I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Double standard for Darwinist and anti-Darwinist public officials

As I already noted on this blog, Judge John E. Jones III, the author of the infamous Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, has been spreading his Darwinist gospel as a hot speaker on the lecture circuit. He has given about a dozen speeches since the decision was released in December -- I gave examples in "Judge Jones is hot speaker on the lecture circuit", which is about his commencement address at his alma mater, Dickinson College, and "Judge Jones the hypocrite", which is about a recent speech he gave at the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological College. He also gave a speech to the Anti-Defamation League. Not all of his speech material has been in defense of the Dover decision in particular -- some of the material stressed the importance of keeping politics out of the courts -- but at least one of his speeches, at Dickinson College, expressed his personal philosophy about religion, and that speech was definitely a defense of his Dover decision in particular.

Is there anything wrong with judges expressing their personal opinions when outside the court (unfortunately, Judge Jones also expresses his personal opinions inside the court, as when his Kitzmiller opinion demagogically pandered to Darwinists by accusing the Dover defendants of "breathtaking inanity")? Don't judges have the same freedom of expression as the rest of us? OK, I agree that judges have a right to complete freedom of expression when they are not speaking in their official capacities as judges. But shouldn't other public officials also have the right of freedom of expression when they speak outside of their official capacities? Some people think that the answer is no when the public official is an anti-Darwinist top official of public education. A Lawrence Journal-World article titled "Evolution, religion comments put heat on department spokesman" says that David Awbrey, the director of communications for the Kansas State Department of Education, got into deep trouble for making anti-Darwinist statements as a panelist at a public forum (the article is followed by readers' comments). The article says, "At a Kansas City Press Club forum earlier this month, Awbrey argued that evolution proponents are practicing a religion. Supporting evolution, he said, is metaphysical speculation." Kansas Citizens for Science presents a recording and transcripts of the forum. Even though he believed that he was speaking as a private citizen, there were accusations that he represented the state Department of Education because he identified himself as the department's director of communications. Jack Krebs of Kansas Citizens for Science said of Awbrey, “They just didn’t invite him because he was an interesting journalist [Awbrey's former occupation]. He introduced himself as David Awbrey, director of communications.” So why couldn't Awbrey state his occupation just for identification purposes? When Judge Jones gave his public speeches, did the audiences have any illusions that he was not a federal judge? And would Jones have been invited to speak if it had not been for his prominence stemming from the Kitzmiller v. Dover case? Also, I doubt that Awbrey's statements would have been condemned had they supported Darwinism. Anyway, if the topic of the forum was so controversial that Awbrey was not free to speak his mind there, then maybe he should not have participated at all. However, even though Awbrey attended the forum on his own time and money, his boss, state education commissioner Bob Corkins, told him to attend.



Blogger Lou FCD said...

Your site looks very nice, Larry.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 2:22:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Lou_FCD said...
>>Your site looks very nice, Larry. <<

Thanks, Lou.

Saturday, May 27, 2006 5:12:00 PM  
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Sunday, July 02, 2006 10:06:00 PM  
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Thursday, July 20, 2006 12:34:00 PM  
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Saturday, July 22, 2006 12:34:00 AM  

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