The Charlotte News

Friday, November 5, 1937


Site Ed. Note: As to "Self-Defense, New Style", why, of course, Mr. Cash. There’s a new world order abroad the world. And you have captured it precisely.

Self-defense means precisely that which you have defined: do unto your neighbor that which you strongly suspect he is plotting against you, and do it first, with pretext aplenty in mind, and plenty of planning and plausible denial, too. Push your neighbor down on their driveway, and then call the cops, claiming they pushed you first and you were only pushing back: making sure that you have slipped that payola under the table first, of course, as a little Christmas care package to the ruling orders.

And, if your neighbor is streaming over your borders in droves to take your jobs, to come to kill you and your family probably, as they stand in line down at the local Depot, awaiting hire, just like those roving droves of itinerant beggars come to town back in the Thirties about whom your parents told you, come to cut you down and hoe you into little pieces probably, why you either call the cops, bump some heads and throw them in the hoosegow for vagrancy and leering, or we’ll think of something which passes muster, or you simply do the respectable thing—build a Wall.

Surely, Mr. Cash, you heard the news.

Oh, but listen to that silly nonsense again with which you pule away, all over your bleeding heart, just like the typical liberal. Why, all that was thoroughly debunked long ago. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And if you take away our guns, or if you can’t buy more down at the Walmart, then we can’t kill them when they come after us with their guns, don’t you see? And, if they couldn’t buy guns, they’d buy knives or make bombs or use throwing stars or something. Then we’d have to become proficient at the use of throwing stars like that, and that’s hard. They’d find a way, they would, because people kill. Not guns.

You just have to build a Wall or something, you know, like in that story where the fellow cements the other guy in first before he had a chance to do it to him. Yeah like that. You have to lock them up, all these people. And throw away the key.

You know?

We Out-Argue Ourselves

No, there can't be. On no rational grounds can there be traced a connection between the incipient failure of the Community Chest to raise its minimum quota and the number of murders in Charlotte last month. You can't even divide murders into pledges or abstract corpses from unresponsiveness.

But these facts, wholly unrelated as they may be, remain:

1. That the twelve agencies comprising the Community Chest are going to be cramped in their operations this year ahead; and

2. That there were five murders in Charlotte last month.

Murders are for the police to handle, not the Community Chest. Agencies of the Community Chest are not forces of detection and punishment: they are forces of adjustment. Say! Maybe, after all, there is some remote connection between murders and Community Chest. Maybe by preventing delinquency in the young, by preventing want and desperation as far as possible, by preventing family disintegration, by preventing the neglect of children unhealthy mentally--maybe prevention of these preventable things would, in time, if not sooner, have some effect upon our terrible murder rate.

We do not guarantee it, merely advancing the hypothesis for what it may the worth.

Set It to Music

Whether the Duke of Windsor is going to be able to contribute to the solution of the complicated problems that vex this dizzy world, as he indicated the desire to in that famous little speech in which he called on himself for a few well-chosen words--whether the Duke is going to be able to do that would appear to be a little dubious. But about one thing there is no doubt, the Duke is [indiscernible word] magnificently in contributing to the gaiety of the nations.

According to one somewhat doubtful story, you know, old Stanley Baldwin really heaved the Duke off the throne of William the Norman because he was getting too excited about the plight of the underdog. And, it was for the express purpose of inquiring into the condition of labor that the Duke, with his Duchess, embarked upon his tour of the nations. Whereupon, going to Germany and being still a royal person, the Duke naturally got feted by the Nazis--anathema to labor in all democratic countries. And after that magnificent start from the wrong foot, he prepared quite cheerfully and in all innocence to visit the United States under the auspices of his friend Charles Bedaux. But, alas, Bedaux, rightly or wrongly, is identified in the mind of American labor with the hated "stretch-out." And so now the sovereign powers of AFL and CIO are having running fits. Then to cap the climax, Dr. William E. Dodd, Jr., son of the American Ambassador to Germany, last night made a speech in Philadelphia warning that the Duke is really coming over to sell the American people "the glories of Hitlerism!"

It is only a pity, we think, that Sir Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert had to die so plainly before their time. They would have had in these instances of buffoonery the plot for a perfectly swell super-light opera.

Sample in Wage-Fixing*

The District of Columbia has a Minimum Wage Law and a Minimum Wage Board, both much on the order, we take it, of the minimum wage law and board in the country as a whole will have after this special session of Congress. This week the District's Board fixed the minimum wage that must be paid to women employees of retail stores in the capital at $17 a week. The order will take effect on February 1.

As a forerunner of wage-fixing generally, this sample of Federal scales is interesting. Washington is a big city. It is notoriously an expensive place to live, and it is notorious too for the prosperity which the Democrats and their camp-followers have brought in. Why, painters and painters' helpers in Washington make $11 a day when they are working on government jobs. In comparison to such wages for artisans, $17 a week minimum for beginners in coats & suits and the girl at the notions counter is not at all excessive. On the whole, it is moderate, surprisingly so for the magnificence of Administration ideas in other directions.

Have We Got It, Frank?*

Frank R. McNinch, temporarily cleaning the house of the Federal Communications Commission but permanently in charge of the Federal Power Commission, addressed investment bankers at their convention yesterday and chided them for not being bullish on utility stocks. He had charts and graphs and candid camera shots to show that despite the bogey of New Deal competition, the power industry had been doing more and more business and making more and more money. Its fears and forebodings he called "ill founded."

Okay, Frank: okay. The power industry's a sap. The life of Commonwealth & Southern's trade is TVA competition, and the investment bankers are saps for not buying Commonwealth & Southern's stock at 1 7-8, yesterday's close. The investment bankers are saps for not rushing in to bid up the stocks of power companies in the seven areas to be served by the seven TVAs, for if one TVA causes the power industry to make more and more money, it follows that seven TVAs will cause it to make seven times more and more money.

And closer home, Frank, the stock of Duke Power Company will be a buy, we take it, the minute the Supreme Court gives the go-ahead signal to PWA Administrator Ickes and his Greenwood County power project, and the stock will go up and up if Mr. Ickes is permitted to build a power plant for the municipality of High Point, and the stock will go sky high if the government's $35,000,000 Santee-Cooper navigation and power project materializes. Is that the idea, Frank?

Self-Defense, New Style

We have remarked before on the development within the American country of a unique theory of self-defense, whereunder it is a valid plea to the shooting of a man seven times in the back while he is running away as fast as his legs will carry him, or in the killing of a married man in his own house to which a woman, unmarried and armed with a gun, has gone at night.

Of course this theory of self-defense is not really peculiar to America. It seems, in fact, to be establishing itself all over the world, and nowhere more clearly than in the realm of international relationships. A dozen instances immediately come to mind, but we content ourselves merely with quoting an extract from a speech made in New York recently by Shingoro Takaishi, editor of the Tokyo Nichi-Nichi and the Osaka Mainichi, now touring among us to correct our misunderstanding of the Japanese war in China:

"We (Japan) had no choice but to defend ourselves, whether we like it or not, by the force of arms."

From that we may conclude, then, that wars of self-defense as we are to know them in the future will be (1) fought against powers admittedly much more poorly equipped to fight than the defender, and (2) that they will be fought entirely in the territory of the aggressor.

False Alarm

Mr. Boake Carter's logic sometimes escapes us. Tuesday he was commenting upon local elections in which candidates supported by AFL were pitted against candidates supported by CIO, and he saw it as the dawning of the second phase--just how and at what o'clock does a phase dawn?--of the struggle to form a Labor Party in the United States. When that should happen, oh, worry, worry!

Here, then, will be two groups, about evenly divided in numbers, in not only an economic but political war to the death. Pinched between will be industry, business and consumers of the United States.

General Lee might have done it--that is, might have divided his force and won two battles with the Yankees--but what Columnist Carter overlooks is that labor is fighting labor and that by just so much as its political strength is divided would it be rendered impotent. To say that industry, business and consumers will be pinched between is as specious as saying that the Republicans stand to lose because of the widening split in the Democratic Party. This country has a lot less to fear politically from two labor factions, struggling against each other, than it would from one which moved as a unit toward its goal. Eh, Boake?

Site Ed. Note: Here, yesterday’s with today’s, again, if you didn’t catch it the first time around.

We thank that judge in Illinois for his test, incidentally, as it and its companions for determining blood-alcohol have many lives saved on the highways and byways, including our own, 10-4; but we have a much simpler test in mind: just have Broderick ask the suspect drivers whether or not they have lost their white rabbits, and, depending on the answer, there is or is not probable cause.

Oh, by the way, it was Mary Coyle Chase who wrote "Harvey" in 1944, if you didn’t realize that, you know, with the Dowds and Judge Gaffney, you see, and all that.

Anyway, we’ll show you the photograph in a couple of days, if you haven’t already seen it.

Once, anywhere, we were gyring wy the wabe, at night, actually within the wee, wee hours, having finished a hard night’s dazed toil at the computer center, studying race relations, when up strode a Pulpit Hill copper behind us, from somewhere off the beam of light in outerspace, we reckon. Flashed us over in our own backyard, claiming we turned the corner "too sharply" into our yard, and therefore we must Walk the Line to prove our sobriety, despite our having had not a drop, though drink there was aplenty everywhere, everywhere to be had to drink, until you could see your Albatross right there before you, in downtown Pulpit Hill.

But this was over by the whirlpool, where there was always someone there looking for a new fool. So, we politely pulled to a halt in our own backyard, exited our vehicle and proceeded most soberly to Walk the Line. Which we did fine. And being done with that, we brusquely slammed the door, spun the wheel, a couple of times, in the dust, for the copper, just to show our disgust and distaste for this glassy-eyed stopper. For, in our opinion, at the time, he could have reckoned with the whole situation afirst more sublimely by simply asking the question we posed in prose afore.

To which our response would have been: No, but if you’ll look behind you, you will see them running fast upon your rear, sir. The merry coiling chase is on. Good day. A breeze cool behind us, drifting in stealth, his felt slowly lifting by our lilting words to his young strong ears.

You do understand?

And, we were especially sensitive, you see, for it came just three months after that fire that time of which we told you sometime back. You know, the one in Troy.

And just days after a highway copper had, with gentlemanly skill and politeness pulled us aside, gyring wy the wabe over by the Duke Woods, and, seeing as we did have a slack front right, and thereby were weaving thus a bit our winding way back home on that occasion, we politely explained, with due stress to be sure to blow our breath his way, from which breath afresh he politely responded that it was quite a-okay, and let us hie upon our way with a, "Be careful, now, and good night." (You see, that’s professionalism.)

But, at least thus far, the latter local copper of Pulpit Hill, well, his was a bit different take on the issue, bus-car, you rim? For the only one left after the War, thus far, was Him.

Anyway, he pulled up behind us then, after we had spun our wheel a time or two in the dust, thereby kicking it some, and proceeded to start to write us out a citation, not for bravery, but for reckless driving—on private property at 2:00 a.m., mind you, with no other traffic within ear shot of fifteen miles, in our own backyard, all for spinning our wheel, the right rear, a couple of times in the dust, and quite unobtrusively, or even the least bit intrusively.

So, having been invited to the front of his fine, shiny automobile, we shook our heads and wagged our tails and then we did the cat instead: we told him we couldn’t quite believe all this. "What d’ye mean?" he inquired. We then laid it on him about the time we were gyring wy the wabe after the fire in Troy. "Oh, yeah. That one. That’s why you did what you did, was it?"

"Yessir," we replied humbly and honestly, (still, however, silently querisome as to what precisely it was that we had done--but never mind all that, for we must move along now).

"Well then, we’ll let it go this time," said he, soberly. "But, don’t do it again."


We still haven’t figured all that out really, but when we catch the little two-bit, cold-hearted, snickering rascal at the copper station who was the dispatcher in those times, and a cute little organizational sibling of our’n he was, whose name we know, (bottom left corner, not into the frame of reference at all—don’t talk back, it’s him), and by heart, we intend to skin the little creep alive.

Run, ol’ hare.

Good night and good luck.

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