Wednesday, May 3, 1944

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 3, 1944


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the night before, RAF Mosquitos attacked a chemical factory at Leverkusen, just north of Cologne. During the day, American medium bombers had struck again at Pas-de-Calais.

It was generally reported that the bombing campaign had successfully interrupted all German rail traffic through Belgium and Northern France, while freight yards extending from Cologne to the Bay of Biscay, a hundred miles deep, were incapable of handling trains other than for hauling coal and military supplies. Fourteen-year old boys and one-armed German soldiers were being employed now to run the trains. Without the rail yards, the Germans had to choose between stationing troops regularly along the coast, thereby in harm’s way of the bombing raids, or positioning them inland beyond the region of interrupted rail traffic, leaving the coastal area inadequately defended. There was no way swiftly and efficiently to transport troops to and from the coastal area.

Estimates had it that the Germans could place as many as 319 divisions into battle on the various fronts. They currently were thought to have 50 divisions in France and the Low Countries, 195 on the Eastern Front, 25 in Italy, fourteen in Yugoslavia, twelve in Norway, seven in Finland, and five in Denmark.

German broadcasts reported large numbers of reinforcements and supplies being shipped by the Allies into Southern Italy, causing the Germans to anticipate a renewed attack on the Italian fronts, to coincide with the invasion from the West. They also feared an attack on Yugoslavia across the Adriatic to the Dalmatian Coast and had reportedly diverted four divisions in Yugoslavia to guard the coastal area.

It was all pretty obvious by now what would shortly begin to take place, and the Germans were beginning to guess more or less correctly.

It was reported by Admiral Nimitz that the Pacific Fleet had spent the weekend through Monday delivering planes to drop more than 800 tons of bombs on Truk, concentrating on the airbase at Satawan, as well as hitting targets through the Carolines, primarily Ponape, destroying in the process 126 Japanese planes. It was the second major blow to Truk, the first having been delivered also by a carrier task force in February.

The Westinghouse meter division announced the development of a new electronic landing gear for airplanes which would permit take-off and landing during times of limited visibility, eliminating an estimated 90 percent of the cancellations of bombing missions resultant of foul weather.

Senator Claude Pepper had lengthened his lead in the Tuesday Florida Democratic primary results, the trend suggesting that he would not need to participate in a run-off. In the presidential balloting, President Roosevelt had polled 27 delegates while Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia had received 18, as four remained uncommitted.

The average American household now could return easily for the first time in two years to having grilled hamburgers and other meats during the summer months, as the Office of Price Administration announced the release of rationing from all meats except beef steak and pot roast. No more points to get your poultry, pork, and mutton.

The action resulted from the lowering of Army and Navy demand on meat and the temporary cessation of meat as part of Lend-Lease shipments to the Allies. Beyond the summer months, however, warned director Chester Bowles, no one could tell.

Sid Feder, in the "Reporter's Notebook" column, writes of Major Michael Mikulak, former Oregon football player and member of the Chicago Cardinals pro organization, now acting as chief of the Military Police in Naples. His chief detective had been a star fullback at Notre Dame, Joe Savoldi. Both hailed from Chicago and Chicago of the Prohibition era appeared to hold rapt the imagination of Neapolitans.

The black market was running like water through the streets. But that was only the third cause for arrest out of the 10,715 civilians picked up since the middle of January, second being the operation of houses of prostitution, and the top category, violations of curfews.

The characters in the jail, reported the chief, were of a light-fingered lot. Once, he went onto the cellblock to escort a colonel who wished to interrogate the female prisoners. Before he got out of the area, one of the ladies had picked his pocket and pilfered his notebook.

What she read in it, he did not say.

Some thought they were Al Capone, reported to the jailhouse attempting, according to the chief, "to put the fix in" for their paisans.

On the editorial page, "Our Bob" dismayingly chronicles some recent remarks of Senator Reynolds suggesting that he might decide to throw his hat in the ring for re-nomination to his Senate seat after all, having heard, he claimed, the voices of the people desiring him to run. Never mind that he had already missed the filing deadline for the primary. Such small barriers, if he had a mind, would not resist the resistless might of Senator Reynolds.

Perhaps, suggests the piece, he had sensed the reverting climate in the country, swinging in certain areas back to a form of isolationism, now euphemistically termed "nationalism" in Chicago.

If so, however, it was bad news for North Carolinians, so thoroughly rejecting him by winter that even Senator Reynolds had seen the handwriting and opted not to run.

The Senator would not run, but would start his own Nationalist Party in January. Whether it had as a middle hidden word Sozialist would not be told, save in the dens of the knowing.

"No Bliss" questions whether a Baltimore college philosophy professor was sincere or selling merely snake oil in prescribing a course in philosophy as a panacea to all returning veterans and their brides who had married just before the husband left for overseas service. Otherwise, claimed the professor, over half of these marriages were doomed to fail, for the fact that they were based on ephemeral concepts of either physical attraction only or romance only, but without the key element of any successful marital relationship, mutual devotion.

The editorial remains unconvinced that philosophy would fill the void in such cases, unless what the professor was actually trumpeting was common sense cloaked in the airy forms of philosophy.

As indicated herein several times, we recommend philosophy as a means to learn how to think, without which ability, you will have a difficult time, we believe, both in life and in obtaining passage through the Pearly Gates at its end. It is not to tell you what to think, but just to school you in the basic mechanics of thinking, something which many people, maybe most, never really do in their entire lifetimes.

"Oh, I was thinking about…" No, you were musing or emoting about… If you had been thinking, you would not start your statement with a reference to "thinking about". You do not think about anything. You either think or you muse or emote.

Learning how to think is painful, as learning how to walk initially. You will bump your head and fall down steps, maybe, perhaps even fracture a couple of vertebrae, as it can become dangerous, especially in the novitiate stages. You will learn to ask yourself questions, rather than being so self-assured that you know all the answers in advance. You will come to realize that you have not a single answer, not one.

Even if therefore painful at first, once learned, it becomes commonplace, and you will never regret the effort. Then, it becomes difficult not to think.

But, true enough, unless your partner is a willing conscript to the philosophy department's regimen, it probably not only would not save your marriage, it might even get you tossed through the window.

"Let us discuss, dearest, the quality of color, not the spectral identity of color, but rather its qualitative significance to the object in which it resides, with due regard to comparison with the other qualities, shape, density of substance, dimension, animation, etc."

"The Leftovers" asserts that the MacArthur Clubs would now no doubt disband with the announcement by General MacArthur that he would definitely not run for president. But their membership, predicts the piece, bent as it was on finding a voice for return to isolationist views (apparently misinterpreting the object of General MacArthur's March, 1942 statement, "I shall return"), and shifting emphasis from the European war to the Pacific, would still seek a candidate who would give voice to these outmoded stances. But, caveat emptor: the views of these supporters would disserve any such individual, just as they had tarnished the reputation of General MacArthur.

"Protest" reports of the sensitive reaction of the Chinese to statements in Britain and the United States critical of tendencies toward totalitarianism in the Chinese Government of Chiang Kai-shek, and suggestive that Chiang, perhaps, did not represent the majority of the people. The Chinese reminded that they could not hope to defeat the Japanese alone, without the considerable aid of the British and Americans.

The piece asserts that the Western Allies should reassure China that it had understanding.

Regardless, within six weeks, the first bombing runs on Japan since the Doolittle Raid of April 18, 1942, would originate in Western China. Thus, understanding was likely effected.

Samuel Grafton suggests cynically that the candidates on the campaign trail had learned to recite the requisites for the generally acceptable instant foreign policy four-layered cake: a four-power pact, insistence that America could no longer stand alone, and advocacy for a world organization backed up by force. But beyond these palatable basics, there appeared a willingness to throw tacks into the roadway to halt traffic.

Governor Bricker had brought up the British island possessions in the Atlantic and the desire of the United States to have them permanently, not just under the 99-year lease agreement; Governor Dewey had deprecated secret diplomatic meetings, meant, sub silentio, to include the Tehran Conference--yet without its mutually affirmed principles being realized, likely to be a fairly frustrating and dangerous post-war world.

Marquis Childs again writes of Thomas Dewey's impressive speech to the publishers' dinner, well received and assuring him, no doubt, the nomination by the Republicans. He had used quotable phraseology such as, "When we have ceased to wage war, we shall have to wage peace." Carefully tailoring phrases to avoid the trip words which bit at the souls of the Old Guard, he substituted, for instance, "durable cohesion" for "alliance" in discussing the four-power pact, something which, he said, had to be recognized as inevitable in the post-war era.

Throughout the speech on foreign policy, indicates Mr. Childs, the rhetoric echoed the policy favored by Governor Dewey's chief foreign policy adviser, John Foster Dulles, slated to become his secretary of state in the event of his election.

A specially included editorial from The Chattanooga Times finds that the way of censorship leads quickly down the path to fascism of the type embraced by Hitler, the condemnation of that with which the chosen simply disagree, branded "obscene" or "threatening" or the like, to keep objectionable material out of the hands of the innocents, those to whom rifles and side arms were freely distributed, the Nazi youth.

The Times questions, in the wake of the fall dispute between Esquire and the Post Office re semi-naked women, why the department had recently refused to send through the mails a catalogue merely containing listings for three works, neither one of which was the least bit less than a classic and certainly not objectionable to any rational mind. The three were Voltaire's Candide, Balzac's Droll Stories, and Radclyffe Hall's Well of Loneliness.

Once the door to such absurd preclusion was cracked, predicts the editorial, then it would slowly cease to exist as a barrier at all, as the adorers of that mark on the Fahrenheit scale at 451 degrees would gradually make their way through it and burn it down in their wake.

You cannot begin, concludes the piece, to carve exceptions into freedom of thought, press, and speech.

It is certainly the case, as we have routinely stated herein, as W. J. Cash made a central hallmark of his writing career, beginning with the masthead adorning the short-lived Cleveland Press in Shelby during his three-month stint as managing editor, chief cook, and bottle washer: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it." --Voltaire.

Drew Pearson devotes the bulk of his column to water, the question of whether there should be exception to the limitation of 160 acres as a maximum holding to be eligible for Government paid irrigation privileges, in place since the early part of the century when Theodore Roosevelt championed the limitation as protective of small and medium-sized farmers against the large land trusts.

Now came two California Representatives, Carter and Elliott, the former of Oakland, the latter of Tulare in the south, both of whom sought to sponsor an exemption from the limitation for all land in the Central Valley of California. Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes was opposed to the legislation for its tendency to exclude the small landowner with the concomitant likelihood that it would stimulate buying of large tracts by the corporations, including the liquor companies who wanted to buy the land to grow grapes for wine. The Government wanted to reserve the smaller tracts in the Central Valley for the individual returning veterans to farm, not to become tenants as in the days, eight years earlier, of the Okie migration to California during the Dustbowl era.

In short, it appears, Mr. Gitts, that it was all about the future.

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.