Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator Harry
Flood Byrd told a gathering in Richmond that the Southerners
revolting against the President's civil rights program should hold
their fire but keep their powder dry, to bide their time until it
could be known where the President's proposal was headed before
engaging in revolt from the national party. He said that the South
would not accept the proposals of the President but that there would
be time, yet time enough, to determine action in the event the Southerners lost the
fight against passage of such legislation.
The rebelling Southern Congressmen were to meet with five
Southern Governors regarding a plan of cooperative action. The
Governors included Gregg Cherry of North Carolina and Strom Thurmond
of South Carolina, plus the Governors of Texas, Arkansas, and
Virginia. The Governors Conference, meeting in Wakulla Springs, Florida, on February 8,
gave the Administration 40 days to withdraw the proposals. Of the
Congressmen present at the previous day's meeting, only one, Bayard
Clark, represented North Carolina. Mr. Clark, who had been in Congress since 1929, had recently announced that he would not seek re-election.
Progressive Party presidential candidate Henry Wallace
ventured that no serious split was likely to occur within the
Democratic Party from the rebellion of the Southerners.
The President arrived in Puerto Rico and visited with
Governor Jesus Pinero, a recent appointee of the President, the
first island-born governor. The President stated that he believed in
self-determination for Puerto Rico and had so urged the Congress to
Congressman Lawrence Smith of Wisconsin was proceeding with
efforts to obtain acquiecence from General MacArthur in cooperation of his sought testimony before the House Foreign
Affairs Committee with regard to the aid to China proposed by the
President, despite the General's indication that he was preoccupied
with political matters in China and with Japan, would prefer not to
have to return to the U.S. at the present.
A joint Congressional economic committee, chaired by Senator
Taft, intended to call representatives of the nation's leading steel
companies to testify in hearings on the reasons for a general $5 per
ton boost in steel prices.
It was anticipated that the House and Senate would vote the
following week on the thirty-day provisional extension of rent
control beyond the expiration date of February 29, pursuant to
agreement of Republican leaders in both chambers. The Senate was
expected to go ahead and vote also on an extension of controls for
14 months. The House version of the long-term bill was still going
In Prague, President Eduard Benes refused to accept the
resignations tendered by three anti-Communist members of the Cabinet
of the coalition Government under Premier Klement Gottwald, a
Communist. The intention of the resignations had been to force the
Communists to agree to early elections, in protest of Premier
Gottwald's stated intention to reshuffle the national and local
governments, including the police force. The Premier sought
authority from President Benes to name a cabinet without the three
In Athens, Greece, twenty persons were executed after nine
had been convicted February 17 by a military tribunal for killing a
policeman and planning to assassinate Greek political leaders. The
others were found guilty of being members of a Communist execution
squad which had killed hundreds of civilians near Athens during the
civil war of the post-Nazi occupation period in fall, 1944.
In Carlsbad, N.M., a four-year old boy was snatched from the
family yard by an eagle as the boy's mother sought to free him, held
by the head in the eagle's talons. She returned with pliers and
pulled the talons from his head, rushing him then to a doctor. The
boy's father, in the meantime, returned home, beat the eagle to
death with a bed slat.
Well, that's a Federal offense. He'll have to serve time in
prison for that. Listen here. We demand law and order. There was no
basis for defense of others in that case. In fact, the death penalty
may be in order for this obvious act of treason in furtherance of
In Beulah, Mich., a woman was arrested carrying two suitcases
filled with $4,000 in cash and ten bottles of whiskey, allegedly
stolen from the uncle of her husband, from whom she sought escape
for the fact of maintaining their Pennsylvania home filled with 45
dogs. The money was stolen in Florida. Her husband said she had a
split personality, revealed by alcohol. He said that his wife had
plenty of money in her bank accounts, derived from his successful
limestone business, and that the dogs were maintained in kennels,
that no more than ten at a time were ever in the house.
Everybody has ten dogs. What's the big deal? Maybe one, however, was a
big Red Dog.
In New York, a building materials dealer, described during
Senate hearings by Senator Joseph McCarthy as "one of the most
vicious gray marketeers", was charged with grand theft after
allegedly failing to deliver 40,000 feet of rock lath worth $1,575
to a lumber company in Winston-Salem. He had told the lumber company
that he would return the money in a civil action but not under
threat of a criminal complaint and, after informing of the number of the freight
car on which the shipment was loaded, had even tendered a return of the money to
the District Attorney's Office, which was rejected.
At least he was only gray in the Senator's eyes, and not Red,
yet. As soon as he finds out, however, that the man was selling some
of that red spruce, matters may be different and the man may wind up
being executed for trees, son.
Dick Young tells of the Fire Department in Charlotte
informing of the need for two new stations and 200 additional fire
alarm boxes to provide for the newly annexed territory effective
Tom Fesperman tells of the Memorial Hospital being in danger
of losing a large part of its staff and facilities because of
financial trouble deriving from care of charity patients. The
hospital was considering an endowment proposal.
The City Council had received numerous requests from citizens
for the change of bus routes, including that of the No. 9 Eastover
bus to enable better access to the Mint Museum of Art and to dead
men, generally. The Council was considering the proposed changes,
which then had to be approved by the State Utilities Commission.
The woman's pages tell of the following week being "Sew
and Save Week"—which is more utilitarian than "Sew and
Sow Week". You will want to take advantage of that and obtain
your lesson in sewing and layout of sewing patterns. Be sure to
bring your pins and pinking shears that you might pink the
newspaper. But don't let them call you a reactionary only for doing
your patriotic duty.
On the editorial page, "Truman and the Floogie Bird" remarks on the President suggesting his reactionary critics as resembling the
floogie bird, a wooden toy which flew backwards so that it could see where it had
been. The piece thinks the advice might remind of the Mugwump, which
sits on the fence with its mug on one side and its wump on the
other. For the President could not fit the standard that he
championed in his Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner speech, that of
"progressive liberalism". He was too well established as a
product of the Pendergast political machine and conservative
Too many remembered his dismantling of the New Deal in
1945-46, eliminating New Dealers from his Administration while
bringing in old Missouri cronies as advisers, in most cases
ultra-conservatives. The President's crusade for civil rights was
only an effort to counter the drive of Henry Wallace.
For a time, his bipartisan foreign policy, the proposal of
the Marshall Plan and the establishment the previous summer in Rio
of the Western Hemispheric Security Zone, had shown him as a leader
of merit, and his popularity in consequence had risen in the public
It suggests that by November, however, his popularity would
likely sink were he not to change course and stop trying to be all
things to all people.
The editorial appears to be another in the column's recent
editorials finding the civil rights proposals of the President to be
objectionable as unnecessary, that the South could tend its own
garden and would only react bitterly to Federal interference in
"states' rights". But the plain fact was that much of the
region, especially the Deep South, was incapable of doing so. The
mess taking place since the war had proved it, and as close to home
as Greenville, S.C., Monroe, Ga., and Jackson, N.C., where
lynchings, or in the latter case, an attempted lynching avoided only
by escape of the intended victim, had taken place without justice
being accorded the known culprits. Added to that poor record were
the efforts in South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi to
circumvent the Allwright Supreme Court decision of April,
1944, requiring that primary elections be open to all citizens in
accordance with the right to vote afforded by the Fifteenth
Amendment, by imposing a test, ironic in its premises, whereby a
person had to satisfy the subjective determination of a registrar of
voters that sufficient knowledge of the Constitution was possessed
to enable voting.
Living among this racist mess had caused some editorialists
obviously to become accustomed to the foul odor produced, much as
the legend has it that a frog becomes slowly accustomed to boiling
water when the heat is turned up gradually.
And despite what any idiot at Wicked-pedia, trying to feign super-hipness, may contend, a "floogie bird", per the President's expressed explanation, was only a wooden toy, which, in turn, innocently derived from the name of the 1938 jazz number, made popular again in 1945, obviously referencing a swing dance, not any disease, you dirty-bird Moron. Heaven on high only knows what your garbage-pail, right-wing mind might conjure as the "true and hip" meaning of the Twist and the Watusi. You reflect only your own mentality with such gleanings, Stupid. What matter might it make whether some idiotic casual listener to the tune may have, in fact, so thought its meaning, applying an elementary-school mentality to the matter, even in 1938? Does that make it true to its original intent in context, Flunkie?
"The South Takes Its Stand" finds the Southern
revolt articulated by about 50 Democratic Congressmen of eleven
Southern states, including North Carolina, to be a shot over the bow
of President Truman, announcing in calm terms the seriousness of the
Southern revolt should he continue to embrace the civil rights
program he had proposed on Groundhog Day—perhaps not without
intentional symbolic suggestion on his part.
The piece again promotes states' rights as a legitimate and
articulate concept, opposing Federal "interference" with
local matters, implying a kind of geographical notion of
distribution of government influence, consistent with that
championed by the Southern reactionaries. And it expresses hope that
the movement of Southern Congressmen, in cooperation with the
Southern Governors who had met February 9 near Tallahassee, would
develop into a phenomenon going beyond the campaign of 1948, to
establish a permanent organization to provide the region a "better
definition of its aims, a clearer picture of its problems and more
co-operative action in the progressive development of the South."
It would indeed provide definition of the South's aims and a
clearer picture of its problems, at least mentally. And, as always,
when we reference "the South", we mean not to include all
parts, all places, or all of its inhabitants. We speak of it in the
same manner the editorial does in this instance, that reactionary
part of the South, still rebelling against anything more modern than
antebellum life, which, in the conventional Twentieth Century view
of it, manifested out of ten-gallon romance novels and moompicters
made from them, never existed anywhere, not even on Tara.
To what degree the piece is playing devil's advocate to
obtain the ear of the devils, that they might be led to some slow
recognition of that basic reality, is subject to question, and
certainly the fact is within the realm of possibility. Any opinion
ventured must also always be filtered through the idea that more than one
editorialist was at work at The News, made obvious by
conflicting opinions day to day on various topics, civil rights
That concept of states' rights is founded on the Tenth
Amendment and only applies to those rights not possessed by the
Federal Government or the people, usually termed the "police
powers", to look after the health, morals, safety and welfare
of the people, hence the criminal codes and protective parts of the
civil codes in all of the states. The Supremacy Clause, however,
gives the Federal Government the right to enforce, through the
Congress and the Executive Branch, all Federal laws and rights under
the Constitution, including the abrogation of any state law which
conflicts with any individual rights and liberties inherently or
expressly recognized by the Constitution, the latter duty falling primarily, in absence of a Federal statute as in civil rights cases, to the Federal judicial branch.
States have never had the right to take away individual
liberties at will or to pass laws in derogation of Federal laws and
the rights of the people inherent in the Constitution and those
specifically enumerated, including the rights of due process and
equal protection of the laws extended to the states via the
Fourteenth Amendment, ratified after the Civil War—save in the
happenstance of political convenience amid Southern social hysteria
and superstitious fears where Supreme Courts through time, and lower
Federal courts, such as in the robber-baron era of the latter
Nineteenth Century, abdicated their proper responsibility.
States' rights, therefore, is a concept often misunderstood,
with that misconstruction being deliberately promulgated and
maintained, for the sake of political appeal to crackerism, by
Southern politicians of those earlier times, many of whom, as Strom
Thurmond and, later, George Wallace, were lawyers and should have
known better. The effort was to massage and confirm the mistaken
conceptualization that states' rights coexist on an equal plane with
Federal rights and that, therefore, it is merely a contest of wills
as to which force wins in a given context—the Federals in
Washington City or the States and Locals down heya a-fightin' the
civil woa like grandpa done.
But that was never so, except in Cloud-Cuckoo Land where the
We might also add that when we say "the South" in
this context, we include reactionaries from wherever they may come
in the United States, whether from New York or California or points
in between. The mentality is identified with a region only because
of its origin and concentration through time in that region but is
by no means confined to it, especially so in the highly mobile century last endured.
The main point to keep in mind is that "states' rights"
is a concept in the Constitution having nothing to do with
geographical boundaries per se. The Federal Government, in one form
or another, exists in all places of the country, not co-existent
with state and local governments but supreme thereto whenever there
is a conflict in interpretation of law regarding individual rights
and liberties or conflicts between states, among other things. And
you cannot get rid of it without leaving the country. If one wishes
to be rid of it, then that individual should exit on the nearest
plane, boat, mule or elephant, realizing the subversive nature of
the stance, not the patriotism which such individuals ascribe
fancifully to themselves. That patriotism only consists of
allegiance to a fascist mentality by which its adherents salute a
flag which appears as the American flag but is in fact not so for
its basis not being understood historically or, even in a
rudimentary sense, legally. It is akin to trying to divine meaning
from a book on an historical subject of which little is understood
previously by looking only at the pictures.
A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled
"Taft-Hartley Test Case", remarks on the test case of
Philip Murray and CIO to the part of Taft-Hartley imposing criminal
sanctions to ban political activity by labor organizations. The case
arose from CIO endorsement in a union newspaper of a Baltimore
County Congressional candidate the previous summer.
Some attorneys believed it might even be extended to prohibit
endorsements of candidates by newspapers, pursuant to the Corrupt
Practices Act banning such political activity by corporations.
The piece believes the provision violated free speech and
thus that the test case of Mr. Murray would be salutary.
Drew Pearson tells of a move to shift the investigation of
grain speculation from the Senate Appropriations Committee to the
Expenditures Committee for the purpose of preventing the shutdown of
the investigation of Senator Elmer Thomas and his cotton and grain
speculation through surrogates aided by his manipulation of prices
through floor speeches since 1933. Senator Millard Tydings of
Maryland was behind the effort to block the investigation. Senator
Homer Ferguson, chairman of the subcommittee investigating the
matter, remained adamant in the face of direct challenge by Senator
Tydings. But Senator Tydings and other members of the Committee had
been able to block $20,000 in appropriations for the subcommittee's
work. In consequence, Senator Styles Bridges, chairman of the
Appropriations Committee, was seeking to transfer the investigation
to the Expenditures Committee, chaired by Senator George Aiken of
J. Edgar Hoover had not found much disloyalty in his
investigation of Government employees. Only 399 of 418,000 employees
investigated had been found to have any hint of suspicious records.
And in only eight cases had any actual disloyalty been shown.
Twenty-five employees resigned during the investigation. The amount
of actual disloyalty thus was minuscule.
Congressman Forrest Harness of Indiana had accused the Army
of continuing to spend money, in violation of the law, for
propaganda in favor of Universal Military Training, despite a report
of the House Expenditures Committee the previous summer, critical of the
Army for spending $50,000 of public money for such lobbying. Secretary
of the Army Kenneth Royall, who rose to the position from
Undersecretary the previous July, claimed no knowledge of the
lobbying effort. Mr. Pearson posits that in the position of Undersecretary, he should have possessed such knowledge.
Senator James Eastland of Mississippi and Congressman John
Rankin of that state had organized a Southern boycott of the
President's reception for Congressmen, based on the civil rights
A committee in New York was being organized in favor of the
program. Its invitations had been extended to persons from
entertainment, Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby, education, Harvard
president Dr. James Conant, the publisher of Look, Mike
Cowles, Bernard Baruch, Herbert Bayard Swope, General "Wild
Bill" Donovan, Sumner Welles, John D. Rockefeller, and others.
General MacArthur had been cabling Washington nearly every
week urging that America either abandon Korea or adopt a firm
Congressman Wright Patman of Texas had introduced a bill to
provide for Federal Government employees to learn through
internships the workings of government.
Joseph & Stewart Alsop suggest a remarkable
Administration policy behind the "singularly fraudulent"
program proposed by the President to Congress to extend for one year
570 million dollars of aid to the Chiang Government in China to
promote economic stability. Behind the proposal lay hidden the fact
that it would take quite a lot more money over time to secure the
Chiang Government and that the U.S. had neither the money nor the
will to do the job. If the job were not completed, the Chinese
Communists inevitably would take control of China.
They posit that the aid requested was tantamount to
"Operation Rathole", despite strict conditions being
attached to the commodities in which form the aid would be provided.
Most advisers, with the exception of General Wedemeyer, had
not come to grips with past mistakes in the region, as the opening
of the Burma Road, which gave away East China, undermined the
Nationalist Government, and became worthless as a military highway
within two weeks after it was opened. The role of the U.S. in the
Chiang Government was so ineptly handled that twice anti-American
elements were allowed to triumph.
The major aid provided China thus far consisted of 700
million dollars worth of Army surplus material, deemed not worth
bringing home, and providing of transportation to the Chinese armies
to Manchuria, not the billions some contended had been wasted.
But nevertheless, the present policy on China was susceptible
of defense as the Communists in the North might not be able to hold
the entire country once obtained. What was indefensible was the
presentation of the U.S. policy to the public and the concealment of
the inherent risks involved in the venture. Those risks included the
provision of aid to the Chinese Communists by Russia, the need for
prevention of Japanese trade with the China coast, and the notion
that the U.S. would either need permanently to subsidize Japan or
see it, of necessity, join the Soviet-Asiatic sphere. The risks
added up to the potential of war in the Far East within a few years.
In fact, based on the domino theory, two wars would erupt in
the region in the coming years, albeit contained within geographic
boundaries rather than erupting into world war.
In hindsight, one might say that allowing China to fall to
the Communists, as it would in 1949, was without consequence in the
long haul, that allowing all of Vietnam to become communized was
likewise without consequence, and, so, in all probability, would
have been the case in Korea, without that war and maintenance of the
38th parallel since.
But hindsight is always 20-20, and the course of time has yet
to be told to completion. May we hope that it will not be.
Yet, should the world, or any country within it, cynically
determine that without war there can be no population and class
control, no heroes provided to whom the people might look for
inspiration to indulge in the next war and the next a generation
hence, to afford some concrete meaning to the humdrum of daily
existence in life's mill, then time and times are lost, not to
bravery, but redundant self-fulfilling prophecy and its damnation of
all, in a nuclear age, freighted with the inexorable consequence of
being without return, no matter the end of the Cold War.
Samuel Grafton tells of being button-holed more than once,
following the Bronx special election in which Leo Isacson, the
American Labor Party candidate, had surprisingly won, and being
asked whether America was going Communist. Many appeared fearful
that revolution was in the air, that a flood was about to sweep the
Bronx and the nation.
Bronx political boss Ed Flynn blamed the Communists and voter
apathy of non-Communists for the loss. But rather the results showed
that Boss Flynn and the Democratic Party were weak. The country
could not endure jettisoning price control to the point that
consumers could not afford basic necessities without higher wages,
then pass Taft-Hartley to restrict unions, and also flood the
country with war talk without a reaction somewhere within the
electorate. Without that reaction, the country would appear as
Germany, not America.
The people objected to the problems dropped in their laps
postwar and, while there were other factors at work such as
Palestine and the fact that it had involved a special interim
election to fill a seat of a deceased Congressman, the Bronx
demonstrated that premise.
The crisis of both major parties was one of smugness. The
President had done little more than make sincere statements against
high prices and Taft-Hartley, but had not gone further. That the
Communists supported the ALP was of no moment to the people, any
more than the support given the opposition by Mrs. Roosevelt and
Mayor William O'Dwyer. They were interested in the candidates as
individuals and their stances, rather than labels.
Moreover, the glee expressed by Republicans at seeing the
Democrats in such disarray was opera bouffe, a triumph in
A letter writer thinks that the Marshall Plan would have no
chance of success as long as the Truman Doctrine, providing
military aid to Greece and Turkey, remained extant.
Parenthetically, he appears to misinterpret the meaning of
the doctrine as being "on the statute books". There was no
statute per se enacting the Truman Doctrine, merely the legislation
appropriating the 400 million dollars in spring 1947 to the two
countries. Properly, he means the concept of the Truman
Doctrine, lending military aid to countries to thwart Soviet
expansion, as opposed purely to the type of aid contemplated by the
Marshall Plan, for self-determined rebuilding of the economies of
the recipient nations, utilizing their own resources to the extent
available to supplement the aid, even if the ultimate goal, as
applied to the 16 Western European nations who signed onto the Plan,
was essentially the same in terms of preventing Communism from gaining
any inroads. It was also true that as originally conceived, the
Soviet-bloc nations were offered the aid and declined it, though a
few, as Czechoslovakia, had wanted to accept it, until pressured by
Moscow not to do so.
He favors bringing Russia into the circle of recipient
nations and that to do so would first require renouncing the Truman
Doctrine. Without explaining how or why, he thinks the Marshall Plan
aid to be appropriated could thus be reduced to two billion dollars.
You could as easily say $1.53. Fill 'er up and be done with
it. Off you go down the road.
A letter writer from New York tells of the high taxes paid by
each individual, provides a detailed table showing that of $1,900 in
earnings, $824 went to taxes of all types, including the "hidden
taxes" added by business to the cost of items to compensate for
the taxes on business and raw materials.
He wants less or more of something, not being entirely clear
as to what of what.