A view of how far we've strayed from this was illustrated in an otherwise innocuous line from Breda's St. Paddy's Day post which has been itching at me ever since, such that I finally had to write about it.
Determined to find a sunny spot, we headed to the parade route. But before we turned the corner onto Superior Avenue, I noticed quite a few police cars - federal police cars. They read "Department of Homeland Security" on the side. Officers in what appeared to be riot gear were patrolling nearby.Ponder that for a moment: The might and majesty of the Federal Government of the United States of America being used to bust a guy for violating an open container law. The Tenth Amendment might as well not exist these days.
"Uh-oh...is something happening?" I wondered. I realized then that we were outside of the U.S. Court House, right next to my first cousin. In a crowd of thousands, I found myself standing next to family. I was the flowergirl at his wedding and now he's as white haired as my father used to be...we laughed, both surprised at seeing the other. We both said "eejit" as we watched a man get ticketed by the Feds for drinking Guinness on the street.
Regardless of your view of open container laws, if this was anybody's business, it was that of the City of Cleveland or the State of Ohio, not the United States Department of Homeland Security. And the scary part is that we don't even bat an eye at it anymore.