Just Above Sunset
From the Department of Oops

Home | Question Time | Something Is Up | Connecting Dots | Stay Away | Overload | Our Man in Paris | WLJ Weekly | Book Wrangler | Cobras | The Edge of the Pacific | The Surreal Beach | On Location | Botanicals | Quotes

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Regarding June 12, 2005 - Dispatches from Cincinnati we received this from DB in Cincinnati -


As for our infamous Sheriff Leis, I was shocked to read about his remarks so I did some research.  The only local paper to report on this (at least according to my research) was City Beat Magazine, which is a pop-culture periodical, not a real hard-news organization.  Anyway, I even checked one of the local papers who employ an editorial columnist who once called the Sheriff a fascist – and they had nothing about this speech in their archives.  Neither did any of the local TV stations so I am skeptical to say the least.  But the good Sheriff (I think, at least) wouldn't take an article like this lying down and it appears that he did, so take that for what it is worth.  Given the bad-cop PR climate that Cincinnati has enjoyed the last couple of years I do not think these remarks would have gone unnoticed, and apparently they did.  So my conclusion is that there is a real chance that perhaps the Sheriff may have made some questionable remarks - or not.


Editor's Note: City Beat seems to be the sole source, and all my other sources are commentary on that one.   The "World Socialist Web Site" piggybacks on that and links back to a 1999 Florida speech by another police chief that might have been the source of the Leis speech - if it was even made.  The link back to the City Beat story is here.


Urban legend?   Perhaps.  There is only one report of the speech.


From Rick, the News Guy in Atlanta –


DB - I was going to suggest you alert the Cincy paper (the Inquirer, is it?) to this great story, but once I learned that "wsws.org" - which is where this article was lifted from - stands for "World Socialist Web Site", I thought again.  I imagine you'd be met with the same level of enthusiasm that greeted Kevin McCarthy when he tried to warn the authorities about the pod people.


Comment from our friend who left Hollywood to go live in Paris, but is soon moving to Belgium, but grew up with DB in Cincinnati –


Well, given the source of this Leis story, I have to put it in the "Myth" file for now.  But it is the near plausibility of the story that is the more interesting part.


Whether you think he's a joke, or the savior of the sons and daughters of River City, it must be allowed that in comparison to the vast majority of county sheriffs, he looks rather like the preacher in "Footloose."


I do remember a time when, if you wanted a copy of Playboy you would have had to visit a neighboring county to buy it.  His long-running, low-level moral crusade is not normally the stuff of county sheriffs.


Good or bad?  You decide.  But I don't imagine you having any greater objection to Playboy than I do.  Then there was the Maplthorpe thing.  Hey, I'm not a big fan myself, but geez.…  I'm pretty sure that was on Leis' watch (or perhaps he was the District Attroney back then).  It all does make Cincinnati appear to outsiders as a backward, rather scary place.  As today Playboy and a whole lot more can be found almost anywhere in Hamilton County, it doesn't seem that the Leis legacy will extend far beyond the many self-inflicted PR wounds.


And that is all we know.

Received Wednesday, May 18, 2005 1:06 PM Pacific Time -


The assumption you made about me being the "Anti-Scopes" was entirely incorrect.


I understand that the wording of the AP article may have given you that impression, but the article actually grossly over-simplified what really went on in my class.  John Hanna, the AP reporter, did not accurately portray what we discussed in my class.  We spent a single class period discussing the full range of identified viewpoints regarding the creation/evolution controversy.  Intelligent design was one of many viewpoints mentioned.  We did not discuss ID as though it was as "good a theory, and as valid a theory, as evolution." 


Since ID proponents have yet to propose any testable hypotheses, they don't really even have a theory.  Until they produce some research results in support of their claims, ID has no place in a Biology curriculum.


Just wanted to clarify.



Jeremy Mohn


The item in question is May 8, 2005: The Run-Away Bride and Michael Jackson's Urges - Not the Only News and the Associated Press passage reads:


… at Blue Valley Northwest High in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, teachers do not have to mention alternative theories, but biology teacher Jeremy Mohn did so anyway this spring, in addition to spending a month talking about evolution, including why peacocks have long tails.


My apologies.





December 12, 2004: The Environment and Wayne Newton 


There is not much comment in these pages on environmental issues and this administration - but one needs to remind that a previous Secretary of the Interior – 1981, the Reagan years – had a born-again view of how to be a responsible steward of our forests and parks and all that.


"James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, 'after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.'"
      - on the Bill Moyers show…


Chop down a tree for Jesus?  No one is saying such things now.  This is progress.


April 24, 2005: The Christians are going after the Christians as to who are the real Christians... 


… a John Hornbuckle sent me a quick email saying the problem is there seems to be no proof that that Watt actually said this.  One book by one author reports this quote, but no other sources confirm that the book is accurate.  And neither I nor Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, could actually find a way to confirm it.  So let’s assume Watt didn’t say it.


The Religious Left's Lies 

James Watt, The Washington Post, Saturday, May 21, 2005; Page A19


… Last December Moyers received an environmental award from Harvard University.  About three paragraphs into the speech, after attacking the Bush administration, Moyers said: "James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, 'After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.'  Beltway elites snickered.  The press corps didn't know what he was talking about.  But James Watt was serious.  So were his compatriots out across the country.  They are the people who believe the Bible is literally true -- one-third of the American electorate if a recent Gallup poll is accurate."


I never said it.  Never believed it.  Never even thought it.  I know no Christian who believes or preaches such error.  The Bible commands conservation -- that we as Christians be careful stewards of the land and resources entrusted to us by the Creator. …




Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law. 
See the Details page for the relevant citation.

This issue updated and published on...

Paris readers add nine hours....