The Charlotte News

Sunday, December 12, 1937


Site Ed. Note: This day's page turns up another Cash by-lined piece of which we were not aware, on the war in Spain, of which we have become more aware as time has advanced. We only acquired this page yesterday; because of the repetition on the following day's column of "December 12" and the serendipitous whiiiirrrrr of the machine whizzing the print at lightspeed-times-a-dozen-or-two past our dizzied eyne, we inadvertently skipped it two years back when we pulled from the microfilm the December editorial pages for 1937.

We are most glad to have it, as it nigh explains pretty much why it would be that yet further, the world went insane, you see, as even the babies not being in woo could tell, as came down the eggs aplenty, pell-mell, and so, far and far, a fair piece wide, over beach and brook and sunny, cavernous mountainside, 'twas come to pass, as from some ostensory's Caiaphas, that dimmest darkest hole of hell, incanting righteously upon his gale, from somewhere far, far deep, beneath the shale, there came the sound, there came the bell, which said the more, yet all the more, of the population fell...

But, we all rebuilt and got on with it.

As far as the professor wishing to eliminate "Q" and replace it with something else, we have a suggestion: not kw, much too cumbersome, nor monkey-tail, far too long; Ode to Joy, we thought, or, perhaps in another font, O Be Joyful, but, alas, the former a bit quixotic, the latter a slight too shiny, and still too cumbersome, if nicely musical; but rather, we suggest, if the frightful "Q" is to have its rest, give it a go with "=". After all, so many words employing it convey similar sorts of meaning: equal, quiet, quell, equanimous, quiescent, queen, Quixote, etc. Of course, there are other words, not so quiet, also utilizing its form: quitter, quest, queasy, queasom, queachy, quagmire, quack, acquisitive, aqueous, aquetch, etc. But, you see, regardless, it's so much easier then on the economy of things to do it that way, with "=".

For instance, take "Winners never =it, =itters never win." Much nicer now. You've eliminated two whole blasted strokes on the keyboard, made even easier should they replace the "Q" button with "=". And, you will undoubtedly find that many tired dixits as that above take on whole new and fresh meanings in the bargain. "Quell your child, madame, before I report you to the Queen," becomes more pleasantly, "=ell your child, madam, before I report you to the =een." Or, "Look, here comes a s=all, best beware the shark." Or, "Look here, must you e=ivocate on every bit of e=itative trade subject to ambiguity known to man?"

Moreover, we lose little, as the lonely "Q" affords little poetry, anyway. Too hard to make it rhyme and sound right in the lines, viz., Who says we're equal, set of two?/ This eagle's beak will nettle the lot of you. Comes out testy, conveying predatory meaning.

So, as the editorial sympathetically points up, the professor probably had a good point. Let's dump the "Q".

In any event, between this day's and that of the next, there's another hid ell.

Let's see, we don't suppose that the couple making their home there in Duri were the Hi-hi Johnsons, were they?

Well, it's Saturday, in the bleak of chilly winter, just having been spring yesterday, and so we shall take a break and let you the rest for yourself.

Speaking of Differentials--

To give WPA employment to 350,000 more persons during this recession and this Winter will cost Messer Harry Hopkins, it is reported, $23,000,000 a month. That is an average of $65.71 a relief client. But--

To give WPA employment to 65,000 persons in eleven Southern states, part of the 350,000 mentioned above, will cost only $40 a relief client. Furthermore, by reapportioning the funds and the jobs not allotted to the eleven Southern States, it may be shown in a jiffy that the average monthly cost of a WPA worker outside the eleven Southern states is $71 and a few cents.

Congress is now considering a wage and hour bill, and one of the objections raised by non-Southerners is against any lower wage in favor of the South. If these champions of sectional equality would really challenge an adversary worthy of their steel, let them fling a gauntlet at Harry Hopkins. That fellow, Franklin D.'s right hand man, is paying WPA wages in the South that are little more than half of what his fellow New York Staters and their neighbors are drawing down.

Try Again, Doc

"Why"--inquires the imminent Dr. Walter V. Kaulfers, Professor of English in Leland Stanford University,--"why should we still be obliged to write a capital 'Q' in much the same way the ancients made it 5,000 years ago, and for no better reason than that they somehow took it into their heads to draw the picture of a monkey with his tail hanging down?"

The good doctor wants to do away with all that monkey business and replace our old clumsy alphabet and methods of writing with a kind of shorthand which can be written very rapidly. Maybe he's got something there, too. After all there is no real reason we can think of why we should go on drawing a picture of Cousin Pocko and calling it "Q". Not anymore than that we should go making a "B" in the shape of an early Egyptian house or an "L" in the shape of a camel deprived of most of his anatomy.

Nevertheless, the doctor does not argue for his scheme quite so well as he might. For the principal reason he proposes is that "many people find it hard to put their thoughts on paper because their handwriting cannot keep up with their thoughts." In mere self-defense, we'll have to submit that this is a gross flattery of the human race--and that those people are merely alibi-ing. For ourselves--ourselves, and though we are no speed demons with either pen or typewriter, we have always found it quite impossible to make our thoughts keep up with our hands.

Another Ideal Shattered*

Even that vestige which was left of the much discussed Graham Plan after last year's session of the Southern Conference, is now no more. The rule against outside gifts or loans, when made primarily because of the student's athletic ability, has been deleted, and by the Conference's tacit consent the policy is laid down that outside gifts or loans are nobody's business. And, oh yes; there is a further innocuous homily to the effect that athletes shall not be discriminated against in the award of scholarships, and that the members of the Southern Conference all must trust one another to do the right thing, the square thing, the sportsmanlike thing.

Well, we are great believers in suiting the rules to the spirit of the game. In professional wrestling, for instance, anything goes; and who gives a durn? And it may very well be that in trying to enforce pure amateur standards in intercollegiate athletics, the Southern Conference took on more than it should have taken on.

But the suspicion persists that the member colleges changed the rules principally because they weren't being lived up to. An uglier way to put it is that they were being violated. And when our colleges, our centers of culture and our foundries of character, cannot abide by rules of their own adoption, the result is some sort of grim commentary on the whole expensive business of education.

Site Ed. Note: Mr. Hanes would receive the column's less tepid endorsement in "New Style in Politicians" and "What It Proves", May 14, 1938, when he was nominated to be Undersecretary of Treasury under Henry Morgenthau.

A Weak Cheer*

We quite agree with Governor O. Max Gardner's appraisal of John W. Hanes, whom the President has nominated to the Securities Exchange Commission, as a "fine citizen," who comes from a "most honorable and distinguished North Carolina family." But when Governor Gardner, who by the very readiness of his statement indicates that he had something to do with the selection of Mr. Hanes, goes on to say that it should be accepted "as additional evidence of the development of mutual cooperation between business and government," we are left quite cold indeed.

For who has a greater, wholly incontestable right to one of the places on the SEC than a man familiar with the workings of the exchanges and equipped to see more than one side of the question of governmental regulation? Have we arrived at a point where competent examination of public problems is the special occasion for a rousing cheer? And why should we take it as evidence of mutual cooperation when the Government chooses a "fine citizen" to serve it? Are fine citizens the exception in governmental circles? Has this administration deliberately sought out men for the nature of their views rather than the nature of the men?

If so, if at all so, if the nomination of Mr. Hanes is really something egregious, then, far from emphasizing the development of cooperation, it simply points up the fact of how far the administration has gone in discouraging cooperation and exalting mediocrity.

Note on Bargaining

"Star witness for the labor board (in the hearing Friday of the Highland Park case) was Roy Lawrence, Carolinas administrator for Textile Workers Organizing Committee. Mr. Lawrence could not be shaken in his testimony that, while the mill management had met in conference with the TWOC representatives, they had refused to bargain collectively..."

A choicer reductio ad absurdum of the Wagner Act as it is as present written we think we have not seen.

"To be sure," says Management, "and since the law says I have to 'bargain' with you about your hoss, trot him out! I'll have a look at him, but to tell you the truth I don't think I'm going to like him."

And then--

"And why, certainly, I wouldn't have the crayture for a gift! Look at them teeth of his'n, look at that belly! He'd eat me into the pore-house in a week! No, not a penny! I won't have him! Take him away from here!"

"Forsooth, sir," quothes Labor, "and it is strangely that you understand the law on its requirement to 'bargain.' Most plainly it requires that you shall buy the hoss--and at a satisfactory price. Otherwise you have not 'bargained' at all!"

"It doesn't. I have so bargained!"

"It does! You haven't!"

"It doesn't! I have!"

"Damme, naw--!"

And so on, ad inifinitum.

Site Ed. Note: For a piece at the death of Dr. Herty just seven months hence, see "The South's Benefactor", July 28, 1938.

Subsidy, Meet Dr. Herty*


There is, unless it has been eliminated in the flurry of the last few days, the provision in that farm bill passed Friday by the House making available to the Secretary of Agriculture--

...not to exceed $10,000,000 for each fiscal be utilized for the establishment, equipment, maintenance, and administrative expenses of laboratories and other research facilities for the research into and development of new and extended markets and outlets for farm commodities and products thereof. Such sum shall be available...for such work carried on by the Department (of Agriculture) alone or by States and territories and their agencies and subdivisions in cooperation with the Department, as the Secretary shall determine.


One of the outstanding researches into new uses for old farm products has been that Dr. Charles H. Herty in his laboratory at Savannah, Ga. His conversion of Southern slash pine into paper, newsprint, kraft and the finer variety, has been a factor of the first importance in bringing paper mills Southward to the tune of a hundred million dollars invested. His discoveries, far from complete, already have given many farmers in the South a new and profitable cash crop, and have brought payrolls into Southern communities which never before knew the bustle of trade that comes after the ghost has walked. Yet the prospect is that Dr. Herty's laboratory at Savannah, whose upkeep runs $60,000 a year, will be closed after December 31 for lack of funds.


By the use of simple arithmetic, I and II make III. By the use of simple common sense, the provision of a Federal agricultural research subsidy and Dr. Herty's impeded researches into commercial uses for Southern woodlands comprise a coincidence that could result happily for all concerned. At any rate, the two, Dr. Herty and the prospect of subsidy, should be introduced by the Secretary of Agriculture in order that they might determine if they hadn't something in common.

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