Tuesday, March 23, 1943

The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 23, 1943


Site Ed. Note:


The SOUL: Forever and forever—longer than soil is brown and solid—longer than water ebbs and flows. I will make the poems of materials, for I think they are to be the most spiritual poems; And I will make the poems of my body and of mortality, For I think I shall then supply myself with the poems of my Soul, and of immortality. I will make a song for These States, that no-one State may under any circumstances be subjected to another State; And I will make a song that there shall be comity by day and by night between all The States, and between any two of them: And I will make a song for the ears of the President, full of weapons with menacing points, And behind the weapons countless dissatisfied faces: —And a song make I, of the One form'd out of all; The fang’d and glittering One whose head is over all; Resolute, warlike One, including and over all; (However high the head of any else, that head is over all.) I will acknowledge contemporary lands; I will trail the whole geography of the globe, and salute courteously every city large and small; And employments! I will put in my poems, that with you is heroism, upon land and sea; And I will report all heroism from an American point of view. I will sing the song of companionship; I will show what alone must finally compact These; I believe These are to found their own ideal of manly love, indicating it in me; I will therefore let flame from me the burning fires that were threatening to consume me; I will lift what has too long kept down those smouldering fires; I will give them complete abandonment; I will write the evangel-poem of comrades, and of love; (For who but I should understand love, with all its sorrow and joy? And who but I should be the poet of comrades?)


I am the credulous man of qualities, ages, races; I advance from the people in their own spirit; Here is what sings unrestricted faith. Omnes! Omnes! let others ignore what they may; I make the poem of evil also—I commemorate that part also; I am myself just as much evil as good, and my nation is—And I say there is in fact no evil; (Or if there is, I say it is just as important to you, to the land, or to me, as anything else.) I too, following many, and follow'd by many, inaugurate a Religion—I descend into the arena; (It may be I am destin’d to utter the loudest cries there, the winner's pealing shouts; Who knows? they may rise from me yet, and soar above every thing.) Each is not for its own sake; I say the whole earth, and all the stars in the sky, are for Religion’s sake. I say no man has ever yet been half devout enough; None has ever yet adored or worship’d half enough; None has begun to think how divine he himself is, and how certain the future is. I say that the real and permanent grandeur of These States must be their Religion; Otherwise there is no real and permanent grandeur: (Nor character, nor life worthy the name, without Religion; Nor land, nor man or woman, without Religion.)

--Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, 1900 edition

The front page reports that General Patton's forces had moved on to take Maknassa, then moving forward toward Mezzouna, to within 34 miles of Gabes on the coast of Tunisia. Meanwhile, General Montgomery's Eighth Army had flanked to the southwest of the Mareth Line, and encountered stiff resistance at El Hamma, while another force struck hard against the Mareth Line from the south along a six-mile front, making then their way northeast of the town of Mareth.

All three points of impact are marked on the front page map.

In Russia, in sandy terrain which is stated as similar to that of Pinehurst, N.C., the Soviet Army pushed 40 miles north of Bryansk on the central front. To the south, in the Caucasus, in which no action had been reported for several weeks, the Soviets moved across a river feeding the Kuban River. Fierce fighting continued in the area of Chuguev and Belgorod in the Donets River basin, north of Kharkov.

The RAF and American forces bombed submarine bases at Wilhelmshaven in Germany and at St. Nazaire along the French western coast. In the Wilhelmshaven attack were two Flying Fortresses named "Chuck Wagon" and "What's Cooking, Doc?", the crews of which reported successful raids through heavy smoke camouflage sent up by the Nazis, nevertheless pierced with the heaviest bomb loads yet of the war dropped on the U-boat nest.

RAF plywood Mosquitoes attacked the Bay of Biscay with success.

The Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded Major Algene Key of Meridian, Mississippi.

He and his brother, Fred, also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his war effort, had, in 1935, established a flying endurance record, circling Meridian for 653 hours, after inventing a method for refueling planes successfully in mid-air by means of a check valve to avoid spilling gasoline on hot exhaust pipes, an invention which was later adopted by the Air Force and is still in use, with modifications. The record eclipsed the 150 hours spent in the air by "Question Mark" mysteriously circling Los Angeles in 1929, piloted by Carl Spaatz, by 1943, head of the North African Air Command.

Al Key retired in 1960 as a full Colonel in the Air Force and subsequently was elected mayor of Meridian.

Meridian was established in 1860 after the land on which it is situated was purchased from the Choctaw Indians in 1830 under the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Incidentally, we have been unable to ascertain precisely when Mr. Key served as mayor or whether he was in that capacity when the three young civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, were murdered by a group of Klansmen, aided and abetted by the local Sheriff's Department of Philadelphia, Mississippi, just outside that town, June 21, 1964, shortly after their release from jail, as they made their way back to Meridian, 40 miles away in the next county. Among the principals in the murder was Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price of Philadelphia. Charged, but not convicted, was Sheriff Lawrence Rainey. The three civil rights workers worked out of Meridian at the time.

We do not suggest any relationship between the murders and any officials of Meridian and no such evidence ever surfaced. The mention of Meridian inescapably brings the incident to mind.

The last to be convicted for these brutal murders was "Preacher" Edgar Ray Killen, an ordained Baptist minister, who was convicted of manslaughter June 21, 2005 and then sentenced by the Court to the maximum penalty of sixty years in prison, twenty years per count, a conviction upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2007. It was the only state prosecution ever undertaken in the murder of the civil rights workers.

Edgar Ray Killen now serves his sentence at age 85. At last report, in early 2010, he had filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government, claiming a violation of his civil rights for the F.B.I. having paid an informant to infiltrate the co-conspirators responsible for the crime.

In early October, 2004, we posted this note, prior to his indictment by the State of Mississippi in January, 2005.

But, of course, we were riotously Wrong--as always. Just ask the Klan of North Carolina and elsewhere.

You don't believe that they still exist? We know that they do, even if many of them no longer profess to be Klansmen or wear the regalia of the Klan any longer.

A mock invasion of the Continent was staged from Great Britain by Canadian forces under the command of Canadian General Andrew McNaughton, who was instrumental in planning the Dieppe Raid on the coast of France, August 19, 1942, preparatory to D-Day.

The number of assembled forces for the Allies in this training exercise, including the mock "enemy" forces of the British, led by Lt.-General J. A. Gammel, were so large that German sources reported an actual invasion to be nigh. Thus, the exercise served a dual purpose, preparation and presumably throwing the Nazis guarding the French coastal defenses along the new Maginot Line into a scramble, all for naught.

Evidence surfaced before the Truman Committee in the Senate indicating that prescribed tests of steel plates to be supplied the Navy had been faked at the Carnegie-Illinois Steel Corporation in Irwin, Pennsylvania. Executives of the company denied knowledge or complicity in the act.

At least, they were not set to go into a nuclear reactor.

The report of only "light to heavy frost" for this day in history around Charlotte caused the poodle or cat or sheep or goat, or whatever it was, to turn around and face the other way, for whatever reason.

We still don't understand it, but we didn't grow up on a farm. Maybe you can figure it out.

On the editorial page, as fate would have it to be coincident with this day in 2010 when the President signed into law our new national health plan, Dorothy Thompson in 1943 commented on the recently released National Resources Planning Board's report titled "Freedom from Want", in which it sought to grapple with the issue of obtaining and maintaining full employment after the war and make recommendations to achieve same.

The New York Times, she states with dismay, had inveighed against any social planning of the sort which the plan put forth, suggesting it as a road to the "welfare state" which The Times opined had paved the way under Bismarck and the Weimar Republic for the coming to power of Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Ms. Thompson says that it was not the case and that instead, it was the failure of the Bismarck government, and its post-World War I successor Weimar Republic under the leadership of Hindenburg, to provide for full employment in Germany which had precipitated the economic ills giving approbation in a significant enough portion of the German popular mind to enable power to Hitler and his method of resolving employment, the drafting of labor into the formation of a military state.

The New York Herald-Tribune had supported the Congress in its determination to write such a plan on its own. Ms. Thompson found this notion, too, objectionable, on the basis that Congress was ill-equipped as a body to render on its own initiative such a cohesive plan for society for its varied competing interests soliciting the attention of each of its individual members. She appeals to the Administration instead to take the leadership role in setting forth such a plan and then for the Congress to consider, debate, and formulate a responsible measure from a proposal put forth by the President--the way the Constitution envisioned it.

Which, relative to health care, in the past year, we as a society have just done. Ms. Thompson's view is thus honored. The country could not ask for a better, fairer process, even if the result might prove dissatisfactory in parts. It is the way of a democracy, working as such.

That is not to say, of course, that the debate is completed on health care. In many respects, it has just begun, and the plan just passed, through time, will no doubt undergo repeated revision and experiment, as we, as a society stumble along, still mortally fearful of anything which smacks of the root word "social".

Hint: National Sozialism bore no relationship to socialism in fact. National Sozialism was totalitarian fascism, a corporate state ruled by an elite few on a military model.

Study the two concepts sometime side by side from responsible academic sources, preferably not Wicked-pedia or its cited material, and you will immediately understand the polar opposite distinction between socialism and National Sozialism.

Socialism, at its base, is a cooperative state with minimal government overseeing the cooperative efforts of the people.

But, we do not live in a socialist state. That, however, does not mean that the opposite is true, that government is omnipotent and may oversee every activity of individual citizens without limitation, posited on the simplistic paternalistic notion that it is for their own good. In a democracy, under our Constitution, we as citizens have individual liberties and rights, not just those enumerated in the document, but all which are not afforded expressly to the State as powers exclusive to the State, the power to regulate interstate commerce, for instance, the power to appoint and confirm Federal judges, for another.

The State, for instance, cannot mandate abortions; it merely recognizes the right of privacy for an individual to have one if she chooses, under certain prescribed limitations, consistent with scientific and medical knowledge. The right of privacy is not specifically enumerated but is recognized as inherent in the Fourth Amendment and one of the "penumbral rights" of the Ninth Amendment. It is not a matter of legalizing "murder" because the fetus is not a child separate from the mother, capable of viability outside the womb. It is truly a very simple concept.

Many, it would appear, misunderstand these concepts and believe them to be formulated on the opposite predicate, that government has all rights not expressly prohibited to it. That is not the way of it. That is a police state, a military state, a totalitarian state, a Nazi-Fascist state.

Nor does socialized medicine necessarily imply socialism as a basis for society. That is why we have a Constitution as the final arbiter for determining the viability and appropriateness of all legislative enactments.

And the Constitution, while meant to be a flexible document through time, is not, of itself, in its wording, the least bit flexible. Figure out what we mean by that and you will have it all pretty much understood at its foundation pins.

Well, we went into all of that esoterica yesterday in some detail and so, for now, we shall leave the topic.

Samuel Grafton writes of the decrepitude of American isolationists, their complete overhaul of their philosophy in light of the war. Once for civilian control of the military, as prescribed by the Constitution, they were now, finds Mr. Grafton, in favor of having General MacArthur run the war, not FDR.

In sum, isolationists were simply anti-Administrationists seeking a convenient box in which to fit their ill-tempered notions to make them sound other than merely old out-party political rhetoricians.

Raymond Clapper reports that mail to Senators Ball, Burton, Hatch, Hill, co-sponsors of the bill before Congress to authorize membership of the United States in a post-war United Nations organization, was running heavily in favor of the proposal.

"The New Face" finds Germany now no longer talking boldly of an Aryan Master Race but equality of man, no longer engaging its military forces in grand putsches of the type sent into Poland, into France and the Low Countries, into Russia, but confining itself to smaller strategic maneuvers and defensive operations, all in some vain effort to regain the world’s confidence before the inevitable end would come.

And it would come, just as Churchill had predicted Sunday, two years hence, plus 38 days.

"Juke Joints" recommends putting down all juke joints as breeding grounds for crime and general unruly behavior among the youth of Charlotte.

Was it the juke or was it the joints?

Were "carousals", as mentioned by the piece, the same or similar to carousels?

"Ancient Enemy" regards the constant parade in the country from time immemorial of those despising democracy and everything it represents, those who despised FDR's plan for future security of the country, those who despised the concept of a future United Nations organization, those who praised Neville Chamberlain's proclamation of "Peace in Our Time" after Munich, those who despised Wilson's Fourteen Points after World War I designed to prevent future recurrence of world war, those who despised the words of Lincoln when he paraphrased the words of the Declaration of Independence at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, "We hold these truths to be self-evident…"

This Ancient Enemy of which the piece eloquently refers still exists.

Today, we choose to refer to them as Limbecks.

In any event, we are reminded of this song from 1992, one simply titled "Untitled", (to which you may listen for free by hitting the play button). If you have never yet heard it, it is worth a close listen.

If you are a Limbeck or know one, we recommend better listening to and reading of different things from those to which customary habit has wedded and mesmerized ears and eyes, and to recommend then those different things to others who are so disposed to be stuck in emoting rather than thinking through issues and problems besetting us, both individually and collectively.

The quote of the day, by John Bright from "On the Irish Troubles", an essay from 1880, reminds of the quote from him attributed by W. J. Cash in his 1941 University of Texas commencement address, "the poor, proud homes of England". In context, he was assessing from where most Southerners came originally:

"Well, what then is our Southern tradition? The best way to answer that I believe is to remember who we were and are, what we were in our origins. The answer to that is that we were a plain people in general in our origins. John Bright used to like to talk about the poor, proud homes of England. Well, if you add the poor, proud homes of Scotland and Ireland and France and Germany, perhaps, Spain now and then, why you probably have just about where most of us came from."

That he left out Africa was not accidental, as his audience of the time hearing his commencement address at a segregated university was all white. But, obviously, with the city of Charlotte, which he had just departed four days earlier, after three and a half years working there, having 30% of its 100,000 population comprised of African-Americans, he well understood that Africa was the origin of a large and significant portion of the South’s population as a whole. But, his audience was all white.

Someday, we shall share with you another scene from that novel written by our friend in the Caribbean, a scene taken down in October, 1991, describing a taxi ride by Wilbur and Mary on June 1, 1941 through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, a taxi driven by a cut-rate Aryan.

Whether, incidentally, the passenger in the barber chair depicted in the "Side Glances" might have been, through the smoky mists of runic time, somehow, Deputy Cecil Price, and the barber some renegade F.B.I. agent, not beholding too much to Mr. Hoover and his ban on using leather straps or even razors to extract confessions, we don't know.

In some circumstances, we are tempted to suggest exception to the Fifth Amendment proscriptions. But, of course, you cannot do it, even with the Cecil Prices of the world, else it would just be thrown out of court. And it is no way to achieve the truth, in any event.

Just what that letter to the editor is all about, we have yet to fathom. You read it for yourself. It reminds of the cow mutilator of which the editorial column had reported somewhere back there when Cash was aboard. But this writer was even more vicious, it would seem, ascribing to his words a confession of truth, not just literary irony or story-telling, of which we detect none. At least, we suppose, he was honest, in a brutally frank sort of way.

"They say it is part of the give and take price neighbors must pay in order to maintain friendly relations," he says disgustedly, in reference to putting up with a neighbor's doggie depositing land mines on his lawn. He thinks otherwise and wished to challenge the status quo with random applications of strychnine to the doggies of the neighborhood.

Is it any wonder that there was a world war afoot?

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