[FoRK] Bitcoin: "tied cryptologically to all the criminal activities that contributed to its shared value"

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Apr 16 14:01:17 PDT 2013

On 4/16/13 12:46 PM, rst at ai.mit.edu wrote:
> Gregory Alan Bolcer writes:
>   > On 4/16/2013 12:04 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:
>   > > It doesn't matter at all in either case.  If someone gave you stolen
>   > > goods, which are not money, in the US at least, then you can't take
>   > > them.  This is one reason I don't understand the final outcome of this:
>   > > http://laptopiniran.tumblr.com/
>   >
>   > Wow, I'm guessing that the people identified in the pictures live in
>   > fear of the state. Even though they aren't the original criminals, they
>   > probably committing some minor crime that could ensue in very harsh
>   > punishment if documented by the pictures.  I think they still cut off
>   > people's hands in Iran.
>   >
>   > I'm assuming he doesn't want her hands chopped off.
> They may also have bought the laptop in a flea market or through some
> sort of Iranian Craigslist, while being unaware of where it originally
> came from, or how.  It's very likely the case that gray- to
> black-market channels are the only way they can buy consumer
> electronics of any kind, due to trade sanctions.  To give you some

True, but doesn't change the logic of not allowing receiving of stolen goods.  They should fix the government, not get by.

> idea, the hospitals in Iran are having trouble importing even basic
> medical supplies, which are supposed to have an exemption, due in part
> to funds transfer restrictions, and in part to overseas sellers just
> not wanting the hassle:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/13/iran-lifesaving-drugs-international-sanctions
> (This is one of the intended results of the sanctions policy, which is
> justified, in part, as intended to generate internal domestic
> discontent, as a way of motivating the Iranian government to clean up
> its act --- or of motivating the people to get another government.  To
> which one Iranian of my distant acquaintance might reply that they
> already tried that, in the Green Revolution, and it didn't work out so
> hot for anyone other than the government.)

The population voted them in office and allowed this disaster to happen, at each step losing power to stop it.  Ignorant and 
stupid and sad.

> Unidentified Man: There might have been tears in the eyes of the shah as he left Iran for what could be the last time. There 
> was nothing but sheer delight on the faces of the demonstrators who took to the streets of the capital in their thousands to 
> celebrate the departure of the man they have hated for so long.
> INSKEEP: The ouster of Iran's ruler and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini created the Islamic government that rules Iran to this 
> day, and that now faces its own street protests. BBC journalist Kasra Naji was a young demonstrator then.
> Give me an idea. What was it like to be an Iranian on the street of Tehran in early 1979?
> Mr. KASRA NAJI (BBC Journalist): It was most exciting. We were university students in those days in 1979. The dominant 
> politics of universities was leaning towards the left, if you remember. And those days, a revolution was something we were all 
> looking for, anyway. And what happened in Iran was exactly what we were looking for. We wanted democracy, and the revolution 
> was promising that.
> INSKEEP: And there are images of what looked like millions of people on the streets of Tehran as the shah of Iran, the ruler 
> of that time, abdicated and left the country.
> Mr. NAJI: Yes. It was a most popular revolution, you can imagine, throughout Iran, not just the capital Tehran. Even in remote 
> villages, people were up in arms against the shah and were demonstrating. I was part of some of these demonstrations when I 
> was in Tehran. These demonstrations, mostly in central parts of the capital Tehran, mostly, often and invariably descended 
> into running battles with the army soldiers who were in charge of maintaining the security, and they used to shoot in the air 
> and occasionally, very occasionally, into the crowds. They used to fire tear gas at us. We used to run away and sort of 
> regroup down the street. And this is how it went. We used to shout these slogans: Down with the shah. And that was the 
> unifying slogan, if you like.
> INSKEEP: You mentioned university students who have leftist ideologies. You mentioned people who wanted democracy. They wanted 
> more freedom. They wanted more openness. They wanted things that sound, to our ears, like Western values. And yet this same 
> giant crowd was the crowd that welcomed Ayatollah Khomeini when he returned to Iran to take control.
> Mr. NAJI: He played a very clever game. Those days, before he returned to Tehran, all he would talk about was democracy and 
> freedom. He would not talk about a religious revolution. He wouldn't talk about a religious state, and democracy and freedom 
> worked for us too, on the left, in a sense that we wanted to have a say. And freedom and democracy would provide that.
> INSKEEP: How long did it take for a wide group of Iranians, not just student intellectuals, to begin doubting the direction 
> that the country was taking under Ayatollah Khamenei in those early years?
> Mr. NAJI: The doubts had begun even before the overthrow of the shah. But, of course, as more people joined this doubt, if you 
> like, had more doubts, and these groups were - the groups that were started to be eliminated from the political process. And 
> Iran became pretty ugly.
> I remember a few months after the Revolution, they were executing about 100, 150, 160 people a day and they would announce and 
> print their names in the afternoon papers. I used to - I remember, I used to go and get the afternoon papers and just go home 
> and sort of cry because you just, you know, just going through these names of, you know, a lot of people you didn't know, but 
> obviously, you know, the night before 160 people had been executed. And this went on for months on end.
> INSKEEP: It's striking to hear you say that the regime, the new regime was not sticking political opponents on airplanes and 
> flying them out and dropping them over the sea, for example, the kind of thing that was done in other countries. They weren't 
> secretly executing people. They were doing it openly and allowing it to be published in the newspaper.
> Mr. NAJI: Absolutely. They wanted to make sure that people get the message that leftist groups and secular groups are not 
> wanted and they would not be tolerated.
> INSKEEP: Are the people who ran the Revolution or who won, the ones who were not executed at that time, still the people in 
> power today, by-in-large?
> Mr. NAJI: No. This is very interesting. This whole establishment is divided into an extremist wing and a moderate wing, and 
> they fight each other, and the moderates are eliminated. And then you'll have the extremists taking over.
> And then a year or two down the line, the extremists are divided into two between the moderate extremists and the other 
> extremists. And then the moderate extremists are eliminated, and so on and so forth. And we've got to this point, that today, 
> the extreme of the Islamic establishment is in power today in the shape of President Ahmadinejad and his supporters. And even 
> amongst them now, we would see this fight between the moderates - if you like - extremists, and the extremists behind 
> President Ahmadinejad.

I can only hope that a lesson will be learned to cancel all of this eventually and inoculate against it for a long time.


> rst


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