Friday, March 06, 2009

Oklahoma has the dumb!

By now most of you have been made aware of this.

Just now I sent an email to the august Rep. Thomsen, at, as follows:

Dear Rep. Thomsen,

Are you trying to make Oklahoma a nationwide laughingstock?

It's working.

Martin Wagner

I'll let you know if he writes back.


  1. Mine to the critters in OK was as follows:

    "You and the ones who wrote this bill are the ones who need to attend Dawkins' lecture the most. Please, for your own intellectual health and that of the students your bill would impair, withdraw the bill and welcome professor Dawkins' lecture."


  2. Here's my email:

    'I am not from your state so I will keep this brief. If I were one of your constituents I would be very resentful of the fact that you can't seem to find better things for which to use your time as an elected official. Perhaps your consituents would better appreciate you dedicating time to drafting laws and resolutions that may actually HELP them in these hard times. You are perfectly entitled to think whatever you like about people whom you disagree with, and you are entitled to voice those opinions or even protest appearances by such people. However, I cannot begin to fathom why you would think to use valuable time as a representative of your state to draft a pointless resolution that accomplishes nothing but show people how perfectly willing you are to manipulate your authority as an elected official to give needless voice to your own personal feelings about individuals who are guilty of nothing more than accepting an invitation to speak at a public event. I realize none of this will sway you whatsoever, but I would just remind you that perhaps you should re-examine why you even bothered to enter political life to begin with. Was it because you care and you wish to get things done for the people of your home state? Or is it because drafting resolutions condemning free speech makes you feel like a big man?'

  3. His bio on project vote smart. Surprised he was a member of the FCA?

    This might be his facebook profile. The picture kind of looks like him, though I am terrible with faces:

    My letter:

    Todd Thomsen,

    In deference to brevity I will ignore the insanity of the contents of this resolution that you have proposed in the House regarding Richard Dawkins visit and merely ask this: do you not have something better to do with your time?


    Robert Eldredge

  4. On the other hand, it was a great musical.

  5. Excerpts from comments left at Pharyngula by Dr. Victor Hutchison, Prof. of Zoology at U of O and a board member of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education:

    Part of the attacks from the religious right legislators is likely due to their disappointment that the 'Academic Freedom Act' failed in a senate committee. Three of us (OESE Board members) worked hard to get the one Republican Senator to vote against the freedom bill; it failed by one vote. We lobbied as members of OESE, NOT as representatives of the University and our handout only mentioned OESE as the author. However, two of us are from OU Zoology and they must have known that. One Senator called he University Administration to complain and try to intimidate. Nothing came from the call. OESE has been very active for the past 10 years in opposing these creationist bills and, so far, none have passed, although last year it took a Governor's veto to kill the 'Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act' that is now law in Texas. The bill is back again, however.

    Now that the Republicans control both houses of the Lege for the first time in history, they think they can start giving hard payback for all of the years they were without total power. The hypocrisy of these klegislators is almost unbelievable - and they want to push academic freedom?


    I need to emphasize that there are two resolutions - one against Dawkins, the other primarily against the OU Zoology Department for their statement on evolution, etc. For the record, Zoology is not a sponsor of Dawkins talk, but is a co-sponsor of several other Darwin Year events. The ignorant legislator author of these resolutions does not realize that many biology departments (maybe most) in the U.S. have similar statements supporting evolution, including Oklahoma State University.

    as well as this one, which I particularly liked:

    Dawkins will also announce at the end of his talk that his foundation is giving Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE, http// $1000 and will urge others to donate as well. The OESE web site address will be shown on a sldie. Thus, some good comes from this stupid stuff!

  6. Oh, and a couple of clips from the event.

    Dawkins talking about the resolution:

    And, of course, the requisite fundie nut job threatening him with eternal damnation:

  7. Why does Thomsen feel the need to pass a resolution at all? Why not just pray for God to intervene and somehow prevent Mr. Dawkins from coming to Oklahoma? Perhaps God could accomplish this by causing Dawkins to get a flat tire right before crossing the border. Or perhaps forcing his plane to land prematurely due to a bird flying into the engine. Surely the same god who caused the sun to stand still and part the Red Sea can prevent one guy from merely entering a particular U.S. state.

    Does Thomsen think God is incapable of doing these things? Perhaps Thomsen is lacking in faith. Nothing like a good spiritual retreat in the mountains to gin up the old Christian zeal. Or is this resolution nothing more than pointless noise making to please his equally irrational constituents and perhaps a chance to land an interview on Fox News?

    Whatever the reason, I only see this helping Dawkins in the end with slightly more exposure than he was already getting.

  8. I continue to be amused at the constantly counterproductive actions of the consies.

  9. (blogger crapped out on me, so this may be a double post. If so apologies)

    "Three of us (OESE Board members) worked hard to get the one Republican Senator to vote against the freedom bill; it failed by one vote."

    Note that the backhanded language of the "academic freedom" bills can produce this type of quote-mining goldmines.

  10. The stupid in my state burns me. I speak out when I can, but there is more stupid than one can imagine.


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