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Judge in Dover case reports hostile e-mails
York Daily Record [Penna] ^ | 24 March 2006 | LAURI LEBO

Posted on 03/24/2006 4:03:39 AM PST by PatrickHenry

Jones and his family were under marshals' protection in December.

In the days after U.S. Judge John E. Jones III issued his decision in Dover's intelligent design case, outraged people sent threatening e-mails to his office.

Jones won't discuss details of the e-mails, or where they might have come from, but he said they concerned the U.S. Marshals Service.

So, in the week before Christmas, marshals kept watch over Jones and his family.

While no single e-mail may have reached the level of a direct threat, Jones said, the overall tone was so strident, marshals "simply determined the tenor was of sufficient concern that I ought to have protection."

"They decided to err on the side of caution," he said.

Jones, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, decided to speak publicly about the e-mails this week in light of recent reports about threats of violence against federal judges. He said statements made by "irresponsible commentators and political figures" have gotten so extreme that he fears tragedy.

"We're going to get a judge hurt," he said.

Jones pointed to a Sunday New York Times article about U.S. Supreme Court justices speaking of the recent threats.

The article concerned a speech in which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed details of an Internet death threat targeting her and recently retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

A February 2005 posting on an Internet chat site addressing unnamed "commandos" said: "Here is your first patriotic assignment. ... If you are what you say you are, and NOT armchair patriots, then those two justices will not live another week."

In another speech this month, the Times said in the same article, Justice O'Connor addressed comments made last year in the Terri Schiavo case by Rep. Tom DeLay and Sen. John Cornyn, both Texas Republicans.

Cornyn hinted after the judge's decision that such rulings could lead to violence.

"It builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence," Cornyn said. "Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."

'It saddens you'

Jones is also concerned with a statement uttered recently by conservative pundit Ann Coulter regarding Justice John Paul Stevens' past votes upholding Roe v. Wade.

At a speech in Little Rock, Ark., this month, Coulter was quoted as saying, "We need somebody to put rat poison in Justice Stevens' crème brulee."

Jones said such remarks could fuel irrational acts by misguided individuals thinking they're being patriotic.

"There is an element here that is acting like it is open season on judges," Jones said.

"It saddens me that it's come to the point, where we're talking about what ought to be an honest disagreement, then you heighten it to something that is darker and much more disturbing."

Last year, Pinellas County, Fla., Circuit Judge George Greer and his family were under the protection of armed guards because of death threats over his ruling to allow Michael Schiavo to remove the feeding tube from his wife, who doctors determined was in a persistent vegetative state.

And 13 months ago in Illinois, U.S. District Judge Joan H. Lefkow's husband and her mother were killed, both shot in the head. Authorities determined that their killer was a disgruntled, unemployed electrician who was a plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit that Lefkow dismissed.

This is the first time Jones, who was appointed to the federal bench in August 2002, has availed himself of marshal protection.

But he said most federal judges who have spent enough time on the bench will need security at least once in their careers.

"It doesn't anger you," he said. "It saddens you. The reason I chose to talk about it now is that attacks on judges have really gone beyond the pale."

An attempt to educate

In a 139-page opinion [Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al.], Jones ruled that intelligent design was not science but merely repackaged creationism, which courts had previously ruled should not be taught in science classes. Jones struck down Dover Area School Board's curriculum policy that required biology students to hear a statement that told them "intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Charles Darwin's view."

And he referred to the "breathtaking inanity" of the school board's decision. "The students, parents and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources."

While most judges are reticent, Jones said he's opted to use his recent exposure - Wired News named him one of 2005's top 10 sexiest geeks - to educate the public about judicial independence.

In the wake of his decision, the pro-intelligent design Discovery Institute dubbed him "an activist judge."

And conservative commentator Phyllis Schlafly chided him for going against the wishes of fundamentalist Christians.

"Judge John E. Jones III could still be chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board if millions of evangelical Christians had not pulled the lever for George W. Bush in 2000," Schlafly wrote less than two weeks after the decision. "Yet this federal judge, who owes his position entirely to those voters and the president who appointed him, stuck the knife in the backs of those who brought him to the dance in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District."

Jones, a Republican who received the judicial endorsement of Pennsylvania conservative Sen. Rick Santorum, said he anticipated such reaction, but "I didn't know what corner it would come from."

People who hurl such accusations don't understand the role of an independent judge, he said. A judge's responsibility is not to interpret the desires of a political base. Rather, it is to interpret the law based on existing legal precedent.

He said decisions can't be determined by political affiliations. They must be made without bias.

"Had I ignored existing precedent," he said, "that would have been the work of an activist judge."

DISCOVERY'S DISCOURSE

Discovery Institute, an organization championing intelligent design, has released a book critical of U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III's ruling in Dover's intelligent design lawsuit.

The book, "Traipsing Into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Decision" dissects Jones' December decision, in which he ruled intelligent design was creationism posing as science.

Intelligent design is the idea that the complexity of life demands a creator.

The book, which is 15 pages shorter than Jones' 139-page opinion, is written by Casey Luskin, a Discovery attorney, and Discovery fellows David K. DeWolf, John G. West and Jonathan Witt.

The writers argue that Jones' decision was the work of "an activist judge" and that he ignored the science behind intelligent design.

The book is priced at $14.95 and is available at bookstores throughout the country and online at Amazon.com. It also can be ordered directly by calling 800-643-4102.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: activistjudge; christiantaliban; christianzealots; crevolist; darwinuts; derangedfanatics; dover; fundiemullahs; fundiesoffthedeepend; ignoranceandviolence; judge; religionofpeace; talibornagain; youngearthcultists
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Gentle reminder: Now hear this: No personal attacks (title of thread posted 15 March 2006 by Jim Robinson).
1 posted on 03/24/2006 4:03:44 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 360 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

2 posted on 03/24/2006 4:04:56 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Yo momma's so fat she's got a Schwarzschild radius.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Great, more irrational homegrown religious terrorist fanatics. Makes me sad to be a Christian.....


3 posted on 03/24/2006 4:17:28 AM PST by KeepUSfree (WOSD = fascism pure and simple.)
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To: PatrickHenry
... "It builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence," Cornyn said. "Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."


Well, either Cornyn isn't a student of history, or he falsely believes pitchforks, sythes and muskets are no longer able to win revolutions.


By all means, keep that deaf ear toward the populace until " some many people engage in violence".



Is that the winds of change I smell?




4 posted on 03/24/2006 4:20:20 AM PST by G.Mason (Duty, Honor, Country)
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To: PatrickHenry
"Judge John E. Jones III could still be chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board if millions of evangelical Christians had not pulled the lever for George W. Bush in 2000," Schlafly wrote less than two weeks after the decision. "Yet this federal judge, who owes his position entirely to those voters and the president who appointed him, stuck the knife in the backs of those who brought him to the dance in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District."

But I thought Intelligent Design wasn't about religion.

5 posted on 03/24/2006 4:37:59 AM PST by BeHoldAPaleHorse (Tagline deleted at request of moderator.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Cornyn hinted after the judge's decision that such rulings could lead to violence.

"It builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence," Cornyn said. "Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have."

Translation into normal speech for the rest of us: "Judges had better rule the way I wish, OR ELSE."

6 posted on 03/24/2006 4:39:17 AM PST by BeHoldAPaleHorse (Tagline deleted at request of moderator.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse

He sounds like Jesse Jackson.


7 posted on 03/24/2006 4:43:03 AM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

No, he sounds like CAIR.


8 posted on 03/24/2006 4:49:26 AM PST by BeHoldAPaleHorse (Tagline deleted at request of moderator.)
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To: PatrickHenry

I don't pretend to know the particulars of the intelligent design case. In general though, I think we have come to accept some tyrannical court decisions that would have sent our forefathers to the hardware store for pitch, a pot and a bag of feathers. Just because a lawyer dons a black robe does not mean he can constitutionally usurp the legislative power of Congress.


9 posted on 03/24/2006 4:50:50 AM PST by Jacquerie (Democrats soil institutions)
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To: Jacquerie
Would be most helpful if we could see what is contained in the e-mails. I think sunlight upon what is described as "threatening" would be educational for the rest of the world to see.
10 posted on 03/24/2006 4:58:15 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: PatrickHenry

Judge Jones seems to be seeing the "bogey man" here. In fact, the media blows up the comments of "terrorists" like Ann Coulter and Phyllis Schlafly to link them to "threats" against judges. The worst part of the story is when they bring in the judge's family murdered in Chicago last year. That was about a personal matter, nothing social or political.

If Judge Jones feels threatened or was threatened, why haven't we heard about arrests? Isn't that a crime? Or was this the work of liberal trolls who stopped short of a crime or just some people P.O.'ed with bad decisions like this one.

I think his decision stank and citing a precedent doesn't make it right. Would Judge Jones have upheld the "Plessy vs. Ferguson" precedent or perhaps the "Dred Scott" precedent? The liberal federal judges have no problem killing the Pledge of Allegiance or ruling for terror suspects at Gitmo.

Judge Jones is a protege of the "moderate" Tom Ridge. (Who raised taxes and increased spending, besides being pro abortion and claiming to be a "fiscal conservative". He even cut a deal giving the legislature automatic cost of living raises every year.) And President Bush and his buddy Ridge naturally worked out this post for Ridge's man.

I sure hope Alito and Roberts vote the right way on Roe vs. Wade or else the GOP could feel some heat.


11 posted on 03/24/2006 5:00:04 AM PST by Nextrush (The Chris Matthews Band: "I get high..I get high...I get high..McCain.")
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To: Nextrush
I think his decision stank and citing a precedent doesn't make it right.

But the disregard of precedent is one of the defining characteristics of an activist judge! Creationists can't denounce him as an activist while howling about his adhering too closely to precedent.

12 posted on 03/24/2006 5:07:13 AM PST by Physicist
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To: Jacquerie

So... you don't know this particular case, but you know the judge was wrong and usurped powers that were not his. Amazing!


13 posted on 03/24/2006 5:09:53 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: KeepUSfree

Then you aren't a very smart Christian. Do you really believe all these whining liberals' claims of death threats? Nine out of ten times they are lying about them to appear heroic to the msm. How many frauds need to be exposed in page 10B "correction" stories before you catch on that this is s. o. p. for the Left?


14 posted on 03/24/2006 5:12:39 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: Physicist
Creationists can't denounce him as an activist while howling about his adhering too closely to precedent.

Sure they can, as long as we understand that "activist" is shorthand for "makes decisions I don't like".

15 posted on 03/24/2006 5:13:36 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: Nextrush
Interesting isn't it that the government dictated and funded theory has no credibility until the judicial system made it so. All manner of "end of civilization" language has been spewed out upon any and all who find darwin's theory full of holes. To disbelieve in darwinism is to be called a cancer or members of radical terrorist based religions.

Prevention of the end of civilization requires action, so how far are the darwinists willing to go to protect their civilization?
16 posted on 03/24/2006 5:17:59 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Physicist

You've got a point, but all I see here is a double standard and I hope real conservative judges get active. The libs give activist rulings all the time. Let the higher courts stop district judges who rule conservative along with the liberal ones they have to clean up after now.

Anyway Jones is a "moderate" Tom Ridge Republican. The "Daily Rectum" story even drug in Santorum's support of his nomination. Just being the loyal party man again, but I think the newspaper wanted to stir up more conservative anger against him by mentioning it. I'm voting for Santorum over the (not his father) Casey Jr., who's just a lapdog for Chuckie Schumer who'll block good legislation and nominations from the president along with the other Dems.


17 posted on 03/24/2006 5:23:05 AM PST by Nextrush (The Chris Matthews Band: "I get high..I get high...I get high..McCain.")
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To: Just mythoughts
"Interesting isn't it that the government dictated and funded theory has no credibility until the judicial system made it so."

Would be interesting if it were true.

"All manner of "end of civilization" language has been spewed out upon any and all who find darwin's theory full of holes. To disbelieve in darwinism is to be called a cancer or members of radical terrorist based religions."

Hyperventilate much?

"Prevention of the end of civilization requires action, so how far are the darwinists willing to go to protect their civilization?"

We've got the Germ Theory, remember? :)
18 posted on 03/24/2006 5:28:31 AM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: PatrickHenry
Intelligent design is the idea that the complexity of life demands a creator.

Ho hum.... another day, another simplistic mischaraterization of Intelligent Design Theory...

19 posted on 03/24/2006 5:28:38 AM PST by mikeus_maximus (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: CarolinaGuitarman
Tax dollars are what gives darwinism its life. TOE is at the top of the food chain of welfare.

Any cuts or lack of expected funding really does threaten darwinists, that I know for a FACT.
20 posted on 03/24/2006 5:34:54 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: mikeus_maximus

Ho hum.... another day, another simplistic mischaraterization of Intelligent Design Theory...
____

How so? Did the designer not create the designs? Certainly if one is going to posit a designer, it certainly follows that the designer (or the designers designated agent) followed through and created according to the plans drawn up by the designer. Hence, there is a "creator". If there is no creator, how did the designs come to fruition?


21 posted on 03/24/2006 5:45:10 AM PST by dmz
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To: PatrickHenry
While no single e-mail may have reached the level of a direct threat...

It appears that public officials prefer the sheep to meekly accept whatever ruling they make. Voicing dissent must be crushed.

22 posted on 03/24/2006 5:53:21 AM PST by GingisK
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To: PatrickHenry
Celebrity victim status. Get some! / sarc

The nutjob of a judge is in less danger than almost anyone on the planet. I am sure that prominent ID supporters have been subjected to the same sort of thing, and no one cares. No one is up in arms. But the darling of the atheist left? Well!

Now if he were a believing Christian, a convert from Islam, in Afghanistan, I'd be concerned for his safety. For that matter, if he were merely an avowed atheist living in any Islamic country he'd require round-the-clock protection, which he wouldn't get.

23 posted on 03/24/2006 6:01:22 AM PST by JCEccles
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To: kittymyrib
Do you really believe all these whining liberals' claims of death threats?

Judge Jones is no liberal.

24 posted on 03/24/2006 6:25:46 AM PST by highball (Proud to announce the birth of little Highball, Junior - Feb. 7, 2006!)
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To: Physicist
Creationists can't denounce him as an activist while howling about his adhering too closely to precedent.

Can so too!

(don't expect consistancy from Creationists)

25 posted on 03/24/2006 6:41:30 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (Have a beer (Offer not vaild in Canada)
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To: Just mythoughts
Prevention of the end of civilization requires action, so how far are the darwinists willing to go to protect their civilization?

Paging Nehemiah Scudder. Pick up the white courtesy telephone please.

26 posted on 03/24/2006 6:41:52 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Coyoteman
"Paging Nehemiah Scudder. Pick up the white courtesy telephone please."


LOL making my point!!! Course I did have to 'google' him.
27 posted on 03/24/2006 6:52:01 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: PatrickHenry
Just what you expect from the Holy Warrior nutcases.
28 posted on 03/24/2006 6:52:34 AM PST by VadeRetro (I have the updated "Your brain on creationism" on my homepage.)
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To: linda_22003

In fairness, the judge had no choice but to rule the way he did because of bad earlier Supreme Court precedent. Similar to Judge Alito once striking down a Pennsylvania pro-life statute.

However, at the time may of us noted that Jones could have simply issued a routine ruling citing precedent and left it at that. The fact that he issued such a rhetorically harsh, grandstanding type ruling made it apparent that he was playing to the media and the leftist law journal crowd. In other words, the Greenhouse Effect was Souterizing him.

His whining and his joining in with O'Connor & Ginzburg on their silly crusade to shut down any disagreement with liberal rulings only confirms that this is the case.


29 posted on 03/24/2006 7:06:26 AM PST by puroresu (Conservatism is an observation; Liberalism is an ideology)
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To: puroresu

He was "rhetorically harsh" because he didn't appreciate the ID people making up stories that might fly whenever it suited them to do so, and he called them on it.


30 posted on 03/24/2006 7:09:00 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: PatrickHenry
The writers argue that Jones' decision was the work of "an activist judge" and that he ignored the science behind intelligent design.

DI was given the opprotunity to present their "science behind intelligent design".

Why didn't they?

31 posted on 03/24/2006 7:10:24 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: linda_22003

Nah, we was playing to the press corps.


32 posted on 03/24/2006 7:12:25 AM PST by puroresu (Conservatism is an observation; Liberalism is an ideology)
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To: puroresu

You was?


33 posted on 03/24/2006 7:16:22 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: Just mythoughts

If by "Darwininsts" you mean scientists who understand evolutionary biolgy and do reaearch in the field, then don't worry.

Places like Japan, Germany, Israel, China and India have plenty of scientists to take up the slack.


34 posted on 03/24/2006 7:16:58 AM PST by From many - one.
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To: linda_22003

LOL! Typo!


35 posted on 03/24/2006 7:18:14 AM PST by puroresu (Conservatism is an observation; Liberalism is an ideology)
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To: linda_22003

LOL.


36 posted on 03/24/2006 7:19:06 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: puroresu

No, he was disgusted by perjury committed in the name of religion.


37 posted on 03/24/2006 7:19:50 AM PST by From many - one.
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To: Senator Bedfellow

How are you today, senator? Long time no see!


38 posted on 03/24/2006 7:20:51 AM PST by puroresu (Conservatism is an observation; Liberalism is an ideology)
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To: From many - one.
... he was disgusted by perjury committed in the name of religion.

And other examples of creationist fraud that turned up, such as the slimeball attempt to pass of that creationist tract, Pandas and People, as a science book:

As Plaintiffs meticulously and effectively presented to the Court, Pandas went through many drafts, several of which were completed prior to and some after the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards [Edwards v. Aguillard], which held that the Constitution forbids teaching creationism as science. By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge:
(1) the definition for creation science in early drafts is identical to the definition of ID;

(2) cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID; and

(3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards.

This word substitution is telling, significant, and reveals that a purposeful change of words was effected without any corresponding change in content, which directly refutes FTE's [FTE = the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publisher of Pandas] argument that by merely disregarding the words "creation" and "creationism," FTE expressly rejected creationism in Pandas. In early pre-Edwards drafts of Pandas, the term "creation" was defined as "various forms of life that began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features intact -- fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc," the very same way in which ID is defined in the subsequent published versions.
Source: Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al.
39 posted on 03/24/2006 7:24:41 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Yo momma's so fat she's got a Schwarzschild radius.)
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To: From many - one.
"Places like Japan, Germany, Israel, China and India have plenty of scientists to take up the slack."


I understand, does create a career threatening scenario. Darwinist might take note, and be a bit more grateful to those of US that fund their careers.
40 posted on 03/24/2006 7:25:26 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
"Tax dollars are what gives darwinism its life."

No, it's the evidence.

"TOE is at the top of the food chain of welfare."

No, that would be what ID/creationism is trying for. They want handouts. ID is trying to get into the science classroom through an affirmative action program. It's no less a parasite then any other left-wing philosophy.

" Any cuts or lack of expected funding really does threaten darwinists, that I know for a FACT."

Funding in what?
41 posted on 03/24/2006 7:27:49 AM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: kittymyrib; KeepUSfree

I looked for this quote used by Ginsberg in a February speech, and I can't find a site with the original. It's always only "attributed" to Ginsberg with no original source. Do you know, did this statement actually appear on a blog site? Which one? Where?


42 posted on 03/24/2006 7:30:13 AM PST by SuzyQue
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To: Just mythoughts

No real problem, again.

We don't train people, there are none to worry about their jobs. Colleges and grad sschools are already filling much, maybe most of their science spaces with foreign students.

Good American scientists can also vote with their feet and go where the research dollars are. It's called brain drain.


43 posted on 03/24/2006 7:34:53 AM PST by From many - one.
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To: JCEccles
But the darling of the atheist left?

I have thus far seen no evidence to suggest that the judge is either an atheist or a leftist. Why, then, would he be the "darling" of the atheist left?
44 posted on 03/24/2006 7:37:04 AM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: CarolinaGuitarman
"No, it's the evidence."

TOE is by design darwin's description of evidence. You find it credible and that is your God given right as is mine to see the incredibleness of the theory.


"No, that would be what ID/creationism is trying for. They want handouts. ID is trying to get into the science classroom through an affirmative action program. It's no less a parasite then any other left-wing philosophy."

This is just plain funny considering all that art work without one cell of evidence used to promote darwin.

"Funding in what?"

Well to say more would be to identify without permission, suffice it to say somebody got a 'cut' in funding.
45 posted on 03/24/2006 7:37:33 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Dimensio

Because he didn't agree with the creationists, he must be. That's the only alternative, apparently.


46 posted on 03/24/2006 7:38:59 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: PatrickHenry

You're correct, of course. The prevasive and frank dishonesty must have gotten to him in ways that some here don't seem to be able to recognize.


47 posted on 03/24/2006 7:39:34 AM PST by From many - one.
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To: From many - one.

The application of the scientific methodology using survival of the fittest has been in place in our public education since government deemed it credible.

The results are plain to see government must care for the least fit.


48 posted on 03/24/2006 7:42:35 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Dimensio

Well the Left surely likes his decision, as would any objective person, Left or Right. But these personal physical attacks I am sure have the Left Wing Press laughing and saying "Keep 'em coming - just shows you that if you don't toe the Cr/ID line you're open to vilification and physical threats (in the Kansas Prof's case, physical attacks)."


Yeh, great image for American Conservatives.


49 posted on 03/24/2006 7:44:25 AM PST by furball4paws (Awful Offal)
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To: Just mythoughts
The results are plain to see government must care for the least fit.

I believe that you have fundamentally misunderstood the implications of evolution.
50 posted on 03/24/2006 7:44:45 AM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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