Earlier today, a close friend forwarded me an email she received from a (sort of) friend. You may have heard about the numerous smear emails circulating about Barack Obama. Until today, no one I know had received one (or, at least, they knew well enough not to forward it to me).
(This particular email is posted in its original form here, if you'd like to take a look.)
This friend asked me what I thought about it. Well, I got a bit upset. I have prepared a written response, and I'd like to hear your thoughts. I haven't sent it yet, so any constructive criticism or new ideas on how to respond are welcome. Here it is:
I would like to address the email I happened to read earlier under the subject "Confused who to vote for? Read this."
Below, I have pasted the entire piece with what you might call a running commentary. My thoughts are (in red) to separate them from the original piece. If your email client doesn't translate the red, then you can use the parentheses as a guide.
I think it's important when one receives an email like this to call it out for what it is: utter nonsense. I have no idea who originally created it, though I highly doubt that 'Marlene' (whose name appears at the end) or 'Gary and Jan' are real people anyone who has recently received this actually knows personally. If I'm wrong, please put me in contact with them.
The reason Marlene, Gary and Jan's names are included is to create the false sense that they are concerned friends simply passing along information. "Just read it and make your own decisions," they say. Sounds innocent, right? It is most definitely not.
I know that nonsense like this email is out there, and I could really care less as long as it's confined to ignorant people passing ignorant emails around to each other. But when it reaches people I know and care about, I feel a strong urge to react harshly.
Plainly, this email is full of lies masquerading as "just asking questions". It is intended to reach less-informed voters who might only believe such trash because it is mailed by a friend, someone you might believe. (As opposed to one of those emails from a so-called Nigerian prince asking for your bank account information so he can transfer millions of dollars to you.) That someone you know sent it is the only thing that might give it a small measure of believability. Any rational, objective reader can identify it as nonsense immediately.
This particular email is blatantly designed to tap into people's fears of Muslims and fears of Obama, however irrational they might be.
This is a deceitful, malicious thing to do, and if someone cares about you and respects you as a reasonably intelligent person, they would not send this your way.
If someone doesn't like Obama, that's fine. That's up to the individual. But when someone decides to inflict his/her ignorance on other people -- their friends -- it deserves, even demands, a strong response. It is irresponsible, dishonest, and insulting.
Without further adieu, here's the email you read (with my commentary):
This letter is from a friend of ours who we believe wrote this with great concern. Both Jan and I think it is important to send this on so anyone that is open to ideas and wants what is best for our country can have good information to use when making up their mind regarding who to vote for. This is not a political slant, but a REAL person doing research on an individual who would be in charge of our country. Just read it and make your own decisions.
Gary & Jan
(Well, I've never met Gary and Jan, but with an endorsement like that, how could they possibly be lying, right?)
To All My Friends, this is very important, please take the time to read it.
This election has me very worried. (Me too.) So many things to consider. (The financial crisis. Terrorism. Health care.) About a year ago I would have voted for Obama. I have changed my mind three times since than. I watch all the news channels, jumping from one to another. I must say this drives my husband crazy. (That helps me connect with you. Oh those men and their remote controls!) But, I feel if you view MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, you might get some middle ground to work with. About six months ago, I started thinking 'where did the money come from for Obama'. I have four daughters who went to College, and we were middle class, and money was tight. We, including my girls, worked hard and there were lots of student loans. (Right, student loans. That's how a lot of people can afford to pay for college, right? I wonder if this will come into play later. Hmm...)
I started looking into Obama's life.
Around 1979 Obama started college at Occidental in California. (Interestingly, he went to Occidental on a full scholarship, according to this Los Angeles Times story. Another good way to pay for college, right? More from this LA Times story in a bit.) He is very open about his two years at Occidental, he tried all kinds of drugs and was wasting his time but, even though he had a brilliant mind, did not apply himself to his studies. (Yes, Obama has been very candid about his drug use, particularly in his memoir, Dreams From My Father. But here are some other things said about him during his time at Occidental, from the LA Times article:
Eric Newhall, a professor of American studies and American literature at Occidental, said Obama played with flair as a fiercely competitive guard in faculty-student pickup basketball games.
"I remember him clearly as better as an offensive player than a defense player," he said. Now Newhall likes to lightheartedly brag that he "scored a good number of baskets against the senator of Illinois. I would love to say I scored against the president."
On a more serious note, Newhall said Obama already showed glimpses of social conscience and what his supporters describe as his charisma. "Clearly the guy had a presence," he said.
"He came off as a serious, articulate, intelligent young guy," Newhall recalled. "I didn't say, 'Here is presidential timber,' but I said to myself, 'I like our student body because they are going out to do interesting things.' "
Basketball, social conscience, intelligence. So maybe there was more than just the drugs and wasting time? But hey, college kids, what a bunch of rascals.)
'Barry' -- that was the name he used all his life -- (And a good, American-sounding name, too!) during this time had two roommates, Muhammad Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, both from Pakistan. (Pakistan? Seems weird to randomly throw that in there, but okay. And they were roommates? According to this article, they were friends, sure. I can't find anything [besides repeated mentions of this particular e-mail] to suggest they were roommates. But they were Pakistanis, no disputing that clearly vital fact. Pakistan is a mostly Muslim country, too, did you know?) During the summer of 1981, after his second year in college, he made a 'round the world' trip. Stopping to see his mother in Indonesia (Indonesia, by the way, is "the world's largest Muslim country." I wonder if that matters here? Probably not, since he was visiting his mother. That's nice, isn't it? What a nice young man.), next Hyderabad in India, three weeks in Karachi, Pakistan (Pakistan again!) where he stayed with his (non-)roommate's family, then off to Africa to visit his father's family. (Visits his mother, then visits his father's family? Sounds suspicious.) My question - Where did he get the money for this trip? Nether I, nor any one of my children would have had money for a trip like this when they where in college. (That's a good point. He would have had to, I dunno, get a part time job maybe, like the author said her daughters did. Maybe Obama's family had some money saved up, I dunno. Maybe his mom bought his ticket. I guess I could randomly speculate on this all day without providing one of those, What do you call them?, facts. Yeah, facts. Wait, what about those Muslim Pakistani friends he had? That's got to be it. Have I mentioned that they were Muslims? I'm beginning to wonder if there's a Muslim theme going on here.) When he came back he started school at Columbia University in New York. It is at this time he wants everyone to call him Barack - not Barry. (What a jerk. "Barry" is a way cooler name than Barack. What kind of name is that? Muslim? Who knows.) Do you know what the tuition is at Columbia? (Nope. Perhaps you could do some research and provide the answer. No? Okay. Moving on...) It's not cheap to say the least! (I'll bet!) Where did he get money for tuition? Student Loans? Maybe.(As we established earlier, student loans are a perfectly reasonable way to pay for college. Didn't the writer of this article do the exact same thing?) After Columbia, he went to Chicago to work as a Community Organizer for $12,000 a year. Why Chicago? Why not New York? He was already living in New York.(What a weirdo. Have have you ever heard of someone who moved somewhere different after graduating? I mean, if you went to, say, Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, you'd naturally want to stay there upon graduating, right? Oberlin, like all other college towns, has and always will be a booming epicenter for career-building.)
By 'chance' he met Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, born in Aleppo Syria, (Syria? You know who lives there? Muslims. Lots of them, and it's totally necessary and appropriate to include this tidbit here.) and a real estate developer in Chicago. Rezko has been convicted of fraud and bribery this year. Rezko, was named 'Entrepreneur of the Decade' by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association'. ("Arab?" Aren't most Arabs, like, Muslims? This is getting interesting.) About two years later, Obama entered Harvard Law School. Do you have any idea what tuition is for Harvard Law School? (Again, nope. I bet it's a lot, since it's HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, only the most prominent and most respected law school in the country. I wish it were free, too. But that's just me.) Where did he get the money for Law School? More student loans? (I'm confused. I thought student loans were a legitimate way to pay for college. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe anyone who's taken out a student loan to pay for college is some kind of jerk. OR A MUSLIM?! I hadn't thought so before, but this article is really making me think.) After Law school, he went back to Chicago. Rezko (that Syrian!) offered him a job, which he turned down. But, he did take a job with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. Guess what? They represented 'Rezar' which is Rezko's firm. (Maybe an important thing to note here would be this, according the the Chicago Sun-Times: "When Barack Obama took a job at a small Chicago law firm in 1993, the first name on the door of the firm was Allison S. Davis. Five years later, having left his Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland firm, Davis invested in Antoin "Tony'' Rezko's final government-subsidized, low-income housing project, state records show, in a deal handled by Davis' former law firm." That seems like an important detail, that the "Davis" in that firm worked with Rezko five years later, when Obama was no longer with the firm.) Rezko was one of Obama's first major financial contributors when he ran for office in Chicago. In 2003, Rezko threw an early fundraiser for Obama which Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendelland claims was instrumental in providing Obama with 'seed money' for his U.S. Senate race.
In 2005, Obama purchased a new home in Kenwoood District of Chicago for $1.65 million -- less than asking price. With ALL those Student Loans - Where did he get the money for the property? (You may remember that book I mentioned before, Dreams From My Father. Well, believe it or not, a lot of people watched Obama give the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. It was a pretty good speech. You might even say it launched his national career. Anyway, after that speech, a lot of people bought his book. As has been widely reported, that income allowed the Obamas to pay off their student loans, with a bunch left over. Here, look.) On the same day Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the adjoining empty lot for full price. The London Times reported that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-("Iraqi?" Muslim again!) born Billionaire loaned Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Obama's new home was purchased. Obama met Nadhmi Auchi many times with Rezko. (Obama meeting with a Syrian and an Iraqi? Again, I'm detecting something. Something about Muslims. They keep coming up, have you noticed too? Why won't the author clearly point this out? Anyone reading this article has to be wondering, right? I wish the author would just make it clear. This "subtlety" is lost on me. It's like when Hamlet asks, "To be or not to be?" Why couldn't he just say "Should I kill myself or not?" That would be way easier to understand.)
Now, we have Obama running for President. Valerie Jarrett, was Michele Obama's boss. She is now Obama's chief advisor and he does not make any major decisions without talking to her first. Where was Jarrett born? (Idaho?) Ready for this? Shiraz, Iran! ("Iran?!?!") Do we see a pattern here? (I think so! What is it? Just tell me already, I hate surprise endings!) Or am I going crazy? (Argh! Am I? It seems so obvious...what on earth could it be?)
On May 10, 2008 The Times reported (What "Times?" New York? LA? London? The Northwest Indiana and Illinois Times?) Robert Malley, advisor to Obama, was 'sacked' after the press found out he was having regular contacts with 'Hamas', which controls Gaza and is connected with Iran.(Oh man. Hamas + Gaza + Iran = MuslimMuslimMuslim.) This past week (What week?), buried in the back part of the papers (What papers?), Iraqi newspapers (Oh, "Iraqi" papers. It all fits!) reported that during Obama's visit to Iraq, he asked their leaders to do nothing about the war until after he is elected, and he will 'Take care of things'. (I just looked that up. Couldn't find proof of this anywhere. Clearly, someone's covering things up. Must be those Muslims or something.)
Oh, and by the way, remember the college roommates that where born in Pakistan? (Not roommates, actually, remember?) They are in charge of all those 'small' Internet campaign contributions for Obama. (No, they aren't. There is literally zero evidence of this. If you'd like to examine Obama's fund-raising, there are plenty of credible places, none of which assert that his former non-roommates are in charge of anything. Here's a good place to start. Again, these are "facts," so by all means be wary of trusting them.) Where is that money coming from? (Nice boldface. That leads me to believe you will answer this question.) The poor and middle class in this country?(A lot of it, yeah. Check that link above.) Or could it be from the Middle East? (A-HA! You know who lives in the Middle East? MUSLIMS! MUSLIMS live there! I think I finally get it now. There's no possible way Barack Obama could have achieved what he has so far by being smart and driven and talented. It's the Muslim thing. Yeah. Wow. It's almost like someone is suggesting that Obama is a Muslim.)
And the final bit of news. On September 7, 2008, The Washington Times posted a verbal slip that was made on 'This Week' with George Stephanapoulos. Obama on talking about his religion said, 'My Muslim faith'. When questioned, 'he made a mistake'. Some mistake! (That seals it. He's a Muslim. And not just any Muslim: a secret Muslim-Arab-terrorist-out-to-
All of the above information I got on line. If you would like to check it - Wikipedia, encyclopedia, Barack Obama; Tony Rezko; Valerie Jarrett: Daily Times - Obama visited Pakistan in 1981; The Washington Times - September 7, 2008; The Times May 10, 2008. (I like this little pseudo-bibliography. First off, "Wikipedia, encyclopedia" is nice. Almost makes it seem like Wikipedia is a real encyclopedia, but farbeit from this author to fudge things. Also, as any fifth-grader knows, there's something in research called a "primary source." This includes newspaper articles, books, or interviews, among others – the idea being that a primary source is a reliable and trustworthy source of information which can be checked for confirmation. Wikipedia, on the other hand, cannot be used as a primary source by anyone anywhere in any grade, though that appears to be this article's leading source. Imagine that: even a fifth-grader wouldn't be able to pass nonsense like this off. The other "sources"? Something called "Daily Times", the Washington Times (legitimate, though not exactly an Obama-friendly paper), and "The Times," whose ambiguity I remarked on earlier.)
Now the BIG question - If I found out all this information on my own, Why haven't all of our 'intelligent' members of the press been reporting this? (Actually, Barack Obama's life and achievements and relationships have been pored over by the media as intensively as possible over the last 20 months or so. There's this new thing called "Google" which can be a big help if you need information.)
A phrase that keeps ringing in my ear - 'Beware of the enemy from within'!!! (If it keeps ringing, it's probably some secret Muslim torture technique.)
Marlene (Such a nice, American-sounding, non-Muslim name! She must be trustworthy.)
In conclusion, I'd like to thank Marlene for writing this, and especially Gary and Jan for passing it along. It's not every day that I get an email that finally shows me what those dastardly Muslims are really up to. If I had to put actual thought into who I wanted to be President, I'll bet I could watch the news or read the papers or maybe even venture out onto that information superhighway known as the Internet. But thanks to the hard work of Marlene, Gary and Jan, I don't have to. I can just take their word for it! Barack Obama? I knew there was something funny about him.
For further information, please look at the websites below. Emails like the one above have been circulating for the last year. Fortunately, some websites address the lies. And if you get any more emails like this one, please be responsible and look things up. Do not believe anything that is not firmly backed up by facts and evidence. Those who write these things and those who spread them are counting on your ignorance or your unwillingness to follow up on their claims.