Talkin’ Liberty is the segment of Liberty Nation Radio where Tim and I focus on a few of the week’s stories affecting our liberty that deserve a little more focus or may have been overlooked in part or whole. Here is the latest episode:
Jones Act No Bueno
Tim Donner: Well, the president has been pounded, predictably, from the left, for his response to the damage done in Puerto Rico by hurricane Maria. They couldn’t criticize him for Harvey or for Irma but now, he has had troubles politically, with hurricane Maria and how it’s hit Puerto Rico. Now he’s waived an act that would limit the amount of aid that could go to Puerto Rico. Tell us about that.
Scott Cosenza: Yes, Tim. He, in league with Maria and a white supremacist conspiracy to attack the brown people of the Puerto Rican island.
Tim Donner: That’s what I was going to try before.
Scott Cosenza: Yeah. I think that probably, people have seen this on Facebook and other places, called the Jones act, which is the popular name for the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. Essentially Tim, this is a very simple piece of legislation, which is a protection racket for ship builders, ship owners and people who know how to operate ships in the United States. What it says is, if you’re going to ship from point A to Point B, and if both of those points are in the United States, then the ship has to be built in the United States, owned by a US citizen, operated by a US citizen or naturalized resident and there may be one other … Oh, and flagged under US law, which has to do with liability issues.
Now, for some of those, for the flagging issue you might actually say, “All right. For safety and something else, it’s compelling.” It’s a good reason but all those other qualifications, all they are are just people who own ships and operate ships, don’t want competition from foreign shippers.” This is a horrible law. It’s horrible. It drives up the costs of everything for Americans and it’s, in situations like this where it sort of becomes acute where you say, “You’re telling me that if a shipping company from England perhaps, had a ship in Miami that was ready to depart for some other place with lots of supplies and they said, ‘Oh, we can divert to Puerto Rico to go ahead and help out these people so that they don’t die,’ the law says, ‘Oh no, that’s forbidden and must be denied.'”
There was sort of a campaign on social media and elsewhere to get this act waived. In this instance, it was waived for the other two in Florida and in Texas and in this case, it has now been waived for 10 days. It’s a horrible law. It exists only to fill the pockets of some people who have bought some Congressmen or bought them in 1920. Perhaps they have lease payments.
Tim Donner: I guess there’s no statute of limitations then.
Scott Cosenza: Right. Right. Right. I’m sure there are some lease payments that are required along the way but that’s the only reason. There are some security concerns for some of those provisions but it’s great that it’s waived for 10 days and, let’s hope they chuck the whole thing.
Huma’s Problem No More
Tim Donner: Well, if you drill down a level or two beyond the surface, you will find that the man who may have ultimately cost Hilary Clinton the election, was one Anthony Weiner, the most appropriate named man in all of politics and now he’s going to the hoosegow for 21 months.
Scott Cosenza: Tim, as somebody who has criticized Mr. Weiner, vehemently on this show, I take no joy in the 21 sentence that Mr. Weiner got for sexting with a teenager who, by the way, targeted him and benefited financially from his sexting. Okay? This was a teenager who found him online. They found each other through some app and they exchanged sexually explicit texts including photographs and the idea that 21 months in prison is an appropriate sentence for this … This girl sought him out okay? She and her father sold their story and also tried to, themselves, influence the presidential election.
Now Tim, we live in a country whereby, people who are actually charged with protecting minors and teaching them, literally their teachers, can have actual, physical, sexual acts that they do with these minors and then get sentenced to things like, probation for a number of years or 30 days house arrest and yet, Mr. Weiner I think, only because of his high-profile-
Tim Donner: High profile.
Scott Cosenza: -and politics, was sentenced to 21 months. I think their plan was, “Let’s wait and hopefully Hilary will win and then this will be quietly,” whatever. That’s not what happened here. I think it’s a horrible imposition and impermissible in position on liberty Tim, when you can have a teacher who as far as the law concerns, rapes one of their charges multiple times over the course of the year and gets off with probation and Anthony Weiner gets from dirty pictures from a girl who initiated their contact, and he has to go to prison for 21 months. Tim, we have to pay for it. That’s the other thing.
Tim Donner: Well, one of the things that defines the American justice system is that we don’t make examples out of people and yet, it seems here like Anthony Weiner is being made an example of.
Scott Cosenza: Yes. That’s exactly right.
Tim Donner: True.
Scott Cosenza: Yes.
Travel Ban redux – redux
Tim Donner: Well, I mean, my heart doesn’t exactly go out to him but you’re right. 21 months when many get less than that, it seems to be somewhat politically motivated. We’ll leave that to the judgment of the individuals. All right. Travel ban v3.0.
Scott Cosenza: Nice.
Tim Donner: Version 3.0. new and improved or expanded at least. This one seems more likely to stick, yes?
Scott Cosenza: Well, that’s what the people are saying, Tim. It’s a little bit too tea leafy for me to get into it but that’s … all the people who proclaim to know these things seem to say that yes and the reason for that is that it’s not a quote-unquote, “blanket ban,” which is to say there are provisions for people to petition their way out of the ban and still come in. By the way, I just looked this up for my own edification; this is the same executive order that we have been talking about. I think I’d entitle it 3.0 when I sent it to you but it’s really the same executive order. It’s 13780 and Wikipedia is actually listing these now, which is convenient.
Tim Donner: Don’t forget, send before tomorrow. At 13780. That’s 13780.
Scott Cosenza: Exactly, come from Yemen.
Tim Donner: Yeah.
Scott Cosenza: They’ve added Venezuela and North Korea to the list. Your favorite North Korean restaurants if you’re noticing, they’re poorly staffed. That may be why.
Tim Donner: I’ll take note.
Scott Cosenza: The Venezuelan component is interesting because it targets the senior leadership of that country and not the everyday Venezuelan citizen, which I thought was a good step forward in terms of how we deal with kleptocracies.
Tim Donner: Will there be a judge likely to try and step in and overturn it like the judge in Hawaii and the judge somewhere else out in the West. I don’t even remember. I think California. Is this legitimately challengable, the way that it’s been structured?
Scott Cosenza: Well, I’ll answer your first question. I don’t know that I’ll answer your second, if it’s legitimately challengable. I think that the answer to that question is no because the supreme court is going to look at this ban and they’re going to look at it very soon in their coming term. We’re talking about a couple weeks away now, only. I think that because of the rulings that have been handed down on the previous bans because this is a lighter ban than those that we will not see, as we had previously, those lower court challenges.
Tim Donner: One of the defining elements of Islam that we know about, it’s often been talked about, is the restrictions it places on women and Saudi Arabia’s sort of exhibit A on this and one of the definitive arguments used against Islamic culture is that they don’t even let women drive. Well, Saudi Arabia is lifting the ban on women driving.
Scott Cosenza: You know Tim, I tend to try to stay away from any international stories here because there’s usually a full basket of international stories within the United States but I think this is such a profound development for a freedom of half of a nation. If you think of how your life would be effected by not being able to drive and having to ask somebody for permission to go somewhere, it’s a horrible imposition on freedom. Especially in societies that are built up around cars. It’s not like it’s Manhattan. Saudi Arabia’s spread out a bit. I think this is great news for the women of Saudi Arabia and I think in 100 years, when Saudi Arabia looks like maybe the US did in 1960, they’ll look back and think, this is a major leap forward and one of the reasons why.
Tim Donner: You holding your breath on that?
Scott Cosenza: No I won’t be.
Tim Donner: I didn’t think so. Well, we can’t leave without at least mentioning the death of one Hugh Hefner, one Hugh Marston Hefner who died this week at age 91, known for moving sex into the mainstream. What are your reflections on Hugh Hefner as we bid him farewell?
Scott Cosenza: Tim, Hugh Hefner was a first amendment hero. Not only for advancing his own publishing rights and to send Playboy through the mail and all sorts of things where he was prosecuted or persecuted as the case may be but he also stood up for the first amendment rights of everyone. It may be hard for people to remember in this digital age we live in but, back in the day, when Playboy was one of few nationally published magazines, they had Matt Hentoff published in Playboy, they had people talking about … especially from the Libertarian side of things Tim …
Tim Donner: Well, the old joke was always the …
Scott Cosenza: Yes.
Tim Donner: The woman would find the man. The wife would find the husband with Playboy and he would say, “Oh, I like it for the articles.” But the articles really were good indeed.
Scott Cosenza: Oh, they were great and deep and that kind of writing, that kind of curated writing was not then in abundance and really Hefner, if you look at some of the philanthropic causes that he backed, a lot of them were pro-freedom causes, and he really was a hero.
Tim Donner: Okay. Thank you, Scott.
Scott Cosenza: And the naked ladies. Thank you, Tim.
Tim Donner: Had to slip that in…