Tough questions about FOIA abuse to the University of Delaware

Readers may recall this story:The Climate Wars and the University of Delaware. Now, there’s some tough questions that need answers.

From: The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley 27 Queen Street | Edinburgh | EH2 1JX

The Hon. Beau Biden, Attorney General, State of Delaware attorney.general@state.de.us Sir, Title 29 Ch. 100: Freedom of Information Act §10005 (e) (enforcement) Refusal of a request for public information by the University of Delaware

Under §10005 (e) of the Act, I petition you to determine whether a violation has occurred. Lawrence White, vice-president and general counsel of the University of Delaware, yesterday refused in the following terms a request by me for information related to what he had previously designated as State funding of the University:

“I acknowledge receipt of your email message. The facts recited in your note are incorrect and incomplete. Other than to say that, I thank you for sharing your views and decline to comment further.”

On May 9, 2014, I had sent to Mr White and to the Vice-Chancellor a list of questions (appended hereto), making it explicit in the covering note that this was a request under the Act for information relating to State funding of the University. The University, otherwise exempt, is required to provide such information under §10002 (j).

Mr White’s sole pretext for denying my request, that my facts were “incorrect and incomplete”, does not constitute a legitimate ground of refusal, for my request was designed to determine whether information that I had received about vindictive discrimination of a tenured employee by Mr White and others at the University over several years was correct. None of the exemptions listed in the Act applies.

The employee, Professor David Legates, a former State Climatologist, has been greatly distressed by his mistreatment. On learning of his plight, I sent the request to Mr White. Given the discrimination against the Professor, inferentially because he has scientific doubts about the official viewpoint about the climate, I hope it is irrelevant that I am not a Delaware citizen. Otherwise a citizen will resubmit my questions.

Professor Legates did not ask me to make a Freedom of Information request or to approach you when it was capriciously denied. On learning of what had happened to him, I decided to act ex proprio motu. I hope you will protect him from any further vindictiveness on the part of the university that may arise from this letter to you, for which he is in no way responsible.

Whether or not you can help under §10005 (e), I also request criminal investigation of the University’s conspiracy in false accounting and in evading its FOIA obligations.

Yours faithfully,

 

Questions for the University of Delaware

1. Is it true that under the Delaware FOIA Statute the University is explicitly exempted from compliance with the State’s Freedom of Information Act except in matters related to the Board of Trustees and to those aspects of the work of the University or of its personnel that are wholly or partly funded by the State of Delaware?

2. Is Professor David Legates a member of the Board of Trustees of the University?

3. For each year from 2000 to 2009, please state the total amount of public funds shown in the University’s accounts as having been received by or allocated to Professor Legates in respect of his post on the faculty at the University and as State Climatologists.

4. For each year from 2000 to 2009, please state the total amount of public funds specifically hypothecated and paid by the State of Delaware to the University or to Professor Legates with the intention of funding his activities directly, whether in his capacity as a Professor at the University or in his capacity as Delaware State Climatologist.

5. During which of the years 2000 to 2009 was Lawrence White the University of Delaware’s General Counsel?

6. Is it true that on or about 16 December 2009 the University of Delaware received a request from Greenpeace, in respect of documentation related to the work of Dr David Legates from 2000-2009 on “global climate change”?

7. Is it true that the Delaware FOIA Statute normally requires a response to Freedom of Information requests within ten working days?

8. On what date did Mr White first meet with Mr Legates in connection with the Greenpeace Freedom of Information request?

9. Is it true that at that first meeting Mr White told Mr Legates to turn over to him at least the following: all materials related to the State climate office, and all documents in his possession relating to “global climate change”?

10. Is it true that Mr White told Mr Legates to hand over to him even documents unconnected with either the University of Delaware or the State Climate Office, and even if they were produced on his own time, or on his own computer? If so, how does the University explain why any such documents could possibly – even in theory – be covered by the terms of the Delaware Freedom of Information statute?

11. Is it true that when Professor Legates asked Mr White why he had to hand over documents that could not by any stretch of the imagination be legitimately regarded as covered by any FOIA request, he was peremptorily told that as a faculty member he was obliged to comply with the request of a “senior ranking officer” of the University whether he liked it or not, and whether there was any legitimate reason for the request or not?

12. Under what provision of public law or of the University’s private law was Mr White entitled arbitrarily to demand from Mr Legates copies of documents that could not have had any conceivable relevance to Greenpeace’s FOIA request?

13. Is it true that when Mr Legates asked Mr White to put in writing his request for all documents, however irrelevant, Mr White backed off and conceded that he was not empowered to request any documents other than those related to Professor Legates’ paid work for the University of Delaware?

14. Given that Mr White now concedes he had no right to demand Mr Legates’ personal documents, does he consider appropriate his earlier statement to Professor Legates that as a

mere faculty member he was obliged to comply with the request of a senior university official?

15. Is it true that on or about January 26, 2010, Mr White received a near-identical FOIA request from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market advocacy group, in respect of three of Professor Legates’ colleagues who, however, took a position on the question of “global climate change” that was opposite to that of Professor Legates but coincident in all material respects with that of the University of Delaware?

16. Is it true that Mr White commented of the free-market advocacy group’s FOIA request by indicating that “This one will probably be answered with a short ‘No’.”? If so, on what grounds recognizable in law did Mr White not also answer Greenpeace’s request with “a short ‘No’”?

17. Is it true that Mr White indeed gave the second FOIA request a “short ‘No’” by writing to the free-market advocacy group, on or about February 3, 2010, that “Because the information you seek does not relate to the expenditure of public funds, the University respectfully declines your records request.”? If so, why was no similar “short ‘No’” sent just as timeously to Greenpeace?

18. Is it true that when Mr Legates asked why Mr White was favouring Greenpeace’s request to his detriment while saying “a short ‘No’” to a very similar request to the detriment of three of Mr Legates’ colleagues whose totalitarian viewpoint on the question of “global climate change”, unlike his own, was in all material respects identical to that of Greenpeace and of the University, Mr White replied that Mr Legates did not understand the law. If so, would the University please explain the point of law – if any – on which Mr White relied in attempting at that stage to treat the two requests oppositely?

19. Is it true that once Professor Legates had obtained advice from an independent lawyer Mr White decided to reverse his “short ‘No’” to the free-market advocacy group and wrote to retract his earlier email and to say he would “reconsider the substance” of their FOIA request on the ground that his initial response “did not take sufficient account of the legal analysis required under the Act”?

20. Is it true that once Professor Legates had obtained advice from an independent lawyer the Dean of the University of Delaware’s “College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment”, one Nancy Targett, told Professor Legates that Mr White was representing not only the University but also Professor Legates himself, but that now that Professor Legates had obtained his own legal advice the College would no longer support Professor Legates?

21. Is it true that, thereafter, the “College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment” indeed ceased to respond to Professor Legates’ requests for help in this matter?

22. Is it true that, after Professor Legates had spent more than 250 hours (i.e. more than six full- time weeks) of his own time, unpaid, going through ten years of his personal and university records to send all the requested files to Mr White, Mr White grumbled to Professor Legates’ lawyer that he was dissatisfied that it had taken Professor Legates two months to produce the requested documentation?

23. Is it true that in or about October 2010 the University Faculty Senate passed an amendment to the faculty handbook giving any faculty member “the right freely to address any matter, institutional policy or action of the administration”? If so, does the University consider that the asymmetrical and indeed hostile treatment of Professor Legates by the University’s Counsel and by the “Dean” of the fashionably-titled “College of Earth, Ocean, and

Environment” was or is in any degree consistent with the university’s policy on academic freedom of thought, of expression, and of action?

24. Is it true that the Provost of the University of Delaware, one Apple, has said: “The University of Delaware is taking a leadership position on academic freedom. … I strongly support the recent action by the Faculty Senate which ensures that faculty are free to speak their mind without fear of reprisal unless their statements or actions are unethical or incompetent. Academic freedom is essential to lively and open debate and discussion.”? If so, what is the University going to do about Mr White’s mistreatment of Professor Legates?

25. Does the University seriously suggest that Professor Legates is either “unethical or incompetent”? And does the University seriously suggest that Mr White is not both unethical and incompetent?

26. Is it true that Mr White, in or about May 2010, wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education that the answer to the question “Could a speaker conceivably utter words so hurtful and so malicious that college officials could justifiably prohibit these words or punish the speaker for uttering them” is – to coin a phrase – a short “No.”? If so, why did Mr White selectively punish Professor Legates by requiring him to spend 250 hours assembling material all of which plainly and transparently fell outwith the scope even of the malicious FOIA request of Greenpeace?

27. Is it true that, notwithstanding the University of Delaware’s obligation in law to comply with an FOIA request within ten working days, it was not until June 20, 2011, that Professor Legates heard again from Mr White, who said he had hired a third-year law student to go through the material that Mr Legates had provided over a year previously? If so, why did not the University complain as vigorously about Mr White’s 18 months of delay as Mr White had so petulantly complained about Professor Legates having taken as long as a couple of months to assemble the material that Mr White then sat upon for a year?

28. Why did Mr White do nothing about the documentation supplied Mr Legates for more than a year?

29. How much was the third-year law student paid, and by whom? Was the money paid out of public funds?

30. Is it true that the president of the chapter of the American Association of University Professors at the University of Delaware, one Joan delFattore, wrote in or about January 2011, “A university’s real interest lies in fostering the exchange of divergent views …”? If so, why did the AAUP refuse to assist Mr Legates when he asked for its help, on the pretext that “the only areas where the Union could take direct steps is with respect to the collective bargaining agreement and hiring practices”, and why did it say it stood firmly behind Mr White’s actions, when its President was to say later that year, in respect of the discredited Dr Mann and his infamous “hokey stick” graph, “We are urging the University of Virginia to … publicly [resist] the threat to scholarly communication and academic freedom represented by the concerted effort to obtain faculty emails.”?

31. Did Mr White, on July 22, 2011, write to Professor Legates with a list of what he said he had decided to release to Greenpeace, saying of the Delaware Freedom of Information Act, “We have interpreted that language to mean that we are obliged to produce records, otherwise non-privileged, that pertain to work by Professor Legates that is supported through grants from state agencies; and classroom-related work such as syllabi, instructional materials, and class postings (because a small portion of his salary was paid out of state-appropriated funds). We have also elected to produce copies of speeches, papers, presentations, and other

materials that were created by Professor Legates, and subsequently published, delivered in lecture form, or otherwise made public.”?

32. Did Mr White say at that time that he was treating Professor Legates’ colleagues in an identical manner, when in fact Professor Legates was the only faculty member whose documents had actually been demanded, obtained, and examined?

33. Did Mr White say at that time that if Professor Legates did not consent to the release of his documents he would inform Greenpeace, the free-market advocacy group, and “Beveridge & Diamond” that there were some of Professor Legates’ documents that the University of Delaware had not produced, and that they should apply to Professor Legates for them?

34. Had the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and also “Beveridge and Diamond”, also asked for information from Professor Legates about “global climate change”? If so, why had Mr White failed to tell Professor Legates that? If not, why had Mr White proposed to write to them about Professor Legates’ materials?

35. Is it true that on August 4, 2011, Mr White told Professor Legates’ attorney that two other professors (Frederick Nelson and John Byrne) had also been required to produce documents, either to Mr White or to the Competitive Enterprise Institute? If so, why do Professor Nelson and the third-year law student hired by Mr White to review the documentation deny that Mr White had required them to produce documents, deny that they had produced them, and deny that they had been examined.

36. Is it true that Mr White, ordered by the University of Delaware’s president to reply to Professor Legates’ twice-asked and still-unanswered question to him about why a “senior ranking official” of the University had the right to review a faculty member’s records in the absence of any accusation of research misconduct, fraud, or plagiarism, wrote asking that Professor Legates’ attorneys should “do what they can to reduce the level of Professor Legates’ hostility”? If so, does not the University understand that it was not Professor Legates but Mr White who had not only spoken but also acted in a hostile, prejudiced and mendacious fashion throughout?

37. Is it true that, though Mr White had repeatedly stated he was treating the requests from Greenpeace and from the free-market advocacy group on an equal footing, he had in fact – after two years – not dealt with any FOIA requests directed at faculty members other than Professor Legates?

38. Is it true that Dr White, in August 2011, said he proposed to turn over to Greenpeace documents from Professor Legates whose disclosure was not mandated by the Freedom of Information Act? If so, on what legitimate ground in law did he make that proposal?

39. Is it true that the third-year law student hired by Mr White to inspect Professor Legates’ materials had categorized only three items as “files containing work product Professor Legates generated with state funds”, when all three items were manifestly either not by Professor Legates or not supported by the State of Delaware, or both?

40. Is it true that the law student’s item 1, two email conversations about funding sources, related only to a grant from the National Science Foundation, which has nothing to do with State funds and nothing to do with Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, under which the request for information had been made?

41. Is it true that the law student’s item 2, an email from a State agency requesting Professor Legates to give a talk on climate change, does not fall within the Delaware Freedom of Information Act because Mr Legates was not the author of the email and was not paid for the talk he gave?

42. Is it true that the law student’s item 3, a 2006 report to the Governor of Delaware from the Delaware Water Supply Coordinating Council, was not authored or contributed to by Professor Legates sand was not, therefore, subject to the Delaware Freedom of Information Act?

43. Given that the only three items in Mr Legates’ possession that the law student hired and inferentially supervised by Mr White were manifestly not items subject to the Freedom of Information Act’s disclosure requirements, does the University regard its teaching of law as competent, does it regard its third-year law student as competent, and does it regard Mr White as competent, and, if so, on what conceivable grounds?

44. Is it true that that the third-year law student somehow did not include in his list of documents subject to the Freedom of Information Act an email exchange between Professor Legates and Dr Michael Mann, even though Greenpeace had specifically asked for all documents relating to Dr Mann? If so, could it be that the reason why Mr White found it inexpedient to include this email exchange in the documents he proposed to release to Greenpeace is that in the emails Dr Mann was highly critical of Dr Santer, who had single- handedly rewritten the 1995 IPCC Assessment Report making 200 alterations, deleting all five references to the fact that no human influence on global temperature was discernible and replacing them with a single statement – scientifically unwarrantable but socially convenient, politically expedient and financially profitable – directly to the contrary?

45. Why did neither the University of Delaware’s president nor Mr White ever answer Professor Legates’ surely sensible question about what right Mr White had to assert his authority as a “senior ranking official” of the University in demanding that Professor Legates should produce documents related to his teaching and research that were not covered by the Freedom of Information Act?

46. On what exact date did the University of Delaware first decide to account for a small fraction of Professor Legates’ salary as though it were funded by the State?

47. Was any part of Professor Legates’ salary ever specifically funded by the State? If not, do the University’s accounts now show that some of it was? If they do, why?

48. Why was Professor Legates never told that part of his salary was now being paid by the State of Delaware?

49. Is it true that the State of Delaware specifically requires the University to apply some of its State funding to pay faculty salaries on the basis that this spending furthers the mission of the University?

50. Is it true that the State funding, if its accounting were distributed equally among all faculty and administrators, would make all of them subject to the Freedom of Information Act, in that a fraction of every salary would be funded by State appropriations?

51. Is it true that the University averts compliance with the Freedom of Information Act among those of its faculty whose viewpoints on matters such as “global climate change” it favors, by not writing down any fraction of their salaries in its accounts as attributable to State funding, and discriminates against those whose viewpoints it does not favor by writing down some fraction of their salaries in its accounts as attributable to State funding and consequently subject to the Delaware Freedom of Information Act?

52. Is it true that the University’s irregular and corrupt policy of arbitrarily, capriciously, and falsely accounting for the State’s funds in a furtive, asymmetrical and discriminatory fashion is not made explicit in the Faculty Handbook or anywhere else; that Professor Legates had not been told of it; and that he only discovered it when at length a new and honest president

of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, apparently at the instigation of the justifiably outraged National Association of Scholars, contacted the University of Delaware’s Budget Office?

53. Is it true that this corrupt policy of arbitrary and capricious accounting for State funds has been in place for at least 20 years?

54. Is it true that when the University receives a Freedom of Information request Mr White’s first question is to the Budget Office asking whether the subject of the request is “State funded?”?

55. Is it true that if the Budget Office says the subject of the request is not “State funded” Mr White usually sends “a short ‘No’” in response to the request, but that if the Budget Office says the subject of the request is “State funded” Mr White is obliged to determine what documents were produced under State funding and, if they fall within the scope of the FOI Act, turn them over to the requesting party?

56. Is it true that Mr White in particular and the university in general has evaded compliance with the Freedom of Information Act in respect of those fortunate enough to have been classified as not having part of their salaries funded by the State?

57. Is it true that certain faculty, such as Professor Legates, are capriciously exposed to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act without even having been told that part of their salaries is being accounted for as though it were State-funded?

58. Is it true that even where the University has thus falsely and furtively accounted for part of some faculty members’ salaries as though they were State-funded the FOIA is clear that unfunded research and all communications and documents not related to teaching would not fall within its scope?

59. Professor Legates was told that from 2000 to August 2008 no part of his salary was accounted for as having been “State funded”. He was told, however, that from September 2008 part of his salary was accounted for by State funding. Is what he was told correct, or were the University’s accounts altered after the FOIA request from Greenpeace so as to provide a false and artificial pretext for White to demand that Professor Legates should spend weeks digging through ten years of his work?

60. In what sense can the University’s misconduct towards one of its Professors, and its discrimination in favor of a totalitarian advocacy group and against a free-market advocacy group, be regarded as anything other as hostile, intimidatory, prejudiced, totalitarian, and contrary to its own declared policies and those of its relevant officials on the question of academic freedom?

61. Now that Mr White has returned all of Professor Legates’ materials and has decided that he had better not send anything to the hard-Left front organization with whose request he and the University had hitherto shown such unbecoming and unbending sympathy, what steps does the University propose to take to apologize publicly to Professor Legates for the harassment and intimidation to which he has been subjected, to compensate him financially for the weeks of time and the years of worry to which its undue indulgence of the request from Greenpeace has inflicted upon him, to remove Mr White from office and discipline him before he can do any more damage to the careers of those with whose opinions the University disagrees and to the reputation of the University itself; to take urgent legal advice independent of the prejudiced and mendacious Mr White; to draw the false accounting and the concomitant arbitrary, capricious and malevolent device to evade compliance with the Delaware Freedom of Information Act and yet to use it to discriminate against disfavored

faculty members forthwith to the attention of the relevant administrative, investigatory and prosecuting authorities in the State of Delaware; and to amend its accounting practices to bring them into some semblance of conformity with morality and the law?

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94 Responses to Tough questions about FOIA abuse to the University of Delaware

  1. Justthinkin says:

    And so another dog and pony show with an AGW funded “university” begins. Where or when will it end?

  2. Oldseadog says:

    I don’t understand their answer.
    How can a question be answered by saying that the question “contains facts that are incorrect and incomplete” if the question starts by asking “Is it true that …. “? They just need to say “Yes” or “No”, (and give a reason if they have the spare time and the inclination).
    Unless of course they have something to hide ….. .

  3. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    Para 42 [s]and

  4. Auto says:

    Wow. Wow!
    Look at the queries.
    My lord,
    I AM TERRIFICALLY IMPRESSED.

    [Yeah, I'm a Brit, and I love a Lord who is a Lord - not a super-annuated politico, elevated for fifty years service fighting individual rights.]

    Auto – enjoying this (muchly).

  5. Justthinkin says:

    And just who is getting rich here? Lawyers,the tenure profs,their syncophants, almost nepotimic politicians ,their shell companies , etc. How can one possibly keep up?

  6. Dave says:

    I’ve been thinking over the years of suggesting Lord Moncton be named the pit bull for our side of the debate in the climate wars. However, after reading this latest composition, I think instead of pit bull, wolverine would be more apropos.

  7. TeeWee says:

    Thank you for your efforts Lord Monckton. After seeing the name of the state’s Attorney General I fear your efforts might be futile. This man is from a very political family. Nevertheless, I hope your inquiry will ‘rock the boat’.

  8. Minnesota Oly says:

    If the implications of the questions reflect reality, many, many heads should roll. Wouldn’t it be amazing if our media, just once, were to pick up on this sort of thing and move it from the echo chamber into the full light of day.

    I won’t hold my breath, but thank you for posting this.

  9. D.J. Hawkins says:

    Dave says:
    May 21, 2014 at 2:26 pm
    I’ve been thinking over the years of suggesting Lord Moncton be named the pit bull for our side of the debate in the climate wars. However, after reading this latest composition, I think instead of pit bull, wolverine would be more apropos.

    If it weren’t for the negative connotations, I might suggest “shrew” as a better appellation. Weight for weight, the most savage predator on the planet.

  10. Justthinkin says:

    Small quibble. It is MoncKton. Carry on.

  11. Nick Stokes says:

    The Delaware FOIA says that
    “Any citizen of Delaware may request public documents”

    Did you offer credentials?

    They do seem to encourage using a form.

  12. Mycroft says:

    As always your Lordship.. Excellent!!
    You can almost her the Groan! when they open the email and see Monckton of Brenchley LOL!!

  13. Justthinkin says:

    And yes, D.J. Wolverine way more appropriate. And the shrew,especially the star-nose,is a savage,take no prisoners, predator. However we are talking size.

  14. Justthinkin says:

    Nick Stokes says….“Any citizen of Delaware may request public documents”

    Did you offer credentials?
    Credentials for what? AGW,by definition,is GLOBAL. Then any citizen of anywhere has the credentials. Or is it only local?

  15. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    Universities are ‘special.’ They are beyond reproach because they have the public to look after!!! It goes something like this, ‘we have the public’s best interest in hand.’ That is, as long as the money keeps coming our way.

  16. Joel O'Bryan says:

    The Left in this country, protected by a disgraceful US Attorney General and his partisan DoJ (which demonstrably engages in selective enforcement actions), has set itself above the Law. So short of a state court or federal court order, Beau Biden will ignore Christopher’s entreaty for UDel to honor the FOIA request.

    The truth in this (putting themselves above the Law) can be seen in the recent US State Dept emails, emails that related to US Ambassador Chris Steven’s murder in Benghazi and the ensuing administration coverup, that were released to Judicial Watch only after expensive legal action was pursued after the US State Dept’s initial rebuff of the FOIA request. Simply, with the Democrat attorney generals (Beau Biden at the state-level, and Holder at the federal level), these FOIA rebuffs will not be pursued by the executive branch.

  17. Sean says:

    Sounds like plenty of legal justification for the termination of Lawrence White’s employment for cause; also a law suit against the university and White jointly and severally for employment harassment ..

  18. Nick Stokes says:

    Justthinkin says: May 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm
    “Credentials for what? AGW,by definition,is GLOBAL. “

    And laws are laws. Lord M is claiming breach of FOIA. It seems worthwhile to check if he has standing to make a FOIA request before shouting at the Attorney General about a breach.

  19. Joel O'Bryan says:

    A minor point of clarity:
    Delaware has residents.
    The US has citizens. It also has residents who are not citizens.
    Residents of Delaware, who are also US citizens, can vote in Delaware elections and participate in Delaware political processes. Obtaining status of residency has legal requirements, typically the physical presence in the state for a defined period time.

    Legally, there is no such creature as a Delaware citizen.

  20. This appears to be another example of the old saying that “the opposite of diversity is … university.”

    Mods … note that I am still blocked from posting using the WordPress button like I have done for ages. I am on a list someplace. Please investigate.

  21. Rud Istvan says:

    Nick Stokes, you must be joking. Clearly you are naive about US legal procedure. UDW has just been challenged by Lord Monckton in ways they will not be able to blow off, as they did to his last challenge, as posted. Brilliant tactic, since they now have to rebut point by point, or lose. As they should have at the beginning, since the described fact situation is indefensible. First rule of holes, and all that…
    You need to get out and about. Really. For your own mental health.

  22. J Martin says:

    Judging from past sceptic versus catasrophian cases in the US courts, I would think that the US legal system provides too much leeway for judges to make politically expedient judgments that suit the prevailing political correctness.

    And so US university administrators can get away with any legal abuse no matter how blatant as long as they have commmited it in the name of saving the World from co2.

  23. Skiphil says:

    Just a note about the American Assn. of University Professors (AAUP): the AAUP was founded to protect academic freedom of university professors, especially against overbearing administrators and pressures from dominant “majority” views (whether within or without the university).

    http://www.aaup.org/about/history-aaup

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Association_of_University_Professors

    The idea that any AAUP officer could ever decline to protect faculty academic freedom, by hiding behind an exclusive focus upon “the collective bargaining agreement and hiring practices” is one of the most utterly contemptible things I have ever seen in decades of viewing and experiencing “higher” education. John Dewey and Arthur Lovejoy must be turning in their graves.

    For shame, AAUP, for shame!!

  24. Rick K says:

    Happy to be part of the MOB (Monckton of Brenchley) crowd.
    He wields the language like a rapier. Impressive — as always.

  25. Nick Stokes says:

    Joel O’Bryan says: May 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm
    “Legally, there is no such creature as a Delaware citizen.”

    The preamble to Title 29 says:
    “Toward these ends, and to further the accountability of government to the citizens of this State, this chapter is adopted, and shall be construed.”

    Sec 10005(E), which Lord M seeks to invoke, says:
    “Any citizen may petition the Attorney General to determine whether a violation of this chapter has occurred or is about to occur. “
    I do not think they had English Lords in mind.

  26. TImothy Sorenson says:

    Ahhh…I like the Honey Badger. But unfortunately, they like the cold and roam the netherlands of the mountains ranges of the western North America.

    But do we need to find a Delawarian to write a follow up?

  27. rogerknights says:

    The preamble to Title 29 says:

    “Toward these ends, and to further the accountability of government to the citizens of this State, this chapter is adopted, and shall be construed.”

    It’s still wrong.

  28. rogerknights says:

    On learning of what had happened to him, I decided to act ex proprio motu.

    That’ll larn ‘em!

  29. A.D. Everard says:

    Wow – that packs a punch! I look forward to finding out how this goes. Wonderful stuff.

  30. Dave in Delaware says:

    As a resident in Delaware, I make myself available should that become needed. Anthony has my email address, and my permission to forward it to Lord M.

    The University of Delaware is NOT a ‘state’ university. It does however receive some state funds, so there are gray areas on what is or is not state funded. Apparently Prof Legates was moved onto the ‘state funded’ list around the time of the Greenpeace request (if I recall correctly from the earlier posting).

    Regarding our state Attorney General, he is indeed a political animal, and may be running for higher office in the state. As noted, his father is the US Vice President.

  31. John says:

    What more could be expected from just another liberal so-called learning institution in this country.

  32. Skiphil says:

    an aside, while Nick Stokes is noted for his wide-ranging interests, I find it very difficult to believe that he could interest himself in an obscure FOI case in the tiny state of Delaware (2nd smallest of 50 US states), involving a hitherto obscure professor (no offense intended, Prof. Legates), and roughly 3rd or 4th tier university (no offense to UD grads but let’s be candid here), unless Nick were being paid by some entity for his efforts on this and similar sites.

    I understand that he has denied it in the past, but I am finding it difficult to believe. Hell, I have strong family ties to Delaware and the Univ. of Delaware in particular, as well as strong interests in following issues of US academe and academic administration, not to mention academic freedom and individual rights, yet I am just starting to have a flickering of interest in this matter.

    Either Nick has the most exhaustive universal interests ever and never sleeps, or else there seems to be something else going on here.

  33. george e. conant says:

    stunning Lord Monkton, stunning.

  34. Skiphil says:

    to anyone able to assist in this case:

    consider strongly contacting “FIRE” — Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

    They like to rock the boat with complacent and overbearing academic administrators, they fight strongly against political correctness, and they might be able to provide valuable fighting advice…. and possibly even take it on as one of their cases???

    Ofc this is not strictly a “speech” case, perhaps, but it does certainly have to do with academic freedom and freedom from politically correct abuses of power in academe.

    http://www.thefire.org

    The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE’s core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.

    FIRE was founded in 1999 by University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and Boston civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate after the overwhelming response to their 1998 book The Shadow University: The Betrayal Of Liberty On America’s Campuses.

    FIRE Issues

    Why is free speech important on campus?

    Freedom of speech is a fundamental American freedom and a human right, and there’s no place that this right should be more valued and protected than America’s colleges and universities. A university exists to educate students and advance the frontiers of human knowledge, and does so by acting as a “marketplace of ideas” where ideas compete. The intellectual vitality of a university depends on this competition—something that cannot happen properly when students or faculty members fear punishment for expressing views that might be unpopular with the public at large or disfavored by university administrators.

    Nevertheless, freedom of speech is under continuous threat at many of America’s campuses, pushed aside in favor of politics, comfort, or simply a desire to avoid controversy. As a result, speech codes dictating what may or may not be said, “free speech zones” confining free speech to tiny areas of campus, and administrative attempts to punish or repress speech on a case-by-case basis are common today in academia.

  35. Tuduri says:

    ” been thinking over the years of suggesting Lord Moncton be named the pit bull for our side of the debate in the climate wars. However, after reading this latest composition, I think instead of pit bull, wolverine would be more apropos.”

    I agree. I also like Lord MOB.

    “Wolverines!”

  36. Skiphil says:

    p.s. I did not mean to suggest in my first comment that this case is not worthy of strong interest and support, only that we all have many, many (countless) items competing for our attention all the time. I know I do…..

    Lord Monckton’s comprehensive demolition of the miscreants at the University of Delaware is worthy of much attention and support. If it should require submission by a citizen of the State of Delaware then i hope he receives help with that (my own ties there, alas, are entirely in the past now…. except that I criss-cross Delaware many times oer year).

  37. paulhan says:

    I’d just make the note that Greenpeace is not a Delaware citizen. Beautifully written. It would be very interesting to see the response.

  38. Skiphil says:

    and a lot of FIRE’s mission does seem congruent with this case — I meant only that usually I have noticed them getting involved when someone “says” something controversial at a specific moment and comes under assault from politically correct campus thought police — this case has strong overtones of this but is complicated with the FOI details.

  39. Jay Currie says:

    Paulhan wins the thread. And Nick, really, go outside. Look at nature. Leave the lawyering to lawyers and those, like his Lordship, who understand the law.

  40. Skiphil says:

    btw, the Kors and Silverglate book, “The Shadow University” is a must-read for understanding how the corruptions of politically correct thought police have been strangling universities for decades. They are the co-founders of FIRE:

  41. rogerthesurf says:

    Go for it Lord M. We need more like you!

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

  42. Matthew R Marler says:

    25: And does the University seriously suggest that Mr White is not both unethical and incompetent?

    Is that correct?

    Lord Monckton, I am glad that you are up for this work.

  43. Dave says:

    As pointed out earlier, the Attorney General of Delaware is Vice President Joe Biden’s son. He’s a good lib, and will do nothing to rock the AGW boat. This will likely go nowhere

  44. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Skiphil says:
    May 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    … I find it very difficult to believe that he [Nick Stokes] could interest himself in … roughly 3rd or 4th tier university (no offense to UD grads but let’s be candid here) …

    Maybe so, but do you know what time it is? Or rather does your computer know what time it is? If so, it is thanks to the NTP Protocol , developed by Dr. David L. Mills at the University of Delaware. God alone knows how many devices around this planet keep their clocks synchronized with NTP.

    Tangential to your main point I know, but there is good work going on in some otherwise undistinguished places. Don’t sneer at UD just because it isn’t Harvard.

  45. PRGarrett says:

    Makes me ashamed to be an alumnus.

  46. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    Hmm, earlier comment totally disappeared. I blame the firewall (H/T Scott Adams). Please ignore if dup …

    … while Nick Stokes is noted for his wide-ranging interests, I find it very difficult to believe that he could interest himself in an obscure FOI case in the tiny state of Delaware (2nd smallest of 50 US states), involving a hitherto obscure professor (no offense intended, Prof. Legates), and roughly 3rd or 4th tier university (no offense to UD grads but let’s be candid here) …

    Maybe so, but do you know what time it is? Or rather does your computer know what time it is? If so, it is thanks to Network Time Protocol, developed and refined by Dr. David L. Mills at the University of Delaware. God alone knows how many devices around this planet keep their clocks synchronized using NTP.

    Tangential to your main point I know, but there is some good work going on at otherwised undistinguished places. Don’t sneer at UD just because they aren’t Harvard.

    [Wordpress ate my first attempt at this comment, but I'm damned sure it wasn't NTP's fault]

  47. F. Ross says:

    “Behold the Lord High Executioner
    A personage of noble rank and title —
    A dignified and potent officer,
    Whose functions are particularly vital!
    Defer, defer,
    …”

    and
    “I’ve got a little list,
    I’ve got a little list
    …”

    Time for U of D to ‘fess up!

  48. gary turner says:

    @Nick Stokes

    Your concern over Delaware citizenship is misplaced. Mr Monckton addressed that first thing.

    “I hope it is irrelevant that I am not a Delaware citizen. Otherwise a citizen will resubmit my questions.”

  49. Nick Stokes says:

    gary turner says: May 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm
    ‘@Nick Stokes
    Your concern over Delaware citizenship is misplaced. Mr Monckton addressed that first thing.
    “I hope it is irrelevant that I am not a Delaware citizen. Otherwise a citizen will resubmit my questions.”’

    Well, it seems that concern is shared, not misplaced. And I can’t fault his transparency. But he’s petitioning for enforcement of a FOIA request. If he’s not entitled to petition, he wasn’t entitled to make the FOIA request. Which may be why UD dealt with it so unceremoniously.

  50. Phil. says:

    Joel O’Bryan says:
    May 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm
    A minor point of clarity:
    Delaware has residents.
    The US has citizens. It also has residents who are not citizens.
    Residents of Delaware, who are also US citizens, can vote in Delaware elections and participate in Delaware political processes. Obtaining status of residency has legal requirements, typically the physical presence in the state for a defined period time.

    Legally, there is no such creature as a Delaware citizen.

    On the contrary the Citizenship Clause of the Constitution’s 1868 Fourteenth Amendment reads:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

  51. Niff says:

    Phew…if them there facts are ‘incomplete’ they are pretty comprehensive as they are….
    fabulously said.

    McCarthyism hardly begins to fully describe this level of bullying and character assassination. We need a new word: ‘denier-bashing’, truth-quashing’, come on…help me out here?

    Lord M, I suggest you send the details to EVERY member of the Delaware legislature. If they are being suborned into this on the basis of the use of FOIA they have a role to play, in addition to the funding of that heinous set of academics.

    It also sounds like there must be few laws being broken with all that carefully choreographed funding incitement/inducement. It sounds like a fraud.

  52. Phil. says:

    According to the Delaware FOIA Law an ”FOIA request” or “request” means a request to inspect or copy public records pursuant to § 10003 of this title. Very few of Monckton’s questions seem to constitute a valid request for such public records, it seems more like a rhetorical exercise than a genuine request for information?

  53. Skiphil says:

    Alan Watt, thx, and I do know a lot of really fine people, ideas, and things come out of UD….. Go Blue Hens!! My sister and my former roommate both loved it long ago…..

    I was only wondering how Nick became so concerned…. but I apologize for my thoughtless remark.

  54. ferd berple says:

    It may well be that Professor David Legates views on Climate are Protected Free Speech under the US constitution. The following may well set a precedent for future legal action. Universities that in any way discriminate based on views about climate science need take fair warning.

    The case is Adams v. Trustees of University of North Carolina-Wilmington

    The Fourth Circuit held that, when it comes to public university professor employment decisions, a professor speaking on matters of public concern can’t be discriminated against based in employment unless the speech is seen as unduly disruptive (under the Board of Ed v. Pickering test).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/05/19/conservative-professor-blogger-wins-political-retaliation-case-at-trial/?tid=up_next

  55. LewSkannen says:

    Time these academic types faced up to the fact that Lord ‘Terminator’ Monckton is on their case.

  56. Clay Marley says:

    If I were Beau Biden, Democrat and son of VP Joe Biden, and planning to run for Governor of the state in 2016, I would toss that letter in the trash before I got past 2 paragraphs.

  57. lee says:

    It seems the term ‘citizen’ is not defined in Delaware; therefore it should take its normal Dictionary meaning.

  58. markx says:

    Seems illogical that yes/no queries can be dismissed as “incorrect and incomplete”.

    And (Godwin be d****d), I still think Lawrence White looks like Himmler:

    Photo here.

    http://primus.nss.udel.edu/experts/15957345391-Lawrence_White

    …and here

  59. TImo Soren says:

    Isn’t there a writ of pro mandamus that forces a authority to act? So a cititzen of Delaware can appeal to a judge without a cause and force them to act to enforce the laws.

  60. csanborn says:

    Get one of the 20,000,000+ illegal aliens in this country to petition for answers. The liberals will stampede all over themselves to accommodate.

  61. majormike1 says:

    @Nick Stokes

    Nick. I’ll bet you are not as interested in Greenpeace’s standing in Delaware concerning FOI as Lord Monckton”s, but I suppose that he as an individual should have as much standing as a Netherlands corporation with US offices in Washington, DC, and San Francisco. If Monckton has no standing, it seems Greenpeace would have none, yet Greenpeace received materials from the University of Delaware under their FOI regulations. A welcome mat put out for the one seems to invite all.

  62. richardscourtney says:

    Phil.:

    You and Nick Stokes seem to be motivated to obfuscate. At May 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm, at 7:15 pm majormike1 disposed of the irrelevance from Stokes and that rebuttal is here.

    However, at May 21, 2014 you provide another distracting irrelevance when you write

    According to the Delaware FOIA Law an ”FOIA request” or “request” means a request to inspect or copy public records pursuant to § 10003 of this title. Very few of Monckton’s questions seem to constitute a valid request for such public records, it seems more like a rhetorical exercise than a genuine request for information?

    n.b. Lord Monckton is NOT requesting public records. He is calling upon the Attorney General of Delaware to investigate whether there has been a “violation” with respect to actions in response to an earlier request for public records.

    This reality could not be more clear because Lord Monckton’s request to the Attorney General begins saying

    Sir, Title 29 Ch. 100: Freedom of Information Act §10005 (e) (enforcement) Refusal of a request for public information by the University of Delaware

    Under §10005 (e) of the Act, I petition you to determine whether a violation has occurred. Lawrence White, vice-president and general counsel of the University of Delaware, yesterday refused in the following terms a request by me for information related to what he had previously designated as State funding of the University:

    After writing that, Lord Monckton itemises all the actions he claims were taken by Lawrence White to avoid compliance with the FOIA. Lord Monckton’s first sentence (which I have here quoted) states the clause of the Act which entitles application to the Attorney General.

    Richard

  63. As so often, I am grateful to Richard Courtney for having dealt with a couple of sniveling trolls, inferentially paid to write rubbish here (for otherwise their near-daily exhibitions of utter stupidity would be a surely painful form of intellectual self-flagellation). These trolls show not the slightest interest in the disgraceful mistreatment of Professor Legates by a “university” that crows about how it is at the very forefront of academic freedom and disclosure of information.

    These two wretches appear to have no feelings of common humanity at all.

    Those who suggest that “Beau” Biden will – or should – throw my petition into the trash misunderstand the law. There is a specific right of enforcement in the courts, which would view “Beau’s” failure to reply as an arbitrary and capricious abuse of his plain duty under the Act. He knows more law than to think he can get away with that.

    Nor can he ignore or dismiss my petition on the ground that it is not submitted by a citizen of Delaware (and those who have thought there is no such creature have plainly not read even the preamble to the Delaware Freedom of Information Act, to say nothing of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution). For I have warned him that if he tries that bureaucratic device I shall merely arrange for the FOIA request to be submitted by another citizen.

    Those who suggest that the petition may be invalid on the ground that it was submitted in a plainly-worded and straightforward letter rather than having been sanctified by submission on a bureaucratic form have also failed to read the Act.

    Let us get back to the main point. Professor Legates’ years of calculated and malicious mistreatment at the hands of the dreadful White (who really ought to know better) are a scandal and an outrage, and we should not allow ourselves to be desensitized to this bureaucratic brutality on the mere ground that the totalitarian Left at universities throughout the West are behaving just as the totalitarian White has behaved.

    It is only when there is a clear understanding that a threat to the academic freedom of one man is a threat to the intellectual life of the whole society that we can begin to recapture our universities from the Borg and make them once again what Disraeli said they should be: places of “light, liberty, and learning”.

  64. neillusion says:

    I get the feeling that the FOI/questionaire will (and was perhaps designed to) get into various media circles and spread – being a polite request for info and a ‘reveal’ on White and his conduct. This will need a response from White, whether FOI, public, semi-private or what have you. Important persons will learn of these ‘reveals’ and want to know the answers and some be in a position to demand same. White will have enemies near and far, so I expect some of them will likely be greatful for this exposure and can perhaps add accounts that further reveal the questionable nature of this White

  65. ddpalmer says:

    Well Nick, the University did not state that they weren’t answering his request because he was not a citizen of the state. If they had thought that was a valid reason for refusal then doing so would have been much easier and fully defensible rather than the BS answer they gave.

    And as the Lord clearly stated in his letter to the Attorney General, if his non-citizen status was an issue he would gladly find a Delaware resident to resubmit the request.

  66. Tan says:

    @Monckton
    UofD has traditionally been held immune to all such lawsuits because it’s a quasi-public school. They’ve been sued several times in the past and have won on the occasions I heard about. Also, they are quite fond of doing cruel and unusual things to their professors. After all, if you’ve ended up at UofD (with the exception of the the Chem E department & Bartol foundation) you may be desperate for a position.

    More important to the case is the university skimming public money from scientific grants to fund the lifestyle majors. The “state” funding is largely federal funding taken as indirect costs. You may have a better time using a federal approach. I think they mix federal, state, and other income into a general fund so it can’t be traced. I don’t know how the federal courts view this practice as it concerns transparency, but Delaware has selective corruption in government, and you have happened upon one of the worst spots. Don’t expect anything like fair play from the state.

  67. Non Nomen says:

    That’s going to hurt. I hope there won’t be white-washing of some sort.

  68. Phil. says:

    richardscourtney says:
    May 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm
    Phil.:

    You and Nick Stokes seem to be motivated to obfuscate. At May 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm, at 7:15 pm majormike1 disposed of the irrelevance from Stokes and that rebuttal is here.

    Hardly a rebuttal! Clearly Monckton’s status is very relevant since if his request didn’t constitute a valid FOIA request there can be no violation by denying it. Should he wish to generate a proper request for actual documents via the appropriate channels perhaps he would have more success?

    However, at May 21, 2014 you provide another distracting irrelevance when you write

    According to the Delaware FOIA Law an ”FOIA request” or “request” means a request to inspect or copy public records pursuant to § 10003 of this title. Very few of Monckton’s questions seem to constitute a valid request for such public records, it seems more like a rhetorical exercise than a genuine request for information?

    n.b. Lord Monckton is NOT requesting public records. He is calling upon the Attorney General of Delaware to investigate whether there has been a “violation” with respect to actions in response to an earlier request for public records.

    Do try to keep up richard, Monckton listed the 61 questions he asked of the general counsel of the university under Title 29 (FOIA), virtually none of which could be remotely construed as an ‘FOIA request’ under the legislation. The nearest are those asking about the funding by the state of the State Climatologist position, even then they are extraordinarily vague, why not just ask for the budget spreadsheets for the years in question?
    At issue is apparently whether Legates received any funding at all from the state, Qu #46 et seq. Since as the State Climatologist Legates presided over the Delaware Environmental Observing System, which is funded by the state, he clearly did.
    Far from being a ‘request for public records’, Monckton’s screed is just more of his normal demagoguery.

  69. MikeUK says:

    Bravo, the more uphill the battle the more it is worth fighting.

    Take heart, a few whistle-blowers have even won against the biggest socialist state on the planet – the UK National Health Service.

  70. Dave says:

    Lord Monckton,
    Violating the law seems to be routine business these days for the Obama administration. The investigations of Tea Party groups by the IRS, changes to Obamacare, and granting immunity to illegal immigrants (among other things) were all done without the approval of Congress and hence represent violations of current law. This administration has even flaunted FOIA requests from Congress with respect to the Benghazi affair! Attorney General Holder will do nothing to investigate these violations of law. The path has been laid for lawless governance.

    If Beau Biden is anything like his dad, he’ll find some way to block or obfuscate this issue. I hope I’m wrong and that you succeed… but I have my doubts.

  71. Joseph Murphy says:

    csanborn says:
    May 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm
    Get one of the 20,000,000+ illegal aliens in this country to petition for answers. The liberals will stampede all over themselves to accommodate.

    —————-

    lol! Thanks for that. Unfortunately as soon as anyone speaks out against the liberal agenda they lose their minority status and become a bigoted republican.

  72. neillusion says:

    When submitting a FOI request, one must include specifics, as far as one is able (after all you are asking for information you don’t have/know, so …), as to what said information relates and being sought under the FOI. This may well take the form of a question or several, that(those) very question(s) my have been asked and have information attached that is FOI relevant. Those to whom FOI requests are made must be very careful to fulfill same or be subject to severe criticism/accusation at a later date. They must not be seen to obstruct the process for fear of consequences (usually), especially in a case as this is turning out to be.
    Re my earlier comment – the request original and the petition are now in the media and have by their very nature alerted many to the finer detail of the astonishing and disgraceful treatment of an innocent academic, which will be an embarrassment and cause for response along with some form of legal process.
    Hopefully many more persons will volunteer further example of such behaviour and many more persons be in a position (there is a big web/heirarchy afterall) to effect due process of some of them.
    When I heard of how this professor was treated I emailed the university and told them how disgusted I was with their behaviour. I got no response. No surprise there.

  73. The nasty paid troll “Phil.”, manifestly content that a professor with whose scientific opinion on the climate it inexpertly but no doubt profitably disagrees should be bullied without mercy by his university, continues futilely to pick nits.

    All of my questions concern the circumstances surrounding false accounting by the “University” of Delaware in having corruptly allocated some of its State funding to Professor Legates without having told him, and then having corruptly used that accounting device as a transparent pretext for treating him disadvantageously compared with colleagues whose viewpoint on the climate was more in tune with its own. Whether “Phil.” or its paymasters like it or not, my questions concern records falling well within the very wide definition of “public records” contained in the Delaware Freedom of Information Act.

    Faithfully reflecting the “University’s” wriggling desperation, this hate-filled troll tries to maintain that Professor Legates was in receipt of public funds in that, as State Climatologist, he presided over an observational network that was State-funded. This transparent diversionary tactic will get it nowhere. For, as “Phil.” would have noticed if it had read my questions with the same attention that it sneeringly demands of Richard Courtney (for sneering is its habit), it would have realized that the hapless and now doomed White had engaged the services of a third-year law student to go through the voluminous information that he had falsely compelled Professor Legates to go to the unpaid time and trouble of compiling, and had found only three items that were at first thought to relate to State funding for Professor Legates’ work, though it ought to have been obvious even to the meanest legal mind that none of the three items was related to any State funding for the Professor. It ought also to have been self-evident, even to the most lavishly-paid of trolls, that none of the three items had anything to do with any observational network.

    Finally, the useless “Phil.”, who will in due course occupy a particularly dusty and ill-considered corner of the Lord Monckton Foundation’s archive of the profitably feeble-minded totalitarians, whines – for whining is its stock-in-trade – that my request for information was invalid on the ground that I was not a “citizen”. Nor was the Communist front group Greenpeace a “citizen”, yet Mr White fell over himself to accommodate the watermelons. So the university – even if it had been foolish enough to try to reject my request on the ground that I had no title to make it, which it did not – would merely have compounded the impression of incurable and systemic political bias that it has already disfiguringly demonstrated to the detriment of Professor Legates.

    My request is not going to go away. I had, after all, pointed out that if anyone more fit to be taken seriously than a mere paid troll were to try to argue that as a non-citizen I was not entitled to ask for public records under the Freedom of Information Act, I should simply arrange for someone who is unquestionably a “citizen” within the meaning of the Act to request the information instead. Even by the low standards one has come to expect of “Phil.”, its latest intervention seems, therefore, to be more than usually pointless and ill-conceived.

  74. richardscourtney says:

    Phil.:

    re your post at May 22, 2014 at 6:45 am.

    I am instructed to “stop” answering affronts to me of the kind you have provided because it is asserted that my answers engender “food fights” (see here).

    In this circumstance, I refer you to the response to you from Lord Monckton at May 22, 2014 at 7:57 am that is here and which I both agree and support.

    Richard

  75. GreggB says:

    I’ll preface this by saying that I’ve worked as an FOIA officer, although not in the USA.

    In most jurisdictions, FOIA requests must be for DOCUMENTS, whereas my quick skim of the requests above seem to be phrased as requests for answers.

    Rather than requesting:

    “Is it true that Dr White, in August 2011, said he proposed to turn over to Greenpeace documents from Professor Legates…”,

    an FOIA application should probably be phrased thusly:

    “Please provide copies of any documents generated during or after August 2011, which detail Mr White’s intention for turning over to Greenpeace any documents from Professor Legates.”

    Not legal advice, your mileage may vary, etc.

  76. GreggB’s advice is useful. In Britain (which, though it is now an unconsidered and impotent satrapy of the European tyranny-by-clerk, still enjoys some elements of freedom), we are less obsessed with the bureaucratic niceties of mere form and process than our former colony, which now has a worse dose of totalitarian Socialism than we do.

    It is entirely plain from my list of questions what records I am asking for and, in Britain, the public authorities would be obliged to get on with either supplying all relevant records or explaining why they consider themselves exempted from my request.

    In the present-day United States, however, the plain intention of a request for information is less important than complying with the pettifogging bureaucratic procedures. Accordingly, if the Attorney-General fails to answer my petition for an appeal within the 15 days provided for by law I shall recast the questions as GreggB recommends and get them submitted to the University by a citizen of Delaware, and I shall also apply to the court for an order requiring the Attorney General to comply with the law by at least doing me the courtesy of responding to my petition .

    One can either sit and do nothing in the face of the increasingly open corruption of the academic and scientific community or one can fight it. It is time to do the latter. In the Germany of the 1920s and early 30s, Hitler could have been stopped if people had stood up to the totalitarian bully-boys. Now that the same species of arrogant totalitarianism is at large throughout the West, exhibiting exactly the same petulant intolerance and demands that its opponents be executed that eventually led to the Final Solution in Germany, it is best to speak out while there is still time, regardless of the cost to our reputations.

  77. Kate Croston says:

    Hear, Hear,

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    [i]One can either sit and do nothing in the face of the increasingly open corruption of the academic and scientific community or one can fight it. It is time to do the latter. In the Germany of the 1920s and early 30s, Hitler could have been stopped if people had stood up to the totalitarian bully-boys. Now that the same species of arrogant totalitarianism is at large throughout the West, exhibiting exactly the same petulant intolerance and demands that its opponents be executed that eventually led to the Final Solution in Germany, it is best to speak out while there is still time, regardless of the cost to our reputations.[/i]

    First they came for the….

    Thankyou for at least trying

  78. neillusion says:

    Lord or Viscount Monckton, i respectfully suggest you do not wait the 15 days and/but go ahead with your last suggested alternative, as in do it now. Really. Why let the popcorn cool? Jesting aside, there is merit in a sustained assault of questioning from whatever quarter, that anticipates such sidestepping/bullshite as expected here.. I’m sure that a few notables will be considering your intricate and probing questionaire – why be forced to wait 30 days for due process/red tape delay.

  79. Phil. says:

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    May 22, 2014 at 7:57 am
    The nasty paid troll “Phil.”, manifestly content that a professor with whose scientific opinion on the climate it inexpertly but no doubt profitably disagrees

    The nastiness I leave to you, the sneering ad hominem is after all your stock in trade.

    All of my questions concern the circumstances surrounding false accounting by the “University” of Delaware in having corruptly allocated some of its State funding to Professor Legates without having told him, and then having corruptly used that accounting device as a transparent pretext for treating him disadvantageously compared with colleagues whose viewpoint on the climate was more in tune with its own. Whether “Phil.” or its paymasters like it or not, my questions concern records falling well within the very wide definition of “public records” contained in the Delaware Freedom of Information Act.

    This is plainly not true: e.g.5. During which of the years 2000 to 2009 was Lawrence White the University of Delaware’s General Counsel?
    ………..And does the University seriously suggest that Mr White is not both unethical and incompetent?

    What relevance does that have to those points? In any case it’s a matter of public record that White wasn’t appointed until 2009. Also insulting the officer of the organization from whom you are requesting data is rarely good practice!

    Faithfully reflecting the “University’s” wriggling desperation, this hate-filled troll tries to maintain that Professor Legates was in receipt of public funds in that, as State Climatologist, he presided over an observational network that was State-funded.

    More of the usual ad hominem, Legates certainly did preside over the setting up of the DEOS during his tenure as the State Climatologist, which as a matter of record receives state funding. It would be surprising if the funding was only made available after Legates stood down.

    “Phil.”, who will in due course occupy a particularly dusty and ill-considered corner of the Lord Monckton Foundation’s archive of the profitably feeble-minded totalitarians, whines – for whining is its stock-in-trade – that my request for information was invalid on the ground that I was not a “citizen”. Nor was the Communist front group Greenpeace a “citizen”, yet Mr White fell over himself to accommodate the watermelons.

    Actually I didn’t, I responded to another poster who claimed that ‘there was no such thing as a citizen of Delaware’, by quoting the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Ironically you later made the same reference in rebuttal of the same argument! I did make the point later that “Clearly Monckton’s status is very relevant since if his request didn’t constitute a valid FOIA request there can be no violation by denying it. Should he wish to generate a proper request for actual documents via the appropriate channels perhaps he would have more success?”
    So my advice to you is compose a proper request for actual documents, without the snarky polemic, and have it submitted by an appropriate citizen and perhaps you’ll get a more considered response.
    You state that Greenpeace is not a ‘citizen’, do you have any evidence that they did not follow the procedure of submitting a request via a local branch, signed by an eligible citizen?
    Apparently it is beneath you to actually follow the procedures required of mere mortals when dealing with bureaucracies, a little less hubris on your part might be helpful.

    By Godwin’s Law the first poster to invoke the Nazi’s is adjudged to have lost the argument, you manage to invoke both the Nazi’s and Communists in consecutive posts! Quite an achievement!

  80. One hopes, for “Phil.’s” sake, that it is paid by the word for its pointless interventions here – fortunately, on this occasion, too late to be effective in diverting the thread. It whines that I write about it ad hominem, but that is not possible because it does not post under its own name. Anyone who is as cravenly cowardly as “Phil.”, who would not waste so much of its time here unless it were paid by some totalitarian front group, and would not write as venomously as it does if it said who it is, cannot claim that any attacks against it are ad hominem. By definition and in common sense (a quality that “Phil.” entirely lacks), nothing said about an anonymous coward can be ad hominem.

    If “Phil.” wishes to be treated courteously, it should find the cojones to use its own name, and it should also learn to be civil to its betters, such as Richard Courtney. And if it continues to make a point of being sneeringly impolite about me, I shall at least have the satisfaction of knowing that while it is wasting its time and its paymasters’ money on me, the scientists who would otherwise be the victims of its poison pen can get on with their work unmolested. Many of them have welcomed my role as a lightning-rod in this way.

    Inevitably, it retreats behind Godwin’s soi-disant “law”, which was of course contrived precisely to divert people from making appropriate comparisons between the totalitarianism of the hard Left today and that of the hard Left in the National Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany in the pre-war years. It is the same species of arrogant, shrieking, intolerant, prejudiced hate speech that terrorized academics in the universities of Germany then. The hard Left has learned nothing from its terrible crimes that began with exactly the species of poisonous intolerance exhibited by “Phil.” and ended in the deaths of 100 million people. By the silence of those who could and should then have spoken, that vile tyranny became established. This time, there are those, including me, who will not remain silent and appease the would-be tyrants. As with eugenics then, so with the climate scam now, the bogus science seized upon by the hard Left will eventually be seen by all to be baseless. But this time, because a few of us have made a lot of noise, the scam is collapsing and the global totalitarian tyranny that had been outlined in the draft Treaties of Copenhagen and of Cancun failed. No doubt a further attempt will be made in Paris next year, but by then more and more of us will have spoken out, and the attempt will fail.

    All of my questions, including those about the appointment and competence of the unspeakable White, are relevant to the question whether he and the “University” of Delaware mistreated Professor Legates by the agency of a false-accounting device either by wilful malice or by socialistic incompetence. In the event that he and the university find themselves standing trial in the matter of the “University’s” curious accounting system and of its deployment as a method of discriminating against academics whose views do not accord with that of the institution, that question will be of no small importance for the jury.

    “Phil.” then deploys a favorite tactic of the Alinsky-following Communist movement: when an earlier point it had made is demolished it makes no reference to the argument by which it was demolished: it merely repeats its original point. It has been told to throw us off by suggesting that the “University” was entitled to mistreat Professor Legates because, as the State Climatologist, he had supervised a network of observation stations paid for by the State. However, as I had carefully reminded it, of the precisely three items from the Professor’s files that were thought (wrongly) to have been related to his work in receipt of State funding, not one had anything whatsoever to do with the network of observation stations. Nice try on the part of “Phil.’s” paymasters, but nobody’s buying.

  81. Alex says:

    It’s as if “the Phil” is mouthing (saying?) “If you are unhappy with the efficiency of the government’s ‘service’, you should file a complaint in the appropriate form with the relevant department.”
    No doubt, when that fails, it (and Beau Biden) will claim it is because the request was “without merit.”
    Universities now (my own state funded and chartered University of Virginia is now considered a “private corporation” not subject to FOIA as per a ruling the the state Supreme Court!)

    Soon health care in the USA!!!! (I’ve worked in a VA hospital as a reserve medic in the late 1980s — not a place I’d want to be laid up and subject to secondary infection!)

  82. Alex says:

    And yes, the VA state “supreme court” ruling still stings. What scares me is that breadth and frequency of this sort of mendacity has exploded over the past 5 years and I’m afraid of the limited capacity of society (press, average consumers, etc) to process it all. Far too much is being “gotten away with” through the sheer scale and audacity of the malfeasance.

  83. Andy says:

    Under FOIA one can request documents that may contain relevant information. No agency is ever legally required to answer questions.

  84. An agency is legally required to supply the documents that answer the questions. Let us have less nit-picking and more concern for Professor Legates, and for all scientists who are bullied by the political and academic elite for trying to find and publish the truth.

  85. Phil. says:

    Alex says:
    May 22, 2014 at 9:03 pm
    It’s as if “the Phil” is mouthing (saying?) “If you are unhappy with the efficiency of the government’s ‘service’, you should file a complaint in the appropriate form with the relevant department.”
    No doubt, when that fails, it (and Beau Biden) will claim it is because the request was “without merit.”

    No, I’m saying if you want to apply for documents via the FOIA then do it properly, clearly itemize which documents you want and be sure that you (or whoever is doing it as your proxy) are eligible to make the request. If you want to fail then write a polemic rant of over 60 questions most of which have no bearing on the documents you’d like (asking if the professor is a trustee of the university, for instance), and in the process insult the officer you’re applying to! In the first case you would have a case for an appeal in the second you’ll get nowhere.

    GreggB (a former FOIA officer) says the same thing:
    GreggB says: May 22, 2014 at 8:30 am

  86. “Phil.” continues uselessly to pick nits. The reason why I asked whether Professor Legates was a trustee of the “University” of Delaware is that meetings of the Trustees are not exempted from information requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

    And a “rant” is a series of declarative statements. In logic, a series of questions cannot be a “rant”. One suspects that “Phil.” regards the questions as a “rant” because it is contemptuous of freedom of speech and of information and is being handsomely paid to assist in the international hard-Left movement to stifle both. It, and its paymasters, will fail.

  87. richardscourtney says:

    Phil.:

    I am writing this as clearly and dispassionately as possible so if a “food fight” results then it is not – and it cannot validly be claimed to be – my fault.

    At May 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm in my post May 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm which is http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/21/tough-questions-about-foia-abuse-to-the-university-of-delaware/#comment-1643012 I wrote

    n.b. Lord Monckton is NOT requesting public records. He is calling upon the Attorney General of Delaware to investigate whether there has been a “violation” with respect to actions in response to an earlier request for public records.

    My post explained that with quotations which proved it.

    But, at May 22, 2014 at 6:45 am in your post here you ignored that reality and wrote

    Do try to keep up richard, Monckton listed the 61 questions he asked of the general counsel of the university under Title 29 (FOIA), virtually none of which could be remotely construed as an ‘FOIA request’ under the legislation.

    Lord Monckton objected to that Alinsky Tactic at May 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm where he wrote

    “Phil.” then deploys a favorite tactic of the Alinsky-following Communist movement: when an earlier point it had made is demolished it makes no reference to the argument by which it was demolished: it merely repeats its original point.

    I am now writing to ask you to desist from that tactic and, instead, to address my point. I do this because you have ‘done it again’ at May 23, 2014 at 7:49 am in your post here where you write

    No, I’m saying if you want to apply for documents via the FOIA then do it properly, clearly itemize which documents you want and be sure that you (or whoever is doing it as your proxy) are eligible to make the request.

    This is NOT about applying for documents. It is about a call upon the Attorney General of Delaware to investigate whether there has been a “violation” with respect to actions in response to an earlier request for public records.

    Richard

  88. Phil. says:

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    May 23, 2014 at 5:47 am
    An agency is legally required to supply the documents that answer the questions. Let us have less nit-picking and more concern for Professor Legates, and for all scientists who are bullied by the political and academic elite for trying to find and publish the truth.

    An agency is not, however, required to supply any documents to any Tom, Dick or Harry who has no standing under the law, who sends them an incoherent rant without clearly designating the documents requested, and insults them in the process! Let us indeed have more concern for Prof Legates, do you really think his situation is helped by your intervention? Were I dealing with the university administration such an intervention would be the last thing I’d want.

    FOIA laws have been used (abused?) by organizations of all political stripes to bully faculty into silence, I take it that you are equally concerned about harassment by organizations of all political views not just those to which you are opposed?
    For example:

    http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/24/open-records-attack-on-academic-freedom/

  89. “Phil.” yet again fails to deal with the answer I gave, but simply reasserts earlier points he had made that had been demolished – a common Communist tactic. Furthermore, the point at issue is not so much the making of the FOIA request by the Communist front group Greenpeace but the various defalcations of the unspeakable White, who disfavored Professor Legates in comparison with other faculty members, favored the Greenpeace FOIA application, disfavored the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s application, ordered Professor Legates to supply private and personal material not covered either by the FOIA application or the law, and justified his actions by reference to a false-accounting dodge by the “University”.

    From “Phil.’s” continued whining, carping, and nit-picking, I should say that the sheer quantity of detail in my FOIA request has worried its paymasters. However, the request will be pursued, and the AG will be ordered by the court to reply to the request for a petition in the unlikely event that the AG’s office, to which a hard copy of the request is being sent by recorded delivery so that the usual bureaucratic dodge of denying receipt cannot succeed, fails to respond.

    As to whether Professor Legates is happy at my intervention, which was made without his knowledge or consent, I should imagine that he is very pleased that he no longer stands alone in this affair and that the misconduct of the dreadful White has been exposed for all to see, not only by me but also by Professor Blits, whose article on this affair has appeared in many places.

    I suspect that the “University”, whose reputation is much tarnished by the failure of its President to intervene to defend Professor Legates from bullying by the now-doomed White, will take care to treat the Professor with rather greater circumspection and regard for morality and the law now that it knows it is being closely watched.

    There are no doubt other instances of attempts to curtail academic freedom in the world, but they are beyond the scope of this thread and are accordingly off topic.

  90. Robert_G says:

    “43. Given that the only three items in Mr Legates’ possession that the law student hired and inferentially supervised by Mr White were manifestly not items subject to the Freedom of Information Act’s disclosure requirements, does the University regard its teaching of law as competent, does it regard its third-year law student as competent, and does it regard Mr White as competent, and, if so, on what conceivable grounds?”

    The University of Delaware does not have a law school. The only law school in Delaware is Widener University’s Law School

  91. Brian H says:

    ‘Shut up,’ he explained.

  92. RobertG is incorrect. The “University” of Delaware has a Department of Legal Studies.

  93. Robert_G says:

    “The Legal Studies minor is designed for any undergraduate student who is interested in examining the law and legal institutions from a wide variety of perspectives. Although Legal Studies is not a “Pre-Law” program and does not provide legal or paralegal training of the sort that a student would obtain at a law school or paralegal training institute, the Legal Studies minor should be of interest to students who plan to obtain professional training in law-related fields after graduation.” http://www.udel.edu/Legal.Studies/minor/

    It is an oddity that the University of Delaware does not have a law school. A non-Delaware resident would be forgiven for thinking that–if any school within Delaware would be accredited to offer a professional degree in law (J.D.)–it would be the State University.

    The only law school in Delaware accredited by the American Bar Association is Widener University’s School of Law. I am a resident of Delaware and a third year law student at Widener.

    The reason I raised the point is that I didn’t think Christopher Monckton was aware of it when he wrote his otherwise cogent letter and wanted to give him a warning so as not to be “blind-sided” by a potentially distracting issue in the defense of Professor David Legates.

  94. The University of Delaware also now offers a postgraduate qualification in legal studies. And, of course, a student of legal studies is a “law student”. And he is being taught – inter alia – law. But, on the evidence, not taught it very well.

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