Silly Me

Condition White.  I’d started a batch of pumpkin ale just after All Hallows Eve with the intent of shipping it to family and friends across the Fruited Plain that is this Land of The Free and Home of The Brave.  It took six weeks of doting over this ale– a recipe with a lot more than the usual four ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast) that I’ve used before and it didn’t behave the same, so it took more fooling around.  It was well worth it because I ended up with what I regard to be a fine and unique product, perfect for a little Christmas indulgence and cheer with family and friends.

I didn’t know you were supposed to lie, so when the guy at UPS asked me if there was alcohol in the packages I went ahead told him the truth.

It turns out you can’t ship alcoholic beverages unless you’re an “authorized shipper”.  Apparently someone is afraid that someone else, somewhere, might enjoy themselves.  For years I thought (correctly) that people were shipping booze right and left all over the place, but now I know they have to lie to do it.  It’s a free country, sure, so all you have to do is lie here, or break the law there, and you can do anything a reasonable person would want to do.  So Prohibition is still very much with us, which I knew.  I knew for example that you couldn’t make a legal business out selling alcohol without The Mob getting its piece of the action.  I just didn’t know it was still quite so much in effect until tonight.  I probably broke the law just by trying to ship this wonderful home brew to loved ones to enrich their Christmas experience, so come and get me.  “Attempting to ship alcohol in violation of federal law such and such, sub section such and such, sub, sub section such and such, apendices B through W49z”.  Add to that “Attempting to ship alcohoil while armed”.  I’ll have the evidence all consumed before you get here, and besides; you’ll never take me alive, coppers!

So to those of you I’d promised pumpkin ale; You’re more than welcome, but you’d better get over here quick if you want some.

Prohibition is actually in full force (more than full if you compare now to the 1920s) when it comes to certain other drugs, and naturally there is a lot of money and power to be had as a result if you happen to be in organized crime (either free-lance or official).

On a similar note; I spent several hours talking with my teenaged daughter yesterday and the subject of Mary Jane (pot – that’s what the cool kids called it in the ’60s) came up.  I had to kick myself because I got side-tracked talking about the relative dangers of this or that chemical indulgence, but it turned out even better that way–  “But none of this is on point” I tolder her.  “The point is that in a free society the government has no authority to tell an emancipated adult what to put in his body and what not to put in his body.  I’ve I allowed myself to be side-tracked here by the ‘relative dangers’ arguments.  Those are entirely bedside the point.”  She understood perfectly and she appreciated the rare and wonderful experience of finally being exposed to clarity on what was previously a matter of cloudiness confusion.

18 thoughts on “Silly Me

  1. I’m more than happy to take some off your hands Lyle. It’s amazing how often I hear about how “free” we are. While I would still rather be here than most any place else, I’ve seen rights fading away in my life time, not to mention the stories I hear from my mom, Joe, and Ry.

    Seriously though if that offer is real, it’s not like I’m far away. I’m just south of Pullman.

  2. Back when eBay was a new thing, I sold a rare bottle of whiskey back to the museum for the company that originally made it. They were an “authorized shipper.” I was not. I tried to ship Fedex, but I ran into the same problem. We eventually worked it out…

    There’s a whole long list of things you can’t ship — including perfume.

  3. Regarding the pot discussion, would you have told her the same regarding heroin? Cocaine? Crystal Meth? Pot’s a baby drug but if my parents had said “Blah blah blah free society,” I would have tried stuff a lot worse than I did when I was growing up…

  4. Do you really mean that? Or are you just saying that to provoke discussion? Of course, a lot of kids experiment with a lot of things, but most of them outgrow it without too many serious long-term ill effects. I think that the fact that it is forbidden only adds to the temptation. Personally, as far as drugs go I had my first tobacco cigarette a couple years early but never drank illegally or used anything else illicit. But I started smoking because I was offended by the anti-smoking commercials that were airing on the radio at the time, mostly targeted towards teenagers. In particular, I remember this group called JEL, for “just eliminate lies” that seemed to stretch the truth far more than any tobacco company ever did.

    Besides which, I fail to see how or why it is ok to force adults not to do something that does not (directly) hurt anyone else and they will find a way to do anyway if they want to badly enough. Maybe “it” is bad for you, but I don’t think government is supposed to save us from ourselves, and from where I’m sitting they don’t seem to be doing a very good job of it anyway. If that were really the goal, would they sentence people to jail or to rehab? But even if they did send people to rehab, that only actually works if the individual actually wants and accepts that help, and that realization has to come from inside. Neither you nor I nor the government nor anyone or anything else can ever make someone get to that point. And all jail does is make the addict’s cravings worse, ensuring a return visit.

  5. Lyle,
    As I understand it, it’s a federal offense to ship alchohol via USPS. Private carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL etc) have regulations concerning the shipment of alchohol, but it’s not an actual crime. I know people that ship their homebrew for competition as “Live Yeast Cultures”.

    And you’re right. The Government should keep it’s nose our of what an adult choses to put in thir body, whether it be food, drugs, alchohol or sex toys.

    Ubu52.
    If you would have, I’m certain everyone else here would’ve been happier for it. My parents gave me the “Free Society” talk and I’ve never even been tempted to try Coke, Meth, Heroin or most of the ill-advised pharmacological catalogue. You know why?

    Because I’m not an idiot.

    Part of the beauty of a completely dismantled “war on drugs” and decriminalization of narcotics, is the massive re-enforcement of darwinism. Dumb enough to use a drug that decades of scientific study and clinical testing indicates will kill you? Go right ahead, you deserve what you get.

  6. Lyle,
    I’m a homebrewer, and will echo what Rauðbjorn said: ship via private carrier, and ship ‘live yeast cultures.’

  7. @Rauðbjorn

    Because I’m not an idiot.

    You didn’t see the recent study showing that more intelligent people are considerably more likely to try using “hard” drugs?

    While there are most certainly idiots who will use any drug, usually idiots talk about how bad cocaine, heroin, meth, LSD, pot, etc are while they destroy what little mind they have with alcohol. It would be hilarious in a sick sad way except for the fact that the idiots are much more numerous and get to dictate government policy.

  8. @Rauðbjorn

    Dumb enough to use a drug that decades of scientific study and clinical testing indicates will kill you?

    Actually, except for the newest “research chemicals” or designer drugs, all of the other drugs, from heroin to meth etc, have all been proven not to kill you. “The dose makes the poison.” Used in moderate occasional doses these drugs do not usually produce negative consequences.

  9. Slightly off topic, but regarding shipping “stuff”, I’ve always thought of firearms as machine parts…
    And the reality, a crtic, is that using any of those drugs will EVENTUALLY kill you. Because as the body “acclimates” to the dose, the dose has to be increased to get that same wonderful feeling again.

    Joe – lately the site has been loading very slowly – as in it often times out before it comes up. I’m using XP pro with a DSL connection.

  10. And the reality, a crtic, is that using any of those drugs will EVENTUALLY kill you. Because as the body “acclimates” to the dose, the dose has to be increased to get that same wonderful feeling again.

    The same thing is true of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and water. If you use any substance to become intoxicated, and you repeat this pattern on a regular basis, you will develop a tolerance to the desired effects and you will eventually suffer severe physical and psychological side effects, up to and including death.

    “The dose makes the poison.” That’s why a 30 pack of beer every day will usually kill you in time whereas a gram of crack cocaine every week will not. I once had a coworker who drank himself to death by his early fifties, another coworker had smoked crack for decades with no ill effects. The cracksmoker smoked moderate quantities, and it was a casual subject for him as it was no big deal for him. The drinker drank huge quantities, and when the topic of his drinking came up, it was a very grim subject as he knew where he was going with it. I found the two to be an interesting pair of case studies in drug use/abuse.

  11. See; there you go arguing over relative dangers again. And again; that’s not he point.

    ubu; of course I talk to her about all the other stuff, and I teach her about the dangers of driving, which kills a hell of a lot of people. Bu that’s not the point is it?

    “Live yeast cultures.” I like it. I’ll remember that even after I’ve drunk this beer I originally intended to give away. As I said; it’s free country so long as we’re willing to lie and cheat and break the occasional dozen or so laws. That’s what the nanny staters (Marxist scum) are teaching our children.

    Barron; you’d better get your butt over to UltiMAK then. I have one liter of it here now, but who knows where it will be later this afternoon. I’ll bring some more in tomorrow, just for you, because I made it share. We can transport non-taxed alcoholic beverages across state lines – surely there is some dipshit law we’re breaking there too.

  12. @Lyle

    See; there you go arguing over relative dangers again. And again; that’s not he point.

    Well there is another side point you might want to make to your kid: why she shouldn’t smoke pot (a lot) while a teenager. Based on my research, consisting of interviewing at least 40 adults who no longer smoke pot, over 90 percent of them started when they were a teenager and in their late teens or twenties found it started making them paranoid. There seems to be a direct correlation between the earlier use and the inability to tolerate it later in life. As seems to always be the case, patience seems to be rewarded.

  13. Critic; It seems near impossible to separate the issue of government intervention schemes on one hand, from individual responsibilities on the other, even on a blog that specializes in liberty.

    The relative dangers of chemicals people consume is none of government’s business.

    When talking to my kids about government action then, I make the point that government action makes things worse, and I go on to relate the history of Prohibition, then relate it to present times. That government taking action in areas that are none of government’s business makes things worse, is a proven fact.

    On the other hand; I make it very clear to my kids that indulging in mind-altering chemicals is a bad idea, and both I and they have plenty of experiences in our lives from with to draw in evaluating and verifying that.

    One of their classmates died last year, after a long bout with various illegal drugs for example. From that we can conclude two things at once. Most obvious is that government intervention did nothing to stop it, and probably made it more likely. The other is that drugs can kill, if not from the chemical effects, they can still kill from the combined psychological and chemical effects. QED.

    Further; I explain that drug indulgence is more often a symptom of a larger problem. Well adjusted, enlightened people do not set about to destroying themselves, see.

    OK?

    That’s at least three issues right there.
    1. Government has no business trying to tell us what to ingest and what not to ingest.
    2. Certain things you can ingest are harmful (to which I will add that certain things that are essentially harmless in proper circumstances can do great harm and even kill if ingested in large enough quantities, water being one of those for example and food of all kinds is another).
    3. People who habitually harm themselves are doing so because of another, more deep-seated problem, and that is where efforts to help them must be focused (you won’t cure diarrhea by sewing your anus shut).

    When discussing these issues, we must try to avoid conflating them.

    M’Kay?

  14. @A Critic

    It really doesn’t matter if it’s the drug or the dosage does it? How many drug users do you think actually know enough pharmacology to measure accurate doseages? Or even care. And I’m gonna need a bit more than “a guy I knew” as evidence that regular crack use isn’t addiction. Also, WTF did you work that one of your co-workers confided in you that he was a crackhead?

    For the record, I think cannabis is less harmful than alchohol, and that most hallucinogens are essentially harmless. Doesn’t mean I reccomend them for children, as all the research I’ve read indicates that messing with developing brain chemistry is a bad idea. Similarly, all the research I’ve read indicates that opiates and cocaine are highly addictive and toxic (anything processed with gasoline can’t be good for human consumption), hence using them is a bad idea.

    Doesn’t change the fact that using any drug must be a personal choice, and it needs to be understood, that while intoxicated you may suffer an impared ability to make good judgements, dimished reflexes and a reduced ability to discern reality from fantasy. Possession and use of tols more complicated and dangerous than a spork is contraindicated and ill-advised.

    It also doesn’t change the fact that the government, assorted moralistic busy-bodies and any silly git that thinks the state should look out for our well-being is still gonna try to control what we do with our bodies and out lives.

  15. It really doesn’t matter if it’s the drug or the dosage does it?

    It’s vitally important. So far as I know, radium and uranium as drugs are bad, as in there is no safe dose (and no positive effects). Everyone in their right mind should always just say “no” when it comes to consuming radium and uranium.

    How many drug users do you think actually know enough pharmacology to measure accurate doseages? Or even care.

    Most don’t care (good argument for legal and accurately dosed drugs). A minority are fastidiously scientific about it.

    and that most hallucinogens are essentially harmless.

    True except for those with mental illness, particularly those who haven’t dealt with or even realize that they are nuts.

    Similarly, all the research I’ve read indicates that opiates and cocaine are highly addictive and toxic (anything processed with gasoline can’t be good for human consumption), hence using them is a bad idea.

    They are about as addictive as alcohol from what I’ve read and observed. About ten percent of people are naturally inclined to get addicted, the rest have to really put in some effort. Opiates are not very toxic. Cocaine is more so. I agree about the production methods, however I’m sure there are still pure products available (I have trouble imagining that Congress does street blow). It is also possible for the motivated and daring to produce their own, so use of these substances even today is not inherently idiotic.

    It also doesn’t change the fact that the government, assorted moralistic busy-bodies and any silly git that thinks the state should look out for our well-being is still gonna try to control what we do with our bodies and out lives.

    On that we are in perfect agreement.

  16. @Lyle

    I agree. Thank you for this splendid line

    (you won’t cure diarrhea by sewing your anus shut).

    Brilliant!

  17. What Ubu doesn’t seem to understand about freedom, is that we all have it, no matter what laws are passed. Just because a law is passed forbidding me to use drugs, or own a gun, or kill someone, doesn’t mean that I cannot do those things. Indeed, many people go through life doing these things with impunity.

    It is one thing to disagree with a law forbidding the use of drugs. It’s another thing to be for or against the use of drugs entirely. I, for one, will make sure that my children know the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse (legal and illegal)–precisely because those substances will always be available, regardless of their legality.

    We won’t ban caffeine, nor should we even advocate that. Yet I, for one, have reason to believe that my use of caffeine will result in high blood pressure, and that my Dad’s use of caffeine may have resulted in his high blood pressure, strokes, and eventual death. I’m intelligent enough to figure this out on my own, and even if I weren’t–my Dad wasn’t, after all–I would nonetheless likely have plenty of time left with my family, even if I didn’t live until I was 80 years old!

    What’s really absurd is that the FDA has the power to ban substances that can kill you, but can nonetheless help you as well. I can’t remember the name of the arthritis pain-killer that causes heart attacks, but by banning the substance, the FDA prevents informed adults from choosing between debilitating pain, or having a greater risk of heart attack ten years from now. Some of these adults make a similar choice anyway: while “heart attack” is off the table, they choose kidney and/or liver damage instead, by taking large doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, in order to cope with the pain.

    Thus, I’m left wondering: does the FDA accomplish anything at all, by banning this drug?

    And this doesn’t get into how families are torn apart, lives destroyed by prison time, lives lost by FDA being overly cautious in approving certain drugs, lives harmed and/or lost when the FDA deliberately accepts “fudged” data, and so on–all because we “can’t be trusted” to make our own decisions in these matters!

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