of this massacre. It might have drivenrndown property values and led to dilapidation.rnBut last year it was the locationrnof the most impressive Christmas celebrationrnin many decades.rnThe ladies who organized the seasonalrnevents—including the Victorian Christmasrnporch tour, the luminaries onrnCollinwood Drive, and tours of homesrnand shops—have successfully foughtrnevil with acts of courage and goodness.rnSeveral new shops have even opened,rnHaney’s Drug Store (established 1890)rnwas renovated to reflect a 1940’s style,rnand property values are now rising.rnStill, visitors sometimes say thatrndowntown Opelika looks lonely and deserted.rnIt is not really true, but I think Irnhave figured out why people say this.rnNot a single franchise operates here. Nornyellow M, Baskin Robbins, or any chain.rnEven the grocery and hardware storesrnare locally owned and run. It is strange.rnHow sad that we become so usedrnto commercial homogeneity that anythingrnelse appears either unsettled orrnobsolete.rnBut some things are never obsolete.rnLike moonshine. Grady McWhineyrnwrote that Southerners used to make asrnmuch liquor as they bought. It may stillrnbe true. Last fiscal year, the state governmentrnconfiscated more than 634 gallonsrnof unapproved homemade liquor.rnThe state government says that is morernthan six times the amount captured inrn1994. Forty-three stills were found andrndestroyed. A candidate for the MontgomeryrnCity Council, Mutt Herring, hadrnto drop out after being arrested for possessingrnhomemade hooch.rnThis trend has seriously alarmed thernNew South elites, who are always tryingrnto supplant indigenous culture with anrnoutside “culture” that has no room forrnbootlegging. But with the highest liquorrntaxes in the country, the Alabama marketrnfor the stuff is irrepressible. Mountainrndew is one-fourth the price of official,rnhigh-tax whiskey, so “them thatrnrefuse it are few.”rnBut it is not just the price that makesrn”ruckus juice” so appealing; it is also thernfun that comes with disobeying the government.rnMaking and drinking whiternlightning is the ultimate in political incorrectness.rnIt is a private declaration ofrnindependence and a micro-secession.rnWith every swig, you are thumbing yourrnnose at the modern world and all its corruptionsrnand failures. If the boom keepsrnup, Janet Reno and David Kessler willrnhave their next excuse for invading usrnwith tanks.rnThe Establishment, of course, warnsrnthat the stuff leads to blindness, poisoning,rnand death. But that only becomes arnproblem when the government cracksrndown on informal distilleries. Mainstreamrndistillers are squeezed out, andrnonly the marginal producers (who arernmuch less careful, and, due to the speedrnunder which they operate, will even usernan old shoe for flavor) remain. The wayrnto reduce risk, then, is either to eliminaterntaxes on the official stuff or let 1,000rnstills bubble.rnThe lack of competition is also the keyrnto understanding the chronic biscuitrnshortage at the Loachapoka Syrup Soppin’rnFestival here in Lee County. In thernold days, bakers from all over would tryrntheir hand at biscuits—at a handsomernprofit. Last year someone had the brightrnidea of establishing an exclusive OfficialrnBiscuit Making Team, which paid thernLoachapoka government for the privilege.rnThe team could not keep up, andrnwas at least 5,000 biscuits short.rnThe problem was “solved” last year byrnallowing the unthinkable. A fast-foodrnchain, Hardees, touting its industrialrnovens and extensive experience, was givenrnthe exclusive right to bake and sell biscuitsrnat the festival. The chain set uprnshop right next to the horse-pulled syruprnpress. What an outrage. People werernrightly shocked by the hideous sight.rnThen injury was added to insult: Hardeesrncould not keep up, and was at least 5,000rnbiscuits short.rnThe solution for the festival, it seemsrnto me, is to free the market for biscuitrnmaking and impose strict rules against allrncommercial providers. And if the marketrnfor informal-sector liquor keeps growingrnat the current level, Lee County mayrnneed another festival, this one to give micro-rndistillers a place to market theirrnunique products. As for the poisonrnmade with radiators and old shoes, it canrnbe used for crime control in lieu of therndeath penalty.rnJeffrey Tucker is director of research at thernLudwig von Mises Institute in Auburn,rnAlabama.rnHelp Us Fight To SavernOur American Heritage!rnSouthern heritage is a part of American heritage butrn”civil rights” groups want to remove ALL Confederate symbolsrnfrom public property. Join HPA today and help us fightrnpolitical correctness and cultural bigotry against the South.rnHeritage Preservation AssociationrnHPA is a nonprofit, national membership organization that utilizesrneducational resources along with political and legal action to protectrnSouthern symbols, Southern history, and Southern culture.rnAnnual dues of $39.95 include: HPA membershiprncard, bi-monthly newsletter, quarterly reports,rnConfederate Shopper’s Club^” and the Heritage-BBS^rncomputer system. Mention this ad to save 10%rn(VISA, Mastercard, AMEX)rnTo join by phone or request free information, callrn800-86-DIXIErnHPA • P.O. Box 98209 • Atlanta, GA 30359rn(404) 928-2714 • Fax (404) 928-2719rnMAY 1996/37rnrnrn