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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ken Burns' Prohibition--a commentary

Was it just me, or was much of the lesson about this failed do-gooder plan relevant to the dangers of encroaching big government today? Sure sounded like it at times.

Dispelling the myth that the majority of "The Drys" were ultraconservative whack jobs, the show clearly explained how their motivation, organization and electoral tactics were decidedly liberal, or as they were quick to explain, "progressive" in nature.

There is also much to chew on here with respect to the legalization of drugs, considering that the wealthy bootleggers themselves were staunch opponents of repeal of the Volstead Act, aligning themselves piously with The Drys. The obscene amounts of easy money to be made providing a thirsty public with a product it craved--often in a dangerously poisoned form--is a shockingly similar parallel to today's drug culture. Can there be any doubt that the drug cartels would pump mind-boggling amounts of money into any campaign--and to any politician--that strives to keep drugs illegal? Tony Santana's Scarface comes immediately to mind, and the Capone reference is far from subtle. To deny access to a product that people having been using for millenia is quite clearly asking for trouble.

Pete Hamill's closing comments regarding human nature and forbidden fruit were as on-target as they were poignant. And the question posed in the trailers for the movie--"How could America have let this happen?" seems to serve as a warning that it could very well be happening again.

Nice job by Mr. Burns and company...

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