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On the Amendments

HAROLD SEGAL has a very simple philosophy when it comes to the administration of our beloved NAPA.

“Let’s not clutter up the constitution with a lot of damned amendments.”

Harold has practiced what he preaches for forty years and in that span has been responsible for the defeat of more amendments than any living ajay. Devastating editorials in the pages of Campane and adroit parliamentary maneuvering have been skillfully used by Segal in his pursuit of an uncomplicated National covenant.

When Harold was appointed to the Amendment Committee at the St. Pete Convention last summer, I was sure the committee would recommend no amendments for the 1974 ballot… how wrong I was!

Surprisingly, they supported two amendments for next year’s voting: a dues increase to $7.50 and an increase in the cost of life membership. A very sensible suggestion to establish family memberships was not endorsed by the committee, but happily, the convention overruled them and NAPA franchise holders will have the opportunity to vote on three proposals this year.

Personally, I don’t have any real strong feelings about the dues increase. The cost of printing and postage – like meat and gasoline – has risen. If we must have four 24 page issues of NA and if the LCB doesn’t cause a reduction in the weight of our bundle packets, then extra funds must be raised somehow.

But it doesn’t seem to me that a 20 or even a 16 page official organ is an undue hardship for NAPA members to endure. The editor needn’t spend quite as much time hustling copy… or could spend more time editing it. As far as LCB is concerned, I am tempted to use it for the next issue of Rhatt Race.

In support of the amendment to increase the cost of life memberships, speaker after speaker at St. Pete rose to condemn what is apparently a sore on the body NAPA. I thought Life Members had bailed the association out of financial difficulty several times but if they are the parasites proponents of this amendment charge, they should be banned… not exploited.

I heartily endorse Amendment Three which sets up a family membership plan whereby additional members of a NAPAn’s family may join the association at half the normal dues. Since only one bundle and one copy of NA are allotted per household under this plan, we gain additional members at no cost to the association. Hopefully, increased exposure to the hobby will entice them into full membership at a later date.

At the risk of endangering whatever chances Amendment Three has of passing, I might add that the family membership has been used successfully in AAPA for years.

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From Watergate to Chevy Chase

IT PLEASED ME to see that Bob Williams has finally replied to my comment in Rhatt Race 17 about his Watergate article. I was beginning to fear that Bob didn’t even read my paper.

No one can argue with Bob about his right to fix his editorial policy, nor can one fault an ajay who might want to comment – pro or con – about articles appearing in My Word. Criticism or review of bundle papers has been ajay meat and drink for generations.

In his policy statement published in My Word 9, Bob expresses fear of what future ajay historians will think of him if he confines his journal contents to the “hobby-lobby” patter found in most of our sheets. Fear not, Brother Williams! Unless amateur journalist historians of tomorrow are a different breed than the few who do any serious research today, their main interest will be the personality, writing and printing talents, and office holding inclinations of the person under scrutiny. Browse through the amateur papers of 35 years ago; how many of them carried articles expressing dismay over the fact that King Franklin I was blissfully leading us into World War II?

In his article, “The Ideal Amateur Paper” the late Burton Crane wrote, “An amateur journalist is much more apt to be an expert on amateur journalism than on the Stern Gang in Palestine or the cooperative movement in Sweden… and he’ll write better on it.” Those words were written almost 30 years ago but they are just as true today. Ajays still prefer “organizational incest.”

I must admit that I am disappointed by Bob’s admission that his editorial content is chosen to please the several friends outside of NAPA who also read My Word. It does seem that nearly 400 readers deserve more consideration.

But as long as Bob continues to publish some articles like “The Soldiers Home” I will continue reading My Word.

Hey Vic!

I WAS UNDER the impression that a paper had to meet our constitutional definition of an amateur journal to qualify for bundle mailing. Perhaps it’s because Tom Rozell is new at job, but two pieces in the February bundle didn’t meet the legal requirements as I understand them.

The very interesting story written and printed by Betty Humfleet has no title, number, or date… so it’s not an amateur journal by NAPA standards.

The second piece, a neatly executed reprint, is the sort of thing frequently seen in the Amalgamated Printers’ Association bundle. But it’s not eligible for NAPA mailing… we don’t even know who printed it.

I presume I’m not alone in noticing these violations. After the bundle gets to New Mexico, Vic will surely unleash a Salvo. Long live the Constitution!

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Published & printed by Fred Liddle, Tampa, Fla. 33606

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