The Charlotte News

Monday, March 18, 1940


Site Ed. Note: "Amenities" has us do a Mulligan after St. Pat's Day, back to February 2 again. For if there ain't no ground hog in the skillet, or, for that matter, hide in the churn, why, then it must be a dead skunk if Ides be durned.

Whatever the case, the comparison of the chuck hogs of Quarryville and Gobbler's Knob was odorous, but well done much in nothing anyway, though dolorous, as the sematological reference points for each neither appeared in their stripes nor their breach, but rather the head-bobbing formula by which they do to the shadow beseech, the one, however, being a cobbler sorry, the other a furry slob's ubiquitist's slorry.

And you can't choler snakes in a buffalo herd. Nor can you make a flower in a terra peat mage.

The rest is here, however, from which you may indeed slake the pair-of-leets' page.

...Turn left at Greenland.

Two Courts

Mecklenburg's And Gaston's Have A Weakness In Common

Gaston is the other half of the judicial district which includes Mecklenburg and of which the Hon. John Carpenter is Solicitor. In a four-day term of court last week, 79 cases were sloughed off Gaston's criminal docket.

Twenty-four came off by the nollepros method, which is to say that for one reason or another, the cases just weren't tried.

There is nothing wrong per se with a nollepros. A husband may be arrested, on complaint of his wife, for abandonment and non-support, may be scared into becoming the family provider again. The charge against him vanishes for want of a prosecuting witness, and the State properly has no further interest in the matter.

But there is something radically wrong in the conduct of the court when great blocks of its cases, many involving real crimes, are disposed of in this manner. It is more than a coincidence, we are bound to believe, that in the two courts presided over by Solicitor Carpenter, the nollepros is used more freely by far than in any other district of the whole state.


The Old American Vein Is Plainly Still With Us

It all began when the groundhog disagreed. One woodchuck, belonging to the Quarryville, Pa., Ground Hog Lodge, came out on Feb. 2, predicted fair weather ahead. The other, belonging to the Gobbler's Knob, Pa., Ground Hog Lodge, maintained that six weeks of Winter still had to come. The latter prophet, of course, turned out to be right. Which moved the Gobbler's Knob Lodge to sneer scornfully that the Quarryville woodchuck was not a groundhog at all, but a "odiferous animal with stripes on his back"--in sum, Mephitis mephitis.

Which so aroused the Quarryville lodge that it retorted:

"As for stripes we are not color blind. We are able to discern white stripes on odiferous animals, and yellow stripes on mortals."

That gentle hint remains to be answered by Gobbler's Knob. But answer there will certainly be.

The case is pretty good evidence that the old native American vigor of expression, sometimes said to have died out, still plainly survives. The passage is strictly in the vein of one between two celebrated characters of the Mississippi back in the 1840's:

One said approximately:

"I'm a horse, I'm a he-horse, I'm an alligator, I'm four catamounts, I'm a bull, I'm a snake, I'm a hee-hawing, kicking mule, and I can lick any blankety-blank such and such on the Mississippi River, and anybody who says it ain't so is a thieving grave-robber and a pink-tailed rabbit's grandmother!"

Said the other:

"I'm a man, I'm a bad Injun. I am a buffalo herd, I'm a bull, I'm a snake, I'm a horse, I'm a keg of gunpowder, I'm an elephant, I'm a wildcat, I'm ten hee-hawing, kicking mules, and I'm a steamboat a-coming down the river. And I can lick any blankety blank such and such on the Mississippi or any other blankety blank river and any blankety blank such and such who says it ain't so is a ring-tailed grave-robbing polecat, so help me!"

And that, men, was telling 'em.


Senate's Seldom Used Defense Against Filibusters

To the threat of Southern Senators, the anti-lynching bill bloc, to filibuster the Wagner-Van Nuys measure to its death, the lynching bill bloc offers a threat to retaliate with cloture.

The last time cloture was seriously considered in the Senate was at the fag end of a long weary session in 1935 when Huey Long, already having staged a filibuster against a resolution to prolong the farce of NRA, began another to talk down a deficiency bill appropriating money to the Social Security Administration. The session came to an end, however, with the bill still unpassed and the Senate's extraordinary, drastic curb of filibusters unused.

Cloture, of closure, though an old parliamentary device, was incorporated in the rules of the U.S. Senate only so long ago as 1917, after a "little group of willful men" had prevented the passage of the armed ship bill. It provides that if at any time there is offered a motion signed by sixteen Senators to bring to a close the debate upon any pending measure, the presiding officer shall state the motion and, on the second calendar day following, put the question by roll call.

A two-thirds vote for adoption limits the debating time of each Senator thereafter and gives the right of way to the measure until it has been disposed of.

Site Ed. Note: Since 1975, the rules for a cloture vote only require a three-fifths majority of the Senate; the old rule still applies, however, to rule changes. But the old rule and its latter application numbers only the Senators present and voting on the cloture motion, whereas the newer rule applies to the entire number in the Senate. The presentation of the motion to produce a vote on cloture continues to require only sixteen Senators.

The "little group of willful men," that according to Woodrow Wilson.

Squeeze Play?

Mussolini Seems To Think The Scheme Will Work

Mussolini's reported decision to line up with Hitler actively and attempt to come to agreement and perhaps alliance with Russia, is a good deal less than startling. For months now, it has been apparent that the Italian dictator was playing at least a double game. And the British move to shut off his coal from Germany was, as we said at the time, probably designed to smoke him out into the open.

Immediately, the action is most likely intended as a preparation for a squeeze play for "peace." The Allies will be confronted with what looks at least like a solid bloc made up of Germany, Russia, and Italy, with the Balkans caught in the jaws of the bloc. They will be told that attack by Germany's backdoor is now no longer possible, that suicide on the Western Front is the only alternative to accepting Mr. Hitler's dictated terms--peddled as being mild but actually opening the way to the complete destruction of England and France. Great pressure will be brought on Turkey to convince her that her position is no longer tenable and that she had better climb on the Nazi-Red-Fascist bandwagon while there is still time.

And in the United States the idea will be urged that the Allies are done for and had better salvage what they can by making "peace"--to the end of stirring up hysteria and driving the American Government to bring pressure on the Allies to yield.

But suppose the squeeze play fails? Then Mussolini is probably going to have to fight: for it is not likely that the Allies will tolerate his actively aiding the Nazis while still pretending to be a non-belligerent. And if he has to fight--he has improved the breathing spell of the six months since the war began to fortify his border against France more effectually. But there is still not much doubt that the French can cut through when they make up their minds to do it, for there is no evidence in the world that the Italian has suddenly become a good soldier. Moreover, the British are likely to let the blockade go for the moment and grimly concentrate on destroying the Italian navy and taking Italy out of the war in record time.

Apparently, Signor Mussolini thinks a squeeze play will work. We shall see.


Boss Green Seems Sure Of Willie's Conversion

The Chicago Criminal Court has ruled that Mr. Willie Bioff, so far as it is concerned, just has to serve the term in jail imposed on him seventeen years ago for serving as panderer to a back-room prostitute. Mr. Bioff's attorney explained to the court that, while Mr. Bioff had been "brought up with thieves and murderers," he has tried to improve himself and is now as clean as a hound's tooth.

Which may be true or untrue, but which does seem to be a little dubious in view of the $3,000 fees which Mr. Bioff has sometimes charged for the privilege of joining a stage-hand's union in Los Angeles, to which citadel of puritanism Mr. Bioff fled when he decided in the first place that he didn't want to serve the Chicago sentence.

But at least Mr. William Green, boss of the American Federation of Labor, seems to be satisfied as to Mr. Bioff's complete reform. Mr. Green explains, indeed, that he just hasn't the power to remove a head of an international local affiliated with his outfit. But that is plainly only a subterfuge. The record shows clearly enough that Mr. Green knows how to get rid of heads of locals when he wants to, authority or no authority.

Hence it is reasonable to deduce that Mr. Green doesn't really want to get rid of Mr. Bioff. And from that again, to deduce that he must believe in Mr. Bioff's achievement of virtue.

Site Ed. Note: And, for what it's worth, "Lady Madonna" and "The Inner Light" were simultaneously released the same day, forty years ago, three days ago, the last Capitol-labelled releases in the States, mate. Dang us.

Remember, when the children have to travel B-class, well, that's the way to travel. Why do you think they call it steerage?

North Carolina and U.C.L.A. had good basketball teams that spring, too. We remember.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i>--</i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.