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, November 29, 2007

Darwinist hypocrites protest proper ouster of education official

Hypocritical Darwinists, who are still persecuting education official Cheri Yecke for public statements she made way back in 2004, are now protesting the proper ouster of an education official who made improper private communications about the controversy over evolution education.

A news article said,

The state's director of science curriculum has resigned after being accused of creating the appearance of bias against teaching intelligent design.

Chris Comer, who has been the Texas Education Agency's director of science curriculum for more than nine years, offered her resignation this month.

In documents obtained Wednesday through the Texas Public Information Act, agency officials said they recommended firing Comer for repeated acts of misconduct and insubordination. But Comer said she thinks political concerns about the teaching of creationism in schools were behind what she describes as a forced resignation.

Agency officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel issue.

Comer was put on 30 days paid administrative leave shortly after she forwarded an e-mail in late October announcing a presentation being given by Barbara Forrest, author of "Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse," a book that says creationist politics are behind the movement to get intelligent design theory taught in public schools. Forrest was also a key witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case concerning the introduction of intelligent design in a Pennsylvania school district. Comer sent the e-mail to several individuals and a few online communities, saying, "FYI."

Agency officials cited the e-mail in a memo recommending her termination. They said forwarding the e-mail not only violated a directive for her not to communicate in writing or otherwise with anyone outside the agency regarding an upcoming science curriculum review, "it directly conflicts with her responsibilities as the Director of Science."

The memo adds, "Ms. Comer's e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral."

In addition to the e-mail, the memo lists other reasons for recommending termination, including Comer's failure to get prior approval to give a presentation and attend an off-site meeting after she was told in writing this year that there were concerns about her involvement with work outside the agency.

The question is: did she or did she not violate "a directive for her not to communicate in writing or otherwise with anyone outside the agency regarding an upcoming science curriculum review"? I know that Los Angeles County public officials got into deep-shit trouble for violating a rule prohibiting government officials from privately communicating with each other about matters that they will later vote on.

What is worse, the email was a forwarded email that originated with the National Center for Science Education, an organization dedicated to opposing the teaching of criticisms of Darwinism.

The swiftness of the reaction -- a complaint was sent to Comer's supervisors less than two hours after she sent the email -- reflects the gravity of the offense:

The call to fire Comer came from Lizzette Reynolds, who previously worked in the U.S. Department of Education. She also served as deputy legislative director for Gov. George W. Bush. She joined the Texas Education Agency as the senior adviser on statewide initiatives in January.

Reynolds, who was out sick the day Comer forwarded the e-mail, received a copy from an unnamed source and forwarded it to Comer's bosses less than two hours after Comer sent it.

"This is highly inappropriate," Reynolds said in an e-mail to Comer's supervisors. "I believe this is an offense that calls for termination or, at the very least, reassignment of responsibilities."

The news article also said,

As for the e-mail, Comer said she did pause for a "half second" before sending it, but said she thought that because Forrest was a highly credentialed speaker, it would be OK.

That is like the Wickedpedia administrators' argument that it is OK to break the rule against citation of personal blogs if the blog is "notable." So she knew that what she was doing was wrong and is trying to use a "best butter" argument to defend her action. Here is the "best butter" story again, from the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland:

The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'

`Two days wrong!' sighed the Hatter. `I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added looking angrily at the March Hare.

`It was the best butter,' the March Hare meekly replied.

`Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled: `you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife.'

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, `It was the best butter, you know.'

.

Labels:

20 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

We see Larry using mindless "best butter" arguments to try to support his baseless claim. They have no right to try to regulate what she did in her spare time.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:03:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,

>>>>> They have no right to try to regulate what she did in her spare time. <<<<<

Then she should have used an anonymous email address to send the email, dunghill. She obviously used an official or recognizable email address, because her supervisors received a complaint about the email less than two hours after she sent it.

Also, the email was not neutral -- it did not announce an even-handed debate but announced a one-sided presentation of a conspiracy theory (not that neutrality would have completely excused the email, because she was not supposed to communicate about the subject with anyone outside the agency).

This one is not even close.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

I responded to Larry's post last night and the post has disappeared. It looks like he is back to his old tricks.

Friday, November 30, 2007 7:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt a political power play by the religious zealots of the Texas Education Agency, but poorly executed. They've been waiting for an opportunity to shift the balance of power ever since creationist Don McLeroy took over the Texas Board of Education.

It's puzzling that after 9 years of experience, they would jump the gun for complete termination for what is considered a minor breach of procedure. I only hope that the fundies in power go the whole mile and try to get ID or full blown creationism back into the curriculum after this perceived "victory" and get the $$$$$$ sued out of them in Dover pt. II. Of course if that doesn't work, we can just let Texas be added to the list of "stupid" states such as Oklahoma and laugh when the majority of their students get rejected from leading universities as a consequence of their stellar education program.

Friday, November 30, 2007 2:02:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> They've been waiting for an opportunity to shift the balance of power ever since creationist Don McLeroy took over the Texas Board of Education. <<<<<<

And she willingly walked right into their trap.

>>>>>> It's puzzling that after 9 years of experience, they would jump the gun for complete termination for what is considered a minor breach of procedure. <<<<<<

It was not a "minor breach of procedure." Her offense was considered so serious that she was placed on 30 days paid administrative leave "shortly after" she sent out the email.

Also, the email was not the only issue -- for example, she insulted her boss by saying that her agency lacked "real leadership" while he was acting commissioner.

>>>>> get the $$$$$$ sued out of them in Dover pt. II. <<<<<

I am surprised that no other school board has stepped up to the plate by making a test case of another evolution disclaimer. The potential cost of a lawsuit is no big deal for a rich school district and a lot has been learned from previous evolution disclaimer cases -- Kitzmiller v. Dover, Selman v. Cobb County, and Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish.


>>>>>> we can just let Texas be added to the list of "stupid" states such as Oklahoma and laugh when the majority of their students get rejected from leading universities as a consequence of their stellar education program. <<<<<<<

That statement is just plain stupid.

Friday, November 30, 2007 2:46:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness said...

>>>>>> I responded to Larry's post last night and the post has disappeared. It looks like he is back to his old tricks. <<<<<<

Dunghill, I told you umpteen times to just repost the comment rather than complain.

Friday, November 30, 2007 2:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> And she willingly walked right into their trap. <

Or perhaps they walked into hers. Let's watch this one play out.

> I am surprised that no other school board has stepped up to the plate by making a test case of another evolution disclaimer. <

Perhaps they are getting smart?

> a lot has been learned from previous evolution disclaimer cases <

How to lose money!

> Dunghill, I told you umpteen times to just repost the comment rather than complain. <

If you didn't censor them, there would be no need to repost. Just try to keep your temper when you are losing an argument and it won't be an issue.

Friday, November 30, 2007 3:08:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

>>>I am surprised that no other school board has stepped up to the plate by making a test case of another evolution disclaimer. The potential cost of a lawsuit is no big deal for a rich school district and a lot has been learned from previous evolution disclaimer cases<<<<

I'm thinking those kinds of districts are ones where evolution is not controversial, and they're not inclined to do daft things like disclaim it.

Friday, November 30, 2007 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

CrypticLife said,
>>>>> I'm thinking those kinds of districts are ones where evolution is not controversial, and they're not inclined to do daft things like disclaim it. <<<<<<

You are thinking wrong. Cobb County is a big, rich suburban school district with over 600,000 people.

Friday, November 30, 2007 5:25:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

There is nothing wrong with gag rules that restrict the communications of government officials. Here is a gag rule in California's Brown Act --

54952.2. (b) Except as authorized pursuant to Section 54953, any use of direct communication, personal intermediaries, or technological devices that is employed by a majority of the members of the legislative body to develop a collective concurrence as to action to be taken on an item by the members of the legislative body is prohibited.

As I said, some Los Angeles County officials got into deep doo-doo trouble for violating this rule.

Friday, November 30, 2007 5:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> You are thinking wrong. Cobb County is a big, rich suburban school district with over 600,000 people. <

The air must be getting thinner on your planet. CrypticLife said nothing about the size or wealth of the school district.

Friday, November 30, 2007 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> that is employed by a majority of the members of the legislative body to develop a collective concurrence as to action to be taken on an item <

In other words, it had nothing to do with the case at issue here.

Friday, November 30, 2007 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

ViU driveled,
>>>>> CrypticLife said nothing about the size or wealth of the school district. <<<<<

Bozo, CrypticLife and I were talking about wealthy school districts:

I said: The potential cost of a lawsuit is no big deal for a rich school district

CrypticLife said: I'm thinking those kinds of districts are ones where evolution is not controversial, and they're not inclined to do daft things like disclaim it.

I said: You are thinking wrong. Cobb County is a big, rich suburban school district with over 600,000 people.


>>>>>> that is employed by a majority of the members of the legislative body to develop a collective concurrence as to action to be taken on an item <

In other words, it had nothing to do with the case at issue here. <<<<<<

Dodo, I was presenting just another example of a gag rule restricting the freedom of speech of public officials. Your ability to recognize and understand relationships is at the level of a 3-year-old. I have to waste so much time and space explaining the simplest concepts to you.

Friday, November 30, 2007 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness said...

>>>>>> And she willingly walked right into their trap.

Or perhaps they walked into hers <<<<<<

If her goal was to get her ass fired, then I guess you can say that they walked into her trap.

Friday, November 30, 2007 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> Bozo, CrypticLife and I were talking about wealthy school districts: <

But the section you cited had nothing to do with that. You go on to prove you were wrong in the following sentences:

The rational one said: I'm thinking those kinds of districts are ones where evolution is not controversial, and they're not inclined to do daft things like disclaim it.

Dimwit - this says nothing about the wealth of the school district.

To which the March Hare said: You are thinking wrong. Cobb County is a big, rich suburban school district with over 600,000 people.

Translation: "But it was the best butter".

You seem to be having a bad reaction to your latest medication. You are coming up with more and more irrelevant statements in answer to rational posts by others. I would suggest that you tell your therapist about this.

Saturday, December 01, 2007 6:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Sherry D. said...

It does seem that Larry's ability to distinguish apples from oranges has deteriorated in recent days.

Saturday, December 01, 2007 8:55:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIU driveled,
>>>>>> Bozo, CrypticLife and I were talking about wealthy school districts: <

But the section you cited had nothing to do with that. <<<<<<

WHAT? What "section"? I didn't cite any "section"!

>>>>>>You go on to prove you were wrong in the following sentences:

The rational one said: I'm thinking those kinds of districts are ones where evolution is not controversial, and they're not inclined to do daft things like disclaim it. <<<<<<

I showed that the "rational one" (why don't you use people's posting names, dunghill) was wrong.

"Those kinds of districts" was a reference to "rich school district." Here is the exchange again, bozo:

I said: The potential cost of a lawsuit is no big deal for a rich school district

CrypticLife said: I'm thinking those kinds of districts are ones where evolution is not controversial, and they're not inclined to do daft things like disclaim it.

I said: You are thinking wrong. Cobb County is a big, rich suburban school district with over 600,000 people.


You are talking utter gibberish. You are truly insane.

Saturday, December 01, 2007 9:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

>>>>>> But the section you cited had nothing to do with that. <<<<<<

To which the March Hare said:

> WHAT? What "section"? I didn't cite any "section"! <

Then the cretin went on to cite the same section again:

>>>>>> I'm thinking those kinds of districts are ones where evolution is not controversial, and they're not inclined to do daft things like disclaim it. <<<<<<

Then the idiot tries to say that it refers to something other than what it does:

> "Those kinds of districts" was a reference to "rich school district."<

Then the low level primate repeats his illogic by referring to something no longer at issue.

He is talking utter gibberish. No one doubts that he is truly insane.

Saturday, December 01, 2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger dobson said...

There is nothing wrong with gag rules that restrict the communications of government officials. Here is a gag rule in California's

Larry, I thought you were pro academic-freedom? In your other posts you seem to be very clear that you support the widest possible discussion of issues that pertain to the ID/Evolution debate?

Or is it that you only support academic freedom for pro-ID campaigners?

Monday, February 25, 2008 3:37:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Larry, I thought you were pro academic-freedom? In your other posts you seem to be very clear that you support the widest possible discussion of issues that pertain to the ID/Evolution debate? <<<<<

Would it be OK if a Texas Education Agency employee announced a Ken Ham creationist lecture or a Richard Weikart Darwin-to-Hitler lecture? If there is going to be "academic freedom" for TEA employees, there should be academic freedom for all of them.

Monday, February 25, 2008 5:30:00 AM  

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