The paper also credits 2000lb bombs dropped by land-based bombers. The Navy, "with its new carrier strength and antiaircraft fire, was no longer nervous about land-based aircraft." We are referred to another article, on Secretary Forrestal's annual report, which notes that the "45,000 ton" Iowas now carry "148 antiaircraft barrels, ranging from 20mm up to five-inch dual mountings." Monte Cassino, and not the defences opposite the Nettuno bridgehead, is the "stone wall" of the Italian campaign. German blockade runners are on the loose. Those brave, brave captains and their crews. If only they were not taking war materiel to Japan!(**) The paper quotes General Montgomery on being "fed up" with the war. Germans are not sending fighters up against American bombers. Berlin is "dying" under air attack.
Stilwell and Mountbatten are fighting about the Ledo Road. Father has now met Stilwell. His opinion, he says, is of Marshall and the President, not Stilwell, since knowing that Marshall put Stilwell in charge in Burma tells Father everything he needs to know about their true opinion of Chiang and his army. the Marine Corps Women's Reserve held its first birthday this week. They are college girls and very spit-and-polish (but meek in the face of "real" Marines), but still girls, with feminine accoutrements everywhere and men trying to "crash" their social functions. After Valentine's Day, imprints of lipstick will no longer be tolerated on Vmail. It "ruins" the automatic feeders, which must be stopped and cleaned after very pass. I somehow suspect exaggeration --and a girlish fad.
Senator Lodge is going to war. Or, possibly, is just not comfortable in his own skin.
Justice Thurman Arnold has found new ways to pursue his old practice of breaking preventive patents, though the decision seems likely to be reversed. Advertisers are advised to avoid ads that annoy servicemen. Frank A. Pearson and Don Paarlberg think that the "the U.S. is committed to the impossible task of feeding more people and animals on a better diet than the land can provide." All sorts of things can lead to disaster in 1944, and probably will, unless Americans promptly adopt an abstemious diet of cereals, beans and potatoes. This can be achieved by letting food prices rise.
US farmers took in $19 billion, up $3.5 billion on 1942. Estimated carry-over profits are $12.5 billion. Economists warned of a runaway land boom. (The proposition being that we will spend our profits on more land so that we can grow more oranges to feed the --wait, there is a flaw in this plan, for which see this month's Fortune.) Instead, they are saving the money for reinvestment in homes and tractors so that we can live better and grow more oranges with less work later. Damn you, farmers, with your rationality! I want my price inflation! Several prominent Democrats have made anti-Administration statements of one or another sort. Straws in the wind, blowing down the roads where the Wilkie caravan winds its way from event to event. Senator Burton has joined the race to be Vice-President. (Although the paper pretends that it is a Presidential campaign.) Southerners spread rumours of "Push 'Em Clubs," in which Coloureds compete to jostle and push white folk in the street. The Army Specialized Training Program just got combed out of 110,000 young men,"stunn[ing] college presidents." Only about 30,000 taking advanced courses in medicine, dentistry and engineering were left untouched, and 5000 enrolled in the programme in spite of still being 17. Colleges without contracts for woman students were particularly hard hit, and serve the chauvinists right! The Navy is so hard up for officers that it will commission 22 Coloured officers. They will probably serve in segregated ships.
But this is not the issue. It is the road trip, and I worry about my place in locum parentis. Young A was put onto this by the Engineer, who can have no motive other than to do a favour by proxy to a certain Admiral. He, of course, is looking forward to a weekend in Sacramento without parental supervision, while I am most intrigued by the connection, and wish to see it develop. The Engineer is torn between the temptations of Pacific First and his religious pacifism, and the conflict is developing in an interesting direction indeed if he is cultivating the Admiral, of all people.
*Just so there is no confusion, I will go on the record that Uzbekistan is better than Kazakhstan in every possible way but one: the Gate of Shamballah is on the Sino-Russo-Kazakh border.