Saturday, June 22, 1946

The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 22, 1946


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that J. A. Jones Construction Co. of Charlotte would build, without profit, 50 homes for veterans of the Independence Post of the American Legion, at an actual cost of $300,000. The post was comprised only of World War II veterans.

The Congress quickly passed the Hobbs anti-racketeering bill, forbidding unions from interfering with the transportation of goods in interstate commerce and making it a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. It had been approved by the Senate the day before in the same form as it had passed the House. It had been pending in one form or another since the Supreme Court case of 1942 which relegated to state law prosecutions accusations of use of force, violence, and extortion by union members, but refused to allow the prosecution under the existing racketeering law aimed at gangsters. The President had already vetoed the provision as part of the Case bill, a veto sustained by the House.

The Interstate Commerce Commission allowed carriers sharp increases, from three to eleven percent, in freight rates, providing $390,000 more in gross annual revenue. More rate hikes were expected. The carriers were asking for 25 percent increases.

Chester Bowles announced that the meat shortage would be eased for awhile after July 1 and the shortage of bread would also be alleviated within about 30 days. The removal of price controls on meat under the bills being reconciled by the Congress would ease the shortage considerably as livestock producers would wait until after the price controls were lifted July 1 to release meat into the market.

Fresh meat had virtually vanished from most consumers' tables. Meat production was at record lows. Armour, one of the largest producers, had received 16 hogs the day before, compared to an average of 3,800 per day during 1945 and twice that in 1944.

If you're a hog in 1946, you're in hog heaven, pal.

Senate-House confreres were scheduled to meat again on Monday to try further to reconcile the bills on OPA.

The Polish delegate to the U.N. was said to be ready to put forward a "simple plan" for control of atomic energy which would act as a compromise between that put forward by the United States and that by Russia. Australia also was reported to be preparing a plan. The Polish plan was expected to be similar to that put forward in January before the General Assembly, providing for exchange of scientific discoveries between the nations of the U.N. for the benefit of mankind and not its destruction, as well as support for U.N. efforts to control atomic energy and to supervise its peaceful use, and for elimination of arms of mass destruction.

Whether violins would accompany the presentation was not indicated.

Closer scrutiny by the U.S. representatives of the proposed Russian plan had found that the proposed penalty provisions for violations would likely not work.

The death toll had risen to seven, with 31 others injured, in the explosion the previous day at noon in Dallas at the Baker Hotel.

Alcatraz was getting new electrical controls to minimize the possibility of further riots. The prison had experienced a riot May 3-4 as prisoners tried to escape.

John Daly reports of a $12.05 increase per share of common stock in the Lineberger and Stowe interests' group of mills at Belmont. The Imperial Yarn Mills led the group with a gain of $18 per share since April 1. Majestic Mfg. Co. was second at a $15 per share increase. He provides a table of the eleven mills, showing their capitalization and relative price per share between April 1 and June 21.

Try some; buy some. You won't regret it. Best yarn between here and yonder.

On the editorial page, "This Is No Carpetbag Operation" discusses the varying opinion among newspapers in the South as to Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia. The Savannah Morning News found him to be a Communist, in the same league with Eleanor Roosevelt, Drew Pearson, and Walter Winchell.

But all respectable Georgians were behind Governor Arnall in his latest campaign against the revival of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was particularly identified with Georgia, its national headquarters being in Atlanta. But the Governor could have side-stepped the issue and not been criticized. Most Southern politicians did, allowing outsiders to take up the issue and then suffer the cry of "carpetbagger". Instead, he was meeting the bedsheeters head-on.

Governor Arnall, it concludes, posed an excellent example for all Southerners to follow, as did the majority good will of the people of Georgia supporting him.

"You Can't Concentrate the Blame" comments on the amendment attached to OPA by the Senate which required release of grain, set aside for overseas shipment, to domestic poultry raisers and dairymen. This amendment, along with the release of price controls on meat, had drawn angry reaction from former President Hoover.

The Asheville Citizen had editorialized negatively on the greed inherent in the grain amendment.

The amendment appeared only symptomatic of the selfishness which pervaded the country. Perhaps it was only a normal reaction after a war which had consumed all of the energies of the country, that the spirit of sacrifice was exhausted.

"A Peculiar Case of Treason" comments on the six-year sentence handed down in Canada against Fred Rose, the Communist Member of Parliament convicted of taking sensitive documents and transferring them to the Russians. The sentence was light for an accusation of treason, but it was complicated by the fact that Russia was an ally of Canada. Canada officially was transmitting quite a lot of information to Moscow.

Mr. Rose would not likely become a martyr for the Communist cause, but his case did demonstrate how tenuous the relationship was between Russia and the West, one which had been friendly during the war, but only out of expediency.

The end of the war had not altered the negative relationship and the question was whether mutual necessity would be sufficient to maintain peace.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Sentinel, "The Chief Justice's Pants", comments on an article by Jim Chaney, appearing in The Raleigh News & Observer, regarding Chief Justice John Marshall of the Supreme Court having once, in the early 1800's, presided over a term of court in Raleigh, when the Justices rode circuit for part of the year—in days when travel was difficult and slow, when one passed through many different ages, as Norman Mailer once observed in conversation with Marshall MacLuhan in 1968, to get from one place to another by coach.

The Chief Justice had written a letter to his wife saying that he could not find a tailor in Raleigh to make for him a pair of pants. He thus had to go without "that important article of dress" during his session.

The piece speculates as to why he had no pants, whether a bull might have ripped off his only pair or that sitting in court had caused them to wear.

His judicial robes, regardless, likely concealed adequately his pantless state.

The News & Observer speculated that the Jeffersonian climate in North Carolina likely caused the tailors not to want to provide their services for the Chief Justice.

North Carolina, it recalls, had produced Andrew Johnson, a tailor's apprentice in the state before leaving for Tennessee to set up his own tailor's shop.

Presumably, he had pants, even if ultimately impeached by Radical Republicans.

Drew Pearson tells of the impressive array of Government personnel who boarded a plane for New York to see the fight between Joe Louis and Billy Conn.

He next tells of the race tracks which, new or refurbished, were diverting precious lumber from construction of homes. They included tracks in Atlantic City, Monmouth, N.J., Arlington, Ill., and Tanforan at San Bruno, CA.

He provides detail of the effort to rebuild Tanforan. The Civil Production Administration had claimed the permit had been denied on May 31. But a superior in CPA, who was a contractor, was still contemplating whether to issue the permit as of June 3. It illustrated why precious materials were diverted to such projects, as well to bowling alleys and amusement parks.

It was subsequently found that Tanforan was going forward with construction and the lumber from temporary war buildings at the race track had been diverted to Lake Tahoe to build a gambling house owned in part by E. W. Heple, Tanforan's contractor. The race track had claimed that the lumber had been used for the benefit of veterans.

Three Federal Judges in Northern California, Adolphus St. Sure, Michael Roches, and Martin Welsh, were not properly enforcing CPA regulations, thus further impeding construction of housing for veterans. In contrast, Judge Louis Goodman in San Francisco was providing complete cooperation with CPA.

The Southern California Jockey Club had gone out of its way to cooperate with CPA, releasing all of its lumber from war buildings to the veterans many months earlier.

Peter Edson discusses the possibility of Henry Wallace forming a third party. Each party had spent about two million dollars in 1944 in the presidential campaign. Additional money totaled about seven million for the Democrats and thirteen million for the Republicans. So any third party, to have a realistic chance, needed to be able to raise large sums of money.

The Hatch Act supposedly limited spending by national political organizations to three million dollars, with contributions limited to $5,000 per person.

The funding would have to come from labor for any third party. The CIO PAC had been seeking a dollar per member from its six million members, but the results had been disappointing. It had taken in $670,000 in 1944, most of which came from the international unions. It spent about half a million dollars during that campaign.

Thus far, its drive to attract voluntary contributions from members had attracted less than $10,000 since it began the previous September.

Bertram Benedict discusses the silver bloc in Congress and its fight for higher prices. Less than a fourth of the silver came from silver mines, the rest being a by-product of copper, lead, zinc, and gold mining, most of which was performed in the West. With sparse populations, these states had smaller representation in the House than other regions of the country.

The Senate silver bloc had been adroit in protecting the price of silver. It was presently seeking a price hike to 90.3 cents per ounce for the ensuing two years, and then to $1.29. At that price, the silver in a silver dollar would be worth exactly a dollar and silver currency would have a hundred percent backing. The House had refused to accept the hikes.

Industry was suffering from a severe shortage of silver. It was used primarily in the photographic industry. The mines contended that current prices, at 71.1 cents, did not allow for adequate profits.

The Treasury possessed a large amount of non-monetary silver, some of which had been loaned to the war effort when there was an acute shortage after Pearl Harbor. This silver could be returned to the Treasury intact.

At $1.29, silver would be at a ratio of 1:16 to gold at its old price of $20.67, now at $35.

Incidentally, we just realized from this piece why it was that correspondent Harold Oliver had, both at the time of President Roosevelt's death and on the first anniversary of it, stated that FDR was the 31st President, not the 32nd President as history actually records him. Mr. Oliver counted Grover Cleveland's separate terms, intervened by Benjamin Harrison, as only one presidency, when typical counting registers him as having been two Presidents, having been big enough for two, we assume. But why the same honor was not then accorded to the single Administration of William Howard Taft becomes debatable.

James Abram Garfield was the 20th President.

By the way, a secret we impart to you for understanding better the history of the United States is to memorize the Presidents by name and order of occurrence; then add the Vice-Presidents; then, if you wish to be a little fancy, add all of the members of the Supreme Court and which President appointed them. It also helps to know the losing party nominees for the presidency and vice-presidency. You won't regret it. It provides a nice bony outline on which to hang the meat of the country's past, and, in consequence, to understand the present and the future.

Then, you will never be so incredibly dumb as to think that Alexander Hamilton was ever President. But then, if you got your education on your knees...

The News prints its first "Box Score", showing the voting records for the week of North Carolina's Congressmen and Senators, something many readers had requested.

Marquis Childs tells of the confidence among Republican reactionaries that their day had come and they were simply waiting to be swept in by the tide on election day. Former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, generally a progressive, had begun to criticize both Henry Wallace and Chester Bowles, but this soft rightward turn would only tend to strengthen the reactionaries as they would perceive it as a confession of weakness.

Republican National Committee chairman Carroll Reece of Tennessee was saying that the choice in the fall would be between Republicanism and Communism. The radicals, he contended, had gained control of the Democratic Party and were bent on Sovietizing the country.

—Bob, make a note of that. That'll make a good line to use on Voorhis.

—Yeah, yeah, yeah. CIO PAC money. Communism. They're all Communists, Bob.

—Oh no. No, Bob. Nothing about underwear. They'll think we're queer.

The theme for the election appeared to be the old saw, "Turn the rascals out." It relieved the Republicans from putting forth any positive program.

Mr. Childs suggests that the soft-peddling by both sides resembled the presidential election of 1936 between FDR and Alf Landon. He asserts that he had always believed that it was responsible for the country not facing up to the decision of war and peace against Fascism until it was too late to avert global warfare.

The country had survived with good luck on its side during the war. It would likely not be so lucky again.

Men such as Senator Robert Taft, a leader of the Republican Party, should begin discussing concrete policy and put aside the rhetoric about Communism. Otherwise, the party would continue to ride the tide, perhaps into the White House in 1949. But once there, they would have to face up to the world of reality.

"An electorate kidded and cajoled into an illusion of normalcy will not be patient with mistakes."


These are the stakes: the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment preserved in their absolutist form, without any exception, save, in the case of the First, for defamation or actual, plainly intended threat or plot to overthrow the Government by force or violence; or, surrender to Fascism and militaristic totalitarianism. There is no middle ground, no secret society which is at all, in the least, tolerable, rationalized on preventing "terrorism", whatever that is as distinguished from a police state and its secret operations conducted abroad and domestically. That was Hitler's rationale. Blame no President. Blame no particular Congress. Blame a time, an age, and a refusal on the part of some too inured to that age to understand the antecedents and realize that there is another way than by finding sanctification and succor in the crying towel of mommie's apron, the Second Amendment.

Candidly, if we had been living in Boston during the lockdown in April while the police searched for two bombing suspects, and had our Fourth Amendment rights violated by entry to our home without probable cause and without our consent, we would, while obviously unable to resist the unlawful intrusion of the moment, then file a lawsuit in Federal District Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging violation of Fourth Amendment rights by police officers acting under orders of superiors and under color of state law, and demanding monetary damages as a consequence. One has to sue the individual police officers involved and the immediate superiors providing the orders, or risk having the suit thrown out through various forms of governmental immunity created through the decades by legislation and courts seeking to undermine and weaken this vital part of our system of laws, that which gives the only teeth to the Constitution on an everyday basis and empowers the individual forcefully to say "no" to Government abuses of rights by means other than the ballot box.

If enough people whose rights were violated would undertake such lawsuits and stand up for their rights in Court under existing laws which have been on the books since shortly after the Civil War, and stop griping at this mythical "Government", that amorphous, monolithic thing which many people create in their heads as an inimical scapegoat for their own fears to exercise their rights, while claiming ridiculously in this instance that the bombing was an "inside job", then we would not be having these sorts of situations where mayors or a governor or police administrators would think that, with political and economic impunity, they could suspend the Constitution and not be called on the carpet by the citizenry for doing so.

We hope that the elected officials responsible for the lockdown of Boston are turned out by the electorate at the next election. That would send one message, politically. But the other one needs to be sent through the courts, just as in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and 1960's. We will otherwise never be rid of this insidious piece of garbage called the Patriot Act, passed in the dead of night, a monster in a box built out of a climate of fear and never approved by the citizenry or even discussed at any length before its passage.

There is no excuse for suspending the Fourth Amendment, any more than the First Amendment, except in the case of a true emergency, such as a spreading wildfire. Certain requirements are relaxed on the highway because of the inherent mobility of the person while in a vehicle, provided there is probable cause to stop or search a specific vehicle in the first instance. But there always must be probable cause. Checkpoints on the highway are of doubtful validity in the abstract under the Fourth Amendment, though they have been upheld as valid provided they are applicable to the general motoring public in a given locale and are aimed at a valid purpose of protecting the public safety, such as checking for impaired drivers and only for that purpose. But that body of Fourth Amendment law is premised on the notion of a privilege to operate a motor vehicle granted by licensure of the State, having nothing to do with other types of searches of a limited intrusive nature.

Airport searches and other such public entry searches, for instance in public buildings, are by implied consent. One has a choice not to enter the facility and thus avoid the limited intrusion to privacy.

No exception, however, has ever been applied to a blanket search for bombing suspects or individuals suspected of any other type of criminal conduct, to permit routine entry and searches en masse of the homes of citizens in a given neighborhood or town, the very basis of the Fourth Amendment at the Founding, to prevent just those sorts of abuses which the colonists endured under British rule. It is the "exception" which gobbles the whole rule.

Simply because a case is high profile, having occurred at a prominent event in a large city, does not elevate the situation to the level of an exception to the Fourth Amendment. It is an example of a creeping evil in our society, one which has been at work for several decades, certainly since the 1970's and Richard Nixon's brand of "law and order", but elevated to a new level of insistence in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001.

If we are to allow two Chechen boys, the younger of whom was barely over his pimples, to shut down our society and destroy our Fourth Amendment, do we not encourage the next set of nuts who despise the concept of American freedom to do likewise? Is that not the goal, to create panic on a widespread basis and make of the United States that which the Soviet Union and other such totalitarian or Third World states once were, and, in some cases, still are? To make of it what many Middle Eastern states still are and have been for decades? And is that outrageous attempt, especially during the past dozen years, not, in fact, working with a vengeance?

Have we not become them? Judging by the reaction in Boston two months ago to a minor bombing, an objective observer would have to conclude in the affirmative. We note, without in the least meaning to diminish the insidious act in Boston or the horrific injuries, pain, and death caused by such a useless act, that the boiler explosion at the Baker Hotel in Dallas in June, 1946, which killed seven people and injured 31 more, took more lives than did the pair of bombs in Boston. Nobody rushed about trying to lay blame on the boiler operator or seeking to ban boilers in Dallas. Indeed, 17 years later, the Dallas police did not place the city on lockdown, even after the fatal shooting of the President of the United States and near-fatal wounding of the Governor of Texas, a far worse act than the Boston bombings or the World Trade Center bombings, for its impact on policy and events of the nation, an impact which spanned decades afterward.

We must maintain perspective and stop the madness every time some lunatic decides to commit an untoward act, aimed indiscriminately at the public or at individuals. Good, systematic police investigation will catch suspects in most cases. We do not need a shotgun approach to get the "bad guys" while the television cameras are on, so that some political figure can claim a feather in his or her cap for cheap approbation from a scared and gullible public. Make that cheap approbation backfire, both politically and economically, through the ballot box and through lawsuits, and there will be no more suspension of the Fourth Amendment or the First. Permit it to go unpunished politically and economically and there will be more of the same. More teenage boys and girls, able to dictate how we live, able to take solace in their pathetic little lives, that at least they were able to scare into submission all of the gullible and pathetic little creatures hiding in their homes from them, scare them into surrender of the freedom that those little boys and girls hate so badly.

"Safety and security" at the expense of the Constitution is not only not safety or security in any real sense, but despotism and ultimately the destruction of security and safety in the most fundamental way, in our homes and in our papers and in our speech.

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