Please be sure to scroll down to read yesterday's Special Report on Kunshan: how Fuqua is embarrassing the Brodhead administration and moving into Shanghai, shunning Kunshan because it is a backwater.
Today's post is Fact Checker Too. An experiment with short takes of importance to Dukies which we will offer frequently in addition to our longer, compelling essays. Let's hear your reaction: Duke.Fact.Checker@Gmail.com
✔ The North Carolina Supreme Court hears arguments (Tuesday) on whether a private college -- in this case Davidson -- can have a police force with full powers conferred by the state, when the college is under church control. You know, separation of church and state. The case is brought by a woman who could care less about religion: Davidson cops arrested her for drink driving and her smart lawyer is trying to weasel out of it. Moreover, in the mid-level appellate court, the woman won 3-0.
There's a similar case at Duke involving Thomas Alex Holloway '13, drunk driving too. Duke contends it is different than Davidson so it won't be bound by the court decision if it rules against the college. We do not know if Duke filed a brief in support of Davidson.
✔Inexplicably, the Chronicle has yet to report the spring break armed robbery on campus. Indeed, we are lucky FC can call this an armed robbery, because it could very very easily have turned into a homicide.
A graduate student walking to his car parked on Circuit Drive was accosted by a gang of four, at least one holding a gun. And one or more of the thugs threw one or more punches. In a situation like that, if the grad student had gained the upper hand in the fist fight, the gunman may well have fired.
Fact Checker has received unsatisfactory responses from VP for PR Michael Schoenfeld. We want to know how Duke Police are maintaining their pledge of extra patrols -- now in FOUR areas -- with no added personnel. And we have demanded anew to know the number of officers on the force and whether Duke is living up to its Clery Act commitment for strength of force.
From US News and World Report, another round of rankings released at 12:01 AM Tuesday. Medical school research: Harvard, Penn, Johns Hopkins, Washington U in St Louis, Duke #5. (we believe this is a tie for 5th, but have incomplete information. More on rankings tomorrow
✔ Kunshan owes much of its economic success to Taiwan. Twenty years ago, some sharks on the island realized they could pay factory workers one-tenth (yes one-tenth) of the prevailing wage in Taiwan -- and they started the dismal factories that now proliferate. FC has seen two news items in the past few days: the story of an assembly line of women whose sole job is to affix little rubber feet to the bottom of computer mouses -- six days a week, 12 hours a day, breaks only when assigned. (or is it mice). The other story: soon generic drugs will be coming into the US from Kunshan. The Taiwan drug maker Yung Shin Company says it has won federal Food and Drug Administration approval to sell drugs made in Kunshan in the USA.
✔ Felix Dennis - billionnaire magazine publisher in Britain - has agreed to buy Mental Floss, the crazy bi-monthly magazine started by Duke students obsessed with trivia. Oh... the price is not trivial at all, said to be in the mid seven figures which translates into $5 million more or less.
Will Pearson '01 and Mangesh Hattikudur '01 were sophomores when they raised $5,000 to put out the first magazine, and began exploration of issues like what it's like inside a tornado, the origins of the fist bump or why many Bolivians don't have to pay rent. FC favorite: the cover with Albert Einstein in a bathing suit. The magazine also sells Mental Floss books, board games and T-shirts bearing slogans submitted by readers like "Thomas Aquinas: The original deep fat friar."
✔ The Lynchburg (or is it Lunchberg) Virginia self-identified Christian group that is going to picket Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf when he lectures on American citizenship at UNC on Wednesday, claims he's being paid $20,000. This is personal, not a contribution to his planned Muslim Prayer Center near the World Trade Center, a proximity that has sent the bloviators on right wing talk radio into a tizzy. No picketing planned for the Imam's Thursday appearance at Duke, nor do we know if he is being paid.
✔ Coming up in the Divinity School: a conference on torture -- or more correctly anti-torture ("Toward a Moral Consensus Against Torture: A Gathering of Students, Clergy, People of Conscience, and People of Faith"). On one student blog: "To the extent that American Christians continue allowing their government to torture -- motivated by ever-growing fears and the demands of feeling secure -- they must also recognize they no longer stand with Jesus in the world."
✔ ✔ ✔ Blistering words emerged from FC's big flat panel TV during ESPN's documentary on Michigan's "Fav Five." Jalen Rose, former NBA Player, current ESPN analyst: “I hated Duke and I hated everything Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms,” Rose said. "I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family. Congratulations, your mom went to college and was roommates with Hillary Clinton. And your dad played in the NFL — a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn’t know. I resented that more than I resented him. I looked at it as they are who the world accepts and we are who the world hates.”
His teammates chimed in. “The faces of Duke, I didn’t like them,” Jimmy King said. “I hated Duke. I hated Duke,” Ray Jackson said.
✔ Jasmine Thomas '11 has been named a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award for the second straight year. No, we can't vote. Ballots sent by the Los Angeles Athletic Club to members of the media who cover college basketball.
✔ Pat Thompson and Sarah Helfer in the Final 4 for the National Basketball Manager's Contest. Prize: $10,000 in scholarships for the winner's school. Yes you can vote.
✔ Jeff Capel III '97 is out as basketball coach at the U of Oklahoma, 96-69 in five seasons, 14-18 this year. He played for Duke 1993-97, which means he was on the NCAA runner-up team in '94