Tag Archives: Trial

Dave Coppedge was fired by NASA for distributing intelligent design DVDs

Evolution News explains.

Excerpt:

Before Coppedge was fired, he was demoted and punished — and this happened precisely because he was talking with colleagues about intelligent design. The evidence in the case is unmistakable on that point. Consider this exchange between Coppedge and his supervisor at JPL, Clark Burgess, on April 15 and 16, 2009:

Query from David Coppedge to Clark Burgess: “Per our meeting this afternoon, I just wanted to be sure I didn’t misconstrue what you told me. Is it correct to say that the allegation of harassment was limited to the activity of my handing out DVDs on intelligent design to coworkers, and that if I had not done that as to anyone here in the building, I would still be in good standing? (i.e., I would not have been investigated or gotten the written warning)? Or would you word it some other way? I just want to be crystal clear I was not being investigated/reprimanded for some other activity, personal flaw or deficiency in job performance.” (See Declaration of William J. Becker, Jr. Re: Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion in Limine #1, Exhibits, p. 13)

Reply from Clark Burgess: “I believe the investigation was triggered by the discussion you had with Greg [Chin] on April 13th, when he demanded you stop passing out DVDs and discussing them in the workplace. When I first conversed with HR, they mentioned they were going to conduct an investigation based on that encounter. Whatever else they may have found, I do not believe entered into their decision to generate the written warning. It’s my belief, if that incidence had not happened HR would not have been contacted and the written warning would not have been generated.” (See Declaration of William J. Becker, Jr. Re: Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion in Limine #1, Exhibits, p. 13)

(Burgess accidentally gives the wrong date for when Greg Chin “demanded you stop passing out DVDs.” The actual date was March 2, 2009.)

This clearly shows that Coppedge’s demotion and punishment had everything to do with his lending intelligent design DVDs to co-workers, and in fact had nothing to do with anything else.

Even JPL admits that the demotion had to do with Coppedge’s conversations at work. The AP story reports:

In an emailed statement, JPL dismissed Coppedge’s claims. In court papers, lawyers for the California Institute of Technology, which manages JPL for NASA, said Coppedge received a written warning because his co-workers complained of harassment. They also said Coppedge lost his “team lead” status because of ongoing conflicts with others.

[…]Indeed, as we expect Coppedge’s case will show, no one at JPL had complained of “harassment” against him until after Coppedge himself filed a harassment claim. Coppedge filed that harassment claim because on March 2, 2009, a JPL mid-level manager named Greg Chin yelled at Coppedge, ordered him to stop “pushing religion,” and told him to stop talking about intelligent design. No one ever stepped forward and proactively filed a harassment complaint against Coppedge for his conversations about ID. Rather, he was targeted by administrators who disliked his pro-ID views.

The reason I posted this is to just make it clear to everyone what is really going on here, as if there were any doubt about what happened. Darwinists, like global warmists, do not engage in debates. They exert power to coerce and silence dissent. Let’s be clear about that. They are the Spanish Inquisition and they smash anyone who dissents from their dogma.

Trial begins for former NASA employee fired for belief in intelligent design

From Fox News.

Excerpt:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has landed robotic explorers on the surface of Mars, sent probes to outer planets and operates a worldwide network of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.

Its latest mission is defending itself in a workplace lawsuit filed by a former computer specialist who claims he was demoted — and then let go — for promoting his views on intelligent design.

[…]David Coppedge, who worked as a “team lead” on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, alleges that he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work. Coppedge lost his “team lead” title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission.

Opening statements are expected to begin Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court after two years of legal wrangling in a case that has generated interest among supporters of intelligent design. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are both supporting Coppedge’s case.

“It’s part of a pattern. There is basically a war on anyone who dissents from Darwin and we’ve seen that for several years,” said John West, associate director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. “This is free speech, freedom of conscience 101.”

[…]Coppedge’s attorney, William Becker, says his client was singled out by his bosses because they perceived his belief in intelligent design to be religious.

 

If Darwinism was all it was cracked up to be, then why do they have to resort to silencing people who disagree with them, and ruining their careers? This is not an isolated occurrence.

Liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules traditional marriage unconstitutional

Here’s the news from Big Government.

Excerpt:

Today, the 9th Circuit upheld the absurd ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, striking down Proposition 8, the voter-approved constitutional amendment that would uphold traditional marriage in the state. The ruling itself was highly political and in no way legally oriented. “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians,” wrote the Court, “and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior… the Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”

National Review assesses the decision to overrule the will of the people with the feelings and intuitions of two judges.

Excerpt:

2. For [Judge] Reinhardt, “‘marriage’ is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults.” (P. 37.) The right to marry that the state supreme court conferred on same-sex couples “symbolize[d] state legitimization and social recognition of their committed relationships.” (P. 5.)

Notice what’s missing from Reinhardt’s description? Any recognition that the very institution of marriage arose and exists in order to encourage responsible procreation and childrearing.

3. On pages 56-63, Reinhardt does confront the argument that Prop 8 advances California’s interest in procreation and childrearing, but his analysis is badly flawed:

a. Reinhardt first undertakes to address the argument that “children are better off when raised by two biological parents and that society can increase the likelihood of that family structure by allowing only potential biological parents—one man and one woman—to marry.” But he somehow finds it dispositive that Prop 8 “had absolutely no effect on the ability of same-sex couples to become parents or the manner in which children are raised in California.” What he utterly ignores is that it is eminently reasonable to believe that the less marriage is centered around the concerns of responsible procreation and child-raising, the less well marriage will serve those goals. That’s an elementary lesson about mission confusion.

The redefinition of marriage to encompass same-sex couples fatally severs the link between marriage and procreation. That’s why Reinhardt has to misdescribe marriage (see point 2).

Over at Caffeinated Thoughts, Shane has the reactions from the two social conservatives still running in the Republican primary.

Excerpt:

Rick Santorum while campaigning in Missouri today said:

Today’s decision by the 9th Circuit is another in a long line of radical activist rulings by this rogue circuit – and it is precisely why I have called for that circuit to be abolished and split up. Marriage is defined and has always been defined as ‘one man and one woman.’ We simply cannot allow 50 different definitions of marriage.

The people of California spoke clearly at the ballot box that they wanted marriage defined in the traditional manner of one man and one woman. And for a court, any court, to usurp the power and will of the people in this manner on an issue this fundamental to the foundation of our society is wrong.

We need to have a Judicial Branch that acts within its Constitutional bounds. We need to have a President that is willing to stand up to the Judiciary. We need to have a President who will fight to protect marriage once and for all with a federal marriage amendment. I am committed to being that President.

Newt Gingrich blasted today’s decision as well:

With today’s decision on marriage by the Ninth Circuit, and the likely appeal to the Supreme Court, more and more Americans are being exposed to the radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.

I was drawn back into public life by the Ninth Circuit’s 2002 decision that held that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance were unconstitutional. Today’s decision is one more example that the American people cannot rest until we restore the proper rule of the judicial branch and bring judges and the Courts back under the Constitution.

The Constitution of the United States begins with “We the People”; it does not begin with “We the Judges”. Federal judges need to take heed of that fact.

Federal judges are substituting their own political views for the constitutional right of the people to make judgments about the definition of marriage.

Ben Shapiro thinks that defending marriage will be a winning issue in the general election for Republicans.

Excerpt:

President Obama has been able to elude the question of same-sex marriage overall. His slippery rhetoric indicates that he’s pro-civil unions but anti-same sex marriage but is “evolving.” This ruling will force him to take a side. He will likely attempt to suggest that this is a decision best left to the courts, but he’s never taken that position before – see, for example, campaign finance reform. It’s unlikely that the gay community or the religious community will allow him to get away with that.

If Obama is forced to answer for his position on same-sex marriage, he will be in serious trouble come election time. He is already suffering from low approval ratings among religious groups, and just this week he alienated Catholics with the Health and Human Services announcement that birth control coverage would be required from Catholic employers. Minority voters, especially Latinos and blacks, are anti-same sex marriage as a rule (which is why Prop. 8 passed in the first place – many blacks showed up to vote for Obama in California and voted in favor of traditional marriage at the same time).

While the press likes to complain about the right wing on social issues, the fact remains that same-sex marriage is not a popular movement in key states for Obama. In Florida, for example, 53% believe that same-sex marriage should not be legal, as compared to 37% who believe it should be; in Ohio, that split is 53% to 33%; in Pennsylvania, it’s 51% to 38%. Overall, Americans are moving in the direction of same-sex marriage (a Pew poll showed that Americans now approve same-sex marriage by a 46-44 margin), but older people and nonwhites are particularly against it (just 39% of nonwhites support same-sex marriage). In short, this is not a winning issue for Obama.

I think Rick Santorum is more persuasive than Newt Gingrich on the marriage issue, because marriage is Santorum’s core. He forms his economic policy around marriage and parenting. Mitt Romney actually has a record of opposition to traditional marriage. Ron Paul has a record of opposition to traditional marriage. Neither of them could be counted on to defend traditional marriage at the federal level.

My secular case against same-sex marriage is here, in case you find yourself debating the issue.

Montreal Muslims found guilty of first degree murder in Shafia trial

From the National Post. (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)

Excerpt:

After Canada’s first mass-honour-killings trial, three members of a Montreal family have all been found guilty of first-degree murder in the drowning deaths of four other family members — including three teenage sisters.

A jury on Sunday handed down its guilty verdicts for Mohammad Shafia and Tooba Mohammad Yahya, as well as their 21-year-old son, Hamed.

They had been charged with murder after the bodies of three Shafia sisters — Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and 13-year-old Geeti — were discovered in a submerged vehicle in a canal near Kingston, in June 2009.

Also in the vehicle was Rona Amir Mohammad, the 52-year-old first wife of Shafia, whom he married in his native Afghanistan before the polygamous family moved to Canada in 2007 and settled in Montreal.

A conviction for first-degree murder carries with it an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

[…]A dozen independent witnesses — including Montreal police, social workers, teachers and school officials — testified the girls feared their father and even some of their siblings, who they believed were spying on them, and were depressed and desperate to get away.

On wiretap recordings played for jurors, Shafia called his daughters “whores,” “filthy” and “rotten children” who betrayed the family and Islam and did “cruelty” to Shafia by secretly taking boyfriends and by wearing revealing clothes.

Prosecutors alleged that the victims died in an honour killing orchestrated by Shafia to cleanse the shame he felt from the conduct of his daughters.

The trial also heard that Shafia’s first wife, who was living in Canada illegally, wanted a divorce from Shafia and was supportive of the daughters who were dating.

Blazing Cat Fur also points out this Montreal Gazette article, which says that the relatives of the Shafia murderers approve of honor killings.

Like the UK, Canada has major, major problems with immigrants who are not integrated properly into Western culture and values. The Liberal government that was in power for decades was always pushing for “diversity” and “multiculturalism”, just like the UK Labour Party. Liberal professors, like those at Queen’s University in Kingston, are even pushing for Canada to adopt polygamy, in order to respect the cultural beliefs of Muslims.

In Canada, polygamous Muslims can already collect multiple welfare checks for their multiple wives.

Excerpt:

Hundreds of [Greater Toronto Area] Muslim men in polygamous marriages — some with a harem of wives — are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.

Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said wives in polygamous marriages are recognized as spouses under the Ontario Family Law Act, providing they were legally married under Muslim laws abroad.

“Polygamy is a regular part of life for many Muslims,” Ali said yesterday. “Ontario recognizes religious marriages for Muslims and others.”

He estimates “several hundred” GTA husbands in polygamous marriages are receiving benefits. Under Islamic law, a Muslim man is permitted to have up to four spouses.

However, city and provincial officials said legally a welfare applicant can claim only one spouse. Other adults living in the same household can apply for welfare independently.

The average recipient with a child can receive about $1,500 monthly, city officials said.

This is another situation where liberal Toronto lawmakers want to support “multiculturalism” and “diversity”.

Oh, and did you know that multiculturalists also support sex-selection abortions? It turns out that sex-selection abortions are very popular in non-Western nations, like India. Yes – it’s another area where leftists side with “multiculturalism” and “diversity”. One wonders what multiculturalists think of honor killings and burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. After all, if you accept all views on moral issues as valid, then you approve of all of these views as valid. That’s what moral relativism and tolerance means – celebrating everyone’s point of view as equally valid.

Well, I for one think that honor killings and sex-selection abortions and widow burning and polygamy are all morally wrong. I guess I am not multicultural and diverse enough.

You can read more about the Shafia trial and the verdict here at Blazing Cat Fur.

JPL employee who was fired for loaning ID DVDs will get jury trial

From Evolution News. (H/T Uncommon Descent)

Excerpt:

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a jury will decide whether NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) unlawfully discriminated against a former employee for discussing the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID) at work.

David Coppedge, a 14-year JPL veteran and team lead computer administrator on the Cassini Mission to Saturn, was demoted for lending ID-related DVDs to coworkers, behavior that one JPL complainant called “harassment,” and another branded “pushing religion.” After he filed suit to vindicate his free expression rights, JPL terminated Coppedge.

Evidence shows that JPL demoted and terminated Coppedge because he expressed a pro-ID scientific viewpoint disliked at JPL and labeled “religion” by JPL decision-makers.

“The court’s ruling allows a jury to vindicate David Coppedge’s rights,” said Joshua Youngkin, a legal affairs policy analyst with Discovery Institute. “California law forbids employers who view an employee’s expression as religion to punish or diminish the employee on that basis.”

“Although ID is not religion, it can’t be singled out by JPL or other employers in this way,” added Youngkin.

In its ruling, the court found there “are triable issues of fact as to whether Plaintiff’s demotion, written warning, negative performance evaluations, and ultimate termination were adverse employment actions” that involved discrimination.

Coppedge is represented by William J. Becker Jr. of the Becker Law Firm, who was supported in the case by Alliance Defense Fund.

So on the one hand, you have Richard Dawkins ducking out of debates, and on the other hand, you have taxpayer-funded government  employees firing people who offering to lend someone a DVD that questions the religion of naturalism – a religion that is flatly contradicted by the Big Bang, by the way.