informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted May 16 2013, 1:53 AM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

VP Joe Biden Believes There's 'No Legal Reason' The Government Can't Slap A Sin Tax On 'Violent Media'

by Tim Cushing

I'm not sure where vice president Joe Biden is getting his information, but he seems rather confident that a tax can be levied against "violent media." He may want to check with the Supreme Court, which has ruled against regulating violent video games and found taxing certain varieties of speech differently to be a violation of the First Amendment.

Possibly Biden just got carried away with the jovial spirit of censorship pervading the post-Sandy Hook political climate. Or maybe he was just in an overly-agreeable mood and started making affirmative statements without considering what he was saying.

Or maybe he was just "playing to the crowd," which was entirely comprised of reps for various religious/community groups.
Those present for the Monday evening meeting included Franklin Graham, son of the evangelist Billy Graham and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Barrett Duke, the vice president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm.

The meeting also included Bruce Reed, Biden’s chief of staff, and Melissa Rogers, the director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, according to people who attended.
This is not to say that all members (or even all representatives) of religious communities are censorious or prone to pushing their subjective morality on others. There are several exceptions. Franklin Graham, however, isn't one of the exceptions.
Graham, two people in the meeting said, told Biden the government should consider taxing media companies that broadcast violent images and produce violent video games.

He floated the idea that media and entertainment that portray violence should be subject to a special tax, with the proceeds going to help victims and their families," said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly.
Let's stop here for a moment and take a look at this proposal, possibly in the way that might befit a nation's Vice President.

First off, the idea is bad and Graham should feel bad. As was mentioned above, applying additional tax to certain forms of speech is a clear violation of free speech rights. The government would be applying this tax to whatever it arbitrarily deemed "violent" enough to qualify for the "sin tax." (This is really what this amounts to -- a tax on certain speech and, indirectly, certain consumer behavior.)

Secondly, the direct flow of tax revenue from "violent media" to "victims and their families" makes an implicit connection between the two principals. This links the two in the government's eyes and in the public's eyes. This also handily allows the government to dodge the fact that there is very little, if any, explicit connection between "violent media" and violence. In essence, this presumes guilt on violent media creators and punishes them for exceeding some arbitrarily acceptable "violence" threshold.

Then there's perhaps the most troubling aspect: who decides what amount of violence is non-taxable and where does that line get crossed? If it's a PG-13 film, does it go untaxed? Does any M-rated game immediately have the tax applied? Will game developers and filmmakers explore other paths, like explicit sexuality, simply because violence gets taxed and sex doesn't? Or will they, more likely, adapt to the new chilling effect and produce stunted, sanitized output?

There are other questions to consider as well. With the consumers footing the bill for violent movies and games, will this price hike affect purchases by attaching some sort of stigma to the products themselves? Would the government label these items with something like: "2% of this purchase goes to victims of violence," thus making consumers feel complicit in violent criminal activity simply by purchasing the media?

[Bonus: will the MPAA be involved? It is one of Biden's buddies and its rating system is built on one of the most bizarrely abitrary set of 'standards' in the entertainment industry.]

These are just a few aspects that should be considered before anyone even brings the subject up, much less offers Vice Presidential-backing for the idea. But Biden seems almost charmingly naive in his response:
Biden told Graham that there was “no restriction on the ability to do that, there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t” tax violent images, Clark added.
I'm guessing at this point someone has gotten word to Biden that there's actually at least one legal reason the government can't tax "violent images," because there has been no further word from either proponent of this terrible idea.
Graham’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment. Biden’s office also did not respond to requests to comment about the meeting.
Maybe Biden felt this conversation would never leave the room and therefore felt comfortable making ridiculous claims. He certainly appears to have tried to chill a little free speech himself.
Five people who attended the 2˝-hour meeting told POLITICO that Biden made a specific plea to those present to keep his words off the record from reporters.

“He basically just said in general that these stakeholder meetings that if you put words into the vice president’s mouth it sometimes comes out wrong and gets misquoted,” said Shantha Alonso, the director of the poverty program at the National Council of Churches.
Well, that's a nice out to have. I guess we'll see if the "I was misquoted/comment was off the record" excuse gets run up the flagpole sometime soon. If it doesn't, we might be safe in assuming that, no matter what conclusions the CDC reaches in its study of violence and violent media, Biden and like-minded supporters will be moving forward with their reinterpretations of the First Amendment.





Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- Sony Hack Reinvigorates Support for Privacy-Busting CISPA-Style Legislation
- Government Wastes Taxpayers' Money On Crappy "Shark-Like Spy Drone"
- Silk Road Prosecutors Rely on Slander As Trial Approaches
- Copyright Law as a Tool for State Censorship of the Internet
- Bill Aimed At Shutting Off NSA's Water Starts Moving Forward Again
- Baltimore Prosecutors Withdraw Evidence Rather Than Talk About Police Department's Stingray Usage
- Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
- 2nd Grader's Homework Teaches 'The Government GIVES Us Our Rights'









Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: May 17 2013, 12:12 PM

Link
675 I didn't even read the article but let me guess...he said something stupid and dangerous to freedom?
Anonymous

Posted: May 17 2013, 5:41 PM

Link
17104 Biden,
One day you and I will meet to discuss your mental issues.


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Cop Stops Fellow Cop From Choking a Handcuffed Man, She Was Then Beaten and Fired - 12/18Thieves Yell "Police" Before Invading Home, Shooting and Robbing Resident - 12/18Tennessee Town Passes Policy Banning Negative Comments About The Town's Government - 12/18A Peace Officer Defies the "Blue Tribe": The Exile of Officer Cariol Horne - 12/19For Punitive Populists, "Comply or Die" IS The "Law" - 12/19Obama Commutes Sentences for Eight Drug Offenders - 12/18Psychotic Vegas Cop Filmed Beating Man For Filming In Viral Video Queitly Hired By Another Dept. - 12/17Ignorance Is No Excuse for Wrongdoing, Unless You're a Cop - 12/17

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top