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Happy 75th Anniversary!

Thank you Utah.

On this date in 1933 Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, ending prohibition. The thirteen year experiment in government enforced sobriety was overturned by popular demand.

Just kidding, politicians seeking alcohol tax dollars during the depression is what really kickstarted the repeal movement. That, the wood alcohol induced blindness, and rampant organized criminal activity.

But that didn't mean Dallas went dry during prohibition.

Mr. Payne said the city was filled with bootleggers, speak-easies and dance halls during the 1920s and early 1930s.

A 1926 survey found by Mr. Payne indicated bootleggers in the city were making as much as $36,000 a year.

I'm thinking $36K a year in 1926 was a pretty good bit of scratch. Probably more than a Dallas County Sheriff took home. But how many bootleggers get to engage in public shenanigans:

As historians tell the tale, local officials were inflamed after a writer for Collier's magazine alleged that bootleggers paid local law enforcement a monthly fee to ignore their activities.

In reaction to the article, Dallas County Sheriff Hal Hood conducted a series of raids and took more than 5,000 gallons of confiscated alcohol to a public rally hosted by a temperance movement in downtown Dallas.

During the rally, deputies poured out all the liquor so it could drain into the gutters. But someone flicked a lit match into the stream, and the liquor ignited into a massive sea of moving fire.

By the time firefighters arrived, more than 20 cars had been consumed by flames and nearby buildings only narrowly escaped a similar fate.

Celebrate prohibition's repeal with some alcohol-fueled shenanigans of your own tonight.

What happened to you Utah? You used to be cool.

Posted by Baron Von Ottomatic


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Comments (12)

As much as I dislike alcoho... (Below threshold)

As much as I dislike alcohol because of the serious damage that it does to some persons who abuse it and society, prohibition was a disaster. It only created the growth of organized crime groups and created the need for a special new police force, the FBI to deal with this new level of violence.

Prohibition was another example of government trying to enforce religious laws on society as a whole.

The latest example is a Salt Lake City based federal prosecutor who is pursuing a federal obscenity case against a California Website business in a Washington, D.C. courtroom, trying to use the government to impose his Mormon faith on the nation and on the Internet as a whole. This same joker was also partially responsible for the firing of a number of federal prosecutors scandal a while ago as well. Government should not be abused by religious wackos who seek to impose their religious views on the entire nation. Faith should be an individual and private practice. I don't attend a Mormon church because I don't want to be a Mormon. But this federal prosecutor wants every American to be forced to subscribe to Mormon church values. This is a good example of the religious intolerance of some screwballs that Bush brought into office with his Administration.

My liver and I are proud to... (Below threshold)

My liver and I are proud to share our birthday with the 21st Amendment

Hooson, how about some details? Like what his actual complaint was. The company charged... his actual name.
Like is this maybe Max Hardcore... which non-Mormon dominant states are also looking into?

as an interesting aside, in... (Below threshold)

as an interesting aside, in 1928, a $20 bill was redeemable for 1oz of gold. Therefore, the 36,000 a year salary made by bootleggers would be the equivalent to $1,400,000 relative to today's gold price of $800 an ounce.

Each $1 could be exchanged for a .72 Silver Dollar, so 36,000 would be equivalent to roughly 26,000 ounces or $260,000 in silver.

Either way, we can deduce two things. First, the bootleggers made bank. Second, what happened to the value of our dollar?

Wanna know? Read this: http://www.mises.org/books/whathasgovernmentdone.pdf

According to <a href="http:... (Below threshold)

According to this site, $36,000 in 1926 is roughly equivalent to $421,712.54 today (based on CPI values). That's a nice bit of cash right there.

Hello SCS, it is John Stagl... (Below threshold)

Hello SCS, it is John Stagliano of Evil Angel Productions which is one of the six largest adult entertainment distributors in the United States and distributes films to most American states and most countries around the world with no problems before. The case the Mormon prosecutor is bringing against Stagliano involves just three films of the thousands he has produced because of some unusual use of cow's milk in a sexual manner which is more just plain weird than offensive.

The government is contending that just these three film trailer available on the Internet crossed the line, however Stagliano stands to lose his entire distribution empire through government forfeiture(read theft) of his entire business assets, plus millions in fines and prison time. Strangely this is being tried in Washington D.C. of all places where a jury should be more liberal than some Southern jury such as in the case of the Max Hardcore railroading trial that will put him in a federal prison for nearly four years. The Stagliano case raises the stakes for free expression on the Internet, which is why so many law websites consider this an important case.

I maybe wouldn't walk across the street to see such trashy films as these crazy milk films, however I'm deeply bothered when people can be put in prison, and the government take away their entire business assets like they're some drug criminal or something. In fact some of these prosecutors compare trashy filmmakers to drug criminals which is seriously disturbed thinking in my view. In England, new government laws are being drawn up because some criminal once viewed some horror movie websites for example that could criminalize the possession of mere R rated horror movies because some self-righteous lawmakers believe that horror movies had something to do with his crimes. All of this is dangerous nonsense.

The Stagliano case mostly involves the government invoking some old 1930's communications decency law that was drawn up long before the Internet was ever thought up and was intended to deal with harassing indecent phone calls, and not some tasteless film trailer available over the Internet in 2008. Further every film, book, etc. is actually considered to be constitutionally protected until some local jury in some jerk-water district declares an item obscene, and then the federal government is allowed to prosecute which is an absurd standard. The Internet is a worldwide phenomenon and it can not regulated from city to city or town to town under "local community standards".

Strangely most adult entertainment content is actually considered to be constitutionally protected speech, but it is those few rare items that deal with something a little weird that can result in a prosecution or prison time like the three crazy milk films of Stagliano.

Are these three films kooky and weird? Yes. But should they result in prison time. No.

Paul,Why is it tha... (Below threshold)


Why is it that you never provide links to stuff that you write?

You were specifically asked the name of the prosecutor and still didn't provide it.

Could it be that the link will call into doubt your demonization of an entire relgion?

I'm going to second OhioAnn... (Below threshold)

I'm going to second OhioAnne. It sounds more like you have a beef against Mormons, since that is the only detail you reference clearly. Who is the prosecutor and where is the evidence that his prosecution is based on his religion? Why not mention Stagliano's 'stage' name (Buttman) or the movies involved? Would that maybe tell a different story?

SCS, I'll defend freedom of... (Below threshold)

SCS, I'll defend freedom of speech as much as I will freedom of religion. In fact today I'm running a feature on Wizbang Blue defending Christians in Iraq to practice their faith in peace. And I have many Mormon friends, and even hired a Mornmon to work for me. So I have no beef, only respect for this community of faith.

The federal prosecutor is not a well known public figure, so his name is really irrevalant here. But his own political-religious values seem to be driving his law enforcement passions towards using government resources not to fight violent crime, prevent terrorism, or prevent identity theft or Internet crimes involving scams, but instead using at least 14 federal agents to sit around watching dirty movies all day at the Justice Department looking for some weird scene such as the cow's milk enema scene to base some new wacky prosecution on. Cow's milk enema stuff has zero appeal to me. But in a free society bad filmmaker's such as Stagliano should have the right to make such poor films. Look at all that violence in the SAW and HOSTEL series that is constitutionally protected, but not some crazy and harmless cow's milk enema scene.

Society should just look the other way at small fringe conduct such as the screwball films that Stagliano makes which appeal to only a fringe market, and realize only a small number of persons wish even to view a cow's milk enema movie. These films are kooky and weird, but where is the harm to justify to putting a filmmaker in prison along with violent murderers and rapists.

While the Bush Administration lied about Iraq and helped to create a cycle of violence that has killed 1.2 million persons there, created 2 million refugees, allowed torture and detainment without trial, it seeks to claim a false cloak of morality by allowing some of their prosecutors such as the Salt Lake based one to pursue his own warped religious agenda. Good riddance to this administration. It can't come soon enough.

The problem that I have is when a government agent such as this Salt Lake federal prosecutor believes in his own heart that he is advancing his own faith by using government resources to put people in prison for defending conservative cultural standards that he believes advance his faith. This faith based prosecution of culture where some old 1930's telecommunications law is being twisted around to create a religious control of the 2008 Internet is a frightening blow back to the Prohibition in many ways and should alarm any civil libertarian. What if a Muslim prosecutor or another smaller faith sect personality began to warp old 1930's laws to prosecute persons to advance their religion in American society as a whole, would that not alarm you?

In this post, you say:... (Below threshold)

In this post, you say:

The federal prosecutor is not a well known public figure, so his name is really irrevalant here.

In your original post, you said:

The latest example is a Salt Lake City based federal prosecutor who is pursuing a federal obscenity case against a California Website business in a Washington, D.C. courtroom, trying to use the government to impose his Mormon faith on the nation and on the Internet as a whole. This same joker was also partially responsible for the firing of a number of federal prosecutors scandal a while ago as well.

So, first he was well-known enough to be involved in a "scandal", but now his name is so unknown it is "irrelevant"?

OhioAnne, okay its Brent D.... (Below threshold)

OhioAnne, okay its Brent D. Ward, who was a former head of a wacky local censorship organization in Utah that was so far out that even the conservative, Republican and Mormon controlled legislature would not pass his wacky legislation ideas such as Ward seeking on ban on nudity in Utah's few strip clubs, forcing the dancers to at least wear a bikini bathing suit while performing. When someone is so kooky that his wacky legislation cannot even become law in Utah, then why oh why was he made the head of some crazy Bush Administration federal anti-obscenity task force.

Ward was partially responsible for the firing of some of the U.S. attorneys when they refused to go along with wacky notions of law enforcement.

In reality, there is very little grounds to base obscenity prosecutions these days, as most sexual penetration in movies, magazines or the Internet is not considered to legally obscene. Even many independent art house films, such as THE BROWN BUNNY, which aren't considered to be pornographic features scenes of sexual penetration these days. So Brent Ward and his federal coworkers have to look for rare examples of strange content to base an obscenity case on such as prosecution of the three cow's milk enema movies. And even more absurd, the Los Angeles police force actually aided Ward in this prosecution.

Currently in Los Angeles there are at least 100,000 active gang members. Drugs, guns and violence abound. Yet the Los Angeles police force consider one adult filmmaker who is a normally law abiding citizen, who pays plenty of taxes on the sales of hundreds of movie titles he distributes worldwide, that pay the taxes to keep schools open, fund fire departments, and the police, as a legitimate target for federal prosecution because of three cow's milk enema movies.

The problem with obscenity laws is that the definition of obscenity keeps changing, where now the government has to look for rare strange film such as a cow's milk enema film to prosecute. How common is such crap like this anyway? Most adult material is far more mainstream, and thus constitutionally protected. How is such a prosecution of three strange films going to benefit the nation in any way? Even the prosecution of Max Hardcore in Florida was based on some incidental scenes in three films as well that were considered strange as well. The government should just give up this money wasting nonsense and instead concentrate on real crimes, not a few kooky filmmakers who have no taste or good sense in film making.

With very few films, books or Internet content that goes beyond your run of the mill adult comedy, entertainment, nudity or sexual penetration, there are very things that could be construed as potentially obscene for the government to spend taxpayer funds to pursue an obscenity case. Why should the government even bother? This nonsense benefits no one. But religious wackos like Brent Ward keep on trying regardless as long as they have your tax money to burn. This joker wasn't taken seriously in his home state of Utah, so why give him a national stage to perform his crazy prudish stuff?

This is a pathetic attempt at prohibition once again. And ultimately it won't succeed. Free speech has to struggle, and some go to jail, but it will win out in the end and jokers like Ward will simply go back home to Utah someday.

Still no links, Hooson. Wh... (Below threshold)

Still no links, Hooson. Why must we drag details from you AND take you at your word? The way you choose to frame your argument and present some facts in one hand while hiding more with the other predisposes readers to assume you either have an agenda you won't admit to, or that you are just full of sh!t.
Based on your history here, I think it's both.

Paul,Either you ar... (Below threshold)


Either you are taking material from a source that you are not crediting, you are just BS-ing information in the hope that something sticks or you have a rather ... extensive ... knowledge of porn films.

I googled the name you provided.

Even the articles most personally negative about him did not say that he was Mormon or, for that matter, Utah was "home".

Was he widely discredited? Uh, no.

The people he is prosecuting think his efforts are real waste of time, but that is hardly a surprise. Many thought prosecuting Al Capone for tax violations was ridiculous as well.

Are his efforts a waste of good resources?

Well, he did get a conviction on a man for the use of underaged girls in his videos. Funny how someone who looks like a "consensual adult" turns out to not be the age of consent when people look into the situation more deeply.

I didn't find anything that said his entire prosecution was based on the use of "milk products" - or whatever the heck it is that you are claiming.

So, other than the fact most of what you have said is unsubstantiated and/or unverifiable .... well, no that's pretty much all we know about what you said.






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