The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 8, 1940


Site Ed. Note: You see, the White King had fallen into the cinders, and the Queen had warned him of the volcano, to which caveat he responded, "What volcano?"

All of which leads naturally to the conclusion that Vulcan was about his work in the fireplace, producing of course from the tumtum trees those treads with which to go whiffling through the tulgey wood, until, that is, one might hap upon the Rebbaj gnikcow.

Incidentally, we would have to say that Mr. Hoffman here, running for Governor, sounded, tintinnabulationally, a bit before his time; more like, in that initial declamation anyway, solid silver water.

Even more incidentally, though a student of Geiler, the Kindlifresserbrunnen was subsequently attributed more likely to Hans Gieng, often confused with Hans Geiler, to the point that the two became fused as one, that is in fountain lore in Switzerland. Just who outgrabed whom, gengenner or guiler, it be less than a wiseling who might wlench one’s self with the idea of keeping your Giengs and Geilers ogreated.

Now, for something completely different.


Somehow, It Looks Like More Of The Same Thing

Mr. John B. Hoffman, the Burlington lawyer who has announced his candidacy for Governor of North Carolina on the Republican ticket, is agin too much Federal Government and the sales tax. He himself tells us so in his proclamation to the people. The New Deal laws, he says, "are seriously retarding our industrial progress by destroying individual initiative and personal creation in our system." And the sales tax of North Carolina he designates as "obnoxious." Both New Deal laws and the sales tax he wants to repeal in toto.

And thereupon the distinguished gentleman comes out with a plan of his own. He takes a leaf out of old Doc Townsend and the Ham and Eggs and proposes a flat three per cent tax "on all transactions and a levy of one per cent on the true value of raw materials... the collection of such taxes to be by the Federal Government, saving one-half the cost of collection..." And the funds so collected? He proposes to use half of them to give a $30 a month to (1) all minors without income, in the orphanages, (2) all blind and deaf mute persons without income, (3) and all persons 60 years or over, apparently without regard to income. The other half would be handed back over to the states. All this "in lieu of payments made by Federal, State and county governments"--a cryptic phrase which intrigues us not a little.

Maybe we are merely obtuse or jaundiced. But somehow we have the feeling that Brother Hoffman is agin too much Federal Government and the sales tax, only if and when too much Federal Government and the sales tax are sponsored and run by the villainous Democrats.

Site Ed. Note: Uh, that’s right, uh, Congressman Jerry Voorhis of California, mentioned below, uh, who had, uh, among, uh, many other occupations, in 1924-25, uh, worked in an, uh, automobile assembly plant there in Charlotte, was the same Congressman whom he, uh, defeated to become a, uh, Congressman, that is he who was not a, uh, Crook, nor a Gieng--nor a Geiler neither. Uh, he was, uh, however--how do we say this delicately?—a little pink, that is the Congressman.

Oh, uh, by the way, don't forget about that, uh, little roman à clef there, incidentally, set at the, uh, Little Pep, in, uh, February, 1940, as, uh, written up in, uh, October, 1992, by our, uh, friend in the, uh, Caribbean, who, uh, had never seen these pieces before, when, uh, writing all that up.

Ah, uh, but that was a, you know, what do you call it? novel.

Love Feast

Mr. Starnes Refuses To Embarrass An Admirer

It was all perfectly lovely when the Dies Committee finally got Mr. William Dudley Pelley before it yesterday. Mr. Pelley was full of unstinted admiration for all the committeemen, which was a little odd. Once upon a time, indeed, he had been loud in his praise of the work of the committee, but that was in the days when Martin Dies absolutely dominated it and used it as a vehicle for smearing as Red anybody he didn't like. His only criticism in that time was that it didn't go far enough. But ever since some less hysterical men had been added to the committee, he had denounced it in unmeasured terms.

All the committeemen, including the Hon. Thomas of New Jersey, insisted that, for their part, they didn't care for Mr. Pelley. But when Committeeman Voorhis attempted to question Mr. Pelley about an alleged statement of his that the President of the United States had used the infantile paralysis funds for his own, the Hon. Joe Starnes, acting chairman and stooge to Martin Dies, banged his gavel, and ended the session by saying that Mr. Voorhis was "going very far afield." It is all right, you see, for Dies and Starnes to drag crackpots before the committee and use their expressed suspicions as a basis for denouncing the President of the United States as a Red. But it is very wicked for the same committee to look into a gross libel against that President peddled by one of the most notorious Fascists in the country.

Somehow we should not be surprised to see the estimable Mr. Pelley get out of that hearing without the least embarrassment to himself or his Silver Shirts. After all, you know, he did come to the rescue of Martin Dies, most gallantly.

Site Ed. Note: As we have always said, especially to our Fascist friends, when the going gets tough, the getting becomes...

(We hope you understand that and that it is not offensive to you; and if it is, well...)

Tough Going

An Old Nursery Character Comes To Strange Uses

Full four centuries and a half ago they set him up in Berne, in the Kornhaus Platz. His creator was one Hans Geiler, a woodcarver of the old capital of the Swiss Confederation. What daemon impelled him to the task is not now remembered. But for the Bernese he became at once the Kindlifresserbrunnen, which is to say, the Child-Gobbling-Fountain. American and British tourists, among whom he enjoys a fame second only to the celebrated Brussels mannequin and the Lion of Lucerne, know him as the Berne Ogre. In Berne he is a vast and gross fellow of wood, got up in the uniform of a soldier of the sixteenth century, with a terrifying face, with glaring eyes and huge teeth, and a helmet on his head. His knapsacks are full of little children, and he is just in the act of biting off the head of a naked infant. For four centuries and a half Berne mothers have used him to make their offspring toe the line, under threat that he'd get them and devour them if they didn't.

But now, at length, he has become a figure in politics. First the Nazis took him over and circulated postcards through Europe, including Switzerland, depicting him as the International Jew eating up Gentiles. Then the English countered by circulating cards to Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, etc. representing him as Adolf Hitler in process of devouring the small nations. To that again the Nazis replied by circulating more, entitled "Britain, Monarch of the Seas." And so it goes on.

The Associated Press reports that the Ogre himself doesn't mind. But we should think he would. After all, to be called out of the nursery at the age of 450 to make an argument of both sides of a political contest is pretty rough treatment.

Site Ed. Note: They may try to hang us, lads and lassies, but we are like as kin just to bounce right on back, somewhere on down the road. And Double Jeopardy considerations apply to prohibit hanging for the same offense twice. We recommend, therefore, not trying that.

Also, always remember this: you can't eat the same dinner twice.


This Scheme Has Several Considerable Difficulties

It is a very large order General Johnson cuts out for us in his column today, when he proposes that we make ourselves independent of rubber from the Orient by turning South America into our source of supply.

It is certainly true that Brazil is the home of the tree, Hevea Brasiliensis, which is universally used on rubber plantations today. But of the approximately 9,000,000 acres now devoted to rubber plantations in the whole world, only about 10,000 acres are in Brazil. Nearly all the rest are in the tropical possessions of England, The Netherlands, and France in the Orient.

The United States presently imports somewhat over one-half of the total annual production of rubber in the world. So what the General proposes is that some 4,500,000 acres in South America be turned to the production of the latex.

It is exceedingly doubtful that there is that much suitable soil in South America. The only part of Brazil which is adapted to the growth of rubber is the Amazon River area. In addition to Brazil the lower reaches of the Orinoco in Venezuela, and the coastal portions of Colombia and perhaps Nicaragua, are probably adapted to the purpose.

In any case, it certainly is not true that, as the General suggests, the planting of this area could be achieved in five years. Most of the country referred to is not now in cultivation of any sort, represents the densest and most formidable jungle on earth. So dense and formidable is it, indeed, that it is still doubtful that it can be successfully brought under cultivation. In this fiercely hot and steaming climate, the jungle literally grows back as fast as man can cut his clearings. Further still, there is the problem of the labor supply. No white man, including the half-breeds of Brazil, can endure the climate and the ills that go with it, and the Indians native to the district have never been successfully brought to labor save by reducing them to abject slavery.

To carry out the taming of this district, if it is feasible under any circumstances, would require an organized attempt on a scale never before imagined--would call for the use of every weapon in man's economic armament, as well as vast sanitation corps, etc.--would cost billions, which the United States would naturally have to furnish.

Worse. It would ruin the economy of the British and Dutch possessions in the East, gravely disorganize the economy of the British Empire, and wreck that of the Netherlands. And result naturally enough in retaliation. On the cotton farmer of the South, for instance. Britain would be sure to reply to this attack on her jugular by doing her best to encourage the growth of the white staple in all the new areas on earth which already threaten the South. Quite probably and ironically, in Brazil for one place. And she would, of course, also do her best to shift as much as possible of her present trade (half of all our foreign trade) away from us into the various components of the Empire--would have to do that in great measure because of the loss of the power to pay us for goods with her own.

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