The Charlotte News
MONDAY, MARCH 21, 1938
Now the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator and the sun, crossing the earthly equator, enters into the sign of Aries, the Ram, by nature masculine, hot, fiery and dry--the daytime house of Mars. Everywhere on this dizzy spinning planet--in China and the Great Gobi, in Madagascar and Timbuctu, in Moscow and London, in Torres Strait and Bering Sea, in San Francisco and New York and Charlotte, the sun rose this morning directly due east: everywhere it will set this evening directly due west; and everywhere the day and the night will be exactly equal.
There will be gales and storms? All a delusion say the literal old men who profess to study such things. There are no more gales and storms now than at any other time, on the average, they tell us. But, ourselves, we decline to believe it. Didn't it thunder in Charlotte yesterday? And we confidently believe that March, which has been the lamb so far, will now proceed to be the lion, and that for all the fact that the sun shines so sprightly outside our window and the atmosphere hangs motionless. For all these ten thousand years men have known that equinox equals storms and gales. So, we proclaim it, at the peril of our reputation as oracles: The wind shall howl, masters, the lightning flash, the rain come down. Soon or late, anyhow.
A Perilous Untruth
So far as the preservation of peace--our peace--goes, probably the most dangerous men in the country are the professional isolationists in the Senate, headed by Hiram Johnson and Bill Borah.
There is no reason to question the honest good intentions of these men. But it has to be remembered that they are responsible for the postwar adoption of an isolationist policy in the first place, that their pride and egotism is therefore intimately bound up with that policy.
Certainly, as both Dorothy Thompson and Walter Lippman were saying yesterday, common sense does not seem to bear out the notion that we can or should sit quietly at home while Europe collapses into ruin. With the Johnson Act in force, the first result of a war in Europe is going to be the utter ruin of the cotton and wheat farmers--a thing which will come pretty close to bringing bankruptcy for the nation In its train. Nor is there the slightest reason to believe that we are going to remain emotionally calm while the dictators bomb London and Paris.
If there is another great war, there is at least an even chance that we will participate in it on the side of our former allies. And that being so, the protestations of the Borahs and Johnsons merely serve to mislead the dictators and to nerve them to enter upon undertakings which, with the truth starkly before them, they probably would not enter upon--and thus serve to make war more likely.
*The Ships We Scrapped
In connection with the naval bill now before Congress, and Japan's protests of the construction contemplated, it is interesting to remember precisely what we gave up at the Washington Naval Conference in 1921.
At that time, we had built or building 4 dreadnaughts; 15 pre-dreadnaughts; 7 battleships building; 4 battle cruisers building. The building battleships were each of 43,000 tons and mounted' twelve 16-inch rifles.The battle cruisers were each of 43,500 tons, and mounted eight 16-inch rifles.The largest ships we are building at present and the largest proposed in the new bill are only of 35,000 tons, and carry twelve 14-inch guns.
Britain scrapped 22 ships, aggregating 447,750 tons, including no ships building.
Japan scrapped 16 ships, aggregating 355,730 tons, including four ships building.
The current naval bill authorizes 255,408 tons of fighting ships, as distinct from auxiliary craft--or a little more than a third of what was destroyed under the Washington treaty.
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