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.

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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.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

More buffoonery from Judge Jones

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported the following statements made by Judge Jones during the Dover trial:

Sitting in the barren visiting judge's chambers in Harrisburg (he usually hears cases in Williamsport), Jones ponders a question about the movie Inherit the Wind, starring Spencer Tracy as lawyer William Jennings Bryan and Gene Kelly as columnist H.L. Mencken.

He said he saw the film -- based on the landmark Scopes trial that tested a Tennessee law forbidding the teaching of evolution -- years ago.

Jones says he plans to watch the movie again, soon.

"It would help put things in historical context," he said. "I don't know if it would be helpful to the decision I have to make."

Then he laughs. "You know," he said, "nobody ever remembers who played the judge in that movie."
(emphasis added)

Contrary to his statement that the movie would "help put things in historical context," the movie was very loosely based on the actual Scopes trial. The movie's negative portrayals of fundies could have biased Jones against the defendants and led to some of the Dover opinion's derogatory statements about them, e.g., accusing them of "breathtaking inanity." Furthermore, Jones statement of his intention to see the movie again violated his pledge to avoid unnecessary outside influences that could affect his decision.

A page on the Univ. of Missouri -- Kansas City's website about the Scopes trial says:

Inherit the Wind does not purport to be a historically accurate depiction of the Scopes trial ..... Place names and names of trial participants have been changed. Lawrence and Lee created several fictional characters, including a fundamentalist preacher and his daughter, who in the play is the fiancé of John Scopes ..... William Jennings Bryan, Matthew Harrison Brady in the play, is portrayed as an almost comical fanatic ...... The townspeople of fictional Hillsboro are far more frenzied, mean-spirited, and ignorant than were the real denizens of Dayton.

Also, a Wikipedia article on Inherit the Wind notes several important differences between the actual trial and the play and/or the movie -- e.g., both the play and the movie differed from the trial in the following important way: "In answer to a question from Drummond concerning the Origin of Species, Brady says he has no interest in 'the pagan hypotheses of that book.' In reality, Bryan was very familiar with Darwin's writings and quoted them extensively."

Judge Jones joked that "nobody ever remembers who played the judge in that movie." In fact, nobody ever remembers the name of the judge in the actual Scopes trial, though the trial is sometimes called "the trial of the century" and is ranked very high in any list of the top trials of the 20th century. So the megalomaniacal Judge Jones decided to write as broad a decision as possible in the Dover trial in order to ensure that he would be remembered one way or another. In his Senate confirmation hearing, Chief Justice John "Ump" Roberts said that a judge is like an umpire -- it is not the umpire's job to pitch or bat and no one ever came to a baseball game to watch the umpire. But Judge Jones wanted to be the judicial equivalent of a big baseball star on steroids. You can rest assured, Judge Jones, that you will never be forgotten -- your name will become a synonym for "lousy judge."

Considering the breathtaking inanity of Judge Jones' Dover opinion and speeches following the Dover trial, an appropriate name for a play or movie about the Dover trial might be "Inherit the Hot Air."

This article adds to my rapidly growing list of articles condemning Judge Jones:

"Judge Jones wrong about Founding Fathers' 'true religion' "

"More 'breathtaking inanity' from Judge Jones"

"Adulation of Judge Jones"

"Judge Jones flunks history and philosophy as well as law and science"

"Judge Jones is hot speaker on the lecture circuit"

"Judge Jones the hypocrite"

Judge Jones gets dishonorable mention in the following article:

"NYC Mayor Bloomberg's commencement speech took swipe at ID"

My condemnations of Judge Jones' rulings in Kitzmiller v. Dover are on:

"Traipsing into breathtaking inanity -- absurd rulings in the Dover Intelligent Design case"

Labels:

21 Comments:

Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

>Some of the portrayals in the movie could have biased Jones against the defendants and led to some of the Dover opinion's derogatory statements about them, e.g., accusing them of "breathtaking inanity."<

But Jones' ruling on this case was based only on the facts. As far as "breathtaking inanity", you demonstrate it daily on this blog.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:30:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --

>>>>>>But Jones' ruling on this case was based only on the facts.<<<<<<

Jones should not have tried to learn the history of the Scopes trial by watching a highly fictionalized movie based on the trial. And for all we know, Jones might have actually thought that the movie was historically accurate. He also broke a pledge to avoid unnecessary outside influences.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 9:43:00 AM  
Anonymous john e jones iii said...

< This article adds to my rapidly growing list of articles condemning Judge Jones: >

Considering the source, I think I should consider myself especially honored.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous john e jones iii said...

It is true, btw, that Inherit the Wind was not historically accurate and deliberately cast the religious conservatives in a bad light.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous john e jones iii said...

P.S. I am an avatar of Ed Brayton. ;-) Or was it the Antichrist? I forget ...

Thursday, July 20, 2006 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Got any evidence that he actually watched it before the end of the trial? Heck, the article didn't give any indication that he intended to watch it before the end of the trial, just that he planned to watch it again "soon," in the words of the reporter.

Yet another baseless accusation from Larry.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>>>>Got any evidence that he actually watched it before the end of the trial? Heck, the article didn't give any indication that he intended to watch it before the end of the trial, just that he planned to watch it again "soon," in the words of the reporter.

Yet another baseless accusation from Larry.<<<<<<

His following statements indicated that he thought that watching the movie might help him in making the decision:

"It would help put things in historical context," he said. "I don't know if it would be helpful to the decision I have to make."

Thursday, July 20, 2006 1:44:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

No, he said he didn't think it wouldn't help his decision. It's right there in the second sentence.

The problem here is that the reporter didn't state the question asked that prompted the reply. My best guess is that the reporter asked him whether watching the movie would help with his decision. It's why I dislike news reports, because they remove so much context that it is very easy to misconstrue what the person being interviewed meant.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

W. Kevin Vicklund said ( 7/20/2006 02:13:16 PM ) --

>>>>>>No, he said he didn't think it wouldn't help his decision. It's right there in the second sentence.<<<<<<<

He did not say that he would not see the movie until after the case (including any appeals, because of the possibility of remand) concluded. Also, he suggested that he wanted to see the movie to learn the historical context of the Scopes trial. I take what people say at face value. Judge Jones has done so many stupid things that I do not see any reason to give him the benefit of the doubt here -- and there is not much doubt here.

>>>>>>The problem here is that the reporter didn't state the question asked that prompted the reply. My best guess is that the reporter asked him whether watching the movie would help with his decision.<<<<<<<

I doubt that anyone familiar with the movie would ask a question like that. Even the actual Scopes trial itself -- let alone a highly fictionalized version of the trial -- would not have been very helpful because it did not deal with the same issues as the Dover trial. Wikipedia has a long article on the Scopes trial.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 3:39:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Kevin, what's your take on the propriety, had Jones watched this film while the case was ongoing? Do you think it could be asserted that his objectivity would be compromised? (I'd think Jones would realize that the movie was somewhat fictionalized -- what difference would that make in your opinion, either way?)

You said, "The problem here is that the reporter didn't state the question asked that prompted the reply." There's more context in the link that Larry(?) provided, but you're right, it doesn't say what question prompted the remark.

Of course, there's no indication that he did rewatch the movie, but Larry(?) seems to want to blame him for having thought of it. Amazing how Larry(?) picks out and amplifies bits of innuendo like this, while ignoring the good things that this author and others say about Jones.

BTW, Inherit the Wind scored 8.2 in the IMDB viewer ratings, a very good score which puts it at #215 of the "250 all-time best movies". The highest-scoring film is 9.1 (The Godfather).

Thursday, July 20, 2006 4:11:00 PM  
Blogger Manuel said...

>>>>>>>>And for all we know, Jones might have actually thought that the movie was historically accurate. He also broke a pledge to avoid unnecessary outside influences.

But we don't know that, and that's the point -- you have no real basis to condemn the judge for these statements, as other posters have already pointed out. I close with voice in the wilderness's wonderfully accurate comment:

>>>>>>>As far as "breathtaking inanity", you demonstrate it daily on this blog.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 4:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> He did not say that he would not see the movie until after the case <

Translation: "They didn't tell me that this key wouldn't open the front door."

Thursday, July 20, 2006 7:44:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave Fafarman said ( 7/20/2006 04:11:37 PM ) --

>>>>>>>Of course, there's no indication that he did rewatch the movie, but Larry(?) seems to want to blame him for having thought of it.<<<<<<

Let's go over this again. Jones said that he planned to see the movie again "soon," but did not say how soon. His statements were reported about two months before the decision. He gave some reasons why he might want to see the movie again before making a decision: he said that the movie would "help put things in historical context" and he said he did not know if seeing the movie would help him in making a decision (but of course he might not know the answer to that question until after seeing the movie). His statements can just be taken for what they're worth.

Also, I remember reading somewhere that he said that he would avoid unnecessary outside influences, but I could not find the reference for that statement.

Anyway, he said he already saw the movie before, so I don't see how watching it again would help very much unless he was very young when he last saw it.

>>>>>>>Amazing how Larry(?) picks out and amplifies bits of innuendo like this, while ignoring the good things that this author and others say about Jones.<<<<<<

Judge Jones is such a jerk that he has turned virtues into vices. For example, his desire to follow the Constitution is normally a virtue, but then he came up with a cockamamie idea about the intent of the founding fathers:

......this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.

The above statement is not only historically inaccurate but shows such hostility towards organized religion that he should have recused himself in the Dover case.

With Judge Jones, I have learned to always expect the worst.

His statements about the movie are discussed here and here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 9:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> For example, his desire to follow the Constitution is normally a virtue, but then he came up with a cockamamie idea about the intent of the founding fathers: <

Following the Constitution sometimes requires, in some cases, determining the intent of the founding fathers, not your cockamamie "literal interpretation" of what the founding fathers meant.

Friday, July 21, 2006 8:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry said:
<< Then he laughs. "You know," he said, "nobody ever remembers who played the judge in that movie." (emphasis added) >>

So what?

Just out of curiosity -- why is "emphasis added"?

Friday, July 21, 2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said --

>>>>>>>Larry said:
<< Then he laughs. "You know," he said, "nobody ever remembers who played the judge in that movie." (emphasis added) >>

So what?

Just out of curiosity -- why is "emphasis added"? <<<<<<<

I added emphasis because I refer to the statement in my commentary.

Friday, July 21, 2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --

>>>>>Following the Constitution sometimes requires, in some cases, determining the intent of the founding fathers, not your cockamamie "literal interpretation" of what the founding fathers meant.<<<<<<

Wrong. A lot of judges and constitutional scholars do not believe in the principle of original intent. And it wasn't I who came up with those cockamamie ideas about the original intent of the founding fathers -- Judge Jones did that.

Original intent and related judicial philosophies are discussed in the Wikipedia article on "originalism."

Friday, July 21, 2006 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

<< Considering the breathtaking inanity of Judge Jones' Dover opinion and speeches following the Dover trial, an appropriate name for a play or movie about the Dover trial might be "Inherit the Hot Air."

That'll be your next project, right?

Friday, July 21, 2006 1:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

>>>>>Following the Constitution sometimes requires, in some cases, determining the intent of the founding fathers, not your cockamamie "literal interpretation" of what the founding fathers meant.<<<<<<

> Wrong. A lot of judges and constitutional scholars do not believe in the principle of original intent. <

That statement shows nothing about the statement to which it replys but it does show your lack of ability for logical thought. Show me where I said that all judges and constitutional scholars believe in the principle of original intent. My statement clearly applied to those who do. That is why the key won't fit the front door.

> And it wasn't I who came up with those cockamamie ideas about the original intent of the founding fathers -- Judge Jones did that. <

You have shown no cocamamie ideas of Judge Jones. You have given a lot of your own cocamamie ideas.

> Original intent and related judicial philosophies are discussed in the Wikipedia article on "originalism." <

I read it, did you? It agrees with me. What is your point?

Friday, July 21, 2006 6:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Wilderness said ( Friday, July 21, 2006 6:23:00 PM ) --

>>>>>>Show me where I said that all judges and constitutional scholars believe in the principle of original intent. My statement clearly applied to those who do. <<<<<<

You made no indication that your statement does not apply to those who don't.

>>>>>You have shown no cocamamie ideas of Judge Jones.<<<<<<

Wrong. This blog is chock-full of the cockamamie ideas of Judge Jones. I just love to parody his statement about the "true religion" of the Founders -- "The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by an ayatollah or contained in a Koran, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry." LOL

<<<<<<> Original intent and related judicial philosophies are discussed in the Wikipedia article on "originalism." <

I read it, did you? It agrees with me. <<<<<<<

How could it agree with you? It presents arguments both for and against originalism.

Saturday, July 22, 2006 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> You made no indication that your statement does not apply to those who don't. <

Translation: "Nobody told me that the key would not fit the front door."

Dimwit, If I say something about cattle, I should not have to say specifically that it doesn't necessary apply to elephants.

> This blog is chock-full of the cockamamie ideas of Judge Jones. <

I haven't seen them. All I have seen is your cockamamie misinterpretaions of the ideas of Judge Jones.

<<<<<<> Original intent and related judicial philosophies are discussed in the Wikipedia article on "originalism." <

I read it, did you? It agrees with me. <<<<<<<

> How could it agree with you? It presents arguments both for and against originalism. <

In what way would that preclude it agreeing me? My statement was about people who were trying to find original intent. It said nothing about people who did not believe in the validity of original intent, nor did it say anything about those who do not.

A simplified translation for Larry(?):

The key will work on the storage locker only. It will not work on any other lock.

I thought that Kevin's analogy was very good but I didn't realize quite how accurate it was. Larry(?) seems quite incapable of logical thought. He makes unwarranted assumptions and hardly ever understands the posts to which he attempts to reply, nor even the material he links to for support.

Saturday, July 22, 2006 9:20:00 AM  

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