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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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Did Texas Education Agency overreact to Comer's email?

First we had the Dover Trap -- and now we have the Comer Trap!

As a result of the Chris Comer affair, I decided to subscribe to what I believe is the email list that Comer used to inform members of the public about the Barbara Forrest lecture -- though I am not sure. There is a blacked-out email address on the published copy of Comer's email and I presume that this address is that of this list. The email list's address is SCIENCE@LIST.TETN.NET and it is now being distributed by Irene Pickhardt (Irene.Pickhardt@TEA.STATE.TX.US), the Assistant Director of Science of the Texas Education Agency.

I just got my first email from the list. It includes an announcement of a lecture about global warming titled, "Beyond Science: The Economics and Politics of Responding to Climate Change" (the announcement is reproduced below). Like evolution, global warming is a controversial subject, even though the lecture appears to be mainly about responding to alleged global warming rather than about the existence, magnitude, and causes of global warming (in the same way, the Forrest lecture was mainly about politics and not about science). So IMO by the TEA "neutrality" standard used against Comer's announcement of Forrest's lecture, this announcement of a global warming lecture should also have not been distributed by the TEA.

IMO the TEA should either send out announcements of all public events related to science (along with a disclaimer saying that there is no TEA endorsement) or send out none. Picking and choosing which announcements to send out amounts to censorship of the announcements not sent out. Examples of public events related to science are the Discovery Institute's "Darwin v. Design" conferences, Richard Weikart's "Darwin to Hitler" lectures, and the "Answers In Genesis" lectures and conferences. IMO the TEA should even announce an Aryan Nations lecture claiming that Darwinism proves that non-Aryans are inferior, because no one could reasonably claim that the TEA endorses such a lecture.

The ouster of Chris Comer has completely backfired. I suspect that TEA gave her a lot of hush money to keep quiet about the circumstances of her departure, but then a muckraking newpaper, the Austin American-Statesman, upset the applecart by publishing confidential information obtained by the Freedom of Information Act.

Below is a copy of the announcement of the lecture about global warming:

--Beyond Science: The Economics and Politics of Responding to Climate Change
On behalf of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, the Energy & Environmental Systems Institute and the Shell Center for Sustainability, you are cordially invited to our upcoming conference:
Beyond Science: The Economics and Politics of Responding to
Climate Change
Saturday, February 9, 2008
James A. Baker III Hall
Rice University, Houston, TX
Registration at 7:30am
Closing Remarks and Reception at 6:00pm
The conference will bring together leaders committed to educating the public about the impact of global warming and discuss their experiences in crafting public policy in this area. In particular, we will focus on such issues as the economics of climate change, the costs and benefits of mitigation strategies, the role of emerging technologies, and the politics of international, national and subnational response strategies.

For more information and to register, please go to www.bakerinstitute.org/climatechange.cfm. For additional questions, email stpolicy@rice.edu or las1@rice.edu.

This event represents a collaboration at the Baker Institute between the Science and Technology Policy Program, the Energy Forum and the Health Economics Program.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

> Picking and choosing which announcements to send out amounts to censorship of the announcements not sent out. <

While you seem to be obsessed with censordhip, you show little evidence that you have a clue what the word means. I would suggest a dictionary.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I know very well what "censorship" means, dunghill. And you know very well that the term applies here. I used the "censorship" argument because I wanted to give a stronger reason for sending out all announcements than merely saying that it is the open-minded thing to do.

And how could I be obsessed with something that is not what I think it is? That is a real non-sequitur.

It is usually the same gang of trolls who find fault with my posts. I don't mind legitimate criticism of my posts, but saying that I don't know the meaning of a plain English word is not legitimate criticism.

And learn how to spell "censorship."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 9:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I know very well what "censorship" means, dunghill. <

The evidence is otherwise.

> And you know very well that the term applies here. <

Why would he. It obviously doesn't.

> I used the "censorship" argument because I wanted to give a stronger reason for sending out all announcements than merely saying that it is the open-minded thing to do. <

So you misused the word because you wanted to make a bigger splash than you could by using English?

> And how could I be obsessed with something that is not what I think it is? <

I would think that even you could understand that. It is difficult to underestimate your intelligence.

> That is a real non-sequitur. <

So here is another term you don't understand.

> I don't mind legitimate criticism of my posts <

Of course you do.

> but saying that I don't know the meaning of a plain English word is not legitimate criticism. <

It certainly is when you show evidence that you don't.

> And learn how to spell "censorship." <

What a childish comment. If you look at a keyboard, you would see that the "d" is next to the "s". You only make yourself look like more of a dunghill.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeremiah said...

Evolution is controversial, but global warming mitigation is not controversial?

We're doomed by stupidity.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jeremiah said...

>>>>>> Evolution is controversial, but global warming mitigation is not controversial? <<<<<<

WHAT? I said, "Like evolution, global warming is a controversial subject."

Anyway, as I said, IMO the TEA overreacted to Comer's email. She sent out a disclaimer and that should have been the end of it. As I said, I suspect that Comer got a lot of hush money to keep quiet about the circumstances of her departure -- the Texas Citiizens for Science said, "Chris was forced to agree to a public non-disclosure or no-comment policy regarding her termination from TEA" (I don't know how the Texas Citizens for Science got this inside information). That is very strange -- why didn't the anti-Darwinists in the TEA want the whole world to know about their great victory in ousting her? Ousting Comer was revenge for the Dover decision -- Barbara Forrest was perhaps the star witness for the plaintiffs in the Dover case.

Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> I suspect that Comer got a lot of hush money to keep quiet about the circumstances of her departure <

She may have been threatened by the little green men to keep her silence. That makes as much sense.

Thursday, December 20, 2007 7:54:00 AM  

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