The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 25, 1938


Site Ed. Note: Speaking of the Dog Star, we thought we would show you non-astronomers where it is on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, as printed in the Columbia Encyclopedia, 1993 ed., at least, though not so in earlier editions. The diagram itself has been around, however, in one pictorial form or another, since 1929. So here it is:

The Treacle Front

Sirius, Dog Star, is still a long way from his house in the heaven, but the silly season seems to be rocking along nicely, thankee. Seated up here in our black and chromium, air-conditioned and streamlined offices, as cool as any cucumber, and giggling sadistically at the world as it sweats under the dreadful weight of sun and humidity outside, we pass over the fact that 100,000 Japanese say they have 300,000 Chinese "surrounded" at Suchow, that out in Oklahoma City, where heat is heat, a knit goods dealer is showing around a pair of drawers (we didn't say shorts) 80 inches about on the top-side and swearing they are for a man in Beaumont, Texas; that a man in Brooklyn named Martin Juhascz thought they meant him when they called Joseph Kross for jury duty in municipal court, and that nobody found it out until he had served--we pass over all that to give you a really salient exhibit.

Up in New York City the 66th convention of the Long Island Federation of Women's Clubs has adopted a resolution turning thumbs down on the sturdy and beautiful old Saxon word, housewife, and demanding that the person who burns your toast shall hereafter be known by the gooey name of homemaker. Bah! The very recording of the abomination has got us to sweating, too, in spite of our conditioned air.

Site Ed. Note: The case mentioned is Helvering v. Gerhardt, 304 US 405. Being a tax case, it is most elemental. So...

Charge to the Rear

The Supreme Court decision that the Federal Government can legally tax the salaries paid by the New York Port Authority seems to dispose of the notion that a constitutional amendment is necessary to carry into effect the President's proposal that all Federal and state salaries be made subject to income taxes.

And so, of course, Congress, seeing here a fat and untapped source of revenue, will practically fall head over heels in its haste to enact the proposal into law? Like heck. Majority Leader Barkley is already out to say that the case requires "the closest study" before a bill is prepared and that it will be 1939 at least before the statesmen can get around to considering it. And the ayes from both sides of the Capitol make a deafening din.

Ah, well, it's easy to understand the boys' reluctance here. What they are asked to do is to vote to tax themselves--and how! Let the Federal Government start this thing, and the states are sure to retaliate in kind. And what state income taxes on top of Federal can do to a $10,000 a year income is a holy caution. The private citizens who have sufficient income to pay income taxes get it in the neck that way, to be sure. But jobholders are used to the notion that it is their business to impose tortures, not to suffer them; and they find the idea of imposing them on themselves, with their very own hands, peculiarly repugnant. So repugnant, indeed, that it is our guess that not only 1939, but 1949, will come and go without their ever having got around to it--unless somebody turns on a lot more heat than has yet been turned on.

The Whirl Policy

The French and British efforts to get the United States to join them in applying diplomatic pressure to Germany as regards Czechoslovakia, brilliantly lights up the confusion in which our foreign policy is currently involved.

In common sense, there seem but two possible courses we can take. We can assume with the strict isolationists that we can successfully stay out of a world war and refuse resolutely to have any part in quarrels outside the Americas. Or we can assume with the interventionists that in reality it is impossible for us long to stay out of a world war, and try to head it off by making it perfectly plain to any potential aggressor that, if he goes ahead, he'll have to deal with us also.

At Chicago last Summer Mr. Roosevelt seemed to adopt the latter course. For what he proposed was exactly what England and France are asking now. And sometimes the State Department has appeared to be vaguely steering in that direction, as in the case of Japan. But sometimes, as in the case of Spain, it has obviously been steering to exactly the opposite quarter. And now it is apparently going over to flat isolationism in the case of Czechoslovakia.

Maybe that's the best course. We aren't arguing to the contrary. Mr. Chamberlain's government has pretty clearly betrayed the principle upon which Mr. Roosevelt originally proposed the joint action of democracies to keep down war. And so we might very well be justified in heaving over the idea of co-operating with Britain. But certainly, it is high time we charted some sort of definite course and quit yawing with every wind that blows.

Explaining A Lapse

It was largely a combination of Northern Republicans and Northern Democrats which yesterday, by a vote of 314 to 97, rammed the wage-and-hour bill through the House minus the Southern differential. But the Southerners themselves put up no very active fight to include the differential. The Ramspeck amendment which would have added it to the bill was casually disposed of by a vote of only 139 to 70. That is, it found only 70 men who bothered to go actively to its defense. And that is only about two-fifths of all Southern members. Moreover, in the showdown, many Southern members, including five from North Carolina, voted for the measure as it stood. And many others, among whom were two Tar Heels, abstained from voting.

Yet it is obvious that most of the Southern members believe in the desirability and even in the necessity of a differential for the South. What explains their failure to stand up for it, then? First, we guess, the realization that they couldn't possibly win against the coalition of Northerners anyhow. Secondly, the belief that it didn't matter much one way or the other--that the differential will be restored to the bill in conference with the Senate (which has passed a bill with a differential), or that, in the squabble over it, both bills will be lost altogether. And finally, the canny reflection that this is, after all, an election year, and that the case offered a perfectly swell chance to get themselves on record as voting for, or at least not voting against, the measure--to get themselves in position to say to Labor, "Well, boys, we did our best for you, and if it didn't come off..."

Aftermath of a Victory

Recent news stories about the fictitious Mr. Robert Taylor, who orders 30,000 and 40,000 pints of whisky every month from one distiller and nobody knows how much more elsewhere, and about the nocturnal movements of Mr. Carl Lippard, who seems to chaperone liquor cars on the highways, remind us that in ten days we shall have reached the first anniversary of that famous victory the United Drys won in Mecklenburg County in the liquor election. You'll remember the promise made vicariously by Mr. Chester Morrison, campaign manager for the United Drys, that--

"... a campaign of law enforcement will be waged in Charlotte which will clean up the bootlegging joints and other places of flagrant violations of law and decency."

Conditions have improved, in all candor, in the roadhouses along the Wilkinson Boulevard and other highways. But this was primarily the result of a shake-up in the Rural Police Department which began to materialize long before MAFLO was sired by United Dry D. E. Henderson and damned by most of the rest of the populace for a piddler. And while it would be foolish in the extreme to look to MAFLO, or any organization begotten out of that famous victory for prohibition, to go to work as detectives and get the goods on the big-shot liquor operators, it must be ruefully obvious to all those who voted against the stores that they played squarely into the hands of the very worst element in the community, an element, it is plain to see, that the police authority can't cope with.

The illegal sale of all this liquor is bad enough, but the helplessness of the police authority to prevent it is far, far worse. The opening of stores would have put the big shots out of business in this county, but that is spilt milk. The question before the House now is, What shall be done to restore the authority of the police over the criminal element? It needs a positive answer.

Site Ed. Note: Here's the rest, again. And, if you thought the star was midway on the right, you'd be wrong, at least in our opinion. For we have never yet seen any real star with five points. Have you? But try fitting something like that in the little blocks on your answer sheet for the S.A.T. and see what happens, Pilgrim... They might make you a star, alright--a very Sirius one, too. Yabba-dabba. We have to go chase some Chevys.

For more on that bit about the apostrophized printing of those supposed pronunciations, totally apocryphal, as any native of either state can attaste, go here, but only if to see you dare...

At least eine kleine,...

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