The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 27, 1938


Site Ed. Note: Now, brother, there is something to think about alright, as conveyed in "Tubs and Their Bottoms". Yessir, something to think about alright. Actors and actresses sinking or swimming on their own business merit; as goes the box office, so goes the actor's or actress's own personal pocketbook. No flat salary in advance, nosir; sing for your supper; sing well, you get paid, sing not so swell and it's the cat o' nine tails for you. Yessir, something to think about alright.

This afternoon, it being a summer Saturday, we fell asleep awhile and took a nap. We woke up a couple of hours later thinking about shelling peas and stringing beans at the home of our long-departed grandmama--snap, pull, snap. Why we woke up thinking about that, we couldn't exactly say--except maybe that once you have naval intelligence, you always have naval intelligence. Anyway, it was a nice nap.

Now we think we shall go jar some garden pickings, as well some nuts which fell off the tree.

The other ideas of the day are here.

How to Spot Liberals*

From time to time there has been mention of Fiorello La Guardia, Mayor of New York City, as a likely Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 1940. The Little Flower undoubtedly is a trash-mover. Moreover, he is scrupulously upright. What his administration has done to racketeers and crooked politicians in the big town is itself enough to make him a figure of national importance.

And best of all, of course, he is that rare bird among Republicans, a genu-wine liberal. In fact, by the one standard measurement of liberals--liberality, that is, with the taxpayers' money--he is beginning to show signs of greatness approaching that of the master liberal of our times, Franklin D. The City's budget for next year calls for the expenditure of $617,500,000, which is $27,000,000 above this year's budget, which was some $30,000,000 above the year-before's budget, which was $8,500,000 greater than the budget for the year before that.

Tail and the Dog

There is, we think, a perfectly valid answer to the question that our correspondent poses today in the letter column to our right: whether we may not be illogical in supporting an alcohol control election confined to the city alone. The argument that if the city can be separated from the county for the purpose, then a ward or even a block could just as reasonably be split off from the city itself, is a clever one.

But in reality, the city is an entity in its own right, as the wards and the blocks are not. Any town which has grown up to be nearly a hundred thousand people can no longer be considered and treated as simply another subordinate unit of the rural community surrounding it. Do most people in Charlotte think of themselves as being primarily members of the community of Mecklenburg County? Not at all. They think of themselves as belonging to Mecklenburg County only very incidentally but to Charlotte closely and intimately. And to tell us that an urban community can't meet its problems in terms of the urban conditions peculiar to it but must go on being subject to the notions of the farmers who live about it is simply to say that the tail is entitled to wag the dog.

Kid Stuff

The uproar kicked up by Dean Edward T. Lee, of John Marshall Law School, Chicago, in the meeting of the American Bar Association in Cleveland is a pretty good sample of the puerility with which the opposition to the Roosevelt Administration is continually disgracing itself and disgusting the American public. Hugo Black has been on the Supreme Court bench for nearly a year now, and there have been all sorts of conflicting opinions about his abilities. Magazine articles have appeared making him out to be a complete ignoramus who constantly embarrasses his confreres, and other articles have made him to be a very wise and learned judge. The truth probably is that he is a mediocrity who ought plainly never to have been appointed to the post, both because of lack of proper background and defects of temperament. But, certainly, he is not the first man of that sort who has been or is a Supreme Court Justice, and he does not promise to be the last.

Anyhow, there he is--there he has been sitting as a judge for a year. And the other justices have already made it amply clear that they have no intention of reversing the will of the President and the Senate of the United States of America on a mere technicality--a sound and reasonable position. In short, this controversy is settled, and ought to be closed up for good and all. And the opposition, in refusing to admit as much, looks like nothing so much as a spoiled brat jumping up and down and screaming because he can't have his way.

This Deserves Repeating

In the resolutions adopted by the board of managers of St. Peter's Hospital last night, there is a sentence which deserves to be singled out and repeated. Citing the hospital's organization 65 years ago "for humanitarian service under the Episcopal Church," and taking cognizance of the urgent request to participate in the movement for a new memorial hospital, the resolutions go on to say:

"For the reason that we recognize that the public need and the things that make for general public good transcend in importance, religious and denominational lines... now, therefore, we do... hereby agree to participate in and become a part of said Charlotte Memorial Hospital Association."

This was not only an admirable renunciation of special credit for good works performed and to be performed. It was, further, a gift of a cool 100,000 smackers in cash or its equivalent, plus the ultimate conveyance of all remaining assets and equipment, conditioned--

Ah, yes: conditioned upon the carrying of the hospital bond election and their raising of $100,000 in cash by public subscription. But with St. Peter's beneficence as an example, those two objectives should be attained easily and with energy to spare. For St. Peter's board of managers has set the keynote, and it is the "general public good" over all other considerations.

The Loyalists Hit Back

Whether you like the Spanish Loyalists or not, you have to admire their courage, determination and resourcefulness. A dozen times in the last two years, everybody has assumed that their goose was cooked. We ourselves assumed as much in April of this year. And certainly, there has been every reason to think so. Beginning with virtually no modern arms and nothing but rabbles of undisciplined troops, they have had to deal continually with picked Italian and, later, German, armies, equipped with all the perfected machines of war, as well as the flower of the old Spanish army, and the Moors. And at the same time have had to keep up the morale of a civilian population attacked by systematic murder. They have had some help from France and Russia, undoubtedly, but compared with Italian and German help to Franco, it has been a mere dribble.

Yet, while steadily giving ground, they have managed to hold on to the territories primarily essential to the mastery of Spain, and slowly to whip their raw troops into veterans. And now, when it seemed inevitable that Valencia should fall and the whole regime collapse, they have done exactly what they did at Madrid and launched a great flanking movement in counter-offensive. Yesterday, rolling suddenly out of Catalonia, they advanced twelve miles south and west along the Ebro toward Gandesa, with the Insurgent troops in full flight before them. The move is a daring and brilliant one, for whether it eventually succeeds or not, it probably means that Franco is going to have to draw off his best troops from the Valencia drive. And if it should succeed, Franco's armies, with their backs to the Mediterranean, will be cut off completely from the body of Insurgent Spain in the north and surrounded on three sides by Government troops, planted in the natural fortress of the hills--an outcome which possibly might mean irretrievable disaster for him.

In short, there still seems to be an outside chance that Spain, like China, may yet prove that it is impossible for aliens actually to subjugate a modern nation which is determined not to be subjugated.

Tubs and Their Bottoms

The New Deal's mistrust of corporate vagueness has produced an idea in Hollywood. It was spawned by Myron Selznick, one of the Selznick Selznicks who gave up producing to become a talent-broker and actors' agent, and it is to set up a number of small producing companies with a star at the head of each. For instance, there might be Carole Lombard Productions, Inc., William Powell Productions, Inc., and so forth. These soloists would take the profits or losses, which ever, and thus would become entrepreneurs instead of hired hands.

The idea has merit, not only as applied to Hollywood but for its potentialities in business organization generally. A magazine of business, Fortune, has advanced the theory that more than a few corporations are, as the President has been saying, too immense for their own good; that as a result initiative suffers; that big brothers carry weak sisters which might, if thrown on their own, strike out successfully for themselves. Distribution of ownership is wide, Fortune concedes, but distribution and management and responsibility is not so great as it could be and perhaps should be.

In any event, Brother Selznick has given Hollywood something to think about, and Brother Roosevelt has been trying for some time, more or less successfully, to give business something to think about.


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