The Charlotte News

Friday, March 22, 1940


Site Ed. Note: Today we are confronted with a letter to the editor again from that old perennial chum of The News, Dave Clark. Dave, who thought that the editor was a Red and the associate editor was a Red even Redder than that; Dave, who thought that the whole University of North Carolina was Red, especially its law school and Frank Porter Graham, for daring to desire integration in 1938; Dave, who preferred to run nice good ol' ads in his Bulletin with little black boys all floured up in white face beneath a slogan promoting the virtues of "colored yarn" over traditional white yarn; Dave, in short, the Liberal.

We can understand how Dave would object to the terribly immoral things which that bad man, Bert Russell, had to say. He was not our kind, was he, Dave? UnChrist-like. Thought too much. Not adherent to Western tradition, the foundations of our entire Christian civilization.

And therefore we cannot of course forgive him a single, solitary such utterance. And, whether he, himself, actually lived the words is of no consequence. He advocated them and that's enough for us. For, we know that what a person says and thinks is a far more dangerous thing than what that person actually does. For the doing is transitory; the saying and thinking are permanent and do permanent harm to people, especially folks like Dave and us who believe it dangerous to think for ourselves and prefer the warm comfort of the good ol' ways, where right's right and wrong is simply wrong, and we know which is which right off the bat without a whit of contemplation on the matter. Why, those things Dr. Bertrand was saying were simply profane.

A man oughtn't be able to make a living in his field of training or even to live after saying such things. He ought be punished soundly. Even a flogging wouldn't suffice. What we should do is find us a good tall set of trees, round up all such people and hang them. That would be more apropos to the teachings of our Bible. Because that is smack-dab in accord with the words in the second book of Klonikles, Chapter 11, verse 11, which says: "If any there be who disagree with thou, my son or daughter, then they traverse in the ways of the wicked and must be smote, for they know not the ways of the righteous and cannot learn them. So smite them good, and if then they continue in their waywardness, hang thee them."

Dave, you were simply misunderstood, anachronistic to your times in 1940. For you were, after all, many decades ahead of your time.

But there is one thing which they may not take away from you: you were one hell of a great drummer. And we can attest to it by the very fact that we listened to your short and sweet songs ourselves regularly back there in the mid-1960's, even if they were saying it was the Devil's music. We listened anyway, just because.

We should also be remiss were we not to point out to Mrs. Cagle, also a writer in the letter column of this date, that city boys and girls additionally learn not to stereotype people. There are many basket-weavers who grew up in the city, ma'am, though granted, hog farmers are there few. We have, however, run across some raisers of chickens. (The light blue eggs are the better, at the hop.)

In any event, neither Max Yasgur nor Jimmy Carter tended to categorize people by their place of origin or background and so we are not suggesting by implication, for all those, like ourselves, who are followers of Dave and who thus might misinterpret our meaning and become confused and offended, that just because one grows of age in the country they also necessarily stereotype people either; and plenty of city people do that, too, anyway.

Perhaps the fault was that the question itself was conducive to response by generalization, hence stereotyping. We might rephrase it by asking: what are the differences, if any, between being raised in the city and being raised in the country, in terms of future growth of a person socially, educationally, culturally, intellectually, and behaviorally? For, it is true, "success" is largely in the eyes of both beholder and performer. Some rather nefarious individuals have been known to live quite "successful" lives. But all of that, perhaps, becomes too complicated.

As for the city-country dichotomy, Cash appears to have been occasionally fond of exploring the notion, perhaps as a defense mechanism to being cast in one light by some for his distinct accent and occasional peculiar phraseology, ringing of country sounds, that obtained from his parents and peers growing up, (albeit all of course Red), while achieving an understanding of matters generally far beyond the apparent capacity of many city dwellers, especially the Red ones, to whom he was amply exposed over time as an adult.

This comparison was the subject, for instance, of "Country Boys Write Better Books", April 2, 1939. So it is a good bet, confirmed by the box in the letter column of March 20, which bemoaned the paucity of letters thus far on the topic, being addressed to the "little readers", that the question was conjured by Cash.

In any event, whatever the definition of "success", whether defined or had, and whether enjoyed or not, by city-bred or country-bred, often enough, regardless of breeding, it's twenty years of schooling and they put you on the dayshift, 'cause when you went to prime the pump, you found that the vandals, probably Dave, took the handle.

Don't forget to read the Hugh Johnson column about Glamour Boy Hoover sent by A.G. Frank Murphy to clean up Miami vice. Maybe that's where he first ran into...

Anyway, got to get going, 'cause we're tired of the way we've been dogged around.

Happy Easter. Happy Passover.

Good Friday

Spirit Of The Day Unites Christian Church

And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, there they crucified him...

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

* * *

Around this scene, spoken by a man in mortal pain, who had been cruelly used by the people and the rulers of the country for no greater crimes than that he brought a word which they did not care to hear, the Christian Church gathers on this day, Good Friday.

To the Catholics and the Episcopalians, the observance of Good Friday is and long has been a ritual as deeply ingrained in church custom as the ceremonies of consecration and conversion. But to many Protestant denominations the significance of the day, though they marked its passage, came later into their services.

But when it did, they found here in this suffering of the man crucified, in his forgiveness of his tormentors and his acceptance of an ordeal for mankind's sake, a spirit which burned as brightly as a lamp, around which men and women of all creeds and beliefs might gather in common understanding, reverentially. So that the scene, nineteen centuries later, grows more vivid with the years.

Pocket Change

Morgenthau's $621,000,000 Lunch Money For New Deal

As an indication of a prosperous 1939, Secretary Morgenthau's report of increased income tax receipts (up 31 per cent over last year's) is sanguine news. But in other respects, what's the difference?

Look. All the big and little people who make more than $50 a week, if married, or $20 a week if single, sit themselves down and render a full financial accounting to Mr. Morgenthau and his aides. They list their salaries and other income, take off contributions and all the permissible deductions they can think of, and on the remainder they pay taxes beginning at 4% to (12 1/2-18% for corporations) and running up, in the case of the big rich, to 70%.

All this frantic figure work and painful transference of money from individual bank accounts to Mr. Morgenthau's bank account produces a tremendous revenue, never you fear about that. Already he has totted up $621,000,000 in checks received during the first twenty days of March, and that's a whale of a lot of money, as those 6,210,000 persons had chipped in a hundred bucks apiece, with more to come on June 15, Sept. 15, Dec. 15.

And does it enable Mr. Morgenthau to cover the expenditures of the Government, and perhaps lay aside a little for the day when tax receipts are not so much? It does not. These 621 millions will run the Federal establishment for less than a month! In fact, for not much more than three weeks!

And after all, what great difference does it make whether Mr. Morgenthau gets a two weeks' supply of cash from income tax payments or a three weeks' supply? There are so many weeks in the Government's year.


Movement Of Gasoline Less Restricted Than Its Storage

In rejecting the ordinance to regulate the movement of gasoline trailer trucks without proposing some measure in its stead, a majority of the City Council assumed a great responsibility. Let us all trust that no calamitous experience with one of these liquid flame-throwers will ever occur to disturb their peace of mind, much less to consume some part of the city and its inhabitants, but it remains a risk we should not care to run.

The haulers of gasoline have their rights, to be sure, the same as any other method of transportation. One of those rights is to be allowed to do business with as little hindrance and regulation as is necessary. But the first requirement of anybody who does business is that it shall not jeopardize the safety of the public.

The story of these gasoline trucks on the highways and in the cities and towns of the state is proof that they do jeopardize public safety. The instances are too numerous for argument on that point. By nature, gasoline is inflammable and unquenchable, and by nature the transporting of gasoline in large quantities over crowded streets in thickly settled districts is heavily fraught with danger.

Strangely enough, the City Code recognizes this danger by forbidding the delivery of gasoline by tank wagons in the city, except to underground tanks, and it likewise forbids that more than ten gallons be stored outside of any building above ground. But ten gallons stored outside a building is not to be compared as a hazard to three or four thousand gallons in motion along the streets.


With Mr. McRae's Point We Agree, After Restating It

They seem to be ganging up on the local housing projects. Every day or so of recent somebody has been making a speech or writing a letter with low-cost housing as the goat. Latest was John A. McRae's speech to the Kiwanis Club.

As we first got Mr. McRae's argument, it was that because the Government couldn't at once provide housing for everybody, it shouldn't have provided any at all. Not a house.

That, we knew, was so thoroughly illogical that it couldn't have been what Mr. McRae meant, even though he did preface it with something about "equal rights to all and special privileges to none."

No, we were satisfied that Mr. McRae was just inserting an oratorical flourish there and really meant to make this point: that the housing program has been such a considerable outlay to the Government and is taking care of so few people out of all those in need of low cost housing that the whole thing is impractical and ought to be approached from another angle.

We agree with that, in a measure. It is impractical for the Government to build houses for others when its own establishment is running deeper into the hole every year. The resources of private industry and the whole people are so infinitely greater than the Government's resources that they could work in a few years a transformation which would occupy the Government for centuries. But...

The fact is that until the Government came along with its housing program, nobody else was doing anything about low cost housing, either as an investment or a sociological experiment. Now, with the Government efforts to observe, we know something about it, and others may be tempted to go and do approximately likewise. And if we do not miss our guess again, the Government has begun what is going to be the most sustained activity of the next quarter century, and that is: the making over of the housing of America from the bottom up. Whether this is going to be done inexpensively by the Government or economically by private industry depends on developments which we cannot at this juncture foresee. But it's going to be made over, and high time.


Close View Of A Very Dangerous Fellow

Herewith, for the benefit of our bright little readers, we reprint the dossier of that dangerous Alien and Red Menace, Bertrand Russell, whose acceptance of a chair of mathematics and logic at the City College of New York has Robert Rice Reynolds and a great many others in a lather:

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, English philosopher, born May 18, 1872, at Trelleck, Monmouth, second son of Viscount Amberley, grandson of Lord John Russell, and heir presumptive.

Educated Trinity College, Cambridge, also Oxford. Became Fellow and lecturer at Trinity.

Lecture at Harvard University, 1914.

Awarded Butler gold medal for most distinguished work in philosophy during previous five years by Columbia University, New York, 1915.

Deprived of Trinity College lectureship for pacifistic activities (urging settlement of World War by conciliation) 1916.

Sentenced to jail for six months for continued pacifist activities, 1917.

Author: German Social Democracy, 1896; Essay on the Foundations of Geometry, 1897; The Philosophy of Leibniz, 1900; The Principles of Mathematics, 1903; Philosophical Essays, 1910; Principia Mathematica (the Bible of the new mathematical logic), 1910, (with A. N. Whitehead); Problems of Philosophy, 1911; The Philosophy of Bergson, 1914; Our Knowledge of The External World, 1914; Scientific Method in Philosophy, 1915; Mysticism and Logic, 1916; Why Men Fight, 1916 (the book which eventually got him in jail); Principles of Social Reconstruction, 1917; Political Ideals, 1918; Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919; Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, 1920; ABC of Relativity, 1931.

Succeeded his brother as Earl Russell in 1931.

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