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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Hoppiness

There are two stories in the news today that speak volumes about where we stand as a nation when it comes to the basic right to have a cold beer and relax with friends.

The first example comes from the state of Washington. The Clark County Fair had a beer garden this year for the first time. Now the local sheriff and a county commissioner want to make sure it never happens again. Was there big trouble created by drunken rowdies at the fair? Nope, not a single arrest. Lew Bryson over at Seen Through A Glass does a great job illustrating the hypocrisy of these government officials. As the saying goes, all it takes is a couple of jerks to spoil the fun for the rest of us.

The other example comes from Alabama. Happily, the people of Athens, Ala., were given the right to speak through the ballot box when it came to attempt by anti-alcohol groups trying to push a return to Prohibition on the community.

Athens had been dry until 2003, when local residents voted to repeal Prohibition in the community. This attracted some restaurants to the community and gave locals a place to go so they did not have to travel to neighboring towns for a drink. However, the voice of the people in favor of alcohol sales was not good enough in the eyes of some local ministers and a few activists in the community. They circulated a petition to force another vote.

I think they must be less than pleased with the result. Athens residents supported alcohol sales by a landslide -- 68 percent of the vote -- 4,288 votes to 2,030 votes.

These are just two cases that show how in many places in America there is a thin line between wet and dry. Given the chance the neo-Prohibitionists will pounce. They would love to return to the 1920s when you had to break the law to have a drink. Don't let anyone tell you that it cannot happen again. Just ask the people in Clark County, Wash., and Athens, Ala.

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