The Charlotte News

Friday, April 24, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. sought this date an indefinite extension of the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of the Korean War, as 40 more Americans returned to freedom, bringing the total number of American disabled prisoners released during the previous five days to 119, one shy of the 120 promised originally by the Communists. The Communists had, however, promised on Thursday to release 17 more Americans among the 100 allied troops to be released the following day, on Saturday. The U.N. representative indicated that under the Geneva Convention, return of sick and wounded prisoners was intended to be a continuing process.

The Communists had thus far returned 500 of the 605 prisoners originally set to be released, and had received from the U.N. 2,499 Communist prisoners, including all 700 of the Chinese prisoners to be released, at the rate of 500 per day, except for this date, when one North Korean prisoner had refused repatriation. The U.N. would release another 500 disabled prisoners the following day, with the ultimate number presently to be released totaling 5,800.

The Communists sought a one-day postponement of the resumption of the armistice negotiations, set to begin the following day anew, after having been suspended the previous October when the U.N. representatives walked out in frustration over the continuing deadlock, which had proceeded for over six months, regarding the issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners. The U.N. liaison officer readily agreed that there were administrative reasons for the one-day postponement, and also indicated that there would be more than the originally estimated 5,800 Communist disabled prisoners to be released. Reciprocally, the Communists again promised to return all of the allied sick and wounded prisoners, whom they had indicated would be more than the originally promised 605, but had provided no specific additional number.

At Freedom Village, the constructed town near Panmunjom in which the prisoner exchange took place, returning American prisoners this date who had been captured early in the war complained of bitter memories of a valley where 260 of the 300 U.N. prisoners had died after a long march, and of another death-march costing a total of 400 lives, then endurance of two years of misery afterward in the camps. Most of the Americans who had been released the previous day had been recently wounded, but many of the 40 released this date had been captured during the fall of 1950, when the U.N. troops suffered their setback in November-December, after moving to the Yalu River under the MacArthur offensive, following the U.N. landing at Inchon in September. One returning such prisoner told of men being placed in tiny cages where they were punished for just saying things "out of the way" during Communist lectures. The released prisoners were pale and emaciated, and limped or were carried from the Communist ambulances. Even the most seriously hurt, however, attempted to smile and answer questions. This group was the largest contingent of American prisoners released since the exchange had begun on Monday. Some of them said that they were treated all right, while one private said that while his captors were brutal, he had witnessed only one man being killed, when he fell off the back of another prisoner carrying him, and "sort of went out of his head", could not get up, and a Chinese guard hit him in the back with the butt of his rifle and pushed him off the side of a mountain. The soldier relating that story suffered from skin disease and bad teeth, had been captured April 25, 1951. Another private related of a death-march in which 400 prisoners had perished.

The 11,521 Americans reported as missing or captured in the Korean War, with one exception, were eligible for promotion as any other member of the service, under a new Pentagon policy. The exception was Maj. General William Dean, commander of the 24th Division, who had been captured early in the war, in July, 1950, ineligible because the directive only applied to officers below his rank.

From Hanoi, in Indo-China, it was reported that three Communist spearheads continued to menace the heart of Laos this date and the French estimated that Communist China had tripled its monthly supplies to the war machine of the Vietminh guerrillas, led by Ho Chi Minh. The French commander-in-chief also said that the Chinese Communists had increased their number of technicians and advisers to Ho, such that they now numbered between 6,000 and 10,000. He said that the guerrillas were receiving increasing quantities of 75 mm shells for mountain guns, machine guns and automatic weapons, principally of Russian design but bearing "made in China" labels. The French Air Force had been striking at routes leading to the Chinese border, but the Vietminh appeared to be getting plenty of ammunition to press the war against Laos, which, until recently, had been a buffer zone between the guerrillas and Coastal Annam and Thailand and Cambodia. All three of the Vietminh spearheads were against Luangprabang, the capital of the Laotian King, the center of the figurative "club" on the map to the north, ignoring the club's "handle", which extended to the southeast along Annam's western borders.

In Paris, NATO, spurred by the U.S., formally requested five of its members to come to a quick agreement with West Germany to create the proposed unified European army. Meanwhile, the upper house of the West German parliament defied Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and voted to postpone its decision of ratification of the army treaty, intended to put a half million German soldiers into the two-million-man unified force. The foreign ministers also passed an 890 million dollar budget for airfields, jet fuel pipelines, communications and other infrastructure, extending through 1956. The U.S. would share 42 percent of that burden. The Netherlands Foreign Minister told a news conference during the morning that the foreign ministers of France, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg had declared that their governments would accelerate the process of ratification as much as possible, and said that there would be no delay in the Netherlands, predicting complete ratification by the fall. None of the foreign ministers, however, promised ratification by any particular date. After adoption by the 14 member nations of the U.S.-backed resolution urging early ratification efforts by the six member nations to the proposed European army, the text of which was not yet made public, French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault asked the other NATO members for continued support of France in the war in Indo-China, supported in that plea by Secretary of State Dulles.

General MacArthur, in a letter dated April 19, addressed to Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, said that a U.S. threat to strike Communist China might force Russia to settle the Korean War and all other pending global issues "on equitable terms". He stated that the country still had the potential to destroy Communist China's flimsy industrial base and sever its tenuous supply lines from the Soviet. He believed that such a threat would cause the Communists to face a "Red China debacle", when the Soviet recognized that the U.S. had "the will and the means" to make such a threat a reality, and that such a threatened action would not lead to World War III. He blamed "the inertia of our diplomacy" for throwing away "the golden moment" to achieve peace after he had badly beaten the North Koreans in October, 1950. He contended that this failure to capitalize on the moment had contributed to the entry of the Chinese Communists to the fighting later that fall, having done so because Chinese territory was not at risk and remained available as a sanctuary for Communist air activity and troop supply and training, free from U.N. attack. He agreed with comments made by Senator Byrd that there had been ammunition shortages in Korea. The General heavily criticized former Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, who had told Senators on April 9 that General MacArthur believed in 1950 that the war would be over by December—indeed, the General at that time having stated publicly that the U.S. troops would be home for Christmas. The General claimed that Mr. Pace had made "a labored effort" to link him with the ammunition shortages which had taken place during the two years since he had been fired as commander by President Truman. The General labeled that effort "completely fantastic".

Rowland Evans, Jr., reports that John L. Lewis had asked the Senate Labor Committee this date to strike all labor laws passed in the previous 21 years, including both the Wagner Act and the Taft-Hartley Act, leaving only the 1932 Morris-LaGuardia Act, which had limited the use of injunctions in labor disputes, and the 1914 Clayton Act, dealing with monopolies and exempting labor unions from the reach of antitrust legislation. Mr. Evans notes that most of organized labor had favored the Wagner Act, establishing the NLRB and Government-assisted collective bargaining, and wanted it retained on the books. Mr. Lewis indicated that no matter how it was treated in terms of amendments, the Taft-Hartley Act would remain "a thorn and a spear in the side of American labor". He contended that in the three years when coal strikes had occurred, production had been greater than in years where there was no strike, that the country had never suffered irreparable injury from deprivation of coal.

In Raleigh, the General Assembly completed action this date on a 620 million dollar biennial appropriations bill as both the State Senate and House approved of the report of a conference committee. The bill provided for a 10 percent pay increase for all teachers and State employees, retroactive to the previous July, and, provided state revenues were sufficient, an additional 2.5 percent increase at the end of each of the ensuing two fiscal years. Legislation designed to help cities clean up slum areas was defeated by the State House this date in a roll call vote. It would have, if passed, amended the 1951 urban redevelopment law, to permit the condemnation of property in an area in which three-fourths of the buildings were substandard, and eliminated the 1951 provision preventing condemnation unless all buildings in the area were deemed substandard. Two members of the Forsyth County delegation and a member of the Mecklenburg County delegation opposed the bill, and delegations generally from the more heavily populated counties of the state were divided on the matter. State Representative Arthur Goodman of Mecklenburg labeled the proposed amendment "a socialistic bill". Another representative, of Transylvania County, opposed the bill as striking at property rights by allowing the condemnation of standard buildings. Another representative, of Guilford County, believed that its application being limited to cities over 33,000 caused it to be a local bill. Other business also transpired.

Governor William B. Umstead this date appointed two new members and reappointed three others to the State Board of Education, the nominations then being presented to the Legislature for approval.

In St. Louis, an attempted bank robber who was trapped in the bank, with his capture imminent, shot and killed himself as police poured teargas into the bank, where 20 persons, including employees, took refuge in the basement. Another accomplice in the robbery, driving the getaway car, escaped uninjured, while two of the other robbers were wounded, one in the back and another in the foot, with the former listed in serious condition. The attempted robbery had been interrupted by two officers who had been cruising within a couple of blocks of the bank and arrived minutes after an alarm had been sounded by an employee, each officer going to the front and back entrances, respectively, and after one of the officers reported hearing a gunshot, which, it turned out, had been a shot to the head of his fellow officer at the rear entrance, had looked through the window and seen one bandit armed with a machine gun, approaching the front door, utilizing a female customer as a human shield. The officer then fired as that bandit made a break for the door, hitting him in the stomach area, the second robber in the bank then being trapped in the bank corridor as police reinforcements rushed in with teargas, resulting in the suicide. The wounded officer remained conscious on arrival at the hospital and his condition was not immediately known.

In Akron, O., a judge postponed sentencing for ten months of a defendant who had pleaded guilty to wounding two men with a gun during a card game, the postponement provided so that the defendant, an employee of a rubber company, could work long enough to become eligible for his pension. Mighty lenient treatment of a nut… Prophylactic measures should have been employed long before the card game to protect his pension.

Emery Wister of The News tells of the return on Sunday of daylight savings time in several states of the nation in the Northeast and Far West. Across the Carolinas, the South and most of the rest of the nation, however, the clocks would not change. The change in time would nevertheless be felt in airline schedules and television programming, which he elucidates insofar as the airlines. Railroads would continue for the most part to operate on standard time and radio programming would also not be affected, despite many of the network shows originating in New York, which would switch to daylight savings time. If you wish to know the impact on the television schedules, you will have to obtain the rest of the story on an inside page.

On the editorial page, "The Keystone Is Fitted into Place", a by-lined piece by editor Pete McKnight, writing from Chapel Hill, tells of the slow and difficult process of bringing into being UNC's new 12 million dollar health center, the formal dedication of which, though only ceremonial, serving a useful purpose of showing off that great effort. The new medical center integrated five allied fields of health, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and public health, tying them together in a single location, a large teaching hospital, with complete research facilities, psychiatric and tuberculosis units, plus classroom, laboratory and living facilities. It was a medical community in which the patients, teachers and students lived close together and learned to know and understand the problems of one another, developing a team spirit which would translate into better health care.

Mr. McKnight indicates that it seemed as a long time earlier that the state had been split by the debate between those who favored placing the health center in Chapel Hill and those who wanted it located elsewhere in the state, including Charlotte. It had also seemed a long time since bandleader Kay Kaiser, a graduate of the University, had been going around the state helping to sell North Carolinians on the "Good Health Program", with singing commercials coming across the radio and newspaper and billboards advertising that program. It had now become a reality, with 71 local general hospital projects having been completed or under construction or approved. Seven State-owned hospital projects had been completed, with one other under construction. A total of 35 health centers had been approved, with six having been completed. Construction of thirty-three nursing homes had been started, 16 having been completed. All of which had caused the state now to rank fourth among the states in money spent on hospital construction and fourth in the number of new hospital beds established since World War II.

"To this arch of good health has now been added the keystone. And the people who have come to believe that good health is not a luxury, but every man's right, and who have shown their willingness to pay for the machinery of good health, may take pride in what they have accomplished here."

We have to wonder, in seeing images of a bunch of armed nuts in Raleigh over the weekend, one man entering a sandwich shop with a missile launcher and two brazen pistols at his side in wild West motif, missing only rhinestone-encrusted cowboy boots to complete the gay outfit, what most sane adults in the 1950s, in North Carolina or anyplace else in the United States, would have thought of such displays of emboldened idiocy, other than to call them "nuts". For those people had already suffered through a world war, some of them through two world wars, and Korea, many having fought in one or two or even all three of those wars. No one, other than young, traitorous punks, needed to demonstrate their manhood by carrying around guns in public, just as the situation remains today with these weak-kneed, stupid, little punks, endangering everyone's safety and feelings of security in order to get a charge from the sense of being somehow self-anointedly superior to everyone else by carrying around a gun during a health pandemic, to show their protest over the Gov'ment trying to protect their dumb asses from themselves. Who you gonna shoot, camou-flak-jacketed bad boy? Your dumb-ass self?

Of course, that ilk of person has not been bred properly and reflects adversely, however ignorantly, on their own parentage and grandparentage, extending back generations, whether that happens to be accurate or not, suggesting stupidity running in the family genes, families, no doubt, pervaded by wanton drunkenness and incessant cigarette smoking, perhaps a good deal of incest along the way, not particularly caring about their own health or that of their progeny. But in this case, the health concerns extend beyond the self-centered gun carrier, and affects everyone else in the society. Yet, such dumb, self-centered punks rarely think about society at large, only their self-serving, conceited poses for the press cameras, attempting to mimic movie characters, retained completely out of context, whom they have seen on the big screen when they were about five years old, roughly 15 years ago or so, from movies which were already by then parodies of the genre, which extends back in time before these nuts were even so much as a twinkle in their daddies' trickle-down.

Hey, you stupid, little punk, you come into a business establishment armed like that where we are and you are unlikely to leave very easily, except in handcuffs. You want to make a bet, punk? Make our day. You brand yourself as nothing other than a sissy, when dressed that way, carrying a gun for the purpose of intimidation of others, you stupid moron.

Business owners should refuse service to such people and immediately phone for the police, for intimidating their law-abiding customers, that is unless they relish getting the reputation as establishments which cater to the lawless, in which case they ought be boycotted until forced to close their doors. You do not have the right to walk around armed in urban areas or even in small towns, brandishing a firearm or any other dangerous weapon. And just what relationship such moronic displays bear to the coronavirus pandemic is lost to most people, except the hopelessly insane, the Manchurian candidates brainwashed and then robotically triggered at politically opportune times by Fox News and their functional equivalent.

In State v. Dawson, linked above and still quite good North Carolina law, the State Supreme Court, after analyzing the history of the common law governing North Carolina firearm possession, starting at "The purpose of bill No. 50...", had this to say in early 1968—prior to the two tragic political assassinations by firearms within the ensuing four months of that dark year—, anent the subject of unconcealed guns carried in public places: "Because our citizens are customarily law abiding, prosecutions for the common-law crime of going armed to the terror of the people have been infrequent. Notwithstanding, it is a wise and salutary law. In this day of social upheaval one can perceive only dimly the tragic consequences to the people if either night riders or day-time demonstrators, fanatically convinced of the righteousness of their cause, could legally arm themselves, mass, go abroad, and display their weapons for the purpose of imposing their will upon the people by terror. Such weapons unconcealed and 'ready to be used on every outbreak of ungovernable passion' would endanger the whole community. [Citation] The wisdom of the common law, which made it a crime to go armed to the terror of the people, inures to our benefit today."

You do not have the right in North Carolina to carry firearms openly in such manner to frighten or terrorize law-abiding citizens in public places, dumbbell, and the sooner haphazard law enforcement there begins enforcing the law, worrying more about openly displayed guns, which by the very fact of their presence terrorize in the era of routine mass shootings, and far less about the exercise of peaceful free speech, which we know firsthand that some law enforcement personnel there have great difficulty accepting, the better off everyone will be, pandemic or not—you redneck holes in the ground. No one ever killed or, short of published, actionable slander and libel, even injured anyone with words alone, stupid.

"Americans Pay for 'Buy American'" tells of the President, as he had often stated, believing in going down the middle-of-the-road regarding Government controls, not always easy to do, as the Administration was discovering in relation to trade and tariff policy. Powerful Republicans had been urging the Administration to erect strong tariff barriers, while others who were influential, such as Henry Ford II, were strongly advocating abolition of all tariffs to lessen ultimately foreign reliance on U.S. aid by eliminating the dollar disparity. The Administration had, in several instances, taken a stance between the two extremes, asking for an extension for the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act while it was being studied for the ensuing year. In another instance, the President had decided to let the tariff on briar pipes continue as it was for the present and had asked the Tariff Commission to give that case more study.

But recently, the Administration had taken up the protectionist argument, with the Defense Department, over the objections of the State Department and the Mutual Security Agency, having decided to purchase American goods in an instance where it was not required by law to do so, with the result that American taxpayers might have to pay more than 1.5 million dollars in additional taxes, which it explains.

The President had consistently opposed that kind of unnecessary and costly program of "buying American". In his campaign speech at the inception of his presidential run the prior June at Abilene, Kans., the General had said that trade was a two-way street and that the country ought accept in imports the things which were going to pay for exports the country wanted. At the Al Smith memorial dinner the prior October, he had answered in the affirmative the question whether the country had the vision to triumph over the temptations of economic nationalism and to welcome full, equitable trade with the country's allies. It suggests that both quotes ought be prominently displayed in executive branch offices of the Administration, especially as it opposed subsidies and advocated free competition in the marketplace.

"Turned Tables" reminds that it was former Senator Harry Cain of Washington who had successfully blocked the appointment of former President Truman's fishing buddy, Mon Wallgren, also of Washington, as chairman of the National Security Resources Board, Senator Cain having argued that Mr. Wallgren had little on the ball, something which was hardly disputable, as the latter had suffered defeat in his re-election campaign for Governor in 1948, when the President handily carried the state.

The piece finds, however, that failure to achieve re-election was not a good ground for disqualification from being appointed to another position, but that now that former Senator Cain was seeking confirmation as a member of the Subversive Activities Control Board, it seemed suddenly relevant to bring up the fact that he had lost his bid for re-election to the Senate the prior November by 134,000 votes, when President Eisenhower had carried the state by 106,000 votes.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Fish Story", indicates that it cannot help wishing that Henry Grunewald had been a little more explicit about the sturgeon he indicated had been provided to him by Max Halperin of New York. He had been accused of accepting a $60,000 fee in 1948 for fixing a criminal tax case, but had insisted before a House Ways & Means subcommittee that the package handed him by Mr. Halperin did not contain money but rather some sturgeon wrapped in brown paper. To make it more peculiar, Mr. Halperin had denied that he gave Mr. Grunewald any fish.

It indicates that while the practice among friends of exchanging fish was not unheard of, it had not heard of it occurring in tax cases. Such fixing was more likely to be rewarded by caviar than sturgeon.

It recommends that before the subcommittee swallowed the fish story "hook, line and sturgeon", it ought investigate how the sturgeon was transported from New York to Washington, whether by plane, train or bus, and that if such means of transport had been employed, it might assume that the fish could scarcely have escaped detection by the olfactory senses of the other passengers aboard. "Indeed, this is a case in which the Congressmen's sense of smell may be a more reliable guide than the conflicting testimony."

Will it turn out to be a dead fish in the middle of the road, stinking to high heaven?

Ray Erwin, writing in Editor & Publisher, tells of having caroled an old hymn in times past at the century-old Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church, which went "beau-ti-ful words, won-der-ful words, won-der-ful words of life." John Schell, editor for the North American Newspaper Alliance, had shown some "wonderful words" from word coinage, which Walter Monfried, a staff correspondent for the Milwaukee Journal, had written for that organization, listing creations of Dr. Jacobs Schmidt, a Baltimore physician and word hobbyist for 20 years. A professor at the University of Miami had asked Dr. Schmidt for a word to describe his wife, who feared her oil burner might explode, Dr. Schmidt having come up with "oleofornaplodophobe" to describe the condition, the etymology provided. The doctor had a working vocabulary of 140,000 words, and a card file of word meanings with more than 75,000 definitions, said that a wolfman was "lycanthropized" and that lucky people treasured the gift of "serendipity".

Mr. Erwin proceeds to provide several other words and their meanings, catalogued by the doctor and others, including "smog", "brunch", "whodunit", "gobbledegook", "jabberwocky" and "o.k.", and how such rather now-commonplace expressions had come into regular usage, including relating of the latter's origin, as told by H. L. Mencken, tracing it back to President Martin Van Buren, nicknamed "Old Kinderhook", after his birthplace in New York, and the establishment in 1840 by his supporters of an O. K. Club—among several other competing putative origins for that particular expression.

Former President Warren Harding, who had been the editor-publisher of the Marion Star in Ohio, had introduced to common usage the word "normalcy", in his effort to return to it following World War I, "if not to the nation's well-being"—not dissimilar to the current occupant of the White House and his stupid efforts, in the face of continuing death in the country from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the worst health crisis by far during a compressed time period suffered by the country since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, that one complicated by the ongoing involvement of the country in World War I and the absence of the organs of information dissemination which exist today, the latter misshapen from their usually symbiotic role in such circumstances by the fact of the current Administration's daily insistence on giving them the choice either of being force-fitted to the Administration's political purposes or not being fully informed, call it Trumpiebarrmisfittedmalaproppedfactphobia cum Sino-Russo conditionalism.

"Gerrymander" originated with Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, in the early 19th century, resulting from his efforts at gerrymandering, in salamandrian form, to ensure election of a favorable Legislature.

And he goes on...

Drew Pearson indicates that on April 16, the Senate Internal Security Committee had questioned Gregory Silvermaster, former Treasury Department official, regarding allegations that he had filmed secret documents for Russia in the basement of his Silver Spring, Md., home during World War II. On September 7, 1947, Mr. Pearson had revealed the first inside story about the Silver Spring Soviet spy ring and provided more facts than the Senators had revealed the previous week. He quotes from that column, indicating that it was published as a result of independent, personal journalistic investigation, without the protection of Senatorial privilege, incurring the usual risk of libel inherent in any such journalistic investigation, prompting him to wonder why the Committee, with all of its subpoena power and protection from libel suits, could not find more up-to-date information to investigate than that which he had published nearly six years earlier.

He suggests that the Committee might have investigated how the Kremlin was using satellite locations and embassies for propaganda and espionage work among foreign-born Americans. Most of the work was done through certain Communist legations within Washington and right under the noses of the Committee, including the Hungarian, Czech, Rumanian and other such embassies. He indicates that the Committee had done excellent work regarding that matter three or four years earlier, but of late, the Hungarian legation in Washington had collected money from Hungarian-Americans to help poorly fed relatives in Hungary, then used that money for propaganda and espionage work within the U.S. The system worked through the United States Relief Parcel Service, which, despite its name, was not operated by the U.S. Government but rather under the supervision of the Hungarian Communist Government, which he proceeds to detail. He indicates that the Hungarian Government also operated a book merchandising group in the U.S., which handled several thousand Hungarian books per year, also contributing income for their nefarious activities.

Marquis Childs, at the U.N., indicates that old and cynical veterans of the U.N. were not persuaded by the recent signs of harmony issuing from Russia, that the struggles had been so great at the U.N. in the past between Russia and the West that they had become jaundiced to any such optimistic notions.

The session at the U.N. which had just ended had been prolonged by charges brought by Burma regarding the invasion of that country by Chinese Nationalist Army guerrillas along the Burma-China border. The U.S. had been accused, though not by Burma, of furnishing those troops with arms and supplies and encouraging them to attack the mainland Communist Chinese, using the Burma refuge as a base. The U.S. had denied the charge, indicating that it had no control over the guerrilla army. According to U.S. authorities, Chiang Kai-shek had only limited and partial authority over the guerrillas, who had escaped into Burma when Chiang and his small forces took refuge on Formosa. Whatever the facts were, the U.N. had limited and uncertain authority in the matter, as it had in many such situations in which it was called to consider, involving revolutionary activities in various nations, placing an impossible burden on the organization, already hampered by its East-West split and its Charter which allowed a single veto of the five permanent members of the Security Council to prevent action or, at least, make it very difficult.

The demand by the Arabs in French North Africa for action by the U.N. was another such example, where a solution might not be available for another 10 to 20 years. The upheavals across the world, however, had stimulated Arab nationalism, and if the U.N. did not take some action, then disillusion and resentment might grow, already serving to unite the Arab-Asian bloc, increasingly ready to be critical of the West. Of late, there were signs that some Latin American countries were joining in that group, not surprising for the same socio-economic conditions of underdevelopment existing there. All of those underdeveloped nations were quick to be suspicious of the West for economic imperialism and colonialism, exploiting raw materials of the have-not nations. The U.S. was among the chief suspects. Such suspicion did not augur well for the future of the U.N., but it was not hard to see why it was taking place.

The have-not nations were looking to the U.S., the chief source of technical and material assistance, far more Point Four program assistance than was possible to provide, considered stingy in many places given America's great wealth. But domestically, the people of the U.S. appeared bewildered when angry mobs in Iran broke into Point Four warehouses to destroy machines and supplies, causing Americans to wonder why other peoples did not appreciate what the country was trying to do for them at great cost.

Robert C. Ruark finds it funny that Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigators in Europe, Roy Cohn and David Schine, were causing such a stir with their antics in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey and England during the course of about two weeks, as they sought to determine whether there was waste and mismanagement in the U.S. Information Service abroad. Referring to them as the "Bobbsey twins", he recounts how Mr. Cohn would consistently step in and help out Mr. Schine during interviews, when the latter faltered. Someone in Rome had inquired of the two as to who was paying for their junket and Mr. Cohn had replied that it would be from "the millions of dollars" they would save the U.S. taxpayers. A British female journalist had cornered Mr. Cohn in a barbershop, also in Rome, and asked him whether or not he felt he was too young for such a massive task, to which he replied with the example of William Pitt, leaving the journalist stunned.

He indicates that the two had succeeded in creating a stir wherever they went and had caused quite a bit of perturbation within the USIS and the military.

He says that he had never trusted the idea of the junket as anything more than a waste of time and taxpayer money, as there was little which officials could accomplish in the short spans allotted for such visits. He had found in his experience that it took a week in any town, with a lot of help, to obtain any part of the feel of that town, and when one's arrival was preceded by advance knowledge of the locals, such places put on their best faces for the visitors, making it virtually impossible to see the true situation. In the past, members of Congress who took such junkets had generally managed to embarrass the country by becoming drunk in public or pinching the wrong girls. And what they accumulated in terms of knowledge rarely changed any outcomes on legislation.

"As for the stark silliness of McCarthy's temerity in sending two practically beardless boys off on an errand a fleet of trained gumshoes couldn't accomplish in two years, it doesn't even bear a comment."

For one of the few times in the past several years during which we have been forced to read your usually frivolous column, Mr. Ruark, we wholeheartedly agree with you on a matter of substance, which, by the fact of Mr. Cohn's great and longtime friendship with Mr. Trump, translates well into present times and underscores perhaps the reasons for the kind of complete incompetence we are experiencing daily in the country, now with the tragic result of more than 80,000 deaths of Americans from the coronavirus, increasing daily, though the death tolls have decreased somewhat during the previous two or three days in early May. But if you try to follow the mercurial and inconsistent advice coming from the White House, you or your loved ones will likely wind up one of the victims of the virus, whether through death or a resulting high hospital bill, and, with some of the states relaxing prematurely their orders and guidelines, causing many people thus to forgo the strictures of social distancing, on the absurd premise that it somehow limits their freedom, we shall have to endure soon enough, and inevitably, a second wave of infections and deaths, perhaps even stretching into the summer. We recommend not hesitating, gently and politely, telling people when they are not practicing proper social distancing, and asking them please to do so. It is, after all, for their own good, as well as your own and everyone with whom you and they might ultimately come in contact. It has nothing to do with limiting anyone's freedom, or the "gov'ment", the dummies at Fox News and other such ridiculous propaganda arms for the Republican Party notwithstanding.

And to the Native Americans who are resisting the idiot who is the Governor of South Dakota, in her threat to end their practice of trying to protect their reservation with a simple traffic checkpoint at reservation boundaries to check temperatures and other symptoms of entering motorists, more power to you. And to the Governor, take the thermometer and stick it up your own ass, for you are out to lunch, in distemper, with your Fox News "Friends", who should do likewise with their thermometers, misleading millions of Americans to their great self-peril when they are hapless enough to place reliance on that network as their exclusive source for infotainment, with serious illness and death being the likely consequence. Yet, in some respects, who can blame her? with the moronic head of Government in the White House doing virtually the same thing nearly every day, giving mixed signals and cross-purposed information, some of which is dead wrong. We counsel him to take a golf club, a driver, and stick it...

By the way, where did that Governor, a Pierre sucker no doubt, get such a nice coiffure during the pandemic? Oh how sweet. Her hair looks so lovely, especially given where her head resides.

A letter writer urges support for Jim Smith in the City Council race, whom she had known as a next door neighbor for many years and found him highly conscientious, kind and considerate.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., takes a negative approach to Congress considering raising the salaries of members to $25,000 per year, indicating that he did not understand why it took so much for them to live, with travel expenses paid, staff and so on. He wonders how the budget would ever be balanced in that manner, urges them not to forget to tax their salary increase.

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