The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 23, 1940


Site Ed. Note: Mrs. Lineberger is wrong. City boys do not go about kicking stray dogs, trampling flower and vegetable gardens or calling for mother at the first sign of trouble.

There being nothing else stimulative of much comment from today's page, not even a cartoon for the third displacement by letters this month, we shall leave it at this: we successfully predicted not only the opponent of yesterday, that is tomorrow, but also the score. For the Hogs lost 77-108. We arrive at this perfect prediction a bit circuitously, granted, but nevertheless with clear certainty in the final analysis, viz. Jimmy Carter became President in 1977; Max Yasgur gave his brief oration in 1969. These particular editorials were written and published originally in 1940. (And in Charlotte, no less, the winner's destination.) Add 40 to 69, less one, of course, because the President who became President in 1969 had to resign. Voila! (Also, in 1968 this date, the winner lost to U.C.L.A. in the national finals. So there you are again.)

Simple principles of mathematics. The black bird told us.

More predictions later in the week. But we have already predicted the opponent after the next one--not to look ahead, of course. Two down, four to go.

Dream Stuff

In Fact, We Kind Of Bedazzle Ourselves

One thing more we meant to say yesterday about Lawyer John A. McRae's speech on the subject of slum clearance. This good citizen oughtn't to conjure up a dream house and then lose sleep because nobody is collecting taxes on it.

Something like that is what Mr. McRae did. He estimated that the City and County would lose some $40,000 a year in taxes, which they waive, on the two local housing projects. And running that figure on out to 60 years, Mr. McRae arrived at $2,436,480, which he classified as subsidy.

If subsidy it is, we know how to hedge on all but about $57,000 of it. That is by reverting to the status quo, by going back to the time when there were no Fairview Homes and no Piedmont Courts. Then there were no taxes (except about $950 a year) coming in from the sites of these developments, and of course no taxes to be waived on condition that the Government would make a loan for the erection of low-cost housing here.

And if the City and County had refused to waive taxes, they would have saved $2,436,480 over the next 60 years. Or would they?

Men In Masks*

Senators Refuse To Be Known By A Vote Of Record

The Senate passed itself a billion-dollar (almost) farm bill yesterday, $200,000,000 above the President's budget estimates, even more above the amount fixed by an economy-minded House.

In fact, with this one swipe, the Senate knocked the economy for a loop, so far as this session goes, yet strangely enough the very Senators who put this bill over may come home and brag to their constituents how they worked with might and main for the farmer and also for lower appropriations.

The Senate rules do not require a record vote even on legislation of the first importance. Senators may put other Senators on the spot by demanding a roll call, but Senatorial courtesy frowns on so drastic a procedure except under great provocation.

That provocation apparently was missing from the climax of the debates on the farm bill; in any case, its final passage was by voice vote. And so Senator So-and-So and Senator This-and-That have covered up their tracks in the most definitive action of the whole session. We'd give a pretty, for instance, to know how that champion of economy, Senator Bailey, voted on this bill.

Affair At Sylt

It May Have Sounded Worse Than It Was

Conflicting oddly with the eye-witness accounts of Danish residents near the Island of Sylt, the story of the three American war correspondents who were shown over the place indicates clearly that the touted raid, retaliation for the affair at Scapa Flow, was a fizzle.

The immediate elation of the British over the venture was understandable. It was daring in its conception and marvelous in its execution. The natural story to tell of the raid's effectiveness would be a good one, and a taste of their own medicine for the Nazis.

But this pardonable exaggeration does not account for the version of the Danes, who actually saw, or thought they saw, ammunition stores going up and adding to the destruction wrought by the British bombs, the whole sky over Sylt changed to "a sea of fire," the airbase and its equipment undoubtedly rendered useless.

Far from useless, Sylt, according to the three American correspondents ushered over the place to back up German contentions--Sylt is doing business at the same old stand. One building (an infirmary, the Nazis said) was demolished. Sand dunes were pock-marked with bomb holes. Another small building showed "extensive signs of damage." But havoc? It simply wasn't wrought.

Yet it may be that what the Danes saw and heard while the raid was going on, and what the American correspondents saw after it was over, are not entirely at variance. An air raid of this intensity must certainly look and sound like the end of the world, with every living creature certain to be utterly destroyed and every structure completely demolished. Whereas we know that, in reality, while they make a good show, the raids are frequently quite ineffectual. Wasn't it one civilian to a $500 bomb that the Germans and Italian airmen averaged in Spain?


Mr. Barton Apparently Believes Everything

Congressman Bruce Barton of New York is laboring, we fear, under a misapprehension of his own.

He's against anti-alien laws, such as those so loudly proposed by Robert Rice Reynolds, he tells the House, on the ground that to pick out a special group of the population and make it subject to special penalties is to open the way to exactly the sort of thing we have seen happen in Nazi Germany.

But then he goes on to say that the shouters for such laws are the victims of misapprehension. Aliens don't have more crimes than natives, they have less. No anti-alien law would reach the most dangerous enemies of our society.

"Earl Browder is not an alien: Fritz Kuhn is not in alien: Al Capone is not an alien. [He might have said Coughlin, Gerald Winrod Smith, the chieftains of the Ku Klux Klan, etc., Pelley, etc., too] If a criminal alien were setting out to plunder America or overthrow the American Government his first move would naturally be to cloak himself in the protection of American citizenship. Any anti-alien law designed to compel aliens to become citizens under threat of penalties would not save us from the bad aliens. It would work a grievous hardship to hundreds of thousands of sober, industrious, elderly people who came here too late in life to meet the educational qualifications for citizenship."

It is all so obviously true that it ought not have to be said. But if Mr. Barton actually thinks that what explains the uproars of most of the anti-alien leaders is simply misapprehension of these simple facts and this simple logic, then he is a very naive person. If they don't already know it, then they could easily know it. They don't want to know it for the good reason, good from their standpoint, that it would not be good politics for rallying the 100% Americans.

Site Ed. Note: For more on Gerald Winrod Smith, see "Kansas Bogeyman", July 28, 1938.


Concord's Library Election Sets Pace For Mecklenburg

Of interest to Mecklenburg County with a special election on a 4-cent Library tax coming up May 26, is Concord's action on a 3-cent tax for the same purpose.

Only two or three cities and counties in the state have taken the Mecklenburg view that appropriations for maintenance of libraries are illegal without a vote of the people, which indeed they appear to be. At any rate, proceeding on that assumption, Concord's city fathers cut their library off.

The Cannons, we believe, kept it going until an election could be held, which was done this week. The registration for this election was 1,428, and the tax carried by a vote of 1,241 to 187, or about 7 to 1.

It may be that this one-sided expression is not to duplicated in Mecklenburg, but it would certainly seem to indicate that the people generally set store by their libraries and are willing to tax themselves to keep them open.

Hot Tip*

Trial Jury Passes On The Word To The Grand Jury

Like a gust from the Roaring Twenties came stories in Superior Court Friday--stories of speakeasies with their hard-fisted "bouncers," of liquor-buying by the drink and by the bottle, of hotel-room drinking bouts. Lusty stories, those told hesitatingly by witnesses charged with "clipping" a sucker of his money on two separate occasions.

Mulling over the involved and very indefinite account, the trial jury had no other recourse than to bring in a verdict of not guilty. The prosecuting witness simply didn't have the evidence. But that jury, formanned by John H. Vickers, did something else--it brought in an additional recommendation that the witnesses be held for grand jury investigation of the two alleged speakeasies flourishing in the first block of N. Brevard Street, three blocks from Independence Square, four blocks from the City Police Department.

Such initiative on the part of a trial jury is practically unheard of in local court circles. Usually such investigations would be left to the whims of a grand jury or the District Solicitor, with no assurance that either would do anything about it. This time, however, the grand jury has a ready-made case to hear.

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