The Charlotte News

Monday, May 12, 1941


Site Ed. Note: "Snuggling Up" suggests, still just 41 days before Hitler would invade Russia, the ostensible appearance at least of a desire by Stalin to join the Axis. Who was playing who for a sucker?

"In Character" suggests that Herbert Hoover continued to play the American public for a sucker, as he had by promising two cars in every garage and a chicken in every pot in 1928. It turned out, more to the point, instead something like two or three pots for every chicken, and four or five empty garages for every car on the road. So, imagine that he had, as he had been urged for awhile by prominent Republicans (and probably by a few Democrats eager to have such weak opposition), run in 1940. Imagine further that he had won, as improbable as that was, unless Roosevelt had chosen not to run for the third term, and the opponent had been, say, Jim Farley or Paul McNutt or Vice-President Garner. The result then of another term for Hoover, you can pretty well bet, would have been a history book of America which contained at least some peroration--probably left as blank pages in the middle somewhere--on a period of time in which all the good little boys and girls were required to salute a Nazi swastika and participate in Aryan singing sessions every morning along the lines of "Tomorrow Belongs to Us" while the non-Aryans and anyone deemed the least rebellious to the will of the Ǖberlord at the Nazi training school would be in enforced labor camps or on their way to the crematoria.

But, for all that, Mr. Hoover still had sufficient life in him and adequate enough respect among Republicans to be asked to speak to the Republican convention in 1964, the one where went wafting through the Cow Palace the historic pronouncement that "extremism in defense of liberty is no vice", whatever that was supposed to mean. Liberty to be an extremist, we suppose.

The solution to the riddle of the day incidentally is probably Reservoir Dogs.

And, addressing the first letter to the editor, we already told you once before our thoughts on whence the origin of "Tar Heel", though we've never seen it written down anywhere but here. It comes, we offer, from a simple viewing of the map and the fact that the heel of the old Pilgrim's shoe is one of the richest tar pitch areas in the world. If you didn't notice that until now, well it's because you never looked at it.

Regardless of whether you did or didn't, even if it is so obvious as to have a corn on its big toe, we don't mean to sound reproachful of anyone thusly oblivious to what is plainly staring them right in the face, condescending to those who have never noticed or thought deeply about that simple and grossly apparent fact which any schoolchild of six years old ought be able to see as clearly as the sun on a clear day by merely glancing for a moment above the green blackboard; for we ourselves, though we had looked at that map and knew well the presence of the tar and turpentine for many centuries, did not realize it until one night in 1994, and by then we were well over two or three dozen decades from our beginnings, depending on when you begin counting. But that's the origin. If you prefer the traditional war stories instead to explain it, that's perfectly fine with us.

Whatever you prefer, don't go pitching us into that br'erpatch.

In Character

From Mr. Hoover, All This Has a Familiar Sound

Herbert Hoover has shown before now his strong prejudice in favor of doing nothing magnificently, and so it is not surprising to find him coming out in the open to urge the abandonment of Britain and the appeasement of Adolf Hitler.

In another man his logic might seem a little odd. Thus he solemnly assures us that we couldn't hope to win because we would have to put an army of five million men in Europe and because we'd have to fight a two-ocean naval war--and it would take years and years to prepare such an army and the thousands of ships which would be needed.

Apparently, however, we can hope to put ten million men in the field from Canada to Tierra del Fuego along sometime this Summer, in order to hold off the Nazis and put down the native Fascist revolutions which are sure to break out in Latin-America as soon as England is defeated. And apparently, also, all we need to do to fight a two-ocean naval war successfully is to make sure that Adolf Hitler gets the British Navy.

Mr. Hoover, indeed, hedges by being quite positive that Hitler will require many years to get ready to carry out any plans he may have for the Americas. But there is precisely nothing in Hitler's record or that of any other successful conqueror to justify any such belief. And the set-up in Latin-America specifically shows Mr. Hoover to be guilty of an incredibly dangerous piece of wish-thinking, and that is strictly according to the character of Mr. Hoover, as the people of the United States know all too well.

Hospital Day

City Provided Itself With Institutions Just In Time

Out at Memorial Hospital they are celebrating national Hospital Day today. The institution will be open to visitors, so that the public may have an opportunity to see it in full operation.

What to say about it beyond that? We hardly know. There are a lot of these special days now--at least one for every day in the year, and we long ago gave up trying to keep up with them or to think up something to say about them.

Still Hospital Day does seem a good excuse for the city to haul up and congratulate itself that in the last few years it has finally got around to providing itself adequate hospital facilities.

Whatever the outcome of the present crisis, hard and frugal days lie ahead of us. If the city had waited much longer, it might have been out of the question to provide any hospital equipment. As it is, we can thank our stars that we at least enter this grim period with the care of the sick already arranged for.

Test Case

Boss Green Must Now Come Through if He Means It

President William Green of the American Federation of Labor has repeatedly pledged the co-operation of himself and his organization with the national defense program. And recently when John Lewis allowed at Harrisburg that the Government couldn't expect much co-operation from CIO until it consented to let him run things, Green rushed out with a statement chiding him and once more assuring the nation that there would be no AFL strikes save as a last resort.

All these high professions are apparently now about to be put to the task. In San Francisco two AFL unions are threatening to pull a strike in half a dozen shipyards engaged in building crucially important naval and merchant vessels.

Unions' demand is that a contract they recently signed be overhauled to give them higher wage rates and increased overtime pay. As to the merits of their claim we have no idea. But it is certain that anything they are reasonably entitled to can be got by way of mediation while work continues.

And so it is clearly up to Boss Green to prove his words, to see that that course is taken.

It is quite possible that he will try to option out of it by arguing, as he has in the case of labor racketeers, that he has no authority over the locals. But that will fool no one who knows anything about the working of labor unions. Actually, Boss Green can quickly bring any local to terms when he chooses to use the power which is his.

Step up, Boss

Site Ed. Note: Your streetcar visions...

Site Ed. Note: The farmers and the business men showed you where the dead angels were that they used to hyde...

Sure Response

What Army Will Ask of Farmers in Maneuvers

Along in the Fall this year the greatest U.S. Army maneuver in history will be held in eight counties of South Carolina and eight of North Carolina--counties which fall more or less within the territory of The News.

We call attention to this fact, already fully noted in the news dispatches, in order that the people in this area may know beforehand precisely what is asked and expected of them.

The Army will ask for trespass rights in the whole territory of the sixteen counties. Nothing will be paid for these rights as such. But all actual damage will be compensated for. The settlement of these damages will be in the hands of a local representative of the Army. And meantime, local committees are to be appointed in the territory, with an Army officer assigned, so that landowners may learn beforehand just what the Government wants to do and how.

In another country, trespass rights for such a maneuver would not be asked for but simply taken as a matter of course. In this country, the Army undoubtedly has or can get legal authority for such action, but it prefers the method of appeal to patriotism and voluntary co-operation.

In point of fact, the landowners and farmers generally stand not only to lose nothing but to gain. Four hundred thousand men will have to be fed, and the perishables--vegetables, eggs, butter, etc.--will be largely purchased from local sources.

But if that were not true, we should still have no doubt as to the prompt and willing response of the Carolina farmers. This maneuver is an essential part of the great national defense effort which is being made in the gravest hour of the country's history. Every farmer who co-operates helps directly to strike a blow at Adolf Hitler, to insure that his slave-system shall not prevail over us. And these people have already given evidence that they are the most determined group against Hitlerism in the country. Like their fathers before them, they are devoted to liberty and prepared to do whatever is necessary to defend it.

Site Ed. Note: The phony, false alarm... Our Arabian drums...

Snuggling Up

Stalin Seems To Be Getting Ready for a New Steal

Russian moves obviously mean that the Kremlin is drawing closer to Hitler.

Indeed, the notion that Stalin was ever drawing away is highly dubious. The rebuke to Bulgaria and the friendship pact with Yugoslavia suggested that he might be, but the Moscow-Tokyo pact gave that interpretation the lie. And now the cynical repudiation of the Yugoslavian agreement and the announcement to Yugoslavia, Norway, Belgium that Russia no longer considers them as existent nations, completes the ruin of such a view.

It is possible that the Bulgarian and Yugoslav plays were simply hocus-pocus designed to bemuse Britain and the United States as long as might be.

How far the new co-operation will go remains to be seen. Russia may be getting ready to join the Axis, on the theory that Britain is bound to lose.

The Dardanelles quite likely figure in the equation--with a so-called joint protectorate by Germany and Russia very probable. What may also be in the cards is a free hand for Russia to overrun Iran in return for putting heat on Turkey and forcing her to allow Nazi troops to pass through to Iraq.

And the Russian advance into Iran might be the herald of a Russian attack on India. Stalin is said to share the old itch of the czars to get hands on that rich land. And the present opportunity is the first good one which has been offered.

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