alternatives is like going to an auction
without anv muncv in your pocket. \\ ,,u
.an I.id like e rei/v leul you can'l l.uv
anything. When the Red Chinese sa)
"No, our negotiators have to Lack off
and start all over again.
I'm not in favor nf using human live-
to bargain with. Neither is our government. We let the Chinese students go
with no strings attached. We hoped this
act would solirlif\ our moral position
and that world opinion might exert
i in.ugh pressure on the Red Chinese to
cause a shift in their attitude. We hoped
that tin- efforts of the I N Secretar)
General would hear fruit. We hoped thai
the Bandung Conference would force a
change. We have been living on hope.
So have the imprisoned airmen. So have'
their wives, their children, their parents.
Hut hope i- not enough. You caul exist
on it indefinitely without faith. And
surely tbe faith of these men in all of us
here at home' must he beginning to totter.
There used lee In' a saving on our
western frontier "Talk's cheap. Mister." ll was another wav of saving, "['ul
up or shut up." It seems lo me we're
reaching that stage in our maneuvering
with the Communists.
The nuh of the whole matter, the
essence "1 llie moral clash between democracy and totalitarianism, is distilled
and exhibited in microcosm in the1 case
■ >f the fifteen airmen. On the one hand,
wc have a deep and basic belief in the
innate dignity of the indiv idual. uf the
righl uf every man to "life, liberty, ami
the pursuit of happiness. '
On tin' oilier hand, wc find a callous
—Wide World Photo
Communist China's Premier Chou En-lai extends clenched fists at meeting with his top
team during the negotiations in June, 1954, when the U. S. sought to gain the release of
Americans held in China.
disregard of human rights, with the individual subordinated to the tyrannical
whims of an all-demanding state. I ifteen
live- l.e the) Russian, Chinese, or
American mean nothing to the Communists. Hut if wc really believe in the
fundamentals on which our nation was
founded, then these fifteen lives should
mean everything In n-. And if this all
he true', then hand-wringing ami palavering have served llieir purpose eunl more
elrastic measures arc in order.
Lasl fall, in mv capacity as presidenl
of the \ir Force Association, I wrote-
ei letter to tin- President of the I nited
States. 1 would like herewith in repeal
lhe concluding portion of il as em indication thai what wc said then -lill
"Wc commend vour interest in the release of these unjustlv imprisoned Amer-
can citizens and vour pul.lie statements
in this regard. Wc assure v mi that firm
action lu meet this critical -itu.ition will
naa ive the support of the Air Force Association ami. wc believe, the support ol
The situation is still critical and firm
action is -lill called for the sooner
FLOOD OF SCIENCE FICTION
SEEN BY AUTHOR SHEEAN
People making reservations fm' the
first trip to the moon, if and whenever
that might occur, and today's children
pretending they are spacemen frnm
Mars substantiate Vincent Sheean's observation before ei Facts Forum audience
thai science-fiction is iii tlie foreground iii modern American literature.
Best-selling author Sheean, joining
rent- I'm urn's radio and television panel
in a discussion of current literature, said.
"Must uf the new heenks I licit fall inti)
my hands appear tu give their emphasis
to a kind of story material, particularly
stories "I science-fiction, horror, sus-
pense, and sn on, which did nol interest
people -u much twenty or thirty vieer-
"fn the 1920's there certainly was
an outbreak of very good writing with
Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair
Lewis, and Edna Millay, I wouhl say,
and a number of others, lint it was an
exceptional decade; there aren't man)
like lhal in uur whole history. The question of whether writing has deteriorated
mav l.e answered l.v saying lhal writing
Mr. Sheean wenl on to say, "If we go
further hack into the great periods of
American literature, tin- greatest being.
I suppose, New England, we- find ei ver)
much more deliberate tempo in writing.
Whal has happened among iln verv
young writers, some ul whom do write
science-fiction (and some talented young
men an- writing science-fiction at this
moment), is that they have increased
their tempo su thai tin- reader is almosl
breathless l.v lln- time he- reaches the'
middle of the honk. Sentences gel shorter; all the words are shorter everything more punched."
Asked if In- think- the reading of
comic books and crime stories encourages juvenile delinquency among teen
agers, Mr. Sheean replied, "Obviously
something encourages juvenile delinquency ami since comic books have won
llieir enormous appeal in the lasl ten
ur twelve years, I suppose we must assume ihai they have something in do
with ii. I must seiv. however, frnm personal experience, that the children do
I In v go through a phase uf reading
nothing else, hui theit peisse-s. 1 eleeii t
know what weight is to he given In tin1
comic honk among all the other elements uf a child's environment and education in tin- growing-up process."
He continued, "It is ohvieuis thai llii~
thing i- new. The tremendous dominion
lhal il ha- is new. anil il cannol I"'
withoul influence \i\„n\ anv sensitive'.
growing mind. That's e.hvious. Rut th1'
extent of the influence and hnvv il -
counteracted or helped along by other
elements iii our lives. I don'l know. 1'
isn't very healthy that children be told
evert, ten minutes lhal lhe whole world
may be blown up, and the) are told that
from morning to nighl by their own
FACTS FORUM NEWS, September, 1955