The Charlotte News
Tuesday, May 28, 1940
Site Ed. Note: Why is it that in "More Soaks", we keep hearing this article as if being read by David Brinkley at the conclusion of the nightly news? Once upon a time, anyway. A "Soak", incidentally, was an opponent of Prohibition, as with Donald Robert Perry Marquis's "Old Soak". See "The Fair Reward", by Cash, December, 30, 1937.
And furthermore, does "Solved" contain code? Let us say that somehow we doubt it. Our psychic teletypist told us not to worry. But it is too bad that the world did eventually have to learn of what the Nazi "secret weapon" was, but fortunate that the United States beat them to it. Let us hope that Adolf Hitler does not one day have his last revenge upon us all by its final use.
Leopold Values Himself Above Western Culture
Just for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for riband to wear in his coat.
If the Allies should happen to win this war, the dynasty of Leopold of Belgium may confidently be said to be in for richly deserved extinction. It is fitting that he bears the name of the other king who brought disgrace on the line by his infamous exploitation of the Belgian Congo for the fattening of his personal purse.
We shall probably hear from him the same kind of indecent hypocrisy we constantly hear from Adolf Hitler--that his motive was the avoidance of useless sacrifice of human life. But it is not likely to fool anyone.
The Belgian armies were not defeated, and the time had not yet come to think of surrender. Moreover, his action constitutes rank usurpation, for Belgium was a constitutional monarchy, not an absolute one, and he acted in direct defiance of the wishes of his cabinet. Worse still, it was absolute treason to his allies. For he acted without notice to them, and so left them terribly exposed to the enemy.
What has happened is easy enough to guess from a long record of betrayal already before us. The agents of Adolf Hitler had got to him, promised him that he might remain puppet king of Belgium, retain his great estates. And for that he sold out his country, his allies, and the cause of Western civilization as against the new Attila and his word. He deserves the everlasting contempt of humanity, and it is a mercy that his good and honorable father, Albert, is safely in his grave and so cannot see it.
Prohibitionists Have a Long, Hard Job Ahead
The Prohibitionists have their work cut out for them. It now appears that, if ever they succeed in persuading Homo Sap to abandon the Demon Alcohol--which does not at the present writing seem altogether probable--they'll have to turn to the animal kingdom.
Rats, it develops, like the vile stuff. The Henry Phipps Psychiatric Institute, at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, tracked the dreadful fact down.
It is possible, of course, that there is dirty work here, and that the rats were hand-picked with a view to getting only those whose countenances betrayed a natural tendency toward fancy living and inebriacy. But we must not presume. According to the reports, they were quite ordinary, solid-citizen looking rats.
Before them were placed two dishes, one containing water, the other water and alcohol mixed. And to a man they refused the pledge and lined up at the bar.
They did, indeed, show moderation far more notable than is sometimes shown by Homo Sap. When the alcoholic content of their drinks was raised above seven per cent they politely but firmly declined to imbibe further, pointing out that they did not have the constitution of Kentucky Colonels and so could not go in for mint-juleps. In short, the rats put themselves emphatically on record in favor of wine and beer as the proper solution of the alcohol question.
That, of course, will not interest the Prohibitionists. They take the stand that anything alcoholic comes under the same heading, and that the mild stuff is fully as diabolical as the heavy.
Which Promises To Harry Innocent More Than Guilty
Yesterday the Senate succumbed to hysteria and, by a vote of 47 to 20, adopted the LaFollette Bill--plus an amendment offered by Robert Rice Reynolds.
The LaFollette Bill was one forbidding blacklisting and other practices against labor by manufacturers engaged in interstate commerce. The Reynolds Amendment forbids manufacturers engaged in interstate commerce to employ Communists or members of the Nazi Bund. Penalty for infraction would be five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the employer.
It is a scheme which makes the LaFollette provisions ridiculous. Everybody knows that the terms "Communist" and "Nazi" always have been used indiscriminately to describe any fellow you don't like, and that with the rising hysteria the practice is greatly expanding.
What this bill does is at one and the same time to forbid blacklisting of employees and give the more unscrupulous sort of manufacturer carte blanche to circulate blacklists charging that every employee he doesn't like for any reason or no reason is a Communist or Nazi.
Ah, but he will have remedy and recourse to the courts, this employee? Most of them, of course, cannot afford that remedy.
Moreover, the bill at once places every working man at the mercy of spiteful charges and puts the decent manufacturer in a quandary. If he hires the man whom anybody at all calls a Red or Nazi, he runs the risk of horrid penalty. Yet he certainly cannot afford to employee huge sleuthing services to check up to see if each man so charged actually is a member of the Communist Party or Bund--something which it is often impossible to determine by any means.
The News agrees fully that Fifth Column activities in this country call for a curb. But for heaven's sake let it be done within the limits of the American Bill of Rights, and with great care to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent, with great care to see that the way is not open for the harrying of people engaged in quite legitimate activities. We shall gain nothing if we adopt Nazi methods in order to escape Nazism.
Well, Anyhow, It Is Almost That As You See
Since the outbreak of "real war" we have been worrying about that German "secret weapon." Did it exist or not exist? And if it did exist, what on earth was it? The Fifth Column, paralyzing gas, the German propaganda machine, a machine that makes guns inoperative, a death ray, what have you?
But at length we are at peace. Yesterday the Associated Press, with its usual marvellous efficiency, came through with a complete description. At least we take it for that, not having before heard of the machine described by the dispatch, which of course had the aid of a psychic teletype operator. Here is the dispatch:
The Germans were reported throwing all their arms including In.-5?",O&-; $&$ )$18 9904,35,0--270?2 xiNIHCACSAT-JVMPSXLCOxxxx '41, "GPMQBQXQ.
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