MAWWORMS! HORSE COPERS! AUSTIN I wish this week to speak of mawworms, pecksni f fs, mythomaniacs tartuf fes, blaguers, horse copers and saltimbanquesto call but a few of the 160 separate synonyms for “deceiver” listed in that useful volume, Roget’s, International Thesaurus \(the All these adjectives apply to the Texas Employment Commission whose triumvirate is headed by Allan Shivers’ old goodbuddy, Maurice Acers. I arrived at this unbenign judgment after reading the November, 1957, edition of TEC’s statistical mishmash of employment and wage figures which goes by the title of “Texas Labor News.” I do not know who edits TLN, but if he does not wear rose-colored glasses, I will eat TEC’s rent contract with Herman Brown in the rotunda of the Capitol at high noon on New Year’s Day with or without cranberry sauce. Let’s take a prejudiced look at the manner in which TLN for November told the story of rising unemployment in Texas: The lead story has this headline: “Employment Total Holds Even.” And under this is a sentence reading: “In spite of defense employment cutbacks, labor management dispute idleness, and bad weather, Texas nonfarm employment held the line in October.” What “line” was held? Well, if you take the trouble to read the employment-figure table buried in the back of TLN, it becomes clear that the “line” being held is this September’s “line.” Unemploymentnonfarmin September totaled 137,700. The October total was 137,000. The \(We have received, by post, a dispatch, with this note : “I figgered Texas in general, and East Texas in particular, was so lied about and misunderstood, that maby I would send the Observer a true picture of life out here, and dispel some of the ignorance and prejudice that so many outsiders have. You kin make whatever spelling corrections you see fit. Hit’s yourne now.” Rather than tinker with East Texas prose, we are passing it along to you in ,its own Bout Hog Killin Time, Piney Woods, East Texas Dear Eddyter : You an Senator Kazen an Senator Gonzalez might not be plumb rejoiced over them there 2 bills on segregation thet Our Legislaycher has jest passed, But I want you to know that my Granpa Willis out here in East Texas is. Fact is, he’s regained his health on account of what Our Govner an the Boys down there done. He’s been ailin, kind of wilted, ever since The Supreme Court put out thet there Innergration Decision. He kind of rallied & perked up when Gov. Faubust started thet fracas in Little Rock, but got back in bed the day them Fed. troops hit town. He ain’t been up an aroun since. Thet is, til yistiddy. Jest after breakfast, he come a rippin an a whoopin down to our house, waving a newspaper and squallin, “Glory Be ! Texas has saved the nation ! Civilization’s safe at last !” And then he cut a couple of pigeon wings and butted his head into a chinaberry tree in the front yard, jest to show how ‘good he felt. “Great Goodness,” mama sang out, “They must of abolished the Supreme Court.” But when he got him slowed down enough to talk sense, it turned out he had jest read about them 2 laws being passed in Austin. “I’m so proud of our Guvner an our Legislaycher, I could jist hug total for October of last year, reveals the buried table, was 121,700. But if you do not read the table you are able, as TEC did in the second sentence of the lead story, to conclude: “The total \(of non-farm employFourteen lines down in the lead TEC gets around to a bleaker, lesspalatable sentence : “Unemployment increased under pressure of defense employment cutbacks.” TLN’s second story for November is headed : “Farms Stimulate Urban Work.” Nice, if you read no farther in the story. The story says : “The unusually cool and wet fall has lessened to some extent the benefits promised by the breaking of the drought. The U. S. Department of Agriculture has revised downward some of its previous harvest estimates … Smaller push from farm income and wages can mean somewhat less advance in urban employment …” TLN’s third story bears a safer headline : “Construction. Jo b s Decline.” And the lead sentence here appears to bear out the implications of the head : “Construction appears to have passed its 1957 peak,” as do a couple of others : “Government employment is dropping off … Then, this year there is the steady erosion by cutback in defense establishments.” Turn to Page 2 of TLN and it would appear that even if non-farm employment is slipping, things are bully down on the farm. Says a head: “Farm Jobs Make Big Gain.” But read the story under this and it becomes clear that the late rains pushed harvesting backward by a month or six weeks and that the gains are the ever one of em,” he says, “Yessiree, they’ve stopped comoonism an them Rapscalions in Moscow, flat in their tracks. Unkivered their tretcherous Plot jist in time !” “What in the world did them segregation laws they passed have to do with stoppin a Moscow Plot, Granpa ?” I ast him. “Boy, you air ignernt, ain’t you? But I reckin I can’t blame you. A heap of other folks in Ameriky has been took in by that crowd over thar in Rushy. They’re a slick outfit alright. But Praise Be, the boys down in Austin was jist a little too quick fer em. Pulled off that Special Seshin an slapped thru them bills to shet down the schools if the devilish desegregaters start prankin with Texas edjication. Don’t tell me we ain’t got the smartist Guvner and Legislaycher in the world !” “But what was the Plot they unkivered, Granpa ?” I wanted to know. “Why the whole thing’s jist clear as day,” he says, .”You see, them durned Rushins have been shootin them Spootniks up in the air, and a makin all them .scientific advances we’re hearin so much about. But nobody’s ever stopped to ast hisself why? What in the tarnation would a Rushin want with a scientific advance ? Wouldn’t have no more use fer it than a razorback hog would. And that’s jest itRushy don’t want to use all that science fer a thing in the world, but to make us mad. They figgered the minnit they shot thet there Spootnik off yonder into space, all of our folks would jest be dyin to know how they done it, and would come a runnin to find out. They figgered right. And when we ast em how they done itright there they had us. They said “Why we been aroundin up ever child in the neighborhood an edjicatin him.” They had been, too. They had jest gone hogwild over ejicatin chillern. Turnin out scientists right an left all over the place. They got so worked up over edjicatin folks, result of more people being employed in harvests in this year’s October than in the Octobers of previous years. Naturallysince in August and September the fields were too wet and crops, many of them planted late because 6f last spring’s heavy rains, made it impossible to harvest earlier, as is normally the case. “Insurance Cushions Job Losses,” reads the head on TLN’s final story for November. Buried down in the body of this story is an interesting set of facts : Unemployment insurance payments for September totaled $1,981,919. For October, the total was $2,346,211. The difference is more than a quarter of a million dollarsand who can say how many lost jobs. There is one piece of “news” in “Texas Labor News”the fact that employment dropped off in every one of the state’s 17 non-farm labor markets. This is in the table buried at the bottom of TLN’s Page 3. I suppose there was no choice but to put it there, once TLN’s editor wrote his opening headline : “Employment Total Holds Even.” As I say, this week I wish to speak of flimflammers, bamboozlers, pseudologues, cagliostros, attitudinarians, sciolists, Joseph Surfaces, taradiddlers, cockatrices, quacksalvers … and all the rest of Mr. Roget’s 160 separate synonyms for “deceiver.” “Deceiver,” of course, brings to mind its own synonym without need for reference to the Thesaurus. To me, this word has always meant “liar.” I believe this is Anglo-Saxon in origin, like most useful four-letter words in English. I think it means not telling the truth. LYMAN JONES they was aherdin ever child they had into schoolhouses so fast they didn’t even bother to find out whether the youngun was black, brown, or yaller or what …. all in the same schoolhouse they went. The more dee-segregated the school was, the better them heathens liked it. They didn’t keer whose Traditions they was flauntin. “See the Plot now? Why all in the world they was tryin to do was to trick us into going all out for edjication too ! They figgered that once they got us to tryin to ketch up with them edjicatin chillern, we would git so carried away trainin our chillern’s minds, that we would drop our guard, an fergit to watch out fer the color of their skins. Then fore we knowed it, we’d be done dee-segregated, jest shore as shootin Southern Pride and Tradition gone ferever! Ameriky shamed before the eyes of the world! “Lordy, I tremble when I think of how clost they come to gittin us. It scares me to think of how the Supreme Court was a workin hand in glove with ’em on the Plot, maby innercently, like a lot of them other folks up there in Washington DC did, but thet innergration decision back yonder in 1954, wasn’t a thing in the world but part of the plot. “It was mighty slick alright. And our boys in Austin seen through it jest in time to save us with them 2 Bills. 01 Karoochef f an that Pack in Moscow might stampede some folks into workin up a sweat over edjication and trainin fer the youngfolks. But they can’t scare Texas folks. We’ll shet down our schools to prove it, too.” And with that, Granpa Willis went login up the road to spread the good news. Yours Truly, CLAUDY BOY McCarthy’s Ghost Saves GOP Repute MARSHALL After all, it was inevitable that at least one of the Observer’s competitors would find a way of reviving McCarthy’s ghost to explain our loss of leadership in scientific achievement. So far the Colossus of the North, the Dallas News, leads the field. It started out with a saucy toss of its editorial head at criticism of what the fatheads did to the eggheads of that period and the conclusion that if Professor Oppenheimer had not been fired we would not have had the hydrogen bomb. Later, real opportunity came its way. Some party named Morris visited David Greenglass and Harry Gold, accomplices of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, and learned for some congressional committee that the Rosenbergs had been giving our “secrets on earth satellies, atom-powered planes, and anti-missile weapons” to the Russians. Since the Rosenbergs were electrocuted in 1953, it does seem this information could have been obtained by an alert government security force sooner and that its newsworthiness would be a little rancid by now. Not so to those who still bear McCarthy’s banner. A five-column front page headline with a twocolumn photograph of the Rosenbergs and a one-column picture of each of the accomplices graced the morning edition of a rival of the most influential weekly in the Southwest. “Jailed Spies Say Soviets Got U. S. Missile Secrets,” it cried. The news raises more questions than it quiets. With Dr. Von Braun and others saying that had the Redstone Arsenal project been completed, the Jupiter C could have been used to launch a satellite before the Russians, and Dr. John C. Hagen stating that had the Navy been given use of the Jupiter C, it probably could have put one in the skies ahead of Kruschev, the possession of our secrets by the Soviets could scarce be the reason for our failure. The bitter truth is that we are paying the penalty for accepting a leaderless administration. Nor can our Democratic members of Congress evade blame for themselves. When the inadequacy of Ike was being repeated many tims by at least one avocational journalist and our party leaders were being implored to help point out that the King was naked, what did they do ? They carefully checked the power of the Eisenhower Democrats, born through their own lack of courage, and joined in the chant, “I like Ike.” They are as much to blame as the Republicans. For, if no one leads the opposition, and all join in permitting executve power and responsibility to wither away, why shouldn’t we fall prey to the doctrine of drift and drivel created by the hidden persuaders in “public relations”? No, as Cactus Jack Garner remarked on his birthday, there has never been as much confusion as now. How can a nation lead when it possessed the ability to launch the first satellite, but those in its government were too dumb and too unimaginative to recognize the importance of the event on the opinions and imaginations of all mankind? Military, men do not belong in government. Our three services should be amalgamated, or at least placed under a civilian with power and gumption enough to end the senseless rivalry. Ike has endured if not encouraged. In the meanwhile, we may as well prepare for the same scapegoat. We are still the greatest, our secrets were stolen by a group of ignorant peas ants. FRANKLIN JONES THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 Dec. 6, 1957 Letter from the Piney Woods
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