The boy who cried Ethics

Jack Marshall has a site called “Ethics Alarms” and has posted Distracted Driving, Pot, and “The Great Debate” — a reaction to the Barney Frank, George Will, et al debate.

First, he takes up the issue of federal regulations against distracted driving.

Talking on a cell phone, texting, reading a Facebook update and other forms of distracted driving do endanger others, and making laws that punish fools who think keeping up with the Kardashians is worth risking the lives of my family is an easy call, ethically speaking. So a driver has to pull off the road and park before answering a call or reading a text…big deal. George needs to get out more: if he was behind the wheel with any frequency, he would know that the number of inattentive drivers weaving in and out of traffic, shifting speeds and missing lights and signals because of the Blackberry in their hands is frighteningly high.

Ethically, the trade-off is minor inconvenience—-in most cases, minor to the point of irrelevance—versus human lives saved.

He then demonstrates his scientific/ethical/analytical bona fides by stating:

Ethics, in the end, are determined by rational conclusions, based on observation, experience and analysis, about what kind of conduct and standards most benefit individuals, society and civilization. Doctrinaire elevations of minor infringements of principle to priority over undeniable risks to human life are not ethical. Ideological purity divorced from reality is no friend of ethics.

This is to show that he’s taking a rational calculus to determine the proper balance of risks and inconvenience (not sure who gets to set the scales, though).

However, this is also where his arguments turn as dumb as a box of rocks.

Let’s say he was able to show that all the various items discussed (texting, cell phone use, checking email, etc., while driving) are actually dangerous to lives, and we, for the moment, won’t bother with little technicalities like differences between people, technical solutions, etc.

In that case, I’d be perfectly happy to agree that not doing those things is worth the inconvenience.

However, that has absolutely nothing to do with a federal law.

Acting ethically is not equal to passing a law requiring people to do so. Marshall acts as though it is.

To play on his own words: laws should be determined by rational conclusions, based on observation, experience and analysis, about what kind of impact that they’ll have on the risky action, what other separate impact they’ll have, unintended consequences, and whether the risky action can be addressed in another way (such as reducing tobacco use without criminalizing it).

Unfortunately, most risk-prevention laws have no rational analysis, and this kind of idiocy is far too common. A law against doing something is actually seen as equivalent to not doing something. It is never considered that the law may have costs of its own, that it might not work, or that something other than a law might work better.

It may be that an education campaign is a better approach – getting people to choose not to ride with distracted drivers, or expressing disapproval (friends don’t let friends drive distracted). It may be that the law is unenforceable in any fair way (how will police tell the difference between GPS use and texting, etc.) or that new technology can play a part.

But saying “I’ve seen people weaving around, therefore we need a federal law” is not only irresponsible, it’s as dumb as a box of rocks.

This whole rant is just to set up the real stupidity of the piece. Next, he talks about marijuana, and it really gets surreal.

I’ll let you guys in comments have first crack at that. I may play around with it later. There’s way too much fun here to leave alone.

[Thanks, Mark]
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56 Responses to The boy who cried Ethics

  1. Duncan20903 says:

    The aphorism of the day:

    A person capable of reasoning is incapable of being a Know Nothing prohibitionist.

  2. Nick says:

    “Ethics, in the end, are determined by rational conclusions, based on observation, experience and analysis, about what kind of conduct and standards most benefit individuals, society and civilization.”

    I’ve never before seen a more distinct way to say you’re a narcissist.

  3. primus says:

    They took him apart at the seams.

  4. N.T. Greene says:

    “Like getting drunk, using marijuana may be relaxing or fun, but there are many, many ways to have fun and relax in America that don’t undermine the rest of society. Once again, the ethical trade-off is an easy one—a society without people wasting their time and money making themselves periodically slow-witted, inarticulate and stupid is undeniably a better society to live in than one that encourages such conduct, and making the conduct legal does encourage it.”

    I don’t get it. I honestly don’t get it. Is he trying to say that alcohol being legal is okay but marijuana regulation is anathema… despite the two being intrinsically the same? Nowhere does he really separate the two.

    The most damning, however, comes at the end:

    “Sometimes giving up a small amount or personal freedom to promote a more stable society and to protect fellow citizens is the most ethical course. The fact that neither of the ideological opposites in this Great Debate seemed to understand that is troubling.”

    This is America. The United States was founded by men and women who refused to compromise their freedoms and beliefs for the sake of “safety”. His idea is -ethically- suspect. It is the very language that is employed by fascists.

    • A better-than-thou moralist sitting at the bottom of a deep, narrow hole equipped only with utilitarianism has a very limited perspective of things and often doesn’t see that his now Socialist leanings contain the seed of tyranny.

      To perfect the image realize that he is, of course, talking about “other people” and the sacrifices they should make. His own lifestyle is perfect y’know…

  5. darkcycle says:

    I’ll have a go at this, but it’ll haftsta wait ’till tomorrow after I’ve had a good dose of cold medicine and coffee. You’re right though, this one’s too rich to pass on. That’s a proper piece of bloviating BS. BTW, WindyPundit, who I’ve seen about the net, rolled his argument up and smoked it pert good.

  6. allan says:

    Must be feeling my oats… I went and replied. We’ll see, it says “comments moderated.”

    I think I gave it a good start…

    wow… you do realize a scientist just developed a strain of bird flu that’s capable of killing 60% those it infects? Now that’s dangerous…

    And pot? Really? You want to go there? Ok… I’ll start…

    Do you believe that laws should be based on facts or racial hysteria?

    Do you believe laws that produce racially discriminatory enforcement, should be maintained in spite of that civil imbalance?
    [Did you know that the US imprisons young black males at a rate nearly six times greater per capita than South Africa at the peak of Apartheid? (and not that there ever was a “peak” to apartheid)]

    Cannabis played an important role in the founding of this nation. It was a benign and useful agricultural staple. It was a common over-the-counter medicine up until it’s banning.

    Why was it banned? Because it threatened to turn lily white youth into black jazz musicians… and it drove Mexicans to maniacal acts of homicide.

    And finally…

    Are you aware of the 1988 report from DEA (that’s the Drug Enforcement Administration) administrative law judge Francis Young in which he called cannabis “one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man?” He further went on to call its criminalization “cruel and capricious.”

    I guarantee you’ll lose any argument on the issue of Cannabis Prohibition. Unless you’re a supporter of laws based on lies and racially discriminatory law enforcement unwilling to be swayed by science, facts, history or common sense, any discussion on the topic ends with Prohibition II losing.

  7. kaptinemo says:

    I began to read the article, and the ghost of Nietzsche was heard whispering in my ear:

    “But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound. Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking. And when they call themselves ‘the good and just,’ forget not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but — power!

    The author’s use of insulting references towards those he deems to be Leftists (and which he therefore seems to consider them to be effete and/or moral reprobates) marks him as an Right-wing authoritarian.

    But it doesn’t matter from what end of the spectrum the madness arrives; authoritarians can come in all stripes. It was the authoritarians of the so-called ‘Progressive Age’ in the early 20th century that thought minorities were little more than dangerously errant children permanently in need of ‘supervision’ (usually via police truncheon) regardless of their age. The sort who hold that their sense of moral judgement is superior to their peers generally act that way. But if they were to look down, they’d see there’s as many chunks of clay breaking off their feet as their neighbor’s.

    The problem is that they won’t look down and acknowledge the obvious. They’d prefer to ignore that and continue lecturing their peers – who might actually be their moral superiors – in how to conduct themselves in life. Nietzsche’s warning, personified. Arguing with such is usually pointless, as they will stridently continue to lecture their neighbor about dust specks in their eyes while ignoring the 2×4 sticking out of their own.

  8. dt says:

    The guy seems to have marijuana confused with strong opioids.

  9. allan says:

    what an attitude… at least Jack is consistent… but gads, what an asshat. Sado-moralists indeed… “I lived with a stoner and he ate all my food all the time and therefore all stoners are going to eat all the food in the country and if we don’t stop them they’ll consume the world!”

    Make that a snarky asshat. He should really get over himself.

    • tensity1 says:

      Far too kind, allan. I’ll just say it: he’s a grade A dick. kaptinemo has it right, dude is an authoritarian not too far away from getting on his jackboots.

  10. AwaitingJack'sBenediction says:

    Many hours ago, I posted two comments over at “Ethics Alarms” but they still haven’t been approved. So I guess Jack Marshall is only ethical in the Orwellian sense of the word.

    I posted this one to back up Allan’s post on racial disparities:

    Jack, how uninformed of you to claim that “a disproportionate number of criminals are black”

    Nationwide Afro-Americans are arrested, convicted and imprisoned disproportionately. Thirty-seven percent of drug-offense arrests are Afro-Americans, 53 percent of convictions are of Afro-Americans, and 67 percent — two-thirds of all people imprisoned for drug offenses — are Afro-Americans. This is depute the fact that Afro-Americans do not use drugs at a perceivable higher rate than white Americans. – 8.2% of whites and 10.1% of blacks use illicit drugs.

    Much of the voting rights & victories won by the civil rights movement during the 1960s have effectively been eroded. Nearly 5 million people are now barred from voting because of felony disenfranchisement laws. The United States is the only industrial democracy that does this.

    Drug prohibition has become a successor system to Jim Crow laws in targeting black citizens, removing them from civil society and then barring them from the right to vote. If harsh sentences deterred illicit drug use, America would be “drug-free” by now. But that is not the case, and never will be. The drug war has given the “former land of the free” the highest incarceration rate in the world and disenfranchised millions of citizens. It is a cure worse than the disease.

    One out of three young African American (ages 18 to 35) men are in prison or on some form of supervised release. There are more African American men in prison than in college. Thats a four times higher percentage of Black men in prison than South Africa at the height of apartheid.

    Let’s look at the statistics again: (2008 – illicit drug use by race) “Current illicit drug use among persons aged 12 or older varied by race/ethnicity in 2008, with the lowest rate among Asians (3.6 percent) (Figure 2.9). Rates were 14.7 percent for persons reporting two or more races, 10.1 percent for blacks, 9.5 percent for American Indians or Alaska Natives, 8.2 percent for whites, 7.3 percent of Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, and 6.2 percent for Hispanics.”

    That’s 8.2% of whites and 10.1% of blacks using illicit drugs. Now look at the incarceration statistics:

    (2007 – incarceration rate by race) “The custody incarceration rate for black males was 4,618 per 100,000.
    while the incarceration rate of white males was 773 per 100,000.

    This means that there are at least 5 times more blacks incarcerated for drug offenses than should be expected. This is clearly a gross injustice!

    Whatever the exact dynamics involved, these horrific racial disparities are a direct result of drug-prohibition and are quite clearly unacceptable. This moronothon has done nothing but breed generations of incarcerated and disenfranchised Afro Americans and any citizen not doing their utmost to help reverse this perverse injustice may duly hang their head in shame

  11. AwaitingJack'sBenediction says:

    And this one in reply to his ridiculous claim that “Prohibition only failed because it was tried far to late”

    Jack, you appear to be living in some strange parallel universe, one where “prohibition actually works if started earlier.”
    May I draw your attention to the testimony of Judge Alfred J Talley, given before the Senate Hearings of 1926:

    “For the first time in our history, full faith and confidence in and respect for the hitherto sacred Constitution of the United States has been weakened and impaired because this terrifying invasion of natural rights has been engrafted upon the fundamental law of our land, and experience has shown that it is being wantonly and derisively violated in every State, city, and hamlet in the country.”

    “It has made potential drunkards of the youth of the land, not because intoxicating liquor appeals to their taste or disposition, but because it is a forbidden thing, and because it is forbidden makes an irresistible appeal to the unformed and immature. It has brought into our midst the intemperate woman, the most fearsome and menacing thing for the future of our national life.”

    “It has brought the sickening slime of corruption, dishonor, and disgrace into every group of employees and officials in city, State, and Federal departments that have been charged with the enforcement of this odious law.”

    And the following paragraphs are from WALTER E. EDGE’s testimony, a Senator from New Jersey:

    “Any law that brings in its wake such wide corruption in the public service, increased alcoholic insanity, and deaths, increased arrests for drunkenness, home barrooms, and development among young boys and young women of the use of the flask never heard of before prohibition can not be successfully defended.”

    “I unhesitatingly contend that those who recognize existing evils and sincerely endeavor to correct them are contributing more toward temperance than those who stubbornly refuse to admit the facts.”

    “The opposition always proceeds on the theory that give them time and they will stop the habit of indulging in intoxicating beverages. This can not be accomplished. We should recognize our problem is not to persist in the impossible, but to recognize a situation and bring about common-sense temperance through reason.”

    “This is not a campaign to bring back intoxicating liquor, as is so often claimed by the fanatical dry. Intoxicating liquor is with us to-day and practically as accessible as it ever was. The difference mainly because of its illegality, is its greater destructive power, as evidenced on every hand. The sincere advocates of prohibition welcome efforts for real temperance rather than a continuation of the present bluff.”

    If you genuinely believe that prohibition is an effective policy for dealing with substance use and addiction, then why are you not calling for drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, along with non-drug activities such as gambling or even dangerous sports that also pose a high risk to people’s health, to be assessed according to the same criteria? Or are you quite happy for the majority of us to carry on regarding you as a disingenuous hypocrite whose tirade against the users of drugs, other than those you favor, is not based on genuine concern for people’s wellbeing but on your own personal prejudices?

    • tensity1 says:

      I was considering replying to the guy with similar information, but the fact that he had to gall to get offended by allan “bringing race” into the equation set off alarms that this dude was probably one not to be successfully reasoned with–see kaptinemo’s post above. Really made me wish I could reach through the ‘net and pimp-slap his ass.

      Honestly, his attitude makes me think of myself and just about every other person transitioning out of adolescence into adulthood, when we think we know how things should be and wtf is wrong with everyone else not “getting it.” It is so naive and juvenile, but the only problem is that this guy looks to be at least a couple of decades past that stage of life.

  12. allan says:

    I provided him a link to this post…

    I doubt my comment will be posted tho’.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      He posted it. Mine is still in limbo 2 hours after I pressed submit. I really have grown weary of places that think it’s necessary to ‘moderate’ every comment even though so far I’ve been pleased to find that for the most part there isn’t much censorship based on content. It’s the ones that censor based on the whims of the moderator that get me. I really am done with HuffPo for that very reason. The Daily Mail and the Washington Times are the other members of that very short list.

      There simply is no evidence that impaired driving would increase were cannabis re-legalized. As a matter of fact, all available evidence says that the opposite is more likely.

      Alaska re-re-lega­lized in 2002 after an 11 year period of re-crimina­lization. In the SAMHSA study linked below Alaska was found to have a statistica­lly significan­t ***reducti­on*** in the incidence of drugged driving in the study period from 2002 to 2009. The 2002 in the study is the very same 2002 when the Alaska Court of Appeals tossed out the 1990 re-crimina­lization vote and re-re-lega­lized petty possession and petty cultivatio­n in Alaska.

      Don’t look now but California is another of the 7 States which had a statistica­lly significan­t reduction in the incidence of “drugged” driving in the study period. The number of Californians claiming the protection of the Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program Act increased by at least a factor of 10 during the study period.

      No, it doesn’t prove that it causes a decline, but it sure doesn’t support the Know Nothing prohibitionist generated hysterical rhetoric that arresting people who never have, and may never drive while impaired is a benefit to highway safety. No one is arguing for the decriminal­ization of impaired driving Jack. It’s totally absurd to conflate that issue with personal possession­ whether for medicinal need or just plain enjoyment. The sum total of the parts of your argument make it one giant strawman.

    • darkcycle says:

      Oh Allan, kudos! That taunt was priceless. I can feel him out there, lurking.

  13. Capo says:

    To me, this is just the latest pet peeve that people have been searching for some scientific evidence to justify banning.

    In my experience, the people who shout the loudest about pulling over to make a phone call, or no phone call is so important, are the first ones to make a call in the car when they need to. They justify it in any number of ways, and then conveniently forget that they do whatever they want whenever they want and only want to foist their opinions on others.

    Never mind the fact that enforcing a law like this is next to impossible, or that it will be abused by Police to further profile minorities. Or that by banning it the roads will be less safe since…news flash…people will ignore it and now simply hide their phone on their laps taking their eyes further from the Roads.

    • allan says:

      oh, no doubt. He’s a pompous ass. We’ve met a few along the way… have you ever seen Linda Taylor on YouTube?

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Oh my gawd. Talk about something that should be against the law. The digital cameras and video recording devices are great, but I miss the benefit of the old analog devices which made it impossible to photograph creatures as fugly as Ms. Taylor. One would think if they can make digital cameras that make the same noises as the old analog cameras that the darn things could be programmed to break if one attempts to photograph something like that.

        As always, I apologize for my inability to avoid posting gratuitous insults of Ms. T. We all have our defects of character.

      • damn allan, don’t let linda get more hits!

  14. darkcycle says:

    Ouch…Jack got off at the wrong bus stop, and now he’s been beaten up so badly his mom is gonna hafta come rescue him.

  15. darkcycle says:

    Okay, I’m in, posted at 10:30 PST. fat lot of good it’ll do, I feel like I’m the last dog on the pile. There’s not much left of him to shred.

  16. darkcycle says:

    Oh, the comment policies there are noteworthy in that he seems to require a name with the screen name. Anon. comments are disallowed. I’d love to discuss that policy with him as well. The ability to speak anonymously is a requirement in an open forum. If it isn’t, it’s not “open” by definition.
    But, just to be civil, I sent him a blank e-mail.

  17. Scott says:

    The fact is to legally define risk is to illegally define liberty in the United States.

    After scrutinizing our nation’s two most precious documents, that fact is based on the perfectly clear definition of liberty in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and amendment nine in our Constitution.

    Our most famous declaration does not use vague words such as “reasonable” regarding the definition of liberty, only words clear in their meaning. The relevant words are “self-evident”, “unalienable”, and “liberty” itself.

    Based on that definition, the only limit against your liberty is the right itself.

    People wrongly assume that acts indirectly infringing upon another person’s rights can be regulated by law, but that must be false. The act of breathing indirectly leads to all rights-infringing acts (e.g. if you cannot breathe, you cannot murder). Assuming our “public servants” do not regulate breathing, a ‘liberty line’ drawn in law must exist separating breathing from, for example, holding a certain plant in your hand (which is wrongly believed to cause such indirect infringement). That line necessitates that our public servants define liberty, unethically opposing that fundamental right.

    Though our most famous declaration is not law, it is protected by our Constitution. What our judicial branch has done to “disarm” the ninth amendment (“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”) is outrageous. Other rights retained by the people must include the self-evident truths constituting our fundamental rights.

    I have run into people who believe the moral code is objective, but moral relativism clearly exists. Some people believe it is immoral to swear in public. I think it is stupid (if the word selection is off), but not immoral. Some people believe using marijuana is immoral. I do not, based on the fact that no experimental science concludes any harm in moderate use.

    What “We the people” need to do is force our public servants to focus our rule-of-law solely on direct rights infringement (i.e. acts that are objectively proven to be harmful — murder, assault, theft, etc.) Of course, this requires sound minds who understand how to communicate with the masses to educate them first.

    The legal defining of risk is ironically seriously risky, and has led to a lot of suffering, noting proponents for such law cannot prove any reduction in overall tragedy (and likely never will be able to).

    Exploration and innovation, essential to our evolution, are very risky.

    Liberty is key to flexibility, which is key to adaptability, which is key to survivability.

    It is time for everyone to understand this.

  18. darkcycle says:

    Well, that was fun kicking the crap out of Jack with you all, but I’m still wiped out by this cold. I hope I was adequate. But like I said, I sure couldn’t drive on the ammount of benadryl I’ve taken today. I keep reeling into walls. Nite-nite.
    Big meeting tomorrow, make or break for my business at this stage.

  19. TINMA says:

    Sorry jack, you fail. This is America. Giving up freedom for safety? I think not. Its called personal responability and choice. Something government (and folks like you) are doing their damnedset to remove from us all in order to make us all dependant upon the nanny state.

    Guees we better remove the tv, radio, garmin, children from the car, and remove billboards from the raod sides…along with bumper stickers, window lickers, and the put up walls along the road way so we can’t gawk at the beauty nature brings us.

  20. allan says:

    aaah… a young gentleman named Dwayne has joined the comments:

    I’ll just add something that nearly never gets brought up in discussions about medical marijuana:

    Have you ever heard of Marinol? You probably haven’t. It’s a synthetic THC in a pill form, and legal in all 50 states. It is used to treat all of the same symptoms (glaucoma, et. al.) that smoked marijuana is used for, and is just as effective. But in a pill form, you can actually control the dosage, which is important in any medical application.

    Name for me one other prescribed drug that is administered by smoking it. Can you?

    He did alright up to uttering this…

    • Malc says:

      Just posted this:

      Smoking is just one of the delivery methods for cannabis. Many people here will find it strange that you’ve never heard of vaporizers, tinctures or cannabis edibles.

      As far as Marinol/dronabinol is concerned, reducing cannabis to just THC, minimizes efficacy and greatly increases side effects.

      Many people, including scientists, believe that Marinol/dronabinol lacks the beneficial properties of marijuana/cannabis, which contains more than 60 cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), thought to be the major anticonvulsant that helps multiple sclerosis patients, and cannabichromene (CBC), an anti-inflammatory which may contribute to the pain-killing effect of cannabis.

      It takes over one hour for Marinol to reach full effect, compared to minutes for smoked or vaporized cannabis. Patients accustomed to inhaling just enough cannabis smoke to manage symptoms have complained of too-intense intoxication from Marinol’s predetermined dosages. It’s also difficult to keep a pill down when one is nauseated. Many have also said that Marinol even produces a far more acute psychedelic effect than cannabis.

      Cannabis vs Marinol
      Marinol (Dronabinol) = 1344 USD per month
      Marijuana = free if you grow your own outdoors.

    • TINMA says:

      Oh yes, we scientists can do better than mother nature….thats why we see ads on TV ALL the time about sueing drug makers for their defunct crap.

  21. Duncan20903 says:

    Let’s see if he publishes this one:

    The major flaw in the “there’s no such thing as smoked medicine” canard is the basic, fundamental fact that cannabis doesn’t require smoking to gain its benefits, whether for medicinal need or just for plain enjoyment.

    However, the fact that there’s currently no such thing as an ***FDA approved*** medicine that’s smoked is hardly proof that there can never be such a critter either. Prior to 2004 there were no FDA approved medical devices which are either necrotic, flesh eating insect larvae or blood sucking worms. Today if your doctor thinks they’re needed both medicinal grade maggots and leeches are available to treat your medical condition.

    FDA approval does not confer medicinal utility on a substance or even a critter. The medical utility of every single thing approved by the FDA was the same the day before as the day after receiving approval. It’s really something that should be being decided by licensed medical doctors and accredited scientists with no political pressure on their decisions one way or the other. It is not something appropriately decided by Know Nothing laymen playing doctor on the Internet, and is most certainly not the bailiwick of politicians promoting a self serving political agenda.

    Tell me, if Marinol is “pot in a pill” why aren’t there any potheads interested in a prescription? Junkies sure go for that oxycodone and hydrocodone. There are lots and lots of “pill mills” with lines of junkies out the door and down the block, but nary a Marinol “pill mill” to be found. There is a reason for that. If you don’t know what it is, you haven’t even a basic working knowledge of the fundamental facts of this issue and there’s no earthly reason that your opinion should be considered. How about if we leave the doctoring to the doctors?

  22. darkcycle says:

    Allan, time to give up on Jack, he’s a racist ass and irrational prohibitionist who uses intellect to rationalize his own prejudice. He and that entire bullshit “ethicsalarms” site are a monumental waste of time.
    He revealed his hand, and the bankruptcy of his position. Guy is a certifiable and unrepentant asshole.

    • allan says:


      People like Allan are directly—DIRECTLY responsible for the conditions that created the addicts and damaged people I know intimately. People like Allan ignore THAT evidence because, you know, getting high is fun for them. It’s despicable.

      he threw this plum out there too:

      Alcohol does not need to be abused; you can enjoy a drink without becoming intoxicated.

      and yes, he’s an intellectual bully. That’s ok, I’m a smart ass and have received far better licks than he’s delivering. But, as with the cases of many others of his ilk that we’ve encountered, it’s become more about providing info to his readers (if he has m/any).

      he called me a zealot too… sniffle sniffle… waaaaaaaahhhh!!!!!

    • darkcycle says:

      Allan, you’re not a zealot. I mean…who could call that screaming naked man with his fists raised a zealot? Not me…

  23. darkcycle says:

    JEEEZUZ GUYS! It’s done…he’s shown himself clearly to be a bigoted know-nothing. We’ve won this one! He’s like the Black Knight…we’ve cut his arms and legs off but he still wants to bite us to death. Let’s just go and leave him bleed there! Francis? Francis?

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Oh please. It’s all allan’s fault because allan think all substances on the naughty list should be legal and the sales reps from the ‘drug’ factory should be allowed to set up promotional displays in the lobbies of elementary schools to hand out free samples. No problem right allan? Because of course while all that’s going on allan would be in the teacher’s lounge with his merrywanna making all those poor spinster school teachers want to miscegenate with Negro jazz musicians with flutes the size of eggplants! Or even worse, with real eggplants! Hey, would that be misvegenation?

      • darkcycle says:

        That guy is rare one right-right. I’m beginning to think he’s actually a little on the delusional side, myself. And I don’t mean sub-clinical. He’s real close to being all the way gone. Like I said, reason ceases to be reason when it does not bend to basic reality.

      • allan says:

        well heck, if I’m in the teachers’ lounge with “poor spinster school teachers”… put down that phone gals, I play jazz… and I’ve brought the muggles!

    • allan says:

      it was nice to see MAP’s Matt Elrod weighing in… and all y’all of course. Thanks, it was fun playing, I don’t get out much these days.

      • Francis says:

        Ha, yeah that was fun. (And darkcycle, you read my mind. This guy is a classic Black Knight prohibitionist.) But I was also starting to feel a bit like Dragline in the boxing scene from Cool Hand Luke: “For God’s sake, you’re beaten, just stay down!” We kept knocking him on his ass, but Jack just kept staggering to his feet and doggedly flailing away in an increasingly ineffectual manner. Frankly, it was getting a little hard to watch towards the end. Of course, there are a few problems with that analogy. In the movie, Luke’s determination to keep fighting despite being outmatched showed his indomitable spirit and won the respect of Dragline and the other prisoners. Jack’s stubborn refusal to admit defeat simply shows the severity of his delusion and earned only my pity. Plus, if Jack is any character from Cool Hand Luke, his petty authoritarianism and enthusiasm for caging his fellow man obviously makes him the warden.

        And of course, engaging with the guy did call to mind this line from the movie: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.” I don’t think we’re gonna reach Jack.

  24. darkcycle says:

    Jack: “I’m not dead yet!” Us: “Oh shut up and get on the cart.”

  25. allan says:

    LEAP’s Neill Franklin responds and is worth going back to read…

    • Francis says:

      Here’s Jack’s response:

      Thanks for your perspective, Neil. I’ve been waiting for a Comment of the Day on this topic that didn’t rely on rationalizations and bias. Good job. Sleep tight.

      Now, don’t get me wrong, Neil’s comment was fantastic, BUT* his arguments weren’t really much different from the ones that us lowly stoners had been making ad nauseum in the 150+ preceding posts. But, man, talk about a difference of tone in ol’ Jack’s response! The snark has vanished and he’s now completely respectful, even deferential. It looks like Jack might be a bit of a pushover for a man in uniform. (Most authoritarians are.) I was already convinced that LEAP was a tremendously important and powerful organization, but that should really drive it home.

      *(And damn it, I wanted the coveted “Jack Marshall Comment of the Day” award!)

      • allan says:

        indeed Francis… I laughed when I saw Jack’s response to Neill…

        The only thing different in Neill’s response is that it comes from an ex-cop… and therein – as you point out- lies the power of LEAP. Thank you Neill and LEAP!

        I’ve just read Jack’s bio again and I think I’ve found a big part of his (I don’t want to call it a problem)… behavioral deficiency… he’s a RedSox fan. Have pity, if only for that…

  26. darkcycle says:

    Wow. Just wow. Good on Niel. (Malcolm and I had facebooked this around, I wonder if that’s how he found it?…it’s astonishing how fast these things spread through the activist community when they’re facebooked. Start “friending” cannabists and dispensaries, and unsubscribe the ones who put out too much drivel. Steve Kubby is a good one to follow, as is my old buddy Vivian McPeak and Otherside Farms…. but damn the stuff spreads fast…but keep in mind, that’s how I got suckered into believing that Swiss story).
    Anyway, there is nothing in his post that hadn’t been covered in prior posts…Simply Niel’s voice coming from a picture of a guy with lots of ribbons.

  27. darkcycle says:

    …and Jeez, Francis…that was just cruel. That exchange where he called you an “arrogant scofflaw” should be entered into the history books. “Life is full of tradeoffs”, indeed. I’m kinda bummed that he didn’t respond to a single one of my comments, but that would mean he didn’t feel safe assailing my points then wouldn’t it? (or, I suppose it could mean he though I was too dumb to respond to…)
    That comment thread will be recalled and re-read whenever I feel down about the progress of the drug war…it’s that good.
    P.S. This guy is seriously JUST LIKE my dad.

  28. Francis says:

    Ha, thanks man. BTW, I started a Facebook account for my *gulp* activism a little while ago. (I swear, I never intended to become an “activist” when I first started posting. I was just gonna make a few quick points. Get in, get out. Nobody gets addicted. 🙂 That doesn’t appear to have worked out.) How do I find you guys?

    • darkcycle says:

      Curtis Creek. Friend me.
      Yeah. Me too. Twenty-five years ago. Just wanted to write a couple of drug reform articals in a little community throwaway newsrag. Look where it’s got me. 🙂

    • allan says:

      Allan Erickson is me…

      And admit it… you were sucked in by our overpowering charm. And of course that spot on the couch you find so comfortable (because it’s closest to the fridge is my guess).

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Francis I got involved in this stuff because I went out looking for the evidence that pot is bad to convince myself to quit because my PO was repressing me. You probably can’t even imagine my shock and surprise when I found out that the authorities were actually lying to me! I do mean my personal, internal reaction, not that they were doing so. I guess I’m not as bad off as DC. I was able to quit in 1994 after I had determined that it was going nowhere.

      PS Jack might have given you his poster of the day honor if you were a better butt kisser. He buys all of his booze at Butt Liquors you know.

  29. darkcycle says:

    There…We’re friends…I took the liberty of suggesting a few more friends for you, hope y’all don’t mind. It is a public forum after all.

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