04 October 2011

Tuesday Tidbits...
When I mentioned yesterday that Fall brings with it it's own marvelous colors, as in the FOLIAGE we are apt to view, there can also come along a caveat...or two.
*** Case in point, those people that think there is nothing wrong whatsoever with being behind the wheel of a vehicle that is painted some GOD-AWFUL hue. Personally speaking, I have seen folks lose their lunch with more splendorous colors than what I see rolling along the streets of the ghettohood.
Well, at least those colors were tolerable.
Not so with some people, as you will see ahead.
Take a perfectly GOOD 1990 Ford Crown Victoria...great family car - nice ride, so-so mileage, and really comfy seating.
Hell, police departments SWEAR by 'em to this day!
And they have a nice big V8 engine under the hood...lots of "giddyap" for the horsepower. Now, take that nice car...and do THIS to it:
This is NOT what I mean by FALL FOLIAGE...not one damn bit!
Somehow, if I saw myself driving around in ANY of these donks, I'd have some SERIOUS issues with MY manhood...like, where the f$ck has it GONE?
I cannot fathom WHY seemingly "normal" males would permit themselves to succumb to crap like this?
Used to be you kept your car looking as close to showroom "new" as possible, or souped it up to race.
These "cars" are so screwed up, mechanically-speaking, that they are a danger on the roads.
The design geometry, the handling, the center-of-gravity...all of those cool features made to keep the car rolling with the SHINY side up have gone out the window (along with some male brains).
Kinda gives the gender a bad rep.
And their women actually LIKE this stuff???
(my God, we are so screwed as a species)
Well, that certainly doesn't say that much for the females, does it?
I suppose if the women of these men thought it was cool to jump off a cliff IN that car, they'd go DO IT.
(Hey, now THERE is an idea waiting to be born...lol)
In any event, if I see anyone driving such a POS, I'm just gonna laugh my ass the hell off...IN THEIR FACE!
Nice to see our tax dollars hard at work there...NOT.
(because none of these bucks holds down a legal job...you already knew that, though)
Ah, yes...society as it's "best"(?) ...ROFL!
Moving on...(hurredly AND thankfully)...
*** Last evening was the second installment of Ken Burns film: Prohibition, and this just keeps getting better and better (definitely a keeper for the DVD collection in the near future).
The first episode was called: A NATION OF DRUNKARDS.
Last night's episode was titled: A NATION OF SCOFFLAWS.
And it was during this time in our history that the WORD "scofflaw" came into being...seriously.
The term "bootlegger" also came into vogue, which was derived from the practice of people carrying bottles of booze down their pant leg on a flask tucked into a boot. These folks would offer drinks to other people on the street for a nominal price.
Talk about impromptu entrepreneurship...!
The Volstead Act had banned the sale, production, and transport of ALL alcohol, with the only exception being for "medicinal purposes", and specified rites of religious practices.
So, synagogues and churches got to keep their sacramental wine.
Needless to say, the number of "prescriptions" written by doctors SKYROCKETED...and curiously enough, so did CHURCH ATTENDANCE.
This was also the beginning of bootlegging as a bonifide "business venture"...and it made more than a few men VERY wealthy, and a lot more men pretty well off. And the lengths these people would go to deliver "the goods" was unbelievable.
Some enterprising man used horse-drawn MILK CARTS, dressed his men in white uniforms, and painted the milk bottles (white) to appear to be full...now THAT'S creative.
And speaking of creative success...
There was Roy Olmstead, a former police lieutenant from the Seattle, WA area, and George Remus, a Cincinnati lawyer, both of whom became noted bootleggers...of the "good" kind.
They were considered GOOD because they didn't have to fight anyone for territorial gains, nor did they carry weapons.
Can't say the same for groups like the Purple Gang...or other bootleggers that ran sections of our major cities, and always seemed to have some "turf war" going on.

These were the ranks that none other than Alfonso Capone came from. Formerly from NYC, he was alleged to have committed two murders in Brooklyn, so he headed out to Chicago and found a "home" there.
Then there was the OTHER "side of the coin", found in the likeness of one Mabel Willebrandt, known as the "First Lady of Law" in the USA, and was the assistant Attorney General of the United States.
That is QUITE an accomplishment for a woman of her era, and I must say, that if Angelina Jolie EVER wants to win an Oscar for best actress, she needs to do a film ABOUT Mabel Willebrandt...period. They look so much alike, it's eerie (If Angelina DOES, well...you heard it HERE...FIRST, folks)
Mabel was like a bloodhound, and would stop at nothing to prosecute those brought in for violation of Volstead.
But Volstead wasn't the ONLY facet to prohibition...there were more "laws" added.
There was the Cullen-Harrison Act, signed at the tail end of prohibition, which allowed certain beverages back into the mix. It was FDR that signed this into law in 1933, just a brief time before Prohibition was repealed altogether.
Now the main thing with ANY law or amendment, is the need to properly ENFORCE it...such was not the case with Volstead.
It was basically left up to the STATES for real enforcement, and they shrugged their shoulder and said "OK", and then did what they wanted. Some states did remain dry throughout that time, while others did little to enforce Volstead.
Enter the U.S. Treasury Department, and it's band of "revenue agents".
Quaintly enough, this was on the coat tails of America's "Progressive Era" (1890-1920).
At first, crime, drunkenness and traffic accidents DID go down...but thanks to the "entrepreneurial spirit" of this nation (no pun intended), it wasn't all that long before drinking was back UP to where it was PRE-prohibition.
After several years, crime went back UP, as did drunkenness. It was little wonder that in cities like NYC, there were over 30,000 speakeasies to be found. State and local "enforcement" turned the other cheek...for a price.
And the bootleggers were making money hand-over-fist, so they COULD AFFORD to pay off as many officials, and police as was needed in order to operate with impunity...which they did.
It was at this time when "novices", not connected with major distillers took to making bootleg liquor, such as bathtub gin.
And it was little wonder that people became deathly ill from such concoctions...considering one of the "ingredients" might be RUBBING ALCOHOL...or PAINT THINNER (shades of crystal meth and crack). People became blind, or loss the use of their legs for months, due to such "creative innovation" from the masses.
Now George Remus took a different approach...he had a few bucks to rub against one another, so when he started his bootlegging, he also began to BUY UP as many small distilleries as possible, and THEN, create his OWN drug company (for it WAS legal, with proper licensing, to make hooch for "medicinal purposes"...which he did with abandon).
He hired his own truck drivers to deliver the "medicine", and all went well...for a while.
One might say he became one of the richest men in America in the shortest amount of time.
Ditto for Roy Olmstead, who brought in HIS alcohol from CANADA via water.
It was timely intervention by Treasury Agents and non-stop doggedness by Mabel Willebrandt that brought BOTH men down in the end.
The story of how Roy & George came to justice is the stuff of MOVIE LEGENDS...it's THAT amazing.
*** As I have said, this film by Burns is very well-presented, and offers the viewer a wonderful insight to the time when our government attempted to legislate behavior by Constitutional means...and how average folks become folk heroes of a sort, while others became notorious criminals.
Tonight is the final installment: A NATION OF HYPOCRITES
--Here's the link to the episode guide:
--Here's the homepage for the PBS series:
--And here is a link to the 16th Amendment (Federal Income Tax - rattified 1913) & the 18th Amendment (Prohibition - rattified 1920) that ties the two together well:
I guarantee that you'll be blown away from what people did back THEN, how it ties into TODAY, and how we changed and adapted as a nation between those times.
I know I found myself laughing at some of this, and other times, I was like "WTF???"...
Definitely worth your time.
So relax a spell tonight, and tune into the show.
And have a COLD ONE while you're at it...LOL.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

Your first crown vic picture reminded me of one of those cars that my parents inherited after a death in the family. It had an 8-track player in it and we kids thought it was like riding in a space ship.

Though I am on the opposite end of Burns politics, his Civil War and Baseball productions were great.

I have not seen Prohibition, but will def have to give it a look now that you describe it.

Bob G. said...

My dad had both a 1965 galaxie 500 and then bought a 1971 LTD (he said it stood for LONG-TERM DEBT...lol)...
BOTH were fantastic rides..enough room inside to camp out.

I honestly don't know what Ken Burns' political feelings are (probably leftist), and it doesn't bother me as long as he keeps making such astounding films.

In those, there hasn't been any bias on either side that I have seen.

I think you'll have your eyes opened as I have with THIS program.

Thanks for stopping on by today and commenting.

Stay safe out there.

ms nk rey said...

Moonshiners said that they had the fastest cars, but the whiskey runners thought otherwise. so they decided to race. the reason they raced in circles is because they did not want to risk being chased by the cops while proving who had the dominant car. Then Ta Da! NASCAR was born.
Also I am sort of partial to that pink car. Do you suppose he is a Mary Kay dealer?

Bob G. said...

Yeah, the beginnings of stock car racing DID have their roots in shine-running.


R O F L M A O !

I hadn't even thought of that (and Wifey has tons of the stuff)...that's EPIC!

Oh, yeah...he's GOT to be a "dealer", alright...!
(still laughing)

Thanks for providing a damn good and unexpected funny!
And thank you for stopping by and commenting.

Stay safe down there.

ms nk rey said...

I said Mary Kay not Mary Jane

Bob G. said...

Oh, I meant MARY KAY too...
AND MaryJane.
(He's a multi-tasking, double-dipper...!)
Blunts AND mascara...who knew?