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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thanks, Radio From Hell!

On Monday news broke of the return of the So-called "Zion Curtain". These are opaque partitions that separate diners from bartenders keeping the evils of alcohol out of view of dinners. This time around these ridiculous walls are now closing on eateries whose only alcoholic beverage is beer... 3.2 beer to be exact! The lowest of the low alcoholic beverages.

Yesterday in a stroke of lucky scheduling Radio From Hell on X96 had scored a interview with Orem Senator John Valentine. If you not familiar, Valentine is the Chairman of the Senate Business and Labor Committee. This is where all liquor legislation in the state lives or dies before going to the House and Senate. Coincidentally, Valentine is the author of most of the asinine and prohibitive laws that have come around in recent memory. Including the "Zion Curtain".

The radio From Hell interview started amiable enough with Valentine explaining the reasons for the proposed liquor store closures, but soon gave way to frustration and question dodging.

Valentine's lack of candor sent hosts, Bill Allred and Kerry Jackson's frustrations on fire as the two peppered Valentine with accusations of doubles speak while co-host Gina Barberi tried to keep the peace.

It wasn't a text book lesson in "interviewing" but they said shit that I've been wanting to convey to Valentine for years. I was getting so frustrated at some of the admissions that were made by the Orem Senator, I nearly had to pull off to the side of the road.

If this pious bullshit frustrates you like it does me, I urge you to check out the entire interview here and give us your thoughts. Thanks, RFH!



DC said...

The Fox News Story said he said LDS members can't tell a bar from a restaurant and that is why we need the curtain. Wow if I was LDS I would be pissed. I was raised a Baptist and as a small child in CA I could tell the difference, from the outside of either. Way to insult members of your own church and drinkers too.

Ed said...

Like Bill said at the end, there's not much more to add. The only time he tried to back up an argument with an actual fact, he had to flat out lie (Our wacky liquor laws being justified by the lowest number of DUI incidents of any state -- "by far"). Way to pick 'em, Utah County!

Bryce said...

why is the person in charge of liquor laws not a drinker? All devout mormons I know will put their religious beliefs in front of any kind of decision they make. This guy just seems to me that he likes to make laws that hurt the economy and us who he believes are sinners. We need someone else on that board that can make wise and profitable decisions instead of making decisions based on religious beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Utah's low DUI rate is not due to strict liquor laws, it's because over half the pop. does not drink at all. Of course you will have the least amount of DUI's if you have the least amount of people imbibing.

As far as not being able to tell the difference between a bar and a restaurant, I thought having to be 21 to go to a bar was enough of a clue.

Aside from Utah-brewed beer, boycott all Utah liquor sales and take your business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

He ought to spend more time trying to figure out why prescription drug addiction is so high rather than trying to babysit responsible adults

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there will ever come a time when someone brings a successful federal case against the Utah legislature for legislating religious beliefs into law[s], because everyone (including those responsible) know that is exactly what has been, and continues to go on. I for one have always believed the "freedom of religion" coined by the founders was intended to have an implied, but equally important right of "freedom from religion". If not perhaps an amendment is in order.

Douglas said...

Yes, this was very odd. His argument that the Zion Curtain defines a restaurant is bizarre. I will repeat my previously voiced concern: treating alcohol, which has been consumed across cultures for thousands of years, like a foreign and illicit substance that cannot be viewed by the masses- will only lead to people abusing alcohol. If the state was interested in public safety they would stress that alcohol can be and should be consumed safely and with caution. The obvious driver behind Utah's laws is the need to punish sinful drinkers by making it hard to get a drink. This of course backfires as I have mentioned. It also hurts legitimate business. Sen. Valentine made this clear when he argued that they could ban drinking to reflect the majority will but instead, in an act of compassion, decided to simply 'control' drinking. A sad story. Liberty is about giving well reasoned adults their god given right to run their lives as they see fit. This is not liberty, it is something quite different.

Douglas said...

^Just to be clear, I am not saying that the Government should encourage drinking, but just that they should stress that drinking must be done- and most importantly can be done- responsibly.

Mikey said...

Nicely said, Doug.

Plang said...

The only thing missing from that interview was that Waddoups wasn't there as well.

There is absolutely nothing new here. The only difference from two years ago is that we don't have a Governor pushing the legislature in the other direction.

Unfortunately, the federal laws on alcohol give the states quite a bit of wiggle room as to what they can do. Unless someone can actually pin down an instance in which the LDS church told a number of legislators or the governor what to do, and they did it exactly as directed, no lawsuit would ever get off the ground. Just because we know who is directing things on capitol hill, it doesn't mean anyone can prove in a court of law that individuals up there are doing anything past what their voting constituents want.

The only thing they recognize is money (real religious, I know). So when the state obviously looses money, jobs, etc. from these stupid rules will they think about changing them. Even then, I'm not sure they would change.

Mikey said...

Jonathan Turley came up with the perfect moniker for the Zion Curtain. The "Beer Burka"! It's complements our legislature's Taliban-like philosophies perfectly! Here's a link to his blog.


Mikey said...

A Quote from Turley. “This law is ripe for a constitutional challenge.” -Jonathan Turley

Ricky H. said...

As a person who has a deep appreciation of alcoholic beverages along with all other types of beverages (get me talking about tea one day, I dare ya) it does frustrate me that someone who has NO understanding of such a lovely product has such control over it.

I feel like the non-religious should start regulating religion in this state. Just like Sen. Valentine, I've been in churches but never "Church hopped", but I think I can, with a limited understanding of religion, fully and dutifully regulate all the religions and places of worship here in Utah. I think religion makes people fly planes into buildings and blow themselves up in the middle of markets, but, like Valentine says regarding Alcohol, we should make it available in a controlled setting for those people who just HAVE to have it. We don't want it too unregulated or people will start going on Jihads and Crusades... so, we'll let them worship in their own homes or on most weekdays from 11am to 7pm in select building, and the holy books will be hidden from view.

---Ricky H.
(I don't actually hate religion, I'm just trying to make a point. If you're talking to a drunk, it's best to slur your speech too.)

Anonymous said...

In the past I have been represented by an attorney in Valentine's law firm in Provo but will take my legal work somewhere else. I'll be damned if I'm going to put another nickel in that bastard's pocket!

Greg from Illinois said...

Thanks Mikey, I didn't realize Radio from Hell was still around.

I visited the old home state last July and was impressed by how things seemed to have changed. And then I listened to this maroon, and realized they haven't much. It was nice being in the mountains again, though, I really miss that.