burning grape vines

Nashville Councilwoman Erica Gilmore has resurrected a bill banning single-bottle sales of beer in a misguided attempt to curb drinking and littering. To understand the unintended consequences of hair-trigger paternalism, we turn to the Soviets.

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A local recording studio is being confiscated by the city of Nashville to put it to a “higher valued use.” Apparently, the music emanating from Music Row in Music City sounds sweeter from a high-tax-rate high-rise than from an historic, independent label. Joy Ford was unwilling to sell her business of thirty years to the Lionstone Development Group, the Houston-based buyer of “underdeveloped real estate assets.” In response, City officials slipped under the covers with the developer to transfer the property from one private interest (its owner) to another—a Robin Hood in reverse.

I blame Karl Dean. I blame Phil Ryan. And yes, I blame (despite this being grounds for revocation of my UVA diploma) Thomas Jefferson. He should have foreseen the impact of his aspirational turning of the phrase. Sandra Day O’Connor did, but she was outvoted.

Let’s review…

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Dayton

While Dayton, Tennessee annually celebrates its conviction of the heretical teacher, John Scopes, one state legislator wants the fanfare expanded state-wide.

Tennessee State Senator Raymond Finney (R) proposed a bill that would require the state’s Education Commissioner to answer questions, in flow-chart form, on the origins of the universe.

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A brief two-question quiz on industrial organization:

QUESTION 1: A manufacturer sells his goods to a retailer. A law is passed that forbids the manufacturer from selling to the retailer. Instead, the manufacturer is required to sell to a middleman, who may then sell to a retailer. This helps:

  • A.   The middleman
  • B.   The retailer
  • C.   The manufacturer
  • D.   ALL OF THE ABOVE! and Children. And small businesses.

QUESTION 2: A new law would forbid manufacturers from talking to more than one middleman, so that each middleman is, by law, given the exclusive ability to connect a specific manufacturer to the retailers. Who would benefit from this law?

  • A.   The middleman
  • B.   The retailer
  • C.   The manufacturer
  • D.   ALL OF THE ABOVE!
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Tennessee State Senator Doug Jackson (D) proposed a ban on “Girls Gone Wild” commercials because, as he was intently watching one, he was unable to change the channel.

“This is being interjected right into our living room,” Jackson said, presumably explaining how televisions work in general.

People feel like, as they sit in their living rooms, they just have to surrender; there’s nothing that can be done.

Unless, of course, your cable service offers multiple channels. Or an off button.

“You know, it’s time to draw the line,” he said, and immediately demanded that he be in charge of the Official First Amendment Line Drawing Institute.