An idle thought occurred the last time I lit a seductively aromatic cigar—noted, the aroma, because I like to run cigars under my nose before I light them, and the mysterious nature of these leaves comes in through the nostrils. Thoughts are peripatetic creatures. The sequence went something like this: Well, they haven’t gotten around to banning these yet, the beady-eyes. Prohibition. Odd strain, that, in the American culture. Balanced by beady-eyed permissiveness. Abortion yes; second hand smoke, horrors, NO! Is this tax-cutting frenzy another instance of it? Another irrational kind of prohibitionism? Innocent hubris? Mixed with the vagaries of democracy? Minimally four millennia of human drinking and carousing, but we shall forbid alcohol! So there. Salvation by law. At least the same tradition of taxation, but now we shall do without it—and prosper? But, yes. It is. It is a kind of prohibitionism. The romantic things it always produces. The Speak-Easy. We owe you much, beady eyes. What’s next? The mandatory social tithe? Those lesser cultures without the law should hire our PR people and rename things to make them right. Market-driven government? In the form of the legalized bribe?