The Charlotte News
Wednesday, October 23, 1940
Site Ed. Note: And we might add further to "New Rules" that such modern copper tv shows, you know the ones, invite police officers, not properly regulated by their employing municipalities, to seek cheap thrills out of the silly dream world of "Smoky and the Bandit", while giving chase to some usually young person on a lark, no doubt dangerous in the abstract, but which danger becomes compounded by the manifold when the thrill of the chase given by a phalanx of flashing blue lights and helicopters takes hold of his or her adrenaline. Such "reality" tv shows are for idiots, of course, and we admit to watching them occasionally just to see how idiotic it is all becoming, not society in general, but cowboy police officers who become such obviously for all the wrong reasons--as well as wondering why anyone would be so idiotic as to watch it. (Who knows? Maybe that's why everybody else watches them )
We can as a society either lead our democracy or ultimately sit at home watching it slowly fall victim to the worst sorts of hucksterism since Hitler by listening to some idiot promoting himself with tv advertising, all for his own pocketbook and to get in good with the police so his or her own mischief will go unchecked, and coercing police departments in the process with the promise of achieving their fifteen minutes, and maybe a new girlfriend in the bargain, ("Oh, I seen you on tv, big hunkeroo!"), all to trample the rights of a few powerless people, rationalized to promulgate the notion, "You better not break it here, Little Tramp, or we sure gonna get ye."
Or, we can turn it off and hope our neighbors aren't watching it such that they give high speed chase on us or dial 911 for our failing to give a left turn signal at the corner of Quiet Street and Somnolence Avenue at 3:00 a.m. At least when we occasionally watch it, as long as it is on the air being watched by others, we can pretty well fathom the idiocy. Nevertheless
What Leading Types Set Back Taxpayer Per Unit
Among aircraft orders which the War Department placed in August and September were the following:
86 B24 Be heavy bombers... .$14,861,342
277 B-17E heavy bombers. 70,449,955
75 PT-13 B trainers, 225 PT-17 trainers. . 2,041,947
410 P-38E pursuits... . 39, 278,787
540 P40 pursuits... . 19,688, 287
150 trainers... . 4, 221,069
550 pursuits. 19,896, 668
120 Aircobra pursuits. 4,962, 270
1,000 pursuits. .. 56,499,924
637 AT-6A trainers. . 11,335, 631
500 BT-13A trainers. 7,438, 682
3,000 Rolls-Royce engines. . 62,488,000
Breaking these figures down, we find that the cost of each of these planes and engines was approximately:
Consolidated heavy bombers... $265,380
Boeing heavy bombers. . 254,332
Lockheed pursuits... .. 73,850
Republic pursuits... 56,499
Aircobra pursuits. 41,352
Curtis Wright pursuits... . 36,459
Bell pursuits... . 36,175
Curtis Wright trainers. 28,147
North American trainers. 17,795
Vultee trainers... 14,877
Boeing trainers. .. 6,806
Packard engines. 20,829
The figures are offered to the reader without comment, merely by way of information.
Even Men With Axes To Grind Can Tell the Truth
Mr. John D. Battle, executive secretary of the National Coal Association at Washington, is not precisely what you call a disinterested man. The National Coal Association is out to sell as much coal as possible at the very best price it can get. And Mr. Battle is in Washington to try to see that nobody in the Government, legislative and executive, does anything to interfere with that, and as far as possible to get the dice loaded in favor of it. Mr. Battle, in sum, is what is called a lobbyist for the coal interests.
And for all that, he seems, so far as our information from will allow us to judge, to be telling the simple truth when he says that the President's scheme to build a huge power dam at the International Rapids on the St. Lawrence "for national defense" is a phoney. The hydro-electric plant, he points out, will take years to build. But if it is power which is wanted, he says, the steam plants can be built very rapidly, and there is an abundant supply of coal to keep all of them running full blast.
Maybe Mr. Battle's little joker is that he hopes that would jack up the price of coal all around. If so, he is probably in for disappointment. But the central core of his argument, that the President's course in this matter has nothing to do with national defense per se but is simply a trick to get done what Congress has refused to authorize directly seems immensely plausible. At least, if there is any good reason of national defense which justifies the project, the President himself is keeping it a deep, dark secret.
It Becomes Laval, but Not Some Of His Associates
Pierre Laval had always been distinguished by two things: a virulent hatred of England, and a willingness to embrace anything, however infamous which he thought would give Pierre Laval power and wealth. It is therefore not astonishing to find him considering the last infamy of taking France to war against her old ally, upon whose chances for victory absolutely depends all hope for France as a free nation.
It will be more astonishing if old Marshal Pétain and General Weygand go along with him, for both still have some claim to integrity. But it is not impossible, nevertheless. Neither has ever liked England and both are strong authoritarians and have always hated the freedom of the French republic, would not like to see it restored.
Moreover, all these men seem actually more or less to believe that betrayal of their old ally and some sort of entry into the Axis is the way to get France good terms and eventually to save her. Admiral Darlan seems to believe it so fully that he is even willing to go along with Laval and use the navy to attack England at sea, despite the solemn promise entered into under the armistice.
This is the same Darlan who once swore, on his own personal honor, that not a French ship should ever fall into Nazi hands if he had to scuttle them by himself.
What is behind all this is a conviction like that which Chamberlain and Daladier carried to Munich. But it is a far less reasonable one. The whole evidence today proves that Adolf Hitler never grants relatively gentle terms save temporarily and by the way of making use of this intended victim until he is ready to throttle it. And in Mein Kampf he has made it clear that he hates France more than any other nation, means to enslave it and destroy its culture.
It is no strange spectacle to see Pierre Laval play the traitor. But it is strange to see men who have passed as honest and patriotic Frenchmen so bemused that they will consent to aid in France's destruction.
Attorney-General Hands Down Couple of Pointed Opinions
Attorney-General McMullan announced several rulings yesterday of both general and local interest throughout the state. One of them had to do with the revocation of drivers licenses.
Authority to revoke licenses, he held, lay not with the courts but, under the drivers license law as the Legislature enacted that, with the Department of Revenue. Courts can order persons not to drive a car for stated periods, and in such cases their duty was to require the surrender of the license and forward it to the department with their recommendation.
The revocation or cancellation is up to the Department of Revenue. And that seems to bear out one of the contentions made by the State in its recent setto with Mecklenburg Recorder's Court.
If the Department of Revenue has the authority to revoke drivers licenses, it may assert that authority within certain limitations, independently of the courts. That is if a court acquits a man charged with drunken driving, the Department of Revenue may still revoke his license.
Another of Mr. McMullan's official opinions deserves more than passing attention. One good use of it would be to post it on the walls of every police department or sheriff's office in the state. At any rate, it is going into our files for the use that will surely arise for it in the future.
"An officer arresting a person for an offense less than a felony has no right to use firearms to unduly endanger human life... Any officer who kills a person charged with a misdemeanor while [that person is] fleeing from him is guilty of manslaughter at least. Officers shooting at the tires of an automobile of a fleeing misdemeanant, while it is being driven at a high rate of speed, would be guilty of assault if the court hearing the case should find as a fact that such an act was a use of such force as endangered the life of the fleeing misdemeanant..."
... And endangered the life, the Attorney-General might well have added in good common sense if not the law, of innocent persons on the highway.
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