The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 9, 1938


Site Ed. Note: Who could blame the Tokyo War Office? They had probably only been studying the art of reportage from such bastions of truth and higher purpose as the Fayetteville Observer in 1863.

And the train circles 'round here.

Dear at the Price

The Tokyo War Office has been casting up its accounts for a year of undeclared war on China, and boastfully reports that its accomplishments are:

1--The occupation of 775,000 square miles of Chinese territory.

2--The infliction of 1,300,000 casualties on the Chinese, the reckoning being based on 510,109 Chinese corpses claimed to have been counted on battlefields.

The price paid for all this, the report goes on, has been only 38,629 Japanese soldiers killed in action.

In point of fact, of course, the territory actually occupied is a good deal less than is claimed, and the number of Japanese soldiers really killed can hardly be less than ten times the number set down. In a single day on the Yellow River, the Chinese killed some 30,000 of them. But let us grant Japan the claim to her accomplishments, and what has she let herself in for? Why, for a bloody, exhausting struggle already one year old and getting older by the day.

Defender of the Law

Mr. George Reyer, police superintendent of New Orleans, proposes, he says, to defend the law and order at any cost. Taking a leaf out of Boss Hague's book, he has himself been destroying the law right and left by suspending the civil rights of the CIO. First, he raided CIO headquarters and arrested as "vagrants" all the striking cab and truck drivers he could find. Then he invaded a CIO meeting and locked up the leaders for "inciting to riot," though there was plainly no prospect of a riot. And yesterday he once more raided CIO headquarters and arrested 60 of the strikers for "creating a disturbance."

Wherefore the CIO is fighting mad. Its chief in New Orleans, one Braniff, has instructed his men to meet hereafter behind locked doors and to resist "by force of arms" any cops who come barging in without warrants. That is the counsel of passion and it is ill-advised. But as the law stands, it is undoubtedly their privilege. As everyone knows who knows anything about the development of English and American liberty, the constitutional provision that the people shall have the right to bear arms was laid down precisely with an eye to their right to resist, and if necessary kill, invaders who ignore their rights under the law. But Mr. George Reyer just hopes they will, he just hopes they will. He'll show 'em!

Mr. George Reyer, like Boss Hague, is assuming to make law and order equivalent to what he wants them to be. And it is not wise to be indifferent to Hague, Reyer & Co., whatever you think of the CIO. These men menace the liberties of every last one of us.

Tory's Progress

There are stories in the current news at which we feel inclined to look again, as there were stories last Summer which made us do the same thing. They concern a man named Myron C. Taylor. Until a few months ago he was president of the United States Steel Corporation. And if you had asked us two years ago to name offhand three or four persons who perfectly embodied our notion of what is meant by "economic royalist" and "tory," we'd have been almost certain to include the name of Myron C. Taylor. Didn't everybody know that U. S. Steel was one of the most crusty combines in the land? And didn't Taylor fill the shoes of old Judge Gary, that hard-bitten exponent of the right of the owner of a great factory to run it exactly as though it were a blacksmith shop?

Yet this man Taylor quietly signed a contract with the CIO last Summer when all the other steel companies were following the lead of Tom Girdler and roaring defiance at it. And now, at Evian-les-Bains, he is acting as head of the American delegation to the conference of the nations for the relief of the Jews exiled from Nazi Germany. And the other day he made a speech in which he bluntly put the case for civilization and denounced the German practice--naming the country--as barbarism. And such practical schemes as the conference has evolved seem to be largely his handiwork.

It sets us to rubbing our eyes, but, as industrialists go, the man looks like a liberal, and, as anybody at all goes, he seems to be making a swell job of being a humanitarian.

Compliment in Reverse

At Covington, Ky., ... the President had strong words of praise for Senator Barkley but tempered them with a compliments for Governor A. B. Chandler, opposing Barkley...

That's the celebrated Associated Press. Indeed you might have taken it that way. For what he mainly said was:

Your Governor, my Governor (Lehman in New York), and a good many other governors are able to go before their people and announce proudly that they have balanced budgets. More power to their arms!

But if you think that is a compliment, go back in that speech and observe that immediately before he had said:

In the six years that have intervened, many of our states, because of that help from the national government, have got back in the black again--my own state of New York--and your own state of Kentucky among them.

Governor Chandler has been going up and down Kentucky and bragging that he has balanced the budget, and very pregnantly contrasting that with the national budget. And two or three days ago Governor Lehman of New York, who has fallen out of the New Deal camp since the U. S. Supreme Court fight and who has announced for the Senatorial seat of the late Doc Copeland, was proudly pointing to the fact that his own budget was balanced whereas Mr. Roosevelt, as Governor of New York, had left it sadly unbalanced.

Compliment? What the President was really saying was:

Don't let these bums kid you. It was I, with my own little projects, who balanced their budgets.

Defining Sadism

The great Nazi re-appraisal of all values which promised, on the Nazis' own word, to snatch the human race from the slough of barbaric stupidity, proceeds apace.

First, they clarified treason by showing us with great lucidity in the cases of Dr. Schuschnigg and Baron Rothschild that it consists of (a) any attempt to defend the sovereignty of your country when the Nazis want to take it over, and (b) the lending of money to your country without always getting it back, when the Nazis want to confiscate your fortune.

And now it is sadism which they have made crystal clear. Last week at Kingenfurt, they sentenced Joseph Wunsch, a former major of Austrian police, to three years in a concentration camp for having "sadistically beaten and otherwise maltreated" 100 Austrian Nazis under arrest in 1934 when the party was illegal in Austria.

Everybody knows, of course, that the Nazis systematically practice "beating and maltreatment" in their own concentration camps. But only against Communists, Jews, Lutheran pastors, Catholic priests, Nobel Prize winners, ex-submarine commanders, old Social Democrats, etc.--all of them anti-Nazi vermin which must be extinguished for the sake of the new and purified World Order, and from whom therefore it is necessary to dissociate all notion of mercy. Sadism, that is, is manifestly only sadism if it is practiced against a Nazi, in whom the new and purified World Order inheres.

To the Pure

One of the candidates in the race for Governor in South Carolina wants "purity in government." That is one of his platform planks, and a praiseworthy one. If in all South Carolina, or in North Carolina, one were to question any person, candidate, voter or whatnot, he could find no one publicly to oppose the goal of purity in government, and very few privately to do so.

But unfortunately, the people themselves will not allow purity in government. Suppose a pure person were elected, a bright, shining star, with no thought except to be purer and purer and have everybody else be purer and purer. What would happen? The very day he was elected people would try to drag him from his snow white pedestal of purity. Some would want contracts and offer something for something. Refused by the pure man, the less-than-pure fellow would immediately go out and work against pure. Others would want things, prepared of course to get something for them. Our best people are not above asking for things to which they are not entitled--and they generally want the best, too.

Officeholders are what people make them. Doesn't every one go in on a platform of reducing taxes? Yet once he is in office the very people who bawled for lower taxes demand things, more jobs for friends, costly "improvements," things that cost more and more money. What does the pure want to do? He has to run again.

There will be "purity in government" when voters become pure. You know when that will be, but you won't be there.


Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News--Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.