The Charlotte News

Sunday, April 21, 1940


Site Ed. Note: …For, whatever your preference, whatever your fame, wherever you wander afoot, in glory or shame, never let it be said to an ear: a pencil is but a utensil-mere, sharpened or obumbilated; as it hath a way upon its head to enable erasure, obumbrating clack erratum for cockolorum, to accommodate the fumble-fated, or even defacer, they of the show-dumb prating cracker jack ‘em muss, or low-thumb shady grove roll-rock o’eremus.

"Old 49" indicates that the oft uttered charge at the time that WPA relief was administered on the basis of party fealty was at least subject to question, at least insofar as national distribution state by state was concerned. Of course, the main pork was that it was so administered locally, county by county; but then, if so, why was there no payoff to FDR in Maine and Vermont, the only two states to vote for Kansan Landon in 1936?

Also, in light of recent news stories out of Washington, we would venture to bet that among that 2 to 3 buck-a-head group, Idaho led the pack. (Pardon our french; hope you’re not offended.) We’ll resist any further pun work on ‘Atta Boise—or Pocatello. Or even on Minneapolis. (Bet you didn’t catch that first in Drudge, huh? Or even in the Post.))

Ah well, there is nothing like a little toe-tapping to the music within the stall, and with a bottleful of hay or not. Too bad the gentleman didn't inform himself with us; we could've recommended to him the well-known macarena defense, 'ey? Just consult former President Matt Douglas on the topic…

Stranger than fiction, and getting stranger by the day.

Once, in a place called Murphy Hall…no, on second thought—another day.

And, no note accompanying a piece mentioning exorcism would be compleat without mentioning Tubular Bells. So, done.

Also, the glockenspiel.

Everywhere that Mary went, the Lamb was sure to go, we reckon.

In conclusion, we just make comment that it's a fortunate thing there weren't in 1940 68 states.

Hit it, maestro: "We’ll see you again…"


Little Man Who Wasn't There Makes Case Against Housing

The Little Man Who Wasn't There makes a good witness for the detractors of Charlotte's low-cost housing projects. Not so long ago Attorney John A. McRae had him on the stand at the Kiwanis Club, and he made him admit that the City and County Governments, in waiving taxes on structures which otherwise wouldn't have been built, had let themselves in for a loss of $40,000 in revenue annually.

Of course, if the City and County hadn't waived taxes, there would have been no Piedmont Courts and Fairview Homes, and both governments would have continued to collect between them something less than a thousand dollars a year in taxes on the decrepit properties which the apartments displaced.

Friday, Attorney John Shaw, president of the Property Owners' Co., Inc., had the Little Man on the stand again, this time before the Civitan Club. He had him testify that rents in Piedmont Courts and Fairview Homes would average $11.25 a month for white tenants and $10.13 for Negro, plus the cost of utilities, and he made him confess that this would be far beyond the reach of the low-income groups the housing was intended to benefit.

When as a matter of fact the Housing Authority hasn't yet set the scale of rents and doesn't even know itself what they will be.

Road's End

Little Ed Goes The Way Of American Dictators

Little Ed Rivers, Governor of Georgia, having stuck his neck out, has at length had to pull it back in, painfully black and blue. All he has got out of his adventure in dictatorship is a reputation as a man unfit to hold high office, a charge of contempt for a Federal Court order, the bitter anger of many thousands of Georgians, and the probability that his political career is over.

It serves him right and should be a lesson to others. That he knew from the first he hadn't a legal leg to stand on when he set out to remove W. L. Miller as Georgia's Highway Commissioner, on the ground that the fellow was becoming a dangerous rival to himself, is plain from the fact that he avoided legal processes and instead sent over his strong-arm men to pitch Miller out of his office by force.

Certainly, he knew it from the moment when a Georgia court ruled against him. And all his defiance of state and Federal court orders thereafter simply served to compound his offense--to reveal clearly that he was a man who had no regard for the legal limitations on his power when they stood in the way of his ambitions.

He had plenty of warning, too. These American would-be dictators always do come to grief, soon or late. Jack Walton and Johnson of Oklahoma ended by being impeached and disgraced; Gene Talmadge and Olin Johnston left office as discredited men, probably doomed to obscurity for the rest of their days, Huey Long drew the graveyard and his gang is now filling Louisiana and Federal penitentiaries to the bursting point.

Nevertheless, brash Little Ed would not learn. But perhaps he begins to catch on now.


But The Improved Model Seems To Have Its Defects

It has not been generally noted, but among the other barbarian practices to which the Nazis have returned is that of exorcism. Characteristically, however, they have improved upon the innocence of the ancient barbarians.

Exorcism, properly speaking, is a conjuring away of demons and other evil spirits, by word spells. The Nazis, however, turn the weapon upon no creatures of the air save solid airplanes, and prefer above all to use it on that solid creature of the seas, the British Navy.

Whether the Nazis sank a British transport and put a British cruiser out of commission yesterday we haven't the slightest way of knowing, and won't have unless the British admit it or the correspondents report it. What we do know is that over four months ago the Nazis announced that their fleet and bombing planes had driven the British Navy completely out of the North Sea and even away from the whole north coast of England.

What we do know also is that three months ago they announced that the British battle fleet had been reduced to five capital ships, and that the cruiser and destroyer contingents had been thoroughly crippled. And that so far in the Norwegian campaign, they have announced the sinking or crippling of at least three British battleships and one French battleship, of some seven or eight British cruisers, and heaven alone knows how many destroyers, submarines, and transports.

The only thing about this modernized exorcism is that it doesn't seem to work like the old-fashioned kind. Despite all the spells, the British Navy still seems to be in the North Sea big as life, busily knocking off the Nazi Navy.

Old 49

Even The Other Southern States Beat Us Here

The South may be the nation's "No. 1 Economic Problem," but you'd never suspect it if you looked at the comparative table of relief expenditures. On the contrary, you might naturally conclude that this happy land had practically no unemployment to speak of as compared with other sections.

Thus, in the last five years, New York State's monthly relief handout from the Federal government has averaged $25,180,000, North Carolina's $2,480,000. That is, for every person in New York, that state got $1.94. But North Carolina got only $0.71 for each Tar Heel.

And New York by no means got the biggest bite. For every person in its confines, the District of Columbia, stamping ground of politicians, got $5.77, or a little more than eight times as much as each Tar Heel fetched. Montana was cut in for $4.14 per Montanan, Nevadans brought $3.39, the denizens of Wyoming $3.29, New Mexicans $3.05, Arizonans $3.01, and South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Washington between $2.00 and $3.00 a head. All these states, it is worth noting, are doubtful states or states which got into the Democratic fold for the first time in 1936--states which the New Deal is very anxious to hold.

On the other hand, Connecticut got into the Democratic column in 1936, too--is certainly doubtful. Yet Connecticut got only a $1.12, four cents less than Maine and 22 cents less than Vermont, both obdurately Republican in 1936. True, Connecticut has few electoral votes, but so also have a lot of those Western states with big handouts. Maybe Connecticut just didn't need it.

The Hon. Harry Hopkins, in his time as WPA chieftain, seems to have played Caesar's wife. Else how to account for the fact that Iowa, his native state, got only 85 cents for each Tall Corner, while all the other corn states were snatching off from $1.41 to $1.71?

All the Southern states got into the lowest bracket, but North Carolina got the smallest per capita cut of all.

Wrong Tack

Ban On Sunday Baseball Doesn't Make Sense

The Ministerial Association at Sanford, we see by the paper, has asked the town council to forbid baseball games on Sunday, on the ground that it "is not in harmony with the Christian attitude toward Sunday."

A very good argument can be, and often has been, made against that pronouncement, but we are not going to make it here. Granting that such is the Christian attitude, there are still two grave fallacies contained in the association's request.

One of them is that it has the right to use the law to force "the Christian attitude" on people.

The other is the assumption that if Sunday baseball is put down, the people who normally attend Sunday games will then betake themselves to activities held to be more in keeping with "the Christian attitude."

In practice, of course, it never works out that way. You do not convert men by attempting to coerce them; you merely make them resent your viewpoint. And actually, instead of spending their afternoon drinking soda pop, munching peanuts, and shouting their innocent pleasure in the game, the Sanfordites, we suspect, are apt to take to spending them in much the same way as many bored Charlotteans: in activities which it is scarcely likely the Sanford Ministerial Association would look upon as exhibiting "the Christian attitude."

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