Thursday, March 19, 2009

Churchill trial today: O'Rourke becomes animated!

After they finished with retired CU history prof and investigative committee member Margaret McIntosh ("She [committee chair Mimi Wesson] was exhibiting every sign of fairness and openness. I didn't see any signs of a hidden agenda.'"), Churchill lawyer David Lane called David Stannard, professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii and, of course, a Churchill supporter. He was questioned on how Churchill arrived at his number of 400,000 Indians killed by the Mandan smallpox epidemic in 1837. From the Camera blog:

Stannard said Churchill was not wrong in stating that deaths may have reached as high as 400,000 in the wake of the epidemic.

"He's mostly trying to point out the terrible, terrible tragedy of this disease," Stannard said.
By making up numbers. After all, "fabricated, made-up accounts promote the truth."
But O'Rourke lunged [lunged?] at Stannard's defense of Churchill by taking the professor through a paragraph-by-paragraph recitation written by Churchill himself describing how he got to his fatality numbers.

O'Rourke, standing near the screen and pointing to words projected on it, told Stannard that Churchill cited Russell Thornton's book, "American Indian Holocaust and Survival," to arrive at his numbers.

He said the highest total Churchill could reach -- adding up all of Thornton's numbers -- was 144,000 American Indians killed by the epidemic.

"Is 144,000 anywhere near 400,000?" O'Rourke asked Stannard loudly.

The professor said it wasn't.

But he also testified that Thornton had relied on another academic source for his numbers that might ultimately justify a greater number of deaths from the epidemic.
O'Rourke countered that Churchill, though, had only cited Thornton for his fatality total.

On re-direct, Churchill attorney Robert Bruce said if a "reasonable scholar" believed the higher number of deaths to be true, wouldn't that be enough to meet CU's standard that misconduct had not been committed -- that a "reasonable scholar" could have come to the same conclusion Churchill did .

Stannard said it would.
None of these jokers would know a "reasonable scholar" if s/he bit them. Next up was Philo Hutcheson, a professor of education at Georgia State (where Churchill's frau, Natsu "Truthforce" Saito is a law professor). After Chutch attorney Robert "the" Bruce elicited the usual garbage ("'In a huge output of work -- I'll be blunt -- I would expect there would be some errors,' he said.") CU's O'Rourke asked him what he's asked almost every Churchill testifier:

[I]f he had ever written something, attached someone else's name to it, and then referred back to it as a third-party independent source.

Churchill has been accused of doing that with an essay he wrote to which Rebecca Robbins name was attached.
Accused? He admitted it.
Hutcheson said no.
The brilliant Emma Perez, professor of ethnic studies at CU, was next. Predictably, she put her foot in it:
Perez told the jury she and some other faculty members shot off a letter of grievance to CU for its findings on Churchill and never got a response.

"Which showed me once again that ethnic studies is held in low esteem at the university," she testified.
Wonder why? (Perez, you'll remember, has been whining that effnic studies don't get no respect for years.)

On cross-examination, O'Rourke asked Perez if out of the more than 1,000 tenure-track faculty at CU, fewer than 10 signed her grievance letter.

"Yes it was very disappointing, wasn't it," she responded.

"I have nothing further," the lawyer said.

All this, obviously, is from the Camera blog. I'll be there tomorrow.

Update: The C-blog has this afternoon's playacting, too. Sounds like the jury likes Lane.

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