The Charlotte News

Monday, October 24, 1938

FIVE EDITORIALS

Site Ed. Note: We include the poem below from today's page.

And though future Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice, Frank Murphy, acted with good restraint in Michigan, to the consternation of Mr. Dies in 1938, Mr. Dies would no doubt have greatly appreciated not only Homestead, 1892, but also Ohio, 1970, Chicago, 1968, Birmingham, 1961.

A Poet's Dream

By John Harsen Rhoades

I dreamed a dream that dreamed a dream
Of castles in the air,
Of nations bound by men in arms,
For peace eternal there.
I saw the peoples of the earth
Before whom evils met;
Bar all the wars of consequence
By overwhelming threat.

Outline of the Slums

Our editorializing mission, as we conceive it, is to supplement, and to interpret and to express opinions upon the news. The picture in Sunday's paper, however, the one by our associate, the Editorializing Cameraman, graphically said all there was to say.

There was the map of the city. And there were vari-colored pins stuck in it to show the incidence of juvenile delinquency. There, on the map, was almost precisely the same congestion of delinquency as there is in physical congestion of humanity in certain clearly defined areas of our town.

It is all very well and necessary to provide, at considerable expense, juvenile and domestic relations court, police forces to compel law observance, public health departments and clinics, social services, relief and welfare agencies. But here, messires, as indicated in sharp outline by those pins, is our first cause not only of crime, both adult and juvenile, but of disease, of immorality and of gross human waste. To ignore it, worse still, to tolerate it, is to treat a deep-seated cancerous growth by the application of lotions and superficial disinfectants.

Site Ed. Note: As to Yarn 66, why, it seems only yesterday we were spinning some of that ourselves. May be more coming though.

Chemists to the Rescue

In the middle of her Chinese adventures, and just when she needs every penny she can lay hands on, Japan is faced with the prospect of ultimately losing her market for raw silk in the United States--totaling $100,000,000 annually. And all because inventive chemists have perfected and patented two new forms of rayon--one known as "Yarn 66" and the other not yet named.

Rayon yarns have already made enormous inroads into all fields where silk was previously used save only that of hosiery. Over $75,000,000 worth of our annual imports go to the making of the latter. Rayon yarns were too lustrous and too inelastic, and not sufficiently sheer to be used for the better grades of hosiery. But the newer yarns are represented as having thoroughly overcome these difficulties. And Du Pont, who owns "Yarn 66," is planning to build a $7,000,000 plant at Seaford, Del., while the Celanese Corp. of America, owner of the second yarn, proposes a $10,000,000 plant at Pearlsburg, Va., with commercial production slated to begin in about a year.

The loss of the American silk market will be staggering to Japan's economy. And it may be that the chemists have, quite without immediate intent, delivered a mighty blow in defense of China.

Open Season in Chicago

If you live in Chicago and catch another man running around with your wife, you are at liberty to think it over for a few weeks, stick a pistol in your pocket, go hunting for him, and, finding him, shoot him dead. It might help if, admitting you weren't insane when you planned the act and proceeded to it, you plead that you were insane just for the moment when you pulled the trigger. That, however, is not strictly necessary. For the jury that turned Mr. Sikora loose did not find him guiltless "by reason of temporary insanity," but because, as the foreman quite frankly said, "He acted in a way that should protect the sanctity of the American home."

The law, indeed, says that you are guilty of premeditated murder, for the law holds to the quaint theory that there is no excuse for killing another man save only the defense of your own life. And reason long ago concluded that a woman is not property and that you cannot "own" her affections. Reason long ago concluded that "the sanctity of the American home," like that of homes everywhere, resides in the hearts of the man and woman who make it up--in their freely given loyalty to the bond; and that if that loyalty is not there, not all the guns on earth can make it so.

But in Chicago law and reason were laid aside. In Chicago a jury turned Mr. Sikora loose and in effect gave carte blanche to those who may feel like imitating him. And in Chicago the audience in the courtroom rose up and cheered.

Mr. Dies' Americanism

Last week the Dies Committee investigating un-American activities turned its spotlight on Governor Frank Murphy of Michigan and his handling of a labor "holiday" in June 1937. The holiday was not a very gay occasion for anybody but the roistering labor crowds, which went around forcibly closing stores and behaving in general like hoodlums.

To the Michigan State Agricultural College went a group of holidayers with the intent of closing stores and restaurants there. Students, in characteristic student fashion, promptly threw some of them in the river and chased the rest away. Whereupon a great crowd of labor men formed and marched in force upon the college, and it was only because a crowd of 2,000 students were induced to disperse that a clash was averted.

All the time, the lieutenant told Chairman Dies, State police were standing by. "Why didn't you go and put a stop to it?" the Representative asked. It seems the Governor, head of the police, wouldn't issue the necessary order. "Didn't you realize the great danger to human life and property...?" "Yes, sir. But the Governor..."

Well, the Governor, it may be, should have called out the guard. The behavior of the labor crowds apparently warranted it. At the same time, experience has shown that the best way to handle a strike is to temperize, to do as little as possible and to pray as hard as possible that nothing will happen to set off the fireworks. For after a while, the plug-ugly mood will quit the strikers and they will become again rational, orderly individuals, obedient to authority.

Less than masterful, Governor Murphy's meeting of the situation may have been. But un-American? Not unless Mr. Dies pridefully includes 1892, the year of the massacre at Homestead, with other memorable dates of American history.

Site Ed. Note: We also re-print from today's page a letter to the editor from a reporter commenting on a letter to the editor and response by the editors from October 14, re the identity of "Mr. Bumble".

Who Can This Man, Bumble, Possibly Be?

One of Our Puzzled Little Readers Looks The Field Over And Concludes He's A City Councilman

Dear Sir:

In recent weeks I have read the editorials in your paper about Mr. Bumble. I have read these editorials with a great deal of interest and find them fine, indeed, but I'll confess that one little detail has me stumped.

In addition to your editorials I read most of the news stories in the press, but not once have I seen this Mr. Bumble mentioned in a single one of them. It strikes me as curious that a person who is not mentioned in the news dispatches should be the center of so much editorial comment.

This fellow Bumble, now, who is he? I don't have a list of city officials before me just now but some of the comments you have made about him lead me to believe he must be one of the City Councilmen.

CONSTANT SUBSCRIBER.

Charlotte.

P. S. Are you at liberty to reveal the address of one John Garner who now and then writes to you? I would like to call on him--if he still has that system of making 100 [indiscernible word] 30 days in The "Friendly" City.

[Note--In the same candid vein of that of our correspondent: we will inform him that Mr. Bumble is not in fact a member of the Charlotte City Council, though we can well understand his mistake, seeing that if Mr. Bumble had lived in Charlotte, he surely would have been a member of the City Council. Mr. Bumble is another man from Birmingham (pronounced Bur -ming -am). Formerly, a manufacturer of automobiles, he has been distinguished lately by (1) in Czechoslovakia by giving Adolf Hitler, Poland, Hungary & Co. about a third of it outright, and the rest of it, as it were, in escrow; and (2) then saving "the peace in our time" [indiscernible words]. He is 69 years old. And he can be found at a rather [indiscernible words] standing at No. 10 Downing Street, London. W. C.

Ordinarily, however, he does not go by that name of Bumble, but by one of his several aliases, as [indiscernible words] to his Majesty, George VI, [indiscernible word] simply, "N. Chamberlain." Now we have it on the best authority that "Mr. Bumble" is actually the name assigned to him by the little [indiscernible word] birth. With all this clear, why the little reader will have no further trouble in identifying him in the news dispatches--Editors, The News.]

He Done Catch Us With The Goods, He Says

Dear Sir:

Being a newspaper reporter by trade I can appreciate the news value of a letter like the one someone sent to your paper inquiring as to the identity of the famous Mr. Bumble. However, at the risk of being called down for professional discourtesy, I can't resist telling you that I'm onto your little game.

Do you really expect somebody who knows a little about newspaper business to believe that an intelligent person could read The News and wonder all the time who Mr. Bumble is? I can't believe it possible that any person with an IQ of 60 could be so dumb. My theory is that some member of your staff wrote the letter. Or if that isn't so, then someone in the office instigated it, at least.

You may answer that the person who wrote the letter probably wasn't especially intelligent, else he would have known better. I'm convinced that the man who wrote that letter not only was intelligent but was well above the average. It's not a hard matter to judge a man's mental standing by a few lines of writing.

I suppose I'm skeptical because I swallowed a fake letter-to-the-editor while in college. Someone wrote in and complained because the school paper had only four pages. I was so infuriated at the depth of his ignorance that I wrote a sarcastic letter in reply. That gave the editor a chance to explain that the school authorities were lax in providing funds. I later found out that the editor had written the letter himself.

In the same way, this letter inquiring as to Mr. Bumble's identity gave you another chance to sneer at Mr. Chamberlain. Which isn't a bad idea at that. However, I hope you won't consider it a violation of journalistic ethics for me to call your hand. I don't suppose that it is, since you don't have to publish this letter.

SKEPTIC.

Florence, S.C.

Note--We didn't, of course, expect anybody to believe that our correspondent actually didn't know who Mr. Bumble was. But then, our correspondent plainly didn't expect us to believe it either. What he was clearly doing was giving us a little razzle-dazzle in mock-serious vein. And it pleased our hum [indiscernible word] to try to answer in the same manner.

Editors, The News.

We know, we know... But it doesn't cost anything. You got your money's worth this time.

Bumble Goes Too Far

Mr. Bumble goes too far.

For his action at Munich some sort of case can be made out. He maintains that the German air force was able to destroy British and French cities without risking the destruction of the Nazi-warrens in retaliation--that war would have destroyed Western civilization, whoever was the winner--that the only way to avoid war was the course he took--and that he has in fact made "peace for our time." His opponents argue cogently, indeed, that none of that is so. But let us assume that it is--and still it is true that Mr. Bumble goes too far.

For he is apparently out to convince his own people and the United States that his action was not only justified in the circumstances, but also that Hitler is a great and good man. So much appeared in his references before the House of Commons as to Hitler's "good-will" at Munich. And Friday Sir Samuel Hoare made a speech in which he said that it was totally unfair to charge that Hitler cannot be trusted to keep his word.

A more astounding statement it would be hard to imagine. Sir Samuel himself could think of nothing to bolster it but the fact that Hitler has not yet seen fit to violate his naval agreement with England. And it is manifest that the reason he has kept that agreement is that he does not yet feel equal to the cost of a naval race. He prefers to dominate the air. For the rest--

Leave aside Versailles, as being a forced treaty. Leave aside even Lausanne, which was not a forced treaty. Consider only two cases of Hitler's own word, thus:

1--When he entered Austria, he solemnly assured the powers that he had no notion of annexing the country. Within a month, he had annexed it, lock, stock, and barrel, and quite openly.

2--Three weeks ago, he gave his solemn word that he wanted no territory which was predominantly inhabited by the Czechs. Today he has already seized fifteen towns in which the Czech population is at least four to one as against the Germans. One of those towns has 50 Czechs for every German, and another has 70.

When Mr. Bumble's government takes to asserting things of this sort, it is getting most dangerously close to adopting Nazi methods on its own account. For it is a standard part of the Nazi technique continually and brazenly to assert what is patently not so.

 

And, also from the page today:

The Elusive Shrimp
(State Port Pilot)

The shrimping fleet has been considerably augmented during the past several days with the arrival of more boats from up state. The boatmen are all of the opinion that a touch of really cold weather will result in large catches.

In cool weather the shrimp settle at the bottom and the trawlers scoop them up with more or less ease. When the temperature begins to rise the shrimp swim everywhere between the bottom and surface and, as the top of the trawlers are only a few feet from the bottom, the catches are small.

Hey, Irving, still don't believe there are sea changes at work threatening you? You could be, this time next year, Irv, floating out on a garbage barge in the Mississippi, as a dumb, dumb, dumb dead Irving, having dr-w-owned in the great flood of '06.

Instead, we propose a sit-down strike--on the oil industry, which is bleeding you dumb-dumb-dumb ...dry. Call it, the Parks Strike.

Incidentally, the shrimp industry today... Well, let's just see where once there were icebergs sinking massive ocean liners headed to Bristol--maybe that's backwards--anyhow, headed somewhere, but ultimately nowhere but to the bottom--now, there are lots and lots of crabs and shrimp roving around in the nice hospitable waters for them. Isn't that delightful? Yum, yum. Ducky. Nothing better than good crab and shrimp. Better bring your life preserver to the restaurant, however, as, well, we are now on Tropical Storm Alpha. Anybody wanna lay a bet we'll reach Hurricane Zeta-Eta-Theta? C'mon, bet-a million. If not this year, next. When we reach Omega, well. That is, unless meantime Irving should do us the favor of waking up from his dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb.

A lot cheaper in the long run to find a satisfactory substitute for the 113 year old antique inhabiting our garages, that fossil-fuel burning internal combustion engine, than to continue to fork out billions on hurricane and flood relief, Pilgrim. Not to mention to fund stupid, idiotic wars in the Persian Gulf--in turn stimulated ultimately to fill the pockets of a lovely bunch of rich-as-Crsus greasy sheiks, Both in Riyadh and in Houston, and elsewhar.

But you go on, Irv, go on believing in your little fairy tales. Just don't call on us when the snorkel equipment runs out of good oxygen. Drown, sucker. We warned you not to dive in there in the first place, ... back when you were spinning your top.

Really.

Hurricane Mooooo?

Dies irae, G-L-O-R-I-Æ.

 


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