The end of speaking

I was out of town but had to return early.

This morning I received an email from Mike Sanders asking me to remove his weblog link from my blogroll and he has removed my weblog from his. The reason is because of my “moral equivalency” arguments last week, and because I linked to Daniel Ord’s piece Stereopticon in Friday’s post.

According to Mike:

    • Unfortunately some of my fellow bloggers understand and/or support both the Palestinian terrorist reign against Israel and terrorism against the US. I can longer in good conscious include those people on my blogroll list and I respectfully request anybody who understands or supports Palestinian terrorism or Islamic terrorism to please remove my name from your blogroll list as well.

I wrote the following in an email to a friend, regarding my posting on Friday:

      • No one noticed in my posting, my use of “viewpoint”, not opinion. Though sometimes treated as synonyms, they aren’t the same thing. A viewpoint is a point of view, the culmination of all our life’s experiences. How we see things. From this issues both action and opinion. Without understanding and respecting each other’s viewpoints, we can’t hope to understand where each of us is coming from when we speak or act.
    • I started my list with Ord because he is doing just that — he’s showing two viewpoints of the same incident. Without understanding the Palestinian viewpoint of the WTC tragedy, we can’t hope to stop these incidents from happening again, because we’ll never understand why they happened in the first place. The title of his piece tells us this — stereopticon.
    • stereopticon — viewpoint
    • I deliberately listed absolutely conflicting opinions, and invited the audience to understand the different viewpoints.

Mike Sanders is from New York.


Pride of acquaintanceship

I wanted to point out a wonderful cross-blog between Mike Golby and Jonathon Delacour. Mike is starting a series of weblog postings on how he has re-affirmed his own religious beliefs, as well as gained appreciation for others. This is in response to a posting Jonathon did on his loss of faith.

In his posting, Mike said:

    • That said, let’s get stuck into Jung, his meeting with the Pueblo and perhaps, sometime in the next week or so, Jonathon’s sad and desperate plight.

My take on this was that Mike was using humor, primarily because I believe that he and Jonathon have a deep and abiding respect for each other. This was confirmed by Jonathon’s reaction, if his response is anything to go by:

    • I can imagine other people might be affronted by Mike’s referring to their “sad and desperate plight.” There’s no shortage of thin-skinned inhabitants in Blogville. But not this little brown duck. I’m curious. Anyway, if I choose to become upset and reject Mike’s observation out of hand, I’m giving up the opportunity to learn something about myself. Mike may be correct, or he may be mistaken. I trust my own ability to decide. Either way I win.

Little brown duck. I loved that.

I hope I don’t sound condescending or maudlin when I say how proud I am to share weblogging space with you two. I learn from you both. At least — I hope to learn from you. Mike, Jonathon, you all aren’t going to get nasty with each other on me and ruin my poor, naive, innocent trust in you both, are you? I’ll shed tears. Real ones. Salty, even. Buckets and buckets of salty tears, and red-rimmed green eyes. What a picture that makes.

Other than pointing out what looks to be a particularly good set of weblog postings for the next week or so, I also wanted to mention this interchange for another reason — as a lead in to an apology.

Mike Sanders, I should not have mentioned your request to drop mutual weblog links this morning. That’s not the issue. What you say in your weblog posting of today is of issue, and I should have responded to that, rather than the personal interchange. My apologies for making your request public and and then responding to it within a public forum.

This morning, I forgot the first rule one must hold when communicating with another — show respect for yourself if you can’t respect what the other person is saying, and react to the words, not the person; to do otherwise, demeans youself, not them.

Connecting Political Weblogging

Moral Equivalency

Meryl and Mike Golby are both giving their opinions based on this term “moral equivalency”.

Since neither is referencing my weblog, I am assuming that this effort on both their parts is related to something else other than my posts of this morning.

Update: I hadn’t planned on pursuing this issue because “moral equivalency” is a lose/lose situation — if you want to be informed, or to inform others, and the information isn’t agreed with by someone, you’re indulging in moral equivalency. However, when I searched on the term “moral equivalency, I found a wealth of information that was both scary and fascinating. I had to share some of it.

“Media Bias” says one article titled Creating Moral Equivalency. This article accuses CNN and other publications of media bias against Israel, based on the reporting of the deaths of the Palestinian Thabet and the Israeli Kahana.

“…Amnesty International issued a report demanding, as its top priority, an end to the war against terrorism, giving that an even higher urgency than the elimination of terrorism itself…”, says an extraordinary document by John Eastman titled “Moral Equivalency in International Law”. I found several Amnestry International reports regarding the prisoners at Guantanemo Bay but nothing about ending the war on terrorism. And Mr. Eastman negleted to provide a specific reference point to his claim.

Then there’s the one at applauding the Death of Moral Equivalency. I have to quote this one directly. As it was, it was so frightening I originally thought the words were satire. But they’re not:

    • Those humanistic, “can’t we all get along,” “profiling potential terrorists is racism,” “we’re all God’s children,” Kumbaya, “all we are saying is give peace a chance” moral equivalency equivocators will soon be back. They’ll try to wear down our resolve. They should be ignored. They have lost all credibility, just as the “peace in our time” crowd did at the start of World War II.
    • We know the enemy. We know where they live. Let’s got get them before they get any more of us, and let the moralizers sort it all out later.

There’s the WorldNetDaily’s Moral Equivalency in Left’s Condemnation of Israel. This one says:

    • This refers to the killings at refugee camps outside Beirut in 1982 – crimes committed by Lebanese militiamen. (Long apparently believes the Phalangists had converted to Judaism and joined the Israeli army.) When Time magazine implied that Sharon was responsible for the killings, the general sued for libel and was vindicated, not that this stops Israel-bashers from recycling a decades-old lie.

Fact: I am neither for or against Israel. I am neither for or against the Palestinian people. I believe that the situation in the middle east is between two peoples who are so caught up in hatred of each other that I doubt there will ever be a peaceful solution to this situation. And innocents on both sides of this issue will die as well as active participants, be they called military or terrorist. And there is no right, and there is no wrong — there’s only continuous death. And an overwhelming, sickening, cloying self-righteousness. On both sides.

And if you say that I’m indulging in moral equivalency with these words, then so be it. I’d rather be thought to be indulging in moral equivalency then that bullshit you all believe.

P.S. And let this be a warning — I’ve tried to be reasonable and open and maintain an intellectual discourse regarding my opinions. I’ve tried to respect the viewpoints of others and encourage dialog. And I’ve been slammed in the face with a 20 pound Halibut for my efforts. Some people will not listen to reason, they only listen to animosity. They don’t hear whispers they’re too busy listening to the screams. They won’t hear anything other than me admit I’m wrong and they’re right.

Since I’d rather be hated then ignored, or treated in a condescending manner — so be it.

The line is drawn here. Cross it at your own risk.