Epitaph for Salon and Pam Geller’s Discredited Rick Perry Meme

By No-Name Asshat (aka David Stein)

Okay, I promised I wouldn’t devote any more time to Pam Geller’s completely false claim that Rick Perry forced Texas public schools to use a “pro-Sharia” curriculum. But there’s something about being called a “no-name asshat” that makes a man want to take to his keyboard…to update his Facebook page with that amazing new nickname (to me, “No-Name Asshat” conjures up images of Clint Eastwood’s “man with no name” character from Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns…a gunslinger with no past, no name, and an asshat).

But seriously, I wouldn’t be writing any more about this matter had Geller (and Robert Spencer) not viciously attacked Ace of Spades, Commentary, and RedState for their positive coverage of my “Rick Perry pro-Sharia” debunking. The Geller/Spencer attacks were so vicious and unwarranted, I thought it was only right to devote one more post to the subject (a post that I sincerely hope will serve as a timeline of, and epitaph for, a discredited meme).

August 10: Salon.com’s Justin Elliott ran a piece titled “Rick Perry: The Pro-Sharia Candidate?” Note the clever question mark. Elliott insinuated that Perry’s involvement with the Muslim Histories and Culture Project (MHCP), in association with the Aga Khan Foundation (which represents Ismaili Muslims), might become a problem for the governor among the “anti-Sharia crowd.”

August 15: Pam Geller takes the bait. Based on no evidence except the Salon piece, she breathlessly proclaimed that Rick Perry is using his “enormous power” to “feed children in Texas public schools” whitewashed, pro-Sharia materials (remember the underlined sentence – it’ll become relevant later on).

August 16: After a little research, I located the MHCP lesson plan that is intended for use in Texas public schools, and I interviewed its author, a retired history teacher named Ronald Wiltse. Wiltse, a self-described Christian Zionist and staunch supporter of Israel, volunteered for the MHCP program, completed the training sessions, and submitted a lesson plan, which was accepted. Wiltse’s lesson plan was the only one on the MHCP website.

Wiltse’s lesson plan is pro-West, pro-Israel, anti-Sharia, and it strongly highlights Muslim terror (even stressing the connection between Muslim terror and the Muslim religion). Wiltse told me that the training session for the program included no proselytizing or coercion to create a “pro-Islam” lesson plan.

August 19: Salon’s Elliott runs another piece, “Does Rick Perry Have a Porn Problem?” (again, notice that clever little question mark), suggesting that Perry might be “pro-porn” (in 1995, he invested between $5,000 and $10,000 in the then-huge video and game rental chain Movie Gallery…and Movie Gallery had some PORN TITLES in its massive catalog!).

It’s crystal clear what Elliott is doing; he’s purposely trying to stir up anti-Perry sentiment among the GOP’s conservative base, first by trying to whip up the “anti-Sharia crowd,” and then by setting his sights on anti-porn conservatives.

August 19: Elliott emails me (in response to an email I sent him, asking for proof of the existence of a Rick Perry/Aga Khan “pro-Sharia” curriculum). Elliott’s response is telling:

“My piece was merely pointing out that Perry had an unusually warm relationship with Muslims as compared to the Cains and Santorums of the field. The particulars of the curriculum are irrelevant.”

Chew on that for a moment. “The particulars of the curriculum are irrelevant.” In other words, Elliott asked the question, “Rick Perry: the pro-Sharia candidate?” but the answer didn’t concern him! The answer is “irrelevant” to him. He didn’t CARE if there’s a “pro-Sharia” curriculum. He didn’t CARE to know anything at all about the curriculum.

His intent was not to investigate or explore the claim that Perry might have helped launch a pro-Sharia curriculum. His intent was merely to whip certain members of the “anti-Sharia crowd” into a frenzy.

And BOY was he happy with the results. He bragged to me about how many of the “anti-Sharia” bloggers he managed to rile up:

“As for the reaction of the anti-Shariah crowd, you don’t think multiple columns by Pam Geller, Robert Spencer, and WND represent a trend? That’s about 3/4s of the movement right there, with the remaining 1/4 represented by (Frank) Gaffney, who has dissented.”

August 22: I published another piece in response to Geller’s attempted refutation of my first one. Geller couldn’t deny the anti-Sharia nature of the lesson plan, so she misrepresented excerpts from the abstracts (summaries) of the teacher training seminars, and claimed that they are being “forced upon unsuspecting students attending Texas public schools.” It’s an absolute lie. The teacher training seminars (the ones that Ron Wiltse completed) were not intended for, nor attended by, ANY children in Texas public schools.

By this point in the debate, Geller had resorted to just making stuff up.

August 23: Robert Spencer jumped into the fray with a “refutation” of my previous pieces. He posted it on his site, Geller’s site, and as a comment on my site.

August 24: I refuted Spencer’s “refutation.” Regarding the “Rick Perry pro-Sharia curriculum” issue, Spencer accepts that what Geller published were indeed abstracts describing the teacher training sessions, NOT lessons to be used in classrooms. But he argued that the abstracts “whitewash” various facts from the historical record.

I replied that it is illogical to claim that the training sessions involve “whitewashing” based only upon reading the abstracts (summaries). Abstracts are, by definition, not exhaustive. If the abstracts included every single detail, every single aspect, every single word of the training sessions, they wouldn’t be abstracts. A 6’4” midget is not a midget. An exhaustive, all-inclusive, detailed paper is not an abstract.

I reminded Spencer that the only way to find out what is actually taught at the sessions is to speak with someone who completed them, as I did with Mr. Wiltse.

Let’s pause at August 24th to sum up where things stood regarding the Perry “pro-Sharia” curriculum: I had published the actual classroom lesson plan. Geller had attempted to rebut that by publishing excerpts from the summaries of the teacher training courses (which were NOT used in any classrooms). Spencer agreed that the abstracts were not the in-class materials, but he expressed concerns that they whitewashed history, and, therefore, might negatively influence the teachers who take the course. I responded that it was impossible to tell, based on the summaries, what was included or excluded from the sessions, but A) Ron Wiltse had completed the sessions, and he told me that they were not slanted toward Islam or against the West, and B) Wiltse’s classroom lesson plan, which was accepted by the MHCP, was most definitely not slanted in favor of Islam or Sharia.

What seemed to be dead and buried was Geller’s false assertion that the Perry/Khan Foundation agreement resulted in pro-Sharia materials being used in Texas public school classrooms. Spencer had given up on that meme, and I assumed it was gone for good. Spencer and I would have to agree to disagree about the other stuff, but the “Sharia in the classroom” fable was dead. Commentary, Ace of Spades, and RedState all reported on the demise of the myth.

Which really, really pissed Pam Geller off! How dare anyone allow something as irrelevant as facts kill off her meme (well, technically it was Salon’s meme…but Pam is the one who ran with it).

On August 26 and 27, she posted again. Amazingly, she was still shrilly insisting that the abstracts of the training sessions had been used in Texas public school classrooms:

“The real question is, should our children be taught this steaming pile of propaganda? I would not want that dawah taught to my children in public school.” (8/26)

“So imagine my surprise when these big blogs went postal when I exposed Rick Perry’s dangerous dawah in the Texas public schools.” (8/27)

Interestingly, Spencer, who also posted on the 27th, just couldn’t bring himself to lie as boldly as Geller did. He readily admitted the truth: “The material Geller quoted, on the other hand, with its multiple whitewashes of the Qur’an, Muhammad, and Islamic history, comes from the Harvard/University of Texas curriculum for the training of teachers using the Perry/Aga Khan material” (emphasis mine). Yes, he still claims that he can magically deduce from reading only the abstracts that the training sessions were “whitewashed,” but at least he willingly admits that the materials Geller posted were NOT classroom materials.

In other words, Geller’s lying – even according to her friend and supporter Robert Spencer!

Spencer, while not willing to commit to a lie of the magnitude of Geller’s, still managed to indulge in some fancy fabrications. He claimed that the Wiltse lesson plan is “among the lesson plans developed by the 80 teachers who attended these (teacher training) sessions.” And does he present evidence? Of course not! Yes, the MHCP site claims that 80 teachers attended the training sessions. But nowhere – nowhere – does it claim that all 80 followed through with writing lesson plans. The simple fact is, Ron Wiltse’s lesson plan was the ONLY complete lesson plan on the MHCP site. If Spencer thinks there are 79 more, let him find them and publish them (you know, to show…oh, damn, what’s that thing called…oh yeah, “proof”).

Spencer also indulged in one of the most bafflingly nonsensical contortions of logic that I have ever read:

“The material David Stein and Ace are quoting as the Perry/Aga Khan curriculum is not actually part of the curriculum at all. What they’re quoting is a lesson plan drawn up by one participant in the seminars that Perry and the Aga Khan sponsored in Texas.”

This entire debate started because Geller insisted there were pro-Sharia materials being used in the classrooms of Texas public schools as a result of the Perry/Khan agreement. And now Spencer is claiming that the Wiltse lesson plan is irrelevant because it is classroom material drawn up as a result of the Perry/Khan agreement.

I mean…wasn’t that the whole point? To find out what was actually being used in the classrooms? And now that’s irrelevant? This entire controversy was about whether pro-Sharia materials that were created as a result of the MHCP were being used in Texas public schools. And now Spencer, knowing that his buddy Geller has been lying, declares that the materials used in the schools as a result of the MHCP are irrelevant.

Robert Spencer doesn’t make me want a stiff drink – I’d have wanted one anyway. But he will be responsible for my second one.

Pam Geller is a liar. I’m not going to dignify her insults to Ace, Commentary, and RedState by repeating them here. But I sure as hell will repeat the insult she directed toward me! In her August 27 post, she called me a “no-name asshat trying to make his bones on this controversy.” Now, I could respond to that idiotic slur by reminding her that I was getting conservative op-eds published in the L.A. Times long before the word “blog” was ever coined. I could do that, but I won’t (see what I did there?).

Instead, I will thank Ms. Geller for making my weekend with that wonderful nickname! My friends and I have had too much fun laughing at it. In my social circle, it’s already taken on a life of its own…you might say, it’s become our own personal meme.

These days, that’s Ms. Geller’s strength; creating colorful, ridiculous memes. And while I’m happy to demolish the one she created about Rick Perry, I’m pleased-as-punch to embrace the one she created for me!

Sincerely,

No-Name Asshat

Comments
16 Responses to “Epitaph for Salon and Pam Geller’s Discredited Rick Perry Meme”
  1. Albert Wasserman says:

    Dear “No-Name Asshat,”

    That was about as thorough and well-reasoned a post as I have ever read. I’d call Geller an asshat, but I love how you’re proudly owning the slur! If I called Geller the kind of names she deserves to be called, my comment would probably get me banned, so I’ll abstain. But GOOD WORK, No-Name Asshat!!!

  2. RightAsRain says:

    It’s insane how Geller won’t let up on this stupid thing. Anyone who still buys the “Rick Perry Sharia” crap is just dumb. Sorry, but there’s no better word for it. Personally, I’m a Bachmann supporter. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to surrender my intellect when it comes to stupid criticisms of Rick Perry. Sorry, Pam.

  3. Josephus says:

    Pamela Geller has gone full Charles Johnson. I used to cut her some slack because Johnson was so mercilessly vicious to her but now I see that she has a lot more in common with him. there is a lesson in all this just because someone hates the same things and people that you do, does not exactly make them sane or your friends, it is the same hatred they bring to every one. Debbie Schlussel is a perfect example.

    • SMJ says:

      I once watched Debbie Schlussel write 3 different posts on Breitbart’s facebook page demanding he attack FNC and Hannity for some imagined nefarious dealings with the money for Hannity’s freedom concerts. Breitbart stoutly ignored her. I believe I jumped in and said Debbie..let it go. Then I blocked her because she’s insane.

  4. Proud Kafir says:

    PRO ISLAM is what it should have always said not Sharia….although they are the same. But mention SHARIA LAW and people who know little about ISLAM start to freak out..

    You can try hard, but YOU CAN NOT EXCUSE AWAY THE FACT that RICK PERRY signed an agreement to put muslim civilization curriculum into the school system ACCORDING TO THE GOV OF TX WEBSITE ITSELF…training 180 teachers for TX PUBLIC SCHOOLS…Why would any governor sign ANYTHING with an IMAM of any sorts? RELIGION IS NOT ALLOWED IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS to begin with…and YES, He signed a HALAL LAW also yes similar to Jewish requirements but he is clearly appeasing moslems.

    WHAT IS HIS STANCE ON SHARIA LAW? Considering there is HR 973 out there to try to stop FOREIGN law from being used in our courts..Ron Paul is co sponsor of that one.

    Rick Perry is SOFT On ISLAM and in a time like we are in today, that can not be something good for America. I am researching all candidates and so far..Rick Perry is the only one who schmoozes with moslems to include GROVER NORQUIST the convert who is co founder of THE ISLAMIC INSTITUTE….

    I am checking what the candidates think on ISLAM, and their associates and so far PERRY has the worst record and is clearly not the man we need to help AMerica since ISLAM is a threat to us..this webstie will tell ya something if you are unaware that SHARIAH LAW is their demand..www.shariah4America.com

    I list the things I find Rick Perry to be questionable here on my blog for safe keeping since FB can not be trusted to have my page next week. ACORN, LaRaza, Islam..three things that tell me Rick Perry is a RINO and not what we need for America..but it is early in this game too..I want to see who the VP will be for each candidate!
    http://pameladeanne.blogspot.com/2011/08/rick-perryinfo-on-his-ties-to.html

    • Steve says:

      Governor Perry has a lengthy political career. I don’t think there are any good answers to your points, your questions and your observations. Otherwise Mr. Stein would address them.

    • Abner says:

      Training of 180 teachers? Do you have a reading comprehension disorder? It was 80 teachers. Now, considering that Texas has over 400 independent school districts, how many does that work out per district? Seems if Perry wanted to push this, he’s a few thousand teachers shy.

      Also, you don’t know what you are talking about saying he signed a Halal law. Perry did no such thing. But that doesn’t stop stupid people from making stupid statements, such as you.

      The truth of the matter is that the GoTexan program, which covers all types of products, including food products, is a voluntary program. No one has to join, and those that do simply are allowed to use the GoTexan logo on their product. Those who produce food products that are Halal, also voluntarily put that logo on their product, just as those who produce Kosher products do the same. The next thing you will be saying that Perry passed a law (the governor doesn’t pass laws, the legislature does) that is Jewish friendly because Perry is a big supporter of Israel. Oh, wait, Perry IS a big supporter of Israel. Kinda puts him at odds with the Islamists, doesn’t it.

      That you for proving that a little information is a dangerous thing in the hands of the uninformed.

  5. SMJ says:

    Considering that Frau Gellar freaked out at me for telling her to let it go and that she basically ruined any credibility she had she deserves a lot of name calling..I won’t do it..but she is now relugated to the Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough wing of conservatives who say things that no one cares about. She made herself irrelevant and cheapened her cause which is just however some of us know enough to distance ourselves from such clownlike behavior. Well done Pam..really. Truly. You should have said after David made you look like a fool that you were wrong. But you couldn’t let it go and now voila you made yourself look like a crazy person. BRAVA! FYI..very bush and tree doesn’t hide a Jihadi darlin. Just saying.

  6. TexasFred says:

    Pam Geller used tits and leg shots to get her blog *on the map*, and that’s OK, she has nice ones, but she has LOST her mind… As someone else said, she has gone Chuckie Johnson and LGF.. Moron…

    • Josephus says:

      That was me who pointed out her similarities to Johnson. lol
      Funny but now I think her break with Johnson had more to do with their similarities rather then any differences.

  7. gmiller says:

    Asshat: Looks like both sides engaged in some spin. However, for you to claim that the one lesson plan is representative and because no others were online that there is “no proof,” sounds absurd. Were all teachers required to post a lesson plan there? Likely not, unless they were put there, but were also “scrubbed,” as the official materials were later.

    Since the one there was written by an anti-Sharia expert, wouldn’t he have had more ability to counteract the official propaganda on the site? Isn’t the latter what in fact was supposed to be the official guidance for teachers drawing upon it for their curriculum? How much latitude did teachers officially have to depart from the official curriculum and how were they monitored? How many actually taught the materisls? What metrics were they and where are the reports? How long was/is the program in effect? Was there a pilot program and what was done with it?

    It sounds like you are the spinmeister in charge of damage control, rather than any objective, honest broker.

    In any case, why were Perry and the school officials doing this, instead of focusing on badly needed language skills, math, science and G*d forbid, even Christianity, the faith of the large majority of the students’ parents- THE REAL BOSSES, as these self-important, ideological, corrupt bureacrtas so easily forget?

  8. Kevin Cox says:

    Seriously, I think that Ms. Geller might be going the way of “Charles Johnson/Little Green Footballs” Any ideas? Am I out there on this?

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