Here's the one story to read to learn about Silk Road

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It is a good article. I just read it in my old timey paper based magazine device.

The author of the Wired piece blindly accepted Tarbell’s story of how he found the server, a story which court documents show is, to be charitable, “less than truthful”, and the author knows or should have known this.

When a reporter so charitably accepts a source’s less than truthful statements and accepts them as fact, when the reporter knows or should know they are false, this calls in to question anything else in the narrative as well.

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Good to know.
Please point those of us with less time to do our own research to the better-informed sources?

I was surprised at how angry I became while reading the first part last month (have the second part here on the desk but haven’t gotten to it yet). The smug feds so happy in their role of essentially regulating the lives of people they will never meet for reasons that affect no one aside from the users themselves. I’ve never been a huge drug person, I dabble, but the parental-like stance of US drug policy really pisses me off. Meanwhile, beer commercials on TV keep trying to convince me that I just need to open a Silver Bullet and every girl nearby will suddenly become amorous and bikini-clad.


Careful now. While US drug policy is insane, a couple of salient points:

  • ever live with a drug addict? I promise it affects more than just them
  • Ross created a tool with knowledge it could easily be used in SWATing. See Brian Krebs.

The tool that was the silk road was less of a hammer and more of a shotgun. In a perfect world no one would get hurt, but…

So I should have to live by a set of rules dictated by the actions, irresponsibility and idiocy of others? That seems reasonable.

Just because certain people destroy their lives with drugs doesn’t mean I can’t handle my high. If I engage in my own home, never going out in public while influenced, who does it affect other than me? If I go out and do things while under the influence which affect the lives of others, then yes, throw the book at me. Otherwise, what does it matter?

A big problem with much of the policy of many things today is that it pre-supposes this ludicrous idea that people aren’t already engaging in said behaviors. As if everyone will suddenly go buck wild just because something becomes legal. That isn’t how it works. Laws don’t keep people from doing drugs (or anything). If they did, then there would be no one violating current laws.

Some people destroy their lives and the lives of others around them with booze, gambling and/or tobacco, but those are still legal. People are going to use no matter what. Some can handle it, some can’t. At least make it a socially responsible (taxes, regulation, etc) option for those of us who can.

Just because certain people are weaklings, that isn’t my problem.


In perfect world, this tool would not be needed.

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Well… Yes?

  • mandatory health insurance
  • mandatory car insurance
  • payroll taxes to pay for police and FF
  • environmental protections
  • speed limits
  • consumer protection laws
  • social security

Yeah, these are all laws to protect people from dumb actions.

Look, drug policy must be reformed. But no person is an island.


It actually is your problem. When your mother, father, sister, children, etc., when one of them turns out to be a weakling, it becomes your problem.

Again, for clarity, drugs should be taxed, regulated, with funds set aside for treatment. But please don’t consider yourself untouched by the civil and social implications of abuse.


For sure drugs cause social ills, as does smoking and abusing alcohol. I would argue though that the War on Drugs just makes everything worse.

I see regulation and taxing of drugs with the money being used for education and treatment. I would also think that with everything legal, most people would prefer the softer stuff. After all beer and wine are much more popular than say Everclear.

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You’re conflating civil and criminal laws/rules in your list, but I’ll play along. Essentially your list protects people not from themselves, but from the actions of others, which I support and appreciate. My issue is that current drug policy seems to try to protect me form myself, and that’s no one’s business.

Let’s take your example of Speed Limits. They apply only when I’m out in the world where I can affect other people, But on private property you can drive as fast as you want. As I pointed out earlier, I’m all for there being DUI/DWI laws against drug use affecting other innocent people. And I’m all for CPS taking your kids away if you can’t control your high and put them at risk. But if your use affects no one but you?..

So, my stance is, on private property you should be able to imbibe any substance you want. If you go into the world under the influence where you have the capacity to negatively affect the lives of others then you should be held accountable, but treating every adult like a child is infuriating to responsible adults.

Legalize, tax, treatment, education.

But it is never just you. That is what I am trying to get across. You don’t live in a bubble, and sure you can handle your high. But your wife or kids may not be able to handle your high.

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“When your mother, father, sister, children, etc., when one of them turns out to be a weakling, it becomes your problem.”

THAT statement is the problem. Quit generalizing. it’s exactly my issue with all of this.
My mother, father, (don’t have a) sister, (don’t have any) children aren’t people who have destroyed their lives with drugs. Neither have I. So why should everyone be penalized in their actions just because some people can’t use responsibly? We aren’t homogeneous.

Your statements seem to paint a picture where there is no line between someone who can truly use recreationally and innocuously and a world-devouring addict. Trust me, there are people… very successful, responsible, societally-contributing people, who live fantastic lives intertwined with moderate drug use. Life isn’t Reefer Madness and one bump of coke doesn’t turn everyone into a crack addict.

Because we live in a nation that passes homogeneous laws. What am I saying or not saying that is riling you up?

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Every. Single. Law. Is a generalization. Every one. Full stop.

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Aren’t you conflating ‘use’ and ‘abuse’? Social safety nets notwithstanding, isn’t it the intrusive, destructive behaviour that abuse of drugs can exacerbate that the law should be concentrating on? Like, if someone wants to drink themselves to death, that’s their decision, but if in the course of doing so they fail in their responsibility as a driver, a parent or as a citizen in whatever manner is expected of them, that failure should be the precipitating event after which the state should intervene?
Of course, if you have children and act on your desire to drink yourself to death, that itself would be abusive of your civil responsibility to care for your children. You are directly responsible for their care and well being but if you don’t have any dependants, should your family be able to get you arrested for your decision to end your own life?

Tolerate use, empathise and help with mistakes, prosecute uncivil behaviour which may result from abuse.

And I agree that those social safety nets are a good idea. But don’t they exist as a method of making space for personal agency within potentially bad situations?

Perhaps I’ve misunderstood your pov.

You have misunderstood. In almost every post I have said legalize, tax, educate, treatment.

I will say it again. Legalize, tax, educate, treatment.

What I take issue with is the concept of ‘what I do on private property doesn’t affect others’. That is patently false.

Yes. Having stared mental illness in the face, emphatically yes.

Assisted suicide during hospice is completely different.


This kind of conversation makes me weary. A person can use drugs if they want to. But it has consequences that virtually every selfish libertarian I’ve met refuses to acknowledge. (Not labeling you as a libertarian. Not labeling you as anything)

Now, excuse me while I pop a xanax ( trolley face )

I believe we are way off topic but perhaps this can be brought around.

And it is abuse of places like the Silk Road and of drugs that usually precipitates involvement by the state, but I was attempting to draw a differentiation between abuse and use. I agree wholeheartedly that no one is an island unto themselves but when largely non harmful behaviour is represented using the worst possible outcomes of that behaviour and then used as a reason for the state to intrude into one’s personal agency, aren’t we forfeiting our right to have that agency at all?

I applaud your stance but I find the idea of a pre-emptive assumption of wrong doing to result from the expression of personal freedom to be a troubling facet to amplify.

But again, perhaps you merely wished to talk about those situations in which usage had crossed such a line into abuse and perhaps others should be more even handed in raising the topic of healthy usage being an important personal freedom but I feel like that yin is a necessary accompaniment to the yang of your gist. If that makes sense.