The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 25, 1941



Site Ed. Note: While spanning the oceans under radar and satellite imagery is no longer possible without ready detection, as it obviously was in 1941, the menace of sabotage from within is obviously very much still with us, as it always will be. Eliminating one man, one group of men, one nation will never eliminate that component of threat. And anyone who proclaims that it will or that an attack on one nation will begin to do that is of course not telling the truth.

"Star Dupes" tells a little more of the story behind Professor Brandorine and his abortions, continued in "Bit Tangled" on January 29.

Mrs. Partington and her broom, indeed...

A Sophism

Which Is Offer Merely To Confuse the Uninformed

From the Associated Press report of yesterday on the testimony of General Hugh Johnson we cull the following:

Fish (Hamilton) began by asking whether Johnson believed a nation could successfully attack his country.

"I do not," Johnson boomed. "I don't see why people should begin to turn up their noses at 3,000 miles of the Atlantic and 5,000 miles of the Pacific when we see the trouble Mr. Hitler has been having with 22 miles."

The statement is characteristic of the deliberate demagoguery now being employed by the appeasement-isolationist group. The answers are obvious to any informed persons.

One is that the United States has been invaded, across 3,000 miles of Atlantic, when the British sailed up the Potomac and burned Washington in August 1814. Nor is it any reply to that to say the conditions were different. It required more than a month for ships to cross the Atlantic then. They cross it in five days now, airplanes in 24 hours. And Britain was acting in a lull of a long death struggle with Napoleon, did not dare detach any considerable part of her strength. In point of fact, the forces which landed and burned Washington did not even have cannon.

The other answer is just as plain. Britain is a small compact island, with about three thousand miles of coastline, of which only about one-third really offers any opportunity to the Nazis. That coastline is screened by a navy as powerful as our own Pacific Fleet and defended by the second most powerful air fleet in the world. From any point in the British Isles, the whole might of the British air fleet can be concentrated on any other point in about two hours, the whole might of the navy within a few days at most. More, within these forces, in that small compact space, stands an army of four million men, over one million of them as well trained and equipped as any soldiers in the world. Within a few hours England can concentrate at any point on her coast an army far more numerous and more heavily armed than any imaginable landing force could be. Within a few days she can concentrate the whole power of her army there.

The United States on the other hand is a vast sprawling continental area, plus detached continental areas, plus an empire of islands extending over half way around the world. Its continental coastline alone measures 21,000 miles, to say nothing of the border with Canada and Mexico. But that is only the beginning.

Even Johnson admits that if Hitler wins, we shall have to defend the whole North American continent, plus Greenland, plus Central and South America, plus all the island bases within striking distance of us. The total coastline the American navy would have to screen would be over a hundred thousand miles. To protect that as England is being protected we would need a navy at least several times as great as the present fleet, an army of at least three or four million men, an air fleet much larger than England's because of the greater distances to be flown. Hugh Johnson himself has said that we cannot have even a half adequate army before 1943. The admirals testify that we cannot have even a half adequate navy before 1945.

Nobody supposes that Hitler will transport great armies across the Atlantic to land directly on our shores--as Johnson well knows. What is supposed is that he will get the British navy if England falls, establish bases first by "revolution" in Latin America, then strike for air and naval bases close to our shores and vital defenses, with the Japanese navy striking from the Pacific at the same time. Once he had those bases, the rest would be easy.


Tug Boats

A Lady Finds She Has Much To Answer For, Too Late

Now according to one of those nice little handouts from Hollywood which the AP obligingly picked up, Marlene Dietrich of the films wishes she had not gone and done it.

It was she, she admits, who got the women of America into pants--as an outer garment. She did it, she says, for comfort's sake, never suspecting what would come of it. After all, to wear pants, says La Dietrich demurely, one must have height and figger--and she might have said a pretty face and a lot of what used to be referred to politely as SA.

But now, she moans, all the fat, short gals have gone in for slacks and pants. "It actually makes me shudder," she confides, "when I see fat, squat women waddling around in slacks." La Dietrich has no monopoly on shuddering. The whole male population, at least, not only shudders but groans aloud as it gazes upon the horrid spectacle. But she might have foreseen the disaster. There is a fatality about fat, squat, ugly girls which makes them believe in magic. To get themselves up in a rig like Dietrich, they obviously and stubbornly believe, is to endow their legs with length and litheness, to--but maybe we had better haul up.

Let La Dietrich be more careful next time. Such reckless disillusionment is certainly not good for the human race and might conceivably end in disaster. And for La Dietrich's information not even very pretty, tall graceful girls--not even La Dietrich--are very pretty in those pants... not very, anyhow.


Star Dupes

Laws Won't Change Their Will To Believe Nonsense

The Boston and Cambridge branch of the American Association of Scientific Workers, with many prominent Harvard University astronomers on its rolls, is upset about astrologers. It is so harmful, the scientists maintain, that the lawmakers ought to do something to put it down.

But the scientists probably exercise themselves much after the fashion of Mrs. Partington who thought to restrain the Atlantic with her broom. Astrology flourishes widely in the United States, all right; its literature is to be found in every newsstand. And undoubtedly it does do harm often, perhaps generally in the last analysis. Witness the fact that a trial will shortly begin in Charlotte in which a woman charges that she paid out fifty smackers to one Professor Brandorine in return for his promise to achieve certain magic ends for her by some astrological hocus-pocus.

But there are many things in the world which do harm which are not to be got rid of merely by passing a law.

And laws against astrologers will merely turn the wish-thinkers to other forms of magic or bring in the bootleg astrologers, as laws against alcohol either turn the addicts to other and generally worse forms of narcotics or set up the bootleg runner. It may be lamentable, but it is the human race.


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