The Charlotte News

Friday, December 22, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Hint: Fuller's Earth, of Georgia,`stanches the flow of oil, by absorption, then to be swept away as dust to the wild winds of Hesperus, ending Hell's forges.

Incidentally, when the Dog decided to get into the manger, such that no one could eat of the hay, nay, not even the Hog-Dog, let alone the horses and cattle, then the child in swaddling clothes, turned by a stroke of serendipitous fate from the Inn, and so passed over by Herod's men, nearly died of starvation nevertheless.

Such it is of an old tale, a selfish Sirius Dog which does not see.

Well, anyway, the next is the story of Amos who abided with his sheep, and decided to forego the visit with the Kingfish, of whom rumor had it in those days was to become the Sun of Apollo. But that was only a rumour perpetrated by a nice, middle-class white English couple staying up at the Inn. The Ethiope had only the horse trough in which to abide, between two chairs, and that being shared even with the Dog.

Thus our thoughts this the Twelfth Day of Christmas, 2006.

Sine die.

A Lamb Is Born

By Heywood Broun

The host of heaven and the angel of the Lord had filled the sky with radiance. Now, the glory of God was gone, and the shepherds and the sheep stood under dim starlight. The men were shaken by the wonders they had seen and heard, and, like the animals, they huddled close.

"Let us now," said the eldest of the shepherds, "go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."

The City of David lay behind a far, high hill, upon the crest of which there danced a star. The men made haste to be away, but as they broke out of the circle there was one called Amos who remained. He dug his crook into the turf and clung to it.

"Come," cried the eldest of the shepherds, but Amos shook his head. They marveled, and called out: "It is true. It was an angel. You heard the tidings. A Saviour is born."

"I heard," said Amos. "I will abide."

The eldest walked back from the road to the little knoll on which Amos stood.


"You do not understand," the old man told him. "We had a sign from God. An angel has commanded us. We go to worship the Saviour, who is even now born in Bethlehem. God has made his will manifest."

"It is not in my heart," replied Amos.

Another then broke in: "Because the hills stand and the sky has not fallen it is not enough for Amos. He must have something louder than the voice of God."

Amos held more tightly to his crook and answered, "I have need of a whisper."

They laughed at him and said, "What should this voice say in your ears?"

He was silent, and they pressed about him and shouted mockingly:

"Tell us now. What says the God of Amos, the little shepherd of a hundred sheep?"

Meekness fell away from him. He took his hands from off the crook and raised them high.

"I, too, am a God," said Amos, in a loud, strange voice, "and to my hundred I am a saviour."

And when the din of the angry shepherds about him had slackened Amos pointed to his hundred.


"See my flock," he said. "See the fright of them. The fear of the bright angel and of the voices is still upon them. God is busy in Bethlehem. He has no time for a hundred sheep. They are my sheep. I will abide."

This the others did not take so much amiss, for they saw that there was a terror in all the flocks, and they, too, knew the ways of sheep. And before the shepherds went away on the road to Bethlehem toward the bright star each one talked to Amos and told him what he should do for the care of the several flocks. And yet one or two turned back a moment to taunt Amos before they reached the dip in the road which led to the City of David. It was said, "We shall see new glories at the throne of God, and you, Amos--you will see sheep."

Amos paid no heed, for each thought to himself, "one shepherd the less will not matter at the throne of God." Nor did he have time to be troubled that he was not to see the Child who was come to save the world. There was much to be done among the flocks, and Amos walked between the sheep and made under his tongue a clucking noise, which was a way he had, and to his hundred and to the others it was a sound finer and more friendly than the voice of the bright angel. Presently the animals ceased to trouble and began to graze as the sun came up over the hill where the star had been.

"For sheep," said Amos to himself, "the angels shine too much. A shepherd is better."


With the morning the others came up the road from Bethlehem, and they told Amos of the manger and wise men who had mingled there with shepherds. And they described to him the gifts--gold, frankincense and myrrh. And when they were done they said, "and did you see wonders here in the fields with the sheep?"

Amos told them, "Now my hundred are a hundred and one," and he showed them a lamb which had been born just before the dawn.

"Was there for this a great voice out of heaven?" asked the eldest of the shepherds.

Amos shook his head and smiled, and there was in his face that which seemed to the shepherds a wonder even in a night of wonders.

"To my heart," he said, "there came a whisper."

In Code

Our German Correspondent Mentions Two Other Fellows

William L. White, the keen reporter who's circulating in the warring countries of Europe, Germany at the moment, is up against two great obstacles. One of them is to find out what's really going on behind all the parades and the radio addresses, what the people of those countries really feel and think about it all.

The other obstacle is how to get his stories unimpaired through the censors after he has written them.

In yesterday's News, Mr. White employed the device of indirect comparison, seeming to be trying to say something in such a way that the Nazis would never give him a second thought. He first alluded to rumors about the methods Nazi police were using to restore order in conquered Poland, but was careful to whitewash the charge.

Then he went on to say, ingenuously:

Of course in 1918 in America we had a lot of loud-mouthed cowards who for prudent reasons remained at home during hostilities and did all of their fighting with their mouths. If, after the Armistice, we had given these cowards gaudy uniforms, police powers of life and death over the conquered Germans and turned them loose in the Rhineland to terrorize and butcher the people, our cowards would enjoy themselves immensely...

We get you, Bill.

Save Willie!

Los Angeles Labor Council Takes Up A Bad Cause

The Los Angeles Central Labor Council, AFL, is apparently out to deprive itself of public sympathy for good and all.

It has gone on record as deploring the attempt of the Chicago prosecuting attorney to return Willie Bioff to Illinois from California to serve out a six months' prison term imposed in 1922, which he has so far escaped by fleeing the state.

That puts it in the position of demanding that a common criminal be allowed to go free because he is a labor leader. And a particularly unpleasant sort of common criminal. Willie was convicted of acting as the agent of a Chicago back-room prostitute and cutting in on her earnings. Everywhere and at all times it has been considered one of the most despicable and contemptible of crimes.

But what perhaps puts the Los Angeles Council in even worse light is that it has got itself in the position of defending Willie's labor practices. What Willie has really done with his stage hand's union is to make it a racket for the benefit of a handful of stage workers at the expense of the great body of them. Initiation fees have ranged as high as $3,000--all simply by way of making it impossible for most men to join at all, and so impossible for them to work at their own trade, since Willie has demanded and got the might to dictate to the theater people as to whom they shall employ. The decay of the legitimate theater is commonly ascribed in large part to Willie's machinations.

The Los Angeles Council may think it is serving the best interest of labor, but we somehow doubt it.

The Snows War

Mr. Stalin Finds Out What Napoleon Once Discovered

Ever since 1815 when anybody has talked about fighting Russia the Russians have smiled down their noses and recalled that they did not need to be good fighters since the snows did the job for them.

But now they are learning that the shoe fits their own foot, too. What is happening in northern Finland is much the same thing that Napoleon encountered on his march to Moscow and back home again.

From Oslo we get dispatches describing the Russian armies as in full retreat, the men sometimes riding in trucks and again walking "to keep from freezing to death." The armies of the great French conqueror would have understood that perfectly.

And they would have understood something else, too--that the country has been burned here before them. Not a house is left, they say, and not a bite of anything to eat.

It is a pretty safe bet now that Mr. Stalin wishes he hadn't begun this adventure as surely as Napoleon wished afterward that he hadn't begun the Nov. 1815 adventure. The prestige of Russia's arms is being destroyed as certainly as the prestige of French arms was destroyed in that dreadful retreat from the burned wooden city of the north. And more than that, the great man, precisely as Napoleon, finds that his enemies are multiplying as his prestige falls.

The Battle of the Nations they called that conflict at Leipzig which finally wrote finis and defeat for the fatal expedition into Russia. It will probably be an even better name for the one which may finally wind up Mr. Stalin's hopes.


Neutrality Bill Promises To Give Us Plenty Of Trouble

We are heading for trouble as hard as we can go, and all in the name of sweet peace and neutrality.

The British refused to accept the 300-mile "American neutrality zone" fixed by the Panama declaration, at the instance of our own State Department, unless it is implemented and made effective in practice.

And the stand is entirely logical. In established precedent, we have absolutely no more right to draw a 300-mile line around the American coasts than we have to draw it around, say, Australia. It is to deny England her rights as an American power established on all the American continents. If we were at war and England at peace, she would have precisely as much right to draw such a line in the name of Canada--something that we certainly would not submit.

Moreover, it is to assume, by unilateral action, sovereign power over international waters. Nothing in Mr. Hitler's record has been any more high-handed. Indeed, for everything he has done he has had some color of justification. We have none at all here, for the twelve-mile limit of our prohibition era is the greatest extent of territorial waters ever allowed by other nations to any power.

And if we are to pursue such a course, then the sole logic on which we can justify it is that of superior force. Are we prepared to undertake to patrol the whole area involved, to fire on the British, French or German war vessel found operating in it? The thing is in fact impossible to the forces at our disposal. But if it were possible, then, under the curious rules which prevail in international affairs, we might be able to make good on our title to maintain such a belt.

But at the same time we would certainly, in the name of neutrality and peace, be moving directly to war.

Relieved Note

In The End We Find Our Certain Consolation

In a speech before the North Carolina Literary and Historical Society the other evening, Dr. A. R. Newsome, the society's president, observed, among other things, the tradition that North Carolina was responsible for the submission of the Bill of Rights to Congress was not in accord with the facts.

The statement has already got a hornets' nest rising about his ears, and the storm is probably just beginning. Tar Heels take their history or their notions of their history quite seriously. And particularly the Tar Heel ladies. If the Doc called on us for advice, we'd recommend finding a nice cool cave somewhere near the top of say Mt. Blanc, pulling it in after him, and staying there for a couple of years.

Not that we have any intention of getting involved in the argument. Not us. We cheerfully don't know anything about it. What really got us interested in it was that it reminded that in those days North Carolina embraced Tennessee and stretched all the way out to the Mississippi. It made us feel a little wistful, thinking on it. Suppose she was still such a whopper? Wouldn't that be a thing to set beside "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg, Last at Appomattox" and the "biggest towel mill on earth"? And what our orators would have done with "From Manteo to Memphis"!

But on second thought, maybe it was just as well. In return for all those hornets, we would have had more headaches than we have already got, too. Boss Crump, for instance. Or Senator Pat (for Patronage) McKellar. And imagine having to live with a McKellar-Robert Rice Reynolds commission! Or that everlasting squabble over TVA. Yeah, maybe it was just as well that we let 'er go when we did.

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