Tuesday 29 April 2014

Eschewing Debate and Exchange of Views, Peter Tompa Threatens PACHI

Aha. Asked to actually explain where the Treasure Act of the UK and the CCPIA of the USA allegedly "do the same job" and finding himself unable to do that, and failing to see the humour of the situation, Peter Tompa responded this afternoon with a not-too-veiled threat.Other commentators on the antiquities trade have come across this side of the Washington lawyer's character when faced with reasoning and opinions he could not counter, and I guess it was only a matter of time...

One reason for my beginning this blog on portable antiquities collecting and heritage issues five years ago was to allow the opportunity to response to the misinformation Mr Tompa in Washington and his fellows in the ACCG were spreading about antiquities collecting and archaeology, to try and straighten out some of the twists and spin that people like him were trying to insert into the public debate to switch attention from some of the other issues. As a result of this, I was subjected to a series of personal attacks on Tompa's, Welsh's, Sayles' and other US coin collectors blogs.

Despite this, I consider it only fair that if I criticise somebody's point of view or documented actions here, the person involved should have the right to reply. That has always been my practice here (the only exception being two UK metal detectorists who could not keep it within the bounds of civility and after repeated warnings were  banned). Up to now, and from the beginning of this blog, I have consistently published Peter Tompa's comments here in reply to my posts no matter what nonsense or nastiness I adjudged them to contain.

At two in the afternoon today, Peter Tompa sent a comment to a post here which I am not publishing, because it contains a threat intended to restrict the manner in which I discuss what he is saying. He says that he "believes" that certain elements of my posts here "place me in a false light, which is an actionable tort here in the DC". While not agreeing in any way with his assessment, I have removed the ones he indicated. Readers, without any help from me, can easily make up their own mind about the "light" in which what Mr Tompa writes on behalf of dugup antiquity dealers places him, and what it reflects.

I think it really takes some self-centred chutzpah for Mr Tompa to object to the way his opinions are discussed here, given the disgraceful and argument-dodging ad hominem comments he constantly publishes about me (and others) on his own "Cultural Property Observer' blog month by month. Just look at the spew of denigratory and insulting ad hominems he's posted in recent months allegedly on behalf of one "Arthur Houghton III" and from chip-on-shoulder detectorists John Howland and Dick Stout. There Mr Tompa does not think his activities are in any way reprehensible, offensive or actionable. Certainly these suggest that he's given up any pretence of producing a professional resource and properly engaging in the public debate as a lobbyist or anything else.

Since Mr Tompa rarely is able to actually comment on anything here with substance, and addressing the one-sided approach of what he does write takes up my time, and since he has shown himself clearly unable to engage in civilized discussion of heritage issues without resorting to threats, I will not be accepting any more of his comments here until further notice. He has also indicated (pers comm) "Instead of me taking the low road and posting your photo or publishing your address (sic!) [...] I will no longer comment on your blog and I will no longer accept any comments from you on my blog". That presumably gives him more freedom to write his nonsense without it being challenged by one of the few people that actually did write comments on his blog (it also means of course that Messers Howland, Houghton, "Alexander" and others now have carte blanche to continue their personal attacks there without risk of being contradicted).

Vignette: "Drowning in his own arguments" tort

1 comment:

Paul Barford said...

Cultural Property Observer has left a new comment on your post "Peter Tompa Threatens":

Peter Tompa has asked me to post this:
Let's just call it quits. I will no longer comment on your blog and I will no longer accept any comments from you on my blog. Frankly, it's really not worth the aggravation-- While you sometimes make a good point, its inevitably lost in some insult.
My comments sent to Peter Tompa's blog, needless to say, were always civil and to the point. Otherwise I would be giving him the excuse to reject them, which would rather defeat the object of sending them in the first place. Most of the time my comments however challenged the way Tompa had presented facts - obviously something he does not like.

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