Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nullification of the Volstead Act and Societal Contrast


On December 5, 1933, the Volstead Act, the 18th Amendment, was repealed and Americans could again legally tipple for the first time since 1919.

Since this law was abolished in 1933, a traditional bar reemerged on 3132 Kingshighway and has remained a public house ever since. We have been blessed with the mores of many wonderful public houses for over a hundred and eighty years scattered in the beautiful neighborhoods of this beer city.

In celebration of this wonderful holy day of the pub, the Royale will be offering a few notable specials. We will be offering citizens of Saint Louis all day and all night $2.50 draft Schlafly beers and $2.50 classic speakeasy favorites of the New Deal (gin martini), the All Right Cocktail (Michter's whiskey and Cointreau w/ bitters on ice), River Des Peres(dirty martini) and the License Collector(vodka and soda). The License Collector is especially special in honor of the benefits of the bar industry, with the collection of taxes and open regulation that keeps bars from the scourge of villainy, a villainy that is rampant when the industry is criminalized.

God bless America and the well deserved death of the ill conceived noble experiment.

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith
Proprietor
The Royale Food and Spirits

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I love the News Hour. I love that it is on podcasts.

There was a great comment early in the evening on the state of society in Iraq. Mark Shields had some thoughts on our progress:

we took a brutal, repressive, stable, secular Iraq and turned it into a brutal, unstable, theocratic, and unlivable Iraq.

This is a country that has already experienced untold atrocities over the past 25 years under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, and it now has people who claim religion can justify hunting down and detaining/killing traders that sell something as simple as wine. Strange evolution of violence.

There was also an interesting report on the fundamentalist movement in Turkey on the News Hour. Understanding Turkey is to gain an interesting perspective in understanding the dangers to the world from this extremism that is taking hold. This is a dangerous direction that Turkey may move toward. Turkey is the only mid east Muslim democracy. It has a long proud tradtion of government as a secular democracy in a country that is nearly entirely Muslim and with a strong conservative component.

What caught my attention was the following phrase from the report:

MARGARET WARNER: Bedri Baykam is a prominent artist and an ardent politically active secularist. He points to steps that the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has taken at the national and municipal level: rewriting school books to insert Islamic themes; trying to restrict alcohol-serving restaurants to ghettoized red zones outside the cities; campaigning, though not yet succeeding, to lift the ban on headscarves in universities and government buildings.

Ghettoized Red Zones. It makes me think of something I heard once before, but a bit closer to home.

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