The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 10, 1940


Site Ed. Note: "Like or find fault; do as your pleasures are; Now good or bad, 'tis but the chance of war."

While on the subject of traffic and laws governing same, we shall provide a little reading exercise for you herewith. We found these two examples of statutes from North Carolina’s current books, one originating in 1937 and the other in 1939. We enjoyed the wording and so we thought we would pass it on to you.

As to the second statute, we at first stumbled at that latter word "thereat", thinking maybe it was a misprint for "threat". But that wouldn’t play in context. Something about eating, then? But that wouldn’t make good sense either. And we know that there is no word "reat". (Well, actually, there is, but even one of the original colonies would not use such an obscure phrase as "the reat". So…) Then, after a moment’s digesting it, as we figured it, we had to wonder whether "thereat" was actually a word. It is. As in: "Not for Bohemia, nor for the pompe that may Be thereat gleaned."

So don’t ever think that the North Carolina Legislature isn’t hip.

One could of course be a wise-acre and decide to try to do literally what 20-153(b) suggests as the proper way by which to perform a left turn, in which case, one would likely still be going straight. But, that would not cause any problem, anyway, (unless of course you were in a left-only lane facing another across the way likewise situated), except unnecessary delay for staying the course, necessitating more of those right turns, from the point "as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway", somewhere down the way, anyway. But doing so too literally could propagate the practice of yelling at various people, things, and cars stationed more proximal to the curb than thou to get the hell out of the way so that thou, the Motorist, might obey the law.

Of course, the operative word here is "practicable".

It’s sort of like the Bible and the Koran, you know, and those "eye for an eye" sorts of deals to which some unmercifully cling with too literal notions.

We could not help but picture the problem, however, potentially caused by one of those hogsheads uncabled, and even unhemped or unmanilaed, too, loaded on the single plane of a flatbed truck, should one roll loose therefrom in a collision, (or maybe even while climbing a hill?), especially with one of those rolling gasoline bombs on the highways of the day, long time ago, of which The News often commented. Why, then, we suppose, the resulting conflagration could be said to be a hogshead of real fire…which would be an even more astonishing mess were such a collision ever to occur in Henderson--the street, the town, or the dormitory.

The thing we have greatest trouble understanding, however, is why anyone would pack their tobacco inside a hogshead in the first place. Isn’t that normally where one places the apple?

Well, sit back, stick a pinch between your lip and gum, and ponder these pedestrian, yet still somewhat byzantine, motor vehicle laws.

North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 20-120. Operation of flat trucks on State highways regulated; trucks hauling leaf tobacco in barrels or hogsheads.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to operate, or have operated on any public highway in the State any open, flat truck loaded with logs, cotton bales, boxes or other load piled on said truck, without having the said load securely fastened on said truck.

It shall be unlawful for any firm, person or corporation to operate or permit to be operated on any highway of this State a truck or trucks on which leaf tobacco in barrels or hogsheads is carried unless each section or tier of such barrels or hogsheads are reasonably securely fastened to such truck or trucks by metal chains or wire cables, or manila or hemp ropes of not less than five-eighths inch in diameter, to hold said barrels or hogsheads in place under any ordinary traffic or road condition: Provided that the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any truck or trucks on which the hogsheads or barrels of tobacco are arranged in a single layer, tier, or plane, it being the intent of this paragraph to require the use of metal chains or wire cables only when barrels or hogsheads of tobacco are stacked or piled one upon the other on a truck or trucks. Nothing in this paragraph shall apply to trucks engaged in transporting hogsheads or barrels of tobacco between factories and storage houses of the same company unless such hogsheads or barrels are placed upon the truck in tiers. In the event the hogsheads or barrels of tobacco are placed upon the truck in tiers same shall be securely fastened to the said truck as hereinbefore provided in this paragraph.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1939, c. 114; 1947, c. 1094; 1953, c. 240; 1993, c. 539, s. 358; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

20-153. Turning at intersections.

(a) Right Turns.– Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

(b) Left Turns.– The driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of that vehicle, and, after entering the intersection, the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection in a lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction upon the roadway being entered.

(c) Local authorities and the Department of Transportation, in their respective jurisdictions, may modify the foregoing method of turning at intersections by clearly indicating by buttons, markers, or other direction signs within an intersection the course to be followed by vehicles turning thereat, and it shall be unlawful for any driver to fail to turn in a manner as so directed. (1937, c. 407, s. 115; 1955, c. 913, s. 5; 1973, c. 1330, s. 18; 1977, c. 464, s. 34; 1997-405, s. 1.)

By the way, in association with the piece of April 1, 1940, "Slave Brand", (and, who knows, maybe the above, too), we were looking at this notion of the "number of the Beast", you know, the infamous "666" in Revelations. So infamous has it become that even the former U.S. Highway 666 out west has had to change its name for all the vandalism and theft of the signs through the years, not to mention a high propensity for accidents in the southern portion of the highway. Well, in doing this little exegesis, we come to question whether the number of the Beast is a number at all, in the conventional sense, or whether "number" is merely meant instead to be nominal in the original Greek. For in the Greek, the "number" is actually represented, “Χξς”, that is Chi-Xi-Stigma, (the latter an obsolete Greek letter, close to Sigma in its configuration, but since Sigma is associated with the number 200, the numeration of the thing would be confounded, viz. , 660-200, if it were other than Stigma, which is 6, (as is also Ζ, that is Zeta, so why not Chi-Xi-Zeta, if it is really supposed to be translated literally as a nome, nominally, “666”?), as the number of the Beast, you see), which is then pronounced, in the original Greek, “k, k-seye, stigma”.

So, is the Beast, perhaps, not instead an ichneumon, that is a basilisk, a kinglet--by any other name, still a cockatrice—which some say goes by the name kkk?

Dead Horse

Japanese Threat Serves Only To Reveal Weakness

There have been few more comical and thoroughly empty threats in history than that of the Japanese Government to denounce the Nine Power Treaty if the United States does not abandon its present policy with regard to China.

The Nine Power Treaty was signed in Washington on Feb. 6, 1922, in the course of the Washington Naval Conference. Signatories were: the United States, Japan, China, Great Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal.

Its main provisions were: (1) the contracting powers, unconditionally guaranteed the territorial integrity of China as she was when Japan handed back Shantung; and (2) guaranteed the maintenance of the Open Door and equal commercial opportunities for all nations trading in China.

Japan violated that treaty in 1931-32 when she overran Manchuria, detached it from China, and set up the puppet state of Manchukuo. And in both provisions noted above. For, as quickly as the puppet state was set up, it began to discriminate against the commerce of other nations, including the United States, Great Britain, and France, in favor of that of Japan.

Japan violated that treaty again in 1937 when she invaded China and began her present campaign--has been constantly violating it ever since. And again, in both provisions. A third of the territory of China is now in her possession, and the commercial rights of the United States, Great Britain, and France have been ruthlessly destroyed, promise never to be restored unless by force.

But not only Japan violated the treaty. The United States in 1931 proposed to the other contracting parties that they take steps to live up to their obligations under it. Britain refused, and everybody reneged. In 1937, nobody even proposed to live up to the obligations. All the parties calmly ignored them.

Japan's threat to denounce the Nine-Power Treaty is simply a threat to slay a dead horse. And the fact that she indulges in it is plain evidence of her lack of any weapons with which to strike back at Washington.


But This Will Probably Remain An Insinuation

Just as silly is the assurance of the Japanese Cabinet to the Parliament that steps are being taken to speed up industrial production and secure imports elsewhere, so as to balance out any possible embargo by Washington. The fact is that there is presently no other place on earth where Japan can secure the supplies she needs, and her own industrial machine cannot produce them, both because of lack of capacity and lack of the necessary raw materials. England and France are at war, so is Germany--all three need every ounce of their military productions close at home. And Italy is wholly incapable of serving as a storehouse for Tokyo.

More menacing is the insinuation of Foreign Minister Arita that he might consider "advising" the United States to take its nationals out of China altogether, and backing it up by force.

It would be a bad day’s work if he ever got around to that. There are plenty of people in the United States in favor of getting our nationals out of China altogether. But getting them out voluntarily and under pressure of threat from Japan are two different matters. The American people have never taken kindly to efforts to drive them. And the Panay incident showed just how quickly anger can rise when they feel that they are being subjected to coercion.

Fortunately, it was only an insinuation. And it is probable that Arita, who knows his United States, really has no intention of letting it ever become anything else.

Site Ed. Note: Indeed, the confusion would be mighty, and not only for youth in 1940 but in decades as well to come. Even so prominent a figure later in society as John Foster Dulles, then a relatively obscure New York lawyer, later the leading proponent for the United Nations and Secretary of State under Eisenhower, was by this time in early 1940 touring the country preaching that Hitlerism was the unfortunately necessary balancing bulwark against Bolshevism in Europe.

Thimble Storm

Muddle, Not Communism, Is Explanation Of This

The uproar about the Youth Congress is pretty much a tempest in a teapot. The outfit puts itself in a bad light when it refuses to consider a resolution denouncing Russia for its wanton attack on Finland. And if it hopes to accomplish anything practical, it would be well advised to heave the Reds out of its ranks.

In the case of the resolution, it has the defense that the thing was offered out of order by two very bad mannered youths who probably deserved to be thrown out of any meeting. Nevertheless, the plain disposition of the Congress to refuse to condemn Russia under any circumstance and the continued presence of the Reds gets the whole crew smeared as Red in the average American mind.

That is unfortunate. The Dies Committee Report indicates that the overwhelming majority of the members are in no sense Communists or fellow-travelers. What explains the present stand of the Congress seems to be: (1) that the Red members are very active and wield a disproportionate amount of influence; (2) the generosity of youth and its stubborn determination to be tolerant at all costs; (3) the fact that the American mind just now is worse muddled than it has ever been.

The disposition of the present generation of youth to keep its mind wide open, to refuse to be stamped by appeals to prejudice and passion, is one of the finest and most hopeful things about it. But it is lamentable that the air is so full of suspicion that even the plainest facts are obscured. It is small wonder that the youth should be confused when not only Reds but leading publicists of the Right are continually engaged in insinuation that Germany's cold-blooded campaign to exterminate the intelligent classes in Poland and Czechoslovakia, to reduce the lower classes to slavery, is more than half-justified. It has actually got to the point where a great many Americans of rank seem to think it exhibits a superior discernment and an open mind to sweep aside the newspaper reports as lies and to apologize for Hitlerism. Hence it is not surprising that the youth are not even sure that the rape of Finland by Hitler's partner is a crime.

Three Votes
By That Margin, The House Awaits Usurpation

The House staged a grossly presumptuous and dangerous performance Wednesday when it came within three votes of attempting to break off the relations of our Government with Russia by striking out the provision for the salary of the American Ambassador to Moscow.

The attempt represented ultimately a clear effort to usurp the powers of the President. The Constitution (Article II, Section 2) says explicitly that the President,

... shall have the power by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to make treaties... and he shall nominate and by and with the consent of the Senate shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls...

As readers of the Federalist are aware, the House was by deliberate design excluded from having any part in such matters.

But, after all, the House does have the prime authority over the purse, since all appropriation bills must originate in that Chamber? Certainly. But—it can legally use that power only for the purposes specified in Article I, Section 8. And control over our foreign policy is not among them. The House has no more lawful authority to refuse to pay an ambassador regularly appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate than it has to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. If it were allowed, then the House can override both the President and the Senate, dictate as to what nations we should or should not recognize, and designate every minister and foreign official of the Government. Indeed, since the same clause that empowers the President and the Senate in the foreign field also empowers them to name and confirm or reject every executive and judicial officer of the Government itself, the House would be enabled absolutely to dominate the domestic scene, too.

We are speeding straight toward chaos when the House assumes to attempt unlawfully to seize the making of our foreign policy.

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