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.

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, April 01, 2009

Comer lawsuit thrown out

No, folks, this is not an April Fools Day joke -- Chris Comer's lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency has been dismissed. [1] [2]. The judge's opinion is here. Chris Comer has her own post label group on this blog (post labels are listed in the sidebar of the homepage).

I am not the least bit surprised that the suit was thrown out -- the TEA had the right to have a policy of neutrality regarding the upcoming hearings on the new science standards, and Comer clearly violated that policy. What if the shoe were on the other foot -- e.g, suppose Comer had sent out an official TEA announcement of a Richard Weikart "From Darwin to Hitler" lecture?

Silence about the subject of teaching creationism should not be interpreted as approval of teaching creationism. In the play "A Man for All Seasons," the following exchange took place in Thomas More's trial for refusing to take an oath recognizing the king as the head of the church:
Master Secretary: . . . is there a man in this court.... Is there a man in this country... who does not know Sir Thomas More's opinion of this title? Yet, how can this be? Because this silence betokened.....nay, this silence was not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!

Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim of the law is, "Silence gives consent." If, therefore, you wish to construe what my silence betokened... you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.

MS: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?

TM: The world must construe according to its wits. This court must construe according to the law.

The TEA's neutrality policy did not single out matters related to creationism -- the TEA's neutrality policy applied to all matters before the Texas state board of education. Comer was asking that an exception from the neutrality policy be made for matters related to creationism.

My previous positions were that firing Comer was a mistake because it has turned her into a Darwinist heroine and martyr, and that the TEA should have continued to employ her but kept her on a short leash with a choke-chain collar. However, considering that Darwinists are very unhappy with the newly adopted Texas state science standards, it is highly questionable that she would administer those new standards fairly, so I think that it is just as well that she left the TEA.

The Darwinists are learning that the courts are not always going to side with them. Yoko Ono's lawsuit against the producers of "Expelled" was also thrown out.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Yoko Ono's lawsuit against the producers of "Expelled" was also thrown out.<

This appears to be a false statement. Yoko Ono's lawsuit was settled out of court. It was not "thrown out".

Thursday, April 02, 2009 3:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Yoko Ono's lawsuit against the producers of "Expelled" was also thrown out.<

This appears to be a false statement. Yoko Ono't lawsuit was settled out of court. This does not mean in any way that it was "thrown out". You could equally say that most winner's cases are "thrown out".

Thursday, April 02, 2009 3:49:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

If there was any "settlement" out of court, it was a secret one. And the defendants had no reason to "settle," because they were in the driver's seat. It looks like the plaintiffs merely dropped the lawsuits (there was a federal-court lawsuit and a state-court lawsuit) [1]. The federal judge's 23-page denial of a preliminary injunction so thoroughly covered all the issues that it might as well have been a final ruling against the plaintiffs [2]. The plaintiffs saw the handwriting on the wall.

This blog has two post-label groups for the Ono lawsuits. The post-label groups are listed in the sidebar of the homepage.

Thursday, April 02, 2009 4:37:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Darwin-buffs probably get their odd rumor of an out of court settlement of Yoko's lawsuit from Eugenie Scott, or from some other notoriously unreliable propagandist for Darwinism. One can't believe a thing the Darwinist-propagandists say. They are phonies.

And Comer was, very properly, booted right out of court. For once, a judge did the correct thing.

Thursday, April 02, 2009 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

As I remember, at the time of the incident, Chris Comer did not claim that the TEA's neutrality policy is unconstitutional -- that excuse was added much later. But in any case, she had no right to take it upon herself to decide that the neutrality policy is unconstitutional and then act accordingly.

Thursday, April 02, 2009 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Some other articles about the case:

Evolution News & Views.

Texas Citizens for Science (includes big list of links to court documents)

Dallas Morning News

Thursday, April 02, 2009 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

BTW, she originally stated that she sent out the email impulsively because she was impressed by the speaker's credentials. She is now trying to indulge in thoughts that she might have had a good reason for sending out the email: her claim that the neutrality policy is unconstitutional. Here is the story: [1]

Comer herself appeared on NPR's "Science Friday" on December 7, 2007, relating her story to the show's host, Ira Flatow. After receiving the e-mail announcing Forrest's talk, she said, "you know, I had a half minute and I said, gee, this is really interesting. And then, I looked up the credential on my computer, I Googled Barbara Forrest and I said, oh my goodness, this is quite a credential[ed] speaker. And then I thought to myself -- you know, I'm telling my biology teachers almost on a weekly basis, teach the curriculum, teach the evolution curriculum because it's part of the state-mandated curriculum. And now, I should be -- you know, I should be walking the talk here, and I -- there's nothing wrong with this e-mail, of course." Less than two hours later, a colleague was calling for her termination, and in the following week, she was effectively forced to resign.

Thursday, April 02, 2009 1:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be nice if there were a blog where issues like this could be discussed.

Friday, April 03, 2009 8:04:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> It would be nice if there were a blog where issues like this could be discussed. <<<<<<

There is -- this blog. What's on your mind?

Comments may also be posted on the Austin American-Statesman articles that I linked to.

Friday, April 03, 2009 8:56:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Comer's attorneys never tried to explain why constitutional questions should be exempt from the TEA's neutrality policy towards upcoming public hearings of the state board of education. The issue of the constitutionality of teaching creationism is especially sensitive because Darwinists have been claiming that the terms "intelligent design," "strengths and weaknesses," "analyze and evaluate," "all sides," "theory," etc. are "code words" for teaching creationism.

Friday, April 03, 2009 9:27:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Well, it's been a few days now, and the dismissal of Comer's lawsuit has attracted little publicity and commentary on the Internet. I have checked places likely to report it and have also googled Chris Comer, but so far have found that only the following websites have reported it (besides this blog):

Austin American-Statesman

Dallas Morning News

Evolution News & Views (Discovery Institute)

National Center for Science Education

Religion Clause blog

Texas Citizens for Science (Steven Schafersman has yet to report it on the Houston Chronicle's Evo.Sphere blog, where he also blogs)

Also, there are very few visitors' comments on the Austin and Dallas online newspapers.

Journalists, college professors, and assorted other Darwinists initially gave Comer a lot of support but now -- except for the NCSE and TCS -- are not touching her case with a ten-foot pole.

Friday, April 03, 2009 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Røst I Ødemarken said...

Journalists, college professors, and assorted other Darwinists initially gave Comer a lot of support but now -- except for the NCSE and TCS -- are not touching her case with a ten-foot pole.

As usual, you misinterpret.

It is the Texas Board of Education that they are not touching with a ten-foot pole.

Monday, April 06, 2009 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

--As usual, you misinterpret.--

Show me a recent mainstream-media editorial or op-ed that supports Comer.

Monday, April 06, 2009 10:09:00 AM  

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