Skip to comments.Conservative activist makes Professor Mirecki postings public: John Altevogts - Pajama Blogger
Posted on 12/10/2005 8:19:39 PM PST by rface
If not for John Altevogt, an Edwardsville real estate broker, many of the people who became outraged by Kansas University professor Paul Mireckis comments might never have learned of them.
Altevogt, 60, is the conservative activist and Internet discussion board contributor who compiled and spread Mireckis remarks across the online Kansas Conservative Network mailing list.
Within hours, conservative Kansas lawmakers were raging. Some called for public hearings about Mireckis 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 couldnt care less, he said. His attention to the subject was partly due to Mireckis hateful approach, he said. John Altevogt, a conservative activist from Edwardsville, helped stir the controversy surrounding Paul Mirecki.
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 shes not that fond of Altevogts direct language, but that his acerbic style can be effective.
Hes very good at getting peoples 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 havent 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 thats 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.
Its important to listen to all the John Altevogts of the world out there, he said. I just think those voices are so, so critical.
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 wasnt 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 Stars op-ed page, but his political views ultimately put him crosswise with the newspapers 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.
Ive arranged my life so I dont 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 hasnt done any more digging into Mirecki, he said.
Im sort of watching the world go by at this point, he said. I have no desire to become a part of this story. Comments
some history of this story:
Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.....[[ I Think these could be a list of LIMBAUGH'S RULES FOR CONSERVATIVES ]]
Some of these rules are ruthless, but they work. Here are the rules to be aware of:
RULE 1: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from 2 main sources - money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
RULE 2: "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don't address the "real" issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
RULE 3: "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management's wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
Alinksy sounds pretty damn cool. I'm glad he exposed this left wing fraud for the nut that he is.
"Liberalism, he said, is associated with authoritarianism, bigotry and corruption.'
Telling it like is.
Apparently the Dims didn't read this.
Hillary got hooked up with Saul Alinksy. He is Hillary's hero ! She wrote her senior thesis about this guy and his ideas.
Well, anything is possible. . .and they did describe him a a 'gadfly'. . .but whatever. . .he is doing his stuff and getting a lot of attention, doing it. . .
That said. . .what IS the status of the Professor Mirecki - is he getting away with his own hate crime?
The "well-connected" in the metro Kansas City, MO (Johnson County, KS) didn't like their dirty laundry about to be exposed, so they put a stop to it.
Revenge was sweet, however, when the then Republican Gov. Bill Graves, failed to get an appointment in the 2000 Bush Administration. The liberal that Gov. Graves had "warming" the open Senate seat was fought for and won by mostly conservative, Sam Brownback. Another RINO insider, David Adkins was trounced by Phill Kline (real conservative) in a Primary for State Attorney General and went on to win election. Adkins announced that he was hanging up his political walking shoes for good.
Yes, revenge is truly sweet for Altevogt in this Mirecki soap opera, as KU was forced to seek his resignation or face a real fight over funding from a conservative KS House, which would expose even more egregious behavior than that of this idiot.
Saul Alinsky is a far left radical who's book "Rules for Radicals" has become the playbook for the far left including the Clintons.
Be careful who you praise, my friends.
It's not surprising that a conservative who was clued in to the tactics of the left by reading Alinsky would consider him a hero in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. In order to fight your enemy, it is necessary to know where your enemy is coming from. The assault on the middle class succeeded for 40 years.
Note to myself: Print out Alinksy's rules, frame and hang them as a constant reminder.
Well it is good to know your enemy. . .though I did not get the feeling this was 'tongue-in-cheeck' but you make a good point, nonetheless.
Knowledge is power; no matter where you find it; and perhaps there is much to appreciate in the chronicling of Alinsky. . .or maybe Altevogts identifies with him - at some level.
Good for him. Our new school board in Dover,PA (my area) probably has the same opinions as Mirecki. I wish I could dig up their bigotry.
Meant to say Altevogt. I have never heard of Alinsky before. Reading those "rules", though, I agree that he certainly does sound Clintonian.
I think Altevogt did well here. Otherwise, I have found that Altevogt is a sour and unlikeable man - I have met him and have friends who are associates of him.
What hate crime?
Thanks and sorry. . .was rereading "Swastikas for Campus Conservatives" . . .and got the Liberals mixed up. . .nothing serious. . .just 'keep on moving' please!
(The good news/bad news is, do not think anyone else noticed. . . ;^)
I think it's a Machiavellian thing...
These are tactics of sharp eye and dulcet guile. I love it. He'd be good for a long discussion on FR...
Why should the devil have all the good tactics? This is a handbook for winning rhetoric--for those wise as serpents are in a better position to be gentle as doves.
Makes perfect sense to me that Altevogt would use Alinsky's playbook. Totalitarians are totalitarians. For such people, power is what counts - the power to make others live by your rules. Whether it's theocracy or the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is just a detail.
That's an example of inflammatory??? I think it's objectively true that Mirecki is a bigot.
Interesting, because the op-ed is often supposed to be at odds with the paper's editorial view.
"You must renounce post #82, or be thought a bigot" "I'm here to remind you, you did not renounce post this and post that..."
The truth is, KU did stand up for him publicly and it was, reportedly, his colleagues who didn't want him as chairman. The lawyer can't do anything. Mirecki has tenure and KU can't do anything more to him. The lawyer is, in my humble opinion, on retainer because Mirecki wants to negotiate a fat severance package because he wants to get out, having embarassed himself.
Although his "attack" has all the hallmarks of a hoax, that hasn't been proven yet.
Could be his 'peers' who know him. . .suspect as much as well. And yes. . .does sound like he has an angle and a lawyer to help sharpen it.
The Dean said his colleagues didn't want him as chairman.
The resignation letter was on the Dean's stationery.
a.k.a. the power to maintain solely atheistic science in public schools.
I find it very interesting that this guy decided that to teach the course in his own department would be to denigrate the subject. What does that say about the rest of his "scholarship"?
The dean's role in his resignation was only known after the fact. If he felt it was a travesty, he could have refused to sign the resignation. Instead, he acquiesced.
It isn't just a denigration of the subject he had in mind, but the denigration of people who reasonably maintain that intelligent design may be a better way of explaining organized matter than whatever other explanation evolution has heretofore offered.
I can understand the emotional attachment to one's convictions, however, and have often been guilty myself of indulging inflammatory remarks just because the other side sees things differently. Bottom line is that education should allow the free expression of ideas to be accepted or rejected as reason might dictate. Mirecki is not about the free expression of ideas, but about squelching the expression of ideas with which he disagrees.
Mirecki may be knowledgable about many things, but his knowledge is not above question.
Nah. They condemned his email.
The dean's role in his resignation was only known after the fact. If he felt it was a travesty, he could have refused to sign the resignation. Instead, he acquiesced.
Zero for two. It was the dean who announced his resignation.
A chair serves at the pleasure of the dean. I'm sure it was 'resign or be fired'.
Then you make them fire you.
In the English world, maintaining a clean resume can be crucial to future employment
I await with bated breath your first tussle with a dean, grasshopper. In preparation, let me give you the advice given to me by a colleague who himself was a former dean, had worked on the Manhattan Project, and went on to become a member of the Academy.
"The mistake you're making when dealing with the dean is that you assume he's a dean because he's good at administration. He's not. They don't make you dean because you're good at something. They make you dean because you're bad at everything else."
(The dean in question was a mathematician, BTW. He was particularly incompetent. ) :-)
Here's Mirecki's situation: If he resigns, he loses credibility and his position as chair. If he is fired, he loses his position as chair. He still has tenure, he still has a job no matter what.
Being dean is easy, just say: "That's a very high priority for our (university, college), we appreciate your concern for this very important issue. We are looking at it very closely and we will get back to you as soon as there is something that has been decided."
There are wacko liberal secular humanist crackpot professors all over the country spewing forth anti-Christian bigotry. This nutcase dork in Kansas (originally
from Harvard - boy that's a shocker!) is just the tip of the abominable iceberg. There's a need to clean house at colleges all over the country.