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21 September 2006 @ 04:26 am
This is a very, very long entry. It concerns my research on many topics, including the Iraq occupation, the history of Islam, the Valerie Plame case and the torture in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. It's me arguing with a conservative. I'm putting it here in case anyone wants to mine it for source material. Also because I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to refer back to it eventually.

Here is the email I received that started this off. The subject line read "Muslims get out!"

This was sent to me from a friend and needs to be read and shared. This Australian writer says what I feel better than I can say it. Why isn't stuff like this being shared in our media? Apparently our great democracy is not the only one struggling to survive...And to my liberal friends out there--please read this with an open mind. I read the stuff you send me--please pull off any blinders of political correctness and "you're just a racist" litany and wake up--before it's too late...
Thanks, and may God bless Australia and all honest, searching people everywhere...
P.S. Check out the following link if you doubt that this really happened...

MUSLIMS GET OUT Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks. A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown.

Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir-apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," he said on national television. "I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia—one the Australian law and another the Islamic law—that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option," Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off". Basically, people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically "clear off", he said.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: "IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take it or leave it. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge of patriotism by the majority of Australians. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand."

"This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language.

"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing political push, but a fact , because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture. We will accept your beliefs and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.

"If the Southern Cross offends you and you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.

"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, AND OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE. If you aren't happy here, then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted."

Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, citizens in other democracies will find the backbone to start speaking and voting the same truths!!

I responded to the person who forwarded this, and she responded to me. That led to the following email, which I sent half an hour ago. This is the really, really long part. I am the first speaker; the > indicates the other speaker.


Before you begin, let me just say that I don't expect you to have a
reply right away. I spent six hours researching and putting this email
together, and if you actually look at the documents I've linked to, it's
going to take you a while. I do urge you, if you're interested in truth
and not in winning an argument with a liberal, to read these documents,
and to go ahead and do research of your own. I have tried my best to
provide you with news stories, not opinion columns, and original
documents where available. I know a lot of people on the right like to
accuse people like me of spinning the truth, or of outright lying.
Please believe me when I say that I have done all this in good faith,
and I trust that you, like me, are seeking the truth and living Christ's

On Tue, 19 Sep 2006 20:11:50 -0700, "XXXXX"
<yyyyy@zzzzz.com> said:
> Hi, Lori,
> Read the piece I sent you again and you'll see which Muslims I want out.

I did read the piece. It really doesn't match the subject line, and I
have to wonder why you chose that. If an email went around saying
"Whites get out!" and then in the body of the email they talked about
neonazis and the KKK, what would you think? Would you feel like "Okay,
they're not talking about me?" Or would you feel like they lumped you
in with people whose stance you despise? Would you feel like that email
was racist?

> The ones that would prefer to have Sharia law in place instead of our
> constitution.

How many Muslims in America are calling for this? I haven't checked,
but I'm thinking probably not many.

> I'm all for tolerance and living peaceably with people of
> all
> faiths. But Islam is the only religion I know of that gives you 3 and 3
> only
> choices--convert, pay the tax, or die.

Historically, that was true. Do you think that America is moving in
that direction? If so, what gives you that impression? I'm honestly

> Read the Koran for yourself and
> compare the words of Mohammed with those of Jesus. Jesus preached love,
> Mohammed preached violence by the sword.

It's true that Mohammed led an army, and Jesus did not. Yet we look to
Old Testament prophets for lessons, don't we? Joshua led an invading
army into Canaan. "So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown.
As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a
great shout, and the wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight
ahead into the city and captured it. Then they devoted to destruction by
the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and
old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys." Josh. 6:20-21.

Now, of course, we wouldn't go into a city and kill all its inhabitants
down to the animals. But we belong to a religious tradition that saw
that as a good thing once. How many wars did David fight? What about
the other kings of Israel?

As for reading the Quran:

"God does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against
you on account of religion, and have not driven you forth from your
homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely God
loves the doers of justice. God only forbids you respecting those who
made war upon you on account of religion, and drove you forth from your
homes and backed up [others] in your expulsion, that you make friends
with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust."

"Remember the name of your Lord and dedicate yourself fully to Him. He
is the Lord of the East and of the West; there is no God but Him, so
accept Him as your Protector. Bear with great patience what the
unbelievers say, and gracefully leave their company with a kind word and
without recrimination. Leave Me to deal with those who forsake the
Truth, those who enjoy the comforts of this life; give them time."

"The Lord looks down from heaven and sees all humankind. From where he
sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth — he who
fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds. As for
humanity, when the Lord tests them by honoring and favoring them, they
say, "God loves me." But when their Lord tests them by restricting their
livelihood, then they say, "God has forgotten me."

Not at all! You show no kindness to the orphan; nor do you encourage one
another to feed the poor. You devour the inheritance of others wholly
and indiscriminately, and you cannot restrain your lust for wealth.

By no means will it be what you think. When the earth is crushed to a
fine dust, and your Lord comes down with the angels in their ranks, and
Hell is brought near — on that day humankind will remember, but what
will remembrance avail them then? They will say, "Oh, if only I had
known I would have lived my life differently!" For on that day no one
can inflict punishment like God's, and no one can bind with chains like

For those who have lived a life of meaning and service, God will say, "O
peaceful soul, return to your Lord in joy and share My profound delight.
Join the company of My servants and enter the gardens of My Paradise."

"If only you knew what the righteousness is. It is the freeing of a
slave; the feeding, during a time of hardship, of an orphaned relative
or one who is poor or in dire need. The way of righteousness is to have
faith and exhort one another in steadfastness and kindness to one
another." 90:12-17

"For he who gives to charity dwells in righteousness, We will lead him
to the path of salvation; but for he who is greedy and miserly, and
dishonors the truth, his way will be dark and slippery, and We shall
lead him to the path of destruction. Upon his death, his wealth will
avail him not." 92:5-11

"By the light of day, and by the dark of night, the Lord has not
forsaken you, nor does he despise you. The life to come holds a greater
reward for you than this one. You will be grateful for what the Lord has
stored up for you.

Did God not find you an orphan and give you a home?
Did God not find you when you lost your way and guide you?
Did God not find you in need and enrich you?

So do not forsake the orphan, nor scold the beggar. But proclaim your
blessings and the righteousness of God." 93:1-11

"Have you met those who deny the Day of Judgment? They are the ones who
turn away the orphan, and have no urge to feed the destitute and needy.
Woe to those who pray but lack compassion and eschew moral duty, who
make a show of false piety and disdain charity." 107:1-7

"We have blessed you with abundance. Pray to the Lord and offer
sacrifices that you may be holy. He that dwells in hate shall remain
hopeless." 108:1-3

"Say: Unbelievers, I may not change your hearts or minds, but I do not
worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. I shall
never worship what you worship, nor will you ever worship what I
worship: You have your religion, and I have mine." 109:1-6

Out of curiosity, have you read the Quran? According to Mohammed, it is
solely the word of God. Mohammed's teachings are collected in the
Sunnah, which, from what I can tell, encompasses many volumes. Here's
one quote that struck me:

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a
non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white
has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over a
white - except by piety and good action." From Mohammed's Last Sermon.

> I feel sorry for the pope, who was just quoting a historian in a
> historical
> context and is being threatened with death for that.

I can't find a transcript of what the pope said, so I can read it in
context. However, I agree, threatening anyone with death for their
words is wrong. It's also against the Quran, as you can see from the
verses above.

> Churches burned, nun
> killed, such a friendly, loving, peaceable religion Islam is...

I'm not defending anyone who burns churches or kills anyone. It's a
sin, both in Christianity and in Islam. These people are poor examples
of the Islamic faith. It doesn't follow, though, that all Muslims think
that's right. See this article in the Orlando Sentinel:
In addition, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for
Muslims worldwide to donate money to repair the Catholic churches that
were burned.

Before you make judgments about what kind of religion Islam is, think
back to Christianity's history. How many people died during the
Inquisition? How many doctors who perform abortions have been killed by
Christians? Aidan Delgado, a former guard at Abu Ghraib, quotes another
guard who showed him pictures of prisoners he (the other guard) had
killed: '“Oh,” he said, “I shot this guy in the face. See, his head is
split open.” He talked like the Terminator. He shot this guy in the
groin, he took three days to bleed to death. I was shocked. This was the
nicest guy you would ever want to meet. He was a family man, a really
courteous guy, a devout Christian. I was stunned and said to him: “You
shot an unarmed man behind barbed wire for throwing a stone.” He said,
“Well, I knelt down. I said a prayer, stood up and gunned them all

The interview of Aidan Delgado is important reading to find out what's
going on in Iraq in our name. He's traveling around the country,
presenting pictures and telling his story.

My point? Do not lump all adherents of a religion together. Some may
follow it closely. Some may not.

> Read the
> book
> the "Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam" by Robert Spencer for some
> interesting debate material. It would be interesting to see just how the
> Islamofascist movement fits into Bible prophecy. I think we Adventists
> have
> completely missed the boat on that one.

I'd like you to read this column by John Dean (the attorney to Richard
Nixon, so hardly a raging liberal) talking about this term,
"Islamofascism." http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20060908.html

> Read your history and trace why and how Islam spread through Europe, N.
> Africa, and the Middle East.

"From the end of the effective power of the caliphs in the tenth century
to the beginning of the sixteenth, the size of the Muslim world almost
doubled. The vehicles for expansion were not conquering armies so much
as traveling merchants and itinerant teachers. In Saharan and
sub-Saharan Africa, in Central Asia, and in the many different societies
in the Indian Ocean basin, a growing number of people came to be
included within the world community of Islam."
http://www.cqpress.com/context/articles/epr_islam.html I'll note here
that CQ Inc. (Congressional Quarterly) is a highly respected publication
firm in the legal field. I often used CQ sources in my job as a law
librarian. This article is a very good summary of the beginning of
Islam. While you read it, I'd like you to compare it to the spread of
Christianity in the Americas.

> Then listen to the rhetoric of the Inmans
> and
> try and deny that their currennt goal is world domination. It has been
> thus
> for hundreds of years.

I'd like some support for this assertion, please. I've done you the
courtesy of giving you reasons for my assertions, and backing them up
with easily accessible proof, which I have been careful to take from
original sources and not opinion columns or blogs.

> But this is the first time I can see that they
> actually could win this war. We have become so "sensitized" and afraid to
> criticise anyone except Christians that the world sees us as weak and
> beatable.

I first heard about the Taliban back in 1997, when I received a chain
letter entitled "The Taliban's War on Women." It was written by a
student at Brandeis University, a small liberal arts college in
Massachussetts. The left has been anti-extremist for a long, long time,
no matter which religion it falls under. The Feminist Majority
Foundation began a campaign in 1997 to stop this extremist behavior (see
www.feminist.org/afghan/facts.html ). Liberals criticize Christians
when they begin to force their religious beliefs on the rest of the
country. As I've shown, they criticize Muslims as well.

> I think other countries are beginning to wake up--I just hope
> it
> isn't too late. For some of them I think it is...

Which countries do you think it's too late for? Why?

> I agree with you about
> who
> our neighbors are. But calling a spade a spade is not demonizing an
> ethnicity.

Does that mean you believe that there are good, peaceful Muslims? Or
Arabs? Or Iraqis?

> Why are the moderate Muslims not calling for an end to the
> violence?

See above, the CAIR call for donations to rebuild churches. See also
the following:







> Why aren't they the first ones to turn in the extremists?

Regarding the recent Al-Qaeda plot in London: "British intelligence
sources say the original tip-off about the alleged plot came more than a
year ago from an informant in the UK. The informant is believed to have
come from the Muslim community."

> Because
> they're afraid--they know what the bottom line of Islam is all about and
> they're afraid of what the extremists will do to them if they protest.
> Just
> go on Voices of the Martyrs if you want to know what happens to Muslims
> who
> buck the system...

I don't deny that there are people who call themselves Muslims who do
terrible things. However, I do deny that violence and death is "the
bottom line of Islam." As I've pointed out in numerous examples above,
there are many Muslims who decry this violence, and such violence is
against the Quran itself.

> I can't just sit back and wait for someone who hates
> me
> and my ideology to force me to wear a burkha.

It sounds like you're really afraid of this. I'm sorry. Can you
explain how you think this might come about in America?

> How do you propose "working
> with the non-extremists in order to root out the extremists"?...just how
> are
> you going to do that without "profiling"?

By not profiling. By recognizing that most Muslims in America want
peace, and working with the Muslim communities for better understanding.
By showing that we respect them and their faith, and that we want their
help to stop violence from happening in the US.

Here's a thought: there are an estimated 5 to 7 million Muslims in
America. Yet none of them have been involved in terrorism against
America. If Islam is a religion of violence and hatred, why have there
been no suicide bombings in America? No defacing or destroying of
Christian churches? Earlier this year, a mosque in South Florida was
defaced, yet the spokesman for the mosque stated ``If anything, this
will underscore the importance of reaching out to the different
religious communities so that we all come together to denounce acts of
hate.'' http://www.archives2006.ghazali.net/html/vandals_deface.html
(reprinting a Miami Herald article)

> If the media really showed the
> face of what our forces have done in Iraq, you'd see that we're doing
> just
> that...rooting out the extremists.

A Pentagon assessment has found that the insurgency is stronger than
ever. http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=2470183&page=1

> But that doesn't fit with the liberal
> agenda, so you won't see it.

Actually, we are shielded over here from the worst that our military has
done in Iraq. That's due to the conservative media, who fail to
investigate what the administration is hiding, or who ignore reports
from overseas about war crimes in Iraq. For example, the US military
used white phosphorus chemical weapons against the insurgency and
civilian population of Fallujah. The State Department denied this at
first, saying they only used the chemical bombs for illumination
purposes. They later retracted this statement and admitted to using
white phosphorus as a weapon.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4440664.stm A former US soldier
who was in Fallujah says that the weapon was used indiscriminately, and
killed civilians. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4417024.stm
Pictures of the dead fighters and civilians were shown in an Italian
documentary. http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1108/dailyUpdate.html

> That's why I support this president because he has been the only one with
> the guts to stand up and say, "Enough, we're bringing the fight to
> you--we're not going to sit here and let you destroy America".

I supported the war in Afghanistan. I don't know anyone who didn't.
Ask my parents if they remember how I danced in the kitchen when I read
that the Taliban had abandonded Mazar-e-Sharif to the US forces. I have
always maintained that going into Afghanistan was the right thing to do.
Going after Osama bin Laden was the right thing to do.

However, GWB did not agree, apparently. US troops abandoned the search
for bin Laden at Tora Bora. Later, GWB said "I don't know where bin
Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important.
It's not our priority." The man who masterminded the 9/11 attacks is no
longer a priority? Why not?

> I just
> wish
> more on your side of the aisle could see the damage they're doing to
> America
> by appeasement, complacency, and tearing down our country.

I wish more on your side could see the damage they're doing to America
by attacking its founding principles, ignoring the rule of law, and
damaging our reputation worldwide. Those who are torturing and
condoning torture are the ones who tear down everything America stands

And please don't accuse me of complacency. After waiting for Flight 93
to hit the city where I worked, six blocks from the White House, I will
never be complacent again.

> I don't think
> it
> matters what GWB does--the left will hate him regardless.

That is absolutely untrue. Do you remember September 12? Do you
remember how Bush's approval rating soared to the 90s, even though he
hadn't done anything? That was the nation rallying behind him.
Everyone, including me, trusted him to do the right thing. And he took
that trust and shattered it. We were united as a nation after the
attacks. But ever since then, anyone who has spoken up against torture,
against warrantless wiretapping, against detention without trial, was
labeled a traitor. America-hater. Terrorist. It was the right who
attacked us, not the reverse.

> Must go fix supper, but one more thing--yes, I know about the Downing
> Street
> tapes

So you know that George Bush had decided to go to war before he was
elected? And that he, and members of his cabinet (most notably Colin
Powell) lied to America and the world when they claimed that they knew
Hussein had weapons of mass destruction? That doesn't bother you, that
we abandoned the war against Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden to attack a
country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and that was not a present
threat to us?


> and the Valerie Plame debacle--the latest evidence shows that the
> top
> officials of the administration did not rat on Plame and that this is a
> dead
> issue.

The administration would like it to be a dead issue. But it is, in
fact, still under investigation. And yes, top officials did rat on
Plame, including Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and (we find now) Richard
Armitage, who was the Deputy Secretary of State at the time. Dick
Cheney was the one who told Libby about Plame
) (page 4), and Libby's lawyers claim Cheney authorized him to reveal
her status to reporters.


> Why have there been no indictments? Because no crime was
> committed--that's such new news (within the past week to 10 days or so)
> that
> you may not know it yet--check it out.

That's inaccurate. There were two crimes: one, the disclosure of a
covert agent, two, the coverup and obstruction of justice. Scooter
Libby has been indicted, as the above documents indicate, and according
to Dick Cheney, will be tried next year.

> The media loved the story when it
> played to their ideology, but now that both sides have said that there is
> no
> issue, the media doesn't talk about that...

Where do you find that both sides have said there is no issue? I know
the administration has always maintained there is no issue, but I can't
find anyone on the left that says this is not an issue. It's
interesting, actually, that many papers are now saying it wasn't an
attempt orchestrated by the White House to smear Joe Wilson, because
Armitage was in the State Department, not the White House. But as the
evidence above shows, there are multiple documents linking the White
House to this. This whole affair is not yet over.

> Also, she wasn't a covert
> agent--even the left admits that.

Who on the left says that? I go by the testimony of Larry Johnson
before Congress. He trained with Valerie Plame, and affirms her status
as a Non-Official Cover officer.

She worked in the Counterproliferation Department (CPD) of the CIA. In
the new book "Hubris" by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, they state that
she headed the CIA's Joint Task Force on Iraq, and was tasked with
finding Hussein's WMDs. Where do you find evidence that she was not a
covert operative?

> I find it really interesting that much
> of
> what you expressed is right out of the George Soros playbook--

Please give me credit for having my own opinion. I am aware of George
Soros, but I am by no means parroting a party line, his or anyone
else's. It's now 4 am-- I started this email at 10 pm last night. I
have been working on it the entire time, doing research and attempting
to provide you with facts, rather than talking points. I don't take my
opinions from others. I take them from what I see happening in the

> he's a
> billionaire who admittedly hates America on every level.

Admittedly? George Soros has stated he hates America on every level?
Where do you get this?

> Fascinating...

Again, please don't try to diminish my opinion and my hard work by
talking down to me or implying that I am not thinking for myself.

> Talk with you later if you want,
> P.S. I also take issue with your statement "torture people, tap
> everyone's
> phone, or attack foreign countries that have not threatened us". What is
> your definition of torture? I'd group decapitating, dismembering,
> electric
> prods, grind up bodies with meat grinders, placed in boxes with metal
> spikes
> and other gruesome methods in that definition. Not hazing or embarrassing
> someone with underwear, dog leashes, etc.
> I don't support what happened, but don't call it torture...

I refer you again to Aidan Delgado's testimony. In addition, there were
photos and video of torture in Abu Ghraib held back by the Pentagon,
that were ordered released by a judge last year.

'Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Congress last year, after
viewing a large cache of unreleased images, "I mean, I looked at them
last night, and they're hard to believe." They show acts "that can only
be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane," he added.

A Republican Senator suggested the same day they contained scenes of
"rape and murder." Rumsfeld then commented, "If these are released to
the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse."'

These photos and video were later made available to the public. You can
look at them here:

Two prisoners in Guantanamo Bay were beaten to death.

I'd also like to point out the testimony of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner,
who writes of being beaten, forced to walk on barbed wire, and having a
cigarette put out on his skin. In case your instinct is to dismiss all
this as lies, please note his final paragraph:

"I would thus like to point out that NOT all of the soldiers in
Guantánamo tortured and oppressed us. There were some soldiers who
treated us humanely, some of them would cry because of what was
happening to us and were embarrassed by the style of management at the
camp and even by the American government, their lack of justice and
oppression of us. To give an example, when I was in Camp India in Camp
Delta and I was being tortured, an Afro-American came to me. He said
sorry to me and gave me a cup of hot chocolate and some sweet biscuits.
When I thanked him, he said, "I don't want your thanks. I want you to
know that we are not all bad and we think differently". When I was
talking to a soldier and I told him what happened to me, he cried and
had tears in his eyes. He was clearly moved. He said sorry to me about
what had happened to me and he also offered me some food. These are
examples to show the reader that there are some soldiers who have
humanity, irrespective of their race, gender or faith."


> Read how the prisoners treated the guards at Guat. Bay and then let's
> talk
> about torture...

What do you have to show me?

> Tapping everyone's phone? Not happening...but I support tapping a phone
> if
> that person gives me reason to believe they're plotting against our
> country.

Should there be a warrant? Should the government have to show cause why
they believe someone is plotting against our country? Or should they
get to finger anyone, with no argument? Bush's defense of wiretapping
says that the administration should be able to tap anyone's phone, at
any time, without any proof at all that that person is a threat.

First of all, even the wiretappers have said that this program is

Second of all, the administration lied when it said this program was

Third, the groups that are being spied upon and suspect they are being
tapped are peace groups opposed to the Iraq occupation. These include
the Quakers and Jonah House, a Catholic peace group.

> Attack foreign countries that have not threatened us...
> that's a topic for another night...

Definitely. I'd also like to hear your thoughts on the Christian
fundamentalists who seek to knock down the wall between church and
state, and force their beliefs on us. Do you want them to leave the
country too?

Lorelle Anderson
Fenriss: Bush Disasterfenriss on September 21st, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, sweetheart, this is amazing stuff! So thoroughly researched, and levelheaded. I'm blown away by how calm and compassionate you remain when talking to this person, even when she says such ignorant things.

Adding to memories for future reference.

Elletheletterelle on September 21st, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
I'm just glad someone read it all. :) I put a lot of work into that. Also note xiphias's addition below regarding Christian treatment of Jews. I'll be including that if she ever emails me back.
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on September 21st, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
But Islam is the only religion I know of that gives you 3 and 3 only choices--convert, pay the tax, or die.

Really? You may want to let her know that I know of another religion with the same three rules. . . and, historically, the Muslim's tax was lower than the Christian's, so, if this turns into a "Christians-vs-Muslims" fight, I really don't care who wins, but I'm probably slightly better off under the Muslims.
Elletheletterelle on September 21st, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
For real? I have no knowledge of this (unless you're talking about the Inquisition, where I know Jews were persecuted.) Can you hook me up with proof to give to her? Including the tax and all?

*loves you like crazy*
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on September 21st, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
Um. . . the entire middle ages?

It's hard for me to remember EXACT sources, because I've been spending all summer learning Jewish history in preparation for teaching it this year. But if you pick up any Jewish history of the Middle ages textbook, you'll be able to get most of this.

Okay. No direct Christian analogy to the dhimmi tax existed that I'm aware of -- but that's because the dhimmi tax existed to give non-Muslims protections under Sharia law that did not exist to non-Christians under Church law, at all.

Instead, Jews were generally required to wear distinguishing badges such as the judenhut, a large yellow conical hat, or a yellow circle, or the like. This was taken from some of the dhimmi badges, but, under Christain rulers, the badges became much more prominent and had a much greater social stigma.

While, in Sharia law, the badges designated someone who gained protection of the law by paying the dhimmi tax, under Church law, the badges designated someone who had no protection under the law whatsoever, except inasmuch as they were consider the personal property of the local lord. It was useful to have Jews around, as Jews could manage international banking and trade in ways that Christians couldn't.

These Jews basically formed a significant revenue source for the rulers. While there wasn't a specific dhimmi tax, the total tax burden on Jews for being Jews was higher under Christian leaders than under Muslim leaders -- and with less freedom of action and less security to go along with it.

I'll see if I can find some more information, but the basic point is that, as a Jew, I'd rather live under an Islamic theocracy than a Christian theocracy.
Elletheletterelle on September 21st, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
Aha, yes. I'm researching Jews in the medieval and renaissance period now, and I see what you're saying. Damn, I wish I'd had that info last night. :) Oh well, if she ever emails me back, I'll have this on hand. Thank you!
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on September 21st, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
I guess another way to go with it would be "Well, three choices is better than the TWO choices that Christianity generally went with. . . "
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on September 21st, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
But calling a spade a spade is not demonizing an ethnicity.


Zie's technically right: the phrase "to call a spade a spade" actually dates back to ancient Greece, but, because of the racial connotations of the term "spade" in modern North America, most people try to avoid that phrase, because it IS racially charged.
(Anonymous) on September 21st, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
I know! I almost said something, but decided the email was long enough as it was, without throwing black/white racism into the mix. But that totally cracked me up. :)