The Charlotte News
Monday, May 30, 1938
Site Ed. Note: "Fleet Problem No. 20" reminds us that once you have naval intelligence, you always have naval intelligence--with your pupils.
Thus, there is no real need to prove one's self by seeking out that fellow in the mountains of Cuba, whether in 1898, or in 1958.
The proper retort, in our opinion, would have been something akin: "Sir W. Mc., known as Wm., there are likely several, so please be so kind as to provide for us a proper name, right and proper just, if you will, that we may go village to hut in search of same, the one without possibility of error or delay. With that, he to ferret with ease enough be by aid of fay, for of such a surname there many should in over variety within the island otherwise who sall say nay. Armed with that in full, one only need then search for the heat of Furnace-pull, seeking out one Pu, of long hands, a long fellow, he, the ceramic glazier who turns his wheel with daily grace to art by the seasons, at times while puffing on his black cigar in reason, trying to his uttermost essence to appease his ah-masters with absolute perfection before alighting within the fire in sacrifice to artistic introspection, thus forever to be resurrected in martyrdom, once achieved. From there, after talking he for a short moment, we shall be able to car-glaze him fairly well, the one you now seek to see. Then and thus to break the curse a-laden upon this great nation, shout "Timahoe!", horripilant name, time and times yet in succession three, twirl somersets in mid-air four, and with rings of Dare of smoke inlaid in reddened golden blue, a base metal not hitherto known to beast nor man, nor iron-moltened shodden shoe, beyond the rarity of all that is and can and never was, he appeareth shall from his thatched abode in Ruritania, not from the high reaches of which you beseech us to venture thus, but rather within the sands that fall down through the narrow impasse by la bajia's cusp, there to greet with a fair and hearty handshake your temporal servant-just, to receive your message with due grace in pair. But, sir, do not tell the generals of this, our strategy, though it may unduly err, for it is far too complex, mighty bold, for those with clasps to the grave of mere clay to behold and comprehend with full appreciation, as they, these mortals, have no doubt not properly yet tempered theirs, as ours surely been have from the ages of men's wheel turning set in blackened salve against in battle flame and smoke from long cycles past unto this arm's coat and same, these which kneel beneath us upon our honor to thine will; in many a scene have they met this enemy's frame, both thine and ours still. Request leave thus to have these, ours, of ceramic hardened fast hie us hence, sir, and with avowal to thy kind likeness set upon us this day, this cur, to return next with the text of that favorable reply of which you are so dedicatedly expectant and reliant upon our service so to do anigh. Yet, upon thy leave, expect not this countenance upon which you puzzled look to grant thee full accord of indoctrination to thy will, for we are not thine vassal nor ye our liege, nor our least-most god, nor shall ye be, nor shall we follow thine orders to letters which work against that will accorded otherwise than thee only within the welkin's o'er reign and sighs, that only to those who have persisted in that empyrean at some length and garnered its due instruction it such hath given strength imparted most remarkably; yet, however, as always, the mission shall be once again perfected beyond the sea and with due courtesy to all involved, and in due course, posthaste, thus to ours outstretched not withheld give thee to us, no time to waste, yours if we be friends, such it is to make amends. The dream is at hand withal to work its coursing majestic way with these, see it thus, it shall be done, the enameled heels, not tainted be of fault that stretched to earth those touched, as Antaeus did, who held fast by sainted long those of ill-foamed old Achilles' end 'neath ages' fated fees, unblemished yet by but that which beset at birth us of the tempering first vague twitch, the tar upon them coursed by the nag to the font of all from whence the river flows, insofar as we, our eyes, first saw them in their lender's throes, called popularly yet within that served domain publicus, Pee Dees. We now take our leave to begin this mission. Your most faithful servant, El Stradus Constantus, hint in clined, of the Worthies three-three-three, yet with out from incision be."
An Embarrassing Catch
In all sounds like ring-around-rosy. First the Japanese had 300,000 Chinese surrounded and were proceeding "systematically to annihilate them." And now the surrounded Chinese have the surrounding Japanese--or part of them--surrounded and are "about to annihilate them."
What is really taking place over there on the other side of the world is something that we see, at best, through a glass darkly. The very maps themselves seem uncertain where half the queer-named places really are. And though the reporters take almost incredible risks to come at the facts, the accounts are still necessarily inadequate.
But out of the welter of conflicting claims about "victories" and "surroundings" and "annihilations," and out of the stories of governmental shake-ups in Japan, one thing does seem to emerge more and more clearly: that in attempting to take over China, Japan has got a bear by the tail.
Honest, but High*
Paul D. Grady--pronounced like Graddy--said in Rocky Mount Saturday--pronounced like Saddy--that if the state would elect him to the office of Utilities Commissioner, he would "bring the spirit of President Roosevelt into the office." Heaven forfend! The "spirit of President Roosevelt" towards the utilities has about a billion dollars of new construction scared off, the expenditure of which would be a lifesaver during this recession. The "spirit of President Roosevelt" towards the utilities is grossly lacking in any semblance of fair play. The administration has had no hesitancy in using funds voted by a warm-hearted Congress for the relief of unemployment to chastise the power companies which didn't stand in well with Mr. Ickes.
But it is Mr. Grady, of course, not Messrs. Roosevelt or Ickes, who is running for Utilities Commissioner. As a possible office-holder, his statements assume an importance that they would not have otherwise; and when he tells the people of Rocky Mount, which owns its power plant, that they are paying "strictly honest rates" for electricity, he leaves out the essential fact that they are paying higher rates than many other cities which buy their power from "the interests."
In Charlotte, for example, 25 kwh would stand the residential customer $1.50. In Rocky Mount, the city's bill would read $2.00.
Fleet Problem No. 20
Fleet Problem No. 20 is confidential. All that is officially announced about it is that when the navy comes over into the Atlantic next January it will engage in maneuvers as far south as the coast of Brazil. And yet there is no real secret about it at all.
Brazil already has a dictatorship. Brazil's mother country, Portugal, is already a fascist state. German Nazis, and in lesser degree Italian Fascists, are already extremely busy organizing the large number of Germans and Italians in Brazil, undoubtedly with a view to establishing a fascist state there, under the nomination of Portugal's mentors, Italy and Germany. Only the other day Dictator Vargas had to put down the first putsch. Nor is it only Brazil. Most of the rest of the countries of South America already have dictators, too. In most of them, again, Germany and Italy are busily organizing. Moreover, all these other countries, with the exception of Guiana, are the children of Spain, and look to her as their model and source of ideas. And--Spain is apparently very close to turning into a puppet fascist state of Italy and Germany.
If Franco wins, the Monroe Doctrine stands to face its first really decisive challenge.
So there is, we say confidently, no secret at all about Fleet Problem No. 20. It is simply the problem as to whether the American navy is equal to the combined force of the Italian and German navies as they will be when their present greatly augmented construction is completed.
The Great Campaign
Today is the day of memory for the dead of an old war--and the dead of the wars that have been since. And it is interesting to observe that, as you will soon begin to see now by the dispatches in "Earlier Days" to our right, just 75 years ago General Lee was gathering his forces and moving toward that Pennsylvania campaign which was too culminate disastrously in Gettysburg.
It is easy for us to observe so long after the event that the Confederacy, for all its high hopes, was by that time in desperate case. The hope of aid from Palmerston's government in England was about gone. The shipyards of Glasgow were closing to the South. The fatal Yankee blockade was clearly going to war. And already on May 10, Grant and Sherman had shut up Pemberton in Vicksburg. The whole Northern campaign indeed was a campaign of desperation, a last daring throw against overwhelming odds.
The people of the South knew that as yet but dimly or not at all. Hope still ran high within them. And hope undoubtedly still burned strongly in the stout heart of the great General. And hopes were to run even higher during the days that came after with the secret of Gettysburg still locked within the future. For one breathless moment, Washington lay almost within the General's grasp, and the passage through Maryland was a triumphal parade, terror rolled through the North. And then the future had become the present and it was July 3, with Pickett's brigade sweeping so vainly up that celebrated slope--July 4, with the news flashing through the world that Vicksburg had fallen--July 5, and the Confederacy was in retreat toward the limbo of the nations that were and are not. It is an old tale for the fireside now, and hearts are quiet about it at the telling--pretty quiet, anyhow. But then it was warm aspiration and proud ecstasy and bitter heartbreak, and it remains a spirit eminently worth memorializing.
Site Ed. Note: As we have noted a couple of times earlier, Jefferson saw this freedom as one, that is a non-disjunctive freedom, (from which, so viewing, one would not from the cat receive the infection of the messenger bird known as conjunctivitis), by ordinary rules of English, inseparable all, as an infringement on one infects each, the other likewise: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Do you see?
If you told the citizens of the Alma Mill community in Gaffney who, with mud and threat of violence, broke up a TWOC meeting Sunday, that they were acting in defiance of the Constitution of the United States fully as much as Boss Hague in Jersey City, they would probably tell you hotly that they weren't--that they were only asserting their time-honored privilege of withdrawing the latch-string when trouble-makers descended upon them. But it is incontestable that they were violating the Bill of Rights, and that they were breaking the common law too by creating a disturbance.
These guarantees of the rights of free speech and free peaceable assembly are not clearly understood by most people. It's a funny thing, but they are not intended to guarantee freedom only to speech with which you are in agreement or freedom of assembly only to your friends. Such freedom means no guarantee, since nobody would ever think of withholding it. On the contrary, the provisions mean freedom for radical speech and freedom for assembly even of labor agitators. And the reason for maintaining this freedom is not alone that it is an ideal of democracy but, in an exceedingly practical sense, that it will be preserved unto the day when radicalism is in danger of taking the country and labor agitators coming into power. Do you see?
Model Not to Follow
The State Textbook Commission has a scheme for introducing a textbook on highway safety into the curriculum of the public schools next year. It seems a rational idea. Experience has pretty well shown that campaigns for the education of adults in the dangers of the highway are almost altogether useless. But something might be done with the malleable mind of youth.
However, the scheme should be gone about carefully. The textbook used should deal only in conservative statements of well-established fact, not in fevered pictures of the roads and blood-streaming shambles, designed to frighten the people into the jim-jams. There is, indeed, a particularly horrible example of what such a textbook ought not to be--we mean the little texts on the effect of alcohol which have been dished up to the public schools during the last generation. Not satisfied with setting forth the established fact about alcohol--that it's excessive use is dangerous--these little texts were masterpieces of macabre imagination. According to them, to take one drink was the moral and physical equivalent of leaping over Niagara Falls. And every other page was illustrated with a particularly horrid chart of a liver in the last stage of cirrhosis or a heart down with fatty degeneration.
The result was inevitable. Growing up, youngsters presently found that this was all hooey. And so the "instruction" did almost nothing to encourage temperance. Indeed, on the principle that one extreme begets another, it may have actually done harm.
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