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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More about blocking emails sent to others

As I noted in a previous article, an unscrupulous attorney on the staff of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Kevin Bankston, bankston@eff.org, threatened to block all of my emails addressed to other EFF staffers. Almost all of the EFF email addresses have the same domain name, eff.org, and presumably it is possible for the EFF to block all emails sent to that domain. For the purpose of comparison, I asked the question of whether it would be ethical or even legal for an employer to block snail-mail sent to employees at the employer's address (BTW, many of the EFF staffers are presumably not even employees but are volunteers). Kaufman v. McCaughtry (7th circuit, 2005) helps answer that question. Kaufman was a prison inmate. Kaufman says,
.
Kaufman alleges that, over a period of six months, eight pieces of allegedly legal mail were opened by DOC officials before being delivered to him . . . .

Inmates have a First Amendment right both to send and receive mail, Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 782 (7th Cir. 1999), but that does not preclude prison officials from examining mail to ensure that it does not contain contraband, Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 576 (1974); Rowe, 196 F.3d at 782. An inmate's legal mail, however, is entitled to greater protections because of the potential for interference with his right of access to the courts. Rowe, 196 F.3d at 782
(page 11, emphasis added)

So if even prison inmates have the right to receive mail, how can it be argued that employees do not have the right to receive mail at their places of employment? And the main issue in this part of Kaufman was not even the right to receive mail but the right to receive uninspected mail, and there has to be a compelling reason to inspect prisoners' mail: to ensure that it does not contain contraband.

The right to receive mail should of course apply to email as well as snail-mail. If you rob mail from the postal service, they throw the book at you. It should be the same for robbing email from the Internet.

In another analogy, I pointed out that one cannot ask to not receive "junk" postal mail. One can ask to be listed on a "do not call" registry for unsolicited telemarketing phone messages, but there is no "do not send" or "do not deliver" registry for junk postal mail. One of the reasons for that is that junk postal mail -- like junk email -- has a very low nuisance level in comparison to unwanted phone calls.

BTW, Kaufman also ruled that atheism and probably also agnosticism are "religions" for purposes of the First Amendment -- this ruling has important implications in court cases about evolution education. But that is another story.
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10 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> The right to receive mail should of course apply to email as well as snail-mail. <

Apples and oranges.

It might be noted that nobody has a "right" to read their personal mail on company time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 4:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Goldsteins Clones said...

Larry, over at fore the kids site you said that you only need to read small parts of a book to form an opinion of it and to be able to reivew it.

I think Hitler said something similar in Mein Kamph about his reading technique...I am sure you know the part I am talkin about.

And reading small parts of your blog I come upon Holocaust denial.

shall I conclude you are in that camp, then?

Or that you are stupid?

Or perhaps both?

For Gods sake, are you a Christian? What is it with Christians? Why do they equate their political views with God? Isn't that blasphemy or idolatry or something?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 4:08:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Wilderness said...

>>>>> The right to receive mail should of course apply to email as well as snail-mail. <

Apples and oranges. <<<<<<

You wouldn't consider it to be "apples and oranges" if someone started blocking YOUR received emails without your permission.

I would be really amazed if none of the other EFF staffers are hopping mad at Kevin Bankston for threatening to block my emails to them -- I would be. Even those EFF staffers who have decided that they do not want to receive my emails should be mad at Bankston for threatening to make that decision for them.

>>>>> It might be noted that nobody has a "right" to read their personal mail on company time. <<<<<<

Sheeeesh -- why should that be an issue? It would be a problem if a worker on an assembly line held up the line while reading a long letter, or something like that. I mean, that is not even a desperation-time argument -- that argument is beyond desperation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 4:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> You wouldn't consider it to be "apples and oranges" if someone started blocking YOUR received emails without your permission.<

If they were blocking emails sent to a company address, I would think it is reasonable.

> I would be really amazed if none of the other EFF staffers are hopping mad at Kevin Bankston for threatening to block my emails to them <

I would imagine that they are pleased that they don't have to take their own time to do it.

>>>>> It might be noted that nobody has a "right" to read their personal mail on company time. <<<<<<

> Sheeeesh -- why should that be an issue? <

Hello! Anybody home?

> that argument is beyond desperation. <

Yes, it is far beyond desperation. It is rationality.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> For Gods sake, are you a Christian? <

In Larry's defense, he has never claimed to be a Christian.

He does not need a god to do what is being done by the little green men.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:37:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViW, your comments are just so asinine that I am just going to stop responding to them. Any readers who can't see through your arguments are too dumb to be reading this blog, anyway. Also, answering your comments could give readers the false impression that I am practicing Charlie McCarthyism. Folks, ViW is for real -- I am not feeding straw man arguments to myself. With his asinine comments, ViW is trying to drive away serious readers and commenters. That is not very ethical.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Goldsteins Clones said...
>>>>> Larry, over at fore the kids site you said that you only need to read small parts of a book to form an opinion of it and to be able to reivew it. <<<<<<

Well, why didn't you also leave a comment on FortheKids' (Reasonable Kansans) site?

Why should we have all these arbitrary rules about what we should not review? Why shouldn't a book introduction, book review, book section, etc. be reviewed? The Panda's Thumb bloggers did a group review of Jonathan Wells' "Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design" by dividing the chapters up among themselves. And why can't a valid opinion of a book often be formed without reading the entire book? Some of the more popular books on Amazon.com have dozens, even hundreds of customer reviews, in addition to the professional reviews. You can get a lot of information about a book and a broad range of opinions about a book just by reading reviews. Of course, sometimes just reading reviews is not enough and it is necessary to read the book itself -- that is why I ordered a copy of "Monkey Girl." My own impression of Monkey Girl was quite a bit different from most of the reviews that I have read about it. I read about one-third of Monkey Girl but then lost interest because public interest in the book fizzled -- in over four months, only 30 customer reviews of Monkey Girl came into Amazon.com.

Of course, we can't all depend on book reviews because some people have to write the reviews. I feel that we should all do our part in helping to write the reviews and I feel that I have not been doing my part. One of the problems is that there are so many books out there that I would like to read and it is hard to choose. Also, IMO many of the books out there focus too much on Intelligent Design and I am more interested in non-ID criticisms of Darwinism, e.g., criticisms concerning co-evolution, the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, chromosome counts, and even the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (which I think should be discussed just to show that it is a bad criticism of Darwinism). The sidebar of the main and archive pages of this blog has "non-ID criticisms of evolution" in the post label list -- when clicking on a post label, the posts will be listed as they appear in the main and archive pages.

In the extreme case, some people seem to think that it is OK to get all their information and ideas from a single source -- this seems to be the attitude of many of the authors of the customer reviews of "Monkey Girl" on Amazon.com, who go so far as to call the book a "must-read." I would not have missed anything important if I had not read any of the book at all (I read about one-third of it). In fact, if there is any "must-read," IMO it is this blog! I point out certain things that I don't see mentioned elsewhere, such as the fact that both the Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish and Selman v. Cobb County decisions against evolution disclaimers came close to being reversed. Freiler came within a single vote of getting an en banc (full court) appeals court rehearing and within a single vote of getting Supreme Court review, and the dissenting judges and justices submitted long opinions attacking the decision. In an appeals court oral hearing on Selman, the judges indicated that they were leaning towards reversal but they vacated and remanded the decision because of missing evidence (the school board then took a dive by settling out of court).

>>>>>> And reading small parts of your blog I come upon Holocaust denial.

shall I conclude you are in that camp, then? <<<<<<

"Small parts" of this blog? I have over 30 posts on holocaust revisionism and denial.

I am a holocaust revisionist, not a holocaust denier. I assert that a "systematic" holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable way of identifying Jews and non-Jews, even if the term "Jew" could be accurately defined (there cannot be any accurate definition).


>>>>> For Gods sake, are you a Christian? <<<<<

Irrelevant.

>>>>> What is it with Christians? Why do they equate their political views with God? Isn't that blasphemy or idolatry or something? <<<<<<

When Jesus said, "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto god what is god's," he was referring to money, not politics.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 4:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

Larry, despite the fact that your comments are so asinine I am just going to respond to them anyway.

Larry is for real, folks. He actually believes the crap that he posts here. Many I know think that he is a straw man set up by the pro-science group to discredit the causes he seems to espouse.

I have no intention of driving around serious commenters and you can see that there are a number of them here; Kevin Vicklund, Rob Serrano, myself, for example. Larry has tried to drive them away to leave only his lunacy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 7:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> even if the term "Jew" could be accurately defined (there cannot be any accurate definition). <

–noun 1. one of a scattered group of people that traces its descent from the Biblical Hebrews or from postexilic adherents of Judaism; Israelite.
2. a person whose religion is Judaism.

We can assume that Hitler had no interest in definition 2. While it would not have been possible to definitely determine whether one was one of those described by definition 1, it would be easy enough to find a great majority by a multitude of ways.

Most probably followed the Jewish religion and customs and this would be known to their neighbors. Of course not all neighbors cooperated in this identification but a great many did.

Names, if they did not try to change them (also obvious unless they also tried to change location).

Appearance. Many, but not all have characteristic features. This is not fool proof as it was pointed out to Hitler that Heinkel "had a Jewish nose". This was enough for Heinkel to fall into disfavor.

So it was easy enough to find Jews in a systematic matter, as was done. Some could get by in the same way that some African Americans used to "pass for white", but on a large scale, a large number of Jews could be identified and therefore went up the chimney.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 7:25:00 AM  
Anonymous The Midnight Marauder said...

> Names, if they did not try to change them <

Such as Fafarman?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 10:33:00 PM  

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