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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.