Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The most arrogant comment I have ever received

I have been writing for a while and have received all manner of rude comments, because that's the world we live in. But this complaint, sent to my editor at Wine Searcher, is breathtaking in its hubris.

Here is the original article. You can note from the comments that it made a lot of people unhappy, although I think they (and the commenter below) are mostly upset about the confusing skein of often conflicting liquor laws in the United States.

My editor forwarded me the email below and asked if I wanted to respond. I said he could tell the person to jump to his conclusion, and "Mr. Gray says his life and yours would both be better if you read other stories you deem more worthy."

The more I looked at this email, the more I wanted to share it. I especially like the law quiz he wants me to administer to the beverage law attorney. But there are plenty of gems here; the emphasis at the end is mine. Please share my amusement.

"Unfortunately, with the latest article on Wine-Searcher Mr. W. Blake Gray fell below ground level in his journalistic ethics and professionalism.

In case he would be willing to rehabilitate himself in our eyes, please be kind and pass him to do the following:

1. Return back to UPS and ask them to provide under what existing constrains of the law UPS

a) reserves the right to dispose of any alcoholic beverages tendered for shipment?
b) determines which Shippers are prohibited from shipping?
c) not authorized to accept alcoholic beverages?
d) has a right to refuse?

2. Do the same with FedEx again and again until they respond.

3. Return to Brian Kaider (editor's note: Kaider is an attorney) and ask him if he knows something about the prohibition for common carriers to create and maintain term, condition or policy which is contrary to law?

4. Ask the same Brian Kaider

a) what particular law is retail store breaking when it ships alcoholic beverage to a consumer?
b) what law requires anyone to sign contract with a common carrier?
c) can he explain differences between common, contract and private carrier?

5. Ask Tom Wark and Brian Kaider under what existing law

a) one state has jurisdiction over another?
b) one state is authorized to regulate retail stores in another?
c) what particular laws Common carriers like FedEx and UPS are responding to, and how those laws applicable to interstate activities?
d) what particular laws in various states ban consumers from receiving shipments from out-of-state retailers?
e) do they both know that direct shipment is the shipment from a producer to a consumer, and that retailers do not produce?
f) do they know that federal law under which jurisdiction producers and wholesale distributors operate are prohibited from selling alcoholic any beverages to consumers in interstate commerce?
g) that Granholm did not authorized such sales and shipments, but only declared that if a state allows in-state producers to sell directly to consumers then it cannot prohibit the same to out-of-state producers?
i) do the both know that 21st Amendment allows states to set their own liquor laws, but these laws are not applicable or invalid laws in other states, or in interstate transactions, and that any possible violation of such state own laws is the subject to federal jurisdiction under The 21st Amendment and its Enforcement law in particular?

Only clear answers with preponderant proof of evidence will be accepted. Non-response will be considered as a total failure of W. Blake Gray as a writer and journalist. All his past and future writings in Wine-Searcher magazine will be considered as outright nonsense."
Oh, wait, he (it must be a man, right) wants a response? Okay:

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  1. With all the typos, grammatical errors and omissions, I had a hard time following that comment. And that was the least of its problems.

  2. "The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited." (And this line was in the REPEAL of Prohibition...)

    People, like this fellow, would be shocked (!) to find out just how complex the maze of local, municipal, state and federal laws are regarding alcohol transportation, the collection of taxes, and the compliance and reporting. Not only is there a labyrinth of traps, tricks and vagaries, there might just be a Minotaur at then end wanting to kill you.

  3. Glad to see you are still smiling in the face of such nonsense. Now, if we could have a return to the red glasses (if only for a day), the world would be just about perfect.

  4. Once again Blake's thought provoking work generates award worthy comments. Is there an International Blog comment of the year competition we can enter?

  5. question your assumption that the commentor is a male. women are capable of such idiocy, too. do not sell them short.

  6. To Larry - While I don't argue your point that women can be idiots at times too, I'm with Gray on this one - thats a true mansplaining attempt if I ever saw one.

  7. Some one has a lot of time and anger on their plate. Such a response is from a person who feels they are superior to the writer and want to show their intellect. The way it was written does not speak well of the writer. He will have go suck it up and live with the prevaling laws or find a way around them. I usually send wine as olive oil.

  8. RH: I think he went to some sort of pre-law class but I'll bet he didn't actually study law, and certainly didn't get a law degree. Just a guess as I really don't know.

    But here is why I say that: a lawyer would lay out an argument. It may or may not be well written but presumably there would be some sort of summary: "your article is stupid because of (insert reason here)."

    After reading this long letter multiple times (it keeps cracking me up) and some similar sounding ones on the Wine Searcher article, which my editor and I both believe were all written by the same person ... I'm still not really sure what his point is.

  9. I read the letter again after reading the latest comments. I doubt the writer is a lawyer. I'm a lawyer, and while I realize that not all lawyers are geniuses nor great writers, I haven't run across any as inarticulate as this writer. And I also don't really understand the writer's point.

  10. I woud think that whoever wrote that letter to Mr. Gray is a retailer who ships. Misdirected anger, for sure.