Take THAT, Groveton


R

egarding Virginia’s renegade attorney general, Kenneth N. Cuccinelli and his assault on science at the University of Virginia, our own beloved Groveton says there ain’t no such thing as academic freedom.

The case, of course, involves Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demands for info and emails involving former global warming scientist at UVa Michael Mann and five research grants..

As Groveton wrote in a recent blog posting:
“There has never been a right to academic freedom. There is no right to academic freedom. And, God Bless, there will never be a right to academic freedom. So, any criticism of Ken Cuccinelli’s Civil Investigative Demand against Michael Mann as violating the right of academic freedom is null and void.”
My Dear Mr. Groveton, some 800 (eight hundred, count ’em) scientists in Virginia beg to differ. They all have written a letter to Cuccinelli asking him to go away on this one. See: letter.
I realize that Groveton is probably in an airplane over the Pacific somewhere. But when he gets email access, maybe he can explain to us why these 800 scientists are misinformed on academic freedom.
Peter Galuszka

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18 responses to “Take THAT, Groveton”

  1. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    I'm not sure there's a "right" to academic freedom (as distinct from the rights of every individual to be free in his thoughts, speech and opinions)in a legal sense, but it sure is a crackerjack idea if one has any hope for the advancement of human knowledge and understanding.

    NoVA Scout

  2. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Does it also apply to students who seek to challenge their instructor's views in class?

    TMT

  3. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    I am in Australia tonight. We are burning various books in the town square.

    My friends the Aussies have given me a great idea. I am declaring a right to drink beer in America. It is a self-proclaimed right defined only by me and my fellow beer drinking Americans. This right cannot be abridged by any stinkin' attorney general, policeman, judge or government whatnot.

    We view any attempt by government to curtail our right to drink beer as an attack on Alchademic Freedom. We will not tolerate any such attacks on our newly discovered right.

    For example, we will not comply with any prohibition against drinking in public places (including elemenentary school playgrounds, church services and sobriety meetings). We do not accept the shoplifting of beer as a crime of any type. If any of us are arrested for drinking in public or shoplifting beer we will not appear in court for the trial.

    Better yet … 800 beer drinking rednecks just like me will write a letter to the government telling them that beer drinking is a self-declared right which cannot be violated by anyone for any reason. Allegations of fraud in obtaining public funds used to purchase beer will not be anwered. Instead, we will write letters.

    If, by some remote chance, our beer rights create some kind of societal problem – we will regulate ourselves with trials of the beer drinkers for the beer drinkers by the beer drinkers. Needless to say, beer will be served at the trials. We anticipate issuing strongly worded memos when our internal rules are broken.

  4. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Groveton,
    Great response!
    Is it Foster's?

    PG

  5. Groveton Avatar
    Groveton

    Foster's appears to be sold only in America. I have been to Oz many times and never seen anyone drink a Foster's nor have I seen anyone selling Foster's.

    In a similat vein, I nearly never see the beers sold in Australia on sale in the US.

    Prior to last night's book burning (it is now Thursday morning in Australia) there was James Boags, Tooheys and Coopers being served at the Alchademic Freedom rally.

    Good on ya.

  6. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Groveton probably took some federal regulations with him to the book burning as well. 😉

    TMT

  7. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Tmt,
    You like so miss the point.
    Peter Galuszka

  8. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Get lost on this one. The issue is not academic freedom. Cuccinelli is not challenging Mann's right to do research and publish his results. He's investigating whether or not Mann falsified his results and thereby misused public funds. If he didn't do that, then Mann has nothign to worry about.

  9. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Anonymous,
    Will you respectfully get lost on this one. The issue is very much academic freedom. COnsider the scientist doing his or her research and then having to find hundreds of emnails from 1999 to 20905 to fit the political goals of a politician.
    As far as "they have nothing to worry about" I am sure that's what plenty of Russians were told in the 1930 when the NKVD came form them.
    Peter Galuszka

  10. Mimi Stratton Avatar
    Mimi Stratton

    Groveton will not care what scientists think or do. Just as he replied to me, in my comment about educators having a tradition of academic freedom dating from at least the early 20th century, that he doesn't give a damn about what educators think.

    No, it's all about Dudley Do-Right/Cuccinelli and his pursuit of "justice".

  11. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Peter & Mimi, assume for the moment that an unnamed professor at a state-supported school did falsify results of some expensive research project. Is that fair game, say for the college's inspector general, if any? The commonwealth's attorney? The AG's office?

    Would your answer be any different if the person falsifying the results was an engineer at VDOT or an economist at the State Corporation Commission?

    I'm just trying to determine where you drawn lines.

    TMT

  12. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    TMT,
    What would be the intent of a scientific researcher falsifying results? If you could show financial gain, yes, a prosecution is appropriate. But Cuccinelli provided absolutely no information about what fon-purpose falsification there might be. ANd, when I took the trouble to go to Charlottesville and ask people involved with the target grants, I was told that at least one of them had nothing to do with global warming, if that is indeed what Cuccinelli is looking for.
    I remember a few years ago when NY Atty Gen Eliot Spitzer ran biz execs like Hank Greenberg over the coals and nothing ever came of it.
    The question for you, TMT, is what is the point of Cuccinelli's probes? Do you know of any purposeful falsification? A smoking petri dish? A clear and self-dealing motive? Ithought in the U.S, you were innocent until proved guilty. Cuccinelli has tried to put a very weird cloud over Mann.
    I look forward to your response.
    Peter Galuszka

  13. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Money & power. Same as it is for anybody on Wall Street. As I've written a number of times, I don't know where I am on global warming. But look at Al Gore; he's certainly profited by banging the global warming drum.

    A problem gets funding. A non-problem doesn't. A problem gets consulting gigs and the ability to exercise power through regulations. etc.

    I don't trust Wall Street and I don't trust academia on issues involving big funding opportunities. People funded by taxpayers need extra scrutiny. In today's world, I want to see extra scrutiny.

    It reminds me of a good friend of mine. He is normally quite protective of government programs and doesn't like allegations of waste, fraud and abuse. But even in "good government" Fairfax County, he now wants to see more oversight on how government spends money.

    TMT

  14. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Or the converse of Bobby J in Lousiana claiming to support small government until he needs big government to pay for straw and idle fishermen.

    Fundamental Transformation of governance structure, there is no other answer.

    AZA

  15. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    TMT,
    So what is the connection between Al Gore and Mann? Does thi smean that if Mann writes what Al Gore likes he'll get a Nobel Prize, too?

    Peter Galuszka

  16. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Peter – Al Gore is a fraud. He's parlayed global warming into a fortune, while emitting more evil carbon in a month than most people do in years. The Nobel Prize has become a joke. Witness last year's Nobel Peace Prize. Those European clowns don't even respect Obama enough to allow him the chance to succeed or fail as president.

    "Geologist warns of looming global cooling threat at conference" http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/292142

    It would be funny if we (the taxpayers) weren't forced to fund much of this. Moreover, while we debate carbon emissions endlessly, we ignore real environmental issues such as better storm water management that clearly does affect important things such as the Chesapeake Bay.

    TMT

  17. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    TMT,
    Gore does have his opponents and my guess is that Obama was truly embarrassed by the patronization shown him by the Nobel committee. And I agree with your assess of storm water runoff.
    But back to the "Cuch," he has made a series of grandstanding plays in just four months in office. I don't see any other sttorneys general probing their state university systems and going after Mann simply comes too soon after Cooch went after the EPA for CO2.
    "Cooch" is fast losing credibility and can't seem to separate legimitate scientific debate from political plays.
    To my knowledge he's never been a real prosecutor, and never broken a big and complex criminal case.

    PG

  18. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Maybe someone should ask Cuccinelli what his views are about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Because at its core the Act involves the question of just how far government can go to regulate private enterprise. Cuccinelli seems to be in favor of limiting the government's role.

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