The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 5, 1938


Site Ed. Note: The Fifth of November...

"Hobson's Choice" mentions Herbert Hoover's unholy alliance with the Klan Kleagles, to defeat the Catholic Al Smith in 1928. Hoover lived until 1964. Hoover was a mining engineer. He should have probably remained so.

Such tactics and unholy alliances undoubtedly got another President killed in 1963.

Such tactics, obstinately clinging to stupid and absurd traditions--misinterpretations of the traditions of others, deliberate misinterpretations translated to the more stupid as interpretations true--for the sake of traditions, still go on in our land and around the world. Their unholy allies just no longer usually call themselves Klansmen.

Instead, the clannish rings run businesses and corporations, sometimes. Monopolies which the trust-busters under TR tried to curtail for its increasing destruction of the economy of the nation and the world, until two world wars were fought essentially over those ill effects on the populaces of the countries of the Pacific and Europe.

Companies, such as oil companies. Such as tobacco companies. Such as steel companies.

You want to talk about a thousand pieces--scatter those Jokers to the wildcatter winds and watch them howl their ghostly sins. Start with the oil depletion allowance cutback being sought by the Kennedy administration. That is, that tax deductions would be limited for drilling of dry wells, a substantial incentive for wildcat drilling--including drilling intentionally for the sake of drilling, knowing nothing was there, just to get a tax break at the expense of the public coffers. And then the entirely subversive Surgeon General's Cancer Warning Label on the side of those cellophane packs, proposed then also and implemented in 1964. Oh, how awful.

They kill to keep--theirs. They may also die, of course, as all we do. But maybe soon. For the cap is melting--at their insistence. Santa's reindeer have little hunting ground left on which to tread. How will Santa make his rounds? In a Hummer? That thing won't fly. In an airplane? That thing won't fly around the world in one night. Looks like we'll have to repeal Santa altogether if we go on driving our carbon from way down deep in the earth's surface into the atmosphere. At least, we hear, there may be some good news on that front, as yesterday, the amendment for Arctic drilling in Alaska got canned by some folks who can see.

So we'll see. Heretofore, however, not satisfied with killing millions by selling the drug of nicotine, not satisfied by killing millions with the oil, the steel, the fossilized remains of all the killing of the living carbon back to the caves, no, not content until the Four Horsemen ride to fulfill their destiny, to cap it all--the final victory, all gone, poof, puff, to hide their sins, even from the spirits, these company men have men moving ever onward toward that final procession to the head of the font of all, the Sun King, Apollo and his divine hosts up on Mt. Olympus in Rome, that is somewhere the other side of Mercury.

Why did you dress in drag that Day, boys, you old sovereign sons of siccers? That's why he turned suddenly in confusion to your faces, wasn't it? He recognized you, you tricksters.

But they forgot one thing: When in Dodge, you don't mess with the likes of--Nanny Cash.

Here's Mr. Broun's take on "The War of the Worlds":

The Nutsy Happens

By Heywood Broun

The course of world history has affected national psychology. Jitters have come to roost. We have just gone through a laboratory demonstration of the fact that the peace of Munich hangs heavy over our heads, like a thunder cloud. Here, I think, is testimony as to the rightness of Roosevelt in his speech concerning the futility of "security" passed on fear. And if many sane citizens believed that Mars had jumped us suddenly they were not quite as silly as they seemed. Things almost as strange as a war of worlds are actually occurring in America today. For instance, if somebody had predicted a month ago that an American political rally would be featured by motion pictures of Mussolini and Hitler and the presence of Fritz Kuhn and uniformed storm troopers I would have said that such a thing was utterly impossible.

But it happened on Sunday night when John J. O'Connor spoke at the Hotel Commodore in furtherance of his campaign for re-election to the House.

You may remember that Mr. O'Connor has stated that he is intent upon fighting New Deal measures, because they threaten dictatorship.


Until I read about it in The New York Times I hardly expected that any political meeting would feature a mocking imitation of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt's voice and manner. But in cold type I find that one of the headliners at the O'Connor rally for decency and democracy was Mrs. Elizabeth Dilling, author of "The Red Network," and that Mrs. Dilling for the edification and amusement of the two thousand assembled "gave a brief impersonation of Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt and criticized her for being 'all for the comrats' (sic)."

Such an extraordinary departure from what has been considered even passable in politics seems to me just as surprising as an invasion by the Martians.

Moreover, Mr. O'Connor has been presented as a conservative whom "the better elements" should delight to honor. He used to be a Democrat, but he captured the Republican primary in the Sixteenth through the support of the Silk Stocking element. "You know really, my dear, this district ought to send a gentleman to Congress."


It may be that Mr. O'Connor is less conservative that he asserts. At any rate, he has broken a precedent and, in the opinion of this commentator, established a brand new all low for political matters.

An invasion from Mars would be surprising, but Representative Dies has just asserted heatedly that it is "un-American" for a radio chain to allow a Washington newspaper man to answer him over the air without giving Dies an opportunity for rebuttal. Mr. Dies seems to have a totalitarian complex. It is outrageous, he contends, that anybody should be permitted to challenge the opinions of the Fuehrer of a Congressional fact-finding committee.

And recently I have read speeches by "Lovers of Peace" contending that the all only way to avoid Fascism in this country is to have America enthusiastically accept the leadership of Adolf Hitler.

No, come to think it, I don't believe invasion by the Martians would be particularly surprising, after all.

Site Ed. Note: And this, which is this:


(Horace Horse, Stanly News & Press)

But enough about football is always sufficient, and if I keep on palavering about it, the circulation manager is liable to utter a bitter protest, due to his experience in the past with athletic news. Two or three years ago, a subscriber of long standing literally stomped into the office, and ordered the circulation manager to stop his paper, to do it in a hurry. Naturally, if a man is visibly mad when he issues such an order, an effort is made to ascertain what is the immediate cause of the decision to have his name removed from the mailing list. So the circulation manager asked him what was the trouble.

"Well," he said bitterly. "Your old paper ain't any count. You don't print nothing but ball games."

He happened to be a citizen of a community which had gone wild over basketball, and he was entirely out of step and sympathy with the so-called "athletic hysteria." He wanted nothing in his home that reminded him of the "basketball-craze" of his neighbors, and so he had his name chopped off the list.

Heroes Of Our Time

(Macon Telegraph)

In the old days the American soldier of fortune, who fought in a foreign land came back and wrote pieces for The Saturday Evening Post telling what a bully time he had. Nowadays the American soldier of fortune who fights in a foreign land comes back and tells the Dies committee how the ruthless army he hired out to stuck him out in places where the enemy army could shoot at him up until the time he deserted.

Further Note: Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been reading some of this stuff, trying to figure how who the Nazis, who the Fascists, who the Communists, especially in 1963, with all them Reds a-floatin' about in martoonis and cartoonis and on the rad-io and on the tele-star-vision machine which was a magic box full of kleenex puffs and key blur elves and all sorts of Red stuff to bewholed and gobble your mind and cause you to shout hosanna, heysanna, susannah, oh, and bo-nanaza, and bo-bana, fo-fana, and get a gun and shoot or cleave someone.

Have a little sympathy for ol' Gloomy Gus and Hobart Jaegar Heever and all their lil slap-happy stooges with their mens separated from their rays and their actusies separated from their reusies.

Wise, we was seein' this movie a just few years ago, no doubt Red-inspired propo-genda, yet also with some people in it we like to watch. "I's On You" was the name of it, we think. It was all about the See-Eye A's, which in any other language is just the zee bees. We was also readin' about them May Sun Bees and the Chicken Bird Flew. We just about propped our paints to draw a pitcher on the ezel.

Do you remember the night David Brinkley laughed all over himself when giving a story about Red Dye No. 2 being possessed of carcinogens, causing the banning of the sale of the maraschino cherry? (We forget whether that was on NBC Blue or Red.) That made us sore as a heel though, because those maraschinoes were trying at the time to invade our martoonis and rossies on Sullivan's Island out here in the Atlantic Charter boat race. Now, that David Brinkley--where was he from? Some kind of Yankee if you ast me. Saw him once in Mammorial Haul down at that ineffable Red watering place, Pullpit Hole, speakin' about Dicky. That was '73. He said he thought Dicky was mentally un-stable. Now, ain't that just like a maraschino cat? Dicky was so stable a man as we never saw. In fact, we saw him up once at the stable preparing his horse. Had no writer. But he hired him one, from the tower, and, a reader, who we can't tell, and well, the rest is his story on tomorrow and yesterday's Saturday night news.

That David Brinkley, he should have redd TR all about those Duke Laws. Duke Laws always win out in the end. Every Duke knows that. Hain't he redd Measure for Measure? We learnt all about that in Huntin' Class, ninth period.

Did not.

Did, too.

Can we paint the fence now, Dicky.

Get away, Alice. Take your Rabbit with you. Tom and Jerry want to paint some, now.

Now, Anheuser, you just sit there and watch. You've been misbehavin' on your catch.

Clyde Dale, if we have told you once, we have told you twice, you are not the Four Horsemen. They lived and died long before you got here. They were Checkered.

Dicky, put down the checkers. That is not what was meant. This is history class, not playdoh time. Get that next period in philosophy from Dr. Descartes.

As coach once said, the best of fence is a good Deefence.

But, we might add, maybe the best fence of all is just a hedge, a parry.

Jack has the soundest of arguments about that and so we will let him give the report.

Incidentally, as the class does its assignment, reading Jack's pieces, we take the opportunity to apologize for the typos in the previous day's Johnson piece. We wouldn't want to mislead anyone. Just a bit of a problem again with our dictation nasche-ware in combination with our manifold correcting eyes. That word in there is normally spelt "Carribean", but the other way has a drift to it anyway, kind of nicely ribbed. The opening parrot-graph got a little confuzzled, too. There was an "of" missing, and the second para. is missing an "a" and has an extra "chair" and "a"; also a "formally" for a "formerly" be there, too.

Speaking of which, do you know where "Honah Lee" is? We have been looking here on the map, all over the world, for some 42 plus years for it, and couldn't find it. Sort of makes us blue just thinking about it. Someone came up with some dopy explanation in class a few years back and we candidly think they were a little fogged up by the airyans at the time.

If you know, let us know and win a brand new Corfair, with an electric motor, and stabilizer bars installed. No gas needed. Fun to drive and safe and solid as a rock on asphalt, as long as a rock doesn't fall down the mountainside on you during the Peak driving season--but we're working on a roll cage for it, which is hidden in the roof struts and joist members. Prob'ly 'll be alright, then.

Hint as to the query: We don't play the harmonica, but we redd his label for nothin', then we learned his major and minor keys somehow, even though we don't even read music, just the lyrics and liner notes now and again as we listen, though sometimes we deliberately wait years upon years of listening before spoiling the fun for ourselves of guessing and interpreting, if we can't figure it out immediately. What we don't do though is to figure we know all the meanings meant all at once, and then go hopping off into becoming cointel. prose.

Just some more music of the times for your consideration.

One last thing for today: We got some cards and letters over the last few days which made us feel mighty good. And, well, we'd just like to say that we appreciate that and, well, no need to thank us. It's our job and we kind of like it. But, here in Dodge, a-way, way out here on the prairie, practically in the middle of nowhere, that is, if it weren't for Lawrence down the street a-ways doing his thing with the bubble machine, it does sometimes get awfully captivating and a little lonesome. Last week, we had to stop a lynch mob from hangin' Chester. They looked in his genealogical records and found some things they didn't much cotton to regardin' heritage, which they said undoubtedly led to his limp and kind of slow wisdom. Then Doc got all riled and wanted to call the law and the temperance league on Miss Kitty and her charges; and then Miss Kitty, well, she was looking to get Doc de-licensed for being too much into temperance, not looking after her girls, up stares. But, somehow, we got them all calmed down again--for now. Had to call in this musical group to do it: the Travelin' Merry Wilberjons, they call themselves--though they change their group name, they say, with each town to which they go, for fear that the outlaws might catch 'em for stealin' all their trade, rustlin' their cattle on which they regularly change the brands, such as where "X" becomes "Ж" or "╬" becomes "╫". (Ouch, we know that had to hurt that cow pretty badly.) But we caught the rustlers last week and rather than take up space in the Dodge jail, or just hang 'em on the gibbet the way a lot of towns hereabouts do, we have 'em singin' down at the saloon every night. Miss Kitty gives 'em singin' lessons during the day. So, it isn't always easy keepin' order here in Dodge. But, to keep in shape in case the rustlers get too out of line, we draw with the Shadow to our back once every Saturday night--just to keep in practice. We fire upon a straw man, just a scarecrow. You know, like in the Wizard's story. Don't even have a gun, just our finger. Every day is a new challenge. Though you wouldn't know it, since we got our appointment from the Bald Eagle, we've never had to fire our gun once on a live target here in Dodge, at least not--yet.

Two Quotations

"It is perfectly clear that what is desired at Washington is a subservient Congress that will delegate its passport to the Executive branch and to the bureaus operating under that branch. It is clear that the Executive branch desires a man in the Congress who will do just what they are told to do. This is destruction of parliamentary government."

--Senator Bailey in America's Future, a periodical evidently inspired by Publisher Frank Gannett's hatred of the Administration.

"There is no reason whatever for bitterness of feeling within the party. There are differences of opinion. There are those who consider that some policies have not been as well considered as they might have been, but this does not justify anyone in a loss of faith in the President or the national leadership."

--Senator Bailey in a letter to Gregg Cherry, chairman of the State Democratic Committee

--And Comes Out Here

Nobody in WPA, Messer Harry Hopkins has said, and we believe he means it, need feel that he is obliged to sing a Democratic tune for his supper. WPA at the top is devoted to a principle--at the top. The principle, toward which the Democratic Party is only a means, is that the stuffs of life should be distributed to those who lack them, with no thought--at the top--of exerting direct coercion on those who receive them.

Yea, but the top is only where the money goes in. It comes out here. It comes out of many small offices presided over by many small men whose chief claim to the job is political. It comes out under the eyes and influence of many petty officials such as one McElwee in Pennsylvania, who wrote WPA workers ominously that their "would be no excuse" for their failure to attend a Democratic rally. It comes out by the gracious dispensation of such political sharpies as Guffey of Pennsylvania, whose friends invoke his name, without his knowledge or consent, to conjure WPAers, and seem amazingly to retain his friendship while he obtains immunity from prosecution for electoral malpractices.

One of the most moderate statements of all times was that of the Republicans yesterday that "relief funds seem to be playing a distinct part in this year's elections." If relief funds don't carry Pennsylvania for the Democrats, it won't be because of any failure to exploit them to the fullest.

Britain Balks Us

Japan takes a leaflet from the book of the European Fascist powers as she summarily gives us to understand that she plans to kick out of the Nine-Power Pact, shove us out of China, and what are we going to do about it?

There isn't any use in dodging the fact that we can't do much about it, unless we are prepared to fight rather than be thrown out, which at present looks highly improbable. We can, to be sure, clap Japan on our tariff black list and shut off her credit here, thus depriving her of the sale of goods to us which in 1936 amounted to $171,744,000, and also cutting off the supplies of cotton (she's our No. 1 customer), iron, etc., which he has been securing from us in return for her goods. And we can go further and amend the neutrality act, so as to allow China to secure all the fighting machines she wants from us, if only through Russia. But all that means the loss of our own Japanese trade, which in 1936 ran $204,000,000 and which we need.

And--there is a joker in the deck. England, as usual said she left us out on a limb in 1931 in the case of Manchukuo. The reason for that betrayal, most observers are agreed, is that England hoped to capitalize on the Manchukuo steal by playing banker to Japan. She failed. That Mr. Bumble told the House of Commons the other day that it is very foolish for anybody to talk about Britain losing out in China just because of the Japanese conquest: for, said he, Japan has to have capital, and England stands to be her banker--thus proving that he still clings to exactly the same view his predecessors had about Manchukuo. And, of course, if England plays banker to Japan, our own efforts at cutting her off from capital will be largely nullified.

Two Are Ignored

In his appeal for the election of "liberal" candidates last night, the President made two significant omissions. He ranged around pretty well over the field. His praise for Governor Lehman was unstinted. So was his praise for Governor Murphy of Michigan. And even Mr. Bulkley of Ohio, who is a "liberal" only by excessive courtesy, came in for kind words through the back-handed process of branding the original Taft (Mr. Bulkley's opponent for the Senate is of course Charles H. Taft, the son of the late President) as reactionary.

But for hard-pressed Governor Earle in Pennsylvania there was nothing. Nor was there anything for the Hague candidate for the Senate in New Jersey. The President was talking about "liberals," you see. And moreover he had just said:

"No one will order us how to vote..."

And Hague, of course, happens to be probably the least liberal man in America, and his candidate is bound to take orders from him. Moreover, there is very good evidence that in Pennsylvania WPA workers are being ordered "how to vote"--i.e., for Senatorial Candidate Earle. And everybody knows that many thousands of people are going to be ordered "how to vote" in Jersey City and New Jersey generally, and that if that isn't sufficient to carry the election, the Hague machine will manufacture the necessary majority out of thin air.

Send old Jim Farley to the rescue of Mr. Earle and the Hague? Oh, yes, that has already been done. But when the President himself is talking and urging the election of "liberals,"--well, it's simply less embarrassing to ignore these allies.

John R. Purser

The city will be saddened at the sudden death of John R. Purser in an automobile accident yesterday. One of the many Union County boys who came over to Mecklenburg, Mr. Purser was almost a native son. In his 46 years here, the whole of his adult life, he took an active part in business and civic affairs, displayed a keen interest in education and municipal government, and made many friends who will be grieved of the fact and the matter of his death.

A kindly man, it was characteristic of him that he had given a lift to a couple boys, who were in the car when it met with mischance.

Hobson's Choice

The Senate Campaign Expenditures Committee reports that the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania has undoubtedly (1) ordered numerous Republican WPA workers to register Democrats under penalty of losing their jobs, (2) made it plain to owners and drivers of trucks working for the WPA that they would do well to kick in with $100 contributions to the Democratic campaign chest, and (3) that other WPA workers have had it made clear that contributions are expected from them, too. In the same breath, the Committee also announces that the Republicans in Philadelphia seem to be planning (1) to manipulate voting machines to their advantage in Tuesday's election, (2) to buy the support of Democratic committeeman, and (3) to remove the registration cards of many voters.

There you have it. The voters of Pennsylvania have no real choice save that between tweedledum and tweedledee, the pot and the kettle. The Democrats deserve to be turned out, yes. But to turn them out you have to vote for the old Republican Philadelphia machine, by the record probably the most corrupt the country ever had. And all over the country, the choice is much the same. Do you suspect skulduggery in Washington with reference to WPA, Hague? Do you dislike the obvious manipulation of post office jobs? Then you have before you the dreadful memory of Teapot Dome, of Hoover's alliance with Bishop Cannon and the Klan Kleagles of Walter Brown. Do you resent the obviously cynical attitude of Democratic leaders in North Carolina toward election frauds? Then you have before you the memories of the Republican frauds of the '90s of Dan Russell.

The whole American political system is shot through with corruption. And to heave out one party and turn in the other never really cures anything. All it ever does, at the best, is to chasten those turned out for a very little while. Back in power, they tarry but briefly in going back to their old habits.


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