The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 26, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "A Dream Hedged"--and maybe "Tort and Retort", also-- brings to mind the current situation with a company, a certain End-ran company, which once was the seventh largest corporation in corporate America, and which is no longer, or virtually so--as it was apparently pretty virtual all along anyway--as of early 2002. It is a sad business to feel compelled to compare corporate executives to leading Nazis of 60 years ago, but the comparison is apt in this instance, as well as any others of its type, where enrichment is gotten at the expense of the lesser financially endowed and the money is stored ashore and then taken, as the execs. do an end-run around their own collapsed line while the business is run aground (mixed metaphor or not)--but if more folks would make the comparison of these to Nazis and their greed during World War II, perhaps in due course, even these latter-day versions of the Beast might be shamed into some version of submission to the body politick which is the American people, who endowed them with their start in the first place--their one-time, now relatively impoverished, investors. Incidentally, we owned no stock in the End-ran company and so are making this suggestion for the benefit of others, not ourselves, in this most apropos sneer at PiggE Greed.

First Business

Neutrality Awaits While Congress Treats Congress

First business of the special session transacted by the House was to approve with right good cheer a resolution to appropriate $222,000 for travel expense.

Nobody, of course, expects a member of Congress to have to pay his own way to and from Washington at the beginning or end of any session. At the same time, everybody has the right to expect of Congressmen that they be reasonable in making out there swindle-sheets and not damage the Government simply because they have the power to.

At 20 cents a mile, session time means money in the pockets of members, especially those who come from afar. Senator Borah, for instance--a man who is individually above such graft--draws down a thousand bucks a year for the journey from Idaho to Washington and return, twice as much when there is a special session.

The funny part about it is that, whereas Congress meets and adjourns, Senator Borah stays in session the year around. And it has worked out so that he has been paid his thousand bucks of travel allowance when all he had to do was to call a cab take him from 2101 Connecticut Avenue to Capitol Hill.

A Dream Hedged

Hitler's Six Aides Said To Have Taken Precautions

Allied propaganda? It could have been, although the New York World-Telegram and the Chicago Daily News, which copyrighted the story (and to whom we are obliged for permission to publish it) evidently thought it reliable. So did their London man, William Stoneman, who credited his information to "an organization of world-wide reputation."

If it was true, it showed a weakness in the Nazi armor. The world would have admiration, however begrudging, for German super-patriots who staked their own lives and their families' welfare on the success of the desperate Nazi bid for supremacy, who shot the works in a bold gamble against the gods.

Before the six Hitler aides who were said to be hedging on the sly against his and their downfall--who had fortified themselves against adversity, by cacheting great sums of money outside the Reich--the world could have only contempt. The contempt it reserves for men in authority who, having forced their country into a position of the greatest danger, prepare escape for themselves, who order other men blindly to run risks which they themselves have hedged against.

If that is the way Hitler's six aides feel about the Reich, the Nazis are a great deal less invincible than they have boasted.

*[The six: Von Ribbentrop, $3,165,000 cash, $6,575,000 insurance outside of Germany; Goebbels, $4,635,000 cash, $4,335,000 insurance; Goering, $3,575,000 cash, $3,932,500 insurance; Hess, $2,045,000 cash, $1,962,000 insurance; Himmler, $2,000,000 cash, $637,000 insurance; Ley, $1,050,000 cash, $841,000 insurance.]

Map Learnin'

Showing A Little Benefit From This War After All

When stoical Rufe Cagle left to fight against the Germans in Lula Volmen's stirring mountain drama, "Sun Up," he answered inquiries thusly: "France? Hit's about forty miles t'other side o' Asheville."

That's what Pap Todd told him, anyway, and he had no reason to doubt it. Rufe lived way back in the hills, of course, and didn't have any too much larnin', but there were other Rufes in America, plenty of them, who didn't know much more about Europe.

Not so in this World War of 1939 A.D. We'll bet our bottom dollar that the average American today knows more about Europe than at any time in the history of our civilization. Try to stump him on the the Vistula River, the Baltic Sea, Ethiopia, Danzig. Ask him where the Rhine River is and what countries border Rumania on the north. Go on into politics, religion, location of races, guiding governmental philosophies, and even military tactics, and we believe you'll still find he knows at least something about all of them. If he doesn't, he either can't read or he's deaf, or both.

Revised Version

Senate Committee Writes Up An Iron-Bound Neutrality

Lord Hitler himself could hardly ask the United States any more stringent neutrality than has been written into the bill by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee--rather, by the Democratic members thereof. If it cannot keep us out of war, at the very least it removes as far as possible provocations for war.

See, now. A textile mill in the Carolinas has an order from Britain for so many yards of cloth. A factory in Pennsylvania likewise has an order for munitions. A grain merchant in Illinois has an order for so many bushels of wheat.

Each in turn without regard to the character of his merchandise, whether contraband or not, would have to comply, under the terms of the neutrality bill the committee has written, with the following restrictions:

Shipment would have to be made in other than American vessels, which would be prohibited from carrying either passengers or goods to belligerents.

Title to goods would have to be taken by the purchaser before goods left this shore. Their laws would be his laws.

Belligerents can neither sell securities nor solicit funds in this country nor obtain credit other than ordinary commercial credit for more than 90 days, the volume of which the President would have to report to Congress periodically.

So much for our trade with belligerents. For our trade with the rest of the world, it too would be subjected to war-time restrictions. U.S. ships and citizens would be forbidden to enter combat areas which the President would define.

American merchant vessels would be prohibited from carrying other than small arms necessary to preserve discipline aboard--would be prohibited for their own protection (and our protection), that is, from putting up a fight if they were molested on the high seas by the vessels of some other nation.

Americans could not travel in the ships of belligerents except under circumstances prescribed by the President.

The superiority of this proposed neutrality over the neutrality that has been written down on the books is manifest. As matters stand, arms and munitions are flatly embargoed, but other goods may be shipped, until the President proclaims to the contrary, in American vessels, with title residing in the American shipper.

And since the belligerents may draw up their own definitions of contraband, changing capriciously from day to day as they see fit, the effect of the revised version of neutrality is to revoke authority over American interests to precisely where it belongs--the American Government rather than foreign war offices.

In one other respect, the Senate committee's bill is vastly to be preferred to existing law. It would relieve the President of the awful responsibility of progressively revising this country's neutrality by proclamation. The game would begin with the rules in codified form, subject only to the designation by the Executive of factual conditions as they might develop.

Tort And Retort

Possession Of Rights Is No Excuse For Misusing Them

It's a dangerous doctrine that Police Court Judge Martin Fleming hands down from the bench in a trial of a man who admitted shooting a pistol into a crowd of people.

He was employed in the office of a company in which there was a strike. As he left the company yard one evening, he had to run the gauntlet of the picket line, and rocks were thrown at his automobile. He fired, low, he said, and three men were slightly wounded.

"You have a right to live (work), union or not..." said the judge. "You are justified in being armed and you are justified in shooting."

Case dismissed.

Well he certainly had the right to defend himself from attack and possible injury. He certainly had the right to continue to work during the strike if he wanted to, though there is a difference, these days, between having the right to go and getting there without incident.

But the possession of rights must always be qualified by restraint in exercising them. If the thief breaks into your hen house, you may shoot him, and the law will let you go. But you don't have to shoot him. You don't have to arm yourself and crash picket lines even if you are entitled to.

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