Free thoughts about freethought chairman (updated)

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[ADDENDUM and update follows below this column.] — In the aftermath of last week’s momentous votes by the Fayette County Board of Education, I’m still puzzled.

First, the four members of the board in early November interviewed seven volunteers for the opening on the board created by the Sept. 22 death of Post 5 member Sam Tolbert.

By mid-November, they made their choice unanimously: Leonard Presberg.

At the first meeting in the new year, members Janet Smola and Terri Smith — herself a former chairman — voted with Presberg to install him as chairman of the board. Then-Chairman Bob Todd and member Marion Key voted against Presberg.

During the same meeting the board voted 3 to 2 — Presberg, Smith and Smola against Todd and Key — to capitulate to the NAACP in the voting rights lawsuit pending against the board. [CORRECTED SENTENCE — See below.]

Here’s my review of that astonishing series of events.

First, the board was being sued so that a black Democrat would have a better shot at being elected to the board. Shuck it all down, and that’s what the lawsuit was about.

Standing before the board in early November were no fewer than four black candidates for the open seat.

Inexplicably, the board chose to appoint a white male, Presberg, to the post. No explanations, no public input, no recourse.

As it turns out, not just any old white male either. Though such information showed up nowhere on his résumé, Presberg is a staunch Democrat, who expects to be listed this fall on the special election ballot as a Democrat for the Post 5 seat.

An interesting side note also nowhere to be seen on his résumé (as under hobbies or interests or such): Presberg is an apparent charter member of an organization called the Fayette Freethought Society. The organization was formed in February 2010; Presberg joined in April 2010.

Here’s what the organization says about itself: “We’re about freedom from religion, separation of church and state, rational thought and skeptical thinking, secular humanism, agnostic, skeptics, freethinker, atheists, brights, secular parenting, secularism, wissenschaft, neopagan, recovering from religion, pantheism.”

Presberg just weeks before being appointed to the Board of Education volunteered his home for the freethinkers to screen a freethinker’s documentary film, “Godless.”

According to the Wikipedia entry, “In the United States, ‘freethought was a basically anti-christian, anti-clerical movement ... .’”

In the sense that every person should be free to think what he/she desires, I too am a freethinker and here’s what I think, freely.

So what we have here is a man who has never held elective office appointed to a school board in a mostly Republican county on the buckle of the Bible Belt.

Within two months of that appointment, he is chairman of the board that controls $180 million in Fayette County public tax money to pay 3,000 public employees and educate 21,000 Fayette children.

And in this Bible Belt Republican county, our new unelected school board chairman is both a Democrat and a member of a militant atheist organization, a man who could never have hoped to be elected to public office in this county, simply because he is so unrepresentative of the vast majority of Fayette voters.

It’s likely that all 133 members of the Fayette Freethought Society would shout in unison that such a man as Presberg is just what the ignorant majority of us need, for our own good.

I humbly disagree.

Under the old qualifier, “some of my best friends are ... (fill in the blank),” we’re not talking about your garden variety village atheism here. We are talking about in-your-face, proselytizing atheism, which seeks to banish all trace of the great monotheistic religions from every square inch of the public square.

These are not live-and-let-live, mind-your-business-and-I’ll-mind-mine true nonbelievers. No, these folks deeply believe that most of us religious folks (mainly of the Christian variety) are just simply stupid and that our stupid religion should be ridiculed as myths.

They hold in pure contempt what most of us in Fayette County consider to be holy. They reserve their highest contempt for Christians who dare to proclaim their faith.

I feel betrayed by the four sitting members of the board of education. Is this the best they could do?

And for the two board members — Smith and Smola — who elevated this neophyte to a position of public power without any public scrutiny whatsoever, what is their excuse?

For my atheist friends who are foaming at the mouth at this point, I’m NOT talking rights here. I agree with my atheist friends that any adult citizen of Fayette County has an inalienable right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and to be elected to public office.

That’s the rub: Presberg slid in under the radar. He was not elected to anything by Fayette voters.

And then he provided the clinching vote to snatch away four-fifths of ALL Fayette voters’ rights to elect their five-member school board.

Because of Presberg, Smith and Smola, never again will Fayette voters get to vote for all five members of their board of education. [CORRECTED SENTENCE — See below.]

And thanks to Smith and Smola, the man sitting atop the public school system in Fayette County is a charter member of an organization that considers the worldview and religious beliefs of most Fayette Countians to be contemptible.

How should the stupid majority feel about that? Grateful to our intellectual betters?

[The original sentence erroneously listed the vote to settle the lawsuit as unanimous. In fact, only Presberg, Smola and Smith voted to settle the lawsuit. Todd and Key voted against the settlement. The original story is at www.thecitizen.com/articles/01-10-2012/naacp-wins-lawsuit-settlement-boe-goes-3-2-district-voting.]


[Cal Beverly is editor and publisher of The Citizen.]

 

ADDENDUM Jan. 19, 2012: Here is one screenshot of the Fayette Freethought Society website, taken before the site was altered recently, and from which I derived the information that the group was "founded Feb. 25, 2010," and that one of its founders was Al Stefanelli, one of two persons who listed their full names.

The screenshot from the original website presentation (prior to the site's alterations) clearly says "founded," it clearly says that founding occurred in February 2010 and it also clearly lists Mr. Stefanelli as one of its "organizers." Draw your own conclusions as to what information the site itself presented to the world at large on its fully publicly accessible pages (at that time).

The site itself, of course, has since been altered so that the information in this screenshot differs from what appears on the site now. Draw your own conclusions about that.

The Wedge
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How I see the facts in this Brou Ha ha

I am sorry that an opinion piece got so may feathers in a ruffle, but let me examine this a bit. First of all, a FCBOE board member dies and an unelected appointment is made for the continuation of a very long term - 3+ years. Then the appointed person, gets further appointed to be chairman of the FCBOE Board. There seems to be more to that story than what has been released heretofore. Now Cal does some digging and makes a connection that this appointee may have wildly diverging views than what would be electable in FC, even in district voting. A further reading into events shows that this Chairman of the FCBOE, may ban religious affiliated grounds such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from school premises and embroil our system into a myriad of lawsuits. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this rise to the level of newsworthiness? At least to require this unelected official and head of the FCBOE to make a statement or a promise not to inject his private held beliefs to make drastic changes in how our schools operate with respect to groups allowed to meet. Let's be honest about the Progressive Methodology that this chairman may hold with respect to governmental action - the hallmark of the Progressive State is Coercion.

lxd
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Presberg isn't involved in

Presberg isn't involved in anything to do with FCA. That would be Al Stefanelli. Get your facts right.

The Wedge
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Well golly gee lxd

perhaps Mr Stefanelli sat next to Mr Presburg sat next to teach other during the screening of "Godless" at the Presburg home. Is there a connection? And why the appointment of an unelected person to chair the FCBOE?

lxd
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Presburg never screened the

Presburg never screened the movie "Godless". Presburg and Stefanelli have never met each other, not as of this writing. The only connection is Presburg joined a group to which he rarely, if ever, attended a function. The group happens to be secular in nature, with members ranging from atheist to spiritual to religious. Sounds very scary, especially when the highway is being cleaned up, or charities are being aided, or worse, when the members meet to have lunch. What century are we living in anyway?

Ninja Guy
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LXD, the Century We Are

living in is the 20th in PTC, 19th in most of the rest of the FC, and 18th in Brooks and the Inman Community!

Which way you leaning on the Super Bowl?

carbonunit52
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Carbonunit52 is outta here...........

The blogging character known as carbonunit52 is being retired in solidarity with kevink and Main Stream.

The carbonunit wishes the editor and all bloggers an auspicious future.

Spyglass
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Here's a quarter..

try and find a phone booth to use it in. You know the rest of the song. :)

Davids mom
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carbonunit

I hope that Kevin and Mainstream continue to monitor and comment. Silencing opposition is not the American Ways! ( I don't think Free Thinkers are enemies - and I am a BIble reading, Bible carrying Christian!!) I just don't think we are following The Christ when we discriminate against others who don't agree with us. Silly me - believing in 'treat others as you want to be treated'.

AtHomeGym
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Hey Carbo

Does that mean you will no longer attend Coffee or Bev of Choice gatherings?

MajorMike
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Carbonunit52

Your comments and observations will be missed.

hospital1
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This is ridiculous

Every single one of us signed on to this website and blog in order to learn more and to express our opinions. Some of us even like to play devils advocate and presemt alternate opinions just to get attention or a reaction. Scholars and every day folks (like many of us) many times join these groups for additional insight and additional knowledge. Do any of you list Citizen Blogger on your resume?

That being said, has anyone from the Citizen asked any board member to comment on thiS article? Might be that they are all to dignified to comment to this blog. (Don't know)

As for the NAACP issue, you will have both sides voicing thier opinion. I like being able to vote on all 5 of the seats since I will have more of a say as to who sits on this important board.

The Board felt that it would be best for the county to settle this lawsuit to move towards district voting. I am sure they had legal council to advise them if they thought they could win this in a protracted battle.

So, you will have people who want to spend additional monies to fight this and those who don't care that this money is being taken away from the students and want to fight this anyway. They couldn't win either way. I doubt anyone on the board considered what this would mean to thier individual board status when we move towards district voting and they shouldn't.

johenry
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Beware of Kim Learnard and Leo Presberg!

The two of them want to boot religion out of our community. They're both Democrats too!

Presberg doesn't have a chance of being re-elected. Learnard, the mayor and the other backstabber Vanessa Fleisch all need to be recalled as soon as possible.

Cyclist
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Good Gawd - They're both Democrats too!

Davids mom, did you know anything about this???????

I sure hope this post doesn’t go to the moderator like all the rest. Grrrrrrrrr.

Davids mom
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Cyclist

Well, at least it's not only Democrats that are being moderated. I joined this blog to learn more about a small town in the south. I feel the positives outweigh the negatives - and this persecution of someone because of LAZY journalistic 'vetting' is a definite negative. Ben Helms seems to be reporting with integrity. As has been said - it's the owners paper - and he has printed his opinion. Fair. The witch hunt is fearsome. Think like us or leave? In America? Interesting. I will wait to see the outcome. Kudos to Kevin and Mainstream for attempting to allow others to THINK FOR THEMSELVES - and sharing different opinions that are not POPULAR. Still waiting for someone to define PART BLACK in Fayette County. . . couldn't find it in demographic information.

G35 Dude
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My comment on Presberg and district voting

When a topic is posted on this website I can pretty much name who will post in favor and who will post against. And predictably most of those that favored the NAACP's lawsuit are also the ones that are defending Mr Presberg's appointment. It seems that the logic for district voting was to insure that the people sitting on the BOE represented the views and/or interests of the people. Yet now those same people defend putting someone on the board that I don't believe represents the views of his constituents. This is how our politicians work. Change your logic and values based on the issue at hand.

Davids mom
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G35 Dude
Quote:

favored the NAACP's lawsui

I did not necessarily favor the NAACP lawsuit - but have been exposed to citizens (both Democrat and Republican) who are not members of the NAACP who are glad to have District voting - since others who don't live in their area do not have the same concerns that they have. (Amazed at how some Christian/Republicans are afraid to speak out in this town (Fayetteville). That is NOT THE AMERICAN WAY. Are Democrats or people who may not agree with Christian/Republicans shunned in FC? Isn't that another form of discrimination? One is only an American if they think like Republicans? Is one given the honor to die for this country only if he/she thinks like a Republican? Is the American political system only viable if one agrees with Republicans? Interesting thought.

G35 Dude
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DM
Quote:

Are Democrats or people who may not agree with Christian/Republicans shunned in FC? Isn't that another form of discrimination? One is only an American if they think like Republicans? Is one given the honor to die for this country only if he/she thinks like a Republican? Is the American political system only viable if one agrees with Republicans? Interesting thought.

What is really interesting is how some people equate everything to political party, religious affiliation or race. I don't agree with the mans views but my bigger problem is how he came to power. I've asked you before with no response. Are you OK with how this process played out?

Davids mom
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g35 Dude
Quote:

I don't agree with the mans views but my bigger problem is how he came to power

Isn't that a 'political' process? Not much in this life is non-political from birth to death. Just a thought. I trust you to review for me the process that you disagree with.

Davids mom
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G35 Dude
Quote:

Are you OK with how this process played out?

Fair question. I only paid attention to the aftermath. Let me check out the entire process - and then I'll answer.

Davids mom
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G35 Dude

Just a question. Are you a resident in District 5? Do you know that they are majority Republicans/Christians? If they are not - how are their issues being represented? How are the issues that Whitewater Creek, or other developments in Fayette County being represented by the Commissioners or the BOE? Just asking. What is the discussion here - representation of all of the citizens of Fayette County - not just Republican Christians.

G35 Dude
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DM Part 2
Quote:

Just a question. Are you a resident in District 5? Do you know that they are majority Republicans/Christians? If they are not - how are their issues being represented? How are the issues that Whitewater Creek, or other developments in Fayette County being represented by the Commissioners or the BOE? Just asking. What is the discussion here - representation of all of the citizens of Fayette County - not just Republican Christians.

I don't even have kids in this school system anymore. So is it your message that I shouldn't care enough to express my opinions? And tell me how this process insured the representation of the majority of citizens of Fayette County? If I see what I perceive as an injustice should I sit down and be quite?

Davids mom
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G35 Dude Process

In the county of Fayette, a gentleman applied for a position that was left vacant by the passing of an elected official. According to the political process accepted here, applications were submitted to the sitting Board members who interviewed and selected the interim Board member. The Board member's resume was printed in the local newspapers. The sitting Board members elected the interim member chair of the BOE. Is this correct?

What was illegal or unacceptable about this process? Did I miss something?

G35 Dude
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Yes DM- I do think you missed something
Quote:

In the county of Fayette, a gentleman applied for a position that was left vacant by the passing of an elected official. According to the political process accepted here, applications were submitted to the sitting Board members who interviewed and selected the interim Board member. The Board member's resume was printed in the local newspapers. The sitting Board members elected the interim member chair of the BOE. Is this correct?

Quote:

What was illegal or unacceptable about this process? Did I miss something?

As per my understanding of the facts his qualifications/background were misrepresented and/or withheld from the public. After he assumes his position his first act, with the help of Smith and Smola, was to have himself appointed chairman of the board. I don't care if he's Rep/Dem/Lib or if he's black or white. I do care if he's an atheist if he intends to influence the teachings of our children in this area. Let me be clear here, His beliefs or lack thereof are not my concern, unless he wants to teach his beliefs to our kids. I've yet to hear anything from the man so I have to assume that this is at least a possibility. It has been my experience that when a person starts out by not being totally open and honest that character trait does not improve, it usually get worse. I do believe that if he been a member of the KKK or some such organization you would not be so forgiving of his withholding that information. Nor would I, so I think you can see where I'm coming from when I say that I believe that his decisions on the school board will be influenced by his affiliations. Had he been open and honest and still picked I still would not like it but I'd be more willing to accept it.

I'm also upset that because of his misleading resume that maybe we didn't get the best candidate that we could have for our school system. Most companies withhold the right to terminate if it is found that you were less than honest on your job application.

Davids mom
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I hear you G35 Dude

But the 'vetting' process by an hiring organization and the media in recent years has taken great pride in researching and 'outing' persons, organizations, etc. that they found unacceptable. This individual followed the given process; I understand spoke at open meetings; had his resume printed in the local papers. I know Atheists who act more Christian than some Christians I know. I thought that there were those who filed who had better qualifications - but quite frankly, he came across as being one who would be above the political fray here in FC. I was wrong! If there is no legal way to challenge the process and remove the elected Chair - then we will have to judge Mr. Presberg on his performance. IMHO

hospital1
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Resume

The man joined a website. Is that illegal? Sometimes you want to know what others think. That's called being inquisitive, sometimes referred to as being intellectly curious. Did you go back and read his resume? The man didn't get that much education by sitting back and watching TV. The man appears to be inquisitive. What's wrong with that? How can anyone make this a better world without questioning our own beliefs at one time or another.

How many people have visited other places of worship, just to see first hand how others pray? Has the editor in chief of this newspaper even been in a synagogue to pray with the "chosen people". After all, he says he prays for the State of Israel. Has anyone visited a Muslim or Buddhist Temple?

Has the man sat there and preached or led a prayer that not everyone follows? (PTC City Council) No.

I review resumes daily. I have yet to see any serious resumes that included websites visted or even one that has "Citizen Blogger"

Let the man perform the duty's of a Schoold Board Member. If I am not happy with him, I will talk to him and ask him why he voted a certain way. If I am not happy at the end of his term and he chooses to run for office, it will be my choice if I want to vote for someone else.

G35 Dude
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Good defense Hospital
Quote:

The man joined a website. Is that illegal? Sometimes you want to know what others think. That's called being inquisitive, sometimes referred to as being intellectly curious. Did you go back and read his resume? The man didn't get that much education by sitting back and watching TV. The man appears to be inquisitive. What's wrong with that? How can anyone make this a better world without questioning our own beliefs at one time or another.

Good defense. In fact it's so good that it could be used no matter which website Mr Presberg was found on. It could a racist group, a terrorist group, whatever. This would still be a great defense. He knew it would be an issue when it was discovered yet he chose not to address it before hand. That makes me suspicious. Add that to the fact that most of his "Educational Experience" is from a school that he owned that failed and never had more than 22 students makes me feel mislead.

hospital1
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It wasn't a racist or terrorist group

It's a group discussing Free Thoughts. We all had a couple of these types of people in our classes. Some were a little off the wall and some were intellectual types. They never hurt anything by expressing different thoughts. (Oh no, opposing thoughts, lol)

I don't know the man, but I know his type. It appears that he had a vision of a school and got it off the ground at the wrong time. How many empty store fronts do you see driving around FC? Seems like a lot of people failed in business during this tough ecomomic time period. They had visions too. Some smart, some not so smart, but they had the cajones to reach for the dream.

People want to do the best for thier kids and send them to private school, but economics do matter. FC has good schools. Just look at the comparison to other counties. Many have had to pull thier children from private schools for economic reasons. Just because his school failed, didnt mean it failed due to the education they were getting.

Davids mom
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G35 Dude

I don't have kids here either - since they are both over 40! I care because we Invested in this community based on the reputation of the school system among other things. I welcome your opinion. Just wanted to know if you were aware of how the residents in District 5 felt. Some here feel that since District 5 does not represent the majority - they should not have an opinion represented in the governing structure. My understanding is that not all citizens were being represented with Districtwide voting - especially some of the newer residents in the new developments. Of course if they didn't vote - that is their fault!

johngio
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Free Thinkers?

If anyone out there is defending the free thinkers, look at their mission statement. It says freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion as outlined in The Constitution.

If you want to be an atheist, that's your business - I really couldn't care less. You'll get along far better with people if you stick to The Constitution and abide by freedom of religion. Don't try to tout freedom from religion. You are afforded no such constitutional right.

As for Mr. Presberg, It seems highly improbable he will ever get elected to office in Fayette County due to his Free Thinkers association. That being said, why would our school board make this appointment?

Falcon66
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Buddy - Buddy

Looks like Presberg and Steffaquacki are buds on this site too:

http://quest.mapquest.com/social/Leonard_Presberg?action=profile

Main Stream
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buddies? On the Huff Post?

Along with thousands of other "buddies" I suppose.

Oh the horror, falcon, Presberg may be a, a, DDDDDemocrat! Scary stuff, man!

Falcon66
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Horror is right Jules

Hey Jules have you really taken time to look at your Fayette Free Thought organizers face book page - Al Quackjobnelli

https://www.facebook.com/#!/al.stefanelli

Take a look at his photos page and see how your organizer brandishes his guns, etc. And also notice his number 1 friend is good ole Presberg...Better look fast because old sneakey Al will probably block all of us and scrub clean his site like you did....

S. Lindsey
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A truism

On Al Stefanelli's Facebook home page....

You and Al aren't friends.

True oh so true.... Hey Atheist can get something right at least...

Main Stream
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Falcon, about that BB gun...
Falcon66 wrote:

Take a look at his photos page and see how your organizer brandishes his guns, etc. And also notice his number 1 friend is good ole Presberg...Better look fast because old sneakey Al will probably block all of us and scrub clean his site like you did....

I looked at his facebook page and saw his response. I think this is for you:
"To my curious neighbors who have come to visit my Facebook page here at the invitation of Mr. Falcon, I hope you enjoy your visit to my public page and find the content engaging! I cannot add you, as my house is full, but Mr. Falcon would like you to take notice of a picture of me when I was 17 years old, at a Halloween party and to take particular notice of the Daisy BB-Gun I am holding, as part of the costume. You'll find it. Enjoy!"

Main Stream
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Cal- anti-Semitism and your abuse of power

That was a very smooth move of Cal to deflect the attention off of himself, his sloppy journalism, and his internet, witch-hunt against an appointed school board member, and his limited association with our group, by attempting to portray the Fayette Freethought Society as evil and “militant.”

The point is, and continues to be, that Cal is fearful of anyone having the least bit of power in this community, whether on the school board or as an elected/appointed official, who is not a Republican and/or a Christian. Since Cal has directed his fury at Mr. Presberg, who happens to be Jewish, I wonder if Cal is actually, in fact, anti-Semitic? Cal Beverly is attempting to ruin the reputation of one of our own citizens in this community, who happens to be a Democrat and who follows a different belief system than he does. This reeks of bigotry and anti-Semitism and Cal is abusing his power as the publisher of The Citizen newspaper.

Cal Beverly
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One accurate phrase in your attack

"... who happens to be Jewish ..."

Exactly. I had no idea Mr. Presberg is Jewish until you yourself "outed" him in your first post after this column was posted on the site.

In point of fact, I happen to be one of those folks who prays for the peace of Jerusalem daily, for the safety and prosperity of Israel and for God's blessings to daily benefit his chosen people everywhere.

I worship a Jewish Messiah. We Christians are "wild branches" grafted into that original Jewish root.

God — the one many of you don't believe in — hasn't changed His mind about the centrality of the Jewish people in His eternal plans. They are still "the apple of His eye."

The point my attackers seem to be blinded to is this: My primary objection is not to what he believes but to what he did, how he voted, the process that got this politically unvetted unknown into such a pivotal role such that he is the swing vote that changes the rules of the game for voting in this county.

For a group that enshrines "thought" there hasn't been much clear thinking from the ones who have posted here -- mostly shrieking, name-calling, avoidance of the central political issues and just plain irrational intolerance.

And when you run out of focused, factual arguments (which is to say, quickly), you start shouting the show-stoppers in place of rational thought: "Bigoted" and "anti-Semitic." I'm waiting for the nuclear weapon "racist" charge to be launched.

Is this the best Freethought has? You seem to be practicing the same tactics you accuse me of employing.

When you stop shrieking and stop sullying Freethought's rational reputation, how about engaging with the primary question, which is political in nature:

Is it right (as opposed to "legal") that all Fayette voters lose their previous right to vote for all five members of the school board? Why or why not?

You certainly are "free" to engage. Now add a little "thought" to your exchanges.

bowser
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Truly pathetic, Cal

To suggest now that your editorial was not really about Presberg’s freethought club membership or personal beliefs is just running away from the stinkbomb you put in the room.

From the headline on, the main thrust was that Presberg is just too weird to represent most Fayette Countians, as evidenced by his “apparent” (still not sure what that means) charter membership in a freethinkers club and Democrat leanings.

Then you went on at length about what a “militantly aggressive” strain of atheism freethought and its members represent, which is odd since 99.999 percent of us had never heard of them until now. If their goal is to bang a drum for godlessness, they’re doing a damn poor job of it.

No Cal, what we have here is a smearjob plain and simple, ignoring any principles of either fair journalism or common decency. I asked below and I’ll ask again: did you even bother to talk to Presberg before tapping out your screed about his personal beliefs? To anyone else relevant to "the process," such as Smola or Smith? Or did you just get fed some juicy gossip, do a little web-trolling and go off half-cocked? Cuz that’s sure what it looks like.

As I stated below, the real irony of all this is that your problem with Presberg – that you think he is philosophically unrepresentative of the people he represents – is exactly what spawned the naacp lawsuit that has you so fit to be tied. Not that I expect you or your amen chorus to ever get that.

T-Man
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Cal what God do you worship

You have lied about a person and speak Christianity in another sentence/post. Christianity does not bring bad with it as you so have done to Mr. Presburg. You have judged and tried a person you don't know and have not spoken too. Lynchings would have been carried out if we were not in the new Techno world.

Your fear mongering resembles the KKK tactics of old /today. The only change is he is of the white majority. Nothing different than the ones you use to call "N lover".

You have very little Christian belief if you cannot find the decency to at least point the inaccuracies of your original post. Profess the truth that he is not what you stated.

You can fool a few followers but your God knows the truth. This was not a political attack. It was an attack on ones of Gods children and you still don't see that do you. But all is fair if we call it poilitics in your book. The Good Book says different.

When you answer to him your God (I would love to be the fly in the cloud to here your pleas)

Ninja Guy
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T-Man Throws Down the Jesus Gauntlet!

Well, T-man, I think you are correct in asking 'what would Jesus do.' since Editor Cal throw out the 'Holier Than Thou--Pray Everyday for Israel' card! But, I don't think Jesus would be writing inflammatory 'editorials' about one of his original sheep!

T-Man
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Ninja

You are correct. Jesus would ask why? also would have talked directly to the person before passing judgement.

The New GM for the Colts cleaned house will they keep P. Manning?

Main Stream
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stop backpedaling, Cal

“My primary objection is not to what he believes…”

Stop backpedaling, Cal. If that was the case then you wouldn’t have dug into Presberg’s background to dig up “dirt” on him and that “dirt” seems to be his loose affiliation with FFS. You care deeply about his personal beliefs, otherwise, you wouldn’t have posted the screen shot of Presberg trying to further “sully” his reputation. Have you contacted Presberg yet to get his input? Any reputable journalist would have done that by now.

“…what he did, how he voted, the process that got this politically unvetted unknown into such a pivotal role such that he is the swing vote that changes the rules of the game for voting in this county.”

If this was your primary objective, then why didn’t you interview him and the other school board members instead of proceeding with your witch-hunt against him? His belief system is irrelevant but you made it one of your main points in ALL of your commentaries.

“When you stop shrieking and stop sullying Freethought's rational reputation…”

YOU are the one attempting to “sully” the reputation of our group as well as the reputation of Leonard Presberg and you ARE abusing the power that you have as the publisher of this paper. YOU drug our group into this argument, not me. You have printed falsehoods about our group and you have never even tried to contact me directly to answer any questions you might have regarding who we are. YOU are the one who is sounding unhinged, not me, when you belittle our children in your posts and accuse us of being “militant” and “in your face” citizens in this community. And why? Because we are an organized, secular minority here, and that frightens you.

Ninja Guy
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Dang, Editor Cal

Main keeps laying it to you! Well, I do think the anti-semitic thing is a bit of a stretch... But, If I were you, I would cede control of the paper to JeffC via limited power of attorney for a couple of weeks so you can get down and dirty in the blog pit wit the rest of us slime balls and stop back-pedaling on your 'opinion' piece!

If you hurry, we can get this thing wrapped before the Super Bowl!

Ninja Guy
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Abuse of Power Not, but Libel Maybe

I think abuse of power is confined to the conduct of public officials. However, it might fit libel, maybe. Let's take a look. From our friend Wiki:
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
There are several ways a person must go about proving that libel has taken place. For example, in the United States, the person first must prove that the statement was false. Second, that person must prove that the statement caused harm. And, third, they must prove that the statement was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. In the case of a celebrity or public official trying to prove libel, they must prove the first three steps, and must (in the United States) prove the statement was made with the intent to do harm, or with reckless disregard for the truth. Usually specifically referred to as "proving malice".[17]
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1. Prove statement is false: Better than 50/50 odds on at least one of the statements I think.
2. Prove that the statement caused harm: Iffy on this one. Damaged reputation perhaps?
3. Prove that the statement was was made without adequate research. Slam dunk on this one I think.

Then, for public officials, there is the need to prove 'malice.'

From www.citmedialaw.com
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In a legal sense, "actual malice" has nothing to do with ill will or disliking someone and wishing him harm. Rather, courts have defined "actual malice" in the defamation context as publishing a statement while either

knowing that it is false; or

acting with reckless disregard for the statement's truth or falsity.

It should be noted that the actual malice standard focuses on the defendant's actual state of mind at the time of publication. Unlike the negligence standard discussed later in this section, the actual malice standard is not measured by what a reasonable person would have published or investigated prior to publication. Instead, the plaintiff must produce clear and convincing evidence that the defendant actually knew the information was false or entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication. In making this determination, a court will look for evidence of the defendant's state of mind at the time of publication and will likely examine the steps he took in researching, editing, and fact checking his work. It is generally not sufficient, however, for a plaintiff to merely show that the defendant didn't like her, failed to contact her for comment, knew she had denied the information, relied on a single biased source, or failed to correct the statement after publication.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Looks like malice is almost never proved.

In the case of Presberg v. Beverly,

the ruling from the Court of Ninja Guy:

In favor of the defendant Editor Cal! Court awards court costs to said defendant!

Falcon66
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"Tip of the Presberg"

This is just the "tip" of the IceBerg for Mr. Presberg! Stay tuned !

S. Lindsey
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Cal I too saw the same info.

This has been going on with me and good ole Al since September of last year on another blog during my self-imposed exile from the Citizen.

I do find it interesting that for all of Mainstreams denials of scrubbing their website the info you and I have..(I have the same screen shot) has since been removed.

Like I told Mainstream we are who we associate with and Al is without a doubt a very militant anti-Christian zealot.

Again I will use the analogy of the Teaparty. If David Duke was a member of the Georgia Patriot Teaparty and he wrote articles for and attended meetings of that Teaparty would it be a fair criticism to call that Teaparty a racist organization. IMO I would think so and it colors the reputation of every member of that group.

Ninja Guy
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Slindsey: I Would Agree With You!

Except for the fact that the group is a 'free thought' group. The libertarians have the same problem with the hemp crowd. The group on the whole seems to be non-Christian, perhaps with an anti-Christian bias, but let them hash that at the Mexican Lunch Trash Picking-Up Socials! What evidence do you have that Chairman Lars is an anti-Christian zealot, or even a current member of the group? Again, thanks for saving us from those Occupy protesters up in Atlanta! I feel so safe with you looking out for all of us!

How's Jared doing?

BTW, I'm starting to get a funny feeling about my Pats over the Ravens prediction...I think the Ravens might stand a chance.

S. Lindsey
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Ninja you missed the point

I care not what they do or think. It's their group and in America they are free to believe or not do or do not as they see fit.

My issue is and always has been Al Stefenelli's stance on Christians and his need to make sure they don't exist in his world.

Now he too is free to want to eradicate them but I start having issues if he makes the attempt.

My other issue is indoctrination in Schools. For decades the "non-believer" sect has preached loudly the sins of allowing even a little Religion in our Schools, but then attempt every way possible including law suits to get in anti-religion studies and text books. To me that smacks of hypocritical action and thinking.

Now it seems a group in which he belongs has done an end around usurping the power of the vote by the people of Fayette using the very system which is supposed to make sure that very thing is upheld.

Now don't get me wrong if no one try's to place their own brand of indoctrination and views in the system I then therefore have no issues.

Ninja Guy
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The Ninja Never Never Misses The Point!

The Ninja may twist the point, ignore the point, make fun of the point, parody the point, or point out the point, but he will never MISS the point!

In this case, your point is laughable! Both sides have been trying to get their agenda in or the other side's agenda out of the schools for years! Scopes Trial you remember!

The point here IS whether the rules for appointing a replacement in the event of a death of a sitting FCBOE member were followed, and whether the rules for electing a chairperson were followed! Were they or were they not! Yes or No?

Hypocritical action and thinking are not illegal! Commission Hearn, the good Christian, lied to high heaven about putting his cousin on the elections board. Dirty politics, yes, but that's politics for ya!

What evidence do you have the the Free Thinkers or some related atheist group were behind the so-called end run!? You and Editor Cal read some stuff on a poorly constructed website and jumped to your own far-out conclusions that the Atheists are coming to eat our brains or something! Get a grip!

What makes you think Smith, Smola, Key, and Todd were in on the deal? That's just paranoid thinking! Mother ship scheduled to land in K-mart parking lot on Saturday at 10:00AM!

I doubt any of the four put any serious thought into appointing the woolly one anyway. They needed a body, had a pool of candidates, picked the one they thought best--whatever that means to them--smart, capable, docile, willing to work long hours, smells good, nice teeth, willing to serve as the lighting rod for millions of dollars in cuts, or something else! We might or might not find out what it is down the road.

To cause all of this uproar just a few days before the AFC and NFC championship games is counter-productive! At least wait until the Super Bowl is over and there is a sports season lull until baseball gets started--I don't follow basketball!

You seem to think you get a say in all the decisions made from here up to DC! Get over yourself! You get one vote like the rest of us--that's it!

If you want complete say, go start your own country. There are some islands for sale down in the Caribbean! Otherwise, blog about something funny once in a while--it will do you and the rest of us good!

S. Lindsey
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Ninja you assume too much

Don't equate me with others that have issues with the people involved. My issue is the ideology and the use of Courts to push it.

If Christians egads use the courts to push their "religion" then the anti-religion zealots would be all over it... Sort of like a Duck on a junebug.

However they don't mind using those same courts to push their own agenda on the MAJORITY of us.

So if this power play was an attempt to do just that then I have a problem with it and will be a major pain in the butt to them every step of the way.

Ninja Guy
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Slindsey and the Immaculate Assumption!

Seems to be that the biggest ASSUMPTION being made here is that Lars has some kind of atheist agenda based on some tenuous associations unearthed on the Internet! That is pure paranoia! Only 29 minutes for you to make it to K-mart parking lot for the arrival of the mother ship. Better hurry!

If you miss the mother ship pick-up, who do you take in the championship games tomorrow?

My final picks:

NFC: Giants over 49ers 27 to 24.
AFC: Pats over Ravens 31 to 27.

S. Lindsey
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I have had experience with these guys before Ninja

When my daughter was in School they had tried and succeeded in getting several members on the local School board. Their associations where not revealed either.

They began a campaign of placing anti-religion material and textbooks in the Schools.

I won't bore you with the details but needless to say the fight was bloody.

Like I said I don't care what your views are... Just leave the kids alone. Stop trying to indoctrinate them. Just teach them to be critical thinkers and move on.

If Mr. Pressburg does nothing of the sort he will have no issues with me... However if he thinks he can use his personal views to teach "his" Science then I will be there to stop him. I think I will not be alone.

Main Stream
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Lindsey..."these guys"???
S. Lindsey wrote:

When my daughter was in School they had tried and succeeded in getting several members on the local School board. Their associations where not revealed either.

They began a campaign of placing anti-religion material and textbooks in the Schools.

I won't bore you with the details but needless to say the fight was bloody.

Who, or what organization, are you referring to that succeeded in getting members on the school board? In Fayette County or another school district? And what type of textbooks? Science books? On evolution maybe? Don't throw a rock and then run away. Stay here and give us the details, if it relates to this conversation we are having here. Or are you just trying to stir up more controversy??

S. Lindsey
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Uhh... Main I don't just blog for you

so if I must leave I shall.

You will excuse me if I leave out some personal details and no it was in another State.

Ninja Guy
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Slindsey, What Anti-Religion Material

are you talking about?! I don't see any problem teaching several points of view in public schools, from strict creationism to Hawkings view that quantum mechanics does allow for the creation of the universe from nothing.

BTW, do you believe that the earth is 6,000 years old and that Noah had the dinosaurs on the Ark?

Just trying to see what religious angle you are going from as what 'anti-religion' means and 'his science'.

Onward Christian Soldiers!

The Wedge
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Nunja, a question begets a question

Can you please explain and support the belief that the bison once covered the entirity of the North American great plains? Is the evidence of a documented nature, and/or are you able to use an abundance of fossilized records to support your belief? It is always a fascinating journey when we actually do our own research. Was the Miller-Urey experiments really able to show what happened in the absence of God or a god? Fascinating stuff, especially if one really understands the bias that they have, their desire to believe what they want, and the lense that they view history. I am done waxing poetic nunja as it is getting close to football time.

CherylCrT
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FreeThought Society

Thanks for the addendum and the accompanying responses - this group looks better and better - I'm really interested to join it. Any group which promotes itself as "providing a forum for interesting conversation, inspiring healthy discussions about religion, philosophy, politics and much more, in addition to meeting for social activities. They also participate in a variety of community outreach events with the goal of impacting our world through volunteerism and positive activism."

The people of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta continue to be a source of inspiration to me, but it's a bonus to meet other well-read, open-minded, intelligent people nearer to home.

bladderq
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Party of Angry White Men

There is no longer any need to worry about the 1st Lady being an Angry Black Woman, I think this column is the final tipping point for the GOP to become the PAWM.
I heard the ultimate Teabagger comment today when 1 defended the mother who let her 10 y/o son to be tatooed w/ a memorial to his dead brother, "Where does the gov't get the right to tell a parent that they can't tatoo their own child!" It would be fun to watch them try to rule, if it wouldn't be so tragic.

Main Stream
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Wrong again, Cal

"...I derived the information that the group was "founded Feb. 25, 2010," and that one of its founders was Al Stefanelli, one of two persons who listed their full names."

Al S. was NOT "one of its founders", and again, you're printing lies and falsehoods! Please contact me directly if you need clarification but STOP printing this b.s.!
I founded the group, along with 2 other people and Al S. was NOT a founder!!

"..clearly lists Mr. Stefanelli as one of its "organizers."

We have 11 "organizers" in the group, Al is one of them and "hosts" our bi-weekly luncheon (oh the horror! Militant Mexican Food lunches!)

"The site itself, of course, has since been altered.."

NO! it hasn't been "altered" at all, but I've set it to "private" to protect members from your irrational witch-hunt!

Falcon66
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Altered?

Julie, Julie, Julie,

your so right, that screen shot clearly shows your nice new picture of community helpers....we're sorry... you didn't dress it up at all!

Ninja Guy
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That's What I Mean By Journalism 101

Editor Cal! Just a phone call or two could have saved us all a lot of grief and left much more time for blogging about football!

The foundation date does say Feb 25. 2010, but if you know much about the Internet, you would notice that the site is www.meetup.com. Now, when you join some websites, some settings are defaults set by the host website and can't be changed.

In this case, I would presume that the Feb. 25 2010 date is the date that the Free Think group was set up on the www.meetup.com website rather than the actual foundation date of the Free Think group. Worth Checking.

As for organizers, again, you should have looked more closely at the host website, which allows groups to post information about gatherings, which require organizers. Again, worth a phone call at least to see what that term actually means.

Also, the fact that the site says Lars only attended one meetup and his member information fields are completely blank would indicate that he is NOT a very dedicated member of the group. Perhaps he only showed up for a meeting or two. Again worth a phone call or two.

If I were a journalist, I would have taken the time to confirm all of this before running an 'editorial'.

Now, let's clear this thing up and get back to the NFL playoffs!

pips1414
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Democrat gets appointed to powerful school board position

Everybody thought it couldn't happen in Fayette County, but it did. I suggest that anybody interested in the educational future of Fayette County follow the majority voting patterns on major school board issues. Prior to the election of Sam Tolbert, major issues were voted in sync with Smith and Smola by a 3 to 2 vote. Now it looks as though Presberg might be bold enough to run as a Democrat in Tolbert's district and win. That district has the largest minority population in Fayette County. Keep your eye on the ball.

Hope this works out better than the Fayette Commissioners office, where there is a lot of vocal opposition to the 3 to 2 majority there.

Davids mom
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Fayetee County becoming Clayton County?

Fayette County will become Clayton County when:

City leadership and citizens allow an inordinate amount of Section 8 housing in the county
County -wide law enforcement is not actively assisting citizens and business owners secure their properties
Fayette County schools lower their academic expectations for students
Fayette County parents cease to be actively involved in their child's education
Fayette County citizens become unwilling/ unable to participate in earnest discussion regarding county issues

Do you really believe that we are on the way to becoming Clayton County? If so, whose fault will that be?

Main Stream
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A rebuttal from Stefanelli to Cal (and S.Lindsey)

found here: http://www.thecitizen.com/node/9945

(circulating on the internet today)

Robert W. Morgan
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Exhibit A - why liberals are bad for the country

This guy Steffi is a fine example of a liberal pinhead who adds nothing to society or the country. He uses up resources in a never-ending battle to make some obscure point that very few care about. A truly worthless individual. Must be fun to play trivia with him or better yet - pick up litter. I hope you at the 133 club use him as a recruiter.

Actually he does serve one useful purpose for normal people who are interested in building things up rather than tearing things down. He shows us how extremism is a bad thing on either the far right or the far left. As a lefty, this dude is a cartoon character, but he can and will pull out all the stops when ridiculing those on the far religious right. The danger is that those who dwell in the center and despise religion or anything that resembles authority or a higher power can be persuaded to move left by Steffi's ravings. Clearly we don't need that or else we get 4 more years of a President who like Steffi is not a builder of resources. This why I think the Republicans don't need the baggage of the religious right in their efforts to gain votes from the normal folks in the center - those that are fiscally conservative but socially liberal or even socially agnostic.

Imagine a world in which the pinheads on the left like Steffi and his 132 friends in Fayette County take verbal shots and initiate lawsuits against the moral police on the right. The rest of us can watch this 2% minority cancel out the right's 2% minority and then we can get on with working to build this country back up again.

Ninja Guy
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RWM Gets It Wrong Again!

Bobby M, do you think Muslim students in the FC should be able to freely use their prayer carpets at school? How about a Moonie club for budding street-corner flower salespeople? Do you want to see a local chapter of the Association of Jihadist Athletes start up at McIntosh? How about a Bad Day Club to introduce elementary school kids to the joys of Satanism? Once you open the door the the majority, the minority ain't far behind!

I like the Nolan hire!

Robert W. Morgan
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Moonie club at McIntosh, ninja?

I can't really connect the dots on this one. Dumping the religious right is something I am advocating for the Republican Party only. To me that means that the Republican Party stop the religious litmus test for candidates, stop the anti-abortion obsession, let gays marry each other (its not like they are going to reproduce, so who cares?) and above all just laugh off bad personal behavior of their candidates like the Dems do. Use the line "I am imperfect, I have sinned, but I am running to be President/Senator/Congressman/etc. I am not running to be a saint". I think the end result of that would be more of a focus on taxes and the size and efficiency of government which are winning issues for the undecided center.

Don't see how that gets us the Moonie and Muslim scenario, but I am willing to learn.

I agree on Nolan - that's exciting.
You have to agree that Steffi is a bit whacked.

Ninja Guy
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Moonies in the Boonies

DJ Bobby M (henceforth DJ BM), what I am saying is that by saying that Steffie is a whacko who is only advocating for a tiny minority, so it doesn't matter, you are are paving a wide road for the majority to pretty much do as they please (such as is the case with the fundies down here), and thereby opening the door to let every other group into the schools and public life with their clubs and and indoctrination-driven agendas, hence the analogy of the Moonie Clubs, Satanist Bad Day Club, and Association of Jihadist Athletes.

No, I don't see Steffie as a whacko anymore than the Ten Commandments In the Courthouse crowd. Two sides of the same coin. They want it all in, he wants it all out. Personally, I think we would be better off in the long run with it all out.

But, I am glad to see that STEFFIE thought my writing was worth RIPPING OFF WITH NO ROYALTIES in his response to Editor Cal's stinky onion burp of a column!

I believe I went through this with the ritual animal slaughter before the council meetings scenario a while back, when Steffie first filed his complaint/lawsuit.

As for the political candidates and their religious leanings, I will leave that up to the vetting of voters in the circus of the primaries.

Where do the Taoists fit in all this?

JeffC
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Get a grip

Yes, the editorial is outrageous. So what? Cal owns the newspaper. Y'all didn't know that? Outrageous accusations and extreme slanting in newspapers are as American as apple pie. It's been happening at least since Ben Franklin published Silence Dogood, Harry Meanwell, Alice Addertongue, Richard Saunders, and Timothy Turnstone's stuff.

So rage on, on the merits of the arguments; but let's not forswear participation in the forum because of some perceived beyond the pale action on Cal's part as if it was some unique occurrence. Heck, if I may say so, (and Cal you are welcome to set me right if I'm wrong), that's half the fun of owning a newspaper. It always has been and publishers have been doing this since before the Republic.

Please, all my liberal cohorts. Let's not bail now during the elections. Gingrich says he might want Palin in his Cabinet and you're getting out, quitting commenting? It's Cal's newspaper and forum and he let's us use it. It's not like we didn't know we were dancing with the devil all along, right?

Cal Beverly
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The "devil" blushes — Gosh, thanks, Jeff & some points

You are this right-wing extremist devil's favorite liberal -- oops, sorry — favorite progressive.

If only — sigh — your comrades would advance their arguments as lucidly as you do, without all the name-calling and condescension.

I appreciate your perspective, even when disagreeing with your conclusions.

Just between you and me, this episode has been more frustrating than fun.

That whole column boils down to few simple points:

1. ALL Fayette County voters got disenfranchised by the lawsuit settlement. All of us lost four-fifths of our ability to choose elected members for the board of education.

You can argue (and probably will) that loss was necessary to redress what the NAACP and others believe was a greater loss of their ability to elect someone of their race and political persuasion to a governing body that affects all of them.

I disagree, believing that no voter or group of voters should be guaranteed a specific outcome, but should compete on the basis of political principles and the content of their character on a level playing field.

2. Mr. Presberg was appointed to fill an unexpired term remaining of more than 3 years (a travesty in itself — there should be a special election in all such cases). He never ran for political office and his political views were never subject to public scrutiny.

Within weeks of being appointed with no public input or vetting, he campaigns for the post of chairman. He works a deal with the former ruling faction of the board (Smith and Smola) and gets to be chairman of the board despite never having served in any elected post before in his life.

Absent all other emotional baggage — ignore his politics and his worldview — isn't that outrageous in and of itself?

3. Then belatedly, we discover that this total newcomer (I'm tempted to say "usurper") belongs to a political party that hasn't had the numbers to elect anybody to a public post (openly, anyway) in a decade or more. So someone who could never get elected in a free and fair election slides in this backdoor way.

Remember how you felt when the Supremes ruled against Gore and in favor of Bush? Remember how many Democrats considered Bush an "illegitimate" president? That's how I feel about this.

4. The Freethought thing was just the icing on the cake.

Mr. Presberg has my blessing and permission (as if he needed either) to believe or not believe what he chooses. He has (and I support absolutely) his right to run for public office, to campaign in the arena of ideas, to espouse whatever beliefs he holds both publicly and privately.

But if he has volunteered to serve in public office, he is absolutely subject to the intense scrutiny and criticism of those he is supposed to be representing.

And just as you are not likely to vote for anybody with an "R" after their name on any ballot, so am I not likely to vote for anybody with Mr. Presberg's philosophical leanings.

You are not a bigot for choosing to vote for a freethinking Democrat over a rightwing Republican. Neither am I a bigot for choosing to vote against that same Democrat. What we have here is robust political discussion, the hallmark of a functioning democratic republic.

Thanks for listening, Jeff. I feel better already.

carbonunit52
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The Citizen Bakery
Quote:

The Freethought thing was just the icing on the cake.

The ingredients for the cake were typical, but that icing was toxic enough to be a superfund site. I have a suggestion for a name: Kawfi Cake with XL Pipeline Icing, best served after a good cry.

bladderq
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Partisan Local Elections

Maybe you can explain to me why local elections are partisan? National party identification has little to do at the local level. Not like my county sheriff or court clerk or coroner are advocates for deficit spending or abortion or etc. Why do I have to decide which party primary I have to vote. Certainly in an open primary for local office the Dem or Rep party could endorse any candidate they choose to rally behind. You or Robert might have some thoughts.

Davids mom
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Mr. Beverly
Quote:

You can argue (and probably will) that loss was necessary to redress what the NAACP and others believe was a greater loss of their ability to elect someone of their race and political persuasion to a governing body that affects all of them.

I wonder what would have happened if Whitewater Creek Development had brought the 'district voting' issue to the BOE and Bd.of Commissioners? They would not have had a LAW to defend their position. The only law that would be questioned in requesting district voting would be found in the VRA. It has been proven that the majority of minorities live in this area designated District 5. However, please post the number of registered Democrats in this area; number of Republicans, etc. All we know about this area is that a little over half are 'black or part black'. Well, the NAACP was successful in getting what other residents in FC may have wanted. There are those living in FC who do not consider this action a loss. . . .but an opportunity to encourage others not to deny their leanings towards the Democratic Party. As someone else said - we're here - and we exist throughout the country with pride and hope and looking forward to being able to voice our opinion without being ridiculed and/or denigrated. However, we do respect the wishes of the majority. This should not be an issue. The BOE is still majority 'white', Republican - and still represents the majority of residents in Fayette County. What is the problem?

bowser
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Still waiting, Cal

Did you make any effort to talk to Presberg to determine the status of his Freethought membership, ask him why he's in it, how active he is, which views/activities he supports and which he doesn’t? Allow him to comment on how it does or doesn't influence his decision-making on school issues?

In your article you describe him as an “apparent charter member.” What does “apparent” mean – that you really don’t know? What was the source of your info about his personal political affiliation and freethought membership, anyway? Was it simply Ms. Wanzer’s letter to the editor?

Did you talk to any other school board members for their views or comments? Any other members of the club? Did you make any effort to determine how Presberg’s overall track record on the board and as a system leader square with your concern that he is out of step with the people he represents?

If the answer to all those is no, why not? (Simply because you were doing an editorial and didn’t have to is not a very good answer.)

And why in the print edition did you run a fromt-page top story about how Matt and Ronnie disagree with the settlement? They have zero standing on the issue and zero ability to do anything about it. So their opinions (which Matt repeated in a letter anyway) are front-page worthy because....? And on that note, if they are reading I'd like to ask them: Do you agree with Cal's previously stated stance that the county should have fought the suit to the bitter end even if it meant laying off teachers and parapros to fund the effort? Your constituents might like to know how many of them you'd be willing to throw under the bus to make your valiant stand with Cal.

One more thought: Cal, you think it’s an outrage that Presberg would represent people who, in the main, probably do not share his political and worldviews. I guess the irony is lost on you, since that’s pretty much the underlying argument in the naacp lawsuit, which contends that at-large voting diminishes the ability of people in a minority district to be represented by someone with similar persuasions.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Beverly - Functional Democratic Republic?

"What we have here is robust political discussion, the hallmark of a functioning democratic republic."

Isn't your entire position in this column to point out that we don't have a functioning democratic republic?

So, I suppose your dialog with Jeff is simply a dialog. The reality is that we don't have a democratic republic.

Ninja Guy
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PTCO Chimes In From Malibu!

What is not in keeping with a democratic republic regarding Mr. Presberg's rise to the Chairmanship? Duly elected officials created rules for what happens when someone quits/dies in office. These officials followed the rules when that indeed happened. They again followed the rules when electing a chairperson. What is wrong with elected officials following the rules!

PTC Observer
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My Ninja Fan Club

Ninja, now you should know this but I will remind you, we don't live in a Republic, democratic or otherwise. We live in a Democracy. What has happened with the BOE is consistent with our form of government, in this you are correct. If we actually lived in a Republic, it would be highly unlikely that a public financed school system would exist at all.

Keep following my posts and you actually may learn something.

Seems your black suit is a little too tight these days?

Ninja Guy
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PTCO, Keep Pining for 1789!

Any Republics you can point to today as an example of what the US should aspire?

Time to rotate the tires on the Malibu!

PTC Observer
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Ninja - Republics

Nope, ours was the last best hope.

Simply pining for minds bigger than yours.

Cench up those britches there Ninja.

Ninja Guy
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Well, PTCO

that is like saying 'well, we don't live on Mars like I read about in this utopian space fantasy, but if we did everything would be swell.' You sound like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz repeating 'There's no place like home' over and over again! Keep clicking those heels together!

As for bigger minds, it cinch NOT cench.

I guess you had to sell your dictionary to buy parts for the Malibu.

PTC Observer
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Ninja - Congratulations

You caught it.

Oh yes the Wizard of Oz, one of your favorites no doubt?

Speaking of Utopia, how's your bookeeping job working out for you? Remember you have to educate those kids of yours so better get back to work.

Cyclist
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To my liberal minded buddies on The C.

JeffC is right. Please don't leave the conga line.

meanoldconservatives
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Chill out Cy and JeffC

If memory serves, this isn't the first time Hack and "Julie" have folded up their circus tents and left the premises. They always seem to find their way back....

S. Lindsey
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CY as one who knows about temper tantrums

I can relate.... But in the words of the infamous Governor from Kalifornia... They'll be back.

Cyclist
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S. Lindsey - Governor "Moonbeam"

Don't get me riled up so early in the morning about him!!!!

S. Lindsey
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I know how you luv them CY

East Coast can't get much further away without going to the UK...

Cyclist
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S Lindsey

I'm sorry....you were talking about Arnold S. I need to got back to bed. It was a "long" night in Texas.

S. Lindsey
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Oh Both are equally as bad CY

However I think "Moonbat" is much worse.... Go get some rest.

Gort
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What, give up show business! Kevink and Mainstream,

don’t let Cal run you off the site. Answer back, don’t bail out.

The Wedge
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Hypocrisy of Kevin and Mainstream on the attack

A defense against libel is always the truth. If Cal does not have the truth about this organization on his side then he has no good defense against a suit. My prediction is that this is a factual representation of what the group states. My main beef with all this righteous indignation is that your voices would be silent if it were uncovered that Pressberg was a member of the John Birch Society, or the Answers in Genesis group. Or even something legal and more tainted like a society change organization like the Tea Party (sacre bleu) or somehting as extreme as the KKK. Get a grip, or take your toys and go home, but dont beat your chest with this indignation.

carbonunit52
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Wedge

The act of attacking in this thread seems to belong primarily to Cal, while I would list kevink's and Mainstream's contributions as reactions. Cal's editorial reeks of a callousness toward the well being of identified individuals. I have always defended his right of freedom of the press regarding his newspaper however I cannot defend this tirade. It is a well known fact that people who have participated in discussions on this website have been stalked and the results have never been pretty. One can allude to truth in their reasoning however: while there certainly exists the virtue of truth, when humans get a hold of it, it is not a virtue any longer.

My opinion is that Cal owes an apology to the identified individuals. You cannot be so right that you can do something wrong and still be right.

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