FW: IETF Last Call under RFC 3683 concerning JFC (Jefsey) Morfin

Mark Crispin mrc at CAC.Washington.EDU
Fri Jan 20 18:46:57 CET 2006

With regard to the message from Sam Hartman:

Morfin has not been "filibustering".  Filibustering has two components:
  . prolonged speech that obstructs progress
  . being in technical compliance with established procedures

Where, pray tell, is the "technical compliance"?

Without provcation, Morfin has personally insulted multiple individuals 
(and their nationalities) repeatedly on ietf-languages.  He issues lengthy 
political diatribes that have nothing to do with the discussion, nor have 
any apparent purpose other than to attack a list member because of his 
nationality.  He quotes people out of context, claiming that they agree 
with him (when they do not) or that they are engaged in some sort of 

Every time he does this on ietf-languages, he raises the collective blood 
pressure of the entire membership.  Sooner or later, something will have 
to give.

The saddest part about all of this is that Morfin's attacks are completely 
misplaced.  Most of the membership of ietf-languages agrees with the basic 
principles that Morfin alleges to be defending.  The problem is that the 
list has nothing to do with what he brings up; his "filibustering" is akin 
to monopolizing an IMAP list over IP4 not having enough address space.

This is precisely the sort of behavior that PR actions are intended to 

Specifically with regard to Sam's comment that:

> However a PR action is an incredibly huge hammer.  If passed, it removes any
> process barrier to shutting Jefsey out of any IETF process.  While this PR
> action is specifically targeted at the ietf-languages list it would give the
> person running any IETF list the ability to unilaterally remove Jefsey from
> that list.

I respectfully point out that if Morfin is making "significant positive 
contributions" (Sam's words) to a list, there would be no cause for the 
person running the list in question to unilaterally remove Morfin from the 
list.  I would be the first person to object to any person being removed 
from a list if his behavior *on that list* has been good, *regardless* of 
his behavior on any other list.  I doubt that I am unique in this regard.

The effect of a PR action against Morfin is more akin to a probation than 
an actual punishment.  The negative consequences that Sam fears would 
happen only if you presume that IETF list managers are petty martinets 
engaged in personal vendettas.  To the contrary, I have observed and have 
personally experienced! :-) *extreme* professionalism and patience on the 
part of IETF list managers.

Yes, such people as Dave Crocker and Keith have been known to make sharp 
comments.  But I have never observed these two gentlemen repeatedly 
obstruct and monopolize the process; much less use someone's nationality 
to attack them.  I pay careful attention when Dave or Keith throw a monkey 
wrench, because there is always something important and relevant that is 
worth considering (even if it's to reject it); and if you don't pay 
attention you'll miss it.

That is not what Morfin does.  It's the same thing over and over again; 
unimportant (to the purpose of the group), irrelevant (to the purpose of 
the group), not worth considering (by the group), and invariably with some 
insult against a member of the group and his or her nationality.

The repeated 30-day suspensions have been ineffective.  Rather than 
creating a cooling-off period in which Morfin can reconsider his behavior 
and resolve to do better, they simply create a timed truce.  Everybody 
knows that the shooting will resume when the clock runs out.

A 1-year suspension, on the other hand, renders the "filibustering" 
ineffective.  What's more, it is a non-trivial slice of a human life; and 
(hopefully) will encourage one to rethink one's strategy to use one's 
lifetime more effectively.

Morfin apparently has some friends who support him.  It would be a 
terrible precedent for the IESG to allow this to influence a decision on a 
PR action.  Doing so would effectively make PR actions impossible.

I respectfully remind the IESG that it recently approved a PR action 
against an individual who also has friends who support him.  Does the IESG 
really want to give that individual a hole (big enough to drive a truck 
through) for litigation?  [Maybe he already has.  If so, he and his lawyer 
are probably watching these deliberations closely.]

The only thing that would be worse than not doing a PR action would be to 
do some sort of modified PR action as Sam suggests.  That would undermine 
the entire foundation.  Instead of having a clear-cut set of rules and 
procedures, we would get have a beauty contest based upon what influential 
friends someone has.

This should be emphasized: the loss of a clear-cut set of rules and 
procedures would be a terrible blow to the overall process.  The prospect 
of a PR action ceases to be effective if it isn't reliably and impartially 


Morfin claims that his behavior is "the democratic method".  I'm not sure 
which "democratic method" he means.

The democratic method in the USA has procedures in place for cloture, 
censure, and expulsion.  Historically, these procedures have been applied 
even to individuals who have made great positive contributions prior to 
that action, and in some cases have also made great positive contributions 

The historical democratic (and royalist) method in France had a procedure 
of mass execution of an entire class of obstructionists.  Modern France 
flatly prohibits the free speech and press of certain political groups. 
History shows that far more countries use France's methods than the USA's.

Outside of the game of Monopoly, there is no get-out-of-jail-free card. 
Every social entity, democratic or otherwise, has procedures in place to 
protect itself from disruptive individuals.

As such things go, a PR action is quite mild.  A PR action is a reprimand 
and social probation, nothing more.  It will presently expire.

Even if a PR action is taken, the affected person has it completely within 
his control to prevent any list removal.  All he has to do is stop the 
behavior that caused the PR action.

-- Mark --

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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