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July 24, 1935 - Image 2

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1935-07-24

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

WEDNESDAY, JULY 24,

!n

TIHE MICHIGAN DAILY
Official Publication of the Summer Session AOshngt
bYSBANDER

I

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II _1

By KIRKE SIMPSON
WASHINGTON-Mild-mannered Senator George
Norris was naturally delighted when a South-
ern circuit court bestowed its constitutional bless-
ing on TVA's power-business activities. That is,
his pet part of a pet project. If Muscle Shoals
had not had possibilities of domestic and indus-
trial power, Norris would have had little interest
in it.
Yet, the Nebraskan is fully conscious of the very
inconsiderable weight a lower court opinion has
nowadays on the final outcome of any constitu-
tional test.
He knows it so well, not only as to TVA but as
to every other question being joined up for the
great constitutionality parade before the supreme
court during the October term, be it AAA, PWA
or any other New Deal venture, that he has pro-
posed to do something about it. Under his pend-
ing constitutional amendment, no tribunal save
the supreme court could have any say on the con-
stitutionality of an act of Congress.
* * * *
HIGHLIGHTS CONFUSION
MOMENTARILY cheering for his TVA hopes and
expectations as the decision is, it probably ap-
peals to Norris more forcibly as an - argument in
favor of his constitutional amendment than as
it directly bears on TVA. Coming on the heels
of the supreme court's NRA decision, the lower
court upset for AAA processing taxes and all the
rest, it serves to highlight further the confusion
over constitutional legality of so much of what
Congress has done or is expected to do. It illus-
trates to a lay mind President Roosevelt's com-
ment to Representative Hill about the Guffey coal
bill that "not ten, but a thousand" differing legal
opinions on the constitutionality question involved
were to be had.
Nor is it possible to escape that confusion for a
period of months at least. What shall a process
taxpayer do about it? The Federal tax collector
exacts some 6 per cent interest on delayed tax
payments. He also takes his own time about de-
manding payment. Uncle Sam, to be sure, pays
similar interest on taxes overpaid and ultimately
rebated. Can a process taxpayer risk being as-
sessed that interest as well as other penalties?
AVOIDING UNCERTAINTY
THE NORRIS PLAN is designed to short-circuit
any future uncertainty of the sort. It requires
a constitutional test before the supreme court to
be in process within six months after passage of
the act under.attack, or not at all.
The history of the last two years under the
New Deal might have been quite different if that
had been a constitutional requirement from the
start.
A NEW YORKER
AT LARGE
By JAMES B. RESTON
NEW YORK - Down 'from the roof of the Bilt-
more every morning at a quarter to one strides
a sleek, quick young man in his thirties. A few
steps across Vanderbilt avenue and he is in the
Grand Central; then down to the lower level he

The SOAP BOX
Letters published in this column should not be
construed as expressing the editorial opinion of The
Daily. Anonymous contributions will be disregarded.
The names of communicants will, however, be regarded
as confidential upon request. Contributors are asked
to be brief, the editor reserving the right to condense
all letters of over 300 words and to acept or reject
letters upon the criteria of general editorial importance
and interest to the campus.
Ah Now, Indignant!
Dear Sir:
Sometimes, as one sits and reflects upon the
perilous straits in which we (as passengers in
the ship of state) find ourselves today, one
wonders if our present sad plight isn't due to the
subversive efforts of "Indignant" and others of his
ilk.
Cloaking a chronic dissatisfaction with the
"status quo" in the deceptive guise of moral bet-
terment, these persons, not satisfied with foisting
prohibition upon an unsuspecting country whose
real men were saving it, now seek to deprive the
honest working man of his innocent glass of beer,
his sole means of escape from the aftermath of
the day's wearing toil. It is a well known fact
that a few glasses of "Indignant's" "foul liquid"
have never harmed anyone. In fact, my grand-
mother, who will be 109 years old this month,
never goes to sleep at night without at least one
glass of beer. She attributes her extreme old age
solely to this beneficial practice, which she began
at the age of 15.
May I suggest that "Indignant" reflect before
another such hasty letter? Perhaps he doesn't
realize that the Summer Directory is put out by
deserving students who perform this service for
the small financial return they may or may not
receive for their efforts in selling what advertising
they can. Who could blame a needy student for
selling the advertising which might mean the dif-
ference between eating bread and cheese for a
week or dining on healthful and sufficient food?
Shame on you, "Indignant."
Yours truly,
-Disgusted.
Overhauling Democracy
AlIANY OBSERVERS of this mundai>e spectacle
regard the future of democracy apprehensive-
ly, but Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska does
not. His capacity for the long view asserted itself
in a prediction on his seventy-fourth birthday an-
niversary that the future would "bring a better
democracy."
It is in the shadow of the Great War that
democracy has displayed so many sinister aspects.
The war was an upheaval. It will take time for
human progress to resume its normal flow after so
mighty a derangement as that in which almost
all the civilized nations went to war. The com-
mon observation that democracy is a failure is
peculiar to the post-war period. Woodrow Wilson
conceived of the war as the means to make the
world safe for democracy, and he has been widely
ridiculed for ascribing that virtue to it. We imag-
ine the prophecy will stand up better than the
ridicule. The war reduced a great part of the
world to fluid, and there has not yet been time for
it to take form again. It is in the formative stage
that democracy is so much dispraised. However,
almost two decades after the war, the institution
of monarchy is not reviving. Democratic processes
launched by the great conflict are upon the in-
crease. They press hard on the heels of dicta-
tors. They assert themselves in parts of the world
where absolutism had become a way of life.
America will likely become the best example of
that better democracy which Senator Norris fore-
sees. Its tendencies at the moment are in them-
selves prophetic. The American people have been
the chief inspiration of freedom in the world for
more than a century and a half. Freedom is with
us more than a tradition. It is almost an instinct.
It is the most difficult of all political forms, but
the American people never despair of it. They
are quite aware of its imperfections, as they are

aware of their own grave neglect of their respon-
sibilities. The men who are responsible for our
American democracy were agreed that it should
have a good overhauling every now and then. Jef-
ferson thought it should be purged of its impur-
ities about once every. 20 years. Franklin dreaded
the time when we would relax that vigilance which
we have been told is the price of liberty.
We are overhauling American liberty now. We
have waited a long time to do it. We have not been
as critical of the status quo as Lincoln would have
had us be. The consequence has been to bring
democracy into question even among ourselves.
Standing at the threshold of an economic feudal-
ism which may be said to have fairly grown up
under our noses, we made the mistake of believing
that democracy had turned her back upon us,
whereas we had turned our back upon her. It will
take us years to recover from that mistake, years
to repair the damage done by a slothful philosophy,
years to set democracy on her throne again, her
flags flying and her courage undismayed.
None of us knows better what will happen
than the old prophet in Israel who has so dili-
gently reformed the structure of government and
whom a grateful nation salutes as Senator Nor-
ris. Few of us, let us hope, have the effrontery
to oppose our judgment to his. Democracy will
be better. It will be better in America. If it is
not, it would deny the prophecies of all the in-
tellectuals of Europe. "America," said the great
Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Maria Holzapfel, "is
the hope of the world."
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
A long range weather prophet predicts more
5nd worse floods next year. "Don't change flot-

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Dial 6537. 38
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Reward. 37
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GOLD FOOTBALL, with black raised
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Reward. Dial 5733 or Zoology dis-
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FRAMED. U L R I C H'S BOOK-
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Two graduate men students desire
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"H OLD 'EM YALE" "STRANDED"
JACKIE COOPER and
"DINKY" Arline Judge Kent TayJor
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SPECIAL MAT INEES
FRIDAY and SATURDAY at 2:30 P.M.
A FANTASTIC COMEDY FOR CHILDREN

I

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Children 25c.. . Adults 50c
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Single Admission: 75c, 50c, 35c
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LYDIA MENDELSSOHN THEATRE

9

t~R1
T~N~

goes and catches the New Ha-
ven train for Greenwich, Conn.
Morton Downey knows all
about this Grand Central ter-
minal and these New Haven
trains. Long before he knew
where the Biltmore was, he
was what he describes as a
"train butcher." That is, he
went through the New Haven
trains selling peanuts, candy
and popcorn, and all the other
indigestible things which are
usually sold on trains. It
never occurred to him as he

fy .
lop
'b

went through the picturesque little town of Green-
wich then that one day he would be living there
in one of that town's finest houses.
Young Morton Downey's only concern in those
days was getting rid of -the merchandise in his
huge reed basket. It was heavy, in the first
place, and it didn't bring him any money as long
as it remained in the basket. Young Downey
used his only talent toward this end -he went
through the train singing Irish ballads.
ANOTHER young man interested in music heard
Downey one day, and he told the boy he was
wasting his talents on peanut candy and pop-
corn. This musician was an unknown named
Paul Whiteman. Downey studied with Whiteman,
and then he took a job singing with an orchestra
on .the Leviathan. For about a year he sang his
way back and forth across the Atlantic. Then
he went back and began singing with White-
man's band.
And so he started a career which today brings
him about as much money as any popular ballad
singer in the business. He carries all the native
shrewdness which he needed to exist when he was
fighting for a living. For example, he knows that
the Biltmore is a good place to be seen, to make
contacts with men who might be buying radio
talent, so in the meager summer season, he de-
cides to play and sing there.
He has discovered that he must work hard
even at this job and protect his talent, so his
life is more ordered and sane now than it was
in the early part of his career.
1ILLIAN HELLMAN, the brilliant young woman
who wrote The Children's Hour, is back in
town after a run to Hollywood, where she worked

Grin ds
floAxes

Punishes no Eneites
Makes jno Profits
IFi ,LT

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