The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 21, 1937


Site Ed. Note: "Liberality and liberality" follows up on "The Silent Liberal", November 18, 1937, and the case of Nardone v. U.S., 302 U.S. 379, of which we made ample note earlier and so we shall not blah further about it here--besides, it's coming on Saturnalia, and we must warm our footsies, now, by the chestnuts, as we seek on toward our traditional Twelve Nights of hibernalia with the Dog in the manger down by the River.

As to the first piece, perhaps not by Cash, we can only comment that it would have been a far better platform, perhaps, on which for the Reverend Johnson to have run had he simply altered his premise to that of individual, and private, rather than group prayer and recommendations, the latter always being practiced in the public square by the shirtsleeves, as verboten. For, after all, such becomes in time, by logical consequence of its starting place in the inevitably subjective realm of the Tarnhelm, simply another potential form of what the dern dun demi-god Hitler and his loyal worshippers practiced, cultism, merely finding its house under a different aegis for the Omnipotent Head of the Household, that being found within the precious little Nazi's exalted apocalyptic vision of Götterdämmerung--as explained further in association with the girding and alloyage prompting "Ominous Portent", August 15, 1939.

Come here, now, you little doggie. Here's a little biscuit for ye. That's a good boy. That's right. Yeah, wag your little tail. You glow so, you sweet little thing. So much so that we might just use you in the night to guide our sleigh. Yeah, good boy. Good, good boy. Now then:

Hah, he who wears the...

Private Wave Channels*

The Rev. A. A. Johnson, Baptist preacher of Candler, Buncombe County, has disclosed an intention of running against Bob Reynolds for the Senate next June. His platform follows:

"If I am elected to the Senate, I shall ask the ministers to meet and pray for the proper guidance on any given issue, and I shall be guided by their recommendations."

Far be it from us to do anything to impede the Lord's will from being done. In fact, with Robert taking his cues from the White House in blank, it would be something of a welcome innovation to have this other fellow take them, as he covenants to, straight from Sinai. But we have noticed this:

That pretty nearly always Heaven's directions, when they issue through some receiving set on earth, take on the tone of the instrument which utters them. Another way to say it is that one can't be sure whether it's Heaven speaking for itself or some self-denominated interpreter speaking for Heaven. In either case, the United States Senate being already amply supplied with prophets, we think we will vote for a regulation politician, one more time, at least.

Site Ed. Note: The light right into the mirror through the eye-on looking-glass through the mirror of the stroboscopically-timed, double-wheeled merry-go-round, spinning gyroscopically, unstably inside out...

Thoughts on the Unthinkable

Japan protests to Russia against arresting Japanese in Soviet territory and holding them without trial, as "utterly unthinkable in any civilized country."

But, ourselves, we don't know. There are a lot of things we used to think were "utterly unthinkable in a civilized country." As for instance:

A wanton war of conquest against another civilized nation with which you are supposed to be at peace.

The murder of women and babies with bombs from the air.

The destruction of fishing fleets and the wholesale murder of fishermen, a simple and harmless tribe which immemorially has been allowed to go about its business, war or no war.

The designation of the slums in which the poor of a city live as a "military objective."

The unprovoked and clearly malicious bombing and sinking of a ship of a friendly power, and the unprovoked and clearly malicious machine-gunning of those on board that ship as they fled in boats.

An unblushing determination to lie brazenly out of the established facts.

No, we no longer have a very clear idea of what may or may not be "utterly unthinkable in a civilized country."

Protection for the Innocent

The remarkable thing about the Supreme Court's wire-tapping decision yesterday, in which it ruled that evidence obtained by such means was inadmissible, is that there was no question of the guilt of the four men whose wires had been tapped. They were alcohol smugglers, caught in the act. They were, it may be assumed from the nature of their trade, totally unlovely persons and sorry citizens. Nevertheless, the Court ruled out the evidence on the ground that--

"... it is less important than that some offenders should go unwhipped of justice than [sic] that officers should resort to methods deemed inconsistent with ethical standards and destructive of personal liberty."

It is a superior doctrine of personal liberty that the Court enunciates. Not one of the Justices, we take it, really gives a hoot that the telephonic conversations of these smugglers were taken down by some Federal operative. They were guilty. But suppose they hadn't been guilty. The very fact that it was necessary to tap their wires shows that there was some doubt of that, or that final proof was lacking.

Ah, yes; if they hadn't been guilty, the officers would have been guilty in their stead--guilty of abridging the right in the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, effects and private conversations against the minions of the Government. And the essence of this personal liberty, messires, is that it belongs not merely to classes of people or to kinds of people, but to the people as a whole. If it is to survive, it cannot be advocated in one breath and denounced in the next.

Liberality and liberality

The Supreme Court's unbalanced-line formation, with four Justices on the right side of Center Hughes, three on his left, was equalized with Justice Van Devanter's retirement from the game. But yesterday in the wire-tapping case, Justice Butler pulled out of his place between the stalwart McReynolds and Sutherland, and shifted to the strong flank. It was over this left side of the line that Justice Roberts, carrying the majority opinion, made a long gain.

The roving of Justice Butler is not hard to understand. Indeed, he seems to be utterly consistent. On questions of personal liberty, he upholds the right of the people to be free from intermeddling by their Government. On questions of economic liberty, he upholds the same thing. The aim of the constitution to him, and the function of the Court, is to prevent the usurpation by the body politic of privileges reserved to the body of individuals. He is a liberal, all right, but with a small l. Capital-letter Liberals, who believe in more and more government, count him a mossback.

Winter Solstice

The shortest day of the year is here again. Nine hours and eighteen minutes only will the sun shine palely this December 21st through the mist and the gray haze. Wheeling on its way through the zodiac, it has now reached the last outpost southward, the sign of Capricornus, the goat. And tomorrow it will turn homeward again, moving back toward Spring and Summer. Homeward, we say, with the egotism of our race which makes the center of the universe to be where we are.

He is the oldest and the first of the gods, this sun, and we are truly his children, as all the old people of the world knew with the intuitive poetry of the primitive. And in all northern times and places man has celebrated his turning about from the south with rejoicing. Sometimes they were a little afraid that, mighty as he was, he couldn't quite make it, or that he might grow weary in his coming. And so they made great noises and showed great lights to lend him encouragement and strength, as in the Roman Saturnalia. And that is why, they say, that even to this day we set off firecrackers and Roman candles at this season.

Truly, it is a weary, long, cozy wait we shall have before he makes his way back again. Until after the new year is born, the days will grow no longer at all. Then for many weeks his coming closer will not warm us but leave us the colder. Weeks--

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick, the shepherd, blows his nail.
And Tom bears logs into the hall.
And milk comes frozen home in pale...

But come he will, surely. Midway in his journey the trees will put out their arms to meet him, and push forth their buds to salute his sovereign power. The daffodils and the violets will peep cautiously out. The husbandman will go forth with his plough as he has gone forth through all the years of man's story. The earth will stir, and blossom in white and red, and ripen toward fruition. And before we know it, the Summer solstice, the longest day, will be at hand once more, and it will be June.


The old man who lies dead in Germany was in this life one of the most fantastic figures our times have seen. In him the curious rigidity of mind and megalomania characteristic of the German intellect at its worst found their apotheosis.

All his life he believed in the nonsensical legends of inherent "Nordic" superiority and "German Destiny" so assiduously propagated by the old historian, Heinrich von Treitschke. And to them he gave every ounce of his life's effort. A magnificent strategist, he was yet stultified as a soldier by his devotion to these legends. That devotion undoubtedly explains why in 1915 he refused to hear of ending the war as a draw, set up the doctrine that there could be no peace save on the basis of a complete German victory, and, against the better judgment of almost all the rest of the German war chiefs, drove through the submarine policy which eventually fetched the United States into the conflict.

And it was that same devotion to these myths which explains the obscenities of his old age--his Jew-baiting, his plotting for Adolf Hitler (whom, in his haughty heart, he must have scorned for a plebeian pig), and above all, his passionate efforts to destroy the Christian religion in favor of the gods of the Nibelungenlied. The Jew and Christianity, alike, he thought were destroying the "noble" qualities of the "Nordic" and balking "German Destiny." And on the other hand, Hitler was a major prophet of both. And so, down with the Jew and Christianity! And so, Heil Hitler! though it choked him!

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i>--</i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.