Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Life in Prison [x 2]?

Ross Ulbricht

As I worried, this weekend, about Dr. Annette Bosworth, and her future sentencing for the “felonies” (minor infractions) she committed in South Dakota, others were similarly anguished about Ross Ulbricht.

A judge just gave him two life sentences in prison for setting up the “Dark Web” anonymous trading service “The Silk Road.” He begged for leniency — “just give me my old age,” the 31-years-old pled — but District Judge Katherine Forrest proclaimed “lawlessness must not be tolerated,” judging Ulbricht “no better a person than any other drug dealer.”

According to the BBC, “Prosecutors say that six people who died from overdoses bought drugs via the site and that such untraceable deals earned Ulbricht at least $18m.” This is supposed to make us hate him as a “drug dealer.”

Which he wasn’t. He set up a trading website — albeit a no-tax, black-market one. The actual trades were the responsibility of the traders. Like on eBay. Emptors caveated, knowing what they were doing.

Curiously, his site could only be accessed using software produced by the U. S. government. Using the judge’s rationale, maybe the federal government should be tried?

Some would say that drug overdoses are the responsibility of the drug users — but more to the point, the main factor in illegal drug overdoses remains their illegality. Not given the sunshine of a legit market, actual dosages are hard to manage: producers don’t usually bother with consistency, immune as they are to the reputation aspects of legal markets, not to mention any regulation or tort law influences that affect legal products’ safety.

In reality, those six deaths are more a result of the government than Mr. Ulbricht.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob

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Ross Ulbricht


By: CS Admin


  1. Sheldon says:

     “He set up a trading website — albeit a no-tax, black-market one. ”

    Don’t you mean “free market one?”

  2. Pat says:

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for the guy.

    He set up the website. Doesn’t he bear responsibility for what takes place? Are you saying I could let others use my facilities for illegal activity and bear no culpability? Oh, what a wonderful world!

    • dL says:

      Hmmm, do you think the Automotive industry should take the responsibility for the 30,000 annual auto fatalities per annum in the US? Do you think gun manufacturers should take the responsibility for the roughly 10,000 per annum firearm fatalities in the US? Do you think the pharmaceutical companies should take the responsibility for the roughly 8000 deaths per annum due to aspirin?

      If you do, you might be a statist. If you retort that the cases above are legal while the ulbricht case involved illegal substances, we can simply note that the above cases are only legal above a certain age limit. If the age limit is “violated,” do the above companies share in the liability of the illegal use of their product?  If you think they do, you  might be a statist.

      If the State made it illegal to wear dark shirts at night and person A sold person B a dark shirt and person B was hit by a car night while wearing that dark shirt, is person A responsible? If you think so, you might be a statist.

      Finally, if you think something is immoral and a crime because the state tells you it is immoral and a crime, you probably are a statist.

    • JdL says:

      If I sell you a car and you use that car to commit a crime, am I responsible?

  3. Drik says:

    The government doesn’t like competition. 

  4. Mario Guilont Jr says:

    Going by the Judge’s reasoning, then it follows that all the makers of beer. spirits, wine, etc. should also be tried for all the traffic deaths (50% are alcohol related), domestic violence related to alcohol overuse, and suicides. Also the Feds don’t like competition, nor does the drug industry that requires our souls for the overpriced drugs we need. When Teddy Roosevelt established the FDA, I don’t think he would have liked what it has become.

  5. Richard Sava says:

    I think the most important statement in the whole story is “albeit a no-tax”.

    If he had collected taxes on the transactions and turned it in, the government would have ignored him. 

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