DECEMBER 31 2008

1. The Argus-eyed University

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1. The Argus-eyed University
By Scott Horton for Harper's No Comment

We could hardly end 2008 without delivering a George Orwell
Honorable Mention to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for its
truly extraordinary “acceptable use” policy on employee Internet use.
There’s nothing strange about the language of the policy–in fact it’s
pedestrian (the Internet “may not be used for any activity which is
destructive, disruptive, or illegal” it says). But how the university
interprets and applies this prohibition might surprise an observer–
unless, of course, the observer is attuned to the peculiarities of
Alabama politics.

Case in point: The university recently fired Roger Shuler, a long-time
public relations employee who blogs on legal developments under the
moniker “the Legal Schnauzer,” apparently expressing concern in a
grievance hearing over the fact that he regularly visited and read
Harper’s....


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image captured from video

Alice Martin requested that Gary
White give false testimony against
Siegelman.
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image captured from video

Roger Shuler claims he was fired
from his job for his blog posts,
which were critical of Alabama
Governor Bob Riley and one of his
key allies, U.S. Attorney Alice
Martin.