The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 30, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Anent "The Gentler Sex As Warriors", obviously none of them had anything, when compared to England.

Birds of a Feather

During his radio performance in Los Angeles the other night, Eddie Cantor told a joke about Hitler. A man and his wife in the audience, plainly incensed, got up and left the studio. Outside they were set upon and the man beaten, he charges. He said that one of his assailants was Bert Gordon, "the mad Russian" on the program.

It has come to a pretty pass in America if you can't walk out on Eddie Cantor. In Germany, now, when Adolf is on the air, or in Italy when Il Duce is bellowing, you will listen to the bitter end, if you know what's good for you. But Eddie Cantor, thank heaven, is not compulsory.

Besides, it might have occurred to these patriots that in resorting to fist play because of an irrelevant difference of opinion about Hitler, they were taking a leaf out of Nazi Germany's book. They have built up an ideology, a stupid unreasoning code which makes enemies of all those who hold to contrary beliefs or wear shirts of a different color. These bozos felt so violently about Hitler that they were impelled to have a fling themselves at Storm Trooper practices.

Noble But Futile

A couple of the County Commissioners, we see by The Charlotte News, aren't going to have any traffic with that law passed this session by the Legislature, which permits a dry county to sell liquor seized from bootleggers and rum runners to the ABC stores instead of destroying it. And it is easy to understand their viewpoint. After all, for a county which clings to the fiction that it can be dry by law as militantly as Mecklenburg does--for such a county to take to selling the stuff would be just a mite ironic.

All the same, bottled liquor has economic value. When it is destroyed, economic value is inevitably destroyed. And the County can certainly use the money it would bring in. Moreover, destroying it is a gesture exactly like the celebrated Mrs. Partington's effort to sweep back the tide with her broom. It has not the slightest effect for prohibition. There was a time once, we remember, right after the appearance of the ill-fated MAFLO and the ensuing flurry of raids by the cops, when the bootleggers were reported as having raised their prices. But we always suspected that the booties were merely using that as an excuse to get more for their goods, and that there never was any real shortage.

What destroying the stuff mainly does, quaintly enough, is simply to create a new market for a bottle to replace every one disposed of, and so in the end to put more money into the pockets of the people who are the prohibitionists' pet hatred--the distillers.

A Pious Declaration*

Into the Reorganization Bill which Congress sent to the President was written this declaration:

"The Congress hereby declares that by reason of continued national deficits beginning in 1931, it is desirable to reduce substantially Government expenditures, and that such reduction may be accomplished in some measure by proceeding immediately under the provisions of this act."

This, if you will pardon an impolite word, is the bunk. Nobody expects reorganization along Presidential lines to produce any economy. The President frankly said as much with respect to the previous bill which Congress turned down, and which gave him more power. Furthermore, the maximum economies to be realized by a shuffling of agencies and bureaus are picayune in contrast to the appropriations Congress floats without turning a hair. To look in reorganization's direction for a budget more nearly balanced is to put faith in miracles rather than in striving.

Economy, if it ever come about, isn't going to be painless. It isn't going to be incidental. It isn't going to be a feat of magic. It isn't going to be anything but a decision by Congress, heroically reached and heroically kept, to stop spending.

A Calloused Legislature

This has been a most calloused Legislature. The majority faction, otherwise known as the organization steamroller, has displayed a moral insensibility grotesquely out of keeping with the upright Christian character of the man in the Governor's Mansion. Not even in a fiscal sense has it been honest with itself, for the boys, with the express approval of the man, are all set to leave the budget balanced only on paper, and that by deliberately over-estimating revenue all along the line, when greater than expected income tax payments came to their rescue.

It has shown the crassest will to preserve fraud as an instrument to use at the polls against the Republicans--by eliminating the absentee ballot only from Democratic primaries. It doesn't yet know if it will retain, as a precaution to keep machine men in power, the provision to allow election officials, which is to say usually machine politicians, to serve as markers. But it is still playing with the notion.

It was only at the last minute, under the leadership of Bryant of Durham, that the House overrode its Calendar Committee's unfavorable report on the bill which would have forbidden the marriage of syphilitics in North Carolina.

The bill to require medical examinations before issuing marriage licenses was introduced early enough in this session to receive mature consideration and discussion. Instead, it remained shut up in committee until the rush of adjournment was underway, was set upon by the managers of last minutes and quashed with an unfavorable report. A motion on the floor to send it back to committee, that is, to revive it, was lost, so that the Senate as a whole voted the bill down.

Voted, in a reverse sense, to allow syphilitics to enter into the state of matrimony and to beget, if they can, syphilitic offspring like the 20,000 syphilitic children under fifteen already begotten by syphilitic parents. The counties, you see, have got to have the revenue, and the State can take no chance that syphilitics, denied the right to marry, might live in sin!

At this point Bryant brought the House back to a sense of its responsibilities, but whether or not he can prolong the mood until the bill is passed, yet remains to be seen.

The Gentler Sex As Warriors

There Was A Time, Long Ago, When They Put Males Of The Line To Death

Madame Pilsudski, widow of the great marshal of Poland, has appealed to Polish women to prepare to replace men on the battlefield if Poland should find herself fighting for her life.

It sounds fantastic. But such a course would not be entirely without precedent. Everyone will remember the story of the Russian woman's battalion in the last war, and of its bloody exploits. And there are others. The notion of the woman warrior, indeed, has haunted the legends of all people, and, as the story of the Amazons, is well known in the Western world.

Somewhere in Pontus, on the Asiatic shores of the Black Sea, they are supposed to have dwelt--a race among whom no men were permitted to live. But once a year they visited the neighboring Gargareans. The male children which resulted from these visits were put to death, but the females were reared to agriculture, hunting and, above all, war. The name Amazon, meaning "the one-breasted," is explained as referring to the fact that the right breast was cut or burned away, so that they might better handle the bow. They are alleged to have overrun Asia Minor and to have founded many cities, including Ephesus. And they figure prominently in Greek legend. Bellerphon fought them at Lycia. One of the labors of Hercules was to obtain possession of the girdle of their queen, Hippolyte. And Alexander the Great is said to have received their queen upon his march to the East. Moreover, modern anthropological discoveries which suggest that women sometimes or maybe even usually have been the dominant sex at certain stages in social development, indicate that these stories may have had some basis in fact.

In Bohemia, in the eighth century, a large band of women, under the leadership of Vlasta, waged a long war against the Duke of Bohemia, killing or enslaving all men who fell into their hands. In the sixteenth century the Spanish conquistador, Oreliana, reported encountering women warriors on the headwaters of the great river of South America--which is perhaps the origin of the name Amazon by which we know it today. And women warriors were quite common in Dahomey until the French took it over.


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