October 9, 2013

"I had no plan. I did have a lot of tolerance for confusion and contingency..."

"... a deep belief in dialogue and open debate, a love of experimentation and spontaneity, a fascination with particularity, an instinct for action, a willingness to dance the dialectic with some abandon, and an abiding faith in ordinary people as agents, actors, and history makers."

Think about that and note your reaction before clicking through. Then click, read, and come back here and, if you please, comment.

69 comments:

El Pollo Raylan said...

Skimmed it Althouse, too long. But I get the impression that Ayers, like Jane Fonda, wants absolution from youthful misdeeds which he still cherishes. Plus he has a new dance video out to helps us do that.

Carol said...

jesus the font was enormous, couldn't read

Moose said...

Lovely turns of phrase. The remainder of the article reads like "Leftist Radicals met Restoration Hardware Catalog".

David said...

The guy certainly can write. There are hints of regret for some of his past actions, or at least a sense that they were inappropriate. However, I have yet to see him examine them with precision and particularity.

Matthew Sablan said...

My initial reaction is that that is the sort of thing everyone says. No one says "I hate dialogue and open debate." The irony, of course, would be to see who said it to see how off the mark their actions were from their words.

And, bam. Nothing says open debate like making a bomb. I like how dismissive he is of what he did. There's room for people to have open discussions; it sucks his life was turned upside down. The euphemisms ("Disorder;" "messy muddle") are kind of lame. But, hey. Whatever. He tried to kill people and will live a more comfortable, easier life than the vast majority. Guilty as sin, free as a bird.

Rocketeer said...

Pobrecito.

Matthew Sablan said...

[Maybe he's a changed man. If so, then I think it is helpful to his cause of open debate/discussion for him to bow out. Some people are lightning rods and don't help. Ayers' best move he could make to open debate is to step back and cede the floor to people who agree with him, but have not tried mass murder as a means to their end.]

Strelnikov said...

Reaction noted: Ayers is an academic douchebag who has spent his entire "working" life sucking at the public teat.

chuck said...

My first impression, before clicking through, was that the speaker was a conceited ass telling us how wonderful he (it?) was. I give myself one brownie point for getting that right.

rehajm said...

At least he had to write it himself.

Larry J said...

“Guilty as Sin, Free as a Bird”

So, calling an admitted terrorist a terrorist is a bad thing? Why, because it might hurt his feelings?

YoungHegelian said...

we knew that attacking us had been a project of the hard, hard Right for years,

Hard, hard right? Uhhhm, who might that be? I suspect that Ayers leaves that unclear for good reason. If he named names, it would point out yet again just how far Left he really is, and he seeks here to paint himself as just a regular guy.

I have had many far lefty friends. None of them realize how far out of the mainstream they are, and none of them feel any compunction to either re-examine or, God forbid, apologize for all the awful causes they have backed over the years. For them, only the Right exists within a history & discourse of oppression. But in their case, every day's a new day, and only they can jump over their shadow.

Paddy O said...

If you're dancing the dialectic, I think you're doing it wrong.

It's like playing with ingredients, but not actually making a meal people can eat.

cubanbob said...

Too bad he wasn't literally Palin's roadkill. Ayer's bullshit is so off the charts it merits capital punishment.

Paddy O said...

I actually like the quote, it sounds good, but words are tricky critters if left to wander in the open range of academics. They start bringing their own meanings and twists and turns, so that "tolerance" and "dialogue" don't actually mean what our normal dictionaries say they mean.

What's interesting about the article is his inability to see how Palin served the same role for the Left. He vilifies to deflect his own villainy. He perpetuates crucifying while decrying how he was crucified.

Tibore said...

El Pollo and David have it right: It's as if he's trying to say "forgive me for what I done, but what I done was correct and well intentioned".

The saying goes "The Devil can quote scripture to his purpose". While he's no devil - that elevates him to a status he doesn't deserve - he's certainly guilty of covering radicalism with the patina of moderate language. And doing so very lightly; he nearly throws it all away with his last paragraph.

He probably should've taken the advice of his children and friends and stayed quiet. This might convince the 60's-era choir that he's mellowed with age, but the rest of us can read things more clearly.

Actions speak louder than words. Future remorse can at best only demonstrate regret for past actions, and for that to be the case here there has to be genuine remorse. None is present, nor even pretended at. It's merely the narcissistic declaration yeah, I did some uncomfortable things in my past; I'm over it. But the point was never about you being over it to begin with, Bill.

Bob Boyd said...

I'm imagining a man who wouldn't have known what "dancing with the dialectic" even means, but who liked dancing with his wife....until some SOB's came along and killed him.

cassandra lite said...

To recap: In 2001, Ayers lamented that he "hadn't done enough" (I quote from memory).

In 2008, Palin did too much.

What a friggin' solipsist.

Meade said...

Mr. Ayers, who in 1970 was said to have summed up the Weatherman philosophy as: ''Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at,'' is today distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And he says he doesn't actually remember suggesting that rich people be killed or that people kill their parents, but ''it's been quoted so many times I'm beginning to think I did,'' he said. ''It was a joke about the distribution of wealth.''

Greg said...

"When Governor Palin . . . uttered it that first time (and ever after) the crowd exploded: 'Kill him! Kill him!'"

I want to see the video. Don't believe this for a second--though I have to admit that I doubted my beliefs after I read Cubanbob's comment "Ayer's bullshit is so off the charts it merits capital punishment."

AJ Lynch said...

Ayers is the son of the very wealthy and one-time president of Con Edison.

Fuck him and the piece of crap hybrid he probably rode in on.

Rusty said...

Too bad the left won't let the dead he had a hand in killing, speak.

William said...

If there be any downside to the Obama Presidency, the downside is that politics caused Obama to disavow this lovely man and caused him, Ayers, to have some anxious moments.. I just hope that America can find some way to make up for the burdens they have placed on his broad shoulders.

Jupiter said...

Kill him! Kill him!

cubanbob said...

Greg don't you understand that planting bombs and being part of a terrorist group was a youthful college age indiscretion? Isn't it cruel and unjust for him to suffer ridicule and opprobrium forty some years later? Can't the guy get a break? When is Amerikkka going to become America? Oh the humanity of his suffering!

And lets not forget his wife. She was also a very special snowflake.

Broomhandle said...

My God, what a complete douche. This country has no hope of regaining sanity until the Boomers (and I am one) are in the ground.

Henry said...

He certainly has a tolerance for deceit. Self-deceit is no excuse.

Damn. And I was hoping for a link to Stanley Fish (who has better claim to the virtues without the self-martyrdom).

Henry said...

@Greg -- Ayers pulled this claim out of cold storage. It was debunked so long ago and so thoroughly that I had almost forgotten about it. The "Kill Him" quote sounded familiar to me so I googled and found this current summing up:

Teaching liberals to hate

Henry said...

And look! Here's Salon debunking it five years ago:

...the Secret Service takes this sort of thing very, very seriously. If it says it doesn’t think anyone shouted “kill him,” it’s a good bet that it didn’t happen.

Mo5m said...

Makes me wonder about his seemingly well-adjusted children. Guess they are on path to carry on the revolution through the education system. I wonder how it feels to grow up knowing your mom and dad tried to kill a lot of people. Also wonder how many turns of phrase in this new book can be found in Obama's autobiographies. But I won't "wonder" for long--don't want to spend my precious time on any of them.

Terry said...

Ayres is a man who can curse the Starbucks economy that is destroying local businesses while drinking a starbucks coffee from a paper cup. Yes, he's done that.

Marshal said...

When Governor Palin—or, as our late friend Studs Terkel called her, “Joe McCarthy in drag”—uttered it [he’s palling around with terrorists] that first time (and ever after) the crowd exploded: “Kill him! Kill him!”

Does anyone believe this?

It's bizarre he thinks the terrorist label somehow illegitimate. The Salon article doesn't seem to say much: a distraction.

Althouse's excerpted comment only means that's how he wants people to think of him. It's not consistent with the life he claims to still be leading.

Marshal said...

Matthew Sablan said...
Maybe he's a changed man.


Only in the sense of learning it's easier to subvert from within the system.

Anthony said...

As Paddy O says, those words sound nice, but even before clicking through, I figured they were probably bullshit. People who actually live that don't need to say it. And people who use the word "dialectic" are generally full of shit.

Sam L. said...

Yeah! Where does SARAH get off, calling a mad bomber a TERRORIST? I mean, the unmitigated GALL of THAT SO-CALLED WOMAN!

Edward Lunny said...

Baloney. Were this country half as bad, were the people whom he hates and denigrates half a awful as he purports, he'd be dead. Your a shit, bill, a useless stain on the sole of America's shoe. Bugger off, move to one of those communist utopias you pine for.

cassandra lite said...

''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough.''
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/11/books/no-regrets-for-love-explosives-memoir-sorts-war-protester-talks-life-with.html

jr565 said...

What's interesting about the article is his inability to see how Palin served the same role for the Left. He vilifies to deflect his own villainy. He perpetuates crucifying while decrying how he was crucified.


True. But, unlike him Palin never tried to blow up govt buildings. Yes she's the extremist. And this guy was a socialist in the 60's and remains so to this day. an enemy of the existing system. Yet, Palin is the extremist in his mind.

Also, he's one of the worst types of socialists. A socialist born with a platinum spoon in his mouth.

jr565 said...

"His parents are Mary (née Andrew) and Thomas G. Ayers, who was later Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison (1973 to 1980),[5] and for whom Northwestern's Thomas G. Ayers College of Commerce and Industry was named"


The guys dad has a college of commerce named after him and he's going to school playing the role of the communist. Even if he never set a single bomb off, this would make him odious. Yet he also did that.
When John Lennon imagined a world with no possessions I guess he could since he never had to worry about paying for things ever again. But most people don't have millions in Beatles Royalties to advance them through life.
Ayers had the luxury of joining a communist movement because he was a rich brat of entitlement. And he was so smug in his self entitlement he felt entitled to set off bombs because the world wasn't the way he wanted it to be.

I hope he dies painfully of cancer.

SenatorMark4 said...

That was a tooooo weird article from the terrorist's own mouth. I can barely imagine sitting around with my children and talking about how Mom developed a special handshake to memorialize the Manson murders and their fancy use of forks in the victims. Of course that wasn't there.

It is not in the media either really. What a funny SNL skit that would make. Mom says, use the fork carefully.

b9dbd834-310b-11e3-9934-000f20980440 said...

This is an old column, but provides very good context for the Ayers and Dohrn show. Talk about selective memory.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19851002&id=4bNRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QG4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7010,205109

And there is this connection to the murderous Brinks truck robbery that Dohrn has never had to answer for:

And in two of the armored car robberies, in early 1980, the police are studying an apparent connection between the rental of the vehicles and personal identification supplied several months earlier by unsuspecting customers at Broadway Baby, an Upper West Side children's wear shop that was managed by Bernadine Dohrn, a former Weather Underground leader. Miss Dohrn has not been publicly linked to the Brink's case or any of the other robberies.

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/02/16/nyregion/behind-the-brink-s-case-return-of-the-radical-left.html

And finally there is there quote about the Sharon Tate murder from Dohrn:

Dohrn was criticized for comments she made about the murders of actress Sharon Tate and retail store owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca by the Charles Manson clan. In a speech during the December 1969 "War Council" meeting organized by the Weathermen, attended by about 400 people in Flint, Michigan, Dohrn said, "First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the pig Tate's stomach! Wild!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardine_Dohrn#Controversial_statements_about_Tate-LaBianca_murders

Draw your own conclusions.

b9dbd834-310b-11e3-9934-000f20980440 said...

This is an old column, but provides very good context for the Ayers and Dohrn show. Talk about selective memory.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19851002&id=4bNRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QG4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7010,205109

And there is this connection to the murderous Brinks truck robbery that Dohrn has never had to answer for:

And in two of the armored car robberies, in early 1980, the police are studying an apparent connection between the rental of the vehicles and personal identification supplied several months earlier by unsuspecting customers at Broadway Baby, an Upper West Side children's wear shop that was managed by Bernadine Dohrn, a former Weather Underground leader. Miss Dohrn has not been publicly linked to the Brink's case or any of the other robberies.

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/02/16/nyregion/behind-the-brink-s-case-return-of-the-radical-left.html

And finally there is there quote about the Sharon Tate murder from Dohrn:

Dohrn was criticized for comments she made about the murders of actress Sharon Tate and retail store owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca by the Charles Manson clan. In a speech during the December 1969 "War Council" meeting organized by the Weathermen, attended by about 400 people in Flint, Michigan, Dohrn said, "First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the pig Tate's stomach! Wild!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardine_Dohrn#Controversial_statements_about_Tate-LaBianca_murders

Draw your own conclusions.

jr565 said...

Today in the news there's a story of a hot teacher who posed for Playboy before becoming a teacher. And there are some people saying there are issues with her teaching kids.
I can see the point though I'm not sure it should disqualify her (if it were porn, yes but playboy is pretty tame).
But somehow her actions would make her unsuitable to be a teacher and yet a guy starts a radical communist group involved terrorist activities is not only suitable but can make policy about what to teach kids?
I would think at a minimum, if you are involved with bombing govt buildings in any way (unless the country is in civil war for example), it should preclude you from getting a job in the education department. But that's just me.

El Pollo Raylan said...

cassandra lite said...
''I don't regret setting bombs,' Bill Ayers said. 'I feel we didn't do enough.'

Did he really say that on 9/11/01 or just prior to?

jr565 said...

"Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at."-
Rich kid with daddy issues playing at being the revolutionary. Pathetic.

jr565 said...

El Pollo Rayan wrote:
cassandra lite said...
''I don't regret setting bombs,' Bill Ayers said. 'I feel we didn't do enough.'

Did he really say that on 9/11/01 or just prior to?


Yes. it was one of the ironies of life that on the day we got hit the NYT published an article where Ayers said he didn't regret setting off bombs.

halojones-fan said...

While we're "thinking about" things and "noting our reaction", let's think about and note our reaction to a passage I quote here. Bear in mind, as you read it, that this person considers himself a member of the non-priveleged class.

"Malik was a gifted grill chef, and he spent a couple hours after river time most afternoons preparing and marinating food, gathering wood, creating the “perfect fire,” and then delivering abundant platters of steaming corn, zucchini, and meat to the table, to everyone’s delight. One day in late August, a neighbor brought over a salmon he’d just caught, and Malik seasoned and grilled the big fish and presented it as the centerpiece for our communal dinner. Chesa added lentil soup and curried cauliflower and tomatoes to the meal, and Zayd contributed an elaborate green salad with dried fruits and roasted nuts."

Meanwhile a single mother in Detroit is walking in her apartment door with three bags of expired cheeseburgers from the early-dinner shift at McDonalds, in the five minutes she has to see her kids on her way to her evening shift as a checkout clerk at Safeway.

Ayers honestly believes that his life is helping her.

El Pollo Raylan said...

I do not support Bill Ayers' speech being silenced or suppressed in anyway. However, I do think he's the kind of man who needs to be ostracized.

ostracism...there's something right and ancient about it that you can feel in your bones.

El Pollo Raylan said...

It's not even Ayers' ideas for the future or critiques of contemporary society that irks me. It's his complete disowning of any criminal past. He wants to be like Jane Fonda apparently wants to be, apologizing to the right people in life but then whispering on his death bed: "But I was right."

C R Krieger said...

When I read the blurb I thought Marxist but not a Lenin or a Stalin.  Then I clicked.  As several said, too long.

I think a disservice was done to Jane Fonda here.  I think there is some repentance there.  Prof Ayers committed and inspired Domestic Terrorism.  I had actually met Bobbie F, who died at UW Madison, in the bombing of the Math Building.  He was my wife's cousin.

I will take Sarah over Bill any day.

Regards  —  Cliff

Joan said...

Never got past the "Kill him!" lie. Anyone opening with a lie like that does not deserve my time or attention.

Balfegor said...

My reaction was "that's a lot of fatuous blather," and then oh, it turned out to be famed terrorist Mr. Wm. Ayers.

urpower said...

Ayers has a talent for bullshit. In 2008 a Washington Post reporter notes of a Palin rally: "'Kill him!' proposed one man in the audience." In Ayers' retelling now: "the crowd exploded: 'Kill him! Kill him!'" Note Salon tweeting this remark to advertise the story by quoting Ayers: "Nothing prepared me for Sarah Palin performers chanting 'Kill him! Kill him!'" A nice suggestion that the single speaker could easily have been a plant.

wildswan said...

Well, I wonder if he was an anarchist or a nihilist, not a socialist or a communist. See, then he wouldn't have changed at all - all that spontaneous gathering of food and "spontaneous dialectic" and every day is a new day and all that - it all maybe fits the nihilist / anarchist inner vision.

Not Ayers as Ayers was in real life where he killed the father of children (not his own father) where the Manson's did what they did and it was OK with Ayers. But this is his inner vision of those ghastly events.

CWJ said...

I see Meade is now a badger rather than a cardinal.

But I note that he chose to be one of those sweet euroweenie badgers. Not a fine upstanding American Badger like Bucky.

NTTAWWT.

CWJ said...

I see Meade is now a badger rather than a cardinal.

But I note that he chose to be one of those sweet euroweenie badgers. Not a fine upstanding American Badger like Bucky.

NTTAWWT.

Bob Ellison said...

The word "dialectic" is unintended code for "I am a left nut."

Seeing Red said...

His history book is used by at least 25K American students, isn't it?

Seeing Red said...

Roger L. Simon wrote about Ayers & Dohrn before PJ Media really got up and running.

He said there's a 1988 (?) movie that was about her and she's worse than Ayers is.

They're both vile.

The only thing the University of Illinois did was deny him honorary status.

This is Chicago, and he certainly is Dear Leader's friend.

Seeing Red said...

And he still speaks at SDS activities.

Mark said...

So, the man can write. Still a monster.

Fearsome Pirate said...

I threw up a little in my mouth when I read the word "dialectic." I really despise Marxists.

Ipswichie said...

Narcissist. Sociopath.

Mark said...

Every truly evil person believes in their heart that they are good. Ayers is small potatoes on the list.

Mountain Maven said...

I couldn't stand to read it as I despise terrorists, particularly him. He makes me sick. I did word search it for "sorry" "regret" "apolog", no joy.
Not a bit of sympathy for an unrepentant mass murderer.

clint said...

Still no regret for trying to murder American soldiers and their dates at a USO dance.

Hint: if you don't want people to call you a terrorist, at least show *some* regret for your acts of domestic terrorism.

Tina Trent said...

I don't want to read about his salad. I want to talk about the people he tried to kill in Detroit. I want to talk about the firebombing of the judge's house in NYC, the murdered and amimed cops in San Francisco, the bombs found, happily not exploded, in Washington and NYC and Detroit. His wife's involvement in the Brinks murders. Her murder of the SF cop. Her law professorship -- our country's disgrace.

Ayers is a failed mass murderer. But when I saw him a few months ago, he was the revered keynote speaker for the largest professional organization of teacher educators in the US. Frumpy professors from education schools were hugging him and thanking him -- for what? Packing nail bombs to kill cops and soldiers. The biddies drooling all over him were sickening. This is what is teaching our children.

Larry Grathwohl said that Ayers dreamed of murdering millions of Aamericans and re-educating the rest. He's succeeded, so far, at the second goal.

Allen Cogbill said...

Ayers is a run-of-the-mill communist. Why would any sentient being believe anything he has to say? He lies, he lies, and he lies. That is really all one all has to know. Ignore whatever he says: he lies.

SMSgt Mac said...

Feh.
Only regret I see is regret he was found out and not forgotten so he can pretend to be a regular guy and continue his subversions and perversions unabated.
He's a useless hippie radical still stealing my air. He knows it.
On the other hand, I will (hopefully soon) need a new avatar...