The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 30, 1940



Site Ed. Note: For higher edification, note that "Monkey Wrench" here and the unfortunately mostly obliterated article of the same title on July 27, nicely tool with the one on July 21 about all the "nutsy" stuff going on in the world--and, after all, squirrels gather nuts. If one contemplates a little, it also nicely dovetails a certain statement made by the Japanese Ambassador to the United States on November 27, 1941, speaking in code to the chief of the American Bureau of the Japanese Embassy: "As before, that southern matter--that south, SOUTH--southward matter, is having considerable effect…. [T]hat was the monkey wrench." Think 10W-40.

Ah well, history…

.Hopeful Signs

Hitler Hedges on His Victory Promises To Latins

One of the most heartening signs that Adolf Hitler is no longer confident of destroying England this year is his hedge on deliveries promised Latin-American countries by Oct. 1.

In June, Hitler's agents flooded South and Central America, offered steel, chemicals, electric equipment, etc., at fabulously low prices, and even posted cash bonds to guarantee delivery before Oct. 1.

This was undoubtedly a coolly calculated propaganda move intended to set up a world-wide conviction of German invincibility and to make Latin-America believe that it had better not accept the leadership of the United States. The success of Mr. Hull at Havana shows that the scheme hasn't worked nearly so well as was hoped in Berlin.

And now German firms in this country and South America, their pockets crammed with cash, are suddenly hurrying into the United States market to buy steel, chemicals, electrical equipment, etc., with the proviso that it must be delivered in Latin-America by Oct. 1.

Mr. Hitler's bright scheme may well backfire in his face this time. For, of course, the Latins will not be fooled about the origin of the goods. And the failure of Hitler to deliver German goods by the date named will cost him more in prestige than he originally gained by the bold promise.


Fabulous Man

Manifestly, This Fellow Is A Character of Fiction

Mr. Paul Satko probably doesn't exist. Most likely he is a fiction straight out of the pages of the copybook. For Mr. Satko, according to the story, set up to prove the maxims in the copybook--and succeeded.

Whereas all bright little Americans these days know that the copybook is only a fusty pack of platitudes and that all platitudes are completely untrue.

Mr. Satko, according to the legend which is going about in the papers, was a Richmond, Virginia machinist who lost his job and wouldn't take relief. That in itself is enough to brand the tale a fable. Whoever heard of the forgotten man acting like that?

But to continue the yarn--Mr. Satko built himself a boat, though he had never built a boat before, took it to the Pacific Coast on the chassis of an ancient Ford, transferred the Ford engine to the boat there, started sailing up the coast toward Cook's Inlet, Alaska, with his wife and five children, one of them an infant.

At Seattle the law got Mr. Satko and halted his odyssey. He was endangering the lives of his family, the marine authorities said. They had something there, too. The boat, called the "Ark," violated all the rules of seaworthiness. But so, when you think about it, were all the early settlers, all our forefathers, endangering the lives of their families when they put them in frail little ships, no more seaworthy than the "Ark," and took them boldly out upon the Atlantic and across to a dismal frontier where horrid savages burned and scalped and slew.

Anyhow, Mr. Satko eventually got away from the law in Seattle and sailed on, successfully, not to Cook's Inlet but to Juneau. And now Mr. Satko has a full-time job in Juneau in his old trade, and the Satkos have not been on relief, and Mr. Satko, speaking straight out of the copybook, remarks sententiously, "If a man wants to accomplish something bad enough, he'll accomplish it."

But, as we have said, Mr. Satko probably isn't real. Plainly, indeed, he is a figment evoked straight from the copybook by a platitudinous imagination. Newspapers shouldn't print yarns like that. They confuse people.



Senator Wheeler Ignores The Choice We Face

Bounding Burt Wheeler, the Senator from Montana, says the country will overwhelmingly defeat the conscription bill when it actually understands "what this bill will mean." His notion of what it will mean he has already told us. He says it will mean that we will turn immediately into a military nation like Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy and embark upon the road of conquest.

It does not, however, follow. France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and all the Scandinavian countries had universal military service for many years before this war began. And none of them was militarized. None of them had entered upon a career of conquest. And for that matter, most of the Latin-American countries have universal military service, too. England and the United States have been the only two countries of any importance without it for the last half century.

Senator Wheeler is a good deal less than honest with the people when he attempts to tell them that universal service necessarily means militarism. And he is less than honest even than that when he ignores what it may mean not to have conscription. Is Senator Wheeler prepared to assure the country that Adolf Hitler is not actually a menace to us? Or that we could safely count on defending ourselves with shotguns if Adolf moved into this hemisphere? Or is he prepared to advocate quiet submission to Hitler?

Wheeler has accused the President of demagoguery in his handling of the war situation. But attempts to mislead the people about the choice we really face is a far more dangerous kind of demagoguery than the President has ever been guilty of.


Monkey Wrench

Argentina Plays Hitler's Game at Havana Meet

Adolf Hitler won at least a minor victory at Havana, after all. For he succeeded in destroying the united front of the American nations. And it may be a major victory.

The maneuvering of Argentina was in the best Nazi-cunning tradition. How much the Nazis had directly to do with that is not clear, but it is pretty certain that they had a good deal to do with it.

Bait they are using on Argentina is the appeal to her immediate self-interest and vanity. Argentina is more directly dependent on Europe for a market than any other Latin-American country. The United States cannot replace that market, since it has surpluses of most of the things Argentina has to sell. Hence, it is natural that Argentina should want to hang on to the European market.

At the same time Argentina wants the Falkland Islands if Britain falls. She has no claim to them save that they are closer to her geographically than to any other land. And she has no business with them, for they are entirely worthless save as a naval base commanding Cape Horn. Argentina is much too weak to make effective use of that power.

Nevertheless, she wants the islands. And she also is probably having her vanity worked on in another regard. One of Hitler's schemes for getting control of Latin-America calls for establishing himself solidly in the old ABC (Argentina-Brazil-Chile) countries and whipping up their old suspicion and hatred for the United States. Brazil and Chile have so far not succumbed to his blandishments, though they have flirted with them.

But Argentina appears to have been pretty well suckered by the flattering vision of herself as the leader of the ABC powers and as the successful rival of United States in the Western Hemisphere.

It is quite possible that the Hitler string-pulling will succeed. For the ties between the ABC powers are strong, and in setting up one of them against the United States, Hitler has gone a long way toward ultimately detaching the other two also.


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