happy Repeal Day, everybody!

what’s “Repeal Day,” you ask?

why, today, of course!

today, December 5, 2006, marks the 73rd year since the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment to the US Constitution, ending Prohibition.

so, how am i celebrating this dubious, possibly debauched, holiday?

by brewing beer, of course!

but that’s not my point, really. i’d like to use Prohibition as a jumping off point to discuss the results of November’s mid-term elections.

so, whatever your personal political views (Red or Blue), we will soon have a Congress where the Democrats are firmly in the driver’s seat. apparently, the electorate was fed up with “business as usual” in Washington. given control of the House, Senate and White House, the Republican party didn’t manage to get much accomplished (other than embroiling the US in an unpopular foreign war). the Democrats have promised to change all that; the Republicans have claimed that the Democrats will be just as bad as they were (strange arguement, but i’m seeing it).

right-wing pundits point to sectarian strife on the Democratic side as being evidence of this. i, however, see this as a hopeful sign.

i don’t trust the “party elite” on either side of the fence. for the most part, they seem to run for office in order to aggrandize themselves and a narrow group of special interests who assist in the politicos’ elections. this failure to keep the people’s needs uppermost is what caused the Republican electoral failure; but that doesn’t mean the Democrats will be the same.

so what does this have to do with the political wrangling? simple. unlike the Republicans, who acted as a party bloc, the new Democrats in Washington have different interests, hopefully predicated on the desires of the voters who elected them. they may act in concert to foil right-wing legistation, but they (again, hopefully) won’t show the lockstep adherence to party instructions that has pervailed during the last six years. sure, i still don’t trust a large number of the Democratic incumbents that kept their seats, but i like the new guy’s chances for keeping them honest.

on another similar subject, Marvel Comics is in the process of winding down this year’s big “summer” (lots of delays have hampered this book – it actually won’t finish until 2007) crossover series: Civil War.

i mentioned this series en passant a while back, but in light of today’s posting i’d like to bring it up again.

in it, Marvel is trying (mostly successfully) to ask what is more important, security or liberty? Congress has passed an Act that requires superheroes to register with law enforcement, giving up any secret identity they may have. those that refuse are hunted down and imprisioned without trial and apparently without legal representation. but crime has gone down, and numerous supervillains have been captured and forced to serve the public good. there are heroes on both sides of the fight: Captain America and Iron Man, longtime friends, are on opposite sides of the issue (leading the two sides, in fact). while the book has a lot of problems (not just delays – some of the characterizations are questionable, as is the claimed neutrality of the writers), i have to recommend it again. given the times we are living in, it’s just too topical to ignore.

plus, our own Charleston Post & Courier was mentioned in one of the early issues of the Frontline spin-off book.

quote of the day:

“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.” – George Washington

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