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Archive for Saturday, December 10, 2005

Conservative made postings public

Real estate broker controversial on political scene

December 10, 2005

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If not for John Altevogt, an Edwardsville real estate broker, many of the people who became outraged by Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki's comments might never have learned of them.

Altevogt, 60, is the conservative activist and Internet discussion board contributor who compiled and spread Mirecki's remarks across the online Kansas Conservative Network mailing list.

Within hours, conservative Kansas lawmakers were raging. Some called for public hearings about Mirecki's plan to teach a religious studies course on the controversial topic of intelligent design. Mirecki pledged to teach creationism and intelligent design as mythology.

"John is very effective at what he does," said Cindy Duckett, founder of Kansas Conservative Network. "I think he has voiced an opinion that is shared with very, very many on this particular issue."

Supported, reviled or ignored, Altevogt is a controversial character on the Kansas political scene. He said he views himself as both a populist and a gadfly.

To Altevogt, stirring up the Mirecki controversy was one of his many "research projects." He simply compiles reports, puts the information in the public domain and hopes somebody sees it, he said.

For him, the Mirecki issue never had anything to do with intelligent design. He couldn't care less, he said. His attention to the subject was partly due to Mirecki's hateful approach, he said.


John Altevogt, a conservative activist from Edwardsville, helped stir  the controversy surrounding Paul Mirecki.

John Altevogt, a conservative activist from Edwardsville, helped stir the controversy surrounding Paul Mirecki.

Blistering comments

As researcher and activist, Altevogt has taken on former state senator and unsuccessful attorney general candidate David Adkins, writing blistering columns about what he saw as questionable grants awarded to a nonprofit corporation run by Adkins' wife.

In 1999, when the Department of Administration investigated the Kansas State Lottery following allegations of sexual harassment, Altevogt distributed a photograph of director Greg Ziemak with four female workers wearing bras on their heads.

Altevogt is a frequent contributor to the Kansas Conservative Network, a discussion board for conservatives, and other Internet chat groups.

His words can be inflammatory. When Mirecki proposed the course on intelligent design, Altevogt called the professor a "bigot" and said the course would be like David Duke teaching about race relations or Fred Phelps teaching about homosexuality.

Duckett said she's not that fond of Altevogt's direct language, but that his acerbic style can be effective.

"He's very good at getting people's ear," she said. "He does carry a lot of influence, a lot of respect."

But not with everyone.

Dick Bond, a moderate Republican, former state Senate president and member of the Kansas Board of Regents, said he pays no heed to Altevogt.

"He has been a major gadfly," Bond said. "He is not on my radar, nor am I going to put him there ... I haven't heard about him in a long time."

Roy Teicher, former managing editor of The Kansas City Kansan, said many people try to marginalize Altevogt, but that's dangerous.

Teicher, spokesman for Minnesota Senate candidate Patty Wetterling, a Democrat, said people like Altevogt prevent issues from coasting along and being controlled by a powerful few.

"It's important to listen to all the John Altevogts of the world out there," he said. "I just think those voices are so, so critical."

Early days

Altevogt grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind. He said he attended the inner-city Fort Wayne Central High, a school that was about 90 percent black at the time.

There, he said, hanging out with black friends in front of the bowling alley, he saw racial bigotry firsthand.

"There was a look that you would get - just a look of hate," he said.

He wasn't a very good student.

"I just had a good time," he said.

He has attention deficit disorder, and as a teenager never followed the rules. He dropped out of high school and later received his GED.

He enrolled at Indiana University-Fort Wayne intent on becoming a teacher. He fell in love with sociology instead. At Indiana, he met Saul Alinsky, the Chicago activist considered to be the father of community organizing. Altevogt calls Alinsky one of his heroes.

"This is just a guy who cared about neighborhoods and taking care of people in those neighborhoods and letting the common guy have a voice," he said.

Altevogt said he sees himself as giving voice to conservatives who he said are often painted as lunatics or idiots.

Altevogt went to graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"I really have never had much to do with the Democrats," he said. "They just have never impressed me as a party."

Liberalism, he said, is associated with authoritarianism, bigotry and corruption. Altevogt said he found a home among religious conservatives because he is a person of faith and he was impressed by what others in the group were saying.

On the sidelines

Altevogt attended KU in the 1990s, pursuing a doctoral degree, but he turned away from academia.

In the late 1990s, he contributed to The Kansas City Star's op-ed page, but his political views ultimately put him crosswise with the newspaper's management, he said.

After stints as a Christian radio host, Altevogt has settled into a routine he said enables him to be free of any conflicts of interest in his writing.

"I've arranged my life so I don't have to get along with anybody other than my wife," he said.

His political and social wrangling are a small part of his life, he said. He plays bass in the blues band Cotton Candy & So Many Men.

"I actually spend a lot more time doing music than I do politics," he said.

And he hasn't done any more digging into Mirecki, he said.

"I'm sort of watching the world go by at this point," he said. "I have no desire to become a part of this story."

Comments

MadAnthony 8 years, 4 months ago

i like Dr., Humburg. Sounds like my kinda fellow. He says... "It is kind of a Christian mission. Some people do their missions in Guatemala. I spread the word of science. How God is cool with it. He doesn't expect us to check our brains at the door to church."

IT is so sad that too many Christians do that. And it is also sad that too many evolutionists do as well. Let me explain:
If this all came about by random chance then ....... {STOP, ONE MUST NEVER LOOK BEHIND THAT CURTAIN. GO BACK AND HIT A CREATIONIST OR FUNDY OVER THE HEAD INSTEAD. WE HAVE ALL AGREED TO NEVER LOOK INTO THE WELL OF DESPAIR, BUT TO INSTEAD DEFLECT, DETOUR, AND ATTACK WHEN ASKED TO FOLLOW OUR ASSUMPTIONS TO THEIR LOGICAL END.} Anyone want to disagree and play follow the assumptions with me?

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Calliope877 8 years, 4 months ago

Posted by Boxcar_Bobby85 (anonymous) on December 10, 2005 at 5:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Calliope877 Ew, I knew he was an ugly, ignorant, hateful little man....his photo says it all. Bleck

"Let's not go down this road. Personal insults add nothing to this discussion and will only inspire more of the same."

I wasn't trying to be insulting. I was simply pointing out some obvious facts.:)

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wonderhorse 8 years, 4 months ago

ive

Please inform me how Mirecki is a "bigot". I have read everything I can on this subject, and can' find anything that he has said that is bigoted.

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JustinBeck 8 years, 4 months ago

Hi all,

I'm looking for some help on a short documentary I'm producing about the debate over intelligent design. It will be aired on a nationally-syndicated, weekly radio newsmagazine called "Making Contact". (More about the show here: www.radioproject.org)

For my story I'd like to open up our toll-free phone line and allow you all to add your two cents. Your comments, if I choose to include them, will be heard on more than 190 public/community/college radio stations in the U.S. and Canada (for a full list, please visit the web link above). The tentative air date for this piece is early January.

Here's how you can participate:

Our toll-free number is 1-800-529-5736. The deadline is Friday, December 16 at 5:00 p.m. PST to call and give your answers to the following prompts. (This is NOT a live call-in radio show.)

  1. Briefly introduce yourself. If you wish, use only your first name. Tell us where you live and what you do for a living. Briefly explain your own relationship to this story, if any.
  2. Give a definition of intelligent design ("Intelligent design is:"). Explain why you support or reject the idea itself. Then, say why you support or oppose the teaching of intelligent design in Kansas schools.
  3. Give a definition of evolution. Explain why you support or reject the idea. Say why you support or oppose the teaching of evolution in Kansas schools.
  4. What is your take on the Mirecki story? What was your reaction to his proposed course? Do you feel he stepped over a line by making comments about "fundies" and how his course would be a "nice slap in their big fat faces," and why? What was your reaction to learning that Prof. Mirecki was beaten? How do you feel about his decision to resign as chair of the department?
  5. What, if anything, do you think the Mirecki story says about your community and about the larger, national debate over intelligent design? Do you see the beating as an isolated incident, or as part of an overall culture war? Or something else?
  6. Imagine a fictional United States of America 40 years from now, after all states' boards of education have adopted pro-intelligent design curricula, and an entire generation has been raised on such teachings. What kind of country would it be?

Please try to answer each question in 30 seconds or less. At the end of your message, please say your full name and leave a phone number or e-mail address, so that I can reach you if needed. Your contact information will NOT be made public.

Again, the deadline for your answers is this Friday, December 16 at 5:00 p.m. PST. The number to call is 1-800-529-5736. Early submissions will be greatly appreciated!

If you have any questions or concerns before participating in this project, call me at my office at 510-251-1332 ext. 103, on my cell at 510-332-3719 or write to justin at radioproject dot org.

So, let the fun begin!

Justin Beck Associate Producer, "Making Contact"

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Bob Forer 8 years, 4 months ago

Humburg, on the other hand, uses his unique story to connect with people on both sides of the issue. As a medical doctor with a fundamentalist-Christian past, he sees contributing to the political battle as a personal endeavor.

"It is kind of a Christian mission. Some people do their missions in Guatemala. I spread the word of science. How God is cool with it. He doesn't expect us to check our brains at the door to church."

One such mission occurred in September at an anti-evolution meeting in Dover, Penn. The meeting convened amid a federal trial between Dover residents and the local school board, which voted to include Intelligent Design in a revised curriculum. When the meeting's organizer claimed that teaching evolution leads to atheism, Humburg objected - a dramatic, Scopes-ian moment documented in a recent issue of The Nation.

Humburg says anti-evolutionists claim the education battle is about a balanced curriculum, when in fact it's about fear.

"What they're actually saying is, 'Evolution threatens my understanding of God,'" says Humburg, who admits that a similar sense led him to participate in the political discussion.

"Here I am as an M.D.," Humburg says. "Anything that undermines science is a threat to me. Be it politics, religion, Intelligent Design. As a scientist, I should have something to say about that."

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Bob Forer 8 years, 4 months ago

Altevogt devolution into mean spirited intolerance should be contrasted with the evolution of Burt Humburg, mentioned in: http://www.lawrence.com/news/2005/dec...

Growing up among a Pentecostal congregation in Andover, Kan., Burt Humburg learned extreme views on God and the world. According to his charismatic church, Jews and homosexuals were doomed, the world was flat and evolution theory was blasphemy.

Now a graduate of KU Medical School and an internal medicine resident at Penn State College of Medicine, Humburg remains a Christian. He's also an "evolution advocate" and member of Kansas Citizens for Science, an organization that has fought the rewriting of state science standards. But reconciling his religious roots with his scientific knowledge required some redefining.

"The God I was taught about as a fundamentalist Christian is not compatible with what I learned in the world," Humburg says. "The understanding of God I have now is compatible with science."

He says his current understanding, theistic evolutionism, "disarms the bomb" of conflict between science and God. Theistic evolutionism embraces scientific findings about the natural world, but allows that some force - albeit one that can't be proved by science - created that world.

"No matter what science says, God could still be behind it all. Behind everything," Humburg says of theistic-evolution theory. "What appears random, blind, uncaring, aloof - that's our inability to discern God's purpose."

Evolution advocate Humburg says that, while religious people reconcile their beliefs with science, many scientists conversely seek religious and spiritual meaning.

"As human beings, we don't have to be scientists with every step we take. I love my brother. But no one's going to prove that scientifically," Humburg says. "The biggest atheists in the world, I'm sure, have made decisions in the absence of empirical evidence. Like marriage. Marriage is an act of faith. We all use faith. It's not a dirty word."

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Bob Forer 8 years, 4 months ago

Al;tevogt is a fine Minister of Propagand in the best tradition of goebbels, particularly in his perfection of the "Big Lie." sieg heil!

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b_asinbeer 8 years, 4 months ago

That is strange....glasses on his head and on the shirt??? But not on the eyes. Looks like someone forgot to teach him how to wear one properly....then again that's to be expected from a redneck conservative from Kansas...

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b_asinbeer 8 years, 4 months ago

Altevogt's picture shows what I've figured him to be all along....a redneck. But not just a redneck....a conservative redneck. Yuck!

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RayanaSandy 8 years, 4 months ago

heh, so glasses on his head and on his shirt?

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

From post of BrainCase, December 10, 2005 at 3:57 p.m.

>>>>>>>>>>>

The following quotes, from websites that discuss the rejection of religious secondary-school science textbooks by reviewers at the University of California, indicate that even graduates of evangelical K-12 schools are prepared to study science at the college level ------"

Great news about evangelical K-12 schools. How does that have anything to do with my post? don't want my kids to go to an evangelical school.

You obviously missed the point of my post. My point was that even though K-12 evangelical-school students get a lot of religious bias in their science education (and I am not conceding that intelligent design is a strictly religious concept), they are apparently getting adequate preparation for studying science at the college level. So these doomsday predictions that teaching ID is going to make Kansas students unsuited for careers in science and technology appear to be unfounded.

And Larry, pardon me for saying so, but have you ever worked in the tech sector? I've worked for a few good sized outfits, and you can bet that they consider where they build their population centers. They want to create jobs in heterogenous environments, where people from all walks of life and all races, creeds and colors can flourish. If you don't think this business about our state science standards are effecting their decisions, you are not thinking like a good employer.

Not that it matters, but in answer to your question, I worked as an engineer for about 11 years in the aerospace and automotive industries.

I don't think companies care much about diversity when choosing their locations. Some places just happen to have a lot of diversity and other places do not.

A few years ago, there were arguments that European automakers would not want to build plants in states that used Confederate flags as official government symbols. Those arguments were proven to be unfounded when the automakers said that the Confederate flag was not a consideration in their choices of locations. I think that the new Kansas standards for science education are the same sort of thing.

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wendt 8 years, 4 months ago

John has a lot of hate in him. Way too much hate. It's irrational and dangerous.

John did this for fun. He didn't care about Intelligent Design / Creationism. He just did it because he could push some buttons.

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waldo 8 years, 4 months ago

Hey Arminus, just wanted to point out that you said "holiday party" and "holiday season". Are you participating in the so-called "War on Christmas"? Your conservative comrades might disown you...

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jimincountry 8 years, 4 months ago

I saw that someone in an earlier post cited Ward Churchill--he's the University of Colorado bigot professor who ridiculed the victims and praised the terrorists in the 9/11 tragedy. At least our KU bigot is not as bad as that "tenured" professor.

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ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 8 years, 4 months ago

If Mirecki wasn't sucha bigot, Altevogt would have nothing to "expose." Mirecki is his own worst enemy. He gives creedence to the bumper stickers that state, "Kansas...as bigoted as you think."

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jimincountry 8 years, 4 months ago

Thanks John Altevogt! I hadn't paid much attention to your posts before Sophia's earlier article about exposing Mirecki; now I'll be watching for your commentary.

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Boxcar_Bobby85 8 years, 4 months ago

Calliope877 Ew, I knew he was an ugly, ignorant, hateful little man....his photo says it all. Bleck

Let's not go down this road. Personal insults add nothing to this discussion and will only inspire more of the same.

I agree with the "let Kansas be Kansas" sentiments. To whatever extent the "image" of Kansas deters folks from moving here, (and there is no way to quantify such a thing, though I don't deny it's existence) my feeling is any bad publicity Kansas gets is more the result of the hand-wringing and "Chicken Little" reaction by some Kansans than the result of any real changes in the way Biology may be taught in our schools. It's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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laughingatallofu 8 years, 4 months ago

MadAnthony opines...

<<< Just let Kansas be Kansas, and if you were expecting Massachusetts or California .... go there!

And now back to my Travis Tritt rockabilly-thon.

People will, or at least they'll stay away from Kansas. You won't notice, of course. Ignorance is bliss. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me if Travis Tritt stayed away from Kansas. He sings "Country and Western", not "Backward and Ignorant".

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Calliope877 8 years, 4 months ago

Ew, I knew he was an ugly, ignorant, hateful little man....his photo says it all. Bleck!

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 4 months ago

MaidAnthony

You said: "Just let Kansas be Kansas, and if you were expecting Massachusetts or California .... go there!"

Could not have said it better myself.

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MadAnthony 8 years, 4 months ago

Signmund rocks! Loved the "debutante with a pimple on her forehead!" I am so sick of hearing about how we should give a rat's arse about what others are thinking about Kansas. Just let Kansas be Kansas, and if you were expecting Massachusetts or California .... go there!

And now back to my Travis Tritt rockabilly-thon.

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jcameron 8 years, 4 months ago

Yourworstnightmare - you are spot on that Kansas is the loser (as far as I can make out from the UK).

Radio and TV that covers the whole of the UK's 60 million population has been covering Kansas recently, which is why I found this site. The general tone of the articles is - you won't BELIEVE this, listen........

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Bob Reinsch 8 years, 4 months ago

Larry Farma wrote: "What evidence do you have to support those claims?

The following quotes, from websites that discuss the rejection of religious secondary-school science textbooks by reviewers at the University of California, indicate that even graduates of evangelical K-12 schools are prepared to study science at the college level ----"

Great news about evangelical K-12 schools. How does that have anything to do with my post? I don't want my kids to go to an evangelical school. Even if I did want to pony up the extra cash to send my kid to a private school, the last place I'd want to send my kids is some school with a narrow view of the world. I want my kid to go to a public school, where the school population isn't monochrome. I want to see my public schools improved, not some voucher system that cherry picks their students and leaves the troubled kids behind to fend for themselves. The cowards look at public schools and see the troubled kids and say, hey, I don't want my kid to be influenced by that kid, and never once do they stop and consider that maybe your darling little angel is just the kind of friend that troubled kid needs to get things on track. Some of the most troubled kids I've known in this life were PK's.

And Larry, pardon me for saying so, but have you ever worked in the tech sector? I've worked for a few good sized outfits, and you can bet that they consider where they build their population centers. They want to create jobs in heterogenous environments, where people from all walks of life and all races, creeds and colors can flourish. If you don't think this business about our state science standards are effecting their decisions, you are not thinking like a good employer.

C'mon gang. It's about the kids. Don't make our kids a punchline... check that... we're too late. Let's fix the problem. Extremist agendas don't help anybody in the long run.

Oops, better run, another pickup...

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Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

Do I love Lawrence? ABSOLUTELY! Anyone who says different is just asking for a black eye!

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 4 months ago

By the way John, I like the touch of wearing the KU sweatshirt for your photo. Very orchestrated.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 4 months ago

Sigmund,

How many professors at KU and K State are from the state of Kansas? How many come from other states or countries? I would ask the same questions about Sprint employees and aviation employees.

I agree that this might be little more than a "News of the weird" column to most people, but to those in the academic and technology industries it is a big "Keep Out" sign.

You might not want to believe this but it is the truth.

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yourworstnightmare 8 years, 4 months ago

Say what you will about Altevogt, but he did accomplish his goal.

He has ruined the career of a respected KU professor and scholar, and made the University of Kansas look foolish and spineless.

KU allowed Altevogt to be successful by caving to pressure from the radicalized religious right. They assumed the worst of Mirecki instead of first defending a 16-year KU veteran with an excellent teaching record.

KU is the biggest loser in this little drama.

One can only say "Congratulations, John."

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even_money 8 years, 4 months ago

"...your artists with their foot in the bucket, your smoking preferences (tobacco bad, pot good!), your roundabouts, or the Chair of Religious Studies. In a State that is overwhelmingly conservative, liberal little Lawrence (the oasis of the midwest) is little more than a "News of the Weird" item for the rest of the Country."

Don't you just love Lawrence? :)

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Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

Oh I ought to say that I for one could not be more pleased with all of the controversy this has caused Lawrence and the University of Kansas. Way too many of you worry too much about what the rest of the world thinks. You're more self-concsious than debutante with a pimple on her forehead!

The sad hard truth is that outside of Kansas most of the rest of the world could care less about your artists with their foot in the bucket, your smoking preferences (tobacco bad, pot good!), your roundabouts, or the Chair of Religious Studies. In a State that is overwhelmingly conservative, liberal little Lawrence (the oasis of the midwest) is little more than a "News of the Weird" item for the rest of the Country. Get over yourself.

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Sigmund 8 years, 4 months ago

What a riot! Now JA, PAM, and fat faced fundies are causing Kansas to lose jobs! Next they will be blamed for causing global warming, high oil prices, and illegal immigration. It is just too funny to watch the extreme left thrash about like one of those little Darwin fish with tiny little legs gasping for air.

I too vote for a reality series or a "WWF SOMA Smackdown 2005" pay-for-view event complete with wrestling babes, cage, and the "Let's Get Ready To Rumble!" announcer guy. Let the good times begin.

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Kookamooka 8 years, 4 months ago

Boxcar Bobby,

I LOVE the idea of the reality series! And Face Slap is my favorite band name. But....where are the political cartoonists? We need a good editorial cartoonist to put this whole conundrum in perspective.

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MadAnthony 8 years, 4 months ago

Arminius, true enuf. If General Washington and the Prussians could party on Christmas, even those across the cultural divide in KS should be able to.

Speaking of cultural division, I was thinking a mural of Altavolt holding a keyboard in one outstretched arm and a copy of Saul Alinsky's picket sign in another would make a fine tourist attraction on Mass. Anyone want to underwrite the artwork? :) Would be a fine way for a liberal to show case her tolerance.

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Arminius 8 years, 4 months ago

MadAnthony:

That would not excuse his boorishness. As I said, if bitter Liberals can't contain their hatred for just an hour or two during the holidays, they should just stay home. There are much more appropriate forums other than a holiday party to discuss those issues.

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MadAnthony 8 years, 4 months ago

Arminius, Maybe the 65 year old had lost his job at the North Pole due to Bush's social order--threatening deficits and failure to address our economic situation in a fashion that would have saved our core and vital industries? Who would not be sorry to have lost a good gig like Santa's given the malfeasance of our national leaders?

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Arminius 8 years, 4 months ago

"Truly a shame that people would go to such lengths do attack a person's beliefs."

In my opinion, the Left goes to much further lengths. Consider this:

We attended a Philippine-American holiday party last night. I was enjoying the food with my extended family when this 65-year-old dwarf with a mail-order bride half his age asked me, "So how's that big pickup truck of yours?"

"I don't have a truck," I responded.

"Well, weren't you the guy who beat up Paul Mirecki," he asked.

Well, this ticked me off a bit since I don't go around beating up people and, while a conservative, I'm not aligned with the creationists.

"Look," I said, "we're here tonight to celebrate, not to debate politics."

"Oh, we should just celebrate while all those people are dying in Iraq?" he responded.

"Just drop it," I replied.

"Are you threatening me?" he asked.

Okay, here's a note to all the bitter Lawrence liberals: This is the holiday season. If you can't contain your hatred for just an hour or two and celebate with friends and family, stay at home.

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b_asinbeer 8 years, 4 months ago

Altevogt is an idiot. Go seek your 15 minutes of fame elsewhere. Then again, Kansas is always filled with hicks like these. So, that's to be expected....

Truly a shame that people would go to such lengths do attack a person's beliefs.

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MadAnthony 8 years, 4 months ago

Too bad Altavolt had to stick his fat face into all of this. Would have been so much better to have our state tax dollars going to establsih an official and dogmatic view of Divine Providence contrary to our founding documents and 4000 years of recorded history. Darn it, Altavolt, must you always stand in the way of socialist progress? Why don't you just learn to respect the Harvard elites leading us to a New World Order and realize that only liberals are allowed to witch hunt in academia?

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BlondeTiger 8 years, 4 months ago

I cannot beleive how much our society revolves around the conservative liberal spectrum.

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Boxcar_Bobby85 8 years, 4 months ago

mcoan

Come on home. In spite of the impression you may get from the media and these kinds of forums, Kansas is not "controlled by the religious right", nor do "Religious Extremists control everything". I mean it. It's just not true. The state is largely Republican as always, and there is an ongoing struggle in the Republican party between the moderate and conservative wings. The Intellegent Design issue, gay marriage, education funding and other issues have been, and continue to be sources of hot debate. This is the case in many states around the country and the democratic process will sort all of this out in due time. Massachusetts or California it ain't, (for which I am "extremely" thankful) but I think Kansas will be okay. Come on in. The water's fine.

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Jamesaust 8 years, 4 months ago

Somehow I do not find it surprising that a person who so often displays clear hatred of others - a very unChristian virtue - would have as a former occupation hosting "Christian radio."

No wonder the ranks of agnostics and atheists seem to grow with each passing year. Won't the Judgment Day verdict be?: led My flock away.

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mcoan 8 years, 4 months ago

Yep, I've considered moving back to Kansas with my business and its 15 jobs, but then I remember, "oh, yeah, it's not the same state I lived in until I was 25!" Now it's controlled by the religious right.

What really ticks me off is that your supposedly Democrat governor doesn't stick her neck out and scream how this is hurting your children and your economy. The jokes, the ridicule. What quality science professor will move to a Kansas college now? What CEO of a company who has children will consider moving to somewhere where Religious Extremists control everything? The governor needs to speak up and ridicule these people...not because they are religious, but because they are hateful, mean, and anything but Christian.

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LarryFarma 8 years, 4 months ago

From post of BrainCase, December 10, 2005 at 7:35 a.m.

Right now any number of companies are taking Kansas off their list of places for expansion and employment. Our academics in science fields are being mocked and ridiculed as they apply for grants. Our children are being overlooked for internships in technical fields, and being graded out as second-class students by the best universities because of the laughing stock the Kansas School Board has become.

What evidence do you have to support those claims?

The following quotes, from websites that discuss the rejection of religious secondary-school science textbooks by reviewers at the University of California, indicate that even graduates of evangelical K-12 schools are prepared to study science at the college level ----

http://www.cccsmurrieta.com/secondary/wsj.asp says --

--- The university sends out a form letter to any school that proposes to teach biology and physics using one of the two biggest Christian textbooks now in circulation. The courses that assign such books, the letter claims, will not be "consistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community." Students thus "may not be well prepared for success" in the university's science courses. Chris Patti, the university's general counsel, tells me that the textbooks have many "scientific errors" and the "biggest one is [the way they describe] evolution." Such a statement is itself far from rigorous. The physics textbook is like any other -- with pure science in it -- except that a verse from Scripture stands at the head of each chapter. Barbara Sawrey, a chemistry professor at the San Diego campus, who advised the university on this matter, told Burt Carney, the school association's legal-affairs director, that the verse appearances alone were enough to disqualify the textbook. (Talk about biased.)[comment in original] As for the biology textbook, it is certainly true that it includes a presentation of creationism and intelligent design, but it presents evolution as well, straightforwardly. ----

http://www.cccsmurrieta.com/elementary/pdfs/lawsuitoverview.pdf says (on page 3) --

---- When asked whether poor college performance by students from religious schools prompted the rejection of the textbooks, UC representatives responded negatively. They also acknowledged that UC did not have any objective evidence that students from religious schools are deficient in science when they arrive for their freshman year of college. ----

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 4 months ago

Well, that conservative professor likely has "conservative" opinions. As long as he can separate his opinion from the facts of whatever the subject matter is, in which case the class would not be "biased," then there would be no problem with his teaching the class.

But nice strawman argument.

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bankboy119 8 years, 4 months ago

What no one has commented on is that if this were a conservative professor going to teach a biased point of view to a liberal class and posted his hate of liberalism on the internet that the liberal who exposed him would be treated as a hero. Talk about hypocrisy.

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Silence_Dogood 8 years, 4 months ago

And the idiocy continues. If John 1945 doesn't want to be a part of the story, why does he let the LJW run yet another story on him? People complain about seeing Mirecki too much; I'm sick of seeing this moron.

How come you couldn't stand academia, John? Too many years of true critical thinking threatening to expand that narrow, crypto-nazi mind?

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 4 months ago

The band would simply be called "The Mutually Lost".

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Boxcar_Bobby85 8 years, 4 months ago

Kookamooka

If the band doesn't work out maybe a new reality show based on the "Odd Couple" theme. Think of Jack Klugman and Tony Randle and tell me this idea doesn't have Emmy Award written all over it.

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classclown 8 years, 4 months ago

Kookamooka here are some suggestions.

Fundie Heathens

Face Slap

I D Ten T (IDIOT)

The Flying Spagetti Monster and the Mythological Scientists

Yeah... I know they're dumb. I guess I should have woke up more before attempting this. MAybe this will get the ball rolling though.

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Bubarubu 8 years, 4 months ago

Tanzer is absolutely right. Alinsky's critique of the radical/new left was that it was interested in upheavel without a vision of what the world should look like on the oher side. Alinsky was determined that minority voices would be heard through effective, disciplined, and purposeful organizing. Altevogt does not seem to speak for a minority voice, nor with any particular purpose. Alinsky would be ashamed.

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Jackie Jackasserson 8 years, 4 months ago

Alinsky wouldn't like Altevogt's tactics at all. Pot stirring for its own sake is not an Alinsky tactic. Alinsky would never stir a pot then "watch the world go by." Nothing about this whole situation has bettered the Lawrence or Kansas community. It has only served to insight and cause violence. As for liberalism being authoritarian - ??what?? I can't even comment on that it is so rediculous.

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BrianR 8 years, 4 months ago

Fascinating. It is exactly people like John Altevogt that make conservatives look like lunatics and idiots.

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Kookamooka 8 years, 4 months ago

I think Mirecki and Altevogt should start a band. Now they just need a hot, female, Libertarian, wiccan to be their drummer! They could call themselves......what? What would they call their band? Help anyone!

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 4 months ago

John said "Liberalism, he said, is associated with authoritarianism, bigotry and corruption." Better to say that extremism is associated with authoritarianism, bigotry and corruption.

John Altevogt is NOT the religious right's Minister of Propaganda. Self-appointed Minister, maybe.

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sweatpeagj 8 years, 4 months ago

If he didn't want to be a part of the story why in the heck is there a freakin article about him? Just rember what happens to snitches Altevogt. I am not one of your followers so you don't have to worry about any violence from me. Sounds like he just wants to be a pain in everybody's backside without having to put himself out there for public ridicule.

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Kookamooka 8 years, 4 months ago

Oh Goody!! A picture. Now we all know who to beat up!! (just kidding-only conservative thugs do that!)

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Bob Reinsch 8 years, 4 months ago

"Altevogt said he sees himself as giving voice to conservatives who he said are often painted as lunatics or idiots."

And motivating his followers to stalk and assault those with a contrary point of view.

Altevogt is a string-puller, a puppeteer. Of course he doesn't want to be part of the story - if he were, we'd find more about his motivations, his agenda... and it wouldn't surprise me if this is all a little game to him to reinforce a position of power and influence within the Talibaptist community.

He makes ludicrous comparisons, and has little comprehension of the role a state university has to play in presenting religion as an academic subject. If you want to make sure that the religion class you're taking, better make sure you take the class at a university or college endorsed by your church.

Right now any number of companies are taking Kansas off their list of places for expansion and employment. Our academics in science fields are being mocked and ridiculed as they apply for grants. Our children are being overlooked for internships in technical fields, and being graded out as second-class students by the best universities because of the laughing stock the Kansas School Board has become.

Congratulations, John. You've hurt children all over the state of Kansas. You've hurt the economy of Kansas, and it looks like two of your biggest fans have assaulted an academician for disagreeing with your perspective.

Sun Tzu said "Choose your enemies carefully, for you will come to resemble them". The stated foe of the U.S. is the fundamentalist Islamic movement. It is obvious to me that the rise of the religious right in the United States reflects Sun Tzu's warning.

John Altevogt is the religious right's Minister of Propaganda.

I better get off the Internet. A pickup just pulled up outside my house...

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malachi 8 years, 4 months ago

How can you compare Mirecki to the likes of Fred Phelps? It is not like Mirecki got a bunch of 5 year old kids to post stuff on these chat rooms for him.

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even_money 8 years, 4 months ago

The guy looks like a professor wannabe.

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RayanaSandy 8 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for writing a story about the SOMA mole..

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