The Charlotte News

Friday, June 3, 1938


Site Ed. Note: "A Justice Dissents" takes us back to the stockyards case. Since we have had our fill for the moment of burgers, and quite pragmatically as we don't want hoof in mouth in this playful mood, we shan't return to it for now. Better left as it was when we were most familiar with the facts. If you missed it the first time through, it is here in relation to "Man on a Quagmire". As we pointed out earlier, there was also a case decided on May 31 out of Denver, in favor of the administration and Secretary Wallace in another similar situation on the setting of maximum rates chargeable by the commission men setting rates for storing the beefers in the yards awaiting slaughter and transmutation into all those juicy charbroils. (Sorry, old langhorn, Adam, we like your ribs. You'll just have to resign yourself to being our sacrificial cow. Better than cannibalism, we suppose.)

Having commented earlier on the stuff on which we might otherwise make comment from this date's editorials, (some bit of this day's editorials candidly reflecting an exhausted editorialist, one or more, overworked and at times not making entirely good sense--or isn't it just us, or the printer's devil, maybe again?), we shall instead make a very brief brief on something we saw on The History Channel the other evening--something which has been tiresomely around now for decades, that old speculation about Miss Marilyn Monroe (MMM, stemmed) and whether Messrs. K & H (whomever they might have been) might have had something to do with her tragic end.

We hasten to note that we do not treat anyone's death, especially a premature one, lightly, and we do not Miss Monroe's, an apparent suicide, one which had plentiful antecedent problematic indicators pointing to its likelihood as such. Not the last of which likely were her frantic phone calls to her friend that night she died asking for sleeping pills.

Do wah diddy, diddy, diddy, dumb, diddy do.

That was her last mistake. The first was excessive vanity, we posit, something which we all possess of course in degrees, but in her case giving up her entire soul to it, at least so the times then would suggest, a soul which apparently in private had much to give otherwise. Yet, the public persona owned her finally, and that is what called her to sleep in the night. Whether that persona was one cultivated for her by an agent, as it initially inevitably was, by a particular magazine, as it in part was, it was also her own responsibility, no matter how young at the time, to make her own choices and either live with them or change her life later as an adult. A sad study. She was at base a fair actress, not great, but only fair. A fresh face on the screen, which tended, after a time, toward the same tired performance sans depth. As a plainer Jane, without the gusto-monte, and the whoop skirt, she would have probably lost out and been relegated to a more meaningful life. But those are the breaks, kid.

She needed merely a good education from a college of liberal arts, probably, one they say she sought later by struggling to learn third-hand, and would have perhaps lived a long, good life, even as a mother and teacher, but instead--

Instead, she sought to have what others had by trying to listen and acquire by osmotic impulse, hearing it but not understanding it more closely, not reading it on her own. That will only take one so far down the rabbit-hole, that osmosis stuff, where one is apt to become entirely lost eventually without some structured scholarship to go with it, and continuously so throughout one's life, at least insofar as that life shall remain to any degree meaningful. Thus, in her case at least, came frustration and disappointment, preclusion from the ranks to which she apparently aspired, relegated only to a quick-silver flash and epigram signed on the paper and off to her loneliness, as before the flash began, finally to the river Ouse, the loss of the father, and the float downstream under the stones, dead away, dead away with the lotus blossom filling the air above. The sleep which not knits up the raveled sleeve but rather zips to the hoary canvas and sends what scant remains unsifted to the meadow unfinished, misfitted, lost and sad with wandering.

Anyway, she had died before that night many times and many times, tragically at the busstop and in the frames which couldn't satiate the itch but finally filched her undone mind, bewitched, or so it would seem.

We make light, if at all, only of the living gravediggers in this instance, who can not see, even yet.

No one may say of course what happened in truth finally. But the notion, as this particular program suggested, that Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General of the United States, was in Los Angeles, after speeding through the streets in a Lincoln, at her apartment with his brother-in-law, Peter Lawford, and Miss Monroe's psychiatrist on the evening of her death is utter poppycock, as anyone who was alive at the time ought know, or as anyone with discernment viewing this program ought be able to realize, unless they were and are Ni-yonian, that is. It makes about as much sense as if some retired cop stepped forward years later and, alone, claimed that Richard M. Nixon was driving along at a high rate of speed on La Cienega, or wherever it was supposedly, with her psychiatrist and Bebe Rebozo in the backseat heading fast in rescue to Miss Monroe's apartment, preceded by J. Edgar Hoover in his Cadillac, also in speed, on the evening of her death. Come to think of it, a lot less sense than that scenario, probably. Sock it to me, Sammy! (We, ourselves, were in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina heading along the Parkway in a decade old Lincoln Capri with electric windows which didn't work so well such that it was hot as Hades inside, when that August Sunday afternoon this particular news came over the radio. And so we are off the hook of crooked suspicion, presumably. Yes, we wondered why, too. But we were only a kid. Have you any wool? (Actually, come to think, the Lincoln was by then retired to the cloth-coat days after throwing its rear axle the previous fall; it was a spring-green '59 Ford Ranch Wagon.))

Here's the flaw in the story thus presented on The History Channel the other night, as much as we wish at present to ferret it, anyway: It is premised on the "Red Diary" (good name for it, wouldn't you think?) which, supposedly, according to one source who claimed to see it, (just how, he didn't bother to tell us, since it never has seemed to exist since her death and it was supposedly her private Diary--but obviously she let him, being so special to her, read it all), contained information on Op. Mongoose, that the United States was going to invade Cuba and assassinate Castro in 1962. This was prior to August, 1962 when she committed that supposedly to the Red D, remembering of course that the missiles came up in October. This secret and the supposed consequent threat of her loose lips to sink ships bound for the island sovereignty, economic dependent then of the Soviet Union, and consequently being developed as a strategic defense satellite thereof, became the ground for supposing that someone came and gave her a "hot dose" of barbiturate and sent her off to bye-bye land. Goodbye, yellow brick road.

And supposedly the information in the diary was thus transmitted to Miss Monroe who duly recorded it in her diary. "Dear Diary, Today, while watching Today, or was it yesterday?, I was told that the United States was going to assassinate the Cigar. That's right, mama, whack him good, whack him, whack him, whack him, zip-zam-zoom, with Mr. Giancana and Mr. Roselli and the boys, who are so sweet when I see them, doing all the payoffs for the whack jobs, whack, whack, whack--oh how exciting--with a little of the old ultra-v. and viddy-viddy in the bargain, don't we hope, Diary. Ooooo. Then, Mr. Jimenez may resume his rightful place on the throne. Yippee! And all the gambling that Mr. Nix wants to encourage may continue so as to get all the whacks at once. Ooooooo. And do you know, Diary, who told me this? Why none other than you know Who. (Inquiring minds wish to know.) But, since Diamonds are a girl's best friend, and that Big Diamond that Mr. Who promised me for writing all of this stuff is soon to be all mine, and that I saw the Big Diamond once flying from LAX into Dulles, the one where all the boys play Baseball--Oooooo--I think I was Jean Harlowe that day, Diary, at least the photographer said so that I should be, and that would be just swell, Miss M, and I would have just loved to kiss you know Who that day--and there it all was perfectly clear to me, My Destiny. Home Plate, all mine, after rounding all the Bases. Ooooo. Well, that's enough for tonight, Di. More Tomorrow. Yours, Neither Me Normadonna J."

Probably not exactly so. She sought out Mr. Dimaggio in her last hours, though he wasn't around. Probably, one would gather, therefore, he was her truest support and love in amongst the ruins in the latter years, not Messrs. K & H, whoever they might have been.

One must first figure out who knew about any plan to assassinate the Cigar by early August, 1962. That would exclude the Attorney General, who, while knowing of the general plans by Lansdale and Craig and the others regarding the contingencies being discussed as part of the Mongoose Chase in Langley, to send out propaganda to prop up the insurgents, awaiting the day when U.S. backing might restore a democratic regime, there is nothing to suggest that the Attorney General or the President understood, at least until after the fact of their usefulness, the full extent to which these contingency plans went, to provide time to build up propaganda in other nations to promote the scheme to the administration in the hopes of getting the go-ahead, to seek the help of the Roselli-Giancana cuffey-links to slip some pills to the Cigar. Whack, whack, whack.

In any event, it's not particularly important except in the minds of the subsequent plotters perhaps--and to those who follow them and their particular brand of "truth", that is, whack now, and never ask questions later.

There was a rumor about such things after the Birthday song on May 29. We heard them ourselves--among the children. Do-dah.

It was just a humorous thing, as we understood it to be then, which aired on the Jack Paar Show, if we recall, shortly afterward, maybe in fact about exactly 44 years ago, Friday, June 1. Now the little "late" birthday song, because Mr. Lawford so introduced, only to read of her decease a couple of months later, thus took on great significance to the Ni-yonians, especially in Southern California, wishing to get their man poised in the Governor's mansion in November against those corrupt and murderous Democrats, fit then to be a King, maybe in '64 or '68. He's the One. Yippee! They did it! They did it! Why shouldn't we? Get all the rats! Exterminate them!

People, children and adults, with overly active imaginations, or who are perhaps sipping a little too much of the demon rum or maybe powdering their noses in the powder room, are apt to run on in their minds thusly and then in their sleep and then at their mouths some more, without one hint of fact or rationale behind any of it, and then over the watercooler and, and then go back to the powder room, powder their noses again, and, ooooo, it all becomes so everclear, doesn't it? Ooooo-oooo. The Birthday song. Of course. It's so simple! Exterminate them.

Say, "I wonder." And then there you are, you see, Ringo K. Galaxy, 36 years later with his perfect rings and D.N.A. spots, at the time with an I. Q. the equivalent of about 60. Just another scent tell-tale from old Mawnroe's Book of Wisdom in the Witchwood, you see, down by the strawbs. Rum-diddy-diddy-rum-reddy-do. Oooooo. It looked like the purple people eater to we...

Well, you think about it, Alice. But after being done with that wondering, wandering off from the tv screen, come out of the wall-well and read a little--and not about yourself in the looking glass, though about yourself, in so doing, reading otherwise, you might well unwall and discover much.

Ah, well. What are you gonna do? We weren't there. But then neither were you--unless...banish the thought. And those who were--we haven't a clue, except that it was most likely and probably only one sad, unfortunately spoiled Miss Out O'Diary Blue, whose quest for love was one we all share and only find sporadically in life anyway, don't we? She wanted it to be permanent, somewhat above the rest for her lonely lost childhood, again shared by all, and so perhaps in that quest she achieved her lasting wish, at least for the iconographers.

No joke.

Well, we seem to be plentifully off-topic, but we thought we would say that, anyway, as the story is so stupid and so oft-repeated that it seems a worthy to dispel to the extent any run-on story, unsubstantiated in the premises, then or now, might be.

Anyway, here is a good paragraph with which to start, the headnote to "Memorandum for the Record", number 337, at the Mongoose report, linked above:

"Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80-B01285A, Box 11, DCI (Helms) Chrono, Jan-July 1967. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Sheffield Edwards, CIA Director of Security. The memorandum was sent to Attorney General Kennedy on May 15 [1962] under cover of a memorandum from Lawrence R. Houston, General Counsel of the CIA, in which Houston noted that the memorandum printed here was prepared at Kennedy's request, and set forth the facts on which Edwards and Houston had briefed the Attorney General on May 7. A handwritten note by Richard Helms on the copy of the covering memorandum found in CIA files reads: 'Sen. Kennedy read this on 8 March '67.' An August 16, 1963, memorandum from Helms, then Deputy Director for Plans, to McCone concerning Sam Giancana concluded that the May 14 memorandum prepared by Edwards was the only written information available on the CIA relationship with Giancana. (Ibid.)"

Since March 8, 1967 was five years after the events, we would have to speculate as to why Senator Kennedy would be reading it then, according to, (always credible), Dick Helms, if he had seen it in May, 1962 at its original preparation. Regardless, by then, the memorandum was addressing past operations, not current or future ones, when it was drawn in May, 1962. So the Red Diary, even if it existed and even if it contained speculative remarks off of Today, would seem to have been nothing of real import, unless MMM knew Dick Helms or someone else associated with him. Always a possibility, as Dick knew many. But to question whether anyone would have murdered Miss Monroe over the whole thing, unless there had been need to use her as a stalking horse to get some drunks all whipped up for the November Governor's race in California, is patently silly.

Who killed out of love, Dick?


Report on the Union*

The occasional reports which Mr. H. M. Victor, president of the Union National Bank, inserts in the papers and pays them for publishing, always have a direct and engaging quality and never fail to put us in an amiable humor. That on the 30th anniversary of the bank, for instance, is a short and simple annal of a well-to-do financial institution, but it is noteworthy more for the character that is stamped all over it, as in this paragraph:

"We are a young bank, and yet, 30 years is a long time. Along through that time many men and women of honor and integrity have dealt with us, and looking back and recounting our friends, we can sincerely say that joy and pleasure have predominated over trouble and care.... We are young, vigorous, and hopeful for the future, and wish all our friends happiness and success."

In this appraising its patrons and extolling their virtues, the bank tacitly expresses its own code of doing business. Noblesse oblige comes as close to defining it as any term we can think of--the obligation of honorable behavior which the institution imposes upon itself and which it expects no less from those who deal with it. No wonder Mr. Victor can look back over 30 years and find a predominance of satisfaction.

The Jimmie Tribe

Mexico has suggested that the United States furnish the money to pay for American and British oil properties expropriated by the Mexican Government.

Canada is represented as being willing enough to have the St. Lawrence Waterway built, but as thinking that the United States should pay for it all.

And Senor Trujillo's Dominican Republic, which claims it has the bones of Columbus, has cooked up a scheme for the erecting (in the Dominican Republic) of a $4,000,000 Memorial to the discoverer--with the proviso that the United States is to put up nearly half the cash to build it.

In short our amiable neighbors seem to believe two things, (1) that the Good Neighbor policy means that the folks in the Big House ought to play Lord and Lady Bountiful to everybody on the American Plantation, and (2) that we're so darn rich we don't feel it anyhow.

But maybe you can't much blame them, seeing the way things are done at home. After all, what's a few millions, more or less, between friends, as against 37,000 millions?

A Justice Dissents

Black, J., dissented. He dissented in both cases. First the Supreme Court said that Mr. Henry Wallace's department had no right to rule the commission men in the Kansas City stock yards were charging farmers and stock men too much and to order them to reduce their fees--without hearing the commission men in rebuttal. Six justices, including Chief Justice Hughes and Brandeis, justly considered the greatest and most genuine liberal on the Court, said that. Cardozo and Stone were sick and didn't vote. Black alone dissented, without stating his grounds.

The administration, however, didn't like the decision. First, Mr. Wallace blasted precedent and in a letter to the Chief Justice charged the court would reverse its decision in a previous case. Then, Robert Jackson, Solicitor General, formally asked the court to reconsider. They declined, again with the same six justices plus Stone in agreement, and said pointedly that it had not reversed any previous decision, and that its ruling was the only one consistent with fair play. And again, Black was the sole dissenter. And again he didn't say why.

Well, we don't know why. And we aren't going to attempt to speculate on the reasons. But it is interesting nonetheless to observe that his dissents were dissents which favored the administration and went against the reasoning of his liberal colleagues.

Treason and the Nazis

Konrad Henlein won't, we guess, be tried for treason, for all the fact that a Czech National Unionist has formerly lodged charges against him with the Czech Government.

If Konrad were a citizen of the United States, he almost certainly would be tried for treason. For Konrad is openly conspiring with the German Government for the annexation of part of his country's territory and extinction of its real sovereignty--and to that end has raised up what amounts to an armed insurrection. It is precisely as though Comrade Browder, say, or Father Coughlin had conspired with Canada for the annexation of the Great Lake region and installation of the British Ambassador as the real master at Washington.

Yet, Czechoslovakia, which has treason laws similar to ours, dares not do anything about it. For that would set up such a wave of indignation in Germany as would certainly bring on a holy crusade. The Nazis have their own definition of treason which is put forward quite seriously. The first loyalty of every man of German blood on the face of the earth, they hold (and this, mind you, includes the people of German extraction in the United States), is to the Greater Germany. That is why they are not joking when they claim that Dr. Schuschnigg was guilty of treason in trying to preserve Austrian sovereignty as against Germany. And as for Konrad, they deny flatly that he could be guilty of treason to Czechoslovakia, on the ground that he owes it no loyalty. The only treason of which he could be guilty, according to them, would be treason to Germany in failing to work hard enough for the destruction of Czechoslovakia for Germany's benefit.

Prosecutor and Judge*

"Upon further consideration, however, it was discovered that such a provision [for PWA to give and lend money to a municipality to build a power plant only after the municipality had made a fair offering in good faith to buy out the existing private plant] would very probably result in litigation as to the fairness as well as the good faith of any offer made by a municipality..."

Thus Senator Barkley yesterday in persuading the Senate to vote down the provision and leave it up to the President to say when an offer was "reasonable" and made in good faith. And without calling the President's own good faith toward private power companies into question, it must be obvious to everybody all the same that the administration is in too much of a hurry to give injured parties their day in court, that the constitutional safeguard against taking away property without due process of law is being brazenly flouted, that the Federal Power Act, limiting the authority of the Government to the regulation of interstate transmission of power, is in process of amendment to let the President have de facto authority over the whole utility industry, including that which is entirely intrastate.

It is a rank abrogation of democratic processes, both in respect to the denial of the right to go to court over grievances and the delegation of judicial authority to the Executive. It is as though Congress had resolved that, "Hereafter, persons or corporations that the President chooses to chastise shall have no right of appeal except to the President."

The Old Simplicities

In these days of inchoate social and economic morality, it is almost refreshing to run across one of the good old cardinal sins like embezzlement or defalcation. When Charles E. Mitchell sold stocks to his wife and took the loss on his income tax return, that was an offense primarily against the Internal Revenue laws of such and such a year. But when Richard Whitney was caught with a thumping shortage in trust accounts, that went straight back to the Mosaic Code, and Mr. Whitney went straight to prison.

An old-time sin something on the order of Mr. Whitney's seems to have been turned up in New York State by District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey. A half-dozen persons have been accused of manipulating an initial stake of $5 until they had control of four investment trusts with total assets of $15,500,000. Still not satisfied, they are charged with having proceeded to loot the companies under their direction until $4,000,000 in marketable assets owned by one of these companies had been whittled to $50,000.

The warrants against them stipulate--not violations of holding company acts or truth-in-securities acts or the like, but--grand larceny, receiving stolen property, bringing stolen property into New York State. Ah! Those are terms we understand and have a positive reaction to. In all this fog about corporate practice and calloused business consciences, they are almost like a brisk breeze from the Bad Lands.

Site Ed. Note: "What's the red-book value on this Caddy, Mabel?"

"Kitty, look! A ball of twine."

"Oh, I knew this was gonna be the Day. Them drones again. They're everywhere, everywhere up 'ere, ever since those Republic Cans took over everything, with the stealy eyes, lickin' Dixie's sixth sun stamp. (Or was it the seventh? Eleventh?) Reckon I'll have to go shoot out some tires again, now, Mabel. Goodriches to ye.

"Mabel, hold that mirror up again. You know who I look like? Diomed! if I don't look like him. Son of a Bar-barrow. You know what I'm thinkin'? Mabel, hop in this caddy and let's ago to the yesteryear, as soon as I afix my hat."

"Kitty, you're crazy."

"Reckin' I'm about as sane as you are, Maybell. Look what you put around my neck. Tinkle, tinkle, little star. Who done the deed, you 'r' me? Did I not run yon gauntlet for thee? Maybe it was them actors. Not me or ye. I'll fight 'em all off here in my trailer, ere long I'll win, win, win the game, just like in the movies."

"Kitty, I'm gonna give up. I'll vote democratic next time, if only you'll come to your senses."

"Okay, Goody Cloyse-Crucifixable Two-Shoes Rose-bud-blossom deal-whistle nipper--Clearwater, New Year's Day, 1959. Be there. Got to go on down the Queetsy Valley Corridor and row some so as to save some snaked river runners by the railroad tracks in Charlotte's Ville where the sylvan woods meet Dunsinane Castle burning, where only dead-end dead-men know, and stake their futures on holes in the past, as tomorrow comes on, save for the songs, quite more inane than even the past. Dick's gonna meet Satan down there, down the road here's a-ways, aweigh haul away, we're bound for ever-dam-need, 'bamy. Promises to tell me all about the Mongeese that he invented while at the Observatory in six years, back in 1959, while we harrow his Establishment Claws, by the cold blood, where the X-Ray eyes kept staring back at him in 333, me too, the whole hour in the Red Cross by the Barton. He mixes some good drinks there by the Red Cross. Had me the best one, that old rummy fixed, a nice Red one. Yummy. You're going to see exactly what I mean when the whole world blows to kingdom come again. Arms flying loose and Gettin' It Done. Kick a little A. Yeah, yeah, kick it, kick that fitchweed, poppyseed, ol' cabbage filcher. Horripilant deed peerless. Kick it hard. Onward. Only you won't know what happened. So, what's the difference? Then Dick 'll get his wish and be King of all the Roses in the Rose Parade in the Tomorrow-land, while suffering the powdered noses of the Queen in Hooverville. So kick him, too. What the hell? Am I mean, monsieur mustard, or just average, common, too, or just like him, the sane of two, or her? Are u her, out by the Duke woods? Are you him, in the transmutable world she named Fame? He's just one of us. Trippy, dippy? Oh, if you only knew what it was we wrote in '92. See ya."

"Oh, Kitty, Kitty, you rang the bell, but they've you now in chains, like the ocean's broom, wept back again, bound for the noose which awaits your hang."

"Hope I can get one of those sometime, that hat you got, mister, I mean. Kick a little A."

"You're quite a character, Kitty."

"Think that could consider ye to take against my fries? Or shall I whisk out my peewit prize and sip the milk of kindness some?"

We now take in our missed parting tongue, clearing the palate, tuning our instrument, that all in jest, a fancy quest in homage best for some and none, who played well the stage and worked our mind in some toiling flight, as music wellian from the Orffian.

One crisp day, in the November of the year, 1975, in our April-time, we piloted our little blue vehicle, all alone, through the Badlands of South Dakota. The purple, nigh-on-winter cloudless sky, awash in our mind with scenes of collegiate calomel in its mixed blessing, meeting the prairie down soft on the plains split only by the macadamite's fealty to the sand and gravel underbelly, smooth as glistening black-panned in the boot heel, the silhouettes yet framed of which they saw the same in turquoise hills past the sane, this strange thing travelling which is and they had not when they coursed their way in relative silence, solemnity and raising praise to the heavens to get them there, as those again coming through in the wagons full of earthly sage, running from the covens, bumping the stones westward yet, across the page, accompanied us in the lonely hours, post dusk and onward, onward yet. And the pilgrims there voyaging to their new homes still, having never quite made it in the first great chill, hitched a ride with us for awhile and whispered, ever-whispered from the shadows' will, by the crags irregular on the burnished silver of the tight sill, whiling the hours by the moonlight's side, to our ears all along the way, the rest of that free cold day's journey, absent pay but still paid to an ocean's fill, a solemn song, a tune tinged of tears, yet sanctified in hope and rationally straightforward, in the ray's last turning, "Carry on to the next breath, sailor. The sails are full for you. Our canvas spars gave way, our stars misled us in that last woeful day. We lost our view in the dark cloud's reign, in the thundering rolling, in the arrow's fatal flame, its drenched savagery enmingled this parched earth to our dried blood again, and the fear which always lingered strong so near came strange, came strange to our dry lips moist in pain. It's not that far away for you, this fain, as it never is, our mystery even upon your tain, whether home or here on this cracked and dreary plane. For the sails are full for you, courting the mystery there in swift boats where you drink their gain and lose the shame which was ours in full as we lost, we lost our way again. So ride, ride, ride the waves, don't brake, betake your leave to another not that far away. Carry our tidings to them and on to the next breath, so named, for through this valley desolate, you we shall view and then say of you that you are one who is still and was yet Cavally Cavallerize of the Cavallards' class in glass, flow-tamed."

That's what they said to us that day in November, 1975, rushing more through the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota, of which we just happened, for some reason, to be reminded in these, the Simple Gades, to which, one day, in less playful mood, we shall return. Beware the Ides, ye wolfishly desirous slaverer.

Herewith, all the other editorials fit to print of the date.

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