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Old 19-11-2008, 11:01   #1
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This is also absurd

A new salvo in the on-going feud between the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the organizers of the 2003 Conch Republic Regatta has the BIS issuing a fine of $11,000.

What it's about: the organizers, Michele Geslin and Peter Goldsmith organized a "regatta" from Key West (occasionally known as the Conch Republic ) to Marina Hemmingway near Havana, Cuba in 2003. After their return from the regatta they were arrested and charged with "Trading with the Enemy". The judge dismissed the charges, made multiple findings in how the case was bogus.

In 2007 the BIS issued a charging letter accusing the two of aiding and abetting the unlicensed temporary export of two vessels in the regatta, no doubt the two vessels on which they traveled as guests. They sent letters contesting the charges, pointing out the previous indictments had been dismissed. And apparently assumed that was it.

An Administrative Law Judge did not, and entered a judgement against the two.

ExportLawBlog.com
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Old 19-11-2008, 13:27   #2
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Whether or not you agree with a law, you still have to abide by the law otherwise we push our society towards anarchy. You don't change laws by ignoring them, you change them by letting your representatives know thats what you want. I don't have much sympathy.
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Old 19-11-2008, 13:34   #3
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I agree with David.....although it is said somewhere you can't be tried for the same crime twice...........i2f.....it may be a different charge, but it was the same act!
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Old 19-11-2008, 13:52   #4
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Of all the laws we need to follow, this is an important issue for the government to spend time pursuing? If they were trading drugs or trafficking humans sure, but a boat race? Gimme a break. What a waste of effort and tax dollars...
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Old 19-11-2008, 13:52   #5
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The issue is not one of sympathy; indeed, I think we can all agree that they were in part the authors of their own misfortune in assuming that the dismissal of the earlier charges entitled them to disregard the new proceedings.

However, it is by no means certain that they would have been found to have broken any law, had the allegations been fully litigated. Furthermore, it does seem a little high-handed for the authorities, after they had been acquitted of the original charges after trial, to subsequently pursue them for 'aiding and abetting' something which they had not even charged the responsible parties for having done.

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Old 19-11-2008, 13:58   #6
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No, actually you change laws by defying them if you believe they are inconsistant with other laws. In this case one could argue that this is unconstitutional. Take the case of a land owner John Raponos who didn't think that the government had any right dictating to him that he couldn't drain a temporary swamp he owned to build a new shopping mall because he didn't believe that the US government had jurisdiction to this land as it wasn't a navigable body of water. Raponos Vs. United States

He defied the order and was fined by the government, he challenged it in court and the supreme court stated that he was right and the chief justice castigated the government for "chosing to adhere to its essentially boundless view of the scope of its power." There are many legal arguments against the trading with the enemy act, especially since it has the effect of limiting free speech by a defacto censorship of first hand experience with governments whose political philosophy is different than our own.

I don't like Raponos, I don't like Castro, but I believe that in order for us to continue to have a fair and broad conversation on the merits of different political systems it is impossible to do so if we are prosecuted by the government for travel to other countries. And yes you are only technically only restricted from "spending money" there, but lets face it, if the country has an entry fee, then you can't travel there.

Either way the means to challange this unreasonable law is defiance, and ultimately change the law through the courts. Writing your congressman? I know congressional aides and that will get filed under "miscellaneous" in the circular file.
Peaceful and open defiance works very well.
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Old 19-11-2008, 14:19   #7
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Then who defines what can be changed with defiance, and what can't? With this arguement I can murder every one who ever did me wrong, and I am sure I will be laughed at just before the injection.

It maybe a minor offense to sail into Cuba, but still it is an offense. Kind of like rolling through a stop sign. No one was hurt, or any damage to another car. So it should be okay?

Personally I think it is stupid not to allow visits to Cuba. Heck all of our allies are going, and enjoying a beautiful place. We could be buying their sugar, and making fuel, but that's a different thread....LOLOLOLOL
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Old 19-11-2008, 14:35   #8
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I have to disagree with changing laws by breaking them....as opposed to changing them through legislation. We can't let bank robbers make it legal to steal from banks by robbing banks.
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Old 19-11-2008, 14:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
So do you run red lights because you want red lights to be changed to purple?
I don't run them, or roll through them. Well, unless they turn magenta.

My point being to those that disagreed with you. Where do you draw the line on breaking the rules. If you decide to break them. Then PLEASE don't whine about the punishment.
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Old 19-11-2008, 15:17   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
I don't run them, or roll through them. Well, unless they turn magenta.

My point being to those that disagreed with you. Where do you draw the line on breaking the rules. If you decide to break them. Then PLEASE don't whine about the punishment.
BINGO!`I2F is correct.

If you can't follow the laws of your own country why should another country trust you to cruise to theirs?
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Old 19-11-2008, 15:38   #11
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I like Thoreau's take on it better ...

Quote:
Whether or not you agree with a law, you still have to abide by the law ...
If that were absolute truth, then we'd still have slavery, women couldn't vote, and a whole host of other ills would still be our everyday experience.

Maybe it's a good time to reread Thoreau's treatise on the DUTY of Civil Disobedience ... Thoreau's Civil Disobedience - with annotated text

Best,
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Old 19-11-2008, 15:48   #12
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Minor points...

About 90% of the vessels moored at Marina Havana are alleged to be owned by US citizens. According to SCOTUS, a law cannot be applied unfairly under the constitution; either it's applied to all or to none.
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Old 19-11-2008, 16:38   #13
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While I disagree with US Government Policy toward Cuba (had we followed the same with the Soviet Union the Berlin Wall would likely still be in place), I also believe that we are a nation of laws and that as such, there is no excusable reason to ignore or break the laws, short of them being morally reprehensible--e.g. the anti-Jewish laws of pre-WWII Germany. Restricting travel to/from Cuban is inconvenient and wrong headed for any number of irrefutable reasons, but it is not morally reprehensible. And the laws can be changed if the will and wishes of a majority of the people can be expressed.

As to actually changing laws, unfortunately, for the most part the institutional ears in Washington DC seem attuned to the loudest voice--which is usually (in D.C. speak) the voice with the deepest pockets. Until the last few years, that was the Cuban Expats and (I have good reason to believe) the Florida Sugar Lobby, The foregoing not withstanding, now that the US has adopted a socialist political model, the restrictions on travel to/from Cuba will very likely, if not certainly, be lifted and the imposed penalties vacated.

FWIW

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Old 19-11-2008, 18:23   #14
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,"" now that the US has adopted a socialist political model, ""
Oh, My!!! That took a pair of big ones to say!!!!
Break a law = pay the price! If the intent is to change the law you broke and you succeed by challenging it in a court of law, good on ya. If you fail, don't whine!
On the other hand, it has been frequently shown that if enough of us let it be known that we think a particular law or regulation down not make sense and we want it changed, then it will be. Just look at what happened to that silly notion that recreational boaters should be required to hold to the same standards as commercial vessels when it comes to discharge of potential pollutants and the accompanying compliance requirements. Boaters, as a group, voiced thei opposition, and the rules were changed. IMHO, that's the way to do it ..... but I've been wrong before (rarely!!)
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Old 19-11-2008, 18:40   #15
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If the intent is to change the law you broke and you succeed by challenging it in a court of law, good on ya. If you fail, don't whine!
Yes! Or to slightly rephrase:

If the intent is to change the law you broke and you succeed by challenging it in a court of law, good on ya. But, before you try, be sure you are willing to pay the price if you fail.

And don't whine!

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