Some fun for commenting junkies

Don’t have time to write about it now (and I will be at some time), but…

Read this: Killing Whitney Houston by Jack Marshall at Ethics Alarms

and this: Don’t let Whitney Houston become the next Len Bias – a response by Mark at Nobody’s Business (along with a comment by Jack there).

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43 Responses to Some fun for commenting junkies

  1. kaptinemo says:

    And here’s another. From Suzie Bright’s Whitney Houston’s Death is Probably Not What You Think It Is:

    “I don’t know anything about Whitney’s cause of death. We may never know. Unlike the media, however, I wouldn’t presume to festoon a “drug-addict-tragedy” to her memory. I find this treament sexist, disrespectful— and medically, clueless. Easy prejudices are driving this story.

    Statistically, the number one reason that a woman like Whitney, of her age and background, would die at this age is: heart disease. Plain, old fashioned, anyone-coulda-been-affected, HEART DISEASE.

    Cause of death is certainly NOT “heavy marijuana use” which I’ve read repeatedly. Absurd.”

  2. kaptinemo says:

    And Mr. Marshall’s response tends to vindicate my position that prohibitionists really do not understand the nature of communication, believing it to be a one way street…their street. They do not talk with you, but at you.

    It’s part-and-parcel with authoritarian mindsets that since they believe themselves to actually be ‘authorities’ – regardless of actual qualifications – that there is no point in engaging in debate as they are, a priori, correct at all times. Factual information contrary to their cherished beliefs is automatically rejected, and information which is inconclusive at best that might (repeating the caveat might) support their position are trumpeted from the heights…until, as so often happens, is disproved.

    Case in point, the Zhang Study that posited that there might (there’s that weasel word, again) be a cancer connection with cannabis was heralded by prohibs as being the ‘silver bullet’ to kill re-legalization efforts. Never mind the fact there there haven’t been any connections proved, only that there might be one.

    This theory was shot down in flames by a member of the Zhang Study, Dr. Tashkin, who conducted his own study and – wonder of wonders, big surprise, get the smelling salts – showed the EXACT OPPOSITE happening, that cannabis has anti-cancer properties.

    But since this runs contrary to what the basically authoritarian prohibs ‘know’ about cannabis, the Tashkin Study is virtually ignored by them, and the prohibs will, to this day, attempt to use discredited studies such as Zhang’s in hopes that the issue-naive public will assume the prohibs are ‘authorities’ and must be considered experts, and thus believed.

    Intellectual prostitution in the name of advancing a supposedly moral position intertwined with right-wing ideology powering laws based upon racial bigotry and stereotypes that causes vastly more harm to the citizens than was supposed to happen: prohibition – and prohibitionists – encapsulated.

  3. Mark Draughn says:

    For whatever it’s worth, Jack Marshall’s actually a pretty good guy to argue with. We all think he’s wrong, of course, and I think we’re right about that, but he’s not exactly an evil minion of the state. He’s seriously trying to discuss the issue, and he gives good responses to reasonable comments.

    • allan says:

      we’ve visited Jack’s site before. He may be a good guy to argue with but he’s terrible to discuss w/, for the exact reasons Kap states above. Jack turns his nose at facts (or more-or-less politely ignores them).

      The argument is the same whether guns, drugs, cars or extreme sports. They don’t kill, people kill. People kill each other, people kill themselves. Education, as we’ve seen w/ reducing tobacco consumption, is the most productive, respectful and sensible way to reduce any harms.

      I’m half tempted to believe Jack is a shameless self-promoter (in wwweb terms, a hit whore)(which I understand, I am a writer and photographer). We DON’T KNOW what killed Whitney Houston. Jack says drugs killed her. Drugs are inanimate – no will, no moral failings. They are things.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        There’s no doubt in my mind that there are several MSM outlets that knowingly print stuff to get cannabis law reform advocates riled up. I think the Denver Post is a dictionary picture example. Remember last January when the DP ran a story with “Marijuana found in system of man who died in Pitkin County fall” and mentioned the man’s .294 BAC as if it were a sniggling detail at the end of the article?

        As a general rule of thumb it’s a good strategy. It’s really not difficult to get us to swarm.

    • Que? says:

      “He’s seriously trying to discuss the issue, and he gives good responses to reasonable comments.”

      Are we discussing the same Jack Marshall?

    • darkcycle says:

      We can’t be talking about the same Jack. The one I’m arguing with is rude, dismissive and likes to call people names…

    • kaptinemo says:

      Were I not aware of the forces behind drug prohibition and their aims, background, etc. I might be inclined to cut Mr. Marshall some slack. But I can’t, because if there’s one thing that I find abhorrent, it’s the pretense of ethics used to bolster one’s own prejudices.

      It becomes very clear in his rejoinder to Mr. ‘Mark’ that Mr. Marshall is doing just that. His views on drug users as moral reprobates for even considering to use psychotropic substances for recreational purposes is quite clear…while very conveniently forgetting – or is ignorant of – the history of drug prohibition in this country.

      The period prior to the enactment of Federal laws against recreational drug usage had vastly less crime than we do today, and that is not just because of the population being smaller or any more (ahem) ‘moral’ than our own today. Crime occurred, in high as well as low places, from the heights of power to the nearest street gutter…just not to the degree allowed for by prohibition. It was drug prohibition which led to the creation of bloodthirsty, murderous cartels that could, in time, challenge national governments, as they do today.

      But this could not have happened without the institutionalization of racial prejudice enshrined into drug law under the rubric of ‘public safety’. In short, the laws arose from racial and ethnic prejudices on the part of the dominant portion of society masquerading as ‘ethics’, as opposed to the real deal, which would have demanded that rationality, not bigotry, guide policy.

      Bigotry won, and we’ve been paying the price ever since, and African-Americans such as the sadly late Ms. Houston have been made to bear the brunt of that price, as they were, first and foremost and continue to be the intended targets of that bigotry.

      Because of that, Mr. Marshall falls into the trap of having to defend the indefensible, and do so mainly from the power of his own convictions and little else. And those convictions are not based upon the ethics he purports to champion, but the ‘ethics’ of his own beliefs about drugs and drug users. Obviously, very prejudicial beliefs.

      Mr. Marshall would do well to some research of his own into the history of the drug laws of this country, as well as into the mindset of those who seek to maintain it. But that would require him to challenge some very core beliefs he almost certainly holds, about himself and the world.

      And one thing most authoritarians really hate is learning that maybe they aren’t wearing the moral ‘white hats’, after all…and thus aren’t the authorities on morality they believe themselves to be.

      • allan says:

        aye Kap… the dismissal is all I need. I scrape my chair as I push it back, stand up and walk away. “Fine…”

        I can discuss ethics, morality, god… w/ the best of ’em. There is nothing ethical about supporting a policy that breeds such vile harms. Drugs don’t boil people in vats of acid.

    • primus says:

      NO he doesn’t. He slings mud, makes sweeping generalizations and generally bullies. I would bet that he’s LOUD in person.

      • claygooding says:

        More than likely a wall flower in crowds where he is unknown but if he is “on stage” and primed,,the show is on!

  4. Servetus says:

    Even if a link between drugs and Whitney’s death were to be discovered in an autopsy, it would only mean she died under the auspices of prohibition, thereby establishing once again that prohibition is ineffective in achieving its stated goals of saving people from alleged drug use tragedies.

    Under legalization and regulation, and thus under less personal stigmatization, Whitney Houston might have been more likely to approach physicians to discuss and treat any latent drug side effects and other health problems she might have acquired. Simple exercise and food supplements can achieve a great deal in this regard. For example, Vitamin B-12 works to prevent cirrhosis of the liver for heavy drinkers. Other techniques for halting or reversing health damage caused by drug use could be researched and developed.

    Harm reduction is not something a persecuting government does, however. In the United States, the wages of sin must be death. Nothing else will satisfy the ghouls who promote the drug laws.

  5. tensity1 says:

    Goddammit, after reading the comments, I was thinking, “who’s this Jack Marshall?” and clicked on the link. Oh great, it’s this asshole again. Now I’m going to have to make sure I remember his name and site so I never, ever go back to that digital den of authoritarian, fascist-wannabe douchebaggery.

    Straight up, not pulling-any-punches-insulting, guy is a class A narcissist prick who thinks he’s winning arguments by splitting fine points and rules of debating and logic, which he tends to ignore (along with facts, as others have mentioned) when convenient. Kap has it right about this dude. If Jack were an Afghani, he’d definitely be on the Taliban high council passing down sentences of limb or head choppings, or performing them.

    Frack me.

    • darkcycle says:

      Douchebaggerry…can I use that?

      • allan says:

        I always say it’s “our language.” And if the bag fits…? Douchebaggery it is. Synonymous w/ excrementalism.

      • BagOfKittens says:

        Awaiting confirmation:

        to jackmarshallize

        (verb) to write, pontificate or act in such a manner that resembles unconscionable, sadomoralistic douchebaggerry of the very highest order.

        Jack Marshall is a self-proclaimed champion of ethics, but he is actually just a lawyer who is invariably very rude, dismissive and intimidating.

        In attempting to defend the indefensible (most often his beloved policy of drug prohibition) he does so mainly from the power of his own extreme prejudicial convictions – by blatantly ignoring fact and historical precedent he has achieved the highest form of cognitive dissonance and suffocating bigotry.

        Mr Marshall’s convictions are most definitely not based upon the ethics he purports to champion, but are the ‘ethics’ of utter malice towards all who dare to disagree with his particular form of stifling, authoritarian hypocrisy.

        To use it in a sentence: “Do you honestly believe you can just march in here and simply jackmarshallize us?

        TAGS: unconscionable, unethical, prohibitionist, hypocrite, right-wing, bully,

        • tensity1 says:

          Douchebaggery, excrementalism, jackmarshallize–they’re gonna get up there with santorum. I’m sure Pete is glad about how elevate the level of discourse around here, heh heh.

  6. darkcycle says:

    Thanks, Pete. I was feelin’ kinda pissy today. Nice that I had Jack to take it out on. Malcolm’s in there causing much havoc as well.
    Well, I’ve been throwing lefts all day just to see what he’ll come back with. Maybe I’ll go in with a combination and see if he goes down. So far he has only come back to me with attempts to dismiss what I’ve said without addressing any substance. So I haven’t needed to swing at anything…he has had time to respond now…lets see what he comes back with.

  7. darkcycle says:

    JACK MARSHAL IS AN EFFIN’ JOKE! He’s bleeding on the floor, arguments lost, after jumping on the coroners wagon with a corpse not yet cold. May as well just send him off to the ME as well…cause of death? A truth embolism burst in his brain.

  8. darkcycle says:

    Hey, which one of you miscreants is posting as A Critic? And who has Francis today? Don’t tell me nobody has been watching him and he wandered off somewhere again…wait a minute…Duncan too… THEY’RE OFF SMOKING A BOWL SOMEWHERE!!! They aren’t even going to share and they missed all the fun. Serves ’em right. Let’s eat Francis’ chips before they get back.

    • Francis says:

      Sorry, man. I didn’t have the time (or the energy) to deal with Jack Marshall today. AND DON’T TOUCH MY CHIPS!!!

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Bad news DC, I tethered him to a rail while I moved some furniture and CPS came by and confiscated him.

      edit: He escaped! Cool beans!

  9. allan says:

    yeah and Duncan left his dip in the fridge. Looks like green sour cream and onion dip… ohhhhh… I get it. Them pesky medibles again. Either that or it’s really old.

  10. strayan says:

    Check out Jack Marshall’s latest reply to me:

    Me: The fact that we are stuck with two deadly drugs is exactly the reason that people should not face criminal sanction for the choosing to use safer alternatives.

    Here’s a fun fact, when better, safer drugs are discovered as medical treatments, you generally abandon the use of the old shitty ones. With drug prohibition you do the opposite – thereby abandoning any hope of reducing harm.

    By the way, why should people be punished by the State for what they put into their own bodies? What ethical framework do you use to justify locking people in cages for chewing coca leaves? Are you going start arguing for the recriminalisation of suicide, anal sex or abortion?

    Jack Marshall: “The fact that we are stuck with two deadly drugs is exactly the reason that people should not face criminal sanction for the choosing to use safer alternatives.”
    1.A fatuous statement…once again: if it were possible so late in the game to illegalize either tobacco or alcohol, it would be a good thing to do.
    2. Again—it is not the health of the individual, but the harm drug use does to the rest of society that is the main reason fo the law. If you, or anyone, promised to live alone, be self supporting, have no family obligations, never drive and receive no assistance or health benefits, then fine–abuse yourself however you want, and the law and state shouldn’t care. But society isn’t like that.
    3. Suicide is still illegal in most states. Read.
    4. Abortion should be illegal under certain circumstances, and is.
    5. Please…xplain to me how any third person is affected by a couple’s anal sex. Do you really not understand the use of analogies, or is your means of argument just to throw random thoughts at the wall?

    Looks like we got ourselves and old fashioned prohibitionist.

    • kaptinemo says:

      I’ve just added my tuppence.

      Given that he claims to be a conservative, it will be interesting to view his response, but given his strident tone, and desire to use The State as a means of enforcing his beliefs on all others, I suspect he is a neoconservative.

      In which case, I also suspect that he is ignorant of the Trotskyite origins of that philosophy. He’d probably be very shocked and indignant to learn his basic premise of using The State to punish those he does not approve of was the same premise used by the Communists to slaughter millions of people long before the Nazis invaded.

      But then, you could argue that prohibs really are nothing more than unconscious Trotskyites wearing an American flag; their methodologies certainly are similar…with equally tragic results.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      It’s fascinating in a train wreck way that he presumes to speak for my family.

  11. Francis says:

    Ok, well I did just add a comment to his most recent post which is about domestic violence. That post also includes this aside: “Over at the Whitney Houston post, where I am being over-run by the drug-legalization zealots, sicced on me by a sad website where people indulge their dreams of legally de-braining themselves on a regular basis, there is widespread contempt for the concept that cultural norms of what is right, wrong and worthy of shame controls our worst impulses.” Look, you can disparage me all you want, but I think he just knocked Pete!!! To the ramparts, men! (So forgive me, Mark Draughn, if I don’t share your view that the guy’s a class act attempting to have a serious and civil discussion of the issues.) Anyway, here’s my comment:

    “Alcohol use is also frequently associated with domestic and partner violence. According to a 2002 report by the U.S. Department of Justice, two-thirds of victims who suffered violence by a partner reported that alcohol played a role, and among spouse victims, three out of four reported that the offender had been drinking.”


    “The odds of any male-to-female physical aggression are eight times higher on days when these men drink alcohol than on days with no alcohol consumption, with the chances of severe male-to-female physical aggression on drinking days more than 11 times higher.

    Moreover, compared to days of no drinking, the odds of any male-to-female violence on days of heavy drinking by the male partners (drinking six or more drinks in 24 hours) are more than 18 times higher and the odds of severe violence are more than 19 times higher.”

    It’s too bad we don’t have a recreational intoxicant that’s NEVER been linked to violence that could serve as a safer, legal alternative to alcohol. (But that’s probably a “fatuous” argument, right?)

    • kaptinemo says:

      Francis, the way I see it, the problem with sophists is that they get caught up in their own sophistries. Like propagandists who begin to believe their own propaganda. And so the sophistries multiply, until the point where they get top-heavy…and crush the original premise under figurative tons of BS.

      Mr. Marshall has yet to realize (possibly because of his ego) that he’s become wholly dependent upon DrugWar sophistries and propaganda to buttress his largely emotional support of prohibition.

      He cannot defend it on a factual level, due to all the historical evidence proving substance prohibitions, all substance prohibitions, are inherently doomed to failure. Logic and reason demand that, given this, they should not be engaged in.

      But logic and reason has had little or no place in the formulation of drug laws; as the historical record shows, ignorance, prejudice, racism and bigotry were the foundations of drug law. And so he retreats to emotional appeals mixed with an authoritarian’s (faux) sense of moral superiority by ‘virtue’ of their backgrounds, upbringing etc. But in the end they are just as dependent upon a ‘Party Line’ as any Soviet Communist was.

      He reminds me of something the ONDCP was saying in their propaganda many years ago, in which they came right out and said that “We’ll tell you what to say” when addressing parents and grandparents who might be thinking about talking with their kids about illicit drugs. It’s all top-down, not-bottom up; typical for authoritarians. As I said above, they talk at you, not with you. And that’s partly why they always fail.

  12. AddyCat says:

    I left this comment for Jack:
    Dear Jack,
    I read this thread yesterday and I felt I must respond with a personal perspective.

    I am 23 years old, and I was one of the “college stoners” you so disdain (and am still a stoner). Where am I now? I am on the law review at Duke Law School, with some of the highest grades in my class. I make this point only to show that the stereotype you espouse is wrong and frankly extremely offensive. And I am not the only one – my friends who smoke pot are highly intelligent, capable people. In fact, studies show that people who do drugs have higher IQs – perhaps because we don’t believe drug warrior hype and instead we think for ourselves. We young people are the future of this country, and I have high hopes (pun intended) for us – we are tolerant, diverse, deep-thinking, and caring for others, pretty much the opposite of you and so many in your generation. We are going to have to clean up the mess your generation has caused; how do you feel about that ethics-wise?
    One large, trillion-dollar piece of that mess is the War on Drugs, which has almost entirely been a war on young people. Did you know that 1 in 3 people is arrested by the time they reach my age? In fact, I have been arrested. Luckily no charges were pressed, since I am white and the cops knew I could get a good lawyer. Most are not so lucky. Is this really the ethical choice for young people, to end their lives before they even start?

    You talk about culture and alcohol, and make the point that alcohol is part of our culture so that makes it acceptable. How do you not understand that the entire point of banning other drugs in the first place was to suppress the culture of the *other*? That banning alcohol during Prohibition was a suppression of immigrant culture? In fact, for many people cannabis is a culture. When I get together with friends and we share a bowl by passing the bong, that is a cultural ritual just like any other. So the reality is that the comparison to Prohibition is apt. Newsflash, Jack: We are not going to stop smoking pot just because you don’t like our culture.

    What I don’t understand is what I have to do to prove to you that I deserve equal citizenship to you, that I don’t deserve to be hunted down and enslaved in a cage. There are millions of people like me, productive members of society that you would rather go to jail (or have an arrest record, which can ruin your life) because of how we choose to relax. I wish I could talk to you in person, to make you tell me to my face that you believe it is ethical that I should go to jail because of the chance that someone else might abuse drugs.

  13. darkcycle says:

    Good one Nemo. I went back and read the posts left overnight and this morning, and got pissed initially at his juvinile swipes at us. But then I read the whole thread over and realized just how BAD he looks to someone coming fresh to that thread. His credibility is gone by the first three responses, and he looks progressively worse as the thread evolves. He exposes himself as insulting, rude and unwilling to engage most of the criticisms, prefering to taunt rather that address.
    Not satisfied by this he goes on to attack a website and a webmaster he doesn’t even know. My guess is that people will walk away from that thread and never return to that guy’s website. Myself, I said this before, but I’m done with that guy. He pretends to be an intellectual, but all he really wants to do is throw spitwads.

  14. darkcycle says:

    Addycat, Said it before, and I say it again: YOU ROCK!

  15. AddyCat says:

    Wow, that Jack Marshall is a real Grade A Douchebag. He is so dangerous and such a bad influence on society that I say we should declare the War on Jack Marshall. When you declare that druggies killed Whitney Houston, you should get ready to have your blog filled with haters’ comments, day and night.

    • darkcycle says:

      It’s like I said, Addy, he’s basking in the extra attention and loving the platform it has given him to grind his pet axe. It is kinda pathetic. And go back and read that as if you were a non invested party just looking for information. He has self immolated. Thrown out all his touted rules for posting, randomly denigrated people and positions without addressing the substance, all the things a fanatic does when confronted with opposing views. He has tried to manipulate the discourse by banning WORDS….I mean, fer crissake! He has thouroughly discredited his position, without even really defending it, and pretty much without our help.
      If I were sympathetic to him at all, I might feel a little bit bad for him…

    • kaptinemo says:

      Addy, in this case I am reminded of what my former VN War Vet instructors used to say, “What comes around, goes around.”

      Some of the most depressed and depressing people I know are prohibs. Really.

      A great many of the ones I’ve encountered are genuinely unhappy people who unconsciously live out the old phrase ‘Misery loves company’ in their attempts to cause those around them to experience their pain. Whereas most of the cannabists that I know may not be natural Pollyannas, but they aren’t sunk in the kind of mental funk endemic to a great many prohibs.

      Every time I see or hear a modern prohib, I can’t help but think of how the ‘Wets’ of the alcohol Prohibition caricatured the ‘Drys’ of their time. To me, the only difference is that they’re even more hypocritical and vicious than their booze-hating ideological ancestors.

      Their own lives are enough punishment for the average ‘lay’ prohib. But for the ‘clergy’? Tar baths with feather rinses are the gentlest of rebukes I’d like to give them…

  16. allan says:

    Linda Taylor in a suit w/ a law degree. And no sense…

  17. thelbert huffman says:

    little johnny knows everything, and everything he knows is wrong. i have never before seen a master debater prohibit his opposite number from using certain words. it seems he’s a master debater who wants to rig the rules in his favor. just as the 1% like their economy rigged, not free. i wouldn’t give jack marshall the time of day, let alone my e-mail address. an ethics guru with no clue about right conduct. now i see why the french revolution was so bloody. crimes against humanity deserve harsh retribution.

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