Skinning Leviathan Some Day Should Be Easy, Given Its Tissue-Thin Hide

A number of you have indicated you are following Mark Higdon’s example and Lance’s urging by incorporating the clever tagline, “This message has been intercepted by the NSA: the only branch of government that listens,” on your emails. Mark wrote me to correct any misperception that this dig at Our Rulers originated with him. “To totally clarify,” he says, “‘the only branch of government that listens’ was seen on a number of protest signs at rallies a couple of months ago. I simply added my own preamble to it for my email sign-off.”

Meanwhile, Larry Ludlow put me in touch with Dan McCall, “an artist and humorist [who] owns the liberty-themed brand Liberty Maniacs.” Dan loves LRC and even designed a T-shirt for the Mises Institute a while ago. At any rate, when Heroic Ed exposed the NSA’s atrocities this summer, Dan’s wit swung into action: “I did a parody, which you can see here, that included an adulterated NSA logo replacing the ‘United States of America’ below ‘National Security Agency’ with the Snoop Doggy Dog homage, ‘Peeping while you’re sleeping.’  Below that was the now somewhat infamous slogan, ‘The NSA; the only part of government that actually listens.'”

However, Dan’s distributors refused to display his new creation. He eventually learned that the NSA was intimidating them — but the spooks were latecomers. The thugs at the Department of Homeland Stasi-sorry, Security had been filing cease-and-desist orders against Dan’s mockery of their sorry butts since 2011, as Dan’s lawyers discovered.

Now one of our few remaining liberties, which even the most socialist and progressive of the sheeple firmly defend, is free speech. Granted, they narrowly define it as “criticism of the government” (try shouting the N-word in a crowded theater, and you’ll see how cheaply such wusses value even this freedom), but they vehemently disapprove when bureaucrats or politicians forcefully stop such criticism. Ergo, Dan writes, “all hell broke loose,” with his case hitting headlines nationwide. And he’s suing the NSA.

“So,” he concludes, “I wholeheartedly endorse your call for everyone to add ‘This message has been intercepted by the NSA: The only part of government that actually listens.’ I’m just concluding a civil disobedience crowdfunding campaign selling the offending shirt with my friends at here.  The proceeds will be going toward maintaining the fight both in the public forum and in the courts.”

Score another one against Leviathan.


9:09 am on October 2, 2013

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts