The Charlotte News

Monday, September 2, 1940



Site Ed. Note: "No Substitutes" tells of how times have changed since the latter 1960's--and of just how small small minds could become. We don't know whether the series in question was ever played or, if so, who won. But we do know that the South as a whole, even today, could learn a few things from the people of California--not Hollywood or Television City--but the people of California--and likewise, that the people of California could and often do learn a few things from people of and from the South. And then, we suppose, that the people in Nebraska and other such places in the middle often learn from the people twixt and 'tween passing through going east or west on the interstate. There are enough good things to go around in this country. While we often highlight some of the bad stuff in the hope of making it a little better, we trust that others might see that without recognizing the bad, there is no way to increase the better qualities in each of us and our various citizenries as a whole comprising ultimately a union.

"The Great Debate", a little spoof on a debate that never was, not by Cash, but a syndicated piece of unknown authorship, we include for your edification, at least as to part of it, as it provides a few of the highlighted issues of the time in succinct form, even if the pattern of humor it uses to present them is, except perhaps in canasta parlors in Shilpit, Ponado, a bit dated. Or, perhaps, it was a bit dated even in 1940.

And if you're interested in the origins of McCarthyism and how it got going as to Hollywood, you can find it in "Back Pages". James Cagney, incidentally, got to know of Cash only after his death when Cam Shipp, Cash's friend who landed him the job at the News and then went off to Hollywood in 1940 to become a publicity agent, gave Cagney a copy of The Mind of the South. Shipp had been publicity agent on the Cagney, Bette Davis film, "The Bride Came C.O.D." in early 1941. Cagney wrote Joseph Morrison in 1965 that he always admired Cash for his courage in writing the book and thought it first rate. And as to the likes of Mr. Dies, the question remains, even today: Will yous dirty rats ever learn?

"Back Pages" also reminds us that the first evolving record we ever bought by a particular poet-artist was in 1964, "Another Side of..." We bought it from the cut-out bin. Price? A buck. Ah, but we were so much older then.

The Great Debate

The United States News

JUDGE: Now I want you boys to come out fighting, and fight clean. No butting, no gouging, none of this Ickes-Bridges stuff. Remember its for the champeenship, and you don't want to discredit the manly art of politics. Now go to it.

FDR: My friends--

WILLKIE: Who wrote this speech for you?

FDR: Who's putting up the money for your campaign?

JUDGE: Break!

FDR: My friends--

WILLKIE: Do you think you're talking to the Democratic convention? I got a few friends here, too.

FDR: --I should really be in Washington at this moment--

WILLKIE: Packing your trunks.

FDR: --but it has been deemed desirable that we discuss the issues of this campaign face-to-face. Now what are the issues?

WILLKIE: Ho, ho! Page Charlie Michelson and Claude Pepper. I'll tell you what the issues are. There is only one, and that is the New Deal.

FDR: Okay, the New Deal. Now, what have you against it? You made a profit of $2,000,000 on your transaction with TVA. You own a few farms in Indiana all equipped with Rural Electrification, and WPA chalets. You say you are for the AAA, TVA, REA, and NLRA, SSA and WPA. I think the A's have it. Just what laws would you repeal?

WILLKIE: I believe in a Government by laws and not by men. I wouldn't repeal any laws, but I would repeal a lot of men. I'd repeal Ickes and Corcoran and--

FDR: And Weir and Girdler and Pew. I presume?

WILLKIE: Foul! He fouled me. I didn't appoint those birds to anything.

FDR: You won't get the chance, either. No, they appointed you!

JUDGE: Keep it clean, boys. Stick to the issues.

And, we might add for currency, from our parlor:

A: Where were you? I never saw you.

B: Saw me once, shame on you. Saw me twice, shame on me.

A: Okay, make a joke. But you weren't there. I'm there every Tuesday. Sometimes I drop by on Friday nights, too. Never saw you there.

B: Hmmm, this coffee's good. Want some?

A: I want to know where you were, little pretty boy.

B: Why do you keep rubbing your hands like that, like some preying mantis or something?

A: Helps me to think. Where were you? Answer the question, smooth talking milk-face.

B: Are you an obsessive-compulsive?

A: Bet you were out getting coiffured.

B: Better than leading my former company to the public coffers. Want some of this good coffee? Might help you with your hand-clasping habit.

A: Ramzi Yousef.

B: Pardon?

A: Look here, sonny, when you were a teenager working in your little mill there in South Carolina, North Carolina, wherever the hell it was, so you could use the experience just to better relate to jurors for your trial lawyering arguments later, I was busy trying to earn a living, a real living, as an electrician. I had a real union card, smarty. Had no choice. Couldn't go out and earn millions as a trial lawyer like some people. Were it not for the time I stuck the tester in backwards and fried my pate, I'd look just like you today, hairy. In fact, since it was my big break, I think I should tell you about it, just so some young aspiring electrician out there will understand that I understand.

B: Hmmm, good coffee. Can't I interest you?

A: Shut up. I'm telling my story. It was a dark, stormy night in Casper. Thunder all around. Lightning. Crash, bang. The lights had gone out up at the Big Boss's House on Bootleg Hill.

B: Apt name.

A: No. Now, that's just what I'm talking about, smart-mouth. Ramzi. Let me finish.

B: Want some coffee?

A: Got the call, just my luck, but it turned out to be my big break, like I say. I drove my '54 DeSoto up there, had cloth seats, but a pretty good engine, nice horn, too. Two-tone, white and chartreuse. You know, they had gone up Pike's Peak in the thing. Had a short in the wiring and the lights kept flickering all along that dark, dark, curvy road to Thermopolis. Almost went over the cliff three, four times maybe on the way up. Guardrail saved me. Just my luck. My big break, too.

B: Interesting. Can't believe we never met what with so much in common. Sure you don't care for some of this coffee?

A: Never touch the stuff, caffeine-head. Now, where was I? Oh yeah. Went through the Big Gate, had big gold gargoyles on it, with filigreed entablature. Never forget it. Still have nightmares about it sometimes. No one around but dogs howling in the bleak, staring darkness. My skin began to crawl. Got out, rang the doorbell. A tall Hindu came to the door.

Moderator: Sorry, sir, time's up. And would you please stop clutching yourself like that? It's plain annoying. Haven't you ever seen the films of Stanley Kubrick?

No Substitutes

Champion Albemarle Team Wants to Meet the Champions

The American Legion's junior World Series, part of its Americanism activities, has run smack up against racial feeling. The San Diego team has a Negro catcher and a Negro third baseman, and there is indecision about their playing against the heroic Albemarle team which has clawed and scratched its way into the finals of this nation-wide contest.

There is no indecision in the mind of the San Diego coach, however. He says that the two boys will play or the series is off.

And though we haven't heard the Albemarle players and coach quoted to that effect, we'll cover a small bet that they too would a whole lot rather take on the San Diego team at its full strength than with substitutes into such hot spots as behind the plate and at third base.

These boys aim to be junior World Champions without any restrictions or special considerations. All they are waiting for is the ump's cry to play ball.

And it would be a disgrace which would detract shamefully from the magnificent record of the Albemarle team if the two Negroes were not allowed to play or, playing, if anything should happen to mar this national sports event.

It is up to the good people of Albemarle and Stanly County, hosts to a baseball team from a section of the country with customs different from ours, to see that nothing is allowed to happen. That's what they are obliged to do in order to give their boys a shot at being true champions.


Back Pages

Martin Dies' Best Schemes Can't Get Him Out of Them

One casualty of Mr. Hitler's blitzkrieg through the Lowlands and France and his attack on Britain has been the eminent Rep. Martin Dies.

The Hon. Martin, if you don't remember, is the man who has a committee which is supposed to have been inquiring into un-American activities during the last two years. It has never amounted to much.

By and large, it has never devoted itself seriously to investigating the mass of the enemies of the nation, but has concentrated only on the spectacular to the end of getting the name of Martin Dies on the front pages. But since Hitler really got going, Martin hasn't made the front pages once.

That is undoubtedly what he was trying to overcome when, in times of peril when the potent enemies of the nation, such as Coughlin, the Klan, the Dr. Westricks, etc., actually call for investigation, Martin Dies went dashing off to California to investigate his silly story about some of the best-heeled of the movie actors--the Messrs. Franchot Tone, James Cagney, et al.--being in the pay of Moscow.

It didn't work, however. And Martin might as well make up his mind that he won't get back on the front pages until (1) Hitler is finished off, or (2) he really digs up something on some of the powerful enemies of the nation.


Next, Please!

Madam's Fault Is General Unfitness for the Job

The chief complaint of the Veterans of Foreign Wars against Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins seems to be that she didn't deport Harry Bridges, the West Coast labor leader. But the lady is not open to blame on that score. She instituted proceedings, but the findings were not sufficient to convict Bridges of any violation of law. And Bridges, like anybody else, must be proved guilty before he can be punished.

The veterans were on sounder ground when they alleged that Madam knows little of labor problems at first hand. But they would have done better to base their objection on general unfitness. After all, she has spent many years studying labor problems.

The two really well-founded charges against Madam are (1) that she has an almost miraculous faculty of doing everything wrong and irritating everybody in sight, and (2) that she lacks the confidence of both wings of organized labor--that both dislike her intensely, in point of fact.

The appointment of a woman social worker to the Labor post was a dubious business to begin with. Her presence in that post while the country was torn with disputes between labor and capital has certainly been always more dubious. And in time of preparation for war it becomes intolerable. For upon the co-operation of labor as a unit our safety greatly depends.

There are plenty of men available for the post,--for instance, Sydney Hillman--who have confidence of both wings of organized labor, of unorganized labor, the public, and employers. And men who know how to get the necessary co-operation. Madam should make way for one of them at once--on her own initiative or by request.


Small Minds

They Made Possible the Present World Disaster

When Nicholas Murray Butler lays the blame for the world disaster on "small-minded men in Washington and their shocking disregard of moral and political obligation," he speaks with a good deal of reason.

He makes it plain that the small-minded men to whom he refers belong to the era of twenty years ago. That is, he means the Senators who led the fight against the League of Nations--Lodge, Borah, Jim Reed & Co.--and those who accepted their leadership. But he might well have included all three Republican Administrations which succeeded that of Wilson.

The Harding Administration may ultimately be more infamous for its handling of foreign affairs than for the Teapot Dome scandal. Whatever the merits or demerits of the League of Nations, politics was the dominating motive in the refusal of that Administration to consider it under any circumstances. And politics was the dominating motive for all that happened afterward.

The Washington Naval Conference was simply an attempt to pacify the people who were outraged by the injection of politics into the League dispute. And one which was far more disastrous than joining the League could possibly have been, for it disarmed both the United States and Britain and made possible what is going on in the world.


The Guilty

The Nazis Ask for Sympathy For Crimes They Commit

The German Library of Information, Nazi propaganda agency in New York, favors us with a copy of its bulletin, quietly called "Facts In Review," which contains what purports to be the photograph of the funeral of a child killed by British bombs, in an obvious attempt to arouse our sympathy and indignation.

Well, the death of a child is always lamentable, including that of a German child. But German children have no rights over other children. And the plain fact is that the responsibility for the death of this child rests squarely on the infamous scoundrel at the head of the German Government. And ultimately upon the whole German people which gladly accepts the brute philosophy of this scoundrel as its own and is so delighted with the notion that it is destined to rule the world that it willingly sets out to practice conquest by murder and rapine against its neighbors.

The doom of the child began to be written the day in 1937 when Nazi bombers hovered over the defenseless old Basque town of Guernica in Spain and in cold blood murdered 700 old men, women, and children. It drew closer when German bombers swept down upon Warsaw, closer yet as they closed upon Rotterdam, closer still as they bombed and machine-gunned helpless refugees, men, women, children, and babies in arms, as they fled along the roads of Belgium and France. It was sealed when they swooped down upon England by the thousands to murder men, women, and children.

For the innocent German child we may feel sympathy--would be brutal if we did not. But for the man and the people who made the thing that cost her life, none.

Nearly 1900 years ago it was written in an old book which the Nazis despise:

If any man have an ear, let him hear:

He that leadeth into captivity
Shall go into captivity
He that killeth with the sword
Must be killed with the sword.


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