Category Archives: Drug War

The #RossUlbricht Outrage

Drug War, Law, Natural Law

Not content with stealing a young man’s life and property, and subjecting him to a Stalinist show trial, during which due process was denied—the federal government has sentenced Ross Ulbricht, innocent in natural law, to life in prison. The operator of Silk Road had been in the business of facilitating voluntary, victimless trade in drugs, online. Via The New York Times:

… Mr. Ulbricht’s novel high-tech drug bazaar operated in a hidden part of the Internet sometimes known as the dark web, which allowed deals to be made anonymously and out of the reach of law enforcement. In Silk Road’s nearly three years of operation, over 1.5 million transactions were carried out involving several thousand seller accounts and more than 100,000 buyer accounts, the authorities have said. Transactions were made using the virtual currency Bitcoin …

Note that the sentencing judge, Federal District Court Katherine B. Forrest, saw fit to deliver a sermon at sentencing: “What you did in connection with Silk Road was terribly destructive to our social fabric.”

RELATED:
“Free Ross Ulbricht, Proprietor Of Silk Road”
“Addicted To The Drug War”


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Now For Some Real News: Indonesian Executions

Drug War, Journalism

Away from the American “news” media’s lazy, solipsistic navel-gazing in Baltimore, Indonesia has gone ahead and executed eight out of nine prisoners for drug-related offenses. Al Jazeera:

… A firing squad in Indonesia has shot Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran together with six out of seven other alleged narcotics traffickers. Their deaths have caused an international outcry.

Over the past few days, the foreign ministers of Australia, Brazil, France, and the Philippines had all expressed their dismay over their nationals’ imminent execution. …

MORE.


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Ted Cruz And The Loretta Lynch Confirmation

Conservatism, Drug War, Elections, Law, Republicans, Uncategorized

Claiming that the cloture vote was “the only one that mattered,” the staff of Ted Cruz excused the senator’s conspicuous absence from the Senate’s final vote, today, to confirm Loretta Lynch for attorney general. Cruz was probably “en route to Texas” for a fundraiser.

Who am I to argue with Ted Cruz on Constitutional matters? He’s a superb scholar on that front. It is, however, fair to point out that Cruz’ failure to register a vote on this final and ghastly nomination was unseemly.

Eric Holder’s only redeeming feature as attorney general was that he put a crimp in the War on Drugs and in “mass incarceration.”

Lynch was actually a drug prosecutor. The other thing Lynch had no shame in doing was shaking down banks: she extracted a “US$7 billion settlement” from Citigroup.

“The Senate later voted 56-43 to confirm Lynch. Cruz was the only member of the chamber not to vote.” (Politico)


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Free Ross Ulbricht, Proprietor Of Silk Road

Criminal Injustice, Drug War, Justice, Law, Private Property

He operated through “the ‘Dark Web,’ a network of computer servers around the world accessed only through The Onion Router or TOR” (USA Today). He facilitated voluntary, victimless trade in drugs, online. He is “Ross Ulbricht, the operator of Silk Road, a sprawling underground Internet drug bazaar.”

Enter the criminal syndicate known as Uncle Sam. It had outlawed the commerce Mr. Ulbricht had facilitated between consenting adults. In order to catch Ulbricht, Uncle Sam put to work its vast resources, culled from robbing us, its subjects. Now, federal agents are auctioning off Ulbricht’s private property, which is tantamount to legalized theft.

Federal agents shut down the Silk Road site in October 2013 and seized 29,655 bitcoins, now worth about $7.2 million, from the Silk Road server where buyers and sellers stored the currency. The government also seized 144,336 bitcoins, now worth $35 million, from Ulbricht’s computers. A judge in January ordered the sale of Ulbricht’s bitcoins.

The March 5 sale is the federal government’s third bitcoin auction stemming from its Silk Road prosecution. The federal agency will accept e-mail bids from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 5. Bidders must pre-register by March 2 (USA Today).

Not content with stealing a young man’s life and property, the federal government has subjected Ross Ulbricht to a Stalinist show trial, during which due process was practically denied. Via Target Liberty:

The following statement has been issued by the family of Ross Ulbricht, who was recently convicted of being the mastermind of Silk Road:

Ross’ trial is now over.

We were shocked — horrified really — at how unfair it was. Day four saw a reversal from when we last wrote you. Before that we expected evidence favorable to Ross would continue to be presented, and the complete story told.

Instead, the government’s own exculpatory evidence was suppressed; defense witnesses were blocked from testifying; and Ross’ attorney was hamstrung, unable to effectively cross examine government witnesses. It was a one-sided presentation that suppressed facts essential to Ross’ defense.

This is a good overview from Forbes, read here. You can also read about the trial here, and about Ross during the trial here. We will continue to post more.

Ross’ attorney said he will appeal. This is not over! We believe it’s essential for everyone to have a fair trial. When a trial isn’t fair, it is a threat to us all.

Meanwhile, this is a very hard time for Ross and our family. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us. Your love and support mean so much.

Please send Ross a note. It’s easy to feel cut off and despairing in prison. We know it will help him to hear from you. His address is below.

ROSS ULBRICHT
#18870-111
MCC NEW YORK
METROPOLITAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER
150 PARK ROW
NEW YORK, NY 10007

As always, this is an expensive fight. We are facing a mountain of debt from the trial and need funds to pursue the appeal. Please spread the word, and donate if you can.

Thank you,

The Ulbricht family

NICE SITE:

RELATED:
“Addicted To The Drug War.”


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Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race

Barack Obama, Drug War, Fascism, Justice, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Race, Racism, Ron Paul

“Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation—and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey—would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.

Predictably, BBC News had taken a more analytical look at the “unrest in Ferguson,” pointing out that liberal outrage had centered on what the left sees as racial injustice. Libertarian anger, conversely, connected “the perceived overreaction by militarized local law enforcement to a critique of the heavy-handed power of government.”

As its libertarian stand-bearers, the BBC chose from the ranks of establishment, libertarian-leaning conservatives. Still, the ideological bifurcation applied was sound. With some exceptions, libertarians have consistently warned about a police state rising; the left has played at identity politics, appealing to its unappeasable base.

As refreshingly clever as its commentators are, BBC is inexact. The very embodiment of political opportunism, Sen. Rand Paul has managed to straddle liberal and libertarian narratives, vaporizing as follows:

“… Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. …”

The senator from Kentucky is considered “one of the leading figures in today’s libertarian movement.” Even so, on matters libertarian, Rand Paul is a political pragmatist; not the purist his father is. Alas, Rand has imbibed at home some unfortunate, crowd-pleasing habits—the leftist penchant for accusing law enforcement of racism. In 2012, in particular, during the debate between Republican presidential front-runners, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Ron Paul lurched to the left, implicating racism in the unequal outcomes meted by American justice:

“How many times have you seen the white rich person get the electric chair?” he asked. “If we really want to be concerned with racism … we ought to look at the drug laws.”

Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists. …

Read the rest of the column. “Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is now on WND.


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SWAT That Drug-Using Baby

Drug War, Fascism, Private Property

Georgia police—in the service of the police state and the war on the individual’s natural right to ingest, inhale, inject and trade in substances—incinerate a sleeping baby, during one of their 3:00 AM no-knock, drug-enforcement raids on private property. Oops, wrong house. This too happens all too frequently in the course of doing the Lord’s work. What are ya gonna do?

At least that’s how the culprits have written-off the baby at whom they lobbed a flash grenade.

The thrust of the AP report is not the tragedy, futility and violative nature of police action and mission, but on the age of the victim: Police did not know children were inside. So if adults alone were similarly incinerated would that have been OK?


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