The Charlotte News

Monday, January 29, 1940


Site Ed. Note: The source of the errant radio transmission discussed in "Hoax" might have been the ham operators of the Nazi underground out of the Abwehr, a.k.a. Ast X, (whether he ast or she ast, we don't know), who operated in 1940-41 in and around Manhattan, priding themselves on disruptive conduct meant to occupy precious human intelligence and enforcement resources in the time leading up to the continuation of the war, to chill in fear those who, considering their lineage of but a generation, two or three or four past, might otherwise think positively of lending a hand in Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, France and Great Britain, in aid against the Nazi invader in the eight fateful months to come.

The FBI first became aware of and began monitoring the signals of this specific ham apparatus in early 1941.

Whether or not the particular radio transmission in question below originated there, two of the three operators were netted as part of the 32 Nazi spies in the spy arrest of June 28-29, 1941 and sentenced to prison for five and fifteen years.

And of course there were other, sympathetic hams, even in the South, and in other parts of the land.

Speaking of hams, we were reading here in Genesis, inspired as we are by this Stringfellow fellow, about how Abram, when he was 99, was renamed by God, Abraham, that after Hagar, his wife's Egyptian maid, whom Sarai had taken and given to Abram after he had dwelt ten years in Canaan, the land of his fore-uncle, Ham,--accursed whose son, Canaan, had been by his grandpapa, Noah, to be servant of Shem and Japheth, his uncles, though Noah, being a drunk, called them Canaan's brethren, all for Ham having, as no doubt recollected from the Garden parable, seen his father's naked drunkenness in his tent after his business as husbandman tilling his vineyards, and, on top of it, had enticed then his two brethren proper, Shem and Japheth, to cover up Noah's drunken harlotry, (Noah, no doubt understanding the principle that it is the cover-up which gets you, thus punishing with servitude, Canaan, his grandson, son of Ham)--, and whom, after her, that is Hagar's, untimely escape to the wilderness and return unto the hand of her mistress, Sarai, the wife of Abram, at the exhortation of the angel of the Lord, had begat Abram at age 86 a child, to be known as Ishmael, the wild man, said the angel, whose hand would be against every man and against whom every man's hand would be.

And Abraham, said God to him, 371 years after the Flood, would thence become the father of many nations, thus to have his name transformed in like manner to his status.

Now, we pause to ask ourselves, after all that business after the Flood, whence came after the Fall, whence came after the Garden, why would God rename Abram, adding to his name a ha.

Well, we shall leave it to you to discern the meaning, if any there be, to that bit of re-tooling of the nomenclature by the Lord to be applied as a springing appellation to his chosen patriarch upon the earth, this well after the Lord had also confounded the many nations after the Tower of Babel was built up of thoroughly burnt brick held together by mortar of slime, whose top would extend all the way to the heavens, lest they be scattered about the earth, they proclaimed unto themselves, after which the Lord spoke and said, "The people is one," as they had united in one language, seeing which, the Lord became sorely distressed, knowing they would then do all which they imagined to do by dint of this unity of language. And so, the Lord took and scattered them, these sons of Shem, all abroad from the plain of Shinar, in which they had builded the brick-trip Tower, all of which eventually led, 272 years after the Flood, to Abram, (though Noah, who lived 350 years after the Flood, having lived all toll, 950 years, was still alive, in accord with arithmetic ordinary, until Abram was 78--that is, unless they measured time differently in different parts of the earth back then--just like were we wont to do in our own time and times on the old Victrola, as between the generations which were and are, though some any longer are--or are they?), among the letters of whose name was added ha by the Lord because he was to become the father of many nations, all agreed under the Torah, the Bible and the Qu'ran.

Well, imagine that.

We include the following piece from the date's page anent the word begriff. Search as we have through the Random House Unabridged, and a couple of others, feeling a little like a gomer, we find it omitted, only to be included in dictionaries listing philosophical terms. (Though we admit that presently, because of some real gomers in our midst, we don't have current access to our faithful OED.)

But, we did find this quote using it, from Theodore Roosevelt's History as Literature, published 1913:

"History must welcome the entrance upon its domain of every science. As James Harvey Robinson in his 'New History' has said:

'The bounds of all departments of human research and speculation are inherently provisional, indefinite, and fluctuating; moreover, the lines of demarcation are hopelessly interlaced, for real men and the real universe in which they live are so intricate as to defy all attempts even of the most patient and subtle German to establish satisfactorily and permanently the Begriff und Wesen of any artificially delimited set of natural phenomena, whether words, thoughts, deeds, forces, animals, plants, or stars. Each so-called science or discipline is ever and always dependent on other sciences and disciplines. It draws its life from them, and to them it owes, consciously or unconsciously, a great part of its chances of progress.'"

Thus, we scratch our scalp and regard this begriff of Begriff as essentially a trifling McGuffin.

Or, is it the deus ex machina within the stage play, of which we are all but mere actors and actresses, acting out but our petty, fretted parts upon its wooden plat per each and every time we put set-foot upon Terra?

Love's Labor Lost

Pass The Peanuts, Winston Sentinel

Six years of waiting in untiring toil has gone for naught. In 1914 we were interested in the word "begriff" that was presented to a class in writing by Professor Horace Williams. Professor Williams was a guest lecturer to Professor Philip Russell's English class. Horace Williams is a philosophy teacher, and follows along the teaching of Hegel.

Begriff was not in the dictionary at that time. It is now, as we found from the new Webster's unabridged in the Sentinel office. It is defined to mean concept or notion. It comes from the German, and in German it means "having a working knowledge of a subject" or knowing a certain thing in a thorough-going manner.

We wanted to use that word, but somehow we never got around to it. We put it away and resolved to use it some day. Six years elapsed, and for a year and a half we have been pounding stuff out for the Sentinel.

Yesterday our chance came. We were writing a news story about graduate extension courses being given by the University here in Winston-Salem, and we said, "if you can't come to the University, the University can be brought to you, is the begriff of the circumstances that causes graduate courses in sociology to be taught in Winston-Salem."

The word begriff was marked out by the managing editor and other words put in its place. The futility of it all! If we knew enough Latin, we'd say something appropriate to describe how we feel. But perhaps we didn't use the word right anyhow.

A Good Cause

Drive Against Infantile Paralysis Deserves Aid

The President's ball Tuesday evening will mark the climax of the annual drive against infantile paralysis. And even if you don't dance, it won't hurt to buy tickets and go along to look. At least, you can drop your loose dimes into one of the containers provided everywhere by the March of Dimes.

Everybody who has a child or who knows a child which has a hold on his heart has a personal stake in this campaign. Infantile paralysis is a disease which still eludes all efforts to track it down and get at its cause. As things stand at present, nobody can be sure that the child in his own house will not begin to toss with it at any moment. And once it strikes, the child, if it does not die, is inevitably crippled. But as Mr. Roosevelt's own case proves, wonders can be done with the crippled limbs--provided proper facilities for their treatment are available.

Half the money you contribute stays at home here in Charlotte and Mecklenburg, to provide proper treatment for those who may be stricken with the terrible scourge. The other half goes to the national fund, to be expended in various ways but mainly for purposes of research into the cause of the disease. Soon or late that cause will be discovered, as the causes of tuberculosis, syphilis, diphtheria, etc. have been discovered--provided there is money to keep up the hunt. Your dimes and dollars hasten the time when the fear of the thing will be lifted or at least ameliorated.

Sounding Brass

Japanese Army Is Merely Indulging Its Vanity

Threats of Japanese army leaders in China that any attempt by the United States to embargo military supplies to it would mean war, are probably mere breast-beating.

These brass hats are extremely reckless, indeed. And they have it in their power to make war by attacks on Americans in China, and even though the Japanese navy, which would have to do most of the fighting, is dead against it. For the civil government at Tokyo has no real control over them.

Nevertheless, the soberer ones among them must be perfectly aware that such an enterprise is likely to be suicidal for all their hopes. If Japan cannot fight China without supplies from the United States, much less can she fight the United States itself.

Nor is it to be supposed that she could get the necessary supplies by wholesale seizure of new territories in the East, such as the Dutch and British Indies and the Philippines. All these territories together cannot begin to supply the thing she would most need--iron. And moreover, seizing them and fighting the United States navy at the same time would be highly impractical.

The Japanese navy is an unknown quantity. Its overwhelming victory over the Russians at Tsushima has given it a great reputation. Certainly, the American navy far outweighs it, both in tonnage and firepower. It has some advantages, as superior speed in battleships--though the North Carolina and the Washington will go far to balance that out. But the Americans undoubtedly have the advantage in accurate gunnery. And the evidence does not suggest that the American naval officer has lost his old resourcefulness and cunning. Altogether, therefore, the cold probability is that, in a showdown, the American navy would destroy the Japanese navy.

And if that happened, the brass hats in China would be ruined, as they well know.


Perpetrators Of This Trick Should Be Ferreted Out

The fact that the hoax radio SOS, alleging that a non-existent ship was sinking with 146 passengers off Cape Cod, was alleged to have been picked up in the vicinity of the 20-meter band suggested strongly that it was an amateur radio operator who sent it. Yet it is a conclusion which we were reluctant to adopt without proof. For the hams have almost universally shown a disposition to recognize their responsibilities and to make themselves useful rather than to engage in such outrageous tricks as this one, though it was possible to suppose that some younger and inexperienced member of the clan was stupid enough to think it an excellent joke.

However, it now appears probable that it was the work of the men who reported the call.

There is also another possibility. The case recalls the SOS sent out last year, purportedly from a "British freighter" whose registry was not given, and alleging that she had just been attacked by a mysterious submarine and was sinking off the African coast. There again no trace of her could be found--pretty good proof that she never existed. Perhaps a psychopath has somewhere, in the United States or out of it, got hold of a radio transmitter, and is amusing his perverted sense of values by sending out such messages as often he thinks nobody is watching for him.

In any case, the Communications Commission should extend itself to locate the author of any such hoax, put him summarily out of business, and make an example of him to others--an enterprise in which we are sure it could count on the co-operation of the great body of hams. Such calls, or false reports of calls, not only put the coast guard and the navy to great expense, they also threaten chaos on the sea, and endanger every ship afloat.

Samuel Midas

All That Gold Only Makes Trouble For The Nation

The United States' dollar, which attained quite a distinction several years ago when labeled "the bologna dollar," has become too precious in the world's estimation for the welfare of American foreign trade.

At the root of the problem, it appears, is "all this gold" now flooding American coffers, with more coming in a steady stream from other nations. The Federal Reserve Bulletin lately indicated that the U.S.A. possesses more than 60 per cent of the world's supply of monetary gold, against only 30 per cent in 1934. In the intervening period almost $14,000,000,000 of gold has been imported and removed from circulation by the United States Treasury, which now boasts of holdings totaling nearly $18,000,000,000.

Gold, as is well known, is a base not only for currency but also for credit and this unprecedented hoard could serve as the base for domestic credit expansion so great as to be disastrous. Any conceivable sound need for credit would require only a small part of the yellow metal as a base. Even now, with credit severely restricted, almost every bank in the land is experiencing pains of opulence, their excess reserves threatening to burst their strong boxes. And, so long as this condition exists interest rates will continue at a level which is distressingly low to the bankers.

The American Government offers probably the only safe haven for jittery Old World capital. That is one factor back of the influx of gold. Another factor is the European war. The warfare is booming the demand for American products, assuring additional imports of gold and payment, thus further draining Old World nations' stocks. Already an unintentional Midas, the United States is finding too much gold is not an economic blessing but a distinct financial handicap.

Still more ominous is the possibility that the other large nations of the world would monetize something other than gold or muddle along with paper currencies and barter agreements, should the United States ultimately find itself in possession of practically all the monetary gold.

Site Ed. Note: Incidentally, we of the Kenanites, Car-Michaels, and what-not, cannot help but offer up our sincerest apologies begot to the Spartans for having two moons back nearly given up on them, in discrimination, these young Spartans' rune track; but now, now being led by the masked man in clear, after the elbow off the Kite of Poor Richard this year, will no doubt, in our estimation, go all the way to the title of the nation, against those who were and are not wilt, but have been before, and as once a half a times of times whole, under the Old Irishman's kilte, of olde, who brought to Sparta the Smithy of whom once it was tolled just to hang in Polk, yet recoiling at our most troubled sight, we folk then took note, rejoicing in the aftertimes' might, when unhanging, to the Four Corners of the earth in the sixty-sixth year, the rope revoked, but fifty-six from the time at which time began, went down almost the Devil choked, so slowly, slowly, no longer ran, who was then on the verge of overtaking once and all our soft shores' sand, but for David's Son, Car-Michael's call, of gauntlet's rest, and so, though the Spartans may face an unaccustomed throwback o' prosaic opponent's test, that being the Spartans, within the second battle of the war to come, in the sun's befustianed tobacco mosaic attonement run, should they win the first, then four in sum, we shall believe that ultimately within the vale of things veiled, we may see yet the smoky charger unhinging from his mount his lancer unfailed, unto the grand mountain within the stone's shale, where and from whence, sharpened by the strop from dullness, free, removed shall be the mighty warrior's two-edged blade, plain then to thee, down in the glade, from the top of his dome, out of which in rumpled skin he may roam, shall, by all accounts and dear decrees, a lot, from gnomes, in defeats renounced and sheep's degrees, make known from land to land and sea to Spee: Spartans in triumphant March, no April Fools' craned cree are they, that is, neither Spartans nor John Brown's trainees, Hawkersjay.

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