One Hundred Reasons Why Stevie Ray Vaughan Is Not In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

April 27, 2013

With yet another Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony held this past April 18th, and once again guitar maestro Stevie Ray Vaughan was not included among those honored that night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angles.  This year’s inductees were Rush, Randy Newman, Albert King, Public Enemy, Quincy Jones, Lou Adler and Donna Summer.  Really?  Donna Summer is inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame before Stevie Ray Vaughan?  Why is she even inducted in the rock Hall of Fame in the first place?  The Hall of Fame seems to have a long history of rigging the vote, accused of inducting a person or group because of enhanced ceremony ticket sales over actual votes cast, however for one of the greatest guitarists in rock/blues history to be passed over in favor of Public Enemy, Quincy Jones and Donna Summer is a joke.  Although I live within two hundred miles of the Hall of Fame, I have no intention of ever going because their list of inductees and deserving bands that have never been inducted is an insult to rockers of every generation.

The following are one hundred reasons why Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of the greatest guitarists ever, and arguably the one who played with the most passion and fire, is not inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame:

1.   James Brown  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986)
2.   Jimmy Yancey  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986)
3.   Jimmie Rodgers  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986)
4.   The Coasters  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
5.   Aretha Franklin  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
6.   Marvin Gaye  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
7.   Louis Jordon  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
8.   Clyde McPhatter  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
9.   Smokey Robinson  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
10.   Hank Williams  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
11.   Jackie Wilson  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987)
12.   The Drifters  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988)
13.   Berry Gordy, Jr.  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988)
14.   Woody Guthrie  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988)
15.   The Supremes  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988)
16.   The Ink Spots  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989)
17.   Bessie Smith  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989)
18.   The Soul Stirrers  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989)
19.   The Temptations  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989)
20.   Stevie Wonder  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989)
21.   Louis Armstrong  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
22.   Charlie Christian  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
23.   The Four Seasons  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
24.   The Four Tops  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
25.   Holland, Dozier, Holland  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
26.   The Platters  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
27.   Ma Rainey  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
28.   Hank Ballard  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990)
29.   LaVern Baker  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991)
30.   The Impressions  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991)
31.   Dave Bartholomew  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991)
32.   Johnny Cash  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992)
33.   The Isley Brothers  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992)
34.   Doc Pomus  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992)
35.   Ruth Brown  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993)
36.   Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993)
37.   Dinah Washington  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993)
38.   Johnny Otis  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994)
39.   Al Green  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995)
40.   Martha And The Vandellas  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995)
41.   The Orioles  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995)
42.   Gladys Knight And The Pips  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996)
43.   Pete Seeger  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996)
44.   The Shirelles  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996)
45.   The Bee Gees  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997)
46.   The Jackson 5  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997)
47.   Mahalia Jackson  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997)
48.   Bill Monroe  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997)
49.   Jelly Roll Morton  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998)
50.   Lloyd Price  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998)
51.   Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999)
52.   Charles Brown  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999)
53.   Curtis Mayfield  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999)
54.   The Staple Singers  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999)
55.   Earl Palmer  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000)
56.   Hal Blaine  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000)
57.   Nat “King” Cole  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000)
58.   Earth, Wind And Fire  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000)
59.   Billie Holiday  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000)
60.   James Jamerson  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000)
61.   The Moonglows  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000)
62.   The Flamingos  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001)
63.   Michael Jackson  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001)
64.   Chet Atkins  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002)
65.   Isaac Hayes  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002)
66.   Brenda Lee  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002)
67.   Floyd Kramer  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003)
68.   Benny Benjamin  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003)
69.   The Righteous Brothers  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003)
70.   The Dells  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004)
71.   Prince   (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004)
72.   The O’Jays  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005)
73.   Percy Sledge  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005)
74.   Miles Davis  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006)
75.   Blondie  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006)
76.   Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007)
77.   The Ronettes  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007)
78.   Madonna  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008)
79.   The Ventures  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008)
80.   Bill Black  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009)
81.   Little Anthony And The Imperials  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009)
82.   Run-D.M.C.  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009)
83.   Bobby Womack  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009)
84.   DJ Fontana  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009)
85.   ABBA  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010)
86.   Jimmy Cliff  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010)
87.   Neil Diamond  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011)
89.   Darlene Love  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011)
89.   The Beastie Boys  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
90.   The Blue Caps  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
91.   The Comets  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
92.   The Crickets  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
93.   The Famous Flames  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
94.   The Midnighters  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
95.   The Miracles  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
96.   Laura Nyro  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012)
97.   Lou Adler  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013)
98.   Quincy Jones  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013)
99.   Public Enemy  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013)
100.  Donna Summer  (Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013)

Granted, these artists had great careers and contributed immensely to the music of America, however, does that make them eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?  I think not.  Along with Stevie Ray, the following bands or guitarists have yet to be inducted into the Hall (in alphabetical order):

1.   America
2.   Bad Company
3.   Blue Oyster Cult
4.   Charlie Daniels Band
5.   Chicago
6.   Dave Mason
7.   David Gilmour
8.   Deep Purple
9.   Elvin Bishop
10.   Emerson, Lake & Palmer
11.   Flying Burrito Bros.
12.   Free
13.   Gary Moore
14.   George Thorogood & The Destroyers
15.   Grand Funk Railroad
16.   Gram Parsons
17.   Humble Pie
18.   Iron Butterfly
19.   Iggy Pop
20.   J. Geils Band
21.   James Gang
22.   Jethro Tull
23.   Jimmie Vaughan
24.   Joe Walsh
25.   John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
26.   Johnny Winter
27.   Journey
28.   Judas Priest
20.   King Crimson
30.   Little Feat
31.   Lonnie Mack
32.   Lou Reed
33.   Marshall Tucker Band
34.   MC5
35.   Michael Bloomfield
36.   Montrose
37.   Moody Blues
38.   Mott The Hoople
39.   Mountain
40.   Nazareth
41.   New Riders Of The Purple Sage
42.   Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
43.   Outlaws
44.   Ozzy Osbourne
45.   Pat Travers
46.   Paul Butterfield Blues Band
47.   Peter Gabriel
48.   Peter Green
49.   Procol Harum
50.   Pure Prairie League
51.   Rainbow
52.   Rick Derringer
53.   Robin Trower
54.   Savoy Brown
55.   Spirit
56.   Stephen Stills
57.   Steppenwolf
58.   Steve Miller
59.   Styx
60.   T Rex
61.   Ten Years After
62.   The Doobie Brothers
63.   The New York Dolls
64.   Thin Lizzy
65.   UFO
66.   Uriah Heep
67.   Walter Trout
68.   Yes

This list of bands that have yet to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame includes some of the greatest guitarists and most influential bands that made their name during rock’s heyday of the 1960s and ‘70s.  How these bands are not in the Hall of Fame is astonishing when you consider many of the names that have been inducted.  If the only criteria for induction is that it has been twenty-five years since their first record was released, maybe this benchmark should be amended.  It just might be possible that twenty-five years is much too long for those who vote for induction to remember the significance of a particular group or artist.  How else can a person explain how many if not all of the bands listed above have yet to be inducted?

The above photos of Stevie Ray were shot at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, USA on August 13, 1987 during the band’s tour in support of its then recently released live album “Live Alive.”  This show was prior to the state fair charging administration to their concerts and as such, seating was general admission.  I remember getting to the grandstand early as to get good seats to shoot these photographs and seeing a rather large area down front reserved for VIPs.  Needless to say, I was pissed!

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!  After making my final review of this post, I did not like the color scheme of the mats on the sixth photograph, however, I decided that it was way too much work to redo it and kept it as is.

Steven H. Spring

A Fool Of Me

April 24, 2013

In honor of National Poetry Month, I am posting the following words, although I will be the first to admit that I do not consider myself to be much of a poet and/or songwriter.  Hopefully, I am a much better photographer and guitarist.  I just write about my life’s experiences and feelings from my heart and soul.  That said, the following words were penned in response to false accusations made against me by a coworker many years ago.  If I had not been this person’s supervisor, her accusations against me would have been immediately dismissed.  As it were, I was treated by my employer, the Auditor of State of Ohio and its investigators as if I had murdered someone.  They kept me against my will and ignored my demands to speak to an attorney.

Although I was found innocent of all charges made against me by the Auditor of State himself, the allegations resulted in my losing everything of value to me, my job, career, marriage, health and most important of all, my two precious children.  I even lost the proverbial farm.  If I had only hired my attorney before I was mercilessly interrogated, I would have never lost my job.  All I did was speak the truth.  During the four or five hearings that I eventually had, my attorney and I made the dozen officials from the Auditor’s Office, including every high-ranking official but the Auditor himself, look like complete fools.  With every succeeding hearing, more and more higher level officials would attend.  My attorney and I went up against the entire upper level staff of the Auditor of State of Ohio, and I must say, we kicked their ass!  This was the reason why I was fired.

I paid a very heavy price for my mid-life transgressions, however one good thing did come from this hellish tribulation, on my fortieth birthday, exactly one month after the accusations were made against me, I decided to finally pursue my lifelong ambition of playing the guitar and bought my first Fender Stratocaster.  It has been my guitars that have given me the will to live throughout this horrific nightmare!

A Fool Of Me

You made a fool of me, there is no denying it
I should have known better, and you obviously didn’t care one bit
For everyone else involved, it was so plain to see
I was weak, I was trusting, we both know you took full advantage of me

I was living a lie, wearing a suit and tie
The way you flaunted yourself, you were always very flirtatious
You seduced me over time, you know it’s so
And in the end, you wore me down, I just could not say no, could not let you go

You were some one who showed me attention
That was definitely lacking in a failing marriage
It was, I must admit the perfect psychological storm
Obsessive compulsive was certainly at fault; at least I was addicted to internet porn

Mine was not the only head you turned
All the men came running round you had to know
Whenever you wore that dress slit up nearly to your waist
You really did put on quite the show

You played me for a fool; you were just as much in the wrong
When I spoke of my feelings for you, you very easily could have walked away
You could have left anytime you wanted; however, you choose to stay
But you never said a word, and in the end, all I got was this here song

You spoke your peace, accusations were made
But there were many truths that were never told
I am not the only one to blame
Guilty only of falling in love, have you no shame?

If only I had never spoke up to defend myself
Never opened my mouth to speak the truth, I would have never lost my job
When I did, they found out your accusations were nothing but bull
But because I did, mine was not the only head that did roll

I thought you were my friend, I trusted you as such
In the end, that friendship didn’t amount too much
I knew better, but I just could not let go
In the end, I found out that you were just a hussy, a slut, a ho

I am the devil, or so you had everyone believe
You cast a spell over me, there’s no denying it
It was too strong and I was too weak, I just couldn’t fight it
But in the end girl, it was you who did truly deceive

I told you things I should never tell
However, you were just as guilty of that as well
I taught you well, you must admit
The pain you cause, you didn’t give a shit

All the guilt was placed on me, but I did nothing legally wrong
We both know you said many lies
The lives you destroyed, you have to accept some blame
For it was you who was playing a game

I never meant for it to happen, there’s no denying it
You played me for a fool
But you were just as much at fault, can’t you see
In the end, you made a big fool of me

Steven H. Spring

Flowers #445I, 445C, 445J & 443G

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For those of you who happened to see my latest posting of flowers this last Saturday, these four photographs are of the same three original pictures, just cropped ranging from a lot to an awful lot.  For those of you who did not see the referred to post, I came across the original three pictures while looking through a photo album containing nearly twenty year old photographs, in search of some pictures to post on Facebook of my ex-mother-in-law who passed away two weeks ago.  Being this old, they must be some of the first attempts at photographing flowers that has now turned into my passion/obsession.  The original 4×6 proofs were nothing spectacular until I boosted the colors using the free software program Picasa, offered by Google.  With just one click of Picasa’s boost button, I was amazed at the results.

Resurrection Lilies, whose botanical name is Lycoris Squamigera, are a member of the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.  These unique flowers are so named because their thick, grayish-green leaves first grow in early spring to a height of twelve inches tall and an inch wide, and then die back during June.  Then during August and September, the bare stalk of the flowers seeming rise from the dead to a height of two feet, with each stalk bearing four to seven funnel-shaped flowers.  The blooms range in color from white to pink to magenta and are quite fragrant.

Sometimes referred to as a Surprise Lily, Magic Lily or Naked Lily, Resurrection Lilies are believed to have originated in either China or Japan, perhaps as a hybrid plant.  Resurrections are very cold hardy and grow in nearly all soil types, especially well in organically rich, medium wet but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Corporate Welfare: Tax Filing Deadline Day In America

April 15, 2013

As Americans celebrate both income tax filing deadline date and the one hundredth anniversary of the iconic income tax Form 1040 today, I write with just a bit of sarcasm, one only wonders what the financial health of the nation would be if only U.S. corporations would pay their fair share of taxes.  Although corporate profits are at all-time highs, U.S. corporate tax revenues are at forty-year lows.  America collects less in corporate taxes than all but two of the world’s thirty-four industrialized countries.  Corporate tax revenue as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that being the total market value of all goods and services produced over a period of time was more than seven percent in 1945 and more than 6 percent in 1952, both times during a period of war.  By 2012, this percentage had fallen to slightly more than one percent.  Individual tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has remained fairly constant since the Great Depression, fluctuating between seven and nine percent.

Offshore tax havens such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Monaco, United Arab Emirates & the Virgin Islands, for both wealthy citizens and corporations cost the federal government an estimated one hundred and fifty billion dollars each year.  In addition, this lost revenue is estimated to cost states another forty billion.  The average taxpayer paid an estimated one thousand dollars more in taxes to cover this loss while the average small business has to pay more than three thousand dollars to offset the loss of revenue by large corporations.  One need only remember that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, once he files an amended return for 2011 if he hasn’t already done so, claiming the entire four million dollar charitable contribution instead of reporting little more than two million, all to make his effective tax rate a ridiculous fourteen percent on his nearly fourteen million dollars in earnings instead of an outrageous nine percent.

In 1986, twenty-four percent of American corporations were nontaxable businesses, thus paying no federal income tax.  By 2008, nearly seventy percent were.  The corporate tax rate is currently set at thirty-five percent, however as we are all aware, due to tax code loopholes and exemptions gained by high-priced lobbyists, many corporations actually pay far less than this percentage.  A recent study of Fortune 500 corporations found that on average these titans of industry paid slightly more than eighteen percent in federal tax, nearly half of the statute amount.  Many American companies with considerable profits abroad actually paid more taxes to foreign governments than they did in their homeland.

The following is an alphabetical list of American corporations that during the past five years have paid little, if any federal tax as a percentage of total revenue, some of which had a negative tax rate;

AIG
Allegheny Energy
Amazon
American Electric Power
American Express
AT&T
Bank Of America
Boeing
Broadcom Corp.
Carnival Cruise Lines
Chevron
Citigroup
Coco-Cola
Comcast
ConocoPhillips
Dell
Duke Energy
DuPont
ExxonMobil
Facebook
General Electric
Goldman Sachs
Home Depot
Host Hotels & Resorts
Mattel
Microsoft
NextEra Energy
NRG Energy
NVIDIA Corp.
Pacific, Gas & Electric
Pepsi
Pepco Holdings
Pfizer
TECO Energy
Valero Energy
Verizon
Wells Fargo
Xcel Energy
Western Digital Corp.

Judging by this partial list of tax dodgers, the energy industry must have really great lobbyists, as nearly half of those on this list are energy providers.

Steven H. Spring

Flowers #443C, 445B & 444B

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While looking through a photo album containing nearly twenty year old photographs, in search of some pictures to post on Facebook of my ex-mother-in-law who passed away one week ago, I happened upon these three photos.  Being this old, they must be some of the first attempts at photographing flowers that has now turned into my passion/obsession.  The original 4×6 proofs were nothing spectacular until I boosted the colors using the free software program Picasa, offered by Google.  With just one click of Picasa’s boost button, I was amazed at the results.

Resurrection Lilies, whose botanical name is Lycoris Squamigera, are a member of the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.  These unique flowers are so named because their thick, grayish-green leaves first grow in early spring to a height of twelve inches tall and an inch wide, and then die back during June.  Then during August and September, the bare stalk of the flowers seeming rise from the dead to a height of two feet, with each stalk bearing four to seven funnel-shaped flowers.  The blooms range in color from white to pink to magenta and are quite fragrant.

Sometimes referred to as a Surprise Lily, Magic Lily or Naked Lily, Resurrection Lilies are believed to have originated in either China or Japan, perhaps as a hybrid plant.  Resurrections are very cold hardy and grow in nearly all soil types, especially well in organically rich, medium wet but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade.

If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment.  Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like crap to everyone else!

Steven H. Spring

Are Mass Stabbings Just As Deadly As Mass Shootings?

For all the debate that a person can kill just as many people armed with a knife or any other type of weapon as easily as that armed with a firearm, one need only look at what happened yesterday morning at Lone Star Community College in Houston, Texas.  A deranged twenty-year-old student armed only with a knife stabbed fourteen people.  As of this afternoon, not a single person has been reported as dying from injuries sustained from this horrendous attack.

On December 14, 2012, a man brandishing a knife stabbed twenty-two primary school children in the village of Chenpeng, located in central China, which resulted in no deaths.  On December 17, 2010, in Toride, Japan, located twenty-five miles northeast of Tokyo, thirteen people were injured, again by a man armed with a knife, and once again resulted in no deaths.  I am, by no means implying that people have never been killed from a stabbing.  However, guns, especially assault weapons loaded with high-capacity magazines makes it so much easier to do so, especially on a large-scale as seen time and again in America over the past two decades.  Adam Lanza, the crazed killer of twenty young children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was able to fire one hundred and fifty-four rounds in less than five minutes armed with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S assault weapon loaded with thirty round capacity magazines.

In a rather poignant, ironic turn of events, also yesterday, in the town of Velika Ivanca, Serbia, located twenty-fives miles south of the capital city of Belgrade, a man entered five houses shooting and killing six men, six women and a small child, including his wife and son.  Had the alleged assailant at Lone Star Community College been armed with a semi-automatic assault weapon loaded with a one hundred round magazine, how many innocent people would have died in this tragedy?  Thankfully, none of the fourteen wounded are said to have life threatening injuries.

Steven H. Spring

Are Illegal Drugs To Blame For Mass Murder In America?

While reading a recent letter to the editor of the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch entitled “Make life tougher for the lawbreakers,” regarding gun violence and gun control, I could not help but laugh when I read his concluding statement “Stop the drug flow and most of the gun violence will end.”  And no, it wasn’t because I was stoned.  The article’s author places blame of America’s love affair with guns and the associated violence they cause on the use of illegal drugs, which is a little like blaming a child’s teacher for the failing grade on their report card.

Every day in America, two hundred and eighty-nine people are shot by firearms.  Eighty-six of these people die.  Of these eighty-six deaths, thirty are murdered, fifty-three commit suicide, two are shot accidentally and one person dies from being shot by the police.  I do agree with the writer in that violence is definitely associated with the illegal drug trade, most notably in Mexico where nearly one hundred thousand deaths have occurred since 2006, however it is not the drugs that is the source of the violence, it is their illegality.  To prove my point, one need only look back to this nation’s other attempt to outlaw its citizens’ craving of mind altering substances, that being alcohol.  During Prohibition, organized crime and corruption became so rampant, and shoot-outs involving gangsters armed with automatic weapons, especially the Thompson submachine gun, so prevalent, especially in Chicago, that Congress passed the National Firearms Act on June 26, 1934, outlawing ownership of automatic weapons.

Over the past one hundred years, many nations have attempted to prohibit the use of both alcohol and drugs, to no avail.  People will always find a way to pursue their vices.  President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in 1971 and forty years later what are the results?  Billions of dollars wasted and the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  One million Americans are incarcerated each year for drug offenses, with marijuana comprising one-half of all arrests.  When the Reagan administration began using the CIA and the U.S. military in the attempt to stop the flow of drugs into the country, the drug cartels soon realized it was much easier and far more lucrative to import pounds of cocaine instead of tons of marijuana.  The end result was the cocaine and crack epidemic of the 1980s.

I am not condoning the use of any drugs, including alcohol.  However, to incarcerate one adult for smoking a joint while another drinks their martini is asinine.  All prohibition does is to drive up the price and bring in the criminal element.  History proves time and again that the prohibition of anything has never worked.

Steven H. Spring