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May 14, 2012

ANU’s last lingering death threat fizzes.

The issuance of death threats is symbolic of ignorance, inarticulation, intemperance, and is generally the action of a loser who can’t make a rational case for his preferred position. Falsely claiming to have received death threats is much the same, with the addition of cowardice, untruthfulness, and manipulativness.

The Australian National University (ANU) recently gained, firstly some sympathy, then derision, after it claimed to have had to move its climate scientists into more secure accommodation after receiving such threats. In the wash-up, a blogger made an FOI request for said threats. The ANU strongly opposed releasing them citing security and privacy. This lead to statements such as, “The dog ate my death threats.”

The long and short of it is that eventually the Privacy Commissioner released a report citing eleven supposed threats, ten of which contained no threats, and the eleventh could possibly be considered somewhat "intimidating."

This involved an ANU ‘public engagement’ event where a radical climate denying fascist redneck skeptic who had been invited to attend had become frustrated, showing what he claimed was a gun license to people sitting at the table, before claiming he was a “good shot”. The individual is understood to have left voluntarily. It all sounds bad.

Unfortunately for ANU the aforesaid radical climate denying fascist redneck skeptic saw the guff and recognized his input and decided to set the record straight:

I feel I can now throw some light on the matter. The document viewed as most "threatening" referred to an alleged Deliberation at the ANU about climate change in the Canberra region at which one person “made a death threat” (sic) by showing his gun licence and boasting about his skill as a sniper..

Only two people dropped out of the conference only one of those who did so attended the even meal. Me. I am certainly the one who is alleged to show someone their gun licence. That is not true while at the evening meal (of poor quality) comments moved to eating game meat and I was approached by the Commissioner for the Environment ACT, Dr Maxine Cooper who recognized me as someone involved in the kangaroo culling program in the ACT.

She politely asked if she could sit at the vacant seat next to me and asked if I had past the recent licence test - not easy. I replied yes and showed her my current licence. I also impressed on any one interested the high standard of marksmanship necessary to allay any cruelty concerns.

I might add that earlier in the day I had challenged two speakers to comment on a letter in the Canberra Times that claimed that temperatures had not increased in the Canberra area for decades. They were unable to do so, having not apparently checked the record despite the “Deliberation” (conference) supposed to be about rising temperatures in the Canberra region. As all daytime conversations were recorded (we all signed waivers to allow this) this can easily be checked.
ANU is looking worse the longer this goes on. Turning an innocent conversation into something sinister by persons who were onlookers and must have been aware of the context of the discussion is contemptible.

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