Liar, Liar, Bathroom on Fire

DURHAM — Crystal Gail Mangum believes the system is out to get her.

With a motion bracelet strapped to her right ankle, Mangum, 31, held a press conference in front of a Savannah Avenue home this morning – where she is on house arrest – to defend herself against a February domestic violence arrest.

Mangum was arrested at her Lincoln Street home after police alleged that during an argument with her ex-boyfriend, she set the apartment on fire and tried to kill her now ex-boyfriend while her three young children and two Durham police officers were in the home.

“I don’t feel like I’m going to get the justice that I deserve through the judicial system and I feel this my only and last means to reach out to the public and let them know that I did not set a fire that night,” she said while sitting in front of Savannah Avenue residence, unable to even walk to the driveway. “To let the public know that I am being unfairly treated due to preconceived notions that people have about me concerning another case. I feel like enough is enough.”

That case happens to be the Duke Lacrosse case, where Mangum accused three Duke University lacrosse players of sexual assault during a party in March 2006. State Attorney General Roy Cooper cleared the three men in 2007. Mangum never faced any charges in the case, which gained international headlines and led to the resignation of former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong after the State Bar charged him with 20 ethics violations.

Mangum never mentioned the case by name during this morning’s conference but believes it has led to the multiple charges from the February incident, including arson, child endangerment and attempted murder. She pleaded for her ex-boyfriend, who she said abused her, to come forward and tell the truth about what happened.

Mangum said that her ex-boyfriend, after taking her to the emergency room for a spinal tap, started hitting her and accusing her of cheating after she asked him to leave the residence. Mangum said she and her three children ran into a bedroom for safety. Mangum stated that she doesn’t know who set the home on fire but that her ex-boyfriend was the only other person in the home.

“I can’t explain to you why I keep going through issues with domestic violence,” she said, referring to past relationships. “Maybe it’s mistakes. Maybe I tell men too much about my past and they try to take that for granted. Maybe domestic violence is more prevalent than people think.”

Mangum’s next court date is Friday.

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I Need An Intervention

What is the point of any of these Congressional hearings?

No, maybe, the real question is…what specific neediness or Irritation-by-Proxy Syndrome drives me to observe any part of them?

Perhaps because I need to diet prior to our Lake trip, during the lunch hour… I turned on the appetite suppressing Kagan/Congress tete-a-tete yesterday. For those of you who missed it…imagine a spinster at lunch with the suspicious Mother and Aunts of the her long-awaited prospective Groom….and her own eager relatives also in tow.

Yes, she is always going to iron his underwear.
No, she never embraced another man.
Yes, she believes bottled spaghetti sauce to be a culinary crime against humanity.

Obviously, her own cunning family has rehearsed her on what the other narrow-eyed family matrons need to hear.

Meanwhile, back home alone, the Patriarch…Old Man Economy… lies unattended and thrashing on his deathbed….while the “girls” are out gossiping, posturing, and playing public “gotcha.” You heard it here first: That Old Man is gonna die alone.

My sad compulsion has forced me to view many of this tax-payer funded farces. I have regularly observed Blowhards who have never had to meet a payroll, pontificating as “experts” to those who do. I have watched those who have never worn the uniform of our country,or been responsible for the lives of other men in combat, lecturing to those who have served and endured just that. We are governed by a class of Professional Office-runners with little experience in anything other than campaigning. They do not know how to create jobs because they don’t have real jobs themselves. Their days are spent perpetuating their own status and spending other people’s money.

And now one of them has ascended in his supreme emptiness to the Oval Office.

Our political class was described individually centuries ago by the Bard himself:

“a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Except, these days, our “poor players” are hardly EVER “heard no more” They strut and fret incessantly. They almost always get re-elected; the system is rigged that way.

The Sound and Fury never seems to stop, but I have to finally…remove myself.

I need to find the strength to keep myself from the self-flagellation of being riveted to this Congressional Carnival Road-show. Why don’t I improve my mind and watch “The Young and the Restless” or “Wheel of Fortune?”

National apathy and partisan appetite sustain this foolishness. Why can’t we dismiss the lot of them, from both parties? Why can’t we require each new Congressman to serve for 2 terms only and be paid the median salary of the folks he represents back home? Let our taxes provide for secretarial services and travel ONLY back home to report to us. At the end of the Congressional tour of duty, let these people return to the lives they had before…not enriched for enslaving us to special interests.

Let a Congressional office be public service post not a lifelong grab of self-serving squatters rights.

Ah well…I turn my head just now and see… the Matriarchs of both families are all miked up again for today. Kagan looks like she’s already booked the reception hall.

Will I have the strength to push the off button?

I’m not sure.

Well, at the least… it’s a potent appetite suppressor.

No small thing at this stage of my life.

Proud to be a Jersey Girl

Remembering Miss Stevens

I’ve never been a fan of the dismissive comment, “Those who CAN, do; those who CAN’T teach.”

I was trained as a teacher; I respect teachers.

Actually, even that comment is weak.

A good teacher is a life-changer. A good teacher is a purveyor of not only knowledge, but self-confidence, self-respect. Our children spend the majority of their day with their teacher. His or her professionalism, empathy, and abilities shape a large part of our children’s minds and psyches. How he or she views the world will seep into him; even more importantly, how he or she views HIM will seep into him.

I did my student teaching in a grimy school in a low socio-economic area. My supervising teacher was Miss Stevens…a woman in her fifties who had never married. Her reputation preceded her. She had actually unceremoniously booted the last student teacher my college had sent her… out of her classroom. This unhappy refugee had to finish up with another supervisor.

My hand (and probably lip) had trembled when I learned I was her next assignment.

The first morning, as we walked down the hall, an eighth grade boy…prompted by his posse…jumped out in front of me (and her)..and shouted at me…”Blondie, let’s dance”

This was not good.

I wondered if The Banished One had been a “Blondie” too. I could already see her eyeing me suspiciously. She told me she did not care what I did in my free time but I would never see her in any faculty lounge: she was there to teach not socialize.

My eye located the nearest girls room to her class room and decided that was as far afield as I would ever go.

So began, strangely,one of the high points of my life.

She was an incredible teacher. We were teaching literature, poetry, and Greek mythology to kids who had not a book in their home….whose parents were concerned with the basics of survival…not the classics of Shakespeare. Her mantra to me was “make it relevant.” When teaching grammar, she would ay…convey somehow to your class that it’s a shield against discrimination. Tell them…it’s your trump card in applying for a’s YOU not letting others use words, phrases and dialects to limit, ridicule, or define you. It’s YOU…in control.

She showed me how Greek mythology could draw our classes in… presented as the Soap Opera it often was…the cheating husbands, the treacherous wives. We let our students bring in their favorite rock music and examined the lyrics…finding metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, in the words that already moved them…before we began our Poetry unit. She loved that I stayed after school to read Edna St Vincent Millay to lovesick teenage girls (no one does unrequited love like Edna.)

But most of all, she taught me empathy. Kids don’t learn through humiliation, fear, or low self-esteem. As she drove me to school every morning..(yes, she started picking me up so I could avoid the buses)…we worked on her pet project…finding ONE SINCERE PRAISE-WORTHY ATTRIBUTE about every child we encountered.

Then say it. Over and over. When kids feel safe and LIKED…when they feel someone sees something special about them…there are fewer discipline problems. Moreover, as they relax, they learn.

When the head of the English Department came to evaluate me at the end of my Student Teaching…his final grade for my effort was “B.” One of his critiques was that I had missed an opportunity to introduce the word “anthropomorphic” into the eight grade vocabularies of my classes. Miss Stevens seethed through our session with him that day, as he held forth in the faux British accent that was often cruelly imitated back on campus. As he often did in his college lectures, he mentioned his Oxford graduate experience at least twice that afternoon. Somewhere before his last Angolphilic reminiscences ended…Miss Stevens stood up and angrily left the room. He appeared startled.

Eyebrows raised, he gave me some faint praise for surviving through the entire semester of placement. I said in return …I loved every minute.

“B” is was.

But “B’ it wasn’t.

My final teaching grade mysteriously morphed into an “A.” I heard later that Miss Stevens (“Hera help us!) wielded that “anthropomorphic” asinine comment like the Sword of Damocles…until I received the grade she wanted for me.

I’d like Miss Stevens to know…in everything I do…I remember what this amazing teacher of Life and Lesson plans..taught me.

“Blondie” has danced , but she has never forgotten.


Sources on the Liestoppers Blog indicate that Crystal Gayle Mangum, whose global book tour was interrupted by an unfortunate incarceration…will give a press conference this Wednesday outside her home.

All indications are that she is about to announce yet ANOTHER victimization of herself. This is now the stuff of thunderbolts and gypsy curses..a series of events that might inspire future revisionists of the Bible to edit out the accursed but now unimpressive Job….in favor of the all time supreme long-suffering Mangum. Yes, Job held his own admirably for centuries,till Mangum came on the scene…but on the Travails and Tribulations highway…he is just your local UPS driver compared to Mangum’s Ice Road Trucker.

Mangum is the penultimate woman “more sinning against than sinning”…at least in the creaking windmills of her mind and apparently,among her cult following.

Consider the following: to date she has (falsely) accused three Black men and then three White men of violently assaulting her..creating some sort of a equal opportunity Rainbow coalition of Gang Rapists. She has accused her ex-husband (the non-father of her children conceived during their marriage) of attempting to murder her. Before she became, according to the local News and Observer…”a shy young Mother, new to dancing”…she was subjected to a disastrous lap-“frolicking” try-out…which forced her to steal a cab and be traumatized by nearly hitting a cop who had the temerity to leap in her path.

Furthermore, her professional life was marred by further victimization at her “performance obligations” by both clients, co-workers and management ..culminating at its pinnacle in her go-go attire hitting the gravel in the Platinum Club parking lot.

During the Lacrosse Frame, she was cruelly misrepresented by her cross-dressing cousin Clyde on national TV…and by rumors that the child she was to bear was the Duke Lacrosse Baby. Mangum then endured the withering disappointment of the Wise Men of Durham when, lo, they arrived at the Nativity-Scene-to-Save-the-Case…and found to their eternal dismay…that things didn’t SHA_A_A_KE out.

And, yes, when the Duke Lacrosse team was exonerated despite her tireless continued efforts to create new and varied stories to implicate them…Mangum was forced to face her bad karma again. Obviously, she was a victim of an ill-located Laundrymat, visits to which so inconvenienced her…that the Rape Kit contained all that unfortunate non-LAX DNA. She also mourned the reputational and professional demise of her two REAL friends, D.A. Mike Nifong and Investigator Linwood Wilson. Not only is the former no longer a District Attorney (or even an attorney) and the latter, no longer an Investigator, but one has been to jail and the other might be going.

Requests for a Crystal/Linwood penal roommate situation remain at this date in limbo.

Mangum next faced the Foul Winds of Fate, when her Meant-to-Be Best Seller became a Throw-the Trash-down-the Well-er…and failed to generate money from White Boys, Black girls or any combination of gender and skin hue.

If you have any tears, prepare to shed them now.

In the latest, most foul and fickle manifestation of her Supreme Victimhood, Mangum, who once was embraced by her home town of Durham as some cross between Melanie Wilkes and Mother Teresa, now finds herself under indictment and, according to her, under harassment by the police and powers that be. Enduring an assault from another evil male entrant into her life…an incident of spontaneous combustion broke out in her bathroom..whilst she was trying to not to leave this Beau with a bad goodbye. The police arrived on the scene, and after communicating with the Carpetbagger Jihad Central Command in D.C…carted Crystal off, made the bail too high when they know her book didn’t sell…and have even perhaps fabricated evidence.

Actually, what all they have done…we don’t know. We must await the Presser this Wednesday for details.

What will Crystal Mangum say now?

Are the Durham powers-that-be trying to kick Sister Survivor off the Island?

Will Crystal never find a Good Man, an uneventful Bathroom, or a convenient Laundrymat?

Are Duke and the NCNAACP asking themselves…”Can this Metanarrative be saved?”

Check back to StMaryMead this Wednesday for breaking details.

Duke Lacrosse Frame Video…Part 2…The Durham Police Dept.

Washington Times…Inside the Black Panther Case

J. Christian Adams is a lawyer based in Virginia who served as a voting rights attorney at the Justice Department until this month. He blogs at

On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs. I and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges. Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case.

The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.

The federal voter-intimidation statutes we used against the New Black Panthers were enacted because America never realized genuine racial equality in elections. Threats of violence characterized elections from the end of the Civil War until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Before the Voting Rights Act, blacks seeking the right to vote, and those aiding them, were victims of violence and intimidation. But unlike the Southern legal system, Southern violence did not discriminate. Black voters were slain, as were the white champions of their cause. Some of the bodies were tossed into bogs and in one case in Philadelphia, Miss., they were buried together in an earthen dam.

Based on my firsthand experiences, I believe the dismissal of the Black Panther case was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers. The dismissal raises serious questions about the department’s enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the dismissal and the DOJ’s skewed enforcement priorities. Attorneys who brought the case are under subpoena to testify, but the department ordered us to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptable legal limbo.

The assistant attorney general for civil rights, Tom Perez, has testified repeatedly that the “facts and law” did not support this case. That claim is false. If the actions in Philadelphia do not constitute voter intimidation, it is hard to imagine what would, short of an actual outbreak of violence at the polls. Let’s all hope this administration has not invited that outcome through the corrupt dismissal.

Most corrupt of all, the lawyers who ordered the dismissal – Loretta King, the Obama-appointed acting head of the Civil Rights Division, and Steve Rosenbaum – did not even read the internal Justice Department memorandums supporting the case and investigation. Just as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. admitted that he did not read the Arizona immigration law before he condemned it, Mr. Rosenbaum admitted that he had not bothered to read the most important department documents detailing the investigative facts and applicable law in the New Black Panther case. Christopher Coates, the former Voting Section chief, was so outraged at this dereliction of responsibility that he actually threw the memos at Mr. Rosenbaum in the meeting where they were discussing the dismissal of the case. The department subsequently removed all of Mr. Coates’ responsibilities and sent him to South Carolina.

Mr. Perez also inaccurately testified to the House Judiciary Committee that federal “Rule 11” required the dismissal of the lawsuit. Lawyers know that Rule 11 is an ethical obligation to bring only meritorious claims, and such a charge by Mr. Perez effectively challenges the ethics and professionalism of the five attorneys who commenced the case. Yet the attorneys who brought the case were voting rights experts and would never pursue a frivolous matter. Their experience in election law far surpassed the experience of the officials who ordered the dismissal.

Some have called the actions in Philadelphia an isolated incident, not worthy of federal attention. To the contrary, the Black Panthers in October 2008 announced a nationwide deployment for the election. We had indications that polling-place thugs were deployed elsewhere, not only in November 2008, but also during the Democratic primaries, where they targeted white Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters. In any event, the law clearly prohibits even isolated incidents of voter intimidation.

Others have falsely claimed that no voters were affected. Not only did the evidence rebut this claim, but the law does not require a successful effort to intimidate; it punishes even the attempt.

Most disturbing, the dismissal is part of a creeping lawlessness infusing our government institutions. Citizens would be shocked to learn about the open and pervasive hostility within the Justice Department to bringing civil rights cases against nonwhite defendants on behalf of white victims. Equal enforcement of justice is not a priority of this administration. Open contempt is voiced for these types of cases.

Some of my co-workers argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. Less charitable individuals called it “payback time.” Incredibly, after the case was dismissed, instructions were given that no more cases against racial minorities like the Black Panther case would be brought by the Voting Section.

Refusing to enforce the law equally means some citizens are protected by the law while others are left to be victimized, depending on their race. Core American principles of equality before the law and freedom from racial discrimination are at risk. Hopefully, equal enforcement of the law is still a point of bipartisan, if not universal, agreement. However, after my experience with the New Black Panther dismissal and the attitudes held by officials in the Civil Rights Division, I am beginning to fear the era of agreement over these core American principles has passed.