Letters from readers (7-20-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (July 20, 1941)

Common Council for American Unity raps Pegler’s stand on aliens

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

In his latest article about the alien in the United States, Mr. Pegler appears surprised at the angry dissent aroused by his proposal that this country close its books against naturalization. Mr. Pegler’s surprise seems somewhat naive. What, if he stopped to think, did he expect of a proposal so undemocratic, so contrary to American tradition, and so wide of the facts?

Let us apply to would-be citizens the most rigid tests of loyalty and character that Mr. Pegler can devise, but why should we exclude men and women from citizenship simply because they were born elsewhere? Arbitrary exclusion regardless of individual merit smacks of the group discrimination we condemn when we see it practiced in totalitarian countries. At no point does the present world struggle between two ways of life challenge us more bluntly than in the belief and practice of justice and equality for all, regardless of birth, creed or color. Would not Mr. Pegler’s proposal subtract from the very democracy we want to defend?

To stop naturalization would reverse an American tradition of 300 years. Generation after generation of settlers and immigrants have come to our shores, learned our speech and ways, been accepted into a common citizenship, and contributed by hand and heart and brain reference to the so-called “foreign vote.” These studies all showed that a “foreign-born bloc” is sheer myth, that among foreign-born voters, there are as sharp divisions of opinion as among the native-born. Our latest study, for the presidential election in 1932, showed, for example, that of the foreign language papers in the United States which took definite stands for the two major candidates, 163 declared for or were friendly to Roosevelt and 152 supported Hoover, 24 German papers supported Hoover, 20 Roosevelt; 26 Italian papers supported Hoover, 26 Roosevelt; 22 Polish papers supported Hoover, 20 Roosevelt, etc.

Mr. Pegler also charges that:

…our immigrants since the First World War have not contributed much to the peace and progress of the United States.

…that unlike the workers of an earlier generation,

…the newer immigration has consisted largely of people who sought only safety and regarded this country as a refuge and nothing else.

Few generalizations could be more untrue or more unfair. As we review American history, there is no period whose immigrants we look back to with greater respect and satisfaction than the Forty-eighters – men and women who came here, not primarily for economic motives, but for the sake of certain ideals of liberty.

The immigrants of the last 20 years have been, in large measure, the Forty-eighters of our own generation. Since 1918, the dictatorships of Europe have sent to our shores an extraordinary range of writers, artists, scientists, men of business initiative and experience, teachers, inventors. There have been necessarily some undesirables, as in any large number, but as a whole, it has been a group of men and women of more than average education and skills.

Despite Mr. Pegler, this newer immigration, studded with names like Einstein, Thomas Mann, Salvemini, Sikorsky, Borgese, Carl Friedrich, Max Ascoll, Franz Werfel, is likely to make as profound a contribution to American life and culture as any generation of immigrants ever admitted to the United States. No generation of immigrants, also, has sought American citizenship more eagerly or with better preparation.

Mr. Pegler’s proposal that we bar our doors against them is not likely to be taken seriously – even by himself – but it would be a great pity if his articles are allowed to mislead people regarding the real facts, or to foster cleavages at a time when we need the maximum of unity and understanding among our population.

Executive Director, Common Council for American Unity
222 4th Ave.
New York, NY

How can majority rule, she wonders

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

According to every poll I have seen, the vast majority of the people are against sending our soldiers abroad. Yet slowly, surely, our national “policies” are embroiling us in this conflict. In light of this fact, we had better change our concept of democracy.

The important point is how can the majority rule? We write to our senators and get vague, but polite replies. We write to our President, reminding him of his solemn promise not to send an American army abroad. Not many doubt the ability of our President as a leader, but we must question where is he leading us and why? We talk to our friends and are amazed at the fatalistic attitude of many “we are against sending men abroad, but we can’t do anything.” And so, the question is: How can “we,” the majority, rule in this democracy?

409 W. 7th St.
Junction City, KS

Sees Congress sinking in public’s respect

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

The Congress of the U.S. has sunk far in dignity and public respect since the days of Clay, Webster and Calhoun. What a miserable spectacle our Congress today presents as it sits timidly, afraid to take an active role in deciding whether or not the nation will be plunged into a long and bloody war.

Congress lacks the moral courage to make its choice as it is confronted on one side by the immense political power and patronage of President Roosevelt and a very loud spoken and prominent group of war-makers and a majority of the people who elected them on the other. Thus it now sits idly by, while the war-like gestures are made by the President and his officers and in a manner like to Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the whole affair.

Whether the U.S. will become involved in a shooting war now depends largely on whether U.S. naval vessels will attack German warships and submarines on the North Atlantic, but all but a very few of the legislators who last November almost unanimously pledged to keep us out of war seem to be little interested. “Leave it up to Winston and Franklin” seems to be the Congressional motto. The American people should write and urge their Congressmen to assume the power and responsibility of making war or not which was given them by the Constitution. Perhaps only thus can the ostrich Congress be saved from becoming the laughing stock of the entire world.

Brackenridge, PA

Sees being an American a matter of mind, heart

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Our forefathers surely were not fighting for any Hitler, Stalin or Quisling. They were fighting for the kind of government we live under.

Replying to R. L. Fried: The only ones who have been jailed in this country were the spies caught red-handed, and a few Communists plotting for the destruction of the U.S. In no case, despite Mr. Fried’s assertion, have citizens been jailed because they tried to keep us out of war.

If one like myself writes a letter standing by the President and the Army and Navy, and says what he thinks about the Lindberghs and Wheelers, he is swamped by anonymous letters from folks signing themselves “A True American” or “A Real American” or an “American Mother,” etc., etc. What they call one in these missives requires thought.

I have found that when one has to state in a letter that he is “an American” of maybe a better grade than folks like myself and my friends and comrades, it is because what they are about to write would cause some of us not to believe it. Just common Americans, who take it as part of their heritage, blood and background, do not have to yell about it. And being an American is not a matter of generations, even birth. It is something purely a matter of mind and heart.

104 Magee Bldg.

Russians at least ready to die for their faith

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

One of a group of scholars, who are, we hope, neither so smug nor intellectually lazy as they sounded during a radio discussion of Emerson, quoted a visiting Oxonian as saying if he were seen reading Emerson at Oxford, it would be as bad as if he were caught reading the Bible. And we look on the Russians as a godless people. Their faith, whatever it is, is something for which they are willing to die, and that is more virtue than Burton Wheeler credits his fellow countrymen with having.

35 W. Bellecrest Ave.

Sees republican governmental way slipping from hands of people

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

For some months, the American people have had a vague foreboding that their free republican system of government has been slipping out of their hands. Their alarm is amply justified in the recent demands upon Congress by the Roosevelt Administration for authority to seize private property; unlimited power to use the regular armed forces and the conscript army in any way and for any length of time the Chief Executive may decide; and the almost monotonous demands from the White House for more and more multiple billions of dollars to be spent at the discretion of the President.

Occupation of foreign territory by the armed forces of the United States and the supplying of belligerent nations with materials of war, and the entering into of alliances and agreements with foreign powers without the advice and consent of the Senate are all clearly in violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

In Section VIII, Clause 10, the Constitution specifically defines the powers of the Congress –

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations (the President is exclusively exercising this power now).

Same section, Clause 11 –

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water (the President is doing all these things and attempting to enter war).

Same section, Clause 12 –

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.

Same section, Clause 14 –

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces (the President is exercising this power).

Same section, Clause 15 –

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions (this clause was recently violated by the Chief Executive in the occupation of Iceland. We had no laws there to violate, and there were no insurrections and no invasion to repel).

Congress has no right to delegate any particle of its powers to the executive. Every Congressman who voted for these extraordinary grants of authority to the executive clearly violated his oath of office.

Next year the American people will have another, and perhaps the last opportunity to remove these inane rubber-stamps from office and save the greatest system of government “ever devised by the mind of man.”

Ligonier, PA

He scores ‘salesmen of blood, bullets’

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Being a native-born Yankee, it is impossible for me to be silent when I see the future security and well-being of conscientiously loyal Americans being ravaged and destroyed by phony statesmen, saboteurs, oratorical emissaries of so-called royalty, and any other self-appointed “apostle” of “save America by aiding anyone.” Let me make it clear for these “salesmen of blood and bullets,” that the good old U.S.A. doesn’t need or want anyone to save her. When the time comes to save America, there will be millions of red-blooded citizens ready to give their lives for the Stars and Stripes, and let me add that I will be as far “up-front” as I can get, when the shooting starts.

Since 1918, the United States has not had a real ally or friend in the world. The haughty Briton has hated us just as efficiently as the Nazis, the Fascists or the Commies. The loudest champions of “all-out aid to our Allies” at the present moment were, until recently, the most outspoken in favor of dear little “debt-paying” Finland, as against “debt-ignoring” Great Britain, and the bloody Stalin. But, heavens above, what a transition has taken place. Surely, the Knox, Welles, Pepper, Willkie, Perkins and Stimson faction has no intention of forming a “foreign-legion” to go and fight alongside of their British and Muscovite allies, to make the world safe for Imperialism and Communism.

I would like the cooperation of every real American in forming an organization to be known as The Crusaders, which being truly American will be a non-profiting group, whose sole aim and purpose will be to concentrate on the impeachment or recall of any member of government or public position who sponsors American intervention in any war, excepting one of defense of our possessions. Naturally, this excludes the “lifeline of Empire” which now subjugates and controls more human and more wealth than the Reds, the Japs and the Nazis combined. It is not be fooled any longer by “campaign oratory,” as Wendell so subtly puts it. If we have gained anything by previous experience, our motto can only be:

America Only.

212 Ingram Ave.

Says British ‘meddlers’ hurt cause in U.S.

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

In the Press of July 16, I read where a member of the British Parliament, visiting the United States, boldly advocates that we send American soldiers to Europe. Moreover, I read where this visiting Britisher assails Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana, noted isolationist.

As one who believes in aid for Britain short-of-war, I think this visiting Englishman renders disservice to the cause he professes to wish to promote, that is, aid for Britain. In the first place, a visitor should remember his place while in a foreign land, more especially when it comes to airing his views on so delicate a theme as sending American boys to fight and die in Europe, Asia and Africa. Sentiment is not favorable to this plan and, if the British M.P. does not know it by now, he will find it out all too soon.

Secondly, I think it would be very improper for an American Senator to visit Britain and launch an attack there against a member of Parliament. All England would resent it and rightly so, indeed. It is well for British visitors to remember that American policies are shaped by Washington and not No. 10 Downing Street, London.

Quite properly, the President has closed German and Italian Consulates. He should take one further step. Hope should advise Halifax (the speech-making, warmongering British Ambassador whose earliest conduct was responsible for an Adolf Hitler) that the fewer speeches he makes in America, the better it will be for the British cause, and he should instruct Halifax to whisper to visiting British M.P.'s that it will be best for them to be seen rather than heard during the American sojourn.

I, for one, resent deeply the impudence of overzealous foreign politicians who attempt to tell we in America what to do and wherein our best interests lie. I’m quite content to rest these matters with our President and our Congress. Let visiting foreign noblemen and politicians mind their own business. We are quite capable of managing our own affairs without their meddling.

1001 Lincoln Ave.
Tyrone, PA

Women’s status as man’s chattel is considered her own fault

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Mrs. Walter Ferguson, in clearing public opinion aroused by the Marian Talley experience, has also encouraged voicing the woman’s declaration of independence.

I feel it’s time for the women to become indignant. It’s high time to recognize our own stupidity in asking then waiting for our behavior philosophy to be formulated and served to us on a silver platter by man, thus admitting choice of being man’s gratifying chattel rather than being man’s companion, as creation designed.

If the principles of Democracy are functionless (as is complained) with woman’s behavior and existence, it is because she chooses they be functionless.

The colonization-pioneer male educational leaders’ interests and energy made it possible for women to acquire educational training commensurate with her brother in order that she might be a deliberating, independent thinker capable of forming individual judgments too. By such ability, they hoped evil destructible behavior would be supplanted by full understanding application of Jesus’ immortality philosophy – the very philosophy by which the United States has been formed into a “more perfect Union.”

What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

Hence until God’s voice bestows a companionship blessing, no marriage ceremony can force a blessing that God refuses.

Further Jesus’ philosophy states that God is Love. Also that God is a Spirit. Hence Love and Spirit are one.

But humanity has developed its own philosophy in which the male is the source of love and the female becomes man’s chattel.

Have women paused to think about Egypt’s decay? The Grecian and Roman disintegration as ancient history reveals, even accentuates the role “women of the street” played in the internal destruction? Is France’s complete collapse too fresh to be thought-value? The “pretty girl” with her highly artfully trained retinue, is the disintegration-termite.

History is again repeating itself by making life for anyone who may have ability to think through all these destroying controlling social customs and requirements almost unbearable, even to the place of being tragically fatal for one to live above any acceptance by word or action. Even then, research study to develop such ability is most interesting. Try it.

God certainly has no quarrel with the sex method of reproduction for why did He give vegetation the beautiful sweet perfumed flowers at fertilizing times? Why has He given the male birds the charming songs and gorgeous plumage especially at mating times? Even the human beings both sexes have their natural beauty. But oh! why have we women ever been so stupid as to debase the glorious reproductive function into a bartering pastime amusement?

Society establishes laws with prescribed punishments for violations, yet educational institutions exempting none, develop commercialization leadership for all essentials of life regardless of results. The populace now cry for laws, laws. Yet Jesus forbids the destruction of the tares, makes it obligatory for the individual to survive regardless of environment. Experiences prove that only perfectly created cells survive.

Therefore, before anyone shouts or hisses about this discussion, pause for thought. Recall, Patriarch nucleated Matriarch’s unconditional freedom at least a century ago. The nucleus was not only declared but provisions for developing the required self-sustaining abilities were made. We women of America concede that our men of America do give all sincerely requested benefits when accompanied with convincing argumentative abilities. Complete citizenship franchise was granted and for almost a complete decade, an almost unrestricted equalization has been in existence. But such have only provided opportunities for disintegration-termitecism to weave more vast and potent ensnaring webs – webs that have always devoured civilization. What is today’s Matriarch willing to do?

Let’s resolve to intelligently determine, fully develop and sincerely be companionistic as creation designed, and be it without crybaby, Hagar-security demands from anyone other than God alone, although not refusing man’s sincere companionship when extended in accordance with God’s approval.

So further, let’s develop individual abilities to think, concentrating on the natural beautification of our internal bodies, the one precious creation of all. Let’s make them and cultivate the appreciation of the creation in its own natural beauty without external adornment and strive desperately to understand and live by the true application of the phenomenon peculiar to the cell personality and attraction or spirit and soul.

506 Sherman Ave.

About sparing the rod and spoiling the child

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Figures in an editorial in the July 19 issue of Liberty Magazine seem not only staggering but alarming. The editorial states that, for the first three months of this year, murders have increased 15.4%; rape increased 5.8% and other felonious assaults 2.2%. What do these figures mean to the average citizen? Merely statistics from the FBI or something to ponder over?

To this writer, it is deplorable that such conditions exist. Is it not the business of every well-meaning citizen to ask the question, “What is wrong?” Is our school system what it should be when we consider that school taxes are higher than any other country in the world? We dare not put the blame there, since their function principally is to train scholars in the three “R’s.”

Are our churches at fault? It seems hardly fair to attach the full blame on our religious teachers.

Are parents to blame? Perhaps herein we may find a solution, for, after all, parents have first control of their children. If parents are badly trained, how can we expect their offspring to turn out any better? The time has come when we must, as parents, face the question squarely and accept our responsibility, and this responsibility is ours, not our neighbors. If parents were held accountable for the bad behavior of their children just as they are keen to share in their noteworthy achievements, we might find a solution to their terrible situation.

Laxity of control either in domestic, school or national life is bound to bring disastrous results. When such conditions prevail, dictatorship flourishes.

Perhaps trying to keep up with the Joneses has something to do with it. If our schools were kept strictly for what they are intended, that of educating, rather than cultivation, the responsibility would be more equally divided. The class room is intended to prepare the child to take its place in the industrial or professional world. The home is the place where they should be trained in religious or moral upbringing. Let the parents by example lead their God-given liability in the paths of rectitude and they will never forget. School teachers are changed every year but not parents.

Spare the rod and spoil the child might be worth some study, but even here an ounce of example is worth a ton of precept. A pampered child seldom makes a good citizen. A pampered soldier never makes a good fighter.


Advocates beating Nazis to the gun

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

The public must study seriously the events as they unfold, as public opinion is a great influence on those that formulate the policies of our government, and our reactions to the international policies of Washington will decide its future course.

We have with us a certain group of people including members of Congress, who call themselves the America First Committee, the alleged purpose of this committee is to keep America out of the war.

Now the first requisite of peace is to be well-armed, in fact stronger than any nation that might attack us. How can we reconcile the words of men such as Wheeler, La Follette, Fish, and others with their action in opposing any legislation to increase our armed forces both in men and material, when the consensus is that the best way to keep out of the war is to help England defeat Germany, as a victorious Nazis would constitute our greatest danger to war?

Wheeler and Lindbergh advocate a negotiated peace when they know any treaty with the Nazis is not worth the paper it is written on. The Nazis will attack America any time that they think it will serve their purpose, regardless of treaty or international law. The ravenous Nazis cannot be appeased.

To safeguard ourselves, let us arm ourselves to the utmost, help all nations fighting the Nazis, take possession of all outlying points that might be used by Germany as a jumping off place for the Americas. We must take the initiative. We cannot wait until Germany strikes, for strike she will if she gets the chance. That is the only way we will keep the war from our shores, and safeguard our American way of life.

Uniontown, PA

Defends Lindbergh as man of heart

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

All some people can think of to condemn Lindbergh because he does not want to plunge this country into the European war is that he has made a mechanical heart.

What of that? I think it is a great deal better to try to make a heart to keep people living than the warmakers who are stopping the hearts of millions of fine young men.

I think Lindbergh has been more sinned against than sinning by the people in this country. The more we know about him now, the better this character stands out. It is a well-known fact that he could have made millions of dollars if he had cashed in on his popularity. But he did not choose to do so. And he has taken the hard way in opposing the war.


He favors convoying as ‘sensible’ step

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

Convoying means war, “shooting” war. But until Hitler is ready to attack us with his particular brand of shooting war, we are free to decide exactly what shall go into our own brand.

We can fight a limited war. We can do just as much shooting as our interests require. Today that means convoying. Tomorrow it might mean seizure of additional strategic points outside this hemisphere.

Secretary Knox stated that one ship recently sunk carried a thousand machine guns for Britain. Ships are being sunk three times as fast as they are replaced. Unless we take all practicable measures to reduce these sinkings, even to the point of fighting a shooting war on submarines, Britain will not only be that much weaker against the supreme invasion attempt which Nazi success in Russia would make possible; she might even be starved into submission without invasion.

Should both Britain and Russia go down, we would become the target for a Hitler shooting war waged with all the resources and from all the bases of Europe, Africa and Asia. If by convoying now, even though it means immediate entry into limited warfare, we may so strengthen Britain and her Navy as to keep all-out warfare from our shores, isn’t that the sensible thing to do?

Vineland, NJ

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