The Charlotte News

Sunday, November 14, 1937


Site Ed. Note: Hyancinthe Ringrose and A. B. See. We have no idea who they were, or whether those were real names, why Mr. See was writing the News from New York City, or whether he was writing several newspapers with reputations for upholding free speech, or whether he was writing Cash in particular, whether he was friendly, sinister, or a nut in a tree, or, at various turns, all three.

But, we shall use the mention, as well as that within "The Single Flaw"—inveighing against those who considered it immoral to engage in games of chance, and other sorts of behavior, selling shoestrings on Sunday, having baseball games on Sunday, any sort of pleasure in life at all, on Sunday, etc., while condoning by omission to act with assiduity, a high murder rate within the community, primarily, in the case of Charlotte at the time, within the African-American community, a large impetus for which, we have to believe, came from the very squalor in which much of that community found itself, neglected as the forgotten part of society, as was much of the rural South prior to the New Deal, neglected both in terms of the provision of community services and, most especially, in terms of enabling the tool by which anyone, including the original colonists themselves, might extricate themselves from the ravages of a cruel, unforgiving physical environment or the unremitting generational cycle of poverty, unremitting so long as the sine qua non of extrication, short of open and notorious and violent revolt anyway, is missing, that tool being education--as a point of departure for a moment to discuss something entirely related.

As we have remarked previously, the game of quoits, we believe, is worthy of study, in relation to Hyacinthus, Apollo, and Zephyrus, in turn, though ostensibly having nothing to do with the former, in relation to San Jacinto, Deer Park, the Alamo, and Sam Houston, Scott and "The Lady of the Lake", Faust, and the Four Horsemen.

The Ringrose, you may then factor into that analysis, by the windows forming "Coo Co Coo", you see, by way of obvious inferences.

And then the ABC, as well, becomes quite clear, as children playing a game by which to dodge a deadly reality, as they did generationally in that milieu, you see, the one of which we speak.

Whether Mr. Ringrose and Mr. See had anything to do with it, or with any such milieu, we haven’t the vaguest notion.

It is rather that the print below, and spread across many of these editorials, we think, and the fact of the perception of it, in 1937, and again in 1962-63, in particular, for reasons in the latter time which are fairly obvious, takes on special import to us as we perceive these editorials today for the first time, initially as they were intended, then through the looking glass of time, as we always try to warp our perception to see them, as we might from one of those crazy zig-zag, wavy mirrors at the fair, as they might have been twisted by the spiteful greens throwers who fancied themselves fulfillers of divine prophecies, prophecies received by those perceived as divinely inspired, enabling the greens throwers the excuse by "moral" decision, as filtered through these self-deceptive perceptions cast in the zig-zag mirror, to do that which they wished to do all along, based on ignorance and insanity, ultimately, leading them then finally to Dallas.

And, remember Newfoundland Dog Time, 2.5 hours forward. Remember the clock, before clocks existed, striking 3, (which is, by error, not III, but, in a manner of thought, III overlapped by V forming 3M).

One could argue that Newfoundland, and its peculiar time, is just below Davis Strait, just the place which was predicted to accede, from complete geographic anonymity, to strategic significance in 1963. And, there you have it, the treble prophecies, you see, fulfilled at once. Why treble? Perpend.

And, the rest of it. But is that remarkable?

In one sense, yes. For it provides clues to what happened, and how, and even who the responsibles were. In another, not at all, not in the sense of extra-sensory awareness of a future event. For, the future is indefinite and subject to mutability through human action; otherwise, we should be pretty hopeless and helpless, determined actors on a stage, carrying forth merciless orders, rendering even Hitler a helpless puppet before the will of the universal determiners, Time and Life--at least in the 1960's.

Were it so, that is to say that Alice, once seeing her reflection in the glass, warped or smooth, sees herself as another, apart from herself, enabling duality of action, one in performance of a determined, ordained fate, the other a hopeless child awaiting her next determined mission from the ordained, her next order from the rung above on the ladder of authority—a perfect militaristic structure, leading up to heaven and god.

Rather, it is, in reality, that Alice is all one and the same, as the light bouncing off the silver backing shows her that reflection, stereoptically, or monoptically; yet, her reflection itself, when posed publicly as a prediction, may serve, apart from herself, to cause the very act she predicts in the mirror, having to do with the parade, the actors shooting at the parade, wanting so badly to believe in something, for they have, long ago, lost their belief in everything, for want of a well-developed and integrated identity in youth, everything, that is, but the ghost of O'Hare, perhaps, the repository of conscience in a fearless leader, the same leaving Love behind that day, in the mirror, returning, however, as a white rabbit.

But, also, remember the falcon in the cemetery. Remember the doggie-wog, the Afghan Hound, in Between the Acts. Remember Ulysses and old Odysseus in the black ships. Remember, for instance, that which we just happened to find on the spur of the moment yesterday, appearing completely extraneous from the Charlotte News of 1937, but yet there it is, not unlike Ms. Rigby, as well the pieces of February 4, 1940, and much else, hither and yon, that serendipitous strain leading to discovery and understanding of something impenetrable, the mystery of the universe.

It is incalculable, this spirit, which goes beyond the empirical; it is that which even the Army of Northern Va. has no power to kill, though try at length they did, and have, and sometimes still do. It cannot be packaged, bound, or sold as encyclopedias, pharmaceuticals, surgically implanted, quantified by a computer, signaled by a traffic light, or destroyed by a small gun, a big gun, or the fission or fusion of unstable isotopes. It is, in short, that spirit of freedom, of understanding, of speech, of thought, of peace. And no one can take it away from you. It is your soul.

As to the "Monroe Doctrine", recall that it was Theodore Roosevelt who coined the adage, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," in relation to the Monroe Doctrine and the need for maintenance of a well-equipped navy. It is a lesson, unfortunately, that, after Versailles, the country would forget, only to have Germany remilitarize itself in the meantime, doing so quite openly and for all to see, quite in violation of the Treaty, though, strictly speaking, not of the Monroe Doctrine or any recognized corollary to it, and so...

Recall that President Kennedy, just before learning of the U-2 photographs of the MRBM bases under construction in Cuba, uttered the same remark on the hustings in Indianapolis in response to Senator Capehart’s statements urging invasion or blockade of Cuba, which the President then described as rash and irresponsible.

Recall also that during the discussions of the crisis, EXCOMM determined that the best course of action was not to invoke, in public statements, anyway, the Monroe Doctrine.

But, wasn’t it in fact essentially the Monroe Doctrine on which the action of the quarantine was founded?

There is the twist of course that the party causing the threat to hemispheric security in that case, the Soviet Union, did so with the complete assent and cooperation of the government of Cuba, and thus was not truly an invader, as traditionally the invoking of the Doctrine presupposes. In that case, because of the nature of the inimical nuclear threat being inserted to the hemisphere, therefore, the Doctrine needed to be altered to the extent necessary to engage cooperation of the rest of Latin America, also under threat by the presence of the offensive missiles, but, by extension, also Western Europe, which, in the event of global war, was also inevitably involved.

Thus, the Administration wanted to obtain cooperation within the OAS and the UN and not appear to be acting unilaterally to forestall an invasion or threat to security, as in the pre-World War days of the Monroe Doctrine. The Doctrine was not invoked therefore for the reason that it had become synonymous to Latin America in the previous century with the concept of Yanqui Imperialism, and it was no doubt considered potentially to ignite again such passions of revolt were it to be mentioned, potentially to cause coups, and therefore contrarietal to achieving Latin American unity.

Moreover, it would appear that the Administration wished to depart from the concept of the extended Monroe Doctrine as invoked first by Truman in Korea, then by Eisenhower with regard to the protection of Taiwan, Quemoy and Matsu, as well as the introduction of military aids and advisors into South Vietnam.

Thus became the foundation for the new Kennedy Doctrine, which actually hearkened back to the Roosevelt Doctrine of cooperation within Latin America, to enable a more structured and cohesive and cooperative strategy to be deployed, to condemn nuclear proliferation within this hemisphere, and, by necessary extension because of the nature of ICBM’s, the world.

But should that Doctrine only be invoked when truly there is both a hemispheric and nuclear threat at once, and the need then arises to stem it?

The imbroglio which became Vietnam ignored the Kennedy Doctrine and re-implemented in its place the Truman Doctrine, based primarily on the Domino Theory. President Kennedy’s decision, shortly before his death, to scale back military personnel in Vietnam underscores this notion which his leadership sought, a stemming of the tide away from Yanqui Imperialism, or its perception, first in Latin America, then in Asia.

Subsequently, the Truman Doctrine has been employed in the Middle East, rooting firmly in that regard under Nixon, and every president since. The strategy there is simple: maintain alliances with western-inclined democracies within the Arab world, as long as they do not threaten Israel, and turn coldly against terrorist states or states which provide solace to terrorist cells and organizations or those who threaten Israel. And, of course, inevitably, oil always enters the bargain.

The Truman Doctrine, and its broader concept of the world policeman employed since, was born of insecurity after World War II, the belief that other dictators might attempt first territorial, then world domination, especially precarious in a nuclear world. This doctrine was much more pervasive of course in a time when there was a concern over Communist expansion, both in Latin America and in Asia and Western Europe. The end of the Cold War reduced these anxieties primarily to concerns over the Middle East.

And, returning to the latter, the catch-phrases, "state-sponsored terrorism" and the like, are simple, but when boiled down to practicality, are difficult sometimes to detect. Could not a foreign government view a privately sponsored militia operating out of the United States and in a foreign country as government sanctioned terrorism?

And, we stress again that there is a profound difference between pre-emption through invasion of a country which is not confirmed through credible information to be threatening beyond its borders, one effectively quarantined already, and the extended Monroe Doctrine. It is certainly not the Kennedy Doctrine; it is certainly not the concept of talk softly and carry a big stick, advocated by Theodore Roosevelt. It is not even the Truman Doctrine and the Domino Theory. It is something else, something which paints the United States in a quite unfavorable light as either a brutal aggressor or a militaristic crusader and exporter of western-style democracy and its concomitant, capitalism.

As to the particular dispute in issue in 1903 in Venezuela, as mentioned below in the editorial, the Monroe Doctrine was actually not employed. Instead, because the claims leading to the blockade, not only by Germany, but as well by Great Britain and Italy, were not for territorial acquisition but for repayment of indebtedness, the claims were submitted to the Hague where they were resolved in 1907. The claims had arisen as a result of disputation of the validity of the indebtedness under the reign of dictator Cipriano Castro, a militarist revolutionary leader who came to power by coup in Venezuela in 1899. The resolution at the Hague was in favor of the blockading nations as to repayment but also provided, under the Porter Proposition, amending the Drago Doctrine, as a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, that no nation should employ force to collect a debt without first seeking arbitration before a neutral tribunal. The Drago Doctrine, originating with an Argentinian diplomat who protested to Washington the blockade, had gone further to condemn outright any attempt by force or invasion to collect a debt. The Monroe Doctrine could have been employed, of course, to defend Venezuela against this blockade since it originated with European powers and was a direct affront to territorial integrity, even if accomplished from international waters, as it blocked free movement of ships to and from Venezuela. Roosevelt, however, thought it imprudent to invoke the Doctrine as it might potentially engage a war with three European powers which the United States was ill-equipped at the time to fight. Storming Cuba on San Juan Hill was one thing, to provide good press back home for the Hearst newspaper syndicate; starting a world war over Venezuelan integrity was another—we might lose.

Nevertheless, to provide the big stick part of the corollary, he insisted that the arbitration component take place or it might become necessary for the United States to intervene, this thus becoming the Roosevelt corollary to the doctrine, later repudiated in the latter days of the Coolidge Administration in late 1928.

The emphasis with respect to Latin America was subsequently placed on multi-lateral cooperation during FDR’s tenure, in accord with the overall concept of the Good Neighbor Policy, fostered and continued under the Kennedy Alliance for Progress, as exemplified during the Cuban missile crisis—a conflict in which one life was lost rather than the entire planet being destroyed.

It is interesting to note, too, that as originally conceived and set forth, the Monroe Doctrine assured Europe, consistent with the doctrine of George Washington, that the United States would not interfere with European affairs, a type of quid pro quo for the equal and counter-balancing assurance that it would interfere in the case of hemispheric threat to the security of the United States or Latin America by Europe. Originally, Great Britain proposed the doctrine, in response to threats by France to empire interests held by the British in Latin America. Madison and Jefferson supported the proposal but John Quincy Adams, Monroe's Secretary of State, opposed it on the concept of perfidious Albion, that the British might use it as a pretext to expand their own interests in Latin America and again try to conquer America, as in the War of 1812. The British foreign minister who proposed it was George Canning; thus, though the French acceded to pressure to back away from these territorial demands, relieving the stress on British interests and thus causing the British to relinquish support for the doctrine, the doctrine might just as well be named the Canning doctrine. Adams supported a unilateral statement of the doctrine without British accord, relieving his suspicions of too close alliance with perfidious Albion.

Thus, in sum, it might be stressed, the concept of talking softly and carrying a big stick is not the use of bombs and force, pre-emptively, but rather resolving conflicts with nations through discussions, however circuitous and nonsensical they might, and probably will for the barrier of language, become, through neutral arbitration to the extent possible.

The big stick is a defensive device, not a pre-emptive, offensive, bullying weapon by which might makes right. For if one goes around chasing a mad dog too long with a big stick, in the right, the mad dog will inevitably turn on its tail, slavering, stop chasing itself in circles, straighten out, and bite.

Here is the rest of the page for the day.

The Single Flaw

They had a pleasant little game called "bumper" down at the food show of the Home Service Stores Thursday night, under which you could win a ham or some bacon without being skillful or anything--just through the blind favor of Lady Luck. They had two others much like it, called "dart" and "bingo." And that, you comprehend, and regardless of whether it really cost you anything to have a shot at them, was gambling--and sinful. Wherefore, the city cops descended upon them and closed 'em up.

There are a lot of punch boards around this town, too. And punch boards, of course, are particularly immoral. Wherefore, Acting Chief Moseley of the rurals has announced he's going to boot 'em out.

We are, you see, a highly moral town and county. We have laws like that--and, unlike some other towns and counties we could mention, we enforce them. We enforce them assiduously and at length. MAFLO demands it. There is only one little flaw in our morality that we can think of. We've mentioned it before, but at the risk of seeming to carp, we'll mention it again--that last year Charlotte had the highest murder rate in the United States. And that this year Charlotte promises to do almost if not quite as well--that last month alone Charlotte had five murders. Our cops, you understand, are very busy...

Dumb Work, Sire

Edith Maxwell, the schoolteacher of Wise County, Va., who has been twice convicted of killing her father, this Edith, we are convinced, has a kick coming against her lawyers. They're plainly hams. Edith lost her third appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court Friday and it begins to look as though she's actually going to have to serve her twenty years.

But it needn't have been so had those lawyers known their business. Trouble with them was that they went into court and admitted that Edith hit her old man when he made her mad by threatening her. And any tyro should have known better. What Edith should have pleaded under well-established principles of American jurisprudence was that the old man insulted her and then that he ran away as fast as his legs could take him--and that therefore she had to kill him in self-defense. That way she could have walked out the courtroom a free woman, and been roundly cheered by the Hearst papers as well.

Monroe Doctrine

The coup d'etat in Brazil, which lies under the suspicion of having been engineered by the Fascist powers of Europe to the end of establishing themselves inside juicy South America, has brought the Monroe Doctrine back into notice.

But do you recall what that doctrine is and how it arose? Well, it came into existence in 1823. Revolution had broken out in Spain and the powers of the Congress of Verona had intervened to put it down. Then they had turned to the task of bringing back under Spanish rule the South American colonies which had been breaking away ever since the Napoleonic days. Wherefore, taking the courage of the cocky young republic of the West in his hands, President James Monroe had to say that the European system of politics and the American system were entirely different, and that the United States, for itself, must regard any attempt to extend the European system into the Western hemisphere "as dangerous to our peace and safety."

That was about all, but it stopped the Verona crowd, and for 114 years [indiscernible words] from South and Central America. Only twice has it actually, seriously had to be enforced. First, when the United States had to pitch Maximillian out of Mexico. That was after the Civil War. And secondly, in 1903, when Roosevelt the First gave the German navy twenty-four hours to lift its blockade of Venezuelan ports and steam homeward--and the German navy steamed homeward.

TVA vs. ICC*

It is a classic observation that when a man comes into property, he forthwith acquires a burning concern with the tax rate. And apparently the same sort of thing holds for government as well.

The present case isn't one of taxes, to be sure, but one of freight rates. Even so, the analogy is not without its point. Today we are in receipt of a forbidding little volume, full of graphs and tables, and entitled innocently, "The Interterritorial Freight Rate Problem of the United States." But that little volume was sent to us by--the Tennessee Valley Authority! And moreover, it plays around with the idea that probably there is discrimination against the South in the existing rate structure, and that something ought to be done about it!

But what under heaven has the Tennessee Valley Authority to do with that? Why, nothing, save that the Federal Government has acquired huge properties in the South and that the Tennessee Valley Authority is faced with the problem of making the balance sheet show up well for those properties. Nothing, but the fact that better freight rates might help economic conditions in the South, including the Tennessee Valley, and so help the balance sheet no end.

Note on a Parson

We feel a little sorry for the Rev. Mr. Dart. Probably all he intended when he said, upon hearing that the Duke of Windsor proposed to visit his church on Armistice day, that he wished the Duke wouldn't--all he meant, probably, was that he was afraid that there'd be a mob and a crush, and that he didn't fancy having his church turned into a circus for gapers. That's an entirely understandable sentiment on the part of an Anglican clergyman or any other sensible parson for that matter. And for our part, we think the sentiment might well be taken to heart by a good many gentlemen of the cloth this side of the water.

All the same the Rev. Mr. Dart was guilty of a stupid indiscretion. There was something said a long while ago, as we recall, about the hundredth lost sheep being more the concern of the church than the ninety-nine safe in the fold. And the parson ought to have known that, things being as they were, his remark would inevitably be interpreted as putting himself--and with him his church--in the position of closing the door against a sheep, who if not exactly lost is, by the church code, certainly a little strayed.

Yes, the Rev. Mr. Dart committed a stupid indiscretion. So probably he deserves all the grief he is getting.

Conspiracy With a Difference*

In the Wagner Labor Relations Act there isn't, as everybody ought to know by now, a single mention of unfair labor practices by labor. The sins which employers might commit are anticipated and set forth in detail, with ample penalties, but the act seems to presuppose that labor is going to behave itself like the perfect little gentleman it sometimes isn't.

Thursday the National Labor Relations Board ordered Consolidated Edison Company to break its exclusive contract with the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, an AFL affiliate, and to notify its employees that they were free to join any union of their choice. The board's action follows the complaint by a CIO electrical workers union that the company and the AFL union had between them conspired to freeze out the CIO crowd.

And to encourage or interfere with membership in any union is, on the part of the employer, mark you, an unfair labor practice. Hence, Consolidated Edison is chargeable with a felony under the statute and, if guilty, punishable by a stiff fine or a prison sentence. But what about its partner in this alleged crime, the AFL union? Why, nothing about it. The law is mute on the point of labor malpractices. It doesn't seem very sensible, but nevertheless it is the law.

The Joke's on Somebody

Every now and again we get a form letter from a man in New York City by the preposterous name of Alonzo B. See. We reckon he's a real person, since he has a street address and everything, and we know he's a very much wrought-up correspondent, as shown by the sort of letters he turns out. They are all about a Free Press, the Constitution [indiscernible words] ship.

How preposterous Mr. See's name is you'll discover in a trice if you but abbreviate his first name: A. B. See (A B C--get it?). His parents, to have christened a child that, must have been either in a very playful mood or in a very grim one. The only name we know that at all compares with it is Hyancinthe Ringrose. He's a real person, too, we think, and a man in the bargain. Anyhow, it lives in New York.

Site Ed. Note: "He who sits by haunted well is subject to the Nixie's spell." --Pirate, Anon., 1821

"...Tell me, where do the children play?"

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