212 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. @Freelander

    But it was women who, given the vote, managed to get alcohol banned.

    I know I was being light-hearted above, but this does no justice to the history. The movement towards prohibition started a very long time before women got the vote. Prohibition laws were passed in many states (though then typically repealed). In so far as women were involved in the campaign it might well have been the case that prohibition was an entree into official politics for them — an area in which it was hard to object, as christian campaigning on the matter was of longstanding.

    The reality of prohibition is that it was the most brilliant of wedge issues because it had massive cross-demographic appeal. Conservatives saw it as a devils’ tool. “Progressives” saw it as just one of the many obstacles to progress. Employers thought unionists were more likely to push for higher wages if they were sauced up. Soc|al|sts thought being inebriated weakened the struggle. And some women thought that the very fact men denied women “pleasures of the flesh” that they allowed themselves meant that they would always be seen as inferior while men could drink. As Frances E Willard of the WCTU had it in 1874:

    Drink and tobacco are the great separatists between men and women. Once they used these things together, but woman’s evolution has carried her beyond them; man will climb to the same level . . . but meanwhile … the fact that he permits himself fleshly indulgence that he would deprecate in her, makes their planes different, giving her an instinct of revulsion

    Interestingly, the WCTU also had a wider agenda:

    We believe in a living wage; in an 8-hour day; in courts of conciliation and arbitration, in justice as opposed to greed in gain; in “Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men

    From there they moved onto “a better Indian policy” and “wiser civil service reform”. In effect, they were asserting through these policies that women deserved the vote. To the extent that women were involved, causality ran the other way. They were advocating temperance in order to get the vote, rather than wasnting the vote so they could have temperance.

    Yet the thing that most won the day for the 18th Amendment was probably WW1 with its associated xenophobia and r@cism. As Joseph Gusfield noted in The Symbolic Crusade Americanism became an issue in the debate:

    The saloon appeared as the symbol of a culture which was alien to the ascetic character of American values

    James Timberlake (citing John Marshall Barker in The Saloon Problem quoted:

    The influx of foreigners into our urban centers, many of whom have liquor habits [sic], is a menace to good government. . . . [T] he foreign born population is largely under the social and political control of the saloon. If the cities keep up their rapid growth they will soon have the balance of political power in the nation and become storm centers of political life

    It helped a lot that as WW1 approached patriotism could be adduced against prominent German brewers (Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz ) operating in America. Diversion of resources to alcohol was subverting the capacity of America to defend itself. Drinking beer prmomneted Germanism and soc|al|sm, according to some.

    So while your claim is a commonly advanced claim, it’s hard to justify.

  2. Yes. Women had been campaigning for that and the vote long and hard. A double success!!!

    Women are great campaigners!

  3. “Lips that touch liquor, shall never touch mine!”

    The Pledge!

    And who said husbands never listen to their wives?

  4. Great how widespread Moncktonism and Plimerism are when straight reporting of facts and history will not do.

  5. This site would be a lot more pleasant and informative if we didn’t have Freeloader felching all over it.

  6. this article is interesting in light of the statement at the oas meeting last week by canadian pm stephen haper that the war on drugs is not working:-


    the article shows marijuana reform is now being openly discussed / canvassed by all canadian federal political parties & leaders, as each seeks approval of young voters. yes, the article says the liberals are lambasting the ndp over its leader’s mixed message on the issue earlier this week with the pitch that even stephen harper agrees the war on drugs is not working why is the ndp confused.

    the genie is out of the bottle. all over is evidence that prominent members of the ruling elites, political, intellectual & operational, are no longer unanimous on this policy. the top knows it cannot win without unanimity and is seeking the best way to make an accommodation with reality. its a matter of time/timing.

  7. @Mel

    Yes. Freedom to talk nonsense, unchallenged would be asserted.

    Popular nonsense, is, well, … popular. And popular, if not true, is truthy. And that’s what matters.

    I wonder why liquor manufacturers spent so much trying to stop women getting the vote if they didn’t think the vote might lead to prohibition?

    Very silly of them.

  8. On another of the delusionals talking points for action — that warmer is better for us …

    Global Warming Causing Heat Fatalities

    According to Knappenberger:

    “longer, more intense and more frequent heat waves” may actually improve the public health and welfare {…} more frequent exposure to heat waves will lead the population to adapt to them, better preparing them for their occurrence, and ultimately reducing the rate of mortality and morbidity”

    Read a debunking at Skeptical Science …

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