The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 13, 1938


Site Ed. Note: "Fly in the Ointment" indicates the problem at the time facing Hitler and Tojo for an attack either from the Pacific or the Atlantic.

Put that together with "Pearl Harbor", September 28, 1939, "Bumble Plan", August 13, 1940, and "Bold Threat", December 22, 1940, and their accompanying notes, (which, like the pieces added July-August, 2001 anent July, 1940, seem to have mightily stirred the cockles of some interests out there somewhere, or so it would seem, interests inimical, quite inimical, to the continued interests and viability of the United States Constitution, it would appear, all funded, we gather circumstantially, (but enough circumstance to have sent many another human being to the gallows), from things which have been occurring in our midst, by two primary sources, tobacco and oil, big, big companies full of little, little minds, sometimes, creepy little minds sometimes, out to poison your lungs and your planet, Pilgrim, so that they can presumably live in the Garden remaining, after the Apocalypse--oh yeah; and they in fact did come here to kill you, these economic royalists, indeed, of whom we speak; yet, you say, you don't believe it; well, you know what you can do, then, Pilgrim--either read on and find out for yourself, even if you're a company party, employee, CEO, director, John L. Lewis-type, what have you, for we don't suggest for a moment that you, as an individual, re-dedicating yourself to our founding principles of democracy and fair play and the Constitution, cannot aid mightily in effecting a rebirth of this increasingly strange world pretty easily, and as soon as tomorrow, today; or you can simply sit there in your rushing lame-brain ways and continue on, stoned as usual, on Sunday and Monday nights next, watching some "conservative" writer's fairy tail on the tv entertainment box about September 11, 2001--such an entertaining day that was, wasn't it?--about which any diligent reader already probably understands as much as we are likely to understand, at least any time soon; and realize that it is quite preposterous to blame that day's occurrence on the Clinton Administration, as apparently, by early reports, this fairy tale is going to seek primarily and largely to do for some odd reason two months before mid-term elections, quite as much so as to try to blame, say, World War II on Woodrow Wilson, who was by its beginning quite deceased, and out of office for two decades, though some make the rather preposterous argument anyway, just as some sillies try to blame it all on the supposed indecisiveness of FDR, ignoring his isolationist Congress and, moreover, the understandable reluctance of the American people to want to send their husbands and sons to fight another sure-to-be bloody war in Europe while the last was still fresh in their minds from 20 years earlier--(ourselves, we think the whole thing was definitely Eve's fault in the beginning--or, on second thought, was it the tempter, or, third thought, Adam for giving her his rib in the first place?)--and you will have a pretty good idea of what probably occurred, when you read those pieces, that is and lay off the sofa-box some.

Well, anyway, consult those pieces and associated notes, and put them together then with "Coming Closer", October 27, 1940, and see if you don't come out about where we did some 15 years ago when we first formed the threads of understanding which led ultimately to the piece on Cash's death, and eventually to the formation of this site generally in mid to late 1998, as a certain impeachment was being formulated, while someone was in jail in Arkansas at the behest of some very silly people funded and snaked by some upset sillies with tobacco and defense contract profits on the brain, primarily out of North Carolina and Virginia, Georgia, using Arkansas, in wind and straw, until she talked, pshaw, to the Hawk about the President's personal conduct before he became President, something called Whitewater, which the lady bravely refused to do despite all the coercive tactics to manipulate her, save old Mr. Guillotine himself. Remember that? (We do. It's just a little tickle on the neck. Oooooo.)

Well, if you've forgotten it some, you read up on it down below in that piece about Mad Dog Earle of Pennsylvania; and then you let us know what you think come early November, there, Pilgrim, unless, that is, you want to continue being shined up a tree until this Constitution we propose to cherish and which is the repository of all and every founding principle on which our tri-colored flag is based, (blending which produces purple, we think), and all else which we hold dear about the poetic history of this democratic republic--maybe the planet itself, for all practical purposes--no longer exists, except maybe either in a song floating out there somewhere in space to be picked up by something somewhere sometime, millennia from now, on the radio maybe, or as a quaint piece of cinematic footage from the 1930's and 40's, or merely some piece of parchment under glass perhaps, reminiscent of that state of things which gave the French the idea for what they did to achieve liberté July 14-28, 1789, after, a few years before, we had made it a sound proposition to the overtaxed and belittled right there in every colony from Stone Mountain in Georgia to the Green Mountains of Vermont to the shores of Cape Cod and Cape Hatteras and Old Point Comfort in between.

You think about that some; and, when done, smile to yourself, and get back to us on it, that is when your stiff-necked romance with economic royalism, otherwise known as corporatista fascism, begins to feel Mr. Guillotine's tickly tickler on that stiff neck of yours, after the Reavoooluutioon, and that being likely so even if you were filling the shoes, down at the station, of Danton or Desmoulins, leading the thing, in the first place. (In some places, as with Mr. Burr and Mr. Hamilton, the revolutionists become at odds and jealous of one another, as in all other sporting events. You do understand that? You know, as with Barkley and Mr. Happy Chandler, and the rest of those Wild Cats out there.)

Better limber that old neck up a little, reader, with some neck exercises, get off that lazy-slut couch, go run, and think about it all.

In any event, lay off us, corporatista. We didn't start the fire.

But, maybe you did.


Come to think of it, the Fayetteville Observer convinces us that it probably all began with Paul I and Lieutenant Kijé--but since all that was two or three decades before our time, we shall leave it to you to determine the significance, if at all, of that more fully.

By the way, we agree, sometimes, with Mr. Disraeli's mode of distemper, as he disrailed his raillery, of distilling it all in one crisp geste, just to discern whether dis real or some horror-show. You know? "Mr. Benjamin", as we fondly called 'im, mate, down at the Jackaranda, whenever he did drop in, taught us that personally, you know, over there at Krum Elbow. Mr. Benjamin, when he would come to sense that way, would, for the sake of all, simply twist his head and shout: "Shucks. What are you about?"

By the way, getting back to the party here, care for some coal in your coffee, dear?

Where is Fannie when we need her? Oh, there you are...being chased by Smedley's employer again.

Scarlett, stop that instantly. That is just shameful.

The Interesting Guest

Two debutantes will get "introduced to society" at Newport this year with a bang reminiscent of the roaring twenties. The mama of one of them will spend $100,000 on her coming out party, and the papa of the other will dish up the jack to the tune of $50,000. It may be a lot of fun for everybody, but it is scarcely bright, when you think about it. For at the same time this flagrant wasteful show is being staged, there are around 11,000,000 unemployed people in this country, and there are many millions who, though they aren't actually starving, are pretty close to hunger all the time, and who will be looking at the stories of these parties with bitter eyes. The show-offs might well read the history of the French Revolution with some profit.

Still, there is one thing to be said for such parties. Both will turn loose large sums which are calculated to furnish employment for a number of people, and to set the wheels of business to turning faster. And--there is one very curious circumstance about one of them. John Lewis, the great champion of labor, will be a guest at the $100,000 party. Shades of purple cats! Did you hear that? John Lewis, the great suffering voice of the people in protest, will go as a guest to a $100,000 coming out party! There are people who profess to see Boss John as an American Jacobin. But it seems less than probable. You never heard of Robespierre or Camille Desmoulins dining at Versailles, did you?

In Siberia

How little prospect there is for permanent conciliation between Russia and Japan is strikingly shown by the fact that new "incidents" have already transpired, before the armistice was 48 hours old. The cooler heads in the Japanese government are unquestionably greatly worried about the outcome of the Chinese adventure, and so want anxiously to avoid large-scale war with the bear just now. But even there the aim is much less to avoid war permanently and to have time to achieve the hoped-for victory in China, and get both hands free for Russia. But in the end, the question of delaying war will probably not be decided by the government but by the brass hats in command of the army. For, under the peculiar Japanese constitution, these brass hats can make war without the consent and even against the orders of the civil authorities. And, more even than brass hats, in general, and despite some stunning reverses in China, they are afflicted with megalomania, and believe confidently that they are indefensible.

Another possibility that must not be overlooked, either, is that the curious now-I'm-coming and now-I'm-going business which is taking place on the Siberian border is connected with Mr. Hitler's will to [indiscernible word] Czechoslovakia--that the Japanese are deliberately playing the game of their European ally, with a view to keeping Russia too concerned about the East to risk action in the West. It sounds melodramatic, certainly, but melodramatics are the prevailing rule in international affairs now. And what would Japan gain by this dangerous game which might easily involve her in a battle for her life? A great deal. For the achievement of Hitler's plans means both the building of the most powerful state in Europe, the carrying of that state right up to the Russian border. And with the Pan-German giant upon his western border, Stalin would perhaps never dare engage in war with Japan. That is to say, it would probably mean the elimination of Russia as Japan's great rival in the East.

Correction--In Detail

In an editorial Wednesday, "Business as Usual," we noted that a news report had it that "crime dropped off appreciably in Charlotte in July," according to the report of Mrs. Eloise B. Brown, assistant clerk of City Police Court, the number of arrests having been 513 as compared with 610 for June and 775 for July, 1937. We questioned the conclusion that crime itself had fallen off, on the ground that it would be quite possible for crime to be increasing while arrests were declining, and went on:

In one particular that was plainly the case. For in June there were no murders in Charlotte. In July there were three. But we do not find any arrest for murder listed among the Mrs. Brown's figures...

Chief of Detectives Frank Littlejohn advises us, however, that the news report was incomplete in this regard, and that in all three cases of murder arrests had been made, and the defendants bound over to Superior Court for trial. We are glad to make the correction by way of keeping the record straight. But the primary question posed by our editorial still stands: were there actually fewer crimes reported in July? And so does our primary conclusion stand, too--that murder in Charlotte shows no signs of declining. In 1937, we had 37 murders, to take second place as the most murderous town in the country. This year we have already had 23, which, if the same rate continues, will give us just about 37 for 1938.

More Rational

Governor George Earle of Pennsylvania is on firmer ground than he has been in a long while when he challenges Harrisburg's District Attorney Carl B. Shelley to issue a warrant for him on charges of bribery, blackmail, and political coercion, and take him into open court for trial.

The Governor insists that such a trial will clear him of the charges that have been repeatedly made against him, and insists that the grand jury investigation which has been carried on under the direction of Republican judges is simply a scheme to embarrass the Democratic Party at the polls this Fall. The investigation will be dragged out, he claims, until the eve of the election. Then indictments will be suddenly returned against himself and other candidates, when it is too late for the court to decide the question of their guilt until after the vote has been taken. And it is just as possible that he has ground for his claims as that he is guilty of the charges made against him--as the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania seems to have felt when it suspended the grand jury, pending its own hearing of the case.

But Governor Earle has been going about defending himself by having his stooge Legislature attempt to strip the courts of their proper functions and enact a law whereunder a man who was supposed to have secrets or documents the Governor wanted could be kept in jail until he surrendered them. And such high-handed tactics as that were rapidly convincing the country, not that the Governor was innocent but that he must really have something to hide. If he's innocent, he'll fare a lot better with his methods.

Fly in the Ointment

The 4,000 mile flight of the great German airliner from Berlin to New York is pretty conclusive proof of the feasibility of regular air transport across the Atlantic, coming as it does, hard on the heels of the Howard Hughes flight and the astounding flight of Douglas Corrigan. The Atlantic is stormier than the Pacific, but the hop from the North American continent to the first land beyond the sea is no greater than planes have been negotiating for years in the latter ocean. And so, when adequate landing fields are provided, we shall probably see Europe brought within a day of New York.

But the fact that the peaceful plane belongs to the war making Nazis suggests something else. When planes achieve a cruising range of 4,000 miles against adverse conditions, the bombing of New York from the air no longer seems quite so preposterous as some military experts have sometimes argued it today. True, a bombing ship, equipped with its full load of explosives, probably has a much shorter effective range than this German commercial ship. And it is doubtful that planes approaching over land could fly a thousand miles with much success, seeing that pursuit planes would be out to meet them long before they arrived. But what is to prevent an aircraft carrier lying 500 miles out at sea and discharging its bomb-laden planes, which, flying at great heights, would not be detected until it was too late adequately to defend the city?

Perhaps the time has not yet arrived when this is really practical. Nevertheless, it seems plain that it every day comes closer and closer.

Site Ed. Note: As Mr. Godwin points out, yet again, his hand anxiously raised in class--, perhaps altogether too unhumorously, in complete distemper in fact, and probably not intending it so, but nevertheless, and having every conceivable right to do so, which is why The News consistently published his hand--, some of them are Killer Angels, fallen from grace, fallen, grabbed by the spirit of God knows what. Perhaps, a hypnotist, a queen of diamonds which are forever and, some say, a girl's best friend...

Listen to them, hear them, and, without following their commands, maybe, even so, they won't kill us, these hypnotic creatures slithering their way through the grass, pounding the nails to the cross--as some have in the past. When they do, about all we can do, really, is try our best, by the lights allowed us of the moment, to impart the story from the past, to avoid the worst in future.

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night

Also, more here on the War to end all wars...

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