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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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, September 30, 2006

Report on Judge Jones' speech at KU

I previously announced that Judge John E. "I am not a lousy judge" Jones III was going to speak about the principle of "judicial independence" at Kansas University on September 26. This is the same topic as his speech to the Anti-Defamation League a few months ago. Of course, he is still exploiting this principle as a smokescreen for the purpose of trying to avoid legitimate criticisms of his decisions.

Judge Jones' KU speech was discussed on the Red State Rabble blog. His ADL speech gave only one example of an alleged challenge to the principle of judicial independence -- Phyllis Shafly's statement that his ruling "stuck the knife in the backs of those who brought him to the dance" -- but the KU speech added some other examples as well. The Red State Rabble noted:

After he issued his ruling, Jones noted, he was called a "fascist judge" by television pundit Bill O'Reilly. Evangelist Pat Robertson told the citizens of Dover, who voted out the pro-ID majority on the school board, not to turn to God, "you just rejected him from your city."

Right wing activist Phyllis Schlafly wrote that Jones' ruling "stuck the knife in the backs of those who brought him to the dance.”

Jones quoted a comment published on William Dembski's pro-ID Uncommon Descent blog as summing up this line of thinking on the role of judges and the courts:

This is all about Judge Jones. If it were about the merits of the case we know
we’d win. It’s about politics… Judge John E. Jones… is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks… appointed by GW hisself… Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies.

I think that Jones does not realize or pretends not to realize that a lot of the invective is just the result of people thinking that he was unfair.

Jones also repeated his view about the meaning -- or what some might consider to be a lack of meaning -- of the term "activist judge":

Jones said that after the ruling pundits called him an "activist judge, a label now applied to any judge with whose decision we disagree."

I think that Judge Jones' above statement really signifies that the term "activist judge" is now becoming more consistent with the general meaning of the term "activist" as being a person with an agenda who will stop at nothing in pursuit of that agenda. The Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines "activism" as a "doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue." Different factions trying to hijack the term "activist judge" for their own exclusive use have variously defined the term as meaning a judge who is a liberal, or a conservative, or a broad constructionist, or an originalist, or what have you.

The Lawrence Journal-World noted that Jones also took swipes at the general public:

“People do not really understand how the courts work in the United States,” he told the audience Tuesday.

After the decision, conservative pundits vilified him, he said, calling him “fascist” and predicting natural disasters.

For a week, federal marshals protected him from a constant barrage of death threats, he said. It’s happened to other federal judges in high-profile cases.

The problem stems from what Jones called “a creeping civic stupidity,” where the public, for whatever reason, thinks judges should bow to what politicians say or polls show.

No, Jones, the stupidity is yours, and it is not "creeping" -- see
Judge Jones, March of Slimes "activist judge" poster boy

The Thoughts from Kansas blog said -

-Jones set as a precondition of his visit that he wouldn't discuss the contents of his ruling nor the process of the trial. His ruling is comprehensive, and he clearly doesn't think there's much to add.

Well, just because there wasn't much to add doesn't mean that there wasn't much to debate, but given the short amount of time available for the speech and dialogue, it was probably necessary to set some priorities.

Thoughts from Kansas also briefly discussed the dialogue session held on the day after the speech:

In the speech and his question and answer period, Jones steered clear of commenting on any ongoing or future controversies. That was frustrating, but he did let down his hair once or twice. An audience member asked whether Casey Luskin's criticisms on behalf of the Discovery Institute had any validity. His answer was simply "no."

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6 Comments:

Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

If you discount the obligatory, pro forma slams against Judge Jones, and look at Larry(?)'s responses in the "Co-evolution redux" thread, there appear (to me anyway) to be some glimmers of rationality there. Perhaps there's hope.

Saturday, September 30, 2006 5:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

You are straining too far Dave. You stretch to too great an extreme to find anything to indicate your brother has an advantage over a March hare.

Sunday, October 01, 2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said --

If you discount the obligatory, pro forma slams against Judge Jones,

So you think that I am too hard on Judge Jones? Then what do you think of the Overwhelming Evidence website's entry page, which has a picture of Judge Jones with a silly grin and the caption,

Judge Jones?

He's a wacky zany activist,
He's a rogue,
and he loves that old time Darwinian religion!

Monday, October 02, 2006 4:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Then what do you think of the Overwhelming Evidence website's entry page, which has a picture of Judge Jones with a silly grin and the caption, <

Real Dave probably thinks that it shows 1. that you are not the only lunatic who dislikes Judge Jones and 2. everyone that we have seen so far who dislikes Judge Jones seems to be in a state of arrested development.

Monday, October 02, 2006 5:39:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< ... what do you think of the Overwhelming Evidence website's entry page, which has a picture of Judge Jones with a silly grin and the caption,

Judge Jones?

He's a wacky zany activist,
He's a rogue,
and he loves that old time Darwinian religion!
>

A "silly grin" AKA "smile"? Would a glare or frown be preferable?

Darwin was too recent to be "old time religion".

Given the pretentiousness of a title like Overwhelming Evidence, it is noteworthy that no evidence is presented to accompany the little ditty. They'd do better to let readers draw their own conclusions, rather than pre-announcing what conclusions you are supposed to reach.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 1:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Given the pretentiousness of a title like Overwhelming Evidence, it is noteworthy that no evidence is presented to accompany the little ditty. <

It is interesting that Larry(?) finds evidence where it isn't there. Recently we were promised that he would give "irrefutable" evidence that the Pandas book was banned. He then went on to prove that it wasn't banned. Larry(?)'s bleatings are giving a great deal of comfort to those who want to show the idiocy of evolution's opponents.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 1:58:00 PM  

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