Renaissance; Three Straws
Textbook scribblers of coming generations, gazing back on the second quarter of the 20th Century in frantic search for a Turning Point, may very well seize upon the "Ulysses" decision as its symbol. Here was a judicial opinion which, a few years before, might have caused bonfires to be lit from Coast to Coast as the tocsin rang out its warning to the pure in mind. It was couched in language which almost any intelligent person might read and even enjoy, being free from the customary pomposity and elephantic periods of the bench. It stated quite clearly that to call a sincere effort "to show how the screen of consciousness with its ever shifting kaleidoscopic impressions carries, as it were on a plastic palimpsest, not only what is in the focus of each man's observation of the actual things about him, but also in the penumbral zone residua of past impressions" cannot reasonably be dismissed as obscenity. If Judge Woolsey never brandishes a gavel again, he will, notwithstanding, have amply justified by this decision alone whatever salary New York has been placing in his Christmas stocking.
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Various statements of N.R.A. policy lately have been not without significance. For one, the National Labor Board has been squarely seconded by Roosevelt who voiced his approval in an executive order which ratified all past decisions of the Board and redefined its activities. It is to mediate and settle all industrial disputes, except those that are specifically referred to some other agency. Roosevelt's move here can safely be construed, I think, as an attempt to bring "moral" pressure to bear on the Weirton Mines operators, without going to the lengths of singing them out for special attention or special authoritative handling. On the general front, the National Emergency Council is planning a unification of the N.R.A. administration, designed to secure strong control down from the top to the last county unit. The bureau figures so far released do not, however, indicate that the "vast, unwieldy bureaucracy" of which everyone speaks with misgiving really exists. Many are employed in the new machine, but many of these are transfers from other sections of the government, or were originally in some of the now amalgamated departments. Third, Washington has now taken for granted that the President will ask Congress to continue the R.F.C. with added grants for its financing. This is a much neglected but very important sector of the Recovery program; on it devolves the responsibility for huge loans and expenditures to offset the paralysis of the private money markets. The R.F.C. may be a hangover from the wicked Hoover regime, but it has its points, nevertheless. CASTOR.