The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 17, 1940


Site Ed. Note: We trust the rottweiler was just serving its purpose as the sun of man.

What can we say, when it comes to puppies? We cats are just Knights in shining armour...

We once heard it said that Smithies, however, when they cuss you out, don't, but that you might wish you had been anyway,--or something like that. We have come ourselves to favor the approach, after long and exhaustive research into the various competing phenomena for effecting on occasion understanding. But don't push your luck.

Blue 2-262--hut-hut.

Ladies, we are driving Highway 54, 'twould seem, slip, sliding away, if you know what we mean.

Just a little bump to the left rear was all it took, we fathom.

Too many symbols along the way to be mere coincidence, perhaps, we glean. There appears to be a construct somewhere. What is it? Who is it? That appears the heart of the philosophical issue at stake.

And, down in the valley, the valley so low...

Well, we shan't dwell here on too much of this aside.

We pause today a moment to say goodbye to an old friend of ours, inside a bookend, but always out in the park, looking out for the boughs, and having had always, likely, his eyes upon us, for the better, not as a spy, but as a real friend through time.

At times, no doubt, we gave him to wonder...

Our old friend passed away just shortly back, and we only found out of it a week ago.

Brilliant, perceptive, inductive and deductive, the friend had all the talents one would expect for his level of achievement. We shan't detail it here, for it was already detailed elsewhere and we would only be lately come to it to do so. Suffice to say that he sailed always with the pilot, was an observer of people, had a nearly picture perfect record of events, to our knowledge mostly eschewed Anheuser with dispatch, was tall enough to be the post on any team, had the tamer of time not been unkind from the beginning, that is, and finally, after some developmental work on dell company ignitions and batteries, came to rest upon the shores where fossils meet the modern age beneath the surface of the sand, that which provides Uranus a can--teaching the art he so richly gave to others through a life, cut short.

Or was it?

Sometimes the friend wore plaid in a parade of undoubtedly the most foolish looking individuals ever to skirt the planet's recesses by the tangential arc, where the keys give us a fresh approach to understanding it better, at least must've been, in our estimation, in reflection. He was tall as a lumberjack, though, could take the kicks of the mule as well as anyone, and then move right on ahead.

We ourselves admired his tenacity to purpose. But sometimes, we need the rest, instead.

We should wish now that he had reached out to one of us, each of us, and said a hallo since last we saw him over 30 years on--and we should have told him so ourselves, in so many words, to slow it down, some, take the rest, examine the scenery a little.

Maybe, he already knew that--probably. Maybe we already did--probably. Maybe, he and we just couldn't stop. Maybe, on the other hand, he had, and it was just that we were moving too fast to see him there on the side of the road waving to us as we passed, whizzing to and fro.

But, if he did and didn't, sometimes it helps to hear it from afar from an old friend,--and directly so, not via a cold medium,--a winter companion, from an old island, but not quite, not quite yet anyway. Again, maybe he already had and did.

Such it was with us back in 1989, when an old friend took us aside and said, "Hey, slow down, you move too fast. You may die out here," or such to us the words conveyed. We heeded the warning, for the most part. All we had from it was a burned out block and a busted radiator, fortunately.

Some old dogs still have some new tricks, upon which even to turn cartwheels 'cross the floor though. Look for it and you may understand this bit of apparent nonsense as some degree of sense, even perhaps of the higher order.

So now our old friend's gone, just like that, to the other side of the river, cleared the bridge in a heartbeat. And just after we thought we had hear, revisited some wisdom from our own past to suggest it yet to others and once again to ourselves. Perhaps, he just didn't have the time to catch it.

Too late for us and him thus, on this side of the river, to find that parkbench again quietly, some 16 years on and more, on which to share a laugh, a wink of an eye and say, "Not bad, old salt, not badly perfomed a'tall. That was a good jest, old beaux."

Yet, we of the breed, those of us who 'ere and still are, me laddies--and lassies, too--those of bus, raised on the plantation and thereabouts, we must court ourselves now to the purpose, draw up our skirts and pants, longswords, cutlasses, and scabbards, pip the bags, play the herald's call, and slowly seek to find out what 'twas that happened to cause it, this early end for our old friend.

We should call it, ourselves, a chase of papers, but you may wish to provide your own calling to it.

For, as we have been informed in our time, one eyewitness is bad enough, two in coarse agreement, who usually rarely if ever reach concord, make it likely for a conspiracy of purpose; and, as elsewise we've been informed in our days as dog-seers, there's really usually no such thing as an "accident", even upon the Orphic training ground in the desert. We ourselves, if anyone, certainly ought to know. We've been there a time or two, and not a bit of it to gamble, just to observe, an occupation some there detest.

So hit the books on having been tined, et al. And let us know what you're doing about it.

Or, are you legends in your own time, unforgiving of the past, leading not but to temptation, and not a bit of it given to helping an old friend who just passed upon, and we assume well on over to the verdant, campestral embrace of that river Tyne, to understand his past a little, from the different perceptions in kind, the different aspects of signs, the changing interactions, the intersections in pace and lines, falconer fell-a-gift notions--and, of course, lest we forget, the rising of each Mighty Yak through space and time, all in, per relative motion?

If not, go to it, thus, all ye buggy, bat-eyed, frog-breathed, weaselly little foraging moose-track travelers with perception yet, and, despite all those glaring flaws, still fit to see with your tooth-aching claws.

Ride your see-saws, your horses without names, your masked, demonically influenced, bewitchcrafted, gleaming eyes and fee-faws, those which still shine in our heads, nevertheless, despite being aged perhaps a little, yet by it the weiser we hope--and give us full report in your own prime and style. We'll try then to bump you some and keep you on the road, should you stray a little into the forest.

Else, in time, we'll your names to the wires where the eagle fell report, as having contributed only to the cutting of the doe. Ye dig?

Incidentally, this morning we oped our eyes, per our most usual course, and turned the pages of a book, to John Singer Sargent's "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" for just a see-middle look. Sometimes, that old botany hurts. But if you sit there and remember a little from the distant past when you were but a wee lad or lass, it might do ye some good.

Incidentally, you've but got probably, if that long, only until April 1 to get the story straight. Else, well, we wouldn't wish to be the ones to have, and to have had before, most of it crooked in that thing you tried to call "fate".

One night, in late 1973, we were riding, riding hard, our little blue vehicle from Chesterfield-King to Pulpit Hill, along Highway Needle-Will Ming. It was late. We were driving fast, but not too fast for the conditions' checked meet. We passed a trailer-tractor rig and pulled back in front of it, neatly done without haste or regret. The trailer-tractor, however, not satisfied with its place on the road, then pulled around us and pulled forward, back in front of us, promptly slowed. We, being impatient, then pulled out to pass again. The tractor-trailer then pulled in front of us to prevent us from passing, apparently thnking us one of sin. We ducked back to the right, however, to attempt a pass in shadows of night's frau lever. Trailer-tractor pulled to the right to block us from passing. Back to the left, and so we went back to the right. We blinked our lights. Back again, and yet again, this danse macabre went, fully grinned. It being late, we being of no mind any longer to play this game of the trucker's sate, figuring the driver to be playing in it one too many hit records of the wheels, in the bargain, on the A-track, passed anyway, Denny's deckered shoved the feel, all the while as over moved the trucker and sought to run us off the macadam to the median, ye. Yet, we were much too wily for that, however; much, much too wily. We had seen these constructed plays with false feints at least once before. And, we, being in a vehicle with a low center of gravity in its core, agile as it were as the kittycat, the baby lion, still slung low and back-kneed though, its fore like a dog, anxious to resume our quiet position of contentment, lost in a little fog, even to be an o'possum, thus ready enough to flick away this flea beside us, middle cog, felt confident then simply to depress the hammer and roll on by anyway, a sea's flotsam; and so we did, and scampered on down the road, unscathed, laughing demonically the whole way, pampered, having, no doubt, momentarily reflected on an incident from that of the not too distant past in our place of daily learning and momentary gaffes' tampered kist-tick shafts.

We, you see, were born and bred in one.

Object lesson: Don't mess with a wily demon in a blue, or even red, vehicle; for these have many friends in high places who stick together when one of us be taken for a ride.

But in this example of expert driving by the dog-seer, the roads were clear.

Best to slow otherwise and let the blue-lighted trucker have the leeway in the icy patches. Else, you're liable to receive coal at Christmas, right in your stocking horse, ye dismissed flicker.

There's your lead; we, of the second viewing, suggest you go to it now, and right the tricker.


We Like Mr. Graveley's Version Of A Virtue Best

The Hon. James M. Wadsworth, Republican Representative in Congress and himself a perennial Presidential candidate, wired the Rochester meeting last night that the Hon. Frank Gannett is a "forthright man."

Far be it from us to dispute it. Certainly, the gentleman was forthright enough in his insinuation that his own efforts to save the country from becoming a "mere empty form of Constitutional democracy" under Mr. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

But still, we confess that in some matters our own taste runs to the variety of forthrightness exhibited by the Hon. Lee Graveley, of Rocky Mount, who modestly wants to be Governor of North Carolina instead of occupant of the Great White Throne.

Mr. Gannett put it this way:

"I realize what it means to be a candidate for the Republican nomination for President--what it means in responsibility, and hard work, and sacrifice. Yet it is a call to duty that a citizen can't ignore. My answer is yes."

All he left off was the repeating of the lines:

"When duty whispers, lo, thou must,
The Youth replies, I can!"

Mr. Graveley did it differently. Said he:

"I take this opportunity to make known to the people of North Carolina my desire to be Governor of our state..."


It Is A Difference Between Intent And Interpretation

Mr. Gavagan, the New Yorker whose name the latest anti-lynching bill bears, sadly induced the House to delete an amendment which he himself introduced in the last session. In its first form, the bill contained a provision exempting violence arising out of labor disputes from any application of the law.

This was removed as the bill finally passed the House, for the reason, Mr. Gavagan said, that it was superfluous. The language of the anti-lynching measure, he explained, cannot possibly be interpreted to apply to labor disturbances; and he said that organized labor concurred in the opinion.

It may hold. At the same time, judges and lawyers are a literal crew and Federal case histories are full of instances wherein laws passed to apply to a particular situation are applied to one entirely different. A classic illustration is the Mann Act.

The Mann Act came into being solely to break up the white slave traffic. To give the Federal Government jurisdiction, the traditional interstate commerce clause of the Constitution is cited in the law. And what has happened?

Why, the Federal courts got at white slavery, all right, and likewise they had to try numbers of cases where only a man and willing woman and a state line were involved. They found themselves, that is, with jurisdiction over simple immorality containing no element of trafficking. What's more, misdemeanants who would have got off with a small fine in State courts found prison-gates opening for them.

The anti-lynching bill, we may concede, is not intended to apply to labor disputes. But it remains to be seen how the courts will interpret it.


These Plotters Can Thank The Fathers For This

Long-nosed Mr. William Bishop, Führer of the Christian Front, and the rest of the dour-faced crew under arrest with him, can thank their stars that they are in the United States. In any of the totalitarian lands they would certainly be shot for treason, and without much regard to establishing their guilt by legal processes.

But in the United States they cannot even be charged with treason. The Constitution, Art. III, Sec. 3, reads:

Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No persons shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

And the definition of "enemies" involved would certainly extend only to nations with which the United States was formally at war.

This case will probably set off a wide demand for modification of this provision. And, indeed, it does seem to lean over backward in the direction of liberty in these days when nations make undeclared war and attempt to subvert the governments of other countries, including our own, by plotting within.

Nevertheless, the provision was written into the Constitution because the Fathers knew from bitter experience that the law of treason is often abused--and that where the term is not rigidly confined to its application, it is likely to be made to cover dissent of any kind. Moreover, the change is unnecessary. If Bishop & Co. cannot be charged with treason, they can be, and are charged with sedition, conspiracy to murder, etc. And the penalties for those crimes are quite heavy enough, if they are proved guilty, to put them away until they are no longer dangerous.

Site Ed. Note: For more on the two-witness theory, go here. Or--you can always reach for the French Porsche, along the sparky trail with signs following.

Farmer Bob

North Carolina Loses Its Most Notable Congressman

The retirement of Farmer Bob Doughton from Congress at the expiration of his present term will be titillating news for a lot of aspirants to the Congress in the Ninth District who have had to wait hungrily for 30 years. It was no use running against him. But for the rest of North Carolina it will be a matter for regret.

Farmer Bob is easily the most distinguished man North Carolina has in the House at present, and with the exception of Simmons and Bailey, is probably the most distinguished the State has had in either house in a good many years. And on the picturesque side, he is probably the most striking politician Tar Heeldom has produced since Zebulon Baird Vance of storied memory.

That is not to suggest that he measures up to Vance. Nevertheless, beneath his smiling giddy humor and his air of rural candor, he is immensely shrewd and has more than his share of common sense. And in his 30 years of service in the House--unmatched by any Southerner--he has acquired a wide knowledge of the intricacies of the practical politics and the practical problems with which Congress must deal. Such qualities are greatly useful to his state and the South in a time when they have to fight hard if they are to get their fair share of funds being dished out, willy-nilly, by the Federal Treasury.

Like other practical politicians, he has sometimes plumped for things in which it was pretty plain that he didn't believe. But in general, his record runs predominantly on the side of integrity and reason. And that's fame enough for any man.

Odd Company

This Argument Is the Same One The Dictators Use

We are landing in strange company with our argument with Britain over the Panama Declaration, which attempts to set up a "neutral" zone from 50 to 300 miles wide around American shores. England maintains an international law which gives her a right to go where she pleases on the sea, save in strictly territorial waters, which have never been stretched over twelve miles and which are ordinarily accepted as extending only three.

And she can point to our own history for evidence to bear her out. We have fought at least two wars for this very principle of freedom of the seas which she now asserts. Of our own volition, we have, indeed, at least tentatively abandoned the defense of the right. But, of course, our unilateral decision is in no way binding on the English.

However, our State Department does not attempt to defend the neutral belt on the ground of international law. Instead it points out that the Panama Declaration specifically sets forth that the zone was set up as "measure of continental self-protection" and "inherent right."

It is that last phrase, "inherent right," which gets us into the strange company to which we refer--the company of Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin, Benito Mussolini & Co. It is exactly the phrase which all of them have used to justify their attacks on their helpless neighbors.

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