The Charlotte News

Monday, March 9, 1942


Site Ed. Note: The big double-whammy news on the front page of this date announced both the fall of Rangoon in Burma to the Japanese as the remaining weary British defenders evacuated the once busy port city receiving trade for the Burma Road into China, and that of Bandoeng, provisional military capital of Java in the Dutch East Indies. Rangoon had already been evacuated the previous week of all civilians and trade personnel. The Dutch denied the complete fall of Java, but reports from Japanese sources said that 93,000 Dutch soldiers had surrendered along with 5,000 British, Australians, and Americans. The Dutch insisted that their soldiers would fight on to the last man.

The battle fronts in the Pacific were now reduced to India, Australia, and the remaining valiant fighters of MacArthur on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. On the latter front, former commander of the Japanese forces, Lt.-General Homma, committed suicide over his inability to subdue and capture the greatly outnumbered American-Filipino combined force. He was replaced by the commander of the successful Malaya operation, General Yamashita. Within a week, MacArthur would be ordered to leave the Philippines for Melbourne. The end was not far away for the Allied forces on Bataan and Corregidor.

Yet, to buoy hope came more news of the first major American naval offensive, that in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, which had been ongoing for several weeks but news of which had been blacked out for security reasons. The fight was now being carried into the Japanese mandates northward of those positions.

On the European front, more Russian successes are reported, re-capturing Sychevka, driving a wedge through the German lines 125 miles out from Moscow, while the RAF performed a successful raid on the Krupp Munitions plant at Essen in Germany and a truck plant near Paris.

Lord Beaverbrook's London Daily Express, it is reported, while urging, along with the other London dailies, offensive action by the Allies, stated: "If the spirit of Britain were aroused to the attack as it should be by now, we should be attacking not only the enemy but the fetters that hold us back inside this country."

It sounds a bit, if we may say, as Legion recounted by Mark. Yet, the Beaver was right. Right.

Time for Plan R.

Meanwhile, it is comforting to note that the Lumberton School Board decided, a month after national war time went into effect to save electricity, that the public schools could now join the rest of the nation on war time and send the kids off in proper daylight, finally jumping the clocks ahead an hour in Lumberton. The Lumberton officials had determined on their own, apparently by sticking their heads out the door at sevenish, that the sun may rise in other places earlier, but that in Lumberton it did not also thus rise, and so, just to be different, they had apparently ordered the kids to remain home and sit by the old rooster.

Lumberton, we know from past experience, is about thirty miles from Fort Bragg. We used to eat Sunday lunch every Sunday in Fayetteville when we were learning what lunch was, and as well, from the back of our mama's hand, not to go around bothering the other patrons exploring same. We were simply curious as to whether their food was as ours. Which may explain why they kept the kids home there in Lumberton until the sun rose each morning. Whatever it is, it may be somewhere in the sandy soil or the swamp. We simply don't know.

On the editorial page, the call from the New York World-Telegram was to stop the gimmes and start to give, especially from labor and the thugs who ran it. (We refer you for example of that likely in their mind to the case of the Teamsters boarding trucks and demanding a day's wages not to interfere with the trucking operations in New York, as decided in the Teamsters' favor 6 to 1, Chief Justice Stone dissenting, by the Supreme Court the previous week in U.S. v. Local 807, 315 US 521, the case striking down convictions for conspiracy to racketeer under a Federal statute on the basis that the ordinary common law could reach the type of violence or extortion or robbery there being perpetrated and that the statute in question was not promulgated to impact union activities, exempting "the payment of wages by a bonafide employer to a bonafide employee", but rather was intended to prosecute outright gangsterism of the type profligate during prohibition. The Court found that the government's use of the statute shifted the determination of the necessary intent element of the crime from an examination of the actions of the defendants to that of the employer, as to whether the employer paid the ruffian rapscallion on the basis solely of violence or threat of violence or based on legitimate union activity even though the ruffian offered for the payment services which were refused.)

Mr. Clapper indicates that the average American can at least do one thing for his country, pay taxes. The front page indicates that a member of the New York Board of Trade had counseled Congress to eliminate all personal tax exemptions, stop the free ride for much of the middle class, rather than obtain 90% of the income of the upper income payees which the proposed tax changes sought.

All of that while the country read of its new air hero, Butch O'Hare, whose father, counsel to Al Capone, had been killed in 1937 for being a stooly against the gangster for not paying taxes, sending him to the pen.

We don't know exactly how it all adds up, but it is bound to add up somehow. For out of the total morass which was this world of the first half of the 1940's, the Allies were victorious. Somebody obviously paid their taxes, and their death along with them to boot.

And, as to "Blunder", you must forgive the well-meaning editorialist's blunder in not understanding why the Army chose to revert to a plan whereby induction centers far from the madding crowd would examine potential draftees for fitness rather than have them simply report to local draft boards as had become the adopted practice the previous year. The objection by the American Psychiatric Association that known local psychotics could not so easily be screened out far from the madding crowd as by local determination and thus might wind up piloting a tank or driving an airplane probably tells precisely why the policy reverted to the former scheme. We forgive the editorialist's blunder, for Joseph Heller had not yet published his well-known chef d'œuvre.

"Scooped" says, in essence, that if'n you're gonna black us out, black them Britishers out, too, by gum. What d'ye think, they're royalty or somethin'? So there.

Plan R.

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