Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht Is Serving a Double Life Sentence

His mother, Lyn Ulbricht, talks about her son's life in maximum security prison and their Supreme Court hopes for the Silk Road case.


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Lyn Ulbricht moved to Colorado last year. She uprooted her life to be near her son, Ross Ulbricht, who is an inmate in a federal maximum security prison an hour outside of Colorado Springs.

Ross is serving two concurrent life sentences for his role in the founding and running of Silk Road, a dark web bazaar where users could buy and sell drugs and other illicit items, often using bitcoin. The charges against him included money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. In a separate indictment, he was charged with procuring murder. Though that charge was dropped, Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York cited it as central to her decision to go well beyond the minimum sentence of 10 years and instead imprison him for life without parole.

At his sentencing, Ross made a modest request: "I've had my youth, and I know you must take away my middle years, but please leave me my old age.…Please leave a small light at the end of the tunnel." Although Forrest was not moved, the Ulbrichts hope the Supreme Court may feel differently. If their case is accepted, it could trigger a landmark decision about digital privacy and autonomy, as well as about what responsibility the creators of online tools bear for what others do with them. Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward spoke with Lyn by phone in April, shortly after she got a small piece of encouraging news from the high court about Ross' appeal.

Reason: Since Ross' conviction, there have been quite a few revelations about prosecutorial misconduct and other questionable practices related to his case. Can you describe what has happened?

Lyn Ulbricht: Even pretrial, there were so many issues. For example, the government deprived Ross of bail, based partially on allegations of murder for hire, then two months later dropped those charges. And those charges were never brought to trial. He was never tried or convicted for those charges, and yet Judge Forrest used those charges to enhance a very unreasonable sentence for all nonviolent charges.

That is one of the questions that [we're bringing to the Supreme] Court: Is it constitutional for a judge to use uncharged, unproven allegations to enhance an unreasonable sentence? That deprives Ross of his jury trial rights.

By the way, there is still an indictment [on the murder-for-hire allegation] in Maryland. It's been languishing there for almost five years, unprosecuted, based on evidence supplied by Carl Mark Force, a corrupt [Drug Enforcement Administration] agent who's now in prison.

That was another one of the things that was a huge issue: The existence of this corrupt agent was precluded from trial. The jury was not allowed to know about him or another corrupt agent who was working for the [National Security Agency] and the Secret Service at the time, Shaun Bridges. The defense didn't even know about his existence until after trial.

So this was not allowed to be known to the jury. And it seems to me that that could have easily led to casting a reasonable doubt on Ross' guilt. These people not only stole over a million dollars [from Silk Road] using their access as investigators, but they had the ability to act as Dread Pirate Roberts, the pseudonym of whoever was running the site. They could change passwords, PIN numbers, keys, write things in chats—change evidence, essentially. And this was not permitted to be known to the jury.

Our readers' ears might perk up when they hear that there was an NSA component of this, since it's not really about national security.

That part was brought up by the defense before trial, and the government never denied it. They simply mocked the defense. [The DEA's Force] said, "Oh, he's bringing up this crazy stuff about the NSA." This was around the FBI investigator Christopher Tarbell's testimony under oath about how he found the Silk Road server, which experts worldwide basically called a lie. It was gibberish, according to them. In fact, [cybersecurity expert] Robert Graham even said, "We think it was the NSA."

And this is all illegal. I think your readers probably know that, but the NSA investigating and using spying surveillance against U.S. citizens is illegal. When [Reason's] Nick Gillespie interviewed [NSA whistleblower] Edward Snowden at Liberty Forum, he asked about Ross: "Can we assume that the NSA was involved?" And Snowden simply said, "Yes," and later said it was unthinkable they weren't.

Well, a few weeks ago it came out that there are classified documents from Edward Snowden showing that the NSA was tracking bitcoin users urgently. Not terrorists, mind you. Bitcoin users. And since they were illegally targeting bitcoin users, there are a lot of questions as to the validity of the investigation [against Ross] at all.

This is very, very troubling, because of course it brings up the whole question of parallel construction and what many call "intelligence laundering," where the NSA uses their extensive surveillance abilities and invasion of Americans' privacy to go after people, basically, and then turns it over to the DEA, the [Department of Justice], and the [Internal Revenue Service]. This is a real slippery slope, in my opinion, to horrible Fourth Amendment violations. And it's something that everyone should be concerned about. We're turning into a surveillance state. I don't think most people want that.

What happened today with the Supreme Court?

Ross and his legal team have petitioned the Supreme Court on two very broad-reaching questions that affect a lot of people. They submitted that petition in December. And then in January, 21 groups, including Reason Foundation, joined in support of that petition in five amicus briefs. These are groups from both sides of the political spectrum. I think that's important to note.

We just went through the process where a batch of cases are brought into conference to evaluate whether or not the [justices] were going to take the case. If they reject it, that's very, very bad. If they are willing to take it, that's very, very good. That was on Friday, so it was kind of a nail-biter over the weekend. And on Monday we found out that at least they did not reject it. There was a list of over 200 cases they did reject, and we combed that list and Ross was not on there.

It could have been relisted—just kicked down the road to the next week. But we found out today that it was not on the list for relisting, either, which indicates very strongly that they are probably holding it, pending another important Fourth Amendment case, Carpenter v. U.S. [which was argued last November]. So we're happy about it. We're still in the game. Ross' case is still before the courts.

What is Ross' life like right now? I know that you visit and correspond with him frequently.

Ross has been put in a maximum security prison, which is where the Bureau of Prisons puts its most violent offenders. He's a totally peaceful guy, but he's there because they automatically put people with a life sentence in these places, whether [their crimes are] violent or not.

Ross has no record of violence. He's a first-time offender. And actually, just as an aside, I've had guards come up to me, my husband, Ross, his lawyer—not only guards, but his counselor, his case manager—and they have all said, "Ross doesn't belong in here. What's he doing in here?" It's really a dangerous place. It's full of violent people, violent gangs, and there were a couple of stabbings just last week.

"I want to provide to him a lifeline to the outside world, so that [the prison is] not his only reality. That's what happens to people, and then when they get out, they can't assimilate well. It's a terrible system."

Is there anything that could get him moved?

Eventually I think that you prove yourself, which of course Ross will. They love him there. He could be moved to a medium security [prison]. But that's years away. And there are violent people there, too, of course.

What is his daily schedule like? How much contact does he have with the other prisoners?

Under normal circumstances, he's in a unit and he knows a lot of the people in the unit. But a lot of times they're having lockdowns lately. That leaves him locked in his cell for days at a time. It's been, off and on, at least half the time since Thanksgiving. When he's in a normal situation, he can walk a track and look at the mountains and be outside, which is really important for Ross because he's very outdoorsy and loves nature. He can go to the law library. There's a chapel where he can go meditate or pray. They have controlled moves—they can't just wander around, but when a move comes, it's announced, and then they can move to the next thing.

He has friends. His birthday was this past month. He turned 34 in there—his fifth birthday in a cage. Some of the guys got together and paid somebody to draw a nice card for him and then put together a meal for his birthday. It was really sweet. He's had no real issues or conflict. He's well-liked, which has been true for his whole life. It applies in prison too, you know? They're people.

As someone who's in there for a different reason than many of the others, do his fellow inmates find him a curiosity?

They know everything about everybody in there. They're well aware of Ross' notoriety, and they know he's a peaceful guy. Actually, there are other nonviolent people. A good friend of his, Tony, is doing a life sentence for marijuana. He's already served 13 years, and the federal prison happens to be in Colorado, where it's legal. That's insane, OK?

There's another good friend of his, Jose, who is in there because of the three-strikes law—thank you, Bill Clinton. One of his three strikes was residual cocaine on a dollar bill years ago, and he's got a life sentence. Ross says he's such a sweet person. Not everyone in there is dangerous or violent. The guy he shares his cell with isn't, luckily. But that said, there are gangs.

[The other inmates] know who Ross is. He passes Reason around, and they ask him about bitcoin—they think he's the expert about things like that.

What kind of person would you have expected to find in a maximum security prison before this happened, and what do you think about the people who are his friends now?

Sometimes I say, "Ross, I worked all your life for you to have a good peer group and good influences, and now you're friends with gang leaders." He's like, "Mom, gang leaders are people too." That's his thing. And he said he hasn't met one person who's truly evil in there. He said, look, some people made very bad decisions, but a lot of it has to do with the drug war. Of course there are some people you probably wouldn't want to live next door to. I'm not for everyone getting out of prison. But we have the technology to put ankle bracelets on people, let them go home to their families and their children. I think we should do a lot more of that.

What's your best-case scenario, going forward?

I'd like to get to the point where Ross could have a new trial, a fair trial, one that brought everything forward and he would be exonerated and free. That's our goal, for Ross to be able to come out and have a life. The thing is, you'd love Ross. He's not going to be somebody who's a threat in any way, and I know that he would never even come close to crossing the line into breaking the law again. He's not that stupid, frankly. He's a fast learner.

Walk me through what happens next, legally. A lot of people seem to think that if you win at the Supreme Court, everything gets magically resolved. But it's a lot messier than that, right?

Understanding that I'm not a lawyer: Let's say they reverse Carpenter, meaning that the previous ruling from 1979 allowing the government to surveil us without a warrant is reversed. Then they would remand [our case] and return it to the appellate courts. Ross would be back in New York in front of the 2nd Circuit, but with guidance from the Supreme Court saying, "No, this was not done properly. This needs to be re-evaluated."

Then I would hope that they would say we'd have a retrial. At the least, I would hope and pray for a resentencing. A few people say, "Oh yeah, he deserves life." I don't think they understand what life is. I don't think they understand that what we're doing to people is torturing them and their families. Most people that I have talked to, though, say that even if Ross is guilty of everything—which I don't believe—double life is just draconian. It's part of a trend that's very alarming in our country. Life sentences have quintupled since the '80s. There are 17,000 or so people serving life who are nonviolent.

One of the reasons I have moved is to be close to Ross. I want to provide to him a lifeline to the outside world, so that [the prison is] not his only reality. That's what happens to people, and then when they get out, they can't assimilate well. It's a terrible system.

How do communications work? You can visit him in person at certain times. Is that the only way you interact?

Most of the inmates have email privileges. They do not allow Ross to have email privileges, because his is an internet crime, or something. But violent gang leaders, who have nationwide networks, they have email privileges. He gets 300 phone minutes a month. He can call us. We can't contact him.

I, and of course his father and our family and some friends, have gotten on a list to visit. You have to go through a background check and all that. In this prison, it's three days a week for five or six hours a day, so I've gotten to have a lot of time with Ross. We're lucky, you know? We have an internet business, so I can do that.

But most people can't, right?

Most people can't. I don't have a small child in school. It's very hard on families. When you see the kids in there, being torn from their fathers after the visit's over and crying, wounded, really harmed by this, it's hard to forget. It's a terrible thing what we're doing to families.

People say prison food is itself a punishment. They say it as a joke, but of course it's not even remotely funny.

I wouldn't say that's a joke. It's certainly nothing you would order in a restaurant, let's just put it that way. Sometimes it's OK, but Ross a lot of times buys food in the commissary and makes his own food. He's doing the keto diet and the keto fasting when he can, and he's staying healthy. But yeah, I mean, prison food is pretty substandard.

Has prison changed Ross?

One of the things about prison that's the most insidious—and Ross and I were talking about this just this past weekend—is how demeaning it is. How you have a loss of dignity as a human being is really intrinsic to the whole thing. Ross says one time he was referred to as "freight." A guard into his radio was saying, "Got freight here coming up." And Ross is like, "Oh, I'm freight now?" Or they say, "We've got some bodies," or they're a number. They're stripped of their dignity as an individual.

Ross hasn't lost his dignity. He's very strong mentally and emotionally. He's reading the Stoics, he meditates, he's a spiritual person. He's staying strong, but it's very tough to keep that sense of who you are. I think people ultimately can be crushed by that.

This interview has been condensed and edited for style and clarity.

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  1. The charges against him included money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. In a separate indictment, he was charged with procuring murder. Though that charge was dropped, Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York cited it as central to her decision to go well beyond the minimum sentence of 10 years and instead imprison him for life without parole.
    The government will not resentence Ulbricht even though that charge of procuring murder was dropped. Another reason that sentencing defendants based on unconvicted behavior is just stupid and legally wrong.

    How can a judge justify a harsher sentence based on conduct that a trier of fact has not checked and balanced the government prosecutors on?

    1. “Contempt! Take xi away!”

      *** pounds gavel ***

    2. Because he was undermining the very fabric of society. They made an example of him. It won’t matter in the long run, but it sux for Ross and his family.

    3. Yeah… saying that you are sentencing someone for a crime they were not convicted of should be a pretty straightforward way to get the sentencing kicked. And it really ought to point to bias on the part of the judge for the entire trial.

      As a second thought… if you are a judge and you write something right there in your opinion like that, I think you’ve signaled that you are not bright enough to be on the bench.

      Even the people over at the FBI who texted that they were going to stop Trump from being president were smart enough not to put “I am making this decision in order to further my political goals in stopping Trump” into a memo.

    4. There are sentencing cases (Apprendi, Blakey) that say: “Any fact used to elevate a sentence beyond the (previous) maximum must be submitted to a jury and proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

      Apprendi was about a hate-crime sentencing enhancement. Let’s say the underlying crime carried a maximum of ten years (I don’t remember what it was, but let’s say some sort of arson). Because the victim was black, however, they tacked on an additional X years at sentencing, such that Apprendi now faced 13 years?more than the statutory maximum for what he was convicted.

      The Supreme Court overturned the conviction, because the facts used to increase the statutory maximum weren’t submitted to a jury and proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

      I’d argue the same here?but perhaps the crimes he was convicted of carried the possibility of life, such that the other factors didn’t “increase” the sentence beyond what was already authorized?

  2. Free Ross!

  3. Since Preet no longer holds a position of power, can I state my opinion on Judge Forrest and her possible status with regard to woodchippers?

  4. Because our legal system is corrupt. It may not be banana republic corrupt, or Soviet corrupt, but it is beholden to the rich and powerful, and that is corruption.

    1. Worse, it is beholden to its own sense of self-importance.

      1. Thank you for that. It intersects in interesting ways with my current research.

  5. God’s Own Prohibitionists are proud of cruel and unusual punishment, especially where the only violated rights are the defendant’s. Herbert Hoover’s Presidential papers are now online. In them he brags Mohammedan-style about caging Americans for millennia over light beer and plant leaf products before the Liberal Party’s repeal plank knocked him off his high horse. Anyone who understands how Ross was railroaded and still votes for looter party candidates deserves to trade places and feel the violence of law on their own hide.

    1. “The” looter party, as if there were only one.

      1. Shush, you’ll disturb Hank’s childish view of the world.

      2. He actually explicitly did not use the word “the” there.

        Now, I dunno Hank from a hole in the ground, so maybe he really is just carrying water for the Democrats, but the way that sentence is written, it certainly does not preclude them being “looter party candidates” also.

        1. You’re right, sorry about that. Hasty reading with unnoticed editorial insertion.

    2. They’re all looters.

    3. Hank think we’re living in 1932.

      1. Hank think?

        No, Hank does not think.

        At this point I submit that he’s a rudimentary version of Cleverbot, programmed with statements about repeal planks, abortion planks, God’s Own Prohibitionists and various other quirks of the language he uses, built to read articles and attempt to respond to them.

        For the record, Cleverbot is pretty good at this point. It does feel a lot like talking to a random asshole on the internet. The problem is they don’t let it be profane; if they did, it might pass Turing for me.

    4. Hey Hank, remember that time during Obama’s first term when the Democrat’s controlled both houses of congress and the presidency and they went ahead and ended the war on drugs? Yeah, me neither.

  6. He didn’t get a fair trial.

    The question isn’t whether he was guilty. The question is whether he got a fair trial, and the correct answer is “no”.

    A jury is like a box of chocolates, but any defense attorney should have had an easy time establishing reasonable doubt once they heard that two of the DEA agents who investigated him were later sentenced to prison for blackmailing him, threatening to set him up if he didn’t pay them off, etc. That information was never shared with the jury–that information wasn’t shared with Ulbricht’s defense team until after the trial. If it had been, . . .

    He didn’t get a fair trial.

    Someone at the DEA or the Justice Department or the U.S. Attorney’s Office needs to be disciplined for withholding evidence.

    And two life sentences for someone who didn’t get a fair trial is a gross injustice.

    1. By disciplined, you mean swinging from a gallows, right? All legal like of course.

      1. The sheer quantity of government malfeasance really does make me rethink my opposition to the death penalty.

      2. Running them through a woodchipper would send a more powerful message.

      3. Quite a few deserve a fair trial and a first-class hanging. Wood chippers would be cruel and unusual.

  7. Just for the record:

    “Those two figures loom large over the appeals process: former Drug Enforcement Agent Carl Mark Force, and former Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges.

    The pair worked together on the Baltimore-based law enforcement task force that went hard after Silk Road. Ultimately the case was prosecuted out of New York, where local investigators testified at trial. All material gathered from Baltimore was kept out.

    However, after Ulbricht’s trial concluded in late 2014, the government unveiled criminal corruption charges against both federal agents. The government concluding that agents Force and Bridges worked independently to extort money from Dread Pirate Roberts (Ulbricht’s online identity) and rip off Silk Road as a whole. By the end of 2015, after taking plea agreements, both Force and Bridges were sentenced.

    As Ars reported previously, Dratel only became aware of the Force investigation in late 2014, and was precluded from talking about it at trial. Dratel didn’t find out about Bridges until after Ulbricht’s trial concluded.…..-doj-says/

    1. Note, that story is about Preet Behara’s arguments at the appeal. What neither he nor Ars Technica mentions is that it isn’t the job of the U.S. Attorneys Office to weigh the relative importance and credibility of evidence and testimony. It isn’t the appellate judge’s job to weigh the relative importance and credibility of evidence and testimony either. Our legal system places the responsibility of weighing the relative importance and credibility of evidence and testimony with the jury–and the jury never had a chance to hear about that evidence or testimony.

      Ulbricht did not get a fair trial.

      If the Department of Justice is so corrupt that they can’t convict a guilty man, then that’s a bigger problem than Ulbricht, and that problem wasn’t corrected by withholding evidence from Ulbricht’s defense team. That just made things worse. Justice requires that Ulbricht get a new trial and that the jury hear all the evidence and testimony that might support a reasonable doubt. In the meantime, the public should be demanding that whomever withheld this evidence from Ulbricht’s defense team should be investigated–and proper charges brought if and when appropriate.

    2. P.S. Is there a good reason to have any faith in the Obama era Justice Department?

      What a clown show!

      Did they ever do anything right?

      1. Hey the Man said his admin had no scandals. Who are you to gainsay Him? /demtard

    3. “But nowhere, either below or here, has Ulbricht explained, other than in the most conclusory way, how the corruption of two agents?who neither testified at his trial nor generated the evidence against him?tended to disprove that he was running Silk Road from his laptop.”

      —-Preet Bahara, Ars Technica link above

      Notice, the defense team is arguing that they might have created reasonable doubt if they’d been given the evidence to use at trial.

      Preet Bahara is responding that because they convicted Ulbricht without that evidence, that evidence didn’t matter!

      I’m shocked that anyone could make it through law school and find that argument compelling.

      What’s even more disgusting is that Preet Bahara may soon be New York State’s Attorney General.…..ation.html

      Will the ACLU endorse this authoritarian jackass?

      1. Not only no, but FUCK NO!

  8. As a former years-long administrator for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, I agree with the author. There is NO good reason to incarcerate this man in ADX (“Supermax”) Florence, CO (think of the sky-high cost to taxpayers!). I know full-well that when the BOP has an ax to grind with someone, anyone, for any reason, they will try to make the inmate’s “bid” as uncomfortable as possible. When advised by a low-level, affirmative action hire that I should not accept the transfer of an inmate, I went to the prison where he was held and interviewed the man myself. Just because he was a big man who at one time belonged to the AB (Aryan Brotherhood), this young lady thought SHE knew better than me. *sigh* I accepted his transfer and okayed his security down-grade. Needless to say, the BOP found a way to marginalize me. Oh ya, while in my facility, the man posed no threat to anyone and comported himself with great respect and I might add – thanks.

    1. Should actually detail the levels of corruption that infect every aspect of the justice system, all the way through to the BOP (the USA Today article about augmentation is just the tip of the iceberg).

      As it is, my understanding is that conditions in the ADX are so horrific a therapist has taken up an exclusive practice for the guards there to keep them from eating the gun. No one should be there, let alone a first-time, non-violent offender.

      And there is the whole retaliation culture in the BOP. Ulbricht is just a prominent face of a myriad of severe problems within the justice system.

      1. Wasn’t the entire point of the supermax that there were criminals who were so violent inside prison that they had to be placed somewhere that could stop them from harming or killing others?

        I’m not sure a web admin is gonna qualify under that definition, even if he did run a website that sold illegal goods.

        1. While I generally oppose the death penalty, I have to wonder if it is preferable than keeping people in conditions like the ADX. As it is, you still have murders and assaults there, and I have to wonder if the environment doesn’t contribute to that.

          I mean if an argument is to be made about the death penalty as a deterrence, then why doesn’t the same rational follow for those that violent in prison?

          Along those lines, I have to wonder about the idea of deterrence for misconduct within the justice system or government more broadly. I mean you could make the case the justice department is putting Ulbricht’s life in danger by keeping him at the ADX with the flimsiest of justifications.

          What is the deterrence then?

  9. Life without parole for running a website. He didn’t kill anyone or rape anyone or even steal anything. He just ran a website making certain contraband available. Life without parole. And that’s after being completely railroaded. How he’s not out on time served after appeal is beyond me.

  10. “Ross is serving two concurrent life sentences for his role in the founding and running of Silk Road, a dark web bazaar where users could buy and sell drugs and other illicit items, often using bitcoin.”

    So we have no victims; no one harmed by this.
    The government is as jealous god…

  11. “We’re turning into a surveillance state. I don’t think most people want that.”

    Very naive assumption. Most American statists (i.e. most Americans) across the political spectrum either support or don’t care much about government snooping on people, especially the “other” people.

    1. Default viewpoint is “if you have nothing to hide”. Of course as thought crimes become a thing as they already are on social media via the twitmob, eventually everyone will have something to hide but it will be too late at that point.

  12. “In a separate indictment, he was charged with procuring murder. Though that charge was dropped, Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York cited it as central to her decision to go well beyond the minimum sentence of 10 years and instead imprison him for life without parole.”

    Bless Judge Forrest and her relations
    And keep us in our proper stations
    (tugs forelock)

    Is that deferential enough, jackass?

    1. She’ll be among the first one hundred facing the Drug War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg, PA.

      20 woodchippers, no waiting.

  13. What a joke. Free the man already.

  14. Thought-provoking piece from Reason contributor Noah Berlatsky: This Father’s Day, men are experiencing a crisis of masculinity. The solution? More feminism.

    Men experience violence and oppression because gender norms are not changing. In other words, feminism isn’t killing men ? toxic masculinity is.

    I don’t agree with everything he writes; for example, there’s a totally unnecessary attack on Hillary Clinton near the end. However, it’s an important reminder of the value of feminism, and the disastrous effects of toxic masculinity and gun fetishism.

    1. “This weekend is Father’s Day, a holiday typically celebrated with displays of testosterone and gendered clich?s….

      “Encouraging boys not to cry is dangerous; encouraging boys to love guns is even more so. “Guns are historically, stereotypically a masculine sort of thing,” Lisa Gold, a psychiatry professor at Georgetown told Quartz. Connecting manliness with gun ownership exacts a brutal toll. Statistics compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 2016, men accounted for a staggering 85 percent of gun deaths in the United States.

      “Men own guns at three times the rate that women do. As a result it’s not surprising that they are more likely to be hurt or killed in a firearm accident. And it also makes them much more likely to die when they attempt suicide. Women tend to prefer poison to guns when they try to kill themselves. Men use firearms ? and firearms are a very effective way to inflict harm.”

      1. Another gem:

        “…Jordan Peterson….argues that feminism and policies like no-fault divorce have destabilized traditional family and social structures. As a fix for this, Peterson recommends a variety of things including “enforced monogamy” ? a solution that implies men are oppressed due to lack of consensual sex.”

        As proof that Peterson believes this, there’s a link to an article about Peterson being an apologist for patriarchy.

        1. Here’s Peterson trying to justify his horrible, horrible, position:

          1. “enforced monogamy” does not mean government-enforced monogamy. “Enforced monogamy” means socially-promoted, culturally-inculcated monogamy, as opposed to genetic monogamy ? evolutionarily-dictated monogamy, which does exist in some species (but does not exist in humans)

            I see nothing wrong here. And Peterson is not wrong that no-fault divorce is a destabilizing factor in the West. I think Peter Hitchens put it eloquently in his argument at an Oxford Union debate:


            1. He’s rarely wrong.

            2. He is wrong that no-fault divorce is a destabilizing factor. Or, at least its destabilizing the ‘tradition’ of people being stuck in shitty partnerships for a lifetime – long after children are grown and gone. And its ‘for the children’ that all this ‘traditional marriage’ crap is pushed for.

    2. So I’m curious how you reconcile the libertarian aesthetic with denying people the means to self-protection? Exactly how do you square that circle?

      I’m also uncertain how what is essentially an advocacy group for women benefits men. I think most men are more than capable of solving their own problems if they could only reduce the external obligations placed upon them.

      Shall men save women from toxic femininity as well?

  15. This story still burns me.

    You have FBI agents who tried to act above the rule of law, Hilary who broke basic security laws, and none will ever see a fine let alone prison time – which is EXACTLY what they deserve. And there’s the whole crap about the FBI agents in this case.

    Forrest is a cunt.

    A cunt for the sentence and a cunt for sending her lap dog Preeeet to bully Reason commenters using their power to scare people expressing their free speech.

    They always make an example of the weak, but the connected get away with shit all the time; and probably murder too.

    Fuck her.

    Hopefully some form of justice will come to him and poetic justice against her.

    Good luck with the appeal. Hopefully more will come and help out.

    Fight to the death.

    1. I’ve been assured this sort of injustice only happens to POCs.

  16. CNN: Putin can’t wait for his next photo-op with Trump

    Terrifying but essential reading material. Putin is getting even more out of his puppet in the White House than he could have hoped. At this point I don’t think the United States can survive as a country until 2021 when, hopefully, a Democrat is sworn in as President. Mueller absolutely needs to deliver ironclad proof of Russian collusion so 2019’s #BlueWave Congress can impeach.


    1. Cool story bro.

      1. The United States currently has a white nationalist President installed by a hostile foreign power. In only about a year and a half, he has destroyed our reputation around the globe, crashed the thriving economy he inherited from Obama, and declared war on undocumented Americans. And your reaction is “Cool story bro”?

        It’s that too-cool-to-care attitude that makes libertarians seem like antisocial misfits. Try having some compassion. Your privilege might so far have immunized you from the worst of Drumpf’s atrocities, but you might find one day there’s nobody left to speak up when his regime comes after you.

        1. “The United States currently has a white nationalist President installed by a hostile foreign power.”

          Regardless of this twit’s attempts at sarcasm, our newest lefty idiot (happy chandler) un-ironically claims the US is now run by a ‘foreign power’.
          We’ve gone from the harmless but curious claims that the Russkis caused the election of Trump to the claim that he is a sort of Manchurian Candidate.
          All of which promoted absent ONE SHRED of evidence from what has to be the longest-running, totally open-ended investigation of a sitting POTUS.
          TDS is not only dangerous, it degenerates over time.

          1. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m one of millions of Americans who knows Drumpf is a Kremlin asset. You’ll see in November how serious and dedicated we are when the #BlueWave happens.

            From Evan McMullin: No one should be the least bit surprised that an FBI agent would want to bring to justice someone who is openly collaborating with Russian intelligence in order to capture the American presidency. There could hardly be a more important mission for the FBI.

            Once Mueller concludes his investigation, the evidence will be so overwhelming even you’ll have to admit it.

            1. Regardless of this twit’s attempts at sarcasm…

        2. The cool story bro comment basically is a polite way of saying you’re full of shit. I’m not as polite. You’re full of shit.

          1. Like Sevo, you’ll eventually realize I’m correct when Mueller’s investigation is over.

      2. Know who else had a cool story, bro?

        1. The Brothers Grimm?

          1. (They were always saying the phrase to each other)

        2. Any of the Karamazov Brothers?

        3. 3 out of 4 Marx Brothers?

        4. Mario and Luigi?

          1. That guy who was from the place where all the children are above average?

  17. How horrible.
    It certainly does sound like he didn’t get a fair trial.
    And a web geek shouldn’t be in a prison with rapists and murderers, even if he really is guilty. Sheesh.

    1. If hes in a federal supermax, hes not really with anyone. Sure, there maybe rapists and murderers in the same building, but supermaxes are all about isolation.

  18. If the SC doesn’t side with Ulbricht, what’s left for his mother, other than a direct appeal to Trump?

    Trump is a law and order guy and the Silk Road Case isn’t cause celebre enough in the right to get his attention. But he’s been known to vent against the intelligence community spying on his campaign.

    The FBI top men who tried to score points on this case (Mccabe, Comey) are gone and on Trump’s enemy list. Maybe that will help?

  19. If their case is accepted, it could trigger a landmark decision about digital privacy and autonomy, as well as about what responsibility the creators of online tools bear for what others do with them.

    Why limit it to online tools? Will this not open the floodgates for suing the makers of anything for what users do with them?

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