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February 18, 2006

Okay, so here is the story:

I had frankly never heard of Debbie Schlussel before John linked to Misha about Debbie's demand for a retraction and that retraction. I think I have all that outlined in this post.

Well, being a curious person, and wondering what kind of a conservative Ms. Debbie is, I went to her site and read her blog. I had a question about her supporting evidence for her story that

in the 1980s an FBI investigation uncovered Arab-owned gas stations throughout the Mid-West doing the same thing as the Dawoods (giving customers less gas than they were paying for). That money was then sent to Islamic terrorist Abu Nidal and his terrorist group of the same name. The money was used to finance Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israelis in the first Intifada ("Uprising").
in this post. I had never heard that story, so I searched all over trying to find some reference to her statement. All I could find was Debbie's statement.

So, I very politely asked her for her references in a comment on the post:

Hi, Debbie,
I don't remember the gas station owners sending money to terrorist organizations in the '80s - and I'm 52 - and it sounds like a really interesting story. Could you give me an idea where I can find some information on that? I've been searching, and I'm probably looking for the wrong thing.

Thanks!

Interestingly, she removed the link to my blog that was there. Apparently, she does not want any of her fans to find out how questionable her facts and her tactics are.

Sadly, this woman is a conservative. She doesn't seem to realize that I am also a conservative.

Anyway, here is the first email she sent me after I asked for some supporting documents:


> On 2/17/06, Debbie Schlussel < dschlussel@yahoo.com>
> wrote:

Beth:
I note that you posted a message asking me for information about one of my posts. In general, I think it's a bad idea to call someone on my website
"off-balance" and an "idiot" among an entire insulting (and completely mis-informed) post . . . and then have the gall to ask them for information and research.

Point of fact - I did not call Debbie an idiot - she called herself an idiot when she signed her last email to John. I *did* say that she appeared to be somewhat off-balance. And to anyone who read her email to John, I think you would agree with my characterization of the woman.

I wouldn't trust info from someone I openly considered "off-balance" and an "idiot." Besides, I'm consistent. I ALWAYS do my research. So I wonder why someone who doesn't when writing about me, suddenly wants the underlying info about my work. Looks like someone is a hypocrite, and it isn't me. Debbie Schlussel

Please note that Debbie claims she "ALWAYS" does her research. Well, as any lawyer should know, that research needs to be documented, and available for all to see to verify the veracity of any claims made.

Well, I was rather perturbed the Debbie did not have any links or references to her story - which again, I was interested in learning about, but I wanted to be sure it was true before I commented on it. So I replied to Debbie with this email:

Well, Debbie, Thank you for verifying for me that you don't have any references that indicate that gas stations were overcharging and sending the overages to terrorist groups in the 80s. Perhaps you are unaware that it is generally a good idea to link to a reference when one is claiming that something happened - I can't find any references to your FBI story anywhere, and I just wondered where you got the idea that this occurred.

And yes, I think you are off the charts in your lack of rationality. You
jump to all sorts of conclusions without any proof. If I state something as
a fact, I link to my supporting data.

You don't.

You just make all kinds of statements that are really out there. And what
really upsets me about your 'blogging style' is that you are a conservative,
like me, but you are making all conservatives look like crackpots.
Especially women conservatives like myself and many other women bloggers.

I understand that you are in Detroit and live among a lot of Arab Muslims.
I'm not terribly comfortable when I go there for business either, but not
all Muslims want to kill us all.

And if you had a sense of humour, I could probably be okay with your
shtick. But from what I have read, and from the emails you sent to my
husband, it appears that you are a bitter, mean, rude woman. Get a grip,
Debbie. Get a sense of humour. There is so much invective in your writing
that I might as well just go read the Democratic Underground. I would love
to see some logic in your thinking ... but I don't.

Before I sent that email, I went to Debbie's site again. And I noticed that she was comparing the American Citizenship of an Olympic Skater to that of an Islamic Terrorist in this post. so I continued my email to her:

How can you compare the Citizenship of a Canadian skater to that of an Arab terrorist? How unfair and illogical is that?

Oh, well. I have learned in my life (I'm a lot older than you are) that you
can attract more people to your point of view with facts that are
supportable, humour and kindness.

Obviously, you are a bright woman, but there is something just not right
with your way of expressing yourself.

Regards,

Beth Donovan

So Debbie didn't like what I had to say and within a few minutes, I got this email from her:

On 2/17/06, Debbie Schlussel wrote: I have confirmed NOTHING to you regarding my references. There is a reason I'm invited all over the world to talk about terorrism and am consulted by federal agents all over. They know I know what I'm talking about. I frankly don't need to prove it to you. And I certainly don't need to emulate what you do on your website, of which I never heard, and to which I went once, to see the screed you took great pleasure in writing on me.

Oh, golly, where do I start? First of all, Debbie has no proof that her claims are correct. She has absolutely no supporting references. And she says she doesn't need them because federal agents consult her? Really? More likely she calls them up.

Really? You do your research? Where are the e-mails you claim to have seen that I sent to Misha? Where was your research on that? Still waiting.

Umm, Debbie, I never claimed to see any emails you sent to Misha, though I have seen them now that Misha has posted them. I saw the emails you sent to my husband, John Donovan.

So first I am an "idiot" on your website and then I am "bright" in a private e-mail? You can't seem to make up your mind on me, and frankly, it doesn't make a difference. If you don't like what you read on my site, no-one is putting a gun to your head to read it.

I never called Debbie an idiot. I was quoting her email to John.


After your hateful post on me, you are worried what people think of conservatives and lecturing ME on "kindness"?! Hello? Look in the mirror, if you have one. That's where you'll see the hateful, bitter woman who spews venom and whose husband needs his own wife to defend him.

Yes, I think that Debbie Schlussel makes conservative women look bad. She is darned embarrassing - she even writes in all caps in people's comments and 'yells' at them. Indicates to me that she is not terribly web-literate.

But now I know that someone who claims to be conservative is soft on immigration and thinks we need special exceptions for ice skaters and everyone else.

I'm not soft on immigration. I merely pointed out to her that granting citizenship to a skater is not equivalent to granting citizenship to a terrorist (or who she determines is a terrorist, after all, the federal agents consult her on terrorism)

And thinks the kind of gutter language and utterances that sleazebags engage in is something worth defending, and a valid reason to attack me. I'd have happily supported giving Tanith Belbin U.S. citizenship if that means you have to give up yours.

Goodness, isn't that a terribly vile thing to say? For one, she seems to be thinking along the lines that I am not a native American Citizen, but a naturalized Citizen (not that makes any difference) - I think she thinks I'm married to Misha! Poor Misha's wife!
Secondly - she thinks I should have to give up my U.S. citizenship?
Just where does this woman (who, after all, is consulted by federal agents all over) get off thinking that she is capable of determining who should and who should not be a US Citizen? I have to wonder if she has served in the Armed Forces - I have.

Sorry, but it is NOT schtick to say people are "off-balance," "idiots," "cunts," "whores," get where they got because they "give good head," etc., merely because you don't agree with them about Denmark. Is
that the "humor" and "kindness" you are now lecturing me about? That's what you are defending AND engaging in, and yet YOU are worried what people think of conservatives from looking at MY website?

Okay, this pisses me off - I have never used any of the above words or statements anywhere on my blog - I have never, ever printed the "C" word until today - and it is a direct quote of this woman's.
She is, quite simply, lying.

52 years old and still not a lady. So sad. The kind of behavior you engage in tells me you need help very badly, not to mention some heavy duty prozac. And after all the sailor-talk and hate-talk you defend and engage in, perhaps some female hormones would be a better prescription for you than instructing me on how to be a conservative woman.

Hmmm. "sailor-talk and hate-talk"? I admit to occasional sailor-talk - I have used the "F" word in 16 posts out of 1,620 posts.

But hate-talk? I don't think so, Debbie.

Again, if as you claim, you do not like the way I express myself, why in the heck did you come to read my site? And then even post on it? So what was that you were saying about dishing it out but not being able to take it. Reading your letter below, you are the blackest pot I ever heard from.

Hmmm. Well. I came to read her site because I was curious as to why she was so rude to my husband. I posted about her because of that, too.

I have no idea why I am 'the blackest pot' she has ever heard from. My point is simply that this woman is quite rude to people, doesn't have references to back up at least one of her claims, and mostly that she embarrasses me because she is a conservative.

There are some conservatives who are so beyond the pale, that they make all of us look bad - Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan and now, Debbie Schlussel.


UPDATE: For more on Debbie and her reputation, check here.

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Posted by Beth at February 18, 2006 04:43 PM