In response to Welton Watson's letter last week concerning the up coming election, I would like to submit the following: Let me begin by saying that I have known Welton for most of my life and have respect for him and his views. With him being a member of the clergy, I certainly understand his opposition to the election (on-premise consumption of alcohol). For the sake of argument, I will assume that all the stats he quoted are accurate. I will also agree that money plays a big factor in consideration of this proposal. The point is very simple, the money is already being spent on the consumption of alcohol. It's a question of whether or not you want the money to stay in San Saba so as to benefit this community or do you just enjoy watching Llano and Fredericksburg continue to grow and prosper with the money they get from the people of San Saba. All of you know that the old argument "make it hard to get", don't hold water. I grew up in San Saba when it was a dry county and nobody went without their alcohol, they just had to go farther to get it and always helped the other counties to prosper ahead of San Saba. I said earlier that the stats about the problems associated with alcohol may be accurate, but I assure you that whether or not this election in San Saba passes or fails, those stats will not change. I decided a few years back that it is not up to me to decide what is best for someone else. If you are one of the people that will not enjoy a drink with your meal, or maybe just with some friends, then by all means don't. But is it your right to deny those of us that would enjoy the privilege to do so, I don't think so. Prohibition ended in the United States in 1933, primarily because it failed to accomplish it's goal. The consumption and distribution of alcohol never ceased during prohibition but it was controlled by "bootleggers" and organized crime instead of the government. I will vote "yes".
Larry Sanderson, San Saba, Tx
I read with great interest Mr. Welton Watson's letter (17 August) regarding alcohol. In many ways, I am in total agreement with Mr. Watson's conclusions. I, myself, rarely consume alcohol in any form and I've never heard of anyone getting in trouble for not drinking. I agree with him about the negative effects alcohol has in the areas of accidents, crime, suicide, and family violence. These things are not disputable.
I would question, however, the notion that because of this we should attempt to control what free Americans (aka "the liquor crowd") are allowed to do. Abraham Lincoln once said "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime of things that are not crimes." Prohibition was tried in the 1920s and did not work. The results were more crime, less respect for law, and the glamorizing of bootleggers and other criminals.
Mr. Watson says, or implies, that the use of alcohol is not a "socially acceptable thing to do." Why, then, did Jesus' first public miracle involve providing a wedding party with wine? And good wine, at that? (John 2:1-10) I expect when he gets to heaven, Mr. Watson can straighten Jesus out about that matter.
Mr. Watson says, "There is not one positive benefit that has come from the use of beverage alcohol." Not true. Proverbs 31:6-7 says "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." And in the new covenant, I Timothy 5:23, Paul advises the younger Timothy to "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." The bible condemns drunkenness, to be sure, but to conclude from that (and preach) that it condemns alcohol is, at best, dishonest, a half-truth.
The basic question, I believe, is this: who is going to control people's behavior? There seems to be a belief that the government, through laws and rules and regulations, can control individual behavior and make everything all nice and safe for everyone. Unfortunately, that's not so. Only individuals can control individual behavior. We already have plenty of laws - and these laws are regularly broken by individuals who do not adequately control their behavior. So we lock 'em up, hoping that they will learn better. Some do, some don't.
I am reminded of a time in the 1960s when Taylor County (Abilene) held a referendum to determine whether the county should stay dry or not. All the "dries" rallied to the cause and many of them sported bumper stickers that said "For the sake of my family, vote dry!" The biggest bootlegger in Abilene ( and everyone knew who he was) also had a bumper sticker that said "For the sake of my family, vote dry." Voting down the sale of alcohol in the city limits will not make it impossible to buy it in town. It will just make it impossible to buy it legally.
So, because I think that free, adult Americans can and should be left free to make their own decisions (and yes, their own mistakes) I plan to cancel out Mr. Watson's vote in November by voting Yes to the sale of alcohol in the city of San Saba. Let's all mind our own business and let everybody else do the same.
Nelson Page, San Saba, TX
The upcoming local option election in November is not about consuming more alcohol, it is about economic opportunity for the City of San Saba. If passed it will generate more tax revenue. As property owners in San Saba, we cannot continue to bear the full burden of taxes needed to operate our city, our county, our EMS, and our schools. If passed, it will increase tourism to our town which will translate into revenue for our local businesses. We need more outside revenue instead of just circulating money among ourselves. If passed it would allow our food service establishments to make a better profit margin, if they chose to take advantage of it. If only one of the many empty buildings in our town could be utilized because of this election, it would be worth the many hours of work it has taken just to get the issue on the ballot. I know some folks are not in favor of this proposition, but if you are totally opposed to anyone making a profit from the sale of alcohol, here is a list of just a few businesses you should not do business with:
Almost every convenience store chain in Texas.
A vote yes is a vote for economic growth for San Saba.
Reagan Burnham, San Saba, TX