Errors in Character Assassination
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Layoff. It is said that I left my prison job because I was "laid off." This is inaccurate. I explained what happened, and offered to provide documentation from my former superiors. The critic did not acknowledge this offer, and so clearly prefers to keep this version of the story afloat than get at the truth.

What actually occurred began when Jeb Bush was elected governor of Florida. He appointed as head of corrections a person who (in line with Republican policy) preferred to cut expenses. The entire department was reorganized, and libraries were subject to staff cuts.

There are 60+ prison libraries in the state. The reorganization cut the positions for these almost in half, and replaced them with "paraprofessional" positions held by workers who would receive less pay and no benefits. (This was the job my "successors" occupied.)

the time there were between 45-50 librarians in positions around the state. News of this first surfaced in January 2000 and developed over the next two months. Word was let out that librarians with greater seniority would be given preference to keep positions that were left. Having 7 years under my belt I estimated (by looking at a list of my peers) that I was about 20th in rank. (As a note, this should give you some idea how frequent turnover is in prison positions. At 7 years I was practically a "veteran" by comparison.)

Various options were floated for those who would no longer have a job. We might be able to keep a job in a different area, such as teaching in the prison school. We could "bump" people who had less seniority, but who still had positions at their institutions.

Since I was in the upper middle of the pack, and two of the three jobs nearest me were held by people with more seniority (the job at my institution was one that would be cut), my status would be uncertain unless I was willing to move, which I was not. So I evaluated my options (among them, certain aspects of the new administration's policy and history) and decided to simply find another job elsewhere. This I did, with a local public library.

I resigned of my own volition and desire and could have kept a job with the system if I so desired, albeit one in a different location forcing me to "bump" someone less senior, or doing work that I did not like doing. I was not "laid off".

Again, in private correspondence, the basic elements of the above were laid out to the critic, who preferred instead to suggest that I was laid off for malfeasance and covering something up. I offered to provide documentation of the workforce reduction and of what transpired, as testified to by the state's administrator over prison libraries. This offer was ignored. The critic obviously prefers to offer misinformation to suit his purposes.

I extend the offer to document the above to anyone who doubts me.


Reported Discipline. The critic derisively refers to "disciplinary reports" for inmates who "are late checking their books back in" or who dog-ear books. Actually, those are chargeable offenses. The former comes under the rubric of "disobeying a written order" (an overdue notice demanding return of the book) and if found guilty an inmate could be sentenced to 30 days in special confinement and lose that much in good behavior time, thus extending their sentence. The latter would be a case of damaging state property and liable to the same sort of punishment.

In the interest of not burdening security, who were busy with more serious offenses, such as manufacture of alcoholic beverages, fighting, or assaults on staff ranging from physical contact to being doused with urine from a cup, I did not write reports for such minor offenses. I preferred to use punishments within the library setting, such as restricting library priviliges. But I did have to write reports for more serious offenses as well (about a half dozen in as many years), and my implementing of all such punishments (including privilege restriction) was seldom greeted with a smile by my inmates.

I doubt if most critics would have the volition to so discipline a violent offender, or even a common burglar, were they working behind the gate. And I am sure they feel safe responding to this by saying they would have the volition, because they will obviously never put himself in such a situation.


No Profit. A few words about non-profit or 501(c)(3) status. The critic comments on our note that the majority of our support must come from the public, noting that his organization, also a 501(c)(3), does not have such a stricture. He roundaboutly admits that things may have changed since his own status was given in 1991 and notes that his effort has been supported through the "sale of subscriptions" to his newsletter and unsolicited donations, and accuses me of putting a "spin" on IRS regulations to beg for support.

I do not know what adhered in 1991, but the critic needs more knowledge than just what documents he dealt with in 1991. My source for this is Dan Busby's Zondervan Church and Nonprofit Organization Tax and Financial Guide 2001 edition. Bubsy is a veteran CPA who has served as a chief financial officer for a religious denomination.

Busby tells us [34] that "unrelated business income" such as our sales through Amazon Books is permitted and is subject to taxation if it amounts to over $1000 per year (which it does not, for us, yet). He adds: "UBI must not comprise a substantial part of the organization's operation. There is no specific percentage on how much UBI is 'substantial.' However, organizations with 50% to 80% of their activities classified as unrelated have faced revocation of their tax-exempt status." (Emphasis mine.)

I therefore think it quite justified, on the word of a CPA with vast experience in such matters, to say that the majority of my support cannot come from anything but the general public. Of course if any critic X knows a veteran CPA who can say otherwise, I will gladly hear their opinion and change what I wrote, or else cite Busby as the authority and note the differing opinion.

I have no idea how much of the critic's support for his organization came from the sale of his newsletter. If it exceeded 50% he put himself at risk of having his organization reprimanded, according to Busby. The bottom line is that the critic conducted no investigation of the matter and preferred rather to submit his own version of events based on what he merely assumed was true.

For what it is worth, those who objects of my goal of $30,000, might consider that Dan Barker's "Freedom from Religion Foundation" has an annual budget of $500,000, a staff of five, and supports itself with annual dues of $40-50, and the sale of items such as The World Famous Atheist Cookbook.


No Name Needed. A brief note is worthwhile on the critic's comments on our responses to the "Trilemma critic." It is assumed that we do not name our critic because, "[Holding] apparently fears that if he refers to his 'critic' by name, some of his gullible readers may actually have enough internet savvy to do a search and find the articles" that the critic has written.

Far from it. Those with more "internet" savvy know how to do a competent search using unique phrases which I quote from the critic's material. Our lack of naming this critic is a symbolic gesture of contempt for his arguments. We might add that after 4 weeks our open offer to direct anyone to the Trilemma critic's site, who asks via e-mail, had but two takers, suggesting either that our readers are intelligent enough to find the site if they want it, or else don't care.


You'll Pay. I quote myself from earlier work:

I pay for this site, so correspondent with the 90% fluff ratio I demand that Skeptic X pay for 90% of the costs of hosting any item he submits -- whether he meets challenge #1 above or not. Obviously the amount would have to be determined based on going rates for server space and the length of the article written. I also want payment for 8 years in advance (about the time I have the tektonics.org name reserved). Based on Skeptic X's behavior I am not so sure he'll be around that long before giving himself a coronary, and I think the security is a good idea.

I gave this as a debate condition before I knew that the critic would soon have his own website, but I'd like to bring it up again. Note the highlighted phrases. Here is what the critic gets out of the above, as he reports it to his readers:

One condition was that I would have to pay 90% of the cost of maintaining his website, which would be 90% of $35 per month or $378 per year...in other words, [Holding] was saying that he would debate me on my site and his if I would just agree to pay him $3024 before the debate begins.

The whole website? Did I say that? I suspect the cost would have been no more than $5 over 8 years for even the longest, fluffiest item he could produce, which would never occupy my entire website. (See the TheologyWeb "Contrived Gospels" thread for the critic's attempt to evade this misreading.)

-JPH