What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 41 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 15 hours ago
More in Crime
Not-so-good old days
With our twenty-twenty hindsight, we can only shake our heads at the issues raised in this column, written 74 years ago. It appeared in the Advertiser Democrat on October 8, 1937, two years before Germany invaded France, four years before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, 11 before Israel became a state and who knows how long before seizing oil tankers for fun and profit became popular in eastern Asia.
Here and There
On May 7, 1915, the Steamship Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine, with a loss of about 1200 lives. In substance, the incident brought the United States into the World War, just as the sinking of the Maine precipitated the Spanish-American War. It was claimed that the Lusitania was carrying munitions of war for the allies. Giving the proponents the benefit of the doubt, the mistake made by the United States was a failure to lay prompt and definite embargo against the carrying of war materials in American ships.
It is gratifying to note that in the present Japanese-Chinese crisis, the President lost no time in announcing that American vessels trade in arms and ammunition with the contending powers at their own risk. Thus one ground for American interference in the affairs of battling Asia is removed. If good business men see fit to drive a bargain with the Japs or Chinese, and a ship goes up in pieces, it will have to be charged to profit and loss, the American citizens will not be called upon to quit their jobs and enter the trenches in the interest of money making from which they derived no profit.
In New York City, a young woman dies as a result of the popular process which is known as “reducing.” Fortunately styles change. Hoop skirts no longer are in vogue and queues are not necessary for high social standing in China. The skinny figure may give way to well rounded curves, and there may be a return to the old rule about three square meals a day. With the change may come a huskier race, better able to bear the heat and burden of the day. In addition, there will be an improved outlook for the few cannibals which the earth still supports.
It is hard to write about current events without giving to the subject of war what otherwise would be an unreasonable amount of space. France and England have joined hands in putting down what is called piracy, a word that has practically passed out of use. At this the small boy will rejoice. A group of forgotten heroes may be called from their neglected graves even if ill advisedly. Captain Kidd now has a chance of appearing again in the backyard. As a hero, he is less destructive of good morals than the modern gangster, at that.
Speaking of crime and the juvenile mind, it is questionable whether a benign result is accomplished by cartoons and strips that recount the doings of G-men or some fictitious and successful detective. To be sure, the criminal always lands behind the bars in the end, and the clearly expressed moral is that crime is wrong and does not pay, yet in telling of the story, details of criminal practice come out that had better be kept in a closet and sealed book, at least so far as youthful readers are concerned.
The League of Nations has approved the splitting up of Palestine into Arabic and Jewish portions, an item of little interest save that it brings to mind the circumstance that the League is still alive. Shakespeare said that there is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at its flood leads on to fortune. The flood tide for the League of Nations arrived at the time of the Ethiopian invasion, but for some reason no advantage was taken of it. The League may do things that will bring it back into general favor, but at present the public is inclined to regard it as a good institution of little practical use and incapable of delivering the goods in a pinch.
As is our custom, we try to exactly reproduce the grammar, spelling, punctuation and style of the original. Commas might appear where least expected and remain absent where we’d expect them if the item was written nowadays. On the other hand, consistency was not considered of utmost importance, so variations of a spelling might appear within one story. In addition, some words were abbreviated differently than today.
Where brief explanations of terms are considered necessary, they are presented in brackets  within the quote. Otherwise, explanations appear at the beginning or at the conclusion, without quotes. Parenthesis () used in a quoted passage appeared in the original.