February 13, 2010

"She began to talk about her problems getting tenure in a very forceful and animated way..."

"She seemed to be one of these persons who was just very open with her feelings. A very smart, intense person who had a variety of opinions on issues."

That was said about a woman who is now — apparently — in custody after shooting 3 of her faculty colleagues to death. Those statements sound like PR for murderers: They're forceful and intense and very open with their feelings. So expressive!

ADDED: 3 were killed:
Dr. Gopi Podila, biology department chair and professor of plant molecular biology and biotechnology; Dr. Maria Ragland Davis, professor of biotechnology and plant genomics; and Dr. Adriel Johnson, professor of physiology.
And 3 more were shot and survive:
Dr. Joseph Leahy, professor of microbiology, and Stephanie Monticciolo, department assistant, were in critical condition Friday night; Dr. Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera, professor of molecular biology, was stable. 
The woman charged with the crimes is Amy Bishop.

108 comments:

Jason (the commenter) said...

Sure Romantics are more interesting, but you're usually safer hiring a Stoic.

rhhardin said...

It's the fun story of the day.

Lem said...

I'm loud and I'm vulgar and I wear the pants in the house but I'm not a monster!

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

wv - tatendly

Almost Ali said...

Aren't Harvard grads entitled to tenure?

Lem said...

Officials said the dead were all biology professors.

An opportunity in disguise.

You dont need 3d glasses for this ;)

It's the fun story of the day.

I say there is lots of material there rh.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The reporting of the story seems a little confusing. It's part 'mass-shooting' story, part 'profile of a woman in science' story. The way they talked about her invention, I was almost expecting them to include a phone number so readers could order it.

traditionalguy said...

Her amazing display of a lack of social skills probably had been what ended her tenure hopes. Keeping her secure government job with good benefits seemed worth killing for. Another shoe drops while the Democrat/Soros engineers of our current economic downfall are only offering people false hope with no American jobs included, except for their own as highly paid Masters Of Redistribution.

AllenS said...

If there was no such thing as tenure, maybe this wouldn't have happened. I dislike tenure about as much as I dislike affirmative action.

Lem said...

“The U-Alert was triggered late because the people involved in activating that system were involved in responding to the shooting,”.. .

Lucky it was not a Christmas holiday.

wv - irabraw

rhhardin said...

Formerly alive biology professors.

Etymology asserts itself.

Lem said...

Palin said something about professors at the lectern...

Did this woman have a lectern ;)

and if she did..
Do we need a lectern czar?

Lem said...

Formerly alive biology professors.

You know rh.. you may not be that far off.

Lt Ripley morphed into a biologist/novi and she was toast in the first installment. Or so are we led to believe ;)

Lem said...

Photographs of a suspect being led from the scene by the police appeared to match images of Dr. Bishop on academic and technology Web sites.

We wouldn't want to unnecessarily alarm & confuse our Facebook students.

Pogo said...

UA Huntsville is part of the Univ. of Alabama system.

Employees at the University of Alabama in Huntsville are prohibited from having firearms on campus, even if they have a state concealed carry permit. It can be a firing offense.

Behaviors That May Result in Disciplinary Action:

"Employees are prohibited from engaging in conduct listed below and may receive discipline up to and including dismissal for doing so. This list has been established to serve as examples of behavior that could warrant a range of disciplinary sanctions. Appropriate levels of discipline may be based on the severity of employee behavior. This list is not exhaustive.

Having an unauthorized weapon, firearm or explosive on University property
";


Student housing also prohibits the possession of any type of firearm.
"2. Possession of firearms, ammunition, and weapons by students is not allowed on campus. The University of Alabama Police Department will register and store guns for students."

Notably, homicide is definitely a firing offense:
"Level Two Examples
Commits homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault or inflicts bodily harm.
Engages in felony property damage or arson.
Possesses or displays weapons on the University Campus or uses weapons or other dangerous objects to harm others.

Level 2 acts of violence are grounds for immediate termination, pending the outcome of the investigation.
"

FYI:
BISHOP, AMY, B.S. (Northeastern University), Ph.D. (Harvard University). Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences. 2003.* Research Interests: Neurobiology, mechanism of resistance to oxidative damage in the CNS, ALS and Alzheimer’s.
Email: bishopa@uah.edu

John said...

According to Ratemyprofessor (per Instapundit) she was a socialist.

I wonder if the current outpouring of detestation of socialists by Palin, the tea partiers and so on had anything to do with this?

Seems like anyone who could believe in socialism may be a bit nuts to start with. A rather dangerous type to have around a university.

Schools should be more careful.

Just sayin', is all.

John Henry

Lem said...

Mr. Gailes said. “All of these actions are going to be learning points, and we’re going to be better for this.”

Your honor these people were under tremendous.. indeed horrific stress.. at no point did my client suggest that the school would take up mass murder as a graduate curricular.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Seems like anyone who could believe in socialism may be a bit nuts to start with. A rather dangerous type to have around a university. "

If we had no socialists in our universities, we would have very few universities.

Just sayin'.

Pogo said...

Instapundit post udate:
"UPDATE: From Ratemyprofessors.com: “She expects alot and you need to come to every class and study. She is hot but she tries to hide it. And she is a socalist but she only talks about it after class.”"

Pogo said...

Another Gun Free Zone fail.

AllenS said...

And she is a socalist but she only talks about it after class

If she had tenure, then she could have talked about it in class.

Almost Ali said...

Behaviors That May Result in Disciplinary Action:

I didn't see murdering your colleagues on the list.

dbp said...

She created (or saved) three new positions for tenured professor at the university.

This will not help her personal situation though.

Jim said...

I'll be waiting for fls, garage, et al., to come here and accept full responsibility for "one of their own" any second now since every act of somebody on the right is obviously the responsibility of every conservative/libertarian on the planet and a natural outgrowth of their politics.

After all, wasn't it Pelosi and Reid who told people that their opponents were "racists" and "Nazis," and Obama who told his supporters to "get in their face?"

I'd be very interested to hear the hypocritical twisting and turning of our resident Lefists on how such rhetoric from the Left is completely unrelated to violence by Leftists, but yet still want to hold the rhetorical gun to their political opponents' heads when the shoe's on the other foot.

For the record, I don't believe that it's true in either case. Some people are just batsh*t crazy no matter what their proclaimed political leanings. Too bad that our resident Leftists, and Leftists around the country, don't agree.

Jim said...

AllenS -

If she had tenure, then she would have talked about it in class.

FTFY

Lem said...

Dr. Bishop invented a portable cell growth incubator.

Therein lies the problem..

Had she written a pier reviewable paper saying that a portable cell growth incubator would be beneficial to the field of biology all this loss could have prevented.

maybe ;)

why did she have to go a become an inventor?

AllenS said...

Either/or, Jim.

Pogo said...

Is calling her a Professor still racist? Does the NY Times mean she was uppity?

Almost Ali said...

There seems to be a growing consensus here that the prof is a socialist. Which might explain why she was denied tenure, that she just wasn't socialist enough. Especially after trying to market her (husband's) new and improved petri dish.

Lem said...

Inventor = not a scholar

anybody wants to discuss?

btw - the NYT picture thing might mean that she was not considered tenure material because of the way she looked.

i'm just putting it out there.

AJ Lynch said...

AllenS said:

"If she had tenure, then she could have talked about it [socialism] in class."

Too funny!

Almost Ali said...

i'm just putting it out there.

Yes, it's quite possible she didn't go along with the group sex part of the tenure process.

Lem said...

that she just wasn't socialist enough.

Is that conjecture almost ali?
or do you have a source?

Lem said...

Yes, it's quite possible she didn't go along with the group sex part of the tenure process.

Yes we must consider all Holmesian possibilities however remote.

Its all prelim.

and this isn't Spain.. its the web!

Pogo said...

She should use the Claudine Longet defense.

Or maybe the Twinkie defense.

Or both. Eating Twinkies made her gun go off accidentally 6 times.

The Gold Digger said...

“She seemed to be one of these persons who was just very open with her feelings,” he said. “A very smart, intense person who had a variety of opinions on issues.”

All he needed was a "Bless her heart" and everyone would have known for sure that he was insulting her.

knox said...

Aren't Harvard grads entitled to tenure?


In her mind, "yes, goddamit!!" Weirdos abound.

Almost Ali said...

Is that conjecture almost ali?
or do you have a source?


No, Lem, I'm just putting it out there.

Still, I suspect she was an underachiever in the sexual arena. And/or resented for not looking scholarly.

Althouse recently linked to a NYT article regarding the outcome of court cases, about how the sex and race of judges were found to be significant factors affecting rulings/decisions. No big surprise here, since no part of the human experience is apart from or immune to such obvious influences.

So, how can the tenure process be any different.

Lem said...

So, how can the tenure process be any different.

Beats the hell out of me..

Aren't they the smart people to begin with?

Are you implying they need Obama's help ala NCAA? or my favorite a Tenure Czar

Lem said...

Tenure Czar..

A little redundant maybe ;)

Skeptical said...

What is wrong with you people? Three people are shot to death, a few more may be on the way out, and you all are airing your opinions on tenure and socialism.

rhhardin said...

There are order-of-magnitude 10,000 Americans dying every day.

When some turn up in the news, it's because of entertainment value.

One of the forms of entertainment is posturing.

kynefski said...

There seems to be a growing consensus here that the prof is a socialist. Which might explain why she was denied tenure, that she just wasn't socialist enough.

An Althouse commentariat classic.

Lamar63 said...

Another socialist bitterly clinging to her guns and government job.

rhhardin said...

Political entertainment:

What is to be done about the women denied tenure problem.

wv: croci, life goes on.

Almost Ali said...

...and you all are airing your opinions on tenure and socialism.

And sex. You left out sex!

Besides, no one is dissing the luge event.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Dr. Bishop is an empowering female figure. Now young girls will know that they too can grow up to be professionals AND mass murderers.

Lem said...

An Althouse commentariat classic.

That's what happens with the test of time.. haven't you heard?

Lem said...

Dr. Bishop is an empowering female figure. Now young girls will know that they too can grow up to be professionals AND mass murderers.

Diversity never had it so good ;p

edutcher said...

Tenure doesn't kill people. Socialism kills people.

I'm surprised there isn't more of this, given the level of anger in your average socialist/marxist/small c communist intellectual.

WV "ingoes" The professor and jail, hopefully for twenty to life.

Lem said...

Besides, no one is dissing the luge event.

Dont forget curling..

my favorite.. i like the guy/gal with the brush.. how do you know when to add more and when to not do nothing.

traditionalguy said...

A final thought on this episode: The value in trial lawyers and their courts is the real rarity of this type of episode. If she had known a good lawyer, then she could have spent some money and gotten into the Tar Baby of the litigation system that is designed to let off the injustice anger without death and dismemberment. After a year or so when tempers are cooled and the people have found new interests in life and the Final Judgement closes the incident, then all can live happily ever after...except for Trooper of course.

Lem said...

What is to be done about the women denied tenure problem.

They did sing 'We shall Overcome' at (inside) the White House the other night..

So you could say that it IS in the presidents agenda.

Back to you rh ;)

wv - ameniti

former law student said...

"She began to talk about her problems getting tenure in a very forceful and animated way..."

Isn't it obvious? "Amy" Bishop is really a man. Only men think they can solve their problems by killing the people they believe are responsible. Men 40-50 are the most likely to take out their frustrations on their co-workers, not middle-aged women. Women are far more resilient: while they may complain bitterly, or even cry, they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again.

fls, garage, et al., to come here and accept full responsibility for "one of their own"

A gun-toting CTO at a start-up is not your typical left-winger. Sure she's not one of yours?

Timothy said...

Looks like Dr. Bishop finally responded to character assassination and career death in literal kind.

Horrible as it is, there is something bracing, if not expressive, here. She has finally done what generations of gelded PhD's no doubt fantasized about, as they watched their feared and loathed colleagues snatch away the golden ring of tenure.

Her response used to be known as "going postal." I think that's unfair to the USPS. It seems it mostly happens at academic institutions these days, but, so far, there's no snappy phrase for it. That may be because postal workers are working-class schlubs, and the academic world consists of our kids and those who are thought of as the best and the brightest. Jokey phrases about violence are not to be considered.

I'm sure it's been done before in other contexts, but someone ought to do a sociolinguistic study about how, as this case evolves, it is discussed in the media, and its effect, if any, on everyday language. Might even help with tenure.

Also, the weapons ban at the University of Alabama has been noted here with derision. There is a case to be made that a disarmed community is easy prey to those who are armed, and that the traditional American freedom to bear arms might serve as a barrier against mass killing in some cases by a lone lunatic.

I think, however, that faculty meetings do not commonly erupt in gunfights. If they did, that might be all the more reason to reexamine the very idea of tenure, and not the relative merits of .375 magnum vs. 9mm when packing heat for self-protection around the department.

Chris N said...

"She seemed to be one of these persons who was just very open with her feelings..."

Inside every scientist is an enviromentally conscious, gay friendly theater major type, ready to direct their feelings toward gender neutral insight-projects for the greater good.

In fact, next week I'm going to an NPR funded jazz festival (lots of lectures little jazz) at Yosemite. They'll be throwing up images onto El Capitan of Ken Burns National Parks Series interspersed with images of Obama, JFK and FDR etc.

Fun times.

EDH said...

I blame the Eve Ensler dutch boy hairdo.

Somewhere deep inside I know it has a really smart brain.

former law student said...

They'll be throwing up images onto El Capitan of Ken Burns National Parks Series interspersed with images of Obama, JFK and FDR etc.

Car camping at Sequoia one summer, we went to a Ranger campfire presentation. The rangers illustrated their fascinating nature talk by projecting slides on white-painted boards. This worked only until the crowd of young Angelenos shone their mom-how-do-I-find-the-bathroom-after-dark flashlights on it.

Steven said...

I don't know. I just don't know.

A biologist kills biologists, and nobody says, "Evolution in action"?

What is wrong with the commenters here?

dbp said...

The article was really lacking in important detail: What I am curious about is whether or not Professor Bishop would normally have expected to make tenure. Inventions are nice, but what really counts is bringing in grant money and publication volume in high-impact journals.

Pubmed shows three articles in 2009 and they look like reasonably good (though not top) journals.

Differential sensitivity of oligodendrocytes and motor neurons to reactive nitrogen species: implications for multiple sclerosis.

Bishop A, Hobbs KG, Eguchi A, Jeffrey S, Smallwood L, Pennie C, Anderson J, Estévez AG.

J Neurochem. 2009 Apr;109(1):93-104. Epub 2009 Jan 19.PMID: 19226373 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related articles
2.

Mitigation of peroxynitrite-mediated nitric oxide (NO) toxicity as a mechanism of induced adaptive NO resistance in the CNS.

Bishop A, Gooch R, Eguchi A, Jeffrey S, Smallwood L, Anderson J, Estevez AG.

J Neurochem. 2009 Apr;109(1):74-84. Epub 2009 Jan 13.PMID: 19183270 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Related articles
3.

Osmoregulation in Streptomyces coelicolor: modulation of SigB activity by OsaC.

Fernández Martínez L, Bishop A, Parkes L, Del Sol R, Salerno P, Sevcikova B, Mazurakova V, Kormanec J, Dyson P.

Mol Microbiol. 2009 Mar;71(5):1250-62. Epub 2009 Jan 19.PMID: 19154327 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

dbp said...

On closer inspection, I would guess the Bishop, A. in the 3rd article is a different person. So, two articles in 2009.

former law student said...

So, two articles in 2009.

Your chance of getting tenure is about the same as your chance of making partner at a top law firm. You better be planning an exit strategy. I didn't realize my masters thesis advisor was on his way out, and the department guest seminar series was actually a set of auditions to find his replacement. He ended up going to work for Bell Labs, back when that sentence had meaning.

The problem with trying to get tenure at a non-flagship campus like UAH is getting high-quality grad students to work for you, at slave wages, for close to a decade. LEP Third-Worlders are often the most you can hope for, but even they would prefer to work with a tenured prof: you may be around only five years, and you can't offer much in the way of network opportunities.

TheCrankyProfessor said...

Tenure is a problematic thing.

Remember that UAH is going to be more teaching oriented than the main campus at Tuscaloosa. She may be smart but a disaster in the classroom, and that might be enough.

It could also be (and remember, we're speculating) that her dept doesn't respect her science as much because she has worked with her husband.

Who knows - it will all come out at the trial.

William said...

Perhaps we've all encountered people of wealth who are cheap, grasping and selfish in their interactions with those who sweat the bread. And then there are those of high intelligence whose brains only serve to snarl themselves in their own self destructive plots. And there's plenty of good looking people whose symmetrical features lead to asymmetrical lives....Nonetheless, some spend half their lives thinking if they were a little brighter, a little richer, a little better looking, they could have run the table.. And there are those of character and high moral purpose whose wisdom allows them to see that it's a scratch shot from every angle. Those poor souls never get to play the game.

Kate Coe said...

I'm guessing she wasn't considered collegial enough. If not then, certainly now.

And I'll also bet she's bipolar. The student ratings show her as very unorganized.

The Huntsville comments are pretty interesting, as well.

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/02/amy_bishop_biology_professor_a.html

kynefski said...

Your chance of getting tenure is about the same as your chance of making partner at a top law firm. You better be planning an exit strategy.

Problem is that there often isn't one. There are few opportunities for mobility in a career in faculty service. The very best - HHMI fellows and the like - may hold more than one appointment in their working lives. The rest just have to hope they get to stay where they land, because there's no place else to go.

former law student said...

She may be smart but a disaster in the classroom

That never mattered when I was in school. We joked that "Freshman Disorientation" should include "Introduction to Poor Teaching." In fact, the Teaching Award was the kiss of death, like the SI cover -- no one who got it ever got tenure.

Lem said...

I blame the Eve Ensler dutch boy hairdo.

Excellent.. now if you could expand that into an Atlantic Monthly article.. and then possibly into a book.. say 300 pages ;)

I never had this much fun with the NYT.

Lem said...

Isn't it obvious? "Amy" Bishop is really a man.

Is anybody keeping tabs on the theories?

I mean how else are we going to get the credit when we solve this baby ;)

I like to think ours words mean something.

PatCA said...

Of course the article sounds like PR: she is "one of us."

Liberal, Harvard, socialist...I hate to eve say it, but can you imagine if a conservative did this?

Freeman Hunt said...

Decision to deny tenure: vindicated.

Lem said...

Liberal, Harvard, socialist..

How hard is it to look up who cntributed to Dennis Kucinich?

Do I have to do everything?

I mean if we are going to lunch such an attack on this woman I think we need to make sure what side shes on!

Lem said...

Decision to deny tenure: vindicated.

Hold on Freeman we are still debating this.

You are only one vote ;)

Irene said...

fls said:

In fact, the Teaching Award was the kiss of death, like the SI cover -- no one who got it ever got tenure.

LOL!

Kirby Olson said...

Tenure doesn't include the right to commit felonies. Generally speaking tenure can be revoked if felonies are committed. So even if she had made tenure, she still couldn't shoot up her colleagues.

Tenure protects the right to speak out, ideally.

It doesn't protect criminality!

dbp said...

In an alternate universe, Professor Bishop got tenure at the dept. meeting. In all the excitement, her pistol falls out of her purse and she gets fired for violating the firearms policy.

Lem said...

Tenure protects the right to speak out, ideally.
It doesn't protect criminality
!

What if the decision to deny her tenure was criminal too .. hello Sotomayor.

I'm not a lawyer but i know for a fact a lot of people never went to jail after the LA riots.

Just saying.

Lem said...

And I'll also bet she's bipolar.

We'll never find out her politics playing up that bit!

you telling us we have another Huffington in our hands?

Thanks a lot!

kynefski said...

..I hate to eve say it, but can you imagine if a conservative did this?

Yeah, I can. We'd get reams of outraged commentary, here and elsewhere, about how that might even have been mentioned.

Lem said...

We'd get reams of outraged commentary, here and elsewhere, about how that might even have been mentioned.

The chances of a conservative professor at a university are as remote as a liberal professor going postal..

So what's your point?

Lem said...

Ok.. Here is were I'm coming from..

If we can somehow make this woman a novi for the conservative cause.. make her plight

I dont know.. dont start asking me about waht she did.. ask me why she did it!

Hope and change.

MadisonMan said...

as they watched their feared and loathed colleagues snatch

There's the problem. If you are going for tenure, your colleagues should not be feared and loathed. Respected and admired is the better way.

What a horrible thing to happen, but I agree with Freeman -- the decision to deny tenure was, in this case, the correct one. Who wants a sociopath on faculty?

I was also left wondering about her publication record, something easily found online, usually, but somehow left out of the story.

MadisonMan said...

It is very curious that the accused shot -- and killed -- accidentally! -- her brother 20+ years ago.

Link

wv: barfsvw -- barfs verification word

Lem said...

I was also left wondering about her publication record.

MM she was an inverter.

I know that maybe Alexander Graham Bell may no mean that much today but in the real world ..

maybe shes dyslexic.. that too was left out of the story.

Lem said...

Professor accused in Ala. slayings shot her brother in Mass. 24 years ago.

A family squabble from 24 years ago.. I mean that's why the statute of limitations was invented..

Common MM you have to do better than that before you send this woman professor to the gallows.

Lem said...

Mental note.. Never allow Madison Man on your jury ;)

Lem said...

ADDED

The woman charged with the crimes is Amy Bishop.

I have been typing away.. can I claim to be doing a garage impersonation .. maybe

or trying to.. lesson learned.

something can go awry sometimes w/o you meaning to.

sorry if i x the line.

Timothy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Timothy said...

Those are lovely and admirable sentiments you've expressed upthread, Madison Man. I have never known, however, a cooperative enterprise without its portion of fear and loathing, which seem to be the default sentiments of a majority of humankind, not blessed with such a good outlook.

Dr. Bishop's outlook seems to have been very, very bad, but at least her aim was good, having perhaps become a better shot than when she accidentally killed her brother, thus sparing several of her current victims the inconveniences of going through the rest of their lives with the aftereffects of grievous injuries. As another scientist, Lavoisier, the discoverer of oxygen, said after being condemned to the guillotine by the Committee of Public Safety, he could take solace in thus being spared the pains and sufferings of old age.

I'd like to correct my error above in typing ".375 magnum." It is, of course, ".357 magnum." I doubt anyone would ever need a larger round, no matter how fearsome a department chairman might be.

Lem said...

..but at least her aim was good, having perhaps become a better shot than when she accidentally killed her brother, thus sparing several of her current victims the inconveniences of going through the rest of their lives with the aftereffects of grievous injuries.

Timothy you led me down a well tended gardened path.. nicely done.

dbp said...

The shooting of 24 years ago shines a new light on this case:

Clearly the woman is just a total klutz with fire arms. I'm sure the pistol just went off (like sudden car acceleration) and by the time the clip was empty, three were dead.

Big Mike said...

The woman charged with the crimes is Amy Bishop.

Her victims were Dr. Gopi Podila, Dr. Maria Davis, Dr. Adriel Johnson, Dr. Joseph Leahy, Stephanie Monticciolo, and Dr. Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera.

But not Dr. Amelia Bishop. Interesting. Sorry, but fair is fair and alleged murderer or not she is still a Ph.D and still has a full first name.

Kirby Olson said...

Conservatives in academia have to go silent, rather like Anne Frank.

Balfegor said...

A family squabble from 24 years ago.. I mean that's why the statute of limitations was invented.

I'm pretty sure there's no statute of limitations on murder in the US. But there is in Japan! 20 years. I think it used to be 15, but people complained. Unfortunately, this little idiosyncrasy may not survive much longer. Googling away to verify that this was still the case, I see that it looks like just this month, an advisory committee recommended revisions to the criminal law abolishing the statute of limitations for crimes carrying the death penalty and extending the statute of limitations for inferior crimes, and it is anticipated that the Diet will follow through. Oh well.

Balfegor said...

Conservatives in academia have to go silent, rather like Anne Frank.

Ye~es, because otherwise they'll be sent to labour camps by our jackbooted Obamaite oppressors and gassed. Mhmm. Er, not quite like Anne Frank, I think. Skewed hiring decisions != the Holocaust.

Synova said...

I realize that everyone wants to talk about this, maybe even needs to talk about this.

But what is there to say about it?

The families of the people who were killed are utterly devastated forever. Those wounded can't have the event taken back from them even if they are healed.

It's easier to sympathize with the Columbine murderers than with this woman because at least they had the history of harassment and alienation and psychoactive medication to explain why they did what they did. We can call that a tragedy. But what is this? Not getting tenure hardly rates. She had all sorts of options, her inventing, anything she could have done. She wasn't trapped. This doesn't even get into the range of "senseless." It's closer to "pointless". It's an emptiness and vacuum that doesn't even have a monster in place to do the killing. Just *nothing*.

So what is there to say about it?

Some of the joking bothers me. But I think I understand where it's coming from.

kynefski said...

Just a correction. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had no history of harassment.

William said...

The mind is its own place. How obsessive do you have to be to consider a tenured position at the Univ of Alabama one of life's glittering prizes? Still this kind of obsessive behavior probably drove her to get a PhD from Harvard....The juxtaposition of madness wth intelligence underlines both qualities: it's like sexual frigidity in the presence of beauty or stinginess wedded with wealth. That a mind that can function on such a high level can malfunction so badly is threatening and puts the world out of joint.

Penny said...

I've been reading comments over at the Huntsville Times. A feminist calling herself "It's Descrimination" had quite a bit to say:

"It is very likely that she was aware that at that meeting she would be denied tenure. I know first hand that you know these things are going to happen before time.
She decided she wasn't going to take it. As for those who were responsible for discriminating against her, they deserve what they got. Remember we fight wars for freedom and equailty. This was her war.
Unfortunately there were some innocent bystanders.
I don't condone the violence but I certainly can understand it.
The United States legal system is just starting to understand this issue with the supreme court decision of Back vs Hastings on the Hudson, however it takes years of sidetracking your career to fight for your rights. Even then there is no justice for those men(and I'm guessing the three dead are men) who were responsible. Their careers advance while the woman's dies.
This is a real issue facing the world today. Again, this is a tragedy but hopefully one that will get the issue of disrcimination against women, particularly smart, strong women juggling career and family, to the forefront so something like this never happens again."

Scary stuff! "They deserve what they got".

Ralph L said...

Thank goodness and Larry Summers there aren't more female science professors.

From MM's link about her brother's murder:

But Frazier said the media had been fed an incorrect story. He said that there was an argument at the home on Hollis Avenue and Amy Bishop had fired three shots, including the fatal one, then fled the house and pointed the shotgun at a motorist in an attempted carjack. She was then arrested at gunpoint by officers.

PatCA said...

The story is getting worse....

Story Worsens

Kirby Olson said...

Two of the dead were women, and one was a multicultural woman.

Which I think will change this from a feminist (those men deserved it, ha ha) into another kind of narrative.

I hope Ann links to it again tomorrow so that we can keep an eye on this one. I think it's a paradigm challenging story.

The woman was squirrelly, nuts, and out of her tree. Why didn't anyone care when she shot her brother way back when?

So many times the police themselves, and governors, just want to forgive and forget, but then more people get killed that way.

If she was only a conservative she could have always played the Anne Frank role. But she wasn't a conservative. She was a homocidal maniac.

Anne Frank, frankly, was not a homocidal maniac.

Not everybody can play every role.

Could Hitler have played Anne Frank?

Maybe.

Could Anne Frank have played Hitler?

I doubt it.

Almost Ali said...

Did she ever attend bio-camp in Pakistan?

Skeptical said...

What I am learning from this thread is that Althouse's commentariat is comically misguided about academic life: what the chances of getting tenure are, how many conservatives there are in universities, etc.

Synova said...

"Just a correction. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had no history of harassment."

You're kidding, right?

Did you ever *go* to high school?

I'm not saying anything about how bad it was, only that a person can look at the situation and see how they got there. NOT excuse them. But, say, from a writer's POV where you have to write the villain, the antagonist, or the monster... that you can see how it got there.

With Bishop you just can't - despite the quoted moron-ette who said it was her fight against discrimination. It wasn't.

From the point of view of a writer, there is no motivation there. Nothing to explain and nothing to explore.

She doesn't sound bi-polar to me, she sounds some sort of psychopath. Like her understanding of the world is second-hand and she can't figure out how upset she's supposed to be about something, but is probably half way competent at faking it.

Note that the article on her brother's killing included that her bother, two years younger, had gotten a couple of awards for science.

I found that interesting.

What this woman did, killing those people, is about as interesting to me as figuring out why a tree falls on someone and kills them. The tree isn't even a person. If it was a crime of passion, I don't believe the passion. I don't believe the emotion, no matter how she emoted and complained of her problems.

dbp said...

I could be wrong but as I remember it, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were at first thought to be victims of bullying.

Later reporting indicated that they were the type of thugs who would have been sent to reform school in an earlier era.

Penny said...

No motivation there, Synova?

Maybe nothing moving you nor me, but clearly, this woman was moved to show a room full of people who was going to have the last word.

Not that that isn't bad enough, we have assholes riding on Bishop's "wave" of psychotic destruction.

WTF?

"I'm a feminist, and hey, they deserved this"?

Look, I can handle nearly any kind of crap here on the internet, but would someone please explain to me exactly how family members and those up close and personal could possibly not notice someone's mind "drifting" to a place where someone, anyone, might have to die to make things alright?

Almost Ali said...

Penny:

Most of the time the exact same, pre-gun behavior produces no dead bodies. The problem here is that Bishop had already established herself as not only a loose cannon, but as judge, jury, and executioner.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us there are no prophets.

former law student said...

AA: Those statements sound like PR for murderers: They're forceful and intense and very open with their feelings. So expressive!

The other AA: Most of the time the exact same, pre-gun behavior produces no dead bodies.

Dr. Bishop failed to be open and expressive enough. She should have said: "Give me tenure or I'll kill you."

Even if the dept. had recommended her for tenure, typically the university tenure committee would have had to approve, as would the Dean of the school and the President of the university. If your department can't make a case for you, you're pretty much doomed.