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E-M:/ Response to Mr. McKenna

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>


Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 10:05:53 -0500
From: Michael Lang <langmic1@msu.edu>
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Subject: Response to Mr. Mckenna
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It has been an interesting week with events that I would have never 
imagined to happen.  Mr. McKenna has misrepresented me, slandered me, and 
has attempted to target me as an enemy to his cause.  In addition, Mr. 
McKenna has attacked my department for no apparent reason.

For those of you who do not know me, I have been actively involved in 
numerous environmental, sustainability, community, and watershed causes 
over the years. I am completing a Ph.D. in the Environmental Toxicology and 
Resource Development departments and, with out question, environmental 
health issues are very important to me.

Mr. McKenna implied that I was involved in accepting pay-offs and 
succumbing to threats, in order to protect Dow Chemical and MSU.  These 
types of activities are completely against my nature and moral standards, 
as well as, in violation of the oath that I swore to when I became an 

As activists, we try to build coalitions in order to broaden diversity of 
support and to increase resources for the cause.   Personal attacks on 
those who hold opposing views does nothing to build a coalition and can 
work to strengthen the opposition.  I believe that open discussion and 
debate of issues is what makes our country great. Like most of you, I do 
not blindly follow all causes that have the word environment attach to it 
but rather learn about the issues surrounding the cause and then make an 
intelligent decision on whether or not to support it.

As for this Bhopal brouhaha, Mr. McKenna's "discovery" is nothing new, 
there has
been documentation on the Bhopal plant since the sixties and there is a 
plethora of information about the plant disaster ranging from news reports 
to economic and social impacts to environmental fall out to legal 
implications.  If you want to learn more about the Bhopal plant, you will 
have to go and research it in a library.  Most of the information is pre 
1997 so you will not find it on the Internet.

I do not argue the fact that the explosion at the plant and the resulting 
great loss of human life was a tragedy. I do disagree with Mr. McKenna's 

First, Mr. McKenna requested to present his proposal for involvement of the 
University Committee for Sustainable Campus (UCSC) in creating a "Sister 
City" and
supporting the cause of the Bhopal people.  I believe that this is not a campus
issue and that it is outside that mission of the UCSC.

Second, I disagree with Mr. McKenna that Dow Chemical has any liability 
relating to this disaster.  This is not based on the fact that Dow is a 
major donor to MSU and a sponsor of research and seminars on campus.  The 
amount of money that an entity gives to MSU should never blur judgment on 
whether that entity is acting immorally, criminally, or the like.

The reasons I disagree with Mr. McKenna are based on facts, laws, and the 
holdings of courts and are not based on the selected facts and 
misstatements by Bhopal activists. I could write a treatise on corporate 
law and stockholder liability or discuss why the U.S. gives full faith and 
credit to the holding of the Indian Supreme Court but I will not bore you 
with such material.  I have presented these and other facts to Mr. McKenna.

There was a discussion during the UCSC meeting on Bhopal, in which, I held 
the opposite opinion as Mr. McKenna. After the meeting was over, I talked 
to him in order to assure him that the discussion or debate was not a 
personal attack on him but rather a difference of opinion on the subject. 
We shook hands and I wished him luck with his cause.  I never expected that 
Mr. McKenna would take facts that I presented and report via email selected 
phrases that were out of context.

Mr. McKenna's personal attack on the Resource Development Department and me was
uncalled-for and inappropriate.  This type of activity is not productive, 
is not
discussion or debate, and has no place on the listserves.  I have to thank the
coordinators of the listserves and many others for their support. I did not 
know I
had so many friends.

Mr. McKenna has sent a written apology to the Resource Development 
department.  Mr. McKenna has written a very weak apology to me and is 
attempting to meet with me for a personal apology.  I accept his apology 
and consider this matter closed.

I hope that no one else on the listserves will have go through this 
experience; it has not been pleasant.  I hope that Mr. McKenna will not 
repeat these activities and learn from his mistakes.  I understand that Mr. 
McKenna has been removed from most of the listserves.  I do not believe in 
censorship and suggest that he be re-instated to the listserves.  I thank 
you for your time in reading this longer than expected message.

Have a wonderful day,


Michael Lang, J.D., MBA
Licensing Associate
Patent Attorney
Office of Intellectual Property
Michigan State University

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