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Yet another reply to Khawaja



Khwawaja now explicitly admits he’s not libertarian (or Objectivist). Something to do with “Palestine” or some other bullshit.

See e.g.

It’s easy to overlook the significance of one last part of the subtitle. Reason Papers is a journal of normative interdisciplinary studies. Both “journal” and “studies” connote objective academic scholarship, a connotation we wholeheartedly endorse without excluding journalists or independent scholars. It’s worth stressing, then, that while Reason Papers has often published work from an Objectivist or libertarian perspective, Reason Papers is not an Objectivist or libertarian journal, or for that matter, a journal edited for conformity with any particular philosophical or ideological perspective.3 We think of the journal as a forum for inquiry and debate across a wide spectrum of views rather than as the instrument of any one ideology, party, or camp.
3 We thus disagree with the characterization of the journal offered by Walter E. Block in his “Austro-Libertarian Publishing: A Survey and Critique,” Reason Papers 32 (Fall 2010), pp. 107-35. See, e.g., p. 130, where the journal is described as “dedicated to libertarianism,” and p. 133, where it is described as “mostly libertarian.”
As he wrote in this Facebook thread:
I haven’t been associated with Kelley’s group or organized Objectivism since 1997. I did a seminar with them in 2013 which was a fiasco. I don’t regard myself as an Objectivist or libertarian, and was never really sold on libertarian politics even when I was an Objectivist. Much less so now. The cartoons can be seen on the link below. They’re an innovation of Jennifer Grossman, who took over after Kelley. I find them mortifying, but it’s been ages since I had a motivation to care. https://www.atlassociety.org


[with a few links added]

“Sorry, but there simply is no moral equivalence between Kinsella’s invective and my responses to them.”

As everyone knows, a response to invective is never equivalent to the invective. This is self-evident!

“There is first the simple fact that in every single case without exception, he has been the one to resort to invective and done so first, and in every case, I have merely responded in what I take to be an appropriately forceful way.”

Well, this is just a question of “who started it”. As I see it, personal attacks were hurled by you guys at Hoppe. I have defended him; and for doing so, haven been accused of being a bigot myself. Interesting tactic: try to make the target of bigotry accusations look bad for denying it; and make others afraid to defend him for fear of being hauled before the Thought Police Tribunal. Luckily, some of us have no fear of the last gasps of a dying political correctness.

“And while I’m not going to re-argue every post (actually, I’m not going to re-argue anyone of them: once was more than enough), I would also say that the quality of my rhetoric and my arguments exceeds his by a fair measure–again, in every single case without exception.”

I’d say only by about 28%. Whether that’s a “fair measure,” I don’t know. But don’t my degrees outweigh that anyway?

“There was not one case in which I responded to him hastily or in uncontrolled anger.”

Me neither–I’m not angry. These are just pixels, after all.

“And there’s not one post that I regret having written. Compare that with the endless proliferation of weirdly giddy responses from him (rarely on anything of relevance to the original claim I made in a thread, which in the present case, if anyone cares to remember, was the rather terse message “Bravo. Very well said,” intended for Jason Kuznicki). Question: WHICH of us is out of control?”

I guess I just don’t see reacting to the High Seriousness of the Grand Inquisitors with ridicule and humor is out of control.

“In one case, he’s accused Tom Palmer of endorsing “torture.””

No, not endorsing it; of toying with the idea. As torture includes physical and mental abuse, and as mental abuse was what he was talking about…

“The claim was/is a brazen lie; I called it one there, I repeat the claim here, and I’m pretty sure Tom would agree with my assessment.”

Oh, I’ll grant you that one.

“But I wonder: have I done anything comparable to the website “Palmer Periscope,” which is a WHOLE WEBSITE devoted exclusively to attacks on and the defamation of one person?”

PP is not defamatory. It’s not defamation to criticize or even poke fun at someone. Anyway, I had nothing to do with it. I just learned about its existence, and posted first on it after Palmer cut off responses to a given thread.

“You’ll note the sly use of pastel colors, e.g., lavender and the like. Is it accidental that the site is in pastel colors, while the issue of Tom’s sexual orientation has been so prominently at issue? Oh well; maybe it is.”

First, I had nothing to do w/ that. Second, I think it’s homophobic to realize that pastel colors are associated wiht homosexuality. How dare you notice that? (just kidding)

“This is the site at which Kinsella described Tom as endorsing torture, but there were a series of similarly mendacious claims on Tom’s website before Tom eventually banned Kinsella (Tom: what took you so long?).”

I am not responsible for others’ claims. This is a simple matter. On Palmer’s site, he recounted this:

“The inquiry uncovered numerous instances in which female interrogators, using dye, pretended to spread menstrual blood on Muslim men, the official said. Separately, in court papers and public statements, three detainees say that women smeared them with blood.” And he said: “is it out of bounds to threaten such a humiliation if the information you get might break up a terrorist cell? It’s shocking. It’s degrading. It’s disgusting. Is it immoral? It’s not obvious to me what the answer to the last question is.”

Now, I don’t think this is endorsing torture; but it’s wondering about whether mental humiliation and things like the menstrual blood tectics can be justified. This is not physical torture but it is a type of mental or psycological abuse. And I believe it arguably falls under the definition of torture endorsed by relevant treaties. [e.g., as I pointed out previously, the Geneva Conventions prohibit “torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental” (Art. 75(2) of Protocol I)]

What I said about this was: “What is also remarkable about Palmer’s criticism of Rockwell’s views about proportionate beatings of actual street criminals — is that it appears in a post in which Palmer himself muses about whether torture of possibly innocent foreign prisoners of a unjust and illegal war is possibly moral! I.e., in a column where he dabbles with justifying torture he dares to criticize Rockwell’s defense of non-lethal, non-torture force used to apprehend an actual street criminal resisting arrest”

Now, I did not say Palmer endorses torture; I said he “muses about whether torture of possibly innocent foreign prisoners of a unjust and illegal war is possibly moral”. I did not say physical torture; perhaps I should have said “mental/pschological abuse defined as a type of torture under relevant treaties,” to make the term “torture” clear, but it was not a lie. You may disagree with me but I did not lie. I was pointing out how odd it is to feign outrage over someone advocating proportional punishment against an ACTUAL criminal, when one is not sure if (mental) torture of (possibly innocent) foreign POWs of an illegal war is immoral.

You can disagree with my view that this is hypocritical or odd; but it is not a lie. I described what was said, and then opined about it.

“So let me ask you bluntly: what is your moral evaluation of a site like Palmer Periscope, and of the person(s) behind it?”

I suspect it was set up by people annoyed by Palmer’s sanctimony and faux-righteousness and political correctness, but I have no idea. In any event I am not responsible for nor to blame for it. If you blame me merely for posting on it–well, you, Khawaja, ALSO posted on it. So is your claim coherent?

“Have I said anything comparable to Kinsella’s description of me (itself based on a comical set of mis-inferences) to the effect that I have “clannish” tendencies? This old anti-Semitic chestnut isn’t much better when it’s directed at a (supposed) Muslim than when directed at Jews.”

Oh, for God’s sake, here we go with the anti-semitic stuff again. I can’t reply to this nonsense.

“And what was the evidence for Kinsella’s assumption that I would object to my (hypothetical) son’s marrying a Jew?”

You have to have evidence for questions now? Teh PC types just make up the rules as they go along, don’t they?

“His claim on that count explicitly takes the form: IK sounds like he’s a Muslim; all Muslims, being clannish, hate Jews; so if IK had children, he would follow his clannish propensities in not permitting his children to marry a Jew. Hmm. Well, considering that my partner IS a Jew, and that I’ve probably done more to fight Muslim anti-Semitism than StephAn Kinsella will in his sorry lifespan, this strikes me as not the sort of claim I’m obliged to receive with equanimity.”

I think self-righteousness like this doesn’t really work any more. Just an observation.

“So I am not merely “chiding” someone
‘s overheated rhetoric. I am objecting forcefully to systematic, sustained defamation of a friend of mine (and, well, of me: but I’m a friend of mine, too). The claims that have been aimed at Tom throughout this discussion–their substance and style–are simply an obscenity.”

Right–How DARE someone challenge the character of a your good frien’ds challenging my own good friend’s character? Why, the audacity…! the impertinence! AFter alll, you are on the PC side, not us! We are supposed to just lie down and take our medicine.

“That is why, incidentally, I told Rick Shenkman that he ought to look into banning Kinsella from HNN–a claim I hereby renew.”

So noted. I second that motion. All in favor?

“L&P; has essentially become a forum for a smear merchant (dragging HNN into the bargain). Meanwhile, we’re obliged to pretend that Kinsella’s ravings are all part of the “conversation,” and we should all just put up with the sporadic “excesses” of an oddball guy with a few eccentricities.”

I’m “just” an “oddball”. The PC crowd continually comes up with more and more desperate tactics as the wall of PC continues to crumble. Just dismiss someone as an oddball… there’s a good one.


[Followup reply:]

Irfan, re Roderick’s calls for civility (I hope that does not make him a bigot in your eyes, but one never knows), engage in a thought experiment with me.

Let’s say you and I find ourselves seated next to each other, by random coincidence, on a plane. Do you think we’d talk? make up? Become friends? Okay, suppose we ignored each other with dirty looks and wrinkled nose. Now the plane crashes and you and I are the sole survivors on a desert island. I daresay that in short order we’d be fast friends. Who knows maybe even–some day–lovers.

So Khawaja and Kinsella live together in peace and survive against the odds for a year. Then we is rescued. Would you go back to these kind of comments and attitudes about me on L&P; list?

Interesting gedankenexperiment, no?

p.s. just kidding about the “lovers” part.

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