The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 17, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Aachen front was relatively quiet this day, albeit not in lull, as the Germans appeared spent from several furious counter-attacks, attempting to break the First Army's ring surrounding them. The Germans had lost 2,500 men, a thousand of whom had been killed, a quarter of their complement of troops defending Aachen. But an A.P. correspondent reported that the supply situation of the Germans was "much better" than had been anticipated by the Allies.

Fifty miles north of Aachen, the British broke into the Dutch town of Venray, eight miles from the German border with Holland, and the town appeared ready to fall.

Midway between Geilenkirchen and Aachen, at Ofden, and at Wurselen, the Allies faced intense artillery bombardment from the Germans.

Canadian troops advanced nearly a half mile above the Leopold Canal in an attempt to clear the sea approaches to Antwerp.

As part of an armada of 2,100 planes, 1,300 American heavy bombers dropped 4,000 tons of bombs on Cologne for the sixth day in a row, seeking to interdict supplies going to besieged Aachen, 40 miles distant. It was the most concentrated bombing yet of Cologne, already a devastated city. Salzburg was also hit. Thirteen bombers and three fighters were lost.

Cologne had been an important center of manufacture of chemicals and machines since the time of the Romansówait, let us check that sentence again.

About 500 heavy bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force out of Italy struck in the vicinity of Vienna, as well as targets in Germany and Czechoslovakia.

In the Pacific, Admiral Nimitz stated that the Japanese Fleet had come out of hiding to examine the U. S. Third Fleet to see what, if any, damage it had suffered but had refused to engage battle. He asserted that there had been no damage of consequence to the Third Fleet. Two large warships had suffered some damage, albeit with small numbers of casualties.

The War Department, through Major General Curtis LeMay, chief of the Twentieth Bomber Command, confirmed that the third B-29 attack on Formosa within four days had taken place, between Friday and Monday, this time striking Tainan. "We knocked hell out of them," said General LeMay. The Americans had lost 45 planes while downing more than 700 enemy planes.

The first raid had struck Heito air base and the second had hit Okayama (or "Okayma", as it is also printed, but not "Okayvama" as it was last weekónever been, ourselves).

The Russians had launched a large new offensive along a 25-mile front northeast of Vilkaviskas in Lithuania, at the East Prussian border.

German broadcasts contended that the Russians had amassed a thousand tanks within the suburb of Praga for an assault on Warsaw.

In Yugoslavia, the Russians and Partisan forces of Marshal Tito had captured Nis, 175 miles from the trans-Balkan Railway, and were engaging the final fight inside Belgrade for the capital, from which the Nazi puppet government was reported to have already fled.

A furious tank battle was reported by the Germans to be taking place 50 miles east of Budapest. Unconfirmed reports had the Hungarian First Army marching on Budapest in aid of the Russian offensive.

There was open revolt within the Hungarian Army, with soldiers departing to fight with the Russians. The Hungarian Second Army was in turmoil. Berlin reported that Maj. General Bela Miklos Von Dalnok, commander of the First Army, had deserted his position along with "several ladies belonging to the female staff of his headquarters", taking all of the Army's money with them; but earlier reports had claimed that the general had been dismissed and had been stealing the money of the Army for months. Lt. General Dezsee Laszlo, Victor's brother, had been appointed in his stead as commander of the First Hungarian Army by the Nazi puppet government.

The automobile of Major Robert Clark, reported missing since March 21 when he did not arrive at his destination at Fort Bragg from Raleigh from which he had departed March 17, had been discovered, camouflaged under Army blankets covered with brush, in a wooded area near Camp Mackall. Foul play was suspected.

On the editorial page, "It Says Here" finds a May editorial from the Charlotte Observer which supported the view of both Governor Broughton and the presumptive Governor-elect, Gregg Cherry, that caution should be advised in reducing state taxes following the war, for any reduction would mean that no substantial increase could be made in any area of appropriation.

But appearing to adopt a contrarian view of the matter, The Observer had of late been advocating a study in Raleigh of the comparative State tax rates to determine whether North Carolina's tax structure was too cumbersome to attract new corporations to the state and thus whether the State should find ways to reduce taxes.

The editorial suggests that the people of the state and the services on which they depended, especially roads and education, should not be curtailed at the expense of attracting big business.

Well, hell, roads are one thing for them big rigs to run down to bring in the goods, but who needs a education to count beans and be a good corporater, ye know? If the kids want education so bad, let 'em read at home.

And as for them danged people sufferin' foreclosures, let 'em hit bottom, pardner, dang lazy sons-o-guns, where they belong, let the corporations have all the real property and then redistribute it in the form of rentals so that we all go back to the company village, just like them good ol' plantation days.

And furthermore, let's decrease them taxes across the board to 9 percent and impose a Federal sales tax of 9 percent, meaning that if you pay 7-8% state sales taxes, you would then have it increased on every purchase to 16%. So you go buy yourself a dollar at the Budget-Widget Mart, you now pay $1.16 rather than a $1.07.

That's okay though, until it starts getting into the thousands by the end of that first year, and you wished to hell you'd never asked for that danged tax reduction. But it don't matter 'cause you won't have enough to spend to make much diff'rence. A hundred dollars a year income only generates $9 extra tax. Think of all them tax savin's, pardner. You can deliver pizzas for a livin'. Make 'em an offer they can't refuse when they get to the door. Walk away rich.

Good lesson. Now you lose your house, too. Next time, learn to listen 'fore you vote.

Besides, you can go out and work for a livin' by climbing over the electrified fence into Mexico where conditions are much better. See there? You cure the illegal immigration problem, with illegal emigration of all the undesirables.

Ooo, there's another one who didn't quite make it. One less we have to fry at state expense.

That thar's a plan for a better country. All of us renters, the wealth in the hands of the top one percent, and all of us being their slaves while they buy off all the politicians and pay them to say such things.

Remember where you heard it first: the Republicans for 2012.

Dang right. Ride 'em, cowboy. Ever'body in the country can get them a gusher if'n they work hard enough fer it. Hot dang.

You won't have to worry about no abortion under them plans, neither. You'll be too tired by the evenin' to do much besides collapse.

Don't worry. That's all just a joke--we think. The real campaign 'll start in a few months. Maybe not. We know where we're goin'.

You want some more Party-wine?

"We're Low" reports that Charlotte had the second lowest city tax rate of any city of 90,000 to 110,000 population, second only to Canton, Ohio. It was an important fact, when combined with state tax rates, to determine the competitiveness of taxes in attracting big business. Other North Carolina cities also maintained low municipal tax rates, substantially lower than comparably sized cities in neighboring Virginia, often cited as possessing a more appealing state tax rate for business than North Carolina, but in fact proving higher when combined with the higher local taxes.

The money to pay for it all has got to come from somewhere.

"Help Wanted" tells of the campaign of PM and the New York Post to have everyone favoring re-election of President Roosevelt send in a dollar to finance more radio addresses. It calculated that the Teamsters address by the President on September 23 had cost about $70,000, increased because of the extended time from 30 to 53 minutes, resulting from repeated interruptions for applause. The President had managed only two radio addresses to Governor Dewey's six, and so the two publications were eager to balance access to the airwaves, implying that the Democrats could not afford to pay for additional air time.

The piece suggests that, in all likelihood, the incumbent party would have no trouble providing for itself, even if strictures under the Hatch Act and Smith-Connally Act on campaign financing imposed spending limits of $3,000,000 by each of the major parties and limited contributions from each individual contributor.

"Price Plus" finds that the County Commissioners, being predominantly Scotch by heritage, were not going to sell off the old courthouse lot for anything less than its true worth on the market, that having been determined to be $455,000.

The piece wonders whether the property would sell at that price and if it did, predicts that the buyer would have to develop the property to enable a return on investment.

We have a feeling though, given property values in 1944 in Charlotte and elsewhere, that the property, unless endowed with gold or oil, was being sold at probably $4,550.00 or even $455.00, assuming it was unimproved, and that the figure printed was the result of a typesetter's error. Either that, or the property is probably still for sale at or close to that price.

Drew Pearson tells that the observers arriving from Germany reported that the Nazis were systematically killing the slave labor which had been imported from Russia during Germany's time of conquering the western lands, and that from France, and Czechoslovakia, some ten million people in all having been thusly conscripted, with approximately 1.5 million of them so far having been exterminated. Witnesses reported that the crematoria found at Lublin were characteristic of other such death camps throughout Germany, designed for the purpose of this extermination on a wholesale and efficient basis.

It is now a familiar story which these witnesses then related: men and women were stripped of their valuables, herded into large chambers, and there gassed. The valuables then went to the quartermaster for sorting. The reason for gas, continued the witnesses, was that the SS officers, hardened men though they were, could not take emotionally the task of lining up whole families in the night and shooting them. Some had suffered nervous breakdowns doing so.

Mr. Pearson next informs of Federal Judge Thurman Arnold, former Assistant Attorney General, having been seen in a fancy swimming pool recently in Hollywood, smoking a cigar while doing the backstroke, conversing with Esther Williams, the champion swimmer and movie starlet, being asked then by the camera man to move aside to allow them to shoot Ms. Williams.

Last, he relates of Congressman Dick Kleberg of Texas, part owner of the largest ranch in the world, having been exposed the previous summer as placing three teenaged boys on the Federal payroll who then kicked back part of their salaries to the Congressman's office. He had justified the act on the basis that the money was needed to pay expenses and balance the office budget. But, now word had come that he could afford to contribute $2,500 to the campaign against Roosevelt being initiated by Texas Democrat, Senator Pappy Lee O'Daniel.

Senator O'Daniel had boasted on his radio program that the money had come from the little people of Texas. The bulk, however, was from major donors such as the Congressman. Both Senator Ed Moore of Texas and oil man H. R. Cullen had each contributed $25,000.

Hal Boyle, in Belgium on October 10, reports that the Belgian civilian populace believed the American Army was too lenient in its behavior toward the Germans, wanted them to be just as ruthless as the Nazis had been with the people of the occupied countries.

One family had described their experience as refugees in Belgium at the fall in spring, 1940. They were traveling along a road as part of a refugee caravan when the Luftwaffe flew over, strafing the entirety of the column of cars and people on foot. They got out of their automobiles and lay in the ditch alongside the road, but the planes strafed them anyway, killing the woman's husband.

She remembered the terrible screams of the mother whose baby had been shot in the head by the planes, splattering the infant's brains all over the mother.

The woman who spoke with Mr. Boyle said that she would always hate the Nazis. "You Americans are too easy with the Germans now. You really don't know them. You will live to regret your kindness."

Samuel Grafton tells of his having, a year earlier, spent two days with Wendell Willkie in his hometown of Rushville, Indiana. Mr. Willkie had stated that it was wrong thinking to seek a man of labor to become Secretary of Labor. Rather, such a man should be Secretary of War or, if a lawyer, Attorney General.

Notably, he also stated that if he were to become President, he would place an African-American either in the Cabinet or on the Supreme Courtó22 years before either event would take place, when Thurgood Marshall was appointed in 1967 by Lyndon Johnson to the Supreme Court, a year after Robert Weaver had become the first black Cabinet level officer, also appointed by President Johnson, as Secretary of HUD.

Mr. Willkie had favored strong relations with Britain and Russia, articulating the reasoning as founded on a larger economic base for the country's future, hence anti-labor, anti-business would be any candidate opposed to such international alignment.

Mr. Grafton says that he liked Mr. Willkie, that he was a good man, and would advise those timorous businessmen who were concerned of the future, the spiraling national debt from the war, the need for reconversion and its uncertainties in the process, to "open a door".

Marquis Childs, still in Los Angeles, writes of the post-war aspirations of California to become the center of the burgeoning civilian aircraft industry. Donald Douglas of Douglas Aircraft was the leader, slating conversion of its C-47 transport planes, so valuable to the Air Transport Command, into the civilian DC-4 passenger plane, to be companion to the larger DC-3. Lockheed was the chief competitor, having plans for a large airplane, the Constitution, which would carry some 152 passengers, to complement its existing smaller Saturn and Constellation models. They intended to establish service at a relatively cheap rate, $100 roundtrip to Hawaii, $200 to Rio.

Of course, to an auto worker then earning a wage of less than $50 a week, that represented a half to a full month's pay. For a school teacher in North Carolina earning about half that or less, it was unlikely to become a reality anytime soon.

Syndicated columnists, some of whom commanded well over $50,000 per year in a time when that was a king's ransom, could dream a little more fancifully.

In any event, Mr. Childs reports that orders for military planes were secure through the following June and that the companies believed they would not be gearing up for civilian production before 1946.

Dorothy Thompson, quoting amply from Alice, analogizes the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, concluded eleven days earlier in Georgetown, with the March Hare Tea Party, where wine was offered but none available was, where more tea was to be had before any had yet consumed been by Alice, skeptical.

Ms. Thompson finds the tea to be the Dumbarton promise of security, and the wine, peace, while Alice was played by the Chinese.

While agreeing with the President that the Charter of the United Nations must be approached with contemplation and not hurried, Ms. Thompson thinks its conception thus far, that of a top-heavy power structure to preserve the wartime alignment of the Big Four plus France, was not one which would encourage world peace after the war.

She further compares the process to the various conventions preceding adoption of the Constitution. The Federalist Papers made clear that the basic conception of the Government was in place, that to be formed of laws and then enforced. Such was not the case thus far out of Dumbarton with respect to the United Nations organization. (Not to be too picky with analogies generally, but Ms. Thompson appears to forget that the Constitution sets forth no means of enforcing the laws of Congress. The three branches of government had to find their way for 120 years before the Bureau of Investigation became the first enforcement body outside the Justice Department and lawsuits brought by it, or the powers of contempt or criminal sanctions of statute available to the Federal courts. There is no Federal common law, only those statutes passed by Congress.)

She finds instructive of the inadequate formative structure of the U.N. the fact that Switzerland had indicated a desire not to become a member, had refused to have the headquarters located at Geneva.

We might extend the analogy another step, to the Indy car racing world, from which we heard it said yesterday that once you are in a multi-car pile-up, there is nothing you can do, given the speed at which the cars are hurtling down the track. You simply must ride it out, as you cannot possibly stop, hoping for the best. Such was the way of it with the construction of the basis for the United Nations during the course of the war. Fortunately, thus far, no one has actually hit the wall, even if some close calls have come our way. Had we ever hit the wall, we would be living in the desert, all of us. It would all resemble 90 percent of Nevada. That is scary enough, if you've ever driven through it, as we have several times. Keep the peace.

Of course, the best way to stay out of the pile-ups is not to get into the idiotic race in the first place, betting your life for two million bucks or so against some sleazy underworld figures who have placed bets in Las Vegas that you will not survive the race. Want to make a bet, Greaseball?

We might inquire whether the latter-day Tea Party is one conceived around the Boston version or that of Mr. Carroll. It would appear, should it have appearance, to be the latter. But, thank goodness that Paul Revere warned all of the British that the Redcoats were coming. It could have led to Constitutional rule otherwise, rather than rule by the Church of England.

Want some more wine?

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.