Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Left Responds

And apparently the response in the great debate is, "I'm telling your teacher on you!"

From an individual identifying him/herself as an "actual professor" (yes, I sent an e-mail for confirmation) in the comment thread of Samuel Alito: An Undue Burden On Us from a feminist site:
Troll boy is a student of the highly relevant field of mechanical engineering.

The moron is trolling under his real name from a home page which lists the names of his advisors. So I emailed them, as this behavior is thoroughly unprofessional.

BTW, I have a PhD and actual tenure. And I happen to know many profs who work from home, like myself.

I've read some of Dr. B's scholarship and it is superb.

Maybe Paul can come back after finishing HIS dissertation--if he finishes.

Anyway, Paul, I'm going to make an acquaintance with the admin. of your engineering school tomorrow, but I'm logging off for tonight.

Wallace Hettle
Actual Professor
Google Me
University of Northern Iowa

The interesting thing is that this threat occurred in the context of a discussion where the left (self-described academics) were pontificating on the need to crack down on free speech in education. At least they are consistent in that small respect.

You Rock Wally!

UPDATE 2 Nov 2005 8:26 PM EST
I have confirmation. This by email from the academic address of the above named individual:
Whether I have posted on bitchphd is absolutely none of your business.

I will say that I have seen your comments on bitchphd, now that you have directed my attention to the site. They were libelous and threatening, given the willingness of prolifers such as Paul Hill to use violence to advance their agenda.

You are a lunatic; the academy is no place for you. You also seem to be a homely and I assume lonely man.

Anyway, I'd advise you not to troll under your real name. Academia, like the Internet, is a small place.

Wallace Hettle
University of Northern Iowa
Wally is not attracted to me. That is some relief at least (the lonely thing had me concerned for a moment).

Meanwhile over at the comment thread we have this:
Oh, and one other thing: Paul is FAR from intimidated. He's continued to email me and Wally (again, with an implied threat towards Wally), he's left a trackback to this post (which I shall also delete). He's doing his best to wind things up even further.

Now. I take it the folks complaining about Wally's post want Wally to mind his own business. I can only ask that those who object to Wally's post do the same.

The only unposted/uncommented correspondence I have record of sending is the notification for confirmation that was replied, so I suppose I would challenge the author to produce the correspondence (Yes, I sent a trackback--that is blogger protocol). She seems to imply that she is being harrassed. Nice scare tactic. I'm not impressed. Please publish the letters which you claim you are continuing to receive. You certainly have my implicit and now also explicit permission.

UPDATE 3 Nov 2005 10:39AM EST
And we see how the threats escalate. This in from a commenter that goes by the handle "BuxomBroad":
I think Wally was right to e-mail Paul's advisors. Regardless of the perspective of his comments, the extensive attack with minutue and the concerted and continued posts smack of pathologic obsession.

Paul's political views are not the issue here - his "stalking" behavior is. That alone is cause for alarm in a dissertation situation. He may very well be having some stress or psycological issues that need to be addressed or monitored, in the interests of a safe work environment and quality scholarship, if not personal concern.

A virtual feeding frenzy (high-tech lynching?) has begun. The modus operandi is apparently well practiced. Let's see how it fares in the light of day. I believe this may be the first time that this phenomena was live-blogged.

UPDATE 3 Nov 2005 1:58PM EST
He just can't seem to stop digging.

Here is Wally's latest comment:
Just to clarify: I contacted Paul's advisers after he sent me threatening email.

I'm not going to link to the guy's blog, but he is clearly behaving in an unprofessional manner over there, just as he did here last night.

What I suggested to P.D.'s advisers was not that they destroy his academic career, but simply that they might want to have a chat about professionalism and civility.

As Paul believes his behavior was on the up and up, he should have nothing to worry about.

That said, I do hope Paul's behavior stops. Graduate students aren't all that professionally accountable because advisers have a stake in their student's success.

But as I can testify, assistant profs are in a highly accountable, indeed vulnerable position. If PD finishes his diss. and gets a real job, (a big if), and continues his obsessive behavior, he won't last long as an academic.
A threatening e-mail? Could he mean the opportunity I gave him last night to save himself some self-inflicted embarrassment (Sent at 7:07PM yesterday to the e-mail address in the comment thread, noted in our comments, and reposted again here for convenience)?

Have you figured out that you have made a pretty big error yet? I would like to offer you the chance to save yourself some professional embarrassment.

I can give you 30 minutes to reply with your decision.

Have a nice day,

Paul Deignan
Glad I told him to have a nice day. Can you imagine what he would have claimed if I said something else? Interestingly, he seems to assume that PhDs in ME go into academia (as if he is helping. Yeah, sure, that's the ticket, I was helping that guy, yeah, ...).