Maybe the world is ThreeSources -- add a #3src hashtag to post your tweets
April 17, 2015
Mea Maxima Culpa
I have long accused Reason magazine of holding GOP candidates to far higher standards than Democrats. I felt they had to show their independence, so they would bash every word of a Republican that wasn't doctrinaire libertarian, yet borderline socialists like Senator Barack Obama seemed to get a pass.
I may have been right then, but Matt Welch has been busting Senator Clinton's chops fairly regularly, and has given breathing room to GOP announcements as the mixed bag that they are.
Today, Welch delivers a crushing -- and well deserved -- blow to the entire Democratic field as tired, old, and bereft of ideas. The maraschino cherry on top is the most unflattering picture of Sec. Clinton you will see..
If there was to be a Tea Party-style wave of contested Democratic primaries (and there won't be any time soon), it would likely not be on the issues of drug policy or surveillance (alas!), but rather income inequality, Robin Hood taxes, and jacking up the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Progressives who think those are winning national issues may want to reflect that the only likely 2016 candidate to fully embrace them will be a geriatric socialist from Vermont.
So the base is trying desperately to foist the Blue State model onto recalcitrant Red State America; the party establishment is coughing up deeply unlovable dynastic schemers like Hillary Clinton and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and meanwhile the Clinton machine is neutralizing potential challengers by God knows what means. I know it's fashionable among some to bemoan the "clown show" of the 2016 Republican presidential field, but at least there's an actual contest there, and a detectable pulse.
Ow. That's gotta sting.
Hillary is this cycle's Bob Dole, but without the distinguished military career in her background. She'll probably lighten up and be more likeable after her likely electoral defeat. Nah, probably not.
Embracing the "Old Hotness"
Kim Strassel likes Sen. Marco Rubio just fine. Yet she prefers the Rubio who campaigned against incumbent Charlie Crist (Crist - FL) on the third-rail issue of entitlement reform.
That Marco Rubio--Rubio the Reformer--has been somewhat on show in recent months. He talks convincingly about the need for limited government, for a 21st-century economy, for a revamped and stronger foreign policy. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he isn't afraid to say how he'd do it. He's assembled an impressive campaign team; he has policy expertise. Moreover, he's young, an optimist, and has an inspiring history, as well as talent for connecting all this to his call for a renewal of American opportunity.
Yet the central question of a Rubio campaign--and the reason many in the GOP donor and activist community remain uncertain of what to make of it--is just how bold a reformer remains after five tough years in Washington. Mr. Rubio was hit in 2013 with a big conservative blowback to his Senate immigration reform bill, and it clearly made an impression. The Rubio who emerged from that experience has become a bit hypersensitive to politics in ways that undercut his reform credentials.
In other Rubio news, Ari Armstrong gives
a fair Objectivist overview of the "Good and Bad:"
Rubio's speech was short on policy details, but he did offer a broad outline of some of his main goals: He wants to "reform our tax code, reduce regulations, control spending, modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace ObamaCare."
Refreshingly, Rubio does not toe the anti-immigrant line so common among conservatives. Instead, he favors legislation that, while flawed, would move in the direction of a rights-respecting immigration policy.
Regarding taxes, as James Pethokoukis points out, Rubio would modestly cut the "top tax rate on labor income . . . to 35 percent from 40 percent" and expand tax credits; however, I've seen no indication that he’d get serious about cutting federal spending.
Looking at all the elections since I was born "younger, cooler" seems to always win when there is a real disparity.
April 16, 2015
It might be a low blow. One could scour the Internet for flattering and unflattering clips of two candidates....
But frozen, fickken' NED on a stick -- tell me this is not descriptive: Chicks on the Right juxtapose a Sour-faced, dour Republican with a Woman of the People! through two TMZ clips.
I am guilty as the next guy of putting Mr. New Hotness in the second tier, but I keep an open mind.
Colorado Minimum Wage
A: Thank all that is sacred that we have a Republican State Senate.
B: Enjoy an archetype of progressive / libertarian argument: All Hail Caldara!
I had to just let that out first.
Okay, so the minimum wage that was indexed to inflation "has not kept up with inflation." Well, that all depends on the definition of what inflation is, doesn't it Mr. Clinton?
I will step over the opportunity to argue stealthflation again and instead, pursue a point Br'er jk will agree with - it is not inflation that the isn't keeping up with, it is prosperity. The minimum wage "isn't enough" anymore because a dynamic free-market economy has increased wages (and other compensation) for some, and government force is required to increase compensation for "all."
For Minorities, Rubio is "New Hotness"
On Monday the Inquisitr posted, "Marco Rubio May Have Just Stolen the Minority Vote From Hillary Clinton."
A look at Marco Rubio's platform as a Florida senator shows that he is very active in immigration reform, health reform, education, and government reform. Rubio's [sic] has also claimed to not be against state acceptance of gay marriage and state-funded abortions for women. Rubio does not agree with federal funding of most programs, which may cause hesitation to some. Overall, there are many areas on his platform that could make Marco Rubio a minority vote competitor for Hillary Clinton.
And those priorities also appeal well to young voters, along with unaffiliateds. I can see the general election ads now: "It's your choice, America: Old and busted, or new hotness?"
All Hail Taranto!
James Taranto picks up something I had missed. When Sec. Clinton joins her Democratic compatriots in blasting Citizens United v. FEC, there's a hidden gem -- an easter egg in software parlance -- the trial was about financing a movie critical of her!
Now, in a bitter foretaste of life in "a President Hillary Clinton world," Mrs. Clinton is urging an amendment to the Constitution to do away with the right to criticize her.
April 15, 2015
Regressive Colorado: Murder of Unborn Still Not a Crime
Works for me:
The fetal homicide bill introduced Tuesday by Senate President Bill Cadman includes an unborn child, at every stage of gestation from conception to live birth, as a "person" for the purposes of homicide and assault offenses.
However, it specifically says it does not apply to an act committed by the mother of her unborn child or a medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed medical professional at the request of a mother of
her unborn child or the mother's legal guardian.
But not for Democrats:
Cadman told The Denver Post the bill protect's [sic] a woman's right to choose abortion, but Democrats decried it as an attempt to put "personhood" into law.
I decry the Democrats utter refusal to consider the humanity of unborn people. After all, the feds crossed this reasonable and obvious rubicon eleven years ago.
I called my position on this "reasonable and obvious." The Denver Post agrees.
A 2013 law made it a felony to unlawfully terminate a pregnancy, but it is a Class 3 felony with a sentencing range of 10 to 32 years unless the mother dies - when it becomes a Class 2 felony. The Class 3 felony is utterly inadequate.
Those rightwing nutjobs over at the NYTimes are just not going to let this private email server story go.
But Mrs. Clinton did not reply to the letter. And when the State Department answered in March 2013, nearly two months after she left office, it ignored the question and provided no response.
The query was posed to Mrs. Clinton in a Dec. 13, 2012, letter from Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Mr. Issa was leading an investigation into how the Obama administration handled its officials' use of personal email.
"Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal email account to conduct official business?" Mr. Issa wrote to Mrs. Clinton. "If so, please identify the account used."
Mr. Issa also asked Mrs. Clinton, "Does the agency require employees to certify on a periodic basis or at the end of their employment with the agency they have turned over any communications involving official business that they have sent or received using nonofficial accounts?"
Well yes, but...
Some pigs are more equal than others in Hillary's village.
Dear dagny is reserving her emotional investment until at least June but I will go on public record that I am on the Rocktober bandwagon already.
Arenado nearly doubled up the guy at third, too, which is even more incredible.
That said, part of my prescription for a successful season is to keep the starters healthy. Rest them regularly and coach them to hustle, but not take dangerous risks that could end their season. Nolan got away with it this time but even he said after the game he probably wouldn't do it if he had a do-over.
A most unexpectedly auspicious beginning.
A former bandmate loves to post lengthy diatribes on the Rockies as being the worst team in the history of sport and the Montfords as the worst owners. I mean, holy cow, it has been seven years since we were in the World Series -- you think fans in Chicago or Boston would put up with that?
I have enjoyed the season so far, but needling my strangely silent friend is the best part.
"Worst team in the history of sport"? I saw this headline this morning:
AARON HERNANDEZ CONVICTED OF MURDER; SENTENCED TO THE NEW YORK JETS
And I haven't even mentioned the Raiders. Not once.
And I'm no Patriots fan by any measure, but Brady had a good season, especially considering that all his best receivers were either out with injuries for half the season, on trial for murder, or catching passes from Peyton Manning.
I think these themes are pretty popular in Denver Sports Talk Radio. There are a few 24 x 7 and they gotta talk about something.
The Montford brothers do themselves no favors; they combine Sec. Clinton's deft ear for politics, Rep. Maxine Waters's charm, and The President's humility.
Are you kidding? Dick and Charlie Monfort are white male meat-packers. They profit from murder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They could be as suave, charming and humble as the day is long and would still never catch a break.
Heh: The comment password du jour is "hotdog." Heh.
Quote of the Day
I'm off the next two weeks finishing a book, and I can already tell you this is a terrible time to be away from the scene. Hillary Clinton's announcement followed by her dark-windowed SUV journey into deepest darkest America was the most inept, phony, shallow, slickily-slick and meaningless launch of a presidential candidacy I have ever seen. We have come to quite a pass when the Clintons can't even do the show business of politics well. -- Peggy Noonan
Those Bleedin' Greedy CEOs!!!
Sec. Clinton, at $300,000 per speech, makes half the average CEO's annual income in an hour. And the WSJ Ed Page reckons "more than 13,000 times the earnings of the typical worker."
Still, somebody has got to fight for the folks.
Mrs. Clinton said in her Sunday campaign video that the "deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top," and she would know based on her taste for amenities and expenses along with her speaking fees. "She insists on staying in the ‘presidential suite" of luxury hotels that she chooses anywhere in the world, including Las Vegas," the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote last August. "She usually requires those who pay her six-figure fees for speeches to also provide a private jet for transportation--only a $39 million, 16-passenger Gulfstream G450 or larger will do."
There's one more way she and husband Bill have stacked the deck in their favor. The average worker--if she could even dream of pulling down $200,000 for an hour of work--would pay taxes on this income; Mrs. Clinton often doesn't.
By routing speaking fees through their family’s foundation, the Clintons ensure that the money won't be taxed before it is directed to support foundation travel, meals and promotional events, among other things. The highly compensated political influence peddlers at the top of the untaxed sector of the U.S. economy have found their champion.
Nice work if you can get it.
Hillary Diane has some nerve claiming to champion the middle class while she accepts cash gifts from foreign dictators valued in millions of dollars.
Cotton don't cotton
Tom Cotton holds forth with Jeffery Goldberg and does exceptionally well. Goldberg clearly does not agree with almost anything said, but gives Cotton fair questions (some hammered in) and a free range to reply.
Tom Cotton strikes me as the most interesting Senate freshman for any number of reasons
he is quite obviously positioned to lead the most hawkish wing of the Republican Party. He is exceedingly bright, and blessed with a wonk's mind—I will readily admit that his knowledge of Middle East minutiae is impressive, even if I disagree with much of his analysis. And he is a superior standard-bearer for the confront-Iran-before-it's-too-late faction in the Senate because, as an Iraq combat veteran, he cannot be labeled a chickenhawk.
The whole thing is worth reading.
The best quote from the newly-minted Senator probably is: It’s unfair to Neville Chamberlain to compare him to Barack Obama
I think that Americans—and this is not true just now, but over the years—are not fundamentally opposed to war. They're fundamentally opposed to losing wars
but perhaps most piercingly:
I think Obama believes that if America was less of a leader in the world, the world would probably be a better and more stable place.
He does not shrink from any confrontation, like any good leader:
Q; would you not be engaged in this negotiation at all? Would you issue an ultimatum?
A: I thought that Yuval Steinitz had a good list of proposed changes to the president's proposal, and I don't think you can argue those changes are unrealistic, because all he did was take all the statements that President Obama and John Kerry and Wendy Sherman made at the very outset of these negotiations about stockpiles of enriched uranium, about the past military dimensions of this program, about inspections and so forth. The positions he lists are positions that our government previously held.
and, most interestingly (and at odd with some TS'ers, I believe?)
Q; The idea that you are telling a foreign adversary, ‘Don't trust in our president—the man who's making our foreign policy?’ Did that cause you to ask yourself, 'Maybe I am undermining the executive branch?'
A:No, in part because the letter didn't say that. The letter simply stated indisputable facts of constitutional law, and Iran's leaders needed to hear that message, and they needed to hear it from us. What we did was certainly more measured than what past senators had done, in conciliating with people like Manuel Noriega, Bashar al-Assad, or Leonid Brezhnev. The difference is we openly stood up to a dictator, and in a lot of those past precedents, Senate Democrats privately conciliated and coddled dictators.
Goldberg is also refreshingly honest about the workaday Liberal obsession that he clearly adheres to:
back in 2006. When you were there, did it ever cross your mind, ‘We're in over our heads. What are we doing here?
The experience of Iraq taught me that once the kinetic piece starts, you just don’t know for sure what’s going to happen. And I don't know that you can predict the response of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
[me, eyes rolling] Oh me oh my, sure; let's not make them MAD!! Sen Cotton, like the pro he is, swats these down indifferently.
More Cotton, faster please!
A very good interview -- and a good example of a Republican not getting rolled by an interviewer without appearing bellicose.
Sen. Cotton is perhaps a bit more bellicose against Iran than me. I think you keep your bad options always on the table, but I prefer the rhetoric of peace through strength. Tomato, tomahto.
But my real issue is that we have another year and a half with the Nobel Laureate in the Executive Mansion, and any talk of toughness is just talk. He's an historic guy on account of his complexion and he wants to sign historic things, whatever they say inside.
All for Congress asserting its prerogatives and all, but all one can really do is duck and cover until January 2017.
One may also call attention to the fecklessness of the Nobel Laureate, and all those who enable him. This voter awareness could be of value in November of 2016.
There is also political value in articulating dangers before the caca hits the ventilador, lest one be conflated with the enablers.
@JK - Cotton is perhaps a bit more bellicose against Iran than me
And likely a great deal more realistic. Frankly, the REAL option is regime change... but that's not for discussion in open forums. I'm glad he also mentioned BHO's blowing the opportunity to support the Green Revolters....
There is something that can be done: ensure loud & clear, that no back room deal will be lifting US sanctions (and with that, I don't think the EU block will go with any sub rosa deal BHO tries to float thru the UN).
Recall that Libs needs to talk vague and act even with even more subterfuge than a typical pol: they can't be honest w/ themselves, thereby with voters either.
Sunshine: the ultimate disinfectant!
April 14, 2015
I am slapping my forehead and shouting, “Doh!” How could I be so obtuse and fail to grasp the deep meaning of the symbols on offer from Democrats over the past several years. -- Thomas Lifson
All Hail Taranto!
"Hillary Clinton, who has embarked on a roughly 1,000 mile road trip after formally announcing her presidential bid on Sunday, was spotted at a Chipotle in Maumee, Ohio [Monday] afternoon," according to a Democratic Party press release prepared by employees of ABC News. -- James Taranto
April 13, 2015
This Could be Fun
She does not get the "hands-off" treatment her old boss did. Could be fun:
"Citizens! I command you!"
Life Is ThreeSources
And the Internet Segue Machine® is bangin' on all eight!
Democracy? Gun Rights? Sec. Clinton for President? Reason is on it.
June 2014: "I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation," Clinton says while promoting her memoir on CNN. "We cannot let a minority of people--and that's what it is, it is a minority of people--hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people." She says she favors "background checks that work" and twice refers erroneously to mass shooters with "automatic" weapons.
We cannot let a few escaped agricultural partners terrorize the effective enforcement of the Runaway Slave Act...
"...a viewpoint that terrorizes..." people? So thoughts can invoke terror, in Hillary's village?
And the deciding factor, she seems to imply, is whether the thought in question is a minority or majority view.
Or perhaps it's just whether or not it agrees with her Utopia.
I think we have an answer to the question of what to call Mrs. Clinton instead of the sexist label "Hillary." Hillary Clinton is Starlight Glimmer.
Free Range Kids
The police coerced our children into the back of a patrol car and kept them trapped there for three hours, without notifying us, before bringing them to the Crisis Center, and holding them there without dinner for another two and a half hours. We finally got home at 11pmand the kids slept in our room because we were all exhausted and terrified.
Well, when your kids run a meth lab, you have to expect that. Oh? What was that? They were playing outside
Walking dear Harriet yesterday, I saw some kids playing on the pathway. I said "hello" and the first response was "It's okay, my Mom is right in the window, watching us." I guess I looked like the Child Services narc. I shrugged my shoulders and told them to have a nice day.
Good thing the community authorities were watching out for those kids; parents alone are never enough to oversee the upbringing of kids. After all, it takes a Village to raise a child: http://bit.ly/1H0C856
And Hillary wants to be Number One.
Good thing nothing bad happened to the little tykes. Except for being locked in a patrol car for three hours away from their parents...
Never seen the show in the link -- am I missing something?
"Am I missing something?"
Yes, yes you are. Picture The Avengers (Patrick Macnee, not Marvel Comics, I mean), but less humorous and more surreal. Terminally British from the mod, mod late-1960's, the backdrop is the Cold War. It has two things in common with Firefly: it pits a freedom-minded individual against the faceless domination of institutional Big Government, and the entire series fits neatly into a single boxed set of DVDs (seventeen episodes). I discovered this series at the same time I was introduced to Ayn Rand's writings, so imagine the effect it had on my young, impressionable little mind.
Patrick McGoohan is an unnamed, high-level intelligence operative who quits his position in the British intelligence service over a matter of principle; the viewer is not told what the matter of principle is. Later that day, he is gassed and kidnapped by... well, someone, and he wakes up in The Village, an unknown location where he is sent so that his captors can find out why he resigned and what he knows. We are not told whether it is the British, the Russians, or someone else who is keeping him. He is addressed merely as "Number Six," leading him to reply "I am not a number; I am a free man."
It can be binge-watched in a single day; a number of theme and tropes used by a lot of liberty-minded individuals. Yes, some production elements are cheesy, and others show their date of origin... but worthy of your exploration -
Update - I found this brief article from our friends over at Reason, describing the series as subversively tricking the French into accepting small-l libertarian ideals. Go figure... http://bit.ly/1yoEMAk
Will take episode one our for a spin! Thanks.
Count me as a second on the Prisoner recommendation. Watched it as a kid with my parents. Right up there with the old original Trek episodes. I hadn't clicked the link when I started reading KA's comment, and I'm thinking, "He's talking about the Prisoner..." Haad to go back for the link.
Hard to put a price on the esteem in which I regard you both.
No, on second thought, it's not hard at all; it's $28. I had the chance to try one episode for $1.99 or buy the whole season for $29.99. Anybody else, I'd've bought the first episode...
I still am down with "Whiskey" and "Sexy," but how are we liberty lovers going to communicate the dangers of democracy? It is hard to think of a word with better appeal.
Two recent local stories remind me that this blade has sharp edges. The first is public outcry over development of a golf course and neighboring community (hmm, sounds suspiciously like where I live) in Arvada Colorado (a western suburb of Denver).
It seems Molson-Coors owns 145 acres "zoned primarily industrial, with some agricultural zoning and commercial use. While a full rezoning proposal has not been submitted to the county, developers are expected to submit an application for the mixed-use development, which would include 454 homes and duplexes."
The neighbors are not pleased.
The first public meeting about the development of Applewood Golf Course was called off after less than an hour because the more than 500 people in attendance filled the auditorium at the Manning School to a "dangerous level of over-capacity."
I had seen this on the teevee news the other night and it brought bad memories. I, too, fought some development near my home. Our group used the same concerns "the traffic, the safety, the children!" We had all been assured by slick real-estate developers that the parcel would remain undeveloped because of unstable old mines -- a geologist was brought in and it turns out the mines were under the existing homes, the new space was clean.
I understand their displeasure. One tends to take ownership of undeveloped land near ones home, expecting the vistas and the dog walking opportunities. But land ownership actually has a well defined legal pedigree around here: there are deeds and titles, and stuff like that. I was just developing a liberty perspective and saw -- before most of my neighbors -- that this guy had owned this land since I was in Junior High and that my little 70' x 100' plot did not really confer the right to dictate terms.
That story has a happy ending. The developer and the neighbors ended up in alliance against the city as he wanted his expensive homes far away from our riff-raff shantytown -- the City was looking to abut them to make different use out of
pound of flesh land he was donating to the city to facilitate the deal.
I get it. I look into their eyes and see a younger, more foolish, me. But when it is not you, it is so obvious. The news person asks each what should be done with the land. "Just the golf course," "open space..." There are an awful lot of suggestions from people about the best use of land they don't own. The TV anchors agree: all these people care, they're going to have to figure something out.
Closer (geographically) to home, I see on Facebook that our burgh is slated to receive royalty. The Erie Colorado Lifestyle page asks "What do you think of the new Burger King?"
"Yuck! do people still eat there?" "Wish it was something healthier!" "Would prefer a 'Mad Greens'" Yadda-yadda. Sorry to belittle my neighbors, but somebody is opening this (it is not clear whether this deal is done). Putting up money, paying franchise fees, hiring, permitting, building. If you want to pick what goes there, open something.
Dagny and I watched "300: Rise of an Empire" last night. It's the sequel to "300" and I really liked it. But then, I'm a liberty lover.
It touches on the differences between democracy and freedom. Not about big government taking and redistributing, but about war and existence. Greek warriors volunteer for battle with Persian invaders and fight, "for your fellow soldiers, for your families, but most importantly, for Greece." They would rather "die on their feet than live on their knees."
Greece was the birthplace of democracy. As such, it was also the birthplace of the tyranny of majority rule. They can be excused. Nobody had ever tried government "of, by and for the people" before. People smart enough to travel into space should know better. But it's just so damned easy to abdicate governing to politicians, who seem to enjoy it for some reason.
April 12, 2015
"Nobody stays in the gulch by denying reality, Dagny..." (I did get called "Randian" last week.)
My favorite part of Rand's Objectivism is its stern adherence to Aristotelian realty. John Allison [Review Corner] parleyed that into a successful management career and I find it philosophically endearing.
So I must caution my GOP friends to avoid pretending that the world is how you wish it were and not as it is. Sec. Clinton's announcement video is awesome. It shows what we are up against and poses the questions we must answer.
I see hundreds of comments about how childish this is, and even the serious folks at National Review dismiss it as a flopped announcement.
All the people who hate it are already not going to vote for Sec. Clinton. What it does do is move the conversation to the gauzy diaphanous vagaries at which she excels. Let the Republican try to bring voters down to the wonky weeds -- she's grandma and apple pie. You may not like her, but the Republican will be scary. Sec. Clinton -- in this video -- is not scary.
She "cares about people like you." And that is the poll group that put her old boss over the top in 2012.
Dismiss her at your peril.
* when I was a kid, floccinaucinihilipilification was in the Guinness World Record book as longest English word. Looks like it is down to #8, but it means "to estimate as worthless" or "deem as trivial." At your peril, friends.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty toes the NR line (toady!), calling the announcement a "belly flop" and "a huge #FAIL." But I don't think we see the bigger picture to differently:
The good news is that she's not going to be a good candidate. The bad news is it's not clear she needs to be one in order to win.
Slick. If I didn't know who she really is I'd be liking her better than Allison Lundergan Grimes by now.
But this video seems a better fit for the candidacy of Rand Paul. Complete and utter bovine feces as a reflection of what an "Oh Hill No" presidency would be like.
He gives a brief history lesson that touches on government taxation, the Whiskey Rebellion, and South Carolina legislation that allowed Dark Corner to become one of six distilleries to open in the state since 2011. After that, he explains how whiskey is made. First, malt the grain[...]
I thought I'd leave politics, philosophy, and economics aside for a week and enjoy Jaime Joyce's Moonshine: A Cultural History of America's Infamous Liquor.
Perhaps I should have considered that I heard about it
on Reason.com, but the book had more to do with taxation and prohibition than distillation tips.
At 1:42 in the video: "A big part of the protest against the British is that the 'New Americans' thought they wouldn't have to deal with this kind of stuff anymore. Thus, the first threat to our inchoate sovereignty was the Whiskey Rebellion, which Washington -- almost personally -- had to vanquish.
Washington, Pennsylvania, a city near Pittsburgh, pays tribute to its role in the nation's liquor history a bit differently. First staged in 2010, the city's Whiskey Rebellion Festival commemorates, well, the Whiskey Rebellion, and for three days in July the city recalls those heady post-Revolution protests against Alexander Hamilton's unpopular whiskey tax.
<Jon Stewart Smug Face>At least the book didn't relate the trade's decline to monetary policy or anything -- Umm...</Jon Stewart Smug Face>
But there was another factor at play in moonshine's decline: inflation. By 1974, the cost of sugar had risen exponentially, to more than $ 40 per 100-pound sack, more than a tripling of price in the space of a year. At the time, a gallon of moonshine was selling for between $ 8 and $ 12. Why pay a higher price and risk the health consequences when you could buy a $ 2 pint of legal bourbon? The math, and the risk, just didn't make sense.
In the end Ms. Joyce weaves it into multiple aspects of modern life. The easrly NASCAR drivers -- like in the Jim Croce song -- learned their trade outrunning Treasury Men on the back roads. They dominated the trade for a generation.
["Junior"] Johnson retired from racing the following year. He was 35 years old, and in his 14 years with NASCAR, he'd won 50 out of 310 races. But for Johnson, racing on a track never held the same allure as racing revenuers on the open road. "I just got aggravated with it," he told Ed Hinton, of Sports Illustrated. "I'd go to a dern race somewhere and I'd done won it two or three times, and it wasn't any fun. You're just going back over and over." He transitioned into team ownership. When Johnson left motorsports in 1995, he'd helped 38 drivers take first place in 139 races.
President Ronald Reagan pardoned Johnson for his moonshining conviction, in 1986, the day after Christmas. In 1998, Sports Illustrated named Johnson the greatest driver that ever lived. Today, he makes his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 90 minutes south of the one he grew up in and the site of the track where he ran his first race.
Pigouvian taxation gets a bad rap in the book. The taxes became so onerous that the illegal trade prospered decades past the 21st Amendment (surviving all except the Burns Fed...) The high taxes and the prohibition just don't work.
It was moonshiners, not smugglers of legitimate alcohol from outside the country or diverters of industrial alcohol, who provided the bulk of illicit liquor during Prohibition. In the South, illegal production skyrocketed, as did prices. White whiskey, which once sold for $ 2 a gallon, tops, could now command $ 22. One had only to look at the statistics to understand the scope of the problem. Prior to Prohibition, in 1913, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue reported that federal agents had seized 2,375 stills. But by 1929, nearly a decade into what President Herbert Hoover called the nation's "Noble Experiment," it was reported that one state alone had confiscated "more than this number and the federal government half as many more."
President Hoover, one more obstruction of liberty for which #31 must answer.
But the Democratic Party had Prohibition in its sights. In his Presidential election bid against incumbent Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt made the cause a cornerstone of his campaign. After winning by a landslide, he made good on his promise. A mere 18 days after taking the oath of office, Roosevelt signed into law, on March 22, 1933, the Beer and Wine Revenue Act, modifying the Volstead Act to legalize the sale of beer and wine, and providing for the first time in 13 years a stream of income from alcohol sales that flowed not to criminal syndicates and small-time operators but to the federal government.
From the (hard-drinking) colonists to the hipster Brooklyn craft distillers, Joyce writes an interesting tale. Four Stars.