The Charlotte News
Friday, December 6, 1940
Justice Still Sanguine About Reforming This Desperado
Law, the lawyers will tell you, is continually in a state of flux. That is new laws have to be devised, and old laws discarded, to fit new ways, and new punishments have to be imposed to curb new crimes.
In this way originated New York State's Baumes Law--which in essence makes life imprisonment mandatory for hardened felons whom society is obviously unable to reform.
The case of Brady Glenn, Charlotte Negro, suggests that North Carolina too could make good use of a Baumes Law. Take a look at his record:
In 1933, sentenced the State Prison for three years upon conviction of assault with a deadly weapon.
After his release, 30 days for trespass.
Dec. 20, 1935, 30 days for larceny.
Jan. 23, 1936, 30 days for assault with a deadly weapon.
Dec. 14, 1938, two and a half to four years for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
At that or some preceding stage in the career of Brady Glenn, a Baumes Law would have come in handy. Having none, the courts' sentences were suited to his contemporary offense, without regard for what had gone before.
And without regard, plainly, for what was certain to come after. For last Saturday night, fresh from the roads, this Negro man went into a house here and started shooting. His bullets went through the stomach of a Negro man and through both legs of his sister.
It looks like two or three more years for Brady--if the cops catch him.
Concerning the Gullibility Of Man Called Wise
The gullibility of the sad and wishful human race is by no means confined to its less exalted members. Most modern kings have gone in for astrologers, as did Napoleon and does Adolf Hitler.
And a further case in point is that of the late Thomas D. Schall, blind United States Senator from Minnesota. In Los Angeles, his widow testifies that, in an effort to restore his sight, he and she spent many hundreds of dollars on the "I Am" movement, headed by Mrs. Edna Ballard and her son, Donald Ballard, who are charged with using it as a racket to extort vast sums from the public.
"Mrs. Ballard told me that if I could visualize a ray of light coming down to his head and leaving it at right angles through his eyes he would be cured... that if I looked into the atmosphere I could see particles of light sparkling, which was the exact substance used by the ascended masters in precipitating all material needs... She said the masters could precipitate clothes, money, automobiles--anything. She said she could even keep spots off her clothing by calling in the ascended masters."
One smiles at that--or even doubles up with laughter. But it has its pathetic aspect also. It is doubtful that the victims of such nonsense always actually believe in that with their minds. Merely it is the wild pacing of the wild creature in his cage--a desperate hedge against destiny--an agonized groping for a way out of the impenetrable mystery of intolerable pain and grief--perhaps at last an attempt to retreat upon childhood and the happy faith again that all things are possible to the great and mighty people who soothe you to sleep.
Caught in a Flood, Italy Hastily Shifts Its Mount
The Italian removal of Marshal Badoglio as commander-in-chief of the Italian armies and his replacement by Ugo Cavallero is a significant admission that the case of Italy grows desperate.
Badoglio was the old hero of the World War and had often been called the Italian Von Hindenberg.
And it is worth observing that his successor is the man who is mainly responsible for stemming the Caporetto rout by the most ruthless methods, until the British can hurl in reinforcements from France and save the day.
Certainly, Cavallero has his work cut out for him. The Greeks and their British allies are now on the Albanian coast, and will attempt to sweep up it toward Durazzo, the principal port. At the same time a column is swinging through the center of the country toward the same port. Durazzo is likely to be Albania's Dunkerque. In the struggle for it will be decided the question of whether or not the Greeks shall end Italy's attempt at conquest by throwing her armies bodily into the Adriatic.
What makes Cavallero's job particularly difficult is that the British now have air bases on the coast. If they can put enough planes there, it ought to be virtually impossible for the Italians to bring in reinforcements and supplies.
We'll Get Along Better If We Start This Candidly
The Johnson Act, like the Neutrality Act, is an excellent example of the utility of trying to tie our hands against doing what we know we'll want to do sooner or later.
The author of the measure is Hiram Johnson, Senator from California. These days he sometimes passes for a militant pacifist. He is no such thing. His breast-beating about the "Yellow Peril" in his early days in the Senate nearly made war with Japan inevitable.
Merely, he is a violent Anglophobe, and as one of the four Senators to wreck the League of Nations and threw away the victory in the last war, has a vested interest in maintaining the isolationist position with regard to Europe.
The bill passed Congress overwhelmingly because the "Revisionist" historians and their popularizers (like Senator Nye) had convinced most Americans that--
(1) we had no real stake in the last war;
(2) that we were suckered into it by British propagandists and their own international bankers and munitions-makers who wanted to save the loans they had made Britain and fatten their pockets on mass murder;
(3) that England flagrantly refused to pay her debts, was at least as bad as nice gentle Germany and ought to be punished; and
(4) that we could stay out of those "European wars" in the future merely by deliberately making up our minds to it and passing laws like the Johnson Act, which forbids loans to nations in default to the United States.
Today it is quite clear to most of us that we did have a very great stake in the last war. It is clear to all but a handful that we have our very existence at stake in this one. Two ideas fought in the world in 1914-18. They fight again today. Our idea is England's idea. England stands in the greatest peril. If she fails, we shall be the last champion of our idea left in a world given over to the most infamous tyranny Western man, at least, has ever known.
In sum, we now realize that, in 1914-18 and at present, England's fight was and is our fight also. And in view of that realization, it is manifest that we have been deluding ourselves and that to cavil about old debts in such circumstances is insanity.
England needs money, must have it if she is to defend herself and survive. The Johnson Act is plainly on its way to repeal, and ought to be.
But let us at least begin with our hands completely free this time and with eyes clear and unclouded by chimeras. Secretaries Morgenthau and Jones, coming out for repeal of the Johnson Act, say that England is "a good risk" for loans. That is so, in the sense that all-out aid for her is the cheapest way we can fight our own battle. But it is true in no other sense. If anything is certain in this world, it is that these loans will never be repaid. They can't be. They can't be because of the conditions of international trade and because England is going to come out of this war, win or lose, freighted with a paralyzing debt.
To call them gifts is inaccurate--would be to insult England and miss the realities. But they are our contributions to victory over Hitlerism, and should be so treated from the beginning.
The loans of the last were really such contributions. Under the set-up of international trade, as dictated by our own tariff policies, it was impossible to pay them fully without wrecking English economy and our own. That is not to say that England was blameless in the quarrel that arose over them--far from it. But the fact does remain that if we had taken the trouble to have a clear understanding of the matter we would have saved ourselves an immense lot of grief, might have made a rational contribution for building a decent world, and might even have headed off the catastrophe which is now in progress. In Heaven's name, let us get off to a more lucid beginning this time.
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