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Smacking a man's Pappy: Bourbon buncombe

| Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

It once was written that if you give “The State” the power to do something for you, you give it an exact equivalent of power to do something to you.

Witness what “The State” did to some poor schmuck in Pittsburgh last week looking to turn what appears to be an honest buck — not to mention a handsome profit — on a product in high demand.

Thursday last, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Enforcement arrested a man it has not named for attempting to re-sell a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year, one of the hot buttery bourbons of the day. Mr. Unnamed had the temerity to put a bottle of the wheated mash delicacy — retail price, $130 — up for sale on Craigslist for $800.

State gendarmes got wind of the offer — through unspecified complaints — and set up a sting. The of-age seller is being charged with a misdemeanor count of a non-licensed person selling liquor. He faces a $103 fine.

Never mind that this fella first appears to have come by his Pappy legally (nobody's seriously suggesting otherwise), already had paid all applicable (though usurious) taxes for the privilege and that it was his property, “The State” swooped in to extend its control past the original purchase.

Adding insult to its bandittiness, the government also has the power to destroy the Pappy, if it so chooses.

Thus, “The State” yet again lives up to its deserved reputation of being a creature of pillage and plunder.

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