Wednesday, March 28, 2012

United We Stand?

It's been a heck of a rough week.

First I learn that my "friend" and co-worker Jane Sullivan was once a member of an organization called the Silver Legion, whose founder admired Hitler. Jane claims that she only joined out of love for a handsome young actor who happened to be one of Hollywood's "Silvershirts," but can I believe her? Here's a woman who's not only hiding the fact that she's working in a bomber factory from her family but enlisting me to help cover for her!

And there's the small matter of the FBI. Without telling me, Jane gave the secretaries in Boeing's employment office MY phone number, apparently knowing full well the feds might be looking for her.

I stopped by the library the other day after work and asked if they had any information about the Silver Legion. The librarian wrinkled her nose at the name, but she brought me a few newspaper articles from California. It seems that the organization's founder, William Dudley Pelley, is wanted for high treason and sedition for claiming in his magazine "Roll Call" that the losses from the Pearl Harbor attacks were far greater than the figures released by the government. The Silver Legion was disbanded right after the attacks, and Pelley is in hiding.

One of Pelley's brochures, written in 1937, contains the following statement:

"Suddenly in Italy appeared Mussolini, and he put a halt to Communism. He introduced one-man Fascism because Yiddisher "democracy" doesn't serve in such a turmoil. Out of Mussolini's success grew Hitler's.
Hitler knew the crowd that had wrecked the Fatherland, and he started a one-man war in Germany to best it -- and drive it forth.
We know that he did drive it forth. He even went so far as to clap the sacrosanct person of one omnipotent Rothschild in a common hoosegow.
Over here into the United States swarmed the mob of mischief-making scoundrels, to use the Democratic Party, the American press and radio, the American movie screen, to work up a wild hysteria to have Hitler kicked to limbo."

It goes on and on for several densely-packed pages, about how a cabal of Jews started World War I and how the Fascists were right to try to rid the world of them. I read as much as I could stomach, then gave the whole mess back to the librarian.

On top of all of this appalling Silver Legion business, I've had to deal with a tense situation at work. I managed to put Frank Lomax in his place after enduring all of his ridiculous horseplay, but it made for a strained atmosphere. Between Frank not speaking to me and me not speaking to Jane we were the quietest team at Boeing!

The city's in an uproar because the Japanese on nearby Bainbridge Island have just been ordered to evacuate to inland communities being built to house them for the duration. Most are glad to see them go, but it tugs at my heart to see the pictures in the paper of women and children hastily packing up their belongings. Every day my bus passes Japanese businesses hurriedly put up for sale. There's no word yet as to whether Seattle's Japanese will be ordered away, but everyone suspects they will be so most of the Japanese here are preparing as best they can for what seems inevitable.

And all of this turmoil is right in my own backyard. There's an entire world at war beyond the horizon.

Betty and Susan are pestering me to put aside my grudge against Jane. Easy for them to say, they don't know the reason. But I am beginning to wonder if I should talk to her after all. I've got little enough that I can rely on, and even a friend as difficult as Jane may still be worth keeping. But can I trust her?

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