The Charlotte News
Tuesday, August 20, 1940
Site Ed. Note: For more on the subject of "Love-feast", see "Pot and Kettle", August 1, 1940, (placed on this site, replete with its note, July 27, 2001).
Fire Report Brings Up Question of Gas Trucks
The report of the engineers of the National Board of Fire Underwriters puts it pretty squarely up to the City Council about that ordinance for the control of gas trucks.
The section referring to the movement of inflammable materials makes it quite plain that the present regulations are flagrantly inadequate. That was plain enough already. It was plain enough to anybody who had eyes to see the trucks rolling rapidly through the main business and residential streets of the city, for anybody who could see that and who had read the accounts of gas truck accidents here and there in the state.
Charlotte has so far escaped a major oil truck tragedy, though on several occasions it has come very near to one which would have involved large property loss and perhaps the loss of life as well. But that has been solely due to great good luck and not at all to the existing ordinance, which simply expresses a pious hope.
Maybe now that the matter has been hitched up to the insurance rates something will be done about it. There is a possibility that the rates might be lowered if the recommendations of the underwriters were fully complied with. And there is a possibility that they might be raised if they are not complied with. It is a matter which affects the pocketbook as well as the personal safety of every citizen.
CIO Boss Ignores Danger To Labor in Draft Stand
Boss John Lewis of the CIO is in a dilemma, but he apparently has no difficulty in resolving it.
The Boss, not being a cretin, well knows that the establishment of the Nazi system in this country would fall on nobody more heavily than organized labor.
And in the United States it is of course the CIO which, as the more radical branch of Labor, would suffer most. For that matter the Boss himself could confidently count on an exceedingly uncomfortable cell in a concentration camp, with, say, Ernest Weir and Tom Girdler looking in on him and giggling while he got various ingenious versions of the hot foot.
In short, the Boss and his following have particularly strong reason for being in favor of the draft.
But at the same time the Boss is at outs with the Roosevelt Administration, which is more or less backing the conscription bill. Moreover, it is the Boss's custom always to see any measure which he himself did not propose as the handiwork of scoundrelly slavemasters in Wall Street.
But faced with the choice of deciding between the basic interest of labor and the gratification of his ego, the Boss apparently has no hesitancy. He is for the latter, first, last, and all the time, and though it land his own bulky frame squarely in that cell.
Two of a Kind Meet and Get On Together Famously
The Ku Klux Klan held its scheduled meeting at the German-American Bund camp, Nordland, near Andover, N.J., Sunday, and the session turned into an even more open love-feast than had been expected.
Somebody did get a little sore and call the cops when six Storm Troopers appeared and began to hand out pamphlets entitled "An Appeal to Friends of Fritz Kuhn."
But, as the Associated Press reports it,
Klan speakers expressed sympathy for members of the Bund who had been "persecuted" for their adherence to the doctrine of Nazi Germany.
All of which was quite natural and to be expected. The Nazi principles for whose adherents the Klan speakers felt such gentle sympathy are: (1) the propagation of racial hatred, (2) the propagation of intolerance, and (3) the lawless use of violence and brutality against the chosen victims and those who happen to disagree with the Nazi principles.
These, of course, are exactly the same principles which the Ku Klux Klan stands for. And so it is no marvel to find the Kukus snuggling up closer to the Nazis in this country. It will be wonderful, indeed, if we do not see them drawing much closer still and boldly advocating Nazism as time goes on.
The business at Andover is worth noting only because the Klan high command in Atlanta has been busily assuring the world lately that it has reformed and is now to be trusted as a great bulwark of Americanism.
The Isolationists Use a Word With Two Edges
The word treason is a bitter word. And more than that it is a cowardly word when applied to a man, who obviously is guilty of no such thing, behind a safe wall of Congressional immunity. In the old days the custom of dueling imposed some restraint on the blackguarding of citizens by Congressmen. But nowadays the citizen can only submit.
So the word had better have been left out of the discussion by the isolationist Senators when they came to lambasting Ambassador Bullitt for his speech Sunday night, in which he expressed his conviction that this country is in great peril from Adolf Hitler and that the most sensible thing we can do is to send England 50 destroyers at once. He may conceivably be mistaken, true. But he has had far better opportunities to judge this matter than Bennett Champ Clark or Arthur Vandenberg or Ernest Lundeen or that great statesman, Montana's Burt Wheeler. And his judgment coincides with the judgment of the overwhelming great part of those who have had the best opportunity to judge--with what is now said to be the judgment of Admiral Stark, with the judgment of Secretary Hull and the President, with the judgment expressed by General Pershing.
If he is mistaken, so are all these and many millions who believe in their knowledge and judgment. And if he is a traitor, so are these also.
Moreover, since the word treason has been injected into the argument it is in order to inquire what treason in the United States may consist of. The Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 3, gives the answer:
Treason against the United States should consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Now it may be in that you do not consider Adolf Hitler's Germany to be the enemy of this country. But the evidence as to what is going on in Latin America certainly gives rise to the presumption that it is. And the military authorities of this country seem to have no doubt of it. Certainly, in view of what has happened in Europe after precisely the same kind of assurances he is giving us, common sense says that we ought to take what steps we can to keep him from American shores, to deal with him when he comes.
Yet the fact is that the same men who yells that Bill Bullitt is a traitor have for weeks been tying up, not only measures to aid England and her effort to stop Hitler far from America, but also (in defiance of the overwhelming sentiment of the people) the measure fundamentally necessary to putting the defense forces in shape to have any hope of dealing with Hitler should he attempt to carry out what are plainly designs on America--the conscription bill.
Their motives seem to be a mixture of blind partisanship and hate, personal ambition and egotism, and ostrich sentimentality. But in view of what has happened elsewhere, we cannot afford to forget all of these men came from districts heavily populated by Germans, many of them of the most open Nazi sympathies, and that some of them have definite pro-German records from the last war. Lundeen, for instance, was the most wrongly pro-German member of the House of Representatives, and the fathers of LaFollette and Bennett Champ Clark were certainly not above suspicion in the Senate of those days.
In the absence of proof, to call these men traitors would be only less outrageous than their attack on Bullitt. In the showdown, we do not believe any of them are or would knowingly be traitors. Nevertheless, their deeds do gamble most desperately with the safety of this nation, and come inevitably to give "aid and comfort" to what we are convinced are Hitler's plans. Surely, he would not swap them for ten million organized Fifth Columnists of the Fritz Kuhn stamp.
And so the word treason sounds most unbecoming in their mouths.
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