Wednesday, July 13, 2005

hnn comments deleted

I can't say I'm surprised--but some of the hnn threads I have posted on recently, primarily arguing with Tom Palmer and combatting his repeated libels of fellow libertarians, have been deleted. The editors means only to cut off comments but inadvertently deleted the comments. Nonetheless, I'm not surprised, as can be seen from the last several posts where I re-posted some of my comments there, on this blog, just in case they ended up disappearing.

Here are the posts that mention the deletion of the comments sections:

There is of course nothing unlibertarian with "private" censorship; the fact that we feel compelled to explain this to each other is a bit depressing.

Personally I do not buy into the "both sides need to simmer down" type of view. My opinion is this: Tom Palmer (and some others, to varying degrees) repeatedly resort to personal attacks on the character and motives of fellow libertarians, as part of a response to substantive discussions. The motivations behind our views are questioned and snidely impugned, etc. It's to the point where if you have a differing view on federalism, it's because you come from the "fever swamp" of neo-confederate slavery apology. These type of personal attacks and libel seem to me to be prohibited by this blog.

It is not surprising that others, such as me, respond to these completely outrageous, uncivilized attacks on the character and motives of people I know to be decent people and sincere advocates of liberty. If anyone wants to equate my or others' response to the outrageous personal attacks of Tom Palmer or others, they are free to make this mistake. But just as there is a difference between initiating force and responding to it, there is a difference between launching an assault on someone and the response to it.

I and others that are regularly attacked by Palmer et al. are perfectly happy to go about our merry way, trying to understand and advocate liberty as we see it. There is no need to respond in a non-civil way to people who are not already breaching rules of civility, etiquette, courtesy, charity, decency, and honesty.

In my view personal attacks like those hurled by Palmer and implicitly or snidely suggested by others on this forum, ought to be prevented or a warning issued. But until this is done, I can tell you right now, whenever I see anyone maligning decent, fellow libertarians and impugning their motives, suggesting outrageous things like racism, bigotry, anti-semitism, I am going to call a spade a spade and denounce it. Ban me for doing this if you will. It's your property.
The problem is that Tom Palmer has demonstrated he will not treat me or others affiliated with the Mises Institute with civility, other than calling me "Mr. Kinsella." So blinded by malevolence and irrational emotions is he, he hardly sees us as humans, much less libertarian. Just like liberals, who act morally superior despite being willing to inflict terrible harm on individuals, Palmer here has the gall to adopt a superior stance all the while acting like an utter cad.

And I also posted this reply:
And a good place to intercede might be at the first sign of a personal attack on a fellow poster or fellow libertarian. This would include allegations that the other libertarian has a given, say, political or constitutional view because he does not care about liberty, or is racist, or anti-semitic, or yearns for slavery, or is not a "real" libertarian. It would include snide comments that imply the advocate of a given argument has evil, hidden, unlibertarian motives.

In fact, since accusing someone of anti-semitism, bigotry, racism, etc., are arguably libelous, not to mention outrageous and not conducive to honest discourse, it would be a very good idea for a given forum not to tolerate it.
No offense, Tom Palmer.

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