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.

Name:
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.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Judge Jones the megalomaniac

megalomania: "a delusional mental disorder that is marked by infantile feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur." -- Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Roddy Bullock said on The ID Report blog,

All judges face difficult decisions, and all judges make bad decisions. But the aftermath of the Dover litigation has shown that in this case it seems U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones, III found a chance to push the limits of judicial restraint for a once-in-a-lifetime chance at history-making. Like a present day Clarence Darrow, he recognized the chance for media-driven immortality—the lights, the cameras, the high-powered attorneys, even Charles Darwin’s great-great-grandson was at his trial. Dispensing with subtlety or nuance, in the opinion of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District Judge Jones seemed determined to single-handedly win the culture war based on a set of facts suitable only for a skirmish. Knowing his scolding of a few religious folk would make him a darling to those he clearly holds in higher esteem, he took great delight in detailing the “breathtaking inanity” of the local school board. If only he had stopped there he might have retained some judicial dignity; but he felt it necessary to hold as a legal ruling that intelligent design is not science, and lifted word-for-word portions of the ACLU briefs to prove it.

Realizing on page 137 of his 139-page opinion that the slip of his judicial activism was showing, the judge awkwardly pulled down his worked-up robe by sternly assuring us “this is manifestly not an activist Court.” As if his self-serving denial of activism were not confirmation enough of, well, his activism, Judge Jones has spent the last year on the sawdust trail doing what judges rarely do: explaining and justifying. Obviously enjoying his new cult following, he assures fawners everywhere how importantly epic was his decision (while patronizing critics with a “a badly needed civics lesson”).

Ed "It's my way or the highway" Brayton of course disagrees with the above assessment, saying,

This is a pure ad hominem. It has nothing at all to do with the validity of his ruling, it's purely a conclusionary attack based upon a psychological analysis of the judge that Bullock has absolutely no way of supporting. He cannot possibly know Judge Jones' motivations for he is not inside Jones' head.

However, it is not necessary to be inside Jones' head, because his own words condemn him. Jones said in a speech at a national executive committee meeting of the Anti-Defamation League,

I was at one time counted as a potential candidate for governor of Pennsylvania in 2002. In the face of that, I chose to, as it were, jump off the political bandwagon -- merry-go-round expresses it better -- and seek a federal judgeship. An odd choice, some believed, but it wasn't really that, because since my days as a young lawyer, I had always aspired to be a judge. I love my job, and I wanted to have a chance to handle matters of importance.

What guarantee or promise was there that he would ever be the judge in a really important case? And why did he think that a federal district judge would be more likely to handle matters of importance than a governor of a major state?

As he continued his ADL speech, Jones got carried away in a megalomaniacal description of his feelings of basking in fame and glory --

It was evident that the lawyers had a very palpable sense that they were involved in something bigger and different than anything that they had ever experienced. As a result, I watched during the proceedings as some very good lawyers became even better. They took their game, so to speak, up a few notches because of the case they found themselves in. And for those of you who prefer sports analogies, it was at least a playoff game for them, if not the Super Bowl, and they knew that.

In September of last year, as you now know, we commenced the trial. It was, at times for me and I think for most of us who were involved in the trial, a rather surreal experience. As I noted at the outset, as judges, we labor most days in relative obscurity. The first day of the Dover trial, however, I arrived at the Federal Courthouse in Harrisburg to find it ringed with television satellite trucks, the hallways were jammed, and security, despite our best efforts, was clearly overloaded. We had electronic and print media from around the world present throughout the trial. We even had Charles Darwin's great-great grandson in attendance.

I can never see what is taking place in my courtroom before I emerge from chambers and take the bench, so I wondered what I would find. Well, when I emerged and as I walked up to take my seat on the first day of the Dover trial, I saw something that I had never seen before in my judicial career. I saw a courtroom packed wall-to-wall with high-tech gear, lawyers, parties, spectators, United States marshals, and a number of sketch artists. The sight of all this almost took my breath away. In fact, it took me a few moments to compose myself as the trial started. I had never seen anything like it.

. . . . as I looked at the monkeys projected on the wall in the courtroom, I was gripped for the very first time with the thought that I might be presiding over something that, at least in its time, was viewed as not only historic, but was perhaps a newer version of the Scopes Monkey Trial. And I had a very palpable sense, a very curious sense, that I could be living history.

At this point, the men in white coats should have come to take Jones to the loony bin to be committed for megalomania.

Bullock also wrote,

To prove beyond doubt that he could not be more pure of heart, he wants us all to know that he really is religious. Really. While the record shows he thought little of his religion prior to becoming a judge or thereafter, progressive reports (from him) since the Kitzmiller opinion have built him up to practical sainthood. Doesn’t he pastor his dear Lutheran church?

And Brayton responded,

Pure hogwash. In fact, Jones has spoken hardly at all about his religious faith, for the obvious reason that it has nothing to do with the validity of his ruling.

Wrong again, Ed. In an article in The Lutheran magazine, Jones talks a lot about his long and extensive religious background. But this article is just window dressing, because Jones' commencement speech at Dickinson College showed great hostility towards organized religion:

"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."

Furthermore, Jones' fans have made a really big deal about his being a "churchgoing" Republican.

Labels:

16 Comments:

Blogger scripto said...

This wasn't a hard decision given the nature of the evidence presented and existing case law. Witness the pre-trial bail out of the Discovery Institute when they saw this train wreck coming. Better stick to preaching to the faithful and the popular press.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Larry, why do you show such great histility to my childhood religion?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 3:15:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

that should read "hostility"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 3:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

Richard Dawkins, who generally has difficulty getting his facts straight, misquoted Jones as declaring intelligent design theory to be "breathtaking inanity"--in Dawkins' essay "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God."

Actually, Jones found the school board's decision to be "breathtaking inanity"--with some possible justification, considering the board's obvious religious motives and the strange nature of some of its deliberations. He didn't apply that phrase to intelligent design theory itself.

Is Jones, who calls himself a Christian, upset about being egregiously misquoted by Dawkins as part of his anti-theistic propaganda? Or is he basking in the approval of the materialists who now admire him so much?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 6:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> megalomania: "a delusional mental disorder that is marked by infantile feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur." <

This sounds like Larry(?). Imagine a fool who claims that failure is proof of expertise.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 7:50:00 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

"He didn't apply that phrase to intelligent design theory itself."

Nevertheless, if the shoe fits...

Oh and it DOES, Cinderella.

It does.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 8:31:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Wilderness wheezes,

>>>>> Imagine a fool who claims that failure is proof of expertise. <<<<<

Well, then the great inventor Thomas Edison must have been a fool, too, because he said, "I have not failed -- I now know lots of things that won't work." And his failures were due to the laws of nature whereas mine have been due to the asininity of people, starting with district court judge TJ "Mad" Hatter, who had a bad habit of issuing decisions without opinions.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Well, then the great inventor Thomas Edison must have been a fool, too, because he said, "I have not failed -- I now know lots of things that won't work." <

Edison also had a large number of successes. You have only failures.

> And his failures were due to the laws of nature whereas mine have been due to the asininity of people >

Yes, they were due to your asininity.

> starting with district court judge TJ "Mad" Hatter, who had a bad habit of issuing decisions without opinions. <

He gave his reasons. As has been covered to death, if someone arrives in the hospital emergency ward with their head cut off it is not necessary to provide in the autopsy any comment as to the state of his pancreas.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 5:11:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said...
>>>>> Richard Dawkins, who generally has difficulty getting his facts straight, misquoted Jones as declaring intelligent design theory to be "breathtaking inanity"--in Dawkins' essay "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God." <<<<<<

"Breathtaking inanity" has become one of my favorite expressions -- I used it in my first post on this blog, "Traipsing into breathtaking inanity -- absurd rulings in Dover Intelligent Design case". "Traipsing" also comes from the Dover opinion.

>>>>> Is Jones, who calls himself a Christian, upset about being egregiously misquoted by Dawkins as part of his anti-theistic propaganda? <<<<<

I think that this misquote by Dawkins is one of the least of Jones' problems now.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 5:21:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW is obviously unable to address the issues here, so he just makes personal attacks against me.

He is very upset that I made his hero Judge Jones look very foolish.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 5:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Urbanness said...

> VIW is obviously unable to address the issues here, so he just makes personal attacks against me. <

You seem to be projecting, Larry(?)

> He is very upset that I made his hero Judge Jones look very foolish. <

So far you seem only to have made yourself look foolish.

I guess your breathtakingly inane comments show that you have, as always, no answers to his points.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 6:04:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In The Urbanness said...
>>>>> I guess your breathtakingly inane comments show that you have, as always, no answers to his points. <<<<<<

No -- it would just be a waste of my time to answer his points because they are not on-topic.

Contrary to what you, VIW, and assorted other trolls want to believe, I did not set up this blog for the purpose of discussing what you trolls think my faults are.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 6:21:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Since you brought it up:
< I did not set up this blog for the purpose of discussing what you trolls think my faults are. >

Your masthead says the "subject" is "skepticism":
< This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. >

That would seem to be a fairly accurate description. However, IMO it does not address the question of "purpose". Perhaps you could elaborate?

Also, does it trouble you, as a "skeptic", that your allies are mostly fundamentalists?

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said,
>>>>> Your masthead says the "subject" is "skepticism":
> This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects.<

That would seem to be a fairly accurate description. However, IMO it does not address the question of "purpose". Perhaps you could elaborate? <<<<<<<

OK -- "This site is dedicated to the purpose of presenting skepticism of official dogma in all subjects." Sound better?

>>>>> Also, does it trouble you, as a "skeptic", that your allies are mostly fundamentalists? <<<<<<

I don't know who most of my allies are, and why should I care?

Friday, December 08, 2006 2:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> I don't know who most of my allies are <

Perhaps some education would then be appropriate. Your allies are fire breathing one dimensional religious fanatics.

Friday, December 08, 2006 7:19:00 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Damn, Larry. You sure are obsessed with Judge Jones. What is it about him and Ed Brayton that gets your motor running?

You'd think that if ID had any merit whatsoever, scientists for the DI would be doing research, rather than spending all their money on Christian apologetics by a third rate mathematician.

Or at least I would, anyway.

Saturday, December 09, 2006 12:43:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home