Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Of course we officially discourage...

the despicable practice of consuming alcohol..." (I may be misremembering a word or two.)

...was the old disclaimer on The Onion's old "Drunk of the Week" feature that was roundly admired by the high school population of Champaign-Urbana when I was a little kid.

This week, after a Santa Cruz anti-war group sent a press release that found its way to the talons of Michelle Malkin, Malkin chose to violate the Society of Professional Journalists' "Code of Ethics" by neglecting to cut the contact names and numbers for the release when she published the piece.

As someone who is so hatefully anti-anti-war, it's pretty clear that her main motivation for publishing the release at all was to direct hate toward the group, which then received a number of death threats.

At Orcnius blog, the author has documented the similarities between Malkin and others' tactics and those employed in Rwanda to lead genocidal actions. The intent by Malkin is the same, it is merely that she doesn't at this stage have the zealous following willing to "cleanse" those who she disagrees with.

Also see a "right-wing blogger"'s response (a must read): Jon Swift blog

When this was decried, she then responded:
The unhinged lefty bloggers who did and said nothing to condemn the violent tactics of the UC Santa Cruz thugs are treating me like I'm the terrorist. I'm not going to bother linking. You can find their trash easily enough on any search engine. While they whine about the death threats that SAW organizers allegedly received, you should see the filth and threats against my family that their minions are sending. Here's an uncensored sample (and by the way, the disclaimer on my contact page makes clear, "All e-mail is subject to print, including your name. If you don't want me to publish your e-mail, or if you would like to remain anonymous, just let me know."):

(Bold added)

I love the implication that people who respond to death threats who aren't named "Michelle Malkin" are "whining" and how left-wing bloggers are somehow responsible for everyone who sends emails to Ms. Malkin.

Let's get this straight: Sending Malkin or anyone, racist death threats is horrendous and stupid and please stop doing it.

If we have to compare though, one group sent out a press release based on their political agenda which was non-hateful, and according to her and her supporters on this issue, they deserve death threats. However Malkin posts people's contact information, against the principles of journalism, which as a longtime journalist, she is well acquainted with, in order to try to surpress their voices with hatred and violence, and she does not deserve the same treatment.

Michelle Malkin is likely one of those people who heard the McDonald's story, snickered with glee and then proclaimed that anyone who ever spills anything on their lap deserved to have their sexual organs liquified.

I admire those who despise my political beliefs and are able to still see me as a human being. I think the current recruitment techniques of the armed forces involve trying to compensate for a lack of interest in enlisting by lying to young impressionable citizens to fool them into the armed forces. We shouldn't need to do that.

But if you disagree, fine--speak your mind. Just don't encourage violence upon my person and then say that I "brought it on myself" if you don't like my beliefs.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malkin included her personal details on her own e-mail list and that's how it went public. She launched her personal information about herself BY herself.

And the anti-racist One People's Project website promptly released her new details.

Someone took it a step further and used live.windows.com and yahoo maps to do a Graphic.

Payback's a bitch eh' Malkin?

Her refusal to remove these kids contact information was not from conviction, but from revenue. Every journalist in the world knows that contact information on a press release is for journalists to call for more information or interviews, not to be published (or even pointed out) in the publication itself. If she were any kind of ethical person she would have pulled the information when asked.
If she were something resembling a human being with "feelings", she would not have republished the information once the students themselves removed it. Michelle is a vicious, vindictive, venomous egoist with no discernible ethics nor even a shred of human decency. If she wants to be The Minority Woman Who Believes Minorities and Women Suck, that's her right. But she should at least have the integrity to acknowledge that she has done wrong and to stop compounding the wrong. And she should not give us that disingenuous crap about how she doesn't condone death threats and nobody should misuse her posting and reposting of personal information.

11:34 AM  
Blogger xian said...

Agreed, although I'm not happy that people published her information. Even though it is "more" justifiable, I'm not a fan of eye-for-an-eye justice and I think it will just give hateful people another excuse to shout, "Mommy! He's doing it too!"

(I'll have to try that the next time I'm bothered by the police...)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Mack said...

I'm curious about this comment you made:

I think the current recruitment techniques of the armed forces involve trying to compensate for a lack of interest in enlisting by lying to young impressionable citizens to fool them into the armed forces. We shouldn't need to do that.

Please explain on what basis you make this claim, and what your actual real-life experience with the military recruits or recruiters has been. It seems to me that you're generalizing about an entire class of people (military volunteers) that you don't seem to know much about. That seems rather bigoted.

11:00 AM  
Blogger xian said...


Please explain on what basis you make this claim, and what your actual real-life experience with the military recruits or recruiters has been.


This is a completely fair question, which I'll be happy to answer below.


It seems to me that you're generalizing about an entire class of people (military volunteers) that you don't seem to know much about. That seems rather bigoted.


This is a ridiculous attempt at "taste of your own medicine"--we are not talking about a group organized around race, class or eye color--we are talking about a centralized group with certain training, regulations and shared incentives that influence them.

Surely you can see the difference between saying, "Chinese people are taught to protect their own" and saying the same thing about say, police officers, whose code of silence has been studied and documented as an institutional phenomenon. That doesn't mean that there aren't police officers who resist such cultural training, but it's a fair generalization.

As far as your question, I am calling upon the following experience and many others:
1. The army's attempts to recruit me AS A 14 YEAR-OLD junior in high school into enlistment.

2. My experience as a family member and teacher of students who have chosen to enlist based on "promises" that they would never see combat or be sent to the Middle East. Similar "promises" that they would be allowed to pursue their field of interest in the miliary, such as "computing" and being removed from such training.

3. The transitions of poor schools into military academies, even in the case of schools like Senn in Chicago which were widely successful BEFORE the implementation of the academy. At the same time, middle-class ethnic majority parents resist the militarization of their children's schools. I abhor this "other people's children" mentality.

4. Discussions with my colleagues and relatives who served in WWII, Vietnam, Korea or the Persian Guly, and their observations about their experiences and the military institutions they served our country as a part of.

5. Secondary and tertiary resources such as interviews with those serving in the military, and former recruiters.

6. Research on the recruitment trends and incentives taught to and provided to recruiters.




So I'm curious what led you to think I don't know what I'm talking about. Perhaps that I don't agree with you on these issues?

It seems that you were the one who made assumptions in this conversation. I don't doubt that you likely have more experience on these issues than I do, and I would love to learn from your experience.

I would just ask that you avoid dehumanizing me and mocking my right to hold my opinions in the way that our subject, Ms. Malkin has made in her hateful, anti-marketplace of ideas style of political discussion.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Mack said...

This is a ridiculous attempt at "taste of your own medicine"--we are not talking about a group organized around race, class or eye color--we are talking about a centralized group with certain training, regulations and shared incentives that influence them.

Reread my question and comment. I was referring to your generalization of military volunteers. Although the recruiters are also volunteers, I was talking about your characterization of the enlistees as "impressionable".

One has to have achieved the age of majority in order to enter the service; I believe that the underlying legal principle is that once you have acheived majority, you have the facility to enter into contracts, vote, and function as an independent entity responsible for your own actions, decisions and obligations. I believe, even with three small children at home, that the drinking age should also be the age of majority for this reason.

I entered the service at eighteen, and found that those who were weak, tender, gullible and immature to be by far in the minority of enlistees. I also found that most of those types washed out pretty early in the process. My experience was with the Army components, though I'm sure the Marine Corps training was likewise adept at seperating those constitutionally unable to achieve their standards. The other services that deploy combat troops similarly vet their troops (eg the Navy SEALS, Air Force Combat Controllers, Pararescue and heavy weapons teams, etc.) to make as sure as they possibly can that the potential combat troops are as fit as is humanly possible.

I'm sorry you took my comments as a personal affront. I assure you that if I had been attempting to mock or dehumanize you, decry your right to have an opinion or otherwise make you feel bad, I would have been crystal clear and the abuse would have been quite open and obnoxious.

12:51 PM  
Blogger xian said...

Mack, rather than accepting your apology, let me apologize instead for misreading your post, even after you were kind enough to clarify in the parentheses.

My lack of lucidity in the original post also seems to have led to the misunderstanding.

I was not commenting on military volunteers in general at all. I was commenting on the fact that military recruiters are increasingly trained to use insincerity as a means of recruiting and getting young, especially poor and minority, people to enlist.

There will always be people who, no matter how recruiting takes place, will enlist for any number of great reasons. I think it's a powerful choice for someone who believes that it is the best way for them to contribute to our country.

However, the current tactics are unlikely to affect the numbers of these recruits positively. Eager patriots are not the type to say, "I'd love the opportunity to receive the job training, but I wouldn't want to see combat." On the contrary, they are most likely to say, "If our country needs to be defended by someone, there's no one better to stake their life on it than I!" On the contrary, there's always the possibility that deceitful techiques may drive away principled, patriotic folks.

These tactics are aim at increasing the recruitment numbers by "selling the product" disingenously. I don't think we should ever market our nation in such a nasty fashion, and if we need to, it's time to reassess.

7:31 PM  

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