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 05, 2007

Witch-hunter Elsberry posts "incriminating" letter

Witch-hunting BVD-clad blogger Wesley "Ding" Elsberry posted the following "incriminating" letter in a futile attempt to support his charge that Florida K-12 education chancellor Cheri Yecke misrepresented and misused the No Child Left Behind Act and the Act's House-Senate conference report when she was the education commissioner of Minnesota:
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Minnesota Academic Standards Committee
Remarks by Cheri Pierson Yecke, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education

July 31, 2003

“Science Issues

The last time we went through this process, we learned some important lessons that I hope will make your job easier. Perhaps the best lesson that we learned is that controversial issues can stymie the work of a committee. For example, last spring, the high school math committee came to a standstill over the issue of calculator use. A great deal of time was spent debating the pros and cons of the issue, when use of calculators was and was not appropriate - and the group could not reach consensus. Only after the issue was removed from discussion by making it an issue for local school boards was the group able to proceed with its work.

This time, we are faced with some controversial issues in the area of science. Scientific theories such as biological evolution can be the basis for a lot of emotional debate, as strong feelings are held by good people on both sides of such issues.

To prevent such issues from becoming a stumbling block to the science committee, I am suggesting that some congressional language be inserted somewhere in the science document. It might be appropriate, for example, to place this language in the first part of the conceptual framework when history and nature of science is discussed. In this way, we make it clear that decision on the(illegible) be discussed and decided at the local level.

This language is part of the conference report that articulated congressional intent and accommodate the No Child Left Behind Act. It had wide bipartisan support in Congress, having passed the Senate on a vote of 91-8. It reads as follows:

The Conferees recognize that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.

Contrary to some reports, nowhere does this language mention intelligent design or creationism. Instead, it simply states the idea that children should understand that there is a diversity of opinion.

In my desire to learn more about the discussion that surrounded this language I went to the primary source - the Congressional Record (June 13, 2001), which records the statements of members of Congress during floor discussions. Here are the words of Senator Ted Kennedy:

…the language itself is completely consistent with what represents the central values of this body. We want children to be able to speak and examine various scientific theories on the basis of all of the information that is available to them so that they can talk about different concepts intelligently with the best information that is before them. I think the Senator has expressed his views in support of the amendment and the reasons for it (illegible) think they make eminently good sense. I intent to support the proposal (p. S6150).

Clearly, this language has widespread bipartisan support. So, since it is important that no committee gets sidetracked or bogged down with controversial issues, I am asking members of the Science Committee to give consideration to this language.”


(Source: Document downloaded from the Minnesota Department of Education, 2005/09/06)

Can anyone show me where the above letter misrepresents or misuses the No Child Left Behind Act or the Act's House-Senate conference report? If courts can base decisions solely upon legislative histories -- including Congressional reports -- then why can't Cheri Yecke cite a Congressional report to support her position?

Of course, "Ding" Elsberry will not allow any blog visitors' comments that dispute his claim that Yecke misrepresented and misused the Act and the report. Furthermore, he will not allow any challenge to his false insinuation that the Act requires or authorizes withholding federal funds from states or local school districts that require, allow, or do not prohibit the teaching of intelligent design or other criticisms of Darwinism in K-12 public schools.
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6 Comments:

Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

I tell you, we clearly must dread
INTELLIGENCE, just as I've said.
So Darwin's our dogma,
Just let it befog ya,
And forget about using your head.

Thursday, July 05, 2007 4:17:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Darwin --

IMO you should also leave a copy under the special post titled, "Limericks & other poetry." To find this post, just go to the label link list in the sidebars of the home and archive pages.

Thursday, July 05, 2007 4:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

As a Darwinist, I've wholly preferred
To think that each beastie and bird
Has evolved by mere war
And slaughter and gore:
For 'intelligence?' Not for this nerd.

Thursday, July 05, 2007 4:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

I thought that you had stopped censoring? Another missing post with no gossip.

Friday, July 06, 2007 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill Carter said...

I agree, but I didn't post the previous message. Perhaps the site is screwed up and it isn't just Larry's fault.

Friday, July 06, 2007 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Why don't you people try re-posting your comments before accusing me of censorship? Just put your comments in emails and then send the emails to yourself or save the emails otherwise -- that makes the comments easy to re-post.

Friday, July 06, 2007 10:06:00 AM  

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