The Charlotte News

Monday, February 24, 1941



Site Ed. Note: In "Bob Emerges" we find Senator Robert Rice Reynolds' Vindicator proving that history can be distorted and culled, hammered and shaped to justify anything. The notion was promulgated essentially that because 165 years earlier the United States gained its independence from Great Britain, it should remain aloof from them and let them fall to the Nazis, that Great Britain was not the last line of defense to the United States in 1776 and so not so either in 1941. Well, sometimes historical analogies may work to make a point, but we fail to see how this particular facility could have found any appeal other than to peawits.


The Man Is What Counts, Not Where He Comes From

Dick Young performed a service in his City Hall Topics Saturday by pointing out that the bill, now before the Legislature, to repeal the Charter provision whereby the chief of police must come from the force, still would leave in effect the provision that he must have been for at least two years a resident of Charlotte.

That's an absurd condition ever to have got into the City Charter, and one which it would be foolish to remain. It is equivalent to saying that, by gar, we're not gonna let any furiners take jobs away from our boys--just as though this job were a hunk of patronage and not, as it is, a highly responsible office, calling for a trained man to fill it, and one capable, no matter where he comes from or how hard he is to find, of directing and getting the most out of a force of more than a hundred men in a city that stands well up toward the top of the list in every sort of crime.

The man for the job--aye, that's the thing; not the job for the man.

Whether this provincial requirement has been left in the Charter by oversight or intention, we know not. If by oversight, Dick has called attention to it. If by intention, whose?

Word Warrior

He Provides His Own Test For His Reassurances

Mussolini has always believed that for winning wars words were better than cannon. And yesterday he was still busily proceeding on that theory.

Italy, he said, would fight to the last drop of blood. Which, in view of what has been going on in Africa and Albania and his own claim about the size of his Libyan forces, was one of the most comic utterances ever made by the bragpots of the planet.

Nevertheless, it may be so. The best he could really offer his countrymen was the ignominious theory that their ally, Germany, is invincible and will yet pull them out of the tragic hole in which they find themselves. But he neglected to point out, what is obvious, that Italy is now the prisoner of the Nazi criminals and couldn't quit the war if she wanted to--will have to spend her blood so long as the madman of Berchtesgaden demands it.

Most curious of his attempts to win the war with words was his pooh-poohing of the United States.

This country, he bellowed, was the victim of two lies. In the first place, it believed that it was a democracy. In fact, he claimed it was an oligarchy controlled by Jews.

The second lie, said Big Mouth, was that the United States was in danger of attack from the Axis. That, he maintained, was mere nonsense.

Sane Americans will know how to measure his last statement by the first.

No Crime

Lobbying Is the Right Of Any Group in America

One of the charges brought against the American Medical Association in the anti-trust trial now going on in Washington is that the body and its spokesman tried to arouse Congressional sentiment against the Group Health Association. Correspondence was introduced Friday to show that Dr. William C. Woodward, former director of the AMA Bureau of Legal Medicine and Legislation, wrote to Dr. G. F. Simpson, president of the Virginia Medical Society, and urged him to approach Senators Glass and Byrd with a view to persuading them to back the AMA.

All of which leaves us a good deal less than indignant. The Group Health Association is composed of Federal employees who have banded together to secure medical services on a pre-payment basis. That is unquestionably their right. And the representatives of AMA in Washington undoubtedly were high-handed in attempting to boycott doctors who agreed to serve the group on these terms.

Nevertheless, it is also the right of the AMA to agitate against this arrangement and even to try to get laws passed against it.

The right of the people "peacefully to assemble and petition for redress of their grievances" certainly includes the right to lobby, to communicate with Congressmen and Senators in an effort to secure legislation or defeat legislation, so long as there is no question of corruption and duress. Democracy is based on the conception that there will be much conflict of interest but that the best way to resolve these conflicts is by making everybody free to argue his case and fight for it as best he can--leaving final judgment to the public generally.

Bob Emerges

It Is Pretty Plain What He Means To Capitalize On

It is a pity that all the little readers of The News do not receive, as do we, regularly, copies of Bob Reynolds' "The American Vindicator." They would have a far clearer understanding of their Senator.

The February issue, Vol. 2, No. 11, is before us. Spread across the bottom of the tabloid page in blackest head-letter type is the following:


Americans Shouldn't Blame Britain But Should Blame Themselves If They Are Sucked Into World War No. 2

...There is no novelty in the laughable albeit treasonable fallacy that Britain is America's first line of defense. In the war of independence, George Washington and his fellow Americans were told the same thing... But George Washington and his compatriots... simply scorned this damnable heresy.

There is more of the same, much more, but the excerpt above will serve to identify the tone and purpose of the whole argument to set up the judgment of that great military strategist, Robert Reynolds, as against the combined judgment of the War and Navy Departments.

Another article is noteworthy and significant, we think, of what is going on in Bob Reynolds' mind. It is entitled, "Hollywood--Tower of Babel and Mountain of Mammon," and is reprinted by permission of its author, to whom The Vindicator is "in debt."

Through it runs a note of salaciousness which evidently is intended to sustain the reader's interest in spite of the excess of morality the piece assumes.

Two paragraphs have to suffice, and will suffice, we think, to show what Bob's Vindicator is getting at:

"Sex-appeal was dramatized (in Hollywood) and the old-fashioned love of a man for a maiden was ridiculed as a pastime of long-hairs and physical incompetents. Modesty was relegated to a past age and shunted onto the shoulders of innocent country girls to try to sustain.

...You feel as though you had suddenly stepped into an alley of the city of a foreign land where English was a forgotten language and there had gathered, truly, all the people of the Tower of Babel after the good God had confused their tongues... Turbaned physics from India and merchants from miasmic Palestine, aliens, stroll along the narrow sidewalks looking yellow or pale blue or pastel pink in the glare of the Neons that scream from the front of cloak & suit and corset and lingerie shops."

Yes, we think it is quite plain what the Vindicator is getting at. It becomes more so in the light of the additional information that the long article cites only one surname in proof of the alien corruption of Hollywood. That name is Beesmeyer.

More Yeomen

Decline of Tenantry in N.C. Reverses Southern Trend

One exceedingly good thing happened in North Carolina in the decade between 1930 and 1940, according to figures released by State College.

Farmers operated by full owners, instead of by part owners, managers, tenants and croppers increased fourteen and one-half per cent. This reversed the trend of the previous decade and the prevailing trend for the South generally. And was a clear gain, for the number of farms operated by part-owners, managers, tenants and croppers fell in approximately the same proportion.

It is somewhat curious, this shift in a decade which has been generally unprosperous, but it is perhaps connected with the fact that the value of farmlands dropped from twelve to sixteen per cent.

In any case it is a highly healthy sign, so far as it goes. The backbone of the democracy is always a strong and land-owning yeomenry. And in recent years tenantry has been growing all over the nation, but especially in the South, at an alarming rate. In the deep South, it is still continuing to grow, but it is some comfort to know that in North Carolina at least it is beginning to decline.

The development of a more rational agriculture should do much to further hasten its decline and to scotch it everywhere. If the loss of the foreign market for cotton achieves that end, it will be anything else than an unmixed catastrophe.


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