The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 1, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. General Assembly voted 53 to 5 for the 12-point Western peace plan, one point of which was that member nations should refrain from intervention in the affairs of other countries. It followed Russia's vehement denial that it was interfering with Yugoslavia's internal affairs, as charged by Yugoslavia the previous day. All five nay votes were from the Soviet bloc, with Yugoslavia abstaining.

In Rome, the Italian Communists suffered humiliation when the one-day general strike they sponsored failed to tie up the economy. It was scarcely felt, more of a failure than the one-day strike called in France the prior Friday, which had also barely produced a ripple in the economy. The last attempt by the Italian Communists a month earlier, an eight-hour general strike, had also failed.

In Chengtu, China, Chiang Kai-Shek resumed the command of the Nationalist forces, arriving from fallen Chungking, the provisional capital overrun the previous day by the Communist forces. He had no intention, however, according to an official announcement, of resuming the presidency from which he had retired the previous January. His first act was to call together other Nationalist leaders to discuss measures for curbing the Communist advance into Southwestern China.

Following a familiar pattern in Nanking and Canton, Chungking had fallen swiftly after Nationalist forces had departed. A welcoming committee was formed for the entering Communists after the all-clear signal was sounded.

John L. Lewis, despite the November 30 deadline having past for the end of three-week truce in the coal strike, ordered the miners back to work the following Monday on a three-day week, less than eleven hours after they had left the pits at just after midnight to renew the strike. The miners, hard hit by pay losses since the expiration of the contract July 1 and the ensuing strike, cheered the order. The miners had worked a regular five-day week during the truce period. Some of the mine operators reacted by saying that the shortened work week meant that they either would go broke or have to raise prices.

In Washington, Undersecretary of Interior Oscar Chapman was sworn in as Secretary, replacing Julius Krug who had suddenly resigned the previous week to return to the private sector after some rocky relations with the President. Mr. Chapman praised Secretary Krug for his service and the latter introduced and praised the new Secretary.

In Roosevelt, N.J., near Newark, the residents were without water as the state's largest reservoir, serving Newark and Bayonne, had only a 60-day supply of water remaining. Emergency water was being trucked in for Roosevelt's residents. Workmen were digging the wells 40 feet deeper. Schools and factories were closed. Heating units utilizing steam and water heaters were ordered shut off.

Meanwhile, the Dutch East Indies island of Aruba depended on Bayonne for its water, supplying daily 200,000 gallons via Standard Oil tankers.

In Washington, former Representative Andrew May of Kentucky was ordered to begin serving his 24-month prison term for wartime bribery in the provision of government contracts. The judge turned down a defense request to reduce the term. Mr. May had been convicted in July, 1947, with co-defendants, the Garsson brothers, recipients of the contracts in question who had provided $53,000 in bribes to Mr. May, then chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee.

In York, S.C., the State sought to remove a "mystery man" from the trial of Nathan Corn for murder of his employer, George Beam. The defense had contended that this person had spent the night with Mr. Beam at a Charlotte hotel two weeks before the murder and thus was a prime suspect. The prosecution had located a witness and presented his testimony, that he lived at the hotel and had registered Mr. Beam and a Rock Hill, S.C., businessman for one night at the hotel in May, 1948. He said that he had not clearly heard the name of Mr. Beam's friend and so misstated the name on the registration, that the man was actually an operator of a concrete business near Mr. Beam's oil business in Rock Hill.

A bookkeeper continued his testimony that there were substantial discrepancies in the books of the firm and that Mr. Corn's receipts which he maintained for the books failed to match those which he gave to customers.

In Clinton, N.C., a kerosene explosion at a farm house killed a woman and four children, and injured three others. The tenant farmer who lived in the house was pouring kerosene over a wood stove when the explosion occurred, apparently hitting live coals smoldering from the night before.

In Moscow, the Soviet Ukraine was reported to have exceeded its goal for increasing livestock production, with over a million more head of cattle and 368,000 more pigs than in 1940.

In Chicago, Judge Roy Bean was sold for $13,800, a record high price, $11.50 per pound—meaning, we presume, for each pound of the gavel.

In Nashville, opera star Mona Bradford, in town for a performance of "Carmen", stayed to sing at a local night club, filling the place with patrons, as she sang "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", some selections from "Carmen", concluding with "Miserlou" sung in the original Arabic. She said that she wanted to make enough money to return to New York in style. The New York Civic Opera Co., which sponsored the touring "Carmen", had decided to abandon the tour after 60 unprofitable performances, leaving Ms. Bradford, she claimed, stranded without transportation back home, a claim disputed by the managing director of the company. He said that they had three Carmens and Ms. Bradford had been one, to generate publicity for the tour. The tour had been scheduled to come to Charlotte.

On the editorial page, "One Down, One to Go" tells of the ouster by the New York City Council of Communist Benjamin Davis from the Council leaving Vito Marcantonio, American Labor Party member, as a Congressman, the most prominent of the city's "two Kremlin puppets". Mr. Davis had been among the eleven American Communist Party defendants in New York convicted under the Smith Act. The Council had voted unanimously that his felony conviction caused him to forfeit his position.

Mr. Marcantonio had won re-election recently only by pluralities and so, it ventures, his political ouster could also be forthcoming. He had won by cobbling together blocs of blacks and Puerto Ricans in Harlem.

It invites the two major parties to put aside their differences for the greater good and seek to combine forces to defeat Mr. Marcantonio.

"Trend to Security" predicts that the Senate in the coming year would go at least as far as the House had in the first session regarding expansion of Social Security benefits. Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin had plumped for $100 per month pensions for all retirees, the same as that enjoyed by coal miners and the new plan for the steelworkers, as well the new plan for the workers at Ford.

The plans in place in steel and at Ford would decrease as Social Security benefits rose. So if a $100 per month plan were provided by the Government, the industry plans would contribute nothing. So industry and labor now had incentive to support larger Social Security benefits, the workers because the private plans could evaporate in hard times should the company be liquidated and because a worker could keep his retirement plan from job to job.

But the cost of 12 billion dollars per year for the plan would be staggering to the economy, requiring potentially much more than the current one percent contribution from income to Social Security.

The Congress and the people had to decide in the coming year what the working people could support in the way of retirement for those no longer in the work force.

"Germany Rises Again" tells of the necessity for Germany to emerge again militarily for the protection of Western Europe and restoration of Germany's economy, key to restoration of the economy of Western Europe, a theme more fully developed by the Alsops.

It concludes that while there was some slim hope that the newly formed Bonn Government in West Germany would manifest a truly democratic republic in the Western sectors, it remained a slender thread on which to pin "the hopes of mankind."

"November Hail" tells of the weather playing havoc one day during the week, as a thunderstorm suddenly rolled over Charlotte during the afternoon, followed by hail, uncharacteristic for the time of year.

It's because the world is coming to an end in 1953, or perhaps earlier, now that the Rooskies have the bomb, maybe next year.

Drew Pearson tells of the new Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman, part of the "Little Cabinet" of undersecretaries and assistant secretaries longer than anyone in Washington, having become Assistant Secretary of Interior at the start of FDR's first term in 1933. He had worked most of that time under three former Bull Moosers, led by former Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, who had helped to nominate former President Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 as a third-party candidate rather than support incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft.

Mr. Chapman was apt to buck the wind no matter how hard it was blowing against him, always taking a liberal stance. He had pushed for the production of synthetic oil and gasoline, working with Senator Joe O'Mahoney of Wyoming. He had also led the fight against child labor in the sugar beet fields. He had been sent by Secretary Ickes and President Roosevelt in 1934 to seek the opinions of cattlemen and sheep grazers regarding Federal regulation of public lands in the West, pleasing them that he had at least come to hear their side.

President Truman, at the outset of his tenure, had hardly known Mr. Chapman. But the latter had persuaded most of the personnel at Interior to remain when Secretary Ickes resigned in disgust in early 1946 and so caught the notice of the President. Mr. Chapman had come to the President's aid during the 1948 campaign when crowds initially were small on his first tour of the country. Mr. Chapman then went to his hometown of Denver as an advance-man and was able to stir enthusiasm for the President, which continued throughout the remainder of the tour. He had a lot to do with the miracle of 1948 which had confounded the pollsters.

To you Conny-Donnyers, don't get your hopes up that history will regard you likewise. Your candidate, Donny Jive Turkey, stole the election through demagoguery, if by no other more direct means, and, in point of fact, the polls were not so badly off since Secretary Clinton won the popular vote by about two percent, up to a margin of 2.5 million popular votes and still counting.

Oh, and congratulations on preserving the thousand jobs at Carrier Air Conditioning in Indiana. That was brilliant. Now, every company will seek the millions of dollars in tax incentives which Carrier got to provide your little showpiece for the numb skulls of the country who think not beyond the ends of their noses, seeing one piece of the puzzle at a time, their own, and not the entire complex picture it forms for the society at large.

The short-sighted imbeciles who actually believed that this lying dirtbag would be a "populist" had better examine closely the picks for his Cabinet, exclusively millionaires and billionaires with ties to Wall Street personally or through very wealthy parentage.

We have said it many times before: you cannot run the Government as a business enterprise. That winds up lining the pockets of the friends of the Business at the expense of the welfare of the people it is elected to serve. Maybe they did not teach that in Donny's civics class or perhaps he was too much concerned with other pursuits to pay much attention.

Good luck. As millions of good, patriotic Americans are saying, he is not our "President". In fact, to play it safe, whatever he says, we shall do, within the bounds of practicality and decorum, the opposite. You can jump when he says so if you want, until he sends you jumping over the cliff.

That is, of course, assuming that he actually is elected the loser-President when the members of the electoral college cast their votes on December 19.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tells of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson's statement, that the U.S. had no intention of rearming Germany, being contradictory to the professional assessment by the Western military chiefs, including the French. The three chiefs agreed that without German ground troops, defense of Western Europe would be extremely difficult in the event of attack and defense of Germany impossible. The assessment took into account that the Russians were preparing to build a German army in the Eastern sector.

As long as the Germans knew they were exposed, it left open the possibility that they would attempt to make a deal with the Russians, leading to either war or surrender by the West.

But French public opinion made rearmament unacceptable and Secretary Johnson's statement was aimed primarily at French consumption. The French feared both Russia and Germany. Russia had been waging a propaganda campaign to convince the French that rearming Germany would be regarded by Russia as a casus belli and that Russia would respond by sweeping to the Atlantic. The French believed that in that event, the British, as during the 1940 invasion of France by the Germans, would head for Dunkirk and the Americans, for Cherbourg or another port. As the French contributed the bulk of the ground forces for defense of Western Europe, the Americans were intent on appeasing them with a commitment to defense of the Continent by American forces.

It would be suicidal to rearm Germany while the other nations remained feeble militarily. The first priority had to be to strengthen the U.S. military and those of the Western European allies.

But not enough yet was being done in this regard to appease the French military commanders and so it was necessary to placate the French public with promises not to rearm Germany. Yet, such was dangerous as it might become necessary to rearm Germany to some degree within the larger framework of Western Europe, especially with Russian rearmament of East Germany taking place.

The Alsops suggest that it was time for such plain facts to be faced.

Marquis Childs, still in London, tells of the British-American talks in September now realizing a result of British recovery economically, at least as potentially great as the benefit from Marshall Plan aid. British officials, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Cripps and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, told Secretary of State Acheson that the large war debt owed to the Middle East and Far East, primarily to India and Pakistan, was hampering British recovery. Both India and Pakistan were in urgent need of financial aid, themselves, to prevent unemployment, chaos and the prospect of succumbing to Communism.

The British had met the problem by sending a large amount of their increased exports to these areas in exchange for reduction of the sterling debt. It was a sensitive point with India because the view there was that the debt would be permanently frozen. But indications were that the British debt burden could be relieved if the U.S. were to provide aid to these creditor areas. The result would be that Southeast Asian countries would place orders for machinery and other capital goods in Western Europe, and those orders would be paid in dollars provided by the American loans, helping to cure the European dollar deficit.

The sterling debts to the nations of the region were primarily for loans advanced during the war for materials and men to prosecute the war. These debts were of great significance to British fiscal policy and supplied Communist propaganda in the affected areas. Without increasing the burden of the American taxpayer, it would likely be possible to remove this heavy burden from Britain and thereby relieve its drag on world recovery and reconstruction.

Robert C. Ruark, in San Francisco, tells of meeting the old captain of the freighter to which he had been assigned during his stint in the Navy during the war. Captain Karl Peder Olsen was fearless, never became perturbed, even when the freighter was menaced by German planes dropping bombs or U-boats firing torpedoes in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, where Mr. Ruark had served.

The only time "The Old Man" seemed to lose his calm was when he summoned Mr. Ruark to the galley once because a Chinese cook was chasing a Navy man around with a toasting fork and he wanted another Navy witness.

Captain Olsen was 66 and had 51 years at sea, seeing his wife of 30 years perhaps four of the years they had been married, once staying away at sea for four consecutive years.

Mr. Ruark says that he had never worried about getting home as long Captain Olsen was on the bridge.

He concludes that if it seemed like a sentimental piece, it probably was.

A letter from a representative of the Cole-Layer-Trumble Company comments on a November 25 article in the newspaper by reporter Ralph Gibson regarding county-wide revaluation of property to raise revenue. He tells of his company being from Dayton, Ohio, with a branch office in Charlotte, an error in the article. He presents a partial list of their clients in eight counties of the state, as, he suggests, it might come in handy in future articles.

That sounds vaguely threatening. Are you making Mr. Gibson an offer he can't refuse? Maybe that's the Layer part of your company.

A Quote of the Day: "Prince Charles has taken steps alone—something the bally old British constitution won't let him do when he becomes king." —Arkansas Gazette

Such, too, with even greater force, is applicable to Presidents of the United States, something Donny boy has yet to realize, never having been in government service and, obviously, never having even studied it very closely, too busy using his daddy's money through the decades to chase a buck and other stuff.

Now, the Trumpies are trying to block the recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan with lawsuits. What is it which has them spooked so badly, the concern that the recounts may uncover fraud and electronic manipulation? These lawsuits ought be dismissed immediately as frivolous and costs taxed to the plaintiffs. They are obviously efforts to delay the process without basis. Reportedly, the lawsuits are citing, simple-mindedly, Bush v. Gore from 2000 as the precedent to stop the recount, ignoring the rationale for that decision, that the Florida recounts were being conducted initially only in selected counties, thus, according to the five-Justice majority, denying equal protection to the voters in the other counties where recounts were not taking place and, moreover, after the State Supreme Court had ordered a statewide recount, lacking adequate standards in place to assure statewide uniformity of subjective vote determinations on the punch-card ballots in use at the time in Florida. The recounts in question being sought in 2016 are, in each case, statewide, and there is no issue of subjective determination of punch holes in ballots potentially lacking uniformity of application, as there are no such ludicrous ballots in question. The holding in Bush v. Gore, therefore, has absolutely nothing to do with the matter, was sui generis to the specific circumstances arising in the Florida recount in 2000—except in the minds of the pathetically superficial and stupid, saying the first thing which pops into their wee little brains, educated in the law at Post Toasties University, diploma having been mailed as the prize for opening the package correctly, plus a fee for printing and administrative costs of $36,000, law license accomplished by cheating via proxy taking the exam.

These idiots, presumably, would try to have the public believe that recounts cannot ever occur in any election because of the holding in Bush v. Gore. Or is that rule only applicable when the Republican loses the popular vote and ostensibly wins the electoral college?

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