The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Che Guevara and the "Pedagogy of the Wall"

Because it's now a topic of discussion on the Liberty Blog, and and important one, I thought it'd move it up top. As we talk here about liberty and individual rights, especially rights in property, the subject of Comrade "Che" allows us an opportunity to visit the concepts of romantic idolization and how they contrast with reality.

It's also important to talk for a while about ideological consistency. Ideas have meaning, obviously, and if one isn't to be considered a hypocrite, one's beliefs ought to at the very least agree with one another. This is known as "ideological consistency" - the belief, for instance, that if government ought to be severely re-evaluating how it perpetuates the individual welfare state (more commonly called "welfare reform"), that they ought to also be working on reducing the number of subsidies they put out to various industries (ie, perpetuating the "buggy whip" industry, though that industry ought to have died around the same time as the internal combustion engine).

Anyhow, ideological consistency has also come up on this blog - and discussing Che, socialism, and property rights seems to help illustrate the problem when internal ideals become inconsistent.
People must remember that no matter how romanticized historical figures might be, the realities of their lives and their effects might be much, much different from that portrayed in books or on the big screen. I'm fairly sure I don't have to remind the bulk of the readers of the Liberty Blog of that. But sometimes it is important to restate the obvious.

In terms of the great "heroes" of communism and socialism, this reminder is even more important. There are many flavors of socialism, from mild socialistic government programs to full-blown totalitarian maoist-stalinism (and beyond). On that most extreme end, the movements are characterized by commanding authority, cold-blooded violence, brutal repression of dissent, and the complete subsumption of individual liberties to the state. Such as it is with with the flavor of stalinism as practiced by Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

Guevara didn't just practice stalinism as a system, he truly admired Stalin and his iron-fisted viciousness. "To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of The Wall!"" Guevara reportedly said these words as he perpetuated Castro's revolution in Cuba.

Like is totalitarian compadres, Guevara was a man who understood the seductive power of hate, and the use of hate as a tool. He said in his 1967 "Message to the Tricontinental, "Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy...

"We must carry the war into every corner the enemy happens to carry it: to his home, to his centers of entertainment; a total war. It is necessary to prevent him from having a moment of peace, a quiet moment outside his barracks or even inside; we must attack him wherever he may be; make him feel like a cornered beast wherever he may move. Then his moral fiber shall begin to decline."

Truly romantic stuff, isn't it?

But as we turn to the issue of individual rights, especially private property rights, Guevara's words are particularly telling, "one has to constantly think on behalf of masses and not on behalf of individuals...It's criminal to think of individuals because the needs of the individual become completely weakened in the face of the needs of the human conglomeration."

In the context of what we've been talking about regarding eminent domain, it's clear where Guevara's loyalties would lie. If communism as expressed by Marx can be summed up at "the abolition of private property", the stalinism expressed by Guevara saw that abolition carried out with a maximum of hatred towards the owners of that property, with the most extreme force used in the taking of the property from their hands.

Those who admire Guevara cannot, with the same breath, speak romantically about their passionate committment to protecting private property from the predation of the state, or any other rights for that matter. Guevara had no respect for either, and people with consistent internal ideologies recognize this.

Socialism remains an evil force on this planet. And I don't mean to speak of it in the bogeyman-ish terms of McCarthyism. I mean that as far as devastating and murderous political philosophies go, there are damned few worse than socialism. Millions have been killed at the hands of socialist devotees. Millions more have been enslaved at the whim of gangs of fanatical madmen. Che Guevara was one of these, and the "Motorcycle Diaries" does as much damage to the cause of freedom and individual rights as any tome celebrating the life of Hitler or Stalin - perhaps more because few have ever seen beyond the romantic imaging of Che.

He is not to be emulated and admired. He is to be shunned and reviled.


Blogger Ilena Rose said...

I could not be happier that Andy brought this conversation to the front page of his 'blaaaaa' blog ...

I was aghast at reading Andy's chastisement and insults about a beautiful film that I love and hightly recommend to all with a soul.

It is the epic film of the travels of young Ernesto Guevara ... an award winning film, "Motorcycle Diarires."

On the other thread ... Andy was also proclaiming that Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was 'no hero.'

We've seen who are Andy's heroes ... and I pray to God that his Majestic Earth can survive them.

Today the Goddesses were shining upon my soul ... and guided me to some new BushSpeak ...

In this article, Bush was proclaiming a "war of ideas" ...

Does Andy not know that Fidel Castro recently pontificated on the almost identical "battle of ideas" over the Elian Gonzalez affaire?

Good to see where Bush is getting his material!

With Bush ... it's all puffed up to a War ... and Andy is but a Chicken Hawk ... parroting the Bushisms as terrorism, hatred, killings, and America's being despised and disrespected in the world augments ... along with the bottom lines of corporate america.

Andy is a corporate lobbyist but fails to mention that on his 'complete profile.' Hmmmm.

US equates war on terror with major world conflicts

July 24, 2005 8:04 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

>He is not to be emulated and admired. He is to be shunned and reviled.


Some believe that Guevara, called "the most complete human being of our age" by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, may yet prove to be the most important thinker and activist in Latin America since Simón Bolívar, leader of the South American independence movement and hero to subsequent generations of nationalists throughout Latin America.

July 24, 2005 8:26 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Ilena Rosenthal wrote, "Some believe that Guevara, called "the most complete human being of our age" by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, may yet prove to be the most important thinker and activist in Latin America since Simón Bolívar..."

Yes, and some believe that Adolf Hitler, called "the present and future German reality" by the German philsopher Martin Heidegger (whose works influenced Jean-Paul Sartre, among others), may yet prove to be the most important thinkker and activist in Europe since Napoleon.

We call those people addled, feeble-minded, ignorant, and wrong. The same holds true with those who honor brutal totalitarian tyrants and their apparatchik thugs.

July 24, 2005 9:06 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

"I was aghast at reading Andy's chastisement and insults about a beautiful film that I love and hightly recommend to all with a soul. "

A beautiful film about a brutal Stalinist thug who is responsible for the murder of scores of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

That you love this film and recommend it to all says a great deal about _YOU_.

See, here's the contrast. Ilena Rosenthal takes me to task for admiring a film which deals with the freedom of expression, a central individual right, simply because she is offended by the joke.

But by the same token she finds fault with me for condemning a film which glorifies and romanticizes a vicious tyrannical murderer, someone whose goal was the destruction of individual rights.

Which is more vile: a film about a a joke (alright, the dirtiest joke ever told); or a film that glorifies someone responsible for the deaths of legions of innocents who got in the way of _his_ revolution? A film that glorifies individual rigthts, or a film that glorifies someone interested in destroying those rights?

Perhaps Ms. Rosenthal can explain why he believes Ernesto "Che" Guevara to be a hero - and in doing so, explain a little more about how Che's philosophies square with her own.

But somehow I doubt that she'll do that - seeing as how she's now repeating herself for the umpteenth time without answering much of anything.

July 24, 2005 9:17 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Actually ... Andy wrongly attributed what Sartre and the Wikipedia said about Ernesto Guevara to me ...

Additionally, he was slick as silicone ignoring the fact that HIS hero ... has now virtually stolen Fidel Castro's lines ...

God help any people who need Corporate Lobbyist Langer to tell them who to hate ...

July 24, 2005 9:26 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

You offered that quote from Wikipedia to refute my opinion of Guevara. Presumably you did so because you agree with the quote.

If you do not agree with the quote, then why did you post it?

Ilena Rosenthal is truly ignorant if she thinks that either George W. Bush or Fidel Castro is the originator of the phrase "War of Ideas". That term has been tossed around political philosophy for the last seven decades, at least, especially when dealing with competing political systems (usually in terms of how the West could defeat communism).

She's also wrong-headed for continuing to lie about my profile here on blogspot and thinking that she can get away with it.

July 24, 2005 9:58 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

LOL ... Andy boy ... what's the lie??

Here's your supposively 'complete profile'"

It fails to mention that you are a Corporate Lobbyist ... neither does it mention your peddling your services as an "expert" on "sound science" etc.

Andrew Langer
Gender: male
Industry: Government
Occupation: Government Affairs
Politics cooking movies geocaching
Blog Name Team Members
Langrrr's Liberty Blog

July 24, 2005 10:07 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

"Che Guevara's feats in our continent were of such magnitude that no prison or censorship could hide them from us.

Che's life is an inspiration for every human being who loves freedom.

We will always honor his memory."

Nelson Mandela

July 24, 2005 10:30 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

My profile says, "Occupation: Government Affairs". Lobbying is part and parcel of "government affairs", oh "she who has also lobbied (even if she denies it) though her organization has now been suspended by the state of California". So, when you claim that my profile doesn't mention that I lobby, you're lying.

As to your claim that my profile is somehow incomplete because it doesn't mention that I "peddle my services as an expert on sound science", I'll say three things.

The first is that your characterization is misleading, at best (we both know that, in fact, it's patently dishonest, but we'll leave it at "misleading" for the time being). The well-respected Heritage Foundation has now, for several years, listed me as an "expert" in their "Expert Guide". It's not a series of classified ads which one buys space for - Heritage asks, and they publish it.

Certainly, you're not suggesting that Heritage is "peddling my services"?

Second, my profile also doesn't list my favorite color, my mother's maiden name, the name of the hospital I was born in, or my elementary school. That's because it's not a complete bio, nor anything approaching either a comprehensive resume or curriculum vita.

So, it's the height of mean-spirited nitpicking to take it to task because it doesn't contain all the details of my professional career. It doesn't mention the fact that I've been on NPR numerous times or quoted in the New York Time and Washington Post not once, not twice, but several times.

What, are you so jealous that nobody lists you as an expert in _ANYTHING_ that you have to take silly potshots at my _CLEARLY_ limited profile on BLOGSPOT?

Finally, I note that it's also fairly hypocritical. You have nothing approaching a complete curriculum vita on your organization's website, and, in fact, have been mysteriously compendious regarding your own credentials, while at the same time always pressing for greater detail about your opponents.

For instance, there is no biography on your website which talks about your forays into selling kettle corn, or your current efforts to sell real estate in the Sierras. There is no one place on your website which talks about your educational background, your degrees, what specifically in your personal history that qualifies you in _ANY_ way to be an advocate for women's health issues.

Understand, Blog readers, this is now _ALL_ old ground (by the way, Ms. Rosenthal: most of the readers of the blog know me personally, know what I do for a living, and have no problem with it as you apparently do). Way back when Ms. Rosenthal and I first interacted on Usenet, she would continually press me for details about myself (including wanting information about my height and weight, in order to make her own pop-psychology determinations about my mindset).

Because I was a lot more naive at the time, and operating under the belief that if I were more open about myself, such openess would lead to better dialogue with folks who held different viewpoints than my own.

In the case of Ilena Rosenthal, I was wrong. She was never interested in dialogue, and, in fact, abused my openness on numerous occasions. What's more, when pressed for information about herself, she accused me of all sorts of vile things - even though I was looking for precisely the same information that she had been demanding from me.

So now you know. This is why, incidentally, another poster to the Liberty Blog warned Bruce^4 about giving Ilena Rosenthal any personal information.

I second that warning.

July 24, 2005 10:57 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

"Guevara became "supreme prosecutor" at Havana¹s La Cabaña fortress after Batista fled Cuba. Here he presided over hundreds of executions in proceedings that even a sympathetic biographer notes "were carried out without respect for due process."

Jon Lee Anderson, Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (New York: Grove Press, 1997), p, 478

"Guevara endorsed "the extremely useful hatred that turns men into effective, violent, merciless, and cold killing machines." Anderson, p. 237

Mandela's fate would have been no different than Stephen Biko's had he found himself running afoul of his vaunted 'Che'.

This is the problem when you romanticize historical figures instead of actually looking at what they have done. I mean seriously, Ms. Rosenthal: do you deny the very clear and unambiguous historial record regarding Guevara's actual physical acts?

July 24, 2005 11:14 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 25, 2005 12:12 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

About so many, many, many things you advcoate for Andy Langer, I evoke Sophocles to describe you ...

"It is terrible to speak well and be wrong."

July 25, 2005 12:41 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Andy ...

What I don't understand ... if you find it such an insult to be described as a "corporate lobbyist" ... why do you take their money?????

July 25, 2005 6:44 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Ilena Rosenthal said two things:

First, she said, "About so many, many, many things you advcoate for Andy Langer, I evoke Sophocles to describe you ... 'It is terrible to speak well and be wrong.'"

Sophocles also said two other things, Ms. Rosenthal, which you ought to take to heart:

"How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when there's no help in the truth," and, "Much wisdom often goes with fewest words."

You have been unhelped by the truth in the case of Che Guevara and his misdeeds, yet despite this, you continue to write scores of words. I'd say that the Sophocles quote you proffered would apply to you as well, but you simply don't write well enough for it to qualify.

If I were wrong, you've had ample time to demonstrate it - the words of Sartre and Mandela notwithstanding.

Or are you confused by how Che's own words don't square with the "Motorcycle Diaries" vision of him?

She also wrote:

"What I don't understand ... if you find it such an insult to be described as a "corporate lobbyist" ... why do you take their money?????"

Ms. Rosenthal, you throw about "corporate lobbyist" as an insult, despite the fact that you, yourself, lobbied for a corporation (a non-profit one that has now had its license suspended by the state of California). That's abject hypocrisy.

I don't describe myself as a "corporate" lobbyist because it's an incomplete description of my job. While I lobby on behalf of NFIB, I am not lobbying specifically _FOR_ the organization, but the organization's 600,000 members (average size, five employees), some of whom are corporations, some of whom have different legal designations in the eyes of their particular states and localities.

Plus, it doesn't take into account the myriad other duties I engage in on their behalf, which aren't "lobbying".

"Government Affairs" is the more accurate term.

Now, why on your website do you not identify yourself as a corporate lobbyist?

July 25, 2005 8:27 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

LOL ... Andy boy ... you may well be slick as silicone ... not to mention having the silicone cartel being but one of the many backers of the 'sound' (aka 'junk' or 'industry') science propaganda campaign you're paid to spread ... but you continue to fool only the other fools/shills.

Your actions are exactly as described in "PR War Against Activists" ... embedding your corporate self amongst 'insiders' to 'educate' and influence the cause. Going after small non profits, (you have repeatedly threatened to SLAPP sue us) is just one of the tricks up your corporate bought & paid for sleeve.

AB 1609, for which I lobbied in California ... was to protect the legal interests of the California women harmed by breast implants so that they could have a chance to be compensated by the manufacturers.

My work was NOT to protect the silicone corporations as you imply.

I recommend any who want to see Andy's Antics described, read this fine article:

For those wanting to see our work ... ever burdened by the PR teams backed by industry:

To see Andy embedded in a 'breast implant' group who hired a Private Investigator to hunt me down ... please visit:


July 25, 2005 11:54 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 25, 2005 1:45 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

I'd like to quote corporate flack Andy Langer here, posted while he was early on selling the propaganda of the Bush / Corporate War Industry:

"the fecal matter that is the indefensible anti-war position."


What unmitigated arrogance.

July 25, 2005 1:48 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

ChickenHawk Langer's definition of 'liberty' and freedom falls short of reality ...

The people suffer and his corporate backers get even wealthier.

The Nation - July 24, 2005

Iraq: The Human Toll


Living conditions for the people of Iraq, already poor before the war, have
deteriorated significantly since the US invasion. This is confirmed in a new
report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Iraqi
Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation. Based on a survey of
21,000 households conducted in 2004, the study shows that the Iraqi people
are suffering widespread death and war-related injury, high rates of infant
and child mortality, chronic malnutrition and illness among children, low
rates of life expectancy and significant setbacks with regard to the role of
women in society.

July 25, 2005 3:32 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Another viewpoint on Ernesto 'Che' Guevara ....

Knowing Andy Boy like I have been forced to do ... I think his idea of roughin' it ... would be travelling with a Blue instead of a Gold Amex Card!

Trained as a physician from an upper-middle-class Argentinean family, he abandoned his considerable opportunities for a greater cause. He traveled up and down Latin America and saw firsthand how the common people were ground down by a ruthless land-owning class supported by American business and military interests. He joined Fidel Castro's rebel group determined to overthrow the corrupt and murderous dictatorship in Cuba, and his leadership qualities became clear in combat.

July 25, 2005 3:42 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Note, Ilena Rosenthal hasn't responded directly to any substantive point that I've made -not to my refutation of her claims about me, not to the words of Che Guevara himself, not to anything of substance.

Instead she has furiously spun away from substantive discussion, and tried obfuscating.

She doesn't realize that the Liberty Blog's readers see right through that.

July 25, 2005 9:52 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Andy honey ... I hear from other "Liberty Blaaaaa" readers too ...

And as I have said the 5 years you've been harassing me ... you fool only the other shills and fools.

See Andy amidst other healthfrauds from ratbags:

July 25, 2005 10:04 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Sure you have, Ms. Rosenthal. We all know how much veracity we can place in the words you write here...

July 25, 2005 11:09 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Andy's description of the life and goals of Ernesto Guevara seems to come from the newspaper of today describing Andy's hero ... W....

many believe he is the man capable to bringing the world to World War 3 in the near future (with the aid of his parrots who sell his propaganda on Usenet, Blogs and other medium)

Using his power of projection, Andy claims to 'know' that Guevara's

"...goal was the destruction of individual rights."

As do his myopic ilk ... he describes what he sees around him ... Americans losing their individual rights at an excelerated pace.

Never before, have American rights been at such an all time risk of disappearing ... never has terrorism been so real a threat.

Thanks to W and his Flack Team of Fools like Andy who uses his corporate bought & paid for 'time' to sell W's illegal and immoral murderous invasion of Iraq.

Does Andy even know what the "Patriotism Acts" are all about ... or does the flag he keeps over his eyes result in utter blindness to reality?

July 26, 2005 9:28 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Socialism's goal _IS_ the destruction of individual rights, through their subsumption to the greater will of the state. This is especially true of the more violent and brutal forms of socialism: stalinism and maoism, a combination of which was the flavor of socialism espoused by Comrade Che.

Ilena Rosenthal seems to ignore the fact that _MY_ description of Comrade Che comes from his own sayings and writings and actions. In contrast, _HER_ description of Che comes from the _OPINIONS_ of those who are parroting this romantic vision of Che, not from Guevara's _OWN_ words and deeds.

Quotes like, "In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm."

Yeah, sounds like the kind of guy who ought to be the subject of a film highly recommended to "all with a soul".

Now, either you're denying that Che was a socialist, or that his particular choice of socialism was stalinist or maoist, or that stalist/maoist socialism doesn't have the destruction of individual rights as a goal.

Which is it?

July 26, 2005 11:53 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 26, 2005 12:18 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 26, 2005 1:01 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

LOL ... what I clearly am saying is that 'individual rights' have never been more at stake in the USA than now ...

but Andy's ignorance & blindness has no limits.

July 26, 2005 1:02 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

There is a constant struggle in _ANY_ nation for the protection of individual rights, as it is the propensity of the state, and the statists who have a tendency to occupy positions of power, to want to use their authority to chink away at individual rights.

This is never more true than at times of national emergency, when there is a propensity to attempt to abrogate individual rights. I've written about this in the past (funny how you would have missed it, as I have this sneaking suspicion that you don't actually _READ_ what I write), and have a tendency to offer one of my favorite quoted on the subject.

While Franklin had said that, "those who would give up essential liberty in order to enjoy a little temporary security, deserve neither liberty nor security," (a quote I find especially prescient), I think Justice O'Connor put it best in my favorite Supreme Court decision (yes, I am the sort of geek that _HAS_ a favorite Supreme Court Decision:

"The Constitution protects us from our own best intentions: It divides power among sovereigns and among branches of government precisely so that we might resist the temptation to concentrate power in one location as an expedient solution to the crisis of the day." New York v. United States, 112 S.Ct 2408,
2433 (1992)

In the currently being written book, "Commanding Assent", I have an in-depth discussion of this very issue in the context of the war on terror, and just how destructive the expansion of state power versus individual rights can be.

I talk about it not only in the context of now, but in the context of all sorts of different pro-state regimes. As far as I am concerned, no matter what the political persuasion - left, right, or otherwise, the expansion of state power against individual right is wrong. In fact, it's one of the great failures of the various individual rights movements of the 1960s (also discussed in my book).

The activists on the left, right in recognizing that the bloated federal government was abusing its power in violating individual rights, came to the mistaken conclusion that they could replace the state regime with a benign one of their own.

But what they failed to recognize was that it wasn't just those in charge, but the machines of state power that were responsible for these violations, and that any state of that size would be apt for such abuse.

Thus it falls to responsible people to _MINIMIZE_ the size and scope of state power, in order to best safeguard individual rights.

Would Che Guevara have wanted that (if we're coming full circle)? Considering the size and scope of a stalinist or maoist state, and the role of that state in the control of the populace, the answer is a resounding "NO!!!" Socialist systems completely rely on state power in order to move society in the direction their leaders desire. This means subsumption of individual rights.

Moreover, has Ilena Rosenthal _EVER_ advocated for a serious reduction in the scope of state power? Likewise, that answer is a resounding "NO!!!"

So, despite her lame protestations here, much in the same way that her weak cheerleading on the issue of eminent domain was unconvincing when examined in the face of her overwhelming record, it's fairly clear that her condemnation of increased state power is nothing more than a sham.

July 26, 2005 2:26 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Also, I note that Ilena Rosenthal failed to respond to my points regarding Che's actual quotes (again), or what socialism is, or my questions about what her position actually is.


July 26, 2005 2:28 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

I do hope that if in fact, anyone is reading Andy's Blaaaaaa G ... please do see "Motorcycle Diaries" ... the DVD has wonderful interviews on the making of this fabulous film on the life of the sensitive, idealistic, young Ernesto Guevara ... before he completed Medical School.

Another viewpoint on Ernesto 'Che' Guevara ....

Knowing Andy Boy like I have been forced to do ... I think his idea of roughin' it ... would be travelling with a Blue instead of a Gold Amex Card!

Trained as a physician from an upper-middle-class Argentinean family, he abandoned his considerable opportunities for a greater cause. He traveled up and down Latin America and saw firsthand how the common people were ground down by a ruthless land-owning class supported by American business and military interests. He joined Fidel Castro's rebel group determined to overthrow the corrupt and murderous dictatorship in Cuba, and his leadership qualities became clear in combat.

July 26, 2005 2:37 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

_AGAIN_ Ilena Rosenthal is _IGNORING_ Che's actual words and deeds, and is instead relying on the interpretation of others for her arguments regarding Comrade Che (while throwing in a bit of "argumentum ad hominem" for good measure).

What I might or might not consider "roughing it" is immaterial to what Che Guevara actually said and did (though until Ilena Rosenthal has spent a few days hiking through hail and sleet in the High Sierras or walked down the spine of California at the height of the summer's heat, she might reconsider questioning anyone else's ideas of "roughing it").

What is material are the objective actions of this man, and what he himself said regarding them. Ilena Rosenthal ignores all of this, though.

So much for her intellectual honesty.

July 26, 2005 3:46 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Okey dokey ... you convinced me Mr. Langer.

I realize that in AndySpeak:

George Bush is the savior of 'individual rights' and Ernesto Guevara's only motives were vile.

I'm equally sure that terrorism is 'down' and the world is a safer, more loving and better place ... and Americans have more respect in the international community than ever before.

I'll be JK Rowling is shaking in her boots for fear Langer's book will knock hers off the shelves.

His fantasy rivals hers for sure.

July 26, 2005 4:38 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Here's the difference, you nitwit: President Bush is motivated by a desire to secure freedom and bring liberty to those who have been leaving in the dark fear of an oppressive regime.

Guevara, on the other hand, was motivated by just the opposite. He was interested in molding society to a system which was strictly controlled - to create a regime which in the end would be oppressive and keep people in fear, denied of the God-given individual rights that are essential to freedom.

And this comes from his words, what he said, what he wrote, and ultimately, what he did. Those words and deeds do, indeed, speak of incredibly vile things.

July 26, 2005 8:26 PM

Blogger Cajun Tiger said...

Ms. Rose has definitely been to Looney Left University. It is there one is taught to ignore facts and just make up your own version of history.

July 26, 2005 11:47 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

For Andy & His Sock Puppets and their Hero ... ever blaming others for their own sins.

"The Unfeeling President"
September 9th, 2004 1:37 pm
The Unfeeling President
By E.L. Doctorow / East Hampton Star

I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the
death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of
D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young
soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a
justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the
cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You
see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass
destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the
stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling
and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied
during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and
speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion
which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity
for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young
men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and
children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of
familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life . . .
they come to his desk as a political liability, which is why the press is not
permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing.
He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew,
unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the
war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not
regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed
it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought
this war of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs
of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that
you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only
option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the
overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his
supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to
remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their

A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The
country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not
drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the
grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not
feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the
35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who
cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs
are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to
work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how
many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving
the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of
the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of
our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to
save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their
time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor
them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag
and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is
choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the
millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It
was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that
transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the
only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over he world
most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people
that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was
their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a
rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back
on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the
ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal
combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could
imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is
conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He
proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives
and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The
trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally, the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He
becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail. How can we sustain
ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective
warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal
economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral
vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

Doctorow was born in New York City on January 6, 1931. After graduating with
honors from Kenyon College in 1952, he did graduate work at Columbia
University and served in the U.S. Army. Doctorow was senior editor for New
American Library from 1959 to 1964 and then served as editor in chief at Dial
Press until 1969. Since then, he has devoted his time to writing and teaching.
He holds the Glucksman Chair in American Letters at New York University and
over the years has taught at several institutions, including Yale University
Drama School, Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University
of California, Irvine. Edgar Lawrence Doctorow occupies a central position in
the history of American literature. He is generally considered to be among the
most talented, ambitious, and admired novelists of the second half of the
twentieth century. Doctorow has received the National Book Award, two National
Book Critics Circle Awards, th! e PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton
Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howell Medal of the American Academy of
Arts and Letters, and the residentially conferred National Humanities Medal.

July 27, 2005 5:25 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Yes, because when looking for insight into the foreign policy decisions of our nation's leaders, the best place for one to turn is to the ramblings of an author of fiction. Much in the same way that the best place for one to turn for insight into the mind and deeds of a stalinist thug, one ought to turn to a romantic fictionalized film and the opining of French philosophers.

Remind me again - why am I supposed to value EL Doctorow's opinion of President Bush? Why is Doctorow's analysis of the President's policies more accurate and balanced, than, say, those of any scholar at the Hoover Institution?

July 27, 2005 8:44 PM

Blogger Cajun Tiger said...

Does Ms. Rose have an original thought or is she only able to spit out the ramblings of the other looney left members?

July 27, 2005 10:28 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

"Commanding Assent" Andy Boy?

My crystal ball tells me you will be commanding your DESCENT with your corporate blatherings bound neatly in a 'book.'

Do I get an autographed copy to review?

July 28, 2005 9:03 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

By Gene Stone

The 23 Qualm
In case you haven't seen this one yet, it's slowly replacing other, more serious texts....

The 23rd Qualm

Bush is my shepherd; I dwell in want.
He maketh logs to be cut down in national forests.
He leadeth trucks into the still wilderness.
He restoreth my fears.
He leadeth me in the paths of international disgrace for his ego's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of pollution and war,
I will find no exit, for thou art in office.
Thy tax cuts for the rich and thy media control, they discomfort me.
Thou preparest an agenda of deception in the presence of thy religion.
Thou anointest my head with foreign oil.
My health insurance runneth out
Surely megalomania and false patriotism shall follow me all the days of =
thy term,
And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever

July 28, 2005 9:50 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

On why writing a Declaration of Independence was necessary, "To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to _COMMAND THEIR ASSENT_." (emphasis added) - Thomas Jefferson, as stated in the musical "1776".

The idea behind "Commanding Assent" is to restate and reaffirm the nature of the inalienable rights we as a free people possess - that while many people understand their existence to indeed be a "self-evident" truth, sometimes a reminder is in order for those who seem to have forgotten or just don't understand.

To make a complex subject simple again, in terms so plain and firm that they will have a "Commanding Assent".

By the way, Ms. Rosenthal: "assent" means "to agree to something especially after thoughtful consideration." You seem to have it confused with the word, "ascent", which means, "the act of rising or climing upward".

Two different words.

And I'll tell you what: I'd be happy to send you a copy. You just send me your physical address so that I can fed-ex it to you.

As for an autograph, you'll just have to come to a book signing like everyone else.

July 28, 2005 10:38 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

I confused nothing Andy ...


Your arrogant, bullying title is typical of your ways ... leading to others 'commanding' your 'descent.'

July 28, 2005 12:26 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

"Philosophy is itself to be conceived as an invitational, dialectical activity rather than as any system of dicta. A philosopher can be thought of as a man who, far from commanding assent with any thunderous barrage of argumentative artillery, invites you to think the world or some aspect of it in a somewhat different way. "Come in," he says cordially "and welcome. Sit down. Let me mix you an idea. Sip this thought, and tell me how your own experience looks. If you should find my way of construing our world unappetizing or unpromising, pray show me your way. Let us once again in the good old Greek way, dialego, talk it through together."

--from Douglas Morgan, "Must Art Tell the Truth?"

July 28, 2005 1:04 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Ilena Rosenthal wrote:

> I confused nothing Andy ...

Well, descent isn't the opposite of "assent", so it looked to me like you were a little confused.

> Your arrogant, bullying title is > typical of your ways

I think you're still confused. _I'm_ not commanding anyone. The explanation of the rights is (or, would be).

Can an explanation be bullying? I don't really think so.

> ... leading to
> others 'commanding'your
> 'descent.'

'Descent' isn't the opposite of 'assent'. The opposite of 'assent' is 'dissent'.

"Commanding Dissent" _IS_ an interesting title, though...

But while we're on the subject of "arrogant bullying", a group of others "commanding" my "descent" certainly qualifies...

July 28, 2005 2:00 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

re: The Morgan Quote

Obviously, Mr. Morgan hasn't read some of the more antagonistic of his philosophical brethren, who are uninterested in the casual, laid-back, martini lounge school of thought, but are more in-your-face, "Welcome to the Terrordome" types.

What, you do a Google Search of "Commanding Assent" in order to come up with that?

You would have been better off to do a search for my initial quote, from Jefferson:

"When forced ... to resort to arms for redress, an appeal to the tribunal of the world was deemed proper for our justification. This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms to plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular or previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion." (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Henry Lee, 1825)

July 28, 2005 2:06 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

LOL ... wind 'em up and he'll be like an Energizer Bunny patting himself on the back!

July 28, 2005 11:16 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

And wind her up and she'll be just like a mechanical spider: spinning, spinning, spinning away.

July 29, 2005 2:31 PM


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