More on Keith Burgess-Jackson (last time, I swear)
This was just too good to pass up.
In the last post, I quoted KBJ as saying:
I also had a problem with someone I kicked off The Ethics of War blog many months ago. Evidently, he still resents this, because he attacked me personally in the comments section of The Conservative Philosopher. I finally banished him from the site.
This prompted David from E.G. to ask:
Does anyone know who the student from the "third-rate university" is? Does he have his own blog?
This got me wondering myself, so I did a little searching.
But that's not why I'm writing this. I'm writing because I read KBJ's post from the Ethics of War blog where he explains why he gave Len the boot, and, lo and behold, it provides more evidence of Keith's lunacy.
He starts off in an eerily similar fashion to his TCP hissy fit:
Some of you may have noticed that I shut down the comments function on this blog yesterday. Then I removed my cobloggers, Len Carrier and Matthew Mullins, which makes it a solo blog again. Matthew hadn’t contributed much, and Len, well, I’m going to follow someone’s good advice to not say anything at all if I can’t say anything good. Matthew already has a blog. If Len wants a blog, he now knows how to create one. There is plenty of room in the blogosphere.
Note the familiar "my way or the highway" logic. But why shut down comments?
What bothered me about the comments function was the profusion of anonymous posts. I don’t understand this. If you want to say something, identify yourself. Don’t take potshots from the shadows or from the safety of the crowd.
Fair enough, I guess. But then Keith goes on a bizarre rant:
Another commenter protested that he’s not tenured. He’s afraid that he will leave a footprint in cyberspace that may be used against him in hiring or promotion by unscrupulous professors. This is sheer cowardice. Maybe I’m reckless, but nothing I have ever said or published was done out of calculation for my career. I wrote what I wanted, consequences be damned. ... Someone else would say I’m stubborn, rash, or stupid. I say I’m principled and brave. I’m proud of myself. I’m a man, not a mouse.
This business about the comments got me to thinking about bravery. I’m sorry to say it, but academics are among the most cowardly and obsequious people I have ever met. Graduate students in particular seem to have no intellectual independence. ... Stand up for what you believe in! Stop being a toady! Do you have no self-respect? Is your academic career more important than your integrity?
Clearly, Keith is rather impressed with himself, and seems to be quite determined to make sure graduate students and others without "J.D., Ph.D." behind their names know their proper place.
It actually gets worse:
there is almost nothing I hate more than cowardice. If you have a view of the war, for example, state it and defend it publicly. Don’t state and defend it only in safe contexts, where you know your interlocutors will agree with you. State it everywhere: at work, in church, at the ballpark, while riding your bike, on your blog, and, most importantly, at the dinner table (where critical thinkers are nourished).
Talk about pot calling the kettle black! This from a "man" who pulled the comments of his blog because people were disagreeing with him too much!
I saved the worst for last:
We bloggers—at least those of us who blog openly—are brave souls. Every day, we risk error and embarrassment by stating our views, constructing arguments, offering criticism of other people’s arguments, and commenting on public affairs. I have acquaintances who blog anonymously. I wish they’d come out. You’ll feel good about yourself; I guarantee it.
GAG ME WITH A FUCKING SPOON.
Oh, sorry. I mean:
Wow, Keith, you're such a brave soul; thank god we have big strong manly men like you to protect us by talking tough to Korean peasants half a globe away!
What a fucking tool.
(BTW, Len Carrier, if you're out there, we'd love to hear your side of all this.)
UPDATE: KBJ's other co-blogger on the Ethics of War, Matthew Mullins, offers his perspective on the whole situation:
Please notice that Keith's other group blog attempt Animal Ethics had an additional three contributors at one point. Ever wonder what happened to Mylan Engel Jr, Angus Taylor, and Nathan Nobis.
I would also like to point out that when Keith invited me to contribute at "The Ethics of War" he was not concerned that I was attending a "third-rate University." Keith never made any complaint about the quality of my posts, or my knowledge of just war theory and ethics in general. Keith never gave any guidelines as to how often we should post, and he gave us no warning before he pulled the plug. As for Keith's comments on charity and professionalism... Tu Quoque.
UPDATE #2: Matthew further clarifies the situation:
I was the student. Leonard Carrier is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy the University of Miami. He actually treated Len worse than me on the Ethics of War blog.