Belgian court introduces novel legal concept: “wrongful life”

On the C2 morning thread, commenter (and attorney) “buzzsawmonkey” shares this unbelievable news item:

Belgian Court approves “wrongful life” action; permissible for doctors to kill the disabled if they “should not have been born.”

“buzzsawmonkey” adds:

At the end of the film “Judgment at Nuremberg,” Spencer Tracy, as the head of the tribunal that has convicted a number of Nazi judges, meets with the jurist Emil Janning (Burt Lancaster), the only one of the convicted who had displayed a moral sense.  Janning says, “You must believe me; those millions of people.  I didn’t know that it would come to that.”   Tracy replies to him, “It had come to that the first time you condemned a man you knew to be innocent.”

The same thing is happening now: if the state [i.e., Belgium — Ed.] can decide arbitrarily whether a life “should” have come into being on the basis of disability, the devaluation of life from something owned by the person to something on loan from the state is in place.

The only question remaining is how rapidly this will descend into horror, not if it has.

Grand Theft Democracy, Part Five (via Robomonkey’s Blog)

And the voter fraud stories keep rolling in. Check out Robomonkey’s roundup: “Grand Theft Democracy, Part Five”, to be updated throughout the day.

Grand Theft Democracy, Part Five The Republican Party has set up a Hotline for election day, 1-888-775-8117, which will be staffed by attorneys, to handle polling issues and possible voter fraud or intimidation. (H/T: 2.0)Here’s the last post in this series as Election Day begins. I may update it as the day goes by. However, keep in mind that there is doubtlessly going to be even more fraud involved in the process of counting votes as there was in the process of casting the … Read More

via Robomonkey’s Blog

 

UPDATE: check out http://www.nomorefrankens.com

 

Robomonkey: Grand Theft Democracy, Parts 2, 3, 4, …

Robomonkey is doing a yeoman’s job of the efforts this year to enfranchise such constituencies as the undead, the illegals, and the plain fictitious. Chicago Style politics gone nationwide.

Grand Theft Democracy, Part Two And the stories keep rolling in…In Alaska, the state Supreme Court blocked a lower court’s ruling and rewrote the state’s election rules at the eleventh hour in order to help write-in candidate Lisa Murkiewhatsit split the Republican vote.In California, Barbara “call me Senator” Boxer “encouraged Los Angeles teachers to offer their students extra credit if they volunteer for her campaign”; this is, of course, in violation of California law … Read much more in “Grand Theft Democracy, Part Two”

A taste of Part Three:

  • in Yuma County, Arizona, the GOP has found that one in four last minute voter registration requests are bogus, which is on top of the “hundreds, if not thousands” of fake registrations already found.[…]California‘s Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may have violated campaign finance laws by making threats against left-wing groups if they didn’t spend more money and go on the air more in defense of the indefensible Democrats.

And a taste of Part Four:

[…] Anti-fraud groups in Minnesota sued over the ban on wearing “Please I.D. Me” buttons into polling places, given that “these buttons are not about any specific political candidate, party or ballot question” and therefore the ban “is outside state law and a clear violation of our First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.”[…] In Missourififteen counties have more registered voters than it has (according to the Census) people eighteen and older. (That’s up from 2008, when there were only twelve Missouri counties with greater than 100% voter registration.)

While the leftists in and out of media continue to deny that any fraud is happening, former Representative Dick Armey (R-TX) claims thatthree percent of Democratic voters are dead people: “I’m tired of people being Republican all their lives and then changing parties when they die.”

Heh.

UPDATE: This sickening story from Minnesota (via Instapundit). A party that resorts to these kinds of stratagems deserves to lose.

“Convenient” voter touchscreen glitches

Fenway Nation has a roundup of reports of touchscreen glitches in early voting. And, surprise, surprise:

Out in Nevada, there have been reports coming in from Las Vegas and elsewhere in Clark County that voters have found their touchscreen voting machines had already checked Harry Reid’s name.

Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid’s name was already checked.

Ferrara said she wasn’t alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

“Something’s not right,” Ferrara said. “One person that’s a fluke. Two, that’s strange. But several within a five minute period of time — that’s wrong.”As it turns out, the technicians for the voting machines are represented by SEIU Local 1107, which has supported Reid’s bid for a fifth term as senator. Perhaps even more ominously, Reid’s son Rory also happens to be the chairman of the Clark County Commission and is running for governor of Nevada.

It gets stranger, however:

In Texas, there have been reports of votes for Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rick Perry being switched to the Green Party’s Deb Shafto and votes for Democrat candidate Bill White being shifted to show Rick Perry, again using touchscreen technology.

Fenway urges everybody to ask for paper ballots instead. Instapundit, the technophile’s technophile, has been doing the same for years.

I am however wondering if “Baghdad Bob” Pelosi knows something about the election none of us do. Which makes it all the more imperative to show up and vote. In democracies, there’s generally a limit above which vote fraud cannot be hidden successfully. This means that if the election isn’t close, either the cheating doesn’t affect the outcome, or the cheating would have to be so brazen that it would come out and bring about the perpetrator’s downfall.

Let’s make sure it ain’t close, and that retail cheating or below-radar-limit wholesale cheating won’t matter.

Private property in California… isn’t so private

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2010/Q3/view638.html#Monday

Now a California legislator has said that, yes, California Consumer Affairs agents have the power to seize private property for testing, and do not pay compensation. The furniture or other item seized is destroyed in the tests. No compensation is paid and in the case under discussion no receipt was given; the agent suggested that the shop owner try her insurance company. The $1400  couch was confiscated to be tested for fire resistance to cigarette butts. Whether the state ought to be paying agents to go about seizing private property for destructive testing is a question worth debate, but apparently has not been debated.

But we were born free.

Whatever happened to this pesky little thing:

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Add this to the list of reasons (approaching the length of the Nile) why I will never live in the People’s Republic of California again…

Zombie on JournoList and “The week in racism”

Whew. This must be the mother of all Zombie posts. Get thee to the nunnery Zombie’s blog.

Obama’s “post-racial America” has not materialized. Instead, the nation has gone in the opposite direction and become race-obsessed America.

No, that’s not quite right either. We’re not obsessed with race — we’ve become obsessed with accusations of racism. Some of the accusations are true; some, not so much. But what used to be a last-ditch smear tactic used only by the most desperate political operatives, or something which as a society we’d try to ignore in the hopes that it would go away, has instead become a daily occurrence, a standard category in the 24-hour news cycle:
PoliticsSportsBusinessAccusations of RacismWeather

Just a few years ago, shortly before Obama appeared on the political landscape, I wrote this satirical dictionary definition of the word “racist”:

racist – A statement of surrender during an argument. When two people or disputants are engaged in an acrimonious debate, the side that first says “Racist!” has conceded defeat. Synonymous with saying “Resign” during a chess game, or “Uncle” during a schoolyard fight. Originally, the term was meant to indicate that one side was accusing the other of being racist, but once it was noticed that people only resorted to this tactic when all other arguments had been exhausted, it acquired its new meaning of “indicating one’s own concession of defeat.”

Oh, how times have changed, and how quickly. Not only do people now reach for the race card first in almost any political, social, or personal dispute, but sometimes the accusations are even true (or partly true), as public exhibition of racism has become more commonplace. No matter how you slice it — an increase of racism and of false accusations of racism — I see this as a huge step backward for our nation.

The Week in Racism

So many accusations of racism battle for space in your morning headlines, it’s easy to get them all confused. So I’ve created the following scorecard to help you sort it all out.

Here are the Top Ten Accusations of Racism for the last week, along with a handy “Level of Actual Racism” accuracy rating (on a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 being the most racist) to help determine to what extent each accusation is true, or if the accuser is just crying “Uncle” in a losing argument.

Hurry and read the rest. It’s chock-full of good stuff.

Robin of Berkeley: Will the real racist please stand up?

“Robin of Berkeley” reflects on the aftermath of the Oakland riots,. Read the whole thing, but this passage is particularly salient:

A colleague said this to me the other day. “That police officer should be found guilty. But if he’s not, they have every a right to riot.”

She was simply expressing the typical liberal view. But let’s pick this apart.

If thousands of Jews or Chinese or white males looted stores and burned cars, would the public be so tolerant? I don’t think so. Are we really talking tolerance here, or something else entirely — a colonialist, superior attitude?

Put bluntly, when liberals say that “they” have a right to riot, what’s the implication here? Is it that blacks are primitive, out-of-control Neanderthals? Those Jews, Chinese, and white males are expected to have self-control. No such expectations exist for designated victim groups like blacks and Latinos.
By treating blacks as a special class, liberals marginalize and infantilize. Liberals also set the bar insultingly low.

Obama and his handlers knew that white liberal guilt could be exploited to their advantage. They realized that Obama would be insulated from scrutiny.

But it’s not just guilt; it’s also a white feeling of superiority. Because you have to see yourself as on top to offer special treatment to those on bottom.

Obama has been the Teflon President because of the color of his skin. Liberals are giving him a free ride.

We see it every day when criticism of Obama evokes cries of racism. But who are the real racists here?
Are the racists those conservatives who hold everyone accountable to the same standards? Who believe that people should be judged by their character and their behavior, not their race, creed, or color?

Or are the racists those white liberals who treat Obama like some delicate flower? While liberals still eviscerate George W. Bush, any judgment of Obama is off limits.

It’s not just whites who are enabling Obama by acting like his protectors. Blacks voted en masse for Obama. Sadly, what has he offered them?

From the start, it was obvious that Obama, though half-black, had never done anything for the black community. In Chicago, his actions hurt blacks.

Obama was a huge supporter of Tony Rezko, a notorious slumlord, now a felon. When Obama served in the state senate, black residents picketed Rezko’s offices to protest their rat-infested, unheated apartments.

And what has Obama done to help blacks since he’s been president? One of Obama’s first actions as president was eliminating the DC school voucher program that offered poor black kids the chance for a better life.

Obama and the Democrats have created record debt and crushed the economy. A depressed economy hits minority groups especially hard.

And then there is Obama’s push for amnesty for illegals. How is giving jobs to millions of illegals going to help blacks, who have unconscionably high unemployment rates?

But there is one perk Obama has afforded the black underclass — the right to behave brutally. Obama’s Justice Department dropped charges for those New Black Panthers who allegedly threatened and harassed people at election sites.

This encouragement to act out is deeply cynical and manipulative. It’s designed to control racial minorities and promote social unrest.

Although Obama has only agitated, not uplifted, Americans, most liberals regard him as their icon. To them, Obama is the Great Black Hope.

Liberals handle Obama with kid gloves. In the meantime, they turn a blind eye to his dangerous policies, like flirting with radical Islam. Liberals make excuses for the plummeting economy, blaming their usual bogeyman: conservatives.

They refuse to see Obama without the rose-colored glasses. Why? Because when it comes to Obama, liberals see a black man deserving of special treatment.

Will the real racist please stand up?

One black intellectual, Thomas Sowell, saw through this liberal conceit decades ago. He refers to the minorities on which these extremely dubious (for ultimately toxic) blessings are bestowed as “mascots of the anointed”.

Zombie on Oakland riots

My blog-ancestor is all over what is happening in Oakland (and forecasted this more than a week ago).

Oakland is boarded up.

Fearing the inevitable riots that will erupt if ex-transit cop Johannes Mehserle isn’t found guilty of murder in the Oscar Grant case [UPDATE at top of article: he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter], business owners around Oakland’s downtown and other areas of the city have been busy nailing plywood boards over their shop windows to minimize damage and looting. This essay documents the pre-riot preparations, and also examines to what extent the expected riot is being fomented by left-wing radical groups.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: coverage in the San Jose Mercury News

Report: Half of euthanasia in Belgium without consent

Daily Mail (h/t: multiple):

A high proportion of deaths classed as euthanasia in Belgium involved patients who did not ask for their lives to be ended, a study found.

More than 100 nurses admitted to researchers that they had taken part in ‘terminations without request or consent’.

Although euthanasia is legal in Belgium, it is governed by strict rules which state it should be carried out only by a doctor and with the patient’s permission.

The disturbing revelation  –  which shows that nurses regularly go well beyond their legal role  –  raises fears that were assisted suicides allowed in Britain, they could never be properly regulated.

Since its legalisation eight years ago, euthanasia now accounts for 2 per cent of deaths in Belgium  –  or around 2,000 a year.

The researchers found that a fifth of nurses admitted being involved in the assisted suicide of a patient.

But nearly half of these  –  120 of 248  –  also said there was no consent.

‘The nurses in our study operated beyond the legal margins of their profession,’ said the report’s authors in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

It is likely many nurses ‘ under-reported’ their involvement for fear of admitting an illegal activity, the study said.

But it added that many were probably acting according to their patients’ wishes, ‘even if there was no explicit request’.

Last night, Dr Peter Saunders, director of the Care Not Killing campaign in Britain, said: ‘We should take a warning from this that wherever you draw the line, people will go up to it and beyond it.’

‘Once you have legalised voluntary euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia will inevitably follow,’ he added.

But pro -euthanasia group Dignity in Dying said rules that see the patient taking their own life, rather than a doctor administering the drugs, could still work.

As I have argued multiple times elsewhere: some slopes truly are too slippery to walk. If this is the only way Belgium’s model of socialized medicine can be kept solvent, what needs euthanizing is the model, not the patients.

Thomas Sowell: Race and resentment

Thomas Sowell has a “read the whole thing” article on race and resentment. The salient grafs:

Recent stories out of both Philadelphia and San Francisco tell of black students beating up Asian American students. This is especially painful for those who expected that the election of Barack Obama would mark the beginning of a post-racial America.[…]

Those who explain racial antagonisms on some rationalistic basis will have a hard time demonstrating how Asian Americans have made blacks worse off. Certainly none of the historic wrongs done to blacks was done by the small Asian American population who, for most of their history in this country, have not had enough clout to prevent themselves from being discriminated against.[…]

Resentments and hostility toward people with higher achievements are one of the most widespread of human failings. Resentments of achievements are more deadly than envy of wealth.

The hatred of people who started at the bottom and worked their way up has far exceeded any hostility toward those who were simply born into wealth. None of the sultans who inherited extraordinary fortunes in Malaysia has been hated like the Chinese, who arrived there destitute and rose by their own efforts.

Inheritors of the Rockefeller fortune have been elected as popular governors in three states, attracting nothing like the hostility toward the Jewish immigrants who rose from poverty on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to prosperity in a variety of fields.

Others who started at the bottom and rose to prosperity– the Lebanese in West Africa, the Indians in Fiji, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, for example– have likewise been hated for their achievements. Being born a sultan or a Rockefeller is not an achievement.

Achievements are a reflection on others who may have had similar, and sometimes better, chances but who did not make the most of their chances. Achievements are like a slap across the face to those who are not achieving, and many people react with the same kind of anger that such an insult would provoke.

In our own times, especially, this is not just a spontaneous reaction. Many of our educators, our intelligentsia and our media — not to mention our politicians– promote an attitude that other people’s achievements are grievances, rather than examples.

When black school children who are working hard in school and succeeding academically are attacked and beaten up by black classmates for “acting white,” why is it surprising that similar hostility is turned against Asian Americans, who are often achieving academically more so than whites?

This attitude is not peculiar to some in the black community or to the United States. The same phenomenon is found among lower-class whites in Britain, where academically achieving white students have been beaten up badly enough by their white classmates to require hospital treatment.

These are poisonous and self-destructive consequences of a steady drumbeat of ideological hype about differences that are translated into “disparities” and “inequities,” provoking envy and resentments under their more prettied-up name of “social justice.”

Asian American school children who are beaten up are just some of the victims of these resentments that are whipped up. Young people who are seething with resentments, instead of seizing educational and other opportunities around them, are bigger victims in the long run, whether they are blacks in the US or lower-class whites in the UK. […]

People who call differences “inequities” and achievements “privilege” leave social havoc in their wake, while feeling noble about siding with the less fortunate. It would never occur to them that they have any responsibility for the harm done to both blacks and Asian Americans.

I have for a long time wondered why the Tenth Commandment is “thou shalt not covet” (לא תחמוד), as “coveting” something is not an act but an intent. However, it is covetousness that will lead to violating all of the others.

Amy Bishop redux: her husband knew about the gun after all

Dan Riehl (TypePad trackback URL)draws my attention to this post:

er husband denied knowing where she’d gotten the gun, he said previously, and (oddly, since she’d killed her brother with one) didn’t think to ask. Turns out, it seems, that it was his gun, which he’d asked a friend to purchase for him a couple of decades back, when he was “having trouble with a neighbor.” The weapon was purchased in New Hampshire, because of Massachusetts’ waiting period, so apparently needed somewhat urgently at the time, but ready to hand when once again other people’s reality threatened to intrude.

“She said it was no way she was there, no way it happened. ‘I wasn’t there.’ That kept being a reoccurring thing throughout the interview,” Gray said.

Bishop’s attorney has said that that she doesn’t remember the shootings, and she herself said the shootings “didn’t happen” in her only public comments since the killings.

“What about the people who died?” a reporter asked as she was led to a police car hours after the killings.

“There’s no way. They’re still alive,” she responded.

What she means to say is that it’s simply too inconvenient for her that they died when she pumped bullets into them. (Thanks to Sarah W.)

See the right sidebar for links to our earlier posts on Amy Bishop.

By the way, I get a nontrivial number of Google hits for “Amy Bishop Asperger” and variants thereof. I know a thing or two about “aspies” and I can tell you there’s nothing Asperger about Amy Bishop’s deeds or behavior. A textbook case of extreme NPD (narcissistic personality disorder), probably with borderline disorder thrown in, is much more like it.

(Grossly oversimplifying: To a narcissist other people count as nothing except as sources for narcissistic supply. To an “aspie”, other people and their needs and wants are quite real — their emotions are just very (to extremely) hard to read. I will return to this subject in a separate post, time permitting.)

Amy Bishop update: some observations on tenure

Following the U. of Alabama “tenure denial massacre” by Amy Bishop [see here, herehere , and especially here, here, and here for our earlier coverage], the Chronicle of Higher Education has gathered a series of responses to the question: “Is tenure a matter of life and death?

The answers of course generally reflect New Class sensibilities, but are generally well worth reading. The single most horrifying thing I read was quoted by KC Johnson (who had to suffer through quite a  via dolorosa of his own to get tenure): “[…] as in American Association of University Professors President Cary Nelson’s recent claim that it was acceptable to consider a candidate’s personal or political views in the hiring process[…]”

Let me offer my own two cents on academic tenure. As I see it, it exists primarily for three reasons:

  • Originally, it came about to protect scholars from being dismissed for stating views or findings that were impopular, ‘heretic’, ‘subversive’, or more than one of the above. (For example, ss incredible as this may sound to us today, the act of dissecting a corpse to see human anatomy with one’s own eyes rather than relying  on the ancient writings of Galen, was once considered a subversive act.)
  • In some technical and professional fields (e.g., law, some specialties of medicine, some fields of engineering,…) a practicing professional could earn many times over the salary of a professor. Tenure is perceived as one form of compensation for ceasing to practice in one’s specialty or working reduced hours in it.
  • Finally, in many fields in the hard sciences, tenure is seen as giving scholars the chance to engage in high-risk, highly innovative, research that might pay off big time — or turn out to be a years-long wild goose chase with nothing to show for it. As the latter is obviously the ‘kiss of death’ in the absence of tenure, assistant professors on the tenure track tend to ‘play it safe’ by restricting their research to projects that have a reasonable chance of publishable outcomes.

In the American system, one typically becomes an assistant professor after a Ph.D. and at least one postdoctoral stint. One thus becomes an independent researcher and head of one’s own group (“captain of one’s own ship”) at a pretty young age, but without certainty of employment, and with the ‘Remember Tomorrow’ of a tenure decision ahead. There is no denying that it is a pretty stressful experience, not just for the academic but also for his/her partner: I’ve seen more than one marriage break up over this. But, of course, the payoff of success is a level of job security virtually unmatched in the USA outside government service.

However, many Euro countries have a different academic structure where there is a fairly large “NCO corps” in between the graduate students (and, in the last 20-30 years, postdocs) on the one hand, and the titular professors on the other hand. Anybody eyeing a spot in the “officer corps” needs to do their time in the NCO corps first, but tenure is reached after some years there, after which one finds oneself being groomed/in a ‘holding pattern’ for years  (depending on one’s perspective) until a titular professor retires. Needless to say, this system is much less dynamic than the US one, and the reduced stress is outweighed by the frustration of possibly being stuck in an ‘NCO slot’ for decades, or even until retirement.

Israel has a US-style tenure system: it does have an ‘NCO corps’ of ‘staff scientists’ who however represent an alternate career path rather than an entrance hall to the faculty track. Also, further promotion (from associate professor to full professor) generally takes longer and is subject to closer scrutiny than in the US.

Germany and many Eastern European countries do their ‘faculty filtering’ in a different way than the USA: by demanding an additional credential for faculty in the guise of a Higher Doctorate (known as a Habilitation in Germany). This typically consists of a much heftier thesis than the original Ph.D., and is supposed to be a body of independent research (perhaps with some mentoring) rather than work carried out under the guidance of an advisor. France has a similar post-Ph.D. credential called “Habilitation à diriger des recherches” (accreditation to supervise research), which entitles the holder to act as the Ph.D. advisor to graduate students.

Each system has pluses and minuses. The Euro system is much less ‘sink or swim’ in that one is more gradually groomed for ‘captaincy’, and that job security is reached much more easily. On the other hand, many of Europe’s best and most dynamic researchers seek out academic positions in the USA precisely because of the greater independence and flexibility it affords. Yet on the third hand, dependence on grant money encourages faddishness in research, while somebody who does high-quality research in a ‘no longer fashionable’ subject may have a much easier time of it in France, Germany, Switzerland, or even Israel than in the USA. But on the fourth hand, this same set of circumstances may lead a researcher to remain ‘stuck in a rut’ rather than try to reinvent themselves.

Thomas Sowell’s famous aphorism, “There are no solutions, only trade-offs”, applies here as well.

Amy Bishop update: still more details emerge

Having an unexpected bit of idle time, we continue our coverage of the Amy Bishop./U. of Alabama “tenure killer” case. [See here, herehere , and especially here and here for our earlier coverage.]

Today the New York Times has a long in-depth story on the incident — if you can’t deal with the NYT’s registration wall, there is an apparently identical version online here, for instance. (In addition, a slightly different version at the Seattle Times incorporates some additional details — notably that Amy Bishop is a second cousin of writer — and whackjob — John Irving.)

While both versions are of course silent about Bishop’s far-left politics and obsession with 0bama, they are overall a pretty good recap of what we already know, plus add some new information:

  • she had aspirations as a writer, and collaborated with somebody named Lenny Cavallero on an unpublished novel named “Amazon Fever”, “in which a herpes-like virus spreads throughout the world, causing pregnant women to miscarry”. Her co-author: “When I worked with her, I found she was always within striking distance of the edge”
  • “Over the years, Dr. Bishop had shown evidence that the smallest of slights could set off a disproportionate and occasionally violent reaction, according to numerous interviews with colleagues and others who know her. Her life seemed to veer wildly between moments of cold fury and scientific brilliance, between rage at perceived slights and empathy for her students.”
  • Somebody who collaborated with her on a paper in 1996 remembers her flying into a white-hot rage when she wasn’t given the coveted first author slot. “She broke down. She was extremely angry with all of us. She exploded into something emotional that we never saw before in our careers.”
  • “She rejected criticism and fudged her résumé. Her scientific work was not as impressive as she made it seem, according to independent neurobiologists, some of whom said she would have been unlikely to even get the opportunity to try for tenure at major universities. [See also here — NCT.] She was known to have cyclical “flip-outs,” as one former student described them, that pushed one graduate student after another out of her laboratory.”
  • Following the shooting of her brother, “as Officer Solimini and a partner drove Amy Bishop to the police station, she made a remark that surprised him, according to the report. “She stated that she had an argument with her father earlier,” Officer Solimini wrote. “(Prior to the shooting, she stated!)””
  • “Dr. Bishop also arrived in Huntsville with a padded résumé, giving the impression that she had worked at Harvard two years longer than the university’s records indicate.” [This AP story also mentions that she claimed an IQ of 180 — which would be in the 99.99997th percentile!]
  • “Graduate students did not last long in her laboratory, and those familiar with the department said that most transferred to a different one before completing their degree. In May 2006, she dismissed a graduate student from her lab. The student promised to return some notebooks and a set of keys the next day, a person familiar with the incident said, but Dr. Bishop called the campus police that night, according to a campus police report. The student filed a grievance against her.”
  • when denied tenure, “Her attitude was not, ‘I’m going to have to go find another job,’ ” said Eric Seemann, an assistant professor of psychology. “It was more like, ‘When are these idiots going to clear this up?’ ”
  • contrary to what has been claimed on some antisemitic conspiracy sites [which I refuse to link to], her father was not a Jewish business mogul but a professor of film at Northeastern University [this web page refers to Sam Bishop as Northeastern’s “one man film program” in the 1970s — there even appears to be a school award named after him at Northeastern], while her mother was involved in local politics in Braintree, MA, a middle-class suburb of Boston.
  • the fatal shooting of her brother happened following an argument with her father, who was out on an Xmas shopping trip while it happened

If I’d have to venture an amateur psychological diagnosis, it would be an extreme form of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD — note all the incidents of “narcissistic rage”), possibly with borderline personality disorder (BPD) thrown in. (Both are “Cluster B personality disorders“.)

Austin suicide pilot spin

Following the tragedy of Austin suicide pilot Joe Stack, who first set his house on fire, then drilled his small plane into the building that housed the IRS, leaving behind an elaborate suicide manifesto, the usual suspects cannot resist trying to spin Stack into a “Tea partier” (or “teabagger”, the bizarre sexual slur infamously popularized by the has-been media).

JammieWearingFool and Hot Air are both having a lot of “fun” with this.

I just read the manifesto, and my initial conclusions are fourfold:

  • OK, the guy is more literate than your average college kid nowadays
  • he was clearly, to use an abstruse clinical psychology term, nucking futs
  • he basically blames everything and everybody except himself for his personal woes
  • political views expressed read like far-left ones, if anything — cf. anti-Bush rhetoric and views about healthcare, plus a direct quote from the Communist Manifesto (see below)

Both JWF and HA point out egregious “selective editing” on the part of a WaPo reporter. The original manifesto ends:

Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)
02/18/2010

The revised version ends:

Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010

It’s only, like, the 5th millionth time MSM journalists have been caught twisting words. This is just a particularly blatant example.

JWF, meanwhile, has started jocularly blaming anything and everuthing, from attempts to poison food at an army base to cyber attacks on Google on “teabaggers”.

UPDATE 1: Fox News interviewed Joe Stack’s friends and acquaintances, who mostly seem quite puzzled and were unaware of his obsession with his fights with the IRS.

They knew Stack as a fellow country rocker [he played bass guitar and piano — NCT] and band mate who recorded with them in Austin’s vibrant music scene. They recalled a quiet father who visited Norway every year to visit his daughter and grandchildren. They never heard Stack talk about politics, about taxes, about the government — the sources of pain that Stack claims drove him to his death. “I read the letter that he wrote. It sounded like his voice but the things he said I had never heard him say,” said Pam Parker, an Austin attorney whose husband was one of Stack’s band mates. “He didn’t rant about anything. He wasn’t obsessed with the government or any of that. … Not a loner, not off in a corner. He had friends and conversation and ordinary stuff.”

In video linked there, it is pointed out that the Austin IRS site he crashed his plane into was not just any IRS site, but the one that handles audits for the area.

Amy Bishop/U. of Alabama shooting update: warning signs

Some more information has emerged in the strange case of Amy Bishop, the assistant professor of biology who killed 3 and wounded 3 of her colleagues after she was denied tenure at U. of Alabama, Huntsville.  [See here, herehere , and especially here for our earlier coverage.]

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a special section on the Huntsville shootings.

Some new information that has emerged:

“At one meeting I was with Amy, she was complaining to a group of us. She said she was denied tenure not because she was a lousy researcher — she’s not, quite the opposite — and not because she didn’t have good classes, she believed she did — I think some might say otherwise — but because she was accused of being arrogant, aloof and superior. And she said, ‘I am.’

  • another professor, who asked that his name not be used, expressed concern about her mental health during her tenure review.

    The professor said that during a meeting of the tenure-review committee, he expressed his opinion that Ms. Bishop was “crazy.” Word of what he said made it back to Ms. Bishop. In September, after her tenure denial, she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging gender discrimination. The professor’s remark was going to be used as possible evidence in that case.

    It was then, the professor said, that the associate provost of the university, John Severn, came to him and asked whether he truly believed what he had said about Ms. Bishop. (Reached by phone, Mr. Severn declined to comment.) The professor was given the opportunity to back off the claim, or to say it was a flippant remark. But he didn’t. “I said she was crazy multiple times and I stand by that,” the professor said. “This woman has a pattern of erratic behavior. She did things that weren’t normal.”

    No one incident stands out, the professor said, but a series of interactions caused him to think she was “out of touch with reality.” Once, he said, she “went ballistic” when a grant application being filed on her behalf was turned in late. The professor said he avoided Ms. Bishop whenever he saw her, on or off the campus. When he spotted her not long ago at a Barnes & Noble bookstore, he made sure he was out of sight until she had left the store. He even skipped a faculty retreat because he knew she would be there.

    To be clear, it wasn’t as if the professor told the university that he thought Ms. Bishop was potentially violent. And, at the time, the university was narrowly focused on the legal fallout from a possible lawsuit by Ms. Bishop, he said.

    […] When the professor found out on Friday afternoon that there had been a shooting on the campus, he didn’t immediately hear exactly where it happened, who was involved, or whether the shooter was a faculty member, student, or someone from outside the university. Even so, the professor said his first thought was: “Oh my God. I bet it was Amy Bishop.”

A roundup of coverage from academia-bloggers can be found here. I must say I am rather unenthused by some of the suggestions being made, such as that “collegiality” and “personality” should be given more weight as tenure considerations. There’s a world of difference between being a “lone wolf” (as some of the world’s best scientists are) or an egomaniac, and the behavior Amy Bishop was displaying well before the shooting.

Speculating on her often-remarked on lack of eye contact, the autism/Asperger Syndrome self-help site wrongplanet.net has a thread on whether Amy Bishop may have been an “aspie”. (As anybody who’s familiar with research academia knows, it’s one of the most congenial environments for people with Asperger’s, if not the most.) One of the denizens hits the nail on the head: “From what I have read, I believe she is a narcissist. Her lack of eye contact is more like antisocial, rather than nonsocial. There is a lack of respect, rather than not understanding it.
UPDATE 1: From Instapundit:

MORE TROUBLE FOR BILL DELAHUNT: DA Rips 1986 Bishop Report. “Three people might be alive today if Delahunt had done his job in 1986. The blood is on his hands. Instead he made a phone call and the case disappeared. Thanks to him, Amy Bishop went on to become a one-woman crime wave.”

[…] Related: The inevitable effort to link Amy Bishop to Tea Party protesters.

It would be easy to dismiss the attempt to link Bishop and the Tea Party movement given the absurdity of the connection. After all, Bishop loves Obama, so how could the “anti-Obama” nature of the Tea Party movement have caused Bishop to do anything?

It’s just that these things have a way of working their way into the mainstream media, regardless of how outlandish the supposed connection.

Keep repeating Amy Bishop and Tea Party in the headlines, and it will not be long before 35% of Democrats believe there is a connection.[…]

Who was it again who invented the “big lie” technique?

UPDATE: Donald Douglas points out that the 3 dead include 2 blacks and one Indian-American, and wonders (half sarcastically) whether there may have been a racist angle. I very much doubt this (Debra Moriarity, for instance, was saved only by the magazine having run empty), but agree that this for sure would have been imputed if the killer had been anything other than a flaming left-winger.

UPDATE 2: James Taranto has a good recap in Best of the Web, and displays his usual irreverent humor in the title: “Going Postdoctoral“.

Amy Bishop case updates: eyewitness account by unsung hero, IHOP incident, neighbor altercations

The case of Amy Bishop, the assistant professor of biology who was denied tenure at U. of Alabama, Huntsville, and opened fire on her tenure committee, killing 3 and wounding 3, just keeps getting weirder and weirder.  [See here, here, and here for our earlier reporting.]

[Go to bottom of story for important update]

Boston.com:

In March, 2002, Bishop walked into an International House of Pancakes in Peabody with her family, asked for a booster seat for one of her children, and learned the last seat had gone to another mother.

Bishop, according to a police report, strode over to the other woman, demanded the seat and launched into a profanity-laced rant.

When the woman would not give the seat up, Bishop punched her in the head, all the while yelling “I am Dr. Amy Bishop.”

Bishop received probation and prosecutors recommended that she be sent to anger management classes, though it is unclear from court documents whether a judge ever sent her there.

And Solomonia has a web-interview with the Bishop’s next-door neigtbor in Ipswich, MA:

…She was such a trouble maker. I disengaged from them early on. I literally did not have any conversation or interaction with either her or her husband (also a nutball) for over 3 years. Nothing…

…She made a big stink about the kids playing basketball in the neighborhood. On the day they first moved into the house they drove their moving truck into the basketball post that was situated between our two driveways and under the streetlight. For years all the neighborhood kids played ball there (and so did some of the Dads). When they ran the post down we thought it was just a dumb-ass accident. We soon found out that they did it on purpose.

One of the other neighbors put up a new hoop on his property and she complained about the kids. It was a protracted fight that involved multiple calls to the police. The end result was that the kids in the neighborhood couldn’t play ball after 7pm at night. She also complained about street hockey, skate boarding, tag, etc., etc… […]

What pissed me off was the loony venom and fury that accompanied her attacks. She alleged that the basketball players were smoking pot at night and causing other trouble. Totally untrue. Look at the newspaper, the Ipswich Police were in the Globe today calling her a “regular customer”. [NCT: presumably referring to this article.] She complained about everything.

She nearly got into a fistfight one night with one of the Moms who was defending her son’s right to play.

She complained so much the ice cream truck stopped driving through our street. If the kids wanted ice cream they had to go over to the next street and stop the truck.

Just this past Sunday morning as we were watching the news my son said, “Remember how she wouldn’t let us have ice cream?” He was about 8 at the time and thought that it really sucked. All the kids knew that she was the cause. […]

The day they moved out I was getting home as their moving van pulled away and went up the street. I got out of my car and a bunch of the neighbors were outside and I yelled “Ding Dong the witch is dead!” and a cheer went up all around. Soon after the new people showed up to clean the house and move some things in and the whole street celebrated with a pizza party. We welcomed the new folks with open arms. It was like the sun finally came out again.

[Minor update:] Concerning the ice cream truck, we learn here (h/t: Kathy Shaidle) that:

Bishop once stopped a local ice cream truck from coming into their neighborhood. According to WBZ-1030 radio, she said it because her own kids were lactose intolerant, and she didn’t think it was fair that her kids couldn’t have ice cream.

The much simpler expedient of buying Lactaid™ or one of its competitors didn’t occur to a biologist?!

More updates to follow here as they come in.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: this blog (via Israel forum), has a story at the Chronicle for Higher Education (academia’s main “trade newspaper”) which relates a first-person account by the unsung hero of the day, Prof. Debra Moriarity:

Moriarity, 55, has been at UAH since 1983. She is a professor of biochemistry, and the dean of the graduate school. Her laboratory was located next to Amy Bishop’s. Here are snippets of her story:

For almost an hour, the meeting focused on departmental business. Ms. Moriarity was looking at some papers on the table when the first shot was fired, killing the chairman of the department, Gopi K. Podila.

Ms. Moriarity looked up and saw Ms. Bishop fire the second shot. Apparently, Ms. Bishop was simply going down the line, starting with the people closest to her, killing Mr. Podila, Adriel D. Johnson Sr., and Maria Ragland Davis, all professors, and severely wounding Stephanie Monticciolo, a department administrator, and Joseph G. Leahy, a professor. All were shot in the head.

Another professor, Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera, was shot in the chest.

After the second shot, Ms. Moriarity dove under the table. “I was thinking ‘Oh, my God, this has to stop,” she said.

Ms. Moriarity crawled beneath the rectangular table toward Ms. Bishop, who was blocking the doorway. She grabbed at Ms. Bishop’s legs and pushed at her, yelling, “I have helped you before, I can help you again!” Ms. Moriarity had in fact worked with Ms. Bishop, and they shared some similar research interests.

Ms. Bishop stepped away from her grasp. While still on the floor, Ms. Moriarity managed to crawl partially out into the hallway. Ms. Bishop, who continued shooting the entire time, then turned her attention to Ms. Moriarity, placing two hands on the gun and pointing it at her. Ms. Bishop’s expression was angry—”intense eyes, a set jaw,” Ms. Moriarity recalled.

With Ms. Moriarity looking up at her, Ms. Bishop pulled the trigger twice. The gun clicked, apparently out of bullets.

Ms. Moriarity scrambled back to the room. Meanwhile, Ms. Bishop, now barely in the hallway, appeared to be rummaging in her bag, perhaps attempting to reload. Ms. Moriarity took advantage of Ms. Bishop’s fumbling and closed the door. Others in the room then helped her push the table against the door, fearing that Ms. Bishop would continue her rampage.

Dr. Moriarity’s colleague, Joseph Ng, said her actions took a lot of guts, and saved lives. In the meantime, Amy Bishop Anderson is said to be on suicide watch, which may be routine for a week or two. Jail officials say she is interacting normally, “just like anyone else,” and a psychiatric nurse working with Bishop says she has not exhibited any suicidal tendencies.

The stories about Bishop are beginning to leak. According to an unnamed source who knows Bishop, she was an enigmatic egghead and talking to her was “like crawling to the bottom of a coal mine with the lights off. I don’t think [her husband] ever really understood her. I don’t think anybody did.”

For reasons that require no elaboration, the CHE is covering this story extensively. All five of the most popular articles are about the case (this one was the top article):

Amy Bishop update: U. of Alabama shooter terrorized neighbors, tried to rob car dealership

We already know (see previous roundup) that U. of Alabama “tenure denial revenge killer” Amy Bishop was a far-left extremist, obsessed with 0bama, and shot her brother to death in murky circumstances, and that the police investigation of the latter was ended following high-level intervention.

Now we learn that she harassed kids in her Ipswich, MA neighborhood; that the husband, who earlier claimed he didn’t know his wife had a gun, went to target practice with her at a shooting range; and that, while trying to escape after “accidentally” shooting her brother, she entered a Ford dealership and demanded a vehicle at gunpoint.

Here is what we do know. There was an argument only recently brought to light between Seth and his nineteen year old sister Amy that was left out of many documents in the report. Shortly after the argument, Amy fired a loaded shotgun which struck Seth at point blank range in his chest and tore the aorta of his heart, killing him.

We know that Amy then went to Dave Dinger Ford and according to Thomas Pettigrew who was working in the garage, told the Boston Herald that Bishop put a shotgun against his chest and demanded a vehicle. Pettigrew said Bishop claimed she and her husband were in a fight and he was coming after her. She was arrested in the parking lot when she exited the garage, surrounded by police with guns drawn.

She was brought to the Braintree police department where she was being booked and suddenly per direct order of Chief Polio, the booking process was ordered to stop. The Braintree Officers were inexplicably ordered to release Amy to the custody of her parents.

We know the circumstances of what happened in the kitchen show inconsistancies between Amy’s and Judith’s statements in the Massachusetts State Police REPORT

This story is getting stranger by the minute.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse has a “duh” moment: “If Amy Bishop had turned out to be right-wing or conservative [or even to watch Fox News once in a while — NCT] we’d never hear the end of it.” Love this comment:

Man in cammies with “assault rifle” goes on a rampage and the lefttards heads explode. They rage against the Second Amenment. They rage against murderous Conservatives. The want to ban guns, ban people who own guns, and ban any speech about guns. Hell, they want to ban anyone who does not agree with them.

Stereotypical frumpy looking progressive activist professor goes on a rampage and not a word about her activism, socialistic ideas, or revolutionary thought. Not a word about banning guns- except on campus. Not a word against banning progressive activists.

Bill Ayers and his wife- both professors- are forgiven their sins because they contribute to the common good. Bobby Rush and Luis Guiterrez, urban terrorists, are allowed to stay in Congress. Murderous sins forgiven. They are the heroes of the revolution. The darlings of the left.

Yeah, the left is just full of hypocrisy and full of bovine excrement.

Via the same comments section, speaking of nutjobs, Gore Vidal compares Timothy McVeigh to Paul Revere. You can’t make this stuff up.


UPDATE 2: More at Spitfire Murphy: Delahunt suddenly “remembers” the case, blames the police. And Instapundit has a Tea Party angle:

IRA STOLL: The New York Times on the Tea Party Movement. “The whole thing is sad; that the Times seems unable to give a reasonably sympathetic hearing to Americans mad at Wall Street, Washington, Republicans and Democrats but instead travels to Idaho to interview and emphasize what it depicts as a particularly strange group of them.”

It’s as if they made Amy Bishop a representative of Obama supporters. But they’d never do that, because it wouldn’t fit the narrative would be an unfair “smear.”

UPDATE: Reader Stephen Clark writes:

Tea Partiers might rejoice in the hope that this really does reflect the view of the NY Times readership. The Times coverage of this and other political developments has merely kept its readership uninformed and unprepared. Perhaps it’s best to view the Times as providing comfort similar to that provided by the ship’s orchestra for passengers on the sinking Titanic.

But less heroically . . . .