Monday, December 05, 2005

Never Again

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the ratification of the 21st amendment repealing prohibition. We now take our constitutional right to booze it up for granted, but are we sure that prohibition could never happen again? Thanks to Al Capone and the other Roaring 20’s gangsters, prohibition is generally regarded as a failure (Capone et. al. have never gotten their due for this) but our society is once again trending in the direction of prohibition. Consider the blind eye turned towards the smoking ban induced bar closures in Hennepin County.

What are we to do if the trend continues and the health-Nazis succeed in repealing the 21st amendment? Here is what H. L. Mencken did at the onset of the first prohibition according to Terry Teachout’s excellent biography, "The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken".

Mencken responded to Prohibition by selling his car and using the proceeds to purchase a large stock of “the best wines and liquors I could find,” stored in a homemade basement vault whose door bore a custom-painted sign emblazoned with a skull and crossbones: “This vault is protected by a device releasing Chlorine Gas under 200 pounds pressure. Enter it at your own risk.”

If the worst happens, my sign won’t be a bluff.


Blogger Chad The Elder said...

Good book, isn't it?

10:39 AM  

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