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, August 16, 2007

Cheri Yecke's Wikipedia bio is now "protected"

A while ago I posted some articles about the Wikipedia bio of Cheri Yecke, a candidate for the office of state commissioner of education in Florida. Wikipedia is blocking rebuttals of political attack ads in the bio. This is engaging in political activity in violation of Wikipedia's IRS status as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.

I sent in formal complaints to the IRS but still have not heard back from them. I guess that was wishful thinking on my part.

Unfortunately, Cheri Yecke was unable to give me much help because she was very ill -- still, though, she should have found others who could help, like an attorney.

Cheri Yecke's Wikipedia bio is now "protected," meaning that only Wikipedia administrators can edit it. If you go to her Wikipedia bio, you will see that the "edit this page" tab is not there.

Wikipedia's blockage of my IP address is no longer effective because my ISP proxy's IP address has changed. I will never, ever use my real name on Wikipedia ever again.

I hope that Cheri Yecke has recovered and I will try to contact her again.

For more background info, click on the labels below.

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18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pity... I was hoping more drama... It would've been even more entertaining if Yecke had tried hiring an attorney. I wonder what would she sue for? Libel? Not applicable since all the assertions in the article are backed up by documented evidence. Neither is defamation of character for the same reason. Perhaps a hilarious DMCA take-down notice for those links to those audio clips of her saying that creationism should be taught in public schools.

With the recent outings of several politically motivated organizations (both Democratic and Republican to be fair) doing covert edits on wiki articles, I was hoping Yecke's name would be listed so that all will see her anti-science religious fundamentalist agenda. Who knows, maybe there's still time! But since it isn't out there, you must not have been doing your job really well, Larry. Maybe Yecke is just sick of you, her self-proclaimed publicist, who seems to attract more negative attention than positive.

You fundies are some of the biggest most disgusting hypocrites out there. If you are so self-righteously convinced that what you are doing is morally good, why all the deceptions and lies? I recall that the teachings of the Bible promoted truthfulness and honesty. Given that, I think every fundie with an agenda should just flat out say what they intend do do and why, face the inevitable ostracization and subsequent removal from public life, and brood around praying for human society to spontaneously revert back to the dark ages.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 2:05:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous driveled,
>>>>>> Pity... I was hoping more drama... It would've been even more entertaining if Yecke had tried hiring an attorney. I wonder what would she sue for? Libel? <<<<<<<

Who said anything about suing for libel? The issue I raised here is that Cheri Yecke is a candidate in a public election and that Wikipedia is violating its IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status by blocking rebuttals to political attacks against her. I assert that Yecke has an implied cause of action for suing Wikipedia because the 501(c)(3) requirements were intended to protect election candidates from political attacks by 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Enforcement actions are discretionary but an IRS action against Wikipedia's 501(c)(3) status would not be an enforcement action, since the IRS cannot compel Wikipedia to comply with the 501(c)(3) requirements -- all the IRS can do is just revoke Wikipedia's 501(c)(3) status if Wikipedia does not comply.

Also, truth is a defense against charges of libel but is not a defense against charges of censorship of rebuttals.

A cease-and-desist letter from an attorney is more effective than a cease-and-desist letter from a non-attorney.

>>>>>> Perhaps a hilarious DMCA take-down notice for those links to those audio clips of her saying that creationism should be taught in public schools. <<<<<<

She never said that creationism should be taught in public schools -- in fact, she said that creationism should not be taught in public schools. She only said that the decision on whether to teach intelligent design should be made at the local level.

>>>>> I was hoping Yecke's name would be listed so that all will see her anti-science religious fundamentalist agenda. <<<<<<

Listed where? And what fundamentalist agenda? Because of a few remarks she made in 2003 that weren't even fundamentalist?

>>>>>> Maybe Yecke is just sick of you, her self-proclaimed publicist, who seems to attract more negative attention than positive. <<<<<<

Actually, she has thanked me for helping her, which makes me wonder why she has not done more to help herself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 5:49:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

Maybe if you hadn't been making rebuttals to claims that weren't made, using Wikipedia for personal attacks, and using Wikipedia to advertise your own site, you might not have been censored.

>>>Actually, she has thanked me for helping her, which makes me wonder why she has not done more to help herself.<<<

Probably because you got a form letter from one of her staffers.

Thursday, August 16, 2007 6:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>
She never said that creationism should be taught in public schools -- in fact, she said that creationism should not be taught in public schools. She only said that the decision on whether to teach intelligent design should be made at the local level.
<<<<

Nope, in an interview with Minnesota public radio on June 9, 2003, she mentioned that it was her opinion that several local district should have the freedom to "teach creationism if that is what they choose." She also stated that creationism is her personal belief.

This was before her transition to the support of intelligent design, which by itself is just a more underhanded tactic at using non empirical religious teachings to displace evolutionary theory. And you are right, it is at this point where majority of the disputes and controversy takes place.

>>>>>
I assert that Yecke has an implied cause of action for suing Wikipedia
<<<<<

Traditionally, this is only applied in cases where a constitutional right has been violated with no Federal statutes for recourse by the victim. Again, what would she sue for? No right to privacy since she is a public figure and all the assertions are based on publicly available documents and recordings. Whether or not wiki retains it's non-profit status doesn't violate a single one of Yecke's constitutional right.

>>>>>
Listed where? And what fundamentalist agenda? Because of a few remarks she made in 2003 that weren't even fundamentalist?
<<<<<

No not presume to tell me that Yecke's actions are not fundamentalist. To indoctrinate children to the concept of a Christian god using a supposedly church and state-separated government institution is by no means even close to moderate. Freedom of religion also includes freedom FROM religion, and this woman is seeking to take this constitutional right away by allowing others to do so in her place. Its ironic that you mentioned implied cause of action, because that is what parents can use to sue Yecke if a Florida school district chooses to teach intelligent design under her directives.

Friday, August 17, 2007 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Here is a comment that I posted on an old thread.

Friday, August 17, 2007 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said,

>>>>> Nope, in an interview with Minnesota public radio on June 9, 2003, she mentioned that it was her opinion that several local district should have the freedom to "teach creationism if that is what they choose." She also stated that creationism is her personal belief. <<<<<<

I really don't need to answer these claims, because as I said, though truth is a defense against a charge of libel, it is not a defense against charges of censorship of rebuttals. But I will answer them.

No reliable source was given for the above quotation, and that quotation contradicts what she said in a TV interview --

Host: How much internal debate was there in the department over creationism versus evolution?
CPY: Well, creationism is off the table completely because of a 1987 supreme court ruling. The issue really is intelligent design and evolution and the there was language that was put in the conference committee report that accompanied the no child left behind act that said you know students should be exposed to all sides of a controversial issue. And we brought that up to the committee members because we didn’t want to see this just evolve into a controversy. We spent a lot of time on the math committee just just talking about the use of calculators, and time is precious, so we wanted to make sure that we stopped any kind of controversy at the beginning. And it is well understood now that this is a decision that would be made by local school boards and not the state.


>>>>>I assert that Yecke has an implied cause of action for suing Wikipedia

Traditionally, this is only applied in cases where a constitutional right has been violated with no Federal statutes for recourse by the victim. <<<<<<

Wrong. Wikipedia says that the courts use the following criteria in deciding whether a statute creates an implied private cause of action --

1. Whether the plaintiff is part of the class of persons "for whose especial benefit" the statute was enacted,
2. Whether the legislative history suggests that Congress intended to create a cause of action,
3. Whether granting an implied cause of action would support the underlying remedial scheme set down in the statute, and
4. Whether the issue would be one that is traditionally left to state law.


I don't know whether the 2nd condition is satisfled in the case of Yecke, but it certainly seems a little strange to call a cause of action "implied" if Congress expressly authorized it.

>>>>> Again, what would she sue for? <<<<<<

Sheeesh, I already said that. Actually, instead of saying that she could sue Wikipedia, I should have said that she could sue the IRS for not taking action against Wikipedia for violation of Wikipedia's 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Maybe she could sue Wikipedia too.

>>>>> No not presume to tell me that Yecke's actions are not fundamentalist. To indoctrinate children to the concept of a Christian god using a supposedly church and state-separated government institution is by no means even close to moderate. <<<<<

You can rant and rave against Yecke all you want, but none of it is going to excuse Wikipedia's actions.

Friday, August 17, 2007 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

W. Kevin Vicklund driveled,

>>>>>> Maybe if you hadn't been making rebuttals to claims that weren't made, using Wikipedia for personal attacks, and using Wikipedia to advertise your own site, you might not have been censored. <<<<<

Pettifogger Kevin Vicklund never runs out of excuses. You are so full of crap that it is coming out your ears, dunghill.

As for my using Wikipedia to advertise my site, I even offered to remove my name from her bio, even though the names of Sleazy PZ Myers and Ding Elsberry are there.

Friday, August 17, 2007 2:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

It's false to assume that intelligent design automatically implies something supernatural or "religious."

Fred Hoyle, a great scientist who was a materialist and an atheist, and his co-worker Chandra Wickramasinghe, on design by an intelligence:

"The alternative to assembly of life by random, mindless processes
is assembly through the intervention of some type of cosmic intelligence. Such a concept would be rejected out of hand by most scientists, although there is no rational argument for such a rejection...It would not need too great a measure of extrapolation, or too great a license of imagination, to say that a cosmic intelligence that emerged naturally in the Universe may have designed and worked out all the logical consequences of our own living system... The ultimate cosmic intelligence would need to be comprised of different units from those of our own life-form...the ultimate cosmic intelligence built from these more robust structures could well be thought to persist for exceedingly long timescales, even for an eternity." (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, in their book Cosmic Life-Force, 1990, p.138.)

In his book Evolution From Space: The Omni Lecture (1982, p.27-8), Hoyle had already proposed that "the biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design."
At that time he proposed space aliens as the intelligent designer involved; later, he favored a "cosmic intelligence."

But most people might prefer to intepret any intelligence involved with life as supernatural. Presumably that's what alarms the Darwinists.

Friday, August 17, 2007 3:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

Did I hear a creak, or a sigh?
It's the spirit of Hoyle! Nearby,
His heresy is lurking,
So "Darwins!" No shirking!
We must ban all such "witches;" or die.

Friday, August 17, 2007 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Best wishes to Cheri Yecke. I hope she recovers quickly.

Her problem is basically that she's caught in a situation in which the Darwinists are becoming more and more hysterical. Their doctrine (i.e., evolution by perfectly mindless, mechanical causes and essentially by chance, struggle and slaughter,) is in rapid decline: so they try to protect it through witch-hunting, and persecution of dissidents.

Whatever she may or may not have said, years ago, is irrelevant at this point.

Friday, August 17, 2007 5:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny, witch hunting and persecution were the favorites of religious fanatics back in the days. Maybe this is just karmic retribution for the slaughtering of millions in the name of Christ over the last thousand years.

You are right, Jim, about the core definition of intelligent design supposedly being "non-religious" in that it just opens up the possibility of a non-specific intelligence behind the biological architecture of living organisms. The problem are the motives of the people behind the push for intelligent design filling in that "non-specific intelligence" with the Christian god. People like Yecke, who use intelligent design as a tool to spread and indoctrinate others with their own religious beliefs with complete disregard to the fact that people have a right not to subscribe to your own brand of faith.

In addition to this, intelligent design by itself is unscientific. It makes an assumption of intelligence behind biological complexity without any empirical or scientific methods, and before you get all riled up about all the "science terms" I just mentioned, I'm speaking of methods that involve actually making visual observations and measurements, recording data, and formulating a theory based on said observations, measurements, and data.

By not doing this and instead, making a blanket statement that "god did it," you are just recycling a few biblical passages without any personal contribution or effort. This is why so many deem intelligent design as unscientific, in that it does not make use of the scientific method in reaching its conclusions. Now, I don't have any problems if intelligent design was taught as an optional course on religion, mythology, or contemporary fiction, but you must remember that Yecke was trying to introduce this garbage into the Minnesota SCIENCE curriculum back in 2003. She's shown her agenda and motives back then and should not be allowed to be in a position where she could try to pull this off again.

Friday, August 17, 2007 11:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Petitio Principii said...

<< It would not need too great a measure of extrapolation, or too great a license of imagination, to say that a cosmic intelligence that emerged naturally in the Universe may have designed and worked out all the logical consequences of our own living system ... >>

Q.E.D. A better example probably cannot be found.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Anonymous: Although I'm fairly persuaded that some intelligence(s) played a role in designing some features of life (but not all of them,) I don't think that the intelligence is God, and I prefer not to speculate about its nature. My own backgroaund is Zen Buddhist, not Christian; and I personally don't believe in a Creator-God, or in anything else that is precisely supernatural.

So I agree with Michael Behe, for instance, as far as intelligent design itself goes; and have great regard for him, without arriving at his particular religous interpretation.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 1:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Petitio: I quoted Hoyle as an example of a great scientist who was a materialist and an atheist, and yet was one of the founders of modern intelligent design theory, in the 1970's. I don't have time to cite all of his arguments for intelligent design; and can only quote him briefly. Nor do I agree with all of his views. If you think that he begged the question, you should therefore read his books, and find out: since you evidently haven't done so.

I might add that I believe in "evolution," in the broad sense of descent of species from earlier ones, back to the unicellular level. What I don't believe in is the Darwinist version of evolution.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 1:46:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

I guess I should add that I'm not a materialist; unlike Hoyle. So my preferred intelligent designer(s) involved to some degree with life, wouldn't be materialistic; but not exactly "supernatural," either.

Alfred Russel Wallace eventually abandoned materialism and arrived at a similar view. I'm sure you guys have heard of him, since he was the co-proposer of "Darwin's theory." And he turned to intelligent design.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 2:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I mentioned before, the problem is that the current proponents of intelligent design tend to insert their own religious interpretations of the "cosmic intelligence" mentioned. They can't help it due to the christian need to proselytize and convert. Intelligent design, however theorized and developed with good intentions, is being used in an abusive manner by religious fanatics with an agenda like Yecke.

To stop this slight derail, the original argument was over the controversy section that I started on the Yecke article with her flat out denying her documented actions and associations with intelligent design and Larry kicking up a stink due to his rebuttal edits being removed due to lack of the same documented evidence used to expand the article.

Saturday, August 18, 2007 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> They can't help it due to the christian need to proselytize and convert. Intelligent design, however theorized and developed with good intentions, is being used in an abusive manner by religious fanatics with an agenda like Yecke. <<<<<<<

Yecke has no "agenda" -- she made just a few remarks about intelligent design four years ago.

>>>>>>> To stop this slight derail, the original argument was over the controversy section that I started on the Yecke article with her flat out denying her documented actions and associations with intelligent design and Larry kicking up a stink due to his rebuttal edits being removed due to lack of the same documented evidence used to expand the article. <<<<<<

Blocking rebuttals of political attacks against public-election candidates is a violation of Wikipedia's 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization tax status -- whether those rebuttals are true is not an issue. I will remain silent on whether my rebuttals are documented because any claim that they are documented might be misconstrued as an admission that the truth of them is an issue.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 12:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

How do we know that the theocrats aren't going to march on Washington, and take over the USA??

My head is so crazy with fear
That I think that theocracy's near:
That a dictator's coming
With bugles and drumming:
His name? It's Behe. He's here!

When you hear the artillery boom,
You'll know that THE THEOCRATS loom:
That the Un-Darwins are arming,
And Behe, their 'charming'
Commander, will blow us to doom!

Sunday, August 19, 2007 2:30:00 PM  

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