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, October 30, 2005

An Open Letter to Andrew Kessler, AKA "Leftist Southpaw"

I'd originally written this as a comment response, but decided as I was finishing that it was better left as a solo post. By way of background, the "Leftist Southpaw" has made a number of comments to the blog, and I recognized fairly early on that it was the writings of a guy named Andrew Kessler. I've known Kessler for more than 25 years - we were in elementary school together, then middle school, junior high, and the first year of high school. I switched high schools in the fall of 1986 as the result of a shift in educational policy direction on the part of the school district, but kept in touch with many of my old friends (after all, we'd been together in school since kindergarten, at least).

Kessler and I are both lobbyists in DC, and I thought we were on good terms. He and I had lunch several times, and I'd been working on getting a group of us who'd been together in the early years and found ourselves in DC together again for lunch - folks that I'd been seeing on an individual basis. As I said, I've kept in touch with a lot of people, and despite having not graduated from the public school system, I was invited to participate in the planning of and attendance at the high school's 15-year reunion. I was unable to attend (regretfully), and was still corresponding with people and participating in the class' yahoo group.

I made the error of posting a link to a post on this blog about solidarity in the face of terror (an early post quoting Winston Churchill in response to the London bombings) on that Yahoo group, and was met with what a lot of people thought was an inappropriately harsh response from Andrew Kessler. It was surprising for me, filled with anger and vitriol. I apologized with a letter and sent a private one to Andrew, which was misunderstood. I did not reply.

Then he began commenting here.

Here is my response to his latest comments:

The leftist southpaw said... "'I'm not sure why _I've_ become the focus of your anger. I've got theories, but nothing certain. Nothing, certainly, that I'm going to share here.'"

"Please share, publicly or privately. You take such pride in your fortune-telling abilities."

Kess, I have no plans on turning my blog into an exploration of what motivates your psyche. Though I'm sure your ego would certainly appreciate the boost that such attention would create, I'm just not quite as interested in you as you seem to be in me.

"Apologies if you thought I was trying to hide my identity earlier. I thought I was making it pretty clear who I was via my alias."

If you weren't trying to hide your identity, Kess, then you would have simply come out and said, "This is Andrew Kessler, and I think that your post in memory of the late Chief Justice was misguided, and here's why." Instead, you launched into a pseudonymous diatribe.

To discern from your alias who you were would have required my remembering that you were left-handed. Honestly, it's not a detail that has kept me awake at night - on the list of many folks I know who are left handed, you probably wouldn't have made it.

No, it was your particular tone of vitriol which smoked you out - not your left-handed progressiveness.

"And who is this Ilena Rosenthal you refer to, who keeps posting on your site? It would appear the two of you have quite a past!"

Ilena Rosenthal is the titular head of a one-person operation called "The Humantics Foundation for Women" - an organization that purports to advocate for women harmed by voluntary breast implantation. Except they do little in the way of actual advocacy. For instance, in the two most-recent series of public hearings on the matter in Washington, DC - the most important events in the breast implant issue - Ms. Rosenthal was markedly absent. This would be like your organization missing the most important public meetings on substance abuse policy at HHS, two rounds in a row.

The organization was recently suspended by the state of California (then reinstated some time later), during which time Ilena Rosenthal continued to try and raise money for the organization. She may or may not be currently in the United States. The organization's only public address is a mail-drop box in San Diego, California, and there is every indication that for some time Ms. Rosenthal has been living in Central and South America.

Ilena Rosenthal and I went toe-to-to on Usenet some time ago. When she began to delve into personal details about my life, I began doing some research into her organization. When I pressed her on questions regarding financial irregularities on her organization's publicly-available financial documents (IRS Form 990s - the equivalent of non-profit tax returns. By irregularities, I mean that in successive years, Ms. Rosenthal's forms failed to account for monies left over from previous years, as called for on the form's instructions), Ms. Rosenthal e-mailed my wife.

This e-mail, filled with mistruths and the most alarming rhetoric, was written with the intent of having my wife put a stop to my inquiries into the operations of her non-profit - in other words, to bully me into silence.

It didn't work. I don't take kindly to such bullying, especially from folks who I believe are abusing a public trust. What's funny is that despite her protestations that if simply left alone, Ms. Rosenthal would leave me alone, she has never done so. I have routinely gone weeks, months ignoring her (I have said a number of times that I've grown tired of the general lack of civil discourse on Usenet, and for all sorts of reasons have posted less). Yet, despite her promises, Ms. Rosenthal continues to post on usenet about me.

She's a usenet kook of the highest order. I certainly hope you're not considering befriending her. As someone who's known you a long time, has mutual friends with you, still has some measure of affinity with you (though you are certainly trying desperately to destroy that) - I'd strenuously advise you against it.

Just about every ally Ilena Rosenthal has ever had has had that friendship either abused or completely blown-up. They have, by and large, all regretted ever coming into contact with her.

"I keep fighting the urge to post here, but it's so much fun watching you blow up via blog!"

You mean like your generally-regarded-as-inappropriate apoplectic response to my link to my blog-post with the Churchill quote?

Seriously, Kess - I'd be really intrigued to know what you consider "blowing up" via blog. At this point, I put it in the same category of your other claims that you've been unwilling to substantiate.

But as to your inability to control your urges, maybe that's why your own blog has been woefully neglected.

"I checked out cajun tiger's blog. Do you share his views comparing a woman who murders her chilld to one who opts for an abortion? Just curious where you stand on the issue."

See, this is something you still fail to understand. One can be friends with someone and not agree with them on certain issues (or many issues, for that matter). I don't need to be lockstep with my friends or have them be lockstep with me. What's more, I find there's a great deal to be learned from listening to the opinions of those who do not agree with me.

The Cajun Tiger is my friend. I've been friends with him for several years, and we're part of a larger circle of friends who have lunch on a regular basis. But that circle of friends contains people who have beliefs along a large swatch of the political spectrum, and it makes for some fascinating (and sometimes very heated) political and policy discussions.

Do you agree with 100% of your friends on 100% of the issues 100% of the time? I sure hope not. If so, how utterly boring and uneducational for you.

Now, if you had ever taken the time to actually get to know me over the years and understand my core philosophies (instead of playing into your self-created fantasy of me as some mindless conservative zombie), you'd have learned that I'm a solid libertarian (likewise, it's something you could have gotten had you taken the time to really read what I write on this blog, or do a little research into what I've written over the years on Usenet, etc).

As such, I don't agree with CT's equating abortion with infanticide or progenicde. I believe in a woman's right to choose - though I have certain moral and ethical problems with late-term abortions (with the exception of circumstances which impact the life/health of the mother). I do believe in parental notification laws (I am a parent, after all), and I have some concern with the federal funding of abortion.

By the same token, I take great issue with the federal laws initiated after the Laci Petersen murder. While I think there is some merit to charging someone with a double-homicide if they kill a woman who is pregnant at the time (I find such crimes heinously galling, and I would hope that you would, too), I don't think the federal government has any business legislating in that arena.

As I said, had you ever taken the time to really get to know me, then you would have known this already. Unlike you, I don't presume to know the entirety of the scope of someone's opinions on issues based upon who they consider to be their friends.

So, now we're left with this, Kess: I've politely and patiently answered the questions that you've asked of me, and responded to you point-by-point. I'm still waiting for answers to questions I have asked of you - for instance, you've had ample opportunity to substantiate your insinuation that I've "sold out", or, barring that, admit that it was a poor choice of quotes, apologize, and move on. The same holds true with a number of other claims and insinuations you have made.

I suppose it all comes down to the following: what's your point, Kess? Just what are you trying to accomplish here - and what have you been trying to accomplish by provoking me since July of this year? Are you trying to demonstrate to the readers of this blog that I'm not who or what I claim myself to be? Are you trying to make me feel bad for leaving the Greenburgh school system back in 1986? Are you trying to demonstrate that you or your personal beliefs are somehow superior to my own?

I mean, it's fairly clear to me that you're not interested in any sort of a meaningful dialogue. If you were, you wouldn't be posting in the tone that you have, and you'd be answering some of the responses that I've given to you.

So what is it you want, Andrew?

- Andrew Langer


Blogger Cajun Tiger said...

I didn't know you weren't against all abortions...we can't be friends anymore!!! LOL =) I love how the left expects complete agreement in all areas or you can't possibly ever work together on issues you do agree on. This is why they are so fragmented and the center-right coalition is so solidified.

October 30, 2005 9:44 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Chicken Hawk and Warmonger Andrew Langer's hallucinations and downright lies about his history of attacking me are legendary.

For the facts regarding this Junk Science/Quack/Rag-tag Posse Propagandist's years of harassing me, please visit:

October 30, 2005 10:05 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Ilena Rosenthal claims repeatedly that I have lied about her. Yet she has never been able to provide a single example of a lie I have told about her.

Anyone who wants the real story of my interactions with Ilena Rosenthal can do a simple search of google groups. I don't ask you to only take my word for it - compare what Ilena Rosenthal has said about me and done regarding me to what I have said regarding her and her organization.

Unlike Ilena Rosenthal, I don't expect you to take blindly take my side of things - I think more of my readers than that.

October 31, 2005 7:07 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

CT -

Thanks. Hope your leg's doing alright.

October 31, 2005 9:49 AM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

October 31, 2005 3:01 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

Andy's lies about me and the Humantics Foundation continue ... he ever pretending to be a 'victim.' Far from it. Check the links that explain how industry pays flacks/hacks like Andy to attack activists such as myself.

It would be a full time job to keep correcting his lies about me ... while he receives his corporate lobbyist / PR salary to do what he does best ... attack, threaten, and then pretend to be a 'victim.'

When his Rag-tag/Quack buddy Steve Barrett and his Malicious Prosecutor Chris Grell lost to me in court ... Andy and several of the Ratbaggers (their name for themselves) began to infiltrate my groups and attack me ... then whined when I defend myself.

See Andy lined up with disbarred attorney Mark Probert, unlicensed Steve Barrett who epitomizes barratry, and of course, the crossdressing Terry Polevoy, who parades around Usenet attacking those he is suing dressed as a woman.

October 31, 2005 3:05 PM

Blogger Cajun Tiger said...

She's BAAAACCCKKKKK!!!! Halloween must have raised her from the grave.

Leg is getting better and better every day =)

October 31, 2005 5:45 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

See my previous response to Ilena Rosenthal's comments. Nothing more needs to be said.

October 31, 2005 9:22 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Glad to hear the leg's getting better, CT. You were missed today.

October 31, 2005 9:23 PM

Blogger Ilena Rose said...

For more on Andy's years of Ratbags campaigns against me ... ever whining and lying about his Corporate funded harassment ... ever changing history to make himself look like a 'victim' when he is the highly paid perp ...

see Andy and Sue Happy Steve Barrett and crossdresser Terry Polevoy lumped together at the Ratbags website

November 01, 2005 1:26 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

In addition to once again referencing my previous comments, I'll also direct your attention to my previous blog article on the Humantics Foundation. If Ms. Rosenthal had bones to pick about particular statements within that article, she had ample opportunity to provide them.

November 01, 2005 3:51 PM

Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

I'm in Iowa this weekend, I'll be sure to leave a detailed response upon my return.

November 03, 2005 10:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know some of you remember me because I still get emails. I guess maybe it is a cosmic coincidence that I am posting this today!

I'm the guy with the delivery company--a couple of my guys parked near the Dupont Scientology place, and the Scientologists went crazy when they mentioned blinkers. The Scientologists have been hassling me ever since then.

Well guess what I did? I went to that Scientology place on Monday afternoon.

I took the metro as I know parking is a pain around there.

I ignored the people outside, walked in like I had business there.

A young man asked if he could help me. I told him who I was and that I wanted to talk to someone in charge. His eyes got very big, but he stayed calm. He asked me to have a seat and wait.

I sat and waited. I have to tell you that they have a very nice place. I think it used to be a house. Someone obviously spent a lot of money on it.

Well a woman came out and asked me to come with her. We went into a little office.

She introduced herself, I won't give the name though.

By the way, I brought a yellow pad and made it clear I was going to take notes.

I told her I wanted the harassment to stop. I layed out what had happened, that they had been calling truck companies and had shown up when I was doing a pickup and told the people there my company was a bunch of religious bigots.

I told her as far as I knew the word blinker was the common term for the flashing lights on a truck.

I told her that hassling a small business over a word is ridiculous, and that if we could come to some kind of understanding I'd have to find another solution. I had thought about taking the two guys with me but then I thought they might have thought we'd get violent.

She said she'd wished I'd made an appointment. I told her maybe THEY should have made an appointment instead of just showing up and hassling me. I also told her that I did look on their website and it was not clear how to make appointments.

She asked me what I knew about blinkers and I asked her if she meant not the truck kind and she said yes. I told her I had looked on the web and it said that they were teleporting cats and that they were either made from cat dna or that their dna was the basis of cats. It also said that these cats are part of the invaders that are part of Scientology religion.

She said that there are many advanced teachings in Scientology. She asked me what religion I was and I would not tell her. She asked why and I told her I was there to get to the bottom of this and not to tell her my life story. She asked if I knew what was meant by a religion having advanced teachings. I told her not really.

She said in Scientology people come in at the level of preclear and move up the bridge. She showed me a picture of this bridge, there are many steps along the way to something called the OT levels. She said that OT is Operating Thetan and is the highest level.

She said along the way you have to learn various things and that L. Ron Hubbard designed the bridge so you learned things as you needed to learn them.

I asked her what the harm was in accidentally learning something early--like learning about the blinkers.

She said and was very serious that there were cases where people had learned things early and been harmed. She told me there was a court case where some other things had been leaked and they took steps to protect the judge who reviewed the leaked papers.

She also said that there are people who stole Scientology materials and use them in something called the Free Zone. She said that this violates the Scientology copyright. She told me that I should have made an appointment with something called the Religious Technology Center in Los Angeles but that since I was not a Scientologist I might not have understood the web site. I told her I did not know what that was and was certainly not going to go to Los Angeles for no reason.

She said that the Religious Technology Center protects Scientology's copyrights and makes sure that the material is used as it was designed. I asked if it was like quality control and she said yes. She said that Scientology is very precise and gets results if it is applied as designed. I told her that made sense but where was the harm in knowing about these blinker cats. In fact, I told her, the guys on the truck did not even know that the word blinker had anything at all to do with Scientology and that maybe they should use less common words for such sensitive things.

She told me that she had no control over what things were called that everything was based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard.

I said well it is a good thing Hubbard didn't decide that the word mover is not some other kind of monster or I'd be in even more trouble. I don't think she got the joke. She repeated what she said about Hubbard's writings.

I said well OK what happens now. I said you are harassing me for what, because we parked near you, that's our right and because someone said blinker? I think that's legal too.

She said that we did not have a parking permit. I told her we did not need one. I told her I'd been in the business for quite a while, I know what permits I need. I also told her that if we had a permit violation, DC should deal with us and not her and that it had nothing to do with bigotry or religious secrets.

I told her that they have a special meaning for the word clear, is it a problem if we say something is not clear or that glass is clear? She said no as clear is not part of an advanced teaching. I said that's nuts, how are people who are not Scientologists supposed to know all of this? I said you are hassling my business because someone said blinker. I said Catholics would not get upset if we said cross or mass outside a church and Jews would not get upset if you said pass over.

She said, and I'm not kidding, that this was one good reason to study Scientology. I said why, so people won't break some odd rule? I told her that certain things were obviously offensive to different religions but they were pretty well known. I also told her I thought it was pretty rare for a religion to hassle someone over something so minor.

Then she said well you posted this story of yours on the Internet. She said you mentioned the blinkers. I said well yes I did as the last time I checked America still had free speech. I told her they post all kinds of stuff on the Internet and why are they better than me.

She said well we don't post other religions' advanced teachings or make fun of them. I told her that if I'm making fun of anything at all I'm making fun of their intolerance of the use of a common word in its usual meaning. I told her that if there's any bigotry going on it is against what seems to be some pretty serious stupidity. I told her they had hassled me way more than I had hassled them if I had even hassled them at all. I told her as far as I knew no one had had any problems from hearing us say blinkers. I asked her what would happen if a Scientologist went to the store and someone said they had left their blinkers on and they happened to hear it.

I asked her why, if this word is so dangerous or whatever that something hasn't happened before. I asked her why if these cats exist why hadn't the government done something about them.

At this point she said something about governments suppressing Scientology but I interrupted her and just kept going.

I told her I could have lived the rest of my life and not had a clue about these flying space cats if this had not happened. I told her that there are lots of moves and deliveries in her area and that they should be used to seeing this by now. I told her that when all of the stuff for this building got moved in that someone must have parked nearby to move it.

I told her I'd had it. I told her she was costing me money and my employees did not like being hassled and followed. I reminded her that I was taking notes and that I was most certainly going to post about the meeting. I told her if she had anything to say she had better get with it and say it as I'd heard about enough about parking permits and dangerous advanced teachings.

She asked if the comment about dangerous advanced teachings was making fun of Scientology and I said well maybe a little. I told her I'd been using the word for years and nothing had happened. I told her that I'd accept that they had advanced teaching but did not see how they could be dangerous. I asked her if she could give me any evidence of this danger and she said the danger was there but she was not allowed to give me an examples.

I said well that's about it, what are you going to do about this? I told her I was really upset and since the problem started here in this building that's where I'd come back to.

She asked me to wait outside while she made a phone call. I said maybe a conference call would be best and she said no. She said she would make a call and that she would have an answer for me at the end of the call.

So I wandered around the lobby for about twenty minutes. I thought they would watch me but if they were it was through hidden cameras. But maybe not, as another woman came up and asked if she could help me and I told her I was in a meeting with the other woman, they do not seem to be all that organized, and there were a lot of people wandering around in there.

Well she came back out and asked me to come back into the office. She said she had been talking to people at the Religious Technology Center about me. She said the disclosure of the advanced teaching about blinkers was recent and a major concern of theirs. She said it was a policy order that anyone not in good standing and disseminating data about blinkers was subject to a suppressive person declaration. That's pretty much what she said and yes I did ask her what it meant.

She said that it meant that in order to control the flow of information about advanced teachings that persons doing so without authorization were declared as suppressive. I told her I was not suppressing anything. She said that I was suppressing Scientology. I said well what happens now.

She said there were various procedures. She said I really should consider becoming a Scientologist in good standing as that would be the easiest way to get the suppressive declare revoked. I said I was not about to convert to her religion over this. She said then I needed to go ahead and make amends in the form of overts and withholds although she said it is hard to do this if you are not a Scientologist.

I told her I was having nothing to do with their rules and procedures. I said you people are after me because we parked near your building and used a common word which you think is some secret religious code word or something. She said that ever since the first disclosure of the blinker teaching there had been a lot of calls into Scientology about it.

I told her I had nothing to with the discovery of this teaching. I said if it is so secret then how did someone find out about it. She said well sometimes people steal documents and leak them. She said in this case it seems someone had bought confidential documents at a garage sale. She said this person posted about the blinkers and other things.

She said that this person then sold the documents to a known suppressive person even though they offered her a fair price for the documents.

Now I will be honest and say that by now I know about that but did not know about it before. I told her. She said well see that's the problem. People talk about these teachings and it causes problems.

I said well you caused this problem. If you had not been taking pictures of my guys and then having a fit when one of them said blinker none of this ever would have happened.

She said people come and protest there and expose teachings. She showed me some pictures of people with picket signs that looked like aliens. She said the alien signs were making fun of other advanced teachings. She said she had seen the blinker pictures on the internet and it was more of the same. I said well I never made any blinker pictures.

She told me that the Religious Technology Center had told her that they could arrange a special price if everyone in my company would at least do some basic processing. I said I am not going to convert over this and it is illegal for me to even suggest it to my employees.

Then she started telling me that Scientology is compatible with all other religions and you really don't have to convert if you don't want to. I told her it would still be illegal for me to even suggest any kind of religious training or whatever it is to my employees. She said that the suppressive person declaration applies to all of you and it is your choice of what to do.

I stood up. I told her well it is my choice to post something about this meeting to the internet. I told her that if you keep messing with me I will find some way to deal with it. I told her that if they want to believe in aliens and flying cats with alien dna and so on it is fine but when a guy talks about blinkers on a truck it is no big deal.

I told her that if it did not cost so much to repaint the trucks I'd rename the company Blinker Van Lines. She had an obvious nervous reaction to this!

So I'll keep you good people informed. I'm still not giving out the the name of the company but I do appreciate all of the good wishes. But if you see an ad for a blinker special you will know it is me!

November 25, 2005 1:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's with all of this Scientology stuff on here? They are a dangerous cult. Their lawyer, Kendrick Moxon, did not get the results they wanted. So you know what they did? Took her down into some kind of electrical vault and fried her. Search for "Stacy Moxon" on Google. The autopsy pictures are gross.

December 03, 2005 9:12 AM


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