The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 14, 1938


Start of a Hospital

This city, messires, is going to be a real city in time. We are convinced that nothing can hold it back, and one of our favorite diversions is to sit with Clarence Kuester and argue that the place really has a future. Clarence is glum about it (not really). He had counted on a hundred thousand by 1920.

And perhaps no more forward step, one that will set Clarence to gnashing his teeth (not really), has been taken in years than this suddenly materializing and conservative movement to build a union hospital. To be sure, the times, being unpropitious, are propitious in that PWA money can be had if we hurry*. There is the further timely circumstance of St. Peter's Hospital's outmoding and outgrowing of its present quarters. There is the inexhaustible beneficence of the Duke Endowment. In fine, there is a way, and apparently there is a will.

Unanimously the City Council voted yesterday to sponsor the project. That takes care of a technicality and frees the undertaking from any legalistic handicap. The rest is up to the doctors, who are the most interested parties, and to the citizens. We think that they will succeed and that, all of a sudden, this city that is going to be a real city in time will have supplied itself with a hospital commensurate with its medical needs and opportunities.

*[Deadline for applications: September 30.]

Japan Distraught

What probably enters into the Japanese decision to abandon the role of host to the 1940 Olympics is the fear of losing face through the refusal of the United States and other great western powers to participate. Movements for such a refusal have been rapidly gaining ground on the score of Japan's invasion of China and bombing of civilian populations.

But the reason given--the Chinese war--is probably the main one. It sounds astounding, certainly, that a mere matter of three and a quarter million dollars and the relatively small quantities of steel and concrete necessary to build a stadium, should be considered at all. But the plain fact is that Japan has got herself into a struggle which threatens to leave her utterly ruined and returned to the status of a third-rate power. Despite the fact that she claims to have occupied 250,000 square miles of Chinese territory she has really got nowhere with her campaign. The "occupied" territory is far from being effectively conquered, for it swarms with guerrilla Chinese warriors whose methods are remarkably effective. Even in Shanghai itself the fight is carried on daily with the tossing of bombs and sniping. And as the regular Chinese armies fall back mile by mile, the lines of Japanese communication become harder and harder to maintain. Moreover, these armies have still over three and a half million square miles of territory to fall back to, and the Chinese give every sign of making the Japs fight for every inch of it. One of the things the struggle has certainly done is at last to create a strong national feeling in the Chinese.

But the Japanese have almost run through their financial resources, have little steel supply of their own. As a result, every piece of metal, no matter how small, is being carefully hoarded for war purposes.

What is even more important is that the leaders of the country know that their one chance of winning the struggle now depends on the tenacity with which the people cling to their belief in Japanese destiny and ultimate invincibility. For that reason, they fear something else even more than the "international contacts" which they admit they fear--the possible effect on a people, which has never had the western sporting spirits, of the spectacle of Japanese track and field athletes being whitewashed by foreigners.

Don't Look at Us!*

With the City Council's enactment of the dime-taxi ordinance yesterday, a new insurance principle receives an official endorsement. That principle is, the greater the risk, the less the need of coverage. If a man operates one cab, he must be bonded against public liability in the sum of $5,500. If he operates two cabs, his average liability per cab is $2,800. If he operates 20 cabs, his average liability per cab is $370, and so on.

Hence, it becomes extremely important to get hit or hurt, if you must, by an independent dime-taxi operator with only one cab. In that case, you may be compensated. Mothers with children who play in the street should caution them to take special pains to stay out of the way of any chain, one of a number of cabs owned by a man or a company. Children should run into the house at sight of them, for obviously, if one of these cabs has recently had a bad accident, with the probability of $5,000 or $10,000 in damages, the rest of them are not insured at all.

It sounds a little weird, we concede, but don't look at us in that flabbergasted way. We had nothing to do with it. We haven't codified this amazing principle of the greater the risk, the less the need of coverage. We aren't the ones who, in the beginning, permitted the dime-taxis to operate under a misunderstanding of their guarantee. That was the City Council. We aren't the ones who revoked that permission. That too was the City Council. And we certainly aren't the ones who let them come back on the streets with virtually the same coverage, or lack of coverage, as they had in the beginning. That too, believe it or not, was the City Council.

By This Thread

The stories in the newspapers of Paris and Prague, upon which Premier Daladier's warning of yesterday was based, seem incredible enough. For they have it that behind the apparent calm about Czechoslovakia, Hitler is redoubling military preparation and plans to strike the little republic without warning.

Yet that will almost certainly mean that France will take up the gage, that the big war will be on, with Germany probably in for a ruinous beating and Hitler in for hanging. Despite their vast armaments, the odds are still strongly against the fascist powers. The Spanish war has shown that the sudden terrible blow does not break the resistance of even third-rate powers. Both Germany and Italy have had bad wheat crops and are already on short rations. And in the showdown, the chances are that the British navy is still mighty enough to break Mussolini's line of communications with Spain in short order.

Indeed, if the heads of the German state were sane, the stories might safely be dismissed as exaggerations. But the head of the German state is in fact a fanatic and dreamer, who seems to take the sensations of megalomania for the objective reality of irresistibility, and his hunches for the revelations of appointed destiny. It is a discomforting thought that the question of war or no war hangs, not on any rational consideration, but on what happens in that brain.

Foggy Counts*

The discrepancies that the County Election Board is turning up between reports from the boxes made immediately after the second primary and the board's own recount are easily explainable. Assuming, for the moment, that there was no intent among the registrars and judges to defraud, the explanation works out to simple weariness--in the case of female poll officials, almost to exhaustion.

For the State observes none of its maximum hour laws on election days. From seven in the morning to seven in the evening, these officials take down names and take in ballots: and then the long counting begins. This may last, depending upon the number of candidates on the ticket from closing time until the small hours of the morning, almost, in fact, until the clock has twice completed its twelve-hour round trip. At such times the human mind refuses to function with anything approaching clarity; the human system cries not for this candidate or that but for rest. After twelve hours of poll-watching, election officials are in no shape at all to commence the important business of counting votes. Inevitably, mistakes are made. The wonder is that anybody gets anything right.

The newspapers, to be sure, are clamorous for the returns hot off the griddle, but there would be no great deprivation inflicted if they had to wait a day or so, and the returns that they got then--assuming the absence of any intent to defraud--would be accurate.


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