The Volokh Conspiracy has joined the very selective list of blogs I make a point to check every single day. Sometimes the topics are a bit mundane, sometimes their guest bloggers lean too neocon, and often the writing degenerates into legalese that can put you to sleep, but every so often they stumble upon ridiculous stuff such as this. In this post, they walk you through the “Heckler’s Veto,” which seems to be a policy America is beginning to embrace with open arms. Basically, the idea is that if you disapprove of someone’s free speech, you just have to threaten them with violence, and so long as your threat is believable, the government will probably censor the speaker rather than come after you, because it’s easier for them to bully peaceful speakers than it is to control violent thugs. In this case, high schoolers were forbidden from wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo because the school thought that if they did, Hispanic students would beat them up. But I’m sure this is just an isolated incident, there’s no way something this ridiculous is actually becoming general policy of the…
Oh. Well then.
Some idiotic Senator suggested that Bitcoin needs to be banned, because it can be used anonymously, can help people avoid government regulation, and is occasionally used for criminal activity! A brilliant response was written by a Congressman to show how Federal Reserve Notes also possess all of these qualities. Although I’d suggest you be careful what you wish for – authoritarian politicians have already discussed placing limitations on cash transactions whenever possible. They just might actually do this someday.
This is more of a “fun” item. There aren’t any especially serious libertarian principles in play here other than the general notion that the government shouldn’t discriminate against people based on what music they listen to. On a non-political note, I find this whole situation to be incredibly entertaining. Even though it does make it harder for them to book venues, in a certain way, being openly discriminated against by the government probably helps ICP in the long run. As the video mentions, ICP makes it a point to target the helpless and disenfranchised. They market themselves as victims of an uncaring society, and they actively seek fans who see themselves in the same light. It’s one thing to get on a stage wearing ridiculous makeup and rap about society hating you. It’s another thing to get on a stage wearing ridiculous makeup and factually report that the government has declared your fans to be second-class citizens.