Wednesday, May 21, 2008

St. NiK

My former American Foreign Policy professor has taken me to task it seems in his blog. [Update: His post has since been removed.]

It's easy to simply dismiss his psychotic rant as being a token of jealousy: indeed, it appears that if you add up my quotations line by line, I've published more in the Wall Street Journal than he has had published in anything. But on the other hand he's slept with more UVA Wise students than I have, so shouldn't that make us even?

Regardless, here is some history with Professor Nicholas Kiersey that virtually no one knows about.

He had his International Relations class literally SLANDER a conservative student on campus for a GRADE:

A prominent conservative on campus (the one The Highland Cavalier will actually publish) named Justin Jurek wrote an editorial claiming that the "Anti-war movement can be anti-American" or so the title went.

Kiersey's International Relations class then did a rebuttal in the next issue of the college paper. Keep in mind it was a class project and no one dissented--Kiersey kept detailed notes of his facilitation of the project. The class mis-characterized his argument as being that the "Anti-war movement IS anti-American" They even lied and said,

Mr. Jurek chooses to characterize the people of the Middle East as "terrorists and tyrants" and "enemies of civilization."

Needless to say, Justin Jurek never even used the words "terrorists and tyrants" or "enemies of civilization" in his editorial.

Anyway, long story short: we had kept his original editorial, scanned the image, and put it in Notes From Underground's counter-rebuttal to Kiersey's class proving they were lying about Jurek's argument, making quotes up out of thin air, etc.

The Non-Bribe Bribe

Kiersey then arranged for a hush-hush meeting to be held with me, himself, and another professor who was my adviser. At that meeting, he offered over $200 (the cost of printing the issue) for us to not distribute it on campus, sheepishly saying, "Don't take this as a bribe." A compromise was reached (at his protest!) where we censored ourselves for a rather glib insult we used against him in reference to a separate topic ("Kiersey flexed his spindly little academic muscles..." was what the fuss was about). We whited-out that one line and distributed the issue despite his protest.


The next incident happened when I caught him plagiarizing a book review done by the Southern Poverty Law center of Pat Buchanan's book State of Emergency. He quoted verbatim part of the review done by SPL with no citation. I took notice only because the original review resorts to outright fabrication--

White America is changing color, Buchanan argues -- "one of the greatest tragedies in human history." [note: said both by SPLC and by Kiersey in a slide used for his class]

And as trivia here's what Buchanan really said:

This is not immigration as America knew it, when men and women made a conscious choice to turn their backs on their native lands and cross the ocean to become Americans. This is an invasion, the greatest invasion in history. Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened in so short a span of time. There are 36 million immigrants and their children in the United States today, almost as many as came to America between Jamestown in 1607 and the Kennedy election of 1960. Nearly 90 percent of all immigrants now come from continents and countries whose peoples have never been assimilated fully into any Western country. Against the will of a vast majority of Americans, America is being transformed. As our elites nervously avert their gaze or welcome the invasion, we are witness to one of the great tragedies in human history.

It's plain for all to see that a) the SPLC read Buchanan's book and is deliberately and maliciously accusing him of racism. And b) Kiersey didn't read Buchanan's book, and stole a book review from a leftist think tank without citation. [note: I cannot find the slide in question anymore--however, at the time of the incident I showed it to a handful of inner-circle friends, a professor within Kiersey's department, and also his department chair.]

I really don't understand Professor Kiersey's duplicity. On one hand he says:

I can tell you that he is a thoughtful and intelligent young man, capable of great insight. Unlike many of the students who come to the campus, who instinctively replicate the dominant political worldview of their surrounding culture, Barber has the ability to explain the reasoning behind his views. With so much potential, it is a shame that his academic career has come to this end.

But then he goes on to say:

Since his arrival on campus in Fall of 2007, Mr Barber strategically sought to make himself a very public figure. He advocated extremely controversial viewpoints in a series of inflammatory articles in his underground newspaper, wherein he also regularly targeting "liberal" faculty for views he deemed to be anti-American....As the record suggests, Barber had a penchant for generating controversy simply for the sake of it. Where Barnes' actions were focused on raising awareness about an important issue, Barber's actions were of a rather more egotistical nature, focused simply on raising awareness about himself.


Had Mr Barber been allowed to remain in school, there would have been a revolt among faculty and students alike. The school was right to find whatever legal means it could to keep him from ever setting foot in the place again.

An ironic statement given that there actually was a protest IN SUPPORT OF ME outside of Dr. Juhan's office at my expulsion hearing. I'm also assuming I have some guardian angel faculty member who took the story to the Roanoke Times (they had my Notes From Underground email so I'm suspecting a friend not a foe).

It's funny that liberals (he likes saying "marxist with a little 'm'") like Kiersey rant and rave about diversity, but then when they start losing arguments they start calling their opponents gay. That's especially interesting because it was known in the newspapers that I am considering re-enlisting.

While it's true it is extremely un-collegiate to be outing students on their blogs, I suppose it would also be un-collegiate for me to announce that Kiersey has slept with multiple students on campus: something he bragged about at a drunken night in the local watering hole known as Mosby's. But then again, they kicked me out of school so who cares if I'm being un-collegiate. His braggadocio resulted in an emergency faculty meeting where faculty were reminded about their ethical obligations. Anyway, he's leaving Wise for some no-named place in Ohio.

Kiersey is really a nutball Marxist, who frequents Hamas propaganda sites to form his political opinions. Indeed in an entry on his own blog he referenced an article done by Electronic Intifada on how Obama is too pro-Israel (an assertion dubious as Holocaust denial IMO) as why he didn't support Obama.

I would pray that he gets deported back to Ireland, but on second thought he's probably too dangerous to be allowed on an airplane.

I remember it wasn't long ago when Kiersey was offering me job references:

I suppose after his plagiarism, blatant duplicity, unprofessional conduct, and affinity for Hamas propaganda, I could call Ohio University at Chillicothe to return the favor.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wow! Five Star Article in Shotgun News!

Good job! Sorry I just around to finding it...

The Pen is Mightier...and More Dangerous
by Jeff Knox

(May 6, 2008) When Steven Barber turned in his midterm creative writing assignment at the University of Virginia's College at Wise (UVA-Wise), he was hoping for a good grade to complement his 3.9 grade point average. Instead, Barber was expelled from school, locked in a mental institution for three days, and had his concealed carry permit revoked.

Barber's fictional story was a first person narrative of a troubled college student consumed by depression, paranoia, drug addiction, and alcoholism as he struggles with one of tragedy's recurrent themes, "To be or not to be." The character progresses through fear, anger, and despair; sleeping with a gun under his pillow after the Virginia Tech massacre, contemplating the murder of an unpleasant professor, and finally deciding on suicide. The entire story is just contemplation – no characters, real or fictional were harmed in the telling of the story – and Barber himself is nothing like the character he described.

But Barber's professor, Christopher Scalia, son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and some of the class members were uncomfortable with the story. No one complained about another student's paper which included violent, bloody murder, but that carnage was carried out with a knife while Barber's character had a gun. Perhaps someone in the class knew that Barber owned guns and feared that the character in the story represented its author's secret desires. Whatever their motivation, their concerns were shared with the college administration who decided to involve the campus police. Within 24 hours of sharing his writing project, Barber was confronted by campus police who questioned him about his frame of mind, searched his person and his room, and asked him about weapons. Barber, believing he had Virginia law on his side, admitted that he did have three pistols locked in his car whereupon the police searched the car and confiscated the guns.

A Navy veteran and Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit holder, Barber cooperated with the police and administration through all of the searches and questions even when they took him into custody and transported him to a mental hospital for three days of evaluation. After three days of questions, group therapy, tests, and more questions, Barber was given a clean bill of health and released on his own recognizance. Meanwhile his Concealed Weapons Permit had been revoked and he was expelled from the university.

Eventually the guns were turned over to Barber's father, but his appeal of the expulsion was denied and even though the prosecutor who rushed through an emergency revocation of the concealed carry permit admits that it was based on faulty information, Barber has not been able to get it reinstated. The prosecutor says that he based his request for the permit revocation on information from the campus police stating that Barber had been "involuntarily committed" when in fact he had simply been detained for observation and evaluation. Such a detention is not lawful grounds for the revocation of a permit, especially when the evaluation results in a clean bill of health. When questioned about the error, the prosecutor laid the blame on the campus police for using the wrong terminology, but went on to say that he intended to find some other mechanism to justify his actions and insure that Barber's permit is not restored.

There is no question that Barber violated school policy by having firearms in his locked car on campus, but he broke no laws. There is some disagreement about a college or university's right to prohibit firearms, particularly in locked cars. Virginia law forbids any government agency or entity from restricting firearms – even within the State Capitol – but makes an exception for colleges and universities to apply restrictions to staff and students. Barber contends that those restrictions can not extend to a locked car on campus whether it belongs to a student or not, but so far that contention has fallen on deaf ears. Barber would like to hire an attorney to challenge the school's position, regain admission to the university, and recoup his lost credit hours. He also needs an attorney to help him get his carry permit back, but the cost involved for these endeavors is beyond Barber's ability to manage and no offer of assistance has been forthcoming from any of the organizations with the wherewithal to provide it.

At this point Barber is working to pay off the unexpectedly due student loans for the education that was unexpectedly preempted and considering reenlisting in the Navy to help get his life back on track. He is hopeful that he will eventually be able to recover his carry permit, but has all but given up hope of forcing the school to reinstate him. It is simply tragic that this young man's future has been derailed all because he wrote a story that was just a little too compelling for an education system which believes tools instigate actions rather than the other way around.

Wall Street Journal Weighs In--Did Juhan just compare me to Edgar Allan Poe???

Schools Struggle With Dark Writings

In the Wake of Virginia Tech Killings,
Colleges Weigh Students' Safety vs. Free Speech

When Steven Barber turned in a short story this semester for his creative-writing class at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, his instructor was alarmed. The 23-year-old student had produced an imagined account of someone on the edge of a violent breakdown, touching on suicide and murder.

"It had to be acted on immediately," says Christopher Scalia, the instructor. He alerted administrators, who reacted swiftly, searching Mr. Barber's dorm room and car. Upon discovering three guns, they had him committed to a psychiatric institution for a weekend. Then they expelled him.

Yet the psychiatrists who evaluated Mr. Barber during his hospitalization determined he was no threat to himself or others. Mr. Barber says the guns were for protection from threats such as school shootings. He maintains that his story, titled "Sh---y First Drafts," was merely a fictional attempt to address school shootings such as the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech massacre, which left 33 dead, including the gunman. The story "was supposed to show how disturbed people are who do that," Mr. Barber says.

In the year before the Virginia Tech massacre, the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, wrote multiple pieces of alarming fiction that troubled teachers and classmates alike. Now, schools are trying to distinguish the dark musings of college fiction from deadly manifestos that foretell campus violence. But the schools, trying to protect their communities, don't always know when to act. And when they do, they may infringe on the rights of those students under scrutiny.

After the shootings, the creative-writing faculty at Virginia Tech put out a guide to help instructors identify and respond to disturbing fictional work. The University of New Mexico has created a hot line to take calls from professors with worries about students, including concerns about writing that contains "credible threats of harm to self or others." And Boston University has published a brochure, "Helping Students in Distress," that advises faculty to watch for writing with themes of "hopelessness, social isolation, rage or despair," among other things.

Yet some experts worry that these measures pose legal or ethical risks. Psychologists caution that it is nearly impossible to predict future violence. Professors are being asked to do something for which they are untrained -- assess a work for signs of a troubled psyche. Complicating the issue further, college students are at an age where the part of the brain that manages behavior is still developing, so they don't always understand the consequences of their words. "It takes a lot more than one or two papers to see if someone has a psychiatric problem," says Gwen Dungy, executive director of NASPA -- Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

If they overreact, schools could violate students' privacy and civil rights. Some schools, such as Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., are finding it helpful to scrutinize students' Facebook or MySpace pages, for example. First Amendment experts warn that this practice can violate freedom-of-speech protections.

"Right now, if a university administrator claims that someone is a threat, even if that threat is virtually unsupportable and completely unreasonable, they have carte blanche to do what they want," says Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

He cites an incident last year at Valdosta State as a case in point. After T. Hayden Barnes read in the student newspaper about the school's plan to build two multimillion-dollar parking decks, he posted fliers around campus objecting to the project for environmental reasons. Mr. Barnes, now 23, also wrote about it on his blog, voiced his concerns to several members of the school's board of regents and asked objectors to contact the university's president, Ronald M. Zaccari. Within a month, Mr. Barnes says, President Zaccari had met with him and told him that he had "personally embarrassed him" and that Mr. Zaccari "could not forgive him." Mr. Barnes says he apologized.

Mr. Barnes then had a letter to the editor of the student paper published and created a collage that he posted on his Facebook page. It included several pictures -- of automobile exhaust, a gas mask and the university president, among other images -- and the words, "Zaccari Memorial Parking Garage."

On May 7, 2007, Mr. Barnes, then a junior, found a letter from President Zaccari under his dorm-room door saying that Mr. Barnes presented "a clear and present danger" and that he had been expelled. Attached was a copy of his collage.

In order to apply for readmission, the letter said, Mr. Barnes would need to present correspondence from a psychiatrist indicating that he wasn't a danger to himself or others, as well as documentation proving he would receive therapy during his tenure at school.

Mr. Barnes sued the university and its board of regents in January, claiming freedom-of-speech and due-process violations, among other complaints. "Political persecution under the guise of mental-health threats shouldn't happen on our campuses," he says. Mr. Barnes appealed the expulsion. On Jan. 17, 2008, the administration sent him a one-sentence letter saying he had been reinstated. His suit is pending. Valdosta State declined to comment on the case.

What distinguishes Mr. Barber's experience at Wise College is that the school took action over a classroom assignment for which he was expected to exercise his imagination. The problem for Mr. Scalia, the instructor, was the story's references to the class and its assignments and to the murder of a professor called Mr. Christopher, a name identical to his own first name. Mr. Barber, a Navy veteran who served in the Iraq war, wrote of stockpiling alcohol and drugs for a binge and sleeping with the "cold and heavy steel" of a gun under his pillow. "I knew I had a choice," he wrote. "Murder or suicide. Either way, death was imminent."

Mr. Scalia, son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, says he had strongly recommended that students not write in the first person and avoid depictions of excessive alcohol or drug use. He gave these instructions, he said, to prevent clich├ęd writing and to help them develop perspectives other than their own. Mr. Barber ignored his advice. "I went straight to the administration because the story was directed at me," says Mr. Scalia, adding he had received an email from a student expressing her own concerns about the piece.

Administrators at Wise, in Wise., Va., detained and questioned Mr. Barber on Friday, Feb. 29, the morning after he passed out copies of his draft. Campus police found three weapons in his car: a revolver and two semiautomatic weapons. Two guns were loaded. Mr. Barber says he showed them his permit to carry concealed weapons. Wise prohibits guns on campus. Mr. Barber told administrators that he wasn't suicidal or homicidal, and that he chose the subject because "everybody cares about Virginia Tech."

"The military trusted me to guard a billion-dollar warship with an automatic machine gun," he says, "but I can't bring a little pistol to class, and I have a permit?"

Wise College declined to comment on the specifics of Mr. Barber's case. Gary Juhan, a university vice chancellor, says that when assessing whether a student is a danger to himself or others, administrators look at everything they know about the student, including behavior, past writings, gun ownership and judicial history. "We try to build as complete a picture as we can," he says. "You have to go quickly as distress can be carried out to the community."

When he turned in his story, Mr. Barber was on university probation for charges that included violating the school's alcohol policy and possession of a "tonfa," a martial-arts weapon similar to a policeman's nightstick. He says that he had a 3.9 grade-point average for the fall semester and made the dean's list, and that he had participated in a debate on race relations the night he turned in his story. "That's not antisocial behavior," he says.

Then school administrators got a temporary-detention order for Mr. Barber, mandating that he be held at a local psychiatric hospital for evaluation. Mr. Barber spent the weekend there, in an unlocked room with a nurse checking on him every 15 minutes. "I was scared to be alone," he says. "There are literally mentally ill people there."

On Monday morning, the hospital released Mr. Barber, after deciding he was neither mentally ill nor a threat to himself or others. He wasn't allowed to return to campus. Several days later, the university expelled him. He unsuccessfully appealed his expulsion.

Mr. Barber says now that he wouldn't write the same story. "I want to be at Wise, so I would write about butterflies and rainbows."

The college stands by its actions, but Mr. Juhan, the vice chancellor, is sensitive to potential downsides of its approach. Says Mr. Juhan: "How long would Edgar Allan Poe, who attended the University of Virginia, have lasted with his writings?"

It bears repeating that:

A) I was slandered by the college when they said I was involuntarily committed when I hadn't been.

B) Virginia has a pre-emption law for firearms. The school's ban on firearms is illegal.

C) If the only school policy I violated was the (illegal) ban on firearms, then that would not be a violation of my probation with the University.

I really need legal help, so if anyone is interested in helping me out, email me at . (Or if you're from the Heritage Foundation, you should just cut to the chase and hire me :-) )