The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 16, 1937


Site Ed. Note: Again, we add the remaining four editorials of this day, omitted at the beginning. We have our doubts still as to whether any of these were authored by Cash, though each of them might have been, based on other editorials we have now read. So, you be the detective.

There is another editorial somewhere in the line on Dr. Peck's practice in Tooele, but we are too lazy today to look it up for you, and we shall let you use the convenience of our search engine, should you have a particular interest in it.

Here is the rest of the page, more on the shelling and bombing of the Panay, from Dorothy Thompson, from two letter writers, one urging caution, the other urging bombing of a city in retaliation and paying in return 27 cents for the damage. It is doubtful that the latter strategy would have done much other than to justify the later attack on Pearl Harbor, or one on Balboa in Panama, San Pedro, or Newport News, for instance, as Cash had posited on December 13 as the equivalent action to that of the firing on the Panay in the Yangtze; perhaps, indeed, something of the sort was the true motivation for bombing the Panay, to provoke a retaliatory action which the Japanese militarists could then use as ground for total attack, to seek to rid the U.S., British, French, and Dutch from the Pacific, the long-term goal. The circumstances, combined with the previous attack on a British gunboat at Shanghai, beg the question whether the civilian leadership of the country was truly divorced from the military brasshats in the field, or whether the apology following the attack on the Panay was merely an insincere method of slowly lulling the giant to sleep while his hands were tied to the pinions of inaction and unpreparedness, belaying the crucial strike until the time could afford maximum surprise via a lure into suspension of belief by the enemy--the magical lure of Alice through the glass.

The Empress's poem of a few days earlier, celebrating the dead patriots of the homeland and their implicit entry to Nirvana for their service well received, certainly belies any notion that the crown was not complicit with the action of the militarists. The dichotomy which developed within the public mind was likely more a convenient fiction to enable diplomacy by the British and American governments, not to mention the French initially, before Pearl Harbor, and one which served to foster hope of more symbiotic relations after the war, compatible in turn with the public notion that the two annihilative devastations at the end of the war in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sufficient punishment of those unseen forces behind the militarists, always present within the mainstream population of any such warring society, to satisfy the collective sense of retribution for having started the war in the Pacific with the United States in the first instance with an atrocious act of merciless piracy.

As a curiously contrasting footnote between the two attacks, as pointed out in "First Hand Testimony" of this date, the Japanese bombers also attacked Standard Oil vessels on the river. At Pearl Harbor, the commanders consciously decided to desist in the bombing raid before sending a final sortie which was to destroy the oil tanks around Hickam Field, perhaps in some small measure assuaging guilt to afford a sense of remaining face and fair play to one already completely lost in the very nature of the attack--the need perhaps to recoup a reflection of compassion to mark down the image in the mirror as one still human for one reduced otherwise by miltary orders to purely animal predation. For those who cast the die in this operaton, there had been no "middle way", despite the insistent diplomatic attempts to provide it, and right through the hours before the attack of December 7.

On Demand Only*

There is, we believe, a general willingness in the community to concede that fireworks are dangerous and ought not to be allowed. At the same time, mothers and fathers are indulgent enough, and children are persistent enough, to take a chance--fairly remote, as it is--on eyes put out, fingers blown off, and pain and possibly serious consequences of anti-tetanus injections.

One of the things that makes it difficult to enforce either City ordinances or parental injunctions against the shooting of fireworks is the County's tolerance of their sale. A hundred yards beyond the city limits in any direction is a fireworks stand. For the County's consideration, therefore, let it be informed that the adjacent county of Stanly had a law passed at the last Legislature making it a misdemeanor to sell, possess or use fireworks.

If it really is the consensus of the Mecklenburg community that fireworks ought not to be allowed, this is the way to go about it. But if opinion is pretty well uncrystallized, for Heaven's sake let's not pass another law that the cops can't and haven't the heart to enforce.

At a Discount*

Mayor Thomas E. Cooper's blast at Highway Patrolmen because they spoiled a carefully-laid scheme of the Wilmington Police Department for capturing a couple of bad men hidden out in the neighborhood, one of whom was Bill Payne if he wasn't Wash Turner, may have, for all we know, some justification in fact. Certainly the bigger of the two birds got away.

But Mayor Tom, be it recalled, is running as hard as he can for the 1940 Governorship. His platform, succinctly, is, "Down with Raleigh rule and up with local government." With this in mind, he never loses an opportunity to pour the vitriol of his wrath on the "Raleigh Gang," and in the past he has let fly on the slightest of provocations. It gets his name in the papers, and no doubt capitalizes on the discontent of thousands of petty provincial politicians who have seen their traditional patronage taken over by the central government.

In short, while the Highway Patrolmen actually may have gummed up the works, Mayor Tom of Wilmington is not what you might call an unprejudiced witness.

Two Play This Game*

Maybe, since it's the fashion just now to give Mr. Roosevelt the works for failing to cooperate with business, it might be as well to look for a moment at the other side. We are not suggesting that the President hasn't got it coming to him. In view of the record, he plainly has.

Nevertheless, when the National Manufacturers' Association--which if it doesn't speak for American business as a whole, often assumes to--met in New York, it had as the chief speaker on its program Tom Girdler. Girdler who hates the labor allies of the New Deal, and in his turn is anathema to them. Girdler whose whole philosophy is the antithesis of the New Deal. Girdler who symbolizes in his person precisely what the New Deal means when it uses the terms "black reaction" and "economic royalist."

Was it wise, then, to have him as the chief speaker when rapprochement seemed in the making? Obviously not. Such rapprochement can come about only on the basis of mutual concession--by taking the middle way. And it is the sum and essence of Tom Girdler that he will hear as little of compromise and the middle way as the Hon. Harold Ickes himself.

C. O. D.*

A medico named J. H. Peck out in Tooele, Utah, has inserted this notice in his hometown newspaper:

"In 1937, I delivered 75 babies in Tooele. I got paid for 50 of them in the most prosperous year in Tooele's history... I will do no deliveries in 1938 that are not paid for before delivery takes place."

It's possible to feel a certain sympathy for the fellow, for undoubtedly, some of the 25 who have not paid him might have. Probably the majority of them have. All the same, if we assume that he collected the usual fee of $25 per case, with precious little pre-natal attention thrown in, he collected $1,250--not bad for 75 evenings of work on the part of a man who lives in a small town and was probably not remarkable for any unusual native endowments.

Moreover, a few of these people who didn't pay quite possibly couldn't pay at all. Nobody would blame a doctor who refuses services to people who can pay and won't. But to refuse to deliver a woman in labor because she can't pay is to violate every tradition that has made medicine an honorable profession, and to turn it into a particularly merciless form of business. And, we are glad to add, the tradition of medicine is in fact so powerful that we suspect Doc Peck doesn't really quite mean it. He'll bark about his accounts and lay down the law, and then, in all probability, answer his calls as they come.

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