City Weekly’s May 7 “Courting Favor,” about a months-long police crackdown on Murray’s Huka Bar which netted only two alleged violations, caused some CityWeekly.net commenters to wonder if law-enforcement authorities have been somewhat overzealous:
BlackMamba writes, “What really pisses me off, besides the obvious abuse of power the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control routinely displays, is that Murray City has the budget padding to allow a handful of police officers to sit in a goddamned club until closing just waiting for someone at Huka Bar to screw up.
“What kind of community menace are they prepared to combat? A guy leaving with a beer bottle in his hand? I’ve lived here all my life, and Murray City has always been the laughing stock of this town. Mayberry on steroids.”
It is a curious situation down there, but Rant Control would like to point out that the popular Mayberry reference is often misplaced in describing oppressive government policies. The Andy Griffith Show actually holds up better than people remember—at least the black-and-white episodes with Don Knotts as Barney Fife. The paranoid, hysterical “lock ’em up and show no mercy” types like Fife always get their comeuppance when the level-headed Sheriff Andy Taylor brings his reasoned, quiet wisdom to bear.
“It is about time we dethrone the UDABC Gestapo,” writes ManBearPig. “I actually found it quite ironic when I saw a sign in the liquor store recently that read: ‘We Appreciate Your Business.’ Yes. Right. Is that why the UDABC makes me feel like a criminal every time I want to have a drink?”
Sheriff Taylor wouldn’t stand for it, either. What we need right now is someone like him in charge—if I had my choice between Mayberry and today’s emerging police state (see “They’re Watching You”), I know where I’d live.