The Charlotte News

Friday, November 25, 1938


Site Ed. Note: Also on the page today, respectively below and beside the column in which appeared the rest below, the following--all a bit strange, when all read a certain way, especially if so, perhaps, by somebody somewhere out to use it for nefarious purposes, purposes other than its originally intended meaning, maybe sometime somewhat less than 25 years after it was set to print.

Cash apparently did not think much of the affectionate moniker occasionally applied to him as well, "Jack".

--And another good Jack never got to wear those Texas boots presented by the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Worth on Thursday, as he said he would in private, in the privacy of the Oval Office, on Monday.

Gertie's Mephisto

(Chattanooga News)

In a swing age which puts "Nearer My God to Thee" into the hot music class, we are not surprised that Miss Gertrude Stein writes a new libretto for Faust.

When Mephistopheles comes to Faust at the beginning of the opera with his slick tongue, Faust does not say what Goethe said he said. In the Stein libretto Faust says "And you wanted my soul what the hell did you want my soul for how do you know I have a soul who says so but you the devil and everybody knows the devil is all lies."

These Words We Use

By Rowe Weaver


At a casual glance it might seem that Hollywood leading men somewhat have a corner on this market but now with the aid of charitable history there's some consolation buy-out for us homely ones. Because if you're handy at small jobs and you help out neatly around the house, you're just as "handsome" as the next one. For the word means "some handy!" Just why "being skillful" came to mean "good-looking" among the male gentry may not be altogether apparent to you, but just take comfort in knowing that handsome really is as handy does.

Fellow With A Nerve

Well shiver our timbers! The fellow certainly had a nerve!

He came down from Washington to Raleigh this week and told members of electric co-operatives gathered there that because North Carolina had used up only a few hundred thousand of Federal rural electrification funds earmarked for her, she was lagging behind the other states.

The cold truth is that North Carolina, though she still has a long way to go, has made remarkable progress in rural electrification. In number of customers served by rural lines, she now leads the South. She placed fifth in number of farms electrified in 1937, with an average increase of 39 per cent against the national average of 19 per cent.

The most remarkable part of this rural electrification is that of 7,000 miles of lines built since the program got underway, nine-tenths were put up and paid for by private power companies, without recourse to Federal loans. And the fellow comes down from Washington and tells us that we're backward because we hate a-borrowing from the Gov'ment!

Bad Business Training

She may be a center of light and learning to herself, the University of Pittsburgh, but to the local Chamber of Commerce she's just another good booster advertisement as long she keeps a winning football team, and hang the cost, or the ethics of it!

Hence, when a dispute arose at the skyscraper intitution [as printed] between the faculty, which had taken some timid steps to curb the most outrageous features of professionalism, and the freshman football squad, the Chamber of Commerce pleaded only for the continuance of winning teams "for the good of Pittsburgh." Trouble was that the freshmen had signed notes of $150 each in payment of first semester tuition fees, which they had agreed in writing to redeem out of the $47.50 a month they are paid for fifteen hours of work a week at odd (not 'ard) jobs on the campus. The players admitted all this, but said they had been given to understand that the notes were simply a formality. The faculty athletic committee agreed there had been a misunderstanding and promised to fix everything up. And the Chamber of Commerce breathed easier.

How much enlightenment these freshman athletes are receiving at the late Andy Mellon's educational plant we have no idea, but they are certainly getting business training that would make Andy shudder in his grave. Young men should never sign notes that are simply "formalities." Under the law of negotiable instruments, that's no defense against a holder for value.

Site Ed. Note: Hint: The Fountain lending, the tip of the "L". (See Note)

Word for Harold

Whatever else is to be said of the Hon. Harold Ickes, he certainly has a pretty gift for vigorous and picturesque words. For example, when he describes Mr. Dies as the "world's champion zany." For the benefit of our little readers, we record that that word, zany, comes originally from the Italian, Giovanni, which is to say John--or Jack. It has the same general feeling that you get when little Frenchmen in the streets of Paris put out their tongues at you and yell "Jacques, Jacques, Jacques," or when a fellow of low degree accosts you with "Hi, Jack." Specifically Mr. Webster says that it means: "a subordinate fool, clown, acrobat or like performer, who aped ludicrously the tricks of his principal; an assistant to a mountebank; hence, in general, a clown; buffoon; merry-andrew..."

For example, again, when Mr. Ickes coins a word to describe old Gene Talmadge of Georgia. "The eneciable Mr. Talmadge," says Mr. Ickes--and the reporters, looking it up, discover that it comes from the Greek noun "enecia," meaning "constant fever." That, we submit, is a masterpiece of description.

But a man of the Hon. Harold's talent deserves something really picturesque to describe himself, also. And so we modestly suggest that the Secretary might very aptly be called a snortbuzzcrabtart. The word is constructed on the model of the German, but, unlike eneciable, it will not, we think, drive the discerning to the dictionary.

Imperative Tolerance

It was inevitable that Chairman Dies of the committee investigating un-American activities should come back from his snooping expedition proclaiming that "there ought to be a law." Specifically, he contends, there ought to be a law against organizations "raising class, racial or religious hatred."

Well, maybe there ought. New Jersey, in fact, has such a law, a brand-new one which was invoked recently for the first time. One Hepperle, member of the German-American Bund, was run in by the cops for possessing stickers engraved with caricatures of Jewish racial features and the slogans, "Vote Gentile! Buy Gentile!"

And in that instance, popular opinion, much inflamed at present against the Nazis, probably would support enforcement of the law, or any law which saved the Jews from further humiliation. But, somehow, we think the law is bad.

This liberty of ours, which we have managed to preserve unusually well, is essentially a protection against encroachment by lawmakers. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." Not, observe, that Congress shall make laws assuring freedom of worship.

With this simple No Trespassing sign to keep out the lawmakers, the country has managed to retain on the whole an admirable freedom in the face of its decline everywhere. And since it is evident that the Hon. Dies is at bottom a champion of liberties only for right-thinking, 100-per cent Americans cast in his own mold, we think his suggestion had best be rejected and the country left to work out its own code of tolerance without benefit of statute.

Shop, and Give, Early

As the countryman said when the hostess at the dance hall tried to persuade him to buy twelve tickets for a dollar, "You can dime me to death, sister, but I balks at a buck."

The community has been pretty well "bucked" this year for one good cause after another. But The News' own Empty Stocking Fund, which is now declared open and ready for business, is, comparatively, a dime affair. Nobody has to give until it hurts, but small contributions mount up. Many gifts of a dollar or so plus a few $5 and $10 donations plus the occasional $25 and $50 offerings that some of the well-to-do people of the town make, all add up to a Merry Christmas for a lot of children to whom otherwise it would be just another Sunday, only a sad one.

And it's a strange thing about the sight or the thought of a child sad at Christmas. The hardest heart can't withstand it. The little brats may make out as best they can the rest of the year, but when Christmas comes everybody wants them to be happy. That's the spirit of Christmas, we reckon, but considering the number of children in this town to whom we have to play foster Santa Claus, we can't wait for the calendar. It takes time, money and preparation. So listen up and be prompt about it. Get your Christmas Spirit early.

Man On A Spot

Mr. Joe Kennedy says it isn't so. Sir John Simon says it is.

In September last they made a news reel in England. In it two well-known journalists discuss the Czechoslovakian mess and the appeasement policy of Mr. Bumble of Downing Street, pro and con. But the British people never saw it. Sir John Simon admits that Bumble's agents suppressed it, free speech or no free speech, lest it embarrass the conversations at Godesburg. Which is to say, lest it arouse the English people to prevent the sell-out which more and more emerges as the worst blunder ever committed by a modern statesman.

But it was not only the British who didn't see it. Over here we didn't see it, either, though the news reel was promptly dispatched to this side. Sir John Simon says we didn't see it because Mr. Kennedy accommodatingly asked Mr. Will Hays, our movie censor, to cut it out. Mr. Kennedy says that isn't quite accurate. He says he only transmitted to Mr. Hays Bumble's request that it be cut out--without recommendation. But isn't Mr. Kennedy merely quibbling? If the movie lords agreed to cut out this juicy bit--which they must have been very reluctant to cut--is it fair to guess that they did so because they certainly thought that Mr. Kennedy, and maybe the whole American Government, wanted it cut?

Before now it has been charged against Mr. Kennedy--a highly efficient man in jobs at home--that he is so inept as Ambassador to the Court of St. James that he has allowed himself to be made into a stalking horse by Bumble & Co. And this suggestion that, wittingly or unwittingly, he has connived at the suppression of the free dissemination of ideas on this side isn't going to help correct the impression.


Further Note: Incidentally, if unfamiliar with precisely the meaning of "stalking-horse", though it appears clear that Cash at least had no such precision in mind at the time, here is what the OED has to say of it, at least insofar as the uses in 1963 and afore, as someone else might have had in mind in re-interpreting the writing of the long, conveniently disposed down in Mexico, as a means of shaping the fowler's, the archer's, the hunter's edge:

1. A horse trained to allow a fowler to conceal himself behind it or under its coverings in order to get within easy range of the game without alarming it. Hence, a portable screen of canvas or other light material, made in the figure of a horse (or sometimes of other animals), similarly used for concealment in pursuing game.

1519 in Archæologia XXV. 420 Item pd for Shoyng of Thomas Lawes Stawkyng horse..iijd. 1607 Topsell Four-f. Beasts 133 This is a beast standing amazed at euery strange sight, euen at the hunters bow and Arrowe, comming behind a stalking Horsse. 1611 Cotgr., Tonnelle, a Tunnell, or staulking horse for Partridges. 1621 Markham Fowling viii. 47, 49-50 The any old Iade trayned vp for that vse, which..will gently..walke vp and downe in the water..; and shall shelter your selfe and your Peice behind his fore shoulder. Now forasmuch as these Stalking horses..are not euer in readinesse... In this case he may take any pieces of oulde Canuasse, and hauing made it in the shape or proportion of a Horse.., let it be painted as neere the colour of a Horse as you can deuise. 1621 Burton Anat. Mel. ii. ii. iv. (1624) 226 Fowling.., be it with guns, lime, nets, glades..stawking horses, setting-dogges, &c. a1698 W. Blundell Cavalier's Note Bk. (1880) 106 The use of stalking-horses is great... Horses are easily taught. Some do use to have a painted horse carried upon a frame. 1706 Art Painting (1744) 134 Giovanni d' thought to have been the inventor of the stalking-horse, which poachers now use. 1780 Pitt Let. in Stanhope Life (1863) I. i. 36 Your moor must be in the perfection of winter beauty; but I suppose with hardly any cattle upon it, except stalking horses. 1875 'Stonehenge' Brit. Rural Sports i. i. i. 5 He is enabled to drop his net over the place without the trouble of using the stalking-horse. 1902 Cornish Naturalist Thames 7 The flats of the Upper Thames, where..the wild duck are stalked with the stalking-horse, as of old.

2. fig. a. A person whose agency or participation in a proceeding is made use of to prevent its real design from being suspected.

1612 Webster White Devil iii. i. 41 You..were made his engine, and his stauking horse, To undo my sister. 1693 Congreve Double Dealer ii. iv, Do you think her fit for nothing but to be a Stalking-Horse to stand before you, while you take aim at my Wife? a1763 Shenstone Progr. Taste i. 78 Let me provide Some human form to grace my side: At hand,.. An useful, pliant, stalking-horse! 1963 Times 12 Jan. 6/2 This meant that the Europeans would regard us as the stalking horse or paid hand of Uncle Sam and would not wish us to participate fully in European affairs...

b. An underhand means or expedient for making an attack or attaining some sinister object; usually, a pretext put forward for this purpose.

1579 W. Wilkinson Confut. Fam. Love 70b, Abusing the pretence of the Gospell as a stalking horse to leuell at others by. 1594 Order for Prayer To Rdr. A4, Certaine who..serue themselues of that idolatrous Romish religion, as of a Maske and stalking horse, therewith to couer the vnsatiable ambition..of vsurping the kingdoms of other Princes. 1600 Shakes. A.Y.L. v. iv. 111 He uses his folly like a stalking-horse. 1624 Gee New Shreds of Old Snare 14 They made Religion a stalking horse to intend their own profit. 1792 Ld. Auckland in Corr. (1861) II. 423 The cause of a good mot de guerre; and under that stalking-horse, the dissenters and levellers are preparing to attack us. 1827 Scott Napoleon Introd., Wks. 1870 VIII. 207 His..popularity had..been the stalking-horse, through means of which, men..had taken aim at their own objects. 1835 Sir W. Hamilton Discuss. (1852) 520 Their conscience is merely a stalking-horse, moved by their interest, and to conceal it. 1865 Dickens Lett. (1880) II. 240 The cattle plague is the butcher's stalking-horse. 1880 L. Stephen Pope ii. 55 His [Pope's] indefensible use of Addison's fame as a stalking-horse in the attack upon Dennis.

Further Note: We shall use it now for you in a fresh sentence in 2005, 25 Nov.: Jim Crow, and all its sovereign uses and users and usurers on self-appointed commission, and its flaunting the stalking horse o' false religious premise o' a miscreant's creed bending sight to untoward action against the rights, the race, the religion, the politics, the beliefs, the hopes, the dreams, the reputation, the person of another, be damned.

L.--(taped conversation, Oct. 19, 1962): "This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich...(8:00) In other words, you're in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President." (22:25)

P.: "What'd ye say?"

L.: "I say, you're in a pretty bad fix."

P.: "We're all in it."


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