Law Talk With Epstein, Yoo, & Senik
Episode 42: Under Oath

Hosted by Troy Senik
May 11, 2013
Direct Link to MP3 File

After an extended hiatus (Professor Yoo explains why on the show), the learned men of Law Talk return for another conclave in the Ricochet School of Law faculty lounge. This week, Epstein, Yoo, and Troy Senik cover Benghazi, Internet Taxation, the FDA and the morning-after pill, and the Feds restricting the 3-D printing of guns. Listen and learn, folks. 

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  1. Scott R
    David Williamson: Scott – the people who voted for Mr Obama didn’t care about Benghazi – they might have said “what difference does it make?”. · 6 hours ago

    True for the “believers”, David. But the squishy 10-15% who decided the election could have been swayed, imo.

    But we’ll never know, which is terribly frustrating. To say the least.

  2. Scott R

    I’m sure the professors are correct that the Benghazi misbehavior doesn’t rise to “impeachable offense” in the real world.

    But given that the cover-up very possibly denied a man the presidency who otherwise would have won it, it’s certainly also true that the Benghazi lies should merit impeachment in a fair world. It’s hard to imagine a more consequential fib than one that undermines the election of the leader of the free world.   

  3. SMatthewStolte

    Where can I see the portrait that was mentioned?

  4. David Williamson

    Scott – the people who voted for Mr Obama didn’t care about Benghazi – they might have said “what difference does it make?”.

  5. Chris Campion

    The State Department takes direction from the President.  If the President directed State to downplay, to the point where it didn’t exist in official print, the true terrorist nature of the Benghazi attack, and it did so for political gain, then I do think that kind of action rises to the impeachment level.  That action is equivalent, especially if you consider the rejected calls for increased security, to putting American lives at much greater risk than is normal, even in a clearly hostile environment.  The fact that additional security requests were denied, repeatedly, tells you that State is compromised politically, when it’s denying its own people the minimum required for their safe operation of the embassy/consulate.

    In other words, the President and Sec State gambled that nothing would happen on 9.11 in Libya, to keep the story alive that Barry got OBL, and AQ is on the run – and they lost that gamble.  So did the people who died there.  They died for the political betterment of a much lesser man.

    The Cake Icing: Clinton and Barry promising the bereaved that they’ll bring the guilty to justice. Laughably self-serving hypocrites.

  6. Troy Senik, Ed.
    SMatthewStolte: Where can I see the portrait that was mentioned? · 1 hour ago

  7. Devereaux

    I thought one of the main purposes of the federal government was to keep states from setting up “levies” against products from other states that might compete with their own. Surely this kind of taxation of the internet sales is just such a thing.

    Prof Epstein’s arguments for “fairness” belies the fact that nothing, in fact, is ever “fair”. One business may have higher costs because of where it is, what type of building it is in, etc. It does not mean that cheaper businesses should be punished for the decisions of that place. The same arguments apply for internet sales.

    Perhaps where the argument might find some traction is that an organization must charge sales tax from the locale where it is located. That place did, indeed, have a sale occur, and so the argument can be made that a sales tax ought to be applied to all sales at that point. It would mean, however, that we abandon a long standing practice concerning interstate sales, and that nation-wide businesses would do well to locate in states with no state sales tax, but then that last is a competitive issue also.

  8. Israel P.

    John, genealogist here. What do you mean by “where I was ORIGINALLY born?” What other kind of born is there?

  9. BlueAnt

    Prof Epstein is right that the novelty of the technology is not the issue for 3D printed guns.  But both professors are wrong about the ability to stop it.  There is no specific-use hardware to ban or regulate, nor can you monitor for suspicious data on the printer itself.  (Congress may eventually try, but they will fail just as badly as when they tried to regulate encryption.)

    The problem space is very clear:  censoring or suppressing information, plain and simple.  If you want to talk about the morality, or predict the success, of such an effort, you need only look to the history of censorship of information.

    Final nitpick:  Prof Yoo, the better analogy isn’t the publishing of nuclear designs in the 1970s, it’s the publishing of The Anarchist’s Cookbook during the same decade, and its successor the Jolly Roger’s Cookbook in the early days of the Internet. The mere attempt to suppress such information lead to widespread distribution of it, beyond the reach of any banning authority.  It even started a grassroots distributed editing effort, as various writers on proto-Internet BBSes began augmenting and updating the Cookbook’s information on their own.

  10. RPD

    I just checked on Amazon and saw that 3D printers are running $1500-$2000 prices which are low enough to not serve as much of a deterrent. More importantly in the case of firearms, the technology is very mature and well understood, the basics of being commonly available.

    For less than a $1000 any reasonably intelligent can go to their local Harbor Freight and acquire the tooling they need to build their own unregistered firearm quite legally.  The only real difference the CAD file make is that it reduces the effort one must go to in order to build a weapon.

    It is probably safe to assume that #D printers will continue to get cheaper and better, including the ease of using their software to the point that in a few years the average student will be able to both design and print firearms in a manner that renders moot any government attempts to control it.

  11. Benjamin Glaser
    Scott Reusser

    David Williamson: Scott – the people who voted for Mr Obama didn’t care about Benghazi – they might have said “what difference does it make?”. · 6 hours ago

    True for the “believers”, David. But the squishy 10-15% who decided the election could have been swayed, imo.

    But we’ll never know, which is terribly frustrating. To say the least. · May 11, 2013 at 2:26pm

    Obama won because Romney was a terrible candidate who failed to get out the vote. End of Story. Obama could have been caught with a woman of the night and it would not have mattered. 

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