The Charlotte News

Monday, February 20, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Having placed them sometime ago, we maintain separate the other two editorials of this date, "No Monkeying", regarding the Tennessee Legislature's refusal again to repeal the anti-evolution law, and "Freeman's Choice", re Franco's unremitting insistence that terms of surrender of the Loyalists in Spain be absolute, not in exchange for either evacuation of all foreigners, i.e., embracing his Italian and German support column, or for a promise of rendición de armamentos with impunity.

The atavistic Tenneseeans, reports "Clouds for a Minority", had it in not only for the monkey-man but also for bachelors as well, tossing about a bill, modeled on Georgia's lesser penalty, to impose a flat tax of $1,000 on them--the equivalent of a year's pay in many walks of life at the time. Thus, flatly, one could neither believe in evolution nor be a working-class bachelor in Tennessee in 1939. Sounds pretty hairy. At least they didn't make women walk around in veils.

The Cash solution? Give a tax deduction for money spent on a date.

Viewing the glass instead half-full, however, one might look upon the thing as in fact a $1,000 tax credit for marriage in the state.

No wonder they also didn't require a pre-marital examination. Many of these legislators might not have passed.

We also include the following letter to the editor on the distant history of the struggle between Germany and Italy. While a bit more Byzantine than the letter paints, involving properly the Visigoths, the western Goths, as opposed to the Ukrainian Ostrogoths in the east, conquering not only Italy but Spain as well in the late fourth century, followed by the Ostrogoths' conquering of Italy almost a hundred years later in 493, the letter does point up an interesting parallel sweep of history. Whether Hitler saw himself as Napoleon, Alaric, Theodoric the Great, Genghis, Wotan, or all of being and non-being alike incarnate, is impossible fully to comprehend. That he saw himself mystically endowed with Germaniacal spirits of his ancestors, (probably in fact his more wild and mentally tainted immediate ancestors), appears more clear.

A Man Harks Back To His Ancient History

Dear Sir:

Expansive Germany and the ambitions of both Germany and Italy to gain the rich Ukrainian lands of Central Europe are to some minds entirely new.

If my history is not too rusty, the old eighth-grade reader told a story of Germany and Italy not working together but rather fighting violently against each other for these same rich lands.

The Goths, barbaric nomads who were the ancestors of the Germans, were in full control of Europe from the Pyrenees to the highlands of Norway at that time and were the only opponents that Rome had not conquered.

For hundreds of years the Romans made many futile efforts to subject the fierce Northern men, but failed.

The Roman Empire was on the decline when the Goths decided to succumb to the lure of the easy living of the Romans, who, with a strictly cultural race, now that their need for aggression on the Mediterranean was over, were helpless before the hordes who marched through their country plundering and pillaging.

Now, the question poses itself, what if the Rome-Berlin Axis does become a reality, will Germany stick to their true friends the Mussoliniites or will they take over the spaghetti eaters also? And if they do take over the countries they plan to, will it set back the culture of the world in the same measure that they have in Germany?



Fiorello Understands

Say what you will about Mayor La Guardia of New York City, he must be given credit for a thorough understanding of civil liberties. No one has been more vociferous than he in condemning Adolf Hitler, or, with the possible exception of Secretary Ickes, more impolitic in his utterances. The Nazi press gnashed its teeth over his remark that Der Führer be assigned the starring role in a Chamber of Horrors at New York's World's Fair, and his stunt of assigning a detail of four Jewish policemen to the guarding of a German bigwig was the last word in effrontery.

But he knows, does Fiorello, that freedom of speech means something more than freedom for speech of the right sort, and that the right of the people to assemble means just what it says. Despising Nazism in all its forms, he still recognizes the right of German-American Nazis to the same freedom of speech and assembly which is the privilege of Democrats, Republicans and American Labor Party members. Hence, over vociferous protest and in spite of much pressure, he has refused to prohibit the holding of a Bund meeting in New York City tonight. Three thousand strong, the hielers will assemble.

And there probably will be trouble. Certainly the Bund is unwise, knowing the furious anti-Nazi sentiment, to run the risk of provoking trouble. But that is its own lookout. The Mayor's is to guarantee to all people, irrespective of politics or loyalties, their constitutional rights. To do less would be to take a leaf from the Nazi book.

Full Steam Backwards

Just what it is that Secretary Harry Hopkins is going to do to start up his heralded "drive" for business activity remains to be learned. There's going to be a drive, all right, and the Government's contribution to it is going to be made in several ways, the principal one of which is the "breaking of the log-jam of capital resources." That means to get industry to spending big money again for plant improvements and expansion.

Three things, principally, have kept industry from spending these recent years. One of them has been the small hope of profit. There was slight sense in putting out money unless it would return and bring a little more with it. The other two have been the taxing policy of the New Deal, the policy of taking up to 80 per cent of individual incomes, and a general feeling of uncertainty as to what the New Deal ultimately intended, as well as a general skepticism of its willingness or ability to stop spending on its own account.

So that if Mr. Hopkins puts over his drive with any success, he will first have to moderate New Deal taxing policies, ameliorate what business feels is its antipathy toward business, and give some hope of curtailed Government spending and ultimately a balanced budget. In fine, Mr. Hopkins will have to turn the New Deal squarely around and start it in an opposite direction.

And while that might be marvelously helpful, it would be, on the face of it, a remarkable sight to see engineered by Harry Hopkins, the dyed-in-the-wool New Dealer himself. Indeed, hopeful as may be, we shan't believe it until it happens.

Clouds For A Minority

The crusty crew of bachelors eligible and ineligible, may as well make up their minds and cast about them with a view to deciding what female among their acquaintances it would give them least pain to hand over their paychecks to. For they are plainly slated to go the way of the brontosaurus and the diplodocus.

So much has been apparent for a long time, as far as Italy and Germany are concerned. Both countries long ago adopted taxes that make it too expensive for any males but the filthy rich to afford the luxury of single freedom. And in England and France things are not much better. Nor has their lot been all beer and skittles even in the United States. For all along their income taxes have started, in state and nation, at about half the level where a married man's began, and the recognized exemptions have been practically non-existent. Nary a dime off for the money they sent home to the old folks, and what is a far graver thing--nary a dime off for the money that they plainly contributed to the support of dames by feeding them, taking them to shows, etc., etc., etc.

But that, it now appears, was only the far heat-lightning announcing the coming storm. Now things begin really to warm up. The Georgia Legislature has a bill clapping a flat tax of a hundred dollars a head on them, and the Tennessee Legislature has one that raises the ante to a thousand smackers--count 'em! What is worse, the Legislatures are being deluged with fan mail from wildly applauding widows, grass widows, bachelor girls and just plain sweet young things who candidly find the hunting poor. So the boys may as well say goodbye to their cakes and ale and prepare to come home of nights. Else they all are going to end stony broke, or under the jailhouse for keeps. Resistance? Can a lone Jew surrounded by a hundred thousand storm troopers resist? One of the most hopeless of minorities, these bachelors have against them not only the whole female population but also the vast ravening hordes of all the husbands who can no longer play poker or flirt with stray blondes. The line forms to the right.


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