The Charlotte News
Saturday, July 23, 1938
Site Ed. Note: The law can't touch him at all, but if he sold his corn-maw to Simone, he'd prob'ly wind up on his knees peering through the happy-holy keys, like as not interminably on his own, bound to fall, not kidding you.
These three, also, from the page today:
July 23, 1863
75 YEARS AGO
The Charleston Mercury reminds those who are despondent at the last reverses, that they are not to be compared with those endured by Holland and Switzerland to secure their independence, or those of Prussia in her seven years war with Europe, or those of the Caucassians in their twenty years struggle with Russia, or those of our ancestors in their seven years war of independence, during which we were defeated in every pitched battle and had all the whole thirteen states and all our leading cities overrun and conquered for the time. Instead of our splendid victories which have won for us, in our present struggle, the admiration of the world, we were beaten from New York to Georgia. The country was swarmed over with Tories--and at one time, having but the mere shadow of an army in the field. If Generals Lee, Bragg and Johnson were tomorrow beaten in the field we would not be in so desperate a condition as our fathers were when General Washington, vanquished at Long Island, Germantown and White Plains, with a handful of men under his command, attacked Princeton in the dead of winter. He, although never successful in any great fight, never despaired. They still fought on until at last the enemy was worn out and forced to yield.
July 23, 1838
100 YEARS AGO
DEATH OF GENERAL CLARK
The last St. Louis papers we received were dressed up in the mourning for the death of General William Clark, the companion of Merriweather Lewis in his pioneer journey across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, in 1803--the history of which is familiar to most readers. His name in connection with that expedition will live through many ages.
Anyway, young Corrigan did a better job of it than the football immortal who ran all the way across the field to the wrong goal line in California's Bowl of Roses.
Nix, lads. Buttons, again!
Defining a Big Shot
We hold no brief for Mr. Odell King, the white man from Beatty's Ford Road who was convicted of bootlegging Thursday and whose counsel Judge Burgwyn warned, in granting a short stay for the presentation of witnesses, that he meant certainly to send to the roads, on the ground that "He's one of the big shots. He's not like these little Negro bootleggers." The fellow was held guilty; that's the law, and we commend the Judge's fairness in thinking that he ought not to get off with a fine simply because his skin is white and men of some standing can be found to say a good word for him.
But that he is a genuine big shot--ah, there, we'll have to make bold to take issue with the Court. He had only seventeen pints when taken in his home. Moreover, in those pints was white corn. And the really big shots around Charlotte do not deal in white corn, for that is calculated to get them into trouble with the bloodhounds of the Federal Government. Mr. "Robert Taylor," according to Cutlar Moore's ABC report, imported about 100,000 pints of red bonded stuff into Charlotte in three months. And though everybody has a good idea who he is, the law can't touch him. That's the portrait of a big shot, Judge.
The Nazis Take Quebec
In Quebec yesterday the authorities ejected a French Canadian named Leonard from his own private house, along with his wife and two children. Then they sealed up the doors and windows. And last night, when Mr. Leonard was caught trying to break the seals to enter his own house, he was arrested and carted off to jail, where he is now being held. Reason for this weird business is that Mr. Leonard is a Communist and allegedly keeps Communist literature in his house for distribution to others. And that Quebec Province has recently passed a law under which anybody can be ejected from any building, public or private, where Communist literature is kept, and the place padlocked against him for keeps.
Weird business, we call it, and weird, and hysterical, and idiotic it is. To combat Communism, you see, you begin not only by abolishing the right of free speech, which is supposed to run in Canada quite as much as in the United States, but also by adopting the first tenet of Communism and abolishing the right of property. Moreover, you place every citizen, whether genuinely Communist or not, in jeopardy of having his property rights thus abolished. For experience has amply demonstrated that whenever these laws are enacted against Communists, the term Communist immediately gets to mean anything that those in power don't like.
Reason and Rights*
Two recent decrees of circuit courts overruling orders of the National Labor Relations Board will probably get roundly denounced by the zealots who assume that Labor is always right and the employer always a villain. But, in fact, both seem to be founded in good common sense.
The first holds that, contrary to the NLRB, an employer shall not be required to re-hire an employee allegedly discharged for union activity if the latter has found equivalent employment elsewhere. The rule that a man must not be discharged for union activity and must be re-hired is in itself fair enough, though a little hard to apply to the individual case. But common sense says that if a man has found employment elsewhere at the same pay, it will be more comfortable and better for everybody all around that he should stay where he is. It might be argued, indeed, that a rabid hater of the CIO might discharge all CIO men in the hope of handpicking their successors and getting a union more to his taste. But large shifts in labor forces are extremely expensive to the employer, and so in practice such cases are not likely to happen often.
The other decree--upsetting the NLRB order that an employer must re-hire workers discharged for participating in a sit-down strike--is even more clearly sound. The NLRB itself had characterized the sit-down strike as "a foolish and illegal act." And it is nonsense to say that the legal power of the United States ought to be employed to support men in an act admittedly illegal.
The State Board of Elections appears to be doing its level best to get to the bottom of the innumerable charges of fraud raised after the first and second Democratic primaries. In Swain County, for example, it has found "as a fact" that the grossest violations of the election laws took place, and it has accepted the resignations of the chairman and a member, both Democrats, of the Swain Board of Elections.
But fraud, according to our law books, is a felony. And fraud in an election is a double-barreled felony, since it injures (a) the candidate defrauded and (b) the State. And for committing even a single-barreled felony, the law lays down grave penalties. There are men behind bars in State's Prison for the very reason that they were convicted of fraud. They ought to have company.
The excuse that election frauds are just politics has less than any standing at all. These are the worst possible frauds, since they reflect upon the probity of the State that makes and enforces the laws. And these laws prescribe that it is the duty of the State's Attorney General, when requested by the Governor, to appear for the State in any cause or matter, criminal or civil, in which the State may be a party or interested. It's about time that the Governor was calling on the Attorney General to initiate criminal actions against violators of the election laws.
Another Short Yardstick
The Farm Security Administration is apt to set up a new yardstick. At the homestead project at Highstown, N. J., a clothing factory has been built with a $200,000 Government loan. And the FSA has organized a non-profit corporation, the Consumer Wholesale Clothiers, Inc., to operate it with 200 picked workers, unionized and paid the regular union scale, to the end of "determining what constitutes fair cost of production and distribution of goods under the most favorable working conditions for labor."
But there's a catch in it, precisely as there has been a catch in the case of the utilities (i.e., the assignment of the major part of the capital investment of TVA to flood control and navigation). For the enterprise is to be assured of a steady and certain market for all its products: the Government itself. And--costs are apparently going to be figured on the basis of no selling costs. Yet the merest tyro knows that the uncertain and hard-hearted market is a necessary element in the cost accounting of the private manufacturer. In short, the yardstick here promises to be still another which is a good bit less than 36 inches long.
More from Harlan
The trial at Harlan turns out more and more appalling smells as it proceeds. Thursday, on cross-examination, Albert Hoskins, a defense witness, confessed that he lied when he testified that it was Belton Youngblood, union organizer, and not former Sheriff Middleton's deputies paid by the coal operator's association, who had fired the shot that killed Bennett Musick, son of another union organizer. He said that he had been paid $50 by a Harlan attorney to swear the falsehood against Youngblood, who had given very damaging testimony against the coal operators, Sheriff Middleton, and his plug-uglies.
This comes after one Government witness had been shot down by the admitted creature of the present sherriff of Harlan, a nephew of former Sheriff Middleton, in a bold effort to intimidate the court.
We have said before, but it bears repeating: What Harlan plainly needs is no trial for conspiracy to violate the labor act, but a trial for murder, and other high crimes, and a dozen old-fashioned hangings, with coal operators, sheriffs, and deputies figuring as the principals.
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