The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 16, 1940


Site Ed. Note: For another, later piece on the bit of necromancy, as set forth in "Thaumaturgist", practiced by the alien hunters in desperate need of an alienist, (or, at least, a philologist), see "Scary Stuff", October 6, 1940.

"Repudiation" continues the theme, which ultimately would lead to the very unfunny practice later labeled McCarthyism.

Its similar manifestation today has of course as its marching rubric: "Either you're against Terrorism, or you are one."

We, ourselves, not wishing either Terrorism to extend any further into our lives than it already has or to be a Terrorism, prefer to abandon all semblance of adherence to the Constitution, and instead follow the sure course set forth below as practiced by Governor E. D. Rivers of Georgia: Our Way or the Highway.

We think that we should start, however, not at the state level, or with any low bureaucratic personnel even at the Federal level, but rather right at the top, the White House.


Governor Rivers' Course Moves To Logical End

Governor Rivers of Georgia is a very good example of what happens to a man when he once embarks on the road taken before now by Gene Talmadge, Huey Long, Olin Johnston & Co.

When he decided to assume the authority to remove W. L. Miller, chairman of the Georgia State Highway Commission, because, as he charged, the fellow was guilty of the great crime of trying to use his office to get himself elected Governor, he went about it very gingerly. At first he merely sent around a couple of his strong-arm men and had Mr. Miller calmly thrown out of his office.

But then Miller had recourse to the courts and came back with an order restraining anybody from interfering with his right to the Highway office until the dispute had been duly decided. Whereupon the Governor called out the militia to eject Mr. Miller, but without declaring martial law and being very careful not to resort to arms.

Mr. Miller, however, went back to court, got another order, got it rejected also, after which the court issued a warrant for the arrest of the adjutant general, the officer in charge of the troops engaged in keeping Miller out of his office, for contempt of court. And now, to head that off, the Governor has had to declare martial law for the State military and Highway departments. And the adjutant general announces that he will resist any attempt to arrest him with force of arms.

The Governor charges that his opponents are engaged in an attempt "to inspire violence and otherwise interfere" with the national guard. But it is quite plain that it is the Governor himself who has suspended the function of the courts in Georgia and brought the state to the verge of the cessation of civil rule.


The Hon. Joe Nearly Traps A Revolutionary--Marlowe

We do hope the Americanism Committee of the American Legion took the Hon. Joe Starnes with a handful of salt at Gastonia last night. For the Hon. Joe is the greatest anti-Americanism bogey-seer of all times, not even excepting the late A. Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson's Attorney General, or Martin Dies himself.

Take that time he nearly trapped that ectoplasmic radical, Marlowe.

The Hon. Joe had been reading the Red sheets--or maybe it was the pinkies, like the New Republic. Anyhow, he had seen this fellow Marlowe quoted, and there was no doubt of it--the evidence was incontestable that the man was both an atheist and a Red, plotting to overthrow the Republic and to emulate Lucifer by assaulting the battlements of Paradise itself.

The Hon. Joseph, therefore, demanded that he be fetched before the Dies Committee instanter. His first name was Christopher.

Whereat the ectoplasmic floor of an ectoplasmic inn in England's Deptford was red with blood again, an ectoplasmic Helen tossed her ectoplasmic fair hair and smiled as she had not smiled since her face launched a thousand ships and a poet's Dr. Faustus hailed her with the lines, "Oh, thou art fairer than the evening air, clad in the beauty of a thousand stars."

For it was exactly 346 years since Kit Marlowe had breathed his last on that same floor, stabbed to death in a brawl.

Site Ed. Note: And, about 348 years before this piece was writ, Marlowe wrote: "...And when the hangman had put on his hempen tippet, he made such haste to his prayers, as if he had had another cure to serve."

Caesar's Town

Shelby Municipal Politics Inspire A Suggestion

Down here in Mecklenburg we have watched with more than casual interest the recent political investigations in Shelby and Cleveland County.

And we were not particularly surprised when the whole business collapsed, after a grand jury had pronounced a long list of alleged malpractices as "too frivolous" to deserve attention, and the solicitor nol prossed a true bill of indictment "for the best interests of everyone concerned."

It rather seems to us, indeed, that a true bill calls for the airing of the matters which led to it in open court. But down here we are accustomed to the idea of solicitors doing pretty much as they please with the law. And of course it is not up to us to decide whether or not there was good ground for the indictment in the first place.

Nevertheless, we do wonder that Shelby should not take more care to keep its house in order. With its Webbs, Gardners, Hoeys, and so on, it prides itself as being a sort of Lhasa of the Democratic Party in North Carolina. And supposing that the charges made were as frivolous as the grand jury said they were, supposing that it was "for the best interest of everybody" that the indictment brought should be dropped, the fact still remains that Shelby's political house seems to be somewhat less than in perfect order.

A town which is so important for the political life of the state as that one ought to be a very Caesar's wife when it comes to its own politics.


They Have A Good Case, But Politics Is Motive

The Republicans have an argument, all right. Lending Finland $60,000,000 which belongs to the people of the United States is certainly dubious from a financial standpoint. The Finns may win. The hope that they will is, of course, the inspiration for this proposal. But the probability is still that they will lose when Summer comes and gives the Russians a chance to use their overwhelming force effectively.

And if Finland loses, the sixty million smackers will be gone down the spout. Russia doesn't respect her just obligations, and she certainly would not respect the debt contracted to oppose her aspirations in the West.

On the other hand, the sympathy of the people of this country is strongly with Finland, and there is not much doubt the popular vote would support the proposed loan. Moreover, from a purely calculating viewpoint, we have good reason to hope that Finland will win. For if Finland is conquered, Russia will eventually dominate the whole Scandinavian Peninsula and establish herself as an Atlantic power. And if she does that, she will be likely to dominate all Europe. In view of her political system, it is not a prospect which we can afford to view calmly.

But the decision in the case obviously ought to be made on a non-partisan basis. And whatever their argument, it is plain that the Republicans in Congress are actuated primarily by the desire to make political capital against the Administration.


But We Retain Our Old Doubts of Robert Rice

The Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds appears at length to have become a bit worried about the charge that he is a friend of Mr. Hitler and the Nazis--that while his Vindicator hollered its head off about the Red Menace, it had strangely little to say about the Fascists and the Hitlerites.

The front page of the January issue of that journal has a banner headline, "Mad Hitler Perils the World." And in his New Year Greetings, Robert Rice himself has to say that we have "to weed out and drive out the alien influences of Communism, Nazism, and Fascism. Each alike should be destroyed; there's only room for Americanism in the New Year."

Which is a somewhat more complete repudiation of Nazism and Fascism than the hon. gentleman has hitherto allowed himself. Nonetheless, and though it may be true that he doesn't really care for German Nazism or Italian Fascism, we retain our doubts of him and his purposes.

Observe, for example, the way in which he identifies "alien" with "Communism, Nazism, and Fascism." It might be innocent enough coming from someone else. But not from Robert. For he has made it quite plain that he shares the confessed ambition of Martin Dies to deport 6,000,000 aliens--the whole body of them.

And efforts to make out that all these aliens are Reds or Nazis or Fascists are simply brutal nonsense. Not ten per cent of them are open to the charge in any manner. And those who are don't really matter. Far more dangerous are the Americans who go in for the American varieties of Nazism and Fascism under such names as the Ku Klux Klan, the Vindicators, etc. If these systems are ever established in this country, they will not be established by aliens but by men like Martin Dies and Robert Rice Reynolds who want to save something they call Americanism by passing laws which destroy the foundation of all true Americanism.

Site Ed. Note: Incidentally, speaking of aliens and the Red Menace, we were reading about this new idea of NASA to put men or women on Mars by 2020, with an intermediate stop on the moon at a space station to be constructed. We considered that prospect a moment and had to question what great advantage the moon station might have, it being only about 1/150th of the 35 million miles or more, on a good day, which is required to travel to Mars, one way.

We do understand, of course, that it is no mere trifle to obtain release from the earth's gravity and to break the bounds of the atmosphere, and that once done, the journey is immeasurably easier and smoother and safer; thus, we can fairly infer that the moon landing base is a kind of stop-over to check out the ship for potential damage to and fro the Red alien planet before the long journey out, and, that done on return, the shorter but more perilous journey back into the earth's gravitational field.

In any event, we do believe that it is a task which, judging by recent news, has plentiful hope of success, and well before even 2020, for if an astronaut can travel 950 miles interstate by automobile in a diaper without respite, we are surely disposed to think that this same astronaut probably ought be the initial test pilot for the Martian experience--probably this summer even, thereby jumpstarting the program by fully thirteen years. And, probably, in the bargain saving both NASA and the State of Florida a whole lot of money.

But that's just our opinion, based on observation.

Whatever the case, the adventure certainly gave to the phrase, "Houston, Tranquility Base here; the Eagle has landed," a whole new blush.

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