The Charlotte News
Thursday, November 4, 1937
Site Ed. Note: We were looking up the vitals on the city of Alpine, Texas--for reasons which we shall not impart; they are highly classified.
In so doing, in our favorite locale for acquiring uninformation, Wicked-pedia, we ran across this, a direct quote, under the sub-caption "Distinction", for Alpine: "Prior to 1959, Alpine was the largest city in the largest county (by area) in the largest state of the Union. "
The population of Alpine, it says, in the very first sentence of the very same entry, is presently, as of the last census, 5,786.
Alpine, it continues, is the county seat of Brewster County, which, in turn, has a population of 8,866--even if you do have to take a couple of extra seconds to hit a link to find out that latter fact.
We deplore the ethics of Sheriff Henry Adam of Ordway, Colorado. But the man we don't like is the parson who snooped and turned him in.
The Sheriff was having a "friendly little nickel-ante session" in a room in his home with "six boys I used to go to school with." And the parson gumshoed around the back window and peeped. Then he went to police headquarters and swore out a warrant, and landed the Sheriff and his cronies, in court on a gambling charge.
The Sheriff had no business doing it. The Sheriff is charged with the enforcement of laws against gambling, whatever he thinks of them in private. And the Sheriff has no business breaking any of the laws he is charged with enforcing, though goodness knows if he kept 'em all he'd have very little fun. Still, the Sheriff had no business doing it. But that parson--we had a name for his like long ago when we were school boys. It's a good name still--snitch.
Gesture in a Desert
The Young Republican Clubs of South Carolina have petitioned the Republican National Committee, which meets at Chicago Friday and Saturday, to pitch out old "Tieless Joe" Tolbert and his National Committeeman for the Palmetto State and replace him with a "lily-white."
We confess to some little curiosity as to those "Young Republican Clubs." For in a state which voted 99.44% pure Democratic in the last election, it must be almost as hard to form a club of Young Republicans as of young diplodocuses. But that's by the way. As for what they were to propose, it's all right by us. Indeed, on general moral grounds it might be a very good thing, for "Tieless Joe" has never been our idea of an April rose in politics.
But what tactical advantage the Young Republicans may hope to garner from it is a deep, dark mystery. It seems improbable that even such starry-eyed youths as one may presume Young Republicans in South Carolina to be, can seriously believe that by cleaning up the party in the state they're going to be able to make head against that 99.44% Democratic margin. And as for patronage, the medicine that kept the skeleton Republican Party in South Carolina alive for so many years, there just ain't none in these Rooseveltian times. What's more, the stars, it seems to us, look little auspicious for a long time yet.
Poor Ol' 42!
It has been a sort of game with us to point out how, in any table listing the 48 states in the order of their standing, North Carolina always tended to gravitate to 42nd place. So frequently has this happened that finally we have come to refer to North Carolina, affectionately and not without understanding, as Ol' 42. She might slip a notch in this table or gain a notch in that, and in certain characteristics, such as the reproductivity of her people and the preponderance of Baptists and Methodists and the lack of libraries and books and the number and capacity of moonshine stills seized, she sometimes shot toward the top or the bottom, which ever way you looked at it. But usually, in those tables dealing with wealth, health, public order and general all-around enlightenment, North Carolina was either in 42nd place or hard by.
Wherefore, in a tabulation of the states according to per capita income in 1935, it is not at all surprising to find North Carolina in her usual place--42nd. What is surprising, though--for the thought of being 42nd was tolerable as long as we had come up in the last fifteen or twenty years from an even lower standing--is to discover that the state was 40th in 1934 and 39th in 1933; in short, that relatively we have lost ground under the New Deal. Our income has increased, but by not so much as in the states of Georgia, Oklahoma and North Dakota, which have displaced us in the standings.
Poor Ol' 42! Poor Ol' 42, indeed! To be 42nd and headed up is one thing. To be 42nd and headed down is something else.
Rally 'Round the Virginian*
The Federal Reserve Board and Senator Carter Glass apparently have different ideas of what should be done to "stimulate business," which just now is languishing alarmingly. The board's idea, as indicated in its modification of margin requirements and its tentative decision to buy great stacks of government bonds in the open market, is to make credit plentiful and cheap. The theory behind this is that if the banks have money to lend, borrowers will come and get it and build new factories and buy new machinery and provide employment. It's a beautiful theory, but it doesn't jibe with the Virginian's.
One of the reasons that speculation in stocks is more than ever a losing game under present rules is that the odds are heavily against the speculator. If he loses, that's too bad, and he can deduct from his income tax return losses up to the amount of his winnings, if any, or to $2,000 only if he has none. And if he wins, why, the Federal Government imposes taxes and surtaxes reaching a peak of 79%. This is called the capital gains tax.
And one of the reasons businesses and industries do not rush to the banks to borrow money, no matter how cheaply, is that when the time comes to pay back that money out of profits, if any, the Federal Government taxes them up to 15% on all of it and up to 27% in addition on any part they paid to the banks instead of to their stockholders. This is called the undistributed profits tax.
Senator Glass's idea of how to stimulate business would be to repeal the undistributed profits tax and modify the capital gains tax. We believe it goes more to the roots of the trouble than the Reserve Board's artificial stimulants.
The Great Wall
Yesterday we carried a picture on the front page showing a modernized Chinese army, under steel helmets, moving along the Great Wall of China. Everybody has heard of that wall, but not many of us seem to know anything about it. The other night, for instance, we heard a radio quizzer propound the question as to its length to three people. One guessed seventy-five miles, another 180, and the third 700. Actually, however, it stretches to twenty-two degrees of longitude and, following its curvatures, runs to 1,500 miles! Its height is generally from twenty to thirty feet and at intervals of every 200 yards there is a tower forty feet in height. At the base it averages twenty-five feet in thickness and at the top twelve feet. Beginning on the Gulf of Liao-tung, where the Chinese and Manchurian frontiers meet, it goes eastward past Peking (about 35 miles to the south of it) and then trends south and east across Shansi to Hwangho. From Peking to Hwangho it is double.
The building of the wall began in the Third century B.C. and was completed in the Sixteenth century A.D. The occasion of its building from beginning to end was the desire to secure protection against the Mongol hordes which eternally have poured down upon China through Manchuria and from the steppes under the Great Gobi. Here long ago Genghis passed. Here Kublai, sweeping in from the non-existent pleasure domes of Xanadu, stormed and slew and won and lost. And here too came Messer Marco Polo, the Venetian, first of all Western men to penetrate the bounds of fabulous Cathay.
Site Ed. Note: Henry… Come here and read this. One word, Henry—China! Think about it. Will you think about it?
Man of Law*
Life offered no such stresses and strains and confusion to Judge Thomas J. Shaw as to the common run of us mortals. He had found something as a guide to outlook and conduct which was absolute, and he relied upon it on the Superior Court bench and off. Law, it was. He lived by law and died by it and it was sufficient. Once he said: "I am not afraid to die, but it could be a bother." Therefore, yesterday, it may be imagined that when his time came he considered it as calmly and as impartially as, ten thousand times, he had passed upon questions of law and equity in court.
He believed devoutly in all law, laws of man, laws of Nature and the Laws of Heaven, and upheld them. When natural law decreed that his years had run, it may be considered that Judge Shaw accepted the decision without protest or appeal.
Site Ed. Note: The rest of the print for this day, a two-fer, is here. (Ech, ech. We said, no fair peeking ahead. You're liable to get a false start.)
Incidentally, have you ever noticed how some people sweat profusely when others start talking about the moon?
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