The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 20, 1949


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that two unidentified Senate sources indicated that Maj. General Harry Vaughan had given "particular hell" to an Agriculture Department employee regarding a grain rationing order after alcoholic beverage producers complained of the edict issued by then Secretary Clinton Anderson restricting use of grain for production of beverages. The Senate investigators had already been informed that General Vaughan had allegedly intervened unsuccessfully to aid a New Jersey molasses company accused of violating sugar rationing.

Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota said that he did not know to whom Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin referred the previous day when he claimed to have acquired adverse information about General Vaughan from high level sources close to the President and to General Vaughan.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports that Senator Clyde Hoey had said by telephone that General Vaughan, John Maragon, James V. Hunt, suspended General Feldman, and other key figures in the investigation into influence peddling to obtain Government contracts were expected to testify to his subcommittee the following week and that he hoped the hearings would be completed by the end of the week. The Senator said that the story regarding the gifts of home freezers to First Lady Bess Truman, Chief Justice Fred Vinson, and others through General Vaughan from a perfume company aided by John Maragon's attempted smuggling of the essence of perfume had been magnified out of all proportion. He said that it was not uncommon to give gifts to public officials without expectation of favors in return. Mr. Maragon, though caught red-handed by customs officials, had not been prosecuted for attempting to avoid $1,600 in import duties on the essence of perfume.

Did the freezers have Government communications inside? Was it safe to keep them there?

In New York, a vast illicit cocaine syndicate had been exposed and an alleged kingpin, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Peruvian descent, arrested. More than 80 persons had been arrested in Peru, including some prominent businessmen, in connection with the syndicate. Some 50 to 60 persons were believed involved in the U.S. side of the operation. The syndicate reportedly had been transacting a $450,000 per month cocaine trade between the U.S. and Peru since 1946, bringing in about 2.2 pounds per month. It had been seeking to expand its operations into Italy through Lucky Luciano. American, Peruvian, and U.N. authorities had cooperated in the two-year investigation of the ring, which was reported to have used the profits to arm insurgents in Peru, in an attempt to seize power in the country. The traffic in illegal cocaine had become so large in 1948 that the U.S. suspended all imports of legal cocaine from Peru.

In Pittsburgh, U.S. customs officials impounded more than a hundred dolls bound for needy children in Europe for non-payment of a duty. The dolls had been contributed by children of St. Catherine's, Ontario, as part of a dolls-for-Europe campaign conducted by the townsfolk of Somerset, Pa. Customs officials said that the dolls had to be valued by the people of Somerset and then a duty determined based on that valuation. If that were not done by the end of business the following day, then the dolls would be placed in storage with a fee of 50 cents per package added. The publisher of the Somerset American said that the Government had reneged on a promise to allow the dolls to enter the U.S. duty-free.

It should not be a problem. All the people of Somerset need to do is to say "howdy".

In New York, ABC announced that it would contest in court the authority of the FCC to restrict advertising of giveaway programs. The FCC order issued the previous day would become effective October 1. It was believed that the FCC ruling would essentially force off the air such popular radio shows as "Stop the Music", "Sing It Again", and "Hollywood Calling", as they involved telephone calls to listeners to elicit a correct answer in response to a clue in return for prizes. The rules did not appear to impact "Queen for a Day" and other such shows where prizes were presented only to participants in the broadcast studio. NBC and CBS had not yet issued comments on the ruling.

Arthur Everett of the Associated Press tells of Art Linkletter's NBC program having given away to a woman a four-mile long glacier in 1948, plus $200 for a trip there by the woman to remove her property. ABC had given away an 8,000-lb. elephant. He lists a raft of other such odd prizes provided over the years.

Fred Allen, who hated giveaway programs as they drew listeners from his show, promised to give $5,000 to any listener who missed out on a prize giveaway call because of listening to his program. He supported the FCC ruling. He said that such programs had been giving away ice boxes for years, but when they started giving away freezers in Washington, the benefactors had not even needed a radio show.

In Chicago, Al Jolson Day at the railroad fair went forward without the guest of honor, who had promised to appear but did not. Mr. Jolson said that he was unaware of the invitation or the celebration. But the director of special events at the fair said that the singer-actor knew of the slated engagement. He was supposed to have been a guest of the Mayor, the fair, and made an Indian chief. The director sent a note to Mr. Jolson saying that he had jilted 6,000 people, including many children, who expected to see him at the 2:00 p.m. "Wheels A-Rolling" pageant. The fair had told them that they could receive a refund if they were disappointed that Mr. Jolson had not appeared and no one came forward.

Well, what's the big deal, then? They didn't want to see him, anyway.

William Hugh Morris, 44, Klan leader of Alabama, sought to become Imperial Wizard of the Georgia Klan to replace Dr. Samuel Green, who had died the previous day of a heart attack—apparently after seeing a ghost in the woods. Mr. Morris, who said that he and Dr. Green had discussed merger of the two Klan organizations, had been in jail for more than a month for refusing to provide Klan membership lists in defiance of a court order. Governor Herman Talmadge of Georgia sent a letter of condolence to Dr. Green's family.

In Washington, the Air Force said that two machines found in a Maryland tobacco barn the previous day had nothing to do with reported flying saucers in the area, ending speculation that the two machines were experimental saucer models. The Air Force had initially reported that they might be prototypes of saucers but then retracted the statement, saying that prototypes of something not proven to exist could not be identified. One of the machines looked like a rude helicopter, with two circular devices on top. The other resembled a wooden tub with an engine and cockpit. The inventor, his wife, and son had disappeared suddenly in 1940, leaving behind his inventions. A quarter-horsepower version of the disc had flown successfully over the farm in the late Thirties.

This here's a Government cover-up of the Martians involved in the Globalist Conspiracy. But, finally, no doubt, if elected, the Republican nominee in 2016 will get to the bottom of the whole flying saucer controversy besetting our country for nigh on 70 years and threatening our freedoms, especially the Second Amendment, the only one that really matters in combating Martians.

On the editorial page, "Prospect for Decommissioning" finds that while it was fair before drawing a conclusion, as the President had asked, to await the testimony of Maj. General Harry Vaughan before the Senate Investigating subcommittee examining influence-peddling in procurement of Government contracts, a finding that General Vaughan had done nothing illegal would not cleanse the taint which had already attached to him by placing him close to influence-peddling activities even if not seeking profit from the practice.

The piece urges the decommissioning of General Vaughan, especially in light of a recent report that there was now one general to every 170 enlisted men since the war.

"Liberia's Gift of Hope" tells of a rare plant in Liberia, a species of genus strophthus sarmentosus, which yielded a seed from which chemicals essential to cortisone could be obtained, making the treatment for sufferers of arthritis more available. Previously, ox bile had to be used, requiring forty head of oxen to supply one arthritis patient for a day, making the cost prohibitive to most.

Clinical experiments of cortisone were already planned for 1950 and the plant discovery might accelerate the schedule. The breakthrough offered hope to those suffering from arthritis, with the caveat that testing had to take place to assure that the treatment had no adverse effect on patients over a period of years.

"The Verbal War" praises the House Appropriations Committee for voting to approve an additional 11.5 million dollars for the Voice of America to strengthen its signal to overcome Russian jamming. The war of information penetrating the iron curtain was important to avoid a war on the battlefield.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Let's Be Sensible about Drunken Driving", tells of the Jesup, Ga., Kiwanis Club passing a resolution on August 9 calling for strict control of taxi drivers because of their reckless conduct in the community. Two days later, in Atlanta, Margaret Mitchell was struck down on a city street by an off-duty cab driver who was speeding and allegedly drinking at the time. She died August 16.

During the current week, the Albany police commission ordered a crackdown on cab drivers, as the police chief said that the Margaret Mitchell incident should serve as warning to all cities.

It urges that communities throughout Georgia enact regulations to assure the good moral character and safe driving of cab drivers. It also urges effective action against drunk drivers, who outnumbered the cab drivers 100 to 1. Little was done about them until they committed manslaughter.

Robert S. Allen, substituting for vacationing Drew Pearson, finds little for which to commend the "eighty-worst" Congress, save its new members, who were able and courageous. Most were young Democrats and all were liberal. The most forceful among them were war veterans. Several were Southerners.

He mentions several of the outstanding members by section of the country. In the East, there was Foster Furculo of Massachusetts, along with several others listed.

In the South, there were Hugo Sims of South Carolina, Pat Sutton of Tennessee, Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, future Senator and Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1988 with Governor Michael Dukakis, and Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton, as well as Homer Thornberry of Texas, future Supreme Court nominee of President Johnson in 1968, withdrawn after the Southern filibuster of the elevation of Justice Abe Fortas to Chief Justice to replace retiring Earl Warren.

In the Midwest, there were Andrew Jacobs of Illinois, Ray Karst of Missouri, Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, future Senator and Democratic presidential candidate in 1968, and Gerald Ford of Michigan, to become Vice-President in 1973 after the resignation of Spiro Agnew for taking bribes while Governor of Maryland, and becoming President on August 9, 1974 after the resignation of President Nixon preceding imminent issuance of articles of impeachment by the House related to obstruction of justice in the Watergate probe.

In the West, there were Cecil White and Reva Beck Bosone, the only Congresswoman on the list.

Joseph and Stewart Alsop, writing under the same byline for the first time in several months, tell of Senator Harry Truman having asked for Maj. General Harry Vaughan's help in his bid for re-election to the Senate in 1940, in a Democratic race in which no one gave Senator Truman much of a chance to win. General Vaughan went to work in a back-slapping campaign and Senator Truman won the nomination, cruised to victory in the general election, and the path was thus established to the Vice-Presidency in 1945 and finally, the White House on April 12 of that year.

After 1940, General Vaughan became one of the Mr. Truman's inner circle, as did James K. Vardaman, who had also been with Senator Truman in the campaign of 1940. General Vaughan had been an adequate secretary to Senator Truman, doing little favors for constituents. But now as the President's military aide, the General was doing the same thing apparently on a larger scale.

There was no evidence of personal corruption of the type characteristic of Teapot Dome. Rather, General Vaughan had been involved in petty finagling and fixing of the type performed normally by a Senator's secretary. But when it carried the implied imprimatur of the President, it had a tawdry appearance. While General Vaughan's actions were probably the result of stupidity and not personal gain, the President should not tolerate stupidity any more than corruption as it could be just as dangerous in the White House.

Increasingly, since the election, they conclude, the Administration had been relying on men, however loyal and genial, with "second-rate brains."

James Marlow discusses the sloth of the Senate in renewing the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, passed in 1934, renewed several times in the interim for two or three years at a time, and renewed again, albeit for only a year, by the 80th Congress, expiring on June 30, 1949. The House had passed the renewal in February, but the Senate had dallied. No new agreements could be made with other countries on foreign trade until the renewal took place, even though the expiration did not impact extant agreements. The Senate would not likely get to it for several more weeks.

The U.S. had started the trade talks in France with 33 other nations, but the President could not approve any of the agreements made until the act was renewed. Trade agreements thus had been slowed by the Senate's sloth.

A letter writer objects to the newspaper carrying Drew Pearson's column, compares him to Iago in Othello, engaging in "blasphemy of truth".

A letter writer says that layoffs and irregular employment in the cotton textile industry could be avoided by paying time and a half for productive work on the midnight shift. The third shift would be needed only when there was unusual demand for goods.

A letter writer views the Democratic Party in the South as engaged in "herdism" in its tendency to vote for anyone running as a Democrat. He finds the Democratic Party nationally to be tending toward socialism and statism. He thinks that Republicans and anti-machine Democrats in the South ought join together to break up one-party rule in the region.

A Pome from the Atlanta Journal appears, "In Which a Reason Is Assigned For People Being Covered With Moisture At This Time Of Year:

"If you didn't perspire
You might catch on fire."

We hear that some of the ardent supporters of the Republican nominee in 2016 have convinced themselves that, because of his overwhelming lead in "likes" on social media and because a "poll" conducted among 100,000 users of a Smartphone application which permits the user to suggest a question and then other users to respond with an answer, has him ahead of Secretary Clinton by 64 to 36 percent, the Republican will win in a "landslide". That result and the accompanying conclusion from it are not surprising really, as few people other than morons incapable of critical analysis would waste their time with such "polls", which account for nothing other than opinions of people both having Smartphones and using the particular application in question. First, the Smartphone account, costing on average $150 per month, filters out, believe it or not, most Americans, who do not feel the need for such a telephone which also takes moompicters, tells you where you may be going, and accesses the internet. Second, the use of the "polling" application filters out even most of that minority. And third, there is no check on who participates. Even infants, able to click a response, perhaps even animals, could "vote" in such a "poll".

Grow up. It means absolutely nothing.

The established polls with a reliable track record, though admittedly having to struggle for the past twenty-four years or so to get around the limitations imposed increasingly on traditional land telephone polling by modern technology, cellphones and answering machines, are not "rigged" because their samples are skewed toward Democrats, always the case because, since the New Deal years, there have been more Democrats in the country than Republicans voting in elections. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if roughly 80-90 percent of Democrats will vote for the Democrat and 80-90 percent of Republicans, for the Republican, then the polling sample, if it were evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, would always render, more or less, a tied result, dependent therefore for the tie-breaker on independent voters. In that event, there would be no need to poll anyone other than the independents. But that is not the way the demographics of elections work historically, including in the most recent two or three quadrennial elections. The most reliable presidential polls base their samples on the relative percentages of Democrats, Republicans, and independents who voted in the most recent presidential elections, then further weighting the sample based on prior voting trends among various socio-economic groups, regions of the country, etc.

Anyone who thinks that anything close to accurate results could be obtained from informal "social media" responses, unfiltered for multiple responses by the same person, unfiltered for age, registration as a voter, eligibility to vote, completely unstructured in terms of the demographic make-up of the sample, and limited to social media participants, those able to afford a computer and also willing to expend the time and possessed of the desire to participate and register "likes" and "dislikes" or waste time in answering idiotic "polls" of a closed, non-random sample of respondents, is, by definition, an idiot who cannot think beyond the end of his or her nose. So, it is not surprising that the results and conclusions from them are being trumpeted as some wunderkind of new polling data by the Trumpettes.

The "polling" data thus produced is little more than the same old puling pusillanimity issuing daily from the Republican nominee and the most ardent section of his cheering camp, about as genuine in degree as that issued by his "University", coexisting in an echo chamber of their own creation, suppressing dissent at rallies and refusing to admit press affiliates who are not part of the cheering puboisie.

In short, it is part and parcel of the same old abjuration of reality which has characterized the entire campaign of the Republican nominee, indeed has been geared to attract just the sort of obscurantists abounding for years as an obnoxiously loud, deeply opinionated minority of the electorate, ignoring all inconvenient truth in favor of the folderol, the free-for-all, brawling, name-calling, walled-off, ballyhooing, boohooing, cap-wearing, ungrateful, hate-filled, bull-holy, kitsch-pitching "rallies".

But, have it your way. If the Republican is going to win 64-36, then his supporters ought stay home on election day and not even bother to vote. What's the point? He's a shoo-in. It said so right here on the light-and-sound magic box which enables you to speak to your friends at great distances without even having to employ a tin can and string. Why, Secretary Clinton will be lucky to win one state.

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