The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 9, 1940


Site Ed. Note: We know what you will probably at first think after reading the first couple of paragraphs of "Treatment": that is that the times from which derives the system of laws which it criticizes as ill-serving to reform among juvenile delinquents, at least those in and around Duluth, might be one having its origins either in "Fantasia" or, maybe, in the '50's with Annette Funicello. But, no, it is instead in reference to the age when Neanderthal man roamed central Europe in the Middle Paleolithic period, using his stone tools and painting his dead before burial.

All of which again suggests that we should look to the experiment in penology taking place in Norway to determine what they are doing better than we are in the United States. Because what we are doing by socking it to 'em with three-strikes laws is pretty ludicrous and time-proven as destined to fail. Have you, Mr. or Ms. Lawnorder Congressperson or State Legislator, you who hold near and dear something you call "family values", ever once stopped to consider what the impact is to the home environment of a young child to send that child's father to prison for life for having thrice committed felonies, the latter of which was an attempt, albeit woeful, unwise and callow, in our middle class view of the matter anyway, to steal to provide for his young family? What is the impact on the next generation? Does it really serve to make it better, wiser, stronger? Or does it not embitter, create more dissolution in the fabric of society, where dissolution, alienation, informally (and illegally) systemetized disfranchisement to inalienable rights, were the primary problems at the outset? Is that really law and order; is it really the promotion of any form of values? Is it any more in fact than a cowardly feeling, a desire to hide under the bed like a child afraid of its own shadow, to be unrealistically insular, short of arming one's self against the horde, in an inevitably cruel and callous world, one full of problems since the primordial mud, and destined to be until the last glimmer of twilight, when the sun finally runs out of gas?

Of course, the first solution, as we have remarked, is to ban handguns completely. Crime will drop radically within a decade of such a nationwide law's implementation. Don't say it won't, gun-lover, because we have never tried it as a country. The second is to assure plentiful and free access to artistic outlets within the country, which enable youth to earn a living while being creative. Such may be accomplished easily enough through creative tax incentives to small business. Art goes along with advertising and advertising which is smart means dollars to business. There, you even have a corny slogan for the program.

And, while we are about suggesting improvements, here is a suggestion to our old alma mater, which might serve as example to other colleges and universities, especially since our old alma mater is preeminent through time among colleges and universities in the basketball arena: take a large number of seats in the arena, maybe 3,000, and turn them over at least a few times each season, three or four weekend games anyway, to young schoolchildren who live in the state and whose parents earn less than median income levels, schoolchildren, in other words, who likely will not otherwise ever get to see a major college basketball game in person. The children will be chosen by their schools on criteria set by the public school they attend, with the only overriding provision being that they be from households with less than median income as established for the state in the previous fiscal year. The tickets will be arranged and handed out through the public schools of the state, at each of the elementary, junior high and high school levels. In order to take advantage of the arrangement, however, the children must arrive at the arena at least three hours before the game.

During that three hours, professors of the university who volunteer for the purpose will provide lectures in various fields to the students, similar to an introductory lecture in an introductory course in the subject as taught to college students in the general college, perhaps divided in some manner between the younger and older among the students to adjust vocabulary and approach accordingly, yet without pulling punches insofar as the basic college level assumptions and attitude to the lectures.

Within two weeks of the game, the students will be required to submit to their respective teachers back in the public schools written reports of more than token length on what they gather from the three or four lectures provided them during the three-hour time frame, preferably in subjects such as religion, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and other such areas to which public schoolchildren are generally not exposed prior to college.

The benefits, we suggest, will be manifold to both the university community and the schoolchildren and the public schools generally of the state as well. Whatever loss in ticket revenue to the university would be a skimption compared to the gains in both public opinion for the university through the rest of the state, some of which comes to view the university as a kind of aristocratic bastion of superciliosity, inaccessible to the average person, and the preparation for college thus afforded in brief to those who might otherwise never aspire to enter a college door, at least not without an athletic scholarship, available to few in reality, of course.

The University of the people should serve no less a function, especially at sporting events, which should be open to all, not reserved for an aristocratic few who might afford to pay thousands of dollars to have season tickets--truly an outrageous set of circumstances when one considers it a little. It is a public institution, not a private country club for the wealthy, and we do not wish it further to turn toward becoming one, a state which has increasingly beset it now for the past three decades, shamefully so. We would not carp unless we cared.

It is a time to reflect on what is going wrong on our college campuses, and in our society generally. Obviously, something fundamental is. The surest path to increasing pain is to duck our heads in the sand and pretend that all is well and that the anomalous circumstances will pass. In that event, it will only fester and become worse, far worse with time.

The rest of the page is here.

One-Man Strike*

A Tabloid Example Of Inconsiderate Labor Relations

The one-man strike of the projectionist at Mount Holly's Gaston Theater may be not quite so spectacular as the Chrysler strike in Detroit last Fall or the perennial San Francisco waterfront strikes, but we daresay it's quite as serious to the theater owner and his striking employee.

It's a perfect tabloid example, too, judging by the statements of both sides, of the inconsiderate mess that characterizes nearly all labor relations in this country.

The projectionist had been employed at the theater for several years. That seems to warrant the conclusion that his services had been satisfactory. He joined the union and told his boss about it; and that was all right with everybody.

He was making $15.00 a week, and thought he should have more, say $18.00. Which seems fair enough for a steady man who had been on the job for several years.

But did he go to his boss about it? It does not appear so. Instead, "two fellows from the union in Gastonia" came over. And say what you will about unions and about the advantage of negotiating for a wage increase with the strength of an organization behind you, outsiders ought to be brought in only after you've exhausted your own remedies.

And so the boss either turned down the demand or put it off, and that night, in the middle of the show, the projectionist walked out. A strike was on where there needn't have been any strike if two men had endeavored to find terms on which they might get together.


Concerning A Man Three Months Out Of A Jail

Consider the case of Mr. Stanley Zajac. Last Dec. 9 Mr. Zajac was released from a Green Bay, Wis., reformatory. Yesterday he was arrested for attempting to hold up a filling station in Duluth, Minn. To the Duluth police he confessed that he had committed more than 40 crimes since his release from the Wisconsin institution three months before.

Two things are clear about Mr. Zajac and the thousands more or less like him. First thing is that his case needs a great deal more looking into than it has ever had under a system of law still based on ideas dating approximately from early Mousterian times.

Mr. Zajac may be, probably is, a social phenomenon of our unhappy age. And it is just possible that what ails Mr. Zajac is that he has no idea of how to make an honest living. If so it ought to be determined by men competent to determine it, and the lack remedied in some genuine reformatory.

Mr. Zajac had been in a reformatory, indeed, and had not reformed. Nothing unusual about that.

But it is not likely, when all is said and done, that Mr. Zajac, at 24, is only beset by the lack of a trade, that he can be reformed. And if so, that also ought be determined by competent persons, and Mr. Zajac, and all his kind, ought to be put away from society for good--subject only to the determination by competent persons that a miracle has transpired and that it is really safe to turn him loose again. But not for vengeance--which is a savage idea--and not in the medieval jails which turn men into howling beasts. But in a decent place where he can be taught to earn a living so far as that is possible. And both to keep himself out of the hot seat and relieve society of the cost and danger of his depredations.


We Add Some Facts To A Nazi Compilation

From "Facts in Review" a Nazi propaganda bulletin published weekly by the German Library of Information, a Nazi propaganda agency operated at 17 Battery Place, New York City, we cull the following:

The violation of Norwegian neutrality, resulting in the "gallant" boarding of the Altmark and the shooting down of defenseless men by British naval forces is not without precedent in British history.

There follows a long list of alleged British violations of neutrality and the destruction of ships of warring nations, some of them authentic, some of them immensely dubious.

But "Facts in Review" forgot several facts which would have made its article both longer and more enlightening.

It forgot to tell us that British violations of Norwegian neutrality in this war have so far not cost the life of a single Norwegian, that the same thing holds for her violations of the neutral rights of the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and all the other neutrals of the world.

It forgot to tell us that German submarines have systematically violated the neutral rights of Norway ever since the war began by sinking her merchant ships without prior search and provision for the safety of the crews. And that she has done exactly the same thing to every neutral whose ships operate in the North Sea--that already she has sunk over 100 ships for the Scandinavian nations alone.

And it forgot also to tell us that in the course of these "gallant" operations, the German submarines have so far killed a few more than 100 Norwegian "defenseless" sailors and passengers. And that these "gallant" actions have had the same sort of result for all the other neutrals.

Site Ed. Note: The only problem with Bob was that he was about six decades ahead of his time. By 2002, why, he would have been a national hero--for awhile anyway.

Pig In A Poke

Robert Asks A Lot Of People For Blind Trust

In the American Vindicator, Robert Rice Reynolds's journal for the whooping up of hate in the United States in the guise of patriotism, we find the following editorial:

Senate Bills 407, 408, 409, 410, and 411, introduced by Senator Robert R. Reynolds, are now pending before the Committee on Immigration in the United States Senate. These five bills have as their objectives the stopping of all immigration for the next ten years, the registration and fingerprinting of all aliens, the deportation of all alien criminals and undesirables, and the strengthening of all immigration laws and the strengthening of all deportation laws and the curbing of alien activities in the United States.

These bills have been before the Senate Immigration Committee for eight months. They have not been acted upon. If you as an American citizen wish these bills passed, and passed now, then do your part by your country by sitting down now and writing letters to every member of the Senate Immigration Committee, demanding action..." (A list of the members of the committee follows.)

Not one word, mind you, about what these bills actually provide--nothing but vague generalities about their purposes. Not a word about how they define an "undesirable." Not a word about the fact that, under one of the bills, a native-born American who couldn't produce a birth certificate might find himself subject to deportation. Not a word about the fact that some of these bills proposed nothing less than the suspension of the Bill of Rights. Just an invitation to people to sit down and attempt to coerce a committee of the Senate into abandoning its best judgment by deluging it with "demands." To do this in the dark without in the least knowing what it is they are demanding--by way of doing their "part by their country." Patriotism, according to Robert Rice Reynolds's definition of it, we gather, consists of a blind faith in Robert Rice Reynolds.


Is Stalin Starving Russia To Supply Nazi Germany?

Maybe Germany is getting considerable quantities of supplies out of Russia, after all.

Spencer Williams, Secretary of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce, lately home from Moscow, reports that leading Russian hotels are swarming with Germans there to organize the supply service for the Nazis.

And that the standard of living in the Soviet paradise has dropped to two-thirds of its former level of the last four months, because of a 35 per cent rise in the price of food, etc. This rise was officially ordered in mid-January, says Mr. Williams, but the correspondents were forbidden to send the story abroad. The Russian working man and peasant, he goes on, find themselves increasingly unable to get proper food and clothing, and food is more and more scarce in Moscow itself.

It sounds an apparently brutal thing--to turn to starving the people of Russia, to send supplies to the German armies, and get German guns, machines, etc. in return. But that is no reason for doubting it. It is already well-established that Stalin once before starved a vast host of peasants, sometimes estimated as high as three million, in a single year, in order to sell food abroad and secure foreign exchange for the purchase of tractors for the collective farms and machines for the factories.

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