The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 15, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Washington, a three-day test of the executive branch response to an enemy attack got underway with sirens warning of an impending atomic attack, and the President and 15,000 other officials taking shelter in hideouts scattered over a 300-mile arc around the capital. The mock alert had begun also in 48 other major cities of the country, designated "Operation Alert 1955". The premise was that there would be three hours and 20 minutes of notice before the theoretical attack, starting with a warning registered at 12:05 p.m. Eastern time, with the designated hour for the attack occurring at between 3:25 and 3:45. The test was designed to show how efficient emergency planning was and to indicate ways it might be improved. Cabinet officers and key military personnel were among the 15,000 persons who were designated to flee the city with the President at the first alert, though some members of the Cabinet were out of town. The exercise had been publicized since March, prompting many of those who were engaged in the exercise to come to their offices with packed overnight bags, while others took early lunches, and dozens of Government information officials had departed early to set up for the distribution of a myriad of orders, proclamations and pronouncements from the emergency government setup. The emergency locations were maintained in secret, with the President's refuge being described only as "a mountainous, wooded area" within the 30 to 300-mile relocation arc.

West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer departed Washington this date, apparently reassuring officials of the U.S. Government that Soviet blandishments had not had any measurable effect on him, with one anonymous official stating that the Chancellor was going to Moscow only after the Big Four summit meeting in Geneva in July and would not "give an inch" to the Soviet push for neutralizing Germany. He had told a press conference the previous day that he probably would accept the invitation to go to Moscow, but that it would take time to prepare for it.

In Washington, the AMA this date voiced opposition, through a representative testifying before the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee, to a Democratic proposal for the Government to pay for the polio vaccine of all American youth up to age 19, calling it "completely unnecessary" and resulting in "unreasonable expenditure of Federal funds and the possible impairment of state, local and voluntary programs which are already established or which are now being formulated." The organization gave only tepid support for the President's plan to finance the Salk vaccine for children of indigent parents. The Administration plan would cost about 35 million dollars and the Democratic proposal would cost about 135 million. The AMA favored the least possible Federal involvement in the vaccine program. The representative also said that existing laws were adequate to control the safety and potency of the vaccine and that voluntary agreements were already in place which were sufficient to ensure its distribution as rapidly as possible.

In Buenos Aires, well informed sources reported this date that two Roman Catholic prelates, accused in connection with the previous weekend's disorders in the Argentinian capital, had been expelled from the country, reportedly escorted to the airport by the federal police and placed aboard an Argentinian plane which departed for Rome, despite both priests being natives of Argentina. The disorders during the weekend had resulted in more than a dozen people being injured. The discharge of the prelates from their church duties had invoked an old Spanish colonial law which gave secular authorities power to dismiss or suspend priests found to have violated their duties. (It sounds a bit like the U.S. Supreme Court's current majority, in resorting to ancient, outdated laws to justify a political decision, especially in the last two days of that majority's decision-making.)

Senator Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina and Senator Theodore Green of Rhode Island joined to urge the Senate to appropriate ten million dollars to install 55 radar stations to improve the storm warning system for the nation, after the House had voted five million dollars for the purpose. Senator Ervin said that a hurricane such as Hazel of the prior October had demonstrated the need for many new such stations.

In Raleigh, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Peace College said this date that the institution was opposed to a proposed merger with Flora Macdonald and Presbyterian Junior Colleges, to make them a joint four-year coeducational institution. He said that his understanding was that the board of Mitchell College was also opposed to the proposed merger of Mitchell and Lees-McRae in the western part of the state. He said that a 30-member commission would recommend to the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina at its meeting in mid-July that the merger plans be adopted. Proposed sites for the merged institutions were Red Springs, Lumberton, Laurinburg and Southern Pines.

Also in Raleigh, in the trial of the 21-year old man accused of second-degree murder in the slaying of a woman while she walked on a downtown sidewalk, struck by a bullet fired from a hotel window of a room in which the defendant had been staying, a Chapel Hill police officer testified this date that when he arrested the defendant in Chapel Hill about three hours after the shooting, he had exclaimed, "Oh my God, I didn't know I had killed anyone." The officer said that he found the defendant at the home of a friend who was a member of the UNC faculty. The young man readily admitted that he had been in the Raleigh hotel room and that he owned a German Luger pistol, which had fired the fatal bullet. It was at that point that he said he was "dry firing" it when it had gone off accidentally. The gun was introduced into evidence by the solicitor over the objection of defense counsel.

Harry Shuford of The News indicates that Charlotte businessman Keith Beaty had left for Atlanta to begin his two-year prison term this date, after spending the first week or so of his sentence in a local hospital. He had been convicted on three counts of income tax evasion in December, 1953. He would become eligible under then existing Federal parole regulations for parole after serving a third of his sentence and so would serve a minimum of eight months of his two-year term. (Now, since the 1994 "truth in sentencing" Federal law, a Federal prisoner serves at least 85 percent of their term before being eligible for parole—even if that completely and idiotically conflicts with all reasonable penological rationale for work time and good time credits, serving to protect internal order within the prison system. Most states still retain one-third to half-time good time and work time credits, suitable to a society which values rehabilitation over medieval concepts of retributory punishment, serving too much in the latter form the emotional whims and fancies of victims who are often too involved in the pastime or, in some cases, the profession, of being victims and not enough in getting on with their lives and leaving the past behind.)

Dick Young of The News indicates that a member of the City Council, former Mayor Herbert Baxter, had announced his intention to introduce an amendment at the Council session of this date to ban Sunday sale of beer in Charlotte, instead having actually proposed to confine the Sunday sale of beer to Grade A cafés and restaurants, with that proposal having been called discriminatory even by a member of the Council who was the strongest advocate for the ban of Sunday beer sales.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners had said that since the Board was not a law-making body, it could not follow the advice of a Charlotte City Council member that it adopt the City's blue laws, even if it wanted to do so. He indicated that passing of ordinances was in the hands of the Legislature, that the Commission could not pass blue laws to prevent grocery stores and movie theaters from operating on Sundays. The suggestion had apparently been made in response to the suggestion earlier in the week by the Commission that the City ban the sale of beer on Sundays, as had the County.

In Sarzana, Italy, Italian musical star Elena Quirici was given a three-month suspended sentence the previous day for trying to pass for age 27, the court finding her guilty of having changed her identity card to show 1928 as the year of her birth, the actual date not having been disclosed by the court.

On the editorial page, "Bargaining: The Weapon of the Hour" finds leaders and diplomats flying all over the world, which it considers to be better than bombers in the air. Yet, Russia was still trying to impose Communism on the world, as with its entourage visiting Belgrade to try to woo back Marshal Tito to the Moscow fold, and the U.S. was still trying to save freedom, as evidenced by its willingness to engage in the Big Four summit conference in July.

It finds that U.S. diplomatic skill was about to be put to its toughest test, as Russia and Communist China had held out various olive branches to the West, with the Western diplomats now needing to determine whether there was good faith behind the peace offers or whether it was simply to generate propaganda upon rejection of unrealistic terms by the West.

The President had suggested that there was a possibility of a changing atmosphere in which could be discovered "some way that an accommodation can be made … which would possibly give all of us … some lightening of the burden we carry."

It finds it wise that the President had agreed to the Big Four summit conference, as it was always appropriate to discuss peace. West Germany, now a sovereign nation, could be one either serving as an armed barrier against the Iron Curtain, a neutral unarmed nation, or even a partner with Russia, as Russia was willing to discuss with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer normalization of relations, and, it suggests, the Chancellor would have to accept the invitation to visit Moscow because Russia could provide West Germany what it most wanted, reunification. It indicates that Russia hoped to lure West Germany into either neutrality or partnership. But the West also had the proven friendship of Chancellor Adenauer on which to rely, as well as the U.S. position that free elections should be the basis of unification, and the counter-weapon of demanding neutralization of the Russian satellites in the event of a neutralized West Germany.

It finds it doubtful that Russia would agree to free elections as there were 50 million people in West Germany who had been freed by the Western Allies, and only 27 million in destitute East Germany, still occupied by Russia and satellite Poland.

It finds, therefore, that bargaining was in order and that it was a hopeful sign that the Chancellor had flown to Washington to align his policy with the Western allies before discussing matters with Russia.

In the Far East, Russia and China were seeking to absorb some of the prestige of India, by welcoming Nehru in Moscow, while diplomat V. K. Krishna Menon was allowed to announce the release of the American fliers from China and had been urged to report to Washington to bargain for the Chinese aims in exchange for the release of 11 other American fliers and civilians.

"The olive branch has many twigs poking into the wall of allied unity. Bargaining is the weapon of the hour." It suggests that the State Department and its diplomatic corps had a long struggle ahead.

"Southern Bolters Should Join GOP" finds that Texas politicians were puzzling to the Democratic Party chieftains, with DNC chairman Paul Butler trying to discover their true nature and so had embarked on a "peace tour" through Texas. He had realized quite early in that tour that he was caught in the "angry crossfire between feuding party factions", with all of the combatants calling themselves Democrats.

Governor Allan Shivers had supported General Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election and the state had then voted Republican for the first time since 1928, when it cast its lot against Governor Al Smith, a Catholic associated with repeal of Prohibition, and in favor of Herbert Hoover. Mr. Butler wanted to woo Governor Shivers and his organization back into the regular Democratic fold.

It finds that the effort was likely futile because Governor Shivers and the national Democratic Party had about as much in common as General Sherman and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The majority of the national party's leadership had taken a somewhat dim view of Mr. Butler's coziness with Governor Shivers, as they did not want the latter back in the fold. Adlai Stevenson, the 1952 presidential nominee and the front runner for the nomination for 1956, had stated that he would welcome all Southern bolters back in return for good faith support of the party, though stating that he was opposed to loyalty oaths at the national convention which would obligate seated delegates to support the national ticket. But other Democratic leaders, such as former President Truman and former DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell, plus some of the more astute politicians in North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and the larger states of the Midwest and Far West, had indicated that the bolters were not welcome back.

Mr. Mitchell had said that he would not welcome to the 1956 convention such political rivals as Governor Shivers, former Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina and Governor Robert Kennon of Louisiana, indicating that his credentials committee would likely reject them. He stated that he supported the right of any delegate or member of the party to vote for the opposing candidates, but that the morality of party loyalty required sanction against those party leaders who had disowned their official obligations.

The piece suggests that even if the bolters would return to the fold, the reconciliation would likely be short-lived, as the national Democratic Party had little to offer conservative Southern politicians who had bolted in 1952. Nor would a third party provide a solution, as shown by the Dixiecrat revolt in 1948 not garnering enough support to influence national policy. Thus, it finds that the bolters would have to become Republicans to achieve their aims and that it would not be much of a stretch for someone such as Governor Shivers, who was already effectively a Republican in all but party affiliation.

Drew Pearson tells of Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, having recently proposed a solution for members of Congress who received kickbacks, established secret slush finds or other money on the side in addition to their regular salary, that political contributions be raised from all of the people, not just a few special interest groups trying to influence policy of an elected official. Mr. Pearson views the suggestion as wise, not aimed specifically at either Vice-President Nixon and his personal expense fund which became known in September, 1952 during the presidential campaign, nearly causing him to be forced off the ticket but for his "Checkers" speech, or the newly unearthed secret fund, presented in Mr. Pearson's column of the previous day, of Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut. Rather, it was aimed primarily at the general practice of making large contributions to any candidate for either the presidency or Congress. Mr. Pearson finds it even more appropriate in the case of the secret funds of former Senator Nixon and Senator Bush, paid to both men by wealthy friends while they served in the Senate, without the voters being aware of the fact. He points out that the Corrupt Practices Act had been passed to discourage or at least highlight large contributions by special interest groups to any member of Congress, requiring that any contributions by large corporations or large labor unions be registered with the clerk of the Senate so that the public would be able to understand whether the vote of the member was being influenced by campaign funds. Thus, when those funds remained secret, they violated the intent and probably the letter of the Act.

He indicates that when under the pressure of public indignation, former Senator Nixon had published his private expense fund in September, 1952, and it was found that the money had come primarily from 15 oil operators, 11 real estate men, several milk products men, and several munitions and war contractors, all of whom had a definite stake in legislation on which Senator Nixon was then voting, in addition to the tax amortization and other important rulings by the Federal Government.

When Senator Bush had been asked who the contributors were to his $25,000 secret fund, he had initially offered to make the list public and then changed his mind, explaining that they were men who wanted to support his point of view and included many bankers and businessmen who agreed with him on "a stable money policy". Mr. Pearson points out that when Senator Bush's voting record was examined, the conclusion was reached that he agreed with his big contributors, or they agreed with him, on much more than hard money policy.

As a sequel to yesterday's note regarding the ridiculous 6 to 3 decision of the present Supreme Court in the Bruen case, which held that the New York law, requiring a showing of "special need for self-protection" to justify issuance of a license to carry a concealed firearm, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment because it supposedly violates a supposed "fundamental right" to self-defense which is the supposed actual basis for that Amendment, we now have another 6 to 3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, from that same illustrious majority, five of whom have struck down the 49-year old precedent of Roe v. Wade, ending not only the quite sensible viability requirement, a stance with which Chief Justice John Roberts agreed in his concurrence, but also overruling Roe in its entirety as precedent, while being careful to say that the general right of privacy, established by Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, a right under the Ninth Amendment which was inherent in the fabric of the Constitution from its inception, most notably in the Fourth Amendment, is not disturbed by the decision, even though Justice Clarence Thomas stated in his concurrence that he believes that Griswold and other ensuing cases reliant on the right of privacy ought also be overturned, making him one of the most extreme right-wing Justices ever to sit on the United States Supreme Court, certainly the most extreme in modern history.

Three of that majority were appointed by the son and grandson of Senator Bush, the other three by Trump, two of whom, the first and third, having been engineered through sleazy maneuvering by McConnell, such that we have now the entire nation living under the type of law which the most right-wing, gun-toting, anti-choice, pseudo-militaristic, moronic extremists in the state of Kentucky favor, in furtherance of the ability of violence-prone nuts to carry guns on the one hand, endangering everyone in the process, including themselves and their own families, engendering thereby a general spirit among such nuts that it is open season on liberals and that gun play is not out of the question in their "revolution", poking their guns right into your bedroom, the only thing missing to make the picture complete being the white pointy hats, that what was good enough for the wild West is still good enough for the entire country today, as seen on "Death Valley Days", while also denying, again in wild West fashion as seen on tv in earlier days, the right of a woman to choose her own course during the initial stages of her pregnancy, prior to the point of viability of the fetus, meaning prior to the point when the fetus is capable of sustaining life outside the womb of the mother, meaning, in simple terms, the point where separate, individual life actually begins, at least within any rational, scientifically demonstrable or logically determinable system, beyond mere fairy tales and goody-goody romantic ideas of conception at the point of literal conception, that is when the twinkle enters the eye, as also no doubt seen tearfully on tv somewhere along the line in those good ol' days of the old wild West, in hazy montage sequences of dreams ahead into the future.

So this six-Justice majority now stands for the most utterly repugnant ideas circulating in our society, throwbacks to the 19th Century when a large part of the country lived on the frontier and there was no peacetime standing army, considered the bane to democracy.

We quote from a comment made below the CNBC presentation on YouTube of President Biden's quite appropriate comments this date regarding Dobbs. This comment is emblematic of the types of blogosphere comments coming from the right wing these days, representative of the type of garbage which circulates in right-wing talk radio and on Fox "News", the brainwashing media which prey on the uneducated and uninformed, and so we do not mean to pick on this particular anonymous individual, but it serves as the basis for making response to this type of commentary, which we shall endeavor to do quite succinctly.

He said, meaning his comment for President Biden: "So a ruling in 1973 that has no written validity in the constitution is a constitutional right? Yet you say the 2nd amendment isn't absolute when its very wording is written precisely on the document itself? No one took away anything,[sic] its [sic] now up to the states as it should have been. And that rational [sic] in the 1800's you think makes no difference is called precedence [sic]. Come on Joe aren't you a lawyer?"

Aside from his grammatical and spelling errors, if he bothered to read Roe v. Wade and any reasonably objective legal commentary on it from a decent law school's law review, he might realize that the decision was quite well grounded in the Constitution and its right of privacy, that, fortunately, by the Ninth Amendment, not every right reserved to the people is enumerated in the Constitution. It is a document designed to be expansive of freedom through time and changed societal circumstances, not despotically restrictive and preclusive. It did not grant rights to the exclusion of others not recognized in the document, but only sought to highlight those rights which were held most sacrosanct against invasion by the state, those on which the colonists had suffered the most abuse at the hands of the British overlords and their appointed royal governors, expressly stating that the enumerated rights were not the only rights reserved to the people. Roe v. Wade was not, as we heard one right-wing idiot on CNN describe it this date, "made up law" in 1973.

Moreover, as we stated more fully in our note of the previous day following Mr. Pearson's column on Senator Bush and his illegal slush fund—even more egregious than that of Senator Nixon because Senator Bush was one of the more wealthy members of Congress at the time—, the Second Amendment was never regarded, in its inception during original debate in the 1st Congress in 1789 on the entirety of the Bill of Rights, as anything more than assurance of the "right to bear arms" as part of a "well regulated militia" of the citizens, in lieu of a standing army, which was considered at the time anathema to democracy. The conceptualization of that Amendment had nothing to do with individual rights to self-defense or defense of one's family or the like, other than in the collective sense as part of the militia resisting an armed internal revolt or attack by a foreign enemy, the individual right of self-defense having been consigned to the common law, as it still is, not elevated, however, to the rank of a fundamental constitutional right, as are the enumerated rights, entitling them to so-called "strict scrutiny", which means that for the state to restrict those rights, there must be a "compelling state interest" demonstrated, usually of the type related to national security in time of war with a declared enemy, although not exclusively limited to those interests of the state, and that the restriction is the least restrictive means available to accomplish the compelling state interest. (We leave aside the notion that "strict scrutiny" analysis is "made up law", that the Constitution makes no room for any limitation of the enumerated rights based on a "compelling state interest", except in "cases of rebellion or invasion", when Congress, under Article I, Section 9, has the right to suspend the "privilege" of habeas corpus, roughly equivalent to the right to due process.) Thus, the Supreme Court yesterday in the Bruen case, in reliance on a right more narrowly construed in its 2008 Heller v. D.C. case, extended a right of self-defense, not stated in the Constitution and neither implied within the Ninth Amendment, now regarding it as such a fundamental right that it is entitled to strict scrutiny pursuant to the Second Amendment, even though that Amendment never was regarded as having anything to do with the individual right of self-defense, only in preservation of a militia in times when there was no need for a standing army, when one did not exist.

Plainly, the Second Amendment is an anachronism within the Constitution which ought to be repealed at the earliest possible time, per the advice of the late Justice John Paul Stevens. The late former Chief Justice Warren Burger said in 1991 that if he were drafting the Constitution anew, he would have left out the Second Amendment because of all of the mischief surrounding its corrupted interpretation, a "fraud on the American public" by the gun lobby, as he put it.

It has absolutely nothing to do with modern times. Opposition to that Amendment being interpreted in backwards and anachronistic manner to encompass a constitutional right of self-defense is not in derogation of the general right of self-defense or the concept of defending one's "castle" against invasion, all quite safely ensconced in the common law, long before the Constitution was ratified, and carried over into the laws of every state of the union, whether statutory or common law or a mixture of the two, with variations on the type of force which can be used and at what stage of the offensive combat by an aggressor. Also quite plainly, the states have the right under the Tenth Amendment to make their own laws regarding control of firearms, based on circumstances which legislatures find prevalent in their particular states, without interference by the Supreme Court or the Federal Courts, generally. But now the Supreme Court says to the contrary, finding only limited states' rights on gun control when the states violate that precious non-existent Second Amendment "right" to bear arms as an individual in self-defense—often interpreted by the self-appointed "judges" on the streets as "self-defense" against a gov'ment out of control, out to take away your'n rights, or perhaps against that old school which treated you so badly when you were a kid and so you decide to get even one day by shooting up the place—self-defense. Or, in need of justifying all that gun toting and training, ready to quick-draw at the slightest wrong look of an ornery "liberal" varmint whom you just don't like, you create or provoke the circumstances necessary to avail yourself of that "self-defense" with your gun. Such self-appointed determinations of what constitutes self-defense gets to the heart of why self-defense as a legal defense to a charge of assault or homicide does not arise to the level of a constitutional right, not even under the Ninth Amendment, for the fact that it is case-specific to particular factual circumstances as they arise of the moment and must be adjudicated in each such instance under those facts, not granted in advance as with the other liberties, which, in the process, do not risk human life or serious injury by instantaneous decisions made on the spot. And there is no reason to make such a leap to self-defense regarding firearms, when mere fists are not accorded the same fundamental protection as a constitutional right to engage in physical combat. Or would this Supreme Court majority also now say that there is a constitutional right to participate in an unsanctioned, spontaneous boxing match on the street, as, perhaps, some expression of free speech?

Would Justice Joseph Story, who, in 1833, described the Second Amendment "right to keep and bear arms" as having justly been described as the "palladium of the liberties of a republic", still so hold today? Second Amendment advocates are fond of quoting from 19th Century and earlier sources, especially out of context, to justify their silly notions in modernity. For Justice Story also said, after discussing the importance of a "well regulated militia" to the security of a free nation, while lamenting the "growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition ... to be rid of all regulations": "How it is practicable to keep the people armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights." Is there not, since World War II and to a more limited extent since World War I, a standing peacetime army, navy and air force, necessary to the defense of the nation? There was not in 1833.

Likewise, the individual right of privacy is sacrosanct, again, as indicated by the Fourth Amendment, merely logically extended in the cases of marital privacy to encompass private decisions over use of contraceptives, whom one wants to marry, and a woman's right to determine whether or not to continue a pregnancy, up to the point of scientifically determined viability of the fetus. Nothing could be more rational and clear-headed. It is the unfortunate current Supreme Court majority, the created majority by McConnell and company, who are muddle-headed, to be polite about the matter, only exhibiting querulous piety to the Federalist Society. These two decisions, Dobbs and Bruen, we venture, if they were offered in answer to a law school examination, would likely flunk, except, of course, at some law school which offers its diplomas along with a prize from the Post Toasties box, if one pays enough to reach inside for the prize.

Anyway, while the commenter quoted above, and his like friends who comment similarly all over YouTube and other such sites, will likely never see this response, and if he should, will probably not understand very much of it or appreciate it, as such people tend to be brainwashed by the right wing media and are only echoing the remarks they have seen or heard on television or radio, explaining the lack of proper spelling and grammar, we feel the need to try once again to make clear to such people just how utterly stupid the conceptual basis is for each of those decisions handed down on back-to-back days this week. Succinctly put: There is no constitutional right of self-defense and there never has been; there is a right of privacy under the Ninth Amendment, quite consistent with the rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects..." Those words, "to be secure in their persons", obviously express an individual right of privacy. A state which would require a woman to maintain a pregnancy prior to viability of the fetus, after which the state's police powers take over to ensure protection of the viable life of the unborn child, violates that sacrosanct right to be secure in one's person against state action, the right of privacy. There is no ground for the state to abridge that fundamental right in any context, except on reasonable or probable cause of commission of a crime. And that designation of crime cannot be one which, in and of itself, violates the right to be secure in one's person, that is designation of any medically supervised abortion prior to viability as a crime, just as the state cannot force a person not to receive a medically safe vaccine, for instance, on the ground that it is contrary to nature's way of healing, as some religious sects would have it. Yet, under the extrapolated reasoning of Dobbs, monstrous as it is, there would be no infringement of a Federal constitutional right were a state to proscribe administration of a medically sound vaccine, no longer capable of infringing the Federal right of privacy in so doing, especially if the state had some quack, pseudo-scientific rationale for proclaiming the vaccine unsafe as being against God's laws, an affront to faith in the ultimate healer.

By contrast, the Second Amendment indicates in its initial clause that there is only a collective right, not an individual right, involved in the "well regulated militia", in 1789 believed necessary to the security of a free state, as the original Congressional debate on that Amendment, to which we linked yesterday, underscored, to avoid the alternative of a peacetime standing army, the "bane" to democracy. It had nothing to do with individual liberty and had nothing to do with self-defense, is outmoded in the modern era by the fact that we have standing armed forces in peacetime, an unfortunate necessity of modern life, but far too late to turn back the clock to the days of musketry and duels, ladies in farthingales awaiting, tearfully, their misguided suitor's return or death notice, also shown on tv in those good ol' days.

Indeed, the only way to make the Second Amendment viable today would be to do the unthinkable thing in the modern era and abandon all concepts of a peacetime standing army, air force, and navy. Ask the gun nut in your midst whether they would be prepared to do that. While about it, ask the nuts who form the majority in those two decisions on the Supreme Court, as well.

These two decisions in the past two days go beyond even the extreme right wing of legal jurisprudence, venturing into Nutville, as they will obviously only lead to further chaos in our cities and towns with regard to gunplay, and generate chaos in the lives of young girls and women who will be saddled with carrying unwanted pregnancies to term when they are too poor to travel to another state or region of the country where abortion rights will be determined by state laws still allowing the right to choose up to the point of viability. Societal chaos will be the result of these two decisions. The Supreme Court is an institution intended to reduce chaos in our society, not enable it. There is enough of it already, especially related to guns.

It is a sad couple of days for "law and order" and "the rule of law", which conservative Republicans are so fond of uttering in somber tones. It is a happy day if you believe that the Supreme Court is just another political body, swaying with the wind of political opportunism, not caring a whit about the will of the people as a whole. These two decisions are no more than hack political payoffs for appointment to the Supreme Court. The institution has been cheapened and can only be repaired by diluting the authority of this present majority.

Walter Lippmann discusses the tenth anniversary of the U.N. Charter, indicating that there would be no celebration as the world would see the following week in San Francisco had it not proved itself to be a universal and indispensable institution. No nation wished to resign from the organization and there were many governments waiting and hoping to be admitted, further testimony of the viability of the institution.

There were individual critics in most countries, including the U.S., just as there were critics of the U.S. Government among Americans, but those who wanted to leave the U.N. were no more than an eccentric minority.

He suggests that it connoted the presence throughout mankind of a will that the sovereign governments would preserve universal society. That sentiment was not the result of the triumphs of the U.N. on specific questions, as the U.N. had not solved all of the problems put before it. But there was an overriding feeling beyond and above the cold war, the arms race, and the revolutions, that there was a supreme and universal human interest in making sure that issues never reached the point where conflict was irreparable and inexpiable.

He finds it extraordinary that the U.N. had come through the previous decade in such status, as they had been dangerous years with the world rent by the cold war, accompanied by the rise of the peoples of Africa and Asia from colonial status toward independence, into new sovereign powers among the powers of the world. There had been few, if any, periods in history in which so many people had been involved in such major changes in the ways of their lives.

While it was not the first enormous ideological schism nor the first period of widespread revolution, it was the first time in such an age of trouble there had developed a truly universal society to which all antagonists had adhered or had wished to adhere. It was not to be taken for granted but should be regarded with wonder and hope.

He indicates that in another column he would venture to put down some of the things which he believed experience had taught.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in their continuing series of columns on Administration censorship, indicate that in free societies, great political changes deserved to be publicly debated. But the Eisenhower Administration had been trying to introduce strict peacetime censorship in the U.S. through methods which were neither forthright nor above ground.

The effort to keep vital facts from the public had begun prior to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson having instructed the generals and admirals at the Pentagon that they must never provide the people any uncomfortable facts. The effort was receiving very little notice because reporters were rightly taught not to write about themselves and they were the focus of that new censorship.

They indicate that a reporter would obtain and publish nationally significant information about something, such as the retarded U.S. air program vis-à-vis the Soviets, basing the story on no classified secret information and on information already known to the Soviets. All the reporter had done was to pose a major public issue, significant for the country's future. But now even the most trivial information appeared to have been classified by someone in the Pentagon and the reporters, by their revelation, had given no pleasure in high quarters, therefore prompting a security investigation. The fact that a reporter was subject to such an investigation did not mean that the reporter had broken the law, and there was not the slightest danger of any criminal prosecution. Attorney General Herbert Brownell had sometimes hinted at cocktail parties of prosecutions, but he was too smart to carry out such threats. The security investigation was a type of direct reprisal against the reporter who had the inconvenient curiosity about facts of national interest.

The reprisal took three forms, one being that while the investigation was continuing, the reporter had to assume that his telephones were tapped and that listening devices might be planted in his house and office. While the Federal detectives disclaimed that such Gestapo-like practices occurred, the denials were unconvincing. The second form of reprisal was through the reporter's official acquaintances and friends, who were subjected to harassment, regardless of any evidence that they were the sources of the information published by the reporter. The third type of reprisal was that word was passed through the Government that the reporter was in disfavor with the powers that be and that therefore it was risky to see him, thereby seeking to prevent the reporter from doing his job.

They indicate that the attempt had never been entirely successful, that the Alsops had undergone at least five such investigations, and now possibly six. Yet, they were still able to accumulate their fair share of news, as did James Reston of the New York Times, Chalmers Roberts of the Washington Post & Times Herald, and other well-known Washington correspondents who experienced the same type of investigations. But while individual reporters could scarcely do their jobs in Washington, the new censorship was successful in a larger sense. For instance, Secretary Wilson's 1953 defense reductions had actually crippled the development of the most advanced aircraft, leaving the U.S. with no adequate answer to the new planes which the Soviets had recently developed. It was now possible that a crash program was needed to repair the mistakes of 1953, and such a program would not be ordered without public pressure. But the effort of the Administration was to cover up the facts which were needed to convince the public. And no sensible reporter enjoyed being the subject of such an investigation, having a chilling effect on what he decided ultimately to publish.

The Alsops conclude that therefore they had given their readers a censorship warning that news out of Washington was presently slanted in a serious manner by the Administration's effort to conceal "life-and-death facts".

A letter writer responds to a front page story of June 13 regarding community leaders having gathered to speak in favor of continuation of the County ban on sale of beer on Sundays and in favor of imposition of a like ban by the City of Charlotte. He quotes from several of the statements contained in the story and wonders why influential people faced a problem with their heads in the sand, with the prohibitionists hopeful of turning the area dry, often unwittingly enforcing behavior resulting from their beliefs on those who held not incompatible beliefs, suggesting that those who were truly concerned with social problems associated with alcoholism and underage drinking could not hope to solve them by prohibition of the sale of beer on Sundays. He hopes that the quoted statements in the story were either taken out of context, or concludes that the reasoning of those who favored the proposal of the ban by the City was not worthy of being called reasoning.

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