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On this day in 1791 the Bill of Rights became a part of the Constitution. Bet you didn't realize it. Bet it will not be discussed at my children's school tomorrow. Bet the president will not acknowledge it. Bet EyeWitless News will not mention it.
I was going to make a long speech but I don't have the energy today. So here's a short speech:
Taking the tone of a tent revival preacher, John Kramer, the first Prohibition Commissioner declared that.....
This law (Prohibition) will be obeyed in cities, large and small, and in villages, and where it is not obeyed it will be enforced. The law says that liquor to be used as a beverage must not be manufactured. We shall see that it is not manufactured. Nor sold, nor given away, nor hauled in anything on the surface of the earth or under the earth or in the air.
Shortly thereafter, Grandma's fiance got himself erased in a fire fight with US Customs at the Canadian border while importing some high dollar whiskey.
Though the murder rate rose during the teens, it soared to almost ten murders per hundred thousand people during Prohibition. Note the dramatic plunge in the murder rate that began on Repeal Day 1933.
Prohibition also decimated the wine industry in California, pushing the evolution of high quality wines out for a half century and changing forever our cultural views toward alcohol. Many wineries collapsed because there wasn't enough market for Sacramental wine to make it profitable. Other wineries ripped out wine grapes and replaced them with juice grapes, resulting in a glut of low quality grapes that far outlasted the demise of Prohibition.
Some growers, like the Mondavis, grew Zinfandel and shipped the grapes back east to Italian Catholics who were permitted to make their own wine for sacramental purposes. Guys like Ernest & Julio Gallo hooked up with the Chicago mob to sell wine made in clandestine wineries in Central California, shipping the finished product in tanker cars to Chicago. Prohibition made the Gallo family wealthy. That wealth and power carried through for generations, and today, Gallo controls a huge market share as a resuslt.
Like our modern War on the Bill of Rights Drug War has done for the Mexican drug cartels, Prohibition provided vast sums of cash to people like Frank Costello (Boss of New York's Five Families) and his alleged bootlegging partner Joe Kennedy. One notable difference between then and now is the sheer scale of violence. More Mexican nationals have died from drug war violence in the last five years than perished during the entire Viet Nam war. In stark contrast, neither Bud nor Coors killed anyone this year.
Modern America missed the lessons of Prohibition. The US spent forty billion dollars last year to stop people you know from snorting a little coke at a party or relaxing in the spa with a joint. Forty billion dollars down a rat hole of corruption, deceit, and death, yet anyone who wants drugs can buy them.
On this day in 1933, FDR signed the repeal documents with a flourish and declared.....
What America Needs Now Is A Drink
Let's celebrate Repeal Day with a glass to your health, friends.
Tip of the glass to Polyticks for the awesome chart
Check out the L.E.A.P website for some good documentation and information on America's longest war.
This Yom Kippur also marks the 40th anniversary of the onset of the Yom Kippur war.
I rarely talk much about it because, frankly, it sounds ludicrous. Like a tall tale, a load of road apples, or BS from a congenital liar. Figured nobody would much believe it anyway, though it was real enough. Back in the days of my vagrant yoot, TWC signed on to go fight with the Israelis in the Yom Kippur war.
Guys in gray trench coats, black suits, and fedoras offered an only-in-your-wildest-dreams paycheck deposited into a Swiss bank, tax free. I was young and single. I'm good with Israel, so what's not to like? And to sweeten the deal? Early release from the custody of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. A lot of guys weren't interested, but nobody had to ask me twice.
Destroyed Israeli Tank, 1973
But, it never happened. Here's why: Israel is definitely who you want at your back in a bar fight. Turned out they didn't need moi because the Israelis wrapped that war up in about three weeks. Not bad considering Israeli complacency about a possible attack that lasted until about six hours before the war kicked off.
So that's my Wharholian fifteen minutes that didn't happen. Yes, I was a bit disappointed.
After he returned from Germany, Ma's husband worked at the Pentagon for a number of years. Just a few months before his office was turned into a public crematorium, he opted for an early retirement package. We're all grateful that he did, but none more than my mother.
There are any number of fascinating back stories like Sonny's that are woven into the fabric of this tragedy. I prefer those tales of tragedy and heroism to the hype and hoopla going on at ground zero this morning.
I find it loathsome that the government decided to call this day Patriot's Day, you'll not find too many better examples of run-of-the-mill, Orwellian double-speak. We didn't call the attack on Pearl Harbor Patriot's Day, we called it what it was. A Day of Infamy.
We rightly honor those who lost their lives & we remember because of the sheer magnitude of the carnage. But the subsequent losses to our liberty over the last dozen years have been far greater.
Did you realize that since the National Archives building has been remodeled that ordinary citizens aren't permitted to photograph the Constitution? That's fitting because that quaint relic doesn't much apply to us anyway.
Yesterday was the last day of school and TWC feels like he made parole. The Boy is a senior come August and The House Blond a sophomore.
Alice Cooper was inspired to write his terrorist screed by.....the last three minutes of the last day of school when you're sitting there and it's like a slow fuse burning. He rightly surmised that if he could.....catch that three minutes in a song, it's going to be so big.
School's out for summer School's out forever School's been blown to pieces
Blown. To. Pieces. That's from the GOP's token psuedo-drag queen Addams Family makeup queen and bad boy shock rocker Alice Cooper's wildly popular rock standard that's been adopted by succeeding generations of adolescents yearning to be free of the chalkboardgreen board white board ball and chain.
I'm pretty sure that DHS & FBI think such trash talk constitutes a terrorist threat. Singing it at school might buy your friends an instant lockdown and earn you an expulsion from the hallowed halls of learning. Just sayin'.
We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our iPhones and BlackBerry’s, chronicling our every move through Facebook and Twitter and shielding ourselves from the outside world with the bubble of “silence” that our earphones create.
If you recognize that in yourself – or your friends, families or colleagues— join us for the National Day of Unplugging, sign the Unplug pledge and start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child.
The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – running from sunset to sunset – and starts on the first Friday in March. The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, an adaption of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.
Shutting down my grid? What about books, work, play, research, letters (email) to my aunt and my mother? How is unplugging beneficial to me? And, if it is the cat's pajamas to pull the plug at sunset and take the day off, why only one day? How is that the start of a different life?
Besides, I walked out in the hills with the dogs for an hour this morning, sat and read with my son last night, had breakfast with my kids this morning, and when the coals are hot, I'm throwing a steak on the grill while Mrs TWC whips up a salad.