The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 23, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. forces in South Korea had deflected a wedge pushed into the 120-mile battle line by the vanguard of 50,000 enemy troops massed for attack on Taegu from the north, fighting over a 100-yard no-man's land into which planes and artillery poured fire. Enemy dead piled higher and higher before the counter-attacking American and South Korean forces. A crack in the line within the rugged mountain terrain would allow five North Korean divisions to break through to the plain toward Taegu, twelve miles away, a distance closed in some places to within eight miles. The first allied assaults pushed back the enemy a half mile.

On all other fronts, the allies held firm, with attacks on the southern front diminishing and the front to the west of Taegu being quiet, while on the east coast, advancing South Korean troops were forced into defense positions by the enemy.

In the first show of enemy warplanes in weeks, two Russian-made Yaks attacked the British destroyer Comus in the Yellow Sea. The ship was not damaged.

Jack Macbeth tells of these same Yaks following up the attack with strikes on South Korean naval units in the Yellow Sea, the damage from which, if any, had not been reported. Allied planes had hit North Korean armor, troops and transport centers in 257 sorties through midafternoon. F-80 Shooting Stars sent rockets into a railroad tunnel northeast of Kunwi, where enemy tanks were reported to be hiding.

Hal Boyle tells of a young North Korean artillery commander, a lieutenant colonel, waving the flag of surrender through the lines at Tabu, 11 miles north of Taegu, thereby becoming the highest ranking prisoner of war for the allies. He said that he did not wish to see all of Korea run as was the North, under Soviet puppet Kim Il Sung—grandpappy of fatso. He said that most of his regiment would like to surrender but were fearful of secret political agents within their ranks. He said that the incessant American air and artillery attacks also prevented obtaining sufficient cohesion among his regiment to effect surrender en masse. He had wanted to get out of the North, to take cover, as he had two brothers and many close friends in the South, but had been unable. He said his own Army did not trust him for not carrying out orders—apparently not liking his hamburgers. He cheerfully pinpointed to U.S. commanders, whom he appeared glad to greet, the position of his 22 artillery pieces in an apple orchard, causing American fighter planes equipped with napalm to be quickly dispatched to that area—producing rotten apples, henceforth. When one soldier, who had not seen anyone outfitted as the commander, asked another what he was, the reply was a "brass gook". He also said that counter-intelligence agents for the North Korean Army were charged with locating and destroying leaflets dropped by the Americans and that those caught reading them were punished.

Another prisoner said that he had fought for three days without food or water because of breaks in the supply lines. Morale generally was low among the enemy forces.

Army officials claimed that, tank for tank, the American tanks, especially the Patton and Pershing models, were more than a match for the Russian-made tanks confronting them in Korea. The new T-41 light tank, thus far without a nickname, would be produced at Cadillac and would have far superior fire control, sighting equipment, and engines, to those used in World War II. The engines were aircooled and the tank would have an automatic transmission, packing "about double the destructive effectiveness".

How about Hydraglide and a telescoping steering apparatus?

Britain was sending 1,500 troops from Hong Kong to Korea, from the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders and the Middlesex Regiment.

A representative of the American Legion, Earl J. Cocke, Jr., told Congress, in urging Universal Military Training, that he regarded war with Russia as inevitable and that if UMT had been in effect five years earlier, as sought by the President, there would have been no Korean war. Selective Service director Maj. General Lewis Hershey also testified in favor of UMT.

We prefer GMT.

An Administration official said that the Senate was likely to add a 3.5 billion dollar excess profits tax on corporations to its five billion dollar bill to increase individual and corporate taxes. But Senator Walter George of the Finance Committee said that he deemed it unlikely.

The two striking rail unions, the Trainmen and Conductors, promised, for the time being, to keep their token strikes from becoming pervasive, as negotiations, facilitated by Presidential aide John R. Steelman, continued.

In San Fernando in the Philippines, near Manila, lightning struck three times within a few minutes, killing three Filipinos, injuring seven others, and also killing two water buffaloes.

As pictured, the propeller of an American Airlines DC-6 came off during flight over the Rocky Mountains and smashed through the fuselage of the plane, causing one passenger to die of a heart attack.

Gloria Vanderbilt Stokowski, 26, heiress wife of 68-year old conductor Leopold Stokowski, gave birth the previous night.

It was Mr. Cooper, born prematurely.

Nah, that's fake news.

On the editorial page, "Broadened Sterilization Program" gleans from a series of three articles by Bob Sain of The News, not carried on the editorial or front pages, regarding sterilization in the state, that there were many advocates of eugenics, led by Moya Woodside, who had published under the UNC Press her tract, Sterilization in North Carolina: A Sociological and Psychological Survey. She found the benefits of such a program to be prevention of birth of handicapped children, promotion of family welfare, the improvement of maternal health, and the saving of public funds for social agencies otherwise required to deal with these special cases.

There were also extreme advocates of sterilization, favoring wholesale utilization of the process, who did harm to the program favored by moderates as Ms. Woodside, who wished to keep the program at its current levels.

It suggests that the legislation should be amended to allow those to obtain voluntary sterilization who otherwise could not afford to get it without turning to illegal sources.

As we have noted previously, a multi-part expose of the practice, appearing in the Winston-Salem Journal in late 2002, showed that such "voluntary" sterilization had often been coerced of teenage girls who became pregnant, even in some cases by rape, as the program continued even through the early Seventies. The expose led to an official apology by North Carolina for the past program and subsequent monetary settlements, spreading to other states, which also recognized the past mistakes of this racially biased program.

"Handicapping Our Foreign Team" tells of Ambassador to Nicaragua Capus Waynick of North Carolina telling an audience in Monroe the prior Monday night that the foreign policy team was being sent into action so handicapped by its critics that it could not do a good job. He urged in such a time of emergency that criticism be honest and not developed for partisan purposes. The piece offers as example the problems created by Senator McCarthy and finds Mr. Waynick's suggestion good, urges separating out genuine criticism from that clearly motivated by partisan politics in an election cycle.

"Parking at the Courthouse" finds that the decision of the County Commissioners to take some of the Courthouse green for parking spaces for a few official cars, evidenced continuing failure of the City to undertake proper steps to supply offstreet parking downtown. It suggests acquiring land across 4th Street for a parking lot.

We agree. Get to it. Put up a parking lot, next to a boutique.

"Test of Our Determination" finds that General Eisenhower, in an address in Denver, had echoed a recent News editorial of July, which had said that the determination, made evident to the Communists, to defend the nation without bankruptcy would advance the cause of peace.

While the piece does not claim that the General had read the editorial, it suggests that if he had, he was welcome to the thoughts.

Drew Pearson's column is again written by Tom McNamara and Fred Blumenthal. They discuss the arrest in Los Angeles of another suspected subversive agent, William Wolfe Weisband, a Russian-born, naturalized American citizen, trailed for months by the FBI. He had been an analyst for seven years at a top-secret defense agency, which they had been asked not to identify. He had been suspended without pay the previous May as a security risk. After being questioned by the FBI, he had been subpoenaed to appear before the Grand Jury in Los Angeles but failed to show up, after which he was arrested for contempt.

Only two capital cities beyond the Iron Curtain, Washington and Canberra, Australia, refused their citizens the right to vote. Meanwhile, D.C. residents paid more taxes than their counterparts in 25 of the 48 states. They recite other facts which militated in favor of giving the District local governance, apart from Congress. Both parties had pledged home rule, but Congress had ignored the facts and pigeonholed the bill.

James Pinckney of Davidson College had nearly been named by the President as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, until the latter was informed that Mr. Pinckney had backed Willis Smith for the Senate against Senator Frank Graham in the May and June primaries. Senator Graham refused to protest the appointment, even though urged to do so by friends. But his campaign managers had lodged an objection, causing the President quickly to drop the planned nomination.

The column notes that Senator Graham had monitored his own campaign to keep down unfair claims, having torn down a poster which had said that if Mr. Smith were elected, mill workers' wages would drop to 10 cents per hour, a claim he said was completely untrue.

Marquis Childs finds that if Senator Kenneth Wherry's rhetoric was any example in trying to cast blame on the Administration for the Korean war, there would be a divisive campaign during the fall mid-term elections.

There was in fact, he suggests, plenty of blame to go around. In 1945, then chief of staff of the Army General George C. Marshall understood after V-J Day how imprudent it was to bring the soldiers home so quickly and begin dismantling the armed forces while Russia continued to hold its legions in place. The warnings of the General and other military leaders, however, were ignored as being "brass hat" talk to preserve their wartime ranks, that if allowed to have their way, the country would be perpetually in uniform.

Congressman James Wadsworth of New York had been one of the few Republicans who had recognized the danger and had worked for universal military training, as proposed by the President. A radio commentator sought to present petitions from soldiers to the President to bring them home, and the latter refused them in earthy language. There was evidence that Communists were urging this drive along, but little exhortation was needed as the country was tired of war.

In the end, Republicans were as much or more at fault in this drive to "bring the boys home" as were Democrats in Congress. The dismantling process was estimated to have cost 48 billion dollars. The fact that Democrats were currently in power, he concludes, did not alter the record or justify divisive rhetoric for political motives at a time when men were dying in Korea.

Robert C. Ruark tells of consideration being given to hiring mercenary troops to fight U.N. battles for the country, though it was being opposed on moral grounds by many, including Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Mr. Ruark suggests, however, that a poll re the moral rectitude of such a move taken among the fighting men in Korea would likely earn the questioner a knee in the groin. The soldiers never felt such ideals as the people back home who told the fighting men how to fight the war. Morale was based on the soldier's own individual competence to stay alive.

He regards it as silly to stand in the way of the concept when it was more costly to train and send amateurs into the fight. It was the U.N.'s war or police action, rather than one of the United States, and so mercenaries fit well the scenario, analogous to paid cops. He prefers seeing more of the globe involved in the war and fewer sermons on its moral aspects.

A letter writer finds apropos the editorial on August 17 regarding City Councilman Basil Boyd, which found his effort to preserve the old bus routes while extending them to be overly taxing to Duke Power as operator of the buses, causing additional losses, as well the four-part series, beginning the prior Thursday, objecting to the amendment by Councilman Billy Coddington re turning over authority for constructing park buildings from the Park & Recreation Commission to the Council, and says that if the editors extended the criticism to the whole Council for various stands, they would match his opinions exactly. But his major complaint had to do with a Council decision to construct a road from Baldwin Avenue and East Morehead to connect with Independence Boulevard.

No, that will never do. We agree. Stop that before it's too late and all hell breaks loose to end the universe.

A letter from a major in Long Beach, California, tells of entering a gift subscription to the newspaper for Douglas Smith, Radarman aboard the U.S.S. Helena, in Japanese and Korean waters.

A letter writer from Wingate responds to the letter of August 11 concerning dogs, finds that the writer did not like dogs much and that very likely dogs hated him just as much. He feels that a man who disliked dogs had a serious flaw in his makeup and wants no association with him, would not trust such a person, believes he belonged in the Belgian Congo and probably liked to flog his wife—perhaps even using logs stolen from the bog of the frog.

Maybe you have not noticed, but dogs do not have a memory of the specific type you suggest, such that they easily form hatred or love toward individuals on any rational basis. One only need look closely at their sniffing habits. Furthermore, if you give a dog food, it "loves" you, though you have kicked it hard five minutes earlier and it anticipates, in Pavlovian response, that another kick is coming, for good measure, five minutes later. If, on the other hand, you seek to pet a strange dog within its own sniffing territory, it may bite your hand off, should you approach it the wrong way. Dogs do not have the kinds of emotions which you impute to them by way of a convenient anthropomorphism. That is not to knock dogs, which generally we like well enough. But this is one of those silly, childish letters which places animal "feelings" above those of humans. Unfortunately, it appears to be the author with a somewhat pecksniffian problem.

There are many fine people who cannot abide dogs or cats or birds or bears. Get used to the fact so that you are not regarded as whacked in your cracks.

By the way, the mean-spirited individual "representing" NBC who, in the past ten days or so, took down a 23-second video which had been in place for nine years, in response, no doubt, to some little two-bit snitch trolling the internet, is not only a complete moron but an SOB as well, who deserves cigar smoke blown in their face at Joe's Stone Crab. We could, but shan't, replace it with another link to the longer version of the same piece, as it is ludicrous in the premises to block such a thing and we shall not waste our time further with it. The new boycott thus has to extend to the entertainment division of NBC. No loss presently, from our perspective. Turn the channel ...

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