The Charlotte News

Sunday, December 15, 1940



Site Ed. Note: "Aborted Wave" reminds us to remind you that "311" is "code". Shhhhh. Don't tell no one. It's one of them secrets--just like the Wave.

Why 11?

Try this: Eleven was the number of states in the Confederacy, at least until Kentucky and Missouri joined, never really much properly apart of the thing anyway--any more than was Delaware. Delaware? Or maybe it was that Tennessee, where the not merely accidental, not merely another "tin-pot fraternal order, created by the half-cracked brain of a starveling Methodist parson", (as Cash understatedly suggested in The Mind of the South, Book III, Part II, Section 25, p. 335), was founded in the little town of Pulaski, was the eleventh state to secede. (Of course, if that's the case, they really couldn't even properly count, for Florida actually seceded as a separate nation, the only one of the states so to do. So, more properly, it should have been the JJJ. Shall we form a new counter order--the Jew Jesus Jam? Or since "J" is omitted in semaphore, perhaps, the III, the I Internal Investigation Unit, but that would make it the IIIU, so...)

If you ever have a desire to read the ordinances of secession, they may be found here. If you haven't the time or inclination so to do, it may come as a shock that Alabama's was the most pointedly rebellious, and the only one to mention the election of Lincoln as a prime cause:

An Ordinance to dissolve the union between the State of Alabama and the other States united under the compact styled "The Constitution of the United States of America."

Whereas, the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of president and vice-president of the United States of America, by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the State of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the constitution of the United States by many of the States and people of the Northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the State of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security, therefore:

Be it declared and ordained by the people of the State of Alabama, in Convention assembled, That the State of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn from the Union known as "The United States of America," and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be a Sovereign and Independent State.

Well, while one might suggest the same of the Republican Party today, the one which seems to captivate every four years the majorities of virtually all of the Southern states, it was scarcely susceptible to the charge in 1861. But who can fathom the mind of a dyed in the cotton Southerner?

Unrelated thought, at least, we think--Here's a suggestion to Terminate the need for Orange Alerts: Take all the left-over Agent Orange and defoliate all those Oranges for good!

A Wooing

Nazis Play Up to Weygand Pending Outcome of War

It has been apparent for some time that Pierre Laval was losing ground and that Petain had taken over negotiations with the Germans. Not so startling as it might be is the news that he has resigned as Vice-Premiere of the Vichy Government and, as happens to virtually everybody who resides in Europe these days, been "taken into custody."

Reason for this switch is perhaps not choice with the Germans, though they had rather work with Petain than with Laval, on the ground that he is more palatable to the French population. But Petain holds one ace in the hole--the fact that General Weygand is out of reach of the Nazis, in Africa, with strong colonial armies under his command. If General Weygand chose, he could undoubtedly lead these armies against the Axis, put France back into the war regardless of Vichy.

But Weygand is intensely loyal to Petain, with whom he sees eye to eye. And he dislikes Laval. Hence, if the Germans are to make sure that Weygand doesn't use those African armies against the Axis, they must work with Petain and please Weygand. That is probably why they have abandoned Laval, a servile quisling anxious to give them everything they want.

As for France itself, or what remains of it, the move probably heralds easier terms for her for the time being. However, the benefit can only be temporary if Hitler wins against Britain, for in that case Weygand will cease to be a threat and the Nazis will be at liberty to impose their full will--as they certainly will do.


Aborted Wave

In Mare Nostrum, Anyhow, It Is Not Irresistible

In her column today Dorothy Thompson considers something to which The News has often directed attention, that it is part of Hitler's scheme to attempt to plant the notion in the heads of his intended victims that Nazism is what Anne Lindbergh calls "The Wave of the Future"--irresistible destiny marching inexorably down the world to foreordained victory.

But Thompson failed to observe something that was to her purpose and which is to ours, in arguing that all this is simply nuts. It is this:

Nazism is merely a German version of Fascism. Mussolini invented the idea. Or more exactly he first took it over from the half-wits and set it up as a form of government. It was in the air everywhere after the last war and actually made its first organized appearance in the world as the infamous Ku Klux Klan of the United States in the Twenties. More exactly still, it was not new even then.

Essentially it always has flourished among a crackpot fringe in all countries, and in times of great hate and fear in the world it always has expanded.

But as we know it, Mussolini first set it up. The doctrine of the necessary and irresistible destiny of a race, of the organization of the world on master-and-slave lines, was solidly established as the official philosophy at Rome when Hitler was still a nobody groping vaguely toward his philosophy. And in "Mein Kampf" he did no more than parrot it.

But now, with that in mind, have a look at the papa of Fascism. The only thing that is certainly irresistible about it at the present writing is the craving of Italian legs to run away as hard as possible. And in that section of the world The Wave of the Future gives every indication of shriveling up to a ripple in a mud puddle--and, in sum, laying an egg.

Bandit License

State Ought Not To Shut Its Eyes to Plain Facts

Judge Parker of Raleigh was pretty sharp with the authorities of Cumberland County for failing to salt Joe Calcutt, the slot machine king, away in prison long ago. But the Fayetteville Observer retorts that many of the best citizens of Cumberland felt that to sell a man a license to do something and then hound him for doing it was not exactly cricket.

That refers to the fact that, as was brought out at the Raleigh trial, Calcutt paid the State around $84,000 a year in license fees, well over half the slot machine revenue collected.

Strictly speaking, however, the Fayetteville Observer's analysis is inaccurate. What the State actually licensed Calcutt to do was to operate slot machines which did not pay off in any fashion whatever, as provided in chapter 158, Sec. 230, Public Laws of North Carolina, 1938-9. Calcutt operated them to pay off, and so violated terms of his license and the law.

On the other hand, the moral case of the State has some holes in it, plainly. The Revenue Department well knew when it issued the license that Calcutt was the biggest and most notorious chronic violator of the slot machine law, and that he had no intention of abiding by the terms of the license but intended to use it only as a legal screen for his illegal activities. A parallel is the case of a notorious bootlegger of whiskey who buys a beer license as a blind for his main business.

The law allows the denial of license to such persons. Whether it extends the Revenue Department the same authority in the case of slot machine operators is not clear. If it does, then the moral responsibility here falls on the Revenue Department. If it doesn't it shifts back to the Legislature. In any case, it clearly exists.

That is not to exonerate Cumberland County authorities. The enforcement of the criminal code is a part of their direct duty, regardless of how they feel about it. And as for hounding Calcutt, that appears to be precisely what Cumberland County did least of all.

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