The Charlotte News

Monday, October 3, 1938


Site Ed. Note: Interestingly, J. E. Holshouser of Boone, referenced in "Blood On The Moon", was, undoubtedly, the father of J. E. Holshouser, Jr., also of Boone and four years old at the time in 1938. J. E. Holshouser, Jr. would in 1972 become the first Republican to be elected Governor of North Carolina since Reconstruction and only one of two Republicans so elected in that period still to this day. Looks like his father's carping over the unfairness of the one-party system in N.C. got through to the youngster.

Mr. Holshouser had been Richard Nixon's North Carolina campaign chairman in 1968, and our one prevailing memory surrounding his tenure in office occurred as we were battling mosquitoes down in Nag's Head on the Outer Banks of N.C. on the evening of August 8, 1974.

Suddenly, came on the radio around 9:00 p.m., as we were returning from a seafood fête-galante down in Calabash or some such place probably, an African-American radio announcer saying, "Well, old Tricky Dicky is goin' to be resignin' tomorrow at noon. Yep, folks, it finally happened. Sam caught up with him. We're tryin' now to get some word from Governor Holsyhousy on what he thinks of that one."

Such is the color of North Carolina partisanship in politics at times, even on the radio, in those days without all the Rush-mush-mouths which abound today, though in 1974 you couldn't blame anyone for it, if, that is, you were there and of sufficient age to appreciate the country's drift, a drift decidedly to the rightward steerage, in fact so far right as to be tending toward certain Fascism--come to think of it, not unlike the present.

And if any old Censor McNinch out there would like to differ, step up to the plate. Step right on up. We'll start with some softballs and work up from there. You know, like who really won in 2000? Who just got indicted?

And as for that dirty, filthy, polluted, vulgate of a play fulla sewa language, "Beyawn the Ho-rizin'!", well heyas just a example, when this heya Mayo says: "I'm 'most done plowin' up the old medder--figger I ought to have it all up by tomorrow noon; then you kin start in with the harrowin'."

Did you eva?

Then comes in this Robert fella, now just look heya--sayin' in expressed "irritation" to Ruth: "I don't give a damn about that! I wouldn't take a voyage across the road for the best opportunity in the world of the kind Pa thinks of. I'd run away from it instead. [He smiles at his own irritation.] Excuse me, Ruth, for getting worked up over it; but Andy gave me an overdose of the practical considerations."

\Well, did you eva? They are talkin' about not honoring their parents' wishes because they are contemplatin' some sort of illicit behavya, if'n you ask me.

The world has just gone to hell in a heppa stream, if'n you ask me.

Incidentally, old Elda Frank lived next dowa to the Frederick, wheya Cash lived. Hope he wudn't too distu'bed by Cash's cussin' some of the time, when the keys got all stuck up on the typewrita.

If so, why theya's always eayapluugs and blindas, if'n you want to hide frum the col-a of the wuld, that is. There's also white huuds, too. Why, yu cud join up the old Bundists, too. Then yu want be seein' nothin', neva. Go on. Hide. See what happens.

Blood On The Moon

Mr. J. E. Holshouser, of Boone, seems to take his politics seriously. He told the State Board of Elections:

"It's going to come to guns if you gentlemen don't give us some relief. Why, they won't even allow a Republican judge of elections to be near a ballot box!"

Mr. Holshouser appears to have a case. What he was primarily protesting against is that the Boone precinct is so arranged by the Democratic authorities that 2,000 votes are cast in it, with the result that it customarily goes Democratic. Chairman Lucas, of the State board, quite agreed with him that no precinct ought to have more than 600 voters, and said that if the board had the power, rather than county boards, such would be the rule. It is an old story, and simply another illustration of what everybody knows: that the election laws were probably drawn and that they are certainly administered by the county boards to the end of keeping all the jobs for deserving Democrats. And fair play and common decency demand that the condition be changed.

But guns--whew! And all over who shall be sheriff or constable. They do breed 'em hot and sudden back thar in them thar mountains, don't they?

The Winner's Worry

The Treasury has no fear that the withdrawal of the $600,000,000 or more of "scared" money which came here during the crisis in Europe will upset American business. We have been through it before. In the nine months ending June 30, when France seemed about to settle down for a spell, net withdrawals of $876,167,000 were made. Virtually no gold, however, was exported in settlement, for the reason that our bank credits abroad, arising from the balance of trade in our favor, were sufficient to cover the debit.

Sometimes we wonder if it wouldn't be safer all around if gold did begin to flow away from our shores and be redistributed. With more than half the world supply, the United States is like a player in a poker game who has cornered all the chips and is uneasy that they won't be redeemed. To be sure, gold is the ancient measure of value, but with a couple of goldless and godless nations sitting in the game and brazenly making up their own rules as they go along, anything can happen.

Meanwhile, let the "scared" money return whence it came and go to work. We've enough scared money of our own.

Boon For The Navy

Mr. Hitler's Drang nacht Osten has its potential importance in the United States. For the Nazis are notoriously busy in South America, and as the German colossus waxes greater will undoubtedly become much more busy.

When Spain finally goes Fascist, we may quite possibly see Fascist revolutions in all the South and Central American States which derive their culture from her. And that is inevitably going to put the question of standing by the Monroe Doctrine squarely up to us.

So far as that goes, some case can be made out for abandoning it. These lands are potentially the richest on earth, and potentially they are her best market, too. But there are difficulties about developing either the countries or the markets. And it is possible that we shall not find it worth the price. Nevertheless, it is not probable now that we shall abandon it.

And so the result of Mr. Hitler's march is likely to be an enormous expansion of our sea power. The navy's own scheme of having an Atlantic fleet as big as the one we now have in the Pacific--rejected by the last Congress--has a very good chance of passing the coming Congress.

Doubly Foolish

The overwhelming great part of all Americans share in the sentiments that last night actuated a huge crowd of the citizens of Union City, N. J., to break up a meeting of Fritz Kuhn's German-American Bund called to celebrate Adolf Hitler's rape of the Czechoslovak democracy. But by that very token the action stands doubly condemned.

It would, of course, stand condemned in any case. You cannot save Americanism and democracy by destroying the rights upon which they are based. And that is exactly what that crowd was doing. Brazen, insolent--all that this Kuhn and his gang undoubtedly are. But under democracy, they have a right to be so. They have a perfect right to say what they please, and, so long as they keep order, to do what they please, regardless of what Americans generally think of them. Indeed, if Kuhn stood wholly alone, and every other American hated and despised what he stands for, he would still have full right to preach his doctrine. Else free speech would not exist. And democracy without free speech is impossible.

But, as we say, the action stands doubly condemned just because the American people do so certainly hate and despise the Nazi doctrine. After last week, that doctrine has no more chance of succeeding among us than has the doctrine that the moon is made of cheese. And to throw away the rights of free speech in connection with it is, therefore, to throw it away without the slightest shadow of justification. To throw it away merely by way of discharging brutal passion.

Square Peg

Elder Frank McNinch is playing Censor again. Nine months ago he served notice of this tendency by warning some radio stations which had presented a skit by "Come Up and See Me" Mae West, who could be seen on the screen any day and whom nobody absolutely had to listen to, that if it happened again he would suspend their licenses.

And now he has 30 stations on the carpet and is threatening to grab off their licenses because, forsooth, they presented the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Eugene O'Neill, "Beyond the Horizon!" The Elder's discovery that this play is "profane and indecent" is remarkable. Nobody else has ever discovered as much, and though it has been presented in a thousand theaters in America and England. There is nothing in it that could arouse salacious ideas even in a degenerate. And though its language is a little racy in a spot or two, it is no more racy than even the movies, not to say the theater and books and magazines, everywhere allowed.

All the Elder's designation of it means is that the ideas of the whole play offend the ideas of Elder McNinch. And this attempt is pretty conclusive evidence that the Elder's talents need to be transferred to some other field than the one they now adorn. We need no Government censorship of radio--not anymore than we need a Government censorship of newspapers or books or the stage or the screen. And certainly, the last thing on earth we need or want is a radio censorship which would make all programs conform to the rigid and bleak prejudices of Elder McNinch.

Fossils Of The Law

In Brooklyn a grand jury which has been in session for a month and which already has returned 250 indictments, stands to see all its work undone because one of its members wears petticoats (well, anyhow, dresses), instead of whiskers. The enterprising New York Law Journal has discovered (1) that women are among those who must be excused from regular jury duty in New York when requested, and (2) that, under a statute more than a hundred years old, persons who must be excused from jury duty upon their own request cannot serve on grand juries.

The general public will be inclined to think that the New York Law Journal has been very busy about nothing, and that it would have been better for the taxpayers and everybody else if this old law had been left to sleep in oblivion. But there the thing is now, dragged out into the open, and we suppose that, being the law, it will have to be enforced, however asinine it may seem.

There are hundreds of such old laws lying around in legal attics of all the states, and they are forever and eternally being dragged out by somebody to snarl things up--often to make life miserable for perfectly decent people--and there ought to be some way of disposing of them for good. Why on earth shouldn't every state have a code which would have to be reenacted every ten years, with a clause specifically killing all anterior statutes not contained in it?


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