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Memories of the 28th Century

Silk Road

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I never paid any attention to Silk Road, when it was in business, because I had no interest, but I find the life sentence for Ross Ulbricht to be absurd. Silk Road was an instrument for facilitating trade.

The charges were: ďnarcotics trafficking; distribution of narcotics by means of the Internet; narcotics trafficking conspiracy; continuing criminal enterprise; conspiracy to aid and abet computer hacking; conspiracy to traffic in fraudulent identity documents; and money laundering conspiracy.
None of the charges were related to either personally selling an illegal substance to anyoneóUlbricht merely ran a website that facilitated itóand none were related to causing direct harm to anyone's life or property. ď
https://reason.com/blog/2015/05/29/r...e-in-silk-road

What did Mr. Ulbricht do? He set up a website that allowed people to do things that they can do elsewhere, but the website allowed anonymity, and it had world-wide reach. I can buy pot or junk any time when I am moved to do so, which is seldom and never respectively, but other people would purchase frequently, and doing that online probably was safer in many ways than it would be to go to one's friendly, local drug dealer. The government, especially at the federal level is opposed to people living their lives as they wish. But the government doesn't seem to have any problems with people laundering money in the stock market, and I don't think that life insurance has been made criminal yet, even though life insurance is a con game.

It appears that it's a matter of whose ox is being gored. Mr. Ulbricht doesn't have a suitable collection of friends and allies in government, so he got convicted of narcotics trafficking, even though he did not buy and sell narcotics, and he was convicted of distribution of narcotics by means of the Internet, even though he didn't distribute any narcotics, and so on.

It is interesting that there were accusations that he hired for some murders to be done, but there is no sign of any bodies. Apparently he was scammed by FBI agents for $230,000 that was supposed to pay for murders, but no one died. The transcript is interesting, see link below.

The fundamental questions are: Why is any government opposed to people engaging in business that is helpful to customers? Why are some drugs illegal, especially when we consider that some legal drugs are more dangerous than illegal ones? How could someone be convicted of "narcotics trafficking and distribution of narcotics by means of the Internet" who had not trafficked in narcotics?

I guess I'm still an idealist. I still think that laws should be reasonable and that government should make sense. I even think that taxes policy should be rational. I realize that many people would be thrown out of work, if drugs were made legal, but should we want there to be millions of people in prison just because they had something to do with trafficking in some chemical that the government doesn't like?

What is the rationale for treating people who sell heroin one way, while people who sell tobacco are treated very differently? The two materials act in similar ways; although nicotine is more toxic. And people who sell food are even honored, even though food produces feelings of pleasure. I can't see it as anything except a matter of control; government officials believe that they should control how people act.

I understand that some people think that everyone should live for as long as possible, so the try to eliminate things and situations that can lead to death. I understand part of this way of thinking, but they people who feel that way donít understand that some people donít want to live forever. Iím not one of them, but there are such people, and many of the people who use recreational drugs are of that type. I try to avoid telling others how to live, but I do think that all people should be allowed to live their lives as they wish, and if they want to accelerate their end and the feelings of joy or well-being while alive through the use of chemicals, thatís their business. I have enough trouble living my own life that I donít want to take on the burden of too many others. I would suggest that the people who support criminal status of recreational drugs consider the feelings of others.

The whole matter becomes foggier that more I look at it, but there are no good reasons for government to control the use of drugs, and there are several bad reasons for government having such control.

Update: I just found out that his lawyer did some strange things. Whether the lawyers oddities led to the excessive sentence, I do not know, but there were a few matters that would have changed the trial. see link below.


https://reason.com/blog/2015/05/29/r...e-in-silk-road

https://reason.com/blog/2015/05/31/s...ulbrichts-haun

http://www.wired.com/2015/05/ahead-s...rug-use-safer/

Silk Road Successors
http://www.economist.com/blogs/graph...daily-chart-13
RE: murders
http://mashable.com/2013/10/03/silk-road-hits/
http://www.wired.com/2015/02/read-tr...ssassinations/
http://fortune.com/2015/06/01/why-a-...roads-founder/

Updated 06-01-2015 at 05:33 PM by PeterL

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