The Charlotte News

Saturday February 19, 1938


Site Ed. Note: The rest of the page is here. Incidentally, who could blame the Supreme Court for not wishing to attend the funeral of the late Mr. Cillie, shot in the duel by Mr. Graves, having been put up to the whole thing apparently, according to Wise and Jones, by Benton and Bynum? Would you attend such a Cillie funeral as that, the result of a duel with Graves, put to it by Benton and Bynum? It just goes to show that dueling remains one of the silliest and gravest customs ever devised by men, or even South Carolinians, bent on their own destruction by numbed feelings, most unwise even to jaundiced eyes, bar none, should something be happening here. The loser, we hear, was often one who forgot to powder his balls and properly ram his rod down the shaft prior to the duel.

If there be any sailors lacking in salt 'round here, Popeye, let him be licked 'fore dawn or else walk the yardarm alone.

A Stultifying Performance*

The Senate, these filibustering days, is like a garrulous housewife who interrupts the flow of her conversation only long enough to change the baby and turn over the roast upon the stove. A couple of weeks ago the Senate stopped talking against the anti-lynching bill to pass the housing bill. Last week it laid aside the filibuster and took up, and passed, the farm bill. Next week the $300,000,000 deficiency relief bill, already passed by the House, will be given the right of way.

Meanwhile, the Senate is initiating no legislation. Its committees are at work, to be sure, but between the committee rooms in the chamber itself there is a wall of hot air so thick that it is impenetrable. Messengers from the House bearing bills approved by that body enter, and hastily depart, by a special passageway, but members of the Senate with bills of their own devising, no matter of what consequence, must wait until the sound and the fury subside.

Whether this is a handicap or a help to the country, depends upon one's opinion of the character of the Senate; but that it is one of the most satisfying performances of all time, everybody, including Senators, must admit.

This for Russia

Matthew Woll, vice-president of the American Federation of Labor, has to say:

"The Soviet regime deserves no more support from organized labor in democratic countries than do the governments of Hitler and Mussolini."

We nearly said it was too obvious to need to say. A case might perhaps be made out for the notion that communism is nearer to democratic theory than fascism, for, in the pure communistic doctrine, the central theme is concern for the underdog--a theme which, in less silly form, is the direct product of democracy. Of course, Russia under Stalin is almost as little communistic as she is democratic. She is simply a totalitarian state, differing in one fundamental only from the fascist states.

But that fundamental, we think, is so important that it inevitably must--and does--have some bearing on the attitude of all of us, organized labor included. It is the result, no doubt, of the fact that she finds herself with plenty of raw materials at home. But, and even though it is quite true that she sends out her emissaries to attempt to make revolution in other countries, it is nevertheless a fact that Russia is not organized on purely military basis for the primary end of military conquest--as the fascist states admittedly are.

Sailors Without Salt

Some students of mankind profess to believe that the male person is becoming effeminate, what with tiny mustaches, too much manners, drinking a great deal of milk, no longer elbowing his fellows out of the way and saying "Pahdon me" at every opportunity. They may be right.

Certainly the antics of a sailor in Baltimore give support to the theory. The headline over the accounts of his carryings-ons said, "Lovesick Sailor Floors 2 To Ease Broken Heart." Shades of Barnacle Bill!

That's not what he would have done. In the first place, he shouldn't have been lovesick. The girl in every port of his should have been lovesick, weeping one. True, Barnacle Bill would have floored people, but he wouldn't have stopped at two on the floor. The Baltimore fellow had been jilted by his girl and was feeling unwell or something. Would such a thing have made Barnacle Bill unhappy? He would simply have gone down the street a block or two, knocked on the side of the house and told some lady he was coming up, and right away.

Lovesick? A sailor should leave that for mere landlubbers, clerks, doctors, bricklayers and--in this modern age--executives, of course. Ahoy there, mates! If this continues Popeye will be seen sporting a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit and drinking tea instead of eating spinach.

Up, Cotton; Down, Steel*

At least it's helpful to have the President outline the administration's views on prices, and it's something that those views are comprehensible. If we take two commodities for examples, the whole business may be illustrated in a jiffy. The price of steel ought to come down. The price of cotton ought to go up. The result would be a balance which alone produces peak activity in employment and general business.

It is almost unanimously agreed by the economists that the one thing which enabled the country to catch a fleeting glimpse of prosperity was inflation, the inflation of government spending in excess of revenues--in short, deficit financing. It was this tremendous outlay, which found its way into consumption, that made business profitable at higher price levels, and it was a shutting off of a large part of this inflationary spending that brought on the recession. The economists agree that its resumption would bring prosperity back, for awhile, at least, but they differ among themselves as to how long the shots in the arm may be kept up without killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

And the alternative to further Federal spending, which is to say inflation and the maintenance of high prices, is deflation. And that's a horrid word and a process full of miseries. A compromise between the two is what the President and his advisers intend--i.e., to go back to our original illustration, the raising of cotton prices and the lowering of steel prices. We understand how the first objective is to be accomplished, and it will be comparatively painless. But there is no way to bring steel prices down against the will of the steelmasters except by letting them sweat through a spell of deflation--and that isn't going to be fun for any of us.

When Bob Meets Bob

The proposal that the Federal Government build eight million dollars' worth of super-highways will have Senator R. R. (Their Bob) Reynolds' "study." Not only that; he says in one of his frequent statements, meant to give his constituents the impression of a statesman at work, that he approaches his study of the super-highway proposal with an "open mind."

Bob Doughton intimated the other day that the Senator's mind always is open. The two North Carolinians had a tiff-at-statements over the undistributed profits tax. Repeal it, quoth Robert. "I presume," retorted the cognizant Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, "that Senator Reynolds, as usual, has made a comprehensive and painstaking study of the subject."

Ha! The effete playboy and world tourist from the resort city of Asheville has not, for all his charm and geniality, deceived the rawboned, hard-headed livestock raiser from the little town of Laurel Springs. You can't fool an old horse-trader.

Cat Out of the Bag*

It is a little puzzling to know what the 600 Pennsylvania firms which have gone into Dauphin County Court and got an injunction against the 44-hour-week law recently passed by the Legislature, may hope to gain by their action. And it is harder still to understand on what ground the judge in the case based his decision to issue the writ. Perhaps there are obscure questions involved, but primarily the matter seems to be simply one of the State's right to limit the work week to 44 hours.

Such a limit may be open to question on its wisdom, but that the states have a right to fix maximum hours would seem to be one of the things most clearly beyond dispute. They have been exercising it, in one measure or another, for the last fifty years. Moreover, the Pennsylvania litigants seem to be weakening what has been one of the favorite arguments of employers against Federal wage-and-hour regulation--that the states are best equipped to deal with local conditions. If the states are to be challenged and endlessly held up by legal battles and rulings, the champions of Federal action are of course going to seize on it as final proof of the pressing need for their measures.

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