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Shock labels for NH: Does state have no standards left?

October 21. 2012 1:07AM

According to its website, the 'bottom line'' for the producer of a vulgar-named wine that had been on display in New Hampshire state liquor stores is that he 'doesn't care what anybody thinks.''

Until the Liquor Commission finally relented, somewhat, that appeared to be its view, too.

Asked directly if there were any wine or liquor label that would be rejected here, an SLC marketing spokesman said perhaps one featuring a naked woman.

Credit Executive Councilor David Wheeler, among others, for protesting this wholesale lack of community standards. Wheeler's view was a lot better than that of fellow councilor Chris Sununu, who shared the SLC view that anything that sells can stay, no matter how obscene.

Councilor Ray Wieczorek sided with Wheeler, saying that a wine name phonetically spelling out the crudest of terms for sexual intercourse was not something with which the state should be greeting tourists at the Hooksett and Seacoast liquor stores.

But it is selling so well, protested liquor commissioners at their meeting last Thursday. They finally showed that public pressure (and a potential change in the laws regulating their jobs) does get their attention. They decided to remove the displays and merely put the wine on the shelves in the back.

The commissioners' double-standard may also have played a role in their change-of-mind. House Consumer Affairs chairman John Hunt reminded them that while they allow 'shock labels'' in the state stores, they forbid beer companies from selling similar wares in New Hampshire.

The coarsening of American culture continues. Vibrators are to be distributed openly at Boston's City Hall Plaza. Congressional candidate Ann Kuster angrily shouts 'F him.'' And a state-controlled agency promotes 'shock labels.'' How discouraging.

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