The Charlotte News

Friday, October 3, 1941


Site Ed. Note: In "Mumble, Mumble", The News takes bemused issue today with Hugh Johnson's column of October 1 wherein he asserted that the use of his name by the America Firsters was no longer with his permission, though initially it had been, before the lead personnel changed and Lindbergh started making anti-Semitic remarks in his speeches across the country at the America First rallies. When we read the Johnson editorial before reading today's piece, we had much the same reaction as The News. General Johnson, it seems, could have written to the America First Committee and requested that they remove his name from its letterhead, if in fact he found detestable and outrageous, as he said he did, the anti-Semitic remarks at its rallies. But he left his name in place while asserting that the beliefs inextricably becoming associated in the public mind with that organization were not his own, that the organization initially had stood for something else than it now stood. So, why not dissociate? Loyalty is one thing. But if one joins an organization which has a stated premise, and then that premise fundamentally changes, one pulls out. Seems pretty simple.

Perhaps complicating matters, as Cash had pointed out in the spring, was the fact that Johnson himself had been receiving fat paychecks from the outfit for giving speeches around the country in its name.

"The Ultimate" tells of the new television sets which would double as fax machines to dispense coupons for advertised products. Even that hasn't come along yet into mass production. But give it time.

Television had debuted at the World's Fair in 1939. The first television broadcast came out of New York on July 1, 1941, the day Cash died. It didn't become a standard fixture in the living room, however, until well after the war, as there simply wasn't any substantial programming to be had for the new invention until around 1950. Just when the first fax machines came to be, we couldn't tell you offhand, but they became standard office equipment only in the 1980's.

And, as we have pointed out before, they were playing phonograph records via a beam of light as far back as 1940.

There isn't much new under the sun; it's just that it takes us all awhile to hear much about it and for it therefore to become a marketable widget.

And, speaking of the weather man, the Herblock of this day tells all with regard to the Nazi imprescience and the consequent dilemma the Wehrmacht faced in Russia--stuck for the winter in mud and snow, a thousand miles from its supply depots in Germany, and before sufficient supplies had been obtained from the country conquered thus far by the Nazi, as the country conquered, primarily consisting of Leningrad and a large part of the Ukraine, had been left a scorched earth by the retreating Russians. Still more important, the oilfields of Russia were not in Nazi hands.

The war, for all intents and purposes, arguably was won here, in these early October days of 1941, and by weather more than by bullets, though the bullets had flown aplenty in the three months preceding, with hundreds of thousands on both sides killed. But it would take a lot more, of course, over the next four years, the deaths of millions more, before the Nazi would finally be brought to its knees in submission--much as Raymond Clapper's column of this date predicts, a war until at least 1943 and probably for a year or two even beyond that, based on the advice he had received from those in the know in England.

Should we draw some parallel of history between that which has been circulating from the McCain-Palin campaign in these recent days of early October, 2008, that Senator Obama has "radical ties" because his children attend school with the children of the founder of the Weather Underground, because one of his early meetings with potential constituents during his first run for state senate from Chicago was arranged by his neighbor, this same former Weatherman? Well, we leave it for you to ponder.

Three nights ago we were listening again for a couple of minutes, just prior to the start of the second presidential debate, to gab-radio. One of the gabbers, again from WABC in New York, in so very sober tones, tones worthy of Father Coughlin in the 1930's, told of how Senator Obama had these "radical ties", and that we only need look at the persons with whom he associated, folks, and then look at those with whom Senator McCain and Governor Palin associated, and we could see, objectively, regardless of party labels, folks, who represented the "true values" of America, folks, those just like you and your dear friend, Gabby.

In other words, after translating the gabber's gab to his gabbissimo audience of gullibles, hanging breathlessly on every word of the gabber's fiat lux et libertas, we concluded that he was actually saying: vote for the nice white people and their nice white friends, not the radical spook and his blaspheming radical pals, dark and nefariously shady people all.

Well, we leave it for you to ponder. But, last we read it, the First Amendment says something about freedom of peaceable assembly, which includes by implication freedom of association--for if you cannot freely associate, how would you ever peaceably assemble? (See, for example, NAACP v. Alabama, ex rel. Patterson 357 US 449 (1958), and Gibson v. Florida Legislative Committee, 372 US 539 (1963))

It also gives us the freedom to turn Gabby off because he gabs about things which are about as un-American in concept as they can be and about which he obviously knows nothing--and so we did.

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