The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 6, 1940


Site Ed. Note: Perhaps, a sound analogy to the manifold problems occurring with this country's foreign policy since it was socked in the face by 9-11, might be provided by that contained in "True to Form".

We have remarked at length once previously about the absurdity of the theory that Roosevelt deliberately dragged us to war by somehow ignoring crucial intelligence at the last, permitting effectively the bombing of Pearl Harbor to occur. The facts do not fit the case when examined. Indeed, the argument was being made by the more rabid, Nazi-inclined isolationists, prior to Pearl Harbor, as Cash himself dismissively mentioned in December, 1939.

But then, did the principle of cui bono come into play to cause the ailing British public, bombarded nightly by bombing raids in the fall of 1940, stalwartly going about their usual business by day, retreating to the subways by night, effectively to plot to get the United States into the war as its obviously last saving grace to becoming ultimately Nazified by slow, dragging attrition? Was it Churchill?

Was it Stalin, as his country was fending off the Nazi invader during the summer of 1941?

Or, wasn't it all along, more probably than not, overwhelmingly certain in fact, the obvious--that of the prancing little dictator bent on becoming the next Napoleon, strutting like a peacock at Compeigne, issuing his commands, getting little Eva to turn somersaults on the beach for him, as he walked his big-boy ferocious German Shepherd, Roon-Toon-Toon, as he played soldier boy, half soldier, half clown, in a most deadly combination, from the high mountain reaches of Berchtesgaden, that role which he hadn't the testosterone to play on the front lines when time for it was nigh in the trenches of 1914, an "artist" who found no solace in his art, who hadn't the patience to develop it into something original, that is emanating from his own experience and being, and worthwhile thus to the viewer, instead of merely re-creating photographs in an age accustomed for fifty years already to actual photographs, who sought to kill instead those who had rejected it as being pedestrian and without movement to a higher plane, by finally engaging as a manipulatee of the Junkers to manipulate the beliefs of a disgraced populace in the wake of World War I and Versailles, to create from the psychological wreckage, not a new peaceful state, but one bent on ameliorating disgrace by retribution, one bent on standing straight and tall, never kneeling, one bent on creating mastery of the world through militaristic supremacy to overtake resources of others in order to show them the way to walled fortresses as a means of achieving the sanctity of one's person and home and country, deprivation of all freedom, repositing it instead in the central puppet, puppet-master, the convenient scapegoat dodge of the conscience by the steady insistence from without of the will, though, to those who were not psychopathic in the premises, counter to that within?

Well, you draw the picture for yourself, and perhaps see where we are today with this utterly childish, stupid war in Iraq, and perhaps what's wrong with the High Command in Washington.

Dominoes, once set in motion, may lead to war on a world-wide scale.

In 1970, when there was a draft and when four students were killed on the campus of Kent State University by National Guardsmen called out by the Governor, approved by the President, students across the country boycotted college classes, peacefully demonstrating their discord with the war, the news of the secret invasion into Cambodia, illegally widening that war, and the general policies of a Government which had lost touch with its subjects, that is, its citizens; and had sought to impose its Will on them, in a place where, long ago, it was written no such will shall be imposed upon these, on these shores, by anyone, any entity, any organization among the living beings, be it foreign or domestic--only governance by that structure inherent in the spiritual accord between human beings being that which shall be the ultimate obstinate obtainer toward effecting a sloth in the mud of the field, inch by inch, to that elusive and usually transitory goal, best achieved in song, called harmony.

And it worked, pretty much, anyway. There was little agreement, but often genuine harmony in the offing.

The war ended, the soldiers went home, Saigon fell, and, while not a pretty aftermath, the prelude to it wasn't either.

No dominoes, however, proved themselves stacked up against this one.

Games of chance and sport do not properly analogize to living, breathing, conscious human beings engaging in war, especially for those on their own turf losing daily relatives, friends, lifelong companions in bombing raids and assaults of variously malevolent degrees.

The games, instead, are, by inherent design, to quell the very urges which lead to such warfare.

Perhaps, this spring, college students across this country, despite that yet no draft there is indirectly to inspire their conscience collectively to action, might wish, prior to the former harsh lessons becoming realized, to review the lesson Bluebook, a harsh one, from spring, 1970, when those, most not having chosen college, but of the same age, were dying daily in rice paddies somewhere the other side of the globe for achievement of that standing domino in a game which most who were going to college understood was little more than the achievement of filthy lucre by those who had become fat in World War II and its aftermath from defense contracts and were too damned lazy and stupid to rearrange their lives thereafter to a peacetime economy.

Perhaps, had a slightly younger crowd of college students, in 1964, been less inclined to the will of their elders then, less inclined to allow the insinuations of the moompixures to instruct their eyes and consciences, than that of their collective understanding of the foundation pins of the country, then the choice would have been a simple one for President Johnson. He could have simply told the Joint Chiefs and the pols soliciting them from districts inclined to the sustenance by bloody lucre, to stick it--as in truth he appeared willing and wanting to do.

But, the people were apathetic, gung ho, inspired to go kick some Commie swopes and slant-eyes, once again. That, even though, in truth, most who so spoke stayed home comfortably by the tv to watch the bloody news stories each evening pile on Ossa, vicariously urging on their fellows. Those who actually went found little about which to be much gung-ho when they returned, except the occasional Ultima Thule-seeking psychopath perhaps.

We must never forget that cruel, bitter, and completely unnecessary societal lesson.

Yet, it appears already that we have--some have anyway.

If this Administration, and if this Congress so permits it, is to continue a war policy of increased aggression, one which the people have denounced two years ago and more, one which the new Congress, just elected largely on a mandate of ending this war and establishing a new positive direction for this rudderless country, has already this past week indicated is unacceptable, then we believe it is time for the people to begin to behave responsibly en masse for a change and put an end to this war through peaceful means, that which is always within its mass capacity to do--that is by the time-honored and Constitutionally-honored means of petition for redress of grievances, which redress includes boycotts, peaceful mass marches in the streets, and on Washington itself--silly, disruptive barricades being in place within the public's own buildings and properties and repositors of conscience and weal, notwithstanding.

Mr. President, we once read, disturbingly for its cryptic implications, in the fall of 2000 in a Florida newspaper a quote attributed to you that, without stating the reason for it, you "hated the 1960's".

For a person who didn't like them, you sure know how to re-create the very worst of it all for us again.

Or, perhaps, you and the bulk of your party there are simply trying to do it right this time and insure the sustenance of that Party for a thousand years to come--achieve a militaristic society, while insuring the poetry and music of the 1960's is squashed, chilled and forever locked away.

Is that it?

Here's a suggestion for replacing those bullet and arm manufacturers which might have to go out of business eventually were this country to end its warring tendencies around the globe and limit itself truly to defense: convert those milling machines and all the technology base which goes to design them, to assist instead in the production of a ballot-counting system which actually works to assure accurate ballot counting at the time of democratic elections, not only in this country but, once shown to be close to perfected, to be exported around the globe.

How's that?


Which, However, Probably Didn't Permanently Cure

The sacred labyrinth of the human mind has rarely thrown us a more curious story than that which comes from Turkey.

In the earthquake area fifteen men were in a prison when the world began to reel. The walls fell down from around them, and they were left unhurt and free. All of them were serving long terms for more or less desperate crimes. And these prisons are no gentle places. The late Attaturk never got around to modernizing that particular phase of the traditional life. The whip is still in daily use, the food is appalling, and the labor heartbreaking.

As men without the pale and at war with society, the natural thing for them to do, certainly, was to run away. Perhaps they would have been caught. Perhaps not, in the great confusion. The Black Sea was not far away, and once on a ship they might have hoped to get clear away.

Instead, they stayed. They organized a rescue party and went out to dig up the ruins all around, to rescue and administer first aid to the still living and to bury the dead.

They are to go free if the recommendation of the Turkish Government is adopted by the Parliament--as it will be. They roundly deserve it. And yet the chances are that most of them will presently land right back in prison again. For there is no reason at all to believe that the criminal bent in their mentality has been cured. Merely, for a little while, when they found themselves involved in what must have seemed universal human disaster, it fell into the background and they reacted with instincts which we all admire.

True To Form

Captain Hart's Efforts Fail So Far As These Men Go

Captain Liddell Hart may be responsible for the British strategy in this war. But it is plain that he has still been unable to drill the lessons of the last war into the heads of the British Army hierarchy. Reason given for the dismissal of Hore-Belisha as War Minister is disagreement with that hierarchy, headed by Lord Gort, the commander-in-chief of the British forces in France. And that is the story of French, Wilson, Haig & Co. all over again.

The case-hardened official stupidity of the generals and admirals nearly lost England that last war--probably would have if old Lloyd George had not appeared to ride herd on them with slashing disregard of their established notions.

Hore-Belisha is no Lloyd George, but all the evidence indicates that he has been an exceptionally able and clear-sighted war minister. He has greatly improved the lot of the enlisted man, a thing which is important in the winning of wars; has forced the rapid mechanization of the army, over the protest of the horse-minded generals--a godsend now; and has advanced officers with a sole eye to ability and a total disregard of seniority.

Lord Gort himself owes his position to the latter policy, but Gort remains a typical army officer, bent first of all upon defending the established army castes.

As for Stanley, the new man in the War Office, his whole record and the cut of his jib indicates that he is a thorough-going traditionalist, and that the army hierarchy will have all its way under his reign.

But it is not only the generals whom Captain Hart has failed to impress with his lucid criticisms of the conduct of the last war. But also old Mr. Chamberlain, or, as we have called him aforetime, Mr. Bumble.

All along it has been pretty evident that he was no man for the vigorous conduct of a war to a successful conclusion. Himself barnacled over with tradition, he is first of all a politician and a civilian, and in addition is plainly a man to whom summary action is inherently repugnant. Worse, he likes to surround himself with men of his own [indiscernible word] muddling stamp--distrusts intelligence and forthrightness with an intolerable distrust.

The dismissal of Hore-Belisha leaves him with only one man of first-rate capacity in his cabinet, Winston Churchill. And it is no secret that he dislikes Churchill heartily--would probably dismiss him also if he were not aware that it would raise a storm of indignation among the English people generally.

In any case, Churchill's hands are tied. The admirals are even tougher customers to deal with than the generals, without backing to the hilt, not even such a headlong fellow as old Jack Churchill's descendant can bring them to reason.

Site Ed. Note: We were reading this morn, oddly, this news story about a man named Gay who stole a tour bus in Florida, after escaping from a bus heading him to court to face new charges in Florida, (or Georgia, depending on your read), from Hardeeville, S.C., somewhere South of the Border, over from Texas, heading then up to Nashville, or nearby in Pleasant View, to see his ailing mother, commandeering a tractor trailer in the tour, after telling them honestly and truly he was going to go get a Big Mack and would be right back, then winding up in a field, then heading back to Florida to obtain Crystal Gayle's tour bus, saying he was there to pick up a race car driver, being so allowed to take the bus despite his disheveled appearance--or something like that.

Perhaps, Mr. Gay should turn himself in and take up a new occupation: driver education.

Either that or study to become a tour guide for country music singers living in the Hermitage, for it sounds like one hell of a trip-ride to us.

Just why the cops didn't get him in the field fifty yards from his ailing mother's home, however, remains a little shadowy from our read; but perhaps you can figure the whole of it--out.

Sometimes, perhaps, some, such as Mr. Gay, must go to jail to find life's little perques.

Meanwhile, here's a new query: Is the hole in the middle of your shoe for the fulfillment of jelly and other fruity delights, down at the Bakery?

The big red noses--we could of them tell you many things, but our lips are sweetly and chappily mum.

No. 3686

Justice Had Him To Account, But He Spoke To John

There probably isn't a business in town, no matter how tiny, that is run in as slipshod method as that highly important department of public business--the criminal division of Superior Court of the State of North Carolina. Here's where great questions of guilt or innocence, liberty or confinement are decided, where penalties are exacted for crimes against the State and its people.

Slipshod is hardly a strong enough word. In the first place, a great many offenders who have been convicted in City or County Court or indicted by the Grand Jury, are never tried. Some of these the State's Solicitor, the Hon. John Carpenter, simply lets off. The cases of others accumulate on crowded dockets until witnesses have disappeared, until their offenses have been forgotten; and in the end these cases are nol-prossed.

Other misdemeanants and criminals, as the series of articles now appearing in The News will show, are sentenced to jail--and just don't go.

Take the case of No. 3686, a white man. He was convicted last June on a liquor charge, sentenced to 60 days on the roads. His lawyer gave notice of appeal, but the appeal was never perfected. Six months later, Judge Burgwyn, going over the record and noting that the case in No. 3686 was still in suspense, issued a capias for him (an order to bring him into court).

A week passed, and he hadn't been picked up. So Judge Burgwyn dictated a judgment that his sentence be declared in effect and that he'd be sent to jail. The term of court ended and Judge Burgwyn went his way.

And what happened to No. 3686? Nothing. Apparently he was making no effort to hide himself, having been seen in City Police Court. At any rate, it was not until the story about him and the record of the court's dealings with him were published in The News that he was re-arrested and put in jail. A deputy sheriff explained that Solicitor Carpenter, despite Judge Burgwyn's orders, had "told us not to pick him up until after Christmas" because his mother was ill.

The Solicitor's sympathy is understandable, but not so his failure to inform the Judge, his informal nullifying of orders issued from the bench, his inattention to incompleted actions on the docket, his indifference to the essential principle that punishment for crimes shall be prompt and certain.

All in all, this case bears out the contention we have made in the past without ever hearing it rebutted: that Solicitor Carpenter, for all his being the State's prosecutor, is the greatest single obstruction to the administration of justice in Mecklenburg County.


Argument Over Island Will Be Taken Up Once More

The argument concerning the fortification of Guam promises to turn up again in this session of Congress.

Guam lies almost in a direct line from Honolulu and Manila, and almost directly south of Yokohama. On its eastern side it is high and mountainous. Its area is 210 sq. miles. Most of it is thick and pathless jungle, only about 30,000 acres being cultivated by the natives. These natives are a mongrel lot, made up of a mixture of the original Chamorro stock (akin to the Filipinos), Talag, Malay, and whites from whaling vessels. Half-breeds with light hair are common. The total number of inhabitants is less than 20,000. The island is ruled by an American naval officer, who combines legislative and executive functions. However, there is an island court, and a court of appeals.

There are three harbors, Pago and Tarafofo on the east, and Apra. And the fortifications proposed are really not fortifications at all, but merely the making of these harbors deeper and safer--fit to serve as bases for submarines and other ships.

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