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Do you think the State Board of Education brings bad publicity to Kansas?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 12, 2006

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Photo of Mark Ungerer

“Yes. I think they do. I’ve had conversations with people from other states, and one of the things they bring up is that we believe in creationism, which isn’t really the case.”

Photo of Christy Bailey

“I would say no, because I haven’t heard anything about it in our news. The issue of teaching evolution verses creationism is not unique to Kansas.”

Photo of Clinton Clark

“Yeah, totally. It’s just horrible. I remember having a biology teacher who transferred here from out of state, and he didn’t really know what to make of it. The way he approached it was quite awkward and hilarious.”

Photo of Vanessa Van Etten

“Well, I guess any publicity is good publicity, but I’d rather it be for something else.”

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Kuku_Kansas 11 years, 7 months ago

The word "Kansas" is bad publicity in itself.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

OK, normally I don't pick on the OTS people pictured above (I usually save that for YDP), but...a teacher, albiet she's from another state, that hasn't heard anything about this and poor Vanessa's parents that will see her in the next issue of "The girls of KU," it's just too much for me.

It's time again to bring out the trap-door buffalo, prairie squid, and flying spaghetti monsters. It's national fruitcake day. Welcome to Oz.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

R_I = word snob

sgt, the logo looks like the cloth a teenage girl has used to remove her eye makeup.

jonas 11 years, 7 months ago

"Posted by beatrice (anonymous) on October 12, 2006 at 9:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

When the national news mixes the BOE with Phelps and acts like the entire state supports these loons, it doesn't look pretty. People who have never been to Kansas generally haven't a clue about the state, beyond the hurricanes and the bad stuff that gets published, like the BOE decisions. It is a real shame."

And Toto. Don't forget Toto.

Really, we as a state will have a bad rap no matter what. That's why I've taken, when someone asks me where I'm from, to saying that I'm from Texas.

Then I shoot them in the knee-caps with a .22 and wave a cowboy hat while whooping at the top of my lungs.

We shouldn't be the only state with a bad rap.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

RI, I have talked to my local farmer and he says that the appropriate thanks would require a great deal more than hugging.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

R_I, watch out, or KU might use turnitin to catch you plagiarizing. Then they'll make you watch a KU football game next to a screaming baby.

H_Lecter 11 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely, but if the they were spiced, garnished, and served warm, I'll bet even Kansans would learn to love them.

KS 11 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Christi Bailey...this subject is NOT unique to Kansas, in spite of what some people want to believe. Frankly, if you don't want to believe in God, that is your business, but I would suggest that you make sure you are right. You are only going to get one chance.

opinion 11 years, 7 months ago

A couple of things. First, having been in corporate America as a decision maker, Merrill, BOE decisions would have little if any impact on whether a company would decide to locate to Kansas. You may have other valid arguments but that isn't one.

Secondly, I for one am secure enough in my thought process that, after looking at a subject and then formulating a position, I really don't care if someone in another state or even the guy next door wants to make fun of me. I do not take a position based on what's popular. It is odd that Lawrence tries to position it self as free thinkers and then constantly fret "what will the neighbors think?!"

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

I want someone to pay me $200,000 so that I can make your logo look like all the other logos. That's my ideal job. Satisfaction comes as I'm laughing to myself on the way to the bank.

RI, well, he does have big equipment... and yes, what is T_I_C??? You're speaking in that made-up language again.

acg 11 years, 7 months ago

When they're making jokes about your state on late night t.v., you know it's time to make a change.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

I cannot in any way agree with the idea that all publicity is good publicity. That is an absurd rationalization. It's like saying it's good publicity for the Buffalo Sabres to have people mocking their new logo (

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

KS, who says a Christian hasn't got room for both God and evolution in our little brains?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

TOB, I may not think about them again until they play the Red Wings.

The most popular name for their logo has been the Buffaslug; one of my favorites is the person who called it Barney Rubble's Hairpiece.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely. Get rid of it. On one nationwide chat board our state board of ed and its' decisions have come up frequently as does our narrow minded legislature. Kansas is no secret with the push to challenge evolution and teach creationism which is not science. This may prove to keep new economic growth from Kansas as the world watches what's going on in Kansas. The move to keep sex education out of the public schools is rather astounding to some elsewhere in the world as well.

This state board has NOT been a practical or prudent manager of funds. The hiring of no experience Corkins at the high end of the salary range is but one example. Allowing Corkins to hire people to teach him his job is one more example. Connie Morris is the master abuser of state funds with board approval.

Why does the state need a Board of education? Why not leave it to individual districts?

Look how this board doled out money to questionable charter school applications. One in the state of Georgia.

Neither Barnett nor Susan Wagle are huge supporters of public schools and would love to use a school board as means to alter our school system is my speculation.

Remember Susan Wagle hitting the Bill O Reilly circuit.

Phelps also comes up plenty on this natiowide chatboard as he travels the USA. Kansas makes headlines for too many of the wrong reasons.

beatrice 11 years, 7 months ago

When the national news mixes the BOE with Phelps and acts like the entire state supports these loons, it doesn't look pretty. People who have never been to Kansas generally haven't a clue about the state, beyond the hurricanes and the bad stuff that gets published, like the BOE decisions. It is a real shame.

A few years ago my favorite bumper sticker was "If you outlaw evolution, only outlaws will evolve." Loved it.

My new favorite is: "In case of rapture, can I have your car?"

bjamnjm 11 years, 7 months ago

How about a class whether it be science, ethics, philosphy or whatever to encourage critical thinking of Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design, etc.?

Difficult to see the harm in that. It might even be considered forward-thinking or progressive in the eyes of the nation.

All of this requires a degree of faith.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

I'd have a hard time considering Kid Rock a rapper (otherwise, wouldn't he be Kid Rap?). I'm not really sure what he produces, but I'm not sure it's rap.

Besides, I'm just trying to forget that Michigan produced Madonna.

southerngirl 11 years, 7 months ago

When people from Tennessee are laughing at people from Kansas because of the Kansas School Board, it's bad...


sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

Kansas has rap artists?

Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since the best rapper to come out of Detroit -- not an ethnically diverse city -- is white...

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

Texas _Is_Censored? Timing_Is_Critical? Teeth _In_Chattermode? Toto_Is_Coming?

Where is Gootsie when you need her?

Richard Heckler 11 years, 7 months ago

"Informed (anonymous) on October 12, 2006 at 7:24 a.m. (Suggest removal) You're absolutely right, merrill. It is critically important to know what "one nationwide chat board" thinks and writes about. I mean, it's the internet afterall. It must be true if they say it." At least on ONE nationwide chatboard it has been a topic of discussion which is nothing more than an indication that elsewhere people talk about Kansas concerning this matter. Hopefully it will slow the population growth of Lawrence. Lawrence needs great paying jobs which I hope is not affected by the legislature and the KBOE. We do not need more people

KSExpat 11 years, 7 months ago

Ummm ... yes, the whole idiotic business of a state entity supporting creationism has cost Lawrence and Kansas a great deal in reputation and jobs. Add in the mix a dash of Phelpsian homophobia and your fascist AG and Kansas becomes a place that almost no technology company would touch.

I work as an executive at a large (and yes, it will remain anonymous) technology company in Silicon Valley. When the topic came up whether to offshore jobs to Bangalore or 'near-shore' jobs, the vote went for offshoring.

Why? Because while nearshoring could be more cost-effective, the company couldn't get a single executive or senior engineer to contemplate moving to what is seen as a backwards little portion of the 3rd world in the middle of the country.

The candidate for nearshoring: Lawrence, KS.

The bigotry of your fellow residents cost you 150 jobs that paid on average $65-70k yearly.

But keep on Bible-thumping and spewing hate and ignorance. Really doing a lot for the state.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 7 months ago

I think maybe it's worth noting that it's not really wise to chase perceptions. The BOE may not be the best, but if you're trying to make it so you're cool to people in Silicon Valley or the northeast or wherever, then you're not really doing yourself any favors. Don't be something because other parts of the country think you ought to be that.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

"The bigotry of your fellow residents cost you 150 jobs that paid on average $65-70k yearly." - KSExpat

Yes, clearly there is no bigotry going on in your Large, anonymous tech co. in Silicon Valley. BTW, is it true that there are no women left there with real breasts? Freaky!

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

That Is Comical? Things In Cellar? (for Hannibal) That Ignorant Cantalope?

Sorry - I'm not much help here!

Bone777 11 years, 7 months ago

KsExpat - "Because while nearshoring could be more cost-effective"

I can't believe the damage Kansas has done to the national economy. Our backward thinking has driven all of these companies overseas, even though it could be more cost-effective to stay in the U.S.?

I'm sure that you are paying 150 employees $65-70k yearly over in Bangladesh. Yeah right.

beatrice 11 years, 7 months ago

bj: "How about a class whether it be science, ethics, philosphy or whatever to encourage critical thinking of Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design, etc.?"

That is exactly the problem! People keep trying to add non-science issues into science classes. People in the sciences have indeed given critical thought and scientific analysis to the matter of evolution, and the science backs their conclusions. The others issues - I.D., Creationism, Zeus on Mt. Olympus, etc., are simply a matter of faith that can't be supported by science.

Take the discussion out of the science class, however, and there should be no problem. The problem arises when people, like some on the BOE, ignore the evidence, insist that evolution isn't true, and that the world is only 6,000 years old. Do you really want that discussed in a "science" class? Damn. Bea.

KSExpat 11 years, 7 months ago

Wow ... really want jobs. Or is it only jobs that involve manure?

No, of course we weren't paying the people in Bangalore the equivalent. We thought cost-savings from shorter communication latencies and higher productivity would be eventually equivalent to the cheaper labor in Bangalore. Imagine working a 24-hour shift as some of our principal engineers are required to make up for a 13-hour time difference. Not to mention $65k is relatively cheap compared to $130k salaries in CA.

But hey ... You're making our case for us at the BOE, the State Capitol and on this forum. You don't have any money or jobs or really any prospects and whenever someone wants to give back to the state they grew up in you spit in their face.

Enjoy losing the rest of your bright people and a continuing decline in your standard of living. I guess you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you 'learned' someone while those guys in India make money off my company.

KSExpat 11 years, 7 months ago

BTW, Original Bob ... I sometimes wonder why I have any attachment to KS and contribute to KU's Endowment Fund at all. But then I'm reminded of all the bright and open-minded people in KS like yourself and I just can't stop giving.

Oh yes, to the latently sexist on this board. I'm a woman and my boobs are real.

But enjoy the cud-chewing ... I'm off to the company-paid masseuse and then the company gourmet cafeteria.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

Expat, did I call you a man? No? Didn't think so. And the breast comment was to clue you into the bigoted thinking against your own little corner of the world, but I guess that flew right on over your bigoted, self-inflated head. And you think us fool enough to believe that the almighty dollar had less of an influence on company placement than bigotry? Clearly, we are as daft as you think us.

Bone777 11 years, 7 months ago

Lack of tax breaks and recreational opportunities are more of a downfall that the ideology.

Seattle had trouble keeping its Boeing businesses, also. It was more a sign of the times with Airbus giving them competition and needing a new plant to build the 7e7. Since Seattle is where it all began, when times got tough they brought their business home.

Kansas does lack in the recreation department. Extreme conditions in the summer and no mountains to enjoy in the winter, makes job recruitment tough.

Bone777 11 years, 7 months ago

KsExpat- I am totally disgusted by your opinions about Kansas and persnickety attitude. There is only one thing I can think to say......

Where can I get an application to work for your company and see your real boobs.

opinion 11 years, 7 months ago


Your company decided not to open a facility in Lawrence, KS because of KBOE decisions and that KS is "backward"? Compared to Bangalore? Are you sure you want to stand by that statement?

Look, I'm really not trying to get into who is backward or not. I just have not been associated with a company that would base their decision on where they will locate on what emphasis is given to the teaching of evolution in an unchallenged way. Maybe I've been with the wrong companies?

mom_of_three 11 years, 7 months ago

There are several things which have brought negative publicity to Kansas - the BOE, Phelps' travels and rantings, gay marriage amendment, the Nebraska teenager's marriage, and BTK.
Yes, other states have the same problems, but our BOE problems seem to be front and center sometimes. Maybe because of the country's perception of us as backward country bumpkins, I don't know. But I don't think the BOE has caused more negative pub than anything else.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

RI, I'll admit I'm sexist if you admit you're a word snob.

beatrice 11 years, 7 months ago

Damn, Bob! You went all Terminator on that girlie exec. I like it.

I just wonder about an "executive" who has time to fiddle about with the likes of us in the middle of the day. I hope we find out what company this is, so we can make sure to avoid those stocks. Also, does expat stand for expatriate, or is it like ex-Pat - suggesting gender reassignment surgery?

Okay, that was a cheap shot. Sorry Pat. Maybe you can have a few extra minutes on the massage table -- but watch out for the tofu at the gourmet cafe. If you need to know why, I'll gladly supply you with Marion's contact info. Who knows, it might be a love connection.

jonas 11 years, 7 months ago

I would assume that, due to our overwhelming whiteness, where Kansas has rap it looks something like this:

But the real question is, does Kansas have Bad Wraps?

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

TOB, it isn't today, it's tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder...

KSExpat, wow. Why did you have to go all big shot on us? We are just simple folk. Yes, our state has problems, but it's my home and I don't care to hear the opinions of someone who has your arrogance. Stay there with your real boobs. Judging from your posts, I'd say you and the real boobs are peas in a pod.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

Back in the 1950s, Kansas was known as a well-educated State. We are now often portrayed as backward and ignorant.

The number of uneducated people in Kansas has probably increased due to higher birth rates in these fringe groups, but the main reason for the emergence of ignorance has come from televangelists preaching a socialist-totalitarian theology based on a perverted and dishonest interpretation of the Bible.

These extremists have become increasingly political, vocal, manipulative and dishonest. They found corrupt individuals to run for office in Kansas based on an agenda of fear, ignorance and repression.

They used tainted money and lies to put these charlatans into office by conning decent and otherwise rational people into voting for them.

It doesn't take too many crackpots to make a State look bad, and as has been mentioned, other States are similarly plagued by this kind of extremist nonsense and non-science.

I hope after this fall's elections, the World media will run many stories on how Kansans rejected the ignorance, dishonesty and immorality of the crackpots on the KBOE, Ryun, Kline, etc.

Bone777 11 years, 7 months ago

I love this board. It is fuuuuuuuunnnnnnyyyyyyy!!!!!

opinion 11 years, 7 months ago


"Being portrayed" and fact are two different things. Actually, when you see Kansas, you see "Average America" in many key factors.

BTW, do you dislike the message of Christianity or the people who call themselves Christians?

KSExpat 11 years, 7 months ago

Ad hominem attacks are the refuge of the idiot. But hey -- enjoy your feces-throwing. It's really helping.

I can't help that I answered the question honestly and many of you on this board don't like to hear the unvarnished truth.

I suggested Lawrence for our new facility because I lived in the area for many years while attending KU and remembered what it was like to have no opportunity, no jobs, etc. And I know that there are many KU graduates who are more than capable of doing the work that we need with training.

But I'll freely confess my suggestion was laughed out the conference room.

Why? Because the state is backwards. And yes -- backwards compared to Bangalore. Think on this for just a second before you start hurling insults.

When I went to view the site in Bangalore with my colleagues, there wasn't a single individual we met who denied the validity of evolution, mentioned a single thing about gays, ask to subpoena our medical records, rubbed their religion in our faces or were as insulting as some of the individuals on this board.

Instead we were met by open-minded people who were more than happy to accept and welcome our stateside personnel and work with us to ensure that our new venture was a success. Because they wanted the jobs, realized we had the jobs and worked hard to make sure that we would give them the jobs.

From the looks of this board, any revival of nearshoring is as dead as disco. Many of you are reflexively anti-intellectual and incapable of dealing with the truth that the state has a horrible reputation (I've personally heard the creationism business being laughed at in Paris, Toulouse, Stuttgart, Tokyo, and even, Goa).

Cultural considerations are a huge part of any decision by a tech company when locating a new office. The engineers on staff are extremely diverse (Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, gay, straight, black, white and brown) and we would never locate any of our staff in a place as potentially hostile and retrograde as Kansas has shown itself to be.

I might also add -- how credible do you think a high school diploma or college degree is from institutions in a state where the BOE until recently denied natural selection? Yeah ... science-based companies will be beating down your doors to recruit.

My nephews and nieces still live in the state which is why I keep abreast of the news and contribute to KU. I've also set aside money for them to make their INEVITABLE move outside Kansas when they graduate. What would be very cool to see is a people and a place that changed for the better so that money was given to them to start businesses instead of paying U-Haul.

But to do that, many of you will have to take out your ignorance-based earplugs and listen when someone is being frank with you to your benefit.

PS Except for the wingnuts ... Kansas has a lot to offer.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

Hey realboob - my company has thousands of engineers in all the types you mentioned plus several more. And guess what!!! We are based in Kansas! And we are VERY BIG!!! Go figure!!!

Kiss my butt.

KSExpat 11 years, 7 months ago

11 o'clock lunch ... 10 o'clock massage. And it was good ...

BTW, Original Bob ... I wasn't responding to posts. I responded to the original question. But with your shoulder chip it might be hard to see the monitor. Too bad you're so obviously threatened by anyone agreeing with you.

As for your ad hominem attacks ... well, let's see. Last time I was in KS I had the pleasure of being called a racial epithet, see the Phelps, and read about Kline. All in a 5-day trip to see the folks. So yes, it is important to consider whether people are accepting of a racially or culturally diverse set of employees. FYI- that trip was last year ... 2005! OMG!

And it would be demographically impossible for you to have such a racially diverse mix at your workplace as you claim. How diverse is the state? I thought so ... Census Bureau tripped you up there.

And lastly ... how is our company hurt by a wingnut school board. Let's see -- how about recruiting? You don't think an impaired science education makes a difference when recruiting scientists?!? I'd love to get some of what you're smoking in your fattie.

But really, isn't your school board issue symptomatic of the large number of wackos in the state? I'm sure the head of our UI design department (who happens to be flamingly gay) would love to spend time in the Sunflower State. He'd quit if assigned and we'd be out one very talented designer. But surely the loss of a crucial employee isn't a cause for concern for a company whose sole resource is talented people?

What do you for a living? Knead pizza dough? It's the only thing I can imagine is fitting for an intellectual giant like yourself. You're the fool for displaying your obvious envy and frustration.

PS BTW, it is like 1955 in Kansas. Just fewer people and less money. Anyway, I'm done for the day ... I'm going out to enjoy my comp time I accrued over the last 3 weeks. So keep ranting and celebrating your little victories. My colleagues and I are highly entertained. Your posts are the best thing since KS revoked natural selection :)

sunflower_sue 11 years, 7 months ago

Expat, you're like one of those people who say they are not racist and then say "This big dude...who just happened to be black..." as if his skin color had a rat's worth of anything to do with the story. You are so like Archie Bunker that you are actually entertaining. Thanks for the belly laugh.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 7 months ago

TOB shoots and scores. I have to think that Pat is just pulling our "legs" with this rhetoric. A true high-up person in a BIG company just wouldn't have the time nor the desire to spend this much time bickering with us little folks. They should have actual work to do.

"And it would be demographically impossible for you to have such a racially diverse mix at your workplace as you claim. How diverse is the state?" WRONG. I would estimate in my building alone we have staff from at least 25 different countries. And they all live in Kansas.

You are annoying.

classclown 11 years, 7 months ago

"... well, let's see. Last time I was in KS I had the pleasure of being called a racial epithet, see the Phelps, and read about Kline. All in a 5-day trip to see the folks."

Yet you still graciously recommended it to your company as a place to locate knowing what your diverse staff would be subjected to?


"And it would be demographically impossible for you to have such a racially diverse mix at your workplace as you claim. How diverse is the state? I thought so ... Census Bureau tripped you up there."

With the execptions of the muslims and hindus, my current place of employment employs everyone on your list as well as asians(buddists) and even jews if you want to go there.

My previous employer had all those including the muslims and native americans and if you want to include people with disabilties, several that were deaf.

Therefore your superiority due to diversity comment doesn't wash.

I see two possibilities here.

1)You are full of BS and are making yourself to be more than you are to come across as somehow being better than those people here.

2) You made good and got yourself a good thing going on but can't resist coming onto this blog to rub everyone else's nose in it. Which in turn makes you a snob which further simply makes you out to be as much of a bigot as you decry in these blogs.

I'm inclined to believe the first possibility, but I'm willing to concede that maybe your are in fact just a snob.

Have a nice day.

GOPConservative 11 years, 7 months ago

Opinion asked:

"BTW, do you dislike the message of Christianity or the people who call themselves Christians?"

If I disliked Christians, I would have to dislike myself because I am one. I follow the teachings of Christ and respect those who also follow those teachings as demostrated by their actions.

If you define Christianity as having something to do with the false teachings of crooks and crackpots like Jim Ryun, Phill Kline and the six goofball members of the KBOE, you have my pity.

beatrice 11 years, 7 months ago

Ah yes, Bangalore, the pillar of societal harmony of India. Well, as long as you ignore that whole caste system thing that is still alive and well there ... or the major problems with crime that are still rampant there. (The things people will tell themselves in order to justify outsourcing of jobs from America to a developing nation. It staggers the imagination.)

Also, if everyone in Kansas is a racist, as Pat seems to suggest, wouldn't that include her parents? That might explain a few things. But it is a darn good thing people aren't racist in India. Never ever. Nor is it racist to pay people pennies on the dollar compared to American wages simply because they live in poor nations. Nooooooooooooo, nothing racist in the setup of that labor system, nothing at all.

beatrice 11 years, 7 months ago

TOB, re the article: what an e-waste of a human being.

Curious 11 years, 7 months ago


Wednesday 10/11 Kansas City Star, page A6

"The guidelines approved Tuesday [by the Michigan state Board of Education] detail what the state expects school districts to teach in their science classes. If a district or teacher chose to include intelligent design in a science class, they could face a court challenge."

I guess that is what "science" has become these days -- a flat earth religion. Oh, well. I guess science finally got something correct - Pluto is no longer considered a planet -- by majority vote?

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