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(Talking Points Memo)   John Walsh: "PTSD caused my plagiarism" Now, to be fair, realizing that it's 2am the day before your thesis defense and you can't even give a decent dissertation without vomiting all over the cute girl in the first row is pretty traumatizing   ( talkingpointsmemo.com) divider line
    More: Followup, post-traumatic stress disorders, D-MT, pirates  
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2181 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Jul 2014 at 10:06 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-24 09:35:38 AM  
Did they ever find the killer of his son?
 
2014-07-24 09:41:14 AM  
"I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,"

"I'm not saying it was PTSD... but it was PTSD"?

I would consider that a valid mitigating circumstance in terms of cutting him at least a little slack here but it still doesn't excuse what he did.
 
2014-07-24 09:42:26 AM  

vernonFL: Did they ever find the killer of his son?


Your thinking of the guy who wrote Rocky Mountain Way.
 
2014-07-24 10:08:33 AM  

quatchi: vernonFL: Did they ever find the killer of his son?

Your thinking of the guy who wrote Rocky Mountain Way.


I thought she wrote for salon.com
 
2014-07-24 10:09:36 AM  
Lame excuse is lame.
 
2014-07-24 10:10:52 AM  
Personal Responsibilitytm
 
2014-07-24 10:12:23 AM  
I think the bigger story should be that the United States Army War College gives out masters degrees for 12 page theses.  I wrote more in depth papers for my undergrad history minor.
 
2014-07-24 10:13:21 AM  
A textbook example of what not to do when caught in a lie...
 
2014-07-24 10:14:58 AM  
"PTSD" is not how you spell "cheating douchebag."
 
2014-07-24 10:19:21 AM  
i.kinja-img.com
 
2014-07-24 10:19:25 AM  
Yeah, he probably should have stuck with "I didn't mean to, I cited things badly, I'm sorry". It's not the complete truth, but if he had kept repeating that, it would probably have blown over a la Rand Paul. Instead, he just gave the media something new to run with. And the more this story gets legs, the more likely he is to lose and turn that seat over to some teabagger.
 
2014-07-24 10:23:30 AM  

JolobinSmokin: quatchi: vernonFL: Did they ever find the killer of his son?

Your thinking of the guy who wrote Rocky Mountain Way.

I thought she wrote for salon.com


I think you mean the former coach of the 49ers
 
2014-07-24 10:23:55 AM  

Epic Fap Session: Personal Responsibilitytm


Well, as Clinton lied about a blow job, the Dems have forever lost their moral high ground. Remember, they support gay marriage and other evil non christian things. Now you know why Conservatives believe the Dems are destroying our country.

Fine. Punish him. Wouldn't that strip him of his degree he earned as a result?
Or should his punishment fit the crime of being a Democrat?
 
2014-07-24 10:24:11 AM  
Hey, the man served in a war zone. These days, that automatically makes him a hero and exempts him from any blame for his misdeeds, like screwing the neighbors chihuahua...in front of the kids....while screaming "KENYAN USURPER MUSLIM GOD-HATER!".
 
2014-07-24 10:26:24 AM  

Philip J. Fry: I think the bigger story should be that the United States Army War College gives out masters degrees for 12 page theses.  I wrote more in depth papers for my undergrad history minor.


I wrote longer papers for my freshman year literature class, and I was an engineering major.  WTF?
 
2014-07-24 10:26:49 AM  

quatchi: "I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,"

"I'm not saying it was PTSD... but it was PTSD"?

I would consider that a valid mitigating circumstance in terms of cutting him at least a little slack here but it still doesn't excuse what he did.


Speaking as someone with bipolar, mental illness really isn't much of an excuse in the academic world. If it was an honest mistake--which it sounds like it was--apologize, explain the circumstances privately, and try to re-do the paper. Don't go telling the world personal crap for sympathy.

/Then again, I come from academia due to scholarships. You get a bit competitive when your financial status depends on luck and grades, you really only control one of those factors.
 
2014-07-24 10:27:58 AM  

phaseolus: [i.kinja-img.com image 636x645]




Non publication and partial publication...?
 
2014-07-24 10:28:59 AM  
I feel like the real story is that his master thesis was only 14 pages.

Mine had a minimum length requirement of 40 pages. I also had to interview at least 4 people so I wasn't just doing giant block quotes -- like Walsh did.


And on a 60 page thesis I had about 100 foot notes.
 
2014-07-24 10:33:04 AM  
"I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor," Walsh said, as quoted by the AP.

Translation of bolded portion: No, really.  He actually said that.  I know it's hard to believe, but those were his actual words.  Crazy, right?
 
2014-07-24 10:34:04 AM  

keylock71: A textbook example of what not to do when caught in a lie...


Yep.  That one should be documented in detail for future generations.
 
2014-07-24 10:34:42 AM  

Philip J. Fry: I think the bigger story should be that the United States Army War College gives out masters degrees for 12 page theses.  I wrote more in depth papers for my undergrad history minor.


Same for my Poli Sci minor.
 
2014-07-24 10:35:59 AM  

BSABSVR: JolobinSmokin: quatchi: vernonFL: Did they ever find the killer of his son?

Your thinking of the guy who wrote Rocky Mountain Way.

I thought she wrote for salon.com

I think you mean the former coach of the 49ers


You're thinking of that great character actor.
 
2014-07-24 10:37:07 AM  

Nadie_AZ: Epic Fap Session: Personal Responsibilitytm

Well, as Clinton lied about a blow job, the Dems have forever lost their moral high ground. Remember, they support gay marriage and other evil non christian things. Now you know why Conservatives believe the Dems are destroying our country.

Fine. Punish him. Wouldn't that strip him of his degree he earned as a result?
Or should his punishment fit the crime of being a Democrat?


Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act while getting hummers.

But since he plays for your team, you don't think he should be punished by the university?
 
2014-07-24 10:37:28 AM  
upload.wikimedia.org

The real question is why was he beating his kid with a baseball bat in the face?
 
2014-07-24 10:38:36 AM  

Nemo's Brother: Philip J. Fry: I think the bigger story should be that the United States Army War College gives out masters degrees for 12 page theses.  I wrote more in depth papers for my undergrad history minor.

Same for my Poli Sci minor.


shiat, I was writing 10 pages of reports a week in college. If I could muster that much concentration again I could crank out an ebook once a month. You know, because I wouldn't have to be doing the experiments and research to go into my papers.
 
2014-07-24 10:39:26 AM  
Life in the grad school is sure to make you lose your mind.
 
2014-07-24 10:39:47 AM  
I think that plagiarism is seeming to increase, but in reality, the tools to catch it have simply improved exponentially.
 
2014-07-24 10:42:00 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: "I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor," Walsh said, as quoted by the AP.

Translation of bolded portion: No, really.  He actually said that.  I know it's hard to believe, but those were his actual words.  Crazy, right?


HEY JOHN WALSH - THAT'S HOW YOU PROPERLY ATTRIBUTE CITATIONS.

// in news stories, anyway
// MLA/APA have their own rules
// APA style: "Associated Press. (2014, July 23). {$URL}."
// MLA style: "Interview by Associated Press. 23 July 2014, {$URL}."
 
2014-07-24 10:42:05 AM  
Took long enough but now people are starting to realize that Vets scream "PTSD" to get anything they want

/How do I know this? I am a Vet and I see all this nonsense
 
2014-07-24 10:42:58 AM  

JolobinSmokin: quatchi: vernonFL: Did they ever find the killer of his son?

Your thinking of the guy who wrote Rocky Mountain Way.

I thought she wrote for salon.com


I think you are mixing her up with the Missouri Senator representing District 13.
 
2014-07-24 10:43:46 AM  
biyaaatci:

"I think that plagiarism is seeming to increase, but in reality, the tools to catch it have simply improved exponentially."
--Rand Paul
 
2014-07-24 10:50:33 AM  

cman: Took long enough but now people are starting to realize that Vets scream "PTSD" to get anything they want

/How do I know this? I am a Vet and I see all this nonsense


This is true.
I'm a vet with PTSD and I used to work in a veteran's court. Some of those guys were super messed up, others just knew that if they uttered those four magic letters, everyone would feel sorry for them.
 
2014-07-24 10:52:16 AM  
He could have went an easier route. Isn't there room on the Autism spectrum for plagiarists?
 
2014-07-24 10:56:28 AM  
Can anyone explain why everyone is attacking this guy? Is he someone important? I haven't even heard of him before?
 
2014-07-24 10:57:05 AM  

PsiChick: quatchi: "I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,"

"I'm not saying it was PTSD... but it was PTSD"?

I would consider that a valid mitigating circumstance in terms of cutting him at least a little slack here but it still doesn't excuse what he did.

Speaking as someone with bipolar, mental illness really isn't much of an excuse in the academic world. If it was an honest mistake--which it sounds like it was--apologize, explain the circumstances privately, and try to re-do the paper. Don't go telling the world personal crap for sympathy.

/Then again, I come from academia due to scholarships. You get a bit competitive when your financial status depends on luck and grades, you really only control one of those factors.


I don't see how you could call it an honest mistake.  He didn't just lift a sentence of text, which is forgivable.  He lifted an entire set of recommendations and then passed them off as his own.  That's a much bigger deal and clearly not unintentional.  Good thing he is a politician because I doubt he would be able to land a job in academia after this.
 
2014-07-24 10:58:07 AM  

Nemo's Brother: Nadie_AZ: Epic Fap Session: Personal Responsibilitytm

Well, as Clinton lied about a blow job, the Dems have forever lost their moral high ground. Remember, they support gay marriage and other evil non christian things. Now you know why Conservatives believe the Dems are destroying our country.

Fine. Punish him. Wouldn't that strip him of his degree he earned as a result?
Or should his punishment fit the crime of being a Democrat?

Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act while getting hummers.

But since he plays for your team, you don't think he should be punished by the university?


Billy was getting blown by a chick so that really doesn't apply.
 
2014-07-24 10:58:13 AM  

thornhill: I feel like the real story is that his master thesis was only 14 pages.

Mine had a minimum length requirement of 40 pages. I also had to interview at least 4 people so I wasn't just doing giant block quotes -- like Walsh did.


Our master's degree has a project option for people who don't want to write a thesis.  I routinely have students take the project option because they want to work on a software project, and source code is descriptive enough that it seems pointless to write about it in English.

Even so, when students hand in their non-thesis project files, I sometimes get more than 14 pages of written documentation and data.  Without asking for it.  Without footnotes, of course, and with the benefit of having only one source, but it looks like this guy didn't really fan out in terms of sources either.

In his defense, however, I know that a lot of colleges and programs have fledgling master's programs where the "thesis" part is under construction.   Back when I got a masters in CS, the master's program had a little-used thesis option; when I signed up for it, I found that the requirement was just to write a decent enough report for whatever professor agreed to look at it.  There were no formatting standards, no formal process of defense or review or giving the department an extra copy, no guidelines for what a "thesis" should mean.  It was essentially an independent study where I saw the professor once, gave him a paper, and maybe he looked at it.
 
2014-07-24 10:59:01 AM  
Oddly enough, plagiarism can be an easy thing to f*ck up on once you're incredibly immersed in a given literature. You can sometimes forget that some information isn't well-known enough to not warrant a citation. This is why I'm paranoid as crap when I write, and my first few drafts on any given manuscript almost have citation after every sentence (which is just as absurd in the opposite direction, to be fair). Nowadays, there are also academic resources available online to submit papers through that can tell you what, if anything, in your paper is even mildly suspiciously like what is in another person's work. They're not perfect, but they do help. Using those tools, it is always mildly amusing to find out that a paper you're writing is flagged for having chunks of text that are suspiciously like other work that you yourself have published. In any event, there really is no good excuse. You done f*cked up, whatever the reason, and the thing to do is accept it. It can be a death knell in academia, but you're in politics now buddy. It's clear that obviously no one in politics give a flying f*ck about plagiarism.
 
2014-07-24 11:05:23 AM  

MindStalker: Can anyone explain why everyone is attacking this guy? Is he someone important? I haven't even heard of him before?


People were (and still are) ripping on Rand Paul for plagerism, so the Righties went out and found a Democratic Senator who plagerized a thesis he wrote for the War College.

But Curlie Sue just cribbed stuff for speeches. This guy Walsh did it in a master's thesis.
 
2014-07-24 11:05:56 AM  

keylock71: A textbook example of what not to do when caught in a lie...


blogs.loc.gov
 
2014-07-24 11:08:03 AM  

Xcott: thornhill: I feel like the real story is that his master thesis was only 14 pages.

Mine had a minimum length requirement of 40 pages. I also had to interview at least 4 people so I wasn't just doing giant block quotes -- like Walsh did.

Our master's degree has a project option for people who don't want to write a thesis.  I routinely have students take the project option because they want to work on a software project, and source code is descriptive enough that it seems pointless to write about it in English.

Even so, when students hand in their non-thesis project files, I sometimes get more than 14 pages of written documentation and data.  Without asking for it.  Without footnotes, of course, and with the benefit of having only one source, but it looks like this guy didn't really fan out in terms of sources either.

In his defense, however, I know that a lot of colleges and programs have fledgling master's programs where the "thesis" part is under construction.   Back when I got a masters in CS, the master's program had a little-used thesis option; when I signed up for it, I found that the requirement was just to write a decent enough report for whatever professor agreed to look at it.  There were no formatting standards, no formal process of defense or review or giving the department an extra copy, no guidelines for what a "thesis" should mean.  It was essentially an independent study where I saw the professor once, gave him a paper, and maybe he looked at it.


This is the  United States Army War College, so I expect better.

The fact that he hit whatever the minimum length requirement was with 14 pages, didn't have to conduct any interviews, and as you note, there appears to be no formatting standards, tells me that the programs Master's Program is a notch above a degree mill.

And in all honesty, even if the program is new, all they have to do is pickup a thesis handbook from another college.
 
2014-07-24 11:08:37 AM  

Nemo's Brother: Nadie_AZ: Epic Fap Session: Personal Responsibilitytm

Well, as Clinton lied about a blow job, the Dems have forever lost their moral high ground. Remember, they support gay marriage and other evil non christian things. Now you know why Conservatives believe the Dems are destroying our country.

Fine. Punish him. Wouldn't that strip him of his degree he earned as a result?
Or should his punishment fit the crime of being a Democrat?

Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act while getting hummers.

But since he plays for your team, you don't think he should be punished by the university?


I'm fine with it. I was asking as I don't know what the punishment is for it.
My comment on Clinton wasn't in defense of anyone, it was meant as sarcasm as everyone throws the 'Personal Responsibility' thing around pretty wildly when it comes to politicians.
 
2014-07-24 11:10:47 AM  

Pumpernickel bread: PsiChick: quatchi: "I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,"

"I'm not saying it was PTSD... but it was PTSD"?

I would consider that a valid mitigating circumstance in terms of cutting him at least a little slack here but it still doesn't excuse what he did.

Speaking as someone with bipolar, mental illness really isn't much of an excuse in the academic world. If it was an honest mistake--which it sounds like it was--apologize, explain the circumstances privately, and try to re-do the paper. Don't go telling the world personal crap for sympathy.

/Then again, I come from academia due to scholarships. You get a bit competitive when your financial status depends on luck and grades, you really only control one of those factors.

I don't see how you could call it an honest mistake.  He didn't just lift a sentence of text, which is forgivable.  He lifted an entire set of recommendations and then passed them off as his own.  That's a much bigger deal and clearly not unintentional.  Good thing he is a politician because I doubt he would be able to land a job in academia after this.


...holy shiat. Yeah, okay, on behalf of people with mental illnesses everywhere, he can go take a flying leap into a pit of starving cannibals.
 
2014-07-24 11:11:23 AM  
How hard is it to say "whoops, I f*cked up?"  FFS.
 
2014-07-24 11:17:12 AM  

Nadie_AZ: Epic Fap Session: Personal Responsibilitytm

Well, as Clinton lied about a blow job



Oh, come on, that's just a baseless rumor. Hillary has never given a blow job in her life.
 
2014-07-24 11:19:31 AM  
And maybe I'm looking at it through my field of study, but if you don't have sufficient citations, that's one of the first things anyone on your thesis committee will rake you over the coals with, if not while they review the material, then certainly during your defense.

/I had a lot of "personal communication" citations in my thesis, because asking a bunch of museum professionals about exhibit, curation, and collections policies is not something IRB needs to get involved in.
 
2014-07-24 11:29:11 AM  
My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment."

I feel for you, I really do. But that's why you should have taken a medical leave of absence finished your degree when you were able to do so.

Also, saying "My PTSD made me cheat" makes it harder for people with PTSD to be taken seriously.

Look, I don't blame my thyroid problem for being fat. I blame my cheese and beer consumption for being fat. The thyroid problem is just annoying.
 
2014-07-24 11:33:39 AM  

UNC_Samurai: And maybe I'm looking at it through my field of study, but if you don't have sufficient citations, that's one of the first things anyone on your thesis committee will rake you over the coals with, if not while they review the material, then certainly during your defense.

/I had a lot of "personal communication" citations in my thesis, because asking a bunch of museum professionals about exhibit, curation, and collections policies is not something IRB needs to get involved in.


A lot of master's programs do not have a committee and/or defense. But there is still a tenured professor who has to approve the thesis and can demand re-writes until they think it's write.

As I noted before, the fact that 14 pages satisfied whatever the length requirement was, and that there doesn't appear to be any formatting guidelines, it looks like the Master's program at the War College is a notch above a degree mill. My guess is that if you look through the archives most of the thesis are jokes.
 
2014-07-24 11:37:13 AM  

what_now: My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment."

I feel for you, I really do. But that's why you should have taken a medical leave of absence finished your degree when you were able to do so.

Also, saying "My PTSD made me cheat" makes it harder for people with PTSD to be taken seriously.



Someone threw an unsourced thesis into the lecture hall, and he jumped on it to protect his classmates. He's a hero, really.
 
2014-07-24 11:37:58 AM  

pivazena: phaseolus: [i.kinja-img.com image 636x645]

Non publication and partial publication...?


I'm guessing non publication refers to getting a particular result that goes against your own pet hypothesis and intentionally not publishing it. Partial publication would mean only publishing the results that validate your pet hypothesis and not publishing the results that challenge your hypothesis.
 
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