Freshwater: Signed the settlement (Updated)

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Just a note to say that I’ve learned that John Freshwater did sign the settlement agreement with the Dennis family prior to it being approved (insofar as the terms relating to Zachary are concerned) by Licking County Juvenile Court Judge Hoover. While the settlement agreement was negotiated by the Board’s insurance company attorneys, Freshwater as the defendant had to sign off on it, and he did.

AFAIK all that’s left now is Federal Judge Gregory Frost’s overall approval of the settlement and, of course, the concluding acts–referee’s recommendation and Board of Education action on it–of the administrative hearing. Then at last perhaps this sorry episode can be closed.

Update: Judge Frost has signed off on the settlement. See comment below.

32 Comments

Judge Frost approved the settlement on December 3, 2010.

Good news. Thanks! The dismissal document is a bare paragraph:

AGREED DISMISSAL ORDER

Plaintiffs Stephen and Jenifer Dennis, individually and as natural parents and next friends of their minor child, ZD, and Defendant John Freshwater have reached an agreement to settle and resolve their differences and have stipulated to the entry of this Agreed Dismissal Order. The parties are to proceed in accordance with the terms of their settlement agreement. Pursuant to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this action is hereby dismissed with prejudice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.
GREGORY L. FROST
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I guess that whole “teach the controversy” by branding kids with crosses didn’t work out so well for him… Good. And good for the Dennis family to make sure he paid for what he did.

Frost currently sits as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Frost was nominated by President George W. Bush on January 7, 2003, to a seat vacated by George C. Smith. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 10, 2003, and received his commission on March 11, 2003

Hmmm, nominated by GWB hisself and confirmed by the Senate in 2003.

How long before the fundy hordes start branding him a librul-commie-gay-loving-atheist-activist judge? Or better yet how soon do the death threats start because he signed an order against BJFF (Bestest Jesus’ Friend Forever) Freshwater?

If I am remembering correctly, none of the perpetrators themselves ever suffered direct financial pain for the messes they created in provoking lawsuits in any other school district, including Dover. Either taxpayers or insurance covered the losses; but the creationist perpetrators got the martyrdom they wanted.

This Freshwater thing appears to be a very small step in the direction of inflicting financial pain on the creationists; and one hopes the humiliation and ugliness of this debacle will send a clear message to these nutcases that things will hurt far worse in the future if they choose to do this again.

It’s really too bad that there can’t be some sort of class action suit against the major organizations that provoke this crap. The entire science and teaching community would, I think, have standing in such a case. And there is certainly a trail of court records and propaganda in the public domain that could be used to build the case showing the damage these organizations do.

We can take down fraudulent businesses and other scams, but nobody wants to take on this phony religion. The problem is that most people who would have a voice in this matter don’t themselves experience directly the pain inflicted by ID/creationists. And the taxpayers aren’t sufficiently aware or organized.

It’s a very asymmetric war.

And so now the groundwork is laid for John Freshwater to seek election in either the city council or the district school board in the next round of elections. His campaign manager could very well be Hamilton, with major political backing-funding from Daubenmire. (And no, I wish I was joking.…) This will be an excellent opportunity for Hamilton to “re-trial” this case in the news media.

Daffyd ap Morgen said:

And so now the groundwork is laid for John Freshwater to seek election in either the city council or the district school board in the next round of elections. His campaign manager could very well be Hamilton, with major political backing-funding from Daubenmire. (And no, I wish I was joking.…) This will be an excellent opportunity for Hamilton to “re-trial” this case in the news media.

Sarah Palin, President; Bobby Jindal; Vice President; John Freshwater, Secretary of Education.

Is this where we’re supposed to comment on Sandefur’s post? In the hopes that this is a disscussion board, rather than a passive worshiping congregation, I’d like to point out that Sandefur is going to impressive lengths to rebut a blast of hot air. The arguments he refutes are not only nonsense, but known to be nonsense by Trask, who is simply attempting to excrete a bunch of plausible bafflegab designed to lend a philosophical veneer to a political agenda.

Trask is as determined to prohibit other faiths from publicly supported indoctrination as he is to eliminate science. Post-modernism is a sham, and certainly Trask doesn’t accept it in any way. Trask’s goal is to use government-supported public education as the vehicle for preaching HIS delusions, and no others (nor sanity, just another competitor) for any reason. So Trask targets science with philosophically bankrupt BS because science competes most successfully. If Confucianism were the main competitor, we’d see philosophical arguments attempting to discredit that instead.

Sandefur does a masteful job of refuting Trask’s arguments, but carefully pretends not to recognize why those arguments are made, or where they come from. And as a result, he leaves us thinking that Trask (were he philosophically honest) would readily admit that Traks’s OWN beliefs were neither better nor worse than anyone else’s, just another “way of knowing”. Which is the very opposite of the actual situation. Trask believes he has a hotline to Truth, and needs some way, any way, to discredit reality (which refutes him).

“Is this where we’re supposed to comment on Sandefur’s post?”

No.

Joel said:

“Is this where we’re supposed to comment on Sandefur’s post?”

No.

So are you saying somewhere else is the appropriate place to respond, or are you saying this is NOT a discussion group? Or perhaps you’re saying that Sandefur is ABOVE discussion, but deserves to be?

Flint said:

Joel said:

“Is this where we’re supposed to comment on Sandefur’s post?”

No.

So are you saying somewhere else is the appropriate place to respond, or are you saying this is NOT a discussion group? Or perhaps you’re saying that Sandefur is ABOVE discussion, but deserves to be?

Who or what is “Sandefur”?

Is this the place to discuss chiaroscuro in Stanley Kubrick’s BARRY LYNDON?

Flint said:

Is this where we’re supposed to comment on Sandefur’s post?

No. This is where we’re supposed to comment on RBH’s latest note re: l’affaire Freshwater. I don’t know why Timothy Sandefur doesn’t allow comments on his posts here, but he doesn’t, nor has he ever, IIRC. [shrug]

“So are you saying somewhere else is the appropriate place to respond”

Since there is no discussion thread linked to the Sandefur post, it looks like there is nowhere to respond. This site does not guarantee you the right to respond to every post.

“ … or are you saying this is NOT a discussion group?”

This is a thread concerning the Freshwater case. If you have something on-topic to post about the Freshwater case, this is the place to post it.

“Or perhaps you’re saying that Sandefur is ABOVE discussion, but deserves to be?”

Sometimes “no” just means “no,” Flint.

Now suppose you take your agenda and trot off somewhere else with it.

OK, let’s calm down, kids. Flint’s question is legit, and Cubist’s answer is correct: Tim doesn’t generally keep comments open in part because it’s a pain in the ass to moderate them, particularly when people get gratuitously snarky, as in the immediately preceding comment. I’m a little tired of commenters telling other long-time commenters to trot off. I moderate my threads, boys and girls.

RBH -

Both harold and I think you closed prematurely the other thread, especially since he wanted to make the point that if NCSE is guilty of anything, that it may be giving a subtle preference in favor of those faiths which do accept mainstream science. As for my own comments, I respectfully disagree that they were over the top. Ever since Jerry Coyne started publishing his attacks on “accomodationism”, the rhetoric has bcome quite heated, and the targets shifting back and forth between NCSE and AAAS and the World Science Festival here in New York City. Over at NCSE’s Facebook entry on the webcast series, one biologist accused NCSE of promoting propaganda, to which I had to reply finally with the observation that if what NCSE is supporting is propaganda, then it doesn’t quite meet the standard set by German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl in her film on the Nazi Party congress in 1934 in Nuremberg, Germany, “The Triumph Of The Will”. He couldn’t answer.

I suppose if I had given it a little more thought, I might have refrained from using the term “Spanish Inquisition”, but frankly, what the “Affirmative Atheists” have been doing in their “crusade” against “accomodationism” - whatever that really means - does bear an uncomfortable resemblance to McCarthyism IMHO.

Moreover, RBH, the absurd comment suggesting that, I, as a NCSE member, must have a few screws loose is unjustifiable, especially given the fact that there were others posting there who virtually made the same points I did without referring to either the “Spanish Inquisition” or McCarthyism:

John Kwok said:

RBH -

Both harold and I think you closed prematurely the other thread, especially since he wanted to make the point that if NCSE is guilty of anything, that it may be giving a subtle preference in favor of those faiths which do accept mainstream science. As for my own comments, I respectfully disagree that they were over the top. Ever since Jerry Coyne started publishing his attacks on “accomodationism”, the rhetoric has bcome quite heated, and the targets shifting back and forth between NCSE and AAAS and the World Science Festival here in New York City. Over at NCSE’s Facebook entry on the webcast series, one biologist accused NCSE of promoting propaganda, to which I had to reply finally with the observation that if what NCSE is supporting is propaganda, then it doesn’t quite meet the standard set by German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl in her film on the Nazi Party congress in 1934 in Nuremberg, Germany, “The Triumph Of The Will”. He couldn’t answer.

I suppose if I had given it a little more thought, I might have refrained from using the term “Spanish Inquisition”, but frankly, what the “Affirmative Atheists” have been doing in their “crusade” against “accomodationism” - whatever that really means - does bear an uncomfortable resemblance to McCarthyism IMHO.

“And so now the groundwork is laid for Freshwater to seek election either city council or the district schoolboard..”

If Freshwater actually did run, which I seriously doubt, he would not only lose, he would be tarred and feathered and run out of town. The vast majority of people around here (this based on comments to local newspaper articles, blogs and just talking to people) are angry at him for wasting their children’s education money on his defense. They believe him to be a religious kook who branded kids with crosses and then lied about it in court. Every once in a while I’ll run into someone who thinks Freshwater is a true Christian martyr but those are few and far between. The vast majority of people are glad this episode is coming to an end and hope they never hear the name Freshwater again.

“His campaign manager could very well be Hamilton, with major political backing-funding from Daubenmire. (And no, I wish I was joking…)

Although Daubenmire would be flattered to hear that someone thinks he is capable of major political backing-funding, nothing could be farther from the truth. Daubenmire’s name is chicken crap around here, moreso than even Freshwater’s if that’s even possible. Remember, Daubenmire got kicked off the Feshwater support team early on because he shot off his big mouth in a way that was harmful to Freshwater’s defense. As for political funding, Daubenmire can’t even support himself on the trickle of donations that come into his ministry much less rally financial support for a Freshwater campaign. Daubenmire and his wife actually support themselves with part time jobs (she subs at the evil government schools, he referees and coaches football). Neither of these are permanent full-time jobs which is why the Daubenmires can’t get a car loan and are asking for some gullible fundy friend to donate a car to them.

So, in light of all this, is it a good strategy, when lodging complaints about such proselytism as Floodwater’s with the school hierarchy to also send a copy to the school board’s insurance company at some point? I would think they would have a great incentive to “nip it in the bud,” as Deputy Fife might put it.

Cubist -

Timothy Sandefur has extreme right wing political views, as is his perfect right. He does accept the theory of evolution. He is also obviously a contributor to the work of maintaining and moderating the blog.

However, in the past, his views came up, because he posted links to “evolution defending” articles on right wing web sites, such as Little Green Footballs. LGF has apparently evolved and developed, but at that time it was a bastion of climate change denial (my understanding is that the webmaster has subsequently changed his views about that). It also was felt by many to engage in excessive stereotyping exclusively of people of Islamic religion or cultural background. I do NOT want to get into a climate change argument here. Nevertheless, given that this is a blog which is concerned with science denial, and concerned with the relationship between science and religion, the use of sources that deny mainstream scientific consensus on an issue, even if not biological evolution, and the use of sources which seem to express unjustified excessive bias against one particular religious tradition, but not others with at least equal science-denial histories, is, at a minimum, an implied invitation to debate.

In addition, Timothy Sandefur used to link to the blog for “Reason”, which is a bastion of outright opposition to the existence of public education. Given that this blog is largely concerned with the issue of strong science education in public schools, expressing the viewpoint that there should not even be public schools is obviously, at the minimum, an implied invitation to debate.

Timothy Sandefur does not wish, however, to engage in debate. His reaction to challenging feedback is Dembski-esque.

He now posts from time to time, but without allowing comments.

RBH -

I hope you are feeling well.

I made some further points about the NCSE issue in the “Evolving Christianity” thread. So did John, and I assume his comments here predated that.

Timothy Sandefur does not wish, however, to engage in debate. His reaction to challenging feedback is Dembski-esque.

He now posts from time to time, but without allowing comments.

But that in itself wouldn’t be a problem, if someone who DOES think discussion is merited were permitted to start an adjacent thread for the purpose. Sandefur is essentially being encouraged to suppress discussion by those who prevent you and me from any sensible way to respond.

I suppose I may be more of a moderate than Sandefur is, but haven’t regarded most of what he has written as “extreme”. But your observation is duly noted:

harold said:

Cubist -

Timothy Sandefur has extreme right wing political views, as is his perfect right. He does accept the theory of evolution. He is also obviously a contributor to the work of maintaining and moderating the blog.

John Kwok said:

I had to reply finally with the observation that if what NCSE is supporting is propaganda, then it doesn’t quite meet the standard set by German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl in her film on the Nazi Party congress in 1934 in Nuremberg, Germany, “The Triumph Of The Will”. He couldn’t answer.

Perhaps he was busy with someone arguing that the Matterhorn isn’t a mountain because Everest is bigger.

harold said:

However, in the past, his views came up, because he posted links to “evolution defending” articles on right wing web sites, such as Little Green Footballs. LGF has apparently evolved and developed, but at that time it was a bastion of climate change denial (my understanding is that the webmaster has subsequently changed his views about that).

It was never a place of science denial, but of misunderstanding. It continues to be a place of skepticism and conspiracy debunking. As the site is run by a non-scientist (who nonetheless had an excellent record of uncovering organized lies), he was tricked by misinformation into believing that global warming was mostly untrue or overblown. His record and clearly nonpartisan, honest truth-seeking is what made it an attractive place for climate science deniers to dwell. Eventually, it became clear that the conspiracy was not one of falsifying climate change, but of pretending that there is a controversy. Although it had argued against certain facts, the blog wasn’t and isn’t characterized by dishonest, results-driven arguments and should not be discarded as suspect due to its run in with climate change denial.

harold said:

It also was felt by many to engage in excessive stereotyping exclusively of people of Islamic religion or cultural background.

Bullshit and other such comments. Well, it’s true that that’s felt by many, but it’s also true that it’s felt by many that Christians are the most persecuted group in America.

Argh said:

John Kwok said:

I had to reply finally with the observation that if what NCSE is supporting is propaganda, then it doesn’t quite meet the standard set by German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl in her film on the Nazi Party congress in 1934 in Nuremberg, Germany, “The Triumph Of The Will”. He couldn’t answer.

Too bad you’re dishonest enough not to respond directly to my remarks (above), but opted instead to add it in your reply to harold. The Clergy Letter Project co-sponsored webcast series may be propaganda, but under no circumstances has NCSE advertised it, BUT INSTEAD merely noted its existence to anyone who might be interested in viewing it (The subsequent uproar has completely missed this simple fact and is typical of the over the top behavior I see far too often from “Affirmative Atheists” who, sadly, often act like the religious zealots that they are correct to criticize.). Nor is it propaganda of the kind we see daily from the Dishonesty Institute, or anything even remotely like Leni Riefenstahl’s “documentaries” in support of Hilter and Nazi Germany (And her films are superb examples of cinematic propaganda.).

Putting aside the self-contradictory statement “honest truth-seeking is what made it an attractive place for climate science deniers to dwell”, what Argh is saying about LGF is basically true.

My point obviously wasn’t to condemn the current version of that site.

I’m not disputing this:

harold said:

Putting aside the self-contradictory statement “honest truth-seeking is what made it an attractive place for climate science deniers to dwell”, what Argh is saying about LGF is basically true.

My point obviously wasn’t to condemn the current version of that site.

Instead I am rejecting his kneejerk rejection of NCSE’s “accomodationism”, especially with regards to those denominations in Christianity which fully do accept as valid, mainstream science such as modern evolutionary biology.

harold said:

…the self-contradictory statement “honest truth-seeking is what made it an attractive place for climate science deniers to dwell”…

It should be clear from context what that sentence means. When an honest, conspiracy debunking website happened to tentatively believe that human-caused global warming was basically not happening or at least unproven, it was very reassuring for people who had political reasons for claiming humans weren’t changing the environment. You had implied the site’s popularity as a “bastion” of climate change denial makes it more suspect than a less popular climate change denying site would be, but its past popularity among that crowd did not derive from the strength of its denial, but rather the credibility garnered from its underlying skepticism.

John Kwok said:

Too bad you’re dishonest enough not to respond directly to my remarks (above), but opted instead to add it in your reply to harold.

Oh noes, I did it again!

That’s the silliest example so far of your grasping at straws to find reasons to spew vitriol against people you disagree with. And that’s really saying something. You employ equally twisted reasoning when defending things, as well, though with less enthusiasm than whe on the attack.

I’m afraid talking to you with your present attitude has no constructive purpose, and I won’t be responding to you for a bit. I believe people can reform themselves so I’ll be giving you another chance later. I hope you shape up, since your spiteful disposition is causing you to misunderstand reality, as when I had supported *current* NSCE policy from the outset, and you responded with the bizarre challenge that if I disliked them so much I should “put [my] money where my mouth is” and fund them to a level where they will do my bidding instead. Surreal.

I had to reply finally with the observation that if what NCSE is supporting is propaganda, then it doesn’t quite meet the standard set by German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl in her film on the Nazi Party congress in 1934 in Nuremberg, Germany, “The Triumph Of The Will”.

The Clergy Letter Project co-sponsored webcast series may be propaganda…

I was missing - or maybe ignoring - the possibility that it is really okay for NCSE to have subtle endorsements of those faiths which are not hostile to science.

This is why there is hope for you, you sometimes admit you are wrong, even as that admission covers large swathes of what you had very recently said. Still missing are acknowledgements that the NCSE is advancing (Clergy Letter Project) propaganda (though doing so with regular endorsements that are not themselves dishonest propaganda), and that the NCSE’s support for religion isn’t subtle and violates their charter.

After that, you will see the continuum of how dangerous different atheists think such dishonesty is, from some New Atheists who think any of it is fatal poison(!) to some Accommodationists who think there is no downside(!), with me (like most atheists, I imagine) in the middle, supporting some of it for now. Perhaps once you see that, you won’t be so quick to label people as belonging to an opposing camp and snipe at them with tortured reasoning.

Argh said: This is why there is hope for you, you sometimes admit you are wrong, even as that admission covers large swathes of what you had very recently said. Still missing are acknowledgements that the NCSE is advancing (Clergy Letter Project) propaganda (though doing so with regular endorsements that are not themselves dishonest propaganda), and that the NCSE’s support for religion isn’t subtle and violates their charter.

After that, you will see the continuum of how dangerous different atheists think such dishonesty is, from some New Atheists who think any of it is fatal poison(!) to some Accommodationists who think there is no downside(!), with me (like most atheists, I imagine) in the middle, supporting some of it for now. Perhaps once you see that, you won’t be so quick to label people as belonging to an opposing camp and snipe at them with tortured reasoning.

You’re almost as utterly dense as those at Uncommonly Dense. If harold - a self admitted liberal - and I, a self admitted conservative, can recognize independently that NCSE is not promoting propaganda (except in the most subtlest of pretexts by supporting only those faiths friendly to science), then why do you think yours is a justifiable position? Where is your proof in support of NCSE’s supposed “advancement” of this propaganda?

The Clergy Letter Project co-sponsored webcast series may be propaganda, but under no circumstances has NCSE advertised it, BUT INSTEAD merely noted its existence to anyone who might be interested in viewing i

That is advertising.

Folks, let’s let this die, please. Thanks!

Mary said:

“And so now the groundwork is laid for Freshwater to seek election either city council or the district schoolboard..”

If Freshwater actually did run, which I seriously doubt, he would not only lose, he would be tarred and feathered and run out of town. [snip]

Thank you. You reassure me. I don’t mind being wrong about this.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on December 3, 2010 12:46 PM.

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