bill ayers to speak in ann arbor monday

Much was made this past election cycle of former Weather Underground member, Bill Ayers, and the extent to which he might have had an ongoing and significant relationship with Barack Obama. Ayers, now a college professor and a recognized authority on the subject of education, as you may recall, had served on the board of a Chicago-based non-profit with Obama. The McCain campaign, running out of options, chose to play up the relationship between the men, running ads featuring images of domestic bombings, like those perpetrated by the Weather Underground, with captions and ominous voiceover narration suggesting links between Obama and “a known domestic terrorist.” Well, it looks like Bill Ayers is going to be speaking at the University of Michigan on Monday, as part of a national speaking tour, and, as you might expect, conservatives are up in arms and threatening to demonstrate. The following two quotes come from readers of the Ann Arbor News website.

-Its good to see the University openly supporting terrorists now. At least they aren’t trying to hide it.

-Can UM can bring in some little kids so Mr. Ayers can show them how to build bombs? Merging his two loves, building bombs and education…how sweet that would be. I only wish that Tim McVeigh could be there to share some cool stories.

For what it’s worth, I support the University in their decision, just as I supported Columbia when, a few months ago, they provided a forum for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak. That, in my opinion, is the role of a university. They should be dedicated to free speech above all else, and to the open, honest debate of ideas… And to those who would take this opportunity to bash the school as a bastion of the far left, I’ll remind you that UM not only graduated Bill Ayers (class of 1968), but also Ann Coulter (Law School class of 1988). It should also be noted that UM is just one of many universities that Ayers will be speaking at in the coming weeks (as he tries to capitalize on his new wave of public interest).

As for Ayers, for what it’s worth, I don’t consider myself a fan. I think it’s great that he’s dedicated himself over the course of the past 30 years to more noble undertakings, but, in my opinion, that doesn’t make up for the fact that he was responsible for acts of domestic terrorism, and very well could have caused good people to have lost their lives. The Vietnam war was certainly something that had to be fought against, but I prefer the course of MLK to that of the Weathermen.

update: As someone in the comments section just pointed out, it looks as though the UM isn’t the only local institution of higher learning to give Ayers a platform. He will also be speaking this afternoon at EMU. See the comments section for details.

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67 Comments

  1. Posted January 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    That he tried to blow up buildings isn’t the problem with Bill Ayers. The problem is that, to my knowledge, he’s never indicated that violence is an unacceptable means of trying to inspire political change. That he hasn’t spoken out on it, implies that it’s ok to blow up buildings as long as you don’t intend to kill people, which is patently stupid and worse, since there are going to be a bunch of post-Mumia/Howard Zinn activists there having daydreams of blowing shit up.

  2. mark
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you on that, Dude. The lack of remorse on the part of Ayers is unacceptable. I believe he’s even gone so far as to say that he regrets not bombing more. Still, I think, what he has to say is worth considering. But then I also support the right of the Klan to rally in Ann Arbor… Actually do they still do that? It seemed like it was an annual event for a while, but I don’t remember it happening these past several years.

  3. Posted January 24, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, I haven’t heard about them in a while. I think the Klan gave up.

  4. mark
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    No, they claim to be growing across the country. It seems that some folks don’t like the idea of a black President. I think they may have, for the time being, however, given up on the idea of meeting in public, in downtown Ann Arbor.

  5. Posted January 24, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    That’s what I meant. I think they gave up on Ann Arbor. White supremacist groups still exist all over the country.

  6. ol' e cross
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    That Bill Ayers is hardcore! Makes sense that his stop to promote his new book promote his new book promote his new book promote his new book … after Good Morning America is Ann Arbor. Damn. Good Morning America and Ann Arbor in the same book tour!!! Radical!!!!! Revolutionary$$$. Good morning america.

  7. Brackache
    Posted January 24, 2009 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    The last klan demonstration I remember in Ann Arbor, the local skinheads gave the klan an iceball welcome. They didn’t show the year after that. But that was like 15 years ago.

  8. truthbetold
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry.

    Any college that provides a platform or vehicle to promote ANY terrorist person or group should be ridiculed and hit right in the pocket book. These schools don’t need to prove to us that they support the first amendment by legitimizing the speech of a terrorist. Their speaking is by invitation only, so move to dis-invite the bastard, while you still have the freedom to do so!

  9. Tom
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Hey. He’s actually going to be in Ypsi on Monday, too, BEFORE Ann Arbor.

    He and Bernardine Dohrn.

    The Kiva Room (EMU Student Center)
    2:00pm – 4:00pm

    Also I have it on good faith that they’ll be having some lunch at Beezy’s.

    Head on over and pout about it there. Right in your back yard.

    So now our precious EMU can tacitly, indirectly support terrorism. You know, because everything’s all black and white ‘n’ shit.

    Honestly, are you all ever up in arms about public speaking engagements of politically powerful figures who have been complicit in war crimes abroad? Maybe you’ve protested at the Detroit Economic Club one time or another when certain economic leaders whose ideas have led directly to widespread unemployment? Or maybe unemployment doesn’t hit very close to home for you. Maybe the idea of the inherent violence in that situation is just utterly lost on you. Or maybe poverty just doesn’t matter so much.

    Maybe only explicit violence is all you’re really upset about. As long as it’s here, that is, and not elsewhere, on a wide scale, and at the hands of the good guys.

    Condoning what the Weather Underground did is not in my character, but have any of you wondered why they did what they did? Maybe another portion of your energy spent demonizing every crazy cooky nutty lefty freak should be used to examine the motives behind such things. Or maybe they were just born bad.

  10. Julesabu
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    That’s misinformed bullshit you’re talking, Mark. I mean that in the nicest way possible. Listen to the Fresh Air interview that Terry Gross did with Mr. Ayers after the election. It’s well worth a listen. He clears up all the distorted crap that was said about him during the campaign, including that statement about regrets. He DID NOT say he regretted not bombing more. He’s a very good man who has more than made up for the stuff he did when he was in his early twenties. I agree wholeheartedly with what Tom wrote. Did you know that Bill Ayers keeps a blog? Read some of it and you’ll get a sense of the real Bill Ayers, not the caricature that we’ve been spoonfed. Here are the links to interview and his blog.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=11-18-2008
    http://billayers.wordpress.com/

  11. Posted January 25, 2009 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Sorry, Julesabu, did all that. Still can’t find anything where Ayers explicitly denounces violence although he has plenty of opportunities. Mostly, I see him trying to justify it by implying that the Weather Underground only targeted property and not people. Violence is violence and it’s intimidation, no matter how you look at it. The War in Vietnam does not justify this. There were plenty of people who waged peaceful protest.

    I don’t buy it, any more than I buy pronouncements that Mumia is a political prisoner. The dude killed a cop. Just because a person has a college degree does not give them a right to use violence or intimidation of any kind to make a political statement.

  12. mark
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Jules, believe it or not, I am familiar with Ayers’ work. I’ve seen him interviewed, and I’ve read his work. He’s extremely eloquent when discussing these things, as you would expect from a distinguished professor. And, I agree with him on almost everything. He hasn’t, however, to my knowledge, ever expressed remorse for what he’d done. I just think he was an extremely lucky man. If someone had died due to the activities of the Weather Underground (other than members of the group itself), we’d be having a much different conversation right now. My point in all of this is, I disagree with his methods, not necessarily with the beliefs that motivated them.

  13. Julesabu
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I guess we just disagree. So saying he regrets is just not good enough, he has to say he’s remorseful. It’s good enough for me. I would never want to be judged by my youth for who I am now. No, I didn’t bomb things but I was stupid and careless. I didn’t really become interested in politics until my mid to late 20’s. I was 17 when the Vietnam war ended but I remember the feeling of impotence back then. I had a cousin who came back from Vietnam, completely fucked up, physically and mentally. I hated what was going on and I can imagine circumstances where I might have done the things that Bill Ayers did. That’s not who I am now. I do prefer non-violence over the alternatives. But I haven’t always and I still struggle with that now. I must admit the thing that prevents me from doing any thing radical (there’s a lot to be radical about, imho) is that I’m old and tired. I give big props to Bill Ayers for learning from his mistakes and building a good and useful life. You know, it would be easy for him to speak the words that you want to hear from him. It sure would have made his present life much easier if he’d done a showy mea culpa. Maybe he doesn’t have remorse. He’s the only one who really knows. I don’t feel the need to demand that from him in order to think that he deserves respect for the life he’s led since then.
    Dude, respectfully, I think the Mumia comparison is not applicable here. Personally, I think he’s guilty. I’m fine with him remaining in prison for life but I’m strongly anti-death penalty. I’m so glad we don’t have it here in Michigan. It’s one less thing I have to be ashamed of concerning my state. I appreciate the civil discourse, thanks for providing the venue, Mark.

  14. Posted January 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    No, saying he regrets it is not enough. Bill Ayers follows up his statements of “regret” by providing half baked justifications and pathetic excuses such as “we never put people at risk”. That’s like a domestic abuser stating that he regrets beating his wife but that “the bitch deserved it”.

    Sorry, can’t get behind Bill Ayers. As much as I agree with a lot of his politics, the guy is clearly fucked and, sorry to say, is on the same playing field as Mumia Abu Jamal. Ayers was just damn lucky that noone got hurt.

  15. kjc
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    …since there are going to be a bunch of post-Mumia/Howard Zinn activists there having daydreams of blowing shit up.

    yeah. they’ll be right next to the gay lynch mobs.

    (eyeroll)

  16. Posted January 25, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Not the same at all. I’m into Zinn’s book. In my experience, there are a lot of bozos out there that follow “radical activists” and have dreams of throwing bricks and blowing shit up rather than constructive, peaceful political discourse.

    The man being evil doesn’t justify violence on the part of the persons who protest. Violence is counter-productive to political change and only serves to marginalize “activist” political theory even more. Believe me, I’ve heard a lot of talk in my lifetime from people getting excited by taking part in riots like the one in Seattle. Fuck those people. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Zinn does not advocate this. I only put his name out there as a category. Mumia just flat out sucks.

  17. kjc
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    In my experience, there are a lot of bozos out there that follow “radical activists” and have dreams of throwing bricks and blowing shit up rather than constructive, peaceful political discourse.

    Believe me, I’ve heard a lot of talk in my lifetime from people getting excited by taking part in riots like the one in Seattle. Fuck those people. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Oh I believe you are an expert on your own experience.

  18. designatedrepublican
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    “For what it’s worth, I support the University in their decision, just as I supported Columbia when, a few months ago, they provided a forum for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak. That, in my opinion, is the role of a university. They should be dedicated to free speech above all else, and to the open, honest debate of ideas…”

    Mark, I am very glad to read this. Here’s hoping for a similarly enlightened approach by the University of Michigan when President Bush or any member of his Administration is on their own lecture tour and wishes to speak in Ann Arbor. “University” and “open, honest debate of ideas” – I wasn’t sure that I would ever again see those words together in the same sentence without a negative modifier.

  19. Mark H.
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Dude, your attempt to associate Howard Zinn – whose politics are at root pacifist – with bomb throwers is way off base. Zinn could be criticized for many things (who among us is blameless?), but it’s absurd to link him to violent protest. Totally wrong. No activist who is seriiously influenced by Zinn’s writings would advocate violence as a means of changing the world.

    As for Ayers – he and his fellow members of the Weather faction were driven by an insanely inaccurate view of the world and of social change, back 40 years ago. They did a lot of harm, and helped to destroy a mass progressive movement. He’s no hero, nor are any of his fellow crazies from that ultra left tiny splinter group.. But whatever his crimes were, the US govt. could not prosecute him because of its own misconduct in its investigation. Neither Ayers’ crazy politics nor the abuses of the Johnson-Nixon administration were able to eliminate the functioning of a democratic government that practices the rule of law. Thank God for that!

    To fault a university for allowing controversial speakers come to their campuses is like faulting a doctor who provides appropriate care for her patients — it is faulting the university for fulfilling a vital part of its mission. Free speech should exist throughout our society — and most certainly it should exist on university campuses. A university need not spend money to bring controversial speakers to campus,but those decisions should be made by the usual university officials and organizations, not by politically influences; and outside speakers should not be allowed to impede the normal functions of the campus. I am sure, what what I can tell of his record, that Ayers would not shy away from free speech for anyone. (Who is a controversial speaker, one may ask; nearly any speaker who has something to say that’s worth debating. )

    Ayers is a recognized scholarly expert in his field, urban education. He may be an example of how someone who at one stage of his life had a crackpot, destructive, delusional politics can redeem themselves. I hope Ayers has done so, and i hope that someday Donald Rumsfield and George W. will similarly redeem themselves. All three of them, of course, deserve the right to speak freely.

  20. Posted January 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    “No activist who is seriiously influenced by Zinn’s writings would advocate violence as a means of changing the world.”

    You’re wrong. I already said that I’m into Zinn and Zinn does not advocate violence at all. But there are people out there that throw Zinn’s name around and get all hot and bothered when talking of rioting and fighting the system and. Which is extremely unfortunate, since that’s not Zinn’s message at all.

    Fucked up people exist. Read the wikipedia article on the WTO riots in Seattle. This is the kind of shit that Ayer’s advocates or, more precisely, refuses to speak out against. Which is exactly the reason I cna’t get behind him.

    Like I said, I only put Zinn’s name out there as a category. There are many other I could have picked. Obviously, I should have stuck with Mumia and apologize.

  21. Mark H.
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear Designated Republican,

    I would happily be glad to help arrange for former President Bush to speak on my campus, EMU. Of course, usually figures like him charge six figures speakers’ fees, and EMU normally can’t come up with a three figure honorarium. If you have contacts by which you could help me arrange for George W. Bush, or any former US president, to come to EMU, I’d welcome the chance to pursue them with you. Contact me directly at mhigbee at emich dot edu. They are all significant figures in recent history, and it would be my pleasure to help host them…should they not require an impossible fee.

    Of course, universities mostly sponsor speakers on academic topics, recognized authorities in their fields, rather than famous political figures. This is as it should be. The scholars contribute more to knowledge and while some, such as Ayers, are sometimes briefly controversial, most scholarly speakers engage only those directly involved in similar fields of research or teaching.

    So your suggestion that there is a political litmus test for who gets invited to campuses is, i think, by and large a misplaced accusation.

  22. Mark H.
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Dude, Zinn is not a “category”, he’s a writer/activist. He was a WWII bomber crew member, and he knows what war and violence do. He’s against violence.

    Your statement about a “bunch of post-Mumia/Howard Zinn activists there having daydreams of blowing shit up.” is a grossly unfair association of Zinn with a violent style of politics with which Zinn rather famously disagrees. So yeah, an apology or retraction on your part would be in order.

    Anyone who engages in violent protest is hardly a “Zinn activist,” whatever that may be. Having read an author hardly makes that author responsible for one’s behavior. I doubt any passage written by Zinn can be fairly read to advocate violence of any kind. If you disagree, dude, cite the book and page number.

    Zinn is one of those rare historians who has written best-selling books — surely it’s as unfair to blame him for anything done by someone whose read his books. He’s been read by probably millions of people, and no doubt influenced some readers.

    And wikkepedia as your backup? you gotta be kidding, dude!

    Mark Maynard readers may be interested in Zinn’s A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF AMERICAN EMPIRE, told in graphic novel form, published last year. An innovative way of presenting serious history – graphic, comic form. Serious book. I’ll not make my criticisms of it here, but it’s a serious history comic (or graphic), co-authored with Mike Konopacki and Paul Buhle.

  23. Posted January 25, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I like Zinn’s book! I apologize for using Zinn and associating Zinn with violence was hardly my intent.

    Wikipedia is a lame source, I admit. However, my greater point was that there are true bozos present within “activist” circles and their presence serves to undermine the goals of a variety of political movements that are worth hearing about.

    Ayers is one of them and his silence on the issue of violence and his lame justifications only serve to send leftist politics to the back of the room. That, to me, is incredibly unfortunate.

  24. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Did Bill Ayers kills someone? Was he convicted? I don’t remember the details.

  25. Brackache
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know shit about Ayers, and I offer this factoid just to throw a bobcat into a dog fight: do remember, the Sons of Liberty were responsible for some serious property damage in protest of the Stamp Act. They’re widely considered American heroes.

  26. mark
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m not absolutely certain about this, so I should probably just keep my mouth shut, but I seem to recall hearing something about Ayers’ father pulling strings to keep him out of prison… And, no, Dirtgrain, I don’t believe that anyone died, other than the members of the Weather Underground who died while making bombs.

    Every once it a while I have to throw out unsubstantiated hearsay. If I don’t do it at least once a quarter, they take away my “blogger” card.

    And, Higbee, I’d love to see you on stage with Bush. You really should extend an official EMU invitation.

  27. ytown
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Great discussion except for Brachache’s 200 year old irrelevant reference.

  28. mark
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Do we have confirmation that Ayers is coming to EMU tomorrow, and eating at Beezy’s?

    Bee, do you have some sort of special Weather Underground Soup in store for us? And is that what the secret third room is for? Is that where you serve domestic terrorists?

  29. ol' e cross
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to distract from this important discussion, and I’m down with Universities doing their alleged job and bringing multiple views for discussion, but selfishly back to my early and perhaps understated post … am I the only one who finds someone who is appearing on Good Morning America to promote his new book about as radical and threatening as a Hersey bar?

    Since he hasn’t appeared at EMU or UM yet, shouldn’t we start by boycotting GMA and all its affiliates? We let our guard down when we let someone with the last name Castro cast an image on our sacred tubes.

  30. Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    After the politics on this settled, Bill Ayers did respond to these charges of being a terrorist, and he did so rather eloquently. See, for example, http://www.spockosbrain.com/2008/11/bill-ayers-interview-on-fresh-air or take a listen to the Fresh Air interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&prgDate=11-18-2008

    It kind of surprises me here the extent to which people here bought that McCain-Palin lie about Ayers the terrorist. I don’t know, I guess there is a short memory about the extent to which lots and LOTS of people protesting Viet Nam might have been considered by Bush Administration/post 911 America standards “terrorists.”

  31. designatedrepublican
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Mark H.

    I agree that EMU is better than most at following an evenhanded approach about these things. I’ll put in a good word for you next time I have lunch with Condoleezza Rice.

    U of M, however, is a different story altogether – with their tolerance for all forms of speech as long as it doesn’t include positive references to conservative values and republican politicians.

  32. Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    DR is wrong and knows not of what he speaks. I know plenty of Repubs and conservative thinkers at the UM.

  33. Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Steve, Ayers always responds in a cagey manner to the charges of terrorism and often backs it up with excuses. I don’t buy that just because America fights an unjust war, blowing up federal buildings is a good form of discourse. If that were so, we could have buildings blown up any day of the week over the past 200 years of existence.

    Ayers and Tim McVeigh would get along well. I don’t see the difference, except that Ayers has a college degree and tenure at a top tier university.

  34. Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Mr. Dude–

    First off, while I myself am not old enough to remember those times (being born in 1966), if you are willing to call Ayers a terrorist, then you’d probably have to group in there hundreds– if not thousands– of young people who protested lots of things, notably Viet Nam. This was 40-35 years ago. The very definition of “terrorist” and “protest” was quite a bit different, as were sensibilities about all kinds of things like sex and drugs.

    Second, if you are willing to lump together McVeigh (who was a reactionary/right-wing/militia-type) with Ayers (who was a radical left-wing type and who remains a leftist educator and activist), then you clearly don’t really know what you’re talking about.

  35. Posted January 26, 2009 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I am astonished that there are people on this blog who think that violence is ok as long as it’s done under the auspices of the left and the educated.

    That to me, is truly fucked.

  36. Brackache
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Off topic correction:

    The link between accused bomber Timothy McVeigh and the militia movement is based mainly on two pieces of information: First, he and his friend Terry Nichols attended two Militia of Michigan meetings–which, significantly, they were told to leave because they were advocating violence. Second, allegedly Mark Koernke, a short-wave radio personality who runs a mail-order business that sells militia gear, was seen with someone who looks like McVeigh. In addition, a Michigan talk show host supposedly said (he denies it) that the host’s Rolodex listed McVeigh as a contact for Koernke. This evidence does not come remotely close to showing that militia members encouraged McVeigh to do anything illegal, let alone to perpetrate one of the most vicious mass murders in history.

    Source.

    I know one of the guys who asked him to leave.

    Back to arguing about Ayers.

  37. Posted January 26, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    “The very definition of “terrorist” and “protest” was quite a bit different, as were sensibilities about all kinds of things like sex and drugs.”

    I wasn’t aware that the definition of violence had changed. Perhaps you’d like to become an apologist for Hitler, Prof. Krause? Ayers is no Hitler, and I am very aware that Ayers and McVeigh had very different politics, but violence in the name of political beliefs is violence no matter how you slice it.

  38. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    “I know one of the guys who asked him to leave.”

    Terrorist! Up against the wall!

  39. Posted January 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Ah, yes, the “Violence is always wrong” crowd. Political violence, pshaw! We’re happy as English colonies! Samoza was great for Nicaragua! Cuba was better off under Batista! The French civilized Vietnam and Algeria!

    Decrying violence as always wrong is just as dumb as seeing violence as the answer to everything.

  40. kjc
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    oh i knew hitler was gonna come up. cuz the discussion wasn’t dumbed down enough.

  41. Paw
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    It happened. I have it on good information that a “family of terrorists” ate at Beezy’s today.

  42. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    “Decrying violence as always wrong is just as dumb as seeing violence as the answer to everything.”

    Stupid Buddha . . .

  43. Brackache
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Compare:

    “Brackache, I think if you really wanna convince anyone of anything–or at least me–you should change your condescending tone and grating know-it-allness. Don’t you get tired of making the same basic comment over and over? Or of rolling your eyes at the naked ignorance of everyone but yourself?”

    To:

    “…since there are going to be a bunch of post-Mumia/Howard Zinn activists there having daydreams of blowing shit up.

    yeah. they’ll be right next to the gay lynch mobs.

    (eyeroll)”

    Oh! Hoisted!

    Haha, sorry kjc, I couldn’t resist. Just fucking around, nothing personal.

  44. Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Stupid Buddha . . .

    Stupid Christ too, frankly. But hey, I don’t believe in either of their divinity.

  45. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    For the record: Buddha never said he was divine.

  46. mark
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    So did anyone go hear Ayers speak? If so, let us know how it went.

    Bee didn’t have a camera with her, but Ayers did apparently eat there. No word yet as to what terrorists eat when they’re in Ypsi, but I’ll try to find out from her.

  47. Posted January 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    hmmm

  48. Brackache
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    “For the record: Buddha never said he was divine.”

    Heretic! Up against the wall!

  49. Brackache
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Will there be a signed b/w photo of him up at Beezy’s?

  50. kjc
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Ha. I think it’s a bit personal…

    I don’t see the gotcha actually, but you’re right that my gayness does come up again and again, just like your know-it-allness. I mean, if that was the point you couldn’t resist (?). Finding Dude’s comments about Howard Zinn outrageous was my point. I wouldn’t dream of trying to convince him of anything. And I don’t think I have a mantra about hyperinflation that rivals yours. Check my comment history.

    And I did restrain myself previously in another thread when you mentioned “morality” as a basis for your position on homosexuality (which i assume is of the love sinner hate the sin variety), then went on to paint “big govt” in Manichean terms. I don’t understand God’s will as well as some others.

  51. Brackache
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    The eye rolling was my point, that’s all. It was a minor, meaningless gotcha that I’d hoped we’d both find funny. I hadn’t caught that you were bringing up your gayness.

  52. Posted January 27, 2009 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    For the record, I think no ill will toward Zinn or his ideas. In fact, I think People’s History is one of the most important books of the 20th century. I regret using his name as an example but I have had many negative experiences from young leftists shoving misinformed radical politics down my throat, who seemed to more often than not, drop Zinn’s name in the conversation.

    Next time, I’ll leave his name out and stick with Mumia.

    I must say, however, I do not agree with everything Zinn espouses, but there’s no reason I should.

  53. kjc
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Yeah that would have felt better–if we’d both found it funny. I’ll work on that. Seriously.

    In my defense, libertarian free-market types drive me nuts.That part is not personal. The fact that you seem smart and like you have a sense of humor complicates everything. :)

    And you owe me some indulgence cuz I’ve watched these f*cking Peter Schiff videos. Exhausting! I request you read The Nation as quid pro quo.

  54. Patrick
    Posted February 7, 2009 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Dirtgrain wrote, “For the record: Buddha never said he was divine.”
    Did Jesus of Nazareth ever say he (Jesus) was divine?

  55. Posted February 7, 2009 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    No, but Divine said he wasn divine.

  56. Posted February 7, 2009 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    was (not wasn)

  57. Brackache
    Posted February 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Patrick — seems like the vast majority of Jesus’ claims to divinity are found in the gospel of John, who was one of his closest pals. Not exclusively, but primarily.

    John 8:54-59 (I include v. 59 because they tried to stone him for blasphemy for saying it.)

    Also John 10:30-33 (same thing, tried to stone him for claiming to be God).

    Also John 19:7 (they said he needed to die for claiming to be the Son of God… which they must have equated with claiming divinity or else he wouldn’t have needed to die for it (blasphemy)).

    I use the Christian scriptures because that’s all we’ve got to go on regarding what Jesus said or did. If you don’t believe they’re reliable, which you’re more than welcome to do, I can’t really answer your question… besides saying that historically Jesus was some jewish guy that got crucified under Pontius Pilate and he had followers who believed he was both divine and rose from the dead, many of whom were also killed for it.

  58. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 7, 2009 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    kjc,

    I had a friend once, a libertarian neo-con of sorts, who I was debating the usual stuff with. It was at the time that Fahrenheit/911 came out on DVD. He insisted that I watch FahrenHYPE 9/11 — the right’s response to Moore (starring Ann Coulter, among others). As he had yet to see Fahrenheit 911 (he’d only seen the response to it), I agreed if he would promise, give me his solemn word, swear by his honor, that he would watch Fahrenheit 911 … quid pro quo.

    I watched FahrenHYPE within a few days of making my sacred oath. Since then, I’ve fathered a child, watched her grow from a tiny newborn, to crawl, walk, and talk. She’ll start kindergarten in the fall. My friend found love and married. The Detroit Pistons acquired Rasheed Wallace, won an NBA title and made it to their sixth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. My friend has yet to rent the tape.

    But, that has nothing to do with this thread. Your request to BA just reminded me of someone I once knew…

  59. Brackache
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    What an ass. I hope he at least repented of his neocon, Ann Coulter – loving ways once he learned better. Keep us posted if he ends up nominally redeeming himself by renting it past the expiration date, once the constant guilt of not keeping his word finally gets the better of him.

  60. Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I usually have a hard time figuring out who’s more of an ass, Ann Coulter or Michael Moore.

  61. Brackache
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    They both make a lot of money being asses. Yet here we are, just giving it away pro bono like suckers.

  62. Brackache
    Posted February 8, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    kjc, I was so moved that you watched all the Peter Schiff videos, that I bookmarked The Nation for regular reading.

    So far I read this article on the stimulus being watered down, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sometimes common ground exists between progressives and libertarians for different reasons. Local food and energy independance is one, opposing militarism and unnessary wars is another, and wanting the stimulus package to not be watered down by Republicans is a third. Our reasoning is surely at odds, but whaddaya gonna do.

  63. Posted February 8, 2009 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Moore and Coulter aren’t even remotely the same. Moore knows his facts. People have picked over Fahrenheit 9/11 for years now, and they haven’t been able to find anything that he said that isn’t true. Sure, he’s selective in the facts that he chooses to share, but he doesn’t make shit up. The same cannot be said of Coulter. Yes, they both make good livings riling up their bases, and I can see how that might make some folks angry, but you cannot compare the two.

  64. Posted February 8, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    And this friend of yours sounds like a real a-hole, OeC.

  65. Posted February 8, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Moore is an ass. I like his movies and find them entertaining, but leftist slant is still slant no matter how you look at it. I have a hard time taking him seriously and consider him an ass, which contributes to my liking his movies.

    Coulter, on the other, is not entertaining in the least.

  66. Posted February 8, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    She’s not hot. I don’t know why some people act like she is.

    Then again, I think the same thing about Julia Roberts. Yech.

  67. Posted February 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I think that only fat, old Republicans think she is hot since they likely can’t get it up anyway.

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