Sunday Links

Sunday, December 30th, 2007
  • Here’s a Washington Post write-up on the reason D.C. social scene. The article is a little odd. It’s true that reason’s parties are becoming something of a destination spot in this town for journalists, flacks, and such. And contrary to your general stereotypes about libertarianism, there’s usually a pretty good showing of smart, attractive women, too. But things generally don’t get quite as debaucherous as the article implies.
  • Ron Paul can has cheezburger.
  • Posing with vinyl.
  • Fun with department store photo studio pictures
  • So why exactly is Fox excluding Ron Paul from next month’s New Hampshire debate? Can’t be because he hasn’t raised much money. Can’t be his poll numbers. He’s out-polling Fred Thompson by a large margin, and several polls have him within the margin of error for third place.  (CORRECTION: Looks like a false alarm.)

  • Here’s a roundup of silly alcohol laws from around the country.
  • What critics said about the worst movies of the year. Gotta’ be hard to be a movie critic. Sooner or later, you’re going to run out of adjectives. Even for really bad movies, I’d think you’d have to keep some bad superlatives in reserve, just in case. Never know when the next Battlefield Earth is going to come out.
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    19 Responses to “Sunday Links”

    1. #1 |  Ahcuah | 

      Regarding the supposed silly alcohol laws . . .

      Whenever I have seen such lists of supposed dumb laws, and tried to check them out, very rarely have I found them to actually exist. In this list, for the heck of it, I thought I’d check out the one they claim says “Nebraska bars may not sell beer except when simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.”. A searchable version of the Nebraska State Code is at . A search on the word “soup” finds no such law.

      That is not to say that there isn’t some version using an odd synonym for “soup”, or a combination of other statutes that, when put together, amount to such a rule, but the odds are sure against it.

      A Google search finds this reporter’s list in a number of places. I’d say the reporter was not doing her job (of verifying sources). That is all too common these days.

    2. #2 |  David Chesler | 

      I’m glad to know Woburn MA is no longer on the silly alcohol list. We recently repealed the “No standing up with a drink” ordinance, which was our way to distinguish bars from restaurants. There are still no decent bars here (best is TGIF-type — sometimes you want someplace dark and smokey and filled with old men to have a whiskey and/or beer) but the city council decided that attitudes towards drinking have changed enough in 35 years that bars needn’t be feared. Other towns are simply dry, or come up with ratios of food to beverage, to solve the same “problem”.

      Many of these “silly rules” fall upon investigation. For instance, in Elk Snout, TX, it is legal to shoot a Lutheran in your pajamas on Sundays. That’s because in the entire state of Texas it is legal to shoot anybody in self-defense, at any time, of any religion, in any attire.

      Just a pet peeve. Or if you’d prefer “Iz in ur saloonz, standing up with a beer.”

    3. #3 |  First Little Pig | 

      Happily, South Carolina got rid of its silly mini-bottle rule which forced all establishments to dispense all alcohol out of mini bottles (the kind on airlines) which was an outrageous waste.

      I don’t get the cheezburger site at all… Am I finally passing into geezerdom or is it as nonsensical as it seems.

    4. #4 |  Greg C. | 

      That strange Nolan Chart submission seems to be the actual false alarm. I dont know the deal with that site but they clutter up Google News with all kinds of poorly written “articles” with false information.

      The NH forum is going on according to the college and NH GOP. Supporters in NH have been in contact with the head of NH GOP. Fox News has not returned phone calls from the Ron Paul campaign , according to Jesse Benton. AP articles have not listed him as attending. it’s one of those cases where he not been specifically excluded but has apparently not been invited either. I guess there will be no “proof” until the minute the forum happens and ROn Paul is or isn’t there.

    5. #5 |  Lee | 

      Since this has a Ron Paul mention I’ll toss this in here.

      I just got this link from Andrew Sullivan.

      Ron Paul seems to have a problem with evolution.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like Ron Paul. I have even defended him on various boards (this one included). It mainly saddens me that while he is so rational on many other areas he fails so spectacularly with this.

    6. #6 |  David Chesler | 

      “Nebraska bars may not sell beer except when simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.”

      Suppose a city has an ordinance that allows restaurants to serve beer with meals. (That doesn’t strike me as extraordinarily odd. They don’t want to have a bar, but the restaurant says “People want to have a glass of wine with their dinner, otherwise they’ll go elsewhere.” And its a compromise.)

      Suppose someone in this town can’t get a bar license, so he opens up a “restaurant” and says “Give me a restaurant beer/wine license.” And the city council says “Sorry, your display of Slim Jims does not count as food service.” And it goes to some court and loses.

      The next guy who tries it doesn’t have a full menu, but he does have sandwiches, and he gets the license.

      This goes on, and the least amount of food that gets the restaurant beer/wine license is soup. Thus the rule. Or maybe it’s just the scorekeeping so far.

      Same way they determine that it’s not a riot until there are X people in the unruly mob, or that’s it’s not grand larceny until it’s $Y value.

    7. #7 |  André Kenji | 

      Someday I will go to Washington just to attend these Reason parties.

    8. #8 |  martin | 

      Silly alcohol laws in WV:
      Any alcohol bought in a store must be bagged before taken outside. Unless it’s a 12-pack or bigger. Presumably the bags aren’t big enough.
      Checkout personnel under 18 can not ring up alcohol. They must call for someone of the proper age. Lest their innocence is compromised.

      Ahcuah: Yes, the laws are very much enforced. Store employees are terrified of being set up by a sting.

      André Kenji:
      Yeah, the parties are fun. Nick is definitely a gracious host. You stand a good chance of a free drink or some good sushi. But they’re mostly visited by jounalists and think tank types. Some lawyers too. You can’t be downtown DC without running into lawyers, or think tankers. I personally find the noise level too high for any normal conversation, but hey, there is enough available to keep the vocal chords lubricated.

    9. #9 |  Chris Grieb | 

      The movie reviews article was very funny. I sent the article to a friend.

    10. #10 |  B | 

      Yeah. What Andre said.

    11. #11 |  First Little Pig | 

      I just remembered one here in New Mexico: in order to sell or serve alcohol everyone must take an alcohol server certification class. No kidding.

    12. #12 |  Ahcuah | 

      martin said:

      “Silly alcohol laws in WV:
      Any alcohol bought in a store must be bagged before taken outside. Unless it’s a 12-pack or bigger. Presumably the bags aren’t big enough.”

      This is a perfect example of how this sort of ignorance propagates. I just read the WV statutes on liquor. They are at . There is no such requirement.

      Now, there are rules that liquor be sold in their original sealed containers, see sections 60-3-16, 60-3A-25, 60-8-21, and 60-8-35, but nothing, and I mean nothing, requires that they be bagged.

      And just because employees are terrified of being set up by a sting means nothing! They are just as ignorant of the law as the others.

      The burden on somebody saying that some ridiculous law exists is on the person making the claim. And the way to prove it for these laws is to point us to the specific statute. It’s not that hard to do with them all on-line.

    13. #13 |  martin | 


      Thanks for the link. I can’t find the bagging provision either. You can rest assured that it is being done not only in one, but in many retail outlets. I’ve had several run-ins with employees when I take the 6-pack back out of the bag saying I want to minimize my trash volume. They go ballistic. Tomorrow I will inquire at my local 7-11. I know the manager well. With Radley’s kind permission, I’ll keep you posted. Check back.
      As for the burden, I kind of feel sory for the employees. They’re making $7.50 an hour putting up with all the crap and here come I giving them a hard time. They’re not making the stupid rules.

    14. #14 |  Ahcuah | 


      It’s a big myth here in Ohio, too. I have a friend who occasionally deliberately takes the liquor out of the bag and watches the store employees go ballistic. (OK, he’s a bit of a jerk in that regard.)

      Folks also think it is illegal to go into stores barefoot. Another big myth. (Ditto driving barefoot.)

      Again, the gold standard is, if a law or rule exists, the person making the claim ought to be able to cite the specific statute number.

    15. #15 |  lloyd | 

      Sometimes I get the impression that Reason’s writers are a bunch of kids who are auditioning for better paying gigs higher up in the food chain. Y’all’s throwing parties in DC — hoping to impress the various flacks and hacks who show up — does not help to dispel that notion.

    16. #16 |  ZappaCrappa | 

      When clerks offer to bag my beer I always decline and tell them, “No thank you, the bag makes it to hard to get to the beer while I’m driving.”

    17. #17 |  KBCraig | 

      It’s time to update the update on Ron Paul and the January 6th forum. The original story (that there is a forum, and Paul is excluded) had already been confirmed before the “false alarm” blog had even been written.

    18. #18 |  martin | 


      Spoke to the 7-11 manager and she said that she has been told several times by the representative of the WV ABC commission that purchases of alcohol must be bagged. That’s all she knew. Next stop, the ABC people, next year. Looks more and more interesting.
      A happy new year to all and remember the likely totally 4th amendment conforming checkpoints, er… roadblocks.

    19. #19 |  Ahcuah | 

      OK, that is really odd. It got me wondering, so I decided to check out the WV Administrative Code. The following URL,, takes you to the page that links to the rules of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. Following it in gives the appropriate index: .

      It looks to me like sections 175-1-3 and 175-5-25 are the sections that would contain the bagging requirement. But again, there is no bagging requirement.

      So, either we are missing something, or the ABCC employees don’t even know their own rules.