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.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Judge says OK Ten Commandments display is OK

The Okies in Muskogee now have a good reason to be glad -- a court has ruled that a Ten Commandments monument at a county courthouse in Oklahoma is constitutional.

The courts have ruled in different ways in cases involving displays of the Ten Commandments and other symbols of a religious nature on public property. The unpredictability of court decisions in these cases in particular helps show the need for barring or capping attorney fee awards in establishment clause cases. The threat of an exorbitant attorney fee award in an establishment clause lawsuit often deters govermment entities from doing things that the courts might find to be constitutional, and in establishment clause cases that do go to trial, exorbitant fee awards heavily penalize government entities for innocently having guessed wrong about how the courts would rule. Two cases where the courts have come close to ruling particular evolution disclaimers to be constitutional are Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish(2000) and Selman v. Cobb County (now on remand in a federal district court). Only hypocrites like Ed "It's My Way or the Highway" Brayton -- who runs the "Dispatches from the Culture Wars" blog -- and other bloggers over on Panda's Thumb see nothing wrong with these exorbitant attorney fee awards in establishment clause cases.

BTW, the Alliance Defense Fund, which represented the defendant in the OK case, misrepresented a motion made by the ACLU:

The ACLU had originally submitted a motion to the court requesting that its name be held in confidentiality so that the public and any jury would not know that it was behind the suit. The request became moot when the case went to trial without a jury.

Of course, it would have been impossible to hold ACLU's name in "confidentiality," especially considering that the ACLU was a plaintiff-in-name and not -- as in so many lawsuits -- an unnamed plaintiff-in-fact just providing legal representation for a mascot or mascots (and even then the ACLU's name could not be held in confidentiality). What the motion asked for was a prohibition on telling the jury about the ACLU's other lawsuits or activities.

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

There seems to be the misconception that there is only one undisputed version of the Ten Commandments.

Which version do they want to display?

Sunday, August 20, 2006 3:50:00 AM  
Blogger Strannix said...

Obviously, the version written in the original King James' English!

Sunday, August 20, 2006 4:25:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Wilderness said...

>>>>> There seems to be the misconception that there is only one undisputed version of the Ten Commandments. <<<<<<

Any such misconception is irrelevant here -- the only differences between the different versions are in the numbering and not in the contents.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 5:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Obviously, the version written in the original King James' English! <

Why not the original of some other version? Is the King James' edition the official version of the U.S. government?

> Any such misconception is irrelevant here -- the only differences between the different versions are in the numbering and not in the contents.<

Wrong as usual!

Sunday, August 20, 2006 9:07:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --
<<<<<> Any such misconception is irrelevant here -- the only differences between the different versions are in the numbering and not in the contents.<

Wrong as usual! <<<<<<

VIW, you just keep cluttering up this blog with unsupported assertions. If you have a point to make, you should present some arguments and/or references.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Ten Commandments:

The passage conventionally considered to include the commandments in chapter 20 of the book of Exodus contains more than ten imperative statements (while Jewish law sees each as representing a separate commandment), totalling 14 or 15 in all.

Nonetheless, the Bible itself assigns the count of "10". The Hebrew phrase ʻaseret had'varim - translated as the 10 words, statements or things Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13 and Deuteronomy 10:4.

Religious groups have divided the commandments in different ways.

For instance, Catholics and Lutherans see the first six verses as part of the same command prohibiting the worship of pagan gods. Protestants (except Lutherans) separate all six verses into two different commands (one being "no other gods" and the other being "no graven images"). The initial reference to Egyptian bondage is important enough to Jews that it forms a separate commandment. Catholics and Lutherans separate the two kinds of coveting (namely, of goods and of the flesh), while Protestants (but not Lutherans) and Jews group them together.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Larry(?), you just keep cluttering up this blog with unsupported assertions. Then you go on to prove my case.

If you have a point to make, you should present some arguments and/or references.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the Ten Commandments:

> Religious groups have divided the commandments in different ways. <

More than that, some have eliminated one or two and split remaining ones in ways that hide the missing parts.

Now which one of these versions do you want to be the government's "official" version?

Sunday, August 20, 2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW said --
<<<<<<> Religious groups have divided the commandments in different ways. <

More than that, some have eliminated one or two and split remaining ones in ways that hide the missing parts.

Now which one of these versions do you want to be the government's "official" version? <<<<<

Exactly WHAT is your point? Does any of this stuff make any difference so far as these Ten Commandments court cases are concerned?

And how can the government have an "official" version of the Ten Commandments if the Constitution bars the government from establishing a religion?

Furthermore, what does all this have to do with my main purpose in posting this article: to promote the proposal to bar or cap attorney fee awards in establishment clause cases?

Monday, August 21, 2006 12:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Exactly WHAT is your point? Does any of this stuff make any difference so far as these Ten Commandments court cases are concerned? <

Duh! Come on Larry(?). Even I don't believe that you are as stupid as you are now pretending to be.

> And how can the government have an "official" version of the Ten Commandments if the Constitution bars the government from establishing a religion? <

You hopeless idiot. That is exactly my point.

> Furthermore, what does all this have to do with my main purpose in posting this article: to promote the proposal to bar or cap attorney fee awards in establishment clause cases? <

Is that why you titled this "Judge says OK Ten Commandments display is OK"? That is because you wanted it to be about attorney fee award caps and had no intention of discussing the Ten Commandments?

You must be smoking a bad batch.

Monday, August 21, 2006 5:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment count is still screwed up. I guess if you don't know how to use the other Blogger features you certainly don't know how to fix this.

Ask one of the local kids or other inmates for help.

Monday, August 21, 2006 3:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Sherry D said...

I miss a few weeks and I see that Larry(?)'s mental condition has continued to deteriorate.

1. Does anyone have any ideas as to the cause?

2. Can anything be done to help him? I realize that this would be difficult without his cooperation.

3. Real Dave, can you as a family member do anything?

Monday, August 21, 2006 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said ( 8/21/2006 03:02:47 PM ) --

>>>>> The comment count is still screwed up. I guess if you don't know how to use the other Blogger features you certainly don't know how to fix this.

Ask one of the local kids or other inmates for help. <<<<<<

You lousy worthless piece of crap, as for my not knowing how to use the blog features, on two occasions I had to add coding to the blog template to create the URL link list and the post-folding feature, so don't tell me I don't know how to use the blog features.

I suppose you mean the "hit (visit) counter," not the "comment counter." The "comment counter" feature is working.

I don't use a hit counter myself, so how in the hell am I supposed to know that it is not working?

Also, some things on this blog just don't work right, e.g., the blog searcher recently stopped working altogether (it never worked very well).

I checked Blogger Help and found out that a hit counter is an add-on feature. There are several different hit counters available, so I will have to take a look at them.

I have not yet found the coding for the feature I want most of all -- a list of the most recent comments posted anywhere on the blog.

Monday, August 21, 2006 4:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You unspeakable imbecile, from what you are bragging about, you look like someone who has learned to make change and calls himself an expert on minting coins.

> I suppose you mean the "hit (visit) counter," not the "comment counter." The "comment counter" feature is working. <

If I had meant the hit counter, I would have called it the "hit counter". What I actually meant is the comment counter which is why I called it a "comment counter".

At the top of this page I see that there are 11 comments. I can count 11 comments here preceeding this one. On your home page it indicates that there are zero comments on this thread.

> I don't use a hit counter myself, so how in the hell am I supposed to know that it is not working? <

Quite irrelevant. I am not talking about a hit counter. You seem to always want to answer a guestion other than the one that is asked. I don't know if this is intentional or just more evidence of your logical disconnect.

> Also, some things on this blog just don't work right <

The blogger's brain for example.

> I checked Blogger Help and found out that a hit counter is an add-on feature <

Who needs it? Let's start with fixing the comment counter. You have to crawl before you can walk.

> I have not yet found the coding for the feature I want most of all -- a list of the most recent comments posted anywhere on the blog. <

Ask one of the local kids how to write the code yourself. It looks like you don't know much more about computers than you do about law. It has to be a little more, however. If you knew only as much, your computer would have already blown up in your face. Of course the damage done would have been covered up by the grease paint and bulb nose that you seem to be wearing.

Monday, August 21, 2006 5:19:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said --

>>>>>If I had meant the hit counter, I would have called it the "hit counter". What I actually meant is the comment counter which is why I called it a "comment counter". <<<<<<

Oh.

>>>>>>At the top of this page I see that there are 11 comments. I can count 11 comments here preceeding this one. On your home page it indicates that there are zero comments on this thread. <<<<<<

Well, the home page comment counter is working now.

Comments normally appear immediately on the white-background comment entry page. However, there is often a time lag -- sometimes several hours -- before the comments appear on the tan-background display pages for the individual posts (articles). The comment counts on the home page and the archive pages are probably the counts for the tan individual-post display pages. There is nothing that I can do about this time lag. To be sure of seeing the latest comments, it is best to go to the white comment entry pages. This time lag is no problem for me personally because I am immediately emailed copies of all comments -- the only problem is that the threads where they are posted are not indicated. Anyway, this time lag might not be the cause of the problem that you observed, because the time lag is normally much shorter than the time difference between the 1st and 11th comments and you said that the comment count on the home page was still zero after the 11th comment was entered. Maybe what you observed was some kind of fluke -- things often don't work right on computers.

<<<<<<> I checked Blogger Help and found out that a hit counter is an add-on feature<

Who needs it? <<<<<<

As King Lear said, "O, reason not the need!" I don't need it, but I want it. I really want to see how much traffic this blog is getting. Comment counts are poor indicators of traffic levels because a lot of visitors don't leave a comment, particularly if they agree with the articles posted.

Monday, August 21, 2006 7:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Well, the home page comment counter is working now. <

No it is not.

> there is often a time lag -- sometimes several hours -- before the comments appear on the tan-background display pages for the individual posts (articles). <

There appears to be a lag longer than that. The first comments on this thread appeared early Sunday morning yet it still shows no comments. The count is behind several days on some other threads. It is therefore impossible to see if anything has been added to a thread without checking directly.

> Maybe what you observed was some kind of fluke -- things often don't work right on computers. <

This, as anyone more familiar with computers would know, is not a problem with a local computer. It is a problem at the blogger site. That may or may not be due to code you have added but I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

> Comment counts are poor indicators of traffic levels because a lot of visitors don't leave a comment, particularly if they agree with the articles posted. <

I rarely leave comments at all but I doubt that you are missing anything with people who agree with you. Most people who visit this blog are here for the laughs. "Larry's Cry Room" has been getting a lot of attention on the net, but I haven't seen any of this attention that you would appreciate knowing about.

Monday, August 21, 2006 7:51:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said --

>>>>> There appears to be a lag longer than that. The first comments on this thread appeared early Sunday morning yet it still shows no comments. <<<<<<

Yes -- I said that the time lag I described was probably not the cause of the problem -- but it is still important to know about this time lag (i.e., the fact that comments are posted immediately on the white comment entry page but often not on the tan individual-post page).

<<<<<> Maybe what you observed was some kind of fluke -- things often don't work right on computers. <

This, as anyone more familiar with computers would know, is not a problem with a local computer. It is a problem at the blogger site. <<<<<<

You stupid dummox -- do you think I don't know that? I was talking about the blog service's computers.

>>>>>> I rarely leave comments at all but I doubt that you are missing anything with people who agree with you. <<<<<<<

A hell of a lot of people agree with me -- far more than agree with you.

>>>>>> Most people who visit this blog are here for the laughs. <<<<<<

Yeah -- to laugh at seeing you and other trolls make fools of yourselves.

>>>>>> "Larry's Cry Room" has been getting a lot of attention on the net <<<<<<

Where? I would very much like to know. I have not seen much outside of Ed Brayton's blog, and even that has largely disappeared lately.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 5:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

I will step in for "anonymous" here. He/she seems to be stealing a lot of my thunder. Please forgive me, anonymous, if I am stealing yours.

> but it is still important to know about this time lag (i.e., the fact that comments are posted immediately on the white comment entry page but often not on the tan individual-post page). <

1. Did you believe that there were many people who did not know this?

2. Why is it important?

> You stupid dummox -- do you think I don't know that? <

I knew that you didn't know that as proved by the next part of your statement: "I was talking about the blog service's computers." You obviously don't know how the count is created.

> A hell of a lot of people agree with me -- far more than agree with you. <

I am referring to Earth people. Not your imaginary friends.

> Yeah -- to laugh at seeing you and other trolls make fools of yourselves. <

No -- to laugh at the troll who operates this blog.

> Where? I would very much like to know. <

You were once quite impressed with the phrase "Seek and ye shall find."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 7:24:00 AM  
Blogger Kurt A Ehrsam said...

To answer the question that appears to have been lost, the "Ten Commandments" inscribed on the memorial was not any of the usual versions. Rather, it is the Classic Comics summary version found as the frontpiece to many children's Bibles. No, this is not particularly relevant to the discussion.

What is perhaps relevant is that the case was open and shut and required no great amount of legal time or expertise. This rather undercuts the argument for capping Fee and Costs awards; the cases running up the large bills are those which any reasonably intelligent attorney should be able to tell the state is a loser -- as the insurance company attempted to do in Dover.

As I have said in the past, I don't have a problem with fee caps necessarily, so long as both sides are being limited equally. But Larry and I disagree as to the level of the problem here.

By the way, the opinion in this one is a must-read, especially if you are a fan of Dante.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 6:57:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< The comment count is still screwed up. >

You must be reading the comment count pertaining to the adjacent thread.

I have always observed the counts to match, and to be updated immediately.

Of course, you could be looking at a cached copy of the page (this is not the symptom you describe though) -- but that can be fixed by a refresh.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< By the way, the opinion in this one is a must-read, especially if you are a fan of Dante. >

Which one is "this" one? And, why is it a "must-read" and what does Dante have to do with it?

URL link please for "the opinion" ...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> You must be reading the comment count pertaining to the adjacent thread. <

No. Right now, with 19 comments showing on the white page, the gold page shows no comments. Erasing everything in the cache and reloading has no effect. Using another machine has no effect.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Kurt A Ehrsam said ( August 22, 2006 6:57:29 PM ) --

>>>>>What is perhaps relevant is that the case was open and shut and required no great amount of legal time or expertise. This rather undercuts the argument for capping Fee and Costs awards; the cases running up the large bills are those which any reasonably intelligent attorney should be able to tell the state is a loser. <<<<<

Your reasoning is crazy. A case which "any reasonably intelligent attorney should be able to tell the state is a loser" would be an "open and shut" case -- cases which run up large bills tend to be complex and unpredictable cases. One of the ideas behind a fee cap is that the cap would likely cover the "open and shut" cases while at the same time discouraging lawsuits over marginal or borderline constitutional violations, which tend to be the most expensive to litigate -- and where marginal or borderline cases are litigated, a fee cap would encourage the plaintiffs to save costs.

>>>>>> as the insurance company attempted to do in Dover. <<<<<<

The insurance company in the Dover case said nothing -- it was the school board's own attorney ("solicitor") who advised against the ID policy.

No one can predict the outcome of these "evolution disclaimer" cases because these cases are breaking new ground. Previous evolution-education cases which reached the Supreme Court concerned a complete ban on teaching evolution (Epperson v. Arkansas, 1968) and equal time for evolution and creation science (Edwards v. Aguillard, 1987). Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish (2000), a disclaimer case, came close to being overturned on appeal, and the appeals judges in Selman v. Cobb County, another disclaimer case, appeared to be leaning towards reversal but decided to remand the case because of missing evidence.

The one thing that made the Dover decision predictable was the blatant religious motivations of the fundies on the school board.

>>>>> As I have said in the past, I don't have a problem with fee caps necessarily, so long as both sides are being limited equally. <<<<<<

I don't know what you mean by "both sides." If you mean the plaintiffs and the defendants, the courts have ruled that the government is not eligible for an attorney fee award in civil rights cases unless the lawsuit is ruled to be frivolous -- see Sec. IV, Attorney Fees, Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District (1994). Nothing in the fee-shifting statute (42 USC §1988) itself bars or conditionally bars an attorney fee award to the government.

My proposal is to have a fee cap for both establishment clause lawsuits and free exercise clause lawsuits -- my reasons are given here.

>>>>>Larry and I disagree as to the level of the problem here. <<<<<<

Ahem. The plaintiffs In the Kitzmiller v. Dover case indulged in an orgy of waste: 9-10 attorneys of record, with 5 attorneys -- including 2-3 partners -- from Pepper Hamilton; at least 5 attorneys in the courtroom on every day of a six-week trial; and six expert witnesses (though there was no charge for the expert witnesses, the large number of them greatly extended the lengths of the trial and the discovery phase).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 5:16:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

<<<<<<>Fake Dave said, "You must be reading the comment count pertaining to the adjacent thread." <

No. Right now, with 19 comments showing on the white page, the gold page shows no comments. Erasing everything in the cache and reloading has no effect.<<<<<<

Even if there is a problem, there is nothing I could do about it except notify the blog service provider. Personally, I don't consider a malfunction in the comment counters to be an extremely serious problem, because the comment threads can be very quickly checked. There are much worse problems with this blog: a malfunctioning blog searcher and the lack of a list of the most recent comments posted anywhere on the blog.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 5:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Fake Dave said <

It appears that there are posts appearing to you that are invisible to the rest of us. I see only posts from Real Dave, your brother, whom you keep telling to stop posting. You must feel like a complete asshole with this hypocrisy.

> There are much worse problems with this blog: <

What an understatement! Still it is one of the most entertaining blogs on the net. "Larry's Cry Room" is becoming very well known.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

> You must be reading the comment count pertaining to the adjacent thread. <

>> No. Right now, with 19 comments showing on the white page, the gold page shows no comments. Erasing everything in the cache and reloading has no effect. Using another machine has no effect. <<

What URL do you have for the "gold page"? (Should be http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/ ) More importantly, what browser are you using?

I took a look at the "page source" for the gold page. The counter is part of a rather ordinary-looking "a href" expression and is hardwired into the "a" part. I have seen an alternative HTML encoding (not "a") sometimes used (I don't recall offhand what it was, but IIRC it was 3 chars instead of one). My guess is that your browser is expecting the alternate and does not understand the "a".

If your browser is an oldish version, you could try updating it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said --

>>>>I took a look at the "page source" for the gold page. <<<<<

I hope that you are not looking at the template coding of this particular blog, you lousy hacker. I thought that only I was supposed to have access to that. Anyway, it is OK if you look at it just so long as you can't change it.

>>>> The counter is part of a rather ordinary-looking "a href" expression and is hardwired into the "a" part. I have seen an alternative HTML encoding (not "a") sometimes used (I don't recall offhand what it was, but IIRC it was 3 chars instead of one). <<<<<

The 3 chars form that I have used before is "url", from URL (Uniform Resouce Locator), the name for Internet links. This form has worked on comments on Panda's Thumb, but I don't know where else it works.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 1:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Real Dave Said...

> What URL do you have for the "gold page"? (Should be http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/ ) <

It is http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/ What else would it be?

> importantly, what browser are you using? <

Sometimes Netscape 8.1, sometimes Internet Explorer 8.0 beta, sometimes Deerpark Alpha 2. The problem has shown itself to be independant of the browser (or even of the machine and ISP.

Fake Larry(?) said...

> I hope that you are not looking at the template coding of this particular blog, you lousy hacker. I thought that only I was supposed to have access to that. <

Pathetic, isn't he?

Further:

> The 3 chars form that I have used before is "url", from URL (Uniform Resouce Locator), the name for Internet links. This form has worked on comments on Panda's Thumb, but I don't know where else it works. <

If you don't have a clue what we are talking about, there is no need to attempt to participate. You only demonstrate your well known ignorance.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 12:20:00 AM  

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