Connelly: Ken Burns’ distant mirror on ‘War on Drugs’ debacle – seattlepi.com

Excerpt: Hypocrisy was a key aspect of Prohibition. President Warren G. Harding endorsed the 18th Amendment, but loved his highballs, and regularly joined his cronies for whiskey-fueled poker games.

”Lutherans and Episcopalians were slow to go along with Prohibition,” said Burns. “A joke at the time went like this: Episcopalians and Lutherans worship God secretly and drink openly; Baptists and Methodists worship openly and drink secretly.”

Prohibition had a big loophole. Physicians could prescribe booze for “medicinal” purposes, just as today you can easily get a prescription for using marijuana to relieve pain. During the 1920s, Americans were consuming 1 million gallons of spirits a year for their medical value.

I posted this following comment on Friday, Sept 30, in the comments section of the article above at 12:16 PM
“The Anti-Saloon League was not interested in anything else,” Burns said. “It demanded absolute agreement. It was very much like the Nationa…l Rifle Association of its time.”

Damn it Burns. You just can’t stay consistent on the issues of civil liberties. The NRA defends them, nonapologetically, and not as well as I wish they did, but the goons you compare the NRA to were pro police state tactics and law, and anti limited government and individual liberty. A lot of avid 2nd Amendment fans would say the NRA doesn’t stand firm enough.

I’m delighted Burns produced this piece. There are a whole lot of decent intelligent Americans who have bought the lies and distorted reasoning and fallacies that have perpetuated our war on drugs for over 30 years now. Besides the rise of vicious gangsters, I hope he does well to expose the corruption of law enforcement agencies at all levels of government, as a result of prohibition of marijuana. If so, bravo!

Click here to read the article.

RIVERA: Don’t destroy small vintners, brewers and distillers Relics of Prohibition should crawl back under their rocks

By Dick Rivera-Washington Times | Thursday, April 21, 2011

(A few nights ago, on my way home from the gym, I had a hankering for a brew. Problem was I left my wallet at home so I had no tender, except for the loose change in my car’s cup holder. There were a lot of pennies mixed with some silver and nickle plated coins. I counted them and thought, if the liquor store sells singles, I’m good. But alas the only singles they sold at this particular establishment, which was on my way home, were twenty two once size. I would have bought one, if I’d had another thirty cents, but alas, the only ones I could afford were the only ones that would be available period, if this crony capitalist law takes hold. The owner kept showing me variations of the options I could buy with with my limited cash on hand, and I kept telling him, no thanks… I want a real beer, I want a real beer, a beer with body, flavor and character, thanks.)

One of the surprises in this “lost decade” of economic growth has been the explosion of smaller, family-owned wineries. Dotting the landscape from coast to coast, small vintners in locations previously unknown for their winemaking prowess have led an impressive surge in the market, and given consumers greater opportunity to sample wines that, otherwise, they never would have had a chance to taste.

A prime mover in this expanding market is the practice of shipping directly to customers: Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia now allow the shipping of wine directly from the vintner to the drinker. By utilizing direct sales over the phone, at tasting bars and on the Internet to bypass national wholesalers – for whom it isn’t economically feasible to distribute the products of smaller wineries – consumers have been presented more options than ever before and smaller wineries now have bigger markets than ever before.

Unsurprisingly, the marketplace has responded to this expanded freedom by trying new wines from across the country: Between 2004 and 2008
April Click here.

“It is far from clear that Proposition 19, as it is known, will pass. The combination of conservatives who fear that legalization would transform us into a hash-happy heap of hippies, drug warriors who make a living off of the criminalization of pot smoking, and gangsters whose profits are tied up in prohibition could be enough to defeat it by a narrow margin.”

Mary Anastasia O’Grady, opinion writer for the WSJ, expert on The Americas, pens a column weighing in on Prop 19 in CA. It’s about the The Economics of Drug Violence.

The Economics of Drug Violence
Competition in the narcotics trade is preferable to monopolistic syndicates.
Click here to read more.

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Killings Cast Pall on Mexico Drug Plan Calderón’s Strategy of Using Army Patrols Draws Fire as Juárez, a Centerpiece of the Push, Turns Into a Murder Capital

By DAVID LUHNOW And NICHOLAS CASEY

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico—The gangland-style murders of three people with ties to the U.S. consulate in this border city have confirmed for many people what residents here already knew: President Felipe Calderón’s strategy of sending in the troops to corral drug gangs has failed.

The gritty working-class city of 1.5 million has become a litmus test for Mr. Calderón’s antidrug strategy and, by extension, his presidency. The conservative leader took power vowing to bring cartels to heel, and chose Mexico’s army rather than local police to do the job, sending 45,000 troops to various hot spots, including 7,000 to Juárez.

But violence has skyrocketed in Juárez, an assembly center for export goods that never escaped its roots as a border playground for Americans. It has suffered a disproportionate amount of the mayhem, accounting for 5,349 out of more than 18,000 drug-related murders across Mexico since Mr. Calderón took power in December 2006.

“It’s a complete failure,” Oscar Cantú, publisher of local newspaper El Norte, says of Mr. Calderón’s enforcement strategy.Click here to read more…

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