Also, the Daily alludes to procedures being in some sense streamlined, where due process could be the baby thrown out with bathwater:

The decision comes from a recommendation made by a workgroup of students, faculty and staff, Provost Karen Hanson announced earlier this month.

The move comes as reports of sexual misconduct at the University have increased in recent years and scrutiny has proliferated — both from victims and the accused — over institutions’ procedures for handling these cases.

“We’ve all been thinking about what are the areas of this process that we could make improvements,” said Kimberly Hewitt, the University’s Title IX coordinator and director of Equal Opportunity of and Affirmative Action. “We were trying to think about ways to make the whole process shorter and also to increase the training and education of the people who were doing the panels.”

The CCSB, a volunteer committee of faculty, staff and students, has handled all student misconduct hearings in the past — cases that range from scholastic dishonesty to alcohol use to hazing.

But concerns from faculty, students and committee members that the hearing process was too lengthy and complicated, as well as that panelists were inadequately trained to deal with cases of sexual misconduct, led University officials to begin exploring new means to adjudicate sexual misconduct-related hearings.

A hearing of record with standards of evidence would be a step toward due process, if with a balanced panel outlook being a prime concern; and the Daily report does not explore such a level of detail concerning process design.

Strib also reported of this matter, in 2016 as with the Daily, noting:

Officials said they plan to train a pool of 35 volunteers to preside over hearings, as part of an effort to cope with an upsurge in complaints about sexual misconduct on campus.

“We thought we could make some changes, make the overall process move faster,” said Kimberly Hewitt, director of the U’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, which investigates complaints of sexual assault.

In the past, students who were unhappy with the outcomes of those investigations could request a hearing before the Campus Committee on Student Behavior. But Hewitt said there was growing concern that the committee members, who also handle complaints about cheating and plagiarism, needed more training to handle allegations about sexual assault.

[...] These kinds of panels, however, have faced criticism across the country from those who argue that courts, not colleges, should prosecute sexual assault. “The 20 hours of training reinforces my concern that the panel will be unqualified,” said Jonathan Taylor, founder of Title IX for All, a Texas advocacy group. “Universities simply don’t have the competence or the training or the capacity or the resources to adjudicate these accusations.”

But Hewitt said the university is taking pains to ensure that the process is fair to both sides. She said the volunteers were screened to ensure that they have an understanding of the issues and “can demonstrate objectivity.”

There is a major worry that promising athletic careers in this instance may be imperiled by too much ad hoc, and too little due process. Seasoned police investigators reached one conclusion backed up by experienced prosecutors. Then, something else from panels where an assurance of gender balance of the panel is a primary assurance needed as a first step in assessing due process. That seems the undercurrent of the Reusse item. Were he to amend the post with the email he alludes to being posted; and links back to the 2015 situation he notes; we as readers might be better informed.

Kangaroo courts can exist, streamlined or otherwise; and the current incident may evolve in ways we do not yet foresee. Due process is not an invention of the moment either. It is Constitutional, expressly so, in the Bill of Rights. Again, with the current situation involving college football players, employees generating large university income flows and having hopes of themselves gaining next-level incomes without having their characters wrongly impaired and besmirched, and not students without that distinction. It is a labor law issue, something the NCAA and its affiliates are way too quick to deny and dismiss as secondary. The cost of that stadium, and its cash flows, is not secondary. It is major.

______________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Additional links providing background on the matters Reusse raised; here, AP here, here, Strib here, here. Last, capitulation and/or reasonable movement, you decide, although the outcome seems sensible in that labor disputes ultimately settle, and sooner is better than later.

However, what is "affirmative consent" when there is a video of the involved woman having oral and vaginal sex at the same time with two partners and without any apparent dislike or distress shown? That one, I'd side with the professional police investigation and exercise of prosecutorial discretion; not some inflated view of what is or is not rape. Compare this. What parallels if any can you find? Also, have you any problem with Strib reporting this, or with the content itself:

University of Minnesota football players ended their boycott of the team Saturday morning and “will immediately begin preparations” to play in the Holiday Bowl, according to a players’ statement emailed to the Star Tribune.

Several players gathered at the football complex Saturday morning to announce the team’s plans.

The players’ statement reads, in part:

“As a team, we understand that what has occurred these past few days, and playing football for the University of Minnesota, is larger than just us. ...

“We now ask that you, the members of the media, our fans, and the general public hold all of us accountable for ensuring that our teammates are treated fairly, along with any and all victims of sexual assault. We also ask that the public dialogue related to the apparent lack of due process in a university system is openly discussed and evaluated.

“As football players, we know that we represent this University and this state and that we are held to a higher standard. We want to express our deepest gratitude to our coaching staff and so many others for their support during this difficult time, and we hope that our fans and community understand why we took the actions that we did.

“Our thoughts and prayers are for the well-being of the woman involved in the original incident, and for our 10 teammates to ensure that they are treated fairly. We look forward to representing the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl in a way that makes all of you proud.”

After Gophers senior Drew Wolitarsky spoke to the media, athletic director Mark Coyle said: I'm thankful our football team came to a resolution and I'm happy we will be playing in Holiday Bowl vs. Washington State."

"We will judge (the suspended players) very fairly," said university president Eric Kaler. "I'm grateful the student athletes ended the boycott."

Late Friday night, many players left the Gophers football complex after meeting with Kaler and other school leaders convinced the team would boycott the bowl, sources said.

The players' stance then, sources said, was to stick to their boycott of all team activities due to 10 teammates being suspended earlier this week after a sexual assault investigation was conducted by the university. No charges were filed against the players, but federal law requires universities to investigate sexual assasult allegations.

Sources said the players continued to discuss the boycott through the night. The players were up all night, Wolitarsky said Saturday morning.

Wolitarsky read the players’ statement Saturday morning, starting by condeming violence aganist women and sexual assault.

The players took biggest issue with “due process” and “communication.”

“We’re disappointed at the lack of communication” on the part of school leaders, Wolitarsky said, reading from the players’ statement.

“After many hours of discussion within our team, and after speaking with President Kaler, it became clear that our original request of having the 10 suspensions overturned was not going to happen,” the statement read.

The players did not take questions after reading the team’s statement.

[italics added]

So, bottom line, "due process" is and remains "due," and ten players walk the plank? Presumably the end of the boycott and decision to play is not the end of the story. The question: Who is being victimized? And if the ten have acted lawfully, the conclusion of law enforcement and public prosecutors; what remedy should they ultimately have? And should the internal U. processes be changed, a/k/a improved? And is there some personnel issue at play, as the Reusse item alluded? With police the term "badge heavy" is sometimes used. Was there a "badge heavy" official with a thumb on the scale, and should such an employment continue if there was?

_____________FURTHER UPDATE______________
Glen Taylor pays his jocks and they have a negotiated collective bargaining contract situation with the league. The NCAA exploits.

Glen Taylor's Strib conveniently ignores the employment dimension of the professional athletes it uses [it is an uncompensated profession, but a profession nonetheless, a scholarship with lack of decent bargaining power being incident to indentured servitude]. Compare, this Strib editorial, ignoring nuances such as giganto money flows generated by college sports, football and men's basketball in particular, while the issues the Northwestern players raised and suffered a loss on remain real and unfair because the NLRB wrongly decided. Give them their rights.

___________FINAL UPDATE_____________
Strib has published the final team statement in agreeing [caving in?] to generate substantial bowl game income for the State and its stellar University. This link. And Coyle and Kaler trying to pin the decision on the head coach went unmentioned while the entirety of the decision process, including any possibility of bias or improper prejudgment, remains to have a measure of sunshine on the way things are set up, and by whom. It was not the coach at a desk saying "This should happen to ten young men."

FURTHER -SAME THING: In loco parentis? Between a mother and a daughter with candor, perhaps the best thing a mother could say is "Don't be a tramp." Between a University and its football players invasion of privacy and defamation likely impacting future earning power is actionable.

The standard of private adult conduct among a young peer group should be at issue in any such litigation, not norms among among an older generation. The standard in the group at issue is not to be judged but to be applied, should litigation ensue. By analogy, medical malpractice is judged by the general level of practice in the community, not by what is possible but not normal, regular practice. Proper standards among the group at issue needs to be discerned, and then facts judged by them. Judgment by peers is a rather basic thing.

A 50+ year old divorcee cannot set a value standard for personal private off-campus lawful conduct of adults of a substantially younger age set, i.e., present college age men and women among their peer group. The accounts as put into the news are of a volitional drinking, party hopping, sexual decision of one woman without any accounts of her staggering from party to party with slurred speech, or barfing at any point including the morning after. Those young men, under all the facts now public including police evaluation of a 90 sec video and there never being real proof of any strong wanting to keep mouth closed and knees together. Ambiguous conflicting testimony well after the fact is thin ice for a University to be skating upon in going public with extreme punishment and shaming and naming of young men in ways that might harm future earning power in the profession they are pursuing at the University. There are implied terms of basic decency and respect for privacy running from the institution to its students. The police were discrete and the prosecutor did not bandy names about irresponsibly. Others, highly paid top level administrators of a learning institution did that. If privacy means a thing; what does it mean? Go figure. Those young men should sue and peer group standards should be the measure in such litigation. Privacy was invaded.

To me, binge drinking and party-hopping is ill-thought-out behavior, I judge it that way; but is it the norm among the current crop of TC campus students? If so, there are ways to discourage it beyond fear-mongering of the "this could happen to you" publicized punishment of young men who broke no law. "Making an example" is insensitive to the harm inflicted upon the "example" individuals.

Students who make grade point; remaining qualified to continue study that way, can lead private lives consonant with the law and not expect to be conceptually tarred-and-feathered by administrators who should know better and should have a better perspective of the nuances involved in administrative conduct. So, did the administrators collectively or any one of them act unreasonably?

If any litigation were to ensue, reasonableness of administrative conduct would be at issue. Hence, it might be relevant if there was discussion among Ms. Hewitt and her official subordinates (and/or between her and/or Coyle and/or Kaler) about "making an example" as that would relate to hostile bias and intent, making the invasion of privacy and defamation willful and ill-motivated; and thus worsening the character of administrative offense against the young athletes.

THEY SHOULD SUE. MAKING AN EXAMPLE SHOULD BE TESTED JUDICIALLY AS PROPER OR LESS. WIN OR LOSE, ADMINISTRATIVE CONDUCT IN THIS SITUATION NEEDS TESTING AND IF JUDGED WRONG THEN HAM-HANDED USE OF ADMINISTRATIVE POWER SHOULD STOP, WITH DUE COMPENSATION AWARDED TO THE SUFFERERS.

Consider Winfield Sr. and Winfield Jr. Winfield Sr. chose a profession pursued in college from which he became a millionaire, next level, after graduation. Has the TC campus university administration wrongly impacted Winfield Jr. rights to also so progress? Go figure.

FURTHER: If an ex parte restraining order was wrongfully obtained; under false swearing perhaps; then should the person so swearing and/or counsel be held to have defamed those five particular athletes who already suffered game-time suspensions? Wrongful pursuit of a restraining order is offensive; is it not? Should it be a basis for instituting and continuing litigation, or should wrongful pursuit of a restraining order be dismissed as Rule 12 failure to state a cause of action. Is there precedent on the question, specifically in obtaining an ex parte order? In general, there is In re Drexler, 188 NW 2d 436 (Minn. 1971), (and its footnotes) the case having clear language against "conduct [which] constituted a fraud on the administration of justice;" Id at 437. Whether false swearing was involved is a fact question particular to the circumstances of the case; it not being in the press the content of the affidavit submitted in support of obtaining a restraining order; nor the specific text of the restraining order. What has been reported is because the complainant had game-day duties in the stadium and the five athletes were restrained from the entire stadium and not some particular part of the stadium where the woman worked; the thing was arguably overbroad at the time obtained. We do not know the facts. If the complainant's game-time job was sideline and also close to coaching staff on some daily basis; there needs to be attention and concern over an employment where Strib reported the woman apparently was showing an underaged recruit a good time. Kaler and Coyle should be looking at that and acting to find athletic department fault, if there was any.

FURTHER: More evidence is now in the public domain. The EOAA 80-page report is online; see Strib online here and KSTP TV online here. This notice is given before that item was read; so that Crabgrass readers could check out the item with each able to form separate opinions. Evidence is always the most important thing.

FURTHER: Having not read the full EOAA item (but much of it), ambiguity appears and EOAA personnel attribute credibility to the women, not to the men. It is unclear what motivations and underlying belief sets accompany and possibly influence this credibility determination, and they talked to the woman first.

Readers should weigh the report however they believe best.

I believe the boycott settlement that there'd be a subsequent due process hearing accorded to the involved athletes is a necessary step.

I choose to wonder about EOAA credibility, the report not stating who/how many EOAA persons had input nor does it get into internal policy discussions among EOAA staff. Too many questions are left begging and too much appeared conclusory in one direction.

The process seems flawed. The precise role of EOAA personnel regarding the restraining order and the restraining order scope and processing details are strangely omitted. That is the event which called the situation to the attention of the press - athletes being barred from the stadium, and whether the restraining order's scope including a bar from games was at all proper is unclear.

Something in the EOAA report is troubling, footnote 8, EOAA possible coordination of the restraining order proceeding. Nothing is reported in the press about no contact except the athletic building the woman worked in and the stadium. That is curious given p.4 of the report noting the woman resides at "the Radius" housing, where events happened, but a different floor of the place; and press reporting did not state anything about restraint locations within the housing building.

Again, the restraining order has not, to my knowledge, been published by the press. But it was an ex parte thing, and the exact role of EOAA persons in that part of things needs to be fully fleshed out. Others may believe justice does not need to question EOAA possible staff bias, but, why not? They played a major role. They accorded credibility to the complainant and Kaler/Coyle appear to have rather blindly accorded cursory credibility to that derivative credibility determination. There is a bit too much of the who do you trust business slanting all one way for me to not suggest much more factual detail is needed and that the administrative suspension/expulsion decisions may be largely if not totally flawed.

Were the student athletes advised at any points of their right to counsel? To have counsel present when talking to the EOAA personnel? For the benefit of the record and to weigh the quality of possible insinuation in questioning by EOAA staff. Punitive measures were in contemplation, which is what should be the trigger of a warning of a right to counsel and to have a statement (indeed all statements) taken of record with counsel present. Doubtlessly the police did their job, but what of EOAA duty to inform? If it is not a routine part of EOAA process, why not? The EOAA head is a licensed lawyer (as well as a second-generation UM high level administrative appointee), and should know and accord basic due process norms.

Reading a report necessarily entails judgments by the reader. When a report is all one-way and there's no preserved verbatim record and right to counsel was not made apparent (if such actually was the case), then you can trust it all you want but I do not. Ditto, ex parte proceedings.

Mixing advocacy with adjudicatory duties clearly denies due process, and the EOAA role in wording of and attainment of the restraining order is for now an unreported thing; i.e., for now a total mystery in the public's mind. With the boycott settlement involving due process hearing rights for the student athletes it is imperative it be clean slate, de novo; i.e., with no precedential weight or deference accorded the off-record EOAA operation as if an appeal. Kaler and Coyle appear to have premised actions in deference to the questionable EOAA business.

Lots and lots and lots of loose ends and hanging threads to be tied together exist, and careers are impacted and back to the start of things, the boycott was laudable and helpful - it blasted administrators off their self-centered dimes to permit a due process hearing. This is good, and the bowl game remains Minnesota vs. Washington State.

NEXT TO LAST THOUGHT: What unpins my bullshit meter. EOAA leadership had to know this was a high profile matter, and indeed seem to have had the intention of making it so. They don't need a court reporter and a transcript. They've video equipment for Christ's sake, and could and should have recorded every statement taken, especially the part at the start of questioning any student athlete advising rights. These young men were targeted. They deserved a record preserved, and a hundred and eighty or three hundred and eighty pages of EOAA staff words do nothing to discredit that reality. The process was flawed and a proper de novo process is the only real unbiased remedy at this point. Both Kaler and Coyle, if fair people, should also want and insist upon that in the course of honestly reevaluating their prior decision making. Would you trust less, were you parent of one of the young men? Then, Kaler and Coyle should be intensely interested in EOAA involvement in the wording and attainment of the restraining order - why the entire stadium, was "the Radius" apartment mentioned; whys and why-nots??? At a bet the campus police would have handled things better than EOAA did, as far as preserving a record for review. Eighty pages of words can have many words of sophistry within; actual questioning processes and answers video-recorded cannot lie, nor shade truth of what actual testimony was and whether minimal advising of rights was a part of EOAA's "effort."

That restraining order question in my mind is critical. This appears to arguably be a second-bite-at-the-apple attempt to tar the football program via questioning sexual conduct of players; and by excluding a number of athletes from the stadium it appears engineered to put things into the press rather than respecting player privacy; and if EOAA personnel top level or otherwise had a hand in engineering restraining order language the question is quite serious, given second bite effort after the first bite resulted as it did; MPR having reported Oct. 15, 2015:

A July 16 email exchange between then-Athletic Director Norwood Teague and Kimberly Hewitt, head of the university's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office, outlined several complaints raised about football players during the 2014-2015 school year.

"The notable number of Title IX-related concerns we have received involving football players, and the fact that three of the complaints involved groups of football players, demonstrates a concerning pattern of football player conduct that we believe requires responsive action," Hewitt wrote to Teague and now-interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz.

Hewitt called it a "potential pattern" that may or may not be indicative of a broader problem. She said the EOAA received what she described as a number of "concerns" involving football players related to Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender for federally-funded education program or activity.

Hewitt listed two concerns of sexual assault committed by individual football players, two concerns of sexual harassment involving groups of football players and one concern of retaliation involving a group of football players.

Her office investigated one of the sexual harassment complaints and found one football player violated the sexual harassment policy. It also investigated the retaliation complaint, finding what she called concerning behavior, but not evidence of violations of university policy.

The other sexual harassment concern and the two sexual assault concerns were not investigated because the reporting students did not want to move forward with an investigation, according to the email, which was released by the university after it was detailed in a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Hewitt "proactively contacted the Athletics Department to initiate discussions on whether reports of sexual assault and harassment constituted a broader pattern. All of these reports were fully investigated to the extent that they could be and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) did not substantiate any sexual assault allegations. The EOAA Office substantiated one allegation of sexual harassment," Goetz said in a statement Thursday.

The details of the five incidents are not outlined in the email exchange. A U spokesperson said that no criminal charges resulted from any of the complaints or incidents.

"Title IX requires that the University take reasonable steps to prevent future sexual violence and harassment after receiving a complaint, even when the complaining student chooses not to pursue an investigation," Hewitt wrote in the July email exchange. "The University's responsibility to act is greater when circumstances suggest that there is an increased risk of future acts of sexual violence or harassment by a particular group or where there is a potentially concerning pattern."

In light of that history, one should want a lawyer holding a top UM position to improve procedures "next time," and not to improve any "get 'em" prejudgment outlook, but to assure full and total due process and respect of privacy so that flawed procedure could not be an issue "next time." Instead, this "stay out of the stadium" restraining order scope, read in its historical light, suggests troubling maneuvering at a UM upper administration level. As in engineering a confrontation instead of respect for pre-determination privacy. It's a red flag.

The press needs to track down the restraining order record and report it, and Kaler and Coyle need to confront Hewitt about EOAA involvement, if any, in restraining order drafting shenanigans, if any. There's a miasma, in a context, and it should not be swept under a rug. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

LAST THOUGHT - RETALIATION: Kaler and Coyle hopefully have learned to be restrained in rubber stamping anything. The boycotting players hopefully taught the head honchos something which head honchos might well remember. Coaching support of the player boycott should not have any retaliation. NONE WHATSOEVER. The coaches were correct about the boycott, the administrators wrong, in my judgment (with which many appear to disagree).

The other side of the coin is the football program was on notice, and there was a recurrence. This is bad. To what extent is the coaching staff responsible for player conduct off campus? Back to the question of in loco parentis. Coaching duty is to recruit the best talent the program can attract and to field the best team effort with the players who sign on and maintain however they do, their academic eligibility. The coaches are not parent surrogates, for adult students, living off campus. To the extent the UM has too much a party culture; that would be a generic question, not one focused upon athletics. If academic standards are too lax, and a party culture among students predominates, it is not a football problem per se and Kaler if nobody else should know that and figure a way to fix it.

Otherwise, what's the man's job? Highly compensated figurehead, schmoozer of the regents and alums; what? Some schools require freshmen students to live on campus; and some schools have athletic dorms, for which coaches bear some responsibility beyond assuring a healthy meal table.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Why not boost the list to fourteen?

This list, with a hat tip for publishing the link to Eric Black, MinnPost.

Who'd be No. 14? Heidi Cruz. Her main appeal? She's not Ted.

UPDATE: Also, she has the Goldman Sachs stamp of approval. Do any of the other listed women have that arrow in the quiver?

None of them were Bernie people. Keith Ellison was NOT among them. They represent that DFL aspect needing the broom.

Instead of love for the just treatment of the little people; those feeling privileged and above the little people populated the sweet suites.

Improve the product. Remove those feeling privileged. Get the broom. Remove the Wilfare specialists - in both parties.

UPDATE: Naming names.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Declared DFL candidates for Governor, at present: Erin Murphy and Chris Coleman [UPDATED]

A press release email from the Murphy campaign, today, acknowledging the Coleman candidacy:

Rep. Erin Murphy Welcomes Mayor Chris Coleman To The Governor's Race


SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-64A), former MN House Majority Leader and 2018 DFL candidate for Governor, released the following statement on Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman's announcement that he will also seek the DFL nomination for Governor in 2018:

"Chris and I worked on legislative issues impacting St. Paul over the years and I've appreciated his work highlighting the city's successes. I welcome him to the race and look forward to discussions on how we can tackle the tough issues facing our state."

_____________UPDATE_____________
Coleman's declaring his candidacy today, KSTP reporting.

The Murphy email identified this campaign website:

http://www.murphyformn.com/

Websearch for a Coleman site was unsuccessful, as of the date/time stamp of this Crabgrass post.

Presently these are the only known official candidates; with MPR having published a "likelihoods list" on Nov. 21; this link.

Readers familiar with any official filings are asked to send notice via a comment. Ditto for any campaign websites. Ditto for any Campaign Finance Board filings. This is a bipartisan request and then some. Notice of Republican candidacies shall be posted, as will any third party candidacies.

Candidates and/or campaign reps reading this post are urged to put Crabgrass on their press release e-mailing list; with thanks now to the Murphy campaign.

FURTHER: City Pages earlier reporting of Erin Murphy's official candidacy, here.

FURTHER: An earlier Dec. 1 press release from the Murphy campaign already flagged a key issue facing Dayton's successor:

SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-64A), former MN House Majority Leader and 2018 DFL candidate for Governor, released the following statement about Medica's decision to end their contracts as a managed care provider for MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance:

"Today's announcement that Medica plans to sever it's coverage for Minnesotans in MNCare and Medical Assistance represents another example where Minnesotans are left to scramble for care because insurers aren't making enough money. Insurers chose to bid for this business, to cover the care of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Minnesotans and now plan to drop out to protect their bottom line. It's no good.

"Minnesotans deserve reliable, affordable coverage. If insurers aren't up to the task of that basic goal, then we must develop new and transparent purchasing models for coverage and direct contracting models with doctors, nurses and health delivery systems to assure reliable and affordable care when people get sick.

"Too much money is being spent in the health care industry at the expense of the health of Minnesotans. It's time for a fresh approach."

Does anyone disagree? Healthcare remains an issue with Murphy's generalized concerns being a helpful first note of possibilities beyond GOP do nothing and go back to what had failed miserably previously; a non-starter.

___________FURTHER UPDATE____________
The CFB has this list of recent filings, It speaks for itself, and does not yet post Coleman paperwork. Two other Governor candidates are noted, one DFL (Erin Murphy), one RPM (Christopher William Chamberlin). [hat tip to alert reader correcting mispelling of the last name; and apology to the candidate]


__________FINAL UPDATE__________
A new day, and the CFB site now has the Coleman paperwork online here.

Coleman's website, here.


Not FOX's Hegseth, nor one-term-wonder Scott Brown, say multiple established (and legitimate) Veterans' groups; who prefer keeping a status quo instead of embracing the VA's privatization enemies. [UPDATED with further links]

They favor a VA run by the incumbent, who they view as a trustworthy, competent and experienced administrator free of any hostile agenda.

And if Trump fails to listen, then what? That's largely up to our veterans, many of whom faced combat without hesitation or indifference. Their feelings and hopes are much the same as the Bonus Army had; but let us all hope today's veterans who've been given promises fare better.

WaPo reports:

Trump is under pressure to keep Obama’s VA secretary -
By Lisa Rein December 12 at 7:30 AM


President-elect Donald Trump has come under intense pressure from powerful veterans organizations to keep current Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald in the job [...]

[...L]eaders of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America and American Veterans (AMVETS) told top transition officials that they could not support the two candidates on the shortlist to lead the agency: Pete Hegseth, former chief executive of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), a group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, and former senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

[...]

“We all made it clear that we need someone like Bob, who knows how to run a very large organization and is committed to changing the culture,” said Rick Weidman, executive director for policy and government affairs at Vietnam Veterans of America.

“He hasn’t had a chance to make his mark,” Weidman said of McDonald. “None of the other people being mentioned are viable.”

The traditional veterans groups, which represent hundreds of thousands of former service members, have long held clout in Washington. Whether they can sway Trump, though, will test whether the power center for veterans has shifted from old-line organizations to new, smaller groups such as CVA that have criticized VA’s failings with a harsher voice.

It was unclear Sunday whether Trump had scheduled a meeting with McDonald. [...]

McDonald has told VA officials and leaders of veterans groups that he would continue in the Trump administration if given the opportunity.

[...] McDonald, confirmed in July 2014, is a West Point graduate and Army veteran who came out of retirement to lead VA after Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced out following a scandal over falsified wait times for patent care.

Before joining the Obama administration, McDonald was an active Republican donor, giving $23,500 to Republican political action committees in the 2012 campaign cycle and an additional $12,000 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org.

He is credited with making VA more customer-friendly, bringing health and benefit records online, and reducing the long wait lists for medical appointments.

[emphasis added]

So, an incumbent academy graduate with a clear Republican record; and not anybody's activist radical. A former Proctor and Gamble CEO; not a taking it to the streets firebrand by anyone's measure. As much a GOP/corporatist as Exxon's past and present leadership. Not a chintzy fast-food mogul hateful toward fair wages either; just a plain vanilla corporatist Republican and veteran with a true intent to honor other veterans and to not screw them into the ground in any fashion, at this time or later.

------------

Koch incitement toward privatization of the VA via Hegseth's "astroturfing" has been reported here previously; and Trump either listens to our organized veterans, or to Charles and David Koch. The bet here: Trump bows, kneels, and kisses the Koch brothers' rings.

Dan Burns at MPP has more on the Hegseth putsch for power even after he'd exited his astroturfing role for the Kochs' operation:

For his cabinet, the President-”elect” has been emphasizing not any kind of demonstrated competence at running anything, , but rather ideological extremism and willingness to pucker up and kiss the noisome Trump behind at any and all times.

[quotation there from VoteVets omitted]

Dan has a way with words ...

______________UPDATE_____________
A Cincinnati item, where P&G is headquartered; an online site focused upon veteran news and issues.