Monday, March 23, 2009

Boojum hunting in Oklahoma

Yes, it's finally time to begin a new Boojum hunt! The object of the hunt is to investigate the 'circumstances' behind Richard Dawkins recent appearance at UO. Seriously folks! Just before Richard Dawkins was scheduled to appear, a very foolish representative of the people of Oklahoma introduced two bills designed to keep him out! I kid you not! I read it first on the PZ Myers blog and this is about the follow-up: "Suspected Criminal Richard Dawkins Under Investigation" and had to read it a second time to make sure it wasn't an April Fools joke a week early.

"Oklahoma State Representative Rebecca Hamilton ( requested substantial information relating to the speech from Vice President for Governmental Relations Danny Hilliard. Representative Hamilton's exhaustive request included demands for all e-mails and correspondence relating to the speech; a list of all money paid to Dawkins and the entities, public or private, responsible for this funding; and the total cost to the university, including, among other things, security fees, advertising, and even "faculty time spent promoting this event."
Where in the world is this mess going to lead? Are Universities going to have to start getting the OK from the legislature for speakers? Is this sort of activity really what the people in Oklahoma need from their representatives? Sure, there are no other issues facing the people of Oklahoma right now!

This is nothing but a Boojum hunt, which for those of you more literature-minded is a dangerous form of the Lewis Carroll Snark. If you prefer, call it a good old fashioned witch hunt! Pretty soon the only speakers you will be able to get, without significant 'oversight' from the Legislature, are those with nothing at all to say! Forget academic freedom, forget hearing controversial information, forget teaching anything at all! This is ridiculous and I hope all of Oklahoma contact Representative Hamilton and express their displeasure.

Oh and before I forget, it wasn't Representative Hamilton who introduced the two bills designed to prevent Dawkins from coming into the State, but another one of her apparent ilk named Todd Thomsen ( she is just the one apparently engaged in the hunting of the Boojum.

Here are a link to the two bills, read them for yourself. I think they are hilarious! Here is just a sampling:
"A Resolution expressing disapproval of the actions of the University of Oklahoma to indoctrinate students in the theory of evolution; opposing the invitation to Richard Dawkins to speak on campus; and directing distribution.

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma is a publicly funded institution which should be open to all ideas and should train students in all disciplines of study and research and to use independent thinking and free inquiry, not indoctrinate students in one-sided study and thinking; . . ."
How can you possibly reconcile in your mind opposing the invitation and yet then follow up right away and talk about free inquiry? Oklahoma, you aren't very particularly OK right now. You need to put a leash on those two! Remember, this is the same group who wished to pass a bill concerning academic freedom? See why I keep saying that bill, and the others like it, have nothing whatsoever to do with academic freedom! Here is more evidence to show you that they care little for freedom of any kind!

No comments:

Post a Comment