The Charlotte News

Sunday, August 21, 1938


Site Ed. Note: Sounds like another song title to us: "Shoeless Manhattan". First line goes: "I'd rather be shoeless in Manhattan, with plum froze toes, than hatless in Manchukuo, governed by General Tojo"--(or something like that). Since it may sound a little dated for contemporary listeners, we don't guarantee you a platinum record, but you're free to steal the lyric, royalty free.

We are pleased to see, incidentally, that Wake Forest University's Z. Smith Reynolds Library has recently added to its online stock all of their Old Gold and Black student newspaper editions, which include Cash's 1922-23 year in law school as editor and the 1921-22 senior year as managing editor. (He also contributed some editorials during the 1920-21 year as well.) (We can't link you directly; so search for "W.J. Cash" from the library's homepage.) That saves us some work for later, though we may still add a selected few of the editorials to this site at some later time. Since we haven't yet read but a handful of them ourselves, though we've had hard copies sitting around the Tower here gathering dust now for five full years, we look forward to doing so online. (Do we get a refund on our copy expense? Perhaps in exchange for the song? We could add the line: "We do have shoes here, with winged-heeled free men seekin' red wolves, blue devils, and old golden demon deacons.")

Anyhow, again, let it be known that Southerners do wear shoes, even if Joe Jackson lost his som'ers down the line.

The other songs are here.

Shoeless Manhattan

Madam Perkins never said, of course, that in the South we don't wear shoes. What she did say was that potentially the South was a great market for shoes. But it was given the inference, at least, that the South is the only section of the country in which the people aren't shod. Not so. The Board of Education in New York City itself is worrying about the problem of getting shoes--and stockings--for some 50,000 children who are scheduled to start to school shortly and who have none and no means of getting any.

For that matter, the 50,000 didn't have any clothes of any sort but rags. But the WPA sewing shops were sent to work turning out trousers, dresses, and under-garments, and now the kids are fairly well provided for in those respects. But shoes--there is nary a prospect for shoes in sight, says Mr. George H. Charfield, Director of Attendance for the school board.

It is undeniable that the South has a large number of people who can't afford shoes that will keep their feet warm and dry. That it has no monopoly on the condition is evident, but that will be a slight consolation to the unshod wherever they are.

Carrie Nation Redivivus

Evidently State's Attorney Tom Courtney in Chicago is a stanch believer in the theory that the end justifies any old means. He exemplifies it, certainly. After a year of diligent striving to break up bookie joints by hauling their proprietors and hired hands into court, only to have them go free, he has commenced to take matters into his own hands.

For the last several days he has sent out squads of "choppers"--policemen armed with axes--to descend unannounced on gambling and hand-book establishments, to splinter everything in sight--track boards, chromium furniture, upholstery, gaming tables--without so much as a "by your leave" or a court order or anything except the D. A.'s determination to break up illegal betting, single-handedly if he has to.

He is convinced that the bookies can't long stand the overhead of having $10,000 or $15,000 worth of fixtures and paraphernalia destroyed every day; and that assumption is probably a safe one. But a graver question is raised by the manner in which he is driving them out of business. Can the law stand deliberate violation of the orderly processes of the law?

Primitive Insurance*

A break for city motorists is the State Insurance Commissioner's decision to reduce rates of public and liability insurance in Charlotte and seven other cities. Heretofore, liability coverage has cost more in urban areas than in rural, but Commissioner Boney has satisfied himself that the shoe is on the wrong foot and has ordered it removed.

The mortality tables bear him out, superficially. In the last seven years, the urban pedestrian has learned agility, so that fewer of his number have been killed by automobiles. The walker of country roads and small town streets, on the contrary, has been bumped off with steadily and greatly increasing frequency. As for automobilists themselves, the great majority of fatalities has always taken place on the highways and their number and percentage both is increasing. Motorists in cities may have more accidents, but fatalities are fewer and are actually decreasing.

Of course, nobody knows how many deaths in rural areas are chargeable to city drivers out for a lark or a trip. For that matter, the whole basis of liability rates is hit or miss. The same premium is charged on a car in A-1 mechanical condition and another of the same model that is about the fall to pieces. The man who travels all week in his car gets his insurance as cheaply as an office worker who drives to work and parks his car for the rest of the day. The chronic drinking driver is as quickly insured as the teetotaller, their premiums going into a common pot from which all claims are paid--and charged back in the form of premiums.

George, Tydings, O'Connor

We have spent much time recently with noses buried in the Record of the 75th Congress. This is pretty tedious business, tracing out the yeas and nays of Congressmen whom the President has marked for oblivion, but out of it comes useful generalities.

Generalities established so far are:

(1) That Senator George of Georgia is not such a bad New Dealer himself, if he be pardoned for not stomaching the Supreme Court bill and for voting against New England's pet wage-and-hour bill;

(2) That Senator Tydings of Maryland, while an able man who would have fitted in nicely with a Democratic President like the late Governor Ritchie or Al Smith, is characteristically and consistently opposed to most of the New Deal.

As for Representative O'Connor of New York City's silk-stockinged district, whose defeat the President ardently desires, his written record is well-nigh perfect. In the first session of the 75th Congress, only two dissenting votes were cast by him, both on minor matters. On the other hand, he voted for as much of the reorganization bill as ever got to the floor, for the relief bill, the anti-lynching bill, and even to uphold the President's veto of farm loan interest rates.

In the second session, the New Yorker continued to vote with the administration, notably on the wage-and-hour bill which his Rules Committee was generally suspected of having smothered with Chairman O'Connor's connivance. But while it may be that in this instance he was insubordinate, and while he has talked consciously and without the proper deference to his party chief and President, by his recorded votes O'Connor is an administration stalwart.

Thus is warranted one more generality:

(3) That Representative O'Connor of New York, though he talks like an insurrectionary, usually lines up with the White House at voting time.

Gallery of "Reds"

One of the things which a good many people have assured the Dies Committee, investigating un-American activities in the United States, is that the collection of relief from us for the Spanish Loyalists is entirely in the hands of Communists. But, if we are to judge from the list of sponsors on a letterhead which comes to hand with a request for publicity for the relief ship which is to depart New York late in December, the claim looks no more justified than most such charges are.

There are radicals or half radicals on the list, certainly. Clifford Odets, playwright, is commonly set down for a Communist sympathizer. Upton Sinclair, California author and politico, is a Socialist of the non-violent variety. Ernest Hemingway, author, has been accused of flirting with radicalism. Clifton Fadiman, book critic for The New Yorker, perhaps has some sympathy for the Left. And Congressmen Byron Scott and John T. Bernard have been called radical by Hague & Co.

But Author Sherwood Anderson is no Communist. Nor are Joseph Curran and Philip Randolph, presidents respectively of the AFL's Maritime Union and Brotherhood of Colored Pullman Car Porters. And much less is Prof. Walter B. Cannon, celebrated physiologist at Yale. Or Prof. Dr. William E. Dodd, late Ambassador to Germany and cousin to Booster Kuester. Or William Nielson, president of Smith's College for young ladies, or Mary E. Woolley, president emeritus of another seminary for pretties, Mt. Holyoke College. Or Helen Keller. Or John H. Cowles, Grand Commander, Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Southern jurisdiction. Or Bishop Francis J. McConnell. And as a candidate for Communism, what do you really think of Dorothy Parker, the Lady of the Wisecrack?

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