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August 27, 2012

What is strongest argument for making criminals of vets who seek marijuana to help with PTSD?

Ptsd-cannabis-fixThe question in the title of this post is prompted by this lengthy article from Oregon, which is headlined "Oregon medical marijuana backers trying again to add PTSD to list of qualifying conditions." Here are the basics:

Officially, Rick Fabian uses medical marijuana to relieve severe pain from a litany of health problems.  But more than pain, the 60-year-old Vietnam vet relies on the drug to blunt the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.  "I was a crabby vegetable, my wife says," said Fabian, who lives in Corbett.  "I am still a little bit high maintenance, but I do better. ... I am not saying I am cured, but I am kinder and gentler to people. I am happier."

Oregon medical marijuana advocates are laying the groundwork to add PTSD to the list of conditions that qualify patients to use medical marijuana.  They say many with the disorder are already in the state program because they have other medical conditions that allow them to legally use the drug.  But as more veterans return home and struggle to resume their lives, advocates say it's time to recognize PTSD as a stand-alone condition....

Two previous attempts to add PTSD to Oregon's program have failed, and Colorado and Arizona officials recently rejected efforts to add the condition to their medical marijuana programs.  Law enforcement in Oregon generally opposes the expansion of the program. Some drug treatment providers caution against treating PTSD sufferers with what they view as an addictive drug.

Oregon is home to an estimated 300,000 veterans, including more than 20,000 from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, according to the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs.  A 2008 Rand Corporation study found nearly 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan vets reported PTSD symptoms.

Jason Hansman, senior program manager for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said medical marijuana's potential to help sick veterans deserves serious examination.  "We treat it like any other new treatment technique: We want to see it studied.  We want to see increased research to see if it's a viable solution," said Hansman, whose group represents 145,000 veterans....

[S]ome veterans say they rely on medical marijuana to function. Jared Townsend, a 27-year-old Iraq War veteran, depends on the drug to help him sleep and, as he puts it, "balance life out a little bit better."

The Hillsboro man qualifies for medical marijuana due to severe pain from a ruptured disc and injured shoulder, injuries from his 2007-08 combat tour.  But the drug is a bigger help with his PTSD symptoms.  "If I get racing thoughts and real worked up, it can break a panic attack pretty quick," Townsend said.

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., have medical marijuana laws, but only a few list PTSD as a qualifying condition. In New Mexico, which legalized medical marijuana in 2007, the inclusion of PTSD on the list has been significant.  The New Mexico Department of Health said 40 percent of medical marijuana patients list PTSD as their qualifying condition, far more than any other condition....

States considering whether to add PTSD to their medical marijuana programs face a lack of research on the topic, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.  Dr. John H. Halpern, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and researcher at McLean Hospital outside Boston, one of the country's leading psychiatric hospitals, said there's an "overabundance of case reports" suggesting marijuana aids PTSD sufferers.  In a recently published paper, Halpern presented a case study he helped conduct on a PTSD sufferer whose marijuana use dramatically eased his symptoms.

But the politics of marijuana bogs down any meaningful examination of its benefits, Halpern said.  Halpern is one of only a handful of U.S. researchers to conduct clinical research on humans using a so-called Schedule 1 drug.  That category of drugs, which includes marijuana, heroin and ecstasy, is defined as substances that have a "high potential for abuse" and "no currently accepted medical use."

Halpern said when it comes to research proposals involving Schedule 1 drugs, only marijuana studies are required to undergo an additional review by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  The agency's research focus is on drug abuse and addiction.  "We are at this point because there are limited treatment options for people with PTSD," Halpern said.

One often hears that America's soldiers fight abroad to secure our freedoms here at home.  I subscribe to that concept, and thus I think it is especially important to give veterans as much support and freedom as possible upon their return from combat.  And though I am sure there are lots of medical options for PTSD which should be explored before vets turn to marijuana, I am equally sure that it is tragic to force our veterans to become federal criminals if and when they turn to marijuana to help with PTSD upon their return home.

I understand the assertion that it is extreme unlikely that a vet will ever be subject to federal criminal prosecution and punishment if and when he turns to marijuana to help with PTSD.  Nevertheless, for those persons who put their lives and health on the line for the benefit of all Americans, I believe all Americans should be troubled and disappointed that the federal government requires veterans to be willing to break the law merely in order to get treatment for service-related ailments. 

But maybe I am missing some great argument for existing federal law and policy here, and thus the basis for the genuine question in the title of this post.  I hope to see some honest efforts to answer the question (with limited snark, if possible).

August 27, 2012 at 08:40 AM | Permalink

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Since I never heard of the far greater number of WWII veterans needing to get stoned in order to cope with their injuries, and since veterans in two-thirds of the states manage to cope with theirs using fully legal remedies, I'm just not persuaded that "medical" marijuana is a necessity -- as opposed to a sentiment-laden PR pitch, and the opening gun of a campaign for general, recreational use of drugs, including, as the article telling hints, Ecstasy and heroin.

As a concession to Prof. Berman, however, I would go along with the following: There should be a guarantee of non-prosecution for anyone who smokes pot and establishes that (1) he's a vet, (2) he has a medical disability resulting from his military service, (3) the disability can be effectively treated only with pot and not with a legal substance, and (4) that his consumption of pot be under a doctor's active care.

That regimen would take care of every example given in the excerpts from the article noted in the main entry.

None of this is to lose sight of the fact that, in the largest jurisdiction where "medical" marijuana has been tried (California), it is now widely acknowledged, even by its original backers, to be a fraud -- "storefronts for drug dealers," as one of them put it. There is nothing approaching a serious effort to restrict sales based on legitimate medical need.

This of course was to be expected, since the heart-tugging stories about vets are a front and a smokescreen (so to speak). What is actually going on, as some pot backers occasionally admit, is a camel's nose campaign: Once some sort of pot use gets approved, it will spread, either de jure or (as in California) de facto, into recreational use. That's the real name of the game.

California voters turned away the pro-recreational pot forces two years ago when they roundly rejected Prop 19. The doper lobby simply wants to finesse their defeat at the polls by undetaking, in the name of "medicine," the very objectives they failed to achieve then.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 9:21:43 AM

I think pot should be legal in all instances. However, if it's not legal, I don't see why we should carve out an exception for vets. Incarcerate them instead.

Posted by: Jardinero1 | Aug 27, 2012 9:37:54 AM

I agree that "it is extreme unlikely that a vet will ever be subject to federal criminal prosecution and punishment if and when he turns to marijuana to help with PTSD." But state-level prosecution is much more likely.

Don't know if this counts as snark or not, but IMO the main argument will forever remain unstated by the Drug Warrior types. Hyperbolic lauding of troops is mostly political posing, not an honest expression of politicians' priorities. For evidence, just look at mental health treatment resources in general aimed at vets, leaving aside marijuana: Congress is always willing to pay for a new weapons system, but the actual human beings in practice are a lower priority.

Bottom line: Pot prohibition creates jobs. Legalization would create more, but those would be different jobs for different folks and the Prohibitionists naturally have a self-interest in keeping theirs. They see medical marijuana as a camel's nose under the tent for full-on legalization, and when their job self-interest runs up against all the "for the troops" rhetoric, self interest inevitably prevails. That's not an especially good argument, but I think it's the "strongest" in the sense that the force of it is the main barrier to letting vets with PTSD smoke pot.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 27, 2012 9:43:52 AM

Jardinero1 --

"I think pot should be legal in all instances. However, if it's not legal, I don't see why we should carve out an exception for vets."

You'd need to take that up with Doug, who seems to want such an exception. I am simply trying to be accommodating to our host, providing the accommodation has prudent limits.

P.S. Just curious: Can you provide the name of a single veteran who smoked personal-use amounts of dope for a documented, serious medical need arising from his service, with no legal alternative remedy available, and who is serving a sentence in federal prison today because of that?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 9:52:36 AM

Bill -- you've never heard of WWII vets coming home and developing alcoholism? And even if you've never heard of it, that means both (a) it didn't happen and that (b) it couldn't be beneficial as a means of treatment?

And do veterans in two-thirds of states manage to deal with their ailments via fully legal means? So veterans in other states don't also self-medicate, just outside of the law? I guess maybe they should follow in the steps of their forebearers and attempt to find their solution at the bottom of a bottle.

Bottoms up! (Or, Cheers, if you'd prefer)

Posted by: Guy | Aug 27, 2012 11:13:22 AM

Grits:

Don't know if this counts as snark or not, but IMO the main argument will forever remain unstated by the Drug Warrior types. Hyperbolic lauding of troops is mostly political posing, not an honest expression of politicians' priorities. For evidence, just look at mental health treatment resources in general aimed at vets, leaving aside marijuana: Congress is always willing to pay for a new weapons system, but the actual human beings in practice are a lower priority.

Don't know if that counts for snark or not, either -- but legit either way.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 27, 2012 11:15:06 AM

Guy --

"you've never heard of WWII vets coming home and developing alcoholism?"

Is that what I said? Where? And the huge majority of people who become alcoholics do not do so because of participation in war of any kind. You don't know this? In addition, anyone who encourages their alcoholism by making booze easier to get than it already is is doing a very bad thing.

"And even if you've never heard of it, that means both (a) it didn't happen and that (b) it couldn't be beneficial as a means of treatment?"

I never heard of the consumption of alchohol, or drugs for that matter, being beneficial as a treatment for alcoholism. To the contrary, it only increases the dependency.

"And do veterans in two-thirds of states manage to deal with their ailments via fully legal means? So veterans in other states don't also self-medicate, just outside of the law? I guess maybe they should follow in the steps of their forebearers and attempt to find their solution at the bottom of a bottle."

I don't recommend getting boozed as a pathway to health any more than I recommend getting stoned. It's your side, not mine, that wants increased access.

Give it a rest, Guy. We're not being fooled. You want legalization of recreational use of dope, and see this medical gambit as the opening wedge to get there. Do you deny it?

And bottoms NOT up. People who think drink-as-much-as-you-want and get-stoned-as-much-as-you-want are the pathways to health are deluded, there's just no other way to put it.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 12:22:27 PM

Guy --

The servicemen and women I've had a chance to talk with would rather be treated like the warriors they, not like babies or invalids.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 12:28:35 PM

"Give it a rest, Guy. We're not being fooled. You want legalization of recreational use of dope, and see this medical gambit as the opening wedge to get there. Do you deny it?"

Give it a rest, Bill. We're not being fooled. You've made a good career as a drug warrior and so don't want to see the money spigot turned off. Do you deny it?

Your responses to Guy are red herrings. He didn't say some WWII vets (and vets from other wars) drank as "treatment for alcoholism" but as self-medication for PTSD. It's regrettable, but true. It's also true that marijuana is FAR safer than alcohol by any measure, but apparently your self interest makes you (willfully?) blind to that.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 27, 2012 1:06:11 PM

Great to see you Guy.

Care to provide direct quotes of me advocating the physical and mental abuse of prisoners?

Care to provide the direct quote of me calling you "evil?"

An "honest" person would like to show his honesty, correct? You are already up to 4 "Grits" (out of a possible 5) on the Lie-O-Meter. Admit you blatantly fabricated your above two claims and perhaps we can drop you to a 3 and you can preserve a sliver more integrity than Grits.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 2:27:06 PM

Grits stated: "We're not being fooled. You've made a good career as a drug warrior and so don't want to see the money spigot turned off. Do you deny it?"

And you have made a career of race-baiting by writing up fictitious accounts of police conduct, only changing your story when publicly shamed with video. Do you deny it?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 2:31:57 PM

Doug said: "And though I am sure there are lots of medical options for PTSD which should be explored before vets turn to marijuana,..."

And this: "...I believe all Americans should be troubled and disappointed that the federal government requires veterans to be willing to break the law merely in order to get treatment for service-related ailments."

Where is the logic in your above positions? As you state in the first part, there are REAL medical options. If there are options, there is nothing that "requires" veterans to be willing to break the law for treatment. They can get FDA approved medicines and treatment legally.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 2:38:47 PM

I'm in favor of pot legalization but regardless of my feelings on the issue, the 'do you hate poor, suffering veterans?' subtext is asinine. It's the equivalent of asking an opponent of the death penalty if they hate victims.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Aug 27, 2012 2:44:11 PM

Grits stated: "It's also true that marijuana is FAR safer than alcohol by any measure,..."

Really? Cannabis causes Schizophrenia. Alcohol does not. There is one "measure" and I did not even have to look it up.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 2:52:43 PM

Grits --

Would you mind telling me how I have an economic interest in seeing money poured into a government agency I haven't worked for for years? I teach law at Georgetown now, and have for some time. Wanna tell me how pot prohibition feeds money into Georgetown Law? The Dean will be really interested in that.

Yeah, well, whatever. It's just like you to assume that my position on dope is born of economic interest rather than reasoned disagreement with you and the rest of the doper crowd.

Your assumption is, as usual with you, insulting and false.

Not that false is any stranger to you. Are the fascist Austin cops still pulling their weapons on you? Oh.....wait.......

In fact, my position on pot coincides with the majority of Americans. Is their view also merely a product of economic interest? Please do make that case.

"Your responses to Guy are red herrings. He didn't say some WWII vets (and vets from other wars) drank as 'reatment for alcoholism'but as self-medication for PTSD."

Oh really? Well, why don't we let Guy speak for himself, rather than through your characterizations. I'll quote exactly what he said: "Bill -- you've never heard of WWII vets coming home and developing alcoholism? And even if you've never heard of it, that means both (a) it didn't happen and that (b) it couldn't be beneficial as a means of treatment?"

I don't know of anyone who thinks that alcoholism is the same as PTSD, and Guy mentioned ONLY the former, not the latter.

Not that it makes a difference. All this "medical" marijuana stuff is a smokescreen for what the dopers couldn't get even liberal California to agree to when Prop 19 went down in flames. It's a smokescreen for what it couldn't get Nancy Pelosi's Congress to agree to either, 2006-2010. It is, to be specific, the stalking horse for wholesale legalization of recreational use, first for pot, and then, as the article (with amazing candor) hints, for Ecstasy and heroin as well.

And why not? "What we put into our own bodies....etc., etc."

Question: So, if it's a matter of what we put into our own bodies, why stop just with pot legalization?

Answer: The pro-dopers have no intention of stopping just with pot, as the more honest of your number will say out loud even if you won't.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 3:10:17 PM


MikeinCT --

Thank you. The picture leading off this entry -- the one of the soldier with his head bowed, impliedly suffering from the callous disregard of those opposed to legalization -- is dishonest, unworthy, and pretty darn close to shameless.

It's time someone spoke out, and I'm grateful that you did.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 3:19:29 PM


I smoked my first joint in December, 1967, at the tender age of 21.

Now, a mere 44 years later, I still smoke pot. I have never 'graduated' to 'harder' drugs. Nor, have I harmed anyone.

I am living proof that this propaganda is a fallacy...no, it is a blatant lie.

The worst experience I had with marijuana was spending 5 years in Federal Prison for a pot offense.

While I was there, I watched armed bank robbers come and go in as little as 20 months.

When I went to the parole board after more than 3 years 'behind the wall,' I pointed this out to the panel members. Their response: "You must understand that yours was a very serious offense."

I laughed about that for another 2 years (as I still sat in prison)...then wrote my book:

Shoulda Robbed a Bank.

I hope you check it out. I need the money.

Posted by: FlyingTooLow | Aug 27, 2012 3:47:19 PM



All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank
Here is one of its reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012

Amazon Verified Purchase

This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition)

I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to.
I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!!
The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing.
All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that.
If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank.
And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life.
The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.

Posted by: FlyingTooLow | Aug 27, 2012 3:49:28 PM

Bill:

Is that what I said? Where? And the huge majority of people who become alcoholics do not do so because of participation in war of any kind. You don't know this? In addition, anyone who encourages their alcoholism by making booze easier to get than it already is is doing a very bad thing.

You said that you had never heard of WWII vets needing to get stoned. Sure drunk is different than stoned, but only really to the extent that one substance is legal, and the other is not. I would agree that most people who become alcoholics never participate in a war of any kind, but only because most people have never participated in a war of any kind. I'd be willing to bet that rates of substance abuse amongst veterans are higher than for those in the general population.

Also, I'd argue that the notion of marijuana being addictive is far more negligible than that of alcoholism, and its effects on the body and society far less deleterious...

I never heard of the consumption of alchohol, or drugs for that matter, being beneficial as a treatment for alcoholism. To the contrary, it only increases the dependency.

The "it" I'm referring to is vets getting stoned to self-medicate. I'm assuming you're not omniscient. You aren't omniscient, correct?

"And do veterans in two-thirds of states manage to deal with their ailments via fully legal means? So veterans in other states don't also self-medicate, just outside of the law? I guess maybe they should follow in the steps of their forebearers and attempt to find their solution at the bottom of a bottle."

I don't recommend getting boozed as a pathway to health any more than I recommend getting stoned. It's your side, not mine, that wants increased access.

Give it a rest, Guy. We're not being fooled. You want legalization of recreational use of dope, and see this medical gambit as the opening wedge to get there. Do you deny it?

And bottoms NOT up. People who think drink-as-much-as-you-want and get-stoned-as-much-as-you-want are the pathways to health are deluded, there's just no other way to put it.

I don't recommend getting boozed as a pathway to health any more than I recommend getting stoned. It's your side, not mine, that wants increased access.

My "side"? Do we get to wear uniforms? Again, I don't think it's a 1:1 comparison regarding addiction and alcohol vs marijuana -- people become very seriously physically dependent on alcohol. Not so with pot. I could go on...

Additionally, I feel like it's a debate-able point that increased access = increased use. Prohibition has done a very poor job at stopping use, but has done a very good job of stuffing the coffers of the drug warriors, and our nations prisons and jails, and also that of the cartels.

Give it a rest, Guy. We're not being fooled. You want legalization of recreational use of dope, and see this medical gambit as the opening wedge to get there. Do you deny it?

And bottoms NOT up. People who think drink-as-much-as-you-want and get-stoned-as-much-as-you-want are the pathways to health are deluded, there's just no other way to put it.

I do? I personally have smoked pot once in my life, and I didn't like it. I could care less if other people smoke it or don't. What does strike me as interesting are several points: the apparent hypocrisy in regulation of ostensibly far more harmful substances than marijuana, the enormous societal cost of marijuana prohibition in terms of economics and human suffering, and the demonstrable medical benefits of marijuana vs other regulated, legal substances.

All I "want" is a teensy bit of rationality in the discussion.

Cheers.

Oh, and PS -- I have several good friends who came back from the war. All have come back damaged in one way or another. Your presumption to speak for all servicemen and women is appreciated, however.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 27, 2012 4:36:54 PM

Cannabis does not cause schizophrenia. The most that can be said is that marijuana may exacerbate the symptoms of tje disease in those who have it.

Posted by: Chris Jenkins | Aug 27, 2012 4:38:53 PM

Tarls:

Great to see you Guy.

Cute.

Care to provide direct quotes of me advocating the physical and mental abuse of prisoners?

Care to provide the direct quote of me calling you "evil?"

An "honest" person would like to show his honesty, correct? You are already up to 4 "Grits" (out of a possible 5) on the Lie-O-Meter. Admit you blatantly fabricated your above two claims and perhaps we can drop you to a 3 and you can preserve a sliver more integrity than Grits.

I have less than zero interest in discussing much of anything with you, let alone continuing our prior discussion. I provided answers to your questions in the prior thread. If you're not satisfied, I invite you to re-read them. If you're still not satisfied with the answers, then there is nothing I can do to satisfy you. I stand by my comments in that thread, I'm sorry if that upsets you.

And I like how you not only call me a liar, but Grits one as well in the same fell swoop. Delightful.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 27, 2012 4:47:18 PM

Guy --

"Your presumption to speak for all servicemen and women is appreciated, however."

What I actually said was (emphasis added), "The servicemen and women I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO TALK WITH would rather be treated like the warriors they are, not like babies or invalids."

Please explain how that is presuming to speak for "all" servicemen and women. After you do that, please also explain what the "appreciated" is intended to convey.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 6:00:45 PM

Guy --

"All I 'want' is a teensy bit of rationality in the discussion."

I had the distinct impression that, as a legal and policy matter, you want dope to be legalized. Is that not correct? And do you disagree that legalizing "medical" marijuana is seen by many pot backers as a step toward wholesale legalization?

Cheers.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 6:09:40 PM

The only good argument is "they're faking it; they just want to get high." I confess that the link between cannabis use and paranoia does make me wonder how generally useful the treatment will be, but if the evidence is out there, why shouldn't Oregon include it on the conditions for which medical marijuana is appropriate? If vets are using pot to self-medicate for PTSD, that's at least some evidence that it is working.

Posted by: Gray R. Proctor | Aug 27, 2012 7:13:11 PM

Chris Johnson stated: "Cannabis does not cause schizophrenia. The most that can be said is that marijuana may exacerbate the symptoms of tje disease in those who have it."

Really? Well, peer-reviewed studies say otherwise.

"Studies suggest the risk (Schizophrenia) is more than doubled for people who have tried cannabis by age 18. An analysis published in the Lancet in 2007 found a 40 percent increase in risk of “psychotic symptoms or disorders” in people who had used cannabis, with the highest risk among regular users, particularly those with a vulnerability to psychosis."

"They say that observational studies show “consistent evidence that cannabis is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, and more generally, psychosis.”"

"Overall, these studies suggest that the association is unlikely to be due to chance. “The evidence suggests that it is more likely that cannabis use precipitates psychosis in vulnerable persons, which is consistent with other lines of evidence suggesting that there is a complex constellation of factors leading to psychosis,” they write. “We argue that the evidence is as good as that for many other risk factors,” they add. “Psychotic disorders are associated with substantial disability, and cannabis use is a potentially preventable exposure.”

http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/the-health-impact-of-regular-marijuana-use/

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 8:17:53 PM

Guy stated: "I provided answers to your questions in the prior thread. If you're not satisfied, I invite you to re-read them."

You claimed that I called you "evil." You claimed that I promoted the physical and mental abuse of inmates. When I requested quotes substantiating these claims, you took the cowards way out and provided nothing. You provided no quotes. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

Guy stated: "And I like how you not only call me a liar, but Grits one as well in the same fell swoop. Delightful."

Do you know what is delightful? Claiming that another supports the physical and mental abuse of inmates without taking the time to substantiate or retract the statement and THEN having the nerve to complain that the person called you a liar. You are starting to make old Tailgunner Joe McCarthy look honorable.

And Grits? Please. Have Bill present you with the links of Grits publicly stating that the Austin PD pulled their weapons on his grandchild and him (I believe he used the phrase "walking while black" because his grandaughter is black). Except when the PD mentioned they had a tape of the "incident", he had to throw the story overboard. That IS a lie, correct? You are able to tell the difference, right?

I'd like to take credit for showing what you really are but I just cannot. You did all the work for me.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 8:34:57 PM

Bill stated: "Please explain how that is presuming to speak for "all" servicemen and women. After you do that, please also explain what the "appreciated" is intended to convey."

Don't you see? You said it because Guyrits said you did. It's up there in the thread somewhere but he does not have the time to actually show you where because the PD just pulled their guns on him. Oh, wait. I am getting the two confused now. Then again, they are twins of a sort anyway.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 8:40:20 PM

Marijuana was legal until the 20th century. It will be again. We have built a government industry based on denying many citizens the use of many substances and denying harmless activities that injure no one. It is time for government to be more fiscally responsible and less intrusive. Freedom is a powerful motivation for change.

Posted by: beth | Aug 27, 2012 9:00:56 PM

Actually, the studies demonstrate only a correlation between people with psychotic disorders and marijuana use. They do not establish a cause. There is some speculation that people prone to developing schizophrenia may see an earlier onset after using drugs like cannabis, but there is no conclusive proof. The primary evidence that cannabis does not cause schizophrenia is that the rates of schizophrenia in the population have not changed over time, while the rates of marijuana use have fluctuated.

Posted by: Chris Jenkins | Aug 27, 2012 9:37:08 PM

TarlsQtr --

Guy is actually, on the whole, a good deal better than Grits (no fair saying that's damnation by faint praise). Grits will lie just for the fun (and the smear) of it and refuse to retract. My bet is that Guy will see he was in error in saying that I was purporting to speak for all servicemen and women and retract it.

Oh, and it wasn't guns the cops pulled on Grits. It was tasers. They roughed him up too! Just look at the tape..........ummmmm............I mean, DON'T look at the tape. Wouldn't want that!!

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 10:03:21 PM

Chris stated: "Actually, the studies demonstrate only a correlation between people with psychotic disorders and marijuana use. They do not establish a cause. There is some speculation that people prone to developing schizophrenia may see an earlier onset after using drugs like cannabis, but there is no conclusive proof. The primary evidence that cannabis does not cause schizophrenia is that the rates of schizophrenia in the population have not changed over time, while the rates of marijuana use have fluctuated."

Yikes. The studies are quite clear that the evidence in multiple studies strongly supports that Schizophrenia can be caused by cannabis use. Arguing whether it is "conclusive" or not is silly. It is medicine. Many things are not "conclusive." There is less evidence that sodium causes heart disease but you probably limit your sodium intake.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 10:10:34 PM

Bill:

Please explain how that is presuming to speak for "all" servicemen and women. After you do that, please also explain what the "appreciated" is intended to convey.

Because that's only relevant if you generalize it out to a broader constituency. Unless you've talked to tens of thousands of servicemen and women.

I had the distinct impression that, as a legal and policy matter, you want dope to be legalized. Is that not correct? And do you disagree that legalizing "medical" marijuana is seen by many pot backers as a step toward wholesale legalization?

Do I think it should be legalized? Absolutely. Do I see medical marijuana as a means to that end? No. I think medical marijuana is right enough on its own legs to justify its own existence. What other proponents may or may not see it as is irrelevant to my own perspective on it.

Tarls:

TL;DR.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 27, 2012 10:28:01 PM

This PTSD stuff is nonsense. Bill Otis, mi amigo, is right.

KEEP MARIJUANA ILLEGAL--NECESITO EL DINERO PARA COMPRAR MUCHAS HACIENDAS Y MUJERES Y OTRA COSAS.

Posted by: Pablo Miranda Escobar | Aug 27, 2012 10:52:29 PM

Bill stated: "Grits will lie just for the fun (and the smear) of it and refuse to retract."

Sounds a lot like Guyrits but I will accede to your judgment.

Bill stated: "(no fair saying that's damnation by faint praise)."

Well, it is. Kind of like pointing out that Ted Kennedy is better than Robert Byrd (or is it the other way around)?

Bill stated: "My bet is that Guy will see he was in error in saying that I was purporting to speak for all servicemen and women and retract it."

Oops. You spoke to soon. Guyrits strikes again. Have you ever seen them in a room at the same time?

What's really sad is that Guyrits said about a month ago that he saw no problem with women doing hard drugs during pregnancy or parents giving them to children as young as five under their supervision. Despicable but that is what we are dealing with here.

Oh, he didn't REALLY say that? Well, of course he did. Go read the posts. They are out there somewhere...

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 11:04:15 PM

I assume the question is posed to be professorial, and to get people to switch sides of their views. I believe abolition now constitutes aiding the enemy by providing a federal price support to the Taliban and to the Mexican drug cartel. Legislators, prosecutors, and judges collaborating with the enemies of the USA should have their campaign funding investigated. If they are getting funding from front legitimate businesses owned by the Mexican drug cartel, they should be forced from office, arrested, tried for treason and summarily executed.

The best argument for criminalizing the smoking of marijuana by vets with PTSD?

The vets are full of bs. They are trying to get high, using their problems as an excuse to just get high and feed their addiction. I bet they all reject the drug below. It is swallowed, slowly enters the brain, and does not have a rapid upsweep of brain level, thus does not cause a good high.

Cannabis is available for medical purposes in the form of prescription marinol, made on a federal farm in Delaware, and doling precise amounts of pharmaceutical grade cannabis.

If the purpose of the vet is to get a disorder treated, he can have a prescription for oral marinol.

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimony/ucm114741.htm

Off label but prescribed uses are fully protected by FDA regulation and by the Supremacy Clause.

http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Guidances/ucm126486.htm

Even the smoking of marijuana can be licensed to the doctor on humanitarian grounds if the doctor can justify it by the failure of the alternatives. The doctor may apply for a single patient IND, and the overwhelming fraction of applications are approved.

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/HowDrugsareDevelopedandApproved/ApprovalApplications/InvestigationalNewDrugINDApplication/ucm107434.htm

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 27, 2012 11:09:37 PM

From this very interesting site: http://psychcentral.com/lib/2010/the-health-impact-of-regular-marijuana-use/

"In a separate study, the experts take an in-depth look at the possible risk of psychosis. They say that observational studies show “consistent evidence that cannabis is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, and more generally, psychosis.” But there is debate about whether cannabis is a true contributing cause."

That's not exactly a conclusion that cannabis causes psychosis or schizophrenia.

That very interesting site talks a lot about studies from Australian authorities. This is from the abstract for another interesting Australian study: "CONCLUSIONS: Cannabis use does not appear to be causally related to the incidence of schizophrenia, but its use may precipitate disorders in persons who are vulnerable to developing psychosis and worsen the course of the disorder among those who have already developed it." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12821204

Correlation is not causation.

Posted by: Chris Jenkins | Aug 27, 2012 11:18:00 PM

"Overall, these studies suggest that the association is unlikely to be due to chance. “The evidence suggests that it is more likely that cannabis use precipitates psychosis in vulnerable persons, which is consistent with other lines of evidence suggesting that there is a complex constellation of factors leading to psychosis,” they write. “We argue that the evidence is as good as that for many other risk factors,” they add.

From the same article above. Little in medicine is "conclusive" but it is very strong evidence.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 27, 2012 11:26:23 PM

Alright Tarls. Here we go.

Is "abuse" probably too strong a word to use, in describing your position? Sure. It's intended to be hyperbolic, rhetorical. Do I actually think that you support abuse that crosses some kind of a criminal threshold? No. I did, however, state my position very clearly in the last thread -- that you can only conceive of effective punishment as a punishment that inflicts additional, psychological, and physical suffering on an inmate over and above the removal of autonomy and freedom. I spelled that out pretty clearly in the last thread, and you either did not read it, or refused to accept it as truth (ostensibly so you could continue to insist that I provide evidence which has been provided, or, in the alternative, call me a liar -- or, for bonus points, both!). So I hereby formally retract my use of the word abuse. I apologize for any upset it caused you.

True, you did not call me "evil." You have, however, repeatedly questioned my character, or the stains thereon. My use of the term evil was rhetorical license, an effective short-hand way of summarizing your numbered innuendo and insinuations about me. You did not use the word evil to describe me, it is true. In future dealings with you (if I have them) I will be sure to remember that you don't play well with these distinctions, and that I will have to be extremely literal with you. Either that, or you are behaving uncharitably for the sake of rhetoric (which is why I say it's cute when you refer to yourself as fair, as you certainly don't seem to be acting in comport with what I take that word to mean. Perhaps you were taking rhetorical license with it.)

In any ever, I have clearly upset you. I apologize for that. Internet being what it is, it's easy to get carried away with the relative anonymity and ease of snark. I do not think you evil, or that you have a "stain on your character" -- I don't know you. I think we disagree on a great number of things, but then again don't many people.

So I apologize if my rhetoric has upset and/or offended you. I stand by the statements that I made, while recognizing that they could and should have been made in a tone that is more receptive to dialogue and not...well...a three-ring poo flinging circus.

That being said, fling away.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 27, 2012 11:39:22 PM

Guy --

I said (emphasis added), "The servicemen and women I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO TALK WITH would rather be treated like the warriors they, not like babies or invalids."

You replied, "Your presumption to speak for all servicemen and women is appreciated..."

I responded by asking how my comment could possibly be seen as presuming to speak for "all" servicemen and women.

You declined to give a direct answer. Instead, you now say that my comment would "only [be] relevant if you generalize it out to a broader constituency. Unless you've talked to tens of thousands of servicemen and women."

But if that's so, your first response would have been, "You haven't spoken to enough servicepeople for your limited experience to be relevant." But that's not what you said, not at all. What you said was that I was presuming to speak for all of them. That is a factual assertion, and it's simply and breathtakingly false; I presumed no such thing.

You then sarcastically added that my concocted-by-you presumption to speak for all of them was "appreciated," piling snark on your false representation of what I said.

I subsequently told TarlsQtr that I expected better, and that I thought you would retract your false statement that I was presuming to speak for all servicepeople. As TarlsQtr rightly points out, it would seem that I have overestimated you.

I continue to hope that such is not the case.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 27, 2012 11:42:31 PM

Guyritz stated: "Is "abuse" probably too strong a word to use, in describing your position? Sure. It's intended to be hyperbolic, rhetorical. Do I actually think that you support abuse that crosses some kind of a criminal threshold? No. I did, however, state my position very clearly in the last thread -- that you can only conceive of effective punishment as a punishment that inflicts additional, psychological, and physical suffering on an inmate over and above the removal of autonomy and freedom."

A very nice, articulate, reasonable, and thoughtful dissertation on your position. Unfortunately, it does not have the quality of being "truthful." I stated (in the other thread)in response to you:

TarlsQtr: "I have already stated that I support vocational, therapeutic, academic programs, etc. For you to suggest that I consider humane treatment (being against mental and physical abuse)of prisoners to be coddling is a stain on your character."

In other words, I was actually, to use your word, being "charitable" in defining your statements as only "suggesting" that I supported the mental and physical abuse of inmates. Your response?

Guyrits responded (emphasis added): "Pardon me while I try to type through the tears. I don't suggest that you consider humane treatment to be coddling, Tarls -- I OUTRIGHT STATE IT."

And (emphasisi added): "If prisoners get to serve out their terms in relative comfort, BEING TREATED AS HUMAN BEINGS, well that's just quite UNACCEPTABLE TO YOU, isn't it?"

In other words, you double down on your position. No claim of only using rhetorical flourish. No claim that it is only hyperbole. You restate it as clearly as one ever could.

You stated: "I spelled that out pretty clearly in the last thread, and you either did not read it, or refused to accept it as truth (ostensibly so you could continue to insist that I provide evidence which has been provided, or, in the alternative, call me a liar -- or, for bonus points, both!)."

Oh, it is spelled out clearly alright. See above. I DID read it, you did not provide evidence, and you ARE a liar. Saying something like "it is in the thread, go look" is not "providing evidence", it is a cowardly attempt at escaping responsibility for your words.

You stated: "True, you did not call me "evil." You have, however, repeatedly questioned my character, or the stains thereon."

And it appears that I was absolutely correct in doing so. Again, see above.

You stated: "My use of the term evil was rhetorical license, an effective short-hand way of summarizing your numbered innuendo and insinuations about me."

What a weasel(now THAT is rhetorical license, as I do not think you literally a "weasel"). You made a claim which was untrue, refused to substantiate or retract it for days, and now decide to use the "rhetorical license" and "hyperbole" gambit in an attempt to escape from your crouched fetal position.

You stated: "In future dealings with you (if I have them) I will be sure to remember that you don't play well with these distinctions, and that I will have to be extremely literal with you."

No need to. Again, as displayed above, the problem is not me being too literal but you being a liar. Remember?: "I don't suggest that you consider humane treatment to be coddling, Tarls -- I OUTRIGHT STATE IT." No "rhetorical license" nor "hyperbole", you "state it" in an obvious and "literal" manner.

You stated: "So I apologize if my rhetoric has upset and/or offended you. I stand by the statements that I made, while recognizing that they could and should have been made in a tone that is more receptive to dialogue and not...well...a three-ring poo flinging circus."

I will always accept an apology that is sincere. Unfortunately, yours obviously is not as it merely doubles down on your dishonesty. I do not care about "tone", I care about "content." You lied. Sincerely man up to it, admit it, and I will forget it. It is simple.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 28, 2012 8:58:41 AM

I'm just not persuaded that "medical" marijuana is a necessity'

what would any draft dodging pink panty wearing conservative know about what any veteran needs or doesn't need to cope with there experiences

Posted by: humbug | Aug 28, 2012 1:28:30 PM

Bill asked, "Would you mind telling me how I have an economic interest in seeing money poured into a government agency I haven't worked for for years? I teach law at Georgetown now, and have for some time. Wanna tell me how pot prohibition feeds money into Georgetown Law?"

Sure, you got that position because of your drug warrior work and your whole career resulted from promoting the same tired schtick from your salad days as AUSA. As for the rest of your rants, you're the one CONSTANTLY accusing others of bad faith, and my comment directly parodied your own accusation of bad faith by Guy. I wasn't so much accusing you as laughing at your absurdity and pomposity. Whenever you lose an argument you always shift the comment string to off-topic red herrings, which over the years I've come to find quite humorous.

Otherwise, you law profs sure seem to have a lot of time on your hands judging by the volume of your SL&P verbiage.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 28, 2012 1:42:59 PM

Bill:

You declined to give a direct answer.

I don't know how much more direct I can make it. Do I need to put shiny lights around it?

But that's not what you said, not at all. What you said was that I was presuming to speak for all of them. That is a factual assertion, and it's simply and breathtakingly false; I presumed no such thing.

I only assumed that you meant your commentary to be relevant to the discussion at hand. I most sincerely apologize for assuming that you were intending to be relevant, and will no longer make that assumption about your commentary. Cool?

You then sarcastically added that my concocted-by-you presumption to speak for all of them was "appreciated," piling snark on your false representation of what I said.

I sure did, though I dispute my representation was false. I'll try to draw this out for you. Your commentary about the service men and women that you have spoken to is only relevant and effective in this conversation about broad policy direction to the extent that your conclusions about how they want to be treated, and that conclusion's translation to medical marijuana, to the extent that it can be generalized to more than just the handful of service men and women that you have purported to speak with. Therefore, my comment that you are presuming to speak for all service men and women is me pointing out the unstated premise in your ostensible argument. Again, the weakness in my thinking is assuming you were trying to be relevant somehow. Apologies.

I subsequently told TarlsQtr that I expected better, and that I thought you would retract your false statement that I was presuming to speak for all servicepeople. As TarlsQtr rightly points out, it would seem that I have overestimated you.

You and Tarls are bullies, or at least acting like them on this blog. I don't know how you conduct your respective selves with individuals in the real world, but I can only assume it isn't with the same amount of uncharitable rhetoric, vitriol, and butt-hurt that you regularly display in your posts to try to cow others into falling in with your line of view. It's taken me a while to realize that, but now that I have -- think what you'd like about me Bill. You're a bully. Maybe a smart bully in a nice suit, but a bully nonetheless. I'll try to contain my tears from your rapidly deteriorating assessment of my character.

I continue to hope that such is not the case.

Oh Bill, you overwhelm me with your sincerity.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 28, 2012 2:39:29 PM

Tarls:

My apology was sincere. I thought last night that I was being unfair in my use of the term abuse, so I thought to try to clarify and apologize. It's clear that you're not interested in that, but in continuing the circus. All I can do is make the apology, not make you accept it.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 28, 2012 2:46:17 PM

Grits --

"Sure, you got that position [teaching law] because of your drug warrior work and your whole career resulted from promoting the same tired schtick from your salad days as AUSA."

You have no idea of how I got my teaching position, not that your ignorance has ever stopped you before. But I'll give you a clue: It had a lot more to do with my tenure in White House Counsel's Office.

My "schtick" at the USAO consisted, incidentally, of protecting the public from the hoodlums, strongarms and drug pushers you spend your time swooning over.

"As for the rest of your rants, you're the one CONSTANTLY accusing others of bad faith, and my comment directly parodied your own accusation of bad faith by Guy."

I'll say one thing for you, Grits: You always have a post facto excuse for lying. What you said was that I oppose legalization because it's in my economic interest to do so. That's a lie. First, it is not in my economic interest; and second, my opinion is based on the same realities about dope's harmfulness that have persuaded all three branches of the government, and the majority of Americans, to agree with me irrespective of how they make their livings.

"I wasn't so much accusing you as laughing at your absurdity and pomposity."

Since, despite all appearances, it wasn't really an accusation, may I assume that you'll now retract it and apologize?


"Whenever you lose an argument you always shift the comment string to off-topic red herrings, which over the years I've come to find quite humorous."

It's always amusing to see a participant in an argument annoint himself the judge of its result. Were you just saying something about pomposity?

And when you "win" this argument with the Court, or with Congress, be sure to let us know.

"Otherwise, you law profs sure seem to have a lot of time on your hands judging by the volume of your SL&P verbiage."

This of course applies to Doug Berman far more than to me, a mere commenter. But go ahead and insult the host who allows you to post this bilge. You really are one class act.


Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 28, 2012 3:42:23 PM

Guy --

I would ask you to consider whether you are in a position to adopt the superior and snide tenor you exhibited in your last post to me, and whether that is how you want it to be from here one in.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 28, 2012 3:45:09 PM

Bill:

I may be a lot of things, Bill. It's certainly true. I've committed crimes. I've hurt people. I've lied to people, and used them.

I've been called a lot of things, and that's fine. You can call me what you'd like, Bill. None of what I am, or am not, or have been, or will be changes the fact that you, at least insofar as your conduct here is concerned, are a bully. Like I said, maybe a smart bully in a nice suit, but a bully all the same.

Is that how I want things to be going forward? Of course not Bill. I'd rather have peaceable, reasoned discussions with you.

But that's not up to me.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 28, 2012 5:17:51 PM

Guy --

Please expand on your statement that I am a "bully." I have a bit of trouble understanding how a person can "bully" someone, particularly someone with a legal education, on an Internet site, but I am open to being educated on the subject.

But for however that may be, I hope you will have noticed that I uniformly refrain from mentioning your prior experiences. I do that because it would be below the belt, and because your arguments should be evaluated simply based on their persuasive force vel non.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 28, 2012 5:39:40 PM

Bill:

I did notice that, Bill -- and it isn't unappreciated (though it did occur to me that you referred to it, if somewhat obliquely, in your last post -- e.g. whether I am in a position to adopt a superior and snide tenor). Also, I don't frankly care if you talk about my past. I'm a sex offender. I pled guilty to possessing child pornography some years back. I posted it knowing full well that it might come back to bite me in the ass (e.g. Well of COURSE you would say that -- you're a sex offender). I'm not afraid of it, but I do think that using it to cow me is in poor taste (and not saying you did do that, perhaps I'm misinterpreting what you mean by my position).


What I mean to say, and what got lost in my bully in a nice suit comment, is that your conduct, here, is bully-ish. I don't know you personally, and, as internet things go, you may be completely different in person so I don't mean to make global statements about you as an individual.

What I mean, though, is that your rhetorical strategy is one of bullying, not that you threaten to beat me up if I don't give you my lunch money. And you asked for me to expand on my comment, so expand I shall, as requested: People who disagree with you aren't just wrong, or of a different opinion, but they are stupid, or inferior in some way. You call people out for their manners when you pretty routinely ridicule and toss bombs of your own. You're uncharitable in discussions, constantly looking to put people on the defensive, treating it as adversarial as opposed to cooperative. You mischaracterize people's arguments, perhaps sometimes innocently perhaps other times not, and try to make people defend positions that they never held. You also engage in a good bit of ridicule -- perhaps some of it is provoked, perhaps not. Mockery, too -- you sometimes appropriated my "Cheers" sign-off in your replies to me. I mean nothing sarcastic or offensive by it, it's just a way that I've signed off e-mails for years, owing to my british heritage. I then only used it occasionally because I thought it was upsetting to you.

In short, for you it seems to be about the fight, not the truth of the matter. I'm also not saying that I haven't engaged in some of that same behavior myself, that I'm somehow better than you. I'm not saying that at all. Hell, I've done a lot of the same, Bill.

The difference, though, I think, and respectfully (or as respectfully as possible) I don't want to engage people like that. You seem to revel in it. That's what I mean by bully.

-Guy

Posted by: Guy | Aug 28, 2012 6:52:01 PM

Guy --

Thank you for your explanation. A few points.

-- By your "position," I mean that you are not yet a member of the bar, while I have successfully practiced law in federal court for decades and I teach law at a very good law school. That does not make me smarter than you, but it does make it inappropriate for you to adopt a snide, superior or condescending style toward me. Like everyone else, including me at your age and stage, you need to earn your stripes.

-- A number of people here know me personally, including Doug Berman, TarlsQtr, Kent and federalist. Feel free to ask them what I'm like face-to-face.

-- "People who disagree with you aren't just wrong, or of a different opinion, but they are stupid, or inferior in some way."

I have called a very few people stupid, such as anyone who thinks pot is harmless "because it grows in the ground." But I almost always attack the argument, not the person. The exception is when I get attacked. I am not a believer in unilateral disarmament. When, for example, Grits snears at me, he's going to get it right back -- but based on the absurd and false things he's said, not on his personal characteristics. I, on the other hand, have been called a douche, a Nazi and a bloodluster (to name a few) -- all for holding opinions the majority of Americans hold.

-- "You call people out for their manners when you pretty routinely ridicule and toss bombs of your own."

I call people out for their manners when they deserve to be called out for them, and will continue to do so. I ridicule the ridiculous, guilty as charged on that one. But the "bombs" I throw never consist of the kind of vulgar and gutter stuff that gets tossed at me and other conservatives.

-- "You're uncharitable in discussions, constantly looking to put people on the defensive, treating it as adversarial as opposed to cooperative."

I will point it out when an assertion is in need of defending (or can't really be defended), sure. That is standard and legitimate debate protocol. And, while you can be cooperative in spirit (and also not so cooperative), take a look around at how much the spirit of cooperation is shown to conservatives here.

Speaking of which, I am the ONLY one among regular commenters who offers to debate adversaries in person. I have done this for years, but no one has taken me up on it (I did debate Doug at Ohio State, but independently of my participation on this blog).

If as you say I'm a bully, one would think my opponents would be eager to debate me, to expose me to the world as a belligerent slug. But that's not what happens.

-- "You mischaracterize people's arguments..."

No I don't. Indeed, just as I'm doing now, I, more frequently than almost any other commenter, routinely quote verbatim what my opponent says to allow him to speak for himself.

-- "You also engage in a good bit of ridicule -- perhaps some of it is provoked, perhaps not. Mockery, too -- you sometimes appropriated my "Cheers" sign-off in your replies to me."

My using "Cheers" with you was not mockery. It seemed to me to be a friendly gesture on your part, and I wanted to return it as such. Nothing more or less than that.

-- "In short, for you it seems to be about the fight, not the truth of the matter."

I behave here exactly as I behaved in court. As a representative of the United States, and as an instituional litigant who would appear again and again before the same judges, it was ALWAYS first and foremost about the truth. This was so if, for no other reason, that my reputation was the most important thing I had going for me. I cared a lot about whether I won the case, but even more about whether the judges knew that, when I was at the podium, what they got was the straight story every single time. A reputation for truthfulness is the most important thing a lawyer can have.

One reason I use my real name here is so that anyone who cares to can look up my cases and judge for themselves whether the court viewed me as a person of integrity. I extend the same invitation to you.

But yes, it was about the fight too. Every successful litigator will tell you that. As I suspect you already know, even at this early stage in your professional life, if you're not a happy warrior, litigation is not going to be your cup of tea.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 28, 2012 8:26:54 PM

Guy stated: "My apology was sincere. I thought last night that I was being unfair in my use of the term abuse, so I thought to try to clarify and apologize. It's clear that you're not interested in that, but in continuing the circus. All I can do is make the apology, not make you accept it."

I accept it for what it is worth, which is not much. Although you are as snarky and condescending as anyone here you criticize for the same behavior, it's not that big of a deal to me. I am a big boy.

The real issue is that you lied several times. You know it, I know it, and anyone who read the thread knows it. Furthermore, I am gobsmacked that you would call Bill a "bully" when such smears as stating that I support the mental and physical abuse of inmates (when I spent 10+ years of my life helping them) is the ultimate bullying tactic. It is intended to marginalize an ideological opponent and intimidate them into not confronting you. Although I believe you to be wrong on just about every topic you comment on, your arguments are not that weak. You do not need to resort to such tactics.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 28, 2012 9:06:57 PM

Tarls:

I accept it for what it is worth, which is not much. Although you are as snarky and condescending as anyone here you criticize for the same behavior, it's not that big of a deal to me. I am a big boy.

It is entirely up to you whether to accept my apology, and what to accept it for. I have apologized for my behavior. There's nothing more I can do.

The real issue is that you lied several times....

I sort of stopped reading there. Abuse was too strong a word to use. I have apologized for using it. I have carefully explained the position that I have staked out, and which I still stand by, at least three times. I have no indication that explaining it a fourth will make any difference to you. You will still call me a liar. I'll try again though: my only accusation of you is that you believe that punishment which inflicts no emotional, psychological, or physical suffering over and above the loss of freedom and autonomy is unacceptable -- that punishment must include some infliction of emotional, psychological, and physical suffering over and above the loss of freedom and autonomy in order to be palatable. There, I explained it both negatively, and positively. Am I lying, or am I mistaken? C'est la vie.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 28, 2012 9:27:25 PM

Bill:

By your "position," I mean that you are not yet a member of the bar, while I have successfully practiced law in federal court for decades...

Hahaha. I guess that's one other thorn in my side. Mea culpa. But, by inference, it is appropriate for you to adopt a snide, superior and condescending style towards everyone else? That's precisely my point, Bill. If you don't like my, or anyone else's arguments, it should be about the argument, not the person, or whatever position they hold, have held, or don't hold.

A number of people here know me personally, including Doug Berman, TarlsQtr, Kent and federalist. Feel free to ask them what I'm like face-to-face.

As I said, I don't know you personally. Maybe you're lovely. Maybe you're hilarious. Maybe you're cordial. If so, none of that seems to translate to your online persona.

I have called a very few people stupid, such as anyone who thinks pot is harmless "because it grows in the ground." But I almost always attack the argument, not the person. The exception is when I get attacked. I am not a believer in unilateral disarmament. When, for example, Grits snears at me, he's going to get it right back -- but based on the absurd and false things he's said, not on his personal characteristics. I, on the other hand, have been called a douche, a Nazi and a bloodluster (to name a few) -- all for holding opinions the majority of Americans hold.

I don't think I've ever seen you call someone stupid, actually. But it's not so much the words you use, just how you use them. You don't say someone is stupid, but it drips off every word, hangs at the end of each sentence. That, in turn, makes the other party offended, then they give back, and so on and so forth. Sure, maybe Grits, or me, or someone else started it. Maybe not. Does it matter?

I call people out for their manners when they deserve to be called out for them, and will continue to do so. I ridicule the ridiculous, guilty as charged on that one. But the "bombs" I throw never consist of the kind of vulgar and gutter stuff that gets tossed at me and other conservatives.

You can do as you wish. I don't say any of what I've said to try to get to you change, Bill. I said what I said because you wanted me to explain, so explain I did. You can think I'm wrong, that's fine. And sure, plenty of people have bad manners, call each other names, etc etc. Doesn't mean you don't do it, too, though.

I will point it out when an assertion is in need of defending (or can't really be defended), sure. That is standard and legitimate debate protocol. And, while you can be cooperative in spirit (and also not so cooperative), take a look around at how much the spirit of cooperation is shown to conservatives here.

Sure. I don't take issue with your doing that, just the manner in which it is done. And as far as which direction the poo flings the most...well, I am trying, Bill. Sure, I don't always live up to my ideals, my goals. Truth be told I've had a rough few weeks in my life, and I haven't been as cordial personally, nor here. Of course, I apologize for my part in things.

Speaking of which, I am the ONLY one among regular commenters who offers to debate adversaries in person. I have done this for years, but no one has taken me up on it (I did debate Doug at Ohio State, but independently of my participation on this blog).

I would use my real name on the blog, too, Bill, and I would meet randoms off the internet as well except I know all too well that I have a target on my back and that not too many hands would be wrung if I wound up six feet under save those of my friends and family. If Doug B posted my obit, I can practically see the comments. One less for Erika's Icky Perv Solutions.

At any rate, I'm certainly not scared of debating you. It's mostly a logistics thing.

If as you say I'm a bully, one would think my opponents would be eager to debate me, to expose me to the world as a belligerent slug. But that's not what happens.

I don't know. I could see how your conduct would leave one questioning as to your hospitality.

No I don't. Indeed, just as I'm doing now, I, more frequently than almost any other commenter, routinely quote verbatim what my opponent says to allow him to speak for himself.

You can say that, but you mischaraterized one of my own arguments in this very thread. As far as that one goes, maybe it was just misperception on someone's part, but I've seen you engage in the tactic often enough. At any rate, you don't have to believe me. I don't have to be right. You asked for my explanation, and you received it.

My using "Cheers" with you was not mockery. It seemed to me to be a friendly gesture on your part, and I wanted to return it as such. Nothing more or less than that.

It didn't seem that way to me, given the tone of your posts. But I'll take you at your word.

I behave here exactly as I behaved in court. As a representative of the United States, and as an instituional litigant who would appear again and again before the same judges, it was ALWAYS first and foremost about the truth. This was so if, for no other reason, that my reputation was the most important thing I had going for me. I cared a lot about whether I won the case, but even more about whether the judges knew that, when I was at the podium, what they got was the straight story every single time. A reputation for truthfulness is the most important thing a lawyer can have.

And you still care a lot about whether you win the case. I'm not saying that you're a liar, Bill. I'm not saying that you didn't have a reputation for integrity as a AUSA, or even now. My commentary is on your style, here, on this blog -- as that is all that I have been privy too.

One reason I use my real name here is so that anyone who cares to can look up my cases and judge for themselves whether the court viewed me as a person of integrity. I extend the same invitation to you.

I haven't looked you up, Bill. I don't really care to, either. Nothing about any of your reported cases is going to tell me about how you conducted yourself, how you treated opposing counsel, if you sat on Brady material, etc. I'll take you at your word, Bill.

But none of that has much to do with anything that I'm talking about, which is your conduct here. Presently.

But yes, it was about the fight too. Every successful litigator will tell you that. As I suspect you already know, even at this early stage in your professional life, if you're not a happy warrior, litigation is not going to be your cup of tea.

Sure, I'm down to party. I was fortunate enough to go on the trial team and moot court teams at school, so I got a taste of it. It wasn't ad hominem, though. The prosecutor is wrong, not because the prosecutor is evil, stupid, less than, or whatever. It's not about the prosecutor, or the defense attorney -- it's about the argument, the evidence -- the truth of the matter.

But at any rate, this isn't a courtroom, nor is this litigation. It's you, and me. Two people talking -- well, typing -- to one another. There's no jury, I suppose, aside from whomever reads this. No judge.

As I said, I am sorry for my part in things. Tarls, for example, is quite right when I say that I am criticizing others for behavior that I engaged in, and recently. I don't want to engage in it, it isn't how I want to conduct myself. I could keep stoking the fires, because that's easy to do, it's natural to do it. When you're struck, it's natural to strike back, and so on, and so forth. I'm every bit as human as...well...anyone else here.

And I guess the last thing that I'll say is just this, and I mean this to be in no way insulting or as any kind of a pejorative or with any ill intent, and I say it knowing it is terribly presumptuous. But that despite your accomplishments, your position, your station in life, you seem tremendously unhappy. Maybe I'm wrong -- I'm not very good at psychoanalysis, and I suppose you're the only one that really knows. If I'm right, I hope you find whatever you're looking for. Sincerely. I hope we all do.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 28, 2012 10:10:31 PM

Guy --

Too late tonight to try to reply to your post, but let me just ask you what leads you to think I'm unhappy. I wish I were younger, lived closer to the Krispy Kreme, and didn't have to read a raft of annoying Supreme Court opinions to get ready for the semester that begins next week, but other than that, I think my happiness index is about where most other people's is, maybe slightly higher. May I ask why you think otherwise?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 28, 2012 11:32:44 PM

Guy stated: "I'll try again though: my only accusation of you is that you believe that punishment which inflicts no emotional, psychological, or physical suffering over and above the loss of freedom and autonomy is unacceptable -- that punishment must include some infliction of emotional, psychological, and physical suffering over and above the loss of freedom and autonomy in order to be palatable. There, I explained it both negatively, and positively."

Again, you miss the point. The issue is not your "explanation" (actually, it is more of a claim than explanation), it is that you make the claim over and over without ever providing a single shred of evidence to buttress it. Not one. I have asked you for your evidence repeatedly, but the closest you get is stating that it is on this thread. Yet you will not provide the quote.

You stated: "Am I lying, or am I mistaken?"

People can be mistaken and not lying but there is one issue. People who are mistaken and have it pointed out to them should say, "Oops. Sorry about that. My bad." Even an admission that you cannot prove your claim but you still believe it would be better than what you provided.

Now stay with me for a second and let me tell you a little something about myself. When I taught, I never asked my students (or looked up in their records) what they did to get thrown in prison. The reason I did not do so was because I did not want to prejudge based on crime, but rather their conduct in my class.

The reason I bring this up is simple. I honestly forgot that you were a sex offender until you mentioned it again to Bill. I remembered that someone on this forum had made such an admission but did not remember it was you. For that, I want to apologize because my tenor would have been far different if I had made the association. Phrases like "stain on your character" likely have a different impact than if I had said it to say, Bill. I know that jail/prison and having that label is difficult and I would have been more sensitive. Again, my apologies if my choice of words, even if I believe them, contributed to making you more defensive.

Finally, not that Bill needs my defense, but he is genuinely warm, generous, and by my family's account a happy person. He only gets cranky when it is pointed out how old he is... ;-)

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 29, 2012 10:04:08 AM

TarlsQtr --

Actually, I don't even get cranky when someone remarks about how old I am, because by the time I settle on a smartass comeback, I've forgotten who made the remark.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 29, 2012 12:22:23 PM

Bill:

Honestly I regretted that bit as soon as I hit the send button. Whether you are or not, it's really not my place to say anything one way or the other. Mea culpa.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 29, 2012 1:54:26 PM

Tarls:

Well, to be technical about it, I haven't said that it is on this thread, but the one we carried over from. I stated it before, and I will state it again:

The evidence is in your upset that Breivik gets creature comforts. That he gets to serve out his sentence in relative comfort. He gets a treadmill for exercise, a laptop and study, and three cells in compensation for his prohibition on interaction with other inmates. You find that to be unacceptable. In other words, there must be some measure of physical, emotional, and psychological suffering over and above that of simply the loss of freedom .

So I'll ask again. Am I wrong? Mistaken?

People can be mistaken and not lying but there is one issue. People who are mistaken and have it pointed out to them should say, "Oops. Sorry about that. My bad." Even an admission that you cannot prove your claim but you still believe it would be better than what you provided.

You haven't pointed that out to me, Tarls. If you say "I am fine with inmates serving out their sentences in relative comfort like Breivik. I do not think prison should inflict any suffering over and above just the loss of freedom." the very next words out of my mouth will be "Ooops. Sorry about that. My Bad." Til then, I'm unclear as to what I'm mistaken about.

Now stay with me for a second and let me tell you a little something about myself. When I taught, I never asked my students (or looked up in their records) what they did to get thrown in prison. The reason I did not do so was because I did not want to prejudge based on crime, but rather their conduct in my class.

That's cool.

The reason I bring this up is simple. I honestly forgot that you were a sex offender until you mentioned it again to Bill. I remembered that someone on this forum had made such an admission but did not remember it was you. For that, I want to apologize because my tenor would have been far different if I had made the association. Phrases like "stain on your character" likely have a different impact than if I had said it to say, Bill. I know that jail/prison and having that label is difficult and I would have been more sensitive. Again, my apologies if my choice of words, even if I believe them, contributed to making you more defensive.

I appreciate that, and your apology isn't necessary. We were engaged in mutual rhetorical jerkiness. As far as what you believe about me, I can't control that. My life is one where being practiced in the art of not caring what others think about me is a necessity for survival. FWIW, though, my apology was, and is, sincere.

Finally, not that Bill needs my defense, but he is genuinely warm, generous, and by my family's account a happy person. He only gets cranky when it is pointed out how old he is... ;-)

And I posted to Bill that I regretted that bit immediately after posting it. Not my place.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 29, 2012 2:09:54 PM

Guy --

Not a problem.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 29, 2012 6:34:03 PM

Guy stated: "Well, to be technical about it, I haven't said that it is on this thread, but the one we carried over from."

A very minor point but you are correct.

Guy stated: "I stated it before, and I will state it again: The evidence is in your upset that Breivik gets creature comforts."

Again, here lies the problem. You never got around to telling us where this "evidence" came from. Because this is a message board on a blog, it could only come from a quote from me. A quote that I have asked for repeatedly and you have completely refused to supply.

Guy stated: "He gets a treadmill for exercise, a laptop and study, and three cells in compensation for his prohibition on interaction with other inmates. You find that to be unacceptable. In other words, there must be some measure of physical, emotional, and psychological suffering over and above that of simply the loss of freedom ."

Now I got it. You consider a single cell (not much smaller than a NY or Tokyo apartment) to be "suffering."

You consider lack of a treadmill (used in only what, the last 20-30 years?) to be "physical or emotional suffering."

You consider the lack of a "laptop" (widespread use in the last 10-15 years) to be "physical or emotional suffering."

That is hogwash. If true, I was abused lo those many years prior to the advent of the laptop. Poor me. I would also add that I have made my position pretty clear. People generally go to prison because they have difficulty following rules and lack discipline. More than laptops and treadmills, they require discipline, empathy, knowledge of right from wrong. Certain comforts (those that do not prove a security risk) are fine if they are earned. What has Breivik done to earn such comforts over his fellow inmates? Again, I provided a quote of myself from a previous thread which you completely ignored that spelled out my feelings pretty conclusivley:

"I am not so interested in the "gamification" aspect, but the wonderful use of a reward system. Without a doubt, our prison system relies far too much on punishing bad behavior rather than rewarding proper behavior. Even our most hardened criminals crave praise and reward.

I did the same thing (on a small scale) in my prison classroom. I had an empty classroom beside mine. Inmates that met a critieria for both quantity and quality of work Monday-Thursday were able to spend Friday in the adjacent room watching a movie of their choice (within reason). Those that did not, stayed with me working. By the third week, inmates I would usually have to fight tooth and nail with to get anything done were earning the reward.

Then, the officer on my floor bid another job in the facility and I was not allowed to do it anymore. The new officer did not like having the class split and sid not feel like I could watch both."

I obviously believe in REWARDING good behavior with "comforts." That I do not believe in GIVING comforts to people who have done nothing to earn them is not taking delight in physical or emotional abuse and suffering. Get a GED, complete a drug program, get a good performance evaluation at your porter position. In a compassionate world, people have the right to food, clothing, shelter. The rest must be earned.

You stated: "You haven't pointed that out to me, Tarls. If you say "I am fine with inmates serving out their sentences in relative comfort like Breivik. I do not think prison should inflict any suffering over and above just the loss of freedom." the very next words out of my mouth will be "Ooops. Sorry about that. My Bad." Til then, I'm unclear as to what I'm mistaken about."

Of course I have, several times. I never called you evil. I never advocated the physical and emotional "abuse" of inmates, which you defended for days before retracting the "evil" claim and slightly walking back "abuse" to the barely better "suffering."

And again, what is "suffering?" Is it not being able to watch American Idol because there is one television in the block rec room? Is it having to eat prison food instead of mom's home cooking? Not being entitled to a laptop is suffering? I guess you got me then. As a side note, I now have a bone to pick with my parents because what a crappy childhood of suffering I endured, and did not even know it until this minute.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 30, 2012 10:16:38 AM

i have to give tarls this one guy! sorry to walk into a prison a get your own mini-apartment with all the bells and whistles is just nuts! UNLESS everyone else get's the same thing!

Sorry but this is looks more like a way to show him SUPPORT for his actions than a beginning of a PRISON sentence!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 30, 2012 2:52:16 PM

Tarls:

Again, here lies the problem. You never got around to telling us where this "evidence" came from. Because this is a message board on a blog, it could only come from a quote from me. A quote that I have asked for repeatedly and you have completely refused to supply.

It is in your opposition to Breivik getting a treadmill. That is located in the thread concerning Breivik's living conditions.

Now I got it. You consider a single cell (not much smaller than a NY or Tokyo apartment) to be "suffering."

You consider lack of a treadmill (used in only what, the last 20-30 years?) to be "physical or emotional suffering."

You consider the lack of a "laptop" (widespread use in the last 10-15 years) to be "physical or emotional suffering."

The difference, of course, between a cell and a NY or Tokyo apartment, is freedom. Which is, ostensibly, the point of prison.

That is hogwash. If true, I was abused lo those many years prior to the advent of the laptop. Poor me.

Well, you can only suffer from deprivation. You can't be deprived of something that doesn't exist...so....

People generally go to prison because they have difficulty following rules and lack discipline. More than laptops and treadmills, they require discipline, empathy, knowledge of right from wrong. Certain comforts (those that do not prove a security risk) are fine if they are earned.

Why? Why is that the case? Why is it the case that we can't allow prisoners to be comfortable? Why is it something that they have to earn? I ask earnestly.

I obviously believe in REWARDING good behavior with "comforts." That I do not believe in GIVING comforts to people who have done nothing to earn them is not taking delight in physical or emotional abuse and suffering. Get a GED, complete a drug program, get a good performance evaluation at your porter position. In a compassionate world, people have the right to food, clothing, shelter. The rest must be earned.

Again, I think that the difference between the way Norway goes about it and the States is that here, we regard being treated comfortably is something to be earned. In Norway, it's regarded as humane treatment. You believe that those comforts have to be earned, and unless they are, they should be withheld -- the infliction of suffering via negative punishment.

Of course I have, several times. I never called you evil. I never advocated the physical and emotional "abuse" of inmates, which you defended for days before retracting the "evil" claim and slightly walking back "abuse" to the barely better "suffering."

Right. You only insinuated and implied it, i.e. a stain on my character. But, I really don't care what you think about my character. I apologized for my use of the word abuse, multiple times, and you're not accepting it. That's up to you, bud.

And again, what is "suffering?" Is it not being able to watch American Idol because there is one television in the block rec room? Is it having to eat prison food instead of mom's home cooking? Not being entitled to a laptop is suffering? I guess you got me then. As a side note, I now have a bone to pick with my parents because what a crappy childhood of suffering I endured, and did not even know it until this minute.

Well, the difference of course between the situation in prison and your "crappy childhood" is that you were at least, ostensibly, not a prisoner. Prisoners are charges of the state -- mind and body, if not soul. The idea is that the point of punishment is the deprivation of freedom, not comfort. The idea maybe translates to less crime, less victims, less addiction, less dead people.

Be sure to tell me how your convo with your folks goes.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 30, 2012 10:45:25 PM

rod:

they are giving breivik those items, ostensibly and in compensation, for not being able to interact with other inmates. They at least recognize that solitary confinement is something of a torture.

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Aug 30, 2012 10:46:34 PM

as long as everyone ELSE in solitary got the same. that would be one thing. but from what i read this is an exception. So comes back to the "looks like they are showing support for him" not a punishment.

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 31, 2012 1:07:30 AM

rod:

I'd be surprised if they didn't do it for everyone held in segregation.

And directed at both you and Tarls:

I wanted to just add that it's really not about the physical rewards. It's not about the laptop or the treadmill. Like I was posting in the previous thread, you could give an inmate here a treadmill and I don't think it would make much of a difference if there was no concomittant change in penal philosophy (i.e. that prisons are supposed to be a place where a certain amount of discomfort is deserved as a consequence of the crime, that suffering is to be expected over and above just the removal of freedom).

Posted by: Guy | Aug 31, 2012 1:48:24 AM

Guy stated: "It[Evidence that TarlsQtr believes that inmates should "suffer" beyond being incarcerated] is in your opposition to Breivik getting a treadmill. That is located in the thread concerning Breivik's living conditions."

Again, you are equating no treadmill with "suffering?" That is completely laughable.

Guy stated: "The difference, of course, between a cell and a NY or Tokyo apartment, is freedom. Which is, ostensibly, the point of prison."

Unless you are advocating him getting "freedom", so? You claimed that I feel suffering BEYOND losing "freedom" is NECESSARY. Your above comment only addresses suffering due to the loss of freedom, something that I thought you supported as well. Do you? If so, what the he!! is your point?

Guy stated: "Why? Why is that the case? Why is it the case that we can't allow prisoners to be comfortable? Why is it something that they have to earn? I ask earnestly."

Again, what the he!! is "comfortable", Guy? Why stop at a treadmill? How about a room at the Ritz-Carlton complete with room service, coke, and hookers on the taxpayer's dime? Wouldn't want him to "suffer", correct? Please, make a coherent and intellectually consistent argument why Breivik should not be given these things. I can't wait to see this, although I suspect I never will.

Guy stated: "Again, I think that the difference between the way Norway goes about it and the States is that here, we regard being treated comfortably is something to be earned. In Norway, it's regarded as humane treatment. You believe that those comforts have to be earned, and unless they are, they should be withheld -- the infliction of suffering via negative punishment."

LOL Sure, Guy, then hookers and coke for Breivik! The problem is your entirely warped view of what is "comfortable." Should he get a warm bed? Yep. Should he have shelter from the cold, wind, snow? Yep. Should he get some form of intellectual stimulation? Yep. Should he get adequate food for a man his age, size, and health condition? Yep. But here, you are actually claiming that an inmate not getting a TREADMILL and LAPTOP is INHUMANE! How asinine! And, inhumane treatment is ABUSIVE treatment, correct? So you retract your retraction about me supporting the "abuse" of inmates?

You are like a child who tells one lie and then 40 others to cover up the first but then cannot keep them straight.

Guy stated: "Right. You only insinuated and implied it, i.e. a stain on my character. But, I really don't care what you think about my character. I apologized for my use of the word abuse, multiple times, and you're not accepting it. That's up to you, bud."

See above. Unless you somehow feel that inhumane treatment is not "abuse", your apology is completely bogus and is mere kabuki. And stain on character=Evil? Get out a dictionary and look up evil. Then tell us how that equals "stain on your character." While you are at it, look up "unhinged."

Guy stated: "Well, the difference of course between the situation in prison and your "crappy childhood" is that you were at least, ostensibly, not a prisoner. Prisoners are charges of the state -- mind and body, if not soul."

And children are charges of their parents---mind, body and soul. You know, I am going to fall to my knees and thank the Lord for my parents right as soon as I am done posting. Why? Because in addition to taking away my "freedom" (grounding), they made me "suffer" and took away video games, televisions, radios, etc. and made me earn them back. You would call that "inhumane", while I would call that damn good parenting.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 31, 2012 1:46:38 PM

Guy stated: "I wanted to just add that it's really not about the physical rewards. It's not about the laptop or the treadmill."

LOL Of COURSE it is! It may not be it in total, but surely is a huge part of your viewpoint. You just stated that not giving Breivik a laptop and treadmill is "inhumane."

And what is with the use of the phrase "physical rewards?" You previously stated that these things were necessary to be "comfortable", implied they should be given with no strings attached, criticized the use of "rewards", and called withholding such items "inhumane."

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Aug 31, 2012 1:54:17 PM

well guy i have no problem with confortable. but the devil is in the details.

as long as they get adequate food and shelter.

education and work programs to keep them busy and productive and a chance to make some money.

that can be used to buy those little extra's the state allows and part to go toward restitution if ordered and a fund for their eventual release.

that in my book is confortable.

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 31, 2012 11:48:32 PM

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