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Injecting Opinions, Injecting Beer

An understandably concerned brewer I know of noticed the image below while searching on the State of Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco website. Apparently it’s on a free flyer that also lists five “facts” about alcohol, but not about beer. I didn’t see the flyer on the website, but the image is taken from a neo-prohibitionist group called Facing Alcohol Concerns Through Education or FACE.

The caption is a little difficult to read, so here it is: “Beer contains alcohol. Alcohol is a drug. Alcohol is the number one drug in this country. Not marijuana. Not cocaine. Alcohol. Get the point? Make the choice to make a change.

Of course, even without the text, the message is abundantly clear. Beer is the equivalent of a drug that you inject directly into your veins, like heroin. Sure, that seems reasonable. But it clearly shows the inability of fanatics to recognize the difference. Or perhaps they do know but purposely choose to be so extremely deceitful, dishonest and manipulative.

This image is in poster form, and you can actually buy one for $7.00 on FACE’s website, along with many, many other offensively ridiculous propaganda pieces. You can buy their many items as posters, magnets, billboards, bookmarks and even air fresheners. The amount of merchandise for sale to spread fear is truly staggering. That they present these items as tools to help you in the fight against alcohol underscores the extent to which alcohol is under attack once more in this country.

Here’s another one attacking beer festivals. Apparently they send a bad message to kids.

Every year, thousands of towns across the country gear up for their annual festivals. Too often these events focus on alcohol. This year, show kids the real meaning of community spirit. And let the good times roll! Make the choice to make a change. Tap into a new community spirit.

Now I go to a lot of beer festivals, probably many more than the average person. And whenever possible, I take my kids along with me because I like having my family around me. Perhaps that makes me strange, who knows? There are a growing number of festivals that because of liability issues and governmental controls are unable to even permit children to attend beer festivals. So soon I won’t be able to spend as much time with my family because neo-prohibitionists are making my parenting decisions for me. Few things anger me as much as being told what’s best for my children. If these people don’t want their kids exposed to alcohol and want to keep them as ignorant as possible about the world, they have an obvious choice. Here’s my simple advice to them. “Don’t go or don’t take your kids. But please, don’t tell me I can’t travel with my family. Don’t decide for me what is ‘dangerous’ for my children. That’s my decision, not yours.”

Frankly, a community spirit that seeks to control and restrict the actions of others is no community. It’s a dictatorship, a neo-fascist police state. Neo-prohibitionists have decided how the world should look and they’re doing everything in their growing power to make it look that way, public opinion be damned. The idea that “annual festivals,” which celebrate all manner of local culture, should not include alcohol — which is still legal the last time I checked — is antithetical to a community’s spirit is spurious at best and downright maliciously evil at worst.

But let’s return to Indiana. As our concerned brewer rightly asks, what is a state governmental agency doing spreading such obvious propaganda? Since when is it the job of our government to push the agenda of a few citizens and not represent the entirety of the population? To me that’s the biggest danger we’re facing right now. It seems like state agencies are being overrun by people who are either neo-prohibitionists themselves or are sympathetic to their ridiculous cause of making all alcohol illegal again. If I were a brewer from Indiana I would ask my state representative and/or senator why the tax dollars from my business and my own personal taxes along with the revenue and jobs I was creating for the state economy were being used to fund propaganda that depicts my livelihood as being comparable to heroin? But check first to see if he accepted any bribes … er, I mean campaign contributions from any neo-prohibitionist organizations. That will help you to judge the honesty of his answer.

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