The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 13, 1948


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in New Delhi, Mohandas K. Gandhi—who would be assassinated on January 30—began a fast for communal peace this date. At 78 years of age, the Indian leader was frail. But appeals from Moslem, Hindu, and Sikh leaders to withhold his fast for 15 days to give them further opportunity to work out a peace, in the wake of the partition of India into Moslem Pakistan the previous summer, went for naught. He told the leaders of the sects that they had to prefer either Gandhi or lawlessness, that they could not have both. He said that he did not care for life without peace and love: "Death for me would be a glorious deliverance, rather than that I should be a helpless witness of the destruction of India, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam." He stated that the fast would end when there was a "reunion of the hearts of all communities" in the country. He chastised the Sikhs present for using force against Moslems.

Some of Gandhi's followers expressed the fear that should he die from the fast, non-Moslems would seek to avenge his death against Moslems.

From Athens it was reported that a Greek offensive was launched against a force of 800 guerrillas on Mt. Parnassus, 75 miles northwest of Athens. An amphibious operation from the Gulf of Corinth accompanied the offensive.

Republicans began efforts to cut five billion dollars from the President's proposed 39.6 billion dollar budget. House Appropriations Committee chairman John Taber wanted to pare down the 6.8 billion dollars appropriated in the budget for the first 15 months of the Marshall Plan. The proposed budget cuts dovetailed with the announced Republican intent to seek a tax cut of five billion dollars, as set forth by House Ways & Means Committee chairman Harold Knutson.

Brig. General Wallace Graham, the President's personal physician, testified to the Senate Appropriations Committee anent his commodities trading in wheat and cotton, not illegal, but condemned by the President as driving inflation. He said that he ended his trading on December 18, after making $6,100 in profits, offset against an $11,000 loss in stock trading.

An Eastern Airlines DC-3 crashed as it prepared for landing at Washington National Airport, killing five persons, including the pilot, and injuring four. There was light rain and fog with scattered clouds at the time of the crash. The plane was en route from Houston to Boston.

In New York, additional snow, expected to accumulate to six inches, was predicted for this date, following the record snowfall of two weeks earlier, when two feet blanketed the city. Eight inches of accumulation was predicted for Philadelphia.

Also in New York, Percy Waxman, 67, editor and writer, died the previous night. At his death, he was associate editor of Cosmopolitan, having previously served as editor of Pictorial Review.

In Tacoma, Wash., a convicted axe-murderer, who was scheduled to be hanged on Friday, confessed to 44 such murders, eleven of them confirmed, extending from New York to Los Angeles. The man hoped for executive clemency either to spare or delay his fate based on his frankness. Another person had served nineteen years of a life sentence for a 1928 murder in Nebraska, to which the condemned man also confessed. But authorities discounted that confession. He also confessed to two other 1928 killings in Omaha. The additional slayings to which he admitted began in 1942. Most of the murders were accomplished by an axe or blunt instrument. He claimed to have an accomplice in each case. The prosecutor dismissed the latter contention, but said he believed the man capable of the crimes and probably responsible for some or all of them. He did not favor, however, any delay in execution.

In Baltimore, a service station attendant admitted using a kitchen knife to slay an eight-year old girl, after she resisted his advances and began to scream. The incident had occurred in Cleveland on New Year's Day. All he wanted to do, he said, was to play the trumpet, as he had led the prison band while serving a sentence for a sex offense against an eleven-year old boy.

In Raleigh, a convicted murderer, kidnaper, and robber died of a broken neck while trying to effect escape from Central Prison. Another inmate, serving a 46-year term for various property crimes, sought to escape with him but was recaptured within 50 yards of the prison wall. They had climbed a downspout within the prison and sought to jump the wall, one losing his footing and falling to his death.

In Hollywood, actor Errol Flynn had followed his entire household to bed with a mysterious virus, akin to the flu. His physician said that he was very sick and had entered the hospital. The unknown virus had infected hundreds of thousands of people in the Los Angeles area. Mr. Flynn, 38, would recover.

In Raleigh, Josephus Daniels, 85, lay near death from pneumonia.

Dick Young of The News tells of a 20-year education plan for Charlotte being set forth as part of the Planning Board's "master plan". You will wish to rush down to the board meeting today and catch that.

Tom Schlesinger of The News—son of Arthur Schlesinger and brother of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., both renowned historians—reports of Charlotte's garbage and the occasionally valuable item which turned up in it, on page 12-A.

On the editorial page, "We Hope Stalin Stays Well" is glad to receive the confirmation, via a recent photograph, from the Kremlin that Premier Stalin was well after all and not suffering from dangerously ill health. It reminds that there were worse personages than Stalin which could come to power in the Soviet Union. His death, the piece asserts, would likely increase the chance of war, as he represented appeasement vis-à-vis the West.

Stalin had brought about certain moves toward democratic reform in Russia, including his five-year plans. He had established reconciliation with the West, continuing until Munich in September, 1938. After the Western appeasement of Hitler, Stalin countered with double-dealing with the Nazis, in large part responsible for World War II.

The rise in the previous year of the Cominform, the resurrection of the prewar Comintern, was the result of the military conflict, and such would continue until the West proved it would not collapse of its own capitalistic weight or be pushed into revolution by Communists. As long as Stalin remained alive, the chances were greater that Russia would grasp that its effort to cause those ends would not succeed.

"That's Where Our Money Goes" comments on the President's statement anent his budget recommendation of nearly 40 billion dollars that 79 percent went toward war costs or preventing future war. The Marshall Plan accounted for seven billion of the proposed budget. The costs of preventing war would be much higher if that were significantly reduced by the Congress. It was the only means by which Europe could get back on sound economic footing and thus resist Communist efforts to undermine the governments of Western Europe.

If the Plan succeeded, the need for the eleven billion dollar defense portion of the budget could be substantially reduced.

It favors, however, paying off the war debt before undertaking expensive social and economic programs recommended by the President.

We remind again, however, that the Government is not a business, not to be run as a business. Without providing the services, relatively inexpensive compared to the defense budget, the defense budget becomes increasingly larger, as the people, depressed, poverty-stricken, crime-ridden, without proper opportunities in the society, slowly forget their humanity and decorum, become more willing to follow the lines of war talk, always being stimulated somewhere in the society against some convenient bogey du jour.

Think about it, Mr. or Ms. Small Government. In your persistent efforts to cut out anti-poverty programs, substitute goon squads for anti-crime education programs, housing programs, education programs, jobs programs in the inner city and the like, you miss the point of the democratic republic for which our country stands, one nation, under the Constitution, with liberty and justice for all. They are not just pretty words. They are the difference between our country and a totalitarian police state, becoming an embarrassment to the world through overly aggressive "law and order", made "necessary" by the absence of the social programs you chose to cut out for being too "expensive".

There is plenty of law, but often little order in a democracy. And it is prettiest that way. Liberty sometimes stumbles home from the party a little tipsy and half out of her mind. Don't try to straighten her up. The society has been there before and paid for it dearly. And we are not talking about either drugs or alcohol, but rather basic freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom from harassment and abuses of the Fourth Amendment, freedom to think and say as we please, with reasonable responsibility, but not always pleasing to everyone's ears or eyes, perhaps not pleasing to anyone save the bearer of the particular message.

Find America, real America at its founding principles, Mr. or Ms. Small Government, and you may actually come to like it and reduce your inner stress level, bred by small-time political crooks, out to impose their own fascist principles on a largely agrarian-based democracy, for their own self-aggrandizement, economically or otherwise.

"Changing the Political Picture" tells of the surprising news in North Carolina politics that W. Kerr Scott would not seek re-election as Agricultural Commissioner and might enter the gubernatorial race to contest leading candidate Charles Johnson, State Treasurer. As indicated, Mr. Scott would enter the race and win.

Meanwhile, Lt. Governor L.Y. Ballentine, thought to be the most formidable potential opponent to Mr. Johnson, had announced his intention during the previous weekend to seek election to the position of Agricultural Commissioner.

None of the suggestions of the High Point Enterprise, from which the piece draws them, would prove true, however, with respect to Mr. Ballentine, groomed to become Governor in 1956, or Brandon Hodges, likewise selected by the party elect for the position in 1952.

Mr. Hodges should not be confused with future Lt. Governor and Governor Luther Hodges, elected to the former position in 1952, succeeding in 1954 deceased Governor William B. Umstead, presently Senator, to be defeated in 1948. Luther Hodges would serve nearly seven years as Governor, the longest term to that point in state history, as there was no power of succession, and then serve as Secretary of Commerce under President Kennedy.

It is important to keep these things in mind and be familiar with who your Governors and Senators and Congressmen and Presidents are and have been, not only as to identity but substance and programs, that for which they stood or stand. For, otherwise, you are condemned to obtain your information from slick radio talk-show hosts, most usually uneducated buffoons selling you products when you least expect it, not informing you of factual or worthwhile material not merely designed to feed your vanities and create a sucking vacuum where your mind ought be. For at that point, you're not much better off than the stupid towel-heads, running out to grab your guns to hold off the "government" because you don't understand your role in a democracy and that you really do not have to shout down our leaders, right, middle, or left, to be heard if what you are saying has any probity or worth to it at all.

Branding the President, for instance, any President, as "the anti-Christ" or "Hitler" or the like, unless that President actually undertakes to seize dictatorial powers belonging properly to Congress or circumvent rulings of the Supreme Court, does nothing but brand you as a stoked-up junkie of talk radio or talk tv, with a resulting mind full of dead air.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "The President's Waltz", wonders whether democracy had won back the waltz of Chopin to which it had given birth. It suggests that it was noteworthy that the President had asked Jose Iturbi to play Chopin's "A-flat, Opus 62" waltz at a recent Washington concert.

Mr. Iturbi could not recognize the piece, however, by this reference—probably for the reason that it was misidentified, either as to the composer, possibly instead the work of Gabriel Faure, or, if Chopin, the opus number, perhaps 53, or the key signature, instead perchance being one of two nocturnes, or another. Whatever the case, the President then hummed the selection for Mr. Iturbi to establish the reference and the latter then played the "President's Waltz".

The piece hopes that it would not become a Democratic theme song so as to affront the entire Chopin vote.

Thurman Arnold, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Anti-Trust Division, writing in the Harvard Business Review, tells of the haunting specter of a 1929-type Crash being once again a possibility. The large corporations were afraid to produce when they could not control the production cycle.

The country was short of electric power but new power production could threaten private industry. The same was true in the fields of transportation, medical care, and other areas.

He analogizes to the period prior to the Reformation of the Church when a similar situation, characterized by absentee ownership of business institutions, restricting production, had prevailed in Europe.

Only America was capable of restoring economic order in the world. Yet Congress was busy stripping controls from the economy and restoring Government to its more limited role. The country needed goods, and there was no means by which industry could manage the job of providing those goods.

With the daunting prospect of ERP on the horizon, American business had to recognize its responsibility to carry the ball worldwide to restore the world economy, to avoid the prospect of war. The U.S. had to become the industrial leader or perish.

Drew Pearson tells of the American oil industry spending 1.8 million dollars in a publicity campaign to convince Americans not to buy oil. The industry had only recently faced the fact of the oil shortage, previously blaming lack of availability of oil on inadequate transportation.

Standard Oil of New Jersey had sold a record high number of oil burners to the public in November, as it quietly converted its New Jersey plant from oil to coal.

The country's basic oil reserves were drying up, with 22 billion barrels on hand, only five billion of which were from new fields developed during the previous decade, about a two-year supply. No new discoveries were likely. The deficit in consumption per day was 429,000 barrels. Conservation would be necessary to avoid the prospect of many Americans being without heat during the winter.

The only immediate solution lay in tapping the Near East and Arabian oil. In 1948, for the first time in the nation's history, the Government was planning to import more oil than it exported. In case of war and severance of the Arabian oil transport, synthetic oil would have to suffice as a substitute.

He notes that one factor contributing to the shortage was the export of 10,000 barrels per day to Germany, primarily for the British occupation zone, as the American Army had cut its own requirements by 25 percent. Despite the shortage, at least two Army bases, at Stewart Field, N.Y., and Fort Myers, Va., had switched from coal to oil.

He next relates of sons of three famous men, Representative John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., and Robert Wagner, Jr., the latter the son of New York's Senator, having called on President Truman to propose a new campaign to promote the delayed long-range affordable housing program. They intended to initiate the drive beginning March 1. They hoped that the President would appear on the platform with them, along with leaders of veterans groups, at the kick-off.

The President agreed that, if he were to be in Washington at the time, he would be present, as the program was exactly what he had urged to the Congress for two years. He added that much of the current problem in low-cost housing was the poor quality of that being built, housing which would require expensive repairs within four or five years. Mr. Wagner agreed that such was the case in New York.

Said Mr. Kennedy, "Unless we are able to mobilize public opinion, Congress will try to throw us another bone this session."

The contexts of the first scant references in the press, since the previous spring, to both John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, as each served in their first year in Congress, are striking in their contrast, setting the stage for their later terms as President, Mr. Kennedy affirmatively advocating the interests of the people, Mr. Nixon being negative, expressing the desire to investigate everyone.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop suggest that the nominee of the Republicans for the presidency was less important than whether the regressive or progressive wings of the GOP in Congress would be victorious in determining the shape of the Marshall Plan. The previous summer, Senator Arthur Vandenberg had developed a warm relationship with Senator Taft and it was hoped that such might lead to common ground on foreign policy. But after Mr. Taft became a presidential candidate, his foreign policy statements had aligned with the extreme right wing of the party and it appeared that he would oppose Senator Vandenberg's support of the version of ERP proposed by the President as it proceeded through the Congressional process.

The leadership of the GOP forces opposing Mr. Taft had passed from progressives, Senators George Aiken, Charles Tobey, and Wayne Morse, to a solid moderate, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. This shift, occurring during the special session of Congress, was significant. And when responding to the President's State of the Union message, Senator Taft had attacked everything except foreign policy, save in the softest whispers of disapproval. It could be inferred therefrom that the Senator, himself, was backing down in his ardor against fully funding ERP.

But the real question, regardless of whether he determined to oppose ERP, was whether his position was ultimately the position the Republicans ought take.

Samuel Grafton suggests that a "faintly suicidal tendency" was creeping into the Republican campaign as they were suggesting that the President was as much a leftist as Henry Wallace. The effect would be to align the liberal independent voters with the President rather than Mr. Wallace. Mr. Grafton suggests that the Republicans ought praise the President if they really wished to defeat him in November, thus precipitating as much defection to the Wallace camp as possible.

The same tendency showed up among liberals, who chose to stand alone and fight, possibly throwing the election to the GOP.

He finds the polarization between far right and far left in the country to be as great as it ever had been in modern American politics. The Republicans had tried to lean further to the right than a right-leaning President when they passed Taft-Hartley over his veto the previous June.

"And when the Democrats take a turn to the left, as in Mr. Truman's message, the gap between the parties suddenly shows like open water."

The Republicans could not seem to recognize the interests of the independent voter, assumed that he did not mind inflation, wanted lower taxes and the like. The GOP appeared determined to disprove Mr. Wallace's thesis that there was no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.

To be fair to Ms. Woods, blithely tiptoeing through the thyme and sage, putting ourselves in her place, being her as it were—you be she for the moment—, we must correct an apparent error in the above-referenced report anent the operation of the Uher 5000 tape recorder. Apparently, according to the Owner's Manual, at page 11, there is a dictation mode which allows for one button operation, even though normal record mode, as shown at page 18, requires, as with most machines, two button operation, in this case separated buttons. That page and page 17, incidentally, also explain a quick-erase mode, with both the rewind and record buttons depressed simultaneously. But whether the dictation mode requires the microphone to be plugged into the machine, we cannot discern, as we do not read German. Nein, nein.

It is of no moment, however, as it is possible to erase tape with both buttons pushed without use of any fingers, utilizing a foot pedal, which Ms. Woods claimed to have employed in her ordinary operation of the machine, as she visibly demonstrated at the time for the public and press, while reaching for the phone. The foot pedal, as anyone knows who has ever used one, would simply break or engage the circuit to the machine, to make it stop or operate at the will of the piggies, with the two-button "record" mode or the "diktat" mode, via the single button, already potentially engaged aforehand.

And, as anyone knows who has used extensively reel-to-reel tape recorders of that vintage, one can always defeat a lock-out mechanism between the buttons with a decisive push. It was possible to engage the single dictation button in that manner, thinking it to be the pause or stop button.

The expert-textperts, in this instance, to be fair, are wrong, because apparently they did not bother to examine the original evidence very closely.

Furthermore, as someone else once said with respect to polygraph tests, such notions as "indicators of deception" devolve to so much Twentieth century, or perhaps updated to Twenty-first century, witchcraft, worthy of no credit whatsoever. Trying to discern deception through such subjective indicators is an absurdity in the premises, as individuals will differ in reactions displayed under stress. The only way to determine deception is through materially inconsistent statements through time, the tried and true method recognized historically by rules of evidence, not through how one behaves or fidgets or even dissociates from the topic at hand in apparent evasion. That may simply be the result of a personality quirk exhibited under stress or as a usual pattern for that individual. It is akin to profiling, and we reject such subjective nonsense out of hand, no matter the object.

Thank ye very much.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>--</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.