Friday, January 16, 2009

Today In History: Great Days In Dumb Legal History.

On this date in 1919, the thirty-sixth state to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment gave the required two-thirds majority, and the stage was set for the thirteen years of stupid known as Prohibition.

You'll note, however, a couple of interesting factoids. Apparently in the early 1900's, Congress still believed in paying some respects to the form of the Constitution. These days, if they don't like something, they just ban it by legislative fiat and don't worry about the fact that nowhere in the Constitution are they given that power; back then they had the common courtesy to get the Constitution amended.

You'll also note that they didn't even ban the consumption or possession of alcohol; perhaps that was considered beyond the scope of legal authority, too. Merely the import, export, sale, or transportation is outlawed by the Eighteenth Amendment.


Anonymous said...

... and they didn't even try to ban the precursors.

(Pardon me, I'm just grumpy that all the decent cold medicine costs three times as much as it ought, and can't be had without a hassle.)

WV: aginnut. Again!? Nut!

Divemedic said...

True. If alcohol prohibition were today, it would be illegal to own corn, fruit, grain, sugar, yeast, copper tubes, or mason jars. Property confiscation is the driving force here.

Like the inquisition, the driving force here is the taking of property to support the inquisition, and not the offense itself.

Earl said...

I am still of the opinion that the Federal government went for the repeal of this Amendment to the Constitution based on the loss of revenue from alcohol sales over those thirteen years. But I am too lazy to look up the numbers prove it.

unhbodtj = wv unhealthy body

the pawnbroker said...

now, see...if they'd have adopted the import-export, sale, or transportation thing and left the use/possession thing alone as to other agricultural products, i'd have been able to have my little leafy garden all these years and might not have developed such a penchant for assholery...

and earl, if they'd have really learned that lesson re taxes there'd be a nice selection of comparatively innocuous ganjamon packets right next to the jack daniels down at abc liquors.


The Raving Prophet said...

Ah, Prohibition. It attempted to protect us against our overindulgence of alcohol, saving us the trouble of lost jobs, annoyed wives, and so on.

What we received was the elevation and institutionalization of organized crime, impetus for the first infringement upon the Second Amendment in the form of the 1934 NFA, destruction of several quite competent wineries and breweries to no effect, annihilation of public respect for law, precedent for the federal government to play nanny by banning substances, among other things.

Every time I look back at history and see the prohibitionist movement, I just want to reach through time and smack every last one of them silly.

Hunsdon said...

If Faulkner said that in America (and the South particularly), the past isn't dead, it isn't even past, then you can't really blame us from not learning from the past, can you?

And any similarities you might notice between ruinous policies the US pursued in the past, and policies the US is pursuing now, is purely coincidental.

Anonymous said...

"Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."
H.L. Mencken

Weer'd Beard said...

The Raving Prophet: You forgot NASCAR!!!

: ]

Anonymous said...

Oh Kilted One,

It's no news to you that the benighted human condition is a constant, rarely illuminated in our human history by the actual light of deliberate liberty and tolerance for rational self interest.

Inquisitions and oppression don't need a church or state: at first. a And a church doesn't have to be religious to presume it's beliefs upon the heathen, by using the collusion of financial regulatory gain for state.

I may be Red, but there is no SINGLE explanation for the periodic madness that infests the human herd, once peace and prosperity have allowed the growth of parasitic mob-demographics and the rise of anti-warrior enlightened classes.

While the effect appears to be predictably cyclic [said Mr Marx, mistakenly], repeat results surely surface again and again in the very short history of our species.

The priestly/educated/we-know-best classes eventually despair of exerting their desires thru peaceful means and ally with the political thugs.

A year doesn't have to begin with a "1" in order to produce a New Dark Ages. Yessah, JUBILEE has done come. And those faithful to the Prophecy of Somethin' Fo' Nothin' are about to git RE-warded for their collective beliefs.

Unfortunately, the rest of us will have to share in that reward. Damn!!! We really do need a hostile space-alien invasion in order to cull the weak, and toughen up the species a bit.

If the aliens resembled WW2 Nazi's and were careless about leaving their MP-40's and Schmiessers about, so much the better. In fact, a few MG-42's with a half track full of ammo and spare bbls, and mebbe a couple of "88"'s could be put to good and immediate political use, after fending off the Space Swastikas.

J t R, also known hear'n there as JohnM

closed said...

Don't wait fer the space bros or the space nazis. They ain't comming.

If you want heaven here and now, you have to fight for it.