Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Pipes, Malkin and Me

Cyberspace is an amazing place. I've just been thinking lately that perhaps, if I want to build a readership, I should focus my blog a bit more -- this mixture of personal rants, political commentary, and religious musings is no way going to be to everyone's taste. Folks that like one aspect are bound to be bored by the others. But then, I enjoy having this space where I just talk about whatever happens to be on my mind at the moment; it's a much freer and broader experience that what I've had on the various groups I've posted on.

When I came home from work today, I found that my counter had gone sharply up. I thought maybe folks who have known me in Baha'i circles have caught onto the fact that I'm posting more regularly on my weblog and have decided to check it out. But, lo and behold, when I checked at Technorati, I found that Michelle Malkin, a conservative political commentator had linked to my article about Daniel Pipes and his enthusiastic support for targetting Muslims as a securty threat. She thinks I'm a "smear merchant".

I can't possibly be insulted by that. Her blog appears in the top 100 at Technorati, and if she sees a reason to link to my little blog that only makes an occasional foray into politics, I can't help but see it as a back-handed sort of compliment. If Daniel Pipes is wounded because a substitute teacher from the hinterlands thinks he's a crackpot, then he's a bit too thin-skinned to be making political commentary. People have called me worse things, and I'm only a "public" figure on a small circle of email lists. It's the price of taking a stand.

And I did *not* say that he advocated the rounding up of Muslims into concentration camps; I thought that upon the first reading of his article, but then about an hour later realized he didn't precisely say that in so many words, and I re-wrote my blog entry and had to sacrifice some great firey rhetoric in order to produce a more accurate version -- and I presume, since Malkin's article is dated today, that it is the revised version she saw.

However, when Pipes, in one breath says that we need to be able to target Muslims because they are threat to national security, then in the next quotes from Malkin's book about Japanese internment camps to provide an example of how such targetting was successfully and justifiably done, then it just seems a bit odd to go into all kinds of outrage because people have the impression that Pipes thinks locking up Muslims would be a good idea. Personally, I'm not all that convinced that either he or Malkin thinks it a *bad* idea. If, after all, "civil liberties are not sacrosanct", presumably any measure thought to be necessary for our security is not beyond consideration, no matter how brutal or unjust to the innocent. That's not the kind of country I want to live in. YMMV.

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