First, They Came for the Bagpipers...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From a somewhat rambling Mark Steyn column comes word of one of the most ridiculous regulations I have ever heard of:

I'm still hopping mad about the US Government's bagpipe crackdown. The international piping scene is basically Scotland, Canada and the north-eastern US. On the Atlantic seaboard, it's a cross-border community. Yet since the end of June the official position of the United States Government is that, if someone from northern New Hampshire competes in a bagpipe championship in Quebec, he cannot take his pipes through any US/Canadian land border crossing. So instead of a pleasant three-hour drive from Montreal back to New Hampshire, he has to fly from Montreal to Boston and then drive all the way back, more than doubling the time and vastly increasing the cost.


[U]nder the insanity of America's hyper-regulatory tyranny, you now have to register musical instruments with the US Department of Fish & Wildlife.

And, even if you do, you still can't drive that instrument over a US/Canadian land border.
This reminds me of a thought I had this morning. Many people expect the government to arbitrate everything because they do not think that individuals have any ability to be objective, let alone any reason to do so. (And yet it seems that it never occurs to many of these same people that the government is staffed by "imperfect" humans.)

The above is an example of the kind of result this gets -- something completely inane that has the force of law. Most people will be unconcerned, since this involves mere inconvenience to a small number of people who play an oddball instrument, but, in principle, anyone can -- and many often do -- find themselves on the wrong side of ridiculous government rules and facing real consequences.

You may realistically laugh at the bagpipers now, only to find yourself facing prison time later. That is where the pro-regulatory, pro-central planning mentality has already gotten us. It's high time to question the wisdom of trusting the government to know what is best.

-- CAV


Today: Corrected Mike to Mark. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,

Just a small correction. His name is Mark.


Gus Van Horn said...

Fixed -- on yesterday's post, too. Thanks.