Prohibition on PBS

I didn’t get a chance to watch the first installment today (it continues over the next two days, I believe). Any reactions?

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16 Responses to Prohibition on PBS

  1. allan says:

    it’s been on about 10 minutes here and I’m loving it… I’ll post again when it’s over. Education is a great thing.

  2. Ed Dunkle says:

    Very good. I learned a lot. Prohibition was impossible until they passed the amendment that allowed a federal income tax. (Up to 70% of the U.S. budget came from alcohol excise taxes before then!)

    You’d think modern politicians might begin to see drug legalization as a massive tax windfall. Calling all you deficit hawks…

    • Duncan20903 says:

      The problem is that quite a large percentage of Know Nothing prohibitionists are innumerate and would rather spend $10 to keep people in prison or under supervision that to spend $1 giving people that they despise a hand up. It’s amazing how many of them think that people have a say in how their tax money gets spent. I’d sure like to decide how my tax money is spent. Mr. Hussein would still be President of Iraq if that had happened before the Dork President and his faithful ward Dick pillaged the Treasury.

      What I want to know is, if these people think that life on “welfare” is all puppies and sunshine then why the heck aren’t they quitting their jobs and signing up, at least a percentage? Living on $900 a month and $200 in food stamps isn’t putting on the Ritz by any stretch of the imagination.

  3. claygooding says:

    Without ever mentioning marijuana,,even to an uneducated on the WoD viewer,the parallels between then and now stand out like a sore thumb.
    You can watch the first episode at I believe.

    • darkcycle says:

      Thanks, Clay. I missed it. I’ll find some time today to watch so I can get up to speed for the next installment!

  4. malc says:


    “The devil would turn out to be in the details!”

  5. Ron Combs says:

    Were not as malleable as we used to be.The wool the governments been pulling over our eyes has worn thin.

  6. allan says:

    a senior moment here… fell asleep on the couch while watching it. But excellent stuff! I think I saw most of it…

    Eager for the next installment.

    The historical photos and film footage all of outstanding quality, the details of the narrative very informative and I’ll wager this will change more than one mind about the WOD.

  7. warren says:

    The morons in govt won`t get it. The connection. Get out the guillotine.

  8. Lee says:

    If you’ve read Daniel Okrent’s book Last Call, there was little in there that was new, but it was put together beautifully to tell the story of how America came to have Prohibition. The part that remains the most striking to me is the anti-German sentiment. People of German descent are so unmistakably American today that seeing them treated in the late 1800s and early 1900s the way we treat Mexicans and Muslims today was fascinating.

    And yeah, the “Great War” obviously played a big part in that.

  9. Tony Aroma says:

    If you get a chance, check out Ken Burns on the Daily Show. After describing some of the horrors of prohibition, he makes a comment about things being the same today. It’s pretty obvious what the message of this series is.

  10. Ed Dunkle says:

    The main point I got from the second episode was that a large segment of the population thought Prohibition was a joke from the very beginning. A huge percentage of the (male) population imbibed and a good chunk of them had no intention of ever quitting. Plus the Republican administration had no desire to fund an army of police to enforce the surprisingly draconian Volstead Act, and the state and local governments weren’t going to spend money on it either. It was doomed from the very beginning.

    Contrast that with Nixon’s “War on Drugs.” The vast majority of Americans weren’t using illegal drugs. The idea that the small minority who used them could be made to stop must have seemed relatively reasonable at the time. That’s why Prohibition II has been of such a longer duration than the original. It has taken four decades of mass incarceration, family destruction and a trillion dollars up in smoke for people to finally realize that you can’t even put a small amount of the toothpaste back into the tube.

  11. Kozmo says:

    What an excellent documentary. It is just stunning how closely todays WoD and alcohol prohibition parallel one another. Through the entire show I kept thinking how one could insert the word “drugs” for “alcohol” and have a documentary about todays WoD. Not only the prohibition part but the political atmosphere also. The only difference I found was the extent of the scofflaws. A very informing piece of work. Recommend highly its viewing.

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