Via commentor El Cid, the latest incarnation of our great Real American(tm) tradition of insisting that what we want to be true must be true… and death to anyone who disagrees. “Sovereign citizens spin history, reject government”:
As many as 300,000 people identify as sovereign citizens, the Southern Poverty Law Center found in a study to be published Thursday that was obtained by The Associated Press. Hate group monitors say their numbers have increased thanks to the recession, the foreclosure crisis, the growth of the Internet and the election of Barack Obama in 2008…
At the heart of their belief system: The government creates a secret identity for each citizen at birth, a “straw man,” that controls an account at the U.S. Treasury used as collateral for foreign debt. File enough documents at the right offices and the money in those accounts can be used to pay off debt or make purchases worth thousands of dollars.
The movement is based on a form of “legal fundamentalism,” said Michael Barkun, a retired Syracuse University political science professor who researches anti-government and hate groups.
“These people really seem to feel that filing certain kinds of legal papers that are connected to their theories will somehow also magically have the power to alter relationships and grant things that otherwise would be unobtainable,” he said.
Martin Smith of Carthage, Mo., lost $8,000 to a father-and-son company in Columbus called Liberty Resources that pitched a method to eliminate credit card debt based on a theory that national banks aren’t authorized to issue credit.
“We just became convinced that each of the parts of the puzzle that Liberty Resources … was telling us existed would work,” said Smith, 48, a civil engineer in Carthage, Mo.
Dan Wickline and his son, Chad, pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to commit money laundering and are serving federal prison sentences.
In May, Jerry Kane, who pitched so-called redemption schemes for reducing debt, died in a shootout with West Memphis, Ark., police after authorities said his 16-year-old son, Joe, fatally shot two officers during a traffic stop…
In a 2003 document Jerry Kane filed in a county recorder’s office in Ohio, he said he was not a “Fourteen Amendment Citizen.” Many sovereign citizens believe the 14th Amendment created a new class of citizens, people who had no constitutional rights but were instead slaves to the government, according to Mark Pitcavage, investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League.
So, according to these people, the Fourteenth Amendment legitimized former slaves (and Confederate traitors) by turning middle-class white men into replacement slaves, which we would be aware of if not for the government-of-occupation’s mind control powers in service to the banksters, but fortunately if we free our minds to put together the pieces of the puzzle, we can engineer a profitable way to get out from under our financial obligations, patriotically! Vast bowerbird towers of Sovereign Philosophy constructed from a rubbish-dump tangle of factoids and truisms… via “science”.
Hmmm. That a civil engineer–somebody I would ordinarily take to be pretty smart–wouldn’t see the problems here really makes me wonder.
Jay in Oregon
…I got nothing.
saw a reference last week somewhere about teabaggers verbally accosting some GOP candidate about the secret code on the back of their Social Security card…Think it was Kevin Drum
yes, it was Drum:
The Secret Code That Controls Your Destiny
— By Kevin Drum| Tue Aug. 3, 2010 8:34 PM PDT
My favorite parts, identical to the scam artists of 1990s militia / shortwave right hucksters and the Minutemen types:
What a fine, upstanding example of a sovereign citizen aware of his true rights and responsibilities as a reincarnated leader of the American revolution.
And, the real reason for circumcision is that the government collection the foreskin and uses it with a magick ritual to control your mind! Get your lead cup now to prevent it! Oh, and Jews are protected by giving their foreskins to their Rabbis!
@Bulworth: My father worked with engineers for years, and he always insisted that they were some of the stupidest people he had ever met.
Roughly one in a thousand. Sounds about right. The only thing surprising about it is that scam artists promoting sovereign citizenship found that many idiiots who were both stupid enough to fall for it, but still smart enough to remember a phrase consisting of two consecutive multi-syllable words.
Their marketing must be more extensive than I thought.
Like a contemporary cargo cult or something.
Stuck in the Funhouse
I WANT that money in my account.
You’d think that but I work with civil engineers every day. Most are intelligent thoughtful people and then there are the “post turtles”. :)
I love some of these theories, such as
One time in 1835 they forgot to take roll call. All debt from that moment forward doesn’t have to be paid. Another good one:
What does that even mean? Is the US Postal Service just a front for the Real Post Office? Do they deliver mail on time?
A bit off-topic, but Judge Walker denied the stay of his ruling striking down of Prop. 8. The ruling will go into effect on 8/18/2010, and California will again have marriage equality.
This deserves the “Clap Louder!” tag, if only for the false reality these people delude themselves into believing. I’ve seen people trip on salvia that made more sense than this sovereign citizen bullshit.
In the words of the Refreshments, “the world is full of stupid people.”
“They may say, ‘My grandpa
died trying to protect my rightswas fucking insane.'”
Do we know who the secret organizers were?
That’s a brilliant description. It’s like a cargo cult of legal forms instead of bamboo airplane towers.
I wish I could read this. Damn margins.
Stuck in the Funhouse
Well, that’s the fucking government for you.
@Comrade Kevin: I have found it consistently depressing that probably 80% of my fellow engineers are Republican or Libertarian. They have this “you-can’t-fool-me” mindset that quite often, sadly enough, makes them the biggest rubes for the biggest authoritarian assholes.
Anyone remember the continual scams among the right and anti-Federal reserve fetishists (as opposed to people who sanely aren’t crazy about the Fed, rather the ones who think ALL things in the world are the Fed’s doing) about how you don’t have to pay your income taxes because of some bullshit about how the states didn’t properly ratify the 16th Amendment so income taxes and the IRS are un-Constushull?
So I guess Kevin Costner was a modern prophet when he made The Postman?
@Bulworth: There’s an observed phenomenon from the creationist/evolutionist debates that shows that engineers are far more susceptible to right-wing craziness. I forget the name of the observation, but it does seem to hold.
If I wasn’t so honest I bet I could make a fortune off these people. Hell, if they were rich I might overcome my qualms. Sadly, it’s easier to rip off poor people than rich people, and 99% of all scams are aimed at the easiest to rip off with the least to lose.
I’d take that 300,000 number with a grain of salt. Some of those are true believers, but I’d bet many are desperate people looking for something to hold onto. Fox et al have ruined critical thinking skills in this country.
I’ve been through Carthage, MO. About as redneck hick as they get. Not surprised these rubes got so Homer’d.
@Bulworth: I do, but if I told you I would have to kill you. As a hint though, this is not a joke.
Speaking as someone who has a lot of engineers in his family, who was educated in the same college as a lot of engineers, and who technically has an engineering degree (though damn it, my intention was for a Computer Science degree, not an Engineering degree), curb your wonders. Engineers have blind spots the same as anyone else. They may be able to do Fourier transforms without the aid of a computer, but that doesn’t magically grant them the ability to think critically. Some can, some can’t – and the proportion isn’t really that much different from the rest of the college educated IME.
Check sometime as to the PhDs held by people who make outlandish Intelligent Design and/or Global Warming is a Hoax claims. A ton of them have doctorates – from respectable schools even – in some field Engineering.
Here’s the basis of “Fourteenth Amendment Citizenship”:
Capitalization of nouns exposes the conspiracy!
That’s funny. It doesn’t surprise me one bit. That an engineer would become completely absorbed in intricate details and machinations, creating greater and greater levels of complexity to solve a problem, while failing to step back to see that the whole picture looks…. ummm… kind of crazy, has pretty much been my experience with engineers.
That said, I don’t quite understand what theory these ‘sovereigners’ are proposing here. Can anyone translate this into Human for me?
The most powerful stoopid is the kind that, like a Mobius Strip, wraps in on itself and becomes self-reinforcing.
There isn’t anything that they can’t fix in their own heads working off of assumptions. A toaster is a toaster, but once the number of variables gets too high, they tend to start dismissing them.
I work with five in our office: one is a hippy, the other four are hardcore GOP/liberterians. Sorry, six, we have an intern.
So what we need is to rewind history to before the Civil War. Hoocoodanode?
@Bulworth: It’s funny; denialists (e.g., Holocaust denial; climate change denial, and the like) tend to have engineers trying to make their arguments sound “scientific”.
Jesus. A simple linguistic shift in how grammar rules for capitalization are applied occurs and suddenly it’s PROOF OF A CONSPIRACY!
They’ll latch onto the smallest thing to make their own reality, won’t they?
I missed the comparison to cargo cults that others have made. My thought on reading about how filing certain papers and going through specific steps in believed to give them special rights/powers…was that Sovereign Citizenship was Scientology for rednecks.
@El Cid: Shit, when did my father-in-law change his name?
The Salem Hypothesis.
And I bet some of us remember when Bruce first formulated it.
The American Taliban finally emerges, complete with a fifth dimension philosophy, to steal money? They sound like a bunch of lazy assholes to me.
@NonyNony: You also have to figure that the Constitution talked about something called a Congreff, not a Congress. Therefore, no law is valid.
my favorite from a few years ago was some lunacy about the fringe on the flag, that they would only recognize one with or one without. I honestly forget which one was the ‘true’ flag but one supposedly had something to do with Admiralty law or Maritime law or something and so didn’t have any authority in state courts or some such nonsense. It’s a wonder some judge hasn’t gone postal on these rubes asses. I certainly get weary having to listen to this crap coming out of my uncle’s mouth. It’s an endless fount of irrational blather.
@Bulworth: Ben Franklin was responsible for the general post office scam, obviously.
Franklin was a religious infidel, a communist, and long time gay lover of David Hume, the British spy and thug for the British Royalty’s international drug crime ring (I saw LaRouche blow the lid off the true nature of Hume years ago on a very important 4 AM political infomercial).
It all fits. I believe it. I am now a sovereign citizen. It feels so good to be free at last. Of ever shackle, including my senses.
Edit: Sorry, I meant to type ‘I am now a Sovereign Citizen’. OK. Now it is official.
@Comrade Kevin: I’m married to a very practical, kind one. But I’ve worked with and for them for a long, long time and about 25% of them couldn’t see the end of their nose if they tried. They’re too busy trying to solve some great problem to the 10th decimal place and trying to be more right than anyone else about everything. Irritating.
Jay in Oregon
Capitalization of nouns exposes the conspiracy!
— Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
As far as I can tell it’s this:
“I don’t like being told what to do. You’re not the boss of me! Someone told me history says I can take out my daddy issues on whoever the fuck is talking! He’s right because I want him to be! You’re not the boss of me! I do what I want!”
I guess the difference between me and them is that I just think that if the powerful cabal were removed from power, the world would be a better place.
And I don’t need a fancy conspiracy to explain greed’s powerful influence.
No, you don’t understand: it’s why the Founding Fathers had Freedom, but we only have freedom.
And I don’t even want to get into the Kabbalistically intricate meanings of italicization versus italicization.
What, you think it’s coincidence that all the fonts here at Balloon Juice are sans serif?
(Actually, it is, but only if you know the secret meaning of italicized coincidence.)
That explains the ‘sovereign debt elimination engineer’ positions that come in when I do my ‘engineer’ job searches, along with the custodial, IT, and sandwich varieties.
I can’t track down the quote right now, but I think Carl Sagan spoke of people (creationists?) who envied the prestige of science but rejected the intellectual discipline.
@martha: I got this from my sister-in-law, a computer engineer.
This deserves a w00t!
I believe that a flag with gold fringe (or possibly one without gold fringe — I forget which) is thought to be an “admiralty flag” and thus any court in which such a flag is located magically becomes an admiralty court and has no jurisdiction over any case not arising under admiralty law.
Personally, I am increasingly drawn to the theory that fluoridated water or mad cow disease or some such thing is having an adverse effect on the American people. I am nearly certain that twenty years ago, the percentage of people in this country who were stark raving mad was much lower.
What I notice is the the noble idealism in all this.
Some person with basically a shiftless white trash attitude collects a bunch of expensive stuff, or vacations, bought on credit, and then tries to escape paying the debt because of an made up theory based on very minute differences in capitalization of words, or the obvious and natural fact that current US law does not correspond exactly to some fantasy version of Anglo Saxon common law, or whatever.
I believe in it even more fervently now, since I have some credit card debt I would prefer not to pay.
I thought it was to make a cloned army.
My dad’s saying, “Last week I couldn’t spell engineer, now I are one.”
yes, you would THINK there are more stupid now but this
explains why that is a fallacy!
Cargo cult is a better phrase than “fundamentalism” because fundamentalism implies that there’s some real there, there, textually speaking. This is really much more some kind of bizarre magical thinking in which a barely understood incantation, a repurposed ritual, or the “missing three first pages of the bible (constitution)” are thought to be the key to a total rearrangement of the social universe. Fundamentalists can be nutty but its not necessary to fundamentalism. But cargo cults are always crazy, and have this odd, “telephone” quality to them as bits and pieces of other crazinesses syncretically accrete to them.
The soveriegn citizens thing has been around a long time and it includes such weird “occult” beliefs as the “failed to ratify,” “secret documents,” “secret committee meetings,” “wrong fringe on the flag,” “Obama not sworn in properly”–there’s a fetishization of forms and forumlae and a conviction that if the modern citizen can only find the magical right set of words, or expose the wrong set of words, all can be set right. That’s cargo cult. Not fundamentalism.
Yes, the stark raving mad quotient increased significantly 18 years ago, when a Democrat was elected President.
Coincidence? (Note the italicization.)
I think Not.
I’ve been dealing with one of these. Seriously. The IRS slapped a levy on his ass for back taxes, and now he’s burying the HR dept in a blizzard of notarized forms purporting to show that he is a “Natural Person,” and not a “US Person,” and only “US Persons” are subject to income tax.
These were all actual forms, not just documents he dummied up himself — he got them from a website that was ordered to cease and desist years ago, but just scurried across the border and stayed in business.
Now the fun part — his actual job requires that he be a US citizen. So when he submitted sworn documents claiming he wasn’t one, the company didn’t have any choice — they fired him.
@scarshapedstar: That’s misinformation spread by the already controlled!
I’ve developed a theory, based on the fact that there must be a Baillife recognized under Anglo Saxon Law for any legal action to be enforceable.
I just held a hearing, with a real Baillife, appointed by Myself, and it found that all you Balloon Juice communists commenters owe me money. All of it. Please send it right away, or my Baillife will visit you and take it.
I am trying to be nice and understanding about this, so please just send the money so there is no unpleasantness involved.
I like this Sovereign Citizen stuff. It works out very well.
That’s a pretty fine distinction. Wait, let me get out my electron microscope …
[sounds of crate unpacking, dammit where’s the plug, electronic hum, knob fiddling, get your mind out of the gutter …]
Nope, still not seeing it.
@arguingwithsignposts: Unfortunately, the 9th Circuit still has the opportunity to continue the stay, according to TPM. It does deserve a hearty W00t! tho
@malraux: I guess this isn’t just limited to krazy Islamists after all.
It HAD to be the Bilderbergers.
@Omnes Omnibus: LOL. Oh, that just hit the printer! There are several engineers around here that resemble that “monograph”… But since I’m their boss, I have to be careful about how I share this…
You know who else capitalized the letters on nouns? HITLER, that’s who.
My David Icke Magic 8-ball says “Lizards”.
Of course, it always says “Lizards.”
But, but, but…the children!
Guys? Crazy Sovereign Citizen guys, are you listening? National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code were works of fiction. Real life doesn’t really work that way. Sorry.
@martha: The S-i-L loved the part about clothing.
Ok, engineer here…coupla things…
A lot of the personality traits that form successful engineers, also make them susceptible to this kind of stuff. First, intellectual arrogance, if it makes sense to me, it must be true. Secondly, absurd stubbornness (I have this one), this has already made sense to me, it’s settled I’m done. Thirdly, “binary” thinking. Usually, this is what allows engineers to be highly principled (and what salespeople hate about us). But, can also make us slaves to, as Bill Maher once said, being right, but no being correct. So, someone says that the Congress didn’t adjust in 17-whatever, in our mind, we think, that is true there was no official adjournment, so “technically” there has not been a legitimate Congress since. However, it also doesn’t “technically” make any damn difference in 2010. But, we will stubbornly hold on to it.
I won’t go into the dissertation that explains why these traits are great at work, but they are. In the political realm, not so much. It also explains why there aren’t many engineers in politics.
Computer Science isn’t even close to engineering and Computer Scientists are nothing like engineers.
Computer science majors usually get insulted when engineers say that CS isn’t engineering, but there is a simple reason why, Computer Science, therefore Computer Scientists, do not have allow for the laws of Physics when designing “things” in their discipline. But don’t worry, we give Industrial Engineers the same grief.
Also, speaking as a engineer, I’m saying that it is not an insult either. Computer Scientists are not constrained by the rigidity of thought that engineers are. Be thankful!
I hope I didn’t sound like a dick, I didn’t mean to.
Yeah, saw that. But apparently, the district judge said they probably don’t have standing. And – according to Adam B at the GOS – the 9th circuit appeal group that is in place atm is pretty liberal. If they refuse, it goes to … wait for it … Anthony Kennedy! Interesting times!
And another w00t!
@FormerSwingVoter: @Citizen Alan: I’m thinking it’s just early onset dementia in a percentage of the Baby Boom generation.
@elmo: That story made my day.
If ve vould kapitalize ze Nouns like good Dzermans ve vould not have deez Problems…
I tell ya, it all began falling apart with the mixup between the “f”s and “s”s. Darn you, Courier, darn you all to heck!
@trollhattan: Yeah, I was going to mention that jl didn’t have enough “f” in his demand for money from uf Balloon Juice commenterf, therefore, hif requeft if deemed wanting.
@Citizen Alan: @JGabriel: Nope, the stark raving mad quotient has always been there, and it’s remained fairly constant through out history. The difference is that the stark raving mad now have an easier time of disseminating their stark raving mad ideas.
Here are some examples. And that doesn’t even get into shit like the Free Masons, the Knights Templar, or most of the other religious conspiracy theories.
@aimai: Given that fundamentalism is primarily defined by rejection of modernity and idealization of a (usually unrealistic) past time, these sovereign citizens movements seem to fit that definition pretty well.
OK, I’ve been trying to read up on this particular conspiracy theory and I have to confess, it makes no fucking sense to me. Don’t most good conspiracy theories have to start with some grain of truth to them? This one seems like it was cooked up by a couple of morans high on meth; there’s no connection to reality. Is my tinfoil hat not on tight enough, or what?
@Comrade Kevin: I work with engineers all the time on Tinker AFB, and they’re a lot like doctors. They think that just because they know a lot about one field, that they must therefore know a lot about a lot of other fields.
Most of them aren’t fit to pour piss out of a boot with instructions written on the heel.
Actually…disregard what I said about engineers, what that article said will suffice…
@KDP: This case is not just politically interesting, but legally interesting. As Judge Walker noted, none of the state defendants have appealed, which means that an appeal by Prop. 8 proponents (who are intervenors, not defendants) will likely fail because they probably don’t have standing to appeal. And that means that they probably don’t have standing to ask for a stay. Meanwhile, the USSC conservatives (especially Scalia) have been on a decades-long jihad to restrict standing. It will, therefore, be a hoot to see what pretzel-shapes they will attempt to assume when the proponents ask them for a stay.
I wonder whether we’ll see another one-off Bush v. Gore-style decision. Remember “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities?” I suspect we’ll see a return visit.
Yup… the yellow fringe thing is part of the Sovereign Citizen mythos. Using ZIP codes also is a bugaboo, at least in some photocopied documents a SC group in Atlanta gave me back in 1993. Hmm, 1993, so the crazies have been around 20 years at least.
Not necessarily on topic, but I’ve listened to the Bush v. Gore oral arguments several times. I guess I’m a SCOTUS geek that way. Also, Rehnquist’s history of the court was a pretty appealing read, if I do say so.
In other words, every plot of every Ayn Rand novel.
“Werewolves of Wall Street” would, however, make a great name for a rock band.
@Citizen Alan: For defense of the idea that there were a bunch of crazies a few decades ago, look up some of the Satanism panics of the 70’s and 80’s. Like the idea that nerds in a basement were actually casting spells when playing DnD, or the massive involvement of many day care centers in Ritual Satanic Abuse.
But I just saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s and his hair was perfect.
I never suspect a Sure Thing.
@malraux: Or look at the current nontroversy over “digital drugs” (a.k.a. meditation videos).
@malraux: Or Paul is dead from a few years further back.
@Omnes Omnibus: Awooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
IIRC the guy who flew his airplane into the IRS building down in Texas was also a member of the sovereign citizen movement.
Funny how they come out of the woodwork when a Democrat is in the Oval Office. Didn’t hear anything about them when Bush 43 was President.
Fleas correct the era
I’d recommend reading Wm Lindsay Gresham’s “Nightmare Alley”, a frightening and deeply cynical novel published in 1946, in which one of the characters (a carnie talker) asserts that if you watch the crowd, you’ll see that whatever a talker may say, no matter how unlikely, about one person out of five will nod in agreement.
I don’t think the percentages have changed too much.
@Fleas correct the era: I think the accepted figure is now 27%.
@Fleas correct the era:
Yes, the Internet has just made them more visible – like light to cockroaches.
@JGabriel: Technically, according to the anthropologists, “fundamentalism” requires a written text (i.e., the Muslim fundamentalist recognition of Jews & Christians as fellow “People of the Book”). Usually the fundamentalists are pick-n-choose cut-&-pasting the text in question, but at the core of their faith is the idea that there is a final written specific text that answers all the questions of the Universe.
“Cargo cults”, on the other hand, are relatively unsophisticated tribalists whose small units of social cohension are being eroded (have been destroyed) by a traumatic introduction to a more technologically advanced culture.
So, here in Heartland America(tm), we have many self-identified fundamentalists whose traumatic introduction to the 21st century is sparking a form of cargo cult. Many of the good Christian fundamentalist engineers who believe in sovereign citizenship (or intelligent design, or climate change denialism) would angrily insist that they have nothing in common with a bunch of superstitious animists building plane effigies on a beach in New Guinea, because look! Many pages of stuff written down, with NUMBERS, too also! But most of us humans are, at best, one sufficiently traumatic personal event away from raw tribalism — some of us are just aware of our limitations.
Fleas correct the era
I shoulda said, the novel was based on a fair amount of interviewery and carnie experience. IIRC the line about one out of five agreeing with anything, no matter how weird, came from one of the people Gresham interviewed, but my R isn’t always C these days.
Yeah, for about 8 years there I’ve been saying that now it’s about 27%, close to one in four. Not too different though.
I’m kinda glad I don’t have a mailing list of those 300,000 or so, though. There’s a binary scam I’ve halfway-wanted to work for a long, long time, and sometime in the last decade my conscience got a bit rough-edged … it might make for some really hard choices.
For our american taliban the written text is the 200 year-old Constitution.
All muslims recognize the People of the Book.
The Prophet (SAW) directed us to.
Including jews and christians as congregants is a CSS evolutionary strategy to increase reps….like being immune to christian proselytization retains reps.
I think some engineers just had their lunch money and/or slide rules stolen by scientists in grade school and have devoted themselves to anti-science as a result.
A highly unscientific study of things posted on people’s doors at my school reveals that the applied computer science people lean liberal or leftist, the theoretical computer science people tend to be libertarians, and the “software engineering” department is a viper’s nest of wingnuts.
A similar rumor (that the Clinton administration passed a secret law called “NESARA” that gave everybody free money forever but that George Bush and the Lizard Men from Outer Space were blocking it) was going around quite a bit a few years ago. That sort of petered out around the time that Ron Paul started getting big. There a good documentary about a group of the true believers– it’s called “Waiting for NESARA”.
@malraux: Something about the set of abilities that makes an engineer seems to cause this; they see the world with no grey tones, everything has only 2 sides, of course they are on the one & only RIGHT side.
My spouse is a financial planner, engineers are his least favorite clients. They think they know everything, want ungodly amounts of details about any possible investment they ever might want to make, then bitch about paying for his time because “I knew all that already, read it on the Internet”. Sigh.
@freelancer: Wow. Mencken must have time-traveled & seen Glen Beck’s show.
Don’t forget that the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building in Texas harbored these beliefs. Joseph Andrew Stack left behind a 6 page manifesto that is discussed in the following article.
Digby did a better analysis but I couldn’t find it try as I might. The scheme that Stack fell victim to involved a California huckster who claimed that there was a way to avoid taxes by exploiting church tax exemptions in some arcane way. Digby’s article had a cool link to a Time article from the 70’s that was eye opening. In reading it it became clear that these folks aren’t new on the scene but what seems to set the teabaggers apart, or really what unifies them, is the virulent racial subtext.
There was a thing going around in the 1990s shortwave / militia right about how the only legal government authority in the nation is the county sheriff, so you could basically defy everyone else.
Part of the notion is that if you believe such things, and then you call the evil federal conspirators and tell them you know your rights, then they will comply and now fear you as a stern, powerful, independent sovereign citizen.
Basically they believe in magic spells.
Of course it’s the Post Office. Just read your Pynchon. He’s been in hiding ever since he started to reveal the mysteries in The Crying of Lot 49. For further details, see Gravity’s Rainbow (passim but between the lines, natch).
@Comrade Kevin, RareSanity: There should be a Dunning – Kruger corollary that states “certain groups of educated people are inclined to believe their elevated expertise extends beyond their field on knowledge.” I’m an engineer among scientists (research lab) and it’s always surprising how many scientists will admit they don’t know something while many engineers will insist they do.
@Anne Laurie: do you think, Annie Laurie….that possibly a lot of the problem with the industrial strength islamophobia in america …..is just that americans have a very minimal understandering of al-Islam?
For example…….the great majority of muslims don’t really give a shit if christians want to believe in the jesus godhead.
we do, however, care a great deal that christians want to MAKE us believe in it too.
My pet dragon has the Masonic symbol on its tail.
@PaulW: Doesn’t everyone’s? Don’t act like you are special.
Not that they care what it actually says.
BTW, it occurs to me that “sovereign citizen” is an oxymoron.
oh and nice title ref to magical thinking.
i think conservatives are a lot like ghost dancers also.
but what are their ghost shirts to immunize them against the demographic timer?
@gnomedad: like islamic fundamentalists that cannot read the arabic of the Qur’an, the teabaggers just grant magical attributes to their sacred text.
the islamic fundies want to go back to the glory days of the Caliphate, the teatards want to return to when the electorate was white male protestant landholders.
My dad was an engineer (and a republican). I think engineers tend to think of things as consisting as a series of parts. if you put all the right parts in then it works. An internally consistent conspiracy theory has all the “right parts” fitting correctly, so it must be true.
As a historian I’ll happy say “I dunno” when confronted with a science question, but I’ve met more than one engineer that thinks they’re an expert on history because “they’ve read a lot.” I like reading popular science magazines (I’ve subscribed to “Discover” for years) but it just reminds me that there is a hell of a lot out there that I don’t know.
Considering the banks-own-us-all angle in this conspiracy, that these same people would more than likely balk at a megabank breakup spree as if it were some commie plot is hilarious.
Yes, they largely think themselves a clever bunch.
Yeah, but rejection of modernity doesn’t mean totally stupid. The Amish reject modernity but don’t necessarily subscribe to any weird beliefs about, say, the US government. Fundamentalists want to return to a better time, and a better reading of foundational texts, but they can have a perfectly good understanding of why things are the way they are today. Cargo Cults are different–historically/semantically they refer to Cult like behaviors and group think that are based on a fundamental *misunderstanding* of another tradition. Not your own tradition, not your own language, not your own scripture. They also generally inclue a “missing step.” The classic cargo cult was actually a cargo cult. After US soldiers and their planes left a pacific island and its technologically primitive inhabitants behind they built a mock plane and worshipped it, hoping that it would again bring cargo/goods from off island. Its that aspect of cargo cult that seems to be at issue here. These guys don’t understand (choose not to understand) things like how laws change, the difference between statute and common law, the existence of a regularized way to get from one law to another, and also stare decisis. Rejecting all this they see the law, and politics, as a set of markers, or goal posts, or symbols that can be manipulated by anyone if he knows the magic words. That’s not fundamentalism. That’s magical thinking and cargo cult like thinking.
@Comrade Kevin: I’ve had somewhat related experience with a minority of engineers. EEs and MEs seem to be the worst. It’s not that I think that they’re stupid, it’s more that once they get it in their heads that some process should work in some specific way, it consumes them. They never get over it if it turns out that the process doesn’t work to their expectation, or doesn’t work at all.
Didn’t Limballs publish a book entitled “The way things SHOULD be?”
Well, these engineers are his readership.
Ooops, should have read through all the comments to see that Anne Laurie beat me to it. What she said.
As a lawyer, even faced with legal questions, my instinct is to say that I will research it and get back to the person. Or, if that’s not feasible, to offer an opinion based on likelihoods and possibilities, you know, weasel words. To me, the urge for instant certainty is not there. I do not want to generalize about how other lawyers may approach things, but that’s my take.
Thank you, aimai. That was wonderfully incisive. I think that this view of the law is fairly widespread. Over the years, I have seen a large number of legal documents filed by non-lawyers (during my time as a federal clerk, I worked on hundreds of habeas cases), and almost all of them relied on totemistic use of Latin tags or legal phrases without regard for the applicability of the term. I had never thought of it in terms of magical thinking before. Interesting.
Check out Basil Marceaux who recently dropped out in his bid for Governor of TN this past week. He’s a “fringer”.
All of Wonkette’s coverage on this is priceless.
Red State Update also interviewed Marceaux:
whoo doggies (as Jed Clampett would say).
I miss Zevon.
Bah, humbug. You clearly don’t understand the secret, italicized, meaning of Coincidence? that makes all objections irrelevant.
@freelancer: I love Menckin. He could jack slap like no other man on earth.
For Tax Protester and Sovereign Citizen tracking and mockery, I highly recommend the delightfully dry wit of the boys over at Quatloos.com.
@Anne Laurie: Fair enough, though it seems to imply that the only distinction between fundamentalism and cargo cults is whether one is a product of a literate or orally based society.
Jay in Oregon
That link is way broken.
Basil Marceaux Is Your New, Even Better Ernest J. Pagels, Jr.
Hmm, this objection to my lumping together cargo cults and fundamentalism (which, by the way, was really just meant as joke) seems more solid.
That said, there are still similarities that one can point to, such as fundamentalist interpretations of Revelations based on a misunderstanding of its political context, and the culture and times in which it was written – or, for that matter, most of European and American Christianity as a misunderstanding of religious teachings in a 2000 year old mid-eastern society transplanted into a pagan one. (Is that a camel or a rope you’ve got there?)
I’ll take a stab at it if I think I might know, but put all sorts of warnings on it, and then I go look it up as best I can. If I have no idea I say so.
We’ve actually had people come into the office trying to get us to sue the feds on the basis that they are sovereign citizens and not subject to blah blah blah. Or people who have money judgments against them who want to argue that the creditor should seek indemnity against the feds, because the 16th Amendment actually means that all private debts against sovereign citizens are guaranteed by the federal government. It’s crazy even within the context of the argument they’re trying to make. Basically I’ve boiled it down to trying to find a way to get out of paying child support.
P.S. The allusion to the camel or rope controversy is merely to point out that if such a simple translation error can persist for hundreds of years, one wonders what other, more subtle, errors also persist.
@JGabriel: well this is WRONG
is that what confused you?
that is not a “fundamentalist recognition”.
it is something all the Ummah believe, not just the fundies.
I don’t know how surprising it should be that scientists would admit to not knowing something. The essence of science is finding answers to previously unanswered questions. It’s a lot less embarrassing to admit that you don’t know something if your whole career is built on the idea that there are lots of things that nobody knows.
The cost of falsely claiming knowledge is also potentially high. Science is also about sharing newly found knowledge, which requires explaining it in detail. If you claim to know something, there’s a chance that you’ll be asked to explain it to somebody who doesn’t. Admitting you don’t know something may be embarrassing, but publicly showing your ignorance after claiming knowledge is humiliating.
The Other Chuck
Basil dropped out? Normally I’d cry a little at the loss of entertainment, but his videos flipped that rusty empathy switch in me to where I genuinely felt bad for the guy. To not mince words, he seems genuinely mentally retarded, and he was probably being manipulated by some hucksters egging him on.
Omnes Omnibus @30
So who was it? Steve Guttenberg? The Martians?
As a rule, I find engineers to be idiot savants. Same with accountants, but that’s another story
isn’t it remarkable how some one who is a skilled writer can slip the mask and show bigotry and prejudice?
i wonder why the author chose that particular doctrine to make a fundamentalist comparison….
does she perhaps resent it?
that islam co-opted christians and jews with a universalist doctrine?
the People of the Book is actually a universalist, liberal doctrine.
the anti-thesis of fundamentalist doctrines which are exclusionary.
@matoko_chan: I’m an animist; I only care about the “Book” religions when their adherents decide to try interfering politically / socially with my freedom or that of my fellow non-Book-believers. Since non-fundamentalist Muslims presumably don’t intend to try enforcing sharia on the rest of us, I haven’t made time in my schedule to worry about what y’all are up to, theologically. The American Talivangelicals — Muslim, Jewish, and Christian — are forever up in society’s grill, so I keep an eye on them just for safety’s sake.
You may well have some theologically incorrect ideas about shamanism, but as long as you don’t try to legislate how I practice my animism, it’s not my business to follow you around and nag about the finer points of the journey between world levels, okay?
@The Other Chuck: Basil didn’t drop out; the primary was Tuesday. He came in last.
@Anne Laurie: but that was just shockingly wrong. do you not understand what fundamentalism is?
the People of the Book is an anti-fundamentalism doctrine.
it is liberal and inclusive…..it says, everyone is a muslim, we all believe in the same god.
are you saying you don’t understand fundamentalism?
because that is what your statement reflects.
in america, that cannot be done, and you know it.
however, there are 100,000 troops in afghanistan right now
proselytizingimplanting western-style democracy.
And there are oh, say, 150,000 dead muslims in Iraq that were unsuccessfully proselytized.
@matoko_chan: I am generally sympathetic to many of your points, but many times it seems like when you discuss Islam you are discussing what you (and certainly many others) conclude it ought be, without recognizing that many others have wildly different interpretations. Which, of course, is the very nature of religions here on Earth, as opposed to some Platonic imagined reality.
I ran across the ‘sovereign citizens’ (along w/ assorted other nutcases in a gun club I was in (tales for later telling) back in the late 70’s/early80’s. Enlightening and entertaining. Also, dealing w/ engineers- the idea that they ‘understood’ everything was predicated on their ‘knowing’ everything was a joy to behold. I suffer no fools, and find humor in others’ idiocy. ‘Idiot savant’ is a fitting assessment, more idiot than savant, though.
As a civil engineer, it bothers me that many of my civil engineering brethren are taken in by these stupid schemes. Civil engineering requires a college education heavy on math, science & critical thinking.
I think you’re confusing the adjective fundamentalist with the proper noun (or maybe Anne did); admittedly, phrasing it as fundamental recognition would have been a little less ambiguous.
@JGabriel: SHE SAID
how about she says she was WRONG?
@El Cid: dude, ima muslim. i post on muslim blogs, i network with real live muslims– we argue about this shit alla time.
i think i know what im talking about.
i think the west is pretty ignorant about Islam.
check out what Anne Laurie just said.
the sun is setting so i can go eat and drink naow.
Stuck in the Funhouse
@Anne Laurie: I’m a Reformed Druid, or that is my religion, and it’s simple tenets sound a fair amount like you animists.
One of the many ways in which the object of Man’s search for religious truth can be found is through Nature.
Nature, being one of the primary concerns in Man’s life and struggle, and being one of the objects of Creation, is important to Man’s spiritual quests.
I also follow the gnostic Thomas, or the hippie apostle. But I haven’t figured out fully, wtf he was trying to say. Other than something like we, or living creatures, are like antennas that capture the force of creation, or somesuch.
In Connecticut, we had Irvin Schiff. He has an approach to federal taxes that has some similarities to the sovereign citizens. He is more sophisticated but at the root there is this sense of rearranging the words to make the problem vanish.
A decent write-up at Wikipedia, for those who never heard of him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irwin_Schiff
His website is revealing: http://www.paynoincometax.com/
Scroll past the government text to his rebuttal. Yikes.
Also on the site:
His son just lost his bid in the state Republican primary for senator. The wrestling matriarch beat him. Crazy world.
The new “belief” comes from Peter Hendrickson, author of “Cracking the Code”. He uses an incredibly perverse definition of the word “includes” to interpret the tax code to only apply to federal employees.
He is now in jail, and the IRS is auditing, prosecuting, and fining those who took him seriously and filed “zero returns”.
The summary here of the “sovereign” movement leaves out a great deal. It is “legal fundamentalism”, but it largely relies on very old legal books, archaic pleadings and “common law” that no longer is recognised in modern courts. Sovereigns also put forth the odd belief that they have no last name, and that any court documents, summons, judgements, etc. that show their names in capital letters (as most do) do not really refer to them, but rather their “straw man”.
An example of the truly incomprehensible legal filings can bew found here.
I especially liked how this guy used 3 notaries public to create a “judgement” awarding him $1.8 million, by way of a “CERTIFICATE OF FOREIGN JUDGMENT”. The judges who encounter these deranged individuals with their densely-worded ‘affidavits” and “notices” are often completely baffled.
For those interested in digging deeper into this bizarre world, see the discussion forums at http://quatloosia.blogspot.com/
joe from Lowell
Yes. I had a roommate who wanted to run off and join the Freemen back then.
Crazy mofo. Lotsa DUIs. Owned this Italian street sweeper. A street sweeper is a semi-automatic weapon that fires shot gun shells from a magazine.
He once told me, “People like me, and there are people like me all across America, are going to rise up against the niggers, and the queers, and the Jews, and the people like you!”
joe from Lowell
So, in other words, El Cid is right, and you don’t have the authoritative explanation of Islam and Muslims, any more than anyone else.
@joe from Lowell:
Well, duh. She wears me out with that arrogant posturing.
i see wat u did thar
@Omnes Omnibus: Confession: I have a PE. But I also have an MS in Planning. I see some of what everyone is talking about in my engineering colleagues. I believe the MS has saved me from follies. You will not hear a greater volume of weasel words from a lawyer than you will hear from me when I put together a “30% Concept Design” for some bit of infrastructure or another.
And when it comes to reporting computer modeling results, nothing but nothing is cast in concrete.
Garbage In, Gospel Out. The Modeler’s Creed.
What you have to realize about engineers is that a lot of us are Aspies (which is modern psychspeak for “geeks”, pretty much). Highly intelligent, highly organized, no people skills. It makes us easy prey for hucksters and shysters.
There was a con artist who made thousands of dollars off each of several Caltech undergrads over the course of a couple of years by pulling a really simple con – talk the mark into a small loan, then come back and tell progressively scarier stories about loan sharks coming after him – and then his mark – to get the rest of the money he supposedly owes.
Being really good at math, or science, or any other specialized field does not make you good at spotting cons. Highly specialized people tend to be trusting – they recognize within their own profession the value of honesty and the brutal and immediate consequences of dishonesty/error, so they don’t stop to realize that’s not the case for most forms of human interaction.
@Gina: Actually, it could be explained by an infection: “Cat parasite Toxoplasma may cause mental illness in humans.”
@matoko_chan: I have no idea how you think your response had anything whatsoever to do with what I wrote.
It’s pretty funny that this is suddenly news. I read this story back in 2008.
It talks all about the situation, and for the record, Annie summarized it incorrectly.
wallah, im living it. Islam, like xianity or judaism or buddhism or hinduism is many things. in america, people like you and Anne Laurie seem to think it is all islamic fundamentalists. they are few.
you think we should “reform them”. i think you should work in your own garden, candide. There are plenty of christofascists and pretrib fundies right here in the US, and they have been running this country– Bush was a WEC for cripes sake….that caused the deaths of 6000 american soljahs and the expense of over a trillion dollars for his religious idiocy.
the thing is this….we do not agree with killing innocents….but the hirgabi (brigands) have a point that you continue to miss. the reason terrorism happens is endless big white christian bwana meddling. from the crusades and the British Raj to Operation Ajax and OIF westerners come to MENA to terraform islamic culture.
and it can’t be done.
In 2006 at the height of sectarian violence the Iraqi people were experiencing a 911 every week on a population of 27 million. One out of every 200 Iraqi people died during OIF. Because Bush was too stupid to get that when muslims can vote, they will vote for shariah.
it doesn’t matter that you think shariah is bad or wrong.
they will still vote for it.
because of cultural evolution al-Islam is fairly immune to western/christian proselytization in situ.
and there is a cost for the endless meddling of the west. there were whole madrassas of deobandis started just to fight the british Raj.
You want muslims to be moderate….that means, westernized.
Me and my cohort are not that. We are liberal muslims. granted we are few, but we are growing. you don’t know anything of trends in dar ul Islam. for example….do you know the neo-mutazhili school in Pakistan is having a resurgence under Dr. Ghamidi?
Do you even know who the neo-mutazhili are?
you think Islam is all terrorists and carbombs.
but after killing so muslims over the years while trying to bring them the glories of western civ, including missionaries, blue jeans and democracy/whiskey/sexy, one would think we would just give up.
but we go right ahead, keep on pouring blood and treasure into a bottomless pit. we will never get the outcome we tried to impose, western style democracies in MENA. the substrate is all islamic.
eventually we will take our broken teeth and and our empty purse and go home to be chinese serfs. maybe our new masters will let us send christian missionaries there. :)
@Bella Q: run along twilight and suck some necks.
How about…… instead of telling me (a muslim) that i don’t know what Islam is, we agree that Anne Laurie said something stupid that proves she doesn’t know what Islam is?
Why is that so hard?
there were whole madrassas of deobandis started just to fight the british Raj….
now there are whole madrassas of hanafis and salafis started to fight the American Raj.
and it won’t stop, and we can’t “win”.
Can we go home NAOW?
Sounds really crazy, and it is, but this society is all crazy all the time. Didn’t some court recently find that you only have the right to remain silent if you affirm it to police? Good God, this stuff is small potatoes compared to the government assassinating us. I can’t deny any outlandish theory out of hand anymore. Not after hearing that.
Which is itself crazy, considering people probably said similar things after Lincoln and Roosevelt and, who was it, Truman with the Alien and Sedition Act? I guess it takes a lot of evil to break down the propaganda, but I think I’ve got rid of it now.
You know, matoko, my darling. I’m really starting to regret ever having used the phrase “in situ”.
It has now become your meme of the month.
Promise me you’ll never say in situ again, even in situ.
i didn’t get it from you.
i took it from Dr. Atran.
Whatever. I’ll probably regret this too:
Article about Sufism in Asia times.
@THE: yes you will.
because Ataturk changed the alphabet to disconnect the turkish muslims from their heritage when he imposed Kemalist occidentalism as a dictator/tyrant.
fucking western culture chauvinists.
Turkey is going to be an islamic republic like Iran when Erdogan gets through with it.
Since the heritage is mostly superstition, is it worth preserving?
Wouldn’t they be better dumping their religious heritage and becoming secular rationalists like the Chinese? After all, it’s the Chinese that are going to thrash us if they keep advancing at 10% per annum.
I find China much more impressive today than anything in the Muslim world. Unless you go back centuries.
I worry about China, but I also respect China.
Their rapid scitech progress fascinates me.
Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
“Hmmm. That a civil engineer—somebody I would ordinarily take to be pretty smart—wouldn’t see the problems here really makes me [email protected]Bulworth:
Engineers not only are overrepresented amongst wingnutz, they’re also *way* overrepresented amongst the “get your forehead on the carpet infidel, let’s bomb our way to Islamic paradise” crowd.
See “Engineers of Jihad” by two Oxford academics (Gamboa and Hertog).
look……my objection is that we are still beating Basil’s car in MENA.
it doesn’t matter what you think, Islam is proofed against “implanting western-style democracy”. No matter what anyone thinks of shariah and hijab it will never happen. Islam is immune to judeoxian democracy, because it was immunized against proselytization in the beginning.
we are pouring blood and treasure down a rathole.
my foolish hope is if i can educate the smarter westernculture chauvinists like Anne Laurie and El Cid to understand the mechanisms of evo theory and EGT that possibly…..just possibly they will advocate stopping beating Basil’s car.
we cannot “win” in Afghanistan. we can never “win”.
all i want is to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Can we go home NAOW?
Again with this shit.
ETA: in case you haven’t noticed – muslims in the U.S. can vote.
@arguingwithsignposts: refute it retard or quit complaining.
Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
“@Anne Laurie: I’m a Reformed Druid, or that is my religion, and it’s simple tenets sound a fair amount like you animists.”
OK, I’m going to pick a fight: I have a hard time with neo-Druids (with neo-paganism in general, but especially with Druidism), given that we have no, repeat no, idea what the liturgy of ancient Druidism is save that, according to Caesar, burning people in wicker structures was involved. And a few anecdotes from Pliny or Herodotus (and Heredotus was prone to Making A Lot of Shit Up). It’s the consequence of ancient Druidism being solely an oral tradition. Not much has even survived from the Fili (bards).
No Celtic creation myth, no idea of the cosmology. [There’s some cracking great yarns in Celtic mythology, but not much for the basis of a theology.]
Basically, it seems to me neo-Druidism owes more to a bunch of Victorian welsh eccentrics and Advanced D&D than it does to actual ancient Druidism. So why call it Druidism?
wallah…no correction forthcoming from Anne Laurie?
how is this blog different from HotAir?
I just did, fucker. BTW, tyranny of the majority isn’t a Christianist idea.
But I agree with that matoko.
If only because the West has no hope to keep up with industrializing Asia, if it doesn’t disentangle itself from the liability of its Islamic wars.
They are a dangerous distraction.
oh we aren’t talking about the US. did you miss that or are you being deliberately disingenuous?
I was talking about GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN you fucking retard.
can’t you read?
dumbass, i said, IN SITU.
@arguingwithsignposts: no you didn’t retard boi. That WEC assclown Bush didnt get that muslims will vote for shariah in Iraq and Afghanistan….so standing up western democracy is pointless. His smarter advisors knew that, and just exploited Bush’s stupid religion and low IQ to advance their own goals with a wartime economy and a wartime electorate. Bush is dumb as a stump. Rummie capped his briefing slides during Gulf II with bible verses.
In america we have freedom of religion. muslims MIGHT vote for shariah here….people can vote for snakehandlers and mormons and scientologists if they want. …and WEC presidents that nearly destroy america too i guess.
Which is not a WEC idea. Get that through your fuckin’ head. (although it was promoted by Roger Williams, who was so pure even the Mass. Puritans couldn’t stand his ass).
Again, tyranny of the majority. Answer that one.
Well, we agree on one/two things at least.
what are you talking about?
representative government came from the Enlightenment and the Ancients.
Im sayin Our Pre-emptive Wars of Proselytization came largely from having a low IQ WEC president.
And that those wars are unwinnable, because islamic cultures have been immunized against christian proselytization from the start.
The founders and framers weren’t WECs…..they were oldskool anglo-saxon protestants and deists.
What ARE you trying to say?
I’m not talking Christianist proselytization. I’m talking freedom of religion in practice. Does Sharia allow that? Doesn’t matter what people will vote for. Tyranny of the majority – enlightenment concept, which, IIRC, was a bunch of old white guys.
wallah…..of course not….that is my whole argument.
shariah is part of islamic defenses AGAINST christian proselytization.
it prevents ingroup conversions in the CSS (culturally stable strategy).
In the time of the Prophet (SAW) christian People of the Book were welcome to live in islamic cities and nation-states…..they just couldn’t proselytize.
Harsh punishment for apostasy also evolved as a counter-strategy to christian proselytization.
Look aws, it doesn’t matter that you think shariah is “bad”. it is what muslims will vote for when they get to vote in MENA. You are making the same mistake Bush made, thinking western judeoxian culture is superior.
It is not, in situ.
there is no substrate to support it in Afghanistan and Iraq.
look at this PEW study.
muslims like Islam, and they will vote for shariah.
wallah….seems pretty obvious.
And you are making the mistake that freedom of religious practice was voted on, and that it is part of judeoxian “culture.” Look at the recent shit about the cultural center near ground zero – if tyranny of the majority was the way we did things, there would be no mosques.
In this one instance (i.e., freedom of religion), you can blow it out your ass and move back to MENA if you think it’s so great.
But the Bush Doctrine and COIN are wholly viewed by muslims as christian proselytization. Granted, those two doctrines are proselytizing quasi-secular western-style democracy, not pure christianity, but the locals don’t see the difference.
That is why the Taliban killed the toothbrush doctors, they saw them as missionaries.
Yes, and the Taliban are so interested in muslims voting.
im an amerimuslimah.
mashallah, i get to stay here.
you are making the same mistake Bush made. there is no reason that muslims would welcome “freedom of religion”. they view western attempts to “benevolently” terraform their culture as proselytization and missionariism, and like i pointed out, they have been immunized already.
@arguingwithsignposts: the Taliban see themselves as resisting the American Raj.
you are certainly welcome to try to convince them otherwise.
they are currently pwning the coalition forces, 30k talis to 430k afghan/coalition forces.
they must have SOME local support.
Yes, if you consider fear “support.”
I never said you didn’t get to stay here, but you seem awful willing to let your religious compatriots (i.e., women) suffer under Sharia.
Hey, put up or shut up.
There is no reason for Christianist Americans to welcome “freedom of religion” either, idiot.
of course they don’t. but the judiciary enforces freedom of religion in this country. in islamic culture, the lawyers are the clergy, and vice versa. there is only islamic jurisprudence and islamic scholarship.
universities are islamic, not secular…that is what i mean about no substrate to support a westernstyle quasi-secular democracy. Bush would have had to build secular law schools and wait 50 years or so for secularism to penetrate the judiciary.
Bush was a WEC….that doesn’t mean he endorsed freedom of religion…..it means he thought his culture/religion was superior and muslims would naturally adopt it.
that is what evangelism is.
you are a western culture evangelist as well.
the problem is that american invasion and occupation have made it a lot worse for muslimahs. you aren’t helping…you are making it worse.
prolly roughly half of the 150k Iraqi civilian dead were muslimahs.
go “help” some one else please.
and…..is that the mission? free muslimahs from the tyranny of shariah?
the warpimps are punking you again, retard.
Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
We’re too busy having a christian-versus-muslim flamewar for me to gin up a successful neopagan-versus-agnostic flamewar.
@Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan: lets have a western culture chauvinist vs. machiavellian pragmatist flamewar instead.
im speaking as a pragmatist, not a muslim.
WTF are we doing there?