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  Topic: Gary Hurd's Mysterious Comment< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
stevestory



Posts: 8936
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 17 2005,15:54   

On the top post on PT right now, Gary Hurd says:

Quote


PS: This is my last post to Panda’s Thumb. There are contributors to PT whose personal politics are far closer to the rightist mob revealed above than to people with whom I will remain associated.



Is anyone else surprised by this? I haven't seen much to clue me in to what he's referring to, but of course I don't see the behind-the-scenes Panda's Thumb stuff.

   
tacitus



Posts: 118
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 17 2005,18:27   

Yeah, it's news to me too. Very odd. I didn't think political leanings seemed to matter much at PT.

Ah well, it's a free country, at least it is for now!;).

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 17 2005,21:45   

based on the text of Gary's post, I'd say that Gary wanted to play up the attack and the ridiculous responses to Mirecki's email by the Kansas electorate and KU administration, while most of the other contributers wanted to do the reverse and not make a big issue out of it.

I can see value in both positions, however i too lean towards playing this down, as the result of over-publicizing the event will likely lead to more violence (especially if it makes national news).

The publicizing of this debacle wont really educate most folks, who already know that midwest redneck fundies can be prone to violence, and it might actually give more fundies the idea that beating up professors is a good thing.

OTOH, i certainly can understand Gary's frustration about the issue, and the total collapse of the expected University support system in the face of ridiculous commentary by the electorate.

Rather than address the attack itself, it might simply be best to deal with the inappropriate response exhibited by the University of Kansas to the revelation of a PRIVATE email.  Any of us who deal with any university administration should use this case to point out just about the WORST possible response a university could have to this situation.

It appears Kansas is becoming a sink-hole.

I feel for Gary big-time.

  
Schmitt.



Posts: 3
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 18 2005,02:59   

Given the amount of speculation and anger in Dr Hurd's post I wasn't that surprised by the postscript, though I think it's a shame that he's leaving. I've enjoyed a lot of his comments over the past year or so and I'm sorry to see him go, particularly over political differences.  I'm glad he brought to the fore the disgusting responses by antievolutionists and Professor Mirecki's rejoinder to the university's statement that he left  his post voluntarily.

That being said, a lot of that post - such as Dr Hurd's suppositions about a police conspiracy, his (albeit professional) opinion about Mirecki's bruising and the attack - didn't strike me as appropriate to the Panda's Thumb.

    
stevestory



Posts: 8936
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 18 2005,04:20   

Yeah, I also thought the police conspiracy stuff was unusual. But I would like to know more about the behind the scenes political machinations if stuff like this is going on at PT. Get it out in the open.

   
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 18 2005,06:05   

Quote
...the inappropriate response exhibited by the University of Kansas to the revelation of a PRIVATE email.  Any of us who deal with any university administration should use this case to point out just about the WORST possible response a university could have to this situation.
This is the thing that just astounds me.

Is it "reprehensible" or "repugnant" (or however  the UoK  administration characterized Mirecki's e-mails) to think that certain social/religious groups are a pain in the butt? To express that thought in a private communication?

The fact that this has garnered so little attention from the media that have run high profile stories on Sternberg's alleged martyrdom, and from  from civil liberties watchdog groups (so far, anyway) makes me wonder whether the, ahem, "conservative" bloggers quoted by Dr. Hurd didn't hit the nail on the head when they characterized their opposition as "sissies".

But maybe I just haven't been patient enough; maybe the ACLU is just preparing their case; maybe there is a "Tawana Brawley" element to the story; maybe all kinds of things.

But meantime, I thank The Designer for people like Dr. Hurd not just rolling over on this. I hope he reconsiders his take on Panda's Thumb; or - if not - that he will continue to publicly, prominently, call 'em as he sees 'em in the right-wing war on science.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sn88



Posts: 1
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 18 2005,06:49   

Before even implying a conspiracy involving police officers, I would require substantial evidence.  Regardless of my disagreement in such implications, seizure of Mirecki's laptop is inappropriate, and the police need to be held accountable for taking a citizen's private belongings when they are completely unrelated to an investigation.

  
Dean Morrison



Posts: 216
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 18 2005,10:00   

I too thought that the 'Police involvement' speculation was unwarranted without any evidence, and in a sense was stooping to the same level as the right-wing commentators  Gary Hurd was criticising. Not to say that it is unbelievable of course, just that there was no real evidence - I don't see how you can go from some black eyes in a photo to police involvement in one move. I have been beaten up and suffered similar injuries to Mirecke - I guess the guy was satisfied with that, or was pulled off by a mate.
It seemed to me that Gary Hurd was so angry he became irrational. To leave the Panda's thumb in a huff, and not to allow comments would seem to underline this.
I hope he can explain and re-consider when he calms down, as I'm sure he's a good contributor. ???
Having said that I think the University's response is absolutely pathetic - has no-one protested?

  
Amos



Posts: 1
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 18 2005,11:13   

I agree that there is a double standard, with the creationists choosing to disbelieve the attack emitting the most intense hatred in this whole thing.

But I'm not sure of the criticism of the police. It is possible that they were just looking for threats e-mailed to him in order to find some they might want to look into.

Sure, they could have just asked for him to supply his e-mails, and he most likely would have, but my experience with police is that they'd rather break down a door than open it with the key already in their possession. That's just what they can be like. (Yes, yes. Stereotypes. All that.)

And don't leave PT over something like this. Please.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 19 2005,07:34   

The weird episode of physical violence is one thing. Personally, I'm reluctant to offer any theories about it. But I would say this in Dr. Hurd's support: his "conspiracy theory" was couched in pretty careful language:
Quote
This is a potential reinforcement for my conclusion that it is likely that men somehow associated with law enforcement attacked Mirecki. This can be a number of professions ... If my speculation as the identity of the assailants is correct, then the following events are perfectly plausible... [emphases mine]


But aside from that, I still want to know:
(a) what is the justification for the university taking any actions at all on the basis of [unethically obtained and released] private e-mail?
and (b) - I ask this as a self-confessed legal ignoramus - is it legal to seize someone's computer - or anything else for that matter - without a warrant? Did they have a warrant?

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 19 2005,08:26   

as an aside, since there is a legitimate question as to why the authorities nabbed Mirecki's laptop;

Your computer can be seized at any time without a warrant pursuant to the patriot act.  all someone has to do is convince someone in homeland security that you have terrorist leanings or are somehow a threat to national security.  representatives of homeland security have the authority to do searches and seizures without the need for a legal warrant.

we should all be careful about what we keep stored on our laptops these days.

:p

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 19 2005,11:23   

Quote
Your computer can be seized at any time without a warrant pursuant to the patriot act.  all someone has to do is convince someone in homeland security that you have terrorist leanings or are somehow a threat to national security.  representatives of homeland security have the authority to do searches and seizures without the need for a legal warrant.  
So would I be correct in concluding that either:
(1) the police had a warrant to seize Mirecki's computer (in which case, I must have had a very naive picture of U.S. constitutional rights), or
(2) the computer was seized illegally, or
(3) someone in homeland security is convinced that Mirecki is a threat to national security.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 19 2005,12:43   

without any further evidence, sounds like any one of the three is at least plausible.

It could also be that the seizure of mirecki's laptop had to do with an unnanounced complaint from one of those "offended" by his comment on the list.

or it could have actually been university property, and the administration requested law enforcement officials recover the machine after they forced him to resign his post.

under normal circumstances, the description so far sure sounds like an unreasonable search and seizure, but we simply don't have all the facts.

Even without all the facts in, forcing Mirecki to resign his chairmanship because of that email is ludicrous at best.

the point is, all of us should be quite wary of when and how we express ourselves in these times.

We already have lost the freedoms we have grown accustomed to.  

the continuing hypocrisy of the right in claiming their free speech is being trodden upon by not letting them teach creationism as science, while those criticizing them are treated like Mirecki is continues to astound me.

Gary sure nailed that one, regardless of what the facts end up being in this case.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 19 2005,13:08   

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin....V10.DTL

Is it really just about anti-terrorism?

hmm.

  
  13 replies since Dec. 17 2005,15:54 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

    


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